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Armor system, Class system, building a character, Balance - do I get this right ?

Here is a copy-pasta of a post I made on the discord, but as I was told, discord isn't exactly friendly with long posts discussions, so here we are.

First, the armor system, somewhat similar to Archeage :
-Plate gives high physical defense, low magic defense,
-Leather gives medium defenses to both,
-Cloth gives low physical defense, high magic defense.

With that system, you would think :
Mage kill tank,
Tank kill rogue,
Rogue kill Mage.
Because you would traditionally think Tank wears Plate, Rogue wears Leather, and Mage wears Cloth.
But that is actually incorrect, because you can wear the armor type you want.
It may sound odd but there will be mages wearing plate.

And now, add the class fun.

You would expect a Mage to deal Magic Damage only, right ? Not so fast !
What if a Mage gets a subclass that allows to mod a spell to physical damage instead of fire damage... for example, summoner subclass can mod fireballs into hurling summoned blades instead !
The spell will deal physical damage instead of fire damage.
Yep.
A mage doing physical damage is possible.
Even a plate-wearing mage doing physical damage.

The same way, imagine a Ranger with a Mage subclass.
Ranger's skills deal Physical damage as a base (arrows are very much physical I presume).
The ranger can mod his skills to shoot flaming arrows instead of regular arrows, dealing a mix of physical and fire damage.

You get the idea : subclass will allow any class to gain a new type of damage, compensating for the mono-damage-type from their class.
In other words, players can select their subclass to gain in Versatility (aka ability to deal with more different situations with more ease) by increasing the diversity of damage type they can do (dealing physical damage in situations, dealing magic damage in other situations).
But with other examples, they will select their subclass to gain in Utility (most likely Bard subclass or Tank subclass).
Or, they can go for Pure Class and gain raw Power by increasing the potency of their abilities instead of modifying them.

Power, Versatility, and Utility were the 3 main factors took into account when the developpers of Everquest tried to balance their classes out.

Now, how do you balance all that ?
Well, actually, to an extend, you don't have to.
It is already balanced in its very core design : players are given the possibility to choose their defensive type through the armor system, and their offensive type(s) through the subclass mods system.
The balance will be made by the player's decision.

A quick example to illustrate this all.
I play a mage in MMOs, I'll play a mage in Ashes of Creation.
From my experience, Mages are usually wearing cloth, making them very frail in PvP situations, get killed very quickly by Stealth Assassins.
Knowing this, I DECIDE that I will wear Plate armor to increase my survivability against those PKs.
On the other hand, wearing Plate will make me vulnerable to Magic damage, which is usually dealt by casters, who usually wear cloth armor, which is strong against Magic Attacks.
Therefore, I DECIDE to pick a subclass that will allow me to mod one or two of my spells into Physical Damage instead of Fire/Lightning/Whatever Magic Damage.
By doing so, I will have both Magic damage spells and Physical Damage spells on my hotbar, allowing me to adapt to the foes I may encounter.
I will not be the best DPS, but I will not be instantly killed either. Because I DECIDED to build that way.

On the other hand, you may choose to build your character completely differently, as a Glass Cannon.
I can imagine Cloth Mage/Mage will dish out serious damage output, but in return, they will be easy to kill.
That is high risk = high reward, that is balance.
That will be their decision, their responsibility, they should not whine (or ask for nerfs of other classes) about getting killed too easily.

TLDR : the way you build your character defines your strengthes and weaknesses - it is your decisions that will make your character balanced or specialized.

Developpers give the options, Players build their characters. Balance happens naturally.
Did I get it right ?

