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.
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.
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 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 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:
* 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, Daggertooth’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!
🙂 😀 🙂
p.s. Just noticed a “beta” template on the wiki page. Their numbers are indeed from Lamannia before the changes went live.