Version 1's "Armored" System

Discussion in 'NOTD 2 Discussion' started by Kith, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. Kith
    • Development Team
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    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Version 1's "Armored" System
    [​IMG]
    Easier math for everyone!

    Some time ago, Starcraft II was updated in a way that allowed unit tags to be applied on the fly - for example, a unit could be temporarily tagged as Light or Psionic based on a buff, or no longer considered Massive for a duration. There's a lot that could be done with such a functionality, but for the time being we're going to be using it to simplify NOTD 2's defenses - for both players and enemies.

    Rather than using Armor Points for units and Damage Penalties vs Armor for weapons, NOTD 2 will be abusing the "Armored" unit tag to make things easier to understand for players. In essence, it boils down to this:

    • Armored players will take less damage from all enemies. The baseline is 30%, but special enemies will have a greater amount of reduction (for example, Slashers).
    • Armored enemies will take less damage from most weapons and abilities. The baseline for enemy damage reduction is also 30%, but certain weapons will have better performance against Armored enemies on a case-by-case basis. The Laser will be adjusted to fit the new system and deal bonus damage to Armored enemies.

    How this affects gameplay
    For starters, it'll be much easier to determine your damage output - the SCII engine already supports "vs [Type]" calculations in its weapon tooltips, meaning that you can tell exactly how much damage your weapon deals against Armored foes with a glance. This also goes for enemy weapons - checking up how much damage they deal vs Armored will let you determine quickly and easily how much damage you'll be taking if you get hit.

    Secondly, it'll make the armor items and buffs much more straightforward. Instead of having +2, +4, +6, +4 to Shields, player buffs that give armor, enemy auras that give armor, you're either Armored or you're not. There will be some new items and/or item conversions to fill the void left by the previous catalog of armors, but the "main" armor item will simply provide the "Armored" status to whoever uses it.

    Finally, it streamlines player classes designed for soaking damage. Rather than having upwards of six different types of damage mitigation, tank classes will recieve the "Armored" status in varying contexts:

    • Assault: Being the "starter tank", the Assault is permanently Armored due to their passive ability Heavy Plating.
    • Stormtrooper (aka Demotank): As the "shield tank", the Stormtrooper will remain Armored as long as they retain shield points. If their shield breaks, they will lose their Armored status.
    • Paladin (aka Order Flamethrower): As the "caster tank", the Paladin will gain the Armored status as a buff by damaging enemies with abilities like Smite and Shatter.
    • Sapper (aka Mods Technician): As the "berserker tank", this class will gain the Armored status while the Rampage toggle is active, making them more durable but liable to attack allied units.
    Additionally, some classes (such as the Medic, Tactician, or Strategist) will be able to provide the Armored status as a buff, whereas some others (such as the Flamethrower) will be able to obtain temporary Armored status through Talents.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  2. stanK

    stanK Member

    You can easily create a behavior that reduces incoming damage by 30%, then you can attach actors to make it readable.

    For something as simple as -30% there really isn't a need for runtime tag changes.
  3. Kith
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    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    You are correct in your assertion that a 30% damage reduction behavior would be easy and simple, but I would rather put forth the additional effort to make the game better for everyone. Taking advantage of a dynamic tag system means that the player can gather pertinent information more quickly - what units are Armored and how attacking an Armored target affects a given Weapon's performance (regardless of if it's used by the player or an enemy) is clearly outlined by the game engine itself, so there's no guesswork on the player's part and no extensive explanations on our part. Additionally, NOTD's armory has a history of varied performance when it comes to durable enemies. A 30% damage reduction would necessitate exceptions to the rule, not to mention a complete reversal for the Laser and probably a total rebalancing and/or repurposing of the Slasher enemy type (among many other nuances that I'm going to avoid mentioning for the sake of brevity). By the time such a thing has finished being adjusted, it would likely resemble the Armor Points vs Armor Penetration system that we already have.

    My goal for Version 1 is to replace or upgrade existing systems into something more newbie-friendly. Implementing something just as obfuscated for the sake of changing things would just be a massive waste of time.
  4. Stereo
    • Development Team

    Stereo Paper Boy

    Is it possible to take some stuff from NOTDSO where shooting Armored enemies produces a different impact sound for weapons negatively impacted by Armor?

    I feel this could be a good indication of a weapon being ineffective against certain targets for newbies, and was something that I liked about NOTDSO.

    Also any plan to do anything interesting with AP ammo? Maybe normalize the penalty from Armored?
  5. Kith
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    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Off of the top of my head, the easiest way to accomplish that would be via giving the unit in question two identical weapons, one of which is hidden, Armored only, and has a modified soundset - something that would be out of the question due to the issues that sticking additional hidden weapons tends to bring when factoring in ammunition systems. However, I'm not good at the editor, so there very well might be other methods of making that happen. I'll ask someone who knows more than I do!

    That was the goal, yes. Current planned ammo mod types are AP (+armored damage, likely to be somewhere from 20% to 30%), HE (applies a small radial splash damage on attacking), and Flechette (+crit chance). I'm looking into a minor damage boost ammo and possibly some other stuff, but I haven't put a lot of thought into expanding the ammo mod selection quite yet.
  6. Kith
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    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Update: I have made this lovely proof of concept image showing exactly how this new system will impact Weapon Tooltips.

    [​IMG]

    I'm aware that the "splash type" is slightly off-color, unfortunately the styling that I found is not perfect. However, it does a pretty good job of what the goal of this system is: simplification of weapon tooltips by adding important information that can be deciphered at a glance.
  7. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    After getting tired of wrestling with the UI's formatting and realizing it wouldn't make that much of a difference, Critical Hits will ignore the Armored status's damage reduction.

    This is going to affect the game in three ways:
    The Gunner's damage output will be slightly higher against Armored Targets when using weapons that do not ignore the Armored Status. This is not a problem for two reasons: First, the Gunner's only method of damage output is weapon-based, so them being uniquely good at it doesn't break my heart. Second, the Gunner is encouraged to use the Medium Machine Gun, Heavy Machine Gun, Marksman Rifle, and Anti-Materiel Rifle because of their 200% Critical Damage multipliers (as opposed to other weapons' 150%). Two of those weapons ignore armor by default, so the other two ignoring Armored when the Gunner Crits isn't going to be a huge deal.
    The Marksman, whose passive is that they have a 100% Critical Chance with the Marksman Rifle and Anti Materiel Rifle, will also enjoy improved weapon performance. This is not a big deal considering that said passive is the only weapon dps bonus the Marksman is going to get - all other sources of damage will be ability-based.
    Other classes who manage to gain Critical Chance (through items, buffs, or upgrades) will get a slightly larger benefit from getting a Critical Hit. Since most weapons only have a 50% damage bonus for Critical Hits, whatever actual DPS bonus they give is half of the chance to get them (so a 10% chance to deal 50% bonus damage is only a 5% increase in overall DPS). Because of that, I'm comfortable giving Critical Hits a bit of a boost to make them more attractive for non-Gunner and non-Marksman players.

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