I'm about to play a half-orc Druid. I've read Treantmonk's guide and will be focusing on melee. However i'm a bit worried my AC isnt going to scale well with the build. I'm not even going to ask my DM about the shield AC loophole. He'd laugh me out of the group.
At first level my AC is 18 (10 + hide + large shield + 14 DEX). When I begin to wildshape at 4th level my AC drops to 14 (10 +2 Natural Armor +2 DEX). When I get to 6th level and turn into a large animal my AC doesn't change much because the extra natural armor is canceld by the -2 dex penalty and the size penalty.
Of course none of the above takes magic items into account, but i wont have too much control over that and my GM wont have a magic store. So maybe I can get a +1 or a +2 from a ring or bracer. Barkskin can help but i cannot always depend on having it on.
So, how have other druids dealt with such a low AC?