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What is the “Welding Strength”?
The welding strength is a proposed armor building mechanic for Crossout that would work as follows: Each structural piece of armor in the game has a certain amount of squares that are used to attach the piece to frames, cabins, hardware modules, weapons, bumpers, and other structural pieces - the so called Welding Points. For each welding point attached to some other object, every structural piece should get a certain amount of damage resistance, depending on the amount of attached points divided by the total amount of the part’s welding points. So if a part has a total of 20 welding points and 10 are attached to other parts, it should have the same damage resistance as a part that would have a total of 50 welding points with 25 WP attached. If some parts are destroyed in battle, other parts lose their damage resistance that the destroyed part provided. This Welding Strength could also start at negative values as well - if a part has only a fraction of its welding points attached (let’s say less than 15% of the total), it could actually become more vulnerable and fall off more easily. This is what the discussion was pretty much settled on an I fully agree with it.
How much damage resistance would parts get? This would require a decent amount of testing, but I wouldn’t shy away from going as far as a 50% damage reduction at 100% of welding points attached (which is achievable only for few parts realistically speaking), but that would be for a discussion for another day (or for any follow-up posts).
How would the welding strength be calculated? I propose two different scenarios - the first one would be a simple linear function:
In this way, every attached welding point would add a static amount of damage resistance up to a maximum damage resistance when all welding points would be attached to other parts. This would be a simple and straightforward way to go about this. However, another possible way to calculate the “welding strength” (and a better way too imho) would be something akin to a cumulative distribution function:
In this way, the biggest difference would be made when the part would have more than half (or some other threshold, say 60%) of its welding points attached, while the lower and upper ends of the function would be of little significance, so the part with few welding points attached would get close to zero extra damage resistance, while the difference between having 100% or 80% of welding points attached would also be very small.
Why is the “Welding Strength” being proposed?
First of all, this mechanic would reinforce an intuitive form of building vehicles, as opposed to using hideous monstrosities that look like someone dragged a giant magnet through a scrapyard. The possibility of this mechanic is also very often a matter of A LOT of newbie questions - seriously, the most often asked single question new players have is “Does it matter how many welding points are attached on my armor? It makes the car more durable that way, right?” And well… the answer is “No, but it should definitely be that way!” Building vehicles with intuitive placement of armor and making sure everything is well attached to the core of the build feels very natural and realistic to the vast majority of players. But in battles, this unfortunately gives the player a handicap against all the minmaxed monstrosities out there.
Also, this would give the players a little nudge towards building and using more aesthetically pleasing vehicles. It sure is nice to see all those beautiful cars on the exhibition as well as on the game’s promotional art. But it is very sad to join a battle and see that most of the vehicles there cause you an eyesore. Of course, not everyone is an excellent builder, but everyone can build something that makes sense!
Another reason is that the disparity in effectiveness between compact and intuitive armor and ugly spaced armor resembling the International Space Station (especially on hovers) is simply too great, especially when using cannons and other projectile based weapons. To give an example, I mainly play Mastodon('t)s in Clan Wars and whenever I hit a full four shell salvo against a ground based build with (more or less) compact armor, I usually see damage numbers between 1100 and 1600 damage, usually around the 1300 mark. But when hitting a full 4 shell salvo against a space armor hover, the damage numbers usually average around 600-800 damage - about half of the damage is dissipated by thin air between all the armor panels and frames and whatnot. Giving some resistance to vehicles that are actually well assembled would only seem fair. Same thing applies to other PS levels as well though - not just CW. Cannons are generally a little bit too effective against compact and aesthetic armor, but this got them nerfed so much they are nearly useless against spaced armor. With the welding strength and a little damage buff, both types of builds would be brought closer together in terms of effectiveness.
Should this only apply to armor?
To be honest? Probably not! Some other parts could definitely make use of this mechanic as well. It seems fair that hardware modules and possibly even weapons could benefit from some degree of damage resistance when fully attached with all their welding points, but this bonus should probably be lower than the bonus regular armor would get. Or perhaps if the damage “resistance” started at a higher vulnerability for not having enough welding points attached, this vulnerability could be higher for weapons and modules. Remember when they nerfed the HP of the Colossus because of all the sealclubbing hovers using a barely attached high HP engine as frontal armor? This would be a perfect solution for those!
How about grilles and other parts that can be shot through? Since these parts often make up the “core” or the “skeleton” of a lot of builds, they should benefit from this as well. After all, grilles that are well attached to a build should definitely last longer than those grilles that are sticking outside of a build just barely attached and somehow mage a very good defense against incoming projectiles.
Bumpers? All the bumpers in the game already enjoy themselves the benefit of being some of the most durable parts in the game, and I think they should not get further damage resistance from welding points. However, I think they should be affected in a different way - if they aren’t welded well enough, they should deal lower damage instead. Seems very intuitive to me as well as beneficial to the game itself.
Frames? I see frames as very similar to bumpers, and they already have a 90% damage resistance. They should probably stay unaffected.
Decor Items? Attached decor items should definitely add their welding points to whatever armor’s below them, but they probably shouldn’t get any extra damage resistance. I really don’t think it would be too bad if decor items got some damage resistance from being well attached as well - but we REALLY don’t need another decor armor fiasco right now.
Cabins? I’m a bit conflicted on this one… Probably not, but it would be cool if there was a way to somehow calculate the overall “rigidity” of the build and give the cabin some extra HP based on that.
Wouldn’t this get abused just as much as spaced armor is?
Nope! At the very least not as much as spaced armor can be. There may be some combinations that could make certain things very durable, but pretty much always from one side only and with a high level of “crumble”. This would be overall a very good change with little to no option for excessive exploitation.
Wouldn’t this strain the servers and/or the players’ machines too much?
Probably not. Whenever a vehicle takes damage, the game already needs to check if all the parts are attached to the cabin of the vehicle either directly or through a series of other parts. This would only be an extension of a mechanic that is already in the game and should only have minimal impact on the game’s performance. Plus, computers are kinda good at math you know
Wouldn’t this increase the TTK (time-to-kill) too much or cause other balance issues?
Yes, the TTK might increase slightly and might warrant a global buff to weapon damage in the future. But if it brought aesthetic builds closer in effective durability to spaced armor scrapyard magnets, it would definitely be worth it! Other issues might surface if this mechanic would be implemented, but I believe that the overall benefit the Welding Strength would have on the game would most definitely be worth it despite any following balance changes!