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wax_on_wax_off
10-20-2011, 09:59 PM
Allow bows to be charged in the same way that arm cannons are currently charged. Blocking allows you to charge the bow which will add extra damage of some form and amount to the next shot. Firing while charging is impossible.

The use of this ability should be tied to the strength shot feat as essentially you are pulling the bow further than usual and it should be reliant on this feat and your strength score. The feat could also be tied to a new feat called improved strength shot which could also include a power attack like use.

This will be useful for characters who like to swap between bow and melee weapons which seems to be in keeping with the intent of the developers. Charge a bow, take a shot, swap to melee weapons and engage.

The extra damage could be in form of seeker up to strength modifier applied at a constant rate. This would see some huge damage numbers on single shots but wouldn't be unbalanced due to the requirement to charge the bow. If it isn't fair to base it on strength then it could be the higher out of strength and dexterity to seeker for the 1 shot.

That's it. There's a few suggestions here with an overall theme, if you agree with one part and disagree with another please specify as such rather than a generic response. Thanks for reading :)

Silverwren
10-21-2011, 07:33 AM
I could sign on to this under one condition:

Because you're pulling back harder on the bow, as you state, there should be the possibility that you snap your bow in half. This should also be non-repairable. Push your bow, magical or not, past its limits and there should be the slim possibility that you permanently lose your bow. An added touch of reality never hurts, IMHO.

On a side note, Arcane Archers have an enhancement similar to your suggestion called True Strike, which adds a +20 bonus to hit to the next shot. The cool down time is measured by using a calendar however, heh heh.

Dagolar
10-21-2011, 09:03 PM
I could sign on to this under one condition:

Because you're pulling back harder on the bow, as you state, there should be the possibility that you snap your bow in half. This should also be non-repairable. Push your bow, magical or not, past its limits and there should be the slim possibility that you permanently lose your bow. An added touch of reality never hurts, IMHO Excepting those times we use bows made from driftwood, that'd be better implemented as item damage or a delay for which to restring the bow. In any case, it isn't a matter of overtaxing the bow, but of making sure you take the time to get the most out of your shot, which is realistic, at least in general terms. Regardless of whether such is added to mainstream ddo, a controlled snipe would be a fun and potent addition to Deepwood Sniper's later tiers.

Xionanx
10-21-2011, 11:17 PM
So.. your solution to the Bow problem, which is in a nutshell LOW RATE OF FIRE, is to... reduce the rate of fire even further?:rolleyes:

HarveyMilk
10-22-2011, 12:35 AM
/signed

Would be a huge improvement in making bows fun. And no, there is no reason to make the bow break. Instead, if held too long, +hit should go down. If held the optimal amount of time, the charge should add a little to-hit and a moderate amount to damage. And higher tiers of Deepwood Sniper should add all kinds of effect options, including hamstring, instakill, etc..

Dagolar
10-22-2011, 01:52 AM
So.. your solution to the Bow problem, which is in a nutshell LOW RATE OF FIRE, is to... reduce the rate of fire even further?:rolleyes:

Laugh. Fair point. Of course, increased speed is a bit harder to create justifications for. Either way, a targeted shot would be fun if implemented somewhere. Besides, making ranged attacks different in focus from melee - or other ranged types- is a good thing.

mystafyi
10-22-2011, 01:57 AM
how can you pull harder on your bow? Your whole suggestion makes me think of composite bows, but these are already in the game and are currently useless.

wax_on_wax_off
10-22-2011, 03:34 AM
how can you pull harder on your bow? Your whole suggestion makes me think of composite bows, but these are already in the game and are currently useless.

There are a whole range of tensions that can be applied to a bow to affect how far you shoot and how much force the arrow will have. Some of those variations are made when you string the bow but they can just as easily be done by manipulating the tension that you apply to the bow.

Perhaps Rapid Shot could be adjusted (or a whole new feat introduced):

Rapid Shot

Usage: Passive and Active Stance
Prerequisite: Dexterity 13, Point Blank Shot
Description
Rapid Shot allows you to fire ranged attacks faster.
Rapid Shot affects Thrown Weapons, Crossbows (normal and repeating.), and Bows, and stacks with Quick Draw and Rapid Reload.

