This is a WIP as I will add more details later on.
I propose to make armor weight slow down units. Ideally not just players, but also npc's and mounts.
Main motive: realism and encourageing tactics and strategy + make high tier armor not just have benefits.
Main source of inspiration and personal experience: the highly configurable and simple ArmorWeight plugin, which was succesfully used for players and configured for multiple mods on our roleplay survival servers.
Account for inventory slots?
One may argue that all of a players inventory should add to a players weight, but that would be unwise for these reasons:
- It will make the feature unnecessarily complicated as one would have to account weights for any item in the mod that can be 'carried' in player inventory slots.
- It would ignore the meaning of inventory slots in the MC game, which should basically be considered a convenience bonus to compensate for the fact that there are no carriages, caravans, beasts of burden, backpacks etctera, which would be needed to 'justify' the altered time and space experience in the MC game. It is justified to assume that anyone who engages in a fight would not carry around more than the armour he has on him and the weapons he wields.
- It would just be stupid to do so, as just one stack of stone would outweigh even the heaviest armour, resulting in utter insignificance of wearing lighter or heavier armour types.
Account for weapons?
I have implemented this before, but I must say the significance is limited, and as there are so many weapons in the mod, the added value of accounting for weapon weight doesn't justify the additional effort. So, it will be 'Armour in Armour slots' only.
What about switching armour?
Yes, one may switch to lower weight armour or even remove armour pieces if one is threatened as to increase ones ability to escape a threatening situation. That is called fleeing and is a completely acceptable way to act in a combat situation. At the moment a player opens his inventory to switch armour, or remove it, the player cannot move or defend himself, and is vulnerable to attacks. A risk everyone may take.
Armour weight dependent movement speed enhances the chances of a lightly armoured ranged attacker to finish off a heavy armoured target. To improve the chances of targets to survive any ranged surprised attack, implementation of shields is recommended, as a normal slot item for deflecting incoming blows only, possibly according to this excellent suggestion by Snoopy. Shields should also add weight to the total. This is not a requirement per se, but both mechanisms complement each other very nicely, and the motivations are more or less the same. The concrete proposal included below, includes shields.
Said to be the lightest material available for armour. Would this completely overrule any logical argument in favour of this feature?
No. It's basically the availability of mithril in the mod that is the achilles heel. On ME in the TA, it was much rarer than in the mod. Just consider that on ME in the TA there was hardly any mithril available, let alone full armour sets ... while on LOTR mod servers most pvp focussed players find it not that challenging to get their hands on full mithril gear on relatively short notice.
The fact that there is so much mithril in use on many servers (despite servers 'resetting' every now and then, players can often keep any mithril stock they stored in builds ...!), should not be a reason to not structurally improve the mod on these combat mechanism aspects.
Afaik, to further improve the balance between mithril and other gear: 1) mithril gear should become irrepairable and 2) mithril ore should become twice as rare. For now, in this proposal, I assume mithril lighter than any metal, but still heavier than leather.
For now, in this proposal, I assume mithril lighter than any metal except chain mail, but still heavier than leather. Justification of this choice: the smiths in the TA are not capable of smithing mithril as light as the smiths of the FA could ... and they're human (players) fcol! If, at some point, mithril gear does become unrepairable and/or or a rarer resource, mithril armour may be made lighter, even lighter than leather.
Third Age Mithril Armour
Why would we actually assume mithril armour crafting by Third Age smiths, including the players, would lead to a product that has all the characteristics of the mithril armour made in ages past? We may as well assume Third Age smiths were only able to craft mithril clad armour, on an iron basis. This would result in 'mithril' armour with the durability and protective values as coded in the mod, but with a higher weight than that of iron armour. And assuming the relatively high availability of Mithril is a remaining feature ... I propose to assume the Third Age mithril armour as crafted in the mod exists of an iron chain mail base armour cladded with mithril segments. This results in a mithril armour weight in between that of chain mail and full plate iron armour. No need to change the recipe for mithril armour.
Armour of hired NPCs
As of Public Beta 29 players will be able to equip their hired NPCs with armour of their choice. This fact provides an additional argument to consider implementing this feature. If higher tier armour only provides advantages, everyone engaging in both pve and pvp combat involving hired NPCs will only have one logical option: 'Tank 'em all!'. That's stupid.
Starting points (updated after posting this):
- Carrying no armour will increase a units movement speed compared to vanilla with 15 %.
