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View Full Version : Yet Another Ranged Revamp Suggestion



nibel
09-04-2012, 05:14 AM
I'll not extend myself on why ranged is subpar. Many people did it before me, so I'll just set the main points:

Ranged requires too many feats to be viable, while any other style requires less feats, and deal more damage.
Manyshot is too powerful and is pulling the overall archery damage down (dev's words)
Racial Arcane Archer PrE makes other classes better archers than the class designed to be the game main archery option.

Let's get down to each point and fix it:

Feats

Point Blank Shot: Got a buff on U14. Is a good choice now. I think it is on par with Power Attack: Deal more damage that is multiplied on crit. Not a fixed damage bonus, but zero to-hit penalty.

Zen Archery: Let us get ki with bow attacks. Simple as that.

Bow Strength: Should be granted with proficiency. If you are not proficient on bows, use a crossbow (simple weapon, should be strictly worse than a martial equivalent). There is no reason that a fighter could throw an axe with a strength damage bonus, but not a weapon developed to use your strength like a bow.

Rapid Shot: Plain removed. Raise the base archery rate of fire. It should fire 3 arrows in the same time it takes for a light repeater without Rapid Reload to fire AND reload. So, if no other feats are taken, Bow is on par with a repeater (same damage, equivalent crit profiles).

Precise Shot: Have a real benefit to the combat style. Stay as is. Remove Archer's Focus.

Improved Precise Shot: The feat to go for maximum mobility. The bigger drawback is the Dex 19 requirement. Sure, in PnP it was the archery capstone feat. But Greater TWF is also the TWF capstone feat, and got the Dex requirement down from 19 to 17 (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#greaterTwoWeaponFighting). Fair is fair. Drop the Dex requirement to 17 too. Archers will get the Dex higher anyway for Combat Archery (http://ddowiki.com/page/Combat_Archery), but it allow us have options in character building (going for Combat Archery or not?).

With those changes, you need a base of 4 feats to be a viable archer (PBS, PS, Improved Critical, and either IPS or Manyshot), and up to 7 feats maximum (Adding both IPS and Manyshot, Zen Archery, and Combat Archery).

Manyshot

Becomes a Ranged Offensive Stance (like IPS) - You fire 2 arrows at the same time. Each shot have a -2 penalty to-hit.

Add the following enhancements:

Improved Manyshot I: Fighter/Ranger Enhancement (avaiable at level 11) or Elf Enhancement (avaiable at level 15) - You fire 3 arrows at the same time while on Manyshot stance. Each shot have a -4 penalty to-hit.

Improved Manyshot II: Fighter/Ranger Enhancement (avaiable at level 16) or Elf Enhancement (avaiable at level 20) - You fire 4 arrows at the same time while on Manyshot stance. Each shot have a -6 penalty to-hit.

Deepwood Sniper I and Kensei Shortbow/Longbow Mastery I will add a watered-down old manyshot back (clickable for a 6-seconds 300% Haste burst) expending an Action Boost (Sprint Boost for rangers, Haste Boost for fighters). This stay on par with Endless Fusilade (also a PrE clickie).

Deepwood Sniper 2 to halve (-1, -2 and -3) the manyshot penalty to-hit. DS 3 removes it. Add the same benefit to Kensei Shortbow/Longbow Mastery 2 and 3.

With this, Manyshot will stay a great feat for general archers (no single feat DOUBLES your attack rate), stay even better for the classes that have the potential for raising it (Fighter and Ranger), and give a nod for people that specializes even further on it (Deepwood Sniper and Kensei). This also put Elves back on the top of archery races (helves still have AA, but only pure elves get the improved manyshot).

Racial Arcane Archer

Simple Fix: Arcane Archer don't count as a Ranger Prestige Enhancement. It counts as a Racial Prestige Enhancement.

It will put again elf/half-elf ranger on top of archery style, since they could get arcane archer and deepwood sniper at the same time. Also prevent future problems with Dwarven Defender and Warforged Juggernaut.

Arcane Archer also need more twinking itself (more elemental imbues, different terror arrow mechanic, etc), but it's not a problem for ranged combat, but for the prestige itself only.

licho
09-04-2012, 06:00 AM
As for specific comments:

I. Archery Focus has good idea, since advantage of archers is the kitting power, if the archer puts himself to the risk (PBS range, stand still) he should get some dps back.

The problem with this feat is the time it takes to stack up. It may only be useful in some late game boss fights, but this should not be the use of lv 4 feat.

