I'd quote your post Akula, but it's HYOOG! XD
Sorry about that. I'm assuming you've seen Lord of the Rings. They talk in that movie about how the Ents only say something when it's worth saying because it takes a long time to say? Well here I am. Mr. Ent. Because I only post my opinions when I feel very strongly about something, and I'm always very careful to qualify my remarks.
But I completely understand what you mean regarding the mechanics of armor vs. no armor. SWG probably didn't set out to follow the same rule book as the KotOR combat system though, and so that is probably why they ended up with needing big fat armor.
I think without really being sure (because I try to block all memories of SWG out of my brain) that SWG came before KOTOR. And KOTOR barrowed the already inherently flawed D20 system (See below for some notes about this) for it's system. Having a d20 based MMO really doesn't work - which is why TOR won't be D20 based despite everyones predictions (And Bioware has already let us know this, too, which is good).
As for the armor wearing parts, in the movie Master Kenobi is, actually, wearing armor during a few scenes over/under his robes while hunting down Grievous. You can see a few good shots of it during the execution of Order 66 scene.
Even as I was typing this post I wondered if this was the case. I couldn't fathom him wearing it in the series (all of them) and not in the movie. But at the same time he doesn't don the same full suit he wore in the original Clone Wars series, it's more of some armored plates to increase his damage absorption then anything else.
For the most part though, the movies have made armor look like they're completely and totally worthless in the first place (lol one-shot to Stormtroopers? why?!) so I'm not surprised the RP campaigns reflected that way. However they need to do something about it...
I disagree with this. The new KOTOR book spells out the differances between Mandalorian Armor and Stormtrooper armor. But let me give you some base comparison stats so you can see what I mean.
E-11 (Stormtrooper) Rifle in D20: 2d8 Damage (Maximum of Sixteen)
Stormtrooper Armor: +6 Defense Bonus
Stormtrooper Level: Nonheroic Level 4
Now, let me explain the differance between 'heroic' (player) characters and non-heroic (Enemy) characters. Quick note: not all enemies are non-heroic. Some, like Sith Lords, are definatly heros. But most enemies are non-heroic. Non heroic levels are a way to create low-level thugs. IMO, this doesn't break the game because it allows for the 'movie magic' feel of the game. EX: Last encounter my players were on board a Hammerhead-class Republic Frigate. It had been boarded by five groups of Sith troops of five each - four troops in each group and 1 officer. In about an hour they had eliminated all the enemies, and the worst hit player was only down to about half his health. This is very reflective of what we see in the movies: Heros are able to defeat 'simple' villians easily and expediently with little damage themselves.
The stats above, including the stormtrooper armor bonus, reflect that. A +6 to reflex defense is next to nothing for a non-heroic stormtrooper. But for a hero who has the talents that increase his armor bonus it's a small something (if, as stated above and below, they're willing to trade their ability to hit a ranged target for greater defense).
What I personally think is that the need to go back to the Damage Reduction rules of armor. A quick explanation: When you make an attack on a character you roll 1d20 + Base Attack + Ability (Dexterity if Ranged, Strength if Attacked). A level 8 soldier for example has +8 base attack, mine has +5 Dexterity and Weapon Focus and Point Blank Shot (Granting me an additional +2 to attack). So I would roll 1d20 + 8 + 5 +2 for a total of 1d20 + 15. That number is then compared to my opponents (targets) reflex defense. Reflex defense equals 10 + dexterity + armor or level + class bonuses. My soldier doesn't where armor, and already has a +5 dex, and his class bonus is +1 so my total is 10 + 5 (dex) + 8 (level) +1 (Class) for a total of 24. To 'shoot' myself I would need to roll a 9 or better, because 9 +15 = 24, and that would be considered a hit. Now once you hit someone you also roll for damage, in the case above let's say that number is 2d8 + Half your Level. That means my total could be as high as 21. In that case, the enemy would lose 21 HP of damage (in the case of a stormtrooper, who only has 11 HP, he would be dead).
Now in the old system, instead of armor being a bonus to defense, it provided a base damage reduction. Damage what? Damage reduction means, if you have a DR of 5, you subtract 5 from the damage total before it is applied to you. In the case above, that would mean instead of dealing 21 damage, the enemy would only take 16 damage instead. In this case, IMO, armor is fulfilling it's designed role. Armor doesn't make it harder to hit you, it makes it harder to HURT you.
But the designers over at Wizards apparently disagree with me. I might change this for my current campaign. We've already canabilized the rest of the rules we didn't like, which there were far to many of.
