What is power armor anyway?


No, because by the time you get those armours, you typically already have at least around 10k max bionic power and a reliable power source (since they are considered endgame stuff). I personally have all the power sources, but the Light Power Armour set eats about the same amount of energy as my Ratchets generate. And the only point in keeping the PA online is, actually, walking around. Nobody cares if the PA drains twice, or even five times more energy, when, firstly, Bionic Power is ridiculously easy to get and, secondly, it is not even necessary to turn the set on. Getting a Heavy PA set and a Browning MG is as easy as pie, and you can just tear any horde to shreds while sitting on one spot. So please don’t tell me about the protection you need to kick hulks in melee, these things are sports, not the easiest way to deal with dangers, and any sport SHOULD be challenging. Like having to deal with 10 shocker brutes while having a hoe and a gardening outfit on you in the endgame instead of feeding them some lead from a safe distance.

Yes, but needs to be dependant on the STR stat. An athlete is gonna fare much better with all the dead metal around him than some wimp (like myself).

This is the ONLY reason to turn the armour on, and more importantly, Power Armour as a concept is all about freeing the person wearing it from any concerns regarding the weight and bulk of the gear (and maybe even giving the user some more strength and agility, in advanced armour designs). Power Armour IS normal armour with added servos and/or a forcefield.
Since DoubleTech Power Armours are just protective sets with servos, all of them should be non-encumbering while powered. The Rivtech armour, as the description reads, is a non-rigid armour, fully relying on the projected forcefield, therefore it lacks all those alloys, steel and kevlar and is not encumbring regardless of being online or offline.
(Well, okay, I can agree that Basic PA, being the first generation, can be a little encumbering. But not the second generation)

What’s the point? I’m honestly surprised that the PA already lacks gas protection. It does have the Climate Control capability, but lacks filters. Come on, that helmet is an ideal place to put some filters into.
No electrical protection? You kidding me? A whole set made of steel - and the shock runs through the human body? This suit is a walking Faraday Cage, powered or not.
Radiation? Probably. Don’t really care, though I’m used to wearing the ANBC suits and having no concerns about what’s happening around.
Acid? Come on, alloys are resistant to acids, and any engineer that has a diploma is going to cover all the joints in the armour with some sorts of rubber or plastics, as it always happens in any equipment with moving parts that is being exposed to the elements.

And probably nobody can. This armour is cool, sleek, awesome looking and completely useless. Nobody is going to try to kill a hulk with a 200 L drum while wearing underpants and slippers (unless it’s one of those challenges :roll_eyes:), and nobody is going to use rare fuel to get something achievable without the use of that fuel. Come on, face the truth - the RM13 set is useless in the way it is present ingame today. It is either going to use renewable fuel, or rest peacefully in the back of the dusty shelf. Like you said, survivor suit. No need to search for the rarest RM13, when you can make the same thing by hand.

I guess you can’t wear anything along with the PA not because you really can’t put a holster around your leg, but because once the piece of clothing is on you, it can be freely moved closer to skin or farther away, thus breaking the rule of direct skin contact for the PA itself. So, man, this is frustrating. The inventory gets filled with things I used to keep in holsters/belts/harnesses/whatever. Add at least a single jerrycan for the fuel siphoning and here you go - 30 Liters of storage turn into nothing. This is definitely the thing that needs to be reworked.
And, finally, the Power Armour Suit is an exoskeleton. This way it MUST allow its user to shoot heavy (~6 kg for Laser Cannon lol can’t see why it can’t be fired just like a normal rifle) weapons without any support (i.e. act as a support for coding purposes).


Armor Up! A mod to make armor more better. New PA Utilities pack!

RM13 lasts a lot longer if you turn the armor off when you’re not in combat. And Plutonium Cells are plentiful if you’re killing cybernetic zombies regularly.


I’ve had PA sets far earlier than that in the game, and it’s basically the only way to really balance. As far as I’m concerned, making it difficult to use for early-midgame characters is the main concern, since all bets are pretty much off for lategame.

