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Development Info Josh Sawyer on the Road to Better Armor Systems

thesheeep

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Yeah, higher number = better but just how far can you push those numbers before you hit diminishing returns? The system doesn't tell you.
So what, though?
As I said, giving more precise information is better, obviously.
But as long as "higher number = better" remains true, it works well enough.

I also don't see any situation in which you wouldn't pick a better armor just because the increase in protection from say, 10->15 would be less than the increase from 5->10.
You'll still want to equip that armor (if you can).
 

ciox

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3tUZjaf.png


I'm not sure about the whole thing where it's impossible to have both dodge and armor with good balance.

Sure, dodge sucks compared to armor in the games that we have so far.
But you can picture a system that works.

Imagine you can either dodge attacks or absorb attack damage with armor. You can dodge better by wearing less armor and by facing enemies that have low accuracy.

Dungeon has encounter design where you fight comparable amounts of a) monsters with fast attack speed and high accuracy and lower damage b) monsters that have low attack speed, low accuracy, and high damage

Both armor and dodge get to shine in different situations.
 

Roguey

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So what, though?
As I said, giving more precide information is better, obviously.
But as long as "higher number = better" remains true, it works well enough.

I also don't see any situation in which you wouldn't pick a better armor just because the increase in protection from say, 10->15 would be less than the increase from 5->10.
You'll still want to equip that armor (if you can).

When he's talking about people disengaging with the system, he's referring to them just buying a new set of armor and calling it a day as opposed to doing whatever they can to get those numbers as high as possible.
 

ciox

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Yeah, higher number = better but just how far can you push those numbers before you hit diminishing returns? The system doesn't tell you.
So what, though?
As I said, giving more precide information is better, obviously.
But as long as "higher number = better" remains true, it works well enough.

I also don't see any situation in which you wouldn't pick a better armor just because the increase in protection from say, 10->15 would be less than the increase from 5->10.
You'll still want to equip that armor (if you can).
It's obviously harder to compare two pieces of armor, when you have clear stats like slowdown, weight, gold cost, attribute bonuses, but also some unclear stats like "Protection". The amount of extra Protection on an armor might make up for the smaller attribute bonuses that it has, or it might not, who knows...
 

thesheeep

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When he's talking about people disengaging with the system, he's referring to them just buying a new set of armor and calling it a day as opposed to doing whatever they can to get those numbers as high as possible.
But by "just buying a new set of armor", they ARE doing whatever they can to get those numbers as high as possible.
At least if the armor's protection is essential in the game. It's definitely not in all games (e.g. Dark Souls).

It's obviously harder to compare two pieces of armor, when you have clear stats like slowdown, weight, gold cost, attribute bonuses, but also some unclear stats like "Protection". The amount of extra Protection on an armor might make up for the smaller attribute bonuses that it has, or it might not, who knows...
True, but that's more of a UI problem, IMO.
I hate games that make me do all the calculations. You're a damn computer, just give me the values my char would have with the armor equipped. If I wanted to do PnP calculations, I'd play PnP :argh:
 

Roguey

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But by "just buying a new set of armor", they ARE doing whatever they can to get those numbers as high as possible.
At least if the armor's protection is essential in the game. It's definitely not in all games (e.g. Dark Souls).
That's the bare minimum, not whatever they can. Increasing those numbers beyond that involves smithing and choosing armor perks.
 

Faarbaute

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If only we had a system that could simulate various things like dodging, tanking hits and glancing blows with a single number going up (or down) indicating your characters prowess. Oh yeah, right, we do.

But wait, what's this retarded angry murmor I'm hearing? Why does my ARMOR make me DODGE better? It dosen't make SENSE that ARMOR makes you HARDER TO HIT! Why does my character take DAMAGE from weak blows CoULdN't we SIMULATE weak BlOWs SomEWhoW? And other favorites such as: How come my character can still fight unhindered when he's at 1/40 HP? Bonus points if you equate HP/Health/whatever with your blood level. Jesus Christ.

It's all so tiresome.
 
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Diggfinger

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I will never stop dreaming about you Josh


Perhaps if you were to make a game 0,1% as good, someone might dream of you one day...
Hiding the rules from the player through abstract (higher number = better protection, but we can't or won't explain how much) systems like Skyrim lead to poor player engagement.
Did he say that? He's wrong.

