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  1. #1
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    Default AC doesn't matter? How do I defend myself then D:

    Hi DDO community,

    I'm new to this game, but I'm getting the hang of my playing my wizard, I think. One thing I've heard a lot of people say confuses me though. That is, that AC is useless / doesn't matter anymore.

    How do I not get killed then? Right now, my AC is 26 at level 7, which translates to a 47% "defense chance." There's really no way for me to replicate that kind of defense any other way. Sure, I can cast displacement for a few seconds for 50% enemy miss chance, but I can't do that all the time. Blur, which I do have on all the time, only gives me 20% enemy miss chance. I see there's a dodge stat (I have 0 of it right now), but that can't even exceed 25%. And I'm pretty sure all the crowd control spells in the world can't guarantee that the enemy never gets a chance to attack me.

    Is the AC doesn't matter thing only for higher level players to worry about? And if so, what do high level wizards use instead of AC?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmadyre View Post
    <snip>

    Is the AC doesn't matter thing only for higher level players to worry about? And if so, what do high level wizards use instead of AC?

    Thanks in advance
    Mostly postioning, cc, self healing of some sort (heal scrolls,sf pots, reconstruct for wf, death aura/neb for pm's),
    displacement and killing things before they get to hit you.

  3. #3
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    Yeah . . . can't really get effective AC on wizards in DDO. I know a few fringe builds do this but the pursuit isn't worth it in my opinion.

    Don't stand still. You can cast spells while moving in DDO, this is brokenly good, take advantage of this. Don't stand there and let things beat on you.

    Blur - most trash do not have true seeing. 20% miss right there.

    Displacement - blur but better

    Self healing. WF arcanes can reconsturct, all Pale Masters can self-heal with negative energy spells. when you get hit, heal yourself.

    Crowd control spells. Stuff can't heal you when it's dancing/held/webbed.

    Kill stuff fast. Dead things can't kill you.
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  4. #4
    The Hatchery Scraap's Avatar
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    Ducking, mostly.

    Failing that, clouds help for yet another source of miss-chance folks haven't mentioned yet. Thing to remember is it all adds up.

  5. #5
    Community Member akash's Avatar
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    AC is not useless for tanks (e.g. Fighter, Paladin, Monk etc.) but it's completely useless for casters (Wizard, Sorcerer etc.) it's mainly because you will never be able to reach high enough AC without sacrificing your casting power. If you are a Wizard at level 12 with Pale Master II enhancement you will be able to become a Wraith, which will highly increase your defence. Most end game wizards completely dump their AC, that increase the rate of their Torc of Prince Raiyum-de II + GS Concordant Opposition items proc rate.

  6. #6
    The Hatchery Enoach's Avatar
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    On Displacement - This isn't meant to be an Always running spell, it's the "oh, we are now in an encounter where I could be attacked spell".

    A Wizard's defense comes from one of three things
    1. Not being where damage is occurring/out of reach - position and proximity and displacement and mobility are the keys
    2. Prevention of being attacked - Crowd Control, be it holding an enemy in place or turning the enemy on itself
    3. Elimination of threat - Be it "Boom Stick" or instant removal

    At your current level AC is not meaningless. As you progress in level that 26 AC will diminish in its defensive chance as those you are facing become stronger.

  7. #7
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    Ah geez, sounds pretty tough. My CCs right now don't always affect all the bad guys, and I can't really kill entire mobs before they get to me. Hopefully those insta-death spells wizards get later on will make up the difference.

    Anyways, thanks for the help guys. I'll start practicing more CC use

  8. #8
    Hero LOOON375's Avatar
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    Web, glitterdust, charm, hypnotize for low levels are your friend.
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  9. #9
    Hero Propane's Avatar
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    You will want the feat Heighten Spell - this allows those nice low level spells (WEB, et al) to be very effective at high levels!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmadyre View Post
    Ah geez, sounds pretty tough. My CCs right now don't always affect all the bad guys, and I can't really kill entire mobs before they get to me. Hopefully those insta-death spells wizards get later on will make up the difference.

