View Full Version : Repeating Xbow Ranger build help

08-20-2007, 03:18 PM
Hey all,

I'm thinking of rolling up a repeating xbow ranger. Now for the sake of this discussion let's just ignore the Bow Strength feat. I know it doesn't work with xbows ... I don't care.

So with that in mind, I was thinking this for my starter as a dwarf 28 point build. Also note I plan to play this character as a perma-death char (just a little spice for this one really)

Character Plan by DDO Character Planner Version 2.70
DDO Character Planner Home Page (http://www.rjcyberware.com/DDO)

Base Stats
Abilities (Level 1)
Strength 10
Dexterity 18
Constitution 14
Intelligence 10
Wisdom 12
Charisma 6

I have several questions I would like to answer.

Heavy or light repeating xbows? and why...

what other feats to take with it?

Take repeating xbow as first level feat or wait for level 3?

Should I make him a Human instead and take weapon finesse as first level bonus feat?

My vague plan will be to take toughness at level 1 and repeater at level 3.

Any advice/comments on making this guy?

08-20-2007, 03:56 PM
Roll him as a fighter instead.

08-20-2007, 04:10 PM
You want Heavy Repeating Crossbow... why? It does a bit more damage and has no disadvantages.

What feats to take: Improved Critical Ranged, (Weapon Focus Ranged, Weapons Specilization Ranged, Improved WFR, IWSR), Point Blank Shot, (dodge, mobility, shot on the run), precise shot, improved precise shot. All of these can help in some way or another.

What feats not to take: Rapid shot, multi shot, rapid reload. Emperical evidence has shown that that these do not significantly effect the attack time of repeating crosbows. (Rapid reload does effect regular crossbows, some claim it effect repeaters but those who have done hard time trials have shown it does not.)

Why a Ranger? Fighter is probably a better choice for a true Repeating X-bow specialist. If you want TWF feats and ranger spells, then that is understandable, but for being good with an X-bow ranger has little to offer other than a dex boost.

08-20-2007, 05:52 PM
thank you both ... rolling him as a fighter was pretty much the answer I came to during my drive home from work as well.

I'll consider some more whether I want to go ranger for the flavor of it (and spells) ... but the number of feats I would get as a human fighter is hard to resist. (rolling on a new server so drow or 32 is not a factor).

08-23-2007, 05:35 PM
I rolled a high dexterity fighter repeater specialist last year when the repeater was stronger (rapid reload still worked, you could insta-switch weapons, content only went up to level 10, etc.). I found somewhere between lvl 8-10 it wasn't working well for me because:

1) When a fighter joins the party, the party generally expect melee ability and some amount of tankage. When a ranger shows up they expect ranged combat ability. "Why's our fighter always hanging out in the back?" ;-)

2) Using elemental and alignment based repeaters wasn't putting out enough damage to justify their use at the higher levels.

I ended up taking 2 levels of ranger and Power Attack. So I turned him into a TWF character with Weapon Finesse and Power Attack and an Archer with Bow Strength, Rapid Shot, and Many Shot. He's now 12fighter/2ranger.

I'm not saying a fighter based repeater build can't work. But things I would consider are the group dynamics (are you going to PUG, run with a guild, a dedicated group?) and the weapon selection (typically above 10th level you are going to get the most effect from cursespewers, greater bane, destruction, paralyzing, banishing, etc. versus raw DPS output.) I ended up building a bard with repeater capability and ended up enjoying it much more. I felt as a support character who is typically midline to backline in combat it was easier to position myself to use the repeater and contribute to the damage. (Notice I said TYPICALLY before anyone gets their panties all bunched up. Yes i know you can build battle bards and that bards can solo high end content.) And of course Rangers are going to have all the other benefits like casting self resists, barkskin, heal themselves, etc.

Just my two cents. I say build what pleases you and road test it. :-)

10-02-2007, 01:56 AM
Rolled my repeater user as a human rgr, only because he is based off a pnp character. Threw in a couple lvls of fighter fer xtra feats, but he was one of my first rolls and is in the process of bein rerolled to a 32 pt build. Have to agree w/the others, I went hvy, not lite, just fer dmg purposes. A couple xtra dmg points could make or break a quest. However, gonna roll a bard that can use all of the nice lite peaters I've been lootin. As for the fighter vs. rgr build, I also considered goin ftr, but realized that i dont wanna give up bark skin and other rgr abilities, not to mention imp precise shot feat fer free. Either way, not gonna b a major dps factor w/out str dmg bonus like bows, and imp crit is a must for the crit threat range. Peaters are mostly a supportive roll to any party, and are mostly dependandant on crits, or destruction/curse/paralize/banish/etc. I would say definately go for the shot on the run chain of feats asap as it is a must. I did'nt go after weap finesse or toughness cuz there r just too many ranged combat feats that I thought took priority, and I did'nt expect to be tankin it up any either. He is purely ranged. Also have to agree, that when I thought of goin ftr, that parties r gonna expect u to b a front line ftr when u join grp. Hope this helps...

10-02-2007, 07:32 PM
im making a repeater fighter for the feats and light repeaters advantage is it reloads faster. feats you want
improved precise shot
shot on the run
power attack is nice or precision whichever floats your boat (lets not start a debate on this one)
obviously theres prereqs for those big ones so thats why i chose fighter

10-02-2007, 09:05 PM
power attack is nice or precision whichever floats your boat (lets not start a debate on this one)

Power Attack doesnt work on Ranged weapons.

10-05-2007, 12:00 AM
If you're making a Repeater Build, there are only 2 choices.

Paladin or Bard.

Both get bonuses to damage with any weapon.

05-05-2008, 04:21 PM
Whoa. When it comes down to ranged, rangers own, bar none. Some of the rangers free feats have been mentioned here as ..."meh..ish" when it comes to crossbows, I would like to revisit that evaluation:

Fighters are all well and good. And you gotta love things like armor mastery (potential higher ac for a ranged fighter), attack haste (more arrows per round), improved crit, improved toughness. And then there are the extra feats... They are pretty sweet...

But the ranger is where it is at when it comes to ranging and here is why.

One of the essential problems the ranged fighter has is they are often one trick ponies that are vulnerable when the foes get in close. So here is this fighter plinking away with his uber xbow of whatever. The mob is dying nicely , however the other 4 he has pulled with it are about to start stomping him. So he ends up running around in circles trying to nail them and all the while thinking "Ya man! this is why I took shot on the run!"

That feat is as much a waste on a dedicated range fighter as oversized two-weapon fighting is on a dedicated two weapon Khopesh weilder. On the surface it looks great. In reality it is not totally useless but can be replaced by something far better. The term that comes to mind is one from economics - Opportunity cost.

Heres why shot on the run should be renamed shot with the runs. For one, most ranged fighters have dex's that are through the roof. Unlike a fighter who often has to divide his points up into con and strength, a ranged fighter gets the very tasty perk of one stat that makes it easier to hit the enemy and harder to be hit. The mobs in this game are designed to be hit by say a rogue, and fighter's base attack means hitting fairly flawlessly if the gear is right and it is level matched.

The ranged character on the other hand, ranger in specific, matches the fighters BAB and because of the typically higher dex paces the weapon specialization/focus the fighter ends up squandering his feats on. Whats more, this extra leeway plays out in two ways.

One, you hit most of the time, even with a +1 xbow, even when moving. The extra +4 to hit while moving plays out in two ways. One, it is not really that relevant for damage because if your capable of running around in a circle without getting killed while shooting (kiting), a lower to hit only means you have to spend slightly longer doing it.

On a more pragmatic note... Most repeater users are more looking for the uber banishing/smiting power of these weapons. You need to roll in the crit range to get that. When you get that crit role, the +4 doesnt make a difference anyhow.

So, when you open melee, the feat is not useful because your not moving. While engaged in close range it makes no difference for smiting/banishing. It makes a small bit of difference (small because even with the -4 for shotting while moving, average ranger will STILL be on par for a fighter of his level in terms of to hit... note also that most fighters run powerattack, -5 to attack, at all times and still hit consistently) when you are trying for kiting in terms of disruption/paralysis. Not enough to justify a feat expenditure.

Now that we have cleared that particularly useless feat of the title "useful" lets look at why the ranger is still the superior choice for the ranged combat fighter.

1) rapid shot (free ranger feat) does apparently apply to crossbows.

