Throughout gaming history, armor and equipment have served as the backbone for combat systems in many games, especially RPG’s. Leveling up has always been fine and dandy, but nothing compares to defeating a boss or exploring a dungeon and earning a new, elite piece of equipment for your character(s). Many games employ a fantastic armor system. Others fall short thanks to an overly complicated equipment system that ends up bringing down the game play. Overall, though, equipment is an important factor to consider when engaging in any sort of combat in any game that uses it. After all, nobody is brave or cool enough to participate in open sword-and-arrow combat without a full body-sized suit protecting them.Well, almost nobody
For this blog, I will be analyzing the April 30th, 2013 armor system update to examine how Jagex is handling post-EoC combat changes. These changes were based on continuing feedback from the player base which demanded more variation in equipment. Jagex had already re-categorized weapons based on several factors, such as whether they were 1-handed or 2-handed and what type of attack they could perform (different magical elements, range ammunition, and melee styles). Following this change, armor was split up into three categories: tank, power, and hybrid/all with different effects to suit different situations. Adding more variety and choice is always welcome - but it needs to be done correctly.
The most common form of armor falls under the tank category. This armor provides the highest defense and lifepoints for its tier. Prior to the update, almost all armor worked like this and choosing your armor set relied solely on picking the highest level one you could wear and afford. Now with the armor specialization, more thought must go into choosing your set of armor for the situation at hand. The tank set will most likely appeal to players that are expecting to take a large amount of a specific type of damage and wish to have the greatest defense against it. One specific example would be for players that choose to tank a boss while their friends focus on damage output.
Hybrid armor, which also includes any equipment categorized as “all, ” offers equal defenses to all three sides of the triangle while also not penalizing your accuracy, regardless of your weapon's combat style. In order to not render tank armor obsolete, hybrid equipment was given the defense and lifepoints values of tank armor 15 levels below the hybrid equipment’s level. Therefore, a level 60 piece of hybrid armor would offer defense and lifepoint values equivalent to a similar piece of level 45 tank armor. Despite the lower stats, hybrid armor will offer the best all-around coverage both defensively and offensively.
Power armor was the truly anticipated and desired outcome of this update. Nowadays players are extremely concerned about dps and being as efficient as possible in combat. This has led to players focusing on killing as fast as possible, logging full Barrows runs and Queen Black Dragon kills in less than 3 minutes! Players began to use void armor in almost every combat situation for its 10% damage boosting effect, leading to the term “Voidscape.” In order to entice players to use higher level armor again, Jagex offered the power armor, claiming that a full set would also offer a 10% damage boost. Though, a full set is not necessarily required, since each piece of power armor offers a portion of the boost. Body armor gives 3.5%, legs give 2.5%, helmets give 2.0%, and gloves and boots both give 1.0%, totaling to 10%. To offset the extra damage potential, power armor suffers a 5 level penalty to defense and a 10 level penalty to lifepoints. Unbeknownst to a majority of the community, there is a little extra note about the supposed 10% boost found only in Jagex’s own article about the new armor system.Always read the fine print
Therefore, wearing a full set of Bandos armor will not provide you with a 10% boost in your damage output. In some cases it could give you more than 10%, but it will most likely actually give you less. The formula is simple. A set of Bandos armor, being level 70, will offer a damage boost equivalent to 10% of a level 70 average speed 1-handed weapon. However, no such item exists. The only 1-handed level 70 weapon is an abyssal whip, set at fastest speed. Thankfully there is a ratio between a weapon’s damage and speed. The damage of an average speed weapon is approximately 1.55 times that of a fastest speed weapon of the same tier. Using the whip’s damage value of 672, we find that a level 70, average speed, 1-handed weapon would have a damage value of about 1043. Therefore, Bandos armor gives a damage bonus equal to the appropriate percent of this value and this value alone. The chestplate, being worth 3.5%, provides a damage boost of precisely 36. The whole set together offers a boost of 104. Applying similar calculations to the level 80 tier show that an average speed, 1-handed weapon would have a damage value of 1192. Torva armor, therefore, offers a total boost of 119 damage, 15 points above Bandos. The difference between them is so minimal because the actual damage rating of a weapon scales linearly through the tiers and not exponentially like its accuracy does.