**Balancing “damage – armor” mechanics.**

A lot of games out there use armor as a subtraction from damage. While this sounds natural. It is a very hard method to balance when you know the math.

How much is this armor going to weight?

And how much will the damage going to weight?

The progress isn’t linear, but a complete system has to be observed. That means that 2 armor isn’t twice as good as 1 armor. It could be 3 times as good or only 20% better.

Step by step.

Simply think of the system first.

Put all the damages in a row and all the armor in a column. (Or the other way around, what you prefer).

Now calculate all the results.

If you have a minimum damage, apply this as well instead of the negative or zero.

Some weapons are used multiple times? Don’t put this in the table. Just don’t. Observe ONE projectile. So a 3 times 5 damage will be only a onetime 5 damage.

Now that your table is ready. You will have a list of how much damage each weapon will do. And how much damage each armor will take.

Add up all the damages that the weapons do. If you have 3 weapons, you will get 3 numbers. This is how much they weight. Damage weight is linear, you can simply apply these weights as factor. And if you have multiple projectiles for certain units. Simply multiply the weight with this factor.

Do the same for all the armor. Armor weight is tricky and you have 2 options which will probably result in the same.

Either use these weights for armor as a division on how much worth it is. If an armor weights 5, the cost for each health point will be divided by 5.

Or use it as a multiplication on health itself. Thus if an armor weights 5, health will be times 5.

Examples, only on request.

For those that use armor as a subtraction. And have used the above method for calculating weights. Might have discovered that the system shows illogical behavior towards the lightest and heaviest armor types.

Systems with only positive outputs and no minimum damages, will almost always result in having the lightest damage doing no damage against the heaviest armor. This is natural. But the RPS is shifted towards the heaviest damage being the middle man. This means, no one is going to use light weapons. And light armor is only going to be used as fodder, not as meat.

So the RPS is almost always broken. Even after trying to adjust your damages and armors.

IMHO subtracting armor is a No Go.

Use percentages or multiplications on damages instead. With this I mean, that you do away with armor being a subtraction. But you get armor and damage types as an attribute.

We aren’t there yet. You can fill in the table and see that you can still apply differences to the weapons and armor types.

With this, you can easily get light armor to be cheaper. But light weapons to be cheaper as well.

Examples, only on request.