It's "only" five feats. I know you can survive with 117 AC (Groo's monk(s) do(es)). The +10% conceal gives +8.25% conceal vs Blindfight. If you're not going AC, you need another way to stay alive, so I chose to focus in conceal (I wonder how WW would work on an archer?).
Also lets you wear Breach boots for only -5% penalty vs -10% penalty to conceal.
AB is low, AC is low.... sigh.....
"I have no fear of drowning / It's the breathing that's taking all this work..." - Jars of Clay
Post by johannhowitzer on Dec 3, 2007 10:45:09 GMT
Conceal gives an exponentially increasing benefit. The closer you are to 100%, the steeper the gains. Given a situation against, say, five baddies, if you get hit 20 times per round with 0% conceal, you'll get hit 19 times with 5% (on average). That cuts down on 5% of the hits you take. Given another situation in which you take 20 hits per round at 50% conceal, 55% conceal will reduce the number of hits to 18 - a 10% decrease. In other words, the 5% increase is twice as valuable at half the distance from 100%.
Taking that to the next step, start with 20 hits per round at 75% conceal, and increase the conceal to 80%. You'll only take 16 hits instead, a 20% reduction in the number of hits - half the distance from 100%, twice the benefit again! The 5% increase is five times as valuable here as it would be from 0% to 5%. The difference between 80% and 85% (the difference in this instance) is a 25% decrease in the number of hits taken!! If you have 80% and are taking eight hits per round against a mass of enemies - or knocked down - you'll take only six per round at 85%.
That may not seem like much, but it'll make all the difference for a fragile staff-toting Wizard with low HP, robes, and no shield. Conceal covers the "gap" between an enemy roll of 20 and player AC... if your enemy must roll 15 to hit you, a conceal of 80% will cover four of those five rolls - resulting in a "virtual" AC four points higher. If your enemy only needs to roll 5 to connect, 80% will raise your AC by a "virtual" 12!! This demonstrates something further, that the benefit of concealment is also higher with less AC. And I won't even go into critical hits, another variable entirely.
Those two increasing benefits mean that a low-AC staffmaster must grab ALL the concealment he can get. That final 5% of concealment is just too precious to give up, especially as an archer. Well worth the feats.
I just got my newest Wiz36 / AA3 / M1 to level 60. Built with Erinyes. Not demi, no artifacts, no BURs -- self buffed and wearing UR/thid gear. 129 AC, 80% conceal, Saves 60/70/61, 3 epics (same as listed here). Final buffed DEX is 64. 8 attacks a round with progression using rapid shot and from a distance (add 1 if close to them): 91,86,81,91,86,81,76,71. Do note you must re-equip a bow after casting tensers or you won't get most of the AB bonus. After demigod the wiz/aa/m would be at 136 AC or 138 with girding, which is pretty nice with 80% conceal.
I didn't do Legendary Divination -- would have been a good idea. In retrospect I should have dropped 2 great dex for Leg Divination and Epic Mage Armor (Epic Dodge is implemented and works!). Erinyes doesn't get the save feats -- I chose Strong Soul + Leg Hardened Soul to get good saves, though that means I cannot get Tumble as a class skill. Sigh -- maybe I'll rebuild just to get those two feats.
I will agree that 85% vs. 80% conceal is a big deal, but it's a lot of AC/AB cost also. It looks like you get the extra conceal and turn-based Tensers for a cost of 12 AC (more if demi), 6 AB, and evasion. Since the AB isn't exactly rocking the world like a regular AA, that's meaningful. My AC and AB numbers are based on your getting LSA Tumble for +4 AB but also missing out on 9 AC from wisdom and 7 from dex. I also maxed craft armor and craft weapon for final values of 74 -- bardsong or equipment would raise AB and AC by 1. Edit: One advantage of the WM version is you get a 5% conceal buffer for things like Breach Boots, so wearing those would leave you at 80% while a Wiz/AA/Monk would drop to 70%.
I think both builds work, but given you only get a 5% conceal bonus I think the extra AC and AB from going monk and dex focused outweigh the benefits. The AC we're talking about is high enough to be meaningful in Hells. But 117 AC + 85% conceal sounds eminently workable for an archer in Hells.
The short buff duration is a PITA while levelling (as said you MUST keep Tensers up) but does get ok later. Spell slots are relatively tight until you get the thid bracers.