Armor AC all the same


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


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Why do Light, Medium, and Heavy armor all have the same max AC of 7?

Shouldn't there be at least a point or two difference between them or what's the point of ever getting heavy armor?

Not only will you have lower TAC than the Medium but you also have higher cost and penalties with no real upside.

unless the idea is to be like FF Star wars where, as you get more advanced you wear less armor. after a couple boosts to dex you don't need heavy armor anymore.


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It looks like fighters and paladins would be the only classes that would favor heavy armor, as their proficiency level in heavy armor will eventually exceed their proficiency level in other armor types as they gain levels.

Medium armor would be the preferred armor type for characters of other classes who are already proficient with that armor type if they don't intend to focus on increasing dexterity.

Otherwise, most characters probably will end up in light armor at high levels.


Even with an 18 starting dex you won't hit +6 till 20th level without magic items, so for most people heavy armor will be better than lighter armor for AC.


All AC is the same because Heavy Armor gets expert + master + legendary proficiencies faster, it seems.

Once you add classes, it makes more sense.


ok if classes make it more varied that will help, I haven't quite got my head around the classes yet.

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zebuleon wrote:

Why do Light, Medium, and Heavy armor all have the same max AC of 7?

Shouldn't there be at least a point or two difference between them or what's the point of ever getting heavy armor?

Not only will you have lower TAC than the Medium but you also have higher cost and penalties with no real upside.

unless the idea is to be like FF Star wars where, as you get more advanced you wear less armor. after a couple boosts to dex you don't need heavy armor anymore.

This is for balance reasons so that designers know PC AC basically maxes out at 7 + item bonus (which ranges from 0-5) + conditional/circumstance bonuses + level (which doesn't really matter since attack bonuses add level too, this just makes the math harder to understand without a significant game design benefit).

As others have said, some classes get improved proficiency in heavy armor, which sets them apart at higher levels, but this doesn't do much to make heavy armor feel good at low level.

Also, at higher levels medium and heavy armor can get the Fortification Property Rune, which also helps distinguish them from light armor, but again, not until higher levels (12+).

It would be nice if at low level, heavy armor had something to make it feel special besides (you need less Dex). Right now choosing heavy armor feels like an exercise in choosing the one with the least penalties, and not choosing the one that does cool stuff you like.


I have always thought that heavy armour should add a flat damage reduction - say like reduce damage by 2 (heavy) 1 (medium)

Or even the more complex resistance and weakness - like chain weakness (piercing) resistance (bludgeoning, slashing) although having a flat 50% damage reduction might be a bit too powerful if it is constant.


You know I like the idea of heavy armor adding a bit of DR medium would add about half as much. light would have the higher TAC. Would be a ok way I think to differentiate them.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
You know I like the idea of heavy armor adding a bit of DR medium would add about half as much. light would have the higher TAC. Would be a ok way I think to differentiate them.

That makes a lot off sense, even if you are adding resistance 1 to physical damage on Medium and 2 on Heavy it would give it an edge.


Yeah it wouldn't take much.


At low levels, Light Armor does not give a +7 bonus. It is not until level 10 that Light Armor is as good at AC as medium armor, and by that point the paladin is already pulling ahead with heavy armor. The "parity" of AC by Armor is not as uniform by level as it looks from a perspective outside of actually building characters.

I do think this is creating a problem for the play of PF2, but it is one of perception and people's expectations more so than how it actual works in play.


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Going to advocate against heavy armor DR, because someone has to. If the numbers are super small (1-5) and stay there, then it becomes barely useful and just overhead to track on every hit once you reach mid-levels against appropriate enemies.

If it scales at all, then it drastically changes the dynamic of players vs lower level enemies. Which might not be terrible, but I think PF2 does enough of that with level-to-everything already.


Secret Wizard wrote:

All AC is the same because Heavy Armor gets expert + master + legendary proficiencies faster, it seems.

Once you add classes, it makes more sense.

It makes sense until you realize that things will collapse as soon as a class that can get Legendary Light or Medium Armor proficiency is added even without the penalty reductions Fighters and Paladins get.

The Dex Monk is already superior once they manage to get a 21 Dex and Anklets of Alacrity.


Ultimatecalibur wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

All AC is the same because Heavy Armor gets expert + master + legendary proficiencies faster, it seems.

Once you add classes, it makes more sense.

It makes sense until you realize that things will collapse as soon as a class that can get Legendary Light or Medium Armor proficiency is added even without the penalty reductions Fighters and Paladins get.

The Dex Monk is already superior once they manage to get a 21 Dex and Anklets of Alacrity.

It is almost like they realized this and that is why neither the rogue nor the ranger got higher light armor profiencies, and even the paladin, the best armor character in the game, caps out light armor prof at master.

If any abilities come along that even grant master light armor prof, they are going to be multi-class/archetype feats that will require building feats similar to the greymaiden. It is going to be very costly and this balance issue is one the developers are very aware of.


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Unicore wrote:


It is almost like they realized this and that is why neither the rogue nor the ranger got higher light armor profiencies, and even the paladin, the best armor character in the game, caps out light armor prof at master.

If any abilities come along that even grant master light armor prof, they are going to be multi-class/archetype feats that will require building feats similar to the greymaiden. It is going to be very costly and this balance issue is one the developers are very aware of.

They are not aware of the issue. The developers are so terrified of AC optimization that they made a complete mess of things.


