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Armoury

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Re: Armoury

Postby Throttle » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:36 am

You can just change chainmail to lamellar mail or something like that. The name isn't that important, chainmail is just more recognizable and traditional in games. What matters is that there's something interesting to wear beyond leather armor, otherwise the game's itemization and crafting will simply be dull.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Emilio » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:06 am

Think of it this way. We lack the expertise and knowledge to make anything beyond leather armor. In other words, our crafters don't have any idea of how to make chainmail. But, their level of manufacturing leather is higher than average or something like that.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Throttle » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:33 am

I was looking more for an explanation of why the game would be better off with just leather armor. The actual in-game reason is sort of irrelevant, it's not as if there's lore we have to adhere to in that regard. Quite the contrary, in fact -- I think an extreme scarcity of metal to the point of restricting people to leather armor is something that needs solid justification because it doesn't seem canonical.

Rarity and high prices of chainmail is fine if there's a lesser alternative available. The thing is that there's a number of arguments against extreme metal scarcity, and none in favor (that I can think of, anyway, and certainly none that have been posted):

1) absence of metal armor makes armor- and weaponcrafting really boring

2) it also makes the itemization itself dull and might make some weapon skills barely viable (swords, primarily)

3) it'll make for wonky combat if everyone has to wear leather

4) everyone will take sneak and hide, which is just obnoxious

5) if the best armor isn't craftable and can only be imported from abroad, it encourages moneygrinding and punishes crafters

Now, if we were talking about scarcity of steel, I'd be all for that. I just keep getting the impression that Icarus wants to limit everyone to leather armor and make metal prohibitively scarce, which I think would pointless screw with gameplay, so I'd like to hear a concise answer from him.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Meneldor » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:10 pm

I'll see if I can address some of these things.

1. No one said we don't know how to make it from metal, nor did anyone say there would be no metal.

2. Why is metal scarce?
a) Not because it doesn't exist, but because it is hard to get. It is mostly imported. Imported metal isn't cheap.
b) It is imported, because the only places to most likely dig it up have things living there. "There be orcs in them there hills". Things that don't like men coming along and knocking on their doors. Not without a very large army, not to mention having to trudge through Mirkwood to get there.
c) Importing metal is going to take a lot of logs in trade, logs can be gotten elsewhere. There might be something here others want, but that probably won't be easy to get either, so it does not mean Laketown can set the market on how much metal it imports.

3. When the metal does come in at whatever costs, what do you feel it would be used for?
a) Mostly likely not a nice metal vest for Joe there.
b) Most likely for as many blades, axe heads, arrow heads, spear heads, etc that you can get out of it.

Again as someone stated, having great armor doesn't make you better in combat...no matter the armor if enough things are whomping on you that you can't kill, you're going down. You learn to move and not get hit and kill them instead.

5. There are different grades of metal. What might not make good armor could make a good blade, or be fantastic for pots and pans and bucket rings and nails. Perhaps the aforementioned bogiron, or 'cheap' iron.

6. Don't decide certain craft areas will be boring based on this discussion. Wait and see. If you go in trying to prove they are, then they will be, no matter what we do. Give us a chance first. Plus this is not a large city with a metal worker on every corner.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Emilio » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:49 pm

So, all of these are just rumours?!?! :roll:
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Re: Armoury

Postby Throttle » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:23 pm

No one said we don't know how to make it from metal, nor did anyone say there would be no metal.


There's just all kinds of conflicting messages going around. I'll let you guys work it out, it's impossible to even formulate a proposal at this point.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Meneldor » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:32 pm

I'm sorry, I thought what I posted did straighten it out. Metal is just hard to get. It will exist, it can be worked, it just needs to be determined what is the best use of it.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Octavius » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:43 pm

Meneldor wrote:I'm sorry, I thought what I posted did straighten it out. Metal is just hard to get. It will exist, it can be worked, it just needs to be determined what is the best use of it.


Right. Similar to what was said earlier, too.

Icarus wrote:Some may note that there is very little "armor" in those pictures, and a lot of cloth.

Iron will be a rarity. Your suit of chainmail will be worth as much as a small farm. Most folks (all folks) will be running around in thick padded armor or leather buffcoats.

