Thoughts on light armor balancing in TTW3.2.1

Have something to say about Tale of Two Wastelands or have an idea for a new feature? Let us know here.
User avatar
Decker
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:15 pm

Thoughts on light armor balancing in TTW3.2.1

Post by Decker » Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:20 pm

Just sharing my thoughts on some of the light armor stats and balancing in TTW 3.2.1. Most of the DT and weight values seem to be quite plausible, with few exceptions.. I am not commenting at all on the pricing and economics here, as those seem to be quite broken in FNV anyhow to start with - like frex brahmin hide and steel plating (Reinf.Leather) costing x10 more than better pre-war kevlar vests. Instead, this is more of a discussion about weight and DT values of the armor items, and how those make sense or compare balance-wise, with made up light armor tiers - entry tier for armors available right in the beginning and low levels, mid tier for stronger midgame outfits and high tier for the very best light armors in the game.

This is just intended as food for further thought, implement any of these thoughts or recommendations into TTW or other rebalance mods or don't.


Entry tier light armors (DT up to 8);

Merc outfits etc, DT:1, weight 8Lbs.
Just tough and functional articles of clothing, not true armor really. Weight might be couple pounds too heavy, but otherwise very reasonable stats. Adds melee +2 and guns +2 skill bonuses.

Colonel Autumn's uniform, DT:4, weight 3Lbs.
Unique outfit. Tan overcoat worn over jet black uniform with boots and gloves, presumably discreetly armored with advanced weave armor tech by the Enclave. In addition to DT gives radiation resistance +20 and skill bonus +5 to Guns and Energy Weapons. Weight value is obviously way too light - Just a set of ordinary BDUs and boots would add up to more than 3Lbs before even considering the weight of the overcoat itself.. IMHO this unique outfit would make more sense as a heavier mid-tier light armor with more DT as well - After all, you basically have to play through the entire F3 main quest chain to get it (even with xp reduction propably wont be low level at that point).. I would consider DT:10 and 12Lbs as more reasonably balanced stats, would make it a bit more viable midgame or so.

Bounty Hunter Duster, DT:6, 3Lbs.
Brown leather duster worn over tough clothing, with motorcycle boots. Skill bonus Guns +5, Charisma +1. Weight is too low, boots alone should weigh like 2Lbs or so - I could believe 6Lbs or so, but not 3 Lbs. DT is perhaps a point or so too high.
I'd recommend 8Lbs as weight.

Leather Armor, DT:6, weight 15Lbs.
Protective layers of treated brahmin leather, with pauldrons and other small pieces of metal armor added. Perhaps a bit too high DT, as those metal bits propably dont catch too many attacks. Still, for balance reasons, I'd recommend this one as is.

Vault 101 Security Armor, DT:8, Weight:15Lbs.
NIJ standard Type II rated bullet resistant kevlar vest without trauma plates worn over a vault suit, with metal pads for knees and elbows, kevlar gloves, boots. DT value is reasonable because the kevlar only covers roughly half of the body surface, and the weight is also quite close to real world, if one simply adds up the weights of the vest and other outfit items. This seems perfectly fine just as it is.

Armored Vault 101 Suit, DT:8, Weight:15Lbs.
Unique suit custom fitted with armor by Moira Brown; Protection is propably accomplished by adding metal bits as well as adding thin kevlar weave over the whole vault suit. DT value is identical to the Vault 101 Security set, but design philosophy of the outfit is quite different - Better overall coverage, lesser kevlar thickness. Adds +5 bonus to Guns and Energy Weapons skills. Perfectly fine as it is.

General Chase's Overcoat, DT:8, Weight:4 Lbs.
Best unique version of the overcoat uniform, advanced weave armor for discreetly protecting the highest ranking military officers from fragments or pistol bullets. Visually this seems to be thicker and tougher version than Colonel Autumn's uniform, also propably made out of even better armor materials. Bonuses include Charisma +1, Guns +10 and Speech +5.
I would recommend DT:12 and 15Lbs and move this to mid-tier light armors.


