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One thing that’s always bothered me is how morrowind was seemingly the only one in the franchise that had a normal defence system as it didn’t have any caps and allowed you to survive fatal hits as long as the armour you were wearing boosted your survivability stat enough

Skyrim and oblivion used an armour rating system that made it so that having a rating below 300 could get you flat out one tapped by several high level creatures and anything above it made you borderline invincible(this also caused a problem where the difference between light and heavy armour was nonexistent mechanically ingame) . In oblivions case it was even less balanced and more bizarre when you throw in the level scaling shit
Daggerfalls rating system was even weirder as it was based off a formula that calculated wether or not a hit even landed even if visually you saw it did, which I found strange as it was easier to say “x attack failed to penetrate actor/players armour”
With arena the system was so confusing having a negative armour rating was actually beneficial how it worked is beyond me entirely


You would think that a video game would figure out a system that makes sense and isn't just some wacky abstraction. It's not like a TTRPG where you need to be able to factor the armor in using mental math.

What's your question though OP?


Why are the armour rating systems outside of morrowind so confusing?


oh, pretty simple
Bethesda keeps trying to simplify things and breaking systems that worked before because now the things they depended on are gone. In the armor case, they removed anything more complex than a number to represent armor rating. Morrowind was the golden mean, where things were pared down to a manageable system. Everything before it was too complex and everything after too simple.


Wasn’t morrowind notorious for being so unbalanced it was possible to jump across the map with a high enough acrobatics skill and drugs


Yeah, it was awesome. Everything else sucks by comparison.


File: 1662096186086-0.png (92.21 KB, 1428x615, skyrim armor rating.png)

The best way to understand the difference between Morrowind's armor rating system vs Oblivion and Skyrim is in terms of effective health or survivability. Increasing damage reduction linearly makes survivability increase exponentially (though extremely slowly at first), while increasing damage reduction hyperbolically makes survivability increase linearly. The second system has a much smoother progression. See picrel 1 for a good explanation. There's a mod called Armor Rating Redux for Skyrim that implement's Morrowind's damage reduction, if you're interested.
>Daggerfalls rating system was even weirder as it was based off a formula that calculated wether or not a hit even landed even if visually you saw it did
It's a little more complicated (and annoying) than Morrowind's formula but diceroll accuracy was something both games shared.
>With arena the system was so confusing having a negative armour rating was actually beneficial how it worked is beyond me entirely
It was based on the old D&D armor class system, where lower AC was better.

>You would think that a video game would figure out a system that makes sense and isn't just some wacky abstraction
Mount & Blade uses a basic physics-based damage system that functions decently well without getting too bogged down in details (picrel 2). It also has modifiers for locational damage, which is something not enough games do. Dwarf Fortress on the other hand goes a little too hard on the locational damage and doesn't have much basis in physical reality, so you can grab someone's upper front teeth with your left hand, grapple their upper back left molars with your right thigh, bite their left pinky toe, and swing a sword at their right thumb all at the same time. It has pretty detailed physics-based damage but the results don't always make sense, whips for example used to cut through armor like it was nothing.


Everyone isn’t this thread is discussing how broken armour is but no one’s talking about how maniacally busted the meta is for enemy tiering

A beginniner level bandit in oblivion and Skyrim can be one shotted with beginner gear yet go up exactly one fucking tier above those enemies and suddenly those same generic mobs become boss fights even if your a dozen levels higher than them

Ffs I just learned today that a bandit highwayman has more health than a frost troll in Skyrim


"balance" is a meme
it's an RPG not an RTS
the abilities should reflect the lore
you should be able to break the game by cleverly combining the mechanics or yes just overleveling a skill, because that is realistic
real life had the "game" get "broken" repeatedly when people figured out clever ways of taking advantage of the "physics engine"


>yeah just let players use gamebreaking exploits to progress I’m sure this won’t age poorly and cause massive fucking problems with how people approach the games mechanics when they can use cheats and exploits to cheese through everything at any time without restraint

This shit is why I think dark souls is for casuals
Waaaayyyy to many fucking ways to one shot randos


People who want to cheese will cheese.
People who want a challenge will play with skill.
It's not like it's a multiplayer game where you have to deal with a meta.
People will even self-impose certain limitations like you see in speedrunning communities.


For Skyrim just use a mod called logical health limits
It scales down how much health enemies have based on their level so that a mob at level 14 doesn’t require the player is at level 40 just to stand a chance to kill only to get shit loot afterwards

For oblivion you’ll have to edit the files directly
For morrowind you don’t have to do anything partly because you can already break the game so heavily that what enemy your fighting doesn’t really matter and partly just because the health system there is already in a majestic way balanced
Don’t know about arena and daggerfall


File: 1662187850304.png (74.94 KB, 746x694, NPC damage perks.png)

The way Bethesda handles difficulty is pretty lazy and consists of either giving enemies more health or letting the player increase "difficulty" by setting a damage multiplier. Perks aren't distributed sensibly according to enemy level, and instead they're usually given damage multiplier perks. Enemy AI is similarly barebones and mostly controls movement patterns or how often they use certain attacks. Most abilities, potions, scrolls, staves, and spells the player has access to don't work at all for NPCs, like racials, bound weapons (most enemies that use them just have a similar looking weapon placed in their inventory), runes, area spells like wall of flames, or any illusion spells. Not to mention for potions and poisons they only know how to use healing or restoration potions and even then only sparingly.

You can use scripts like NPC Stat Rescaler to have NPC attributes scale similar to player attributes instead of getting massive health and magicka pools (or you could have them scale any way you want, really), and ASIS to distribute level-appropriate perks and spells, but problems with enemy AI remain and there aren't any really good solutions out there. Some try to use the tools Skyrim has available, like Wildcat, while others use custom plugins to add things like roll dodging, parrying, and poise, but no matter which one you use you'll never see enemies taking advantage of terrain or using all the tools the player can use.

All of this means combat doesn't require much thought and is down to battles of attrition, just whittling enemies down with the same weapon or spell every single fight. Weaknesses aren't worth taking advantage of and resistances can be mostly ignored, and similarly enemies almost never switch up their approach in fighting you. There's a mod called Know Your Enemy that gives creatures and armors resistances and weaknesses which is a step in the right direction, especially when paired with other mods to make NPCs more challenging, but not enough to make combat really interesting as it would require a significant overhaul of NPC behavior and capabilities.


I mean part of it’s just the fact that it’s a fantasy rpg game

Those games in general are historically known for terrible fucking metas because the more systems put in place in those games the generally harder it is to balance them do to the way they function mechanically. Dark souls with setups that can one shot any enemy, world of Warcraft with boosters and mythic gear that destroy the point of playing through most of the game, diablo 2 and path of exile the moment you pass level 7 become overglorified loot piñatas due to how fast everything starts dying including bosses, kingdom heart’s implementation of magic that just make you flat out unkillable(except for kh3’s critical mode they actually nerfed that heavily) you get the gist

I think somewhere down the line when morrowind came out bethesda recognized this and started implemented stronger level caps, limits on DPS on certain builds and started simplifying progression in TES more and more with oblivion and Skyrim to prevent the madness present in TES pre oblivion but they just didn’t go far enough with the rebalancing and the small remains of what came after quickly overrided everything else put in game


There is almost nothing "physics" based about Dwarf Fortress combat, what. It's MATERIAL based, with a little bit of force to determine energy at collision. Also, the detail system is mostly cosmetic. Iirc all it does mechanically, is induce bleeding or impair senses such as sight or smell (which is are negligible in fortress mode anyway).

Bethesda's retarded level scaling has been discussed to death, even before Fallout 3 was released.


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