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Closed Expanding on the DR system to improve options

These suggestions have been dropped by the suggestor or rejected by staff.


Retired Staff
Hello all!

Before I get this discussion going, I'd like to make a request. The intention of this thread is not to bash on any particular faction, faction's articles, etc, etc. If you give an example to support/criticize an idea, please do so in as neutral a fashion as possible towards that faction and the example's creator/s. This is a potentially touchy topic and we'll all be well served by staying focused on the goal.

Moving on!


There's been an ongoing discussion on Discord about how to differentiate the Daisy from the Mindy. One of the differentiatiors that was discussed was the Daisy's relative toughness to the Mindy's.

However, the DR system does not have a graceful way to handle this.

One solution that was proposed was to scale up the next Daisy model into the next Tier. This would give it additional damage resistance, weapon capacity, etc. Not everyone likes this approach for different reasons.

I've come across some similar challenges when working on my own articles. What if I don't want to give something the maximum allotment of weapons? What if I'd like to trade those weapons out for something else? What if I want even bigger guns?


My suggestion is an extension of the DR system. The Weapon Limitations guide makes it clear how to handle the available weaponry for a given Tier. The Damage Rating system makes it clear how a weapon of a given Tier interacts with things that exist within another Tier. In general, this system is pretty elegant and supports RP well. If I need to know 'Can this weapon hurt this thing?" then I have a place to check. (Of course, the real answer is/should be "Whatever is best for the RP", but it's great to have guidelines so that we're not going off the rails.)

Given that we already have a pretty decent way of handling 'Offense' and 'Defense' (via the Weapon Limitations and DR v3 guides), I'd suggest we add another category, Utility, and then give designers a way to tweak the balance.

Utility would represent all the things our ships, PAs, etc, can do that isn't strictly blowing things up or avoiding getting blown up. Got some sweet gravity manipulation tech? Maybe you can teleport 100 km pretty frequently? These are excellent differentiators, but currently don't have an associated 'cost' like Offense and Defense do.

Just adding a category may not be sufficient, however. What if I want stronger defenses or more utility? Here's some options...

Option 1

This option separates Offense, Defense, and Utility into separate categories. Offense functions as it always has. Defense is largely unchanged. Utility now works the same as Offense - We determine some amount of 'On-Tier Utilities' that seems appropriate and then go from there. You can go up or down in the same exact fashion.

Utility would encompass things like stealth, teleportation, flight, cargo capacity, hangar bays, and all of the other "non weapon/armor" things. We don't have to drop everything we're doing and go make articles for cargo and hangar bays, however. For most baseline things, simply saying it's 'On Tier' would be appropriate. For things that are more advanced or tricky, we might ask for a technology submission. This is more or less how things are already done - all that's missing is a Tier assignment in the various supporting articles.

Now that we've established Utilities as a category and the base rules, we can begin to play around with how we 'balance' our submission. I mentioned before that we should be able to support extra defenses, utility, etc. My last recommendation for Option 1 is that if you want to increase one category by a tier, you have to lower one other category by a tier. I'm thinking this can only be done once.

In other words, a Tier 4 PA could have Tier 4 Weapons, Tier 5 Damage Resistance, and Tier 3 Utility.

A fancy chart of it would look like this:

Now it's clear, before I've even gone through an article, what this PA's strengths and weaknesses are. It's tough, has a normal weapons load-out, and reduced utility options.

Conveniently, going down a Tier in Offense or Utility is the same as halving that category.

Option 2

Option 2 attempts to solve the same problem as 1, but without reinventing the wheel quite so much.

In this approach, we unify Offense, Defense, and Utility under the same umbrella. We can specify that some things (such as an increased Defense tier) costs a certain amount of On-Tier Weapons. Following the 'halving' example from before, I'd say sacrificing 4 On-Tier weapons would be enough to increase your Defense from T4 to T5.

Utility, now not its own category, follows a similar pattern. If a Utility is a significant differentiator, it could cost On-Tier weapons. The same upscale/downscale considerations could be made. For example - if "a Hangar Bay for 6 Fighters" was considered the same as an On-Tier T12 Weapon, then a T10 would need to 'spend' 4 On-Tier Weapons to make space for the higher tier Hangar Bay.

Considering the Options

Both options have pros and cons. Option 2 is simpler and requires less 'corrections', while Option 1 more clearly defines the areas of strength and weakness for a submission.

In both options, the addition of 'Utility' as a category and the ability to upscale/downscale the important Utilities improves how we approach balancing our submissions.

In both options, the ability to trade part of one category (or 'weapon-equivalent defense/utility') for another further improves how well we can balance and gives us ways to reflect the trade-offs we make to set our submissions apart.

There is also option 3 - we make no changes. Things aren't broken. There's just a few places where the current system doesn't quite stretch enough to solve all of the things we want it to do.

But what about Power Armor?

This all started because of the Daisy, so I want to make sure all the points get covered. PA (and Infantry) complicate things somewhat.

In order for a change like this to be successful, we have to be willing to have power armors follow the Weapon Limitations guide. Otherwise the various trade-offs don't really matter.

Given that we start with 8 On-Tier Weapons and 2 Tier-Equivalent Weapon Groups, there's a lot of potential for PA weaponry.

The first thing I'd recommend here is that we consider each appendage that can hold a weapon as one 'On-Tier Weapon'. If you want to dual wield pistols, go for it. You're covered. Want a rifle with a little more kick? You can go up one Tier and grab a rifle.

Hardpoints and other in-built weapons would function the same. The potential to have a weapon in that slot means that you need to spend the appropriate 'On-Tier Weapon's to 'pay' for it. If we wanted to have hardpoints for six On-Tier Weapons, then we're in a good spot. We even have 2 Tier-Equivalent Weapon Groups remaining.

But this doesn't always work. What about the really big guns? There's at least one weapon that is four tiers above the PA that wields it. If we use Option 1 and trade off one of our other categories (e.g., weaker defenses or utilities), then you could upscale your 'held' weapons to accommodate the four tier difference. At that point, you'd only have your Tier-Equivalent Weapon Groups remaining, but it seems like a pretty fair trade off.

Plus, you'd still have your utility options.

Wrapping it Up

Thanks for reading this far. It's a lot of text, I know, and for some people it's a heated topic. There are likely other options beyond the ones I suggested here, but I've done my best to stay as close to the current system and its mechanics as possible while introducing some additional variance to the creation process.

My hope with putting this up is that we can have a good discussion and potentially align around a solution that we're all sufficiently happy with, even if that's maintaining the status quo. I do think the suggestions are worth considering, otherwise I wouldn't have typed all this up. :)

I'll ask again that we try to avoid bashing on things and focus on how we can improve (or not!) the current system. Examples are fine, just keep it friendly. :)

Thanks again!

- Whisper
This suggestion has been closed. Votes are no longer accepted.
One thing to note, just logistically, in terms of how PA would be brought into line with the 8 on tier weapon rule is that not all hardpoints are used for on tier weapons, more often than not they're being used for higher tier weapons than the suit itself. All weapons would have to be examined on an individual basis, not given a blanket "Pistols and hardpoints are on tier, rifles are one above" generalization, since by and large that wouldn't be true for any of them.
One thing is, certain utility may actually be easier for smaller tiered things. It’s probably way easier to teleport a slender little Mindy than something more chonky.
Alex- Yep, definitely. Not saying it isn't a challenge. We could also address this by giving PAs larger/higher weapon allotments given the site's focus on them to try and fit how things are currently designed.

Yuuki- That's a good point. An update to the various teleporter articles would be necessary in all of my suggestions, so maybe something that would be good to call out is that some utility simply can't be applied above a certain Tier, or that the cost to do so doesn't scale in the usual way.

I.e., 'the teleporter pack counts as two On-Tier Utilities(/weapons) for a T4, four for a T5, and eight for a T6. It is unavailable for craft larger than T6.'
Alex- Yep, definitely. Not saying it isn't a challenge. We could also address this by giving PAs larger/higher weapon allotments given the site's focus on them to try and fit how things are currently designed.
This was a failing of the older system, hyperfocusing on PA, and as far as I'm aware we're already going to be giving them the option of punching above their weight class., which ships and vehicles don't seem to need since this seems to be a problem pretty unique to PA currently. It just means that people would have to be cognizant of the weapon rules when building a loadout.
Both "failing" and "hyperfocus" are just opinions.
The Mindy has evolved into a far more refined machine compared with where it was when I made the Daisy.

It might be better to say that the Daisy is not always the tougher armor when compared with the Mindy. Mindy armors can rock defensive measures that are more effective.

Rather, it is (and always was) meant to be the more gritty armor. It's not a zero-G, photonic control, mostly-for-Neko, sleek-and-stylish weapon of glittering glowing awesome.

It is heavy. Tall. Grey-green. It carries a big shield and has spikes on its shoulders. It expects to be dirty, grimy and worn. It is Yamatai's uncalled-for answer to Nepleslia's overbearing machismo in power armor design.

The Mindy is a killer. The Daisy, a survivor.

Those aren't qualities that are best reflected in the DR system, then or now.

They're best displayed in our hands, word by word, post by post, one story after another.
@Doshii Jun that is also how I went into designing the Daisy 2 update; every change I made was to make it more survivable, more durable for ground operations, it was supposed to be easier to service and repair, and easier for different species to use, it was taller to accommodate taller people, it retained all the spikes, the bigger armor plates, the shield, and is supposed to be cheaper to produce than a Mindy. Also of note was changing from the capacitor/battery system to a fusion reactor for longer runtime (At some point someone nerfed their runtime without my permission, AFTER the article had been approved) while not being as blatant to sensors as an Aether-powered Mindy.

that's a little off topic for this, but, All of the things that I put into that would probably fall under the 'Utility' category, if we added one- while the Mindy makes a nice all around, and can do pretty much anything, the Daisy was meant to have more toughness and 'utility' for extended ground-based operations.
Alex - Options are always good. I agree that it shouldn't be necessary to treat things differently. I'd rather see something like 'Due to the weapon's advanced design, it counts as one tier lower for the purposes of weapon allotments' or something instead of special rules for PAs. Slippery slope, though.

Doshii - I love the sentiment. Very well said. I don't think there's any reason why we can't make those qualities fit into the system, though? If the current system is unable to support the differences that make the Daisy unique and worthwhile compared to the Mindy, then why not consider an update?

I hope it's clear at this point that my recommendations are about more than just the Daisy and Mindy. I started thinking about this when designing a gunship.

In order to feel like I wasn't nerfing the craft (and thereby making it potentially obsolete from day one), I had to greatly increase the tier and quantity of its weapons. I certainly could have left those weapons off, but I'd rather have 'spent' some weapons on advanced stealth or something. The current system doesn't have a graceful way to handle that.

To me, this isn't about ignoring how we use RP to give life to our creations. It's about how we define and balance our creations as things that are more than just weapons platforms. It's a way to expand character, not restrict it. I hope that comes across.

This "no, nerf the thing people use the most and have fun with the most on this site because I want this site to be my way" mentality is lame


If you want a ship to not have as many weapon slots as is the maximum guideline, then that is a certainly a good disadvantage to write into a ship or armor article. There is a section for the disadvantages on the power armor template, I am sure. Alex could take note of that latter sentence of mine! ha
I didn't mention the mindy by name, but there has been nine mentions of it outside of your mention. So maybe it has been more about the Mindy outside of my post than in it.
I just want it to be noted that I not only oppose expansion of the DR system, but actually support its repeal, along with the faction buildup limits.
At the end of the day it’s pretty silly to change the DR system so that the Daisy can be better than the Mindy when the two armors have never been more or less tough than one another.
We had a good chat in Discord VC with a bunch of people and here's some of the things that were discussed. I don't want to leave people out who weren't there, so this is a general summary of the options that came up.

Remove Weapon Limitations
Basically, we'd remove Weapon Limitations as a rule and just update the DR page to state that everything within a given tier is roughly equivalent to all the other things in a given tier. How many weapons a thing has, etc, isn't a factor in determining how successful something would be against something else in that tier - it's up to the players to figure out via roleplay, with GMs acting as a stabilizing force.

This is nice because it really simplifies the design process and opens up a lot of freedom in the design space. If a gravity-manipulation system could be just as good as something else with a bunch of guns, then it's up to the RP to figure out how that fight would turn out. It also requires no real changes to things that already exist.

It's challenging because, without this type of guideline, it would be hard to decide what is reasonable for things in a given tier. You could give something twice the amount of weapons it has now and it'd still be rules legal, because we have no limits on weapon count. The increase in weapons should have no actual effect on 'gameplay', since the things Tier is unchanged, but it's a legitimate concern.

Spend Weapons on Utility/etc
Similar to the originally proposed system, we can say that certain things cost on-tier weapons. This is an easy 'fix' that addresses the balance concerns and gives people a way to indicate that a given utility is as 'valuable' as one or more weapons.

This is challenging because it has implications for everything that's already been submitted. It's also tough because deciding how many weapons a given utility should cost would be one more thing for designers and reviewers to deal with.

The general feel of the chat seemed to be leaning towards removing Weapon Limitations, but there were some strong opinions for maintaining or extending it. We also discussed that the current system isn't bad, and even though it doesn't address everything, it's still an improvement over what came before it.
I actually feel like reducing the crunch and rules is the direction to go. Every rule is something that we have to police as staffers (e.g. it takes manpower and takes my time away from RPing) and things that require spreadsheets or number-crunching are generally not fun for SARPers and don't belong in our RP that's done entirely by writing stories. I don't think that we should be trying to game-ify SARP's combat or trying to balance SARP armors and vehicles or factions like this is EVE or WoW. The questions we should be asking is "is this good for the overall lore and feel of the setting?" and "is this good for good character stories?"
I think that getting rid of WepLim is a bad idea for a few reasons: It expects people to self regulate, when it's been proven throughout SARP's past that they won't. It opens up the chance for people to just put a thousand weapons on their ships and argue till the end of the earth that they'd win through overwhelming firepower and there's not actually any way to say they're wrong about it.

It's not incredibly math intensive, and it's entirely possible to end up doing it with just a sheet of paper, but a public resource exists to streamline the process of doing weapon calculations. This would open the door to yet more senseless arms races of yesteryear, and we've seen this happen in the past.
The fundamental problem with any change right now is it seems motivated by personal perceptions regarding a loved piece of technology, when said piece of technology is objectively exactly where it should be within the context of the system. We haven’t even finished converting everything to DRv3, including a handful of frequently used tech items, so throwing in changes inspired by a single VC only adds more confusion (especially when the lion’s share of a DR development should take place on the forums).
I think that right now SARP is about as game-y as it should be. It has just enough supporting systems, but making any kind of change is not something to be taken lightly. Getting rid of Weapon Limitation has far reaching implications and would likely cause another arms race, and would require us to figure out another method of regulating craziness, and changing anything about DRv3 would mean a TON of work that probably wouldn't be worth it.