Mid-Tier light armors (DT 9 to 13);

Reinforced Leather, DT:10, Weight:15Lbs.
Finely crafted and treated brahmin leather layers sandwiching thin steel plates within, with steel pauldrons and other bits. Good, but still reasonably protection values with a high cost. Propably the best kind of light armor most post-nuke armourers can craft, materials are relatively easy to get, so the cost is probably mostly skilled worktime.

Space Suit, DT:10, 7Lbs.
Red space suit from REPCONN. Rad resistance +40. Bug:Cannot be worn by female characters at all. It is a bit light for it's DT, but since the materials are propably quite advanced it kindof makes sense. Okay as is, but needs to be made wearable by female characters as well.

Composite Recon Armor, DT:12, 12Lbs.
Unique light version of the medium recon armor. Skill bonus Sneak +5. I think this is just right now with DT and weight - Lighter weight and protection, counts
as light armor instead of medium.

Chinese Stealth Armor, DT:12, 20Lbs.
Full suit of flexible light armor. Bonuses to Sneak +15 and Stealth Field +5 when crouching. Although the stealth field ability itself is quite overpowered IMHO, I have no problems with this armor set otherwise - DT and weight seem quite reasonable.

Wastelander's Gear, DT:12, 1Lbs.
'Super-powered' rare variant of the Troublemaker Merc outfit. While the DT:12 would conceivably be achievable via discreet advanced ballistic weave armor materials, the 1Lbs weight is simply put impossible for a full heavy clothing outfit of heavy leather jacket, boots, tough jeans, gloves and ammo belts - armored or not. Check out the picture of Merc Troublemaker outfit on falloutwikia, just one of those boots without any added armor propably weighs one pound on it's own.
I would recommend DT:12 and 15Lbs for this outfit.

All-Purpose Science suit, DT:13, 2Lbs.
Looks like an enclave scientist outfit, skill bonus Science +5. Weight is obviously way too low for decently armored full coverage outfit.
I would recommend 12Lbs weight, maybe the original weight value was just a typo by the original devs?

Courier Dusters and Ulysses Duster outfits, DT:13, 3Lbs.
Different discreetly armored duster outfits with various skill bonuses. Problem with these is way too low weight value of 3Lbs - this is too low for ordinary clothes, let alone armored outfits which these are supposed to be.
I'd recommend at least 10Lbs of weight for these.


High-Tier light armors (DT 14+);

Assassin Suit, DT:14, 20Lbs.
Earlier non-computerized version of the BigMt Stealth Suit MkII. Skill bonus Sneak +10. Seems quite reasonable as is.

Joshua Graham's Armor, DT:15, 8Lbs.
High grade bullet resistant SLCPD SWAT vest with armor inserts, shirt, jeans and boots. Bonus critical chance +3. Judging from the high DT and partial coverage, the vest propably has NIJ Type IV grade armor good for rifle rounds, otherwise the outfit is ordinary tough clothing. 8Lbs of weight is obviously too low.
I would recommend 20Lbs as more plausible weight for this one.

Vault 34 Security Armor or Sierra Madre Armor, DT:16, 15Lbs.
Similar in style to V101 security armor, but has better armor materials, vault suit propably also has kevlar in it. Weight could be a bit higher perhaps, but these are quite plausible as is.

