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Thread: Separate Armor=Root Cause of PvP Imbalance

  1. #1
    Rift Disciple
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    Default Separate Armor=Root Cause of PvP Imbalance

    Disclaimer: It is a theory, as no MMO has ever ditched the ridiculous notion that classes must wear different armors.

    Basically, what I believe to be the main problem (I also have a side-problem that ties in) is the fact that classes are given different armor ratings. Where did the idea come from that a Mage HAD to wear cloth? If Mages weren't so squishy..they wouldn't have to have such high damage/CC immunity. (Also wouldn't need the latter if CC wasn't broken lol, that's like a sidepoint that needs no expounding).

    The thing is, when you start trying to balance damage vs. armor it adds too much to the equation. With the varying abilities of damage mitigation and avoidance from skills, you have a beast in and of itself. Add armor ratings that have to be taken into account? Say hello to Godzilla. Mages have to be able to kill a target in seconds because that's all it takes for a focused spike to kill them. Rogues have to be able to stealth and CC because their leather isn't much better than the cloth. Warriors can't do solid DPS with their DPS souls because they have so much protection (from physical damage at least).

    Here is the big flaw though, because if you nerf a Warrior's DPS to match their armor..and magic ignores armor, and you boost magic damage because of a lack of armor..hopefully you've followed the logic without me having to state it. However, I will state it anyways. Warrior physical damage is reduced to a point where it threatens a Mage, but not as much as their magic damage threatens the Warrior who has very little defense against it. In trying to balance Warrior's armor against the physical attacks of other Warriors and Rogues (maybe some Clerics, not sure if it counts as physical damage when they do melee or not)..you end up making it impossible for it to fight a magical enemy. Even a Void Knight in its current state has little protection against the class it was designed to eliminate.

    The armor system doesn't only hurt Warriors against Mages/Magic Clerics however. Because a Cleric gets Chain, they also have to do lower damage. This means that they have less ability to take on a Warrior who has more armor than them, and higher damage as well. The Cleric's spells will hurt, but their damage is too reduced from factoring in armor.

    Then there is a Rogue whose balance issues have little to do with the armor rating. First off, a Rogue other than Saboteur or Nightblade can hardly kill a Warrior unless they know how to (this is a battle of statistics though, not skill). That's the main problem that armor causes for them..however it also makes Clerics harder to kill, especially if they have any healing whatsoever. Then there is the fact that Mages' damage was boosted to account for armor..but the Rogue has not much more armor, not near as much damage at range (melee Rogue would do well, if it can close the distance), and really just gets kicked all around.

    This is not to say that all classes are not made capable of fighting each other. However, it is my theory that most balance issues come to play when armor skews damage. I know that Rogues are tricky because they can stealth and kite well, but how can they kite a mage? Only way for a Rogue to kill one of them is to sneak in and hit some huge burst damage. Even then, it is my understanding that GoS would make a Rogue's CC useless and gimp them pretty badly even in their most advantaged position.

    Part 2 of the theory is that making different damage types hurts balance as well. Damage should just be damage. Armor should just protect all damage equally. If you have 150 armor, it should be 150 armor against magic, blunt, slashing...all of it. Why burden a hard-to-balance system with variables that add no real value to gameplay?

    So, in theory, fixing these two problems should open the way to closer-to-perfect balance.


    As a sidenote--it wouldn't be bad for PvE either. If all souls have equal armor..any could have a tanking soul/combo..and lordy lordy do we need more tanks lol. Your class shouldn't have to limit you as much as it is made to in current MMO standards =)

  2. #2
    Rift Master Catalysts's Avatar
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    Actualy, UO, AC, DF, CoH/CoV. Theres 4 MMO's right there that didn't foce mages to wear cloth. Magic/ranged non physical, was still the best way to kill people in PvP.

    It dosen't come down to what armor the DPS is wearing an all that, it comes down to what type of damage is least able to be mitigated, if that is nonphysical damage, then people will focus on that for killing people in pvp, it really is that simple.


