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Goregnash
07-09-2012, 08:32 AM
To premise my gripe here I want to say that I realize this has been complained about before but hopefully my ideas to fix bow damage are well received. It would seem that turbine is trying to help with the complaints related to this but I think they need to be pushed a little more in the right direction.

I was pure ranged on an Arcane Archer because the character concept was so damn cool. I don’t care what kind of character you play, if you play ddo for FUN you generally have a character idea in mind and a goal performance level you want to ascend to. I was very disappointed that the damage was so awful on pure ranged characters that my dream character ideal was all but crushed. So what was my first thought? Reroll. That’s a BAD thing turbine. When a fundamental component of a specific type of character is SO BAD that it makes us not want to play that character, you are losing business.

As an AA in Vale of Twilight at level 16 I was seriously struggling just to get from Meridia to the entrance of dungeons I wanted to run. While I was in the dungeon I had no sense of accomplishment. I don’t feel like I am benefiting the party at all. Any good archer knows what his job is. We are supposed to be relied upon to take out pesky casters and ranged mobs behind the wall of melee and mitigate the aoe damage (through attrition) to our own front line forces. This would seem to be the whole reason precise shot and IPS were created.

Well heck, by the time I killed ONE ranged mob, the melee had already wiped through the entire front line and half the other casters. Where is my value add as a ranger? It’s sure as heck not my summoned pet who gets killed in the first 3 seconds of any given fight. OK I get it, this isn’t WOW and they aren’t tank pets. We are archers. So again, where is the ROI on leveling to meet the demands of new content?

So moving on, I didn’t want to totally give up on being a ranger so I thought I’d give the tempest build a shot and see how it went. WOW what a difference. I went from struggling to kill anything in Twilight Vale on a level 16 pure ranged AA to damn near unkillable with 10 mobs on me as tempest. I went from the guy who had to follow someone else through slayer areas to the guy who people were following through slayer areas. What happened to less risk at range? It’s not the truth; in fact it seems quite the contrary.

Ok, so I digress with the gripe portion of my thread, let me tell you what I think would FIX this.

■Archer’s Focus
■Offensive Ranged Stance: If you have been stationary for 5 seconds, you gain Archer's Focus: While attacking opponents with a ranged weapon, you gain a +5% competence bonus to missile damage every 5 seconds, to a maximum of +25%. Moving or using the Manyshot ability removes this effect, and your focus ends if you do not attack an opponent with a ranged weapon for 5 seconds.


Ok so, I was told ranged damage is penalized specifically due to the risk of death being lower at a distance than for melee who are right in the heat of battle. Then I see, to buff our damage, you make us stand still for 25 seconds to receive a 25% increase in damage, which really only brings us up to the DPS being done by melee who are 100% mobile. And THEN you penalize us when we move out of a damage based AOE? Wait what?

This wasn’t thought out well. First and foremost, ranged needs a static damage increase of around 10% which is not limited or dependent on any variable like environment or situation, I'm talking about a 10% base damage increase.

Pure ranged are pure ranged because they want to stay mobile and stay out of the aoe's and stay away from the heavy hitters. Plus, let’s be serious, when does ANYONE stand still for 25 seconds during a dungeon run? NO ONE. 25 seconds is an ETERNITY in any fight. Most dungeons and raids are zergs, so how have you helped ranged here? Sure, during raid boss fights it may give us a boost for the last minute to minute and a half of fighting, but that’s if and only if we don’t have any aoes cast around us.

Make this feat bonus passive when coupled with the mobility feat. Yes, a static 25% damage increase when mobile with both feats selected. OP? Ok, give us a 10% static damage increase 100% of the time and alter Archer's focus to this...

■Archer’s Focus
■Offensive Ranged Stance: If you are stationary for 3 seconds, you gain Archer's Focus: While attacking opponents with a ranged weapon, you gain a +3% competence bonus to missile damage every second, to a maximum of +15%. Moving or using the Manyshot ability removes this effect, and your focus ends if you do not attack an opponent with a ranged weapon for 5 seconds.


