Joined: 03 Feb 2012
Localisation / Location: Marseille
|Posted: Mon 14 May - 23:12 (2012) Post subject: for nosphy
|[QUOTE=Torc;4447997]So we’ve been frantically working on armor class behind the scenes. To be honest we're behind, but we resolved to do something before launch even if the system we’ve improvised was going to be somewhat in progress. Before I get into the hairy details, let’s recap the problems with the armor class system that we’re trying to solve.
The BIG three:
1. Starting from player level 12+, most character builds stop scaling their armor class effectively.
The fact is, monster attack bonuses advance fairly linearly with level, but player armor class doesn’t because of 3.5’s stacking rules on armor, and rather static armor progression. By Gianthold, as many folks say, monster attack bonuses are around 24 to 28, meaning many players start getting hit all the time, and it just gets worse from there as a large percentage of the character population falls into auto-hit range as level increases.
2. No granularity when rolling just a d20 on the attack roll!
This problem can be a bit tricky to understand, but having only a range of 1-to-20 on attack rolls is really really small, considering the wide range of armor class in the game. This causes two problems. No matter how we stat a monster’s hit bonuses, it will always “auto-hit” some players in the party, while “auto-missing” other players, because the AC between players can vary so wildly . Another is that bonuses to attack rolls or armor class either don’t matter, because you’re not even in the range of the d20, or they matter a lot because each point is 5%! This is pretty infeasible mathematically, yet it’s the die we know and love. My favorite color is brigand green.
3. Strictly evasion based mitigation systems are way to twitchy: First off, what I mean by “evasion based”, is that your defense is based on getting missed, instead of taking less damage when you DO get hit . This opens the player to bad luck, or a streak of hits. Statistically speaking any monster could get a lucky streak, and if you have multiple monsters pounding on you, you really feel the difference with even a minimal number shift. It often feels like you go from not being hit at all to getting hit all the time even if only a 5% hit shift has occurred.
This makes armor class really feel like an all or nothing game on the emotional level of play, even if the player hits that statistical range where they are sometimes hit or missed. To them still feels like one or the other is happening all of the time anyway.
Moving on to minor points, which are important but less game breaking:
4. Armor class, the value on your character sheet, gives you no feedback about how good it is.
Now many of us old timers have some vague understanding of what armor class is good at what level ranges but technically there is no way of really knowing. We really need some feedback and consistency here. If you have 50 armor class, then you need to know that it will reliably provide so much protection at least at a given level range.
5. Increasing your armor class becomes extremely unintuitive:
Instead of AC being about wearing the best armor, it’s about stacking strange item bonuses and party buffs that don’t stack with themselves. Except dodge, which stacks very strangely.
6. Medium and Light armor types provide a poor armor class base, representing a waste of art resources and lack of player variety in appearances.
There are just a lot of base armor that have bad base stats, so if you can avoid wearing them, you will. They're a waste of a treasure roll in the system. When was the last time you were excited by banded mail?
Alright, those are the problems. If we missed anything this is your chance to let us know. Now let’s get into what we’ll be doing about it. Please be advised nothing below is final. All work is in progress. Here we go.
Table of Contents (Yeah it’s a long read…):
I. Everyone is getting more armor class!
II. Making a D20 work like a 1d100% but still feel like a d20 (tricky)
III. Adding physical resistance to armor, feats, PREs (% based slash/blunt/pierce reduction)
IV. Touch up the details
a. We changed dodge
b. We changed a lot feats & some enhancements
c. What the hell were you thinking? (Abridged version: It’s better than what we have, and we’ll fix the loose ends in armor class pass part II, the revenge of the rust monster)
I . More Armor!
So hitting a few birds with one crossbow bolt, we’ll be adding new armor tiers. These tiers will start to appear around level 7 at regular stages in level progression, adding a variety of new types of armors. The new armors will have higher base stats and appear in random treasure, as well as named treasure. Previous named items will be revamped with appropriate new base armor amounts of that level. The armor you wear will become a much more significant portion of the armor class of your character again in higher levels.
What were hoping to accomplish here is too basically make the armor that you wear a large percentage of the armor class of your character, and breathe new life into the medium and light armor tiers which have kind of fallen by the wayside. Hopefully we’ll get some major choices and variety in character appearances while we’re at it.