Comments

  • DamoklesDamokles Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Well we currently know about 4 different types of armor:
    Cloth -> Cloth = Bonus Mana per item at Rank 3
    Light -> Leather = Bonus Damage per item at Rank 3
    Medium -> Chainmail = Balanced bonus of Health and Mana per item at Rank 3
    Heavy -> Plate = Bonus health percentage per item at Rank 3

    Cloth = no resistance
    Leather = Highest magic resistance
    Medium = Balanced resistances
    Heavy = Highest physical resistance


    You will not be able to completely change your classes damage type, but you can enhance dealt damage by adding new damage types.
    Example: A fighter can add fire damage to his attacks if he chose Mage as secondary, while a Mage with the Fighter subclass wont turn his fireball into a fireblade that deals physical damage.

    I myself plan to play a melee Bard/Fighter|Tank|Rogue in Medium/Heavy armor with a polearm.
    Will it be the best class for what I plan to do? Nope. Will it be tons of fun? Hopefully. Can you make it work? Totally!

    Never forget that you can change the stats on crafted gear in the crafting process!
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  • Drag13Drag13 Member
    edited August 2020
    @bolorny, It's important to keep in mind the game is in pre-alpha, and the combat and archetype systems aren't necessarily complete yet.

    Not all your comments are correct about the systems, but In a generic sense yes you are correct. Your post makes sense and would be correct with your assumptions. I think your Everquest example provides good insight to what we should expect from Ashes of Creation's currently advertised systems.
  • AardvarkAardvark Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited August 2020
    Also from the wiki under mage
    "Cloth armor (passive) Increases armor given by cloth armor.[9] Further increases armor given by cloth armor.[9] Bonus mana for each piece of cloth armor.[9]"

    With that passive skill for mages and the boosts you can further give it...while a mage could wear any armor this passive takes away that unless you want your mage to suck as mage only gets bonuses from cloth armor. So armor choice is clearly a fake choice

    With the cleric its the same thing but medium armor
    "Medium armor (passive) Increases armor given by medium armor.[17] Further increases armor given by medium armor.[17] If medium armor worn in all slots gives a balance of health and mana less than the health given.[17]"

    I see 0 armor choice as long as these class passives exist.
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Chainmail is too common too, its not like Plate where you can have fancy styles, chainmail is rather bland and generic...I'm not sure if Bards will have an affinity for a specific armour set, but, medium would be useful for health and mana boosts.

    I understand we can transmog and use cosmetics though. Yet, chainmail wouldn't stir my soul like beautiful Plate or cool leather. Will have to wait and see.
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  • AardvarkAardvark Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited August 2020
    Neurath wrote: »
    Chainmail is too common too, its not like Plate where you can have fancy styles, chainmail is rather bland and generic...I'm not sure if Bards will have an affinity for a specific armour set, but, medium would be useful for health and mana boosts.

    I understand we can transmog and use cosmetics though. Yet, chainmail wouldn't stir my soul like beautiful Plate or cool leather. Will have to wait and see.

    Since every class that is fleshed out on the wiki has a clear armor passive I would assme they all will have one.

    Tank
    "Heavy armor (passive) Increases armor given by heavy armor.[14] Further increases armor given.[14] Each piece of armor added gives health percentage bonus to the tank.[14]"

    4BF5443C00000578-0-image-a-38_1525743844857.jpg

    some chain is ok
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Hmm, let's hope we have 8 Types of Armour at launch then...but, I guess 4 types of Armour means 2 classes each will have passives for each type of Armour. I could imagine a Fighter using plate too. Though it could be like ESO, where you could have 6 Armour of one type to unlock the passives and then 3 types of a different armour to unlock the lower passives for that armour.

    Except, the passives are based on the Classes and not on the Armour Sets themselves. I think therefore that my weapon choices for Bard will not be the best, and my Armour choices for Bard won't be the best.

    To conclude, it appears that with Racials, Armour Passives and Weapon Affinities with skills, there won't be much choice at all if you want to build a strong toon.
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  • AardvarkAardvark Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Neurath wrote: »
    Hmm, let's hope we have 8 Types of Armour at launch then...but, I guess 4 types of Armour means 2 classes each will have passives for each type of Armour. I could imagine a Fighter using plate too. Though it could be like ESO, where you could have 6 Armour of one type to unlock the passives and then 3 types of a different armour to unlock the lower passives for that armour.

