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FlyingTurtle
02-18-2011, 10:44 AM
I'm finding even a really basic 30-40 AC is useful in Gianthold normal for damage mitigation (high 20s for Sands). I keep reading about numbers like 50-60+ on the forum, are they for "only get hit on a 20" AC tanks?

Can we get some estimates of "below this AC level, don't bother with AC at all" levels for the various levels?

EKKM
02-18-2011, 10:48 AM
There is a wide range depending on the mobs you are discussing, so in GH the 50ish number represents a significant reduction from trash on normal mobs and good protection against bosses.

While 35 may provide some damage mitigation against the dwarves in foundation, the ogres and giant skeletons in madstone will rarely miss.

FlyingTurtle
02-18-2011, 10:58 AM
So essentially AC is non-useless as long as it's within say 20 points of the recommended useful level.

It's interesting because I've tried to put aside my AC items several times now and always put them back on again after seeing the sudden increase in hit counts. Making some small fraction of mobs hit on a 3 instead of a 2 is still a situational 5% mitigation, not to be dismissed lightly.

jwdaniels
02-18-2011, 11:03 AM
If you base it around a commonly specced but not fully buffed fighter, I would say by 10th level mobs should have an attack bonus of somewhere around +25 - 30, more or less. That means if your AC is around 35-40 you can expect to get hit 50% of the time by typical fighter-type beater trash. Below 25 - 30, you're in the hit on anything but 1 range. Above 45 - 50 you're in the hit only on a 20 range. Bosses will, of course, have a higher attack bonus (as would an actual fighter in that level range with buffs, etc.) but that seems to be a decent theoretical baseline based purely on math and not empirical evidence.

EKKM
02-18-2011, 11:05 AM
A lot of it depends on your playstyle as well, if you shortman or solo a lot, any "useful" AC is a significant benefit. If you run with a full party, that useful 35 AC against trash won't be used as much as the trash should be dying pretty quickly (and therefore not swinging at you).

If you are seeing a benefit at those levels given your playstyle, keep it up.

In the thread I think you are referring to, my estimates were a bit high to avoid the "AC is gimp" crowd from chiming in.

Thelmallen
02-18-2011, 11:07 AM
I think when most people talking about 'meaningful AC' they really do mean 'hit on a 20 AC', which isn't really the same thing. As pointed out earlier in this thread, your AC is usually static (discounting short duration buffs like haste and recitation) but there is a dynamic difference in attack bonuses you'll be facing in different monsters and situations so it's just easier to use the 'hit on a 20' qualification for meaningful AC. In gianthold, for instance, I think a 50 means you'll be hit on a 20 by most mobs as you need to be much higher against an ogre or troll them other stuff and maybe a little more often by bosses. That's not to say a 47 isn't going to be very good out there, it's just not as good as it would have to be to mitigate all but 5% of the physical attacks you'll face.

Chette
02-18-2011, 11:07 AM
So essentially AC is non-useless as long as it's within say 20 points of the recommended useful level.

It's interesting because I've tried to put aside my AC items several times now and always put them back on again after seeing the sudden increase in hit counts. Making some small fraction of mobs hit on a 3 instead of a 2 is still a situational 5% mitigation, not to be dismissed lightly.

I've never found an AC below 40 to be useful in or after gianthold, though I suppose I've haven't looked into the numbers below 50 very much. At 50 I found I was getting hit close to 50% of the time, and at 55 I found I was getting hit only occasionally.


If having a low 30s means you don't get hit on a 2 or 3, that may be useful, but you have to consider what you have to give up to get that extra 5% mitigation. Are you wearing a protection +5 item? Is there something better you could be wearing in that slot? Maybe you could fit in a +2 damage and/or hit set if you weren't wearing that ring, or the mantle of the worldshaper, making room for a bloodstone, if you weren't wearing that cloak. Or without that full plate maybe you could wear a robe of hammerblock, axeblock or spearblock, or something else useful depending on your class.

Every build will have a different optimal set up of course, but in my experience, I've never found it worth trying for AC untill I can hit low-mid 40s by gianthold.

Good luck!

Impaqt
02-18-2011, 11:08 AM
So essentially AC is non-useless as long as it's within say 20 points of the recommended useful level.

It's interesting because I've tried to put aside my AC items several times now and always put them back on again after seeing the sudden increase in hit counts. Making some small fraction of mobs hit on a 3 instead of a 2 is still a situational 5% mitigation, not to be dismissed lightly.