    Anyways, thanks for the help guys. I'll start practicing more CC use
    Not at all, my caster is by far the easiest toon I've seen to play. Just don't stand still and let things beat on you.
    Personal d000m level: 83%

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  11. #11
    Community Member FyreFyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoach View Post
    On Displacement - This isn't meant to be an Always running spell, it's the "oh, we are now in an encounter where I could be attacked spell".

    A Wizard's defense comes from one of three things
    1. Not being where damage is occurring/out of reach - position and proximity and displacement and mobility are the keys
    2. Prevention of being attacked - Crowd Control, be it holding an enemy in place or turning the enemy on itself
    3. Elimination of threat - Be it "Boom Stick" or instant removal
    That is basically the purpose of a pure wizard in my mind. Either blow it up and hope it doesn't reach you, or avoid the target. Wizards in the D&D universe have always sort of been this way, they have a good chunk of "Oh-Sh*t" spell's when things get very hairy and up close/personal. But the consensus is to stay further away from a fight and do what you can to control it at a distance. So +1 to Enoach.

  12. #12
    Community Member Talon_Moonshadow's Avatar
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    AC is NOT useless. (anymore anyway)

    But Wizards do not need AC.



    I could mention a long list of buffs that reduce the damage you take, but lets just mention a few, that apply specifically to being hit with a sword or claws..

    Blur... lasts 1min/lvl. and can be extended. Wizards should be blurred most of the time (at higher levels anyway) That's a 20% miss chance... on top of any AC you have.

    Displacement. Doesn't last long, but keep it hotkeyed and if you take significant damage, hit Displacement. 50% miss chance.

    Stoneskin. Available from wands that can be bought. You don't even need spell points. Reduces most incoming melee damage by 20 points.

    Greater Heroism gives some temporary HP. (on top of it rasing your saves, which also reduces the damage you take)

    False Life gives temporary HP

    Are you a War Forged?
    Are you a Pale Master?

    Both can self heal.
    and the Pale Master Death Aura effect is extremely effective at keeping you alive.

    For all classes, simply moving out of the way of the swinging sword or claw will keep you from getting hurt.
    Not always possible of course, but a ton of damage can be prevented by keeping mobile.

    Jump spell and Haste helps you keep mobile. (and Wizard cast spells from a distance anyway)

    Speaking of spells.....
    Crowd Control!
    Wizards can disable an entire army!

    Why do you need AC when the monster cannot attack you?
    Hypno, Holds, Charms... dancing balls... or just plain insta kill spells. all keep things from attacking you.
    (so does blasting them out of existance with super damage Fireballs btw)

    There are also robes and armors that have other defensive properties other than AC.
    I am a fan of "fearsome" robes myself.

    And you gain some damage reduction from actively blocking. Some named shields gives some significant blocking DR.



    So... while AC does matter, Wizards do not usually have high ACs. But they don't really need a high AC to defend themselves.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jandric View Post
    ..., but I honestly think the solution is to group with less whiny people.

  13. #13
    Community Member Dhalgren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ape_Man View Post
    Not at all, my caster is by far the easiest toon I've seen to play. Just don't stand still and let things beat on you.
    He wasn't talking about your caster

    OP, have you taken any feats or enhancements to help boost your DCs for the CC spells you're using? These would tend to be enchantments, or conjuration for web. Likewise for other relevant schools (necro, etc). Have you taken a prestige enhancement? What race are you? What gear are you using? What are your stats? All of these things will help determine how successful your CC and killing is.

    If you're still having trouble landing CC, try hitting the baddies with a Hypnotize first. Even if they save on the Hypno, they'll take a hit of 3 to their Will saves for a few seconds afterward. This can really help a lot (plus, if you're an Archmage, you can go enchantment and cast Hypno as an SLA for 1 SP).

    Someone mentioned the Heighten feat, which will be fantastic at later levels but probably not worth the cost yet for you yet.

    Others have already said what I was going to start with: Duck! You don't take damage if you don't get hit. If you are finding yourself getting overwhelmed a lot, maybe try to slow things down and learn to pull one or two mobs out of that group that's around the corner--stay out of sight, and throw something near them (but don't hit them). Once you get the hang of it you can peel them off by making them come investigate the sound. Takes longer than just steamrolling the quest and there are times it won't work so well, but it can help. You can steamroll everything later when you've gotten more familiar with the possibilities.
    Heatherx (Completionist--honest, no stones)
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  14. #14
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    As of now (at level 7 with 1 rogue / 6 wiz) I've got +9 int, but no spell focus or heighten to improve saves any further. So, 20 save DC for level 1 spells, 21 for level 2, etc. Honestly, I have no problems surviving most of the time (except on elite); I was just wondering if it'll be harder in the future (since I won't be able to keep up in terms of AC).

