Pre u14 tanking was a game of ‘find that named item’. Where level 20 was max and Epic one level of ‘badarse’ (well some epics a little less epic then others). There was one number in town – AC. Be it dodge, protection, shield, insightful etc. It was all AC. Then u14 hit – and this was not your granpas AC or tankin’ anymore.
Now there were 3 things; dodge, AC and PRR. And it was not a zero sum game anymore. No only hit on a 1 or only missed on a 1. So people running around with armor now a days can actually mitigate some damage or might be missed more then once. On the other hand tanks are not auto missed – they take a lot more damage then they used too, which they can mitigate with their PrE and items. A lot of it in fact. Like my tank (currently on the tail end of level 12) have close to 70 in AC (65ish I think with the Stalwart II flyin’) and with about 60+ in PRR, That means missed more then hit and 1 third of the damage removed. Add to that 3% dodge chance.
Ultimately I will have a blur item (not yet but working on it), the ring with lesser displacement (EE Ring of Shadow) and make myself a displacement clicky (GS recipe). Now I mention this because of several reasons.
Tanking is ‘easier’ in the sense that I have a much more flexible choice of items today then before. Now you can find lots of AC, dodge and PRR providing things on augments and random items. Plus you can craft several really useful things. I currently use a Protection +5 necklace and a +5 Natural armor pirate hat with intimidation +10. I made also a Superior false life with intimidation +15 (ML 12). So that meant that I had to figure out other ways of shifting things around without losing effects (like my immunity to fear in a yellow slot in my striding 20% boots.
And with 2 rings, one with con +6 and Str +6 I want to make sure that any sideway shift doesn’t force me to lower AC or lower features and abilities. Like finding a +5 natural armor necklace on the AH that will replace my protection +5 necklace. And in turn I created a trinket with a flexible protection +5 shard in it. Ergo – no change. I’m also looking to find one of those dusty 30% striding rings I have banked somewhere and add a flexible con +6 to the boots instead. That way I keep the boots with the yellow augment (fear immunity) and I use a ring of striding with boots of health. No change.
And since I lost the charged hit effect from the pirate trinket (additional DPS) I’m going back to charged gloves for now. Which means I lose my flexible dodge 2% gloves. Which means I will have to put on the chaos guard bracers and regain dodge that way but I lose my flexible melee alacrity with flexible underwater bracers. As you see – the puzzle keeps moving around and I have to ensure I maintain the ideal effect with the least negative outcome. Now this is not really much of an issue later on with more named augmented items. At level 16 you can find lots of good augments that’ll replace the single effect items I use now. And there’s also possible to put together relatively loaded ML17-19 items that compile good effects.
Until then I’m going to have to figure out where I’m willing to get hit and what the effect will be. I’m thinking that maybe I can wing it by unlocking the flame cloak completely or even the spare hands and then add something crafted to those. But only when I have enough mats to make sure I also have an BTA version in the bank for other toons.