Here are the example tiers:
| AC Max Dex Level Enchantment mod |
Full Plate 8 1 1 to 7 5
Battle Plate 11 1 8 to 13 6
Magecraft Plate 16 1 14 to 19 6
Mountain Plate 20 1 20-24 7
Planeforged Plate 24 1 25 7
Light Plate 7 2 1 to 7 5
Light Battle Plate 10 3 8 to 13 6
Light Magecraft Plate 15 4 14 to 19 6
Light Mountain Plate 18 5 20-24 7
Light Planeforged Plate 21 6 25 7
Base Docent 8 1 1 to 7
Battle Docent 12 1 8 to 13
Magecrafted Docent 16 1 14 to 19
Quoriforged Docent 20 1 20-24
Planeforged Docent 24 1 25
Breastplate 6 3 1 to 7 5
Battle Breastplate 8 3 8 to 13 6
Magecraft Breastplate 11 4 14 to 19 6
Mountain Breastplate 15 5 20-24 7
Planeforged Breastplate 17 6 25 7
Scalemail 6 3 1 to 7 5
Skirmish Scalemail 7 4 8 to 13 6
Feycraft Scalemail 10 5 14 to 19 6
Spiritcraft Scalemail 14 6 20-24 7
Celestial Scalemail 15 8 25 7
Chainmail Shirt 4 5 1 to 7 5
Skirmish Chainmail 5 7 8 to 13 6
Feycraft Chainmail 7 9 14 to 19 6
Spiritcraft Chainmail 10 10 20-24 7
Celestial Chainmail 12 12 25 7
Leather Armor 3 8 1 to 7 5
Skirmish Leather 4 10 8 to 13 6
Feycraft Leather 5 12 14 to 19 6
Spiritcraft Leather 6 14 20-24 7
Celestial Leather 8 16 25 7
Base Docent 4 5 1 to 7
Battle Docent 5 5 8 to 13
Magecrafted Docent 7 5 14 to 19
Quoriforged Docent 9 5 20-24
Planeforged Docent 12 5 25
Heavy Shield 2 0 1 to 7 5
Tower Shield 4 0 1 to 7 5
heavy dark wood 3 0 8 to 13 6
battle shield 6 0 8 to 13 6
heavy densewood 4 0 14 to 19 6
magecraft shield 8 0 14 to 19 6
heavy spiritcraft 5 0 20-24 7
mountain shield 10 0 20-24 7
celst shield 6 0 25 7
planeforged 12 0 25 7
• Note: as stated above, existing named armor is being upgraded to match these new values based on the level of the item, including named armors you already own. Pre-owned random loot is not being versioned (not really technically feasible).
• Look at this again after you read about dodge…
Better at using armor!
• The following classes now get “combat training”, a feat that gains a stacking +5% armor class bonus to the base value of armor and shields. The enchantment modifier on the armor counts toward the base. Example: a +4 suit Feycrafted chainmail starts at an 11 before being multiplied.
o Fighters, Paladins, Rangers get combat training every level.
o Barbarians and Rogues get combat training every other level, starting at level 2.
o General Combat training stops at level 20 progression currently. Epic destinies may have similar bonuses of their own.
o Druids get their own version called Ursine Defense, which mimics combat training though it doesn’t include the shield base and works in bear form.
II. How we hit and get hit is changing!
We need a bigger range folks! Even more desperately with a level cap increase coming. This is what we have in mind, which involves making a d20 work on a percentile basically. In reality we always did this because computers don’t really roll dice, but we’ll be doing a bit more of that to prevent some things from breaking like they use to.
Players and monsters now calculate how they hit differently.
Monsters hitting you:
(Monster Attack Bonus +D20 average roll of 10.5 / Target Player’s AC) /2 = X% chance to hitting. We then roll against that number.
Auto-hits on 20s and auto-misses on 1s still apply.
Note: Players will now see an “average” defense chance from a level appropriate monster on normal now displayed on their character sheet under the AC tool tip using this formula.
Mid Level: Gianthold, level 13- Monster with a +28 attack bonus, against a player with:
25 armor class = 76% to be hit Formula: (28+10/25 = 1.52 /2 = 0.76 = 76% to be hit.) - An improvement over 95%
40 armor class = 47% to be hit Formula: (28+10/40 = 0.98/2 = 0.475 = 47% to be hit) -Close to before, when you’re still in the d20 range
60 AC = 31% to be hit Formula: ( 28+10/60 = 0.63/2 = 0.31 = 31% to be hit (Armor matters, but you hit diminish returns. This is important because of the addition of physical resistance & dodge changes. See below!)
