There are lots of changes coming to the game with this pack. And to me a lot of them feel unfinished. Today I want to as briefly as I can talk about how I feel about the AC changes.
To me Ac is the thing that keeps other from hitting you. And DR is how to lessen blows that land. In my mind they are two very different things. And together they make up how much damage you end up taking in a given combat.
This gives us a clear progression of how one can excel in AC or DR or anything. Want to hit guys with AC of 40 on a 2 and better you better get your to hit to a 39, but if you run in to someone with a 60 AC you need those 20s. Aka it is liner and simple to understand. Hence when DnD switched to the d20 system in 3.0 it revitalized the game as a whole.
Now lets DDO this thing.
You have an AC of 60, fairly simple to get with little effort. And you can tank/play Vod on normal no problem. Sure you take a few hits but you would say you’re a 90% miss tank.
IF you walk into the harbor for a favor run to help your pal earn some TP you are totally untouchable but the mobs that caused you issues when you were level 3, aka a clear progression.
And if you go in to An ELOP you get hit all the time, it is like you might as well not have any AC for all the good it does. Yes is a bummer. But you really haven’t progressed in to that level of AC yet.
Now lets look at the things to come.
You get to an AC of 120 real simply now. And you do that same Vod but watching the numbers and hits you are getting missed 60% of the time. But your new magic DR is taking a lot of the hits smoothing out your damage but you are taking more damage over the whole of the quest. But feels a lot smoother. And you sit aside that feeling of “I am getting hit more with an AC twice as high as before, but the quest seems easier… “.
You go help that same friend do the same favor run and WTF? Level 3 kobolds are hitting you? With that 120 AC, that is not right. But it is for a quick 3 min quest it will be fine. But it feels very wrong.
Now that ELOP your AC is working a ton better then before from 5% miss to 50% miss and that feels great.
And you think if getting hit 50% of the time feels this good what would it feel like to get hit only 80% of the time. So you work and you grind and you lose DPS for AC. And it takes a long time and lots of work but before you know it your AC is 190.
And we do those same 3 quests and in Vod your getting missed 70% of the time. Kobolds are missing 80-85% of the time and in the elob you clawed yourself to 60-65% miss chance. And you start to think all that for what? Less then 20% betterment, why did I bother?
Excellence is gone.
Will it be nice to have my happenstance AC mean something? Hell yes.
But will anyone try to be better then what is easy? I don’t think so. As it stands, there is a reason to GO AC. Once you’re there you feel invincible, and you say how it was worth it. When people ask me about AC I say go big or go home. Soon I will say why would you try to go big?
Can Turbine fix Ac? I think so I like the system as it stands right now with one change. There needs to be a point of AC compared to the attacker’s Bab that puts the defender at a set maximum miss chance. When I did my posts on leveling my SD fighter I ran down some of the raid bosses according to the ddowiki, and most of their Babs were in the 70- 80 range with the Elob being out side of the list in the 100s. But I think that if someone has 1.x-2.0 more AC then the attackers bab give a fixed AC miss chance of 90-95%. Then going big Ac still matters as apposed to get what is easy and be happy with your 50ish miss chance.
Anyway, I will say Turbine is really selling these changes. And people are buying for now. But lets see how they feel once don’t bother with AC becomes be happy with what you have because it doesn’t get any better.
Hopeful I am wrong, but knowing I am not.
In general the new updates feel like a boost to mediocrity. The players who work the hardest through TRs, gear, smart builds, they’re hit the most by these changes in a bad way that makes you go “why bother working so hard?”.
I haven’t bothered with AC since … ever. Usually I was right, and AC was meaningless. Sometimes, especially lately, I was wrong.
But now my complete and utter lack of caring about AC has caught up with the mainstream. No one needs to care about it anymore. We all get some, even if only by accident, and no one can get enough to really matter.
Laugh at Knicker still in her Starter Rags all you want. As it turned out, she was the future.
I think you hit the nail on the head. If you didn’t want to go AC you didn’t and those that did really had to work to make their AC meaningful.
Now the choice is being removed. And those that want to excel can’t and those that don’t care are getting a massive boost. Just sloppy mob programing. If a moster rolls and hits you on a 2 it should remember that and increases its power attack until it maximizes its damage. IF it misses then it needs to lower its damage for tricks and ways to start hitting you.
People say that the rules are broken, i say lazy DMs not wanting to use the rules to their avantage.
Show me a pnp CR 35 monster with an attack bonus of 114. But that is the average “epic” mob’s to hit? Lazy, lazy lazy. Not the rules fault at all.
i was going to write something linking high ac builds to WoP , batman etc builds , but im not.
you know what? i think i like everyone having some ac now.
Zero AC builds can also use WoP, Vorpal, Terror, or whatever the happens to be the shortcut weapon of the day.
These things usually balance out. When the devs see that the tanks get fewer and the way to get to the uber tank gets severe they will adjust it.
I don’t think it’s their purpose to make tanks the class of yesterday.
personally I’m more frustrated over the re-introduction of meaningless grind through random effects on hard to get gear. It would be like finally pulling the Epic ring of spell storing and it only covers 3 minor pots instead of 3 major.
My hope is that they get the AC squared away so there’s a reason to build tanks.
Have to agree with Geoff here as well. Basically, dps builds get a huge boost, and the AC builds that sacrificed dps to get the AC get a huge nerf. The options have become limited. Great post by the way!
Ouchie, I was happier not learning about this. Thanks for a great post Geoff!
And Samius, of course…. Moar coffee..