Very few mobs do significant enough damage to make 5-50% mitigation all that noticeable. and for the ones that do, Blur, displacement, and other forms of concealment are more effective than "Just enough ac to matter"

Thelmallen
02-18-2011, 11:15 AM
Very few mobs do significant enough damage to make 5-50% mitigation all that noticeable. and for the ones that do, Blur, displacement, and other forms of concealment are more effective than "Just enough ac to matter"

Individually, no but if you're soloing out there and have three or four ogres doing their triple-attack on you at the same time, just enough AC to matter really does matter.

Stitch78
02-18-2011, 11:17 AM
Also, keep in mind your AC may be better than you think. A lot of buffs will boost your AC but won't show upon the AC chart - I'm thinking of Circle Against Evil, Shield of Faith, and some insight bonuses. Also, Haste, which if I recall shows up but you are rarely looking at your AC chart while you're hasted. And Pally auras, which you can wander in and out of.

Impaqt
02-18-2011, 11:21 AM
Individually, no but if you're soloing out there and have three or four ogres doing their triple-attack on you at the same time, just enough AC to matter really does matter.

If you are aggroing 3 or 4 ogres at the same time while soloing you have a lot more to worry about than your ac...

Thrudh
02-18-2011, 11:50 AM
The AC numbers posted on these forums are usually posted by DPS min-maxers who have no idea what they're talking about...

(Or, to be more generous, there is a communication problem where they think the only AC that matters is the one that's good enough to be hit only on a 20 by the BOSS monster).

There's also the fact that different monsters hit with different bonuses..

For instance, you'll hear some people talk about needing a 70 AC in Shavarath... because the devils have a high to-hit score... But a 60 or so AC means the orthans can barely hit you, and the devils miss you 50%... Add in displacement clickables (50% miss chance BEFORE AC calculations), focus on the devils first in every fight, and that 60 AC means you get through every fight with ease (with a bit of healing between fights).

In my experience, shoot for

50 AC in Gianthold
55 AC in Vale
60 AC in Shavarath

These are not hard numbers to hit... They don't make you invincible, but they seriously reduce the amount of damage you take.

wax_on_wax_off
02-18-2011, 11:52 AM
If you are aggroing 3 or 4 ogres at the same time while soloing you have a lot more to worry about than your ac...

Like where are 3-4 more ogres to kite before I drop a blade barrier?

grodon9999
02-18-2011, 12:02 PM
50 AC in Gianthold
55 AC in Vale
60 AC in Shavarath



This will get you decent protection on normal.

Thrudh
02-18-2011, 12:12 PM
This will get you decent protection on normal.

Good catch... I should have qualified my remarks as well to indicate the difficulty...

50 AC in Gianthold will likely be good for hard, and some quests on elite as well...

55 AC in Vale is good on both normal and hard... I don't do those on elite very often

60 AC in Shavarath is indeed a number just for normal... I don't solo those on hard or elite, and rarely do them at hard or elite even in big groups (and in big groups, AC matters much less)

I know you have done those on harder difficulties grodon... What are your experiences with AC on hard and/or elite in Shavarath?

grodon9999
02-18-2011, 12:19 PM
I know you have done those on harder difficulties grodon... What are your experiences with AC on hard and/or elite in Shavarath?

It's about 60 in Amrath for the Orthons and 70 for the bearded devils. Add about 5 to that for hard and 10 for elite. You are NOT invulnerable and in a quest like Sins there's dozens of attacks a second coming in so you're still gonna get hit.

My Fighter can maintain about an 86 AC and he's easily scroll-healable on hard Horoth or Elite Sulu.

Quarterling
02-18-2011, 02:15 PM
If you want AC, here is the basic formula you should follow:

AC = (level*2)+20

So if you're level 10, aim for an AC of 40; level 15, AC of 50. This helps mainly around normal quests on normal difficulty.

elraido
02-18-2011, 02:26 PM
It's about 60 in Amrath for the Orthons and 70 for the bearded devils. Add about 5 to that for hard and 10 for elite. You are NOT invulnerable and in a quest like Sins there's dozens of attacks a second coming in so you're still gonna get hit.

My Fighter can maintain about an 86 AC and he's easily scroll-healable on hard Horoth or Elite Sulu.