    In terms of CC, my Web has a save of 21, which is usually enough, except half the time by the time the web reaches its location, the mob has already passed it. I wonder if there's a way to manually aim these spells (without targeting a specific enemy). I don't really use hypnotize because the mob would need to be pretty close; most of the time I just spam sonic blast / electric loop and finish with a fireball if necessary, so the enemies are dazed most of the time anyway. Even if they get to me they miss most of the time anyway. I expect the sonic blast /loop combo isn't really a long term solution though, because I've read that after wizards start getting the save-or-die spells, they stop bothering with damage spells.

    So in short, right now I'm having no problems; I'm just worried that when I'm level 15 or 18 or w/e, and one elite enemy slips through my CC, he's going to hit me for half my health. Maybe he'll have to swing twice due to displacement, but that's still not too comforting >_>

    I guess I can just duck though? Is that the shift key? I didn't know that actually made a major difference, other than forcing you to stand still or awkwardly tumble around.

    @Talon Moonshadow: thanks for the move around tip. I thought it was just my imagination that enemies tend to miss when I stepped back before they swing. Most MMOs don't have that :O
    Last edited by sigmadyre; 10-29-2012 at 05:10 PM.

  15. #15
    Community Member Dhalgren's Avatar
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    Well, by "duck", I just mean "get out of the way". Fireballs can be dodged or jumped over, meteor swarms can be avoided, arrows can be hidden from. You don't have Wall of Fire yet, but once you do, you can lay that down and kite enemies though it until they're dead (this works amazingly well in undead-heavy places, as long as you're not facing blackbone skellies).

    You will eventually come to rely more on your DC-based casting, yes--in general, sorcs are the better nukers--but you'll probably never leave damage spells behind entirely. Not everything is susceptible to the DC-based spells.

    You can enable mouse look mode by pressing T (I think it's T, anyway, although I've remapped most of my keyboard so this could be incorrect) or holding down the right mouse button then using the targeting reticule in the centre of the screen to aim.

    You can also shield block (shift by default) and if you're holding a shield you'll get a nice little boost to DR--and with the right shield, this can be significant. You're still better off avoiding damage when you can, but if you have something's aggro and are kiting it around, the rest of the party is going to have a hard time killing it if they can't catch it. In these cases it often makes sense to shield block and hold the mob still for a bit so you can get a hand beating it down, or shift the aggro to someone else.

    I would suggest looking into some of the Spell Focus/Greater Spell Focus feats as well as enhancements to boost your DCs--they may be high enough to get by for most stuff, but higher is always better and there is always something tougher than you're used to waiting to jump out and give you a smack.

    Another nice buffer is a half-decent HP score. With a good Con score, a Con item, and a False Life item, and so on, you can help keep things from one- or two-shotting you. Many feel that HP is the single most important stat. I agree it's important to keep it high and healthy, but just take care not to focus so much on it that you wind up gimping yourself just for the sake of a few more HP. And get a fortification item ASAP if you don't already have one. You should be wearing Moderate Fortification at least at your level if you can, and it will just become more important later on as more and more mobs will be landing crits on you otherwise.
    Last edited by Dhalgren; 10-29-2012 at 07:20 PM.
    Heatherx (Completionist--honest, no stones)
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  16. #16
    Community Member Jingwei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmadyre View Post
    In terms of CC, my Web has a save of 21, which is usually enough, except half the time by the time the web reaches its location, the mob has already passed it. I wonder if there's a way to manually aim these spells (without targeting a specific enemy). I don't really use hypnotize because the mob would need to be pretty close; most of the time I just spam sonic blast / electric loop and finish with a fireball if necessary, so the enemies are dazed most of the time anyway. Even if they get to me they miss most of the time anyway. I expect the sonic blast /loop combo isn't really a long term solution though, because I've read that after wizards start getting the save-or-die spells, they stop bothering with damage spells.