When activated you gain +50% attack speed with your bow but move at half speed and suffer -5 damage as you pepper the enemy with arrows. Additionally, your arrows have a maximum range of 45 feet as they don't have as much force behind them.

(rather than an attack speed you could have a % chance to fire an additional arrow based on dexterity modifier or something similar but difficult not to overlap into manyshot territory).

I think this could be a really simple way to address arrow DPS issues in boss fights.

However, my original suggestion still stands. The charging mechanic that Artificers has is excellent and could easily be applied to bows to allow additional damage to be inflicted when you take aim, Deepwood Sniper can definitely augment that (and already does with my suggestion as sniper shot with a charged shot would be lethal).

Rian
10-22-2011, 07:54 AM
I could sign on to this under one condition:

Because you're pulling back harder on the bow, as you state, there should be the possibility that you snap your bow in half.This should also be non-repairable. Push your bow, magical or not, past its limits and there should be the slim possibility that you permanently lose your bow. An added touch of reality never hurts, IMHO.

On a side note, Arcane Archers have an enhancement similar to your suggestion called True Strike, which adds a +20 bonus to hit to the next shot. The cool down time is measured by using a calendar however, heh heh.

No.

That's like saying all melee weapons should have a chance of permanently breaking from using power attack, power surge, rage, madstone rage x2 (etc...) because you're hitting them harder.

I honestly would rather not have another reason to grind my lit II bow

1) DDO will never allow it
2) I doubt it'd tide over with the ranged population well (not like the melees are going to care :p)
3) Good thing this is a fantasy MMORPG


Cool idea in theory though.

Delssar
10-22-2011, 04:45 PM
/not signed

Rangers need to be able to fire faster and have a greater punch to the hit.
I would like to see a new arrow though, bludgeoning arrows. For ooze of course

Xionanx
10-23-2011, 10:03 PM
I personally wish the devs WOULD implement power rating for bows, IRL if you want to make a more powerful bow you use a stronger material. They have "lb. Pull requirements". There is a "Crossbow" made out of the leaf spring of a small car that has a pull str of 450lbs, I can only imagine the amount of force that produces.:p

http://www.vintageprojects.com/archery-plans.html

Check out the "Metal Cross Bow".

Hammerblitz
10-23-2011, 11:11 PM
I think that you have a good Idea. However, I have always thought a fighter would use a great crossbow then switch to his melee weapon. I think a str rating on the great crossbow where if the player had enough str a feat would not be required. or maby they can develop a great bow. with a str requirement to use it.

wax_on_wax_off
10-23-2011, 11:27 PM
/not signed

Rangers need to be able to fire faster and have a greater punch to the hit.
I would like to see a new arrow though, bludgeoning arrows. For ooze of course

It's always interesting to see the variety of feedback whenever ranged combat is discussed on the forums.

Suffice to say, if you are suggesting bludgeoning type arrows I can only assume it to mean that you wish that you never had to unequip your bow. Simply put, that will never happen as the devs have indicated over and over again that the preferred niche of bows is as a utility weapon which comes out in specific situations if you wish to play optimally.

Xionanx
10-24-2011, 06:31 AM
Well, if you compare "Real Life" Bow/XBow Ammo there should be:

"Normal" for Piercing
"'Broad Head" for Slashing
"Tappers" for armored targets (AC Piercing, not sure how those would work)
"Blunt/Ball Tipped" for "Blunt" type damage
"Hollow Barbed" for "Hooking" into targets (Damage over time, Damage on removal)

So really, a Bow user should be able to do Slashing, Piercing, and Blunt by simply swapping out arrows.

Regardless there is SO much wrong with archery in DDO, and I doubt its "High" on the priority list for the dev's.

Fetchi
10-25-2011, 01:06 PM
It's always interesting to see the variety of feedback whenever ranged combat is discussed on the forums.

Suffice to say, if you are suggesting bludgeoning type arrows I can only assume it to mean that you wish that you never had to unequip your bow. Simply put, that will never happen as the devs have indicated over and over again that the preferred niche of bows is as a utility weapon which comes out in specific situations if you wish to play optimally.

