When choosing an ideal weapon, it is common to look strictly at damage ranges and select a gun that provides the highest damage per second rate. New characters often overlook the secondary statistic "Armor Piercing" in favor of higher damage. However, Armor Piercing is easily as imporant a consideration as damage in a weapon, for both PVP and PVE players. Armor Piercing values interact with the Armor Rating of your target to increase or decrease the amount of damage you do, based on the values of each.
When you attack another player or NPC in combat, each of your weapon strikes are applied first to your target's armor. Your damage is reduced off the bat by whatever resistance values the armor exhibits. It is at this point, after resistance has been applied, that Armor Piercing and Rating come in to play.
The modification to your damage output a simple calculation based on 2 variables (values that affect the outcome of an equation):
- Weapon Armor Piercing level ("Piercing"); a hard value that all instances of a specific type of weapon (a Laser Carbine, for instance) share. Values can be "None", "Light", "Medium", or "Heavy".
- Target Armor Rating ("Rating"); also restricted to values of "None", "Light", "Medium", and "Heavy". All player armors have a rating of Light. NPC and creature armors vary according to difficulty.
- Target Armor Vulnerabilities; a special case occurs when your target's armor is Vulnerable to your weapon's damage type. No adjustment is made to your damage in this case.
In the calculations below, both Piercing and Rating will be treated as integer numbers instead of named values. Values for each level of Piercing/Rating are:
- None: 0
- Light: 1
- Medium: 2
- Heavy: 3
Damage adjustment Edit
Two separate equations are used depending on if your Piercing is greater than your target's Rating. Both equations rely on the damage value after armor resists have been applied ("Damage"), and calculate your new damage value.
Piercing lower than Rating Edit
Piercing greater than RatingEdit
There are two primary facts to take away from the above equations.
- If your Piercing level is below your target's Rating, you are penalized by reducing your damage by 50% for each integer difference between the two values. If you use a weapon with Piercing of 0 against armor with Rating 3, you will only do 12.5% of your potential damage.
- If your Piercing level is above your target's Rating, you are granted a 25% bonus to your damage for each integer difference between the two values. Using a weapon with Piercing of 3 against armor with Rating 1 will grant 56.25% extra damage.
As you can see, the penalty for being below your target's Rating is much greater than the bonus for being above it. Additionally, a weapon with Piercing of 0 will need a 25-100% higher DPS rate than one with Piercing 1 in order to do similar damage against armored targets!