Let’s look at another case: high-end epic monsters:
An Epic boss with a +100 to hit, against a player with:
60 AC = 91% chance to be hit, a slight improvement over being auto-hit(100+10/60 = 1.833 = 0.91 = 91% chance to be hit)
80 AC = 68% chance to be hit, big improvement over 95%. (anyone sick of me posting the formula yet? I’ll chance it. )
120 AC: 45%. No real change.)
180 AC: 30%. Diminishing returns happening here, by design . See physical resistance & dodge as your new options to make up the difference.
The Player’s roll the same way with two exceptions, we add a “proficiency bonus”, and we round to the d20:
(Player Attack Bonus + Ave d20 roll 10. 5 / Target’s AC) /2 = X% +25%. Extra Bonus only applies IF you’re using a proficient weapon. We then round to the nearest 5% in order to simulate the d20 roll you see on the UI.
Some important points:
+5/+10 Attack Bonuses you get from your Basic attack bonus progression on your later swings still function.
Players now graze on anything but a 2.
Because we round to the nearest 5%, we essentially still roll a d20, we’re just changing how the range of success is created.
Player, level 1, with a +5 attack bonus, against monsters with:
AC 15 = 75% chance to hit. An improvement over before, which would have been 50%. Causing hitting is fun! Formula: ( 5 + 10/15 = 1/2 = 0.5 = 50% + player bonus 25% = 75% chance to hit.)
AC 20 = 60% A big, big improvement here. It would have been 25% Formula: ( 5+ 10/20 = 0.75 / 2 = 0.375 = 37% + player bonus 25% = 62% round down, 60%)
AC 25: 55%. Remember those skeleton knights with the shields in the catacombs? Real pain, right? Well now they’re still noticeably tough, but not super annoying.
Player, level 13 melee type, let’s say +30 attack bonus, against monsters with:
AC 29 & below (95% hit rate, only miss on a 1 as before)
AC 30 = 90% hit chance. Slight issue here. Only creeps up when your neck-to-neck with the target, when previously you would hit 95% of the time.
AC 35 = 80% hit chance. The harder to hit monsters in Gianthold
AC 40 = 75% hit chance. It’s a bit of a bump from hitting half the time. Technically you’re fighting over level here. No monsters on Elite in Gianthold have 40 AC typically
Level 20 melee type, let’s say a +40 attack bonus, against monsters with the harder epic ACs:
AC 50 = 75% chance.
AC 60 =60% chance… very few monsters have armor class this high at this point, like some epic Orthon bosses.
Alright, enough of that. Take a deep breath.
III .Physical Resistance Rating: (PRR?)
Physical resistance is a new stat that that lowers the damage from all slashing/piercing/bludgeoning sources. Unlike other stats in our game, rather than being a set percentage it’s driven by an score or rating value. It currently stacks with damage reduction in the same way fire shield works with elemental resistance. This replaces the effect you would find on something like shield mastery. We are currently trying figure out how to mesh this with DR. We really felt we needed a physical “damage soak” value on the player, and DR didn’t really work in its current form because it doesn’t scale well. We felt we had good success with shield mastery in update 11 so we’re trying to come up with something we can use more universally.
It uses this table to reduce physical damage. Values are provided for ratings 0 through 200.
Rating Protection Provided
Note – All sources of physical resistance STACK. Resistance given by my shield stacks with my armor , which stacks with any random items I’m wearing, which stacks with any enhancements, feats, etc.
Armor Proficiency now gives the user a set amount of physical resistance based on that type when the armor is worn. This is eventually meant to scale with the user’s basic attack bonus, but currently it’s a set amount for beta 1.
o Light armor is 5
o Medium armor is 10
o Heavy armor is 15
Shield Mastery & Improved Shield Mastery: Shield mastery and Improved have been reworked. They now give physical resistance.
Shield Mastery: -Now gives +3% double strike chance if you’re using a shield
Buckler Small: 3
Shield Improved Shield Mastery: - also includes +8% double strike chance if you’re using a shield
Buckler Small: 5
General Feat Adjustments for physical resistance
1. Two Weapon Defense now grants 5 physical resistance.
2. Stalwart/Siberys stances should now grant 10/25/45 phys. resist. They are also hooked up to bestow 10%/20%/40% AC bonuses, but those ARE NOT working right now.