I seriously doubt a dev has ever said that the bow is only a utility weapon. Moreover, why have 2 PrEs devoted to ranged combat and not have the bow used as a primary weapon?

It's utterly silly to think that when I play my arcane ARCHER that I am more effective with melee than with a bow 60% of the time.

Rethink that.

Vyrn
10-25-2011, 02:15 PM
It's always interesting to see the variety of feedback whenever ranged combat is discussed on the forums.

Suffice to say, if you are suggesting bludgeoning type arrows I can only assume it to mean that you wish that you never had to unequip your bow. Simply put, that will never happen as the devs have indicated over and over again that the preferred niche of bows is as a utility weapon which comes out in specific situations if you wish to play optimally.

Not doubting you, but could you link to where a dev stated or implied this?

Doxmaster
10-25-2011, 02:26 PM
Because you're pulling back harder on the bow, as you state, there should be the possibility that you snap your bow in half. This should also be non-repairable. Push your bow, magical or not, past its limits and there should be the slim possibility that you permanently lose your bow. An added touch of reality never hurts, IMHO.


Only if there is also a chance of-

Mages erasing themselves and others from the game completely. 1/1000000 chance of casting a spell and DDo simply deleting someone nearby.

People dropping their weapons and losing them forever if their strength is too high and they roll a 1. Give them a chance to /Search and find it, less the item is lost forever.

It makes just as much sense IRL, doesn't it?

sebastianosmith
10-25-2011, 02:27 PM
I would like to see a new arrow though, bludgeoning arrows. For
ooze of course

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ4kczrD323UTKH2Tdqv1nBgMbYDLpQX qbHJwoz0iKmk6vHczyvtlPsb9k

There you go!

sebastianosmith
10-25-2011, 02:40 PM
Ranged damage comes down to one thing: rate of fire. Even if your AA is pelting a boss with slaying arrows you have but 20 seconds of manyshot every two minutes to get any decent damage. Perhaps adding an enhancement to prolong manyshot would be better than attempting to work in a new mechanic for bows in general. Extending it to 30, 40 and 60 seconds would add a considerable amount of damage potential to ranged combat.

kaobang
10-25-2011, 03:30 PM
First as an archer I agree that the combat style needs some help.

So I'm all for a litlle bit more dmg, but my main grief is that I feel that firing arrows is slow.
Damage is low and you add the fact that it feels slow = NOT FUN.

Why not just increase the rate of fire ?

It can be based on str / dex / base att ...

other things I would like to see:
- power attack working with bows
- slash/bludg arrows
- particles added to arrows (like asheron's call)

Silverwren
10-25-2011, 03:45 PM
http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ4kczrD323UTKH2Tdqv1nBgMbYDLpQX qbHJwoz0iKmk6vHczyvtlPsb9k

There you go!

Noyce! It would only fly about 20 feet due to its STUNNING aerodynamics (or would that be ARROWdynamics?), but it would pack a real.......PUNCH! Get it? PUNCH? HAHAHAHAHA!

wax_on_wax_off
10-25-2011, 05:48 PM
Not doubting you, but could you link to where a dev stated or implied this?

I've read numerous posts where a dev has referred to ranged combats utility as its strength rather than its DPS. This is also a constraint on balancing DPS with changes (as if bows did as much damage as melee weapons then there isn't any incentive to use melee on anyone).

Here is a post appreciating the utility of Manyshot:


That's a reason I said it had potential, rather than running off and implementing it RIGHT NAO.

Any upgrades we do to ranged combat will have to work around Manyshot, either changing the way it works (though I have some fondness for the current "burn them down" nature of the feat) or being exclusive. A "standing volley" stance that turned off while Manyshot was active could work in some way.

Manyshot has great utility (as well as great damage) as it's much better to do a lot of damage sooner rather than spreading it out over an extended period (as the sooner you kill stuff the sooner it stops killing you).

Here is a post appreciating the utility of Improved Precise Shot:


Soloing? Who said I was soloing?

