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  1. #1
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    Default "...your AC will be too low to matter..." - meaning what in numbers, at what level?

    Hi all,

    From reading advice here on the forums and even a bit in the wiki, there's this thing that experienced players sort of know already but...

    I've seen mentions about AC being too low to matter "eventually". Sure, but when is that then? I mean, how do I know if I'm there and how much margin I have? (Well, aside from looking at the combat log afterwards, but most of the time it's almost all fallen off the buffer already by then...)

    Same thing applies to saving throws and concentration skill and such, I understand. With disable and open lock you at least get feedback...

    Now, I'm fairly sure that at level 5 you can still benefit from at least +5 robes, right?

    At level 10 I get the impression that at least some toons have hit the point where AC is too low to matter most of the time - low-dex casters at least? Should my toon be wearing chaosgarde or greater parrying bracers, for example, if that's the difference between 19 and 21 AC? 29 and 31? 35? 40? ... and where does it go from there?

  2. #2
    Community Member AbyssalMage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mna View Post
    Hi all,

    From reading advice here on the forums and even a bit in the wiki, there's this thing that experienced players sort of know already but...

    I've seen mentions about AC being too low to matter "eventually". Sure, but when is that then? I mean, how do I know if I'm there and how much margin I have? (Well, aside from looking at the combat log afterwards, but most of the time it's almost all fallen off the buffer already by then...)

    Same thing applies to saving throws and concentration skill and such, I understand. With disable and open lock you at least get feedback...

    Now, I'm fairly sure that at level 5 you can still benefit from at least +5 robes, right?

    At level 10 I get the impression that at least some toons have hit the point where AC is too low to matter most of the time - low-dex casters at least? Should my toon be wearing chaosgarde or greater parrying bracers, for example, if that's the difference between 19 and 21 AC? 29 and 31? 35? 40? ... and where does it go from there?
    If your a Wizard/Sorcerer your AC wont matter really after 7'ish (unless you have a lot of really good gear). But they have Blur/Displace and a variety of other tools to get missed.

    Everyone else (in general terms) can get AC into the 60's range, with some upper end gear, which will help you in EN and EH.

    PRR is more important than AC but that generally comes with the gear you slot (unless you are a monk which gets it in their earth stance).

    Fighters/Paladin's can reach over 100 AC and the PRR to match.

    This is all general; Monk splits for example (xx/2 monk) took a harder hit because of the new AC system than pure classes or splits that didn't have monk in them.

    Yes, you want the Greater Parrying for the saves AC is a bonus, if you can use it. As far as saves go, I believe it is upper 50's/low 60's (on EE) if you want to save on everything but a 1 but I don't have the exact numbers. Someone else can probably tell you the exact numbers. Reflex Save is the only one I hear people talk about, and usually has the most posts, because it is tied to Evasion.

  3. #3
    Hero nibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mna View Post
    I've seen mentions about AC being too low to matter "eventually". Sure, but when is that then? I mean, how do I know if I'm there and how much margin I have? (Well, aside from looking at the combat log afterwards, but most of the time it's almost all fallen off the buffer already by then...)
    The way the new to-hit math works tends to gravitate towards 50% chance. If you have less than 50% chance to be hit, you need bigger bonus to see any improvement. If you have more than 50% chance to be hit, every small help is much more valuable.

    The to-hit formula for monsters attacking PCs is:

    (<monster to-hit> + 10.5) / (<Player's AC> * 2)

    That will give the percentage the monster have to hit you. The problem is that Epic Elite monsters have such an astronomical to-hit value that if your AC is not on 3 digits, they will hit you lots of times. And sice they hit VERY hard, standing toe-to-toe with them is not smart.

    This is definitelly not the case with Normal and Hard. I had a rogue with ~40 AC being able to see a good ammount of "miss" on epic normal. Any character can get to this number or higher (eg, Eveningstar Barkskin and Shield of Faith potions alone give +10 AC).

    Quote Originally Posted by mna View Post
    Same thing applies to saving throws and concentration skill and such, I understand. With disable and open lock you at least get feedback...
    Have in mind that many people that give this kind of advise play mostly on Elite settings. On Normal and Hard, it is much more harder to get to the point where they are not useful anymore. Have in mind that the difference between Epic Hard and Epic Elite is MUCH greater than the difference between Heroic Normal and Heroic Elite.

