When to go for AC vs. EV?


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Dungeon Dilettante

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Post Thursday, 16th February 2012, 15:16

When to go for AC vs. EV?

Hey everyone, I'm a long time lurker, first time poster. I was wondering if you would share your decision criteria for when you focus a character more around dodging, versus when you focus a character around being able to cast and fight effectively in high AC armor. Also, should you always either focus very hard on only EV or only AC, or are there plenty of situations where you would wear "medium" armor with e.g. -3 e.v.? I tend to either wear either robes or very heavy armor but I don't know if I'm doing it right.

It seems like when to wear -EV armor, what kind of armor to wear, and how much to train the armor and dodging skill are a function of your character's stat point distribution, aptitudes, tendency for spellcasting, sneaky/stabbiness, items they find in the dungeon and a myriad of other things. So because of that, it might help to provide concrete examples. Also, realize that you'll often want to wear whatever armor has the resists you need, so let's just focus on finding the optimal armor class for a given character and not make it more complicated than that for now. If any of you want to share your opinions on how to armor/dodge spec some of these characters, and what armors you would ideally use, or to just share your rules of thumb for armor use in general, that would be great. Let's assume this is for Trunk. Thanks!

Some simple situations where I don't know what kind of armor is ideal to use, and how much to focus on the armour and dodging skill:
-A HuWa 12 str/12 int/12 dex whose starting skills are stealth and air magic
-An MDEE with 11 str/13 int/12 dex. +3 armour apt. Casting stoneskin for AC and earth spells to buff melee fighting with an axe. (I forgot that MD isn't in trunk, so let's just pretend)
-An MfIE 8/14/14 using Ice Magic and Polearms
-An HOSk 15/9/10 using self-buffs and melee

Blades Runner

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Post Thursday, 16th February 2012, 15:33

Re: When to go for AC vs. EV?

if i want to use spellcasting, i usually don't go for AC. It is possible later on, if you find a nice x-dragon armour, but even an EVP of -3 takes a long time to negate, so it is more of a hybrid thing.
it is also a question of strength, a crystal plate cannot be worn by anyone (as you need str >= 3*EVP).
usually a light to medium dragon armour would be the optimum for caster hybrids, with EVP of -1 or -2, but very high AC.

EV can be heightened by phase shift later, but AC, and especially GDR (guaranteed damage reduction) is not as easily done.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Thursday, 23rd February 2012, 19:33

Re: When to go for AC vs. EV?

on my only win as a MFBE i went evasion - merfolks have great evasion aptitude and lousy AC aptitude.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 23rd February 2012, 20:03

Re: When to go for AC vs. EV?

All four of those specific examples would probably be EV characters in robes or leather armor, although some or all of them might upgrade to medium dragon armor later.

If you're playing a spellcaster or hybrid, you're probably going to want to go EV. Moving up to medium armor (-2 or -3) is okay toward the endgame, but that's really not how you're going to spend the bulk of the difficult parts of the game.

If you're playing a non-caster, you can pick either one most of the time. Some races have major biases, like spriggans, halflings, and kobolds get big EV multipliers that means that they're extra-penalized for trying heavy armor, while on the other hand ogres and trolls have a fractional EV multiplier that means they might as well not bother.

In general, light armor is going to be better than heavy for the vast majority of characters. Heavy armor specialization should not be considered a default, but rather an expensive option that you can buy for certain characters that make the exchange worthwhile.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Friday, 24th February 2012, 08:19

Re: When to go for AC vs. EV?

For spellcasters, in my opinion, its always optimal to move from Robes => Leathers => Light Dragon Armour if found. You can also pause at any point on the tree if you find a sweet Randart. And yes, EV is a priority, and have only AC enough that you can compensate for in spell success.

Heavy Armour is also going to be reliant on you having the STR to manage it, and since casters should be pumping INT at every oppertunity... well... although it IS awesome to be able to potentially reduce all damage by 30-40 on each attack.

Also, don't forget SH. I find its nearly always optimal to use a Buckler: you only need 5 Shields to negate the penalty in most cases, and that extra chance to block is priceless. It only denies use of basic auxilliary attacks, not the use of horns, claws and other such things.
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Spider Stomper

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Post Friday, 24th February 2012, 09:05

Re: When to go for AC vs. EV?

Basically, if you wear armor that has any EV penalty your spell success will be penalized as well - it takes 45 Armor to fully negate this penalty on a non orc/dwarf/elf wearing non-specie-specific armor, regardless of the armor's EV penalty. The vast majority of the time it is not worth training Armor - go train Spellcasting or some other magic skill instead. Killing enemies faster = surviving better. If you're feeling queasy about low HP a couple levels in Fighting is usually acceptable IIRC.
eharper256 wrote:Also, don't forget SH. I find its nearly always optimal to use a Buckler: you only need 5 Shields to negate the penalty in most cases, and that extra chance to block is priceless. It only denies use of basic auxilliary attacks, not the use of horns, claws and other such things.