I usually play in a static group of four. Yes, I still feel quite useful with my character, but I serve several party roles - trap guy, inspire courage guy (when I remember to sing it), as well as dealing damage.

Improved Precise Shot is an absolutely amazing ability, which very often can go a long way to compensate for my weaker damage than if I was "khopesh dude". (Especially back during the Menechtarun and Gianthold levels, where entire hordes would just stand there paralyzed.) Proc abilities are very good when you've got Manyshot, IPS, and a large group of bad guys.

I also remember other posts relating to the ability for a ranged character to utilise various "ledges" in quests (redwillows is a prime example).

All this implies to me that ranged combat should never equal melee combat as ranged combat has so much else going for it that melee combat doesn't.

Rather, a player who wants to play a character to the best of its ability will determine the best tool for the job depending on the situation. Something like this (assuming pure ranger):
1. Levels 1-5: Only use ranged against out of reach foes or when kiting helps the party.
2. Levels 6-10: Only use ranged when manyshot is active or as per 1.
3. Levels 11-20: Only use ranged combat against lined up enemies or as per 1 or 2.

This is especially true for rangers who get all the TWF'ing feats for free.

So there's 2 suggestions in this thread:
1. Charge up shot that an archer (or many other characters) can use as an opener when entering combat or when playing jump in and out with a dangerous foe (this is solid utility).
2. Rapid Shot stance tied to rapid shot feat as an activatable stance that reduces damage (probably by -5), increases attack speed dramatically (maybe +50%), reduces movement speed by 50% and reduces the range of the bow to 45ft.

Another approach to the damage reduction on rapid shot stance is to make the range equal to PBS shot range (30 ft) and rather than -5 damage to reduce the damage by the amount that PBS increases it (1 die step). You could then allow damage to occur at greater than PBS range but at 1 step reduced base damage (so 0 or 1 base damage but still allow elemental/alignment damage).

Importantly, the first suggestion will provide more opportunities for an archer character to use his bow and have it increase his DPS (rather than just the times listed above). When you get right down to it, while the action scenes in the LotR films with Legolas are quite cool they are hardly realistic.

kaobang
10-25-2011, 07:05 PM
thx for the info.

I'm not for having range dmg at the same level as melee but from where we are atm there is room for improvement for sure.

wax_on_wax_off
10-25-2011, 10:12 PM
thx for the info.

I'm not for having range dmg at the same level as melee but from where we are atm there is room for improvement for sure.

Sure. I think regular quest damage and such is about right simply due to the usefulness of ranged damage. I think any changes should be targeted at the main shortfall: raid damage.

For this reason, something like a short range, slow moving stance which greatly increases RoF I think would work well as it would be limited in it's use.

Charged up bow shots is still a great idea.

Gorbadoc
10-26-2011, 09:11 AM
Sure. I think regular quest damage and such is about right simply due to the usefulness of ranged damage. I think any changes should be targeted at the main shortfall: raid damage.

For this reason, something like a short range, slow moving stance which greatly increases RoF I think would work well as it would be limited in it's use.
I agree about raids, but there is another problem.

Even if ranged combat is supposed to be a secondary ability, the feats are all wrong. There are as many as ten feats an archer could want. Even skipping three of them, that's still every feat most classes get. That's not a secondary ability. That's a matter of "I gimped every other ability on this character to become not-quite-as-good as a ranger with a bow".

Rangers are the other side of the stupid feat design. They get five of the ranged feats for free, PLUS they get some decent melee feats for free. Got a ranger? He's a decent archer by default, and by spending just half your feats, you can make him a top-notch archer.

Maybe there is a great caster-archer out there somewhere. I keep trying feat combinations, though, and it doesn't appear to work. Manyshot requires three feats. Zen archery, Improved Critical: Ranged, and Bow Strength bring the total to six. Cutting that deeply into metamagics is NOT worth 20 seconds of awesome pew-pew damage.


