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High UE players and durability
A continued meandering discussion from xooc

Hiya, here's a thread about future possibilities for equipment durability and high level players! This is mostly about the cream of the crop when it comes to money, combat ability, and status and it mostly just concerns Mixers, so before sounding off please realize I'm talking about how a change might affect a really narrow sliver of the population.

High level gear is incredibly expensive and past a certain point becomes quite rare. Sindome is a VERY gear-dependent game, and it needs to be to drive its economy. Most activities require some kind of tool to perform at all, and at the upper end of gameplay, equipment can confer a massive advantage.

If Jenny kills Bob and takes his armor, weapon, and cyberware, Bob might lose 200-500k worth of equipment, and Jenny gains that much. Assuming Jenny and Bob are still rivals when Bob clones out (and high level conflicts do tend to be long-term), then Bob might now be a half million chyen behind Jenny. Presumably he isn't completely destitute, but in one fell swoop she's picked up a HUGE advantage over him that greatly increases the chances that the next time they meet, she'll roll him again. His backup gear is probably just not going to do the trick.

This can set up a pretty rigid power imbalance. Losing can be fun because it forces you to try something new, but your options are sometimes quite limited either by the role you're playing, the nature of the conflict, or the fact that there might only be five or six player characters in the game who can pose a meaningful threat to Jenny and they might not have any reason to help Bob, especially as high level characters are usually well-established in the world and have fairly fixed allegiances.

Staff can pop in and fix things, obviously, by creating plots that benefit Bob so he can come back and fight on, but that can feel inorganic and requires intervention by a busy team. It seems like there are game design considerations that could be made to give Bob an easier time with his comeback so that Jenny isn't all like forever until she chooses to lose or gets squashed by an NPC.


Johnny mentioned plans to roll out durability for armor, and that it's already a coded feature that reduces its efficacy and can eventually destroy it, something none of us in chat knew despite trading hundreds of bullets by now (and probably dying occasionally because of wearing fragged armor without having any way to know). I'm all for taxing the rich to keep the economy working and prevent hoarding, buuuuut I want to specifically point to high-end armor because it's notoriously difficult to get hold of even for someone like Jenny. Her recent win means she has an extra set and can swallow the cost if she breaks a helmet or something, but this nudges Bob into an even more precarious situation where what gear he IS able to hold on to is subject to a durability mechanic that can leave him at a definite disadvantage and cost him money he can't afford to lose.

Munitions is a criminally underutilized skill and I can see a ton of space for weapons techs in the Mix to patch up armor (possibly using expendable tools or materials), but what I hear when I hear about an expanded durability system being rolled out for armor is that it will become even more punishing for the high-level underdogs in the Mix and I'm not sure that's the best outcome.

Anyway those are my thoughts on it. There was a much larger discussion with a few other players in chat participating and I was asked to put up a thread so they could sound off with their thoughts.

I completely agree with the part where losing a pricey amount of gear and chrome with just one death can be devastating, especially if you have rivalries. I know you're supposed to take risks and hustle but when you lose 100k worth of gear in just one death, then it'll take you some time to recover from all the loss - EVEN if you did have the funds, there's still the effort of a few days of finding the chrome, buying it, getting it installed/injected, then waiting to heal up. Same with armor.

Considering the high-level conflict going on at all times (we all know that in the situation we're talking about, just one death won't cut it) you'll certainly be at a massive disadvantange and probably will have to cut back on the risk taking to take some time off to recover and get everything ready to go out and start doing stuff again, lest you get caught by your rival at that disadvantage and get rolled over again, only to end up in an even bigger disadvantage.

Now, on the topic of high-end armor and durability, I don't know what Johnny has in mind for the 'wear off'. How much punishment is armor gonna take before it breaks? I also remember it being mentioned that there was always a system in place that worsens the quality of armor with use and combat, and that the protection it offers is decreases.

Now, if there's no way to track this, I might have spent my money on a second-hand armor set from a pawn shop that has been through combat and is almost at the breaking point and offers no more protection than say, simple ProTek. If that's the case, then I've basically dumped my chy into something that isn't even worth it at all, and I could have gotten something offering more protection for even less chy if I had a way of knowing that armor set had been 'worn down'.

