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Regarding the UO Armor Debate

Discussion in 'UHall' started by GalenKnighthawke, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Some reading I've been doing over the course of the last couple of years, about RL European Knights and their Asian counterparts (Samurai in Japan; Youxia in China; some Indian Hindu Paladins the name of which I can't recall; to a lesser degree these elite Celt warriors the name of which I also can't recall; etc.) made me think about the debates over armor in UO we have periodically.

    I refer to the debates that wonder out loud why leather and plate, for example, should be on an equal footing; wouldn't plate protect better? Shouldn't there be some kind of resist cap that's hither for plate than for leather? Etc., etc.

    My own contribution to that has long been to argue that perhaps there should be a PvM-only damage absorption for any kind of non-meddable armor, and only for a complete suit of it, not stackable with the swamp dragon absorption (so it would be either/or). That struck me as a fairly easy and not unbalancing if inelegant way to make non-meddable armor valuable and useful.

    While I still support that, my reading about RL warriors of the middle ages and antiquity made me realize something important and obvious....Well, it's obvious when you think about it. Not so obvious until you do.

    Armor grows out of the need to protect against weapons and fight effectively while wearing it. Plate armor, in addition to protecting better than Chain Mail, some scholars have said was actually lighter and allowed for more freedom of motion than Chain was. (So much for the worse dex penalty I recall Plate having.)

    But eventually arrows, pikes, and then finally guns appeared, plate was no longer as useful and it slowly died out. Though Plate was never as heavy or cumbersome as some think (most scholars appear to agree that cranes hoisting knights onto their horses were mostly a myth), it wasn't light either; there's a story about how the King of Hungary died during a Muslim invasion of his country because he fell off his horse in his plate armor and drowned in a comparatively shallow river.

    So basically once they could stop wearing that ****, once it didn't matter as much anymore? They stopped wearing it. Maybe a breastplate to prevent an accidental death from a glancing blow. And because it looks ****ing cool.

    Now, what do we have in UO? Firstly we have magic; often about as much firepower as a primitive gun, sometimes more. Secondly we have materials to make weapons and armor that are way different than anything any RL crafter of the Middle Ages or Renaissance had to work with. And thirdly we have things like dragon teeth to contend with. Lots of other differences but those will surely do as examples.

    The upshot is.....Why shouldn't, leather and plate be equivalent in such an environment? It's just too different from RL to draw comparisons. Who is to say magically Imbued Plate made from materials that metals that don't really exist (the only hits I got in a Google search for "Valorite" were related to UO) would be any better or any worse than magically Imbued Leather armor made from leathers that don't exist (as there are no dragons IRL)?

    And who is to say that in such an environment, some warriors just wouldn't prefer plate and some prefer leather? Who is to say it wouldn't come down to personal preference and aesthetics?

    Those Hindu Paladins I mentioned early on in this post? They would, one source says, ride into battle on chariots.....Stark naked. This was supposedly a religious thing, but personally I think the shock value was a factor. ("Hey are those guys naked?" And then you are dead before you know it, because a few seconds of confusion count for a lot when a deadly warrior is hurtling toward you in a chariot.) Ditto for a similar group of Celt warriors; naked chariot riders. They chose to not wear armor at all. And this was IRL.

    Add to this that not everyone who knows about Crafting agrees that Leather really is superior to Plate in UO; the last few threads on this issue have shown an enormous amount of disagreement on that point.

    I'll almost always, I think, support ways to customize the look of our characters, for example converting an artifact to another item in the same equipment slot. (Mace and Shield Glasses to Plate Helm or Norse Helm, to look more Knight-like, would be the best example for present purposes.) And I still like tha PvM-only damage absorption idea.

    But reading about how this stuff worked IRL has convinced me that the Leather/Plate issue in UO is, by itself, just really no issue at all. What we have is perfectly logical for the unique, most definitely fantastical circumstances our characters find themselves in. And thanks to Imbuing you can have an awesome plate suit anyway; there's a thread someplace about an all-plate Sampire suit, for example.

    -Galen's player
     
  2. Ender

    Ender Crazed Zealot
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    Give me a reason to use plate over enhanced woodland armor, devs.

