Do you make armor and/or shields grant Elemental Resistance?

jonthefox

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Not talking about enchanted gear which obviously could have special properties,....just a regular plain old platemail, or your standard buckler.

Would/should equipment like this give you resistance to, say, for example, fire?   What about lightning?  Frost?     I'm having a hard time deciding this.   
 
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It depends on your project and overall taste for elemental affinities and if you're up to program everything.

Personally I don't like when a game tosses something like 10 elemental types and forces you to learn every single one of them.

I tend to keep it single with 3~5 elements at maximum since it becomes a chore to remember everything especially if you stop playing a game for a while.
 
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Perhaps a few points of Magic Defense, but in general I don't see how a buckler would protect you from being set on fire in any particular way.
 
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Wavelength

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In a single word, no.

I think good arguments could be made either way about whether such equipment would realistically protect you from elements (or make you more vulnerable), but from a game perspective, I can't see the way that having "ordinary" equipment resist some elements would enhance the experience.  Instead, it would complicate equipment more than necessary, and would also place a lot of the equipment's "power budget" inside these weird fringe benefits, making it harder to let each piece of equipment do the job it's made for and do it well while still keeping good balance in your game.

If you have some idea in mind where you think adding these fringe benefits to all (or most) equipment will enhance the gameplay, bring that up and we can work through it.
 

AMGLime

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For the most part, I don't. I have no idea how a Round Shield is going to defend you from a fireball, or from having an Icicle thrown at you.

Now, if we're talking like, Enchanted equipment, like an Aegis Shield for example. Then yeah, I add some Elemental Resistances to them.
 

bgillisp

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The only way I could see this working and avoiding what Wavelength is worried about is if they reduced all elemental damage by a small %. Say 1%, then 2% for next tier, and so on. The only problem is, if your armor also grants MDF you're double dipping as both the MDF gained and the % reduction is reducing the damage you take now, which is a nightmare to calculate and balance (and is also pointless too).

Edit: However, you could consider going the Krondor route (a game from 1993)...armor in that game didn't boost your DEF or MDF at all. Instead, it blocked x% of all damage taken, and that percent went up as the armor got better. Then, you could make it so that the worst armor blocks 10% of all elemental damage, and work your way up from there. Not sure if it would be logical, but it would be a different way to approach the subject at least.
 
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Crimson Dragon Inc.

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depends on the material..... for instance a shield/armor/helm made of dragon scale would protect ageisnt fire/ice/lightning, though i do have metal and heavy armor offer some resistance to wind damage,

also something i would like to point out regarding what bgillisp said about elements, we are talking elements not magic

elemental resistance protects from all attacks/abilities/spells of that element so physical fire based attacks are effected by attack element and the characters phyical defense

also with balancing damage yanfly's armor plug in takes care of that for you
 
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jonthefox

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To be clear, my phrasing of "magic resistance" doesn't mean to specifically exclude MDF....whether it's through MDF, or through elemental resistance, it's more of a question of should armor protect vs. elemental damage, or strictly physical damage. 

@lilywhite well if you see a fireball coming at you, wouldn't having a shield protect you more than if you didn't have one?  if fire is projected near you, wouldn't being cloaked in heavy mail protect you from burns more than wearing regular clothing would?    

@wavelength - basically, I'm thinking about the idea of armor protecting from all sources of damage, not just physical damage (even if i make it more effective vs. physical damage).  Why do you view this as such a 'weird fringe benefit?"    Most equipment in my game is 'ordinary' so, without extremely rare items, how would a knight equip himself to defend against the elements if heavy mail and sheilds don't even give some protection against them?
 

Crimson Dragon Inc.

