View Full Forums : Best of the Best: CHEST

02-12-2002, 03:22 PM
Time to revive this old series of threads. It's a discussion, slot by slot, of the various equipment pieces available to druids. Since it's the "Best of the Best," I will exclude some of the lowest level options for some slots for convenience. I also will be examining the options from the perspective of a Level 60 Druid that does a lot of higher level raiding, as well as single group and solo XPing.

I won't attempt to come up with an "index value" or anything similar, which can be misleading. The goal is to provoke druids to look critically at the various options they have, and also to provide some guidance as to reasonable upgrades or alternatives. I very well may overlook some item; if so, post it here and I will add it to the main list. And, of course, feel free to criticize my analysis and/or opinions, and state your own...:)

Let's start with the core of any equipment ensemble: the tunic or BP.

The candidates, listed in descending order of AC:

Ancient Burrower Hide Tunic: Wt. 1.0. +50 AC, +10 Str, +15 Sta, +10 Wis, +10 Int, +50 HP, +50 Mana, +8 vsFire, +8 vsCold, +8 vsMagic, +8 vsDis, +8 vsPoison, Effect: Flowing Thought V (Worn), Lore, No Drop, Class: CLR PAL RNG SHD DRU BRD ROG SHM BST, Race: All. [The Deep-Ancient Burrower]

Ancient Wyvern Hide Armor: Wt. 0.0. +40 AC, +20 Dex, +10 Sta, +10 vsDis, +10vsPos. [North Temple of Veeshan]

Twisted Nature Chestguard: Wt 3.00. +32 AC, +5 Str, +15 Wis, +15 Int, +15 vsMg, +15 vsPos, +15 vsDis, +50 HP, +90 Mana. [PoM Quest]

Flayed Paebala Tunic: Wt. 5.0. +28 AC, +10 Str, +5 Int, +20 vsPos. [Dragon Necropolis]

Nature Walker's Chestguard: Wt 3.50. +27 AC, +5 Str, +5 Dex, +15 Wis, +10 vsMg, +3 vsFire, +2 vsCold, +3 vsPos, +2 vsDis, +40 HP, +80 Mana, Effect: Regrowth of the Grove. NO DROP. [Kael Quest]

Crystal Chitin Chestguard: Wt 15.00. +25 AC, +7 Agi, +10 Wis, +7 Cha, +10 Mana. [Velk's Labyrinth - Brood Mother]

Tree Weave: Wt 12.00. +25 AC, +10 Str. [Burning Woods - Forest Giant Ancient/Gorgul Paclock]

Elysian Tunic: Wt 7.00. +24 AC, +15 Str, +5 Sta, +15 Wis, +8 vsMg, +8 vsFire, +8 vsCold, +8 vsPos, +8 vsDis, +15 HP, +75 Mana. NO DROP. [Umbral]

Hauberk of Harmony: Wt 3.50. +22 AC, +5 Str, +12 Wis, +4 Cha, +7 vsFire, +5 vsCold, +5 vsDis, +35 HP, +75 Mana, Effect: Regrowth of the Grove. NO DROP. [Hate-Disciple of Innoruuk]

Fungi Covered Scale Tunic: Wt 2.00. +21 AC, +2 Str, -10 Agi, -10 Dex, +2 Int, Effect: Fungal Regrowth. [Sebilis-Myconid Spore King]

Woven Grass Chestguard: Wt 3.50. +20 AC, +5 Str, +7 Sta, +14 Wis, +9 vsMg, +9 vsFire, +9 vsPos, +50 HP, +80 Mana, Effect: Regrowth of the Grove. NO DROP. [Skyshrine Quest]

Rowyl's Chestguard of Nature: Wt 3.50. +20 AC, +5 Str, +14 Wis, +4 Cha, +7 vsMg, +5 vsCold, +5 vsDis, +30 HP, +80 Mana, Effect: Regrowth of the Grove. NO DROP. [Thurgadin Quest]

Silver Chains: Wt 19.40. +20 AC, +7 Str, +7 Sta, +7 Agi, +7 Dex, +7 Wis, +7 Int, +7 Cha, +7 vsMg, +7 vsFire, +7 vsCold, +7 vsPos, +7 vsDis, +20 HP, +20 Mana, NODROP. [NToV - Jorlleag]

