ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:39 pm 
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Reaper

Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:21 am
Posts: 2257
Location: New Zealand
Hi

The chosen class is: Archer

My apologies for the late posting, life intervened!

Can everyone try running an archer and posting feedback here on how you found running one. I would be particularly interested in the Schools, and Talents and how you found them, but also in any other problems and issues.

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Jon.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:58 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:25 pm
Posts: 321
http://te4.org/characters/735/tome/314b ... 1cc000edf0

I just got to the Far East for the first time last night with a level 32 Thalore Archer (who then got killed by an orc patrol), and it was pretty fun. The difficulty certainly does ramp up once you get to the East, but I suspect it'd be pretty rough over there no matter what class you play.

For this character, I ignored Antimagic since it's a little buggy right now.
I used Regeneration, Wild, Teleport, and Healing in my infusion/rune slots. I had 2 Wild infusions because I couldn't find one that protected against everything I had trouble with.

As for the talents:

Technique / Archery - Bows

Bow Mastery - Maxed it. I needed all the damage I could get.

Piercing Arrow - Maxed it. Highly useful in hallways.

Dual Arrows - Put only 1 point. Occasionally used while other things were cooling down. Its usefulness is rather situational. There's almost always a better talent for the job.

Volley of Arrows - Maxed it. I needed something that could hit a big group while Scattered Shot is cooling down. This stamina cost of this skill really is rather expensive for what it does.

Technique / Archery - Common

Steady Shot - Maxed it. This skill is a must-have. It's really awesome if you can find a Steady bow, which reduces the cooldown from 3 to 2.

Aim - No points. I don't like sustains that not only take up valuable stamina, but also slow me down and turn me into a sitting duck. Especially when I could be using those points on something more helpful.

Rapid Shot - No points. I don't want to sacrifice important things like stamina and damage so that I can fire an extra shot every now and then.

Critical Shot - No points. It's ridiculously expensive in stamina for what it does.


Technique / Archery - Utility

Flare - 3/5 points. It's handy if you get it to 3 points so that it can blind enemies. It's helpful to tide you over against scary casters until you get Scattered Shot. Once I got Scattered Shot, I actually used it more for lighting dark areas.

Crippling Shot - 1 point. I mostly just used this as something to do while waiting for other things to cool down.

Pinning Shot - I maxed this. It's quite helpful against melee foes, to prevent them from getting up close and personal.

Scatter Shot - Maxed. This is extremely helpful against ranged foes and bosses who can do scary things when they're not stunned.


Technique / Field Control


Disengage - I put one point in this one, and used it every now and then. The main time it comes in handy is when a caster uses one of those crazy spells that summons you right next to them, and you want some breathing room so you can scatter shot them with abandon.

Track - I had this one up to 4/5 when I died. I fully intended to max it eventually. It's quite nice to be able to aim at what's lurking in the dark ahead of you when you're a ranged character.

Heave - I had this one up to 3/5. I occasionally used it for extra breathing room vs. casters like with disengage, but I also found it handy against melee types who enjoy rushing me. Heave them away and pin them in place with a Pinning Shot! You stay over there!

Slow Motion - I've heard that this is really nice, but the stamina cost is so sick that it scared me away from even trying it.


Technique / Combat Techniques
I didn't bother with this tree. Why would an archer ever want or need Rush? And that's the only thing I ever really much liked about this tree.


Technique / Combat Techniques


Quick Recovery - I invested 1 point in this, and intended later to max this, if I lived long enough! Can never have too much stamina regeneration.

Fast Metabolism - I put 1 point in this, too. It went nicely with the health regen I had on my gear. I might have put more later, if I hadn't died..

Spell Shield - I put 1 point in this one. Another thing I probably would have invested more in later, since saves are apparently more helpful now. If I had invested more in this earlier, perhaps it would have even saved me from those horrible orc casters in the East. Who knows..

Unending Frenzy - I had zero points in this, but I fully intended to max this. In big fights, Archers desperately need all the Stamina they can get. And that's even if you're Not using Stamina crazy things like Slow Motion, Critical Shot, and Volley of Arrows.

Technique / Combat Training

Heavy Armour Training - I had 1/5 points in this, just to open the ability for me to wear heavy stuff.

Massive Armour Training - 1 point. Same deal as Heavy Armor.

Health - Maxed it. I normally do max this, if I live long enough.

Weapon Combat - Maxed. I don't like to miss.