    On to your second point, you can't have a blanket approach to damage as it then causes more severe problems, example is provided in your own comments. Make everyone do very closely similar damage. Ok sure. Now when armor mitigates all types of damage equaly, you basicaly end up with 2 classes doing the same damage to the same target using different special effects to accomplish this, and the min/maxing breaks down to which is able to do it more effectively. Furthering that point, you then spec toward the class thatis most capable of penetrating the opponents defenses. Ok so now we all have to be equal on that point as well.

    Now it's turned into ok who can survive the longest, who can sustain themselves the best, well now we all have to be equal there as well otherwise that will become the new FoTM spec and everyone will just jump on that, do ya see where I'm going with this? We either all play the same exact thing with different graphical effects shooting out of our arse's or we play this game, and understand it isn't about 1v1 and with all these wonderful options and choices there will NEVER be true balance even remotely attainable.

    Someone said it, and I wish I could remember who, but atm the I can't. If you want perfect equality, play an FSP, everything is equal there barring skill.

    Just my opinion on your theory.

    Cheers.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catalysts View Post
    Actualy, UO, AC, DF, CoH/CoV. Theres 4 MMO's right there that didn't foce mages to wear cloth. Magic/ranged non physical, was still the best way to kill people in PvP.

    It dosen't come down to what armor the DPS is wearing an all that, it comes down to what type of damage is least able to be mitigated, if that is nonphysical damage, then people will focus on that for killing people in pvp, it really is that simple.


    On to your second point, you can't have a blanket approach to damage as it then causes more severe problems, example is provided in your own comments. Make everyone do very closely similar damage. Ok sure. Now when armor mitigates all types of damage equaly, you basicaly end up with 2 classes doing the same damage to the same target using different special effects to accomplish this, and the min/maxing breaks down to which is able to do it more effectively. Furthering that point, you then spec toward the class thatis most capable of penetrating the opponents defenses. Ok so now we all have to be equal on that point as well.

    Now it's turned into ok who can survive the longest, who can sustain themselves the best, well now we all have to be equal there as well otherwise that will become the new FoTM spec and everyone will just jump on that, do ya see where I'm going with this? We either all play the same exact thing with different graphical effects shooting out of our arse's or we play this game, and understand it isn't about 1v1 and with all these wonderful options and choices there will NEVER be true balance even remotely attainable.

    Someone said it, and I wish I could remember who, but atm the I can't. If you want perfect equality, play an FSP, everything is equal there barring skill.

    Just my opinion on your theory.

    Cheers.
    Making all classes able to do all things doesn't make them carbon copies of each other. They just have to be designed to do those things in different ways. Making all damage equally mitigated by all armor doesn't remove anything from the equation EXCEPT for the over-complication of who does more damage to who. The current system gives no calling a good magical resistance, two classes a good physical resistance, and so of course magical/armor penetrating DPS is going to be coming on top.

    You have to look at a mechanic and say, what does it add to the game? Armor ratings..they just add over-complication. Nobody feels more epic just because their class has an inherent advantage to total armor. What keeps it from making all classes generic? Hit points, first off. Well, let me clear one thing up..you would still have different gear for each class, because they all use different stats (the flaws of this system I will not touch on). This means that Mage gear would have the same armor rating as Warrior gear, but Mage gear would boost Intellect and Wisdom while Warrior gear would boost Strength and Endurance (yes I know there are other stats both use). Since Warrior gear more often gives Endurance..they will have higher health. It's just that they don't have to feel like they're worthless against a Mage, because their armor will actually protect them from spells.

    Then there is the fact that the mechanics of each class are more diverse than the types of damage they do. I don't feel like a Warrior because I have a yellow energy bar and do physical damage. I feel like a Warrior because I charge into battle, assist my team, use melee weapons, and use my strength for victory. I don't feel like a Rogue because I wear leather and use a bow for ranged damage, I feel like a Rogue because I'm utilizing poisons, snares, CC, stealth, etc. Each class is so different with no regards to the "damage type" or "base armor rating".

    It's sadly just another one of those flawed MMO logics that different classes can be the same without numbers saying they are.

  4. #4
    Telaran
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    wait what??

  5. #5
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    There's a reason that for a long time in WoW the best arena duo was War/Druid.

    It's the same reason warriors are so insane in here. High AC + High HPs + High Healing output from healers = MEGA TANK. Add to that, stuns, aoe fears, silences, roots...