This is a feature.


There will be metal armor that is less not chainmail (see my picture of Theoden). Mail will be imported at immense cost.

Most folks will be in some form of leather. There should not be enough metal for anyone to expect to outfit an entire clan in metal.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Drew7uk » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:14 pm

Icarus wrote:Some may note that there is very little "armor" in those pictures, and a lot of cloth.

Iron will be a rarity. Your suit of chainmail will be worth as much as a small farm. Most folks (all folks) will be running around in thick padded armor or leather buffcoats.

This is a feature.


Quick question or two here for staff:

1. How will the differentiation be made between local hunter/militia types and those employed "military" or town watch types and their armor? Presumably generic band 1 armor for everyone in town would be a little strange?

2. How do staff intend on limiting distribution of looted gear from, say, the Orkish sphere or foreign NPCs who might wear metal armor? Will this kind of thing just not be built and loaded to the game world period?
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Re: Armoury

Postby Emilio » Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:52 am

Your first question is very easy to answer. The armor worn by the town guards would display the heraldic symbol of the town while the armor for sale would be plain or something else. But, the more embellishment an item has the more expensive will become with no gain in protection as the plain ones.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Brian » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:48 am

Also, for your first point Drew, I'm personally hoping that the hits to sneak and hide from any kind of armor will be high enough that in most cases it will actually be safer to hunt without armor than it is to hunt with it.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Emilio » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:12 am

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Re: Armoury

Postby Drew7uk » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:38 am

Brian wrote:Also, for your first point Drew, I'm personally hoping that the hits to sneak and hide from any kind of armor will be high enough that in most cases it will actually be safer to hunt without armor than it is to hunt with it.


I wholeheartedly hope this goes through as well - repercussions to wearing armor when out and about hunting should absolutely play their part. That said, what's your take on the kind of innovations (if any) that might take place for higher protection but less weight? Where is the line drawn ideally in your view? Presumably the old treebark pattern ranger gear is on one extreme end of that spectrum :D

Emilio wrote:Your first question is very easy to answer. The armor worn by the town guards would display the heraldic symbol of the town while the armor for sale would be plain or something else. But, the more embellishment an item has the more expensive will become with no gain in protection as the plain ones.


Emilio, do you see there being any other kind of differences? Should/are town guards entitled to or rich enough to have greater protection? On a social level, would there even be a need for greatly protected town guard armor?
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Re: Armoury

Postby Emilio » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:35 am

Actually, the considerations of what gear should the guards use is the same as modern real life. It depends of how much treasure is in the town coffers and how much is the leader or council willing to spend. The town is a republic city-state which is totally different than being in an autocracy or dictatorship in which the greater his power is, the most protected he feels. Most dictators always increase the expenses in his military force. More than likely, in a republic, they would spend as little as possible as imported metal is very expensive and they want to keep taxes low so they're re-elected. The same thing goes with the guards' salaries. Of course, this would mean a rise of criminal activities and corruption. Then, the rich people of the town will hire their own security guards to protect their safety and secure their properties. They may even have better arms and armor than the town guards.

What I see is that the richest merchant will eventually become the town leader and use his private army as town guards.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Icarus » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:28 pm

Let's discuss some metal stuff.

Firstly, where are the major mines in the Northern region?
1. Dale & the Lonely Mountain
2. The Iron Hills
3. Mountains near Framsburg

Prior to the disaster of Smaug, all of these sources were no doubt extensively used. Now that the disaster has happened, and further now that the forest has darkened, two of our major sources have been greatly reduced or cut off.

1. The Lonely Mountain is a barren wasteland that no-one dares go near. This is because of Dragons.
2. The Iron Hills still exist, and will happily trade. It is, however, expensive and not a small distance from the Iron Hills to Laketown.
3. Mountains near Framsburg are no doubt used, but with the darkening of Mirkwood the cost of transporting iron THROUGH Mirkwood has no doubt risen substantially. Additionally, we know that the elves have tolls, increasing the price further.

So, iron that was once cheap is now vastly more expensive. It's a sellers market, essentially. Trade comes in to Laketown, the Merchants who can afford it purchase it, and they mark it up even further before any sort of smith can get their hands on it.