Weapons Mastery - Zero points. Not needed for archers.

Knife Mastery - Zero points. My archers don't fool with knives.

Cunning / Survival

Trap Detection - 4/5. I intended to max this. I don't like surprises.

Heightened Senses - I had one point in this. I would have increased it if I found more +Cunning gear. Passive infravision is quite handy.

Trap Disarm - No points in this one. I didn't have the Cunning.

Evasion - None here either. Insufficient Cunning.

I think that after I'm finished with my anorithil, I will create another archer or slinger, just to try out all the skills I'm normally too stamina-stingy to buy, just to see if they're really worth it.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:11 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:31 pm
Posts: 1252
Location: South Africa
I am currently playing a slinger, but I am a big fan of archers and slingers. I prefer the slinger because it can use shields... (which is odd, don't think you can load your sling with one hand)...

Archers and Slingers uses rediculous amounts of stamina, and that makes life kinda tough. Slingers miss a beam attack dearly... So much so I wanted to take bows and get piercing shot, but you need a bow to use it.

I find AIM not so useless as TheRani, but 50 stamina investment is a lot. The reason is, you can still disengage, phase door, teleport. Also, steady shot+AIM gives a LOT to base damage! Disengage though... Can't we call it jump or retreat or something, and make it able to target a square... you have to find an enemy, and target them to disengage in the right direction... :-/

In Beta 20 (or 19) Flares usage time was fixed, so much better now. And crippling shot is pretty good now. (I think the slow was also broken, or at least didn't show display the slow timing right in the talent description). In fact this category will get a mastery point to it to take it to 1.5.

Disengage - At least 1 point, but probably 2 or 3.
Track - Awesome
Heave - usually better than disengage, but slingers get inertial shot which reduces the use of heave.
Slow Motion - Wow, lots of stamina investment there. I will pump it eventually, but only once I start putting skills into Wil.

I agree with TheRani, that Rush tree can be removed from archers/slingers.

Quick Recovery - These stamina skills need to scale a bit with Wil or whatever, but other than that I think it's useful.
Fast Metabolism - Scale please...
Spell Shield - The name doesn't make sense, but useful enough.
Unending Frenzy - Haven't used it, but looks very useful, but scale please... :-)

The armour and health tree I agree with. I'd use the same points. If at lvl 40+ I have some generics to spare I might choose between heavy and massive and pump one of them further.

Traps...
One would like to put some here, but generic points at this stage (lvl 20-30) is not enough. Spent them on track, disengage, heave, Weapon Combat, armours and health.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:52 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:59 am
Posts: 99
Location: Wetzlar, Hessen, Germany
I saw slingers and staff slingers sometimes at Renaissance fairs.

Roman slingers are known to have had shields:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Slingers_on_Trajan's_Column.JPG

Staff slings are often shown two-handed, but i saw a stuntman at one of the renaissance fairs shooting and reloading a staff sling single handed while holding a staff-shield (shield like a man sized ellipsoid attach to a staff/spear). He had 3 lead bullets in his shield hand and could reload while holding the shield. He said you can't shoot more than 3 times, because slings at this time were used by a defense line and 3 shots were as high as you get before hand to hand combat started.

If you are interested in medial fencing, weapons, castle sieges, .... Link to a page with the famous fencing book of Thalhoffer (german fencing master of the 15th century) and the Bellifortis (technical gear to siege or defend a castle).
http://www.kb.dk/da/nb/materialer/haandskrifter/HA/e-mss/thalhofer/thott-2_290.html
A sling and a staff sling are shown on page 64-66. So they were still in use at this time. Shield fighting is shown on pages 198 to 214. You probably never saw these shields in knight movies (which are mainly english vs french). The shown shields were deadly weapons, could be used to hook a foot, disarm a sword fighter, put the point into earth to hide while reloading a ranged weapon, ....

Don't make the mistake to think that european weapons were less developed than ninja or samurai weapons. The katana was mainly a rider weapon first, while our state in germany was and is 80 percent forests with not much room for cavalry attacks. So battles were mainly hit and run tactics, like the Varus battle (one third -3 big legions- of roman army slaughtered in a single battle). So you walked with a shield in your hand which had a staff/spear attached to easy the walking. If attacked there was often no time to change to your sword so you had to fight with your shield.

The bow is a good defense weapon in an open field battle, when the archers are defended by a line of pike fighters. In a forest clearing the range of a bow is not needed, having a shield and do slling shots if finding 5 seconds of time was working.