A counter example: imagine a game with a huge scarcity of items. You find an iron apron with AC 5, then ten hours later into the game you find a chainmail with AC 15. You'll be happy as a pie. It doesn't matter than you don't know the formula. As long as you can FEEL the difference in combat, you're all good.

Also, hilarious that he shits on Skyrim (poor player engagement), while Skyrim engaged more players than all his games combined ever will.
This is also a bit weird to me.

There are unlimited ways to shit on Skyrim, but you really can't say that Skyrim's armor system doesn't work. Numbers go up, you take less damage. Does what it says on the tin.

I always prefer to have exact numbers and formulas given to me, sure, but it's not the end of the world if that doesn't happen.
I also doubt that it has anything to do with player engagement. Engage with what? The armor system calculation? What for?
Determining if an armor is better than your current one should be an easy yes/no check - or multiple checks in case there are different values for different types of damage.

I've never played Skyrim** but Josh was using the examples of that and Cyberpunk 2077 interchangeably. Certainly for the latter, my own experience was that my armor-value would just increase to crazy amounts, while enemies occasionally would still one-hit kill me for no apparent reason.
Was I wearing bad, wrong, subpar armour? Or does it even matter, given the critical hits in that game are all over the place? Who knows.


** Bad-ass I know, insert your lubed brofists here

:bro:
 
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I don't think armor is the complicated issue. It's other mechanics that are the root, but get conflated with armor. Dodging is the problem. It should not be a free action. AP/reaction should be required. Exceptionally fast attacks like bullets or lighting shouldn't be dodged without a special feat/talent. Critical hits are also another problem. In general, I think the concept should be thrown out or reserved for unique actions, like a Coup de Grace against a helpless opponent.
 

agris

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ciox

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on the road to returning to an armor system deployed a quarter of a century ago!

Sometimes you gotta stick with ol' tried and true.
That's exactly what's so sad about this, he's spent 20+ years spinning his wheels trying to fix something that he, finally, realizes wasn't broken.
Pretty much, it seems he wants DT+DR, with less DR than there was in Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, and more than there was in his later games, where DR wasn't on armor at all.

Something like lower DR on armor in general, and very light armor doesn't have DR at all.

Still sounds like Underrail, which has some pieces of armor that work like this.
 

thesheeep

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I've never played Skyrim** but Josh was using the examples of that and Cyberpunk 2077 interchangeably. Certainly for the latter, my own experience was that my armor-value would just increase to crazy amounts, while enemies occasionally would still one-hit kill me for no apparent reason.
Was I wearing bad, wrong, subpar armour? Or does it even matter, given the critical hits in that game are all over the place? Who knows.
Oh, yeah... armor in CP2077 is completely broken. No doubt about it.
No idea what the underlying system is exactly but I never once had the feeling that my armor mattered.

There is also not really much of an armor choice in the game, as in mobile vs tanky or anything like that. You just find newer stuff with higher numbers and that's it. There are no armor types.
That flimsy shirt you find at lvl20 will have a higher armor that your lvl2 bullet proof vest...
 

Bulo

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You needn't throw away a system as satisfying as New Vegas' because you find its edge cases unsightly. Beyond being rare in themselves, their [Missile launchers, Fat Mans/Men, Gauss rifles] damage ceiling is limited by a scarcity of ammunition or the large stat/time/material input that's required to wield/maintain/stock them effectively.

If the concern is that the player is overly vulnerable to said weapons... isn't that the point? When an encounter is giving you trouble, you can turn the odds in your favour by adjusting your fighting position, using VATS, companions, and consumables, or trying a different approach altogether; but whatever you do you must also accept that death will not always come to you on your own terms (especially when you lack foreknowledge). And Josh must learn to stop worrying and love the bomb.
 
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One implementation I like a lot is in Age of Decadence. A tank plays very different from an agile dodger, and fighting a tanky opponent in heavy armor feels different from fighting someone who is fast and agile. You can even have a "tanky dodger" with the right gear and build, and those are a pain to fight (they're dodgy enough to dodge everything you can nail them with, and tough enough to shrug off your fast attacks).

