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SoA: de facto armor tiers

TisamonTisamon Member Posts: 209
edited February 2017 in Challenges and Playthroughs
This short write-up is a by-product of my current LoB Tactics SoA solo run. Of course, I – like many other players – was aware of the mechanics described below for years, just never sat down to formulate them in a written form. Since I know sometimes writing down things = seeing them from a different angle, I thought sharing my thoughts might be a wise move.

First things first, let's get our terminology straight. Armor tier in this context refers to the best type of armor a certain class can equip. For example, Barbarian's armor tier is splint mail, while Shapeshifter's armor tier is nil. That's the theory, at least. Now, practically speaking, that's not what happens in SoA, and this is the reason why I am speaking of de facto armor tiers.

Once again, let's take a look at a Barbarian. In BGEE, our barb can don Drizzt's Mithral Chain, which is a great armor -- one of the best in the game, and also obtainable very early. This fact makes a Barbarian's de facto armor tier in BGEE higher than intended by the rules. In SoA, on the other hand, a barb really gets the shaft. The best armor for him, in theory, would be Armor of Faith +3. Unfortunately, Armor of Faith is only available to a priest protagonist, while a Barbarian has to rely on a Chain Mail +3 imported from BGEE, to settle for something like Aeger's Hide, or to go through the pain of getting the Shadow Dragon Scale -– which is very good, sure enough, but it's studded leather, for chrissakes! In other words, a lack of good chain/splint armors available early in SoA makes a barb's de facto armor tier lower than intended by the rules.

All in all, there are two essential criteria affecting a de facto armor tier: the armor in question should be (1) available in-game; (2) obtainable reasonably early. By the second criterion I refer to Chapter II and Watcher's Keep Exterior/Level I at most. Being able to obtain something in the Spellhold is, by and large, impractical -– it basically means you have completed about half the game without it. Thus, it is possible to divide all classes into three de facto armor tiers in SoA: nil, Shadow Dragon Scale (AC 1), and Red Dragon Scale (AC -1). Please refer to the table below for details.


Post edited by Tisamon on
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Comments

  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,581
    I believe that there is one armor that gives better AC than Red Dragon Scale that is available in Vanilla SoA. That would be the Armor of the Hart, dropped by the demon knights in the demogorgon shrine (Underdark), essentially a full plate + 3 armor with no other bonus. Thus, it gives -2 AC and the usual modifiers of a full plate armor.
    One could mention T'rachie plate+5 too, but it won't be as good due to less interesting modifiers.

  • MyragMyrag Member Posts: 292
    edited May 2017
    Not sure why mages and sorcs are in the same 'tier' as classes/kits that can't wear armor while they have decent range of robes available for them.

    In all the fairness not a single bard will use Shadow Dragon armor over Bladeslinger Chain because they want to be able to cast spells.

    Also it is as @Arunsun said, if you are comparing AC only then Armor of the Hart is superior to Red Dragon which then makes it as another 'tier' in your table. I do also think to be fair this should be expanded for multiclasses and duals which does not always pick the best armor in terms of AC same as bard did.

    Disregarding magic bonuses doesn't make sense to me as per your description of 'best your character can wear'. In real scenario most people would use Humans Flesh for any mage fight for its amazing 20% MR and crazy saves. This is my book is far better than most armors in the game if not the best in SOA (or maybe vecna if you got pure spellcaster). Especially since AC doesn't matter for most mage combos or if mage is in the party with Spirit Armor to cast on others.

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,308
    Strictly speaking, the best AC available to Mages & Sorcerers is the Robe of the Apprenti for AC3.

    Of course, very few would wear that rather than Vecna... but that's where the whole argument becomes a little muddy... AC vs complementary effects. The best armour for those that can wear it is usually basic Full Plate, due to its ability to be combined with Save improving items of Protection.

  • TisamonTisamon Member Posts: 209
    @Arunsun

    I appreciate your input, but:

    All in all, there are two essential criteria affecting a de facto armor tier: the armor in question should be (1) available in-game; (2) obtainable reasonably early. By the second criterion I refer to Chapter II and Watcher's Keep Exterior/Level I at most.

  • TisamonTisamon Member Posts: 209
    @Myrag @abacus

    I am considering AC tiers/armor type only here. I think this is rather obvious if you read the post in its entirety. This is not about the best armor per class, it's about armor tiers (see the definition in the main post).

  • MyragMyrag Member Posts: 292
    edited May 2017
    Tisamon said:

    @Myrag @abacus
    I am considering AC tiers/armor type only here. I think this is rather obvious if you read the post in its entirety. This is not about the best armor per class, it's about armor tiers (see the definition in the main post).

    And yet I've read it twice and it states
    Tisamon said:

    Armor tier in this context refers to the best type of armor a certain class can equip

    I'm pretty sure BEST is not a technical term referring to AC. If you ask anybody what is the best armor for bard I'm pretty sure most if not all people will say that Bladeslinger Chain.

  • TisamonTisamon Member Posts: 209
    @Myrag

    If you ask anybody what is the best armor for bard I'm pretty sure most if not all people will say that Bladeslinger Chain.


    My text clearly says the best type of armor. You talk (very insistently) about the best armor. While arguing about the meaning of the post with the post's author is an impressive undertaking, this energy is better spent elsewhere -- if you get my drift.

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