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welll actually, the metal armor would cuase more burns then with out since metal heats up at a fast rate and transfers the heat faster thus you would cook inside the armor
 

Tai_MT

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My current project handles most armor as... you know... armor.  Shields too.  Magic doesn't act like some bullet you cast from a fingertip and needs direct line of sight to hit.  It's ethereal.  It's drawn from the world, refined by the mind and talent (or those born to use it), and casted at the point (up to a maximum distance limit) it is required.  To that effect, it does have interesting properties.  Most of my "heavy" or more defensive types of armor (Chainmail, Plate armor, Scalemail) are weak against ALL magic, and thus, all elements.  The means by which magic is casted can be conducted by the metal around the person (their armor) and can quite literally multiply effects of spells.  Some metals are better at this than others (magic isn't electricity, ha ha, it's its own interesting power) and some leather armors even conduct magic spells quite well.  Shields, on the other hand, act like projectile stoppers.  A breath attack can be "blocked" to an extent, but it's for blocking physical blows.  A shield of any kind doesn't really carry the "charge" of magic or elements, so it doesn't magnify effects of elemental attacks.  It can just be bypassed by most magic spells and most elemental attacks since a spell can be casted anywhere, from literally any source.

This is, of course, just how my standard equipment works.  Enchanted varients work differently and protect from specific elements or all elements or even all magical attacks.  I've always just kind of preferred a system in which normal, unenchanted equipment, doesn't protect against magic in any particular way and can even be more dangerous to have equipped.  Meanwhile, if you enchant it for specific protections, it is then useful for countering magic.  After all, most magic in most settings is usually psychically induced or literally pulled out of the air... or other elements.  How do you combat that with a piece of steel held in place by leather straps? 
 

Wavelength

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@wavelength - basically, I'm thinking about the idea of armor protecting from all sources of damage, not just physical damage (even if i make it more effective vs. physical damage).  Why do you view this as such a 'weird fringe benefit?"    Most equipment in my game is 'ordinary' so, without extremely rare items, how would a knight equip himself to defend against the elements if heavy mail and sheilds don't even give some protection against them?
Well, because...

To be clear, my phrasing of "magic resistance" doesn't mean to specifically exclude MDF....whether it's through MDF, or through elemental resistance, it's more of a question of should armor protect vs. elemental damage, or strictly physical damage.
...this wasn't clear in your first post. ;)   When you say "fire resistance", "frost resistance", etc., I infer this means that certain elements will be doing less damage based on the equipment you're wearing (and these are fringe benefits because they will each be useful in a very small percentage of situations); this is an entirely and radically different question than "should armor provide only DEF or also MDF".

So if the question is actually "should a platemail also provide MDF", it belies a more fundamental question, which is "what is the purpose of differentiating physical versus magical damage in your game?"

Most games don't seem to have a real good reason for doing this, and I'll admit (with regret) that I can't give a great answer to the question in my own games, even though I do make that differentiation.  The closest I can get is in my most recent game, timeblazer, where you have several choices to make on what to equip your characters with (and yeah, some armor in this game provides much more MDF while other armor provides much more DEF... and others still provide little of both but have conditional bonuses), so I like being able to give the choice of covering a character's (somewhat arbitrary) weakness or improving their strength.  Still, if I were to redesign the battle system from whole cloth, I'd probably get rid of this distinction entirely.

A much better case for having physical and magical damage can be found in some MOBAs, like League of Legends.  Here, you buy your armor over the course of a single game (which can be thought of like an extended 45-minute round of combat), so if one player on the other team is growing really strong, or the other team overspecializes in mages or gunmen, you can give yourself a chance by specifically itemizing armor that can reduce the type of damage you're taking the most of.

Anyhow, unless you want to remove the differentitation between physical and magical damage, you should go with whatever helps make them unique, while remaining simple and intuitive for the player.  If the player will be able to make a lot of choices between "do I use this slot for the platemail that provides more DEF or the breastplate that provides more MDF", then yeah, go for it and let "banal" armor increase your MDF.  If the player's choice will be closer to "I only have one choice for each armor in this tier, but I only have enough money to upgrade the 'body' mail that increases DEF or the 'accessory' bracelet that increases MDF", then the game would probably be better served by not adding MDF to the standard defensive armor (because it would make most of your equipment types too similar).

