ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:21 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:03 am
Posts: 9
Hey there! If you're reading this you probably want to learn more about archers, and their Superior ranged fighting skills~ Which is great, because archers are a simple, but very effective class, and if you're new, can easily unlock most other classes if you were having trouble with that. Of course you could also be a veteran to Tome, and are merely looking at another player's insight into the class. Regardless I hope you all get something out of this guide.

1. Races
2.Class Talents
3. Generics
4. Leveling
5.Anti-Magic vs. Magic
6.Prodigies
7.Tips, Tricks, and things you may not know
8. Disclaimer


1. Races

Cornac 3/5
Cornac's have no raceials, and a free category point, Archers have a abudance of generic points to spend and only one category they need to unlock in their class tree. This makes Cornac's a half decent choice for archers if you don't want to go antimagic/want to use stone alchemy/other useful escort trees.

Higher2/5
Higher's make ok archers, their racials are kinda moot. The regen could be good if you go down the Anti-magic route. Overseer works well with a archer's high range... but considering you don't have that large a range till you get to the higher tier bows, it's only use i could think of would be to get a early scatter shot/arrow rain off. Born into magic isn't bad, it's just not as good as alot of other raceials you could get. Highborn's Bloom is utterly useless since relaxed shot exists.

Shalore1/5
Shalore's don't work well with archers, Global speed is nice, but it's not a long enough duration (even with timeless). 10% crit chance from Magic of the Eternals is silly since archer's have so many other options to stack crit. Secrets of the Eternals gives a small chance to go invisible when you take a chunk of hp damage, it's nice when it works, but you wouldn't be able to depend on it. And finally Timeless, the cornorstone to the race itself. Unfortunately the only three buffs archer's gain naturally are sustains so timeless is a waste.

Thalore5/5
Ah, Thalore, not only do they carry great natural stats for the bow wielding archers, but their racials~ +11-20% to your damage and the same amount of damage reduction from Wrath of the woods is just beastly, especially if go anti-magic and get some will. Unshackled is alright, not outstanding, but is a alright source of mental save if you don't side with zigur. Guardian of the Wood is just. great! at max it makes you immune to diseases, Gives a heavy 20% blight resist, coupled with the 10% resist all you get from maxing it. Nature's Pride is just the cherry on the cake, their tanky distractions summons that don't take a turn to use, very useful at every point in the game.

Halfling3/5
Although they'd be better off with slings, the tiny people can still draw and fire arrows relatively well. Luck of the Little Folk will mostly be useful for the saves. Duck and Dodge is a more useful Secrets of the Eternals. Militant Mind can become decent during the late game where you fight things it lots of packs. Indomitable is good if you find yourself getting hit by alot of status, but loses it value once you get Relentless Pursuit.

Dwarf3.5/5
I don't thing there's a single class that a Dwarf couldn't use well, but regardless. Resilience of the Dwarves is a nice buff to your armor and saves if you remember to use it. Stoneskin is kinda ehh since ideally you won't be in melee range, and the effect isn't to grand outside that. Power is Money is great, though anyone who's ever played a Dwarf should know that. Stone Walking is as always a good escape.

Yeek2/5
Inherently squishy, but fast. I find Yeek's would like their halfling rivals make better singers then bow archers, still that doesn't make them bad at it, as if you can get past their horrid early game and play conservatively, their racials may make up for it. Dominant Will is always handy, if not always reliable, but handy nontheless. Unity is nice as confusion resist and mental saves are always welcome. Quickened is great on anything. as far as Wayist goes... i've heard mixed reviews, and have never gotten to use the talent myself, but I presume it's alot like a thalore's trees, just without the innate taunting ability.

Ghoul 2.5/5
Beafy but slow, Ghouls don't do to well with their reduced speed when trying to kite things, and the inability to use wild infusions could very well cost them a few lives.... but if you can get past that Their racails more then make up for it. Ghoul passive gives Strength and con, which are both always helpful and can save you from investing to much in either early on to get armor traning/thick skin. Ghoulish Leap helps you keep away from dangerous foes, and in conjunction with disengage and heave, makes up for their low movement speed. Retch is the reason you play Ghouls, and works surprisingly well with the range a bow archer offers. Gnaw is ok, it's something to do if you have a elite/boss in close range and everything is on CD i suppose.

Skeleton4.5/5
Finally, you can pretend to be one of the more annoying enemies to fight in the game! But in all seriousness Skeleton archer's are a great combo, as i mentioned before a archer has a lack of good generics to sink points into, and a skeleton's racials are all worth maxing. The first passive gives Strength and Dexterity, the two stats you're damage runs off of. Bone Armor is a free shielding ruin that scales with your dex. Resilient Bones gives great status resists. Re-assemble is a healing infusion/blood of life fore basicly free. The only downside is like Ghouls you can't carry a Wild infusions, so if a stun, or even worse a confusion get's past Resililent Bones, it's gona hurt. But there's plenty of ways around that one issue.