Sierra Madre Armor, Reinforced. DT:18, 17Lbs.
The most advanced light armor in the game, with the best protective value achievable with flexible armor materials. In addition to the vest, whole body surface is protected by advanced ballistic weave materials. A bit light for it's protection, but this is due advanced materials and manufacturing tech of Sierra Madre. Fine as it is.

brfritos
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:16 am

Re: Thoughts on light armor balancing in TTW3.2.1

Post by brfritos » Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:31 pm

Decker wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:20 pm
Just sharing my thoughts on some of the light armor stats and balancing in TTW 3.2.1. Most of the DT and weight values seem to be quite plausible, with few exceptions.. I am not commenting at all on the pricing and economics here, as those seem to be quite broken in FNV anyhow to start with - like frex brahmin hide and steel plating (Reinf.Leather) costing x10 more than better pre-war kevlar vests. Instead, this is more of a discussion about weight and DT values of the armor items, and how those make sense or compare balance-wise, with made up light armor tiers - entry tier for armors available right in the beginning and low levels, mid tier for stronger midgame outfits and high tier for the very best light armors in the game.

This is just intended as food for further thought, implement any of these thoughts or recommendations into TTW or other rebalance mods or don't.
I always see this criticism about FNV economy, but regardless the player's opinion, a reinforced leather armor do not cost more than a combat armor.
The reinforced leather armor costs 1200 and the combat armor costs 6500 in a vanilla game.

I think people criticize FNV economy because unlike FO3, you have options to get money and equipment.
You can grind to the death and become rich; you can play the cassinos and skip the grind portion and also be rich; you can combine the two and become fastidious super rich (which seems the common way people play), you can only live of the land and scavenge equipment and do not concern with money; you can steal all of your your equipment; and so on.
The possibilities are endless.

But we are only human, so we try the easiest best way by spending the minimum effort to achieve our goals.
Nothing wrong with that, it's called "optimization".

In FO3 you have only one way - and one way only - to get money and equipment: grind.
You can only grind, grind, grind and grind a little more, which is f****g boring after sometime.
It's forced as hell, without the player having other options.

You wanna see this in action? Go to Nellis airforce base, Dr. Mitchell house in Goodsprings and the Abandoned BoS bunker and gather all the pre-war books at these locations. Then travel to DC, go to Arlington Library and sell those pre-war books to scribe Yearling for more or less 16000 caps.
Go to Rivet City... and you aren't able to spend all the money there, because the vendors don't have ammunition in large quantities, weapons, mods or good armors.
And we are talking the largest and principal hub of the Capital Wasteland.

brfritos
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:16 am

Re: Thoughts on light armor balancing in TTW3.2.1

Post by brfritos » Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:59 pm

Oops...

Didn't wanna to hijack your thread. Concerning Leather armors I wish a compromise between lbs x DT, because a leather jacket in real world weights more or less 4 lbs and the pants 1 pound. Since we are adding armor plates, a 8,9 or 10lbs for the leather armor is not unreal.

Don't know, to be honest this is the reason most players switch to medium and heavy armor, the weight x DT ratio is better.

I think something in the line of the values used by J. Sawyer in his mod for Gecko-backed leather armor is good, you have 10 DT and 9lbs for the leather armor for example.
Just keep in mind he restric the amount of weight the player can carry.

The Wasteland armor is a special case, because this armor is very rare, you can only have one based in a random encounter (it's like Lag-Bolt combat armor, the leader of Talon Company, which is a combat armor rated as light armor, much like Arcade's Enclave power armor rated as medium).

How about the light clothes, raider or merc armors having something between 1 to 4 DT and at most 8lbs.
The reinforced version of mercs armor with 8 DT and 8lbs I think are good.
The leather armors with 10 or 12 DT and 9 to 10 lbs.
The vaults armors between 10 to 18 DT and 15 lbs.
The various special armors, like Graham, 13 DT and 8 or 10 lbs.

Since these armors alone can't protect the player enough, he will trade the protection of medium and heavy armor by mobility and the need for various perks (Travel Light, Light Touch and Tunnel Runner).
It's a trade off I think.

User avatar
Decker
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:15 pm

Re: Thoughts on light armor balancing in TTW3.2.1

Post by Decker » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:34 pm

To clarify, I did not discuss the light armor pricing because I understand that fixing all of the relative prices of armors, weapons and other stuff would be a huge and difficult job, and it's propably outside the scope of the base TTW mod.. If one is comparing the prices of armors, price per pound of weight might be the logical approach to armor materials in completed armor pieces - Higher DT to weight ratio should logically always come with higher price per pound, to reflect the more advanced armor materials and technologies required. But yeah, too much work propably to reprice everything.

