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  1. #1
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    Default Solo AC or Evasion?

    Returning player from way back, but all my old guildies seem to be gone (and the times I can play are erratic these days) so I've mainly been running a WF Rogue 2/Artifcer X (using a Great Crossbow) under the old challenge-solo rules of no grouping, no AH and no farming (one completion per difficulty). I'm currently level 15 and it looks like I've hit diminishing returns as far as AC goes, I can get it up to 33 long-term via Shield of Faith and Toughen Construct, 39 for single fights using Tenser's, but I'm getting hit pretty often whenever I take aggro away from my dog. Also, looking at some of the named gear that I could possibly get later on much of the stuff I'm leaning towards is Wizard stuff. On the other hand, my Reflex is +19 which doesn't seem to be enough for Evasion to matter more than 1/2-2/3 of the time if it's an Elite trap.

    So my question is, as the topic says, should I give up on AC entirely, stock up on Blur scrolls and become even better friends with the S key or retrain Mithral Body into Adamantine Body (and retrain my Rogue levels if I find a Heart) and accept that any traps where the box is in the danger zone I will have to just run through?

  2. #2
    Community Member psykopeta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stilesm1 View Post
    Returning player from way back, but all my old guildies seem to be gone (and the times I can play are erratic these days) so I've mainly been running a WF Rogue 2/Artifcer X (using a Great Crossbow) under the old challenge-solo rules of no grouping, no AH and no farming (one completion per difficulty). I'm currently level 15 and it looks like I've hit diminishing returns as far as AC goes, I can get it up to 33 long-term via Shield of Faith and Toughen Construct, 39 for single fights using Tenser's, but I'm getting hit pretty often whenever I take aggro away from my dog. Also, looking at some of the named gear that I could possibly get later on much of the stuff I'm leaning towards is Wizard stuff. On the other hand, my Reflex is +19 which doesn't seem to be enough for Evasion to matter more than 1/2-2/3 of the time if it's an Elite trap.

    So my question is, as the topic says, should I give up on AC entirely, stock up on Blur scrolls and become even better friends with the S key or retrain Mithral Body into Adamantine Body (and retrain my Rogue levels if I find a Heart) and accept that any traps where the box is in the danger zone I will have to just run through?
    don't invest more on ac and aim to dodge, concealment (blur and or displacement, don't stack) and incorporeal, these 3 things stack and make a real difference

    prr is also useful (and stacks with dr) so getting em all u would get hit less, and by less amounts

    for traps try to get http://ddowiki.com/page/Item:Beholder_Plate_Docent or http://ddowiki.com/page/Parasitic_Breastplate and craft uncanny awarenes on it, that would be 10 reflex(5 more than having a 5 resistance item, useful for fortitude and will) with gh and insightful reflexes(only if ur int is really higher than ur dex, let's say a difference of 5 in the total modifier) would get u a nice reflex for heroic content

    having evade at heroic lvls is useful, however it's not needed, and once u hit 20 u can go shadowdancer for the free evade(usless if u cant push it higher)
    psykopeta - hoarding pl, for the sake of hoarding, the day i become ubercompletionist will be because there isn't anything to delay it more - thelanis, where the gimps claim to be pros and noobs claim to be pros, no newbies allowed(unless they claim to be pros), we have enough drama w/o them. PS i'm not a pro, maybe if i reincarnate in RL...

  3. #3
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    You should drop mithral body for basic composite body. Mithral and adamantine body are a trap that you should never fall into.

    Both cap your DEX bonus to AC for only a marginal benefit. That benefit looks huge at low levels but rapidly loses value as you gain in level. Unless you are not running with high DEX (cannot imagine reason why you would do this on a rogue/artificer) you should benefit more from skipping the warforged body feats.

    You should also increase your dodge. Dodge is also capped by body feats, another reason to give them up. But you should easily break 25% dodge on a rogue/artificer with feats, enhancements and gear.

