ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide
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Author:  blakemw [ Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

This isn't necessarily intended to be a guide to building the optimal archer, it builds a different kind of archer. An Archer, who uses a sling and shield and wears massive armor. Instead of shooting people from over the horizon he's just as happy caving in their face from point blank range. A Concealment Bow Archer is more flashy at low levels, but I think a Sling archer is actually more overpowered.

Why Slinger?

Have you ever been playing an Archer, and that red mark appear on your own head? You have about one turn to get out of LOS of the hostile archer before you very likely die by headshot. Unless you're wearing heavy armor. If you have 100 armor and 100% armor hardiness that headshot will take off *maybe* 20% of your health, armor is applied before multipliers and crits so it is crazy effective at neutralizing weapon attacks and heavy armor training also offers crit reduction.

Of course, you can wear heavy armor as a bow archer but you will suffer the loss of most of the Mobility tree. Without Mobility archers are not super mobile, they have Escape, Rush and Disengage from skills and uh, that's about it. Tumble is not something you have to use a lot, but if you get cornered by something nasty and are blocked from using escape and Disengage won't give a useful angle, then being able to Tumble over the enemy and bravely run away is pretty darn useful.

But the Agility tree offers Vault, an ability that works even when wearing massive armor, you can simply vault over the enemy and run away - as a bonus it'll be dazed. Vault, since it's an attack, can break grapple unlike many escape abilities.
And Rapid Shot gives you extra movement speed, extra attack speed and fractions of free turns which is all good for repositioning.
And you have Bull shot, which can be used essentially like rush, though it uses weapon range (meaning range 10 with just 1 pt investment), hits hard, and requires a target. It lets you keep Rush and Escape in reserve.
Also as a Slinger you wear a shield which enables this really fantastic ability Agile Defense which blocks a lot of damage - including spell damage! The shield can also add 20+ armor and a bunch of resists and stats.

So as a Slinger you can wear heavy armor and still be much more mobile than a concealment archer. You still deal about as much damage as a Concealment Archer. So you're gaining a bunch of durability and not missing out on much, except from lvl10 to about lvl24 you don't have the same level of firepower - you're still harder to kill, but can't obliterate stuff in the same way as a concealment archer.

Nightmare winners: Thalore, Ghoul to demonstrate viability of Slingers.

Comparing Bows and Slings:

By using a sling you lose: Concealment
By using a sling you gain: Bull shot, Rapid shot
By wearing heavy armor you lose: Tumble, Trained reactions
By wearing a shield you gain: Agile defense, Vault

Arrows and Shot have identical damage stats. They have minor differences in crit and apr. Arrows use 50% str while shot uses 50% cun.
Bows and Slings are identical in terms of stats. There is a "keeper's" ego only available for bows which is for Temporal Wardens, otherwise egos are the same/equivalent.

As such unlike with 2h vs 1h weapons, both bow and arrow and sling and shot deal the same amount of damage. Slingers are not at a disadvantage in this regard, it just comes down to skills.

However Artifact Slings and Shot are much worse than Artifact Bows and Arrows, but in either case you tend to be best served with randart anyway, as a Slinger just don't hold out for good artifacts to drop, because they won't.


I'm not going to give numeric rankings because races bring different things to the table and Archer is a remarkably flexible class. A good race is one which you play to its strengths. The ones I list are the ones I think are fun and thematic for this build. Note that I've only played Thalore and Ghoul with a build like this one so other options are theoretical or based on extrapolation from other builds.

