I started up my Galka years ago with the intention of making him a PLD. After a few distractions (lol Galka DNC rules) I've decided to come back to PLD. I'm seeing a lot of hubub about DD PLD, even at low levels, and I understand the concept: more damage = more hate and faster kills. I was competely turtle oriented before (Honour Sword at 52 because of 2 VIT for example).
I decided to throw in some more DD pieces. My setup, while not spectacular is as follows:
Weapon: Tactician Magician's Espadon (good dps, and 12 attack)
Shield: Royal Knight Army Shield (good def, 2 str)
Ammo: Happy Egg
Head: Iron Musketeer's Armet (could be better I know)
Neck: Parade Gorget (this thing rules)
Earring: Hospitaler Earring
Earring: Anti-Venom Earring (I need MP, I'm a Galka)
Body: Gaia Doublet (4 VIT, woot!)
Hands: Elder's Bracers until I use the MP then AF
Ring: Verve Ring
Ring: Mana Ring
Back: High Breath Mantle
Waist: Life Belt
Legs: Mythril Cuisses (could be better)
Now my gear could use some improving, but that's not the point. In the old days I'd be eatting +Defense food, and use Defender again with the intent of turtling. This time, I used Meat for more attack, and started off with neither Defender nor Berserk active.
Our PT was synched to 52 in Kuftal vs crabs. I took a LOT of damage, until I turned Defender on. After that things went fairly smoothly, and I only lost hate to the BLM casting Freeze two seconds into the fight, or when the puller started the fight when my MP was around 5.
I really don't understand how everyone says Defense doesn't matter! It's got diminishing returns I'm sure, and stacking it at the expense of all DDing stats is certainly a bad idea, but there seems to be a certain base amount you need in order to keep damage at reasonable levels. Getting there without either Defender or Defense food seems very unlikely.
So my question:
How can you tank without Defender or Defense food (not necessarily both at once) against (non lolibri) IT exp mobs?