That's for the humans. Let's chat Orc.

What is the primary source for iron for the Orcs of Mirkwood? No doubt Dol Guildor is a central supplier. It is doubtful that any small band receives substantial commercial supplies of iron independently, so they rely on shipments from several hundred miles away through dangerous forest. Dol Guildor most likely receives iron itself from the Mountain Orcs of the Misty Mountains.

So, expensive. The primary source for Orcs would be dedicated shipments in return for good work done, or from mannish caravans raided.

This means we exist in an environment where metal of all sorts is very expensive. With the exception of one kind, which is Bog Iron. You can find it in swamps, essentially, but the stuff is shit. Sulpherous, oxidized, impure. Making a blade from the stuff would require extensive processing, which no doubt is done, but most of the bog iron would no doubt be used for common tools that do not need to be weapons.

These would include: Axes, plows, door hinges, barrel wraps, small knives, etc. Think cast iron, or very brittle forged iron.

So what does this mean for armor? Well, you use what you have, and you use what people have for thousands of years. Thick cloth and thick leather. These come in a wide variety of styles, strengths, uses, etc. A great big coat of leather provides decent protection, as does cloth quilted into layers. Helms might have some metal in them, but most likely folks would have leather caps, or no helms at all. If someone were out purchasing armor, and they had a choice, a metal helm, even if expensive, would probably be a good purchase!

Leather and cloth are also much less expensive to maintain. Metal rusts, particularly in the moist and swampy environs around Laketown and the deeps of Mirkwood. It quite literally turns to red dust over time, unless maintained with some skill and expertise.

So I'm not sure what the concern is. Metal is heavy, expensive, difficult to maintain, and is thus rarely used in armor. When used for blades, they are often small bits, such as for an axe, a spear, or a small knife. A big ol' longsword would be a rare sight, simply because of both the skill and expense needed to make it.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Throttle » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:55 pm

My concern is mainly with combat balance. If leather armor is to be the norm for pretty much everyone, the combat system would have to be adjusted somewhat from one end or the other as it was designed for a game where most combatants had access to scalemail, plated leather and whatnot. Either this cloth and leather armor will need to provide more AC than it did in SOI and ARPI, or the overall damage of weapons and beasts needs to be comparatively lower. If the damage levels stay the same as it always did but everyone's in cloth and leather, they'll get absolutely slaughtered.

This in turn would make it difficult to have any metal armor at all as it would likely be too powerful for a system balanced around leather armor as the norm. You would then almost have to just decide that there will be no metal armor at all, at least in alpha. If metal is to be so rare that heavy armor is out of reach for most PCs, it's better to make it out of reach for everybody, both to avoid game takeover by a super powerful group of elite PCs who do get their hands on it and to accomodate a combat model that's balanced around light armor. Metal helmets are probably alright, but super-expensive imported chainmails will be a bad idea.

It would also be a very good idea to ensure that there's still a solid element of equipment progression even with just leather armor and sparse weapons. That's a very large part of the motivation for a lot of players, exactly the same way skillgains are, so make sure you don't lose that part of the game or those players could get bored. RPIs are also RPGs and need to maintain that aspect of gameplay or risk losing the majority of the combatant playerbase.

I don't know what coders you have and how much you plan to change the game mechanics for alpha, but if significant changes to the combat mechanics aren't something you want to deal with (understandably), I strongly recommend just elevating some types of leather armor to coded levels comparable to the lower range of heavy armor. In other words, make at least one type of leather armor (reinforced cuirbouilli?) that is for all intents and purposes heavy armor, just with little to no metal components. So instead of having AC 5 ringmail or whatever, just have AC 5 hardened leather. It'll feel a little cheesy and might require further readjustments if/when metal armor does eventually become available, but it'll get the job done without much tinkering.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Icarus » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:06 pm

We are on the same page there. I intend to just modify the tables a bit to make a larger range of armor available.

That said, also designing metal armor to be pretty scary for folks who do manage to get it. At the same time, it's going to be expensive to upkeep, and I will ensure that there is no way for a clan to actually keep their folks in full armor of any sort for any extended period. It might happen, and make a splash in the gameworld, but I would bet that fairly quickly their armor would degrade or they would be targeted for it.