Target races for this build:
  • Thalore: Immunity to disease and more resists are nice if you're going to let enemies cast spells at you. The Treants are REALLY nice, since they are instant cast and you can instantly swap places with them. You can also summon them to body-block enemies and projectiles. Probably the strongest choice if you don't want to run from anything because diseases can be very bad.
  • Ghoul: The +25% attack speed of bows and slings tidily negates the -20% speed penalty of Ghouls when attacking so you don't suffer double moves, later on Rapid Shot negates it for movement during combat too. You get Ghoulish Leap which is the most amazing mobility skill ever for an Archer. Brutally strong early game due to free stats, free immunities and leap. Slightly weak late game due to inability to use infusions and everyone gets lots of immunities from gear, but Archers generally don't have hard late games anyway, so if you have a problem with being squishy early on, try Ghoul.
  • Halfing: Halfings get crazy crit chance for free when you pump cun and slings scale off of cun, see where I'm going with this? Not as synergistic as some choices though. A decent choice for antimagic slinger because halfling talents don't need that much investment.
  • Dwarf: Armor is good and more armor is better and hey more saves don't hurt. But perhaps the best thing is being able to up and leave through the wall if a fight is going badly - an advantage which is hard to fully quantify. But bear in mind you will be gambling at the Merchant.
  • Ogre: A great choice for the buffed inscriptions. You might be tempted to try and go Bow+Shield and get both Agility and Sniper: don't be. Rapid Shot is much too useful to pass on if you've already unlocked Agility and it requires a Sling. (however until getting Rapid Shot feel free to Ogre wield Bow+Shield if you happen to find a much nicer bow and arrow than sling and shot)
  • Higher: A Higher can enjoy amazing visual range and limited telepathy which is simply amazing tactically. Also Slingers are very stamina constrained for most the game so Higher can frontload a bunch of expensive skills like Blinding Speed and Trueshot. The Higher's abilities are largely replaceable through equipment (for example Telepathy: All) but if you struggle early on then Higher is a very solid choice.

Non-target races:
  • Skeleton: Skeleton isn't a bad choice per-se, though I think Skeleton is hurt more by the lack of infusions than Ghoul, mainly as Ghoul gets Leap for improved mobility.
  • Cornac: You can take conditioning immediately, but ultimately all you're really getting as Cornac is an extra infusion and I think racials are better than that.
  • Shalore: Slingers have high innate speed thanks to Rapid Shot and are not heavily cooldown constrained so I'd go with a race with a bigger hitpool. I'm sure Shalore would work well but there are less boring choices.
  • Yeek: Well if you must make a Yeek archer this build might be better because at least you have a lot of durability to counteract the low hitpool, but Slinger is not lacking in speed and that low hitpool is going to really suck.


Dex 26 for tier3 shot, Str ~26 for wearing heavy armor (unless juggling +str gear is your idea of fun) then Dex > Cun > Mag/Wil for prodigy.

Class Skills:

Technique / Archery Training: 1/1/0-3/0+
  • Steady Shot: Good because it has no resource cost.
  • Pinning Shot: As you weep for the loss of concealment you will come to have new found appreciation for this skill, but 1 point does everything we want it for, that is produce a guaranteed mark and crit.
  • Fragmentation Shot: I got good use out of it. Reducing the damage enemies do is good when they can hit you. It's also nice because it can be targetted anywhere letting you shoot over trash to disable a rare. Don't bother if you get Munitions at lvl20.
  • Scatter Shot: The usual disadvantage of this is it's kind of short range, but Slinger, sooooo, may as well get a point. The multiple target stun is nice.

Technique / Archery Prowess: 1/1-4/4/2
  • Headshot: Good because it has no resource cost but not worth investing more in.
  • Volley: Good for clearing trash. Extra radius is a very fun luxury and is hilarious in combination with Munitions area damage. Use flare first, and trueshot if you have it.
  • Called Shots: It's not as build-defining as for a concealment archer, but you still need it. Use flare before called shots (flare will also help it to stick).
  • Bullseye: Bulleyes is interesting: you can consume like 5 marks in a row if you flare a crowd of enemies. But ultimately I think since this ability is best against trash rather than bosses there's no point over-investing.