I don't think armor is the complicated issue. It's other mechanics that are the root, but get conflated with armor. Dodging is the problem. It should not be a free action. AP/reaction should be required. Exceptionally fast attacks like bullets or lighting shouldn't be dodged without a special feat/talent. Critical hits are also another problem. In general, I think the concept should be thrown out or reserved for unique actions, like a Coup de Grace against a helpless opponent.

This is a good point, dodging is mostly pretty lame in that its pretty much free anti-damage.
I think someone here in the Codex once idealized a system where dodging would require space to manuever and "space control" is an important element. Dodging = Movement. If you have space to move, you can dodge. Want to someone from dodging? Herd them somewhere they can't move and manuever.

I think its interesting, especially because I JUST realized that it could fix one issue with dodge: Its either 100% useless vs AoE attacks (like a grenade) or you get inanity like someone "dodging" an explosion while remaining still.

I also think proper armor systems (DR/DT) are superior to most implementations of Dodging, because Dodging is almost always binary. You either get hit with a full-blown attack or you pull a 100% dodge. Its essentially a dice roll for a coin toss (Hit/Not Hit) That's not how dodging things works, people get grazed, avoid partillaly, etc. There's a big difference between a sword grazing you and getting a arm worth of sharp cold steel lodged into your innards. I know that weapon damage variance covers that, but that's imperfect.

on the road to returning to an armor system deployed a quarter of a century ago!

Sometimes you gotta stick with ol' tried and true.
That's exactly what's so sad about this, he's spent 20+ years spinning his wheels trying to fix something that he, finally, realizes wasn't broken.

Nothing wrong with that. First off, humility is good.
Second, one thing I've learned as a mod dev and programmer, is that sometimes you HAVE to take a step behind to take a step forwards.

I think the problem in Fallout (the OGs, that is), is that, putting aside the obviously bugged ammo modifiers, is that DT was too high. In the Fallout system, Weapon Penetrate and Armor Bypass crits are your only ways of penetrating DT, and late-game armors are all about dat DT, so the system broke down - especially because again, the ammo modifiers were broken and NPCs simply don't use as much AP ammo as they should. Also Armor Bypass crits are bullshit, JSE correctly diagnozes during his Van Buren work that they should work partial and not total armor bypass crits.

Also FO1/FO2 used an inferior system where ammo had damage multipliers that were always 1/2, 1/1, or 3/2. So it was either plus or minus 50, 100 or 150%. Fallout Tactics allows proper setting of dmg modifier at the full percentage level, which is superior (sadly Gauss Ammo is completely broken in FOT). AFAIK FOT also did something with the crits which nerfed sniper builds (which were broken beyond belief in FO1/2) but I don't remember what it was.

I am currently playing Fallout Et Tu and its wonderful how some weaponry got injected with new life thanks to proper working ammo modifiers + FO2 weapon upgrades. 10mm SMG goes from an early game sprayer gun to something capable of killing even Deathclaws and even (Stronger Mutants-buffed) Super Mutants, althrough you need many bursts and AP rounds. Assault Rifle went from useless piece of firewood it was in FO1/2 to an actual high-powered rifle capable of slicing through weaker armors. Plus the upgrade from FO2 gives it loads of ammo, its wonderful now.
 

agris

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The Brazilian Slaughter I don't disagree with you analysis of the DR/DT system as implemented in OG Fallouts. I do disagree with your point regarding humility though, there's nothing humble about looking at a solid mechanical system, saying "I can do it better" for 20+ years, only to recognize at the end that the basic concepts of what you originally intended to improve upon was actually the better route to go. It is good that he finally realized his destination was where he started his journey, but what a long pointless journey it was...
 
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The Brazilian Slaughter I don't disagree with you analysis of the DR/DT system as implemented in OG Fallouts. I do disagree with your point regarding humility though, there's nothing humble about looking at a solid mechanical system, saying "I can do it better" for 20+ years, only to recognize at the end that the basic concepts of what you originally intended to improve upon was actually the better route to go. It is good that he finally realized his destination was where he started his journey, but what a long pointless journey it was...

I disagree, at least he tried and experimented on. Too many people are content to keep doing the same thing forever.

Its like games with TB and RT at once. Pointless? Yes. But no one makes those anymore for a good reason. In a way, these saved us from further TB/RT games.