3. Monk earth stance should grant 0/6/12/20 phys. resist. It is also hooked up to bestow 5%/10%/15%/20% AC. These are likely also not working yet.
4. Druids get 7/11 physical resistance from one of its PrE enhancement lines, but only while in Bear form.
IV. Touch up the details
A> We changed Dodge: Dodge is in the process of being changed into a % chance of evading physical attacks. Things that previously gave armor class bonuses will instead of you a chance to “dodge” attacks. It works just like blur, though true sight won’t prevent it. When you successfully dodge an attack it’ll say “dodge”! A few notes on dodge.
• Dodge bonuses are supposed to all stack with each other, but currently we are still having trouble with treasure effects, so they stack like they used to
• Your max dodge percentage is capped by your armor’s max dex bonus. If you’re wearing full plate, and didn’t take any feats, your dodge will cap at 1%. Monks and folks in light armor will like dodge more than people in heavy armor (though they can take feats/enhancements to work on that.)
• Certain temporary effects can increase your effects past your dodge cap (see uncanny dodge below)
• Old effects like bard inspired courage that say +4 dodge AC bonus are not affected by the dex cap. These AC bonuses are being migrated to other terms when they aren’t being turned into new dodge %.
B> Feat Adjustments & Enhancement Adjustments:
1. Combat Expertise: Now grants 15% bonus AC. You can now cast while it is active, but it increases spell cooldowns to 3x normal.
2. Defensive Fighting: should now grant 5% AC bonus and a -5% attack penalty. Increases spell cooldowns to 3x normal.
3. Precision: +5% attack bonus. Increases spell cooldowns to 3x normal.
4. Resilience: Attack penalty has been removed. It should simply grant +4 to all saves now. Increases spell cooldowns to 3x normal.
5. Point Blank Shot: +5% attack bonus.
6. Power Critical: We decided to keep +2 critical confirmation, and then add +2 critical damage. So it’s basically stacking Seeker +2 on a feat.
7. Dodge: now grants 3% Dodge bonus.
8. Uncanny Dodge: passively grants +1% Dodge at levels 4/6/8/12/16/20. The active portion now grants 50% Dodge, has a longer cooldown, and no longer has a counter.
9. Improved Uncanny Dodge: passively grants +1% Dodge at levels 4/6/8/12/16/20. The active now grants 60% Dodge, has a longer cooldown, and no longer has a counter.
10. Mobility: now grants 2% Dodge bonus.
11. Spring Attack: now grants 2% Dodge bonus.
12. Action boost armor class now increases at +5/+10/+15/+20/+25 per tier.
Note: Attack bonuses that apply as +5% are considered proficiency bonuses and affect your target number to hit, not your attack bonus. Basically, +5% means if you were going to hit on a 12, you now hit on a 11.
C> What were we thinking?
Damned if you do damned if you don’t?
So hitting some of the major points….
Changing the attack roll. This really was a requirement for supporting the standard statistical inflation other games take for granted. Players (you guys) like it when numbers go up. We like numbers going up too, but the old system really didn’t handle it when it came to attack rolls and AC. The new attack roll formula tried to create the result of D&D when it’s working, without trying to mathematically mimic it literally. The new attack calculation tends to gravitate toward a 50/50 hit chance. If you’re losing on the scale, with an AC below your opponents to hit, each point of AC will ramp you up faster. But if you’re winning on the scale, you’ll experience diminishing returns as you increase your AC. A high-end AC typically is more like 75% miss chance, and no longer 95%, though 75% miss chance is just the start before you tack on blur, dodge, and what-have-you.
As AC becomes less extreme as a high end mitigation tool, tanks will need new tools. To help alleviate this we created both physical resistance and dodge, to drive at the problem from two different themes, the tough armored guy who soaked the hit, and the dodgy light armored guy who just avoids the blows anyway. Because armor class stacking with blur/displacement/incorporeal still results in a very high evasion chance we aren’t going crazy with physical resistance yet. While other MMOs tend to give you 75% soak , and high hitpoints with low evasion, we’re starting at the other end, high evasion and modest soak. We’ll be calibrating the relationship carefully all throughout beta.
We look forward to your questions.