Imagine going into orc territory with a shiny chainmail outfit. How many orcs are going to target you specifically for the change to loot your corpse. And when the orcs get it, how many other orcs are going to try to stab that orc in the back to get their outfit.

As far as progression, most certainly.

regular cloth -> lightly padded -> quilted/heavily padded -> metal reinforced cloth
rawhide (x) tanned leather -> boiled leather -> reinforced leather

My intent is to have "layered" armor as much as possible. Someone might go out in lightly padded clothing plus a quilted gambeson with a light leather cap. Or someone in regular clothing goes out and is given a leather buff-coat. Or an orc in ragged rawhide leathers is running around with a coat of mail he looted off a corpse. Essentially, you can't "case" yourself in protection, but rather prioritize your biggest body parts and put your best stuff on that, and wear what you can get elsewhere.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Brian » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:50 pm

Really liking the sounds of this, and Throttle, you provide a lot of good insight there. I always find your posts informative and insightful.

Icarus, is there any thought being given to the balance between skill and armor and their relative importance to each other? I know that in SoI, armor was -very- important. I don't have extensive experience with combat in Atonement, and that's the code base we're using here. Could anyone who has more insight than I do in that area let me know of how important the balance between armor and skills was there?

With that said what (if it's been discussed yet) is that target balance here Icarus? I want skills to play a relatively larger role than they seemed to play in SoI; after all, most of what we read in the Fellowship is of this small party of unarmored, but very skilled, battling very successfully against better armored foes of inferior combat quality.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Octavius » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:46 pm

The Atonement code did a major rebalancing to move skills to a more prominent role. On Old SOI, attributes were primary (which could only be bought-up with RPP roles).

The over-riding principle that Kithrater used in the re-balance is that nobody should be able to buy something with RPP that couldn't also be achieved by a combination of longevity and roleplay.

So, attributes are lessened, skills are strengthened. That being said, skills can be gained through play so it is best to set attributes well. There's also a new code-feature to allow players to shift attributes - one point at a time from one category to another, once every few months. Gear remains important, particularly between evenly matched opponents. Where skills are equivalent, combat becomes a battle of attrition where gear is important.

The other way around is through tactics, which I have ALWAYS strongly encouraged. Archery here, and Firearms there, emphasize causing bleeders where melee causes mass trauma. In a battle of attrition, bleeders are important. Also, preparation with overwatch by missile fire and through laying of tactically-intelligent traps will always convey a marked advantage.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Emilio » Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:38 pm

Carpentry tools from a 16th century sailing ship.
Image
Stone vs iron knives.
Image
Carpenter's tools.
Image
Whipsaw.
Image
20th century sawmill.
Image
Framed saw.
Image

Hand saws.-

  • Coping saw: for cutting wood patterns;
  • Crosscut saw: for cutting wood perpendicular to the grain;
    Frame saw or "sash saw": In general any saw with a thin blade held in tension by a frame, this term often specifically means the ripsaw also called a whipsaw.
  • Fret saw: for cutting intricate wood patterns;
    Hacksaw: a fine-toothed tempered blade under tension, for cutting metal, bone[citation needed], and other hard materials;
  • Japanese saw: a thin-bladed saw that cuts on the pull stroke;
  • Pad saw or "keyhole saw" or "jab saw": a narrow-bladed saw;
    Plywood saw: a fine-toothed saw (to reduce tearing), for cutting plywood;
  • Rip saw: for cutting wood along the grain;
    Turning saw: a frame saw with a narrow blade used for cutting curves, larger than a coping saw.
  • Two-man saw:a general term for a large crosscut saw or rip saw for cutting large logs or trees;
  • Veneer saw: a two-edged saw with fine teeth for cutting veneer;
  • Whipsaw or pit saw: a kind of rip saw for cutting logs into lumber;
  • Wire saw: a toothed or coarse cable or wire wrapped around the material and pulled back and forth.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Octavius » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:27 pm

Thank you, Emilio. I want you to know that I really do appreciate your work in finding visual references and providing lists. Please keep up the good work.