My main concern is exactly that part. I can't see the quality of my armor and I have no way of knowing if it's worth the chy I spent on it. Either there must be a price adjustment so that worn down armor offering less protection is offered for less chy, and perfect conditioned ones get sold for more - or just this system needs to be revamped altogether.

Johnny specifically mentioned that there will be more obvious ways to look at armor's durability than there are now. So 'is this pawn shop crap any good' will likely be an answerable question.
I'll toss in by saying that having signature armor that's battered and been through a lot but still does its job seems very CP for me and I wouldn't want code that fucks with that image. +1 for munitions armor repair.
Okay, must have missed that, so that's good.

I agree with the other points about underdogs suffering from this, so I don't wanna repeat any of it.

Sorry if this is the wrong place but since munitions were brought up, currently that skill only includes weapon modification but it would be nice to be able to craft specialized ammunition to suit various utilities and situations given the meaning of the term 'munitions' also includes ammo. Also I believe the ability to fill expended or partially full clips with loose ammo (of the same type if different types are made available eventually) should also be a possibility.
Regarding Ammo:

I am pretty sure that staff plans on updating the gun/ammo system to allow for different types of ammo and the like. I can't seem to find the post though. I'll throw up a link if I manage to find it.

Regarding Armor:

As long as people can gt a feel for the stat their armor is in and the value of armor decreases as wear increases, I'm all for this. Let's do it!

Regarding Gear Loss:

I have mixed feelings here. Perma-Death is hard to make happen. Very hard. Clones are cheap. So there are only so many ways to make a defeat have a noticeable impact. One of them is losing all your shiny toys for a while until you can claw your way back up. This might take a few deaths but in general I think that losing should have a noticeable impact on someone.

On the flip side, if you are in a place where you have a very limited arena to compete in (as in few characters you should be attacking) this can just end up with you having to idle while your enemies recover or you repeatedly trouncing them. So I get that angle. We want challenging PvP and we want RP and we want people to feel their losses. It's not easy to balance all this.

On the other hand, some blame might also fall on characters. Maybe they need to start considering their cash flow and better gauging what a realistic kit is for them given the amount of action they are likely to see. Maybe they shouldn't always be buying the best gear every three months but should instead be buying the second best every month. Try and level out those massive ups and downs a little. It is an option at least.

Regarding Repair:

I think that the ability to repair armor would be cool. But I wouldn't ever want to see repaired armor ever perform as well as it did before the repair, thus resulting in slow degradation over time. I also think pricing should be carefully considered. Between materials, gear and manpower, I don't think repairing armor should be much cheaper than replacing.

If you have made it to the arena of near-max or max UE then losing 500k should be a temporary setback for you. Bill getting 1 or 2 up on Steve makes Steve play smarter/harder or hey maybe it’s Steves time to meet the great beyond.

Armor degrading should also come with weapons and munitions that have trade offs (IE: hollow point ammunition does 1/3 damage to armor but triple damage to unarmored people, etc)

There should also be a skill, as mentioned, that adds the ability to repair said armor. Agree with that 100% because I believe with rarity sometimes you won’t get a fresh set created for you on certain armors.

What I’m mainly concerned about is if armor degrades and has been, we should be able to tell and it should be obvious to anyone looking at you too. Buying 100k armor with no way to guauge is a jip. I know I may be echoing other posts here but...that.

Pretty much every character I know of who has their hands on high-end armor has lost entire sets multiple times, so there's already a regular need for replacement of Xo3 and Xo5 that makes this feature unnecessary.

Getting geared up is a tedious and expensive process. Armor damage is just going to make the economy harsher for combat characters, and encourage staying indoors and taking less risks. Frankly I think this is bad enough already. I want to see -more- characters with high-end chrome/armor/weapons, but increasingly what I see is a handful of characters with all of it and everyone else sticking to thrift clothes for fear of losing it all.

If the point is to give munitions characters something to do, you could let them, say, reinforce armor to give it some bonus, and have that run down as you take damage.