Tanking In Hit Gear
Tanking in hit gear refers is the process of tanking in mixed hit/tank, or full hit gear. As such, armor optimization is required to fine-tune the DR/AC aspects of your set to suit your needs.
Tanking in mixed gear is a preferable method for low-heroes and otherwise hp-challenged characters of certain classes such as Psionicists or rogue-related classes, as it allows them to deal damage while retaining high amount of AC and thus protection to last during the run. When tanking in such a fashion, a player relies on groupmates to cover his lack of damage, so he will likely start from an AC set, and then swap a few items to improve DR.
When soloing, however, or preparing for tricky battles such as the Ultimate Dragon, it is not unusual for even fully-DR(/HR) oriented classes like Warriors or archer-types to start with a set of hitgear, and then swap items in reverse - to gain a few hundred points of AC while retaining a relatively high DR (or HR for archers/fusiliers), which is required to defeat the enemy in question.
Both these methods use the same pair of questions - How much AC can a piece of equipment bring per point of DR sacrificed, and how much DR can a piece bring per point of AC sacrificed?
Also, for larger HP characters or those with enough fire power in their group to one-round mobs, it may be possible to tank in full hit gear without regard for AC. Or, at least without need of AC gear, just hit gear of the highest base and enchanted if possible (gear without a starting AC modifier is easier to enchant). For some classes, for example a soloing Psionicist, it's convenient to arrange things such that when your mana runs low and you need to regen at sanc your HP runs low at the same time.
A few notes before the full-blown analysis:
- Keep in mind that certain locations have AC modifiers, such as body x3, shield x3 and about body x2. Whatever is the item equipped here, it should always have the maximum base - B12. The enchantment is not modified (you will not get 3x75AC by equipping a Carburized Plate!), so it is recommended to have all B12 items even if they are not enchanted - whether they are AC, HR or DR gear. See Armor Class page for detailed info.
- A standard hit set does not use a shield. A charged shield brings a solid boost to damage even to classes without Shield Block along with it's 86 AC, as long as the character has sufficient Intelligence and Dexterity to use it well.
The following table assumes common DR and AC items and compares them. You can similarly perform your own HR analysis.
(*) The 86 gain value comes from 3xB12 + 50 enchantment.
(**) The most common held item is Shard Of Black Doom Marble which can be enchanted to 12/12 (10/10 is common) as well as runed for -15 AC. When runed it's comparable to an unenchanted LeMans Family Seal (B12+10=22AC).
From the table it is easy to see which items should be swapped first - just sort the table by the last column. If you're adding AC to your DR set, start by the largest gain items, and if you're adding DR to your AC set, start at the bottom with the least loss items.