Technique / Combat techniques: 1/0/0/0 early, 1/5/0-1/0-5 core
  • Rush: One point wonder, use it to escape or reposition.
  • Precise Strikes: Later on you get some nice attack speed buffs, so may as well run this. Probably not needed if Halfling.
  • Perfect Strike: It's good but I found it on an item easily enough and Flare achieves much the same purpose at much lower stamina cost.
  • Blinding Speed: Some races like Higher and Ghoul should definitely invest in this. Overall though the stamina cost is steep for a heavy armor wearer and you get lots of speed from Rapid Shot, meaning you're usually more stamina constrained than casting time constrained, so you can invest the points elsewhere if you like or leave this for very late.

Technique / Combat veteran: 1+/1/0/0
  • Quick Recovery: I like 1 point, you can dump more points here late game especially if you don't get Adrenaline Surge.
  • Fast Metabolism: I like 1 point, it adds up in longer fights

Technique / Marksmanship: 5/2+/1/0 early, 5/2/1/5 core
  • Master Marksman: Max this ASAP.
  • First Blood: 2pts is a good breakpoint for the bleed damage and stamina regen. You can invest more if you don't get Adrenaline Surge.
  • Flare: This skill is AMAZING. You can usually open with flare then follow up with volley or called shots before enemies get a chance to move (and when they do, they are blind!), it should pretty much be used on cooldown because it has a low cost and against multiple targets you get 3-4 headshots before the marks expire, it even helps your other skills to stick by eliminating concealment, lowering defense and wasting skills like Timeless on removing the blind. A true 1 point wonder. It even has a radius +1 larger and blinds for longer than the tooltip says.
  • Trueshot: Probably best to put 5 points in this eventually, like after lvl30, earlier the stamina cost is problematic. It's really good.

Technique / Reflexes: 1/1-2/1/1+
  • Shoot Down: 1 pt to prevent friendly fire and occasionally useful for neutralizing mages. Not worth investing more in.
  • Intuitive shots: It's hard to complain about free shots (which also reduce the amount of damage you take), but considering how tanky you already are it might not be worth the stamina - I usually don't have it on autocast and just turn it on for a hard melee fight.
  • Sentinel: An important ability, get it ASAP. I found that it tends to do what it needs to at lvl1, being a part of a rotation with other disablers or for disabling multiple casters in combination with other disablers. You can invest more late in the game.
  • Escape: Really useful in a pinch for well, escaping, but also for regening stamina. You could certainly invest more points if you feel the need - this depends a bit on what your race provides for escaping from sticky situations. Good for recharging stamina and shot too.

Locked Class Trees:

Technique / Agility: 5/1+/1/4 - Unlock at lvl10
  • Agile Defense: How would you feel about a passive ability that can deflect almost 50% of ALL incoming damage? Whether it's ranged or melee, spells, mind attacks or even friggin poison water Agile Defense can deflect it. Get this to 5/5 literally ASAP, equip a shield with the highest block value you can find and laugh. To re-iterate, this skill is absolutely insane, it's a 52% chance to block 50% of the shield block value (can be up to 160 deflected), but with no limit on damage type and no limit on how often it triggers and it's a passive not even a sustain so it can't be dispelled or anything. NEVER USE BLOCK, THIS IS WHAT BLOCK WISHES IT COULD BE.
  • Vault: Applies a daze and lets you jump over enemies, Tumble substitute which can be used even when wearing Massive Armor. You can use it as a 1 point wonder or invest a couple more points, if invest to lvl4 you'll block on landing: you can both block and deflect in the same turn which is nice, but it's probably not worth the point investment. The cooldown is fairly low but the stamina cost is high. (Note: bewarned that if you have "quick melee targeting auto attack" enabled then if you're only adjacent to one enemy it'll select the target for you, so you only need to click where you want to end up - this is worth noting because this is like the only melee skill Archer has)
  • Bull shot: An odd ability, useful for getting in casters faces and for shutting down enemies who are dodging your long range shots (or if you can't afford them to dodge your shot because they urgently need to die). The stamina cost is high which limits its use. I don't see much reason to invest more than 1 point since it has sling range (you shoot yourself out of your sling?) and knockback is dubious. If you're playing a Ghoul this is one of your double-move-safe repositions.
  • Rapid Shot: This ability when combined with sling attack speed basically lets you attack twice for every one move enemies get and it's where the (offensive) pain of not having Sniper starts to lessen. Works best at short range but also useful at long range. Against things which aren't more dangerous up close (caster bosses and such) feel free to move in using Bull shot to get more advantage from this but it's also excellent for kiting at long range thanks to movement bonus. Because this buffs both your movement and attack - which covers basically everything archers do - this skill is like permanent blinding speed.

