Today, the armor mechanics is broken. What does even 20 armor even mean? Adding 1 armor from armory to all units, how does it even make sense? Absolute armor works in game like AOE2 where all units are similar and the unit stats are similar across all units. For a game like AOE4 which is closer to the model of AOE3/AOM/AOEO, where units have wide range of statistics, armor should be % damage reduction. That way, you can say siege have 80% pierce armor which actually works as it should.
If I upgrade my armor in armory to +20% then my unit is 20% more resistant to damage not suddenly reduce the damage by half or have no effect on some units. Just my 2 cents.
I can’t believe they messed up a fundamental mechanics to represents something fundamental like this.
Not saying the stats are balanced now, but clearly the current system is more easily adjustable and easy to understand for the players.
It comes from AoE2, and it works wonders there, specially due to making the choice of upgrades more relevant.
For example, if I have a ball of longbowmen and my opponent is fielding knights, why would I upgrade my armor (-1 damage against 20 something attack) if I can upgrade my attack and deal 33-100% more damage per hit? (6+1 against like 4-5 armor). Sure, adding spearmen is a good idea, but I don’t want my ball of units that I managed to keep alive to simply become idle.
If it was a % system, a basic armor upgrade would do what, cut 10% of the knights damage? 2 less damage instead of only 1. would counter 3 damage on a charge. It might look like nothing, but in big battle it makes a lot of difference.
% systems are a natural counter to high attack units, and do little against low damage units (I deal 10% less damage from my 7 attack? Fine with it). The current method is more intuitive and easy to understand, while keeping it’s “secrets” in some techs and matchups, which at the very least add choice, diversity on strategy. There is no “upgrade meta” that covers all of the units, civs, matchups and build orders, and that is just the ideal way to build an RTS game.