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Author Topic: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it  (Read 5986 times)

SaberCherry

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2020, 10:56:36 AM »

There is something else that people forgot to mention, in order to make the armor stat worth it, you have to invest about 90 OP worth of hullmods.

For example on an onslaught you need:

Heavy Armor: 40 OP
Armored Weapons mounts: 15 OP
Integrated point defence AI: 20 OP
Resistant flux conduit: 15

Optional:  Automated repair unit: 15

You add in solar shielding when facing energy weapons heavy fleet: 15

So that is 90 or up to 110 points worth of ordinances just to make high armor survive a little longer (which still melts to tachyon or long range large anti armor weapons in my experience). Here we are still not counting other important hull mods like flux dissipation, expanded missile racks and ITU.

Without those hullmods, the onslaught is simply at disadvantage when compared to mid-line capitals or high tech capitals.
No maneuvering jets?
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shrek_luigi

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #31 on: October 09, 2020, 10:56:54 AM »

I also think the armor stat is bretty gud, and that it losing-out to building around shields/flux is mostly a function of how bad Heavy Armor is comparatively.

There are quite a few hullmods added through community mods--Integrated Armor, Reactive Armor, the one from Imperium--and I've gotten a LOT more mileage out of them than the former; if you can wedge BOTH Hardened Shields & a clever assortment of armor & hull-related hullmods on the same, big ol' capital ship with already-high base hull stats, the difference in survivability is very noticeable.

Maybe comparing vanilla to modded content isn't entirely fair, but I think these things both mesh fairly well with the game (Imperium's not so much but w/e) & pose a good argument as to how Hardened Armor falls short in many respects.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 11:04:42 AM by shrek_luigi »
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Warnoise

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #32 on: October 09, 2020, 11:00:05 AM »

There is something else that people forgot to mention, in order to make the armor stat worth it, you have to invest about 90 OP worth of hullmods.

For example on an onslaught you need:

Heavy Armor: 40 OP
Armored Weapons mounts: 15 OP
Integrated point defence AI: 20 OP
Resistant flux conduit: 15

Optional:  Automated repair unit: 15

You add in solar shielding when facing energy weapons heavy fleet: 15

So that is 90 or up to 110 points worth of ordinances just to make high armor survive a little longer (which still melts to tachyon or long range large anti armor weapons in my experience). Here we are still not counting other important hull mods like flux dissipation, expanded missile racks and ITU.

Without those hullmods, the onslaught is simply at disadvantage when compared to mid-line capitals or high tech capitals.
No maneuvering jets?

Yeah, I forgot manoeuvring jets ...as you can see the list is quite long
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 11:02:23 AM by Warnoise »
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Thaago

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #33 on: October 09, 2020, 11:08:44 AM »

IIRC Goumindong did the math when presenting his broadside onslaught and reinforced hull actually adds significantly more hitpoints than heavy armor on it?

I think armor is an extremely effective and powerful defense for the heavier ships when used correctly and combined with skills, but I do not use Heavy Armor. Its too OP expensive for its effect and also carries a severe penalty.

The AI kind of has to over use the shield IMO because of selection bias from the player perspective. If I'm flying and my ship gets mauled due to a wrong call on armor tanking its ok: player screws up, player gets punished, player has agency so its fine. An AI ship (without reckless officer) doing the same 'feels' bad, even if its performing better 90% of the time otherwise, because we remember the 10% that it 'suicides'.
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SaberCherry

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2020, 11:58:11 AM »

IIRC Goumindong did the math when presenting his broadside onslaught and reinforced hull actually adds significantly more hitpoints than heavy armor on it?
Right - because of the 15% rule, +400 armor gives you +2666 HP and does not actually impact your damage reduction (aside from large-caliber HE which you should take on your shield).  Whereas +40% hull would give a minimum of +8000 HP for only 30 OP, with no downside, and allow ship recovery if things go south.  Of course Heavy Armor can act multiple times from different angles, so it's hard to calculate the exact bonus HP...  but the +8000 to hull assumes no armor reduction at all, which won't be true due to the minimum of 75 (0.05*1500) residual after stripping, so in practice it will be substantially higher than +8000 HP.  Against LMGs, it would be a minimum of +32000 HP equivalent, assuming no captain skills.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 12:00:20 PM by SaberCherry »
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Mordodrukow

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2020, 11:59:36 AM »

To facilitate this, there's a new "Shield Shunt" hullmod - it has a low OP cost, removes shields, and grants bonus EMP resistance.
This should have negative OP cost, because every dog in the galaxy has Reapers to share with your face (or with your back which is even worse for bots).