To make things simpler go Thalore if you want to be a antimagic archer, Skeleton if you don't want to.

2.Class Talents

Archery-Slings
Just take that first point out of Sling mastery and close the tree, we're using bow's for this guide.

Archery-Bows5/1/1/(0 or 5)
Bow mastery gives you physical power and more damage, max it.

Piercing Arrow is useful early on for the ability to shoot though more then one enemy and a alright attack modifier when you don't have many talents to use, but dosen't scale with levels as well as some of your other skills do, leave it at 1.

Dual Arrows is a great skill, in that it doesn't use any stamina, which is really great early on. This makes it a essentially a free 150%+ damage shot every 8 seconds.

Volley of Arrows is one of your two AoE skills, but is a little tricky to use. You target a area and shoot off one arrow for every targetable thing in the area, and then shoot it. The weird thing about it is that that each arrow shot acts like a normal one, traveling from your square to the target. This means that the arrows can be stopped by walls or other monsters, making it hard to use as a AoE in itself. Where Volley really shines is at the end of one space hallways when facing a large mob, as you can target a large group of enemies with Volley, and the one monster in front will eat all the arrows at once, effectively nuking it. The drawback is it really hurts your quiver, and if you don't have a large one you'll find yourself out of ammo fast.


Archery Training 5/5/(1 or 5)/(level as needed)
Steady Shot is your bread and butter, learn to love it, and learn to love any bow that gives you -1 cd on it. max it, spam it.

Aim, on of your damage altering abilities, polar opposite to Rapid Shot. It reduces your attack speed, but gives you an absurd amount of physical power, accuracy, Armor penetration, and crit chance. we mostly just care about the Armor penetration and crit chance. at max level it gives you a reduced 20% attack speed, but odly enough bows are normally %80 attack speed so, it just makes you attack as fast as most other things in the game, and you only lose a potential 1 turn every 5 rounds, when most non boss mobs only last 2-3 turns against you.

Rapid Shot is the yin to Aim's yang, it reduced your physical power, accuracy, and crit chance by a small amount, but increases your firing speed by a good 13% per point. It also doesn't pin you to the ground when using it which is always nice. You'll want a point in this as early as you can so you can always have either Aim or Rapid on. But whether you deiced to sink more points into this is entirely up to taste.

Relaxed shot solves all your stamina problems in the few long fights you'll hopefully have. levels it when you find you're having more Stamina problems, though I recommend a early 3 levels in it as then it dose more then a normal shot damage wise.

Archery Prowess3/3/(3 or 5)/5
Flare is highly useful in the early to mid game, as it blinds in a small AoE at level 3. It also converts your damage into fire, so keep that in mind if you spot a fire week enemy.

Crippling Shot is a slow, nothing in the game resists Slows well. It also slows every action your enemy takes, that means movement, attacking, using talents. the works. The power of the slow scales with your accuracy, but caps at 40%. So only get it level 3 and you should have the max slow by the time you really need it.

Pinning Shot dose what it says, Pins a target to the ground rendering it unable to move. It's mildly useful for keeping things away from you, but more useful for keeping things from getting away. put 3 points into ti for 4 turns of pin, or 5 for 5 turns of pin.

Scatter Shot is great, love it. It should be the first thing you want to max. It's got great damage in a large AoE, a high stun chance for a heavy duration, and unlike Volley only costs one arrow and uses smite targeting, in that it casts like a spell would and isn't effected by enemies along it's targeted path.

Combat Veteran 0/0/0/0 or 1/(1or 5)/5/0
Quick Recovery, not much to say here, Relaxed shot is better for stamina woes.

Fast Metabolism is a alright dump late if you have nothing better.

Spell Shield isn't a bad dump, if you didn't find anything good with good spell save on it.

Unending Frenzy, no... just no.

Combat Techniques 1/(1 or5)/1/5
Rush could be useful... in rare situations, but I never used it. Just a level in it to get the better skills is fine.

Precise Strikes is like a smaller version of Aim, and can be used in conjunction with, but works better with Rapid Shot. The accuracy is a little overkill for archers, but the Critical chance is decent at max level. It's up to you if the crit chance is worth the dip in attack speed.

Perfect strike is... borderline useless for archers, as we'll have plenty of accuracy already. Though it dose have a ninch against stealth/invisibility using enemies, and it doesn't take a turn to use, so it doesn't hurt to keep it in mind when fighting in dreadfall.

Blinding Speed is great a instant use 40% global speed boost for 5 turns (it'll feel longer then that since you're moving faster). use it, love it.