    No really, PLEASE do it. Woodland armor is ugly. Of course, I hide it all with a Conjurer's Garb like 97% of UO's playerbase does.

    <_<

    Cosmetic outfit system please
     
  3. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    http://vboards.stratics.com/uo-craftsman/240565-sampire-plate.html

    Of course some will look at that thread and say "that is not a reason" and I will just shrug because reasons are subjective by definition.

    And I doubt 97% of the playerbase even has a Conjurer's Garb let alone uses it. Of my 4 characters, 1 has it, 2 use those elf robes from the Warriors of Destiny event cycle and 1 uses nothing with properties in that slot. I see various robes in use including the ones I use and the + stealth robes and the Robe of Ari and various dresses and sometimes nothing.

    That something needs to be in that slot for maximum effectiveness is undoubtedly true. (How one feels about that fact is a different thing. The ones wearing nothing in that slot I figure aren't terribly competitive or just have no particular need for anything in that slot and make a deliberate decision to not have something there.) That only that one item is worth it in that slot, however, is undoubtedly false.

    -Galen's player
     
  4. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    THIS


    However, they could simply give ALL armor the same base resists. That way, people can mix and match to their fashion-police-avoiding heart's content. Then we might see people in player crafted plate, chain or dragon armor.

    While "realism" is "nice," this IS a game, and needs to be slanted towards fun above all else. Everyone either wears barbed leather, heartwood woodland, or a mix of arties...and a robe. So tired of robes...
     
  5. pgib

    pgib Guest

    I think the question is: how many of us use player crafted metal armor? I see noone around.

    How many uses colored ingots to craft something other than dragon barding deeds?

    Getting leather is easier, training tailoring is cheaper, faster and the results are better.

    Maybe someone uses blacksmithing to craft a very specific set of weapons but for the rest the skill is dead.
     
  6. Percivalgoh

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    I know that armor is magical so things that aren't stronger can be so in the game but still magical metal armor should offer more protection.
     
  7. yars

    yars Lore Keeper
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    i use garg plate on my mystic thrower, he looks badass, but its covered by a robe sadly, maybe a altering box like the one for vet robes, but it could change it too something else, honestly has a dev even looked at these threads to even give it a chance or some thought?
     
  8. Hell's Ironworks

    Hell's Ironworks Seasoned Veteran
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    My Warrior uses runic crafted plate and ringmail , so does my mage ( samurai plate ) . Its an expensive quest, i still buy high end runics once in a while to see if i can upgrade one piece or another that i feel could be better.

    It works for me and i dont have to hide it all under a robe. I dont really mind having less mr or luck, i use to have 3 140 garbs but sold them all because i was tired of robes.

    Dont have any imbued stuff either. Im of the few that thinks that imbuing was a huge mistake, that effectively killed crafts and made looting pointless ( except drops and gold) . But thats another topic.

    Im also still wondering what the idea was behind those awfull glasses? I mean , the idea is not bad to have magical glasses. But why did they chose only 1 design that makes any char look like a ****** bag?

    Anyway, good read Op, i wish i could ride chariots naked in uo ;)
     
  9. Barok

    Barok Grand Inquisitor
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    As far as armor IRL goes, the advancement of weapons that could penetrate armor made armor useless. It became more advantageous to be able to maneuver quickly rather than wearing cumbersome armor that wouldn't keep you alive anyways.
     
  10. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    I have three characters in metal armor. One in full plate, one in ring, and one in a mix. It wasn't fun juggling their crappy resists (compared to leather) when imbuing them to be decent suits. (And yes, that was with GM Arms Lore on a Legendary Smith.)

    People in metal armor are out there, but they are just in the severe minority.
     
  11. Raptor85

    Raptor85 Certifiable
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    I wear imbued dragon scale armor on my main pvper, but I admit it puts me at a HUGE disadvantage with ****ty base resists and such, it's really cosmetic and costs a lot more than making a leather suit that's the same but with free mage armor property.

    The problem is actually taht most of hte armor DOES have the same base resists, just spread differently (all armor pieces base is 15 or 16), when in reality plate should have far more than leather.
     