But back to your point about armor being useless: If a stormtrooper only has 11 HP, and my rifle deals 3d10+8 damage it doesn't matter if I roll all 1's for my damage die, the stormtrooper is still just as dead. When you factor in armor with Damage Reduction, I only need a combined damage roll pf 8 out of 36. (with 3d12 my max damage is 36) The law of averages says I'm going to roll alot higher then that. So no matter what system you use, the Stormtrooper is pretty much going to get shot and die everytime.
if only to give something to the Mandalorians. I mean, mandos wear their armor all the time, and it doesn't seem to restrict their movement any, but is that kind of thing available?
I'm not sure what the deal is with Mandos. They seem to use Ranged weapons fairly often, but they never seem to be affected by the restricted dexterity their armor would afford them. The truthful explanation for this is that KOTOR I and KOTOR II have completely differant armor sets for enemies then they do for players with completely different restrictions and requirements. On the one hand this makes the game better because otherwise enemies would need to be 'stacked' (Quick FYI: When I say stacked I mean boosting a stat, level, skill or attritbute in one direction for a specific purpose) in a single direction to be combat capable against the players, but on another scale it breaks the balance of the game when your enemy gets armor with +12 defense bonus and no penalty to their dex modifier. (Another FYI: Dex modifier affects ranged attack mode, and is usually restricted by armor. So the more armor you wear, the worse shot you are.)
I have yet to play any RP campaign outside of the virtual kind, so I haven't had any experience with what you're talking about. (Not for want of trying, but I have few friends that interested in Star Wars. It's a sad affair, it is.)
I will keep this in mind. I've been meaning to start some sort of 'online' D20 campaign, and I'm always looking for willing participants. On Some Unrelated RP Notes
The above campaign rules detailing how armor and stats work are one of the reasons it's impossible to run a Republic Commando campaign in the Saga D20 system. Regardless of what kind of stats you give your character, the cost of wearing the Katarn Armor will always mean you're a crappy shot with a blaster. And that's besides the fact that the encumbrance rules back it impossible to carry even half the gear Commandos carry into battle.On Some Unrelated TOR Notes
(I am going to talk about things in relation to SWG because it exists and I won't pretend otherwise just because this is a new game. I see people complain all the time about comparing this to SWG - but then they compare it to WOW, Warhammer, or Baulders Gate. Let's have some standards here people.)
Things I am hoping for:
-Space Flight from the Getgo
- we had to wait so long to get this in SWG that by the time we got it, almost no one cared. Additionally, the space flight was so damned restricted in SWG that you had to spend six weeks just to get to the PVP space flight areas. The worst part of poeples posts on the forums are the argument that there should be NO space flight because it would 'break the game balance'. WTF. What do they know about game balance? How can SPACE FLIGHT not exist in a STAR WARS game? Every SW game in existence has you traveling through space at some point or another - EVERYONE.
-Jedi as a Starting Class
- this is ALL over the forums at the TOR site. More then half the posts I see are not in favor of Jedi as a starting class. They want some uber system like they had originally in SWG where you had to spend 60 years to get to max level to unlock the Jedi Talent Tree. Yeah, why not make the game a SW WOW Clone? That sounds like a great idea. The irony here is that the same people complaining about Jedi as a starting class don't want to have to grind
. What the hell? Seriously, what the hell? Besides that, this is KOTOR not Rebellion Era. Jedi are rightly all over the place involved in everything.
- Something Star Wars games have been VERY poor about is giving people opportunities to be Han Solo's and Chewbaccas. Dark Forces, the original First Person shooter that featured Kyle Katarn turned into...Jedi Knight! And then Outcast, and then Academy. Battlefront turned into a Heros-only romp, where only characters with lightsabers can win. KOTOR I and KOTOR II? Jedi. You have to be. And in KOTOR II you can train your ENTIRE party to be, as well. How sucky is that? Where are the Carth Onasis? The Admiral Saul Karaths? The Lando Calrissians? The Wedge Antilles? The Kal Skiratas?
-NPC Based Economy
- Again with the SWG - did they REALLY think a player based economy was going to work? Having to travel to sixteen planets to pick up sixteen different pieces of gear? All of which are so overpriced that no one but max level characters can buy them because only ONE person on your server is grinding out that skill enough to produce the high level items? Or worse, searching for hours for the location of a player owned NPC Terminal.
-Player Based Cities
- maybe there is an MMO that makes this work, but I haven't seen one. What you end up with is a bunch of buildings that ALL look the same, and that ALL look like ALL the other player cities IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE. On the side of a mountain, built in the middle of a river. WITH NO ROADS. Seriously. And they're all abandoned, in a state of decay, with no NPC's walking around to give them any atmosphere. I get that it's 'cool' to own your own city, but let's just let people build neighborhoods attached to real cities. That works much better IMO. With like, a shopping district for them to open stores. Abandoned buildings in SWG were the worst thing ever. On tatooine for example you couldn't move more then five feet without running into someones farming spread. And the badly designed questing system would sometimes place quests RIGHT ONTOP of player owned buildings, because the game didn't keep track of them in the same way that it generated quest starting locations.