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Durability changes

From Dark Age Redemption

by Valman 03.25.2019
Changes to how item durability works, across weapons, armour and shields.

At Sulia's request, I've been having a look at how durability currently works for weapons and armour. Item durability is a tricky topic as in most games it operates mostly as a gold sink, without providing other benefits. The gold sink perspective is important, but by itself it is a mechanic I'm normally not keen on.

However, in Ultima Online (and in smaller shards in particular) I find it has another purpose as well: it brings crafters and warriors together. Rather than being able to just buy a suit of platemail, a weapon and never have to deal with a blacksmith again, it is something which can generate recurring roleplay.

Looking into the code, I've found a fair degree of madness going on. You were more likely to craft a masterwork item than having your weapon drop 1 point in durability. Steel gear was indestructible. If you ever hit 0 durability on an item you would start losing maximum durability, but you'd have no idea because the durability property on the item would disappear. And it was very difficult for me to tell you what the values involved were.

So I'm refactoring this code and this will hopefully make it both clearer for you, as a player, to understand what's going on and for myself, as a developer, in case values need to be tweaked.

An item has a chance to lose durability when it gets struck in some fashion:

  • Weapons: when they hit a target.
  • Armour: when something hits an armour piece. Each armour region has a specific chance of being hit when the character is struck (e.g. if you're hit, you have a 7% chance the hit will be against your gorget).
  • Shields: when a hit is parried.

This chance for an item to lose durability is based on the item's quality:

Weapons Armour Shields
Poor 6% 7% 5%
Regular 5% 6% 5%
Exceptional 4% 5% 4%
Extraordinary 2% 3% 2%
Masterwork 1% 2% 1%
Legendary 1% 1% 1%

And the amount of durability lost is based on item material:

Weapons Armour Shields
Copper 1-3 1-5 1-3
Bronze 1-3 1-4 1-3
Iron 1-2 1-3 1-2
Steel 1 1-2 1
Obsidian 1-4 1-6 n/a
Starmetal 1 1-2 1
Silver 1-4 1-5 1-4
Gold 1-4 1-6 1-4
Electrum 1-2 1-3 1
Oak 1-4 1-4 1-3
Redwood 1-3 1-3 1-2
Yew 1-2 1-2 1
Ash 1-3 1-3 1-2
Greenheart 1-2 1-2 1
Cotton n/a 1-3 n/a
Linen n/a 1-3 n/a
Wool n/a 1-3 n/a
Silk n/a 1-2 n/a
Velvet n/a 1-2 n/a

These changes will go live once Miles reviews the merge request.

If you find that any of your items are breaking down at rates which you don't think are reasonable, please let me know.