My solution: Stack gain after 3 sec, up to 3 stacks, each stack increase physical part by 10% (up to 30% after 9 sec). This is no longer stance, its always active (avaiable) as long as u stand still. As such can be combined with any other stance. (yes even Manyshot)

II. Dex 19 preq on IPS is not drawback. Its the attack stat for this style so there should be no bad deal in investing in it. The problem may be that its so much better to be monkcher wisbased for double manyshot.

The natural solution is introduction some dex based 10k stars to allow good old Dex + str bow builds.

MY idea was: Rapid shot is now a stance. You lose -2 to hit in it.
As long as you stand steal (activation 1 sec) archer have a chance to fire second arrow equal to dex value. So 50 Dex = 50% for second arrow.
This not stack with:
Manyshot, 10k stars - from obvious reasons.
IPS - you anyway need to be monbile with it.

III. Manyshot is already a stance.
Big Noooo (you remember darth vader awaking scene?)
Such idea will limit the combat style to one(two) classes which never should be the goal. Also proposed enhancement do not really add anything to game, since they are same stuff just better.
No for enhancement/feat taxes.

IV. The solution should be to allow combine racial, and class PrEs so yes you can play Tempest, AA, Elven ranger. Otherwise the races will be best in anything but their favored class.

Some time ago i made some writing abotu fixing archery:




So whats wrong with archery:
1. The Attack speed animation is just too low.
2. Archery is feat intensive to start, and even more feat intensive to do resonable damage.
2hf - PA and IC and you are cool
2wf - PA, IC, 3x 2wf and you are cool
Archery - Bow strenght, PBS, RS, MS, PS, IPS, IC and you are cool for 20 sec.
3. Slaying arrow is overpowered and is holding whole archery back. This also result that for archer build you need to have AA.
4. You cant combine class PrE and favorite class PrE so best archers are anything but Rangers.
4.1 The most viable archer builds are very complicated one like monkchares or HE Angels.
4.2 Generally there should be a switch when you can build Ranger AA, or DS elf or not. Or as well barbarian and Kensai (without AA) and all of them will be equal effective. As well as you can give a bow to cleric/bard/rogue and it will do same job as Greatsword with similar (minimal) feat investment.
5. Ranger Mastery is overpowered and is holding both Rangers and Archery back.

So here is how to fix archery:

I. Remove bow strenght from the game and never look back.
Str mod to bow dmg is granted as long as you are proficient with the bow.
This feat serves no purpose other than making life of no casters miserable nad forcing all archer builds to pay "feat tax" for no reason.
Rangers receive PBS as the lv1 feat (or whatever else).
Gnolish warbow gains: Feat: Bow prof; Feat: Precise SHot; and Shocking Burst enhancement.

I.1 To keep things equal for all:
As soon as you are proficient with xbow you benefit from 1/2 of dex mod to dmg. Any class feature just change the mod to other(higher) value. (do not stack). So arties benefit just from Int mod, but you can also give a xbow to your bard and pew pew a little as long as you have some dex. Even better if you buy Repeater feat.


II. Increase the general bow (and throwing) attack speed by 1% per BAB. (up to +25% with full BAB with epic levels)

III. Change Archer Focus to:
For each 3 sec of staying in place gain the stack up to 3 stacks. Each stack increase physical damage dealed with a bow by 10%. (up to 30%)
Archery Focus is a passive and stacks with everything. Works with throwing and xbows.

IV. CHange rapid shot to:
Stance: -2 to hit.
If you stay still (1 sec to activate) you shot a bonus arrow with a chance of Dex value. So 50Dex = 50% for bonus arrow. This effect do not stack with manyshot and 10k stars. It dosnt matter if stacks with IPS or not.
This dont work with xbows. So they may skip this feat completly - free cheers for removing feat . taxes.


Note: Static Archer?
Yes, the big advantage of ranged characters (including casters) is the kitting ability. This is the reason why its ok that archers deal less damage. However as soon as archer resign from kitting (or stays in PBS range) he should take part of dps back.

V: Shot and RUn
Also provides 4% of Dodge as long as you wield ranged weapon of any type. (may be throwing or xbow) Nobody will use it anyway, but at least there will be the option.

VI: Rangers lose Ranged Mastery.
Rangers receive real capstone: +2 Dex, 5exeptional elemental resist of all type (or 10% elemental absorbtion) and vorpal strike against FE.
Nothing less will keep me from splashing with rogue. ;-)

Note: This just a single change from many which must be done with Rangers.
Problem with Monkchers/HE Angels being better than good old Ranger Pewpewer isnt that Monkchers/10kStars are overpowered. But that Ranger is such a poor class with borked class mechanic, limited spell selecion, no party utylity, and low situacional dps.
Taking more than 6 levels of ranger is just steady lowering your dps.

