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Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 4:07:56 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Hello everyone,

First off, let me state let's try to keep this as a discussion and on topic. I already foresee people trying to make solutions to scenarios I'm presenting rather than discussing armor.

As I've started playing Distant Worlds a lot more now, with Shadows being introduced, I've really been noticing how weak armor is. Now, it's always been this way, I realize, but, now that I am seeing improved AI ship designs (good work on that improvement Codeforce!) some problems are showing up.

I did a quick comparison for my game on the differences between shields and armor in my current game:

Megatron Z4 Shield
Purchase Cost - 175
Maintenance Cost - 44
Size - 9

Enhanced Armor
Purchase Cost - 68 (~ 2 1/2 times less than Megatron)
Maintenance Cost - 12 (3 2/3 times less than Megatron)
Size - 1

So, by a comparison basis, one would expect the Enhanced Armor to be about 1/3 the quality of the shielding in terms of protection given. Even though that's not taking into account the shield recharge effect, let's just keep that out for now.

From my experience, however, this is definitely not the case. Once armor starts to get hit it seems that the internal structures are damaged very quickly, and the ship doesn't last long. I've found this to be the case even when I have put large amounts of armor on ships.

Now, this causes two major issues. One, and the more serious one, it makes Rail Guns far too powerful as they completely bypass shielding. Two, it causes Armor to be next to useless except to counter rail guns.

I've been seeing multiple battles where my forces have been superior, on paper, but will get absolutely destroyed due to the fact that the enemy has rail guns. My ships go down in seconds while it takes many more to even take down one of the opposing force. Again, this even when the firepower factor is much higher on my ships than in the opposing ships.

I've tried using rail guns myself and have found similar results. Rail guns have the ability to take out enemy ships much quicker than by using weapons that must bypass shields first.

So, my thoughts here are that armor is just too weak and should be improved so as to provide adequate protection. This would make armor to be worthwhile for general protection and also make it so that rail guns are not as overpowered.

Also, I really think that an armor bar is needed so that one can see the level of armor that is left on one's ships.

Anyways, I wanted to get other people's opinions on armor. Please keep it on topic....
Post #: 1
RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 4:30:33 AM   
DeadlyShoe


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armor's fine, the main problem with armor is its extreme expense. in part this is because Steel (standard) and Carbon Fibre (enhanced) are both critical resources and their price tends to go up.

fr example:

standard armor vs corvidian shielding

armor: 100 points of armor, 2 points reactive
shield: 100 points shield,regen, upgrades to 130 w/ addt'l research

enhanced vs deucallos

armor: 180 points armor, points reactive
shield: 180 points shield, regen, upgrades to 215(?) w/ addt'l research

railguns are borderline crap against any real amount of armor, but bear in mind that they are only partially shield piercing. you can't abstain from shields entirely against railguns, as their ability to penetrate armor is much increased against shields-down targets.




< Message edited by DeadlyShoe -- 6/3/2013 4:32:53 AM >

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 7:32:22 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Double post

< Message edited by MartialDoctor -- 6/3/2013 7:36:48 AM >

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Post #: 3
RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 7:36:13 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Deadly,

If I'm following you right, you actually are agreeing with me. I might just have worded things a bit confusingly.

I'm comparing components in a cost vs effectiveness manner. You are just going into the point of protection provided.

If one component of armor is 1 / 3 the cost of one component of shielding, than I would expect that three components of armor would provide a similar amount of protection as one component of shielding.

However, if you go into the actual protection provided by said amount, they are quite different, correct? I don't have the numbers in front of me but three components of armor won't provide near the protection as one component of shielding, if I remember correctly. Thus, from a cost effectiveness point of view, armor does not provide enough protection to warrant it's cost.

< Message edited by MartialDoctor -- 6/3/2013 7:41:04 AM >

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 9:52:27 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Ok, so I looked over the ratings although I don't know if they are comparable.

Enhanced Armor: 18 Rating

Megatron Z4 Shield: 155 Strength

I'm not sure if these values are the same or not. If they are, then, basically, the shielding has 8.6x (155 / 18) the strength of the armor, yet, as mentioned above, only around 3x the cost. And that's not even taking into account it's regeneration ability... but, then again, I'm not sure how this reactive rating affects things either.