Remember, theory will always remain different from practice.
 

agris

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I disagree, at least he tried and experimented on. Too many people are content to keep doing the same thing forever
This may be an age thing, but since I grew up experiencing the late 90s/early 00s cRPGs as they were released, there has been nothing if not evolution and change. Unfortunately, it's mostly been to the detriment of my hobby rather than its improvement. Ever-changing is not a noble concept in and of itself. What the genre is missing is focused evolution building on top of key concepts and mechanics that work well.

In retrospect, his journey of self discovery with DR/DT looks to be a massive waste of intellect, effort and time.
 

ERYFKRAD

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Yes, Josh, we're too stupid to figure out your armor system and not dissatisfied that you put a massive hole in the middle of it.

God save us from progtard snobbery.
No wonder his armor system sucks, there's a big fucking hole in it.
 
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One implementation I like a lot is in Age of Decadence. A tank plays very different from an agile dodger, and fighting a tanky opponent in heavy armor feels different from fighting someone who is fast and agile. You can even have a "tanky dodger" with the right gear and build, and those are a pain to fight (they're dodgy enough to dodge everything you can nail them with, and tough enough to shrug off your fast attacks).

I don't think armor is the complicated issue. It's other mechanics that are the root, but get conflated with armor. Dodging is the problem. It should not be a free action. AP/reaction should be required. Exceptionally fast attacks like bullets or lighting shouldn't be dodged without a special feat/talent. Critical hits are also another problem. In general, I think the concept should be thrown out or reserved for unique actions, like a Coup de Grace against a helpless opponent.

This is a good point, dodging is mostly pretty lame in that its pretty much free anti-damage.
I think someone here in the Codex once idealized a system where dodging would require space to manuever and "space control" is an important element. Dodging = Movement. If you have space to move, you can dodge. Want to someone from dodging? Herd them somewhere they can't move and manuever.

I think its interesting, especially because I JUST realized that it could fix one issue with dodge: Its either 100% useless vs AoE attacks (like a grenade) or you get inanity like someone "dodging" an explosion while remaining still.

Dodge for AoE is conceptualized as rolling flat to avoid the worst of the blast (talk half damage). Suspension of disbelief varies. I generally like the idea of needing to move to an adjacent space to dodge. There is an indie RPG that does this, but I cannot recall its name. It's a scifi survival sim that takes place on salvaging ships. My only complaint with dodge requiring movement to another space, is that it eliminates the concept of a fighter leaning or ducking just out of the reach of a weapon. I think it is both a legitimate move, and something to be preserved for the sake of fun and build variety.
 

Spectacle

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Yeah, higher number = better but just how far can you push those numbers before you hit diminishing returns? The system doesn't tell you.
So what, though?
As I said, giving more precise information is better, obviously.
But as long as "higher number = better" remains true, it works well enough.

I also don't see any situation in which you wouldn't pick a better armor just because the increase in protection from say, 10->15 would be less than the increase from 5->10.
You'll still want to equip that armor (if you can).
In Skyrim you generally want to specialize in light or heavy armor, but you can't really make an informed choice when you don't know how much the higher base armor values of heavy armor actually matters.
 

Chippy

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"In future titles, Josh plans to use a more straightforward combination of DT and DR, with the former scaling over the course of the game and the latter using fixed percentage values depending on armor type. Alternatively, he might revisit the penetration concept but use a small number of categories (Low/Medium/High) instead of numeric values to make things easier to understand. Of course, all of this probably isn't relevant to his next game, which isn't going to have a combat system at all."

I know I'm crap at memes, but that read like a meme to me.

Edit: Infinitron Well, summarize it a bit with all the details at the top, and then for the punchline at the bottom just add that after he's spent years working on all this stuff - his next game wont have any combat. He's literally an autiste originale.
 

hivemind

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joshua sawyer must be killed

you might not like this, but it has to be done

a midwit retard of these proportions who keeps perpetually failing upwards is life is simply not something that can be tolerated any further
 

Bester

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joshua sawyer must be killed

you might not like this, but it has to be done

a midwit retard of these proportions who keeps perpetually failing upwards is life is simply not something that can be tolerated any further
When the troon sayeth the truth, you know the apocalypse is near.
 

Desiderius

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joshua sawyer must be killed

you might not like this, but it has to be done

a midwit retard of these proportions who keeps perpetually failing upwards is life is simply not something that can be tolerated any further

Late Bloomer

Give him time.
 
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