these were so expensive i don't want to wear them anywhere

anonymous asked:

Hi there, I was wondering; in a fantasy setting, should "ranged fighters," AKA archers or mages (especially mages), wear any kind of armor? One of my friends (who is a little too glued to the idea of using gaming terms for his fight scenes) doesn't give his ranged fighters much protection because "they have tank who will aggro," despite me telling him that in IRL situations enemies won't always work like that, and ranged fighters are deadly and would easily become top priority during battle.

Which works right until the tank can’t maintain aggro, then the DPS scatter, because of course they do, and everyone wipes because, turns out, it’s nearly impossible to hit two idiots on opposite sides of the arena at the same time with the same AoE.

…or the tank never slotted a taunt, and the healer ends up running from and DPSing Bloodspawn, while the DPS stand in stupid trying to revive each other. No, I’m not thinking of a specific event, why do you ask?

Games are, by nature, an incredibly abstract approach to combat. Even inside of an MMO, the sharp difference between how PvE and PvP plays out should be a pretty solid indicator of how fragile the entire concept of aggro is.

An AI driven NPC needs to know who to attack. In most cases they’ll prioritize incoming damage, and target whatever’s dealing the most. The entire idea of a tank is to fake out that number, boost it further, or in some cases, completely override aggro generation, and take the brunt of the enemy’s attacks. Which is downright hilarious, when you step back and think about it. You’re talking about sending a party of adventurers up against an ancient demon who’s been sealed outside of the universe for millennia, but he will ignore the people actively trying to kill him, because that idiot who’s doing almost nothing to him said some mean things about his mother.

As I understand it, and I could be wrong here, Tanking is something that has come, almost exclusively, from metagaming. The idea that, “well, players are going to take damage, so let’s concentrate it on a single player to make the healer’s job easier,” doesn’t have a place in the real world. I’m not sure if the strategy dates back to tabletop, or came from the early MMOs like Ultima Online or Everquest. As I said, it doesn’t have any basis in reality.

The closest you can get is the role of infantry and skirmishers in mass combat. But, at that point, sticking infantry between your enemy and your archers wasn’t about protecting the archers, so much as, that the infantry were your primary combat force.

Step into PvP, and the value of a tank diminishes sharply. Most human players understand that, so long as the healer is up, nobody’s going anywhere, so they become public enemy number one.  Hell, most of the times, when you give players an AI controlled encounter with a healer, your priority is clear. No, it’s not the big tanky guy/girl/sentient iguana with death rays mounted on its armor.

That said, I’ve seen a lot of games try to make the tank more valuable in PvP. Reducing enemy mobility, debuffing them, applying selective buff manipulation that makes a taunted target deal far less damage to other targets. All of it is a band aid on a system, trying to make the role function in an environment where the tank’s foes are smart enough to say, “nah, he’s not a problem, I’m going to wax the healer first.” Though, bonus points awarded to the games that just go, “screw it, the tank is the healer.”

Mages wearing robes is a setting or character decision. If armor somehow impairs a mage’s ability to cast magic, then that’s something they’ll want to avoid. If a mage isn’t, primarily, a combatant, and dislikes, or can’t afford, armor, they may avoid it for those reasons. That said, if armor doesn’t interfere with your mage’s ability to cast magic, they understand how to use it, and can afford it, not wearing armor is just being stupid (even if it is that character’s preference).

The whole concept of tiering armor based on the combat role is another gameplay abstraction, without a lot of basis in history. Armor was expensive. To the point that most rulers couldn’t afford to outfit large standing forces in heavy armor.  You got the best armor you could afford. If you were supplied out of an armory, you wore what you were handed, which might just be a padded gambeson.

Thing is, I rather like armor tiering. At least from a gameplay perspective. It informs the player what the armor they’ve found is useful for, and is very useful for deciding if the gear you just found is going to be helpful for your playstyle. In MMOs it can help break up players, so that you have an easier time identifying their roles. But, it is an abstract, game system, with no relation to reality. Trying to take these things out, and evaluate them outside of their native environment can be tricky. This is how you end up with characters who can instantly cram three hundred cheese wedges down their gullet to fully recover from being set on fire and flung off a cliff into the sea, hundreds of feet below.

-Starke

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anonymous asked:

"Hello handsome stranger, you don't seem very good at hotwiring a car. It's the blue wire you should use. Or would you like the keys instead?"

When Clint walked out of the diner after lunch, the last thing he expected to see was someone attempting to hotwire his car. Judging by the amount of cursing, the thief wasn’t having a lot of luck. Since the thief had left the car door open, Clint watched him struggle for a minute. His would-be car thief was actually quite good looking (from what Clint could see of him, anyway).

Padding over, silently, Clint watched the thief work and tried to figure out why his car was being stolen in broad daylight by a good looking guy in an expensive suit with broad shoulders and clear blue eyes.

“God damn it! Why won’t you start?”

Clint held back a laugh and decided to give the thief a break. It’s not like the car was going anywhere and Clint could easily pull the guy out if he had to. “You’re not very good at this, are you? You’ve got to use the blue wire.”