Technique / Munitions: 3/3/2/3 - Unlock at lvl36 or 20
  • Exotic Munitions: Gives your shots more punch. I prefer fire or venom against trash and piercing against most bosses. Changing ammo types is instant so no need to restrict yourself to any one.
  • Explosive Shot: I really like this skill, it can be used to wipe out trash and also to clear physical effects and sustains. Going 5/5 isn't a terrible idea, particularly if you unlock it earlier. Steal those points from Fragmentation Shot.
  • Enhanced Munitions: More damage and the leeching poison can be kind of useful.
  • Alloyed Munitions: Nice effects, but the scaling on the primary ammo isn't great, the scaling on the secondary effect (i.e. resistance penetration for fire, or area damage for venom) is good though.

Technique / Sniper: Don't unlock, this is for bow users and the best skills don't work with slings anyway.

Cunning / Trapping: Don't unlock. You righteously shoot things in the face, not cowardly trap them.

Generic Skills:

In general Archers have an abundance of generic points, this means its acceptable to use a generics hungry race, like Ghoul or Skeleton.

Technique / Combat Training:
  • Thick Skin: 5/5 you have spare points and it's good.
  • Heavy Armor Training: 3/5 early and start wearing massive armor ASAP so you get used to the stamina constraints and are less likely to die of stupidity. 5/5 sooner or later. It's pretty much build defining so no skipping this one.
  • Combat accuracy: 5/5 when you have spare points, it's basically a point dump which will do more than nothing since some things scale off of accuracy.

Technique / Mobility: 1-3/0/0/0 - most skills simply don't work with heavy armor.
  • Disengage: A useful ability. Add extra points if you like.
  • Evasion: The stamina cost is ginormous so just don't get it.

Cunning / Survival: 1/1-5/1/1 (try to get from rogue escorts).

  • Heightened Senses: 1 pt is useful for see stealth & invis. It'll scale like crazy with our cun too.
  • Device Mastery: Very good skill if you use item skills, and you should. Probably get 5/5.
  • Track: 1 pt, it scales with cun so will be crazy big radius.
  • Danger Sense: 1pt, the additional chance at a save has at least a 5% chance to succeed and combined with other minor benefits should be worthwhile.

Locked Generic Trees:

Technique / Conditioning: 1-2/1-5/1+/3+
Unlock at lvl20 if you have no good racials to invest generics in or are unhappy with your cleansing items, otherwise get munitions at lvl20 and get this at lvl36.
  • Vitality: It's a nice ability that can usually regenerate about 20% of your hitpoints, which might be the difference between being alive and dead.
  • Unflinching Resolve: Really fantastic, getting at least 3/5 really helps with clearing stuns and confusion. Remember enemies debuff you more than for a normal archer, so probably do get this. It's especially good on normal where it's not so easy to get immunities but having it always improves gear and inscription flexibility. If you have good immunities from race/gear you can skip this.
  • Daunting Presence: We can actually use this, but its a super low priority place to dump points and only if not going antimagic. The main thing is it's generally more effective than skills which boost your saves (like racials).
  • Adrenaline Surge: This ability is super useful to help with stamina management (for when you're out of stamina but your enemy still needs killing) and a good way to solve stamina issues with generic points rather than class points. Best used followed by Trueshot and Blinding speed.

Optional Generic Skill Trees:

Antimagic: I love me arcane items too much, but it's okay to get this if the race is generally compatible. Pumping willpower gives you a big stamina pool which is nice. Most painful thing about being AM is finding an artifact shield which would double your block value: but it's Arcane infused.

Fungus: Sure, if you're antimagic. Maybe get instead of Conditioning.

Harmony/Vile Life: Probably not.

Celestial/Light: Maybe. Providence might be better than another infusion/inscription and you kind of have generics to spare.


Some tough choices here!
  • Vital Shot: A really good skill, does heaps of damage, but it uses normal speed not combat speed so you can almost get in two normal shots in the time span of one Vital Shot and you already have tons of ways to debuff enemies. I skipped it, which was painful at the time, but I totally didn't miss it.
  • Spine of the World: This is really neat if you don't like retreating for anything since it gets rid of annoying things like bleeds and poisons that hamper healing. It also means that a Wild Infusion will always completely free you of physical debuffs. In the long run items can sort of obsolete it but have it improves gear flexibility.
  • Arcane Might: As well as more damage, the physical power helps your debuffs to stick. Highly recommended.
  • Superpower: A poorer alternative to Arcane Might, for Antimagic users.
  • Eye of the Tiger: Could be interesting especially if you fully intend to max out crit chance, much of your damage just comes from normal shoot/headshot so this is more about utility skills like Vault and Called Shots. I haven't tried it but I feel it could be really fun.
  • Worldly Knowledge for Celestial / Light: Mainly for Providence but you also get healing and stun fodder. This might be a better option than a status removing prodigy - obviously must go with Arcane Might since you need mag/sp (also, probably prefer to get this from an escort, but hey, RNG).

A safe choice would be Spine of the World and Arcane Might.

  • Regeneration
  • Heal early, later Heroism
  • Physical or physical+mental wild.
  • A regeneration, heal or teleport.

Or for Undead:
  • Shield
  • Heat Beam or Biting Gale to remove statuses
  • Teleport (or another shield - but if you have to pop 2 shields might be better to teleport out)
  • Another shield or nothing.


As soon as you can afford it (immediately, if Nightmare) go to Last Hope (and Zigur if race permits) and buy the best tier3 shot and sling you can find. This makes a huge difference to the ease of the early game. Also buy heavy/massive armor if nothing good drops, "impenetrable" is good at this stage. My usual shopping priorities for maximizing survivability are: High damage shot, upgraded infusions/inscription, good armor and last of all a long range sling - range is good but not as good as killing fast and being durable.

For your shield raw Block Value is the most useful thing by far as that determines how much damage Agile defense can deflect, if you get an artifact shield or randart with massive block value it's a keeper pretty much regardless what else it's good for. Resists are also good and so are wards if you have the diligence to set them up. The attack abilities of the shield are almost irrelevant since they are only used by Vault, though proc shields (i.e. Summertide which deals light damage) can turn Vault into a hard hitting talent.

In general armor is much better than defense - aspire to have 80+ armor. You can focus on +phys damage and penetration or crit & crit multiplier - not much triggers on crit so it's not a no-brainer. Heal mod is excellent for this build. Resists go really well with Agile defense so stack em' high. All stats are good for this build except +mag for antimagic so gear that provides a broad spectrum of stats can be good. And of course, immunities are great. Finally, Armor Penetration is worth considering, armored foes are a pain to deal with.

Gamble for Shot from the Merchant, there are only two artifact shot and both are low level and lame. Slings are another good choice since there is only one half-decent tier5 artifact sling.

For the High Peak fight bring something to remove magical effects like gloves of dispersion or Spellhunt Remnants since Archer has no real ability to do this otherwise.

Combat Tips:

A good general rotation is shoot -> shoot -> shoot -> shoot ... it's a little dull but good against trash, especially with fire or venom munitions. Save your stamina and cooldowns for enemies who deserve it. Use head shots if you can be bothered but most trash will die in 2 shoots anyway.

For hard targets the general combat rotation is explosive shot -> flare -> headshot/volley/called shots -> pin down -> shoot -> head shot/called shots -> steady shot : flare should be recharged by now, but you'll probably be out of stamina so see above.

For consuming marks, Head Shot is a reliable choice and can shoot over enemies (with a flare applied mark) to apply debuffs. Keep Called Shots in reserve to use at point blank range against enemies that really deserve it (it can be sidestepped if used from long range). Volley is hilarious for cleaning up trash and is also instant. One thing to note though, is if your attack speed is high relative to your projectile speed, you can double-consume marks, first firing a Called Shots which doesn't consume the mark until it hits, then firing a Head Shot before the Called Shot reaches the target, Called Shots will still disarm and cripple.

Against enemies that are more dangerous at long range than short range or are persistently dodging your shoots, use Bull Shot to get into melee range and use Called Shots to silence and disarm them. This should be your go-to strategy against Archer rares (against some casters, you want to be at long range so you can dodge or Shoot Down their orbs, for example try not to eat Soul Rots, but Archers are strictly less dangerous in close range because Aim stops providing a damage bonus and they're less likely to Shoot Down your attacks)

Against enemies that are dangerous in melee range, use Vault, Disengage and Pin Down to keep your distance. Since Vault is an attack talent rather than a movement talent, you can use it even when pinned and to break grapples.

In the late game when you run out of stamina in a hard fight do: Adrenaline Surge -> Blinding Speed -> Trueshot and then unload every expensive attack ability you have - you might want to wait for Called Shots to come off cooldown before activating adrenaline surge. The hitpoint loss is irrelevant and if you're using venom ammo you'll regain it anyway.

Heavily armored targets will be the biggest nuisances you encounter. Activate piercing ammo if you have it. Headshot is your best skill for punching through armor. Against enemies that actually regen health when hit (Sun Paladin, Demonologist), you might need to rotate flare, headshot and explosive shot since your normal shoots might actually heal them more than hurt them! With the right shield Vault can also become a very high damage ability, I killed a bunch of stairs guardians with Summertide which deals a crapton of pure light damage.

On the interactions of Agile Defense:

Agile Defense is applied after resistances (unlike normal block) so having good resists means you come much closer to actually deflecting half of incoming damage, since like 400 damage reduced by 70% is 120, which can be deflected entirely by a good shield.

It's applied before most shields (including shielding rune and bone shield) helping these to stay up longer.

However it's applied after antimagic shield - basically, about half the damage that antimagic shield absorbs would've been deflected by agile defense anyway at no resource cost - this means that antimagic and agile defense are kind of non-synergistic. This is not necessarily a reason to not go antimagic and AM shield still reduces the need to have resists, just saying you already have something which is better than antimagic shield which antimagic shield stacks with poorly.

Author:  Erenion [ Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer Guide (with Heavy Armor)

Note: The free block from Vault does not prevent Agile Defense from working.
AD cares about your Block talent not being on cooldown, and Vault just says "use Block but don't put it on cooldown, it's free after all"

Author:  blakemw [ Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer Guide (with Heavy Armor)

I tried Vault lvl4 in game and you really do get to both block AND a chance to deflect, the same attack. Sounds cool but I uninvested the points. it takes a perfect storm of conditions to actually be useful. You need a shield which is lethal enough to justify using it instead of a damaging shot skill, and you need a shield which resists damaging beam types: blight, fire, lightning. And then to actually block a dangerous beam, you need to have luckily vaulted at the right time, at normal cooldown this can happen once every 10 turns. A 10% chance to take a chunk out of a big attack if your shield resists that damage type and only working if you actually vaulted - won't work against opening salvos - is not an impressive increase in survivability. It probably could work with the right shield. Like in my latest run I got the finishing blow on two stairs guardian with vault with Summertide, Summertide hits very hard with pure light damage which presumably wasn't resisted by these stairs guardians - however shields which cut through resists as well as Summertide are not common, it's pretty much Summertide and maybe really lucky Randarts. And secondly, you'd probably want some cooldown reduction, i.e. Eye of the Tiger.

