Armor Class

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See also Tank Gear.

Armor Class is very important for fighting. This number indicates how good your overall armor is. This includes spells, all equipment worn, dexterity, and whether you're standing, resting, or sleeping.

The AC value shown by the identify spell is a positive rating for a piece of armor. The HIGHER this number is, the better. Modifiers on armor generally say something like: "modifies armor class by -20" or something similar. The LOWER this number, the better. That is, -30 to AC is better than -20 to AC.

When you reach a high enough level (25), you will see an AC rating on your score screen. This rating takes into account all spells, equipment worn, dexterity, etc to form a total AC. The LOWER this number, the better (ie, -300 is better than -50).

The levels of armor are as follows:

 WORSE than Naked         Armored                 Angelically Armored
 Defenseless              Well Armored            Divinely Armored
 Almost Defenseless       Greatly Armored         Invincibly Armored
 Barely Armored           Strongly Armored        Indestructibly Armored
 Slightly Armored         Heavily Armored         Impossibly Armored
 Somewhat Armored         Superbly Armored        Supremely Armored
 Sadly Armored            Terrifically Armored    Sniktly Armored
 Almost Armored           Heroically Armored      Ironhand Armored

Armor Class from Gear

Characters may wear gear to increase their armor class, which is commonly called "tank gear" because it is particularly useful to tanks. Most wearable objects are of type "armor" and, thus, have a certain "base armor class," which ranges from 0–2 AC for level-1 objects to 10–12 AC for level-51 objects (see Armor Values for more information on this subject). Characters who wear an object with a certain base armor class will usually find their total armor class improved (decreased) by at least this amount, if not by more (see table below for details). Furthermore, an object of any type (not just armor) may affect its wearer's total armor class by some additional amount, either for the better or for the worse—an affect that is completely independent from that of any base armor class that it may or may not have. Most prime tank gear, in fact, has 'both' (1) has a base armor class and (2) provides an additional armor-class-improving modifier.

Object Slot:         Object Improves AC by...       (with Armor Optimization)
<used as light>      (0.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (0.00 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn on finger>     (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn on finger>     (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn around neck>   (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn around neck>   (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn on body>       (3.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (3.50 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn on head>       (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.25 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn on legs>       (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.25 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn on feet>       (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn on hands>      (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn on arms>       (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.25 × base-AC) + modifier
<held in offhand>    (3.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (3.50 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn about body>    (2.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (2.25 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn about waist>   (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.25 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn on wrist>      (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.10 × base-AC) + modifier
<worn on wrist>      (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.10 × base-AC) + modifier
<wielded>            (0.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (0.00 × base-AC) + modifier
<held>               (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier    (1.00 × base-AC) + modifier

Armor Class from Spells

Here is a breakdown of how a full spellup will improve AC (using the easier-to-understand "positive is good" notation).

Foci Fortitude Awen Misc
Shield 20 Body Brace 20 Armor 20 Concentrate 10
Stone Skin 40 Mental Barrier 20 Holy Armor 30 Barkskin 30
Displacement 30 Holy Aura 40 Iron Skin 40
Calcify Flesh 20 Frenzy -70 Steel Skeleton 50
Adrenaline Pump 40 Invincibility 100
60 40 dex + 90 20 230

Here is a comparison of how some of the more popular dieties will improve or worsen AC from spells. Note that the the (usually) 40 AC bonus from Adrenaline Pump is listed separately because dexterity AC is not worship-dependant.

Atheist Shz Tul Kra Grn
3 macros: 40 + 170 AC -31 +31 +46 +62
2 macros + split awen: 40 + 240 AC -24 +24 +35 +48
Full spells without frenzy: 40 + 470 AC -47 +47 +68 +94

Gods who give AC bonuses will reduce frenzy's AC penalty, meaning that Tul-Sith Awen gives (90 * 1.1 - 70 * 0.9) = 36 AC, not (20 * 1.1) = 22 AC.

Armor Class Advice for Lowmort Tanks

Courtesy of the Ramko Pfile:

Level & Recommended AC(With Spells)

 20-30             -450
 30-40             -650
 40-45             -850
 45+               -1050

Armor Class Advice for Hero Tanks

Note: these numbers are heavily affected by both hp (the more hp you have, the more damage you can take, duh) and dexterity (dodge, shield block, other stuff is affected by dex).

Unspelled AC: Assessment

  • -600: Work on getting better gear/enchanting
  • -650: This is a good starting point for mon/shf, otherwise see above.
  • -700: This is a decent starting point for non-monk tanks, and quite good for mon/shf. With a healer, one can tank the smaller hero areas. Larger hero areas will drain HP quickly, making the run rather inefficient. With 2k+ hp you will probably be fine if you have good hitters.
  • -750: Very respectable level of armor. This should be achievable with high/max base ac items without extra enchants on them (depending on your dex).
  • -800: At this point you won't be taking much damage, and you'll go through multiple fights without taking damage, but you're still vulnerable, especially when you're at lowhero and have small hp. Note that to reach this requires all max base ac items with considerable extra enchants on them.
  • -850+: You can solo to Lord with no concern for the niceties of groups or surging. This AC is achievable through either twink quest and/or grandfathered gear or a very good enchanted AC set on a high-dexterity race in a dex-related class, such as rogues and similar.

Armor Class Advice for Lord Tanks

note: these numbers are with full kra spells (about -589 ac from spells)

  • -1800 work on getting better gear
  • -1900 decent (good for mon/shf)
  • -2000 good
  • -2100 quite good
  • -2200 really good

of course there are modifiers, for example if you're a brute race with low dex and high hp that can accomodate a lower number, or if you're a mon/shf a lower number would be expected (no wield or off-hand takes away roughly -150 to -225 ac depending on gear), etc. etc.

for un-spelled in tank gear i'd say -1200 is good for mon/shf, about -1400 for those with a wield and off-hand (i.e, everyone else).

Note: Super high AC at lord is not as useful as at hero, because many big lord mobs have Guard Break, which will allow them to hit you hard even if you have high AC. Anything better than 1900-2k ac (spelled) is usually good enough. I'm not sure how veil affects this.