Seriously, when i tried Ship &Weapon pack mod my first trophy Victory had Shield bypass mod. My first thoughts were: "hey, that looks reasonable, and i saw Shield Bypass used in tournaments, so, it should be good". I was wrong... SB is really worth only if you know that you ll have to face tons of sabots.

But if damage reduction for stripped armor will be 10% of armor instead of 5% the value of new mod will be greater. And cost like 10 OP for capital will look reasonable, i guess. Maybe, Heavy armor mod should increase this cap in addition to armor boost.
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SaberCherry

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2020, 12:10:23 PM »

To facilitate this, there's a new "Shield Shunt" hullmod - it has a low OP cost, removes shields, and grants bonus EMP resistance.
This should have negative OP cost, because every dog in the galaxy has Reapers to share with your face (or with your back which is even worse for bots).

That's great news!  As for reapers, it seems like the AI only uses them when I'm overfluxed, or when they will make me overflux.  Presumably the AI will be aware of Shield Shunt and be much more willing to expend ammo on ships using it.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2020, 12:20:48 PM »

If a ship is set to never attack "X" ship but the battle ends up with only enemy X remaining, then the ship obviously will attack it. I'd rather see this option as a way you can tell your brain damaged frigades to steer clear of the damn [Redacted] flagships without setting fleet-wide avoid orders than "my Aneurism inducing Wolf frigade did not blindly charge straight into that 4 tach lance Paragon and that's why I lost".

The "target retention" slider would actually work wonders on big ships. They usually have a smaller ship on its last legs but then decide to do a 180 in order to chase the itty bitty destroyer nibbling at its buttocks. It's going to do what you tell it to and that in my book is a giant step in the right direction. You can already put a reckless officer into your battleship and regret it later, a slider setting just that would help control the behaviour better.

I think there are lots of scenarios where some behavior would represent an improvement, but there are also scenarios where that same behavior would represent a significantly worse strategy. For instance, sure, longer target retention would eliminate some scenarios where capital ships would get distracted by frigates, but it also creates new issues where your capital ship chases its target into the middle of the enemy fleet and suicides, or ignores a hound with an assault chaingun and loses all its rear armor and engine HP. These decisions have to be made contextually, they can't be set to hard values before the battle. "Aggression" is just an abstract measure of how the AI makes those contextual decisions. Also, you can easily prevent a lot of 'distraction' issues by using escorts. The escorting ships will fend off flankers and the main ship will not worry about the flankers anywhere near as much.

Your other example has the same issues. You definitely don't want your wolf to suicide into a radiant, but you do want it to turn and help out when the radiant skims into the middle of your fleet. Imagine if the radiant jumped into your fleet to kill a ship and the whole fleet turned to run away leaving your ships to die because they were set to not engage capitals... That would be worse than the suicidal wolf IMO.

There's certainly plenty of room to tune the AI and improve performance in particular scenarios, but I don't think the player setting specific behaviors before the battle would help. The AI needs to make those decisions freely in combat.


If controls are deemed excessive then have them inside a pop-up in the officer slot while in the refit screen or something. There's never a malus in adding more customization if it's done tastefully and with appropriate explanation of what everything does.
Adding more choices can absolutely make a game worse by making the game more difficult to learn, analyze, and balance. Outfitting is already the most complicated part of the game, and I don't think it needs more complexity.


Right - because of the 15% rule, +400 armor gives you +2666 HP
This is assuming you already had enough armor so that the weapon hitting you would be at the max damage reduction of 15%.
Heavy armor is actually better on ships with low armor who do not see the full damage reduction in many cases. If you already have high armor where most weapons are at the maximum damage reduction, then Heavy armor isn't that good. It's a bit counterintuitive tbh. That being said, I still agree that it's not enough of an effective HP increase to justify the maneuverability penalty.


Also, reapers die to vulcans and flak, so I would love if the AI would fire them at me while I wasn't overloaded. That might be a significant advantage for shieldless ships if the AI actually behaved like that
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 02:04:32 PM by intrinsic_parity »
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Retry

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #38 on: October 09, 2020, 01:37:10 PM »

(for example Onslaught armor up to 4k?)
Ok 4k might be a little too much, but isn't that what the onslaught supposed to be?
For example on an onslaught you need:

I'm beginning to see a bit of a pattern.  Is this really about armor, or is this about the Onslaught's performance specifically?
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SaberCherry

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2020, 01:56:44 PM »

(for example Onslaught armor up to 4k?)
Ok 4k might be a little too much, but isn't that what the onslaught supposed to be?
For example on an onslaught you need:

I'm beginning to see a bit of a pattern.  Is this really about armor, or is this about the Onslaught's performance specifically?
Personally, I think Onslaughts are OK.  It's armor mechanics and heavy armor that I have problems with.  Onslaught is a useful illustrative example, though, because it has extremely high armor and bad shields.  And even for Onslaught, a single tier-1 skill will totally eclipse its stripped armor performance, making it worse than the stripped armor mitigation of a Kite with a level-1 Captain.