Something else I tried was Ogre with unlocking both Agility and Sniper. My conclusion: It sucks. Rapid Shot is like really, really good and once you get used to its power losing it is at least as painful as losing concealment and even an Ogre can invest a cat point into something better than Sniper. With Rapid Shot you start to get a meaningful amount of free moves which means applying more damage and more disablers. But what's even more important, is that Rapid Shot works great against those certain bosses/rares which like to get in your face and have so many gap closing skills you can't get away from them. Rapid Shot is made for that kind of fight giving you about two moves for every one of theirs and at close range is MUCH more potent than Concealment and Aim combined (Rapid shot at short range gives more DPS than Aim at long range). While being limited to range 10 isn't as fun as having range 13, free marks and a sizable damage boost from Aim, the thing is that you can still usually blind or silence casters before they can cast, against mid-range casters like The Grand Corrupter Rapid Shot makes it effortless to kite them at range 10, you just fire and move back.

My general conclusion is that a Concealment build is stronger 98% of the time because it allows devastating opening salvos, but a Rapid Shot build is stronger the remaining 2% of the time which is also the 2% of the time you're most likely to get killed. It's the whole thing where speed is life, with Rapid Shot you move faster, attack faster and use skills faster.

Author:  zion563 [ Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

In the very top you describe an Archer that wears Massive Armor then all other references are mostly Heavy Armor. Which is it?

Author:  blakemw [ Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

zion563 wrote:
In the very top you describe an Archer that wears Massive Armor then all other references are mostly Heavy Armor. Which is it?

Prefer massive armor, but it's entirely possible the RNG will give you better heavy armor (at least before prides, by then you'll probably find some nice artifact massive armor). For Archer there's no difference in the skills blocked (unlike Brawler), so all else being equal it's a tradeoff between extra bonuses from heavy armor training and extra fatigue. I'd tend to prefer more one-shot protection even if it means having to use more simple shoots, but I'd definitely wear superior heavy armor over inferior massive armor.

Author:  zion563 [ Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

Thanks-I sorta was thinking the same thing-using Armor as the most important stat on Armour of course correct? Also-many shields five up armor to have better block. Would you always take the higher block?

Author:  blakemw [ Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

zion563 wrote:
Thanks-I sorta was thinking the same thing-using Armor as the most important stat on Armour of course correct? Also-many shields five up armor to have better block. Would you always take the higher block?

Armor is a useful stat but there's no particular reason to value armor on your torso slot more/less than on other slots. Hitpoints, stats, resists and immunities are all valuable too and will tend to help more against casters. You get benefits from heavy armor training talent just for wearing heavy/massive armor (more for massive armor) regardless of how high/low it's armor value is. Though early game it might be the best property to shop for since you mostly only get the other good stuff on rares/artifacts.

On shields raw block value is by far the most valuable property since it directly determines the damage reduction from Agile Defense which directly helps against all kinds of damage.

Author:  zion563 [ Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

Would you take a shield with Block 80 Armour 2 over a Shield Block 60 Armour 7?

Are you on the Discord Channel?

Author:  blakemw [ Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

zion563 wrote:
Would you take a shield with Block 80 Armour 2 over a Shield Block 60 Armour 7?

Yes. Once you have maxed out Agile Defense you have a 52% chance to eliminate block value damage from any incoming damage. 7 Armor can remove up to 7 damage from attacks (depending on armor hardiness). 20 extra block value will remove on average 10 damage from any incoming damage whatsoever, even spells and stuff. Very few shield properties can beat raw block value for a Slinger, maybe really high resists and wards if you can be bothered juggling shields (i.e. a lightning resist shield against Urkis).

Author:  Arcvasti [ Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

Armour removes damage very early in the calculations, so 7 points of armour is much better then 7 points of flat DR. Armour basically reduces the char sheet damage value of the attacker, before all the weapon damage calculations are applied, making it much more effective then it would seem. 7 armour could well remove more then 10 damage from a weapon attack, although it wouldn't do anything against spells.

Author:  blakemw [ Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

Arcvasti wrote:
Armour removes damage very early in the calculations, so 7 points of armour is much better then 7 points of flat DR. Armour basically reduces the char sheet damage value of the attacker, before all the weapon damage calculations are applied, making it much more effective then it would seem. 7 armour could well remove more then 10 damage from a weapon attack, although it wouldn't do anything against spells.