    Except, the passives are based on the Classes and not on the Armour Sets themselves. I think therefore that my weapon choices for Bard will not be the best, and my Armour choices for Bard won't be the best.

    To conclude, it appears that with Racials, Armour Passives and Weapon Affinities with skills, there won't be much choice at all if you want to build a strong toon.

    My guess
    Tank and fighter plate
    Mage and Summoner cloth
    cleric and bard chain
    rogue and ranger leather
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I'd agree with your assertions. I would be stuck with Chainmail, just my luck I guess. I could Transmog and Cosmetic though...Strange issues to have discovered but a welcome assessment of the current situation.
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  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Like I don't mind Chainmail if I can add/transmog pieces into plate and also leather to make a lush setup.

    4f7e7d779942293338cef92743395fd8.jpg

    Also, it depends if Scale Mail also comes under Medium Armour, if Scale Mail comes under Medium Armour I'd be happy (Like the image above).
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  • AardvarkAardvark Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Neurath wrote: »
    Like I don't mind Chainmail if I can add/transmog pieces into plate and also leather to make a lush setup.

    4f7e7d779942293338cef92743395fd8.jpg

    Also, it depends if Scale Mail also comes under Medium Armour, if Scale Mail comes under Medium Armour I'd be happy (Like the image above).

    Not to get your hopes up but its possible your 2ndary choice may give you a 2nd armor choice. Like a mage/fighter might get some bonues for plate from the fighter 2ndardy. I doubt it...but since we have not seen it I can't rule it out.
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I'm not sure if Augments will adjust Passives, I could be wrong, but Augments give 4 options for Active Skills (If it gives 4 Options for Passives though we could choose our armour type!) Not sure how IS will play it, can't wait to learn more.
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  • ShaladoorShaladoor Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I'm currently not a fan of having passives on primary classes that pigeon hole your class into a specific armor type. It seems like it removes a lot of options from the players. Gear is already going to be scarce and most of it will be required to be crafted (I believe...). If characters are limited to only 1 out of 4 possible gear types, that will only exacerbate the scarcity of gear, right? Am I wrong in seeing it that way?

    However, what about toning down the gear passives on primary classes but also including them again with secondary classes? So for example, imagine a full boost on any gear passive as being 100%. Instead of giving 100% for a primary class, imagine it being 50% depending on your primary class and a possible further 50% based on your secondary class. Then, if you picked Tank/Mage, you could benefit from wearing both Plate and Cloth but at a reduced rate for each. But, if you doubled down on Tank/Tank, you would receive a full 100% benefit from wearing plate, whereas a player who was Tank/Mage would only gain 50% from wearing plate.

    Thoughts?
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I like the idea Shaladoor, it brings what I was saying earlier about ESO Armour passives into Ashes. I still would prefer direct Armour Type Passives rather than any tie in to a Character, I would rather have Passives that affect the class, rather than what the class is wearing. I believed we had greater choice in this regard, but I've had to change my mind. I do like your idea though.
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  • lunarskylunarsky Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Considering we don't know how exactly how much crafters can fine-tune armor you may be getting overly concerned about pigeonholed armor choices. Maybe if you're willing to give up some of the physical resistance of plate, for example, in exchange for mana via a crafting tweak you can get the look that you want cosmetically while still being able to perform your role as a mage without being mana starved.

    You may have to adjust your jewelry choices, enchants, or weapons a bit but they should all be viable but perhaps not optimal. I wouldn't quite write it off as a false choice. We don't have enough information in-game yet for that. Subclasses may change how you play the class and thus alter armor choices too. Like Damokles said, a Bard/Fighter or Tank with a polearm will probably want to be in the thick of it so leather armor may not be ideal for survivability whereas plate could be a good choice. A Bard/Cleric using a bow or something will be away from the fight and may not care as much.

    Let's wait and see.
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