March 1 2024 - 3:00 pm

Operation Medic Bag: Blog Update #2 – Adaptive Armor Lining

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Hello, heisters! This is Miodrag “Mio” Kovačević, game director on Payday 3, and I’d like to talk to you about the new Adaptive Armor we are introducing to the game and armor in general.

The Adaptive Armor has gone both through internal testing and testing with some of our Payday players. We’ve gotten promising feedback and are ready to show you what we’ve been brewing.

Adaptive Armor

Armor has been a popular topic among the community, and a fairly polarizing one. What we initially envisioned was a resource that eventually runs out during the course of combat, same as health. The idea was that you plan how much of each resource type you’d need to bring with you, depending on the heist and playstyle, and try to pull off the heist as fast as you can with those constraints.

This is why the current armor in the game works the way it does; each time it takes damage, you lose a little bit of it permanently, even after it regenerates. If you take enough damage, you lose “one” chunk of armor and have to restore it by other means, usually an armor bag. For those who might need a reminder or aren’t aware, Payday 2’s armor was more of a “shield,” where it would always fill back up, even when depleted, as long as you avoided damage for a certain amount of time.

Now obviously, this change between the games has been a big deal for a segment of players, so we’d like to identify the problems we see with the current armor “meta”:

  • The permanent damage feels punishing and leads to some stressful micro-management
  • Ways to restore armor are very limited
  • Some heists, due to their length, are simply easiest to complete by bringing as much armor as possible and powering through the damage
  • It doesn’t feel like there are enough a variety of playstyles for surviving a loud heist

We plan to address each of these points with different updates and changes to the game, but I’d also like to clarify that we have no intention of changing the current available armors in the game. We know there have been requests to just change it to the Payday 2 system, but such a change would require us to rework how we balance combat, skills and various other aspects of the game. While this doesn’t mean we’ll never make a change like this, it is currently not planned.

However, this does not exclude the addition of new armors to the game, including those that are closer to Payday 2 in style. So without further rambling on my part, let’s actually talk about Adaptive Armor Lining:

  • It has 2 chunks
  • Chunks need 4.5 seconds to regenerate
  • Has 2 max downs
  • Has 5% damage reduction (regular armor has 25%)
  • Light speed penalty (same as the Light Ballistic Armor, aka the 2 chunk normal armor)
  • Takes no trauma damage (meaning no “permanent red damage” that normal armor takes)
  • Adaptive Armor will have a different HUD color, so you can tell who’s running what in your crew

In short, Adaptive Armor Lining does not take permanent “trauma” damage, but can also take less damage before a chunk breaks. If a chunk breaks, you still need to restore it with an Armor Bag, but, in theory, you can make it last forever if you take cover in time.

In a practical sense, if you don’t want to deal with armor maintenance as much, this is the armor for you, and it will let you do some aggressive plays if you’re smart about it. However, utilizing regular armor and repair kits might last you much longer than the Adaptive Armor with certain builds. You can also pair it with the upcoming “Clean Slate” Tank Mastery that’s coming in the same patch as the armor. This skill will let you use armor repair kits to restore an armor chunk if you have no armor.

What does this mean for future armor? Depending on community feedback on the Adaptive Armor, we will consider adding more variants of it with a different amount of chunks, while remaining fairly flexible in how we design future armor. One example is that we can have an armor that always regenerates the first chunk, or has a mix of regular and adaptive armor chunks.

Tell us what you’d like to see, but please keep in mind that anything we add is always going to have some sort of trade-off compared to regular armor.

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