I know when I do Sins on my paladin, with a full group, I like to run ahead and grab as much aggro as I can. My ac will be about 75-80 self buffed. I will get hit with about 10 devils and orthons around me, but never to the point where I am close to dying before I kill them. Granted I move like a snail and with combat ex on, not doing my optimal DPS but surviving is key. I like to do this because the devils have a nasty tendency to jump to the back of the group and go after the cleric....if I am zerging ahead, they stay on me. :D

I will say this though....a 90 ac is worthless on epic and still not that handy for elite aramath stuff.

grodon9999
02-18-2011, 02:29 PM
I will say this though....a 90 ac is worthless on epic . . .

I've not tested 90 in epic. 80 was all but useless, the misses were not worth the DPS loss.




. . .and still not that handy for elite aramath stuff.

This is absolute rubbish.

Creeper
02-18-2011, 02:32 PM
I know when I do Sins on my paladin, with a full group, I like to run ahead and grab as much aggro as I can. My ac will be about 75-80 self buffed. I will get hit with about 10 devils and orthons around me, but never to the point where I am close to dying before I kill them. Granted I move like a snail and with combat ex on, not doing my optimal DPS but surviving is key.

How do you run far enough ahead of the group with a paladin to grab aggro and kill 10 devils and orthons if you move like a snail? :D

Zenako
02-18-2011, 02:50 PM
How do you run far enough ahead of the group with a paladin to grab aggro and kill 10 devils and orthons if you move like a snail? :D

Hamstring his allies???

Seriously this discussion comes up all the time. Most of those players who disdain any consideration of AC tend to run with full groups and tethered healbots (characters or hirelings) to offset the copious damage they end up taking. Players who run solo, small group or more tactically can see and enjoy the benefits of AC far more readily. As a healer is it often REAL easy to see who has any meaningful AC and who does not. Since everyone is often buffed the same, the damage influx is based on AC and player twitch skill to avoid attack zones of the mobs.

The key point many players miss is the RATE of Damage has to be less than the RATE of healing that can be maintained, or else you start to lose. AC to mitigate the RATE of damage is very valuable and can result in a fewer net resources being needed. With a party of half way decent AC types, a Rad Servant can keep many groups healed with just an Aura going.

The other caveat is some players focus on the major END bosses as their benchmarks for usefulness. They consider everything else along the way to essentially be trash mobs and irrelevant, which in some context they might well be. For "effective AC" against an end boss, the number often need to be a lot higher.

So you also can see the monster AC's that can be achieved in sort bursts (20 seconds or so) being cited. Many buffs can be dispelled and often are in some encounters, so counting on those type of boosts can be risky. My AC fighter stands at 51 at level 12 - 24/7 "beholder AC". Can boost that to around 60 with some spells and boosts if he needs to, but seldom does. Yes he can wander around Gianthold pretty well.

HOWEVER, the advent of glancing blows has reduced the true effectiveness of very high AC in many cases, especially if you have no DR. Getting nicked for a lot of glancing blows for 5 to 10 points adds up quick in the middle of mobs, unless you have good DR. I find that when I have a Stoneskin up, that I net almost no damage from glancing blows until the Skin is consumed. So even an AC build benefits from a useful DR. For a while I worn Golden Greaves for the DR3/- effect they give and those were fairly useful in slowing down Misc Damage.

pie2655
02-18-2011, 03:06 PM
Any tips on how to achieve this much AC and still have good enough DPS?

Postumus
02-18-2011, 03:09 PM
Hamstring his allies???

Seriously this discussion comes up all the time. Most of those players who disdain any consideration of AC tend to run with full groups and tethered healbots (characters or hirelings) to offset the copious damage they end up taking. Players who run solo, small group or more tactically can see and enjoy the benefits of AC far more readily. As a healer is it often REAL easy to see who has any meaningful AC and who does not. Since everyone is often buffed the same, the damage influx is based on AC and player twitch skill to avoid attack zones of the mobs.

The key point many players miss is the RATE of Damage has to be less than the RATE of healing that can be maintained, or else you start to lose. AC to mitigate the RATE of damage is very valuable and can result in a fewer net resources being needed. With a party of half way decent AC types, a Rad Servant can keep many groups healed with just an Aura going.

The other caveat is some players focus on the major END bosses as their benchmarks for usefulness. They consider everything else along the way to essentially be trash mobs and irrelevant, which in some context they might well be. For "effective AC" against an end boss, the number often need to be a lot higher.