    You should always use blur/displacement. Concealment is a key part of the way defenses are layered in the current game.

    Similar to concealment but calculated separately is incorporeality. This is usually found on "ghostly" items but also comes with various enhancements depending on character class and/or epic destinies.

    These four parts make up the four corners of defense -- dodge, incorporeality, concealment and AC. The first 3 have a constant effect on whether you get hit or not so do not scale up or down with difficulty level. AC is most effective against mobs below your character level, least effective against mobs above your character level. Because of this there are many people who feel that AC can be either ignored or at most given little concern above what is easily obtained.

    Rogue and artificer offer nothing in the way of AC enhancements making it even more difficult in your specific situation. However, I am against ignoring AC entirely. Your AC numbers at your level seem low to me but you have put some arbitrary restrictions on your character -- so if you have not found items to help then that is its own problem but one you'll just have to live with.

    Try getting barkskin potions and shield clickies. These will offer some additional protection.

    Also, make good use of the artificer spell-like abilities and improved precise shot. If you can stun and/or weaken groups you can line up several mobs at once to rapidly reduce their numbers. Nothing wrong with letting your dog do the majority of the work for you if you can prep the group in advance or draw aggro with a flame turret. Sometimes it is better to be your dog's healer than it is to get involved in the fight. Anytime you play a character that is a bit under geared (which is your situation because of the restrictions you put on yourself) it is sometimes better to lay off in an encounter for a while until aggro is well established.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by psykopeta View Post
    having evade at heroic lvls is useful, however it's not needed
    it's better to have it than not to have it - but it can't save you, when you fail on saving roll, which will happen - especially on elite difficulty - quite often (and even if you win the saving roll, the halfed dmg could kill you). I'd advice: if you have enough class-space to reach what you want to build, take a second level to get it. But if your class-build won't allow to take it, don't take it. This simple. There is no content you'd miss, as long as you're willing to group or team up.

  5. #5
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psykopeta View Post
    craft uncanny awarenes on it
    Great recommendation but perhaps difficult to do if OP is not farming as it could be tough to get sufficient ingredients in limited runs. Not impossible but I know that I ended up combining ingredients from several characters to get enough. I had way more than I needed of certain types and barely enough of others.

  6. #6
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psykopeta View Post
    these 3 things stack
    True but the stacking is multiplicative not additive. If you have 25% dodge, 20% concealment and 25% incorporeality you do not have 70% chance to be missed. Instead your chance to be missed is 55%. So the stacking is one of diminishing returns.

    If your AC were giving 30% protection your chance to be missed would become 78%. But, since this is an "at level" number your actual chance to be missed will fluctuate from ~57% to ~97% depending on the difficulty of the content you are running. It is this range of fluctuation in AC effectiveness that causes some people -- primarily those who only play elite content -- to put a low emphasis (or no emphasis) on AC.

  7. #7
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    Okay, in answer to some of the points people raised:
    -The bigger problem with using Trace of Madness to get +Ref is that I'm Premium and don't have either of those APs.
    -I've been running all stuff slightly below my level pretty much since I got out of Korthos, both to reduce the risk of dying and because I'm not sure whether the AP I do have are enough to avoid hitting a dry spot where the only xp would come from repeating a quest or farming a Wilderness Area (this looks like it won't be nearly the issue I'd feared, hence trying to improve my survivability so I can do more quests without an xp penalty).
    -Insightful Reflexes would currently only give me a +3 increase, doesn't really seem worth a feat at the moment but that could change.
    -I've gone with Int as my primary stat, so my Dex is currently only a +6 (16 base, +4 item, +2 from BE Encancements), and I'm not sure how I'd realistically count on getting it higher than +8 (+4 to +6 item and taking a +2 Tome as my 1750 Favor reward). However, it has been a while so if there are any other bonus types I'm not thinking of (besides Ship Buffs or stuff unique to raid gear) please let me know. I just rediscovered that I have a +20 Lesser Heart due to this character having sat in the middle of the tutorial for years, so I could rework this some if need be. As it stands, though, my AC would go down by retraining Mithral Body, as would my PRR.
    edit: regarding max Dex, I don't yet have Mobility but I suppose I could rework things to take it.
    -The AC I gave included casting Shield of Faith and Toughen Construct on myself, so those potions unfortunately wouldn't be any improvement.
    -I don't have enough Rogue levels to go straight into Shadowdancer, I'd have to work my way through the Bard ED first, right?