:nom:


I need to describe a variety items throughout the crafting and production process, and need the lists so that I can create useful variable lists for key items. I'm putting your work to good use, and encourage further work and discussion here by all players.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Emilio » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:08 pm

Most of my references are from Wikipedia and browsing images through DeviantArt website.

Here you have Chisels.

EDIT: http://www.vermonttimberworks.com/learn/timber-frame-process/tools/
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Re: Armoury

Postby Octavius » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:37 am

Throttle wrote:You can just change chainmail to lamellar mail or something like that. The name isn't that important, chainmail is just more recognizable and traditional in games. What matters is that there's something interesting to wear beyond leather armor, otherwise the game's itemization and crafting will simply be dull.


Current laydown posted here:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=339

Let me know what you think.
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Re: Armoury

Postby Throttle » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:40 am

As long as the better armors are available to anyone who makes a reasonable effort to get them, and is in a position to realistically get decent armor (i.e. not a forest hermit or something), it's fine. Any of the ordinary armors should definitely be obtainable without extreme resource grinding or outrageous playtimes -- a realistic goal for people playing ordinary hunters and soldiers responsibly.

I do think there's perhaps too many types of armor in the ordinary group with several that seem like they'd provide pretty much the same protection and require the same materials. Seems like it could lead to a very bloated craftset. I'm not sure whether you intend for each of these armor types to be a whole line of crafts or just have its own 'make banded-leather-segments' type craft to use with a shared combine craft, but either way, it looks slightly excessive. Armorcrafting is already a very expansive craft with four different sets if you include the standard leatherworking stuff.

What's the plan for the superior armors? Is it something you don't want to see in PC hands? Only on certain types of PCs? What's the plan for when a group of people inevitably does get that armor and is resourceful enough to keep it?
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Re: Armoury

Postby Octavius » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:44 am

Throttle wrote:As long as the better armors are available to anyone who makes a reasonable effort to get them, and is in a position to realistically get decent armor (i.e. not a forest hermit or something), it's fine. Any of the ordinary armors should definitely be obtainable without extreme resource grinding or outrageous playtimes -- a realistic goal for people playing ordinary hunters and soldiers responsibly.



Yes, ordinary armors should be obtainable, and will be the peak for the majority of the playerbase.

There are the two categories (coir boulli and metal-reinforced) that are each solid choices on their own, but also superior against different sets of circumstances. I hope this makes some IG choice rather than just a "level up" situation.

Throttle wrote:I do think there's perhaps too many types of armor in the ordinary group with several that seem like they'd provide pretty much the same protection and require the same materials. Seems like it could lead to a very bloated craftset. I'm not sure whether you intend for each of these armor types to be a whole line of crafts or just have its own 'make banded-leather-segments' type craft to use with a shared combine craft, but either way, it looks slightly excessive. Armorcrafting is already a very expansive craft with four different sets if you include the standard leatherworking stuff.


Variables tend to trim the size of craftsets... adding more types of style shouldn't bloat it, I think.

I do expect that you'll have the 'make segments' model with shared progression and assembly crafts.

One thing that will be intentionally-designed, per Elder Staff direction, is that you'll see more emphasis on piecemeal armoring. The design won't be to have a full suit of ringmail. That's one reason for the greater variety and levels.

Throttle wrote:What's the plan for the superior armors? Is it something you don't want to see in PC hands? Only on certain types of PCs? What's the plan for when a group of people inevitably does get that armor and is resourceful enough to keep it?


When all the design comes together, we expect that these will be prized status symbols that will be brought out for key needs and not worn daily.

Check the explanation of repairs on the other thread.

If it is a 24- or 48-hour timer to either make a Superior piece or to repair a Superior piece, we expect people will be more careful about damaging them. Every piece a superior armorer makes is a piece he can expect to have requests to repair. Either he'll become careful about giving out the armor, or people will become careful about breaking it once they get it.

Also, if you manage to get an imported-iron piece, it will take imported-iron to fix it. You keep knocking holes in your Gondorian steel breastplate and the Armorer will tell you to stop wasting his materials.

If a PC crafter makes you a bog-iron breastplate, materials to repair it may be more plentiful but it's going to need repair much more often and become a drain on the armorer's craft timer.
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