A shield is very helpful (you can block certain spells, like Iron Shot or LCS, outright and avoid any damage), but as a spellcaster it is usually not worth training Shields beyond that which is necessary to remove the penalty associated with equiping a shield (most of the time this would be a buckler, unless you happen to find the unrandart Shield of Resistance).
eharper256 wrote:For spellcasters, in my opinion, its always optimal to move from Robes => Leathers => Light Dragon Armour if found. You can also pause at any point on the tree if you find a sweet Randart. And yes, EV is a priority, and have only AC enough that you can compensate for in spell success.

I agree with the armor progression, although a Troll Leather Armor is sweet too. If a piece of armor reduces your spell success (most important to spellcasters) by a lot (like from 5% to 10%, or Excellent to Great if you're playing 0.9), it is probably not worth wearing.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2012, 07:03

Re: When to go for AC vs. EV?

How many points should i put into armor if I am a caster and I put on leather?

What if I put on -2 EV armor?

If I am a full heavy armor wearer, like mino and I have platemail on, how many points should I invest into evasion?

Thanks,

Mike.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2012, 09:56

Re: When to go for AC vs. EV?

1. As many as you feel you need to increase spell success. For leather, 5-6 points is sufficient to eliminate the penalties though I'm not sure of the exact figure. Sometimes, in the later game, you may not even need a single point as your success will be good enough to wear leathers without any armour skill.

2 & 3. It's typically one or the other. Trying to compensate for a EV penalties from armour is typically an exercise in futility. Pick either AC damage reduction or EV dodginess, and go with that as your prime defence. If the other one ocassionally works, all the better, but don't count on both. In other words, if you're wearing plate/golden dragon scale, stop training Evasion. If you're wearing robes or leathers, hardly touch Armour. If you're using a middling armour, like chain, you obviously have a good reason for it (like its an awesome randart). As I noted before, personally I'd always advocate use of at least a Buckler as well for SH, but I know some prefer two-handers.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2012, 12:41

Re: When to go for AC vs. EV?

You might find this chart useful. The "spellcasting penalty" sheets both take into account the 0.8 reduction and assume you don't have the "other" penalty". For example, it means that the spellcasting penalty from leather goes away at armour L9 if you don't have any shield penalty.
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Thursday, 1st March 2012, 23:52

Re: When to go for AC vs. EV?

It should also be noted that Elven leather has no spellcasting penelty. It's a godsend if you find one.

My recent High Elf Skald went with a nice Elvan ring mail I had found. Later on I could still cast Fire Storm with an almost perfect success rate. (With the help of a ring of Wizardry and Ash bonuses.)
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Monday, 5th March 2012, 15:10

Re: When to go for AC vs. EV?

Xion350 wrote:It should also be noted that Elven leather has no spellcasting penelty. It's a godsend if you find one.

My recent High Elf Skald went with a nice Elvan ring mail I had found. Later on I could still cast Fire Storm with an almost perfect success rate. (With the help of a ring of Wizardry and Ash bonuses.)

Elven armour has a spell casting malus of 1 less. And I believe that dwarven has a worse malus for all but dwarves who actually get a bonus to casting in dwarven armour.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Monday, 5th March 2012, 17:04

Re: When to go for AC vs. EV?

rebthor wrote:
Xion350 wrote:It should also be noted that Elven leather has no spellcasting penelty. It's a godsend if you find one.

My recent High Elf Skald went with a nice Elvan ring mail I had found. Later on I could still cast Fire Storm with an almost perfect success rate. (With the help of a ring of Wizardry and Ash bonuses.)

Elven armour has a spell casting malus of 1 less. And I believe that dwarven has a worse malus for all but dwarves who actually get a bonus to casting in dwarven armour.

Dwarves don't get the increased malus for dwarven armour, but they don't get a bonus either. For them, dwarven armour has the same malus as a normal armour of the same type (but they get a small AC bonus I think)
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Post Monday, 5th March 2012, 17:26

Re: When to go for AC vs. EV?

galehar wrote:
rebthor wrote:
Xion350 wrote:It should also be noted that Elven leather has no spellcasting penelty. It's a godsend if you find one.

My recent High Elf Skald went with a nice Elvan ring mail I had found. Later on I could still cast Fire Storm with an almost perfect success rate. (With the help of a ring of Wizardry and Ash bonuses.)

Elven armour has a spell casting malus of 1 less. And I believe that dwarven has a worse malus for all but dwarves who actually get a bonus to casting in dwarven armour.

Dwarves don't get the increased malus for dwarven armour, but they don't get a bonus either. For them, dwarven armour has the same malus as a normal armour of the same type (but they get a small AC bonus I think)

Thanks, it's been a while since I looked at that code.

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