Nathsar Breastplate: Wt 1.50. +18 AC, +6 Str, +6 Agi, +6 Wis, +5 vsFire, +5 vsDis [Chardok]

Firekeeper's Tunic: Wt 5.00. +18 AC, +5 Str, +5 Wis, +20 vsFire. [Scarlet Desert-Firekeeper]

Elder Spiritists Breastplate: Wt 10.00. +17 AC, +6 Agi, +6 Dex, +9 Wis, +80 Mana, Effect: Chloroplast. [Sebilis-Trakanon]

Otterhide Tunic: Wt 3.00. +16 AC, +5 HP [Iceclad-Snowfang Ice Hunter]

Vermiculated Tunic: Wt 9.00. +15 AC, +9 Str, +9 Sta, +13 Wis, +35 HP. [Fear-Gorgons]

Earth Blessed Tunic: Wt 0.00. +15 AC, +5 Sta, +3 Dex, +8 Wis, +2 vsMg, +2 vsFire, +2 vsCold, +10 HP, +20 Mana. [Twilight Sea Quest]

Cured Tizmak Surcoat: Wt 3.00. +15 AC, +7 vsMg [Great Divide-Furious Tizmak Warrior]

Small Scarab Breastplate: Wt 6.00. +14 AC, +1 Str, +1 Sta, -1 Dex, +2 vsDis, +10 HP (Races: Dwf Gnm Hfl) [Kaladim Quest]

Pristine Studded Leather Tunic: Wt 5.00. +14 AC, +2 Str, +2 Agi, +2 Dex, +5 vsMg, +5 vsPos, NO DROP [Befallen-Guardian of T'Vyl]

Cobalt Drake Tunic: Wt 3.50. +14 AC, +8 Sta, +12 Cha, +10 vsCold, +27 Mana. [Crafted]

Acrylia Reinforced Tunic: Wt. 0.7. +14 AC, +10 Sta, +10 Str, +6 Wis [Crafted]

Shroud of the Dar Brood: Wt. 1.0. +14 AC, +8 Sta, +9 Wis, +9 Int, +20 HP, +50 Mana, +10 vsFire, +10 vsCold, +10 vsMg, Effect: Haste. [Western Wastes Quest]

Ulthork Hide Tunic: Wt 3.50. +13 AC, +3 Wis, -5 Cha, -35 HP, +35 Mana. [Eastern Wastes-Ulthork Man o'War]

Sun Soaked Tunic: Wt 2.50. +13 AC, +4 Str, +4 Wis, +15 HP, +15 Mana. [Scarlet Desert]

Shroud of Nature: Wt 5.00. +13 AC, +6 Wis, +8 vsFire, +8 vsCold. [Droga-Goblin Warder]

Netted Kelp Tunic: Wt. 1.00. +13 AC, +5 Str, +10 Sta, -10 Cha, +10 Int, +20 vsFire. [Siren's Grotto]

Brown Chitin Protector: Wt 10.00. +12 AC, +9 Sta, +9 Agi, +9 Dex. [Sol B-Stone Spider]

Withered Leather Tunic: Wt 3.50. +11 AC, +4 Wis, +10 vsMg, +90 Mana. [Hole-Dartain the Lost]

Acrylia Studded Tunic: Wt 0.70. +11 AC, +8 Str, +12 Dex, +8 Wis. [Crafted]

Robe of Living Fungus: Wt 0.20. +10 AC, +12 Sta, +4 Wis, +10 vsFire, Effect: Fungal Regrowth. [Sebilis-Myconid Spore King]

Foreman's Tunic: Wt 0.00. +10 AC, +3 Str, +3 Wis. [Sol A -Flame Goblin Foreman]

Imbued Mithril Studded Tunic (Tunare): Wt 2.50. +10 AC, +2 Wis, +3 Cha. [Crafted]

Imbued Vale Studded Tunic (Karana): Wt 2.50. +10 AC, +3 Sta, +2 Wis. [Crafted]

Mithril Runed Tunic: Wt 2.50. +10 AC, +3 Sta, +5 Wis. [Lower Guk-Froglok Crusader]

Gnomish Environment Suit: Wt 3.50. +9 AC, +10 vsFire, +10 vsCold, +10 vsPos. [Sol A -Captain Bipnubble]



Easy choice. The Ancient Burrower is the new king. Top AC, decent stats (nice Wis, Mana, and HP), and a killer effect. And +8 to all saves. What's not to like (except for the fact that it's not druid only)?

