Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Armor Problem

With the 1.4 patch, came better gear.  Like most every other MMO, this involved adding greater amounts of stats to each piece.  In order to keep the resulting stats/percentages sane, formulas were adjusted to take a players Renown Rank (above 80) into account.  While this was a necessary step, it has caused a bit of an uproar among the physical damage Ranged DPS careers.

There are a number of Physical vs Magical DPS issues, but I only want to cover one here.  The armor value on new pieces which were added in 1.4 has gone up (50% in some cases).  Lets take a look at an Ironbreaker in full Warpforged (RR 100), he has 6,659 armor which comes out to about 100% mitigation of physical damage.

An Ironbreaker in full Sovereign (RR 80) has 4,302 armor, which is also around 100% mitigation of physical damage.  As you can see, the new formulas prevent crazy mitigation values.  Neither example includes any armor tactics, talismans or buffs/potions.

Weapon Skill, which provides the Armor Penetration stat, also uses a scaling formula.  At RR100, your armor penetration will remain in the same ballpark as it was at RR80.  It should be noted, the new armor sets seem to have more Weapon Skill on them compared to Sovereign sets (i.e. Warpforged Squig Herder). 

The problem is with armor debuffs.  They do scale beyond RR80, but not by very much.  Using an IB for example, Stone Breaker's armor debuff only increases by around 250 between RR 80 and RR 100.  When your enemies armor has increased by 2000, 250 really does not keep pace.

There are a lot of other variables at work, but this does seem like a valid concern.  I just used tanks as an example, but many careers will be able to get close to 100% mitigation.  Hopefully we will see changes to how abilities (like Armor Debuffs) scale or how Armor Penetration is calculated before players start using these new sets.