Stand still for 25 seconds and you’ll be popping a haste pot to catch up to your party who is already fighting in the next room. I think this is a great way to provide the buff ranged needs and it perfectly caters to the changes with precise shot being free at level 4, Trade it in for Mobility with the above benefits.


Please /sign if you agree and thanks for your consideration!

MRMechMan
07-09-2012, 08:45 AM
-When leveling to 20, I can barely recall a time when one of my characters could afford to stand in one place for 10 seconds. Movement is so powerful in this game. Either you get agro and have to kite (archers focus is useless), or you are dodging spells (archers focus is useless) or the mobs are dead and you are moving on through the dungeon (archers focus is useless). It is very rare that an archer can afford to stay still.

At cap, epic elite mobs hit so hard you don't want to be anywhere NEAR them. Ie, archers focus=archer dead.

It's cool that they tried to give ranged characters an incentive to stay still, but it is a losing battle-movement is so overpowered in this game that it will win every time.

I honestly don't think developers realize how FAST this game plays. Their "haunting" concept of getting wail off every 2-3minutes showed that. In a good zerg thats a handful of casts per quest.

Likewise, 25 seconds to max out archers focus is an eternity of not moving. And 25%+ damage STILL puts them well behind melees, AND you can't use manyshot, the one ability that puts ranged characters into the realm of relevency... Plus you take away the major advantage that ranged characters have, movement.

It's a huge trap.

Goregnash
07-09-2012, 08:53 AM
-When leveling to 20, I can barely recall a time when one of my characters could afford to stand in one place for 10 seconds. Movement is so powerful in this game. Either you get agro and have to kite (archers focus is useless), or you are dodging spells (archers focus is useless) or the mobs are dead and you are moving on through the dungeon (archers focus is useless). It is very rare that an archer can afford to stay still.

At cap, epic elite mobs hit so hard you don't want to be anywhere NEAR them. Ie, archers focus=archer dead.

It's cool that they tried to give ranged characters an incentive to stay still, but it is a losing battle-movement is so overpowered in this game that it will win every time.

I honestly don't think developers realize how FAST this game plays. Their "haunting" concept of getting wail off every 2-3minutes showed that. In a good zerg thats a handful of casts per quest.

Likewise, 25 seconds to max out archers focus is an eternity of not moving. And 25%+ damage STILL puts them well behind melees, AND you can't use manyshot, the one ability that puts ranged characters into the realm of relevency... Plus you take away the major advantage that ranged characters have, movement.

It's a huge trap.

Agree 100%, thanks for your contribution.

HatsuharuZ
07-09-2012, 09:00 AM
/signed

My artificer never stands still long enough to get more than two stacks of archer's focus. Either I have to move behind an object to avoid aggro from a caster, or my party members have already killed everything, and it's time to move on. Of course, I have alternate means of damage-dealing, such as my rune-arm and flame turret...

Still, I can see why a ranger would have trouble, since they don't have the damage-dealing potential that an artificer does.

Expalphalog
07-09-2012, 10:45 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again:

I used AF once. I noticed a negligible increase in damage combined with a marked decrease in game enjoyment. It is no longer welcome in my hotbars.

Nobody wants to do literally nothing but hold down a single button for two minutes. If your intended goal is to make archers playable by a single piece of Scotch Tape - then congratulations, mission accomplished.

Persiflage
07-09-2012, 10:55 AM
\signed


Archer's Focus is utterly worthless. Every objection raised, incidentally, applies ten-fold when you're soloing... the ONLY time I've used it is when killing the portal on the Shavarath side of the Vale, having first dispatched the trash-mobs. As far as I can tell, that's the only scenario in the entire game when it's worth having the stance active.

It Is Necessary To Move, Constantly, In Order To Play.

For the same reason, I don't get a great deal of use out of rune-arms. They're fine when you're in a group and others are picking up aggro (and are closer to the mobs than you), but they hamper you too much when you're soloing. For me, they're pretty much just an extra enchantment slot and a minor boost to repeater damage 90% of the time.

Archangel666
07-09-2012, 11:03 AM
Have to agree. Outside of my initial tests I've never used it since.

