Jul 102012

So many changes were made in latest update/expansion. So many. I am trying to get my head around them one at a time.

The befuddlement of the day for me yesterday was armor. I’d noticed that I was pulling some nice new armors from normal chests but didn’t understand why or how to tell what was good from what was vendor fodder.

Several hours of research later, I now understand. Maybe I can share my recent enlightenment and save you from some of that befuddlement.

What we used to have:

About a dozen different kinds of armor plus clothes and docents. Each type of armor had a very unique look but only minor differences in terms of capability. Armors were categorized as Light, Medium or Heavy, but a specific set of armor could move down one category if it were made of Mithril (or more obscurely, Darkleaf).

Only named clothing (robes and outfits) might have an innate armor bonus. Random loot (and Cannith Crafted) clothing did not.

Even the best armor didn’t provide very good protection. High AC builds all achieved their numbers using class abilities, dexterity, wisdom, and/or exotic gear. No one tanked based solely on the protection of their armor.

What we have now:

Six kinds of armor, plus clothes and docents. Docents and armor now have levels too, with better protection available at higher levels.

New Base Armors

Clothes have changed as well, they can now have an innate armor bonus. I would have thought this would mean Cannith Crafting now allows one to make clothing with armor but it does not. Or at least it does not in any way I was able to discover.

Some of the higher level armors now have very good protection. So good that I suspect most of the top tanks will be heavily armored. At least until the very highest levels. More on that below.

Armor Categories

Armors are still categorized as Light, Medium, or Heavy, but there does not appear to be an equivalent to the Mithril; I have found no way to change the base category of the armor.

There are two types of armor available in each category. One that is less penalizing to dexterity and spellcasting but also less protective, and one that is more rigid and also more protective.

Armor Tiers

Armor and docents now come in five tiers. The base item, with a minimum level of one, and four progressively better tiers that each have a progressively higher level requirement.

The names of the tiers are drawn from recent D&D source material. I don’t know 4th edition D&D but apparently there actually is source material precedent for these changes. The D&D purist in me appreciates the consistency.

Tier names vary but all of the armors and docents break down like this:

  • Base item, min level 1
  • First tier, min level 4
  • Second tier, min level 10
  • Third tier, min level 16
  • Last tier, min level 22

Of course, adding magic effects to the armor will increase the minimum level.

The Numbers

The DDOWiki has an extensive article about armor tiers including some helpful charts showing the various values. But some of the numbers appear off based on observation. Perhaps they are from Lamannia armors before the expansion pack went live? Thinking this was strange (the wiki is usually dead on) I bought one of each type of armor on each tier from the auction house, disjuncted any magic, and compared.

Here are the results:

New Armors in Detail

* Warforged max DEX is based on character plating
? Numbers assumed or from Wiki, not confirmed

The column Total AC represents a character wearing the armor and using all of the available DEX bonus. The column Dex Equiv represents how much DEX a character would have to have to match this armor while wearing robes.(1)

(1) I did not factor in Armored Agility, Daggertoothโ€™s Belt, or other ways to increase Max DEX bonus because they are both highly variable and also finite. Eventually you have used them all but someone else can continue to pile on the DEX indefinitely. Nor did I include WIS bonus although most characters seeking high AC without armor will get one.


I suspect that Planeforged Plate is supposed to be the top-level armor in the game, but the fact that the max Dex bonus is stuck at one for all tiers means that min/max AC builds will likely be seeking something else.

Even at the very peak of armoring, someone with a 60+ DEX (or 60+ DEX & WIS) will still have a better armor class. I haven’t confirmed this but I suspect that a 60+ DEX is now a possibility.

It would be strange if Turbine went through all of this development time to make armor matter, but the most serious AC builds were still running around in robes.

On the other hand, AC itself has undergone dramatic changes as well. Maybe there is no longer a reason to make a serious AC build at all, regardless of armor and dexterity questions.

But that is a topic for another day. Samius has been ranting about it for a couple of weeks.

Rants or not, the new armor is what it is. Happy armoring everyone!