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
Post #: 5
RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 11:48:44 AM   
unclean

 

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I don't think armor was ever designed as an effective alternative to shields. Basically, if you want a tough ship forget armor, shields are straight up more cost and resource efficient.

What armor IS good for is making your ships difficult for long range missiles and fighters to finish off, since the reactive rating cuts into their damage quite a bit. And rail guns, ofc.

I think armor is still a bit weak considering its niche use though. It's good at shutting down rails, but because of their range fighters and missiles can both be focus fired so effectively that armor doesn't end up doing a whole lot in practice. Not that the AI really focus fires, but it's definitely exploitable player side.

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 11:53:42 AM   
Canute

 

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1. We allready did the same Discussion when Legend's came out ! :-)

2. Megatron Z4 is a High-End shield even the 1.step of it, you should compare the Enhanced Armor with Talassos Shields.

3. You should add Repair-Bots at your summary, so you have a regeneration ability for Armor and don't forget the Damage reduction.


Yes Rail-Gun are very effective against low-tech armor, but later against mid-High-tech armor they get a hard work to penetrate these Armor, special when the damage reduction from the DamageControl/Repairbots came on board.
You can design victorious Ships just with 1 Shield and many Armor and and 2-3 Repair-Bots, special when you get the Faction-repairbot from beginning.

The only negativ are, Repair-Bot's arn't cumulative, just 1 Bot is repairing, other are just backups's.

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 12:31:22 PM   
BigWolf


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I think, at the very most, just slightly lower the armor cost and it should be fine, if you work it out to space taken, both armor and shields are pretty close in def. anyway

I'm still of the opinion of making armor plates larger (and their stats adjusted accordingly to keep the current levels) for the sake of less clicking

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(in reply to Canute)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 12:50:45 PM   
Zangi

 

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Considering it, it is probably better to compare normal tech instead of faction exclusive tech....

Either way, armor does not even last one fifth the time of shields. Early game, Rail Guns focused ships are the master race, they consistently win fights against non-rail guns ships and really only lose against other rail gun ships or overwhelming/focused firepower.

My face when I first watched a single rail gun ship melt one of my beam ships, both are early/equal tech:
It still had +75% shields. I have since converted, at least for the shadow-early game era.

Also, it is pretty annoying to have to constantly repair ships when going against rail gun users... If they lose, they still win by forcing me to retreat and spend time and resources on repairing.

(in reply to Canute)
Post #: 9
RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 2:04:05 PM   
MartialDoctor


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Yes, I do realize it's better to compare normal techs... I just happened to be playing with Zenox at the time so I used the stats I had in game.

I've just had multiple times now where I've seen rail guns win in what appeared to be, firepower wise, a sure win for the energy weapons side. I've even had one instance where the pirates had a high-tech capital ship they had found. I put about 6 or 7 destroyers, with about tier 3 rail guns on, on him. The cap destroyed the first couple before they even got in range, but once the rest got up close, they tore through it very quickly. Had they only had energy weapons, I seriously doubt they would have won.

Canute sounds like he has a point, though. Later on, they may not be as effective.

However, my main point is I just feel like armor doesn't do much. It seems like an expensive last ditch resort rather than an effective means of protection.

< Message edited by MartialDoctor -- 6/3/2013 2:06:22 PM >

(in reply to Zangi)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 2:08:38 PM   
necaradan666

 

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Doesn't armour also get damaged before your other components? Giving you a greater chance of escape once those shields go down rather than loose your engines

(in reply to Zangi)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 2:57:12 PM   
invaderzim

 

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quote:


My face when I first watched a single rail gun ship melt one of my beam ships, both are early/equal tech:
It still had +75% shields. I have since converted, at least for the shadow-early game era.

Also, it is pretty annoying to have to constantly repair ships when going against rail gun users... If they lose, they still win by forcing me to retreat and spend time and resources on repairing.


Yeah I had a similar experience against railguns early game. One pirate frigate railgunner took on a fleet of 4 destroyers, a cruiser and resupply ship and killed 3 of the destroyers and damaged another ship. It's also fun when they take our your hyperdrive because as a pirate this forces you to risk using your construction ship to repair it or just scrap the ship.