Medium and Heavy armors do have more DT, but this comes with more weight and cost. Heavy armors include power armors, which are way too light and small for what they are supposed to be in FNV. Fallout 4 got the powerarmor size right at least (although F4 fails in that it has 'soft' DR armoring only and no DT which one would logically expect from a power armor). The very best DT to weight ratio currently in TTW belongs to 'Wastelander's Gear' light armor, 12 DT to 1 pound - Nothing, absolutely nothing in any of the Fallout Games packs more DT per pound. Based on the numbers, the Wastelander's Gear has the most advanced armor technology in existence.. But I suspect this must be in error, as it just feels so out of place, makes no sense that a 1 pound whole body coverage outfit can bounce bullets.. IMHO the problem here is not the DT:12 itself, the problem is the way too low weight per DT - I am sure that even in the real world it is possible to up-armor a set of thick outdoor clothes with enough kevlar to resist or stop handgun rounds 9mm and below while still looking like ordinary clothing, but there is no way this can be done for almost 2 square yards of wearer surface with only 1 pound of combined armor and clothing weight, even if the armor materials are very advanced - Also I don't think that the Wastelander's Gear is supposed to be neutronium plating, superscience forcefields or the like..

I focused on discussing Light Armors because IMHO these would seem to be more easily made a bit more plausible with a few simple changes in values, in most cases just add some weight and/or DT and it will be fine.

Proper Leather Armor and a Leather Jacket are two entirely different things. Jacket is thin flexible clothing item, usually only single layer of thin leather - Giving it DT:1 would seem appropriate when worn with other comparably tough clothing (like most Merc Outfits have in game). Leather Armor is multi-layered and hardened, with added metal bits like pauldrons - It weighs more, and so it has more DT than a leather jacket would. (Note: Historically, very thick leather buffcoat armors were able to stop black powder pistol shots, so there is some argument to be made that leather armor might help a bit even against modern low power handgun bullets, just don't ask me to volunteer for a leather armor vs bullets testing IRL.. :) )

Reinforced Leather armor has cost per pound value of 80, while Combat Armor has cost per pound value of 260. DT/weight ratios; 0.667 DT/pound for reinf.leather(better), 0.6 DT/pound for combat armor(a bit worse) and 12 DT/pound for Wastelander's Gear(best in game).. These numbers seem to tell that Combat Armor is actually slightly less effective materials-wise than Reinforced Leather armor and definitely vastly overpriced, (not to mention that Wastelander's Gear is propably thousands of years ahead in armor tech with its DT/Weight stat). Might be a bit of a case of comparing apples to oranges when comparing light and medium armors, but DT and weight are simple number statistics which directly affect gameplay.

User avatar
RoyBatty
Posts: 6345
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:26 am
Location: Vault 108

Re: Thoughts on light armor balancing in TTW3.2.1

Post by RoyBatty » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:18 pm

Rebalancing the economy is out of scope, but something I've been mulling over for a long time.

I'd prefer to rebalance everything in New Vegas, the non-leveled system is not to my liking and makes the game boring and unchallenging. The economy is totally broken imo. Many people totally disagree with that and like everything to be static levels and more linear. So it's two different design philosophies and anything you do like that people are going to hate, and it also introduces a lot of incompatibilities which people whine about to no end cuz muh mods.
Image

User avatar
Decker
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:15 pm

Re: Thoughts on light armor balancing in TTW3.2.1

Post by Decker » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:41 pm

Agreed, more balanced, internally consistent and leveled/tiered equipment rebalancing (including repricing everything) would be way better for gameplay than what we have in vanilla FNV/F3. XP Level can be used to determine what is currently available for purchase in stores or randomly found as loot or used by typical leveled opposing force cannon fodder. This does not concern unique items though - Those are not randomly placed anyhow and usually require some sort of challenge or in some cases even a whole quest chain to acquire.