- Heaviest armour will reduce a units movement speed compared to vanilla with 15 %.
- Speed reduction compared to maximum speed (no armor) will be linearly dependent on the weight of the armour.
- If shields are implemented, they will also have weight accounting for movement speed.
- Maximum armour weight = 30 kg. Armour (& shield) weight effect on speed = - 1%/kg.
- Maximum shield weight = 6 kg. If implemented, I assume there will typically be wooden (1.5 kg), reinforced (3 kg), bronze (4 kg), iron (6 kg) and steel (6.5 kg) shields, each with their own protective attributes (a.o. absorption, protective zone dimensions and durability) and weights. Note that an iron shield is not 100% iron wall warriors carried aling, but an iron plated wooden shield.
- Maximum drag with heaviest armour will then be -30.0% on maximum player speed. Minimum player speed will consequently be 85% of vanilla speed. A potion speed boost will enable to overcome the main difference and bring most heavily armoured melee fighters to any unattentive lightly armoured ranged opponent.
- Armour weight distribution is approximately: Helmet-Chestplate-Leggings-Boots = 8-52-32-8 % of total weight.
- Combined armour will weigh the sum of each individual piece of armor. This enables players and npcs to optimize armor effectiveness and agility in relation to the preferred combat tactics.
Armour weights list
As of Feb. 23rd 2017, this was added. It provides a full table of starting points, assumptions and weights for implementation with the ArmorWeight plugin on (K)Cauldron or Thermos servers.
This list is indicative! (List only kept for reference.)
- Scarfs (if implemented) and leather hats are weightless.
- Galadhrim cloaks and Harad robes weigh 3 kg.
- Wood-elven scout armour weighs 4 kg and gives a speed I status effect.
- Full leather armour (types) weighs 7 kg.
- Bone armour weighs 12 kg.
- Chain mail armour weighs 22 kg. This should become craftable at a cost in iron ingots of about 85 % of that of iron (accounting for durability, 'enchantability' and weight effect). Think a mail chains recipe with 6 ingots producing 7 'mail chains'.
- Bronze armour (types) weighs 30 kg. The density of bronze is higher than of iron or steel, but due to its lower toughness its more easy to shape into plate armour and requires thinner base plate material than iron.
- Gold armour weighs 32 kg. This is based on the assumption that gold plates are most easily to mold and will most likely be applied as a relatively thin but dense layer onto a thin iron plate armor base. This results in a highly enchantable armor of lower thickness than standard iron plate and much higher enchantability, at the cost of durability, because of the relative softness of the outer gold sheet layer (despite its high density).
- Iron armour (types) weighs 35 kg. This is much heavier than chain mail, despite the fact that is consumes only 15% more iron, but that is a consequence of the 'cosmetic', relatively expensive recipe for chain mail armour as propsoed above.
- Diamond armour weighs 40 kg. This is based on the assumption diamond armor consists of two thin layers of iron plate, with the outer layer having some diamond dust finishing which enhances the durability and toughness.
- Orc steel armour weighs 37 kg.
- Uruk steel armour weighs 35 kg.
- Dwarven steel armour weighs 33 kg.
- Galvorn steel armour weighs 31 kg.
- Elven steel armour weighs 29 kg.
- Mithril armour weighs 27 kg. See the explanation under Third Age Mithril Armour above.
- Full armour trimming adds 2 kg.
- If possible, it would be nice if saturation would decrease faster when using heavy armour. The effect shouldn't be too strong though, possibly only 20% faster at maximum armour weight as compared to no armour.
- In case a system with Character traits is introduced, the dependency between armour weight and movement speed may be used as a player attribute dependent on the character trait 'Athletism'. The higher the 'Athletism' of a player (enhanced by converting experience orbs into enhanced Athletism of the player/character), the smaller the effect of armour weight on a players movement speed. This Athletism effect should of course be capped. A proposal has been included in mentioned thread on character traits.
- Armour weight also relates to rigidity and freedom of movement of limbs. This implies that ligther armour should also enable faster combat action. If armour weight is coded and used for movement speed, it can also be used to affect weapon attributes like hit rate and reach. This thought is brought up by Lord Epicus! in this thread.
I'll add some more thoughts and considerations on the above, coding and possible adjustments regarding other mechanisms / features.
Note that this relates to many issues regarding unit movement speed, like the discussion about troll movement speed.