Second choice is the Twisted Nature Chestguard, which also has it all. AC, HP, Mana, Wis, and resists. Not easy to get, however, and requires a serious commitment to PoM questing. The Ancient Wyvern has substantially more AC, but without any mana or wisdom, and with minimal HP (through the stamina). It also suffers from inferior resistances.

The next step down is a toss-up, in my opinion, between the Elysian, Kael and Skyshrine BPs. As discussed in the Quest Armor comparison thread on this board, the Elysian has good all around resists, comparable mana and hp, and splits the difference in AC. The Kael has more AC, but lower resists. The SS has lower AC, but slightly higher resists on some (and no resists on others). The Kael and SS both have RoG as an effect, which is a plus (and a good reason to keep them handy in your pack to bring out when you want RoG). Downside is that the RoG effect cannot be used to buff other groups; you will have to cast RoG yourself to do that. Perhaps the biggest advantage of the Elysian is its availability: you can hunt for months and not get the BP drop for the Kael or SS quests, whereas you should be able to get the Elysian in a couple of days of solid hunting (solo or with a small group!).

The Crystal Chitin chestguard has good AC and moderate wisdom, but little else. What it does offer is the plate look without sacrificing too much wisdom.

The Fungi Covered Scale Tunic is for special situations where you want the super-regen ability. Not for general use.

The Silver Chains are great for across the board stats and resistances, but the wis and mana are a bit low. Also, these can be worn in multiple slots, and are probably best reserved for the Back, Arms, Legs or Shoulder slots.

Once you drop below 20 AC, there are a lot of options, including some new Luclin BPs. IMO, however, the ES BP, with good AC, wis, mana and the chloroplast effect still is the best in this range. Ironically, however, a druid that is Trakanon-capable is much more likely to get an Elysian BP before an ES BP.

Edited by: Scirocco at: 2/19/02 9:43:58 am

02-12-2002, 03:29 PM
Although only level 5 atm, I'd like two BPs in my inventory eventually: one for normal everyday use and one for the right-click RotG effect.

Clearly the Twisted Nature BP is the best BP for everyday use. Who could argue with 32 AC and +15 to all resists. Given that that will be tough to get, I will want to get the Elysian BP for everyday use. Same WIS, decent AC, slightly less Mana, but still has +8 to all resists.

For the RotG effect, either the Nature Walkers or the Woven Grass will work for me. I would most likely only wear it when I needed the effect anyway. Since my guild is currently working HoT, the Woven Grass is probably what I'll end up with here.

Valron Wolfmeister
Preserver of 55 Seasons
ToD Raid Coordinator


i would put velious chests above all else for functionality. the effect alone is worth an additional 2000 mana per hour minimum, which is the equivalent of FT3. who wouldnt choose a bp with FT3 if given the chance? in comparing velious quest chests, the woven grass is more well rounded having more resists, more hp, about equal mana, and slightly less ac.

if we disregard the effect, which is silly since thats the best selling feature of the majority of our high end bps, the elysian and TN both stack up fairly equally, depending on preferences. the TN has 45 total to resists, however the majority of that is in lesser used resists vs an equal spread of resists on elysian which gives up 5 in total for more well rounded resists. you sacrifice TN's few ac, 15 mana, 20 hp for the better resist package on elysians.



"It's not exactly the easiest thing to get a leather tunic from ToV, and I doubt you would get it if you told your guild you just wanted to bag the tunic, hehe."

That's the wonderful thing about my guild. There are two different ways we raid: 1) As a guild and 2) As a member of an alliance. We have the ability to do HoT both ways. When we raid as a guild, we random EVERYTHING using NBG. Since I can and WILL use it, I could random along with everyone else. When we raid with the alliance, it's a point system and I have more points than every other raiding Druid EXCEPT Cobbyl (hence the reference to him getting his BP first). So, I could and would "buy" a BP if it dropped on an alliance raid.

