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Old May 22, 2017, 14:20   #1
Sky
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what about, maxing armor class ?

has anyone ever tried maxing out on AC?

the thought has been there for a while, but it came back as i found a randart shield that's just [5,+55]. and also we talked about this when we covered the "ring of slaying vs ring of damage" thing.

when i started angband years ago, as an old D&D player, i valued armor class much more than i should have (i remember almost crying when Kim disenchanted an artifact shield i owned), and then almost forgot about it when i understood how resistances work.

but, i was thinking, leaving resistances out of the equation for a second, has anyone tried maxing out AC? at what number does it become relevant for uniques?

we're talking, "trying to break the game", not general usage. Say, if you manage to get AC 400, i assume most melee uniques would not be able to hit you ?
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Old May 22, 2017, 16:33   #2
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I'm pretty sure that at 400AC you'd still get hit fairly frequently. However, it'd be substantially less often, and for much less damage, than at 100AC. AC is useful, it's just rarely as useful as other abilities. Most monsters simply aren't that dangerous due specifically to their ability to put out big melee damage; their danger comes from spells/breaths or special effects attached to their melee attacks, both of which AC does nothing to mitigate. The few monsters that are dangerous in melee can...just be killed without engaging them in melee. Or teleported away. Or you expend slightly more healing resources than you otherwise would.

AC also has the issue of having a huge scale and opaque mechanics. How useful is an extra 60 AC? Understanding that requires knowing a) how much damage monsters do, b) which types of attacks are subject to AC (e.g. touch attacks aren't), c) what the to-hit formula is for monsters and how that incorporates AC, and d) what the physical damage reduction formula is and how that incorporates AC. The only part of this that's documented is the base melee damage.
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Old May 22, 2017, 17:05   #3
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is there some reason why? i thought angband was open source, so it's just a matter of looking in the code. i'm sure someone around here should be able to answer that.
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Old May 22, 2017, 17:49   #4
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Quote:
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is there some reason why? i thought angband was open source, so it's just a matter of looking in the code. i'm sure someone around here should be able to answer that.
Feel free to go and look. I don't feel like it right now, personally. Remember, just because something can be looked up doesn't mean that it's necessarily easy or that anyone feels particularly motivated to do so.
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Old May 22, 2017, 19:18   #5
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Even if you have the exact formulae and numbers, you still end up evaluating physical damage reduction versus whatever you plan to trade off, like elemental resistance or offence of some sort. And with the monstrs you are facing being a random mix, the only good way to do that is experience. And if you need that playing experience anyway, you can do without the exact numbers to begin with.

The two places where AC is most useful are the early game, where physical damage makes up the majority of damage, and the Morgoth fight if you plan on meleeing him.

In the early game, the only consistent way to get AC is to don heavy armour which comes with severe drawbacks, like speed loss from weight and/or mana loss from encumbrance. This means that even if I happen to find some high AC armour early, I never use it even if other factors like resists are not an issue.

I have meleed M with > 400 AC and the result is unspectacular. You need a few less healing potions, but its better to shorten the fight by equipping more damage gear instead if given the choice.
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Old May 22, 2017, 20:48   #6
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because, in the future, perhaps AC is something which might be reworked. I find it kinda silly that a mithril full plate [60,+40] is no better than a Leather armor [12,+12] because the second has additional boosts and resists.

I mean, it's not silly, what is silly is that the 60 AC difference is irrelevant, as if one had, say +1 light or +1 search.
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Old May 22, 2017, 21:21   #7
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I mean, it's not silly, what is silly is that the 60 AC difference is irrelevant, as if one had, say +1 light or +1 search.
It's not irrelevant. It's just not as important as resists, stat boosts, to-dam, etc. The extra 60 AC might mean you can last an extra turn or two in the fight before having to heal, but it won't fundamentally change your tactics or which monsters it's safe to engage.
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Old May 22, 2017, 21:33   #8
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Youre not the first to notice that.

Simply increasing the effect of AC is not gonna be enough though, as it would remove a challenge. You need to change the game in a way that you die with low AC in the same way you die now without fire resistance.

The easiest way to achive that would be to add serious archery on the monsterīs side. A physical attack that gets reduced by AC and doesnt require melee range to be delivered, as going into melee is such a low commitment in Angband; but of course, as a side effect youd be able to duke it out with high enough AC, as opposed to having to phase after 1 round without.

Note that AC values of base armours have been increased a while ago. It didnt have the hoped for effect to make heavy armor more desireable, it just showed that the underlying problem is deeper.
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Old May 22, 2017, 21:36   #9
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
It's not irrelevant. It's just not as important as resists, stat boosts, to-dam, etc. The extra 60 AC might mean you can last an extra turn or two in the fight before having to heal, but it won't fundamentally change your tactics or which monsters it's safe to engage.
The problem here is that its not good enough to justify the weight of the armor to begin with, let alone other tradeoffs.
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Old May 22, 2017, 22:18   #10
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AC is a much bigger difference in poschengband. I'm not sure what Chris changed to make it work but it's possibly worth looking at.
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