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Pierce vs Penetration

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Greetings! I have an idea for a game so I'm doing some research to work out the basic mechanics. So, I was wondering if there is a fundamental difference (from a mechanics stand point) between pierce and penetration? 

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When a thing is pierced, the thing that pierced it has come all the way through. For example, an arrow. If the point has passed all the way through the target and the point is in the air again. Did you try Googling the definitions?

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Ok that makes sense! Yes, however since some games use pierce in the context of ignoring def, I was wondering if there was a fundamental reason for using that way. The way you summarized it gave me an idea to use both. Thank you! 

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