    Sounds like the best I can do is buy a huge stack of Blur scrolls (and some Displacements for boss fights) and either make Gianthold Tor the next AP I buy (for the Ghost-Waking Cloak) or try to grind as much of the next Mabar as I can to get a high enough Cloak of Night. Not a huge improvement but I understand that with my situation a small increase is all I can get.

  8. #8
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stilesm1 View Post
    I don't have enough Rogue levels to go straight into Shadowdancer
    Because artificer doesn't have an ED you have a bit more freedom in choosing your starting ED. I'm not certain if that lets you choose anything you want or if you still have to start in a related sphere.

    If I get a chance to jump on Lamannia I can test -- or maybe someone else will answer first.

    Edit: Just checked and you do have to start in the arcane sphere. So, Fatesinger probably is the spot to start if you plan to work to Shadowdancer.
    Last edited by Therigar; 09-20-2013 at 10:05 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Therigar View Post
    Because artificer doesn't have an ED you have a bit more freedom in choosing your starting ED. I'm not certain if that lets you choose anything you want or if you still have to start in a related sphere.

    If I get a chance to jump on Lamannia I can test -- or maybe someone else will answer first.

    Edit: Just checked and you do have to start in the arcane sphere. So, Fatesinger probably is the spot to start if you plan to work to Shadowdancer.
    Yeah, I thought all of them (for starting out at least) were "You can start anywhere in this sphere if you have at least 6 levels from a class assigned to this sphere". On that note, though, how quickly do you gain ED xp compared to Epic Level xp? Because with my restrictions I'll be more focused on TRing then what looks to be the norm of considering any time you're not spending on EE to be wasted (waiting to see what the Epic TR works like, assuming it's going to possible without grinding raids) if it'll take me until level 26 or so to unlock Shadowdancer and level it up enough to have the Evasion that doesn't seem worth it when I could just stick with say Draconic Incarnation and have the Caster Level boost, Spellpower, etc.

  10. #10
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stilesm1 View Post
    On that note, though, how quickly do you gain ED xp compared to Epic Level xp?
    It takes 4 "bubbles" to be able to unlock Shadowdancer. You should get enough XP for that before you reach L22. The XP you earn applies to both the ED leveling and to the epic level leveling. So the same XP serves double duty.

    I think that you can hold levels and still have the XP earned apply to ED xp. Many of us did this (in effect) by maxing out EDs while at level cap when it was 25. But, there isn't necessarily any advantage to doing this.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by stilesm1 View Post
    either make Gianthold Tor the next AP I buy (for the Ghost-Waking Cloak) or try to grind as much of the next Mabar as I can to get a high enough Cloak of Night. Not a huge improvement but I understand that with my situation a small increase is all I can get.
    You can farm up a Cloak of Invisibility from tempest spine, f2p, and easily soloed due to the cloak dropping in the first chest you get to, before the fire & ice section.

    All you need to do is be able to unlock an int rune (18 int) and you're good to go. Be sure to bring some deathblock, though, since the mobs in that room tend to dispel and then immediately cast finger of death.

  12. #12
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    Ring of the Stalker + Bracers of Wind are a great combo. By L20, you'll get 10% Incorp, 6% Dodge, and 20% Blurry. You can achieve higher values on all those via other means, of course, but its nice for 2 slots, and with other useful mods (ie Manslayer). And you can grind them out, eventually, even as F2P.

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