For reference, here's what non-rangers are looking at if they want to "dabble" in archery:
Extra damage:
Improved Critical: Ranged
Bow Strength
Manyshot:
Point-Blank Shot
Rapid Shot
Manyshot
Arcane Archer (non-ranger):
Point-Blank Shot
Weapon Focus: Ranged (I don't know whether Child of the Silver Flame counts)
Mental Toughness, or a bard or wizard splash
Precise Shot Line:
Point Blank Shot
Precise Shot
Improved Precise Shot
Caster-cleric/favored soul:
Zen Archery
Not counting repeats but adding Mental Toughness (I know, not technically a ranged feat), that's ten feats.

wax_on_wax_off
10-26-2011, 06:15 PM
[color=yellow]I agree about raids, but there is another problem.

Even if ranged combat is supposed to be a secondary ability, the feats are all wrong. ... Snip ...

Not really a secondary ability. A utility ability that is useful in many different situations.

It's possible to make a satisfactory AA based on just about any class, imo.

For instance, with your example of casters (I assume you mean divines or bards):
17 cleric / 2 monk or fighter / 1 wizard, half-elf with ranger dilettante can cover 12 feats:
PBS, RS, MS, Toughness, Weapon Focus: Ranged, Empower Healing, Improved Critical: Ranged
Maximise and Zen Archery OR Precise Shot and Improved Precise Shot
Ranger Dilettante

16 bard / 2 fighter / 2 ranger or rogue, half-elf with ranger or rogue dilettante can cover 10 or 13 feats

18 Favoured Soul / 1 fighter or monk / 1 wizard can cover 11 feats (as cleric list but no empower healing)

All of these builds can function in their primary class role but can also bring some burst damage (which none of these classes usually have) through manyshot and other ranged utility. They aren't cookie cutter builds by a long shot but they can be fun and effective.

kaobang
10-27-2011, 10:51 AM
Hey guys,

I don't want to have range at the level of melee, but it should be a little bit increased in my opinion.
And something to fix the slow feeling !

I would suggest to make a stance that:

1. Reduces range damage per A%
2. Increases rate of fire per B%
3. Reduces chance of effect (paralyze, destruction ...) to land per C%, if support is a reason they don't want to increase the rate of fire.

Example:
Reduce range damage per 15%, increase rate of fire per 20%, reduce chance to land effect per 10%.
Which is in term of DPS a +5% increase at the cost of 10% less chance to land effect.

This way, dev have a a tool to tune range damage.
And They don't touch to MS that stay our burst button;)

BOgre
10-27-2011, 11:29 AM
I don't see a benefit here. If you're adding say, 20 points to one hit, and then switching back to a regular firing mode, and then needing to 'charge' your bow while doing zero damage for say, 5 seconds, instead of doing an additional 50-100 damage firing normally for those 5 seconds, well, I don't see how that's any DPS increase over simply firing normally. With Arties, they charge their rune arm while firing their repeater. It's a two-weapon system so there's no loss of the main weapon's damage throughput.

The only time a single powerful shot would be useful is on a DwS's Sniper Shot. In that situation only, I'd be for a change similar to what was done for PointBlank.

wax_on_wax_off
10-27-2011, 06:41 PM
I don't see a benefit here. If you're adding say, 20 points to one hit, and then switching back to a regular firing mode, and then needing to 'charge' your bow while doing zero damage for say, 5 seconds, instead of doing an additional 50-100 damage firing normally for those 5 seconds, well, I don't see how that's any DPS increase over simply firing normally. With Arties, they charge their rune arm while firing their repeater. It's a two-weapon system so there's no loss of the main weapon's damage throughput.

The only time a single powerful shot would be useful is on a DwS's Sniper Shot. In that situation only, I'd be for a change similar to what was done for PointBlank.

The point is the utility of moving through a dungeon and charging as you go before you see an enemy. Release the charged up shot and charge in with melee weapons drawn behind it. It's classic, realistic strategy that should have a place in DDO.

Another place it can be useful is in boss fights where you are popping in and out like chamber of the wizard king. Hide from his disintegrates behind a pillar, charge your shot, pop out and hit him. Rinse and repeat.

This suggestion isn't about balancing the lack of DPS that ranged characters have in raid fights. It's about another use for bows that should exist in the game.

I've made a separate suggestion in this thread to deal the with raid DPS issue (stance associated with rapid shot feat that reduces movement by 50%, reduces range to PBS range, turns off PBS and increases rate of fire by 50%).

BOgre
10-27-2011, 08:32 PM
It's classic, realistic strategy

riiiiigth. walking around with a fully drawn (over-drawn actually) bow is realistic. :rolleyes:
Granted, firing a few thousand shafts in a handful of minutes isn't realistic either, but no, I don't really buy it. Sounds like you want to play an Arti. Roll one up.

Gorbadoc
10-28-2011, 10:54 AM
Not really a secondary ability. A utility ability that is useful in many different situations.

It's possible to make a satisfactory AA based on just about any class, imo.

For instance, with your example of casters (I assume you mean divines or bards):
17 cleric / 2 monk or fighter / 1 wizard, half-elf with ranger dilettante can cover 12 feats:
PBS, RS, MS, Toughness, Weapon Focus: Ranged, Empower Healing, Improved Critical: Ranged
Maximise and Zen Archery OR Precise Shot and Improved Precise Shot
Ranger Dilettante

16 bard / 2 fighter / 2 ranger or rogue, half-elf with ranger or rogue dilettante can cover 10 or 13 feats

18 Favoured Soul / 1 fighter or monk / 1 wizard can cover 11 feats (as cleric list but no empower healing)

All of these builds can function in their primary class role but can also bring some burst damage (which none of these classes usually have) through manyshot and other ranged utility. They aren't cookie cutter builds by a long shot but they can be fun and effective.

I see what you mean: You can create a build which, at 20, has full access to the cleric spell list. And it's a competent archer. Saying this fills its "primary class role" gives the wrong impression, though.

Clerics and Favored Souls
Clerics and favored souls are versatile: They can fill a couple different roles in a party, depending on what the party needs them to do. They're also customizable: How good they are at filling a given role depends on build choices. If by "primary role" you meant "healing and buffing", okay, that's why they get recruited usually-- but those are functions, not roles.

It's worth thinking about just how much of the usual divine functions these builds sacrifice. The builds you suggested are:
Worse at offensive casting than a caster-specced divine (DCs and spell pen take hefty hits).
Comparable at meleeing to a caster-specced divine; much worse than a melee-specced divine.
Worse at healing than certain melee-specced divines or any casting-specced divine.

None of these makes the above builds bad. Their blade barriers will still be useful, and their healing will usually be adequate (though when the going gets tough, Quicken can make the difference between succeeding and wiping). My point is that, in choosing our words, we should make it clear that these builds don't perform like typical versions of these classes.


Bards
I'm not sure what you think a bard's primary role is. An archer can have the lute icon by his name, but he won't handle like a bard.

Ranged combat conflicts with crowd control songs, the bard's most useful function in a non-zerg run with non-immune mobs. That's a real problem, since making optimal use of a bard means speccing to always have something useful to do, and there's no room for wasted AP or feats.

With Fascinate (and the other CC songs), you want to start singing while closing the gap between yourself and a group of monsters. As the song finishes, you want to be right in the monsters' faces-- this makes melee the logical follow-up tactic.

Archery, meanwhile, has the advantage that you can start damaging monsters while the gap between you is shrinking. You want to be shooting them at the same time you want to be singing. You can't do both!

Don't get me wrong-- on my bards, I like being able to range some monsters. The problem is that bards have a huge variety of abilities they can develop with feats and action points. The goal, as I said before, is to create a balance of abilities that will make the character useful all the time. Getting archery skills requires cutting deeply into just about every other ability a bard has-- it burns most of the character's feats, it gobbles 1-2 enhancement lines' worth of AP, and it (apparently) requires splashing away spells, spell pen, song uses, song durations, buff strength, and Mass Cure Mod caster level. All that, and the archery abilities you get have a scheduling conflict with a bard's most powerful offensive ability.