The thief jumped at the sound of Clint’s voice so close and there was a hollow, ‘thunk!’ as his head hit the roof. “Fuck! Where did you come from?”

“The diner, right over there.” Clint pointed and then cocked his head to the side as sirens started to wail in the distance. “You maybe want to get out of my car? Looks like the police are headed this way for some reason and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind making a quick stop.”

Instead of the answer, Clint was hoping for, his thief started hitting the steering wheel and cursing more. “Those sirens are for me. I’m a cop and the shitty unmarked they assigned me for my latest case stalled as I got the call our perp was making a run for it. He’s headed this direction, so I picked the first car I found that was unlocked.”

Clint leaned on the roof and tried to mask his disbelief. “You may be a good looking guy, but I’m not  dumb enough to fall for that load of bull.”

Before Clint could continue his rant and try and forcibly remove the guy from his car, there was a badge in his face. Taking the badge, Clint whistled low and impressed. The picture on the ID was definitely Clint’s handsome thief and apparently, his name was Phillip J. Coulson and he was a detective for the NYPD.

Coulson snatched the badge back and went back to trying to hotwire the car. “Satisfied?”

“Um, yeah.” Coulson tried another wire and Clint sighed. “Blue wire, detective.” The sirens were louder now and Clint fished his keys from his pocket. “Unless you want the keys?”

Without another word, Coulson grabbed the keys and jammed them in the ignition. Clint leaped back as Coulson pulled the door closed and watched his car speed off.

“You’re welcome!” Clint yelled at the disappearing shape of his car.

“Who are you yelling at?”

“For God’s sake, Nat! I’m gonna put a bell on you one of these days.”

Natasha rolled her eyes. “I’d like to see you try.”

Clint smiled at his best friend and pointed in the direction his car had gone. “Hot cop stole my car. Think the insurance company will actually believe that?”

“I don’t even believe that.”

“It’s the truth. Detective Phillip J. Coulson stole my car and went to chase bad guys.” Clint and Natasha started walking to their shared apartment and Clint recounted the whole story.


–A Week Later–

Clint had just made coffee and was ready to pour himself a cup when he realized there were no clean cups to be found. He was seriously thinking of just drinking straight from the pot when there was a knock at the door.

Shuffling over to the door, Clint tried to hurry, but he could feel his pants starting to slide down his hips. Clint knew he needed to get rid of them since they too big, but they were also soft and comfortable and purple and he still loved them.

The knocking started again and Clint called out, “Hold your horses! I’m coming!”

Yanking the door open, Clint was ready to give whoever it was a piece of his mind but found himself speechless. Coulson was standing there, fist raised to knock again and looking sheepish.

“Good morning, Mr. Barton. I came to return your car.”

Clint stared at Coulson, not hearing a word. And really, who could blame him? Coulson was standing in Clint’s doorway wearing dark jeans and a light blue button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Clint’s eyes traveled up one strong forearm up to Coulson’s face and the thick, black-rimmed glasses that framed eyes that seemed even bluer now that Clint could get a good look at them.

“Um…I’m sorry, what?”

Coulson jingled the keys in his other hand. “Your keys. To your car?”

Shaking himself, Clint smiled. “Oh! Right! You couldn’t hotwire it. How’d you find me?”

Coulson grinned and Clint was almost distracted by the small crinkles that appeared at the corners of Coulson’s eyes. “The car’s registration.” Coulson’s eyes twinkled with amusement. “And I’m a cop. Finding people is kind of my job”

Clint laughed. “Right, do you wanna come in? Or…?”

Coulson looked nervous again. “Well, I was hoping I could convince you to let me take you out for coffee? As a thank you for letting me take your car. Or, I could just give you your keys and go. I totally understand if you don’t want to ever see me again.”

“I’d like that.”

“Which?”

Clint bit his lip, nervous himself now. “Coffee. With you. Sounds good. I just need to change real quick.” Stepping back from the door, he ushered Phil inside. “Come on in. Promise, I’ll be fast.”

Coulson smiled again and stepped inside and Clint ran to his room to change. He grabbed what he hoped were clean jeans and a t-shirt and quickly got dressed, not wanting to leave Coulson waiting for too long.

When he walked back into the living room, he found Coulson looking at their bookshelves and took a moment for himself to admire the detective’s backside. Clint was about to clear his throat to get Coulson’s attention when the man spoke first. “So you weren’t lying when you called me, ‘good looking’.”

Clint coughed. “What?” Coulson turned and smirked at Clint. “Of course I wasn’t lying. You are good looking.”

“Good. Ready for our date?”

Coulson tossed Clint his keys, and Clint was still shocked by Coulson calling this a date that he let them hit him in the chest. “Date?”

“That’s what I’m hoping this could be. It’s been a long time for me, but I like you and even though our meeting wasn’t exactly conventional, I think we could try.”

Regaining his composure, Clint took a step toward the door and smiled at Coulson. “I’d like that a lot…Phil.”

Coulson beamed back and followed Clint out the door.