Like a lot of mechanics questions, it can be distilled down to "will this enhance - or dilute - the core 'engagement' elements of my game?".
 

jonthefox

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Hmm, well.  I guess the purpose of distinguishing between physical and magic damage is along the same lines as the purpose of having different element types in most rpgs, which I see as twofold.   1) From a gameplay point of view, it's to present different types of threats to the player.  Even if there are multiple ways of dealing with those threats, it still gives some much needed complexity over an otherwise simple system where you'd only need HP, ATK, DEF, and AGI (which would be more appropriate for an action game, imo).    2) From an aesthetic point of view, it represents the reality of your game world (if your game had no magic, you might opt for the pierce/blunt/slash stratification of damage).    It is my personal belief that a big part of the RPG genre is making the player feel like he's a part of the game world you're building, whether that's high-fantasy or high-realism.   That doesn't mean implementing tedious or frustrating mechanics, but it does mean finding simple / effective ways to convey the sense of what's happening in the narrative.   So for example, if you're fighting against an evil wizard who specializes in pyromancy, it makes for a better game experience to have "fire" type spells rather than "evil wizard attacks you and does 80 magic damage!"

Nothing's set in stone at this point but right now i'm just going to have 4 equip slots (hand, off-hand, body, accessory...maybe I'll throw in 2 accessory slots).

I also feel like I almost certainly want to have shields grant MDF.  I'm just not sure about body armor.   
 

TheHonorableRyu

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In my project every friendly and enemy unit has a "family" (Human, Beast, Plant, Spirit, Dragon, Angel, etc.) and an element (Fire, Lightning, Dark, etc.), and elemental weaknesses and resistances are consistently determined from the family and element, somewhat similar to Pokemon or Shin Megami Tensei series.

Dark Souls handles resistances on equipment in a somewhat interesting way. Armor and shields have different resistances to different physical and elemental attacks and status effects, and it accomplishes at least the following things: 

1) Allows for different play styles and loadouts. Metal equipment may have higher resistance to fire than wooden/cloth equipment but at the cost of being heavier (and thus reducing your movement speed). So one player who has a tough time dodging the wide-angle fire breath from the Gargoyle bosses may opt for metal equipment, whereas another player may go for wooden/cloth equipment if it will help him close the distance between him and the boss. 

2) Makes certain pieces of equipment feel special and valuable if you manage to find them. For example, the Spider Shield (hidden in the Depths) with its 100% poison resistance is a godsend when dealing with the toxic blowdart users in Blighttown. 

The game does have an equipment problem where it gives you way more equipment than you'd ever really use or have enough resources to upgrade, but it still benefits from these kind of resistance mechanics in a way that is less likely in a jrpg:

1) It's a challenging real-time action/execution oriented game with real costs for deaths. So even equipment that is "situationally" useful can be a big deal if it will help struggling players complete a boss battle or an area more assuredly, or at least try a different strategy, while still being challenging enough such that success isn't determined by equipment choice alone.

2) The player only controls one character at a time, and any strengths and weaknesses of that one character, including those created by equipment, are more likely to matter. This is usually harder to manage in a jrpg where you're typically handling multiple party members with many pieces of equipment being bombarded with attacks of many types of elements. Any one change in one character's resistances is less likely to make a notable impact, unless the game is designed very well to address it.
 
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ash55

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I personally do like to have an element associated with each piece of gear, basic or otherwise. That way you're forced to consider weapons and armour you would normally ignore because of its situational advantage. Anything that helps inject variety and makes you think strategically about your equipment is a good thing IMO. So long as it's not too convoluted (for instance I only have 3 elements in my game).

Imagine Pokemon without their elemental weaknesses and strengths, it would suck.
 

TheGamedawg

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Yes.  But you should really tell the player about them either in the armor's description or in the equip screen.  I sometimes see games throw elemental resistances on armors all over the place yet for some reason not tell the player.
 

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