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Lascer
 
PostPosted: Sat, Jan 20 2018, 10:24 AM 

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Joined: 17 May 2015
Location: Zionyn - 663rd layer of the Abyss

Kicking around a few ideas as I'm hanging around the server again. New character for the new times and all.

Idea is still pretty open, but there should be some druid/herbalist focus. Was looking at shifter, of course, but I'm not sure what all changes have happened with the class in the last few years... the spreadsheet is out of date. Rogue 5/druid8/shifter17 is what I'm currently looking at, but I'm not sold. The low AB doesn't really seem to be making it worth it.

Speaking of, what is considered 'acceptable' AB here these days? I was never very good at figured that out, being that there is so little to be done to impact it. Full AB class (20), plus epic levels(5), Plus EWF (3), plus Prowess(1), plus attack stat (10), plus enhancement (5) = 43, and that's pretty much that without doing some serious finagling. I've always thought this is where the non-magic classes really get shafted.

While were on basic points, what AC ranges are acceptable these days? I've got people telling me a build reaching 75 AC is weak.

Anyways, I'm somewhat leaning towards a druid/skillmonkey. Is there any sort of balance point between druid and shifter where you can both cast decently AND melee decently, or does that just make you suck at both? Or maybe just go whole hog druid and go for dragon shape? Does the druid only version of dragon shape work as well as the shifter one?

There aren't really many druid builds on the forums. I'm willing and able to adapt concept and build still, convince me of what's good and fun!

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Gravemaskin
 
PostPosted: Sat, Jan 20 2018, 11:48 AM 

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The answer to that will vary a lot depending on what you want your character to do and what sort of classes you're going for.

Generally hitting the 60 AC mark and 50 AB will help you remain consistent in most situations, both when it comes to dishing out damage, and to dodge it, however like I said it varies a lot from build to build and what the character and build is going to be doing.

Some, such as a bard for instance might have slightly lower AB but coupled with curse/bard song and other utility they can bring to a group, a bard for instance doesn't have to be "top tier" in everything because they can bring their friends well above that mark. Most casters won't have enough AB on their own to as well in melee as a pure melee build for instance, even if you're going the spellblade/pm route, but they will be able to reach an alright AB with proper buffs or true strike potions.

General rule of thumb that I go with for any build that wants to melee is having at least 21 BAB with 16 minimum pre epic. Then go with no less than 13 or 14 Ability modifier for your AB stat be it dex or str. (36 or 38 STR/DEX). WF and EWF are a must for a melee build, and this means you'll be at 38 AB without anything that gives you AB. Grab epic prowess if you can for 39 and this means your AB is capped at 59 should you have friends that can push you that high, or enough self buff methods from items, weapons etc. Even higher if you're a weaponmaster or arcane archer. It's unrealistic to stay at that AB permanently, but the key here is that the potential is there, and should be taken into account. Always factor in the +20 AB CAP on top of your BAB+STR/DEX+Focusfeats+prowess etc, to see the potential your character can reach.. then figure out how high you can get towards that +20 cap, if your "naked" number is low, but you can get +18 or +19 AB towards the cap, then that helps compensate for that weakness. Similarly if your "naked" number is high but you can't get more than 6-9 AB towards the +20 AB cap, then you have a lot of potential that can be gained from having friends who can boost that and while the build might not be the best on it's own.. in a group, it can be utterly terrifying to fight against.

I do the same when I think about the AC of the character.
I usually go with 10 (base AC of any char with 10 dex), 5 armor AC, 20 dodge AC, 5 natural AC, 5 Deflection AC, + the armor from his armor+dex combined AND shield AC if there is any. This gets me the highest potential AC of a build, then I can start adding and subtracting from there, depending on if it's got any feats that give AC, 30 tumble for +6 AC etc. It's unrealistic to constantly be on a 20 dodge AC cap but considering the potential there and then judging how much of that potential you can keep filled shows you both how strong your build will be in an average situation, and how powerful it can be when the right criteria are there.

For instance, let's take Joe Weaponmaster. He's a STR build with 13 dex, he also grabs armor skin and 30 tumble and uses a towershield and has improved expertise.
This means his AC potential is at 80AC (10BASE+1DEX+8FULLPLATE+5ARMORAC+3TOWERSHIELD+5SHIELDAC+5NATURALAC+5DEFLECTIONAC+20DODGE+2ARMORSKIN+6TUMBLE+10IMPEXP)
it's unrealistic for him to always be on the cap potential he has..