In fact I've removed it from my hotbars, so as far as my lil AA Ranger is concerned the feat doesn't exist.


You know, I can't help thinking that if they just removed the stupid articicial cap on Ranged Alacrity it would solve a crapload of ranged issues. Sure, we wouldn't do the damage of a raged Barb but we'd be attacking faster. The fact that as it currently stands a wizzy with one hand tied behind his back can attack faster with a silver flame club than we can with bow and a ton of related feats is just insulting.

Mathermune
07-09-2012, 11:14 AM
I would like to take the opportunity to applaud the inclusion of this ability. It seems that the people behind the scenes saw that our maligned ranged characters needed some love and took steps to try and help us out.

In-game, this ability has been used by me approximately once, for two reasons.

1) You stand still, you die.
2) It disables improved precise shot. They appear to make you choose one or the other.

It's not bad for static bosses, but I can't seem to find a use for it.

My recommendations would be having the stance not diminish when moving if the character has the shot on the run feat (keeping in the requirement to shoot every five seconds so it isn't a flat 25% boost) and making it 15% maximum. Then have the precise shot feat give a flat 10% damage bonus on account of your shots being more likely to hit vital areas.

Improved Precise Shot lets me hit 4 mobs with one bolt. That's powerful enough already.

Goregnash
07-09-2012, 11:25 AM
I would like to take the opportunity to applaud the inclusion of this ability. It seems that the people behind the scenes saw that our maligned ranged characters needed some love and took steps to try and help us out.

In-game, this ability has been used by me approximately once, for two reasons.

1) You stand still, you die.
2) It disables improved precise shot. They appear to make you choose one or the other.

It's not bad for static bosses, but I can't seem to find a use for it.

My recommendations would be having the stance not diminish when moving if the character has the shot on the run feat (keeping in the requirement to shoot every five seconds so it isn't a flat 25% boost) and making it 15% maximum. Then have the precise shot feat give a flat 10% damage bonus on account of your shots being more likely to hit vital areas.

Improved Precise Shot lets me hit 4 mobs with one bolt. That's powerful enough already.



In addition to the idea above related to removing our alacrity cap I think this is another plausible solution to the ranged damage concerns. This has been a hot topic for a long time and is overdue for attention. While we appreaciate the changes that turbine has tried to make, we need a more static, more absolute solution that puts fully ranged charaters into a more viable role as an adventurer both solo and in group combat.

Thanks for your contribution!

Aliss7
07-09-2012, 11:50 AM
My simplest distilled down 1 tweak suggestion for AF as it stands now:

1. Immediately start receiving the +5% damage when standing still. (I'd request the same tweak for stand and deliver)

With the above tweak, now you at least have an incentive to pick this offensive stance _during_ a quest and have it actually have a chance of being useful.

Goregnash
07-09-2012, 12:09 PM
My simplest distilled down 1 tweak suggestion for AF as it stands now:

1. Immediately start receiving the +5% damage when standing still. (I'd request the same tweak for stand and deliver)

With the above tweak, now you at least have an incentive to pick this offensive stance _during_ a quest and have it actually have a chance of being useful.


I don't want a small incentive to use Archer's Focus. I want Archer's Focus to be the incentive for me to play pure ranged characters again. If applied correctly this can FIX our ranged damage concerns.

krackythehoodedone
07-09-2012, 12:14 PM
I was really looking forwards to using it

Perfect for me tanking Horo

But if you are Raged/Madstoned it turns off

So Booooooooooooooooooo

Hoping this will get fixed when they fix the Madstone/Barb Rage screw up

sephiroth1084
07-09-2012, 12:27 PM
I've been leveling my AA monkcher build, and I have to say that I hardly use Archer's Focus at all, and when I do, I'm often actually losing damage.

Scenario: Running a quest where a bunch of monster spawn in a largish room, so before they spawn I try to position myself within Point Blank Range of a big group, turn on AF and stop moving. Maybe I get one or two monsters down with both AF and PBS, but creatures tend to move out of point blank range, and then I'm doing -1[W] for +25%, which really doesn't seem like it is applying correctly. Is it supposed to work only on base damage?

