Strategy:Gothic armor

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With 6 protection, the Gothic armor has the most protection of any exotic armor in the game, while also boasting a massive 50% resistance to bullet. shrapnel, and melee damage. Former humans, Sergeants, and Captains will never deal more than 1 point of damage to you per hit, and you reduce nearly all melee damage down to 1 point, while even the strongest melee attacks in the game, those of the Cyberdemon and Angel of Death, will be reduced to a pitiful 2-3 damage. Then on top of all that, this armor innately comes with 200% durability, which not only doubles how long the armor can last, but gives you triple the amount of effective durability to work with (as armor doesn't entered its damage state and thus lose protection until it hits 50% or less, so you get 150% durability instead of just 50% durability to work with before it enters this damaged state).

However this armor does come with some huge downsides. First, this armor has no resistance at all against the energy trio of fire, plasma, and acid damage, and as any experienced DoomRL veteran can attest, resistances are far more valuable to damage reduction than sheer protection. For an example, an Arch-vile's attack deals 20 damage with no armor at all, enough to three shot any class at base, but the Gothic armor reduces it to 14 damage, which works out to Scouts and Technicians... being able to take just one more hit before dying, while a Marine can barely survive an additional hit on top of that, so not much an improvement over having no armor at all. A vanilla Red armor on the other hand, with its innate 25% fire resistance, reduces the Arch-vile's attack down to 11 damage. So against the ever dangerous VMR, Gothic armor is not protecting you any better than unmodded Red armor, and against sufficiently high damage like the aforementioned Arch-vile blast, it's outright worse! Then there's the fact that plasma damage ignores half of armor protection, meaning the Gothic armor effectively gives you only 3 protection against plasma, so you're not reducing all of an Arachnotron's and especially not a Former commando's blasts down to 1 damage, while this armor will see even less effective protection against plasma-dealing enemies with single strong hits like Cacodemons and Hell knights (to say nothing of how laughable this armor will be against nastier plasma enemies and bosses like certain nightmare enemies and the Shambler). The second, bigger problem with this armor however is how badly it cripples your movement, with an abominable -70% movement speed penalty and a -90% knockback penalty; with average movement speed, enemies will be getting triple to quintuple moves each time you try moving in it, and trying to rocket jump in it will send you nowhere. Putting the Gothic armor on in an open firefight against anything bigger than Demons may as well be suicide, unless you got so much Hellrunner investment and something crazy like Antigrav boots or agility modded Phaseshift boots on to keep your movement speed still decent, in which case if you're that fast, you would be better off without the Gothic armor and just running away where the enemies have no hope to catch you.

How to effectively utilize the Gothic armor

Despite those major drawbacks, the Gothic armor is still a very nice find that you will often be happy to see, and in some cases can even be the best thing. Just on its own, it is the best armor for melee combat aside from a Shielded Armor and a Ballistic shield, both of which are even rarer to find, and the latter of which is a shield, which means its durability can't be restored without a Megasphere. So as long as you can get yourself in a comfy spot to lure enemies to without opening yourself up to fire, any build with melee investment can don this armor and melee them to death while taking very minimal damage. Additionally as mentioned before, it neuters the Angel of Death, meaning a build with no melee investment that finds this armor will have a much easier time trying to beat the Unholy Cathedral for that sweet Conqueror Badge, especially if they didn't get a Hatred skull earlier on from the Agony elemental, which is covered in more detail on the Unholy Cathedral's strategy page.