    So in short, right now I'm having no problems; I'm just worried that when I'm level 15 or 18 or w/e, and one elite enemy slips through my CC, he's going to hit me for half my health. Maybe he'll have to swing twice due to displacement, but that's still not too comforting >_>

    I guess I can just duck though? Is that the shift key? I didn't know that actually made a major difference, other than forcing you to stand still or awkwardly tumble around.

    @Talon Moonshadow: thanks for the move around tip. I thought it was just my imagination that enemies tend to miss when I stepped back before they swing. Most MMOs don't have that :O
    For many spells, they'll go off where you have the the mouse pointer , as long as you don't have a hard target. You'll probably need to hotkey the spell you want to cast, so you can have the pointer where you want it.

    If you have a monster or object hard targeted, you can press F1 to select yourself.

    Also, remember that you can kite the monsters back and forth across the web unitl they get stuck in it. Ever time they (re)enter the web, they have to make a new saving throw.

    When facing many monsters, it's also possible to 'circle' around so that the bodies of the monsters who want to hit you block each other momentarily.

  17. #17
    Community Member johnnyputrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmadyre View Post
    As of now (at level 7 with 1 rogue / 6 wiz) I've got +9 int, but no spell focus or heighten to improve saves any further. So, 20 save DC for level 1 spells, 21 for level 2, etc. Honestly, I have no problems surviving most of the time (except on elite); I was just wondering if it'll be harder in the future (since I won't be able to keep up in terms of AC).
    You are one level away from two spells which will allow you to utterly destroy any monsters at your level which get in your way: Wall of Fire and Acid Rain. Which of the two spells you prefer to use is largely a matter of personal taste, as both will greatly increase your destructive output.

    Wall of Fire is the standard go-to spell, because very few monsters have any fire resistance at lower levels and as a stationary spell, it is relatively easy to kite things back and forth through it. Acid Rain takes a little more skill to use properly, as it doesn't have a clearly defined graphical effect like Wall of Fire does. Acid Rain has a shorter duration than Wall of Fire as well, so aiming it correctly is a critical skill to master. Learn to use mouselook, spell positioning and keep moving and you'll be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by sigmadyre View Post
    So in short, right now I'm having no problems; I'm just worried that when I'm level 15 or 18 or w/e, and one elite enemy slips through my CC, he's going to hit me for half my health. Maybe he'll have to swing twice due to displacement, but that's still not too comforting >_>
    Don't worry about lvl 15 just yet. But if you are even halfway competent by the time you get there, you'll have no trouble blowing up entire rooms. A high-level wizard's combination of high spell DCs, potent crowd control, a plethora of instakill options and destructive spells means you will always have access to the right tool for the job. You should have no trouble getting up to lvl 20 on a decently built wizard.

    Then you TR into a sorc.

  18. #18
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    Not trying to hijack, but as the owner of a 9 wiz/2 rogue myself I'm curious about the statement about needing a "fortification" item. I have seen those robes in the AH, but avoid them in favor of a higher AC robe instead. But are "we" saying here that a +0 robe of moderate fortification is better than a + 5 robe of anything else? It just seems to me that we'd get hit even more than we already do, thus practically negating the fortification argument.

    Please advise. Thanks.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ape_Man View Post
    Kill stuff fast. Dead things can't kill you.
    Tell that to all the skeletons, zombies, wraiths, etc and so on in the game

  20. #20
    The Hatchery Scraap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefferweffer View Post
    Not trying to hijack, but as the owner of a 9 wiz/2 rogue myself I'm curious about the statement about needing a "fortification" item. I have seen those robes in the AH, but avoid them in favor of a higher AC robe instead. But are "we" saying here that a +0 robe of moderate fortification is better than a + 5 robe of anything else? It just seems to me that we'd get hit even more than we already do, thus practically negating the fortification argument.

    Please advise. Thanks.
    Hyper-generalized rule of thumb: Largely depends on your miss chance for anything below heavy fort. A threat is the mob rolling high. A crit is them threatening then hitting. If they would otherwise miss, it's just a normal hit, so if that +5 whatever shaves off more than 25% of their striking chance, the AC's better than a light fort item, for instance.

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