I would prefer lossy armor.  Rather than armor absorbing 100% of damage until it is depleted, armor could absorb (remaining armor fraction) of damage, with the rest dealt to the hull.  So the first shot will always be 100% absorbed by armor (unless it exceeds armor).  But if shot 1 reduces armor by 2%, then shot 2 will deal 2% damage to hull and 98% damage to armor.  That would make armor last longer and cumulatively have greater damage mitigation.

And make armor more important.  Currently there are armor-only ships like Hounds and Buffalo Mk.II's that get eliminated immediately because low-level armor is only marginally useful.  Whereas low-level shields are great; a Kite has better survivbility than a Buffalo Mk.II.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 03:10:59 PM by SaberCherry »
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Goumindong

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #40 on: October 09, 2020, 02:54:22 PM »

Generally speaking, those kinds of committed decisions are hard for the AI to do well (you have to reliably predict that not only will you "win" the next few seconds, but that you'll also be able to capitalize on it!), and I think are usually best left in the hands of the player.

Well no, I don’t think this is the case. And the “lowering shields in the face of underwhelming firepower” is also the wrong action like always so this exacerbates things*.

It shouldn’t be that hard to get close. For any incoming projectile a check is made to see if the damage inflicted upon armor would be higher than the base 15% minimum armor damage. If it would be then shields are raised to deal with that projectile, overriding other projectiles which would suggest lowering shields. There is another override check on whether or not hull damage would be taken (raise shields) and whether or not the fight was overwhelming (raise shields) and overriding all of that would be the current behavior at high flux.

The reason this works is that it will always Armor tank on a minimum incoming damage threshold. And this means that if they’re legitimately threatened they will always make the trade if they can. And this works because it’s almost always better to make the trade earlier in a fight than later. That is, I would prefer ships to attempt to win the flux war now and be wrong sometimes than try to save winning the flux war for later, and and then losing the flux war now.

*the reason it’s wrong is because if incoming dmg is weak and the enemy is overwhelmed then shields have little to zero cost of being raised. And if shields have little cost to being raised then you should raise them.  This behavior is why you will get hardened shield medusa turning their shields off to eat dmg on armor/hull for no good reason. It’s also why ships will accidentally turn their shields off right before an enemy ship explodes, causing them to eat the explosion damage.
IIRC Goumindong did the math when presenting his broadside onslaught and reinforced hull actually adds significantly more hitpoints than heavy armor on it?

No. I thought I was going to come to the conclusion but was wrong.(though I came to that conclusion on the next page so it might have gotten buried).  The armor is indeed better (well maybe depending on hull) if you can keep yourself from getting reapered.  The reason is that the armor also benefits from half dmg from kinetic so 400 armor at 85% is 2666 energy dmg, but 5266 kinetic dmg. And with skills this goes up to 16000 kinetic dmg

But that 16k kinetic dmg is applicable over the whole ship in multiple areas whereas the 8k hull is not. Vs energy and HE the hull is obviously better. But also importantly is that when you have full armor your weapons are still less likely to be taken offline (even if they’re pretty likely with no hull mods) and so more armor delays the point where those weapons start to be threatened with inactivity which is also super important.

Heavy armor is actually better on ships with low armor who do not see the full damage reduction in many cases.

No. It’s always a raw HP calc because once you get to the prior armor values the amount of HP you have is exactly the same. What matters is the ratio to hull/armor and the skills you have that reduce dmg.
You definitely don't want your wolf to suicide into a radiant, but you do want it to turn and help out when the radiant skims into the middle of your fleet. Imagine if the radiant jumped into your fleet to kill a ship and the whole fleet turned to run away leaving your ships to die because they were set to not engage capitals... That would be worse than the suicidal wolf IMO.

Plus the “avoid” command is right there so you can always just avoid capitals if you don’t want to engage them.
 
@SCC thanks for the clarification on armor sums
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 02:56:47 PM by Goumindong »
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Goumindong

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #41 on: October 09, 2020, 03:18:01 PM »

The reason this works is that it will always Armor tank on a minimum incoming damage threshold. And this means that if they’re legitimately threatened they will always make the trade if they can. And this works because it’s almost always better to make the trade earlier in a fight than later. That is, I would prefer ships to attempt to win the flux war now and be wrong sometimes than try to save winning the flux war for later, and and then losing the flux war now.