I certainly didn't mean that I wouldn't use the BP. As Scirocco pointed out, I only have to swap it in for 10 seconds to do the cast and then swap it back out. My guild benefits from me having the BP and I can go back to wearing the one with the better AC and resists.

Valron Wolfmeister
Preserver of 55 Seasons
ToD Raid Coordinator


I'd have to go with the Nature Walker's. In fact, I do :) I wish I could hand down the two elysian tunics, gloves,and legs in my bank :(

If you'e really so desperate for hit points that you'd bag the kael bp to wear twisted nature or whatever, may I suggest you snag some elysian leggings, with the + hp and stamina they give me like + 94 hps =)

I'm a fanatic for clicky items though, so i'd usually give up useful stats for semi useful effects :O When the effect is as good as RotG, PLUS the item looks THIS cool (especially in dark elf form;) PLUS the difference in stats is marginal at best. The choice for me becomes obvious :)

The arguement that AC is not very useful to druids astounds me. Most of the time I can walk in melee range and tank-nuke whatever the tanks are on. While the wizards have to stand back and control their aggro. If I have to chloroblast myself afterwards sometimes, well it's worth it to make sure my group get's it's share of the exp ;)

As an aside, a great bracer for clicky addicts who also like hit points: The bracer of Hammerfall. Like 6 ac 5 sta 25 hps 3 wisdom effect:summon throwing hammer. And don't worry if you're kos to CoV, just bring a 35 + enchanter along to charm him :)



NW over Twisted? I don't think there's any contest.

With the Twisted you get (as compared to the NW):
+5 AC
same Str
same Wis
+5 MR
+12 PR
+13 DR
+10 HP
+10 Mana
+15 Int (for what it's worth)

and you give up:
+3 FR
+2 CR
+5 Dex (for what it's worth)

Overall, do you agree that as far as basic stats go, the Twisted is superior? I hope so.

Now, I do agree that the RoG on the BP is very nice. But are you clicking it every 20 seconds? (I don't know, a click addict might, I guess...:)

Is it that onerous to put on the NW every 15 minutes or so when you need the effect?



"The arguement that AC is not very useful to druids astounds me. Most of the time I can walk in melee range and tank-nuke whatever the tanks are on. While the wizards have to stand back and control their aggro. If I have to chloroblast myself afterwards sometimes, well it's worth it to make sure my group get's it's share of the exp ;)"

Have you seen AC tests done? I'll try to look some up and post links to them. Unless you get yourself some massive AC, like 1400, you aren't going to get hit for any less than you would with another 1, 5, 10, or 15 ac.

Hit points on the other hand, always make a difference. An extra 30 hps on an item can let you take that one more AE, that one more swing from a mob, etc. I won't sacrifice AC for no reason, but I certainly don't find it worth building. Self buffed, I think my AC is about 970. With Aegolism or switching a few items, I can easily get above 1000ac, but I don't notice any difference.

Also, I should note, I rarely get hit anyway, so this affects my choice in equipment. Most of what I do is large raids, NToV, whatever. If I get Vyemm's aggro, I doubt 10ac or 30hps will help me, but the 30hps helps with AE damage that I take.

I suggest you run a few experiments if you are curious. Find a blue mob where you can safely escape it. Get your AC to 700, log yourself getting hit, do it again for 800, 900, 1000, and see the % of swings hit, and the damage per hit on average you receive. I don't feel like doing the tests myself, but I've seen enough other people do this tests, and the results are all within 1% of each other for ACs differing by 100.

Now, like I said, if you regularly have your AC at 1300-1400+, and draw lots of aggro for whatever reason, then I change my stance, the AC probably does help alot.

Also, on big raids, I'm used to tight aggro control, if I pull aggro off of the main tank... I may have just caused the raid a couple of problems, hehe.