    So, while on epic normal the mobs hit for 30~50 damage, your maxed concentration (and maybe a concentration item) will be enough to pull out your scrolls/spells if you dont receive a critical or sneak attack. The same mob on Epic Elite is hitting for 150 damage or more, thus requiring you to have 130+ concentration to even get a chance to not be interrupted.

    The same can be said about saves. Epic Elite mobs have DCs on the high 30/low 40 range. If you don't have at least 40 on your save, you will never save short of a 20 roll. The same mob on Epic normal will have 10-15 less DCs, thus requiring much lower save numbers to be feasible to save against.
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  4. #4
    Community Member Ryiah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mna View Post
    Should my toon be wearing chaosgarde or greater parrying bracers, for example, if that's the difference between 19 and 21 AC? 29 and 31? 35? 40? ... and where does it go from there?
    Any time an enemy fails to land a hit due to your AC you will see the word "Miss" float above your head. Simply testing is the best way to determine how much is needed.
    Last edited by Ryiah; 06-07-2013 at 02:54 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryiah View Post
    Any time an enemy fails to land a hit due to your AC you will see the word "Miss" float above your head. Simply testing is the best way to determine how much is needed.
    You mean the displace and whatever don't go into "Miss" at all? Good to know.

    Still, sort of hard to test beforehand if I'm trying to stretch my plat in the auction house...


    And, it'd be nice to have some kind of numbers for heroic elite in my near future, meaning something like level 12...15 -- future as in I'm not even there yet, it'll be a long time before I get to epic anything.


    Oh, and when does the crafted invulnerability (DR 5/magic) become irrelevant? It _seems_ to be fairly nice when soloing at level 10 still, at least...

  6. #6
    Community Member johnnyputrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mna View Post
    Oh, and when does the crafted invulnerability (DR 5/magic) become irrelevant? It _seems_ to be fairly nice when soloing at level 10 still, at least...
    Invulnerability works in a lot of content past the lower levels, but it really all depends on which monster type you are fighting. The majority of animal-type monsters have no inherent ability to bypass magic DR, so DR 5/magic is still effective against high challenge rating rats, bats and other assorted critters.

    In some mid-to-high level areas, such as heroic level Gianthold, there is a wide range of monsters who do and don't use magical weapons. Your basic Gianthold hobgoblin trash mob is typically wielding a magic weapon, while a nearby troll or ogre is using a simple non-magical club. Then you have archer mobs, who may be using magic bows, or may be just using arrows with an elemental damage effect, but no actual plus value on the weapon or the arrows.

    Your best bet is to go ahead and stick with the Invulnerability item until you find something with more desirable effects. As a general rule, if you have no other source of DR besides Invulnerability, you will see small red damage numbers when you get hit and take damage. This will generally let you know when the effect is working. When you start taking larger font, slightly brighter red damage numbers, usually your DR 5/magic is being bypassed. You can also utilize your combat log to determine which monsters can and can't bypass Invulnerability.

  7. #7
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    People who say your AC will be too low to matter might be thinking of how things were before MoU--or they might not be. The link to this dev post is broken, but I had a local copy/paste saved. Graphics and links don't work, and it might be out of date, but it's still educational. It's a lot, so here are two of the more thought-provoking sentences to pique your interest:

    "Players have often told us that the Armor Class system is broken, and the charts above clearly indicate that they’re absolutely right!"

    "We would like Armor Class to matter to everybody."

    Summary of Combat Changes in Menace of the Underdark
    Major changes are being made to the hit formulas in Menace of the Underdark to address several Armor Class and mitigation issues that plague the system we currently have on the live servers, and become especially apparent in extreme content. Armor Class is intended to provide indirect damage mitigation over time – it makes sense that the less the monsters hit you, the less damage you take.

    We've put this thread together to try to explain what we're doing and why. (Several changes have occurred since earlier beta rounds - if I don't mention something, it's probably been removed.)

    The biggest issue that we have is that against any particular monster, there is only a “functional AC band” of 20 points, where each point of Armor Class matters. Let’s look at a mid level example, ignoring critical hits for now, where a monster with +20 to hit is attacking a player:

    navigator.jpg.php
    Figure 1: Mid Level AC – Monster attacking Player

    The mitigation curve with the live system looks like this. Against a monster with a +20 to hit, if you have a 21 or lower Armor Class (the first red zone), you are hit 95% of the time, since monsters miss on a roll of a natural 1. It doesn’t really matter if you’re at 10 AC, 15, or 21 – you’re still getting hit 95% of the time. At an Armor Class of 40 or higher, once again, each point of Armor Class is excessive – the monster is only hitting on a roll of a Natural 20, so your Armor Class is “wasted”.

