Piercing versus Deflection
All Weapons have a Piercing score which represents their ability to punch through heavier armor while all Armors have a Deflection score which represents their ability to deflect or absorb damage from more powerful weaponry.
When a character is hit, the attacker's Piercing and target's Deflection are directly compared to see if the attack is Piercing. If the target's Deflection and the attacker's Piercing are equal, there is a 100% chance that the attack will be Piercing. For each point that Deflection is higher than Piercing, that is a 1% reduction in the chance of Piercing,
Effectively: Deflection% - Piercing% = Chance to Deflect (not pierce)
Example 1: 102% Deflection and 50% Piercing and -> = 102% - 50% = 52% Chance to Deflect (48% chance to pierce)
Example 2: 150% Deflection and 20% Piercing and -> 150% - 20% = 130% Chance to Deflect (always deflect) (0% chance to pierce)
A piercing hit eliminates the non-rolled portion of armor soaking, effectively negating two-thirds of the damage reduction from armor on average.
All normal attacks are either classified as Ballistic or Impact. (Special damage types for bleeding, bio-poison, and energy damage also exist.) Ballistic attacks are made by any ranged weapon in the form of screaming bullets, sniper rounds, or snubber blasts. Impact attacks are made by any melee weapon in the form of slicing blades, stabbing steel or the deadly claws of the Xeno. Every type of armor has a separate soak value for Ballistic Damage and Impact Damage. All characters also rely heavily on their Fortitude to soak damage during combat.
Armor without any Deflection is by its nature weaker but also lighter. This type of armor will not soak Damage effectively, but can be used to create evasion-focused combat builds. While heavier armor with a high Deflection value can still be hit with piercing attacks from time to time, the higher armor soak value generally compensates for the loss, even with the armor soak reduction. Heavier armor often comes with a penalty to initiative, delaying actions and allowing for fewer of them each combat round.
Fortitude reduces damage by:
unless the attack is piercing. When piercing it reduces by:
When armor is soaking damage from an attack that is not piercing (deflected), damage is reduced by:
(50% Armor Rating) + BigDice(50% Armor Rating)
If an attack is piercing, armor only reduces damage by:
BigDice(50% Armor Rating)
Fire, Plasma, Radiation and the like ignore armor soaking but are instead impacted by Resilience and specific Energy Damage Resistance, if any.
If a crew combat talent provides a bonus percentage armor it is added onto both ballistic and impact soak percentages. This bonus armor is not impacted by piercing attacks.
If an armor's base ballistic (or impact) soak were 30%-60% and a +20% armor buff were present, the soak for a piercing attack would be (1 to 30) + 20% = 21 to 51%. A non piercing attack would be soaked as (31 to 60) + 20% = 51 to 80% soak. With several +armor buffs you can meet or exceed physical damage immunity with at least 100% soak. If you exceed 100% soak, it will act as a buffer against armor debuffs. 110% soak with a -15% armor debuff will be 95% soak.