More realistically he'll be at 52 AC without having epic gear (10BASE+1DEX+8FULLPLATE+5ARMORAC+3TOWERSHIELD+4SHIELDAC+4NATURALAC+4DEFLECTIONAC+5DODGE+2ARMORSKIN+6TUMBLE)
But he has the potential to pump that higher on his own with stuff like haste potions and other spells that are available for most to use if they have UMD, so he'll be closer to his potential that way.. Maybe he gets some better gear like a +5 AC shield or a +5 fort cloak.. an iounstone with dodge ac.. Suddenly he's in the mid 60s when fighting and that's without using imp exp. How much potential a build has, and how much of that potential you can fill consistently can give you a good indicator on how viable something is.

If Joe Weaponmaster has all +5 AC gear and then befriends a bard/kc to follow him around.. his dodge AC will now be 20 (5Boots+6Bardsong+4Haste+4Shieldally+1Magearmor) or 16 if the bard isn't a KC. That means his AC with this one friend will now be at 70(or 66) not to mention the AB boost he also gets and "AC" gained by the curse song negatively impacting potential enemies AB, or from using expertise or imp exp. On is own, he might not be quite that strong.. maybe his AC is 60ish when he uses haste potions and such, but since that one friend helps him reach his potential, he's now much stronger than most builds. Maybe he also meets a cleric friend who helps pump up his AB to the mid 60s and now he's a complete boss. Who knows?

The main point here is that you shouldn't just judge a builds AB/AC/saves/etc based on what you walk around every day with, but also with how high the potential is and how possible it is for that potential to be reached, either because of your own buffs.. or because of friends. For instance, Joe Weaponmaster might have less AB than a cleric on the day to day basis, because the cleric can buff itself with +19 AB. . . BUT his potential is far far greater. The same is true of other builds, like mages who grab epic mage armor.. their day to day AC might be higher than most, but their potential AC is also lower unless they also grab tumble, armorskin and so on.

Shifters for instance, generally don't hit as high in the AB/AC category as builds dedicated to do just that.. However the shifter's strength comes from their flexibility. They are the embodiment of the saying "Jack of all trades, master of none", except they are the master of one.. Flexibility. With the golem shape, you can soak up a ton of damage, with the illithid or rakshasha shapes, you can dish out consistent damage, other shapes might have high AB but low damage, others might have lower AB but high damage.. The idea is that you can adapt to the situation and do what's best in that instance. And if you have friends around that can help you reach your potential AB/AC cap, then all the better.

Some builds are very very good at solo hunting because they can close the cap between their base and their potential AB/AC, others are more reliant on a group. It all depends on what you intend to do with the build and character and what your preference is. I personally prefer builds that can reach their potentials on their own, or help others do the same. However if you've ever seen a weaponmaster or barbarian build backed up by a bard and cleric tear trough NPCs or players, you suddenly get a very deep respect for builds with extremely high potentials that they can't fill on their own. It all depends on what your preference is and what your goals with the build are.

edit:
changed 2 dexmod to 1 on fullplate because it's correct. Brainfart.

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Lascer
 
PostPosted: Sun, Jan 21 2018, 2:00 AM 

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Joined: 17 May 2015
Location: Zionyn - 663rd layer of the Abyss

Heh, By THAT math (20 dodge), that 75 AC build has a possible ~90. I usually just add 5 to be realistic. I generally only include bonuses they can achieve on their own. That's fully geared though, which isn't gonna happen for a long while.

AC is easier anyways though, there's plenty to do to affect it. AB is harder, there just isn't much a melee class can really do. Invest the levels, and a couple feats, and that's it. And it doesn't really compete at all with the AC possibilities.

Either way, I was really asking what ranges were average and working (fun to play) here on the server, today.

I was trying to build for one particular shape, maybe outsider, but not really coming up with much. I'm not totally attached to that though, though shifters are fun. I've never made it to dragon shape, so that might be a worthy goal. The sacrifices required seem fairly high though.

All my builds seem fairly reliant on groups here, which of course I never find reliably. I've always thought that to be one of the weaknesses of this server...or at least why it seems to cater to particular types of play and certain types stick around longer. But I digress, not really the place for that. Finding that middle ground where it's still fun to play the game and one can actually accomplish stuff on one's own is always the challenge.

I think 'self buffing druid' is the direction I'm trying to go. So, enough base ability to make their ability to reach their own potential significantly matters.