I won’t lie, I didn’t understand the thing about sports and gardening hoes.

That’s basically dealt with within encumbrance, to a degree.

ALL armor is restrictive to a degree. The only way you get full freedom of movement is if you’re naked. The more armor you put on something, the less it can move.
Even just the added weight means it takes more energy to stop moving arms and legs and such, which exerts a moment on the overall body which you have to resist.

Basic PA is a prototype. It works as armor, but not much else (in my mind).

Depends how it’s set up. You’d probably be fine, but it’s still a prototype. It might even be made of nonconductive ceramics on most parts so any electricity is forced to go through your body.

Again, prototype. This thing probably didn’t make it out of basic testing and it was for the military no less, so the cheaper the better.
My main point about basic PA is it isn’t properly sealed, so acid, gas, or radiation will work it’s way in one way or another. Just imagine a basic frame with some body armor welded on.

That’s exactly what I’m trying to fix with the Crysis-esque modes.

Not necessarily. It depends how strong it is and how much it’s carrying, among lots of other things.
That said, I definitely think at least the Mk2 versions should act as mounted weapon support, but that’s not something I can do with JSON.

Yeah, but it’s still a pain in the butt. And pretty much useless if you have a set and don’t do regular lab diving.
I get why it’s set up the way it is, but it’s unrealistic and the only case of something like that in the game. If it was a weapon or something I could understand, but armor powered with a special resource seems silly to me when it’s not even overly special.


It’s just hard for me to wrap my head around the RM13 being considered useless, especially when Crazy Jack used the armor extensively.

Still, I don’t think powering it with something else would be right. It’s still generating a forcefield, and that’s not something you could easily generate without massive power consumption. For reference, the cybernetic that generates a forcefield takes 10 energy every round.

If you could make the forcefield reactive, as in, only goes off when you’re hit by an attack, that’d make sense.


Yes but you can dump 200 charges at once into an A7 in automatic with a UPS. In fact, the weird thing is that the forcefield CBM draws from plutonium cells as well, but they can be recharged somehow. Ideally I’d like to make plutonium cells get spent and be rechargeable, but that’s not something I really know how to do.

RM13 is useless because it means I have to worry about plutonium cells and powering it, when I can just wear light power armor and a hauling frame for more armor, or a heavy survivor suit for more carrying capacity and freedom from needing to power anything. It seems to be intended for lategame use as general armor, but the plutonium cell consumption makes that difficult.

Also, I had a discussion with Rivet about this once, and if memory serves, RM13 doesn’t actually generate a forcefield, it uses reactive plating that hardens when something gets near it (or something along those lines). That doesn’t account for it’s ability to block radiation though…


Man, you’re using mods. Not everyone does that.

Come on, it’s about taking unnecessary risks. You can get nice armour pretty early in the game, and if you don’t do that and want to kick hulks in melee, while having access to Browning MGs and Power Armour, that’s like… your problem, man… © The Big Lebowski.

Yes, and that’s where PA design was born. It is supposed to be not restrictive. And the added weight is countered by servos. Servos, dude. That’s not some steel hull from a scrapyard.

Maybe. But even then, adding a gas filter is not really a problem, since the helmet already lacks holes and has 100% coverage, which means the presence of air intake tubes, which can be modded.

If the ceramics are nonconductive, the shock won’t reach your body, nor will it have the way to travel to the ground (which is the destination). Electricity, man, :smirk: Think about it.

Maybe, maybe. I personally don’t think it’s hard to make the plastic covers, nor do I think the multi-million project is going to yield such a crude product. After all, it is supposed to be mass produced, even if it’s not as top notch as MkII-H/L.
Depends on who you ask, really. Anyway, it’s either a prototype and rare as hell (and it isn’t at the moment), or the first model with some problems and flaws, but not like tin cans tied with duct tape over some exoskeleton with servos.