Dirty Fighting
takes a catagory point to unlock... runs of cunning... most skills are melee range... yeah don't bother with this tree.


3. Generics

Field Control1/1/1/(level to taste)
Disengage is useful early game to kite things, and later only slightly useful when alot of the more dangerous stuff have better range.

Track is useful for the occasional vault, but that's about it. mostly just get a point in it to unlock Heave and Slow Motion.

Heave is just like it's twin Disengage, except not AS useful as knockback can be resisted. Still is worth a point to just have the option.

Slow motion helps you deal slightly in your second biggest threat, other ranged attacks. Still it's a costly sustain at 80 stamina, and I didn't find it overly useful when I did have it.

Combat Training 5/5/(0 or 1)/0/0
Thick Skin gives resist all, enough said.

Armor Training gives you hardness, armor, and if you chose to wear heavier armor crit chance reduction. all of this is nice and you'll have the strength for it.

Combat Accuracy is... well a bit overkill on archers, more so when we have aim on. Put a point in it early on, and maybe keep it there to offset the penalty for using Rapid Shot.

Weapons Mastery. No

Dagger Mastery. Just. No.

Survival0/0/0/0 or 1/1/1/(level to taste)
most of this tree is kinda nichy, without much benefit outside evasion. You could dump in Evasion, and use it, but I find having a high armor value is the better option.

4.Leveling
stats
Start off by maxing Dex, dropping the extra points into con (or Str if you need 1 or 2 to equip something you REALLY want).

keep raising con up till you can max thick sink (using con boosting equipment as well). At this point if you went Antimagic, start raising your Will up when Dex is maxed. If you aren't anti-magic just keep boasting Dex and Con till their both maxed, and then raise Str.

Skills
At level 1 you should have a point in bow mastery, 2 in steady, and 2 in flare. At level 2 put another point into flare and leave it alone.

From thereon you want to up Bow Mastery whenever you can, get a point in Piercing, Crippling, Aim, Dual Arrows, and Pinning, Rapid Shot. In that order. If you have extra class points put them into Steady Shot, otherwise Max scatter shot when it becomes available. Once Scatter is maxed, get a point into Relaxed Shot, and start maxing Aim, then Steady if you haven't already, and then get Crippling and Pinning Shot to level 3. After that you'll have your core skills and should be free to try new things as you feel you want to.

5.Anti-Magic vs. Magic

This is a big choice, as it changes your gameplay drastically. I'll give a TL;DR at the end of this, but let's start by pitting the main reasons you'd go one way or the other, and the con's that go with them.

Anti magic Shield+Fungus Tree
It takes alot of Generic points to get it going, but with two regenration infusions late game you'll all but laugh at mages in the prides, while being tanky to everything else because of your health regen. not to mention you gain a large 'oh shit' heal. Unfortunately you lose access to any arcane powered items, and any runes. Meaning you can't rely on a teleport rune to get you out of trouble. You could use a torque of phycoportation, but that takes up a tool slot and they are slightly rare.

Stone Alchemy + Premonition
When it comes to archers, they don't exactly have the greatest of spell power stats, so things like healing light, and the like are cool to have early game, but fall out late game for us, the real reason you'd skip anti magic is for Stone Alchemy, and the ability to in the late game give your weapon, armor, helm, and gloves extra stats. This costs a cat point and a prodigy, but if you make it to the late game would be well worth it. Premonition gives you % damage reduction against alot of things. and is a alright alternative to Anti Magic shield, It also runs off sustained Mana, and considering archers use none, it's effectively free. the only problem with all this is the gamble on getting certain escorts over others, and the fact that you'd have no natural mana regain. Though the mana regain problem is solved by some rare equipment that you could hold onto.


TL;DR
Antimagic gives you better survivability that scales well into late game, while magic is more luck based, but can be even better late game.
6. Prodigies

First and formost, there are no 'must have' prodigies. It is my highest recommendation that you analyze you're archer's strengths and weaknesses before deciding on one prodigy over the others. Ideally, your prodigies will cover up any flaws or exploitable faults, increasing your chances of completing the game. I'll only be listing the prodigies that archer's could really make use of, but if you believe i missed one, by all means leave a comment and I'll considering adding it in.

Vital Shot
What it dose
The first Prodigy that comes to mind when you think archers, with a whopping 450% damage, no stamina cost, and a chance to stun AND cripple? This thing is beastly, if with a costly 20 second cooldown. Most any archer could benefit from this one, but be conservative with it as you'll want to keep it up for the harder enemies, rather then using it on something you could easily kill already.

What it solves Vital shot sees most of it's use against rares and bosses, where you'll get the full effect of that 450% damage, along with the cripple, though you may not always get the stun. Along with that boss fights are usefully the only time a fight will last over 20 rounds, giving you another chance for Vital shot.