I don't begrudge anyone the decision to roll an archer bard. They sound fun and effective. I'd accept one into my group gladly, secure in the knowledge that, if the player was competent, the character would perform well. Again, though, it's disingenuous to suggest that a well-built, well-played archer bard would function anything like a typical well-built, well-played maxed-charisma or high-strength bard.

wax_on_wax_off
10-28-2011, 06:46 PM
Interesting read, +1


I see what you mean: You can create a build which, at 20, has full access to the cleric spell list. And it's a competent archer. Saying this fills its "primary class role" gives the wrong impression, though.

Clerics and Favored Souls
Clerics and favored souls are versatile: They can fill a couple different roles in a party, depending on what the party needs them to do. They're also customizable: How good they are at filling a given role depends on build choices. If by "primary role" you meant "healing and buffing", okay, that's why they get recruited usually-- but those are functions, not roles.

It's worth thinking about just how much of the usual divine functions these builds sacrifice. The builds you suggested are:
Worse at offensive casting than a caster-specced divine (DCs and spell pen take hefty hits).
Spell pen and (evocation DC) can be remedied with past lives, the suggested build is much better at offensive spellcasting than melee builds (which you didn't mention).
Comparable at meleeing to a caster-specced divine; much worse than a melee-specced divine.
Much better at meleeing than a caster specced divine due to monk or fighter levels and the ability to swap to handwraps or a two-hander
Worse at healing than certain melee-specced divines or any casting-specced divine.
Better at healing than melee-specced divines due a larger SP pool from being wisdom based. Also, having evasion means you can be up close and personal to use bursts/aura more often (with the monk option)


None of these makes the above builds bad. Their blade barriers will still be useful, and their healing will usually be adequate (though when the going gets tough, Quicken can make the difference between succeeding and wiping). My point is that, in choosing our words, we should make it clear that these builds don't perform like typical versions of these classes.

Many of the drawbacks that you mention can be remedied with gear or past lives. I actually forgot to add in Quicken, you'll see that the build is eligible for 10 feats but I've only listed 9 (I think).

I'm wondering if I should apologise for not providing a build which can offensive cast, mix it up in melee, solo heal epic LoB AND be awesome at ranged combat? In the end, something has to go and the point of providing these options is to point out that you can have a successful level 20 character of various classes that is competent at ranged combat and other things. That is the qualifier for me, ranged combat is quite mediocre when manyshot isn't going so you need something to do the rest of the time and these builds provide that. You can even give up improved critical and/or zen archery to take heighten and/or empower to become quite a competent offensive caster (wizard past lives become important for spell penetration though).

The playstyle is fun and unique, believe me. It's difficult to make work at level 20 and if designed perfectly only barely manages to squeeze into the realms of being a good character. Gear is important.

Most importantly, archery brings something to divines that they can't get any other way: burst damage. Bares some consideration but I found it to be a very useful ability. Not to mention how much fun it is to pew-pew while kiting mobs through blade barriers.



Bards
I'm not sure what you think a bard's primary role is. An archer can have the lute icon by his name, but he won't handle like a bard.

Ranged combat conflicts with crowd control songs, the bard's most useful function in a non-zerg run with non-immune mobs. That's a real problem, since making optimal use of a bard means speccing to always have something useful to do, and there's no room for wasted AP or feats.

With Fascinate (and the other CC songs), you want to start singing while closing the gap between yourself and a group of monsters. As the song finishes, you want to be right in the monsters' faces-- this makes melee the logical follow-up tactic.

Archery, meanwhile, has the advantage that you can start damaging monsters while the gap between you is shrinking. You want to be shooting them at the same time you want to be singing. You can't do both!

Don't get me wrong-- on my bards, I like being able to range some monsters. The problem is that bards have a huge variety of abilities they can develop with feats and action points. The goal, as I said before, is to create a balance of abilities that will make the character useful all the time. Getting archery skills requires cutting deeply into just about every other ability a bard has-- it burns most of the character's feats, it gobbles 1-2 enhancement lines' worth of AP, and it (apparently) requires splashing away spells, spell pen, song uses, song durations, buff strength, and Mass Cure Mod caster level. All that, and the archery abilities you get have a scheduling conflict with a bard's most powerful offensive ability.

