Before I get into this, I will say that I do agree with 94% of what NWI said in their most recent post. In case you haven't seen it, you can check it out here.
However, this part has me rather confused and worried:
Now, I don't have much to say against the ammo carriers. The only real complaint I have is the lack of pistol ammo, as I loved using only sidearms in Ins2014, but that could be fixed with something like the addition of a pistol mag pouch. My idea was that it would use the same slot as the Gas Mask, so you'll get extra ammo while losing some stealthiness in smoke and immunity to chemical gas.
The statements NWI made about armor I wholeheartedly disagree with, to (most likely) no one's surprise at this point. I'll mention the main points first and explain later.
Armor is absolutely not used as intended when it actually is used.
These stats make it seem like most people avoid a certain armor type, so the people who do use all armor options wouldn't be a "majority" compared to the people that don't.
Heavy Armor was better in the CTA and early Betas at stopping bullets. By that, I mean it could actually stop bullets. However, Heavy Armor wasn't unbalanced at all.
Likewise, I'm not sure I would say Heavy Armor was the meta at that time. It definitely was in the Betas, but not the CTA as far as I can remember.
The TTK back then was still technically longer than the current TTK, but the game was at least more balanced.
...I think that's it. So, to actually explain my points here:
- Right now, it makes the most sense to wear Light/Heavy armor if you're a class that stays back (like Marksman, Gunner, Commander/Observer, and maybe Demolitions). and skip armor with classes pushing into the frontline (Breacher, Rifleman, Advisor).
In theory, this is completely backward to how it should be.
It would make far more sense for the classes engaging in CQB to have armor while having the classes with a long-range focus ignore armor in favor of extra supply to upgrade their arsenal (with the possible exception of the Commander for survivability).
- These stats are really confusing for me.
Technically, 34% is a majority when you consider all the possible options to pick from on the survey. However, if 7% of players avoid Light Armor, 29% of players avoid taking Heavy Armor, and 28% of players taking no armor at all, then that would mean that about 64% of players avoid one of the armor options, so the 34% of players who do use all armor options aren't the majority.
- In the CTA and early Betas, Armor was better at actually stopping incoming projectiles from killing you. The TTK was still pretty fast, however.
Of note is the fact that Heavy Armor allowed players to survive an extra 5.56 shot, so it would take three shots to down a player with Heavy Armor, but 7.6x39 still needed just two shots to down a Heavy Armor target (this is all chest shots, obviously). For game balance purposes, this actually makes more sense. 7.62 rifles fire slower than the 5.56 rifles and are also harder to control, so they get better damage to compensate. As of right now, the M4A1 is better than every Insurgent assault rifle in the game because it has the same shots-to-kill with a higher firerate and better controllability.
However, Heavy Armor would only ever save you from an extra bullet. The only cases where it could stop more than one bullet was the Hi-Power pistol and, for some reason, the M24 lmao. The SVD and other similar calibers could still one-shot, and the Long Barrel helped improve consistency (although it could've been OP then, too; I'm not sure).
- Heavy Armor definitely wasn't the meta back in the CTA. Now, since there is an NDA, I won't mention the CTA much.
However, in the early Betas, the hitreg and damage in online servers were completely fucked. I have no idea what happened between the CTA and the first Beta, but goddamn hitreg and damage were fucked. Of course, if the TTK is already insanely high, then Heavy Armor made you even harder to kill.
In the same update that helped fix the hitreg, both armor types were nerfed so badly that the L106A1 could two-shot Heavy Armor in CQB, thereby making the M45 useless.
- Now, here's the problem. At this point, I'm not sure what NWI's going for. They could either go for a short TTK or a balanced damage model. I think you can do both, but right now it's not happening at all.
The Sept. 6th update essentially broke the game balance in favor of a lower TTK, but not in a good way at all. We Ins2014 vets loved the fast TTK, with 70% of kills being one-shots. With Sandstorm, however, not only is armor useless, but you can't one-shot anyone, either. It's a horrible compromise.
I've posted the current armor stats a thousand times, so rather than just copy-pasting them, I'll make the stats a bit more reader-friendly. Instead of listing exact weapons, I'll list weapon groups. Also, these stats are all at point-blank range, as there are a few differences with distance.
-> Light Armor protects you from two pistols and one battle rifle (for some reason).
-> Heavy Armor additionally protects you from three pistols, three submachineguns, and two battle rifles (so five pistols, three SMGs, three BRs in total).
-> Armor is essentially bypassed by three pistols, eleven assault rifles/carbines, one submachine gun, four light machineguns, two shotguns, one battle rifle, two bolt-action rifles, and one marksman rifle.
-> The guns capable of one-shotting a player with a torso shot who has no armor includes three light machineguns, two bolt-action rifles, three battle rifles, one marksman rifle, and two shotguns.
These stats have a few things I'd like to mention:
-> Light Armor only protects you from 25% of Sandstorm's handguns, even though that's what it's supposed to protect you from.
-> Heavy Armor helps against more handguns and pistol-caliber SMGs (which is what Light Armor should do).
-> Both Light & Heavy Armor help against battle rifles, even though Light definitely wouldn't do shit.
-> Neither armor type does anything to protect you from assault rifles and carbines, even though the description of Heavy Armor claims that it helps against intermediate calibers IIRC. Hell, IRL even Light Armor might stop a 7.62x39 round from killing you (not a 5.56 though lmao).
-> A Rifleman has to equip a battle rifle to have the ability to one-shot an unarmored player without a headshot.
I can't post the armor stats before the Sept 6th update, as that was a long time ago and I can't remember it 100%. Still, at least that damage model created a more balanced game (although Insurgent pistols were still some trash lmao).
There's no way in hell the current damage model is "working as intended".