Roll With It
What it dose
Every time you take a physical attack, ranged our melee, you allow yourself to get knocked back and get a temporary movement infusion, allowing you to move up to two spaces in the spawn of a turn. It also gives you 10% physical resistance.

What it solves
If you're vulnerable to physical damage, or even just being caught in Melee in general, then this is a good Prodigy to keep yourself out of close range with your enemies, or even to constantly reposition yourself against enemy archers, as you can get hit, move once, then attack in one turn.

Crafty Hands
What it dose
Allows you to embed gems into helmets and belts
What it solves
Allows more versatility in items, only grab this if you got stone alchemy from a escort.

Superpower
What it dose
25% of your strength is turned into mindpower, and your weapons now have a 30% will modifier to their damage.
What it solves
More use of the wilpower stat, Anti-magic archers can really take advantage of this, as it boosts their ability to resist magic, and the fungal tree for regenration, while also giving them some more damage.

Windtouched Speed
What it dose
15% more global speed, and the ability to ignore pressure traps. the requirements are a little steep, so generally only anti-magic archers will be able to get this.

What it solves
Global speed is a boost to anything you do, moving, attacking, using items ect. But it works best when combined with other forms of added speed, like Rapid Shot. Get this if you got Supoerpower, and don't think you want Vital shot.

Dragonic Body
What it dose
When you go lower then 30% of your life, you get healed for 40% of your max life.

What it solves
Survivability problems, it goes without saying that the more health you have the more effective dragonic body is. So if you're not maxing con with your stat points, it's not as useful.

Never Stop Running
What it dose
While the sustain is active, your movements don't take up a turn, and instead drain 20 stamina per movement.
What it solves
Positioning, and escaping. This is more useful for Anti-magic archers, who can;t use runes such as teleport or controled phase door, but normal archers can make use of it if they forgo other means of escape.

Dragonic Will
What it dose
for 5 turns status effects won't work on you.
What it solves
A vulnerability to negative effects, Most archers won't need this as a wild infusion and relentless should suffice, but Dragonic Will is always something to keep in mind.

Garkul's Revenge

What it dose
1000% damage to constructs 20% more damage to humanoids. A nice prodigy at level 42 if you can meet the requirements.
What it solves
Atamathon, and orcs.

7. Tips, Tricks, and things you may not know

This is just going to be a list of things that are hopefully helpful, but not inherently obvious.

If something is pined to the ground, they lose that status if they get knocked back, this counts for your aim as well so keep that in mind.

You can approach a boss in Rapid shot, shoot off the debuffing arrows, and only take a turn before switching to Aim for your damaging shot once you feel safe planting your feet.

If a enemy phase door's away, use track to find them.

If a non-mage enemy is just out of your attack range, you can still fire a arrow at them and hit them. As they will move right into the edge of your attack range by the time the arrow travels there.

Snakes are annoying to hit at range because they move fast, hide behind corners, and strafe.

8. Disclaimer

I am by no means a expert, if you have any suggestions for changes, or just want to add your own two cents, by all means please post about it. Criticism is always welcome, especially if it's constructive!


Last edited by knonme on Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:30 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:13 am
Posts: 372
I think you're seriously underestimating Shalore here - you're pumping Dex so Grace of the Eternals is going to give a very good speed boost, +10% crit chance is equivalent to +5% all damage unless you're already hitting the crit cap, and Timeless not only extends Grace or Blinding Speed but also Regen infusions, damage shields, that Providence you equip-swapped for, Teluvorta form, etc. And, on top of all that, it's going to clear pretty much every negative status effect on you. It's very high in the running for best racial talent in the game.

Precise Strikes is worth it if you're not using Aim. The accuracy boost is of course mostly ignorable (though it does make it easier to land status effects on high-save enemies like Argoniel), but the crit chance boost generally gets to 25-30%, which is +12-15% damage, which makes you do more damage even with the slower attacks factored in.

Bows use Str as part of their stat modifier, which directly impacts their damage. You absolutely want to put points into Str as a bow archer, otherwise your damage is just worse than it would otherwise be, and archers live and die by their ability to kill things fast.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:28 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:03 am
Posts: 9
phantomglider wrote:
I think you're seriously underestimating Shalore here - you're pumping Dex so Grace of the Eternals is going to give a very good speed boost, +10% crit chance is equivalent to +5% all damage unless you're already hitting the crit cap, and Timeless not only extends Grace or Blinding Speed but also Regen infusions, damage shields, that Providence you equip-swapped for, Teluvorta form, etc. And, on top of all that, it's going to clear pretty much every negative status effect on you. It's very high in the running for best racial talent in the game.

I'm sure Shalore could make great archers, just like I'm sure you could put any class together with any race if you tried hard enough. I was mostly judging by the synergy of the combos though. Shalore don't offer much that archers don't already have, or offer things archer's can't take full advantage of. When it comes to timeless, the only thing it'll work as you said is Grace, Regenations, Shields, and some spells you get from escorts that you'll have to invest alot of points to unlock. Going Anti-magic for the fungal tree is better in the case or regenrations, I've never found a shield that adsorbed enough damage that it lasted it's full duration in important fights. As far as Timeless removing detrimental effects, that is very nice as I found as a archer confusion was quite the annoyance, but at the same time a wild infusion solved the same problem, as in my experience outside some nasty rares, most fights i only get confused/stunned/frozen once before it's over. Later on Relentless Pursuit comes along and it covers any debuffs.

Oh and I forgot about blinding speed, you got me on that one, it's a plus.
phantomglider wrote:
Bows use Str as part of their stat modifier, which directly impacts their damage. You absolutely want to put points into Str as a bow archer, otherwise your damage is just worse than it would otherwise be, and archers live and die by their ability to kill things fast.

Oh you most defiantly will want to put points into Str, but seeing how str gives %50, while dex gives %70 of the attack modifier, and all your skills run off it it's the better choice to focus. Not only that but I have never had a problem dishing out damage ignoring Str for the most part. While the extra survivability from sinking points into con I can attest has saved my hied more then once.

-edit-
Though i must clarify, if it's not clear in the guide that Str should be raised after dex, once you have got 5 in thick skin. As by that time you'll have plenty large a hp pool.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:25 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:16 pm
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knonme wrote:
Archery Training 5/5/(1 or 5)/(level as needed)
Steady Shot is your bread and butter, learn to love it, and learn to love any bow that gives you -1 cd on it. max it, spam it.

Aim, on of your damage altering abilities, polar opposite to Rapid Shot. It reduces your attack speed, but gives you an absurd amount of physical power, accuracy, Armor penetration, and crit chance. we mostly just care about the Armor penetration and crit chance. at max level it gives you a reduced 20% attack speed, but odly enough bows are normally %80 attack speed so, it just makes you attack as fast as most other things in the game, and you only lose a potential 1 turn every 5 rounds, when most non boss mobs only last 2-3 turns against you.

Rapid Shot is the yin to Aim's yang, it reduced your physical power, accuracy, and crit chance by a small amount, but increases your firing speed by a good 13% per point. It also doesn't pin you to the ground when using it which is always nice. You'll want a point in this as early as you can so you can always have either Aim or Rapid on. But whether you deiced to sink more points into this is entirely up to taste.


Speed is much more complicated than that. See viewtopic.php?f=38&t=36880

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:27 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:03 am
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jenx wrote:

Speed is much more complicated than that. See viewtopic.php?f=38&t=36880


Alright if I read the guide right... without adding anything else, maxed aim+a normal bow speed would put out...%96 attack speed. Still for near every situation it's just easier to think of Aim negating the inherent speed bonus of bows, as I doubt there's a time when attack 4% faster then normal would change a fight drastically. But cool topic, thanks for showing me.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:09 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:12 am
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Solid guild; I might've avoided making a few mistakes had I read it sooner. The only thing I can really contribute is my own recent approach to stats.

I've been running a Dwarf Archer for the last few days, currently my highest character thus far at level 30. I usually try to focus dex and do str/con secondary, but in this recent run I went full dex/str until Armor Training 4 and used +HP items to make up the difference. Being dragged into melee is pretty difficult to avoid at times, so having the armor (while still keeping up my hp) made everything through T2 pretty simple. I don't know if that works as well for other races since I also took advantage of the two armor racials as well, but I thought I'd pass it along.


Just hitting level 30 is actually what brought me to the topic; what sort of prodigies do you recommend for bow Archers? Vital Shot looks like a no-brainer, but that 20-turn cooldown is giving me pause. I think I would worry about wasting it on the wrong enemy, outside of boss fights that is, and would wind up not using it as much. In which case something else might be a better use of the point.

Since I went AM, I've been looking at Superpower; the mindpower bonus scales six of eight AM skills and the 30% Willpower on weapons seems like a nice constant bonus (assuming it makes bows/arrows 70% dex, 50% Str, 30% Will, that is). Windtouched Speed is also pretty attractive, but I doubt I'd meet the pre-reqs for it even by 42.

These are just the things that jumped out at me, but this is my first character to even get prodigies so any advice is very welcome and appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:04 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:13 am
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If you're AM, you have to go a bit out of your way to get Windtouched Speed, but not too far, and since you don't really have anywhere to put generics it's not a bad idea.

Normally, you already want 5/5 in Wild Growth and Antimagic Shield, which requires a point in Silence, so that's 11 already. If you unlock Harmony, it's easy to get there; otherwise you can 5/5 Mana Clash and 4/5 Sudden Growth. Either way, not too hard (as long as you have Wil-boosting equips) and easily attainable by 42 or soon thereafter, even if you put a lot into Ancestral Life. What else are you going to use your generics on?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:03 am
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Valishan wrote:
Just hitting level 30 is actually what brought me to the topic; what sort of prodigies do you recommend for bow Archers? Vital Shot looks like a no-brainer, but that 20-turn cooldown is giving me pause. I think I would worry about wasting it on the wrong enemy, outside of boss fights that is, and would wind up not using it as much. In which case something else might be a better use of the point.

Since I went AM, I've been looking at Superpower; the mindpower bonus scales six of eight AM skills and the 30% Willpower on weapons seems like a nice constant bonus (assuming it makes bows/arrows 70% dex, 50% Str, 30% Will, that is). Windtouched Speed is also pretty attractive, but I doubt I'd meet the pre-reqs for it even by 42.

These are just the things that jumped out at me, but this is my first character to even get prodigies so any advice is very welcome and appreciated.


Gah! can't believe i forgot a section about prodigies. I'll fix that shortly. but to answer your question, in my experience, and what i based this guide on, I soley used vital shot on rares, bosses, and the occasional wyrm. The reason for that is not because I was afraid of wasting it... it was more that I could two shot most mooks with steady shot, and a normal attack. So more times then not I actually forgot to used it.

But as for figuring out which prodigies are best suited for you, you only need to ask yourself a question. "what is my most glaring weakness?" For most of my archers it's was the fear of a drawn out fight, or bosses. So I got vital shot, for another form of stun outside scatter, and my only form of crippiligng outside getting a cripling quiver. At 42 I got Dragonic body, as I had alot of hp, and it would give me a 'second wind' of sorts to finish a boss off, instead of running away and letting both of us heal. As for you, you probability don't have that much a fear of longer battles, or being in close quarters of you enemies, and if you have a good about invested into anti-magic shield, Spells don't scare you. Seeing how you're a Dwarf, you should have good saves so status effects shouldn't matter much. hmm, I could give two recommendations. Superpower & windtouched speed, which I would believe work well with Rapid shot, as there'd be more attacks to take advantage of that %30 will modifier. Or Vital shot & Never stop running, work well for those 'ohshit' situations for a stamina free stun/cripple, and the ability to disengage safely.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:59 am 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:12 am
Posts: 9
Thanks for the replies. My Dwarf is still alive at 44, with just 3 prides and whatever is after to go. I wound up taking Superpower at 30, which, according to the character sheet, took my damage from 105~ish to 135~ish. I haven't felt like that was a bad call so far. I grabbed Vital Shot at 42. It doesn't get used a ton (as I expected), but when it does it tends to show up well; I think somewhere around 2K was the highest I've seen so far.

I missed Windtouched for the sheer fact that I wasted generics. I had a lot of time where I didn't know what to do with class points, and it turned into thinking that I had both class and generic points to spare so I made a few bad choices. I went a full 5 on the Stone Skin racial because I somehow got it in my head that the armor bonus scaled with Con, so there's 4 points wasted. I also took the Conditioning tree from a Warrior escort, for Vitality and Unflinching Resolve. Unflinching Resolve has been very nice, but the extra 2~3 points I threw into Vitality have been a waste. The healing mod bonus at low health does mesh well with Fungal, but definitely not worth the extra generics.

So those were my stupid mistakes that hopefully others will avoid making. Oh, and that it never crossed my mind to do this:

knonme sagely and with great wisdom wrote:
You can approach a boss in Rapid shot, shoot off the debuffing arrows, and only take a turn before switching to Aim for your damaging shot once you feel safe planting your feet.

Underestimating Aim might be my biggest mistake. To avoid getting long-winded about it, I'll just say (for anyone that might be thinking like I was) that the numbers are small to start with because they scale with dex; with one point, Aim gives my 82 dex Dwarf +17 Power/Accuracy, +16 APR, and +20% crit. Considering that I run Rapid standard, the differences in Power and Crit are huge and easily worth not being able to move. Just one more thing I wish I'd realized/read sooner.


I have figured out a few things that might be helpful, though. One of the first things I bought when I started my character (and still own) was a pair of Archer's gloves; the stats are nice, but that extra use of Steady shot is the real benefit. The cooldown is long, but it's an extra high damage arrow and speeds things along nicely.

On the same note, Surefire is easily one of the better early game bows for the same reason. I wound up using it for a very long time thanks to being AM and getting so many "arcane forces" drops (I swear, AM is downright painful when it comes to drops). With Surefire and Archer's gloves, so many boss fights wound up being a simple matter of Pin>Steady shot>Surefire's Steady>Archer's Steady>whatever shot>Steady shot>Dead. Rapid Fire was also pretty useful in that since most of this happened in only a turn or two, and I can't even imagine how much easier it would've been if I'd used Aim.

Ring of the War God also seems to improve the damage on item-granted Steady Shot.

One more recent lesson was that Precise Strikes + Rapid Shot is brilliant. Without PS, it takes a good bit of crit gear to make up the penalty from Rapid so these two seem like they were made for each other. The only thing better than shooting more than once in a turn is shooting more than once with a really high chance to crit. Getting a crit on Steady or Vital shot is a beautiful thing, even on trash mobs.

knonme wrote:
Snakes are annoying to hit at range because they move fast, hide behind corners, and strafe.

So. Much. This. Orc Necromancers have also earned a lot of my hate for constantly putting up a minion wall between themselves and my arrows. Those two are easily the most annoying non-boss creatures ever.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:15 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 1884
While I've not finished up an Archer(had some really abysmal luck with a Skeleton Archer and went to play something I would have more fun with), a few comments.

Races: I feel like you're overrating Cornac and underrating Shalore, here.

Considering I have a terrible opinion of Shalore, I hate having to say that. But that haste runs off Dexterity, and ends up 60%+ at high levels of it, IIRC. Considering that Timeless can extend it, that's a lot of extra shots.

Cornac, by contrast...well, leveling fast isn't a big deal for an Archer, they tend to have their central game going by L25, 30 maybe.

And what are you unlocking that's as good as even a Halfling's racials? Archers don't have very good unlock options-poor Antimagic synergy and no Magic make most unlockable categories questionable. Mobility's nice, Stone Alchemy's nice, Antimagic/Fungus is...usable, though there's something below I'll note as to why I don't like AM Archer much...but you could have unlocked all of that with the standard four catpoints, and still be fine on infusions, due to the incredibly low unlocks on Archer.

I don't really see the appeal, there's just not that many times the faster leveling would be as good as, say, a Dwarf's +2 HP and Money is Power, for these guys.

There's also a subtle thing with racial choice and Archer-Archers build Dexterity, Cunning and Strength. Dexterity boosts no save, and IIRC Cunning has a reduced save boost when compared to other stats. So you have fairly poor saves. This keeps Skeleton from entirely running away with the race choice, makes Ghoul iffy, and makes me like Dwarf/Thalore. Having said that, Skeleton's still really good, so.

For Antimagic...Antimagic cuts you out of some good launchers(not a big deal) and ammo(bigger deal). There's no really standout ammo that I know of for fixed artifacts, except perhaps Quiver of the Sun(which IIRC is Arcane), and that means randart and rare ammo are going to look good...and they're often arcane and only rarely antimagic.

Then, toss in the fact that Psychoportations are not 100% reliable to have show up, even by midgame, and that Antimagic locks you out of Teleports, which Movement infusions only partially make up for, and you've got some troubles.

It's not totally awful, but Archers face the gear hit in the game, due to this, of any reasonable Antimagic candidate. They can still work, but there's reasons that IIRC rather few Archer winners go AM.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:21 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:12 am
Posts: 9
SageAcrin wrote:
Races: I feel like you're overrating Cornac and underrating Shalore, here.

I've never run with either class as an archer either, but I could agree with at least the Shalore bit of this. Shalore racials do sound pretty nice on paper, so giving them a 1/5 is maybe not giving them credit due.

I think you're shorting Cornac, however. 3/5 seems fair. Leveling speed isn't really the benefit; the category point is the big one but also the versatility. There are a number of things that the cat point can unlock that Archers might want. Combat Techniques on the class side, since that Precise Strikes and Blinding Speed are fairly useful. The ideal use is probably on a generic tree since, without a racial tree, Cornac Archers will pretty much have nothing but one-point wonders outside of Combat Training. I'd say that Fungus, Stone Alchemy, or Conditioning are the best options since they can, to various degrees, cover defenses that Cornac miss out on for not having a racial tree.


SageAcrin wrote:
Archers don't have very good unlock options-poor Antimagic synergy and no Magic make most unlockable categories questionable.

As a recent AM Archer winner, I have to disagree with this entirely. AM doesn't need synergy; the two Zigur trees are amazing and synergy enough on their own, and any synergy beyond that is just gravy. Anything that lets you turn two Regens on auto and steamroll the entire last area(s) is good enough without extra synergy. It works well with Archer because there's nothing innate in (or required by) Archer that keeps you from going AM in the first place.

As far as other unlockables, other than Stone Alchemy and maybe Chants none of the magic/non-betrayal categories look that interesting for Archers anyway. The issue with the escort unlocks is that there's a lot of redundancy that Archers don't need; weapon-based talents, scouting talents, and some escape talents that Archers already cover with existing skill sets. This doesn't suggest to me that Archers have poor unlock options, it just makes the ones they can really use stand out.


SageAcrin wrote:
Antimagic cuts you out of some good launchers(not a big deal) and ammo(bigger deal). There's no really standout ammo that I know of for fixed artifacts...

While pretty much true, it doesn't really matter; the only things that I was ever really hurting for on my arrows were damage, crit, and APR. Those stats come on all flavors of arrows, so you're covered. It's not hard to get a decent tier 2 or 3 quiver from Zigur very early in the game. The main thing that hurts about seeing all the arcane bows and arrows isn't the fact that they're impressive, it's just that they drop so much more often. There are a lot of useful non-arcane mods for both bows and arrows that will drop and show up in shops.


SageAcrin wrote:
Then, toss in the fact that Psychoportations are not 100% reliable to have show up, even by midgame, and that Antimagic locks you out of Teleports, which Movement infusions only partially make up for, and you've got some troubles.

I really did not have these troubles. Obviously this is just anecdotal, but my winner had no movement infusions, no points in Field Control, nor any in Stone Walking. I did find a Psychoport torc, but it saw zero uses and was only worn for stats for half a dungeon when it was replaced by The Guardian Totem. I did keep both movement infusions and the torc around for thinking "I'll need this eventually," and it wasn't until I was putting Elandar down that I realized that wasn't true.

I have no explanation for how I pulled that off (other than Dwarf Power, maybe), but all of my deaths were pre-Master and situations where escape wasn't helpful at all (Urkis Hurricane BS) or an option (first ever Fearscape (which I won, and was oddly enough killed immediately on return to the real world from 35~50% health. Still don't understand that one)). I wish I could give AM/Fungus credit for it, but I didn't even really start on that until the mid/late-30's, when I was already East and working on getting back.

Not to say that escapes are by and large useless, I just think you're exaggerating this issue. AM even seems designed for the more 'stand and deliver' type of character, and Archers are very good at that with their multi-target and disabling skills and access to Thick Skin and Armor Training. Even the built-in escapes from Disengage and Heave are more about breathing room rather than running away. Playing towards that style rather than panic button escapes seems both more in-line with the Archer design and more natural to me, so maybe that's why it worked out in my case. Either way, I feel like escapes are maybe pushed too heavily around here; it's hard to win if you have 11 talents/infusions/runes hotkeyed and six of them are ways to run away. My humble and open-to-being-wrong opinion.


SageAcrin wrote:
It's not totally awful, but Archers face the gear hit in the game, due to this, of any reasonable Antimagic candidate. They can still work, but there's reasons that IIRC rather few Archer winners go AM.

It's not remotely awful. Yes, it's a bit harder to get the gear you might want, but it's nowhere near impossible and not the issue you're making out. Arcane is just one of a few item types. A lot of things I used for this character I would've used on any archer (Garkul's helm, War God ring, Umbraphage, Calm Waters, etc, etc...). The same can be said for a lot of the egos. The only thing I feel like I missed out on going AM was movement speed on boots, maybe Recursion, and possibly some mods that make for larger or self-loading quivers. The arcane unique bows and arrows would have to be amazing to make me see it as an issue, and the ones I came across were not nearly amazing enough to make the case.

That said, my next character will be a non-AM Archer, so we'll see if I change my mind. Considering how ridiculously powerful AM turned out to be, I'm expecting things to be a lot harder in the long run (or at least the very end). Maybe playing through that will will change my mind on some of these points or someone here will; I'm okay with either possibility.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Cornac

Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:27 am
Posts: 33
On the new-in-1.0.5 Archer Excellence tree: I've decided it's well worth unlocking at level 20 and putting 2/1/5/5 into it. All four skills are good.

Shoot Down will stop most incoming missiles and even some spells. Two points is enough to block Earthen Missiles (after shooting one down, it lets you target another). You don't need any more. This should work even better combined with Slow Motion.

Bull Shot is a 1-point wonder: It's better than Rush, for less cost, in a tree you want to unlock anyway. You might ask why an archer wants to close with the enemies? He doesn't. He uses it as another movement infusion when he's caught in a crowd. Just target the guy farthest away from everyone else.

Intuitive Shots means you take 56% less melee damage, if any fighters get close enough to melee. 'Nuf said.

Strangling Shot nerfs mages, helping cover your biggest weakness.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:38 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:14 pm
Posts: 83
thanks for guide, it helped me win, http://forums.te4.org/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=43498


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:12 pm
Posts: 2
Aim (And Rapid Shot) have had their speed changed since this guide was made (And since the Wiki was last updated.) Has this changed the recommended rate of investment for either of these skills? Perhaps not taking a full 5 points to avoid dipping under 100% attack speed? Looking at some characters in the vault I've seen it decrease by about 8-10% with 1 point and 29-31% with 5. I guess it the scaling limit was removed for some reason. :cry:


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