  • Monster on level hit rates are tuned so that they have a 50% hit rate on the most optimized builds before shields and other buffs are factored in.
  • Taking the non-dedication Armor proficiency feats are a low dex tax at best or a trap at worst.
  • The armor system is dull with a character's choice of preferred armor being determined primarily by stat assignment.
  • More technologically advanced armors are actually inferior to more archaic armors.
  • The system is not futureproofed as even the suggestion of a class coming with Legendary Light or Medium Armor proficiency makes things worse. (Claiming that Legendary Light/Medium Armor proficiency will be limited to a set of dedication feats does not help as it is just as much a possibility as a class having it built in)


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Ultimatecalibur wrote:


They are not aware of the issue. The developers are so terrified of AC optimization that they made a complete mess of things.


  • Monster on level hit rates are tuned so that they have a 50% hit rate on the most optimized builds before shields and other buffs are factored in.
  • Taking the non-dedication Armor proficiency feats are a low dex tax at best or a trap at worst.
  • The armor system is dull with a character's choice of preferred armor being determined primarily by stat assignment.
  • More technologically advanced armors are actually inferior to more archaic armors.
  • The system is not futureproofed as even the suggestion of a class coming with Legendary Light or Medium Armor proficiency makes things worse. (Claiming that Legendary Light/Medium Armor proficiency will be limited to a set of dedication feats does not help as it is just as much a possibility as a class having it built in)

I am sorry if I took a condescending tone with my last post, but I think it is pretty harsh to think that the developers have spent two years developing a system as carefully balanced as this (perhaps even overly balanced), having carefully avoided doing exactly what you fear with the ranger, even though that would have made a lot of sense and given the ranger an even more unique niche to fill, and not be aware of this issue. What class would they build to have master or high proficiency in light armor without having given that as an option to rangers, barbarians or rogues?

Monster attack values may be off, as a result of using the wrong charts when calibrating all the numbers, but I am pretty confident that the design of advanced armor proficiency existing only for heavier armors is very clearly a well thought out plan.

A ranged fighter or paladin with a very high Dex may choose a "lighter" heavy armor at high level even though it wouldn't stack with their Dex bonus to AC, because their AC would still be higher than their AC in light armor. They still get the Dex bonus to Reflex saves, attacks and skills after all. Melee martials may as well, but movement is being incredibly undervalued on these message boards so I am doubtful the pay off would be worth the loss. Combat style is probably the larger determinant of Armor worn, which just so happens to often coincide with attributes, since most characters are looking to max their primary attack attribute.


Unicore wrote:


I am sorry if I took a condescending tone with my last post, but I think it is pretty harsh to think that the developers have spent two years developing a system as carefully balanced as this (perhaps even overly balanced), having carefully avoided doing exactly what you fear with the ranger, even though that would have made a lot of sense and given the ranger an even more unique niche to fill, and not be aware of this issue.

Stop. You are making a lot of assumptions. The number of oversights that the Paizo dev team have made is staggering and those 2 years of development do not mean that the time was evenly spent on all parts. Making claims of careful balance is not a good idea.

Quote:
What class would they build to have master or high proficiency in light armor without having given that as an option to rangers, barbarians or rogues?

Properly designed? Barbarians and Rangers should have gotten up to mastery with Medium Armor and Rogues should get up to Mastery with Light Armor.

Signs within the playtest seem to point to their higher tier armor proficiencies being culled prior to the playtest books being proofed.

Quote:


Monster attack values may be off, as a result of using the wrong charts when calibrating all the numbers, but I am pretty confident that the design of advanced armor proficiency existing only for heavier armors is very clearly a well thought out plan.

They claim that they were using old math for monster design but looking at the math shows that the numbers were tuned for hitting optimized characters.

The plan also isn't well thought out. If it had been Light, Medium and Heavy armors would show differences in superiority instead of being a quick hack job pulling the armor list from the 3.X srd and setting AC+Dex mod cap to +7.

Quote:


A ranged fighter or paladin with a very high Dex may choose a "lighter" heavy armor at high level even though it wouldn't stack with their Dex bonus to AC, because their AC would still be higher than their AC in light armor. They still get the Dex bonus to Reflex saves, attacks and skills after all.

Read up on the Clumsy trait. If a character in Split Mail or Plate Mail has more Dex than the Dex Modifier Cap their Dex bonus to their Reflex saves is capped as well.

A high dex Fighter or Paladin 'downgrading' from Heavy Armor to Medium armor gains TAC, improved Str, Dex and Con skill checks, increased speed and lowered Bulk.

Quote:


Melee martials may as well, but movement is being incredibly undervalued on these message boards so I am doubtful the pay off would be worth the loss. Combat style is probably the larger determinant of Armor worn, which just so happens to often coincide with attributes, since most characters are looking to max their primary attack attribute.

I have not seen the speed penalty on armor brushed of if anything it is one of the most complained about profane cows Paizo seems to insist on carrying from 3.X.


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Ultimatecalibur wrote:


You are making a lot of assumptions. The number of oversights that the Paizo dev team have made is staggering and those 2 years of development do not mean that the time was evenly spent on all parts. Making claims of careful balance is not a good idea.

Yes their are mistakes in the book which look completely accidental. But by your own account, the decision to not give away master proficiency in armor was a deliberate decision. It was probably something considered at one time and then changed when it became clear it went against their design principle for armor.

And only clumsy armors take away your dex bonus. I specifically mentioned "lighter" heavy armors.

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