For the bigger damage die bows (Unwavering Ardency) +1[W] ends up being equal to, or more, than +25% damage in my case, since I'm not rocking a ton of Strength. PBS offers a bigger benefit then, so I find that I'm hardly using AF.Add to that the fact that I very rarely want to be standing toe-to-toe with anything I'm shooting at level 17, let alone once I get into epic levels.

The ability should be your primary choice when facing a single monster and not using Manyshot, but right now it isn't.

maximus123123
07-09-2012, 03:29 PM
I believe they were trying to allay the fear that "archers kite" in implementing this.
But it's not archery that's broken when an archer kites, it's the intimidate skill which is too weak in the game to be useful. Tanks should be able to draw aggro without having to pour so much into intimidate.
Intimidate needs to be reworked to allow tanks to pull aggro more easily, problem solved.

This isn't a problem with archery only mind you. This goes for casters as well.

In any case, fix aggro on the end that needs fixing (for tanks) and stop trying to band aid a solution for those who draw aggro unintentionally.

Ranged does need to be fixed. It's still way too low on the DPS totum pole.
The ideal solution is to increase rate of fire to come to within melee speeds.

Every update I see melee DPS go up in leaps and bounds, and every update I see some new band aid thrown to archers to try to make a solid combat style in PnP viable in DDO.

Increase rate of fire and at the same time rework intimidate completely so that when a tank is in the party, they don't have to chase down a mob that's chasing a caster or archer.

maximus123123
07-09-2012, 03:30 PM
Oh, and
/signed

RandomKeypress
07-09-2012, 03:52 PM
Hate to be a dissenter. I agree that a lot of valid points have been made, but I do like archer's focus for my main (which is admittedly a weird build).

It's useful to me when I'm attacking a mob at range. By the time it finally reaches me, it will likely be blind - I can tank a lot of mobs that way.

It's useful to me when fighting any orange, red or purple named when in a group. I can position myself in the centre of the room and contribute more DPS than I would otherwise.

Yes, it's boring - I would like to be able to move - but doing more DPS is a good thing. To be honest, if I were meleeing I would be spending most of my time making micro adjustments to my positioning (and reducing my +to hit accordingly) but otherwise be pretty bored too. Or I would be being hit. By standing back I don't take damage. By standing still I keep my +to hit high. I'm not denying that manoeuvrability is of great importance to the game, but standing still has tactical advantages too.

I've played with other ranged toons before, and some of them like to kite. Kiting is great when you're soloing, but it is massively frustrating for everyone else when you're in a group. Mobs die slower, meleers run more and there is less group cohesion making healing a chore. If archer's focus can reduce the inclination to kite then I'd say it's good (okay, I know, it's unlikely).

Autolycus
07-09-2012, 08:38 PM
-When leveling to 20, I can barely recall a time when one of my characters could afford to stand in one place for 10 seconds. Movement is so powerful in this game. Either you get agro and have to kite (archers focus is useless), or you are dodging spells (archers focus is useless) or the mobs are dead and you are moving on through the dungeon (archers focus is useless). It is very rare that an archer can afford to stay still.

At cap, epic elite mobs hit so hard you don't want to be anywhere NEAR them. Ie, archers focus=archer dead.

It's cool that they tried to give ranged characters an incentive to stay still, but it is a losing battle-movement is so overpowered in this game that it will win every time.

I honestly don't think developers realize how FAST this game plays. Their "haunting" concept of getting wail off every 2-3minutes showed that. In a good zerg thats a handful of casts per quest.

Likewise, 25 seconds to max out archers focus is an eternity of not moving. And 25%+ damage STILL puts them well behind melees, AND you can't use manyshot, the one ability that puts ranged characters into the realm of relevency... Plus you take away the major advantage that ranged characters have, movement.

It's a huge trap.

Agreed. Archer's Focus is a useless joke.

BOgre
07-09-2012, 09:09 PM
I don't believe the OPs suggestion goes remotely far enough.