I tried redesigning my ships to use more armor, but my ships were still easily destroyed or crippled by rail guns.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 4:29:48 PM   
YourConscience

 

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On the other hand, a ship with damage reduction, shields, repair drone and highly reactive armor plating is practically invicible to railguns, as they barely scratch the surface, but it gets quickly repaired. I think the repair drone tech should be available very early, but with terrible repair rates such as 20 secs per component, to offset the terrible rail gun crippling. Also I hate it when a ship with a captain gets crippled, because it involves so much clicking to re-assign him somewhere else, waiting for him to actually move, and then scrap the ship.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 5:14:09 PM   
Plant


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If you are going to make a valid point, you don't need to compare using Racial Shields. Starting tech should be the point of comparison, or end tech. Or whatever is appropriate.

The problem is that armour doesn't seem to need to be destroyed to take damage. The Galctopedia seems to not be telling the truth.
The damage might be reduced, but unless the reactive rating is greater than the damage of the weapon, the components seem to always get damaged.
So, in the end, armour seems practically useless till the late game with robotic repairs, and a much more effective armour combined with less effective railguns.

Also, railgun/armour relationship seem to be a bad game design in general. What does 50% less effective mean? Half damage? Armour rating is doubled? Needing to research end tech robotic repairs to counter railgun damage. Railguns becoming near useless at the end tech, so much so, that is is pointless to research the last two weapons and the side tree, in an already shortened railgun tech tree.

If armour worked as the galctopedia says it should, then it would be a space efficient defence.

Then again, it might be gravitic weapons doing the damage, but it would be a marvelous coincidence that the ships with railguns happen to be using gravitic weapons.

(in reply to YourConscience)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 5:20:59 PM   
Canute

 

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quote:

I tried redesigning my ships to use more armor, but my ships were still easily destroyed or crippled by rail guns.


Wrong tactic IMO.
Rail guns are very close range weapons, you should add more engines and give the order to stay at max. weapon range.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 5:44:29 PM   
invaderzim

 

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Probably so, but then that just underscores why armor is underpowered early game.

< Message edited by invaderzim -- 6/3/2013 5:48:59 PM >

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 6:15:43 PM   
Larsenex


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So, if you are going to redesign to counter rail guns...rather just design them with longer range toredoes and tell them to attack at max range, rather than pile on some armour?

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 6:50:39 PM   
Ralzakark


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quote:

ORIGINAL: necaradan666

Doesn't armour also get damaged before your other components? Giving you a greater chance of escape once those shields go down rather than loose your engines



Yes.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/3/2013 8:16:22 PM   
invaderzim

 

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The AI tends to design very fast railgun frigates so you'd have to pile on the engines. I suppose it could work though. I'm just glad I didn't start near railgun pirates this time around. :)

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/4/2013 1:19:10 AM   
Numdydar

 

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Why are you bother with Pirates in the early game anyway? Pay them off until your tech improves. Then you do not have to worry about railguns at all

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/4/2013 1:29:42 AM   
invaderzim

 

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Because I am a pirate too. So I have to shoot them when they drop by my colonies. ;)

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/4/2013 1:50:55 AM   
necaradan666

 

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Doesn't armour protect against Missiles too? Beams won't get through armour as well as Rail Guns right?

When a Giant Kaltor attacks it'll start eating your engines right through the shields and then your dead.. unless you have a few bits of armour to help you survive.

most importantly a starship with heavy armour is more cool than one without..

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/4/2013 9:20:41 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Guys, please keep this on topic. It's a discussion about armor and it's effectiveness. Not about ways to counter rail guns or any such things...

quote:

ORIGINAL: Plant
The problem is that armour doesn't seem to need to be destroyed to take damage. The Galctopedia seems to not be telling the truth.
The damage might be reduced, but unless the reactive rating is greater than the damage of the weapon, the components seem to always get damaged.
So, in the end, armour seems practically useless till the late game with robotic repairs, and a much more effective armour combined with less effective railguns.


If this is true, it would explain why armor just gets sliced through like it's not there. Also, if it's true, I don't see the point in having armor in the first place.

Can anyone verify it?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Plant
Also, railgun/armour relationship seem to be a bad game design in general. What does 50% less effective mean? Half damage? Armour rating is doubled? Needing to research end tech robotic repairs to counter railgun damage. Railguns becoming near useless at the end tech, so much so, that is is pointless to research the last two weapons and the side tree, in an already shortened railgun tech tree.


Based on this discussion, I'm beginning to wonder what the purpose of armor is. As well as why rail guns were created...

