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IPS damage - thinking out loud


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I was thinking about weapon damage - and one thing struck me, that the IPS damage system is a right old mess. Nobody wants anything other than slash damage, and then only for procs! I read (or maybe watched) a guy talk of a god-tier riven he had that was -100% impact, and this was "god tier" because less impact meant more slash procs. That's just bizarre territory. and then we know the issues around armour scaling. So I had a quick think what could be done.

One thing that annoys me about armour is that its a hidden mechanic. Shields - you get to see a blue bar, but armour "just is". So lets change that: make armour a value that can be reduced, and that absorbs damage. We can then make it more susceptible to puncture damage (and shields to impact) so there is a reason to use a certain type of weapon. Go diversity. But why stop there, why not give these 2 damage reduction mechanics different ways of reducing damage. Armour could absorb a certain amount of damage (think eg a pistol shooting a tank) before taking damage itself, and letting excess damage through. And shields could do the opposite - let some damage through before deflecting the rest.

This means armoured opponents would be weaker against large-damage, single shot weaopns, and shielded weaker against low-damage multiple-shot weapons. Add the IPS modifiers to increase the damage taken and we suddenly have a damage system that's a lot more interesting than what we have today. Incidentally slash applies extra damage to health, but reduced damage to armour and shields.

So: Armour is a value (rather than a plain DR), It absorbs a set amount of damage per hit. The remaining damage partly reduces the armour value, and partly passes through to damage health.

Some examples (and the bonuses are simple double/half in these to explain better, really they'd be tweaked for real gameplay and more % based, but this keeps things simple and understandable - with this example, impact does 2x damage to shields and 0.5x to armour, puncture does 2x damage to armour and 0.5x to shields, and slash does 2x damage to health)

1000h/1000+20a being hit with a 100/100/100 damage weapon. First apply the IPS bonuses and apply to the armour: 50/200/100, so armour reduces to 650. Then the 20 absorb takes place: damage becomes 30/180/80. Damage (plus bonuses v flesh) is applied to health: 15/90/160 so it becomes 735. It doesn't make that much difference in killing speed compared to current system, 3 shots which is not much different to current armour DR % reduction)

1000h/1000+20s being hit with the same 100/100/100 weapon. First apply the IPS bonuses and apply to the shield: 200/100/50 so shield reduces to 650. Then the 20 deflect kicks in, damage becomes 20/20/20. Damage to health is then applied with bonuses: 10/10/40 to 940. You see that the big hit weapon intentionally does a lot less damage to shielded opponents.

But if you used a rapid fire gun that does 10/10/10 damage. Armour: damage becomes 5/20/10, reducing armour to 965, then 20 damage is absorbed, and 0 damage gets through to health. Shields: damage of 20/5/10 reduces it to 965, then deflect causes no change, and damage to health finally applied: to 970, which is more than the current system where most of the 30 damage would be taken by shields.

Obviously the above are simple examples with equal damage proportions and a quite high absorb/deflect value of 20. I didn't want to use a % here as it artificially changes the weapon effectiveness far too much, or ends up with enemies scaling exponentially. A plain value seems to work much better. The absorb/deflect of 20 is applied to each damage type as its easier, but it could be replaced with an overall reduction that is split between all IPS damage components. Tthat might be more appropriate but more maths-intensive. In all cases though, choosing to use high Impact damage against shields and high puncture against armour produces more efficient killing than hitting enemies with whatever you happen to have. All damage still reduces the armour or shield, and once they have gone, damage applies straight to health so even the hardest enemy can be brought down with any weapon. Just some are much better at it, depending on enemy protection.

 

The examples are for higher level units (eg a lvl 100 lancer is 11k health and 1300 armour and a current 85% DR), but it shows that you can have variety of enemies that are more or less efficiently killed depending on your loadout. A low health, high armour opponent will be easily taken down with high puncture damage weapons, whereas a high health, low armour one will still suffer more from slash damage but with exra survivability compared to an unarmoured opponent. It gives players more options for efficiently killing enemies - perhaps stripping armour down with a high puncture weapon then finishing off with a high slash melee. I really wanted to see armour and shield as values though, not invisible damage reduction percentages, which I think is really poor.

I don't address status procs or criticals here either, both should apply extra damage points rather than special effects (as that's pretty much broken). Statuses could easily apply an instant hit to shields, or armour or health depending on the proc (and yes this means slash procs still hurt them, but without the bleed effect that is used to kill as it bypasses that armour), criticals could bypass the absorption or deflection component, or simply double the damage dealt at each stage (ie double the damage as it hits shield or armour, then double the resulting damage to health when that is calculated, post protection)

 

And yes, you can probably tell I've been bored today :-)

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1 hour ago, gbjbaanb said:

Nobody wants anything other than slash damage, and then only for procs!

While true, most people just don't understand the game mechanics well enough to value the IPS equally. People want slash for procs but both puncture and impact are important when calculating damage vs specific units.

People are really weirdly against impact but all of the IPS numbers are important for calculating overall damage. Slash is king only because of the procs. The damage type without the status procs is just as useful as Impact or Puncture.