I don't begrudge anyone the decision to roll an archer bard. They sound fun and effective. I'd accept one into my group gladly, secure in the knowledge that, if the player was competent, the character would perform well. Again, though, it's disingenuous to suggest that a well-built, well-played archer bard would function anything like a typical well-built, well-played maxed-charisma or high-strength bard.

I haven't managed to roll up a bardcher. I've tried a few times, even made it to the boat and out into the world but it's not managed to hook me in.

As above, the playstyle is unique. The ranger splashed bard is much more flexible on feats so can fit in maximise/empower healing if wanting to heal at times or fit in melee feats to be able to swap to TWF'ing style when desired. The rogue splash has considerably less DPS but picks up evasion and trap skills. Either build utilises virtuoso II to maximum affect making use of the CC and healing from the songs to patch up some of the damage from splashing.

Importantly, archery brings 2 things to a bard that they otherwise wouldn't have: burst DPS and AoE DPS. This is worth thinking about as well and provides incite into just why archery requires so many feats to make work.

BlackSteel
10-28-2011, 07:09 PM
I like the suggestion, particularly with the str or dex as the bonus, as not everyone is a ranger with bow str.

Its a nice ability, fun, but doesnt really add enough to be competitive.

I remember awhile back there was mention of reexamining the ranged feats. as adding another feat would simply be one more feat too many. with the thought being that some of the togglable feats could have multiple purposes. IPS turned on to damage multiple mobs. IPS turned off for higher single target damage. Which could make sense. A projectile passing thru multiple targets will do less damage on the intended target, whereas the focused shot on the intended target unobstructed would do more. The question would simply be, what should the bonus be? Personally I like the idea of dex, as it benefits all ranged weapons and not just bows.

gohonn
10-28-2011, 07:25 PM
My suggestion is simple, yet I realize that its implications may not be. Just make a ranged version of Power Attack with racial enhancements for pure elves and class enhancements for rangers.

wax_on_wax_off
10-28-2011, 08:45 PM
I like the suggestion, particularly with the str or dex as the bonus, as not everyone is a ranger with bow str.

Its a nice ability, fun, but doesnt really add enough to be competitive.

I remember awhile back there was mention of reexamining the ranged feats. as adding another feat would simply be one more feat too many. with the thought being that some of the togglable feats could have multiple purposes. IPS turned on to damage multiple mobs. IPS turned off for higher single target damage. Which could make sense. A projectile passing thru multiple targets will do less damage on the intended target, whereas the focused shot on the intended target unobstructed would do more. The question would simply be, what should the bonus be? Personally I like the idea of dex, as it benefits all ranged weapons and not just bows.

That cuts out wisdom based arcane archers though which are really up and coming in U12 with the changes to 10,000 stars ability.

The idea of my suggestion was about fun and not intended to really be competitive but rather that if the charging tech is already in place for artificers might as well let bow users get it too.

No extra feats were suggested here. Rather just toggable stances for rapid shot and use of the charging mechanic that already exists (though might be restricted to characters with a certain ranged feat like strength shot).

Gorbadoc
10-31-2011, 03:39 PM
Many of the drawbacks that you mention can be remedied with gear or past lives...

The playstyle is fun and unique, believe me. It's difficult to make work at level 20 and if designed perfectly only barely manages to squeeze into the realms of being a good character. Gear is important.

Most importantly, archery brings something to divines that they can't get any other way: burst damage. Bares some consideration but I found it to be a very useful ability. Not to mention how much fun it is to pew-pew while kiting mobs through blade barriers.

That's a fair and clear assessment. Gear, past lives, meticulous design-- people can take those requirements for what they are. Likewise for the benefits; there are easier builds that are fun and have burst damage

I had a thought: There are existing middling options for ranged combat. I just can't think of any that involve bows. I haven't tried this for myself, but I suspect Helf artificer dilettante + zen archery on a max-wis cleric or favored soul would work well with a debuffing repeater (paralyzing, destruction, etc.). The build can still spec for casting. Ranging ability in this case is about utility, not DPS, and having that utility scale with level-- i.e. you can still soften incoming melee, tag distant casters without burning SP, and use ranged attacks to manipulate aggro even as monster armor classes increase. Like I said, though, I haven't actually tested this type of repeater setup.