Also, as far the getting experience part, last time we fought Lady Nevedaria, I cast our entire debuff line, sunder, fixation, disjunction, and did over 25K damage in dots and DD and never got aggro, plus my group of 4 (one of which was an enchanter who wasn't doing much, if any damage, and one was a mage who was testing his resists and his melee skills for over half the fight, lol) got the experience for the kill.

I ramble alot... anyway, I stick by my choice, as far as overall useability, I think TN and WG are the best, and if I had both, I would wear TN, and then NW is a close 3rd.

The Dark Exile
Seventh Hammer


Can't argue with the fact that the stats are better, but they aren't so much better that I'd bother swapping in and out of bags. Just seems like an extra nuisance with little reward, sure maybe you'll resist dis / pois a little better but if you're in a place where you're that worried about the disease and pois, you're probably already whipping out the full dots resists bag. When I compare the stats, what I mainly see is 5 ac 10 hp's 10 mana hehe. Not really compelling imo.

The ease of just clicking your breastplate hotkey > fiddling with bags to gain 5 ac 10 hp/mana 12/13/5 PR/DR/MR.

And the time you spend swapping items back and forth is also a distraction that 5ac 10 hp/mana 12/13/5 PR/DR/MR just doesn't justify to my way of thinking.

So IMO for maximum possible stats TN surely wins, but for overall utility NW's does. If I ever bumble into a TN bp, which I really have little desire to do, it would be consigned to my "AC / dots resists" set =/

If forced to chose only one of the two, would anyone chose the TN and give up the effect of the velious breastplates? So if the question is what is the better of the two overall, I'll stick with the Nature Walker's.

And to adress Remkar's post...

As far as AC really making no difference, well I don't parse everything to see percentages but I know that even when they are buffed to equal or greater hps, I tend to out tank most INT casters rather notably. Very often I go self buffed while the INT casters get aego / symbol and surpass my hp's but I still outlast them by far when taking hits. They just keep getting whacked for close to max dmg while a useful chunk of the time I'm getting hit for far less. So if it's not the AC doing it I don't know what it is :/

I'm pretty tired now so I'm not at my best intellectually hehe but I think that generally I rate things based foremost on cool effects, then wisdom, then mana, then hit points(including sta), then AC, then finally resists. People rave about resists but in exp groups, most people's day to day use, they really don't make much difference. And when I'm raiding I bring a bag of resist gear for whatever type of mobs we're facing and pump those specific resists as high as I can get 'em. I also carry a bag of general resist gear with me all the time that can get my resists respectable quickly in case we do something on short notice or happen to go exp'ing some place where high resists are really helpful.



there is nothing in the world more annoying than swapping gear in and out. i rue the day i ever got es and ss boots, because now i feel compelled to keep them and swap them in and out for the effects when i need to. the last thing i want is to waste 2 minutes an hour swapping bps in and out for the effect. i'll wear the damn thing instead, i dont mind the slight losses for the time and aggravation it saves me.

i also am the clickable queen. i love effects, and out of 20 armor slots, 9 are clickables and 2 have static effects (3 when i finish my chardok faction), plus 4 more clickable and 1 static effect i carry to swap in and out. things with effects, like the rotg bps, are more valuable to me than a bp without it.

my entire goal with my gear is to seek out high hp/mana items with well rounded resists so that i never have to swap resist things in and out again. i do not want to carry around a bag of resist gear, i hate it more than anything.



Wow Scirocco, I guess our priorites are just kinda opposite, I wouldn't give up having shatterning hammers hotkeyed for (imo) minor stats improvement of the the TN, let alone regrowth, hehe.

I don't think that the likening of nifty mana free spell effects to wearing armor for looks is really valid though. I would think that trying to pump seldom, or situationally, useful stats numbers really high would be more valid a comparison. =/

And Kalinn... =)

"i also am the clickable queen. i love effects, and out of 20 armor slots, 9 are clickables and 2 have static effects (3 when i finish my chardok faction), plus 4 more clickable and 1 static effect i carry to swap in and out. things with effects, like the rotg bps, are more valuable to me than a bp without it."

My kinda girl! =)

I also wear around 9 clickables most of the time hehe, I do change my armor configuration several times a day, but 99 % of the time it's just to pass the time while waiting for mana or whatever kind of downtime is occuring.