People are generally against Impact because they don't like how the proc works, but most of the hate for Impact is based on where it was before the status rework. Previously the knockdown effect was viewed as disruptive and people have just not adapted to the new stagger effect's usefulness. This, coupled with people focusing most heavily on fighting Grineer, has seen a very vocal anti-impact ideology which is really hilarious.

It even goes so far as weapons that are innately impact-based have higher value rivens with negative impact damage... People are just absurdly and irrationally against impact damage. I'm not saying impact damage is amazing but it is just as useful as slash and puncture IMO. 

the "slash is king" group really only has footing in the endurance steel path category IMO. Nothing in the game needs slash procs outside of Steel Path endurance vs Grineer.  But even then armor stripping is more useful than slash procs IMO. 

Edited by Leqesai
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  • 3 weeks later...

I quite like this idea. Right now, armor is a boring stat that might as well just be more health on Grineer, and while I'd personally like to get rid of it, along with shields (though that's another story), the OP suggests a good method for turning armor into a mechanic with a more strategic component. Not only would it work well to differentiate Corpus and Grineer, it could also mesh well with some existing enemies: Grineer such as the Nox, Sprag and Ven'kra Tel, Sargas Ruk, and Vay Hek all ask the player to land shots in specific parts of their body, which would normally incentivize slower-firing and more precise weapons (or it would at least, if some of those enemies didn't have major problems of their own). Making armor a separate bar of its own would itself help with clarity significantly, and solve the current problem of armored enemies scaling in EHP quadratically, which pushes us to always build against armor.

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On 2021-02-22 at 10:59 AM, Leqesai said:

People are generally against Impact because they don't like how the proc works, but most of the hate for Impact is based on where it was before the status rework. Previously the knockdown effect was viewed as disruptive and people have just not adapted to the new stagger effect's usefulness. This, coupled with people focusing most heavily on fighting Grineer, has seen a very vocal anti-impact ideology which is really hilarious.

It even goes so far as weapons that are innately impact-based have higher value rivens with negative impact damage... People are just absurdly and irrationally against impact damage. I'm not saying impact damage is amazing but it is just as useful as slash and puncture IMO. 

The current proc isn't nearly as annoying, but it's still disruptive if I'm going for headshots.   Even on some weapons with a proportionally small amount of impact, it can have an...impact...since it only takes a few.  For instance, I was doing some testing recently with Twin Kohmak.   My slash focused build has less than 3% impact, but the procs are still really noticeable, taking the head out of my sights again and again.  I'd be thrilled by a -100% impact riven with other good stats.  (Especially since it can't actually roll negative impact. 😉)

That weapon puts out a ton of status effects really fast, but it's kind of worse on many slow precision weapons.  Those really  need all the accuracy they can get for consistent, efficient dps.  And for the same reason, if they're depending on status at all, they really don't need impact procs displacing something more useful. 

All of these issues were reduced but not eliminated by the status rework.  So I'd say the dislike for impact might be exaggerated and a bit dated, but there are still legitimate reasons for it.

Quote

I'm not saying impact damage is amazing but it is just as useful as slash and puncture IMO. 

You mean the damage itself, not the procs?  Yeah, that's way closer anyway.  Although I'd prefer Puncture as an all-around physical damage type. 

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On 2021-02-22 at 5:58 PM, gbjbaanb said:

why not give these 2 damage reduction mechanics different ways of reducing damage. Armour could absorb a certain amount of damage (think eg a pistol shooting a tank) before taking damage itself, and letting excess damage through. And shields could do the opposite - let some damage through before deflecting the rest.

This sounds like a really good principle to base some changes on. 👍

I do think the Armour value shouldn't be reduced by merely taking damage -- dedicated Armour-stripping methods exist and add depth to planning our loadouts.

The question then would be balancing the amount of damage Armour would allow to penetrate from low-RoF high-DpH weapons, against the benefit of stacking high-RoF low-DpH Armour-stripping, so that either approach would be reasonably viable.

Edited by OmegaVoid
typo
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9 hours ago, OmegaVoid said:

dedicated Armour-stripping methods exist and add depth to planning our loadouts

I don't like the whole armour stripping methods as they tend to focus on getting rid of the huge armour protection, but given then - my concept still says that armour (and shields) are a factor that need to be reduced before you end up dealing damage, so the players get to choose what matters more to them - slowly defeating armour and then fast kills, or quickly defeating armour and then slow kills. You mod accordingly, and have to make the decision what you pick to best take out the enemy units in the way that feels best for you. It might work better with the different weapon types if you're a min/maxer - shoot off armour with your primary and then switch to a fast kill secondary or melee, or go in a squad with different weapon types that have specialities (imagine that! who's the heavy gunner, who's the squad support machine gunner, etc)

Reducing armour with damage is because I wanted players to be able to strip armour without needing special builds, but those special builds would still be available only at a cost of other efficiencies you might want to mod for instead.

Right now, armour stripping is so important that it take priority over everything else. No diversity, no strategy, no options.

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