So you also can see the monster AC's that can be achieved in sort bursts (20 seconds or so) being cited. Many buffs can be dispelled and often are in some encounters, so counting on those type of boosts can be risky. My AC fighter stands at 51 at level 12 - 24/7 "beholder AC". Can boost that to around 60 with some spells and boosts if he needs to, but seldom does. Yes he can wander around Gianthold pretty well.

HOWEVER, the advent of glancing blows has reduced the true effectiveness of very high AC in many cases, especially if you have no DR. Getting nicked for a lot of glancing blows for 5 to 10 points adds up quick in the middle of mobs, unless you have good DR. I find that when I have a Stoneskin up, that I net almost no damage from glancing blows until the Skin is consumed. So even an AC build benefits from a useful DR. For a while I worn Golden Greaves for the DR3/- effect they give and those were fairly useful in slowing down Misc Damage.

Really great post. Very informative.

This thread in general has been really good. I guess the "AC IS USELESSSSSSS!!!FFFFJGJAJG!!!" crowd is otherwise preoccupied atm.

grodon9999
02-18-2011, 03:18 PM
Any tips on how to achieve this much AC and still have good enough DPS?

Monk-splash and a butt-load of gear. Build-wise it only means starting with 16 instead of 18 STR, the rest is gear and a feat or two.

It's situational, if you need to get hit less (soloing, tanking) you equip stuff that gets AC but if you're beating the back of a devil do you even need any? Gear's not stapled to your body and can be changed at any time depending on what's called for.

This is what my one ranger wears in AC-mode:

Head Epic Helm of the Mroranon (+1 DEX)
Neck Tempest necklace
Belt Epic Belt of the Mroranon (+1 STR)
Armor Icy Rainments
Ring 1 Tempest +2 DEX
Ring 2 Chattering
Boots Madstone
Bracers Epic Scorched (+6 CHR)
Cloak Epic Mabar
Gloves Epic Spectral (GFL)
Goggles Epic Time Goggles (+2 EXC Wisdom)


10 Base
1 Dodge
1 TWD
4 Icy Raiments Dodge
1 Alchemical Dodge
7 Wisdom
11 Dexterity
3 Chattering ring
4 Insight (Shroud Crafted)
5 Protection
5 Barkskin
8 Armor Bracers
4 Tempest III
1 Haste
2 Recitation
4 Bard song
2 Yugo
5 Airship
2 Mabar Cloak
1 Time Goggles (+2 EXC Wisdom)
3 FE

84 Power attack AC against a Favored Enemy with raid-buffage. This is the max that a starting 15 DEX ranger with all level-ups in STR can get without DDO store stuff or other rare consumables like the Abishai cookies. I guess maybe the Abishai set could fit in some more, but I already had most of this stuff before that came out.

It's enough to handle Elite Sulu in VoD or Hard Sulu in ToD. For Elite Sulu in ToD a pally or halfling companion would be needed to keep the pounding to a minimum.

I also lose . . . 23.5 points of damage PER SWING when I'm wearing this gear and tanking. 14.5 Sneak-attack is gone because I have aggro, 7 from my non-equipped Ravager set, and 1 from the 2 STR I'm missing from my ravager ring. If I had the claw set it'd be even more.

Thrudh
02-18-2011, 03:34 PM
Any tips on how to achieve this much AC and still have good enough DPS?

Monk splash lets add your wisdom bonus to your AC...

So splashing fighter or ranger or rogue or paladin with at least 1 level of monk can give you a nice AC boost...

That's the best way to do it and keep up your DPS...

The other way to get a good AC is to use a Tower Shield and full plate, but your DPS will drop off significantly.

EKKM
02-18-2011, 10:40 PM
Monk splash lets add your wisdom bonus to your AC...

So splashing fighter or ranger or rogue or paladin with at least 1 level of monk can give you a nice AC boost...

That's the best way to do it and keep up your DPS...

The other way to get a good AC is to use a Tower Shield and full plate, but your DPS will drop off significantly.

Most fighter type AC characters build for a DPS mode. My intimtank has all the TWF, powerattack, wpn specialization, improved crit. My AC can range from 50-80 depending on my gear, buffs and stances.

To have good AC and good dps requires some sort of monk splash. The downside of those builds is they usually have no DR to mitigate glancing blows and high to hit bosses (and the rediculous amount of gear they require.)