(in reply to Plant)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/4/2013 4:48:26 PM   
Plant


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This is just an example, but not definate proof. This picture shows the aftermath of a railgun attack. You can see that not all the armour pieces need to be destroyed for other componets to be damaged. There is no robotic repair.
The only other thing I can think of is gravitic weapons, but I think it unlikely that all the ships that I face against with railguns just happen to have gravitic weapons as well.
http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/7279/20130531211628armoureff.jpg

So, the Galactopedia semms incorrect, and having more than a very small amount armour components is near useless.
The races which favour armour designs are essentially crippled.
Same with those who favour railguns.

As to why railguns were created, my guess is that people keep asking for moar weapon types, without thinking about the effects of these weapons.
It's like with most of the features requested when you go though the wishlist. Most of them are just thoughtless, without explicitely stating what they wish to see and they how think it should work.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/4/2013 5:02:12 PM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Plant

This is just an example, but not definate proof. This picture shows the aftermath of a railgun attack. You can see that not all the armour pieces need to be destroyed for other componets to be damaged. There is no robotic repair.

Looks pretty convincing that armour isn't protecting as the documentation says it's supposed to.

You should re-post in tech support, identifying it as a defect - either in rail-gun implementation or the docs. They both cannot be correct.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/5/2013 6:14:33 PM   
Carewolf

 

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If rail guns seem too powerful it is because armor is too powerful. It is circular logic to say armor is useless and then claim the thing that it protects against is overpowered. Railguns are only good against you if you too dumb to put enough armor on your ships ;)

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/5/2013 6:59:56 PM   
Plant


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I don't think it is a bug. I think it's been like that since the original Distnt Worlds. I have never checked to see the other expansions changed how armour worked, I just presumed that the Galactopedia is incorrect.

Carebare...what are you saying? Railguns powerful because armour is too powerful? The point is that armour is near worthless against all weapons, including railguns, which are supposed to be ineffective against armour.

The only time armour is of any use against railguns is the mid/end game, where railguns are useless anyways, since you would be better off researching any other type of weapon.

You don't make any sense at all. Nobody has said armour is overpowered, just the opposite, because they don't seem to work as they should do.

I guess you are too dumb ;)

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/6/2013 11:20:19 AM   
MartialDoctor


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No need to get into flame wars guys. Let's keep this civil.

And, unfortunately, I think you are right, Plant. I seem to remember this is intended. And to make matters worse, it seems to be almost random what components get hit. It doesn't even seem to be that armor has a higher chance of getting hit. I've been watching instances of where internal components are hit even before armor is hit. No wonder putting more armor on my ships seems to have little effect!

Here's a picture of one of my frigates in a recent fight. I had put extra armor, 20 enhanced armor, in order to give it better protection. Out of the 33 components damaged, only 12 of them are armor!! The other 21 are all important internal components. 8 of the armor slots are still totally intact! And I had watched it earlier, picture not included, where very few armor slots had been hit yet many internal components had already been damaged!

So, based on this, armor is even less effective than I previously thought.





Attachment (1)

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/6/2013 11:30:31 AM   
MartialDoctor


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And, as people were saying to compare normal techs, I have done so now.

Corvidian Shields:
Purchase Cost: 125
Maintenance Cost: 35
Strength: 100

Standard Armor
Purchase Cost: 67 (~2x less)
Maintenance Cost: 14 (2.5x less)
Rating: 10 (10x less)

So, corvidian shields are 10x more effective than standard armor yet only cost 2x more in purchase cost and 2.5x more in maintenance. And that would be assuming that armor gets hit first before internal components do, which has been shown to not even be the case! So, standard armor is even less effective than that!

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/6/2013 2:23:15 PM   
Plant


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Nice to get another person's confirmation that armour isn't working as the Galactopedia says.
I think how armour works, is that armour is always hit first, but the Basic Rating takes damage only from the amount that the Reactive Rating has prevented/absorbed. Any damage that isn't absorbed by the Reactive Rating simply goes on to damage any other component.
Pure conjecture of course.

Rather annoyingly for me, the component to be damaged seems to be biased towards the hyperdrive component.

To be fair MartialDoctor, if armour works as described, it would be a space efficient defence as you can fit 10 Armour into the space of 1 Shield, as well as the absorbing effect.
But then again, steel and carbon fibre are the main limiters for production, which are what armour is made out of.

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
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