There are so many subtleties. IIRC armor removes damage before resists. Agile defense removes damage after resists. The best thing about armor is it removes damage before crits and talent damage multipliers making it good for mitigation of high-multiplier attack crits.

But the main point is that armor only reduces damage from weapon attacks wheras agile defense removes damage from absolutely everything without exception. The random nature is a downside, but 52% odds is high enough in practice to be dependable, especially since some hard-hitting attacks have multiple independent damage components, each of which gets agile defense applied separately. Block value normally kind of sucks but it's insanely good for Slinger.

The other thing about Slinger is that you have a ton of options for avoiding taking hits, if something hits you it's probably because you were too lazy to get out of the way or shoot it down - or you'd rather they whack you than use ranged attacks - so most hits which hit you won't be from rares and the like but just from trash with low damage multipliers where the armor is pretty much removing armor value from the attacks. The only melee or ranged attack which is hard for the Slinger to simply avoid taking is headshot, and even there slinger has a pretty good toolset against NPC archers, they can flare and use explosive shot from outside range, shoot down steady-shot to prevent the mark being applied and bullshot into melee range to take away the Aim bonuses and power up Rapid Shot. Armor is a nice insurance policy which comes at a relatively low cost for a Slinger and allows wading through trash and laughing at your own inner demons as they can't hurt you, but you probably don't want to be relying on armor to mitigate big weapon hits when you can basically choose not to take them, it's quite different to say a Berserker or Sun Paladin which often doesn't have much choice but to tank some hits.

Author:  zion563 [ Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

Thanks I've been playing a Slinger instead of Archer and it's fun so far-you guide has helped tremendously in the "idea" of how to build one.

A couple of clarifications in your guide would be useful-

The Talents you take at Lvl 20/36 etc-I'm pretty sure as a Thalore you will go Lvl 20 Munitions, Lvl 36 Technique/Conditioning or another Inscription? I see your Thalore winner took an inscription I reckon at lvl 36?

Maybe make a small section in beginning of guide for leveling? A sample of your combat rotation would be a bonus too. I get a bit confused with Called Shot, Sentinel-Pin Down etc when and where-Flare is a very handy opener though.

Thanks for you help-Are you active on the ToME Discord channel BTW?

Author:  blakemw [ Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

zion563 wrote:
Thanks for you help-Are you active on the ToME Discord channel BTW?


zion563 wrote:
The Talents you take at Lvl 20/36 etc-I'm pretty sure as a Thalore you will go Lvl 20 Munitions, Lvl 36 Technique/Conditioning or another Inscription? I see your Thalore winner took an inscription I reckon at lvl 36?

Truth be told I play these things by ear. It depends on race and drops. For example Wintertide Phail allows removing confusion which makes it less important to get conditioning. As the Thalore I probably got conditioning at lvl20 and munitions at 36 because Thalore talents don't require much investment and don't include status removal/immunity. As the Ghoul it would've been the other way round, because Ghoul requires lots of investment in racials and has intrinsic stun and bleed resistance.

In general Conditioning will improve your survivability whereas Munitions will improve your damage output. Being stunned is extremely bad and is much worse in a fight than not having munitions, so if you find yourself being stunned more than you'd like, then just get conditioning at lvl20, it's never a bad choice. But if you're happy with your immunities and status removals then get munitions for more firepower.

Eventually (around lvl30-40), you can get an item called Wyrm Bile, when consumed it grants you a category point. On my Thalore winner that would've gone to the extra inscription.

I added a combat section to the original post.

Author:  zion563 [ Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

Should probably mention in Stats section 50 CON for Spine of the Worls which you recommend

Author:  Arcvasti [ Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Sling Archer w/ Heavy Armor Guide

You can just hold onto a bunch of +con items to qualify for spine of the world. Since you're probably already doing that for thick skin, it isn't as annoying as you might think.

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