Formerly there was some threads about how the armors should work, like a bullet stopped by a kevlar vest might break a rib. They are all forgotten, mostly because there was no good solution how to implement them into the game.
So now if something hits your toon, a good armor can completely stop the damage without any negative consequences. While it would be unnecessary to code a broken rib, i would like to see some pain even when the hit was completely stopped. It would be “more realistic”.
Also this way a well equipped toon would be still a little vulnerable against numerous but weak enemies. Of course better armor should lessen more the caused pain, but still this would extend the dangerousness of the weaker enemies.
The question is how much, if you say any hit causes pain, you potentially have broken things like many tiny creatures hitting you repeatedly and causing debilitating levels of pain.
Likewise, some armors should completely block otherwise significant attacks, like a ballistic vest stopping a .22 round, there should be actually negligible impact from that.
If you don’t get hurt through armor, it doesn’t hurt. There is a representation problem, but it’s not a problem with assigning pain. Rather it’s with attack damage values, armor values, and attack and armor types not being able to represent impacts and correlate them to injuries realistically in all circumstances.
For the most part I think the current build of DDA does this pretty well. Bullets and explosions are an exception, as is soft bullet resistant armor as described in the OP. But these are pretty rare and are represented well enough that I don’t feel like their imperfect representation detracts.
It mostly lacks representation for large force spread over large surface or long time.
Concussion from impact to (armored) head
Soft armor stopping sharp edges but failing to dissipate the force
Damaged joints from having limbs pulled by a horde of superhumanly strong zombies
Bites against fingers and toes
Those could be fixed like this:
Bashing damage would be split into two subtypes: the “strike” and the “slam” - the former representing concentrated blow comparable to piercing/cutting and scaling with skill and weapon quality, the latter representing pure force (causing joint displacement etc.) and scaling with strength and (very roughly) weapon mass.
The “slam” part would bypass armor really well, but could be resisted by some monsters (large or blobby ones). Possibly some body parts could get affected by it more (head, hands, feet) or less (limbs).
The end result would be:
Huge wooden clubs (in huge hands) could bring down armored knights without getting any better at piercing tank armor
Bashing at low strength would become feasible, just not effective against big targets
Would allow the removal of the horribly limiting bashing scaling with strength that I didn’t manage to exorcise properly last time I buffed bashing
Head (and hands and feet) would actually be a weak spot without adding any dangerously unstable global multipliers
We’d have a measure of attack force less abstract than pure bashing damage
Disadvantage would be extra complexity (from user’s side) in melee combat. Player melee combat is already a black box comparable in size and unintuitiveness to ranged combat. Things like damage scaling (with skill or stats) aren’t exposed properly, so only people who read the code really know where does the damage actually come from (stats, skills, damage type, enemy armor, hit limb).
It’s the difference between a hole in your gut or a bruise across your chest. Bulletproof vests often break ribs even when they stop a bullet dead. Same for armor against things like swords and maces, the energy still needs to be dissipated somewhere, and the only place for it to go is your body. If a sword was going to cut your arm off, chances are armor stopping it just means it will break the bone instead.