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Armor Use FTW

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With 0 Armor Use, a Blessed Large Shield (listed at 24% protection absorbed an average of 15% damage (range: 5-26%). With 10 Armor Use, it absorbed an average of 28% damage (range: 15-48%). With 40 Armor Use, it absorbed an average of 49% damage (range: 29-72%).


Getting to 10 Armor Use costs a mere 30 skill points for Romans and DOUBLES the value of your armor, at least up to a point. This is the equivalent of having permanent, 50% damage reduction. (Do the math -- it really is.)


Actually, it costs 18 if you train up to 6. Sheesh. 20's very doable. On Normal, with good armor, this means single digit damage all the time.


Elemental and magic resistance can be pumped high as well using Roman Training, Luck, and Endurance.


Throw in some buyable spell circles, enough Strength to carry stuff and hit hard, and the Icy Longsword -- which now heals plentiful amounts of HP, when you don't take much damage -- and I think we have a viable recipe for a Torment singleton.

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If you want to see something that's broken, at the start of the game versus the weakest monsters, protection spell gives at least 20% less chance of being hit and usally only 10% of normal damage. I've fought the tough starting goblins and gotten no damage.


This doesn't work as well with the middle and highest tier monsters. Fomorians in melee do little, but their missle attacks do full damage. Fighting worgs and similar ones requires healing almost every round.


I didn't know that armor use helped out that much except to prevent loss of AP due to encumberance.

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When is a double post useful? When it avoids a double topic...


So I've started a Roman singleton on Torment, named Colossus in honor of the Colossus of Nero , though I have to admit my original inspiration was Piotr Rasputin (link breaks ubb). This is the damage reduction build described above.


The most important stats are all untrainable (Armor Use, Roman Training, Str, Luck, Endurance) so there's no mucking about with trainer min-maxing. Mighty Warrior and Fast on Feet are obvious. I briefly considered Toughness (which seems to reduce damage by about 16%) but decided FoF's initiative was more important.


Things started out well enough. Goblins hit annoyingly hard on Torment, and the higher level rats are brutal, but by halfway through the mines I had Armor Use at 8 and was already resisting nearly 2/3 of my physical damage. The nice thing about Roman Training is it boosts missile attack damage too, so I've been using a lot of hit-and-run tactics with my sling. Shoot, back 3, shoot, back 3, shoot, back 3, then close for the kill at melee range.


Fire resistance is at 50%, so I was all ready to take on the drake on the bottom floor. But wait... did I say the rats hit hard on Torment? Mozannos hits for 70ish before armor and has multiple attacks. Even shielded and heavily armored he occasionally kills me in one turn.


This game is definitely harder on Torment than any of its predecessors.

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Rats are nasty, especially the cursing vapor ones at the start until you hit the foul rats. I went with enough druidism to have protection and blessing versus them.


I haven't tried successfully to kill that dragon until after the Ruined Hall. Use a call spirit or call hunt scroll to have monster(s) engage the dragon before you risk yourself. This way even if he summons help, the dragon's attacks for the first few rounds are on a summoned creature and not you.


I prefer fast on feet for going ahead of higher dexterity monsters and the occasional extra AP.

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Really? I don't think I've fought a single rat from the overworld map.


Regardless, they are never concentrated as badly as the chitrachs, and frankly, a Vapor Rat is more distinct from a regular rat than pretty much any of the chitrach varieties are from each other.

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  • 2 months later...

Armor Use is simply a must if you want to get anything worth their weight out of your heavier armor pieces.

With 0 pts in Armor Use, Bronze Plate Mail (advertised 30% reduction) does not offer more protection than Fine Leather Armor (advertised 10% reduction). In fact, as shocking as it may sound, actually it offers 2 times less theoretical reduction. That's because, as with all advertisments, the percentage you see in the ingame description is misleading in the way that it states maximum protection you could possibly get in theory. And how much of that you get in practise, depends on Armor Use.

Lets analyze this. As per corescendata2.txt,

Bronze Plate Mail has it_protection = 30, it_bonus = 0. (so that's total advertised 30)

Fine Leather Armor has it_protection = 6, it_bonus = 4. (so that's total advertised 10)

Now, it_protection is only a max. The actual protection of any armor piece is calculated this way:

min(it_protection, (skill_armor_use+1)*4) + it_bonus.

So with Armor Use = 0,

Bronze Plate Mail = 4+0 = 4%

Fine Leather Armor = 4+4 = 8%

And that's that. If you want to maximize your armor/shield/etc, you need to raise the Armor Use.

7 points for Bronze Plate Mail, to be exact.

Highest it_protection is 44, that of Polished Plate Mail, and is satisfied with 10 Armor Use.

After that extra AU points won't give any additional protection, as far as a particular armor piece is concerned. Armor Use gives another independent reducement bonus, similar to Hardiness and Luck, so the extra points don't go to waste, especially for Romans since it's cheap, but aren't terribly useful either, unless you really dedicate your build to it.

Overall it looks like this, as far as skills go:

+ luck

+ hardiness

+ max(0, armor_use-4)

+ min(it_protection, (skill_armor_use+1)*4) + it_bonus, for each piece of equipment

Each of the above is calculated independently, not stacked into a bunch.


Another thing worth mentioning is that the process is heavily randomized, as evident from log window. That's because, unlike in some games, where X% reduce means something like DMG-DMG*REDUCE%/100, here X% reduction means that each point of damage has a X% chance of being nullified. Which is very unforgiving to those small reduction values, like for example, char has 3 pts of Luck which offers 3% reduction, and receives 70 dmg, it's quite possible that 1, 2 or 3 doesn't come out of rnd(1,100) in 70 tries even once. Not to mention the situations where incoming dmg is too low to expect a steady single pt decrease even if it was happening in a vacuum.

So these skills are either pump it or forget about it (talking about phys. reduction, not other bonuses they may provide)...

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  • 2 years later...

Sorry to bump an old topic but I have a question about how this works.


If you had a roman with all the best armor in the game, would 10 armor use be the maximum you need to get the most out of all of your armor, since polished plate mail needs 10?


Or is 10 armor use needed for polished plate mail alone, meaning if you wore other armor too, you would need more than 10 armor use?

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  • 3 years later...

So, which items require the Armor Use skill?


My assumption is that clothing items (glove, tunic, cloak, shirt, pants, robe, stola, toga, boots, sandals) do not, regardless of how high their protection value.


Likewise, I assume that anything with 'armor', 'shield', 'helm' or 'bracers' in the title, along with gauntlets, do require it. How close am I?

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