Servos are relative. I’m currently using 15$ servos to make an Arduino robot wander around a room. It’s just a motor with fine control systems, not military grade magic. Even if the servos could perfectly counter every bit of weight of the armor, the thickness of the armor would still restrict your movement. The more you armor the joints, the more restrictive the armor is. It’s not the weight of the armor, it’s the fact that your joints get smaller the more armor is around them.

It isn’t sealed, so it doesn’t have air intakes, so it can’t have air filters. It can’t have air filters anymore than a hockey mask can.

Yes, but if the electricity hits a metal joint and the only path it has to the ground is your body, it will go through your body. Think about it.

Regardless of how electricity actually works, it’s handled oddly ingame. This bit is just balance, so don’t worry about it.

ALL power armor ingame seems to be a prototype to some degree. Otherwise it would show up far more often in military installations. Just because the project cost millions doesn’t mean the product itself did, and completely sealing a moving object is far more difficult than you seem to think.

It basically is though, that’s why it’s basic. Some armor plating on an exoskeleton, that’s power armor at its most basic. That’s why it’s basic power armor.


Yeah, that’s true. But that only means that you won’t be able to hug your mother/wife/brother/son/etc after the battle, not that you’re going to walk like a sumo wrestler during the fight. Point is, this is military-grade equipment, designed to be easy to move in. It may restrict some of the precise movements, but not the walking/running itself.

Well, it looks like a scuba helmet with all that windshield and stuff. And it protects against radiation. How can it protect being not sealed?

Your skin does not touch the ground, the exit point for the shock is to be located on your soles. If they are ceramic or rubber, then you’re fine. Mostly.

Well, ANBC suit handles this task pretty well, at the cost of 40 encumbrance. Add magic futuristic military-grade servos and voila! Moreover, you don’t have to seal every hole to get gas protection, only the helmet, if it sits tight over your neck. Considering CDDA does not have gases that damage the skin itself.


That’s the point. I said 5-10 encumbrance per set. That means light PA would have 5 points, which is less than what you’d get from wearing a shirt and light jacket. High encumbrance will come from covering it in holsters and carrier packs.

The way it looks means nothing. It protects against radiation and gas in vanilla, but I intend to change that.
Even then, radiation isn’t gas. You can have a set of concrete walls that block all radiation, but you could still walk around them.

Maybe they aren’t ceramic or rubber?

An ANBC suit with servos would be light power armor, not basic. Basic is more like an MBR vest with servos. Think the mk1 Iron Man suit.


So what’s the point in this case, even? If it changes nothing?

Then the only thing that’s going to be hampered is your mobility. And, again, i’m convinced that PA should have no problems with that. Not from a simple holster, at least. Poorly made packs dangling on the charachter’s back and hitting him as he walks - yes. Finely made holsters/scabbards/liquid carriers - no. Flasks, btw. An absolutely ‘must have’ thing.

:face_with_raised_eyebrow: It does not. Or does it? I don’t have many mods, but some may have changed the stats, but i’m still not sure that it protects against gas in vanilla. Anyway, my set in my game configuration does not.

Maybe. Maybe not. Even if they were made of steel, they probably wouldn’t be connected with other parts. Most notably - parts of your body, since it would be way too uncomfortable and cold. I know that DoubleTech PAs require skin contact, but it says nothing about contacting skin exactly with metal parts. One way or another, there’s a long distance between soles and knee joints which may lack connecting conductive parts.

Sorry, I’m not into comics.


It adds up. That’s the point.

Yep, the improvised carrying solution will have a fair bit of encumbrance. The original hauling frame will have very little, but still a bit. Having things hanging off of you is still going to make a difference.

The point is it’s basic, if it’s basic they might not have thought of people getting lightning bolts shot at them in the first place, so there’s a good chance it won’t protect you properly, like all the other armor in the game that should really ground you out or act as a Faraday cage but doesn’t.

Well google it, I’m using it as an example.