  12. Ludes

    Ludes Babbling Loonie
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    Till they invented Kevlar.
     
  13. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    Each has it's own benefits and consequences.

    Plate for example, was vastly superior in terms of mobility, leather to prove any real protection beyond glancing blows required hardening that made it stiff and inflexible, full plate suits were designed to articulate at the joints. To really explain it you could cut cartwheels in a full plate suit while doing so in hardened leather leather would be practically impossible. Though with the one of plates greatest weaknesses was the rigidity of the pieces which could make the vulnerable to strong piercing weapons, or when blunt bashing weapons were used such as war hammers against it, the crumpled material could hamper movement during, and removal after combat.

    The largest benefits of leather though would be weight, and cost, Medieval European plate was extremely ill suited for foot combat, it's a big reason when you think of Knights in Shining armor in fiction they are usually mounted on steeds, Japanese plate avoided this generally by using multiple metal plates to cover vital areas, instead of solid plate this allowed the use of lighter materials in non-critical areas.

    Plate from other cultures such as Greece and Rome, didn't cover the entire body, generally the head, lower arms, and chest with leather protecting the rest of the torso.

    Soft or un-hardened leather armor had it's place as well, and honestly I think it would be the best choice of all the European armors available for foot soldiers. It allowed the best mobility vs weight even superior to chain in that regard because of chain's greater inertia, especially when you factor in a piece of history that is almost completely forgotten. Up until the adoption of firearms in Europe, European martial arts were as equally complex and effective as their Asian counterparts and since the majority of Europe relied on Free Militia and not standing armies as the bulk of their military force knowledge of them was as wide spread. You have to remember that the adoption of firearms to signaled the beginning of the end for the Medieval period, Firearms were introduced to Europe in the 14th Century and in less than a 100 years the Medieval period would end. For Japan (which is the only Asian culture I'm only concerned with for this topic since it's the only culture with a direct correlation in UO) by comparison wasn't introduced to Firearms til the mid 16th century and then banned the use of them from the early 17th century til the late 19th, ensuring it would carry it's medieval feudal social hierarchy til that time.

    The only huge negative to un-hardened leather is it's vulnerability to ranged attack from bows and cross-bows. Un-hardened leather gave you mobility, and the reduced weight for foot to march long distances, and not be completely exhausted once they reached the battle field. Asian designs for full plate where it was a mixture of light weight materials with area specific solid plates would probably be my second choice if the two were presented to me to chose from as a foot soldier.
     
  14. Klapauc

    Klapauc Sage
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    My samurai and my blacksmith/miner/lumberjack use imbued val metal armor, the smith also doesnt wear a robe most of the time. Compared to barbed leather, with val you win 1 resist per piece and you dont lose anything when you imbue fire resist onto them.
    Imho its the next best choice if you dont want to do the woodland grind and dont need medable armor.
     
  15. Siteswap

    Siteswap Visitor

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    Possibly the longest post ever to basically say i have an uber leather suit so dont nerf it.
     
  16. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Perhaps the shortest post ever to say "I am jealous because someone can express himself in more than 2 lines."

    There is no reasonable way my post can be taken the way you are representing it. None. ****ing none. NONE.

    And most of the other repliers in this thread don't appear to have read more than a paragraph of the original post.

    I guess I'll start talking in l33T 5p3Ak. Jesus ****ing Christ.

    -Galen's player
     
  17. Siteswap

    Siteswap Visitor

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    A little too defensive a reply so I can only assume I was right ;)
     
  18. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    You assumed you were right from the start; I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess you do that a lot.

    I don't like being lied about, hence the reaction. And either you were too dumb to understand the post, or you lied about it. Because there was no way the post can reasonably be taken that way.

    Of course once you go beyond reason you can take anything to say anything, I suppose. I wouldn't know, nor do I wish to.

    *shrugs*

    Oh well.

    -Galen's player
     
  19. Siteswap

    Siteswap Visitor

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    Lighten up. I really really hope youre not always this serious? My comment was made tongue in cheek so stop making such an issue out of it. Lifes too short.

    :grouphug: