Hello space friends! I’ve been doing some testing on some of Pulsar’s lesser-known gameplay elements with the intention of making a Steam guide, but I figure I’ll post rough drafts here first. If you have any thoughts/corrections/suggestions, please chime in. This time I’m focusing on how armor works with respect to the game’s various damage types.
First things first: there’s only one significant armor-related bug, which is that most armor bonuses and penalties do not currently work. At all. Even though the hull bonuses for the Destroyer and Armored Drones show up in the stats screen, they are not actually applied to give more damage reduction. Similarly, Acid damage from the Bio-Hazard turret reduces armor on the stats screen but does not actually result in more damage being dealt. The Layered Hull bonus does work; in fact, it works better than intended.
Now for the basics. Armor simply gives flat damage reduction based on damage type. Each point of armor blocks:
------0.33 damage of types: Beam, Acid, or Fire
------0.6 damage of types: Physical, Lightning, or Phase*
This damage reduction is capped at 87.5% for each instance of incoming damage. We’ll discuss the implications a bit later.
*Phase damage is reduced by 35% against both armor and shields before any additional damage reduction is applied.
Acid and Fire are both a bit buggy at the moment, so I may be wrong about those. Missiles and Defender turrets are also bit odd, probably because they have both impact damage and splash damage. Defenders seem to be treated as energy (0.33 blocked per armor), and missiles vary by type. Standard missiles are pretty ineffective against armor, while Acid missiles are insanely strong. I don’t have enough data to provide solid numbers though. I also have no idea about nuke damage. If anyone can give me input on any of those damage types, I’d appreciate it.
A couple more details:
------The player ship has 50% extra armor on the bottom of its hull. I haven’t noticed this bonus on enemy ships.
------Contrary to its description, hull plating does not affect hull damage taken, only system damage taken.
------At Chaos 6, enemy armor values are (approximately) as follows:
---------Min 98, Mean 167.5, Median 145, Mode 130, Max 250
---------Rogue Drones have the highest armor by far. CU and AOG have the lowest.
Average Chaos 6 armor blocks 55 Beam/Defender damage, 101 Physical/Lightning damage, or 155 Phase damage. The toughest Chaos 6 armor blocks 82.5 Beam/Defender damage, 150 Physical/Lightning damage, or 230 Phase damage.
Excluding main turrets, average incoming damage at Chaos 6 is 124 Beam/Defender, 123 Physical/Lightning, and 365 Phase. Maximums (that I’ve seen) are 160 Beam/Defender, 140 Physical/Lightning, and 385 Phase. Enemy main turrets typically deal 350 Beam damage.
Implication #1: Flat damage = armor penetration. The higher your target’s armor is, the more important flat damage becomes as opposed to fire rate or number of shots per burst.
Implication #2: At Chaos 6, the main turrets are your main source of armor damage, and the armor penetration of the CU Long Range is quite a bit better than that of the Keeper Beam. Out of the other turrets, only the Focused Laser Turret, the Phase Turret, and the Defender Turret have respectable armor penetration. That doesn’t mean that those turrets are the best, it just means they have the highest per-shot damage to hull. I’ll cover all of the turrets in more detail in my next Advanced Mechanics post, so stay tuned!
Implication #3: Excluding main turrets, you need 420 armor to block the highest incoming damage at Chaos 6, or 325 for the average Beam damage. Only the Layered Hull can do that currently; however, that’s a risky buy due to its low integrity and the threat from enemy main turrets. The high-level CCG Military hulls have by far the best mix of integrity and armor, simply because the other hull types do not go past Level 6. However, those are a very rare drop from Shock Drones and Deathseekers, so if you don’t feel like farming then the WD Destroyer hull is your next best option.
Implication #4: The WD Destroyer has the best armor penetration in the game, putting its applied DPS on par with the Cruiser with significantly less power draw. If the armor bonus bug is ever patched, it will have the strongest defense in the game as well. It will be able to attain 325+ armor using a Level 10+ CCG Military hull or a Level 4+ WD Destroyer hull, blocking the overwhelming majority of incoming damage at Chaos 6.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to chime in with any thoughts, corrections, or suggestions.
Discussion about PULSAR: Lost Colony including talking about factions, classes, ship systems, playstyles, etc.
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