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Old December 9, 2008, 15:57   #1
starstealer
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Armor Class and Monster Attacks

In the recent days (since I first started coming here), I've been challenged to try a different method of play - specifically to dive into the dungeon. The methods and attempts vary of course, but I do see similar tidbits of advice.

One of these tidbits is to forego armor as a starting character.

I would like to know if the information on a) monster hit chance and b) monster hit damage is published any where (ie the formulas for them) and if not - if someone would be kind enough to either publish them here (so I can use them) or let me know where to find them in the source (since I have no clue where to look).

I am tempted to just take a slew of characters and just let them be killed at CL1 by the same monster over and over again - but having the formula would allow me to see it without the anomolies of the RNG.

The plan here is to determine if armor is worth investing in a) at the start of the game and b) near to the end of the game. I find in all of the games I play, I tend to put a great value to not getting hit/taking as little damage as possible - and I tend to also be in the minority in this boat.
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Old December 9, 2008, 16:04   #2
Mondkalb
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There is a spoiler file regarding the various monster attacks and the effects of AC and other protection at
http://rephial.org/
http://www.juti.nl/hugo/Angband/Spoiler/mon-blow.spo
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Old December 9, 2008, 16:05   #3
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I think this probably depends a lot on the type of character you're playing and the style in which you're playing it.

My characters tend to be melee characters and do most of their damage from that range where they are talking damage in return. So I usually try to have at least some armor. I'm pretty sure that at higher levels AC is very helpful especially in large chunks. There is a higher level ranger spell that gives 50AC for a certain amount of time and that seemed to result in me getting hit less when I was using it the one time I had a high level ranger.
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Old December 9, 2008, 16:36   #4
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I have hacked the monster recall code to show the exact percentage of monster hits, and that 50AC upgrade is essential even in the late game!
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Old December 9, 2008, 16:46   #5
starstealer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mondkalb View Post
There is a spoiler file regarding the various monster attacks and the effects of AC and other protection at
http://rephial.org/
http://www.juti.nl/hugo/Angband/Spoiler/mon-blow.spo
Excellent - I had missed that in the spoilers - I'm glad I asked.

Okay - so this is remarkably easy to analyze.

For starting characters, just a little bit of AC goes a long way.

If you have an AC of 0 - every attack against you has a 95% chance to hit. It doesn't matter if it is a standard attack, poison, paralyze, whatever. The amount of benefit you gain from even one point of AC can be small, but it can also be quite significant.

Using a 1st level creature, 1 point of AC will reduce a regular attack to only 93.93% effectiveness. That's pretty small, I'll grant you. However, what about Poison, Steal Gold/Items, Eat food, absorb light - all things you encounter fairly early? They are reduced to 86.56% effective. Paralyze? 81.50%

In fact, floating eyes, for all of their ferocity due to paralyze early on, can be reduced to a 5% effective rate with a 7 AC! Pair of Hard leather boots and soft leather armor and you just reduced the chance of getting hit with paralyze by 90% (and that doesn't even worry about your save against the attack. Getting a regular attack from a level 1 creature down to 5% is pretty much out of the question (you'd need an 84 AC - which won't be attainable when level 1 creatures are still a threat).

Not going to get into melee you say? Well how often have you been blindsided by a giant centipede or a soldier ant as you came around the corner?

Seems to me that just a little bit of caution can go a pretty long way here.

The way the formula works though - it is important to note that the monster level makes a big difference. At level 5, a monster's paralyze attack is already much more effective. That 7 AC now reduces it to 67% effectiveness and in order to keep pace with the 5% effectiveness, you'd already need an AC of 24. A level 5 regular attack would need to be opposed by 100 AC to keep it at 5% effectiveness.

Also note that AC helps reduce damage taken - though this will only be noticeable once the creatures get to deal fairly large amounts of damage and as the character gets closer to and/or above 150 AC (which is the maximum damage reduction). 10 AC amounts to 4% damage reduction; 150 AC amounts to 60% damage reduction.

For the record - it would take an AC of 480 to get to the point where Morgoth hits at 5%. However, given his high number of magical attacks, special abilities - I would put this at a fairly low priority for obvious reasons. Early on in your career though - AC can save you from an untimely death due to lack of ranged weapons, lack of teleportation or even wholly prevent status conditions from happening!

Hope this is of some value to some of the newer players out there - and maybe of some value to vets as well.
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Old December 9, 2008, 17:29   #6
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I have never analyzed the value of armor before besides in the vague sense, so this is valuable to me as well! Thank you for laying it out like this.

I have a history of instantly setting my squelch to only keep magic-or-better items, but I'll change that to start with average armor pieces until all of the slots of filled up.

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Old December 10, 2008, 01:16   #7
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Excellent information. I never realized that AC played a role in resisting special attacks. Being one of those who often goes without armour in the early game, I think I'll change my ways now.
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Old December 10, 2008, 16:32   #8
Zikke
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But I'm still going without a weapon for early mages! Just to be rebellious
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Old December 10, 2008, 19:22   #9
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Meh - I find that until my mage gets to the point of multiple attacks, he ends up wielding a katana/scimitar/long sword and only upgrades it when he finds a slay, brand or other ego weapon.

The katana is specifically for those situations when things are most dire - I'm out of MP, my WoR scrolls are gone, teleport and PD are all long gone and I'm running out of options. It doesn't get a lot of use, but at least 3d4 damage is better than slamming that wounded dragon with a needle...
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Old December 10, 2008, 20:01   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starstealer View Post
Meh - I find that until my mage gets to the point of multiple attacks, he ends up wielding a katana/scimitar/long sword and only upgrades it when he finds a slay, brand or other ego weapon.

The katana is specifically for those situations when things are most dire - I'm out of MP, my WoR scrolls are gone, teleport and PD are all long gone and I'm running out of options. It doesn't get a lot of use, but at least 3d4 damage is better than slamming that wounded dragon with a needle...
This is a point I've always been somewhat curious on. In this situation is shooting a longbow(x3) (+9,+9) w/ arrows (1d4) (+0,+0) any different than swinging a katana (3d4) (+9,+9)? It seems not, but my heart tells me the longbow is better :P
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