The main difference between europe and japan is that japan never forgot the old way of fighting. But looking at the books there was a high developed martial arts school at europe too.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:28 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:31 pm
Posts: 1252
Location: South Africa
I would SERIOUSLY consider closing (or removing) the active tree (rush), and having the passive tree (stamina gaining) open by default. In fact I think it was intended that way around for archers.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:11 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:32 am
Posts: 202
I've run several archers up, and here are a couple of thoughts.

The class is very dependent on getting a good bow to inflict damage.
It's counter intuitive, but a lot of the time special arrows decrease damage. I'd really prefer it if arrows just added damage and were adjusted weaker.
The basic Bow Mastery (class) + Weapon Combat (generic) are important to pump early for damage and hitting.
Steady Shot is also a staple (usable every 3 turns, more often if you get the right item.)
Aim is useful when you want to plow through a number of creatures in a corridor or the like. Rapid Shot not so much.
Piercing Arrow is a decent beam ability.
Scatter Shot is very nice (area stun.)
Crippling Shot is marginally useful; Pinning Shot is another good crowd control measure.
Volley of Arrows is OK, but costs a lot. Dual Arrow doesn't have a compelling niche, and Critical Shot is far too expensive.
Disengage/Track/Heave are a nice combo. The rush tree is useless; the stamina+health set would fit the class better.

The class could really use some passive abilities - it is really crippled by stamina costs, leading to boring gameplay choices (shoot-shoot-steady shot, repeat).
With this constraint you inflict much less pain than a berserker - and although they are a melee class, there are plenty of foes who can hurt you at a distance. The power seems much lower for the archer, and few have gotten far with one.

I'd suggest:

Zero out stamina cost for Dual Arrow (gives it a purpose, boosts damage output a bit)
Replace Critical Shot (enormous stamina cost) with an arrow that returns stamina instead. At least as much as second wind, preferably more. Call it Vampiric Arrow or the like.

Make Volley of Arrows cheaper.
Remove Rush tree, make Stamina+Health passive tree default on.
Or consider a passive ability tree which fills the same role that Bloodthirst does for berserkers.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:57 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:34 pm
Posts: 335
Does it make sense for shadowblade to pick bow, or weapon mastery dependence make it inefficient?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:11 pm 
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Wayist

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:45 pm
Posts: 20
ohioastro wrote:
Remove Rush tree, make Stamina+Health passive tree default on.

This also makes sense flavour wise : i tried to watch archery contests and got bored real fast - the time they seem to be resting between shots seems like an eternity.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:25 pm 
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Master of Eyal

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:26 pm
Posts: 10477
Location: Angolwen
Changed some stuff:
Dual Arrows cost 0 stamina
Aim, Rapid Shot, Heave and Slow Motion sustain cost reduced
Critical Shot replaced by Relaxed Shot, which replenishes stamina

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:28 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:31 pm
Posts: 1252
Location: South Africa
Also changed for next release, passive tree is enabled by default.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:37 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:31 pm
Posts: 1252
Location: South Africa
Can I talk about slingers quick?

Slingers have a tough time to get better launchers. Somehow dragonhide slings are pretty rare, never mind blue-dragonhide slings. This to a big extent is because orc and skeletons all seem to prefer having archers in their midst to slingers, so one picks up a fair amount of bows, but almost no slings.

Also, archers get dual-shot and volley or arrows that gets AOE abilities, but slingers have only scatter shot, which is what archers also have. Another thing is much less APR than archers, but higher crit (though you typically want Str to wield the decent shields...)

Shields being the BIG difference between the classes. Being able to use a shield with a sling gives huge benefit to slingers. Which is why I like them :-)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:25 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:42 pm
Posts: 108
Location: Intarwebs
I've had a jolly good time with the slingers and I'm glad to see the suggested changes implemented. (skipping redundant whining) But would highlight two thoughts already voiced:

Due to the lack of slinger mobs, getting a decent weapon as a slinger (as opposed to an archer, or any other physical class) is very difficult.

Unless you have some super-special ammunition, found ammo usually lowers the efficacy of your shots. I think a different implementation of this might be better... something that adds cumulatively to the base ammunition of the sling/bow in use. You might suggest switching out ammo, and I tried this, but the loss of rounds when switching ammo more than negates any benefit.

Looking forward to playing with the changes in the next version.
shooth

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