Because shooting bolts through the air is unrealistic in the first place. I wonder why they’re even present in the game…


Exactly. You’re arguing realistic physics in a game without realistic physics.


Because the game is a fork of Cataclysm by Whales and has a lot of legacy code lying about. If you think it’s unrealistic open a PR changing or removing it.


I just wanna throw in that various media have about a million different ideas on powered armor. Iron Man, Fallout, Bubblegum Crisis, and The Surge are just four examples of incredibly different styles of power armor.

Which is to say that I think all of the ideas in this thread could be correct but probably not all at once in a single setting. So maybe what we need is a clearer creative vision for how power armor fits into the setting of CDDA so we can establish what can be mainline and what should be a mod.


Good point:
Two variants of course:

  1. Power Armor (note this is more how I want it to work than how it currently works)
    tl;dr think FO4
    Entered like a vehicle, extremely heavy, immobile unless powered (maybe an exception for the lightest variant), uses an exotic power source that can no longer be created, wearer has an extreme degree of protection derived from conventional armor, which acts whether the suit is powered or not, comes in a number of variants, wearer cannot interact normally with most human-sized items (i.e. crafting, driving, clothing), but the suit is designed to allow interaction with weapons (mostly guns), allows use of items specially crafted for PA, like extremely large guns, effectively replaces some player stats (mostly strength, but possibly perception as well).
  2. RM13
    no tl;dr
    Worn as clothing, provides little protection if unpowered, provides very high protection if powered, does not significantly impair ability to interact with human-sized items, does not provide any additional ability to interact with other items, uses an exotic power source that can no longer be created, unique (has no variants).


As pointed out previously, there are many concepts for what power armor does, but for the version in the game it does not “free you from any concerns”, it “makes it possible to use gear heavier than what a human is capable of”.

It’s military-grade yes, but the military isn’t going to care that much about melee, the encumberance it applies shouldn’t affect shooting, because that’s what it’s going to be designed for, but running/walking/melee and many other actions are going to be impaired because they don’t matter for a soldier.

Radiation (fallout aside) moves in straight lines, gasses can move around corners and through gaps. Bulk/weight aside, it’s far easier to shield against radiation than against toxic gasses.


NCR Salvaged Power Armour. Not exactly FO4, but still from the same setting.

If something is unrealistic it is not necessarily unplayable. I’m personally fine with that ingame, but realism in half of the game and fiction in the other half… seems a bit strange.

That’s strange. How are you going to be a soldier without proper walking? It’s not even like a heavy stormtrooper, more like a stationary turret, since every situation requires some degree of mobility. I know it’s a fictional future, but in real life, weapons and military equipment designers know that any armor can be beaten, so mobility and threat avoidance are way more important.

That’s well known, but i’m not talking about direct radiation from larger sources, i’m talking about radioactive dust and gases. Getting irradiated from some source and then walking away is bad enough, but getting some ‘glowing’ dust inside your own lungs… well, that’s going to ruin anyone’s life.


More conext please, just naming an armor doesn’t tell me anything.

It’s not that you can’t walk, it’s that your agility is impaired. Desire for mobility doesn’t stop modern armies from saddling infantry with in excess of 100lbs of gear, see https://mwi.usma.edu/the-overweight-infantryman/
This is the reason for power armor more than anything, the desire for more armor is just one aspect of it. Your assertion that agility is a top priority is simply not supported anywhere in modern military doctorine, which is what the source of power armor in DDA is based on.

You’re conflating tactical mobility (taking cover, obstacle avoidance, access to difficult areas) with agility (manuvering while fighting, close quarters combat, dodging). High encumbrance might hinder the first, but it pretty much entirely cancels out the second, and that’s fine, modern armed forces don’t expect you to try and dodge things because that doesn’t matter on the modern battlefield.

That’s fallout, and dda simply doesn’t handle fallout.


This is moving increasingly further away from my mod plans and towards general discussion.

I’m not unhappy the discussion is happening, I just think this would be a great time for movement to a different thread.