Dodge AC Lifting Changes

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Fan
Posts: 576

Dodge AC Lifting Changes

Post#1 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:43 pm

Hi all. We realized that dodge AC cap is limiting both developer's options and player's options. Although it has been there for balance reasons for a while, we feel it is time to move forward and open more options to our community.

We have the ability to adjust the dodge AC cap, but we need to change several would-be-game-breaking spells/feats if we are going to lift the dodge AC cap. The changes will be first pushed to betaserver before it goes to the live server. Here is the planned change list so far:

1. Epic Mage Armor gives 5 dodge AC (down from 20). You can cast it twice per day (instead of once).

2. Divine Shield gives maximum 5 dodge AC. The bonus last twice longer if you have 30+ CHA, three times longer if you have 40+ CHA, and four times longer if you have 50 CHA.

3. Epic Mage Armor and Divine Shield do not stack with each other.

4. SoF and Barkskin formula changed to : 5 + CL/3 (old formula 4 + CL/2.5).

5. Sirine's grace spell AC bonus is capped at maximum 18.

6. Fist of Forest AC bonus is decreased by 2 if you are not *unarmed*.

7. Epic Heavy Armor Optimization will give 2 extra AC instead of 1.

8. New feat: Shield Skin
Perquisite: Armor Skin III, Level 21
You gain an AC shield bonus equals to BAB/5 if you are fighting with one melee weapon and one hand empty. If you have at least 35 Strength, you gain additional one AC shield bonus.

9. Medium/Heavy armor specialization now grants +1 dodge AC instead of DR.

10. Armor Skin II and III no longer provides AC if you have any Monk level.

11. Imp two weapon defense no longer needs 17 Dex and/or imp two weapon fighting. It just needs two weapon defense feat.

12. Greater two weapon defense no longer needs 19 dex and/or greater two weapon fighting. It just needs imp two weapon defense feat.

13. Greater two weapon defense has changed to:
You gain an AC shield bonus equals to 1 + BAB/5 when you are fighting with two weapons. You also gain 2 bonus skill points to parry. Monk only gains half of the AC bonus from this feat because its combat style focuses on dodging the attacks not blocking them.

The reason for adjusting Epic Mage Armor and Divine Shield is obvious. We adjust cleric/bard buffing spells, because once dodge AC lifted, they will access to more stacking dodge AC spells/inspirations.

Although I probably won't be able to discuss each change in detail one by one, comments are welcome, especially if I missed any potential game-breaking spells/feats if dodge cap is lifted.

Changes pushed to BETA, testers are welcome.
Last edited by Fan on Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:43 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Cataca
Posts: 307

Re: Dodge AC Lifting Changes

Post#2 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:29 pm

On top of my mind: Inspire defense bardsong should be mutually exlusive with divine shield. I doubt someone will make a bard with epic mage armor, but still, best include it in there.

Also, since Bladesinger is the PRC that would profit the most from this change, mind looking over its spellprogression some? The change could make it viable overnight.. but not quite. Its still a heap of a 4 feat requirement, race restricted "you could have just dipped 5 levels in fighter" mess that requires you to not use a shield and restricts your weapon.

Fan
Posts: 576

Re: Dodge AC Lifting Changes

Post#3 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:05 pm

Buffing bladesinger is something in my mind for a long time, and I may work on that later.

Regarding about bard AC song, I am not sure whether preventing stacking with divine shield is necessary. Because they will not get the AB buff from the inspiration if they choose AC. It seems fair to me. Maybe I missed some weird combinations that may cause a problem?

Cervantes
Posts: 635

Re: Dodge AC Lifting Changes

Post#4 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:24 pm

I say this in all seriousness - you have made a good decision to go forward with this without asking the server players what they think. This will go much faster, and probably end up with more constructive feedback, simply because you didn't ask IF we should do it, but presented it as something already being done and asking for additional sets of eyes for possible problems.

*thumbs way up*
Grevaine the Blackbird, recruiter for the Arcane Society
Hank Stone, tinkerer and supporter of the down-trodden
Rembrask Alhavisk, not-so-pleasant mercenary
Baelnorn, DM

Cataca
Posts: 307

Re: Dodge AC Lifting Changes

Post#5 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:42 pm

Not asking for a huge bladesinger buff, just that its spell progression be revised to full, or full -1.

I disagree on the bardsong AC stacking. Disregarding monk dip shenanigans and ICE and dex/str, the AC landscape post-change would look like this:
(thats just the base capabilities of the builds, not factoring any feats or PRCs)
Spoiler: show
Arcane: +5 (dodge)
Divine Nature: +3/6 (natural CL 30-40)
Divine Cleric: +5 (dodge) + 3/6 (Deflection CL 30-40)
Bard: +10 (shield/song cl 20) + ~2 (deflection)
Noncaster: ? (varies wildly, there is huge potential in the prcs though, swash gets loads out of the box)


Not to say that they "get AC" via curse song, have 60% conceal out of the box and get requiem. I'd say that bards are plenty strong as is, no need to buff them indirectly.

Edit: i agree with Cervantes, this will prevent the endless back and forth we usually get in any discussion.

Fan
Posts: 576

Re: Dodge AC Lifting Changes

Post#6 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:09 pm

Thank you for your comments about Bard inspiration. I will think about what builds may exploit it and how we are going to do about it. Inspiration is a mass buff and enforcing some special non-stacking rules are tricky.

I know certain weak builds like bard offensive casters can certainly benefit from this change, but bard melees do not. I will think more about other possible builds.

Lomir
Posts: 241

Re: Dodge AC Lifting Changes

Post#7 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:38 pm

I have a level 40 bard who is completely and totally an offensive caster... while this will help him, with Divine Shield capping at 5 AC, it should stay fairly balanced (think it will take me from about 100 AC to maybe 110 if I'm doing my math right).

Itaasi
Posts: 801

Re: Dodge AC Lifting Changes

Post#8 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:14 pm

110 AC is the exact number my level 40 melee bard has (DEX based), so if that's true, it will lower the AC difference between DEX and CHA built Bards.

MortisCorpus
Posts: 1536

Re: Dodge AC Lifting Changes

Post#9 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:40 pm

*thumbs up!*
Developer, Administrator, Lord of Ahala
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rasputinw81
Posts: 52

Re: Dodge AC Lifting Changes

Post#10 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:14 pm

Awesome!

Just wondering the reason for limiting Fist of the Forrest to unarmed?

This is one option for AC that appeals to high CON builds and with a lift on dodge AC cap makes it an alternative to the obligatory monk dip for STR +CON & DEX +CON builds, somewhat leveling the playing field with WIS builds. It only uses base CON so I doubt any divine casters will have enough stat points left after Maxing WIS & STR/DEX to get much from it.

FotF is also the only realistic way a non caster will significantly break the +20 dodge cap anyway so taking it away from anyone but monks will further drop fighter/swash builds in relative viability.

I freely admit this is from a dex melee player only POV so feel free to correct me.

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