PS should give constant 10% boost, ok. Stationary requirements, remove. Additive damage boost after x seconds, remove. Instead, everytime you score a critical hit with a ranged weapon, your damage bonus is increased by 5% to a maximum of 50%. If you do not score a critical hit in 30 seconds, your damage bonus is reset.

Sick to death of the 'Ranged damage must not be made powerful because the player is out of danger' argument. It's just NOT TRUE. It's way past time to give archers the damage they deserve.

And lets start seeing some boosts to ranged weapons too. Expand the crit range for one thing. A skilled archer should be able to put an arrow in your brain from any angle no matter what kind of helmet you're wearing. Or your neck, or your armpit.... And once you're done with that, you can address scaling DC's on bow effects like paralyzing. You know darn well that by the time we've found such a weapon, it's no longer effective. (actually, it's possible i'm jumping the gun on this part, since I haven't really seen much of the new content loot, nor the old content 'new' random loot....).

Still, you get my drift, right now, a 'Compromise' solution is nowhere near good enough. We need a DRASTICally OP ranged pass to make the other classes cry, at least for a week or so before it get's GRADUALLY scaled back into reality. Then maybe ranged toons will have a hope.

blerkington
07-09-2012, 10:11 PM
Hi,

Getting archer's focus has resulted in a small improvement to ranged combat, both damage-wise and in terms of tactical options.

There are situations in which our characters will be standing still and firing, and the damage boost helps in those cases. It's not particularly powerful, and it's not useful all the time, but when we got it, it was something for nothing. Getting something for nothing is not really worth complaining about, at least as far as I am concerned.

What may be worth complaining about is thinking that you can't play the character you want and have it be effective. However, I think that it is currently possible to make an effective archer in the game. I have some experience of this, but there is also ample evidence on the forums of people doing it. Some of them are completing endgame quests at the hardest difficulties.

The implication of this is that if ranged combat doesn't seem to be working for you, you may need to look at build, gear and/or playstyle. It takes work and skill to make and play a good ranged toon. With the game as it is, it's not handed to you on a plate, but it can be done. You can interpret this implication either as a challenge or just as something to be unhappy about.

If you do feel that ranged combat is lacking in DPS, make sure you consider and try all of the build options available to you. DDO does not reward the low STR high DEX pure ranger by giving it top-tier ranged combat ability.

Maybe that is appropriate, because the class abilities of a ranger suggest that it is more of a versatile character rather than a specialist. However, there are other builds, such as the Helves Angel, Monkcher and Kensai III, which have abilities that can greatly improve effectiveness in ranged combat.

So is the problem really that the game doesn't allow ranged combat to be any good, or is that it people are disgruntled when their idea of what an archer should look like doesn't seem to measure up? These are two very different things. One is certainly worth complaining about, the other, in my view anyway, not so much.

I'd also like to suggest, that with the plethora of build choices available, why not build a toon which can do something else as well as ranged combat?

The other builds mentioned above both let you do something other than fire a bow. Building for versatility can be very useful in this game, rather than pigeon-holing yourself so that when ranged combat is not as useful due to quest design, you can do something else instead. It can also be quite a lot of fun to use your knowledge of the game to create your own build and then make it work.

I think it's good to discuss these issues (even if we do it again and again), but ranged combat is facing some serious impediments in becoming any more powerful than it is. One of these it won't be allowed to become a mainstream alternative to melee, because that may invalidate the melee playstyle. An awful lot of the game is built around melee, both in terms of systems and in setting.

Similarly, the game environment (including map layouts and AI) doesn't cope well with ranged characters. Ranged toons can generally have their way with the so-so AI of the game and use the terrain to make for easy, if not super-quick, completions.

I hope that this post doesn't sound too 'father knows best', but I watch these threads appear again and again and there doesn't seem to be any increase in understanding. Maybe it's different people going through the same learning process. Or maybe it's just time ignore the posts altogether.

Thank you.

Mathermune
07-10-2012, 02:34 PM
The implication of this is that if ranged combat doesn't seem to be working for you, you may need to look at build, gear and/or playstyle. It takes work and skill to make and play a good ranged toon. With the game as it is, it's not handed to you on a plate, but it can be done. You can interpret this implication either as a challenge or just as something to be unhappy about...

