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Thread: How much Armor actually protects - a Numa Prime Study!

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    Forum Adept kamikazees's Avatar
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    Default How much Armor actually protects - a Numa Prime Study!

    With no implant, a fully equipped Operative in Desert Rat eq has something like 239 armor. An Engineer in Sunwalker eq has about 298 armor. And a Commando in Sandstorm eq has about 400 armor. Everyone wants to know, "What do these armor values mean?"

    The problem is that we do not have many answers. We know SL armor is not like PL armor, where damage is reduced in a 1:1 armor:damage ratio. We don't know if there is a ratio for SL, though, or what that ratio is. I tried to find out.

    I took my lvl 26 Engineer and level 25 Commando through several areas of this wonderful game and let enemies beat on them with varying levels of armor. I recorded the minimum and maximum damage values and plotted them on a line. The results were quite revealing...

    First, let's look at damage from one of the larger bugs in Cycorp Industries - Shipping Bays. I tested this guy at armor levels 2, 50, 100, 203 and 298. I got average damages of 19.5 (17-22), 18.5 ( 16-21), 17.5 (15-20), 16 (14-18) and 14.5 (13-16). For your viewing pleasure:
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    Looks like a straight line to me. What does it mean? Well, with a straight line, you can take a Slope. A Slope is a ratio! The armor:damage ratio is what we've all been wanting, right? I'll spare you the math: the Slope of this line is about -1/59.2, meaning it takes about 59 armor to reduce the damage this enemy does by 1 point. Let's continue.

    Next, I took my Engineer and Commando to Numa Prime - Outer Limits, and let one of those little "burrower" enemies repeatedly bite on me... a lot. I recorded his damage results while having 2, 50, 100, 348 and 700 armor. I found that his average damage was 30.5, 29.5, 28.5, 24 and 17, respectively. I then graphed these numbers:
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    The Slope of this line is about -1/51.7. That means that every 51.7 points of armor I had reduced his average damage by 1 point. He's a stronger enemy, and armor affected his damage more than the green bug in Cycorp...

    But we are not done. Does that same ratio apply to all enemies in Numa Prime? How about big hitters like Vulars and Guardian, who can do 100+ damage in a single hit? I did some more testing with the first burrower guys in Numa Prime - Narrows, which are stronger than the Outer Limits ones. I got damage averages of 37 with 2 armor, and 27.5 with 298 armor. Ouch these guys hit harder... Anyway, the Slope between these two points is just -1/31.15! That means it takes just 31 armor points to reduce the damage done by the heavier hitting burrowers.

    Finally, the Vular in Unchated Ruins. This guy is second only to Guardian himself in terms of damage. In fact, his critical hits can do 135+ damage to my poor Engineer. She died several times during this testing, and blew through many stims to bring us this data. In any event, the average damage values I saw were 86.5 damage (57-116) with 2 armor. Ow. His damage was reduced to 70 (47-93) with 298 armor. The Slope between these two points is -1/18! That means it takes just 18 armor points to reduce the damage done by a Numa Prime Vular by one point

    So four scenarios, four enemies, each taking 59, 51.7, 31 and 18 armor to reduce damage by one point. What does it mean? It probably means two things. First, the damage reduction achieved by armor is probably linear. But there's something more important. The Slopes also suggest that the easier the enemy, the more armor it takes to reduce his damage; but the stronger the enemy, the less armor it takes to reduce his damage. ie. it takes 50+ armor to decrease a lower level mob's damage by 1, but it only takes 18 armor to lower a stronger enemy's armor by 1. I don't have the patience (or the pots) to let Guardian beat on me to determine his ratio, but maybe it is entirely enemy specific, or level vs. enemy, but we now have some great data here.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by kamikazees; 09-06-2011 at 10:50 AM.

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    Guardian of Alterra Physiologic's Avatar
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    I agree with this. I had very similar results (no armor vs ~150 armor vs 200+ armor) at Numa Prime as well.

    Another interesting thing to figure out is how much critical damage really hits in terms of regular damage. In PL it was simply the effective damage x 2, but I couldn't really see this relationship in SL.

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    Senior Member Cahaun's Avatar
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    Its math. I like it.

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    Ooh algebra
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    Thanks a lot! Have been wanting to do something like this but you beat me to it!

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    Looks like it is diminishing returns. I believe that it is possible to get a commando with 600+ armor briefly. Maybe make a test and see if the extrapolation is correct?

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    I think armor is more effective against blasters... have you tested that out yet?

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    Do we know for sure that all armor is created equal? E.g., is it possible that the moles are more affected by shoe/boot/leg armor than by overall armor stats? Anyone tested this?

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    Forum Adept kamikazees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arischal View Post
    I think armor is more effective against blasters... have you tested that out yet?
    I have not, but if you could test it we would all be eternally grateful!

    Quote Originally Posted by WhoIsThis View Post
    ...I believe that it is possible to get a commando with 600+ armor briefly. Maybe make a test and see if the extrapolation is correct?
    Based on your comment, I tested my lvl 25 Commando in full Sandstorm Armor with max level Increase Mass. Armor = exactly 700 in that case. The burrower enemy (sorry I don't know its name) did 17 average damage (15-19). Three guesses where that number (700x, 17y) fell on the graph, and the first two don't count:
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    The Slope of this line is now -1/51.7, which is nearly identical to the previous Slope. So what does it mean? It means that at least for this enemy, (1) it takes about 51.7 armor to reduce the damage that enemy does by 1 point; and (2) Armor rating is universal i.e. Commando armor doesn't protect "better" than Engineer armor.

    Sometimes more information raises more questions. Knowing this, do you think 6 points in Protection (60 Armor) is worth it? How about the Armor implant (50 armor)? Or max Increase Mass (300 Armor)?
    Last edited by kamikazees; 08-26-2011 at 02:35 PM.