Let me see if I can rememeber most of my clickies hehe....(some aren't worn, just hotkeyed from general inventory, and some are only worn when I feel like it hehe)

Jboots, Manastone, Guise of the Deciever, NW's Boots (for no hassle sow requests, hehe), NW's (Drones) Bracer, NW's (regrowth) Breastplate, Invis Cloak, Scale of Wolf Earring, Bracer of Hammerfall, Fungi Staff, Share Wolf Form bracer, Tunare Necklace (Unlim Grasping Roots), Silvery Mask (unlim Identify) I know I'm forgettign some but oh well hehe.

As far as static effects, I gave my Fungi Tunic to my monk and my FB Earring to my SK who was too low to cast water breathing at the time. Recently got a fishgill necksash for EB but ended up also giving it to my monk, So for EB Im using the Anicent Fishing Pole for now. Really cool procs like Earthquake on the Hierophant's Crook also appeal to me, even if they are only good for clearing greens to build faction. Normally I carry a haste items around to wear when I use the crook, but I traded my SCHW's to a friend yesterday so I guess I have to go farm an fbss or group in velk's again hehe. I also carry a multi charge IVU potion and locate corpse wand and anything else I can find with useful or just fun effects. Oh that reminds me I need a new spyglass! hehee



I said:
>>>Have you seen AC tests done? I'll try to look some up and >>>post links to them. Unless you get yourself some massive >>>AC, like 1400...

Korwin said:
**I would ask you the same question. AC doesn't reduce the **damage you take, it simply lowers the average damage **done (aka mitigation). Also, the benefit of AC scales. I **guarantee that 1200 ac is better than 1000 for a druid.

Actually, there are supposed to be two types of AC, mitigation and avoidance. We don't get to see how much of each we have. Also, the tests I was referring to tested both avaoidance and mitigation. The 3 people that did the tests with different ACs kept track of swings, hits, misses, and damage taken each hit. And the % of times they got hit, as well as the average damage per hit were so close to being identical (actually getting hit a tiny bit more and for slightly higher damage at higher ACs using the same mobs) to at least lend some amount of credibility that small amounts of AC don't make much of a difference, and sometimes fairly large amounts of AC don't either.

I said:
>>>If I get Vyemm's aggro, I doubt 10ac or 30hps will help >>>me, but the 30hps helps with AE damage that I take.

Korwin said:
**If you, or anyone in your guild has ever died to Vyemm's **AE then you're doing something seriously wrong. (not **counting 10k's). But name-dropping like that is kinda **cute, hehe.

Hehe, I apologize, I have been sick with the flu all week, I wrote multiple messages that evening, and was actually writing them all at the same time, and I was talking about NToV dragons in at least 2 or 3 of them. (I was writing them at the same time because I was checking some other posts on other message boards to make sure my information was correct.) I meant Vyemm when I was talking about gaining enough aggro to be summoned and pummeled, hehe, but yes, his AE should not be the factor in getting anyone killed. ;) I think you get my point, though. If I get aggro on a big dragon, AC probably won't help me, BUT, I should NOT be getting aggro on those mobs, however, it is certainly possible that I need (or am forced) to take an AE here or there. HPs help for melee damage and AE damage, while AC only helps for melee damage, and it doesn't appear to help much, unless, like I said, you get a VERY high AC. "But name-dropping like that is kinda cute, hehe." Haha, thanks for the derogatory remark. =P /accepts his pat on the head for being cute

Exedor said:

>And to adress Remkar's post...

>As far as AC really making no difference, well I don't parse >everything to see percentages but I know that even when >they are buffed to equal or greater hps, I tend to out tank >most INT casters rather notably. Very often I go self buffed >while the INT casters get aego / symbol and surpass my hp's >but I still outlast them by far when taking hits. They just >keep getting whacked for close to max dmg while a useful >chunk of the time I'm getting hit for far less. So if it's not >the AC doing it I don't know what it is :/

Two things. One, each class has a different distribution of damage mitigation and avoidance AC. If you test a monk tanking something with 1300AC and a rogue tanking something with 1300AC, you will notice two things. One, the warrior gets hit more often than the monk, and Two, the warrior takes less damage per hit than the monk.