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robbi320
 
PostPosted: Sun, Jan 21 2018, 22:13 PM 



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Joined: 04 Jan 2015

Just a quick thing, and it might seem like picking out a tiny mistake, but I thought it would be helpful. With Armor, clothes (0 base AC) are the only thing with an uncapped bonues. (just talking about base armor, not AC bonues armor) Everything else is changed from vanilla NWN, to be the base AC (that isn't changed, the AC you get from wearing the armor) and a max dex bonus that combines with the base AC to be 9. That means full plate isn't changed, half plate still gives 7 AC, but has a max dex bonus of 2, banded/splint mail has an AC bonus of 6, and a max dex bonus of 3. So, if you had a character with 28 or more dex, no matter which armor you are wearing, you always have the amount of AC.

This means Joe Weaponmaster has a max possible AC of 80, in theory, since with a full plate he'd only have a dex mod of 1. That also means that you can argue for him to have different armor. Depending on build, he might not have uncanny dodge. This would mean that full plate is 1 or two more AC against sneakers and stuff. (which dodge also doesn't help against and it doesn't work against flanking, so I tend to not even plan dodge into my calculations) At the same time, a half plate means he makes the best from his dex mod, and gains a reflex save at the same time. You could possibly even argue for banded/splint mail, since potions of cats grace are pretty safe to use and it gets you an extra reflex save. In all these cases, the AC doesn't change at all, since all armors add up to 9, in the end.


 
      
Lascer
 
PostPosted: Mon, Jan 22 2018, 2:01 AM 

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Joined: 17 May 2015
Location: Zionyn - 663rd layer of the Abyss

I'm not sure that really does mean a possible 80 for JoeWM... If JoeWM has a dex of 13 for the +1 dex he is getting in the plate, he can only add 12 dex to his build through bonuses, bringing it to 25, with a +7 mod. He'd still need to wear armor to get the rest of his 9 available AC in that category, and can't approach anything past what armor is going to grant him. His possible AC doesn't change. I mean, it's within consideration of the full possible range to the concept of the build, but not within the possibility of the character once made.

I usually like medium armors even on heavy str melee builds, but this server is really not great in the medium armor department. Or at least didn't used to be, no idea what the updated loot bins look like. It's honestly really hampered some characters I've made.

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Gravemaskin
 
PostPosted: Mon, Jan 22 2018, 17:57 PM 

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Joined: 29 Jul 2007
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What he's saying is that all other kinds of armor except cloth, gives a max of 9 total AC + Whatever bonus is on it. (+5 Fullplate gives +14 AC total if you have 12 or more DEX)

Let's use an example of someone ONLY wearing plain armor and has 26 dex.

In full plate, his AC will be 10base+8fullplate+1dexmod= 19
In halfplate, his AC will be 10base+7halfplate+2dexmod= 19
In chainshirt, his AC will be 10base+4chainshirt+5dexmod=19
In padded armor, his AC will be 10base+1padded+8dexmod=19

This link gives a good indication on the different types of armor, EXCEPT that on amia, all armor has been made equal.. this means that the halfplate doesn't underperform compared to the full plate, anymore. ALL armors except cloth give their normal AC+however much dexmod you need to reach a total of 9. This was done to make more types of armor viable, because in standard NWN there are only 2 real choices in armor types, if you want to get as much AC as you can out of it.. and that's cloth or full plate as they can both give 9 AC. All others give 8 or 7 total in vanilla.

This is what he meant with that ALL armor, except cloth gives you a cap of 9 AC. You get X from the armor itself, then it adds up however much it needs to get to 9 as the dexmod.. So for low dex chars, heavier armor is preferable because you don't need the dexmod to "fill out" the armor's potential AC gain.

This also means that if you want to go high AC on a melee build, cloth armor + a shield & high dex is usually the way to go, and it's why dex based weaponmasters and melee builds have been popular.. They can hit a much higher AC than most str based melee builds, but with the downside of doing less damage.

IT also means that going medium armor on Amia is more viable than on most servers BECAUSE you don't loose out on potential AC from doing so. And if you find existing armor ingame to be underwhelming, you can always DC request one.

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Lascer
 
PostPosted: Tue, Jan 23 2018, 3:54 AM 

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Joined: 17 May 2015
Location: Zionyn - 663rd layer of the Abyss

Derp, I DID read that wrong. I like that Amia fixed the armor thing here, it really does open up usage of medium armors... I just wish there were more of them (based on my admittedly out of date knowledge of what's available).

I don't count on DC gear, as I've never been one to get many DCs.

Considering I reached that AC, which sounds like it is decent here, with a two-hander build, I think it achieves what I was going for with it. AB is unfortunately low though :/

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