2) while advancing as a ranged fighter, the ranger is, for free, rapidly advancing as a two-weapon fighter (free 2W fighting imp. 2W fighting and Greater 2W fighting). Not that into kiting? Now you have an alternative. In fact the ranger is so good in this area that some poeple play them as 2W tanks ooOOoo.. Gear and equip him right and you have a great alternative to arrow spamming. So you no longer are stuck to your one trick.

3)ummm... can anyone say Evasion? I regularally waltz through traps with my insanely high reflex... because of this feat. I get no damage! I love standing in the middle of spinning blenders, turning to the party and saying "What"? I have rescued more then one rogues soulstone.. On a note of less personal smugness and glee, as a ranged fighter you are still a target from spell casters.. Now is your chance to escape unscathed from fireballs, bolts, etc. Saves you having to do your self-healing and focus on keeping the machine gunning up.

4) precise shot and improved precise shot... Hey. what is more common in a fight? You having to shoot through pc's/npc's or you moving while shooting? I dont think I have seen a fight yet where my target was not constantly getting blocked. In other words precise shot is way more useful then shot on the run! And you get it for free!

5)improved precise shot also for free. Man this feat gets a slot on its own because it is that **** good. It turns your triple shot xbow into triple lightning bolts. As it stands without this feat I can nearly keep up on a kill per basis as a full blown mage spamming finger of death against certain mobs. And I can keep it up 3 hours after shrining when he is limping along doing squat. Add IPS to this and I surpass him when in large battles. For uber crowd control, throw on your paralyzer. THERE IS NO COMPARISON to this as a fighter. Nothing. unless you want to start sinking your free feats into it.. lol. sucker!

6)how about just the cool fact that rangers get sweet ***** like ...ummm .. free die hard feat... and they get to run ram's strength (which is essentially the same as the fighters weapons specialization or focus or whatever feat increases damage by 2). And they can further buff their ac with their-highest in the game-barksin..

7)oh ya, they do all this AND cast spells .

8) Ranger sprint - This sweet little clicky makes them the fastest class in the game. Invaluable for kiting, getting into position and of course fleeing behind the shield wall.

9) dex bonus enhancements - while a fighter is advancing in strenght (useless to a xbow fighter, you are getting free attack bonuses!

10) favored enemies... Not a huge thing to me because I like to build characters that are equally capable at all things. Still there are certain mobs you face all the time. How about ummm.. undead, gnolls and giants? ;)
Fighter makes a suitable splash class to get a few things from: Grab a few extra feats, and for sure utilize the early level perks like first level improved crit and combat attack speed increase. Hell even grab the extra +1 strength and fighter toughness enhancement. But draw the line there.

To summarize: Ranger = lighting bolt spamming, self-healing, knock him down near dead and he gets right back up to sprint to a safe position to heal. Plus when the chips are down can pull out a couple of longswords and start swinging tempest style.


shot on the run Fighter= great with targeting and killing a singular mob. Give him a group and he will start running around in circles, slowly getting his massive hitpoint pool (which he cannot heal) nicked away at until he flops over dead. And unlike the ranger, there is a decent chance he will not be getting back up.

You decide.

05-08-2008, 12:00 PM
Some good points dustinash. Something to note is Rapid Reload was fixed and now applies to both heavy and light repeaters again. That's changed since my last post. I swapped that feat back in on my bard. Another one is we now get the escalating attack bonus on ranged weapons which we didn't have before. Something that still hasn't changed is specialty repeaters still are much more effective from about elite gianthold onward, versus straight DPS. Perhaps that will change somewhat if we ever get to craft greensteel versions. I was able to finally score all the epic versions (para, smite, disrupt, banish) and boy what a difference it makes. Course there are some exceptions, like on bosses. For example, I use holy burst with silver bolts on the pit fiend in the shroud. I think another good point is using repeaters in a manner that balances with your classes other capabilities. Rangers have the option to switch to TWF melee quite successfully. I've even heard of some that use Many Shot on their bows and then switch to repeaters while they're waiting for timer cooldown. I have a friend that uses them on his wizard in between casting spells. Spamming a paralyzer from the back row can save mana and be it's own form of crowd control. While I prefer to stay in the back, if baddies get up in my face on my bard I can charm, hold, fascinate- cast haste and displacement and go to town with dual puncturing rapiers. Anyways, my point was while it's possible to make a pure dedicated repeater build, I prefer to incorporate them into a character that has other options as well.