However, this does not mean that 'XP Level Requirements' to actually wear obtained armor or use a weapon in the style of Fallout76 or Diablo would be a good idea at all - It would be extremely immersion breaking to find an assault rifle and then be unable to shoot it because you are couple of experience levels below some very arbitrary requirement - IMHO you should always be able to use whatever you can find/acquire, not necessarily to use it well or for its full potential, but with frex a loaded gun you just point and pull the trigger and bullet(s) come flying out (it's entirely different matter whether or not you actually hit the intended target though, depends on skills, distance, cover and other variables).

Likewise, ideally IMHO it should even be possible to wear power armor without training, but with a lot more severe penalties to frex agility and movement speed as well as faster wear and tear on armor health - Power armor training would get rid of these extra penalties. (Basically it is a wearable robot that follows the wearers movements with a short delay; makes movement more difficult/clumsier, but not completely impossible for an untrained operator).

User avatar
RoyBatty
Posts: 6345
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:26 am
Location: Vault 108

Re: Thoughts on light armor balancing in TTW3.2.1

Post by RoyBatty » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:04 pm

The players level is literally a check against XP, so yeah it's already like that.

Fallout 3's economy style is more balanced, NV's is just "monty haul" as we used to say in the ad&d days.
Image

User avatar
Lyaneri
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:07 am

Re: Thoughts on light armor balancing in TTW3.2.1

Post by Lyaneri » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:45 pm

In my opinion level scaling forces you bit too much to do meta-gaming choices instead of role playing ones. For example in my current playthrough guns is my highest skill because I know enemies will scale to my level so I will have problems killing them if I don't level some damage dealing skill. I also constantly have to be on look out for better gear to keep up with leveled content. In Vegas on other hand I would easily have few non damage dealing skills higher than any damage dealing ones without any fear of enemies out-leveling my combat capabilities. If content is too strong I'll come later when I level up some more. Not to mention that equipment (that I grew fond of and is part of my character's releplay) is not becoming obsolete.
"Get fucked." -Driver Nephi

User avatar
RoyBatty
Posts: 6345
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:26 am
Location: Vault 108

Re: Thoughts on light armor balancing in TTW3.2.1

Post by RoyBatty » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:01 pm

That also hinders role-playing, for ex in Fallout 3 I can leave the vault, and go anywhere on the map with very few exceptions (like the deathclaw sanctuary), do DLC (except Point Lookout), etc without a worry about it being too hard for my character. I can go do whatever I want, unlike NV where areas are blocked off from me and I can't go there without dying regardless if there is a quest in that area or not. This is content walling, and I don't like it for the same reason I don't like NV's speech check system. It's too linear for my tastes, not that linearity is a bad thing, I just prefer that linearity reserved for quest lines.

Also after playing the game dozens of times, I want a different experience, one that's more suited to my play style which is focused more on exploration, combat, and survival.

NV never scratched that itch for me, it's very "corridor" and forces the player through the path that the story was designed to take until you reach the "hub" of New Vegas. I can understand how people like that kind of design and it's very close to the older Fallout games. For others that thing that Bethesda is good at, which is world design and environmental storytelling is what they want, and it's what keeps me coming back and playing these games.
Image

User avatar
Lyaneri
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:07 am

Re: Thoughts on light armor balancing in TTW3.2.1

Post by Lyaneri » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:21 pm

Ye, in the end it boils down to personal tastes. We could argue for days and still be right where we started. (well we DO argue for over 8 years now, lol)

RoyBatty wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:01 pm
forces the player through the path that the story was designed to take until you reach the "hub" of New Vegas.
Even J. Sawyer admitted that it was his idea and bad one at that :D
"Get fucked." -Driver Nephi

Post Reply