Here are a couple of things taken off a discussion on another thread, and they fit with the numbers I've seen from multiple tests:

>>"If a leather bp is 50ac, it is as good as a plate bp with 50 ac. There is no difference between the 2.

The only difference is that every class has a different soft cap on AC.

Warriors have the highest, monks have a slight lower one than warriors, altho block > parry.

I think Rogues have a soft cap on ac between rangers and bard."<<

>>"How you get hit is calculated in 2 ways, mitigation and avoidance. Going from memory here so maybe not 100% sure but should be very close to the truth.

Avoidance= This determines how much a mob will miss on you. The base thing it uses to determine that is your defense skill, with modifier for high agi or certain classes (monks).

Mitigation=this is how much dmg your armor absorb when you actualy get hit. This is based on your base AC, not the one you see on screen, that's a mix of both mitigation and avoidance. By base AC i mean how many AC points you armor has.

So for example a lvl 53 SK can have a lower ac than say a 60 rogue, but can still tank somewhat better in certain situations. The sk would get hit more often (less defense skill) but would take less dmg per hit (mitigation usualy higher on sk cuz it's simply higher base ac on his armor).

So the trick to how AC works is understanding that the number you see on the screen is a sort of average of your 2 defenses. So 2 people will same AC can tank very differently, depending on how that AC is split between mitigation and avoidance.

Hope that helps..."<<

Notice the line about different classes having different soft caps. It makes sense that Int casters have the lowest caps, therefore, just to make up some numbers, say you are grouped with an enchanter with an 800 AC, but his soft cap is at 500AC, and you have 1000AC as a druid, but your soft cap is 1000AC, then yeah, you should definately notice a difference.

From what I can tell, for most classes, there appears to be ACs that cause huge jumps in effectiveness, and these seem to be 1200 and 1400. So, if you can get 1200Ac (I can only get to 1000 or so in current gear, unless I get all melee buffs, and switch out some gear, then I might be able to get near 1100), then you very well may notice a big difference.

My point is, if your AC is not near one of these AC "caps" or whatever you want to call them, then I think hps are defiantely better than AC.

I think my other point falls into my idea of a druid's responsibility. Personally, if a caster gets aggro, I see that as a bad thing. It is very innefficient if mana has to be spent healing a caster. I can do my job fine and put down alot of damage and use my debuffs and back up heal without getting aggro 99% of the time.

Higher AC is definately not worse than lower AC, however, as a druid, I think HP, especially when not talking about extraordinarily high AC druids (i.e. 1200+), are better than AC.

Btw, how many of you actually have 1200+ AC on a normal basis? I think the highest any druid in my guild has self buffed in my guild is between 1000 and 1100 in normal gear, and he has multiple NToV items and some other nice stuff.

Hope some of this helps clear up my views on the AC/hp issue. Please post if you have any information to back up or refute anything I posted here.

Be safe,
60th Hierophant
The Dark Exile
Seventh Hammer


Just found this on the monk boards:

"I logged ~400k intake from a Fungusbeast in Fungus Grove this weekend. Went from 1489AC -> 977 in roughly 100 AC increments. Was the same fungus beast for the first 3 sets. Then I umm, died (dont ask!) and had to switch to a different fungus beast. This one had a higher max damage, so I'd assume it was a level higher. I switched to a different one that had the same max as the original for the 5th set. Agi was kept constant. Avoidance percentages were constant. Average damage per hit was constant, (within 2 of each other). Each set was about 50k damage intake.

Basic assumption after this data, AC to tank a Fungusbeast caps lower than 1000 AC. Am going to move to Kael and try some of the higher level giants in Arena for the next set. Can email out logs with my notes (when I get home from work) if you want the raw data.



If I could just add a quick something to the discussion, it might be best to put less emphasis on which items have the best AC. Certainly at the stage of the game in which you're considering "Best of the Best" items for practical use, the chances are that you're already way over the amount of AC that your druid can use from items, despite that which the green AC number in the client is showing. :)

For the traditional "PROVE IT!" responders, I'd invite you to parse a few damage logs. You'll notice that you can remove almost 100 to 150 shown-item AC (200 to 250 displayed AC) from the "top" druids and still see no increase in the amount of damage taken.