The other thing about the Gothic armor is since it's an exotic, you can still mod it. Basic modding doesn't do too much for this armor; an agility mod won't save its movement speed when it brings it up to a still abysmal -55%, and a power mod isn't doing all that much to make up for the complete lack of resistances against energy attacks. Where the Gothic armor really shines is being a base for assemblies, by which I mean for the Cerberus armor. The Gothic armor is unquestionably the best base armor in the game for Cerberus armor, where the Gothic armor and that assembly both address each others' weaknesses in a perfect marriage; the Gothic armor has amazing physical resistance but no energy resistances, and the Cerberus armor has amazing energy resistances but no physical resistances, inheriting its physical resistances from whatever armor is used to assemble it. Thus by using Gothic armor as a base for your Cerberus armor, you get an armor with the following resistances: 50% to bullet, 50% to shrapnel, 50% to melee, 70% to fire, 50% to plasma, and 70% to acid. So even though Cerberus armor has no protection, Cerberus Gothic armor will reduce all damage in the game to half or even less. Additionally, Cerberus armor inherits it durability from the base armor, and thus your Cerberus Gothic armor will also inherent that maximum 200% durability, which is what makes it even better than using the Duelist armor or Ballistic vest as a base (which give 50% resistance to all physical damage as well but don't come with the extra durability). For one more perk of this assembly, the Cerberus armor has its own set -30% movement speed and knockback penalties regardless of what armor you use to make it, which is normally one downside of the assembly, but compared to what the Gothic armor has, that is much much more manageable, making the assembly about a complete upgrade (well with it losing that 6 protection, it's not near-invulnerable in melee anymore, but the far greater resistance against energy attacks is more than worth being just merely well-protected in melee).

For assemblies besides the Cerberus armor, if you're lucky enough to be able to make a Nanofiber skin armor or Cybernano armor, there are many other far better armors to use for them, even a Red armor would serve as a much more effective base if you can't find any of the better exotic armors. If you aren't investing in Whizkid and thus can't make Cerberus armor, making it into a Nanofiber armor would be a joke and Ballistic armor is similarly jokeworthy; just applying a power mod to the Gothic armor will reduce melee damage from the Cyberdemon and Angel of Death down to 1, while turning it Ballistic will give it a -30% fire resistance, i.e. you may as well be covering yourself in gasoline when VMR are around. This leaves just Fireproof armor as the only one worth any consideration, which gives the armor +30% fire resistance in exchange for -30% melee resistance. 20% melee resistance with 6 protection is still plenty, for some numbers it'll reduce a Baron's and Mancubus' melee damage down to 1-3, and the only things that hit harder in melee than them are the aforementioned two bosses and Nightmare demons, so you're still extremely protected in melee against 95-99% of what you'll fight. Conversely, the aforementioned Arch-vile's attack will get reduced down to 8 damage, nearly doubling the armor's effectiveness against them, while seeing even greater appreciation against weaker attacks. You still have the crippling movement problem however and Fireproof Gothic armor is completely worthless for rocket jumping, so it would still be an inferior option to Fireproofing a Red armor, but it would make the armor a lot more viable as a backup for open firefights while still remaining very good in melee range, thus it would be a decent assembly to make if you got the inventory space, technical mod, and bulk mod to spare.

Final note

If you found the Gothic boots too, wearing them alongside the Gothic armor will give you the Gothic Arms set, which gives you +4 protection. Now 10 protection sounds nice, but also comes with the drawback of making you unable to move at all no matter what your movement speed is. Trying to utilize this with vanilla Gothic armor is obviously impractical, as per the explanation before on how sheer protection value isn't worth all that much on its own. But if you did make Cerberus Gothic armor, it'll still work for the Gothic Arms set, in which case the +4 protection on top of the Cerberus resistances will make you nearly invincible against most attacks; the Arch-vile's attack we have been using as a benchmark throughout this page? With 70% fire resistance and 4 protection, its damage gets reduced down to... 2 damage, and most other non-plasma attacks will be dealing only a single point of damage. Granted, it often would be better to keep the ability to move, but if you do find yourself in a situation where you absolutely can't run and need to out-DPS a bunch of baddies to survive, this could be your savoir or at least save you a medkit or Phase device. This could similarly be applied with the Fireproof Gothic armor, though there you'll still be taking some damage from fire enemies and so it won't work as effectively (e.g. the Arch-vile's attack gets reduced to 4 damage, a huge reduction but you're not completely shrugging repeated blows off), especially when you won't have any acid and plasma resistance to stave off Barons and plasma enemies like the Cerberus Gothic armor can. The last scenario where the Gothic Arms set could be practical is if you're a non-melee build trying to beat the Unholy Cathedral, as it'll reduce the Angel of Death's attacks down to 1 damage without you having to expend a power mod on the Gothic armor.

So overall, the Gothic armor is an unusual armor that is rather impractical for general usage, but it does have situations where it can shine, and it can end up being a run-changing armor if you're able to make it Cerberus. Omega Tyrant (talk) 23:20, 1 July 2023 (UTC)

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