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ™‚

p.s. Just noticed a “beta” template on the wiki page. Their numbers are indeed from Lamannia before the changes went live.

  19 Responses to “Doing the Math: An Initial Look at the New Armors”

Comments (18) Pingbacks (1)
  1. Nice work!

  2. Nice post ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. What do you mean “ranting”?

  4. @samius I meant as in “generally regarding with disfavor” but I did not mean “slavering unintelligibly and without reason”. Perhaps I should have chosen a different term. Although some of the earlier AC tweets were kind of ranty ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Planeforged and Celistial… I noticed you put question marks by them. I have to admit, i’ve never pulled these items. I see a lot of spiritcraft items though. I jumped on that bandwagon with my rogue right away! Thanks for taking the time to do all the leg work here. I love the visuals ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. @martin I was able to see one set of planeforged – a docent – but all of the other planeforged and celestial numbers are unconfirmed. There just isn’t any on the AH yet and no was listening to my general chat pleas for links ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. This blog post is made of awesome!

  8. That’s very helpful. Thanks!

  9. A most excellent post, thanks again Geoffhanna!

  10. 1) Meant to reply the other day, but forgot… I’ve actually gotten +1 lootgen robes from an end reward (granted, it was one of the Sharn ones and BTA, so that may prove the difference) a few times, long before MotU was even dreamed of.

    2) There’s some +3 Planeforged Plate on Thelanis which seems to confirm the numbers you listed.

  11. @LrdSlvrhnd – I can confirm that Sharn has offered a ‘+3 Robe’ as an end reward for a long time. But as you say it’s BTA and chain-specific — and further, if you try to put it in the crafting machine it’s a named item. So definitely not a random loot item.

  12. Hmm, I’m sure I disjuncted at least one of those – I was basically looking for a decent-looking outfit or robe to craft on for my monk – and about 5 seconds later I said “Wait, that was a +1 robe, I should’ve kept it as a curiosity!” Of course, it was only +1, not +3… and it was just a quest end reward, not from the entire chain. (Semi-random thought: It’s a shame that the Come Out And Slay reward list wasn’t kept as a bunch of BTA weapons, just without the Nicked variants, when they made the entire chain repeatable)

  13. Celestial Leather looks to be +9 Armor and 18 MDB (a couple of +6 ones in the Cannith AH list an armor bonus of 15)

  14. Just wondering if there was a new form of hide amour in the med armor section, given that the new druid class can’t wear metal armor?
    any seen and med leather/hide or the like?

  15. As far as I can tell, only named armors ButusCass. No random ones.

  16. No mention of the added DR given by wearing heavier armours – is that likely to tip the balance towards Heavy rather than Robes?

  17. I see there is no mention of the changes that were made to shields, it seems shields also got an overhaul, I saw a table somewhere about it, but I can not locate it again. Anyways, thought I’d let you know.

  18. Good research but your research is still old school of AC and Dex.. New very important factor is PR. You assume in your research that players still could defend well with high dex+robe or low dex+plate. Not true.. low dex+plate is still better off than high dex+robe simply cuz of higher PR. Light armor prof gives 2 + 1/2*BAB = PR. Med armor prof gives 4 + 2/3*BAB. Heavy armor prof gives nice 6 + 1*BAB. Basically, if I am paladin wearing heavy armor at level 20, I get 26 PR vs only 12 PR in light armor. I would have to invest heavily in dex to wear light armor to be equivalent to heavy plate but I never can enjoy same damage mitigation that heavy armor offers. Tanks with heavy armor win out over tanks in light armor. Heck, robes give no PR that would hurt even more. Old school AC system, Yes, tanks in robes are equally viable or probably better than tanks in plate. Now, it’s reversed as supposed to.. Only thing that tanks with high dexerity in robe or light armor could “make up” the loss of PR is higher dodge %. High dex tanks wearing light armor are evasive while low dex tanks wearing heavy armor are damage sponge. Great design now than old AC system that made little sense and badly flawed cuz it’s not scalable. New AC system is much better scaled..

What do you think?

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