    Major problems start arising when character AC’s in a party are 20 or more points apart – monsters can barely touch one character but are almost always hitting the other character. The low AC character is taking an astounding nineteen times as many hits as the high AC character. Meanwhile, to challenge the high AC character, monster to-hit numbers have crept up significantly, until we reach our current epic level content, which has charts like this:

    EpicLevelAC.jpg
    Figure 2: Epic Lord of Blades - Monster attacking Player

    The Epic Lord of Blades, without serious debuffs, hits everyone’s Armor Class in the game right now 95% of the time, from the angriest Frenzied Berserker in a loincloth to a Stalwart Defender wearing the best defensive gear in the game.

    Since Epic quests, until now, have been designed for a certain extremely hardcore crowd, this was somewhat acceptable, but in Menace of the Underdark we’re opening them up to a wider audience (including Casual, Normal, Hard, and Elite modes).

    Players have often told us that the Armor Class system is broken, and the charts above clearly indicate that they’re absolutely right! It’s completely true, especially in high level content. The system functions only in a very narrow band of 20, but player AC ranges wildly from single digits to hovering right around 100. This unsurprisingly leads to characters discarding any attempts to increase their Armor Class, since there’s no way for them to get it to the point where it has any actual effect on gameplay. (Tabletop D&D has a few systems that address the disparity, such as additional attacks per turn at increasing penalties - even if the first attack will hit you 95% of the time, the second or third attack might miss if you have some focus on AC.)

    We would like Armor Class to matter to everybody. We would also like everyone to gain some benefit if they acquire an item that increases their Armor Class by another 3 points, regardless of how high their Armor Class already is.

    Our solution is to change the way Attack Bonus and Armor Class are compared. Instead of adding 1d20 to a monster’s Attack Bonus and directly comparing the values, we’re calculating a hit chance separately. Each point of Armor Class increases your chance to be missed, while each point of the monster’s Attack Bonus increases their chance to hit you. The tooltip on your Armor Class value of your character sheet will display your chance to be missed by the “average monster” of your level.


    Figure 3: Defense Chance in the AC Tooltip

    A general rule with the new formula is that every doubling of Armor Class pretty much doubles your mitigation. A character with 30 Armor Class will be hit approximately half as often by a specific monster as one with a 15 Armor Class, and one with a 60 Armor Class will be hit approximately one quarter as often as the 15 Armor Class character.

    Players will use the same formula, but will have a 25% bonus to hit if they are proficient with their weapon. Unlike monster attack rolls, player to hit rolls will be mapped to a d20 by rounding to the nearest 5% - if you hit on a 13, you’ll hit on a 13. Players will also graze opponents on a roll of 2 or higher on the d20 instead of a 10 or higher – if you character looks like it hit with your weapon, it should do some damage on anything but a roll of a 1.

    Converting to a system like this increases the band of “Effective Armor Class” dramatically, but also results in high Armor Class characters being hit more often. If we did nothing to address that, the mitigation curves for above charts would look like this:


    Figure 4: Mid Level AC Comparison of Systems – Monster attacking Player

    Values from 17 to 305 Armor Class are supported with this mid-level curve.

    Figure 5: Epic Lord of Blades Comparison of Systems – Monster attacking Player

    The Epic Lord of Blades now acquires a chance to miss at 66 Armor Class, and the curve doesn’t reach a 95% miss chance until 1244 Armor Class.

    While these curves dramatically assist characters with Armor Class lower than the Attack Bonuses of their opponents, this isn’t sufficient to keep high Armor Class characters “tanking” as well as we would like. There are two additional changes that we’re planning to help them out there, and one for the lightly armored dexterous classes out there.

    • More Armor Class for wearing Armor
    We want armor to mean more to your character than it does today. Currently on live, a character with a 90 Armor Class is likely to be getting 16 or fewer points of their Armor Class from the suit of armor they are physically wearing. We’re creating multiple “tiers” of armor that provide increased bonuses, starting around level 7.

    Named items will be retroactively upgraded to grant bonuses appropriate for the tier that they drop at. The Epic Red Dragonplate Armor, for example, will provide 27 total points of Armor Bonus instead of 16.

    We didn’t forget about the Warforged – Docents will now also grant different amounts of Armor based on your body feats.

    Several feats and enhancements have been modified to provide greater amounts of Armor Class or percentage boosts to Armor Class.