    Know what my rogue does? Squish. If I want to live longer than 5 seconds I need to burn cooldowns. If my cooldowns are down... Squish.

    Armor + HPs + healing = exponential growth in duration of survival in pvp. No Dev has seemed to be able to grasp this concept.
    Last edited by Nyah; 04-21-2011 at 07:50 AM.

  6. #6
    Telaran
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    Oh wait we're not playing Arena. But good point >.>

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    Well, the fact that this game doesnt have any stats you fix yourself (For example strength, no putting points yourself after every lvl to w.e attribute there is)
    So, lets say you COULD do that, but, if you wanna be a heavy plate armor mage you have to sacrifice some magic (meaning magical damage) to get to wear that.

    Same with any other class.

    IF it was like that, it would be a lil easier to balance it around, but there is not.
    There's not even magic resist on the armor, can only be achieved through essences and trinkets, and some other thingies, that, aswell make's it a bit weirder to balance it around.

  8. #8
    Rift Master Catalysts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmeh1993 View Post
    It's sadly just another one of those flawed MMO logics that different classes can be the same without numbers saying they are.
    You seem to have missed my point, but came close.

    Numbers wouldn't be saying they are different, the only way to balance based on everyone using the same gear is not available in this game, and is available in very few out there. With the current system in place in rift this could never happen, there is no flawed logic about it.

    Min/Max. That's what poeple do, when they find the best possible combination that is what will be used, yes some people will use less optimal builds an such for flavor or fun, but very few will choose to be sub par from a PvP standpoint.

    If a mage can wear plate and deal the damage a warrior can, but do it from range, why would anyone choose to use a warrior? The HAVE to have some advantage to being chosen, or they will take the class that offers more utility options/higher survivability/sustainability and so on.

    It's not about my class has to put up big numbers for it to be a rogue/mage/insert random DPS class here. It's that it has to be different from a warrior. Using what you suggest (I'm sure it sounds/looks better in your head) with the current system would basicaly mean everyone is a warrior who can swing his sword 30 meters, so which warrior has the most toys in his toy box? That's the one everyone will choose.

    The closest systems to what you describe lived in DF and UO. I have much more experience in UO, so I'll use that as an example.

    In UO you could be a mage and wear plate, you needed to have enough str to equip the armor, and str directly linked to health. You could then go on from there, and be a mage, dumping the rest of your stats into int and putting on plate armor and running around spell slinging. The deciding factor was, how much are you willing to give up damage, for survivability, ie. more health/heavier armor. Also your mana regen was hampered by the heavier armor, so another limiting factor.

    Keep in mind those are examples of how it was done. But any PK in the game would tell you (aside from the few archers who thought they were pro and the dex monkeys who thought they were viable cause they could kill terrible mages and unarmed miners) magic was the best way to kill someone. Resistance in that game was linked to an inherent stat you could raise and was outside the confines of "what armor you wore" and STILL magic was the best option, due to offering the most utility and best forms of survivability, not just the damage aspect.

    Imo until mythic broke the game, DAoC did it best, combat took long enough to have to play well not insta burst kill someone. Casters had great tools and damage, but at the cost of being squishy and if you got in their face they had real issues. Range classes didn't do this silly run an gun stuff, but also didn't have melee's that could leap 80% of the archers/mages max range in .5 seconds. Ok so maybe I'm a bit nostalgic, I miss what that game used to be.

    Anyhow, long post is long.
    My point still stands, in this current system, you either have equality seperated by nothing but partical effects, or you have true options with real benefits/consequences to your choices, and lose the mentality of we are all equal.

    Cheers.

  9. #9
    Soulwalker
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    So the problem with pvp is that warriors in plate have higher physical damage reduction that... Most people dont use?

    Most classes are using ranged and elemental damage types. Plate armor doesn't stop that, or mitigate it at all.

  10. #10
    Prophet of Telara krilly's Avatar
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    Armour is completely meaningless in pvp, its only any use vs warriors. (any rogue with sense will be using nb)
    Mage - steel cannon
    Rogue - tin pistol
    Warrior - glass machine gun
    Cleric - adamantium machine gun

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