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The Mechanics of Melee Combat - Part 4

The Effect of Armor

Both your total hitroll and your base damage work together to overcome the armor of your target and do damage. Without sufficient hitroll, your attacks may be completely absorbed by the armor; without sufficient damage, you may hit every time but do so little damage as to be irrelevant. A healthy balance of both hitroll and damage are required to be an effective fighter.

Players will typically find it easier to amass equipment with damroll than with hitroll. Equipment with +attacks is more rare. This is because attacks are generally more valuable than hitroll, which, in turn, is slightly more valuable than damroll. If the attacks chance fails, you never use the hitroll, and, if the hitroll is too low, you never use the damroll.

The simplest description of how hitroll and armor work is that each hitroll cancels out approximately 6 armor on your target. So 15 hitroll is as effective against 90 ac as 25 hitroll would be against 150 ac. There's also a magic constant of 16 which makes it so that 0 hitroll is effective against the default 0 armor. Calculating this gives your base effectiveness against the armor of the target:
  • base effectiveness = hitroll - (target armor / 6) + 16

For example, 0 hitroll against 0 armor has a base effectiveness of 0. 10 hitroll against 100 armor has a base effectiveness of -6, which means you probably need more hitroll.

This base effectiveness isn't the real effectiveness yet. For that, we add a random range. because some attacks hit harder than others, and sometimes you get lucky (or unlucky). There is also a small blindness bonus, but it won't be discussed in this article.
  • real effectiveness = base effectiveness + random(1 to 25)

This "real effectiveness" value is the important one, and determines how much of your damage is absorbed by the armor for each hit. The random value means that some hits will be more effective than others:
  • effectiveness less than 2 = no damage to target
  • effectiveness 2 to 8 = 1/4 damage to target
  • effectiveness 15 to 21 = 3/4 damage to target
  • effectiveness greater than 21 = full damage to target

Also, regardless of the real effectiveness, any attack may do 0 to 9% damage, despite any armor.

Keep in mind that the combat system on Alter Aeon is complicated, and some of the more obscure details have been intentionally left out. Don't be surprised if you see freak attacks with higher damage than you expect, or attacks that you weren't expecting. The game throws in random events from time to time to keep things exciting, but most of the time they work in your favor.

Happy hunting!

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