    • Physical Resistance Rating
    Heavily armored or defensive characters will be taking decreased damage from physical (bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing) damage due to a Physical Resistance Rating score.

    If you are proficient in your armor, you will have a starting Physical Resistance Rating, modified by whether it is light, medium, or heavy armor, that increases as your Base Attack Bonus increases.

    Shield Mastery, Improved Shield Mastery, Two Weapon Defense, various Defensive Stances, and the monk’s Earth Stance all provide various amounts of stacking Physical Resistance Rating.

    Your Physical Resistance Rating will be visible on your character sheet, and the tooltip will let you know how much it's helping.

    navigator.jpg.php
    Figure 6: Physical Resistance Rating Tooltip

    • Dodge
    Dodge bonuses now give a chance to evade attacks entirely instead of providing Armor Class. Your passive Dodge percentage is capped by the Maximum Dexterity Bonus of your armor, shield, or body feat, but short duration effects can go well beyond it.

    Several feats now provide Dodge bonuses that did not have defensive benefits before – Mobility and Spring Attack each grant 2% Dodge, and abilities like Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge now grant a massive Dodge bonus instead of a small amount of Armor Class.


    If we include a 30% Armor Class Boost into our formulas, our Stalwart Defender III tank (wearing heavy armor and a tower shield, with Shield Mastery and Improved Shield Mastery) can expect approximately the following improvement to survivability against the Epic Lord of Blades:


    Figure 7: Includes Physical Resistance Rating and AC increases

    Our 100 AC tank on live should be going from 5% mitigation to around 64%. The Physical Resistance Rating boosts give a large amount of durability to the character, and very importantly make a healer’s job easier by making the incoming hits smaller.

    In our mid level example, we’ll drop our tank down to Stalwart Defender II (reducing their Physical Resistance Rating), but retain heavy armor and a tower shield. Against this opponent, overall mitigation drops some at high AC values (since it’s no longer really possible to get to 95%), our 40 AC tank on live is still at 78% mitigation overall:


    Figure 8: Includes Physical Resistance Rating and AC increases

    Overall Summary:
    With the new combat formulas, we’re hoping to have Armor Class matter at all levels, for every character. Each point of Armor Class that you gain will help you mitigate damage, whether it’s your 17<sup>th</sup> point or your 117<sup>th</sup>. Armors provide increased Armor Class bonuses as well as Physical Resistance Rating. It’s not really possible to reach the 95% plateau anymore, but a high Armor Class character’s survivability will still be high, and the formula is much more forgiving to middling-AC characters.

    We hope that this post helps people understand the scope of and the reasons behind the combat changes, as well as providing clarity to make them easier to understand, and we welcome further questions and feedback here in the forums.

    If you're curious, further details on the exact combat formulas are in another post here, containing the deep dive into specific feat and system changes.


    Combat Change Details
    Please read this post first!

    This post contains the crunchy formula details, for those that want to know all of the math behind the numbers.

    ---

    Monster’s chance to hit: (Monster’s Attack Bonus + 10.5) / (Target’s Armor Class * 2)

    Player’s chance to hit (if proficient in weapon): (Player’s Attack Bonus + 10.5) / (Target’s Armor Class * 2) + 25%, rounded to nearest 5%

    Players graze on a 2+ on the attack roll d20.
    Monsters graze on a 19+ on Casual or Normal difficulty, 17+ on Hard difficulty, and 15+ on Elite difficulty. Note that at these thresholds, players should only encounter grazing hits when dramatically overleveling content, since it’s fairly difficult to be over a 75% miss rate.

    You can calculate how much each point of Physical Resistance Rating is helping using the following formula: (1 – (0.99^Physical Resistance Rating))*0.65
    PPR Protection PPR Protection
    0 0.00% 110 43.48%
    10 6.22% 120 45.54%
    20 11.84% 130 47.40%
    30 16.92% 140 49.08%
    40 21.52% 150 50.61%
    50 25.67% 160 51.98%
    60 29.43% 170 53.23%
    70 32.84% 180 54.35%
    80 35.91% 190 55.37%
    90 38.69% 200 56.29%
    100 41.21% 210 57.12%
    If you are proficient in your armor:
    Heavy Armor gives you Physical Resistance Rating equal to your Base Attack Bonus.
    Medium Armor gives you Physical Resistance Rating equal to 2/3 of your Base Attack Bonus.
    Light Armor gives you Physical Resistance Rating equal to 1/2 of your Base Attack Bonus.
    I'm cutting it off there. That's more than enough to get the point across as a response to the OP.

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