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  1. #1
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    Default Ranged combat and you

    I'm sure most have heard that ranged combat is very weak in DDO. That doesn't mean its useless, at some point in time every character is going to want to have some form of ranged combat to get rid of a sniper perched far away that you cant reach. So, what do you do? which weapon is best?

    weapon choice
    on your character sheet look at your STR score, next to it is the bonus number, if its positive then you have high STR and want to milk that bonus. if its negative then you have low STR and want to avoid a penalty. if its 0 then your in the middle.

    if you have low STR then the cross bow is the weapon for you. it has no STR bonus or penalty. the heavy xbow does the most damage unless you get one of the exotic xbows. the exotic xbows cost feats and are only worth considering if your build has a few spare feats.

    if you have silly low STR and keep getting encumbered (loose AC and will down very fast, check the load bar in your inventory) then maybe a throwing dart or shuriken would be better. halflings tend to suffer from this if STR isnt important to their build and also get a bonus to throwing weapons to off set the STR penalty to damage. but get a STR item fast, running back to town to sell every suit of full plate you loot is a real pain in the sitting tool, trust me, i have a base 7 STR halfing

    if you have high STR then things get a bit more complicated.

    if you have 2 levels of ranger then use a long bow. rangers get bow strength and rapid shot for free. bow strength means you can add your STR bonus to the damage, rapid shot means the bow fires at a half decent rate.

    if you have martial weapons but no bow strength then use a throwing weapon like the throwing axe. this allows you to add your STR bonus to the damage without needing a feat. keep an eye out for a returning throwing weapon.

    if your don't have either, then its back to the cross bow unless your race/class gets a different type or ranged weapon.

    if your on 0 STR bonus but can use any of the above then just go with the best thing you loot

    situations
    if your can't close into melee range quickly then its the right time to use a ranged weapon. this can happen if the mobs are some where hard to get, or if a squishy is running round in a blind panic with a kobold chewing on its leg and you're getting fed up with the benny hill music. please note in benny hill chase scenes you wont hit the mobs if they are running at an angle, so place your self somewhere the squishie is going to be running straight at you.

    there are also some levers you need to hit with a ranged weapon, sometimes there is a chest near by with a handy bow but its best to get prepared any way.

    also if you have many shot then there are more reasons to use ranged. if you have a clear line to a caster before a fight starts then many shot might be able to kill him before he becomes a danger. once dead whip out those blades and wade in to the rest of the fight. if you got many shot from free ranger feats then you will also get improved precise shot, this means you don't need a clear line of sight on the caster to hit him with many shot thanks to precise shot. if you turn improved precisse shot on then you may also hit every thing in between you and the caster. thats good if you can handle the aggro, but bad if your a squishy

    one more trick with many shot, later on in the game you'll meet beholders. if you managed to get your grubby mits on a weakening bow and have 3 or more arrows in each many shot then you can drop that beholders STR to 0 giving you and everyone else auto-crits! nothing drops faster than a beholder being wholloped by a raged barbarian with a great axe getting auto-crits. and your bow will be adding a lot of damage too when its auto-crittin.

    Tricks
    when your taking out a ranged mob you can dodge most of its attacks. when you see it fire, side step and its attack will go sailing past you. this is very easy at long ranges but harder at short ranges. at short range its better to duck behind some cover, this allows you to spend the time reloading your shot in safety, then step out from cover to take your shot before you go back into cover. one excellent example of this is the 3 casters above the first acid pit in "Proof is in the Poison" quest. when you move out to take your shot you can stop for a fraction of a second before firing to avoid the -4 movement penalty, takes a bit more practice but is very helpful if you don't have a high dex.

    see sirdanile's post below for more details on using ranged attacks as your main combat style
    Last edited by ReaperAlexEU; 10-29-2009 at 06:17 AM. Reason: additions from MrCow and sirdanile

  2. #2
    DDO Catalog MrCow's Avatar
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    Two other things to consider with ranged weapons and their large amount of situational use for some characters:

    Weight - For a lower level character who may have low carrying capacity you may look towards a returning throwing dart or shuriken (such as the Shan-to-Kor Shadow Star) because it has a weight of 0.50. A Light Crossbow has a weight of 4.0 and the ammo is 0.01 per bolt, which for things like 8 STR halfling that adds up quickly.

    Convenience - A player should always strive to have some form of ranged combat, even if only to hit levers from afar or to engage in battle from a distance. A returning throwing weapon handles this nicely because it will never run out and incredibly rarely will break. It is a trusty item that is always there for you when you need it.
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  3. #3
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    thanks for that, i'd forgotten about the silly low STR problem. sadly my 7 STR halfling rogue picked up a great xbow for flavour, damn that thing was heavy, but lots of fun . very poor weapon to do damage with, but its an RP character in an RP guild so they don't mind too much

    also good reminder about the levers.

    i think i covered the bit about returning weapons by saying its useful to always have a ranged option and also saying when a lobbing axe is the best option. still nice for people to read down the thread and see different things highlighted tho

  4. #4
    Community Member sirdanile's Avatar
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    Couple tips when rangeing instead of meleeing.

    You can physically dodge enemy attacks while rangeing, if you stand still the archers perched on that cliff over there? yeah you'll take forever to kill them AND they can pierce a bunch of holes in you! So keep moving if you have the aggro of the mob you're rangeing to death.

    When rangeing as a full time job (Arcane archer, kensai w/e) do not kite backwards, you move slower and cannot see where you are going, and tend to tick any melees off who try to help you, instead kite in small circles around melee or into the casters firewall/blade barrier. Remember to have a melee set or 2 just in case you can't range safely or effectively.

    Couple good effects to have on your range weapons are Cursespewing, Paralyzing, Vorpal (if thrown), Wounding (of Puncturing, or other stat damage). Also make sure to get the highest + range weapon you can and if you have the house D favor always have a quiver full of +3 sturdy ammo.
    Last edited by sirdanile; 10-31-2009 at 03:17 PM.
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  5. #5
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    thanks, i've added the dodging into my post, left the bits about kiting out as thats not what my mini guide is for
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  6. #6
    Community Member MichaelBerea's Avatar
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    I enjoyed reading this guide, thank you Reaper.

    In general, it seems like light crossbows have a great rate of fire and are cheap if all you care about is the weapon effect.

    A few more specific useful ranged items:

    Nicked Longbow
    +1, Shock (1d6), Seeker +2, ML 2
    Quest Come Out and Slay in the Sharn Syndicate chain
    It is worth doing the chain for the Coin Lords rep anyway. Having elemental damage on the bow means you usually do at least some damage in spite of DR.

    Lumrics Longbow
    +2, Ghost Touch, ML 6
    Complete Necropolis 1 chain, use the 5 scarabs in Stone of Change, turn in dust to Necropolis collector
    Ghost Touch ranged weapons sometimes let you avoid the level drains and stat damage when fighting incorporeal enemies.

    Paralysing weapons
    On hit DC 17 will save or opponent is held (cannot move but AC still in effect)

    Smiting weapons
    On crit DC 23 fortitude save or construct instantly destroyed (golems, robot dogs, warforged)

    Disruption weapons
    On hit DC 14 fortitude save or undead instantly destroyed (Ghasts, Ghosts, Skeletons, Spectres, Wights, Wraiths, Zombies,Umbral Gargoyle, Shadow, Umbral Worg, Vampires and Mummies)

  7. #7
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    oi...


    I'll get back to you later

    but I'm not sure its a Ranged Combat thread until I and Turial at least say hi in the thread



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  8. #8
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    First off:
    Yes, melee is better than ranged (most of the time).
    Yes, ranged combat needs some serious developer attention.

    If you still want to play a ranged character, keep reading.

    Here's what you REALLY need to know:

    1) Having the right equipment is CRUCIAL.
    1a) At low level, your silver long bow might top the kill counts, but that's meaningless when mobs have several thousand hps (ie: at higher level). You need a lightning strike repeater, and preferably a lightning strike bow for when your manyshot timer is ready.
    (This is a dual-shard weapon from the Shroud, and will be your best friend)

    2) Rate of fire
    2a) Rate of fire determines how fast your lightning strike or other effects will go off. I believe the maximum you can currently get is 25% from ranger capstone and 15% from haste (when dealing with repeating crossbows)

    3) Tactics
    3a) This can be discussed to death. But basically, you definitely want to do 2 things:
    -Line enemies up for precise shot
    -Switch between repeater and longbow (when manyshot is ready)

    ************************************************** **************

    Of note:

    Manyshot > Repeater > Bow w/o manyshot
    Bow strength sucks. What's your measly STR bonus going to do?
    Lightning strike is 10d100 damage.

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