...Maybe that is appropriate, because the class abilities of a ranger suggest that it is more of a versatile character rather than a specialist...

I'd also like to suggest, that with the plethora of build choices available, why not build a toon which can do something else as well as ranged combat?

Thank you.

+1 for a well thought out post. I find myself disagreeing with a couple of key areas and, while I hate to take large sections out because that tends to take your points out of context, it's a little bit of a wall of text so I won't quote the whole thing for the sake of my eyes.

If we make an assumption and say that basically the DDO trinity of playstyles are Melee, Ranged and Magic. Ranged is the weakest of the three (I know, I know, relativity, situational, conjecture, you missed out support etc. there are excellent ranged characters out there, but, this is how I see it)

Either one of the other two, melee and magic are readily do-able without needing to be versatile and I don't think ranged combat should just be... ahem... another string in a versatile characters bow... Instead it should be a viable playstyle in it's own right. That's why ranged weapons and artificers are in the game.

The way things stand though, with a cap on ranged alacrity and the current any to hit of seven or lower being a grazing hit regardless of the opponents AC and simply the way ranged combat is processed by the game, gear, build and twitch skills can only take you so far. Players are being hamstrung for choosing the style of play they enjoy the most.


EDIT:

You know, this is why I didn't want to take out large blocks of your post because reading it through a couple of times over to make sure I'm not arguing for no reason at all I think we're very close to being in agreement.


What may be worth complaining about is thinking that you can't play the character you want and have it be effective.

Simply put I'd like ranged characters to able to contribute a little more end game than they currently do without resorting to the two cookie cutter builds on the forum.

Jay203
07-10-2012, 04:21 PM
IPS for on the run
focus for boss fights

altho the damage bonus should be higher for focus.... standing around for 25 seconds as a ranged character should reap far better reward than measly 25% bonus damage on ranged attacks =\

awesomekill
07-10-2012, 04:26 PM
I'd think an archer standing still, holding a button down for more than 5 seconds would be like aiming for a head shot or something... a sniper shot counting like a rogues assassinate.

blerkington
07-10-2012, 08:53 PM
Hi,

@Mathermune

Thanks for the reply and the positive rep. It's nice to see that you didn't take the post as inflammatory, because it wasn't meant to be that way.

My main is an AA and not a cookie cutter build. Before u14, he did well in all content, apart from the most difficult quests where I wasn't sure I could make a good contribution (Elite LoB, MA ToD, and a couple of more difficult and rarely pugged epics).

There is nothing magical about this build, though, it just took work to get it right, gear it properly, and develop a playstyle which makes good use of its tools. Looking at the so-called "cookie cutter" builds, I can see their advantages over mine.

Post u14 is another matter, mainly because of problems with ranged combat. I am very distressed to see how much less effective ranged combat (and manyshot in particular) has become with the current ruleset. What's not clear is whether it's due to a bug or WAI. For whatever reason the changes do not seem to have reduced my toon's effectiveness in melee.

If the current to-hit system is WAI, then I completely agree that ranged combat is underpowered. DPS is lower for ranged toons, arguably for good reasons, but then taking away the ability to hit reliably for a well put-together character is a deal breaker, for me anyway.

After spending all that time and effort chasing gear, grinding out past lives, to make sure I could hit pretty much all of the time and do good damage, it's really depressing. Maybe it's time to give up and play a barbarian or a caster, or do something else altogether.

The decision to make it easier for poor to ordinary builds with average gear to be able to hit at the expense of others closer to the top end is really unacceptable to me. It reeks of a revolving door approach to customer service, where taking money from as many new people as you can is more important than allowing your longer term customers to keep what they earnt. It also provides little incentive to stick around in the long term.

The silly thing about this is, it would have been easy to adjust the to hit system to make newer players able to hit things, while not devaluing the effort made by the more invested players. Many good suggestions have been made by people posting here on the forums. Anyway, I really hope that we see an adjustment of the new system to deal with this problem, or else a reversion to the old.

Thanks.