Quoting myself here because i think i want to expand on this

If we remember our insights from the Capacitor/Flux thread we learned that when net dmg/flux post shield resistance vs our target is under 1 the normal optimization function breaks down and we're generally better off shooting our flux over dissipation into enemies shields and not worrying about dissipation. The obvious way to show this is by looking at two ships with infinite DPS potential that are otherwise identical except for capacity/dissipation. They can fire the entirety of their capacity in 1 second in perfectly continuous manners. The ship that wins is the one that has more capacity if weapon dmg/flux once accounting for shield efficiency is <1. They spend less than their full amount of flux in order to entirely flux out the enemy shields and hence win.

As an armor tanker you almost always want to utilize this fact against an enemy and not have it be utilized against you. And you likely have worse shield stats to boot which makes it even harder (because it pushes the enemy post shield dmg/flux lower, which makes overfluxing more efficient and most ships are overfluxed!).  If these ships default to not taking armor damage by default then they're going to be choosing to lose the flux war now in order to win the flux war later. And this is going to make them a lot worse compared to shield tanking ships. And this fact is probably one of the reasons why shield tankers are so "strong" for the AI right now. Making a ship have high armor does not help it win the flux war. It just reduces the amount of flux it has to do so.
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Igncom1

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #42 on: October 09, 2020, 03:26:35 PM »

I still remember the time my fleet of enforcers armed only with sabots and heavy machineguns tried to swarm a conquest. Sure the conquest could never fire before getting it's shield over loaded again and again, but my enforcers eventually just died to their own CR drain. Ultimately you just need A HE or energy damage weapon, as kinetic/frag just can't kill armour effectively enough when it actually matters.

Could be radical, but why even have armour be reduced when taking damage? Onslaughts might be invulnerable to all but the biggest HE weapons, but that could be cool. Like the "paragon" of armour tanking.
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SaberCherry

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #43 on: October 09, 2020, 03:39:23 PM »

Could be radical, but why even have armour be reduced when taking damage? Onslaughts might be invulnerable to all but the biggest HE weapons, but that could be cool. Like the "paragon" of armour tanking.
I half-agree, and I think my "lossy armor" suggestion serves the spirit of that without the downside of armor boats becoming invincible.  Currently high armor gives armor*6.66 HP in damage absorption, while low armor gives more like armor*1 HP.  With lossy armor, all armor would be useful and extra armor for high-armor ships - which is currently mediocre - would actually become useful.  And for low-armor ships, increasing armor would actually increase damage mitigation.  This currently does not happen effectively, since mitigation is inherently low and once armor is stripped, effectively zero on low-armor ships.

It's critical for armor to be reduced when hit, so eliminating that mechanic entirely is a nonstarter.  Armor currently degrades too fast, though.  The best way to fix that is not yet clear.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 03:56:01 PM by SaberCherry »
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Arcagnello

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Re: There should be some ways to make having high armor worth it
« Reply #44 on: October 09, 2020, 03:48:29 PM »

Could be radical, but why even have armour be reduced when taking damage? Onslaughts might be invulnerable to all but the biggest HE weapons, but that could be cool. Like the "paragon" of armour tanking.
I half-agree, and I think my "lossy armor" suggestion serves the spirit of that without the downside of armor boats becoming invincible.  Currently high armor gives armor*6.66 HP in damage absorption, while low armor gives more like armor*1 HP.  With lossy armor, all armor would be useful and extra armor for high-armor ships - which is currently mediocre - would actually become useful.  And for low-armor ships, increasing armor would actually increase damage mitigation, which it currently does not do, effectively.

It's critical for armor to be reduced when hit, so eliminating that mechanic is a no-go.  But the rest is negotiable.

That's actually a really good approach and it's got me thinking.

What if we raise the residual armor value to a stock 10% and expensive armor retrofits like Heavy armor actually increase both armor and residual armor percentage?

Edit: we could actually have three sets of armor related modspecs in vanilla and they could all be balanced given enough testing is done.

You could have your standard armor increasing modspecs, the residual armor modspecs and the maximum armor damage reduction modspecs. We could even go as far as having (for example) one modspec increasing both residual armor and maximum armor damage reduction but at the cost of the actual armor value.

They would not even have to be expensive (or cost any OP at all) if it's an actual trade off instead of a straight buff to something the ship has. You could have a ship with relatively low armor values but that has enough residual armor and max damage reduction to be virtually immune to low damage weapon fire or even the contrary with a ship having very impressive armor value/armor retention but a very low armor damage reduction to be less impacted by high damage weapons etc.

The possibilities are endless if we start cooking up ideas on possible modspecs altering "the armor value trinity" instead of plain buffs in exchange for OP.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 04:00:36 PM by Arcagnello »
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