If you're anywhere near the end-game, then HP/mana/resists are the contributing factors to item improvements, and most of your resists are unchecked for weeks on end given normal geometry use to hide from AEs.

Lotusfly Stewnicely
KTF, Prexus


The best way to think of it, is just like we used to have a wisdom soft cap. At level 60, we got about 11 (I think) mana per wisdom, but from 201 to 255, we only got 2 (I think, maybe only 1, thought it was two though) mana per wisdom.

So, once you hit 200 wisdom, it made more sense to get mana, hp, resist, ac, whatever items in its place, since going from 201 to 255 only added a max of 110 mana, and 110 extra mana is nice... but not for 55 wisdom, hehe.

So, basically, in the beginning, all of our AC is counted as "normal", but at some point, lets say 700 just to give a number, there is a soft cap... and maybe any AC above 700 only counts for 10%. So, (not worrying about mitigation and avoidance differences for this simplified example), if you were showing 1000AC... your "real" AC might only be 730... 700, + 10 for each 100 after 700. So, it would make sense, at that point, to not concentrate on AC anymore, and if you are worried about surviving hits, then you should build hps up.

Does that help?

P.S.-I'm not saying 700 is a druid soft AC cap... although I wouldn't be surprised if it was in the 700-800 range.



What do you mean by useable item AC?

Lotusfly's post was somewhat oblique, because I have yet to see someone who perfectly understands the mechanism. But basically, armor class offers diminishing returns, and classes with lower defense skills probably hit these diminishing returns earlier. For an example with casters (who have 145 defense skill), read this brief study. On top of this, a class which only gets damaged occasionally benefits even less from an armor class increase. If you go for over 1000 armor class and ignore hit points and mana, you may be shooting yourself in the foot.



"I wouldn't give up having shatterning hammers hotkeyed..."

I was being somewhat facetious with that comment; I apologize. If it didn't give me 40 hp's it would be bagged also.

40 hitpoints seems pretty good for a bracer, plus it has the 3 wisdom, a tolerable 6 ac, and nifty effect, so i wear it :)

BTW Scirrocco, regarding the revived best of the best's- please do keep 'em comin'! :) I was in my post 'popsicle-abortion debates' hiatus for so long I must have missed the originals =(

And back to the AC thing...

Last night in seb, where I rarely go, I did some tanking, and I have to say, I really held up well. The 40 hp a tick regen probably helped a bit, though the warrior had just as much. I wasn't losing health much, if any, faster than the 60 war with 300 higher AC, and I was definitely out-tanking the blue anon ranger with 50 higher ac. At least vs the frogs and beetles, the golems however were pummeling me quite handily compared to the warrior, though still not as badly as the ranger.

For reference, I wasn't even wearing my full ac gear, I was at around 900 with 2024 hp's and 125 agility, the warrior had just under 1200 ac with 92 agility and the ranger had 950 ac with 152 agility. Noone had any buffs other than druid and ranger buffs. Maybe 120 agility really is a big step up?

The reason that I started rooting them and getting close to tank was basically because the warrior and ranger were getting beat down so fast that tanking for them part of the time and letting regen heal me was saving me alot of mana (as the only healer in the group).

I'd be really interested to learn more about how this stuff works. That monk's post seemed to indicate that AC may cap differently depending on which mobs you are fighting. Which had never occured to me until he mentioned it. Perhaps as a product of the mob's ATK vs our AC?

I wonder if there is a hidden racial mod involved? Wood elves are supposed to be nimble, and under the illusion that I generally keep up 24 / 7, a wood elf is what I actually am.

Hmm... come to think of it, the illusion bug was preventing me from using the guise in seb and many other zones at that time, so I was "trapped in newbie form" as I semi-jokingly refer to it. And I was also tanking better than I'm used to doing... HMMM.



Miss Foxfyre
05-17-2002, 02:27 PM
New tradeskill-produced item to add to the list please:

Tunarean Soldier Tunic
AC 21
10wis 40mana 10sta 40hp
3.0wt size: large
Recommended Level of 45
Class: Druid
Deity: Tunare