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    I mean I could have told you the armor was universal...isn't that the point of having an armor system with numbers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamikazees View Post
    Sometimes more information raises more questions. Knowing this, do you think 6 points in Protection (60 Armor) is worth it? How about the Armor implant (50 armor)? Or max Increase Mass (300 Armor)?
    It just goes to show you that when getting nicked, armor beats dodge. But if you are getting hammered by enemies doing heavy damage, a 1% dodge would provide more bang for your buck.

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    You also have to consider the speed of the attacks, some are fast, and some are slow. I know on some maps you can without a doubt tell the difference between having protection buff and not, and others you cannot. The "dogs" on the last map also seem to hit harder than the ones on OL. On outer limits you do not really need the armor, but on the last two maps you do.

    This is why I use damage implant + fast weapon on Outer Limits, and Rilfe + armor implant on Uncharted Ruins.
    Raulurfixit (engineer) <Serenity> guild member

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    Forum Adept kamikazees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raulur View Post
    On outer limits you do not really need the armor, but on the last two maps you do.
    I would like to prove this theory right or wrong. I have a feeling that armor values may have different effectiveness depending on the map. For example, I think 50 armor in the Cycorp maps means a lot more than 50 armor in Outer Limits. If I can get past the first Vular in Uncharted I will be ok to test... will update with findings later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamikazees View Post
    I would like to prove this theory right or wrong. I have a feeling that armor values may have different effectiveness depending on the map. For example, I think 50 armor in the Cycorp maps means a lot more than 50 armor in Outer Limits. If I can get past the first Vular in Uncharted I will be ok to test... will update with findings later.
    Baddies also have stats, so the relative values of their weapons, str/dex/int, etc should factor in, right? That would explain why OL > CyCorp, etc.

    I wonder if there is a multiplyer as you progress through a particular series of maps that causes the same baddy to become stronger, or if it is actually a different baddy that just looks the same as the one in a previous level. I guess it doesn't matter, I'm just curious.

    Edit: thanks for putting in the work to do this. It is much appreciated and helpful! Same goes for the other players who wrote guides that are useful... You know who you are! I'm hoping to contribute soon and maybe tomorrow if Irene doesn't cut my power...
    Last edited by Teddyache; 08-28-2011 at 12:48 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raulur View Post
    You also have to consider the speed of the attacks, some are fast, and some are slow. I know on some maps you can without a doubt tell the difference between having protection buff and not, and others you cannot. The "dogs" on the last map also seem to hit harder than the ones on OL. On outer limits you do not really need the armor, but on the last two maps you do.

    This is why I use damage implant + fast weapon on Outer Limits, and Rilfe + armor implant on Uncharted Ruins.
    In theory, we would expect armor to be much more useful against fast rate of fire, high DPS, but low damage per hit attacks versus attacks that have lower DPS, are slower, but hit harder per shot.

    Bosses in particular seem to have very high armor. There have been serious arguments in favor of carrying 2 weapons for all classes, the class specific ones against mobs (for higher DPS in the case of engineers and operatives; AOE for commandos), and a rifle for bosses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teddyache View Post
    Baddies also have stats, so the relative values of their weapons, str/dex/int, etc should factor in, right? That would explain why OL > CyCorp, etc.
    There's little reason to believe that the enemy armor will work any differently. This does have implications. The damage buff and critical hit buff in the operative skill amplify pain for example, are thus more valuable than the actual armor debuff.
    Last edited by WhoIsThis; 08-28-2011 at 04:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamikazees View Post
    Sometimes more information raises more questions. Knowing this, do you think 6 points in Protection (60 Armor) is worth it? How about the Armor implant (50 armor)? Or max Increase Mass (300 Armor)?
    Protection: Probably not. It only reduces 1 damage point per hit (or thereabouts), although it does work for the entire group.

    Armor Implant: No. There are more effective implants.

    Increase Mass: At level 6, because there are no penalties to dodge and hit %, it is worth a serious consideration. At lower levels, the loss of 10 dodge means that that the skill has a negative effect on both survival and damage output. It leads to the reduction of about 6 damage per hit. Against mobs, this could be significant, although against harder hitting bosses, not so much. 17 damage versus 23 is quite substantial, although it will be less noticeable against enemies that hit harder.

    It is open to debate. At the very least, let's just say that iron blood is a far more potent skill.
    Last edited by WhoIsThis; 08-28-2011 at 04:38 AM.

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    Too bad we do not have pvp yet. Would be nice to be able to do some testing in a contolled environment. I'm sure a lot of things will come to light when it happens.
    Raulurfixit (engineer) <Serenity> guild member

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    Forum Adept kamikazees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raulur View Post
    On outer limits you do not really need the armor, but on the last two maps you do.
    Raulur, I think you may be onto something. I have made significant edits to the original post based on additional testing. I still do not have all the answers, but I am starting to think that armor effectiveness depends entirely on the enemy being fought, with harder hitting enemies having their damage reduced faster than lighter hitting enemies.

    Maybe Protection and Increase Mass are worth it after all, at least for the really bad guys...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddyache View Post
    Baddies also have stats, so the relative values of their weapons, str/dex/int, etc should factor in, right?
    That is a very good point. But the only thing that is making me lean away from this theory is the "mole" mobs. They do not have any weapon and are strictly meelee damage dealers. If armor was based on equips, all moles should deal the same damage/take the same damage.

    I think that each mob has multiple different levels (for example, they can be ranked level 1 - 5). i.e. a lower level mole (on Outer Limits) has a lesser amount of damage/armor, whereas a higher level mole (Uncharted Ruins) has higher damage/armor.
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