So.... I've seen a fair amount of... discussion about the usefulness (or apparent lack thereof) of Heavy Armor (in Book II anyway). Personally, I am in mild disagreement to the claims that HA is useless... if you want the ultimate protection with the highest MTBR (mean-time between repairs
), Heavy is the only way to go. But for the sake of discussion.... I shall discuss some opportunities to address the situation. 0_o
During early (-ish) aplha testing of Book II, it was discovered that HA was waaaaay overpowered. I personally was testing out a pure Fighter, and probably less than halfway through the game I was a walking fortress. By the time I reached the first Taurax, he was lucky if he scored a single point of damage (they only had a 1% chance to hit me). Keep in mind that this was with zero exploitation of things like re-rolling chests to get the best loot/most money. It was also my first run through the majority of the game. To avoid some serious balance issues, BW was forced to nerf a lot of the armor values. This shifted a lot of the HA pieces into the same range as much of the LA, creating a much smaller gap between the two types. This in turn has created a situation where people look only at the weight vs armor values and write off HA has being useful, ignoring durability, damage resistance, and extreme AR amounts. Instead, I must listen to the sissy-whining about HA being too heavy.
After much (not really) deliberation on the issue, I have come up with some possible solutions. While I'll agree that the damage resistance formula needs revisiting, I've focused on a few other ideas since I don't think that reworking the DR system alone will solve the "issue."Solution 1:
Revert to the early-alpha formula, and make the enemies tougher, no matter how much more difficult it becomes for non-HA users.
This is the brute-force method, but I believe it would be plenty effective (and easy). Ranged users generally wear light armor, and they're already at an advantage with ranged attacks. Classes like the Rogue will just be forced to be more creative and invest more points into skills like stealth and alchemy.Solution 2:
Introduce new physical damage types/resistances.
A far more elegant (and sophisticated, thus likely harder to implement) suggestion, this would allow for some major differences between HA and LA. For example: Light armor might take less damage from bludgeoning weapons, but more from slashing. Heavy armor on the other hand, would take little damage from slashing, but be vulnerable to piercing weapons. It'd look something like this:Tempered Steel Plate Armor:
Base Armor: 7
Piercing Damage Multiplier: 1.5
Bludgeoning Damage Multiplier: 1.0
Slashing Damage Multiplier: 0.5
The multipliers wouldn't be displayed, but they'd be referenced to somewhere, be it in game or in the manual... or perhaps only the non 1.0 multiplier components would be displayed in case different HA/LA types had different resistances.Solution 3:
A revised list of armor weights and values.
Easier than Solution 2, but more time consuming than Solution 1 (and maybe 2 as well). I would propose a staggered, reverse Tiered system of armor/weight values. Rather than explain first, it'll be eaiser to show the example first:
Copper Chest: 5lbs, 2 AR
Bronze Chest: 4.5lbs, 2 AR
Iron Chest: 4.0lbs, 3 AR
Steel Chest: 5.5lbs, 4 AR
Tempered Steel Chest: 5.0lbs, 5 AR
Dwarven Steel Chest: 4.5lbs, 5 AR
It's very simplified, but as you can see the weights go down (and up) as the quality of the metal increases, but it isn't a straight decline (or rise), and the armor values don't steadily increase either. Obviously there's things like full and half plate to consider, but as I said, it's simplified. There's plenty of tweaks that can be used for balancing as well, such as rarity, durability, and damage resistance (assuming DR is re-evaluated).
Obviously the best solution would be (S1 + S2 + S3)^2 but sacrifices must be made....