VII. Arcane Archer
Terror and Slaying arrows are merged. And now are on demand clikie with long cooldown and some SP cost. (like 30SP per use) (lv20 ability)
True Strike gains longer cooldown, but is now true strike. (natural 20 on wish)
AA can choose which imbue shoot from 4 elements and force (with lesser die)
Bard splash AA can shot sonic arrows. Divine splash can shoot light. PM splash can shoot negative energy.
Each tier of PrE provides bonus enhancement to imbues.
AAI +1d6 of element (or 1d4 force)
AAII + Blast
AAIII + Burst
AA can additionally on demand shot with explosive arrows (fireball like effect). for 1d6/lv (or 1d4 for force).

Terror/ Slaying, True, Explosive shots all cost some small amount of SP. (like 10-30)

VIII. You can combine with your race PrE and any other class PrE. So yes for Elven AA deepwood sniper.

IX. You can stun with arrows. *using blunt heads*

X. New Feat: Pin, single victim is tangled in place and immobilized can still cast or autoattack.

XI. New Feat: Volley - shoot 5 arrows in cone in front of you. Stacks with IPS. Do not grant hitting all targets in cone. Just one on projectives trajectory.

XII. New Feat: Barrage
In circle around target area all objects are hit with arrows from the sky.

Pin, Volley, Barrage is autogranted to Deepwood sniper at various levels.
Could be however pick by any other class with some sensible preq. (like PBS + weapon focus)

XIII. Bowbarians return to the glory.
Frenzied Berserker works with Bows and Throwing weapons.

XIV. Marksmen of the Chalice are founded!
Paladin abilities works with bows.

XV. Epic Feat: Bulls eye/Overhelming shot/Fancy Name Here
Preq: Dex 23, PBS, Weapon Focus: Ranged, PS, epic levels
Effect: Crits 19-20/+1 on ranged weapons.

And thats it.

nibel
09-04-2012, 06:48 AM
I. Archery Focus has good idea, since advantage of archers is the kitting power, if the archer puts himself to the risk (PBS range, stand still) he should get some dps back.

As I see the combat styles:

THF is a standing style (because of glanging blows). Archery is a mobility style (basically for kitting). TWF is neutral. Shield is a tanking style (no-mobility, +threat, +PRR).

So, staying in close range is usually risky enough for archery. If you stay at enough range for cleave attacks to not hit you, you are also out of range for refreshing hastes and mass cures.


II. Dex 19 preq on IPS is not drawback. Its the attack stat for this style so there should be no bad deal in investing in it. The problem may be that its so much better to be monkcher wisbased for double manyshot.

Then why Greater THF also requires 17 Str instead of 19? Again, fair is fair. Archers will get more than 19 Dex because of Combat Archery, just like THFers will have more than 19 Str for Overwhelming Critical.


III. Manyshot is already a stance.
Big Noooo (you remember darth vader awaking scene?)
Such idea will limit the combat style to one(two) classes which never should be the goal. Also proposed enhancement do not really add anything to game, since they are same stuff just better.

The enhancement was intened to be alike Power Attack enhancements. With focused PrE getting more juice from it. Right now, a Kensei III AA is weaker than a monk AA, and is barely on par with a elf Ranger AA (since the latter have the 25% alacrity capstone).

Just because a Frenzied Barbarian with Dreadnough is better than a HotD paladin at THF, both can still use THF and the paladin will be reasonably good at it. The same should be said of archery.

I may have got the wrong numbers, but I'll keep the idea out.


No for enhancement/feat taxes.

Like 10k star?


The solution should be to allow combine racial, and class PrEs so yes you can play Tempest, AA, Elven ranger. Otherwise the races will be best in anything but their favored class.

Quick nitpick, elf favored class is wizard, not ranger. That is another reason for elf AA to be listed as a Wizard prestige.

Alrik_Fassbauer
09-04-2012, 07:34 AM
Racial Arcane Archer

Simple Fix: Arcane Archer don't count as a Ranger Prestige Enhancement. It counts as a Wizard Prestige Enhancement.

The most common builds (pure ranger, pure fighter with sorc past life, monkcher, bardcher, helves angel) don't go for a wizard PrE, and it will put again elf/half-elf ranger on top of archery style, since they could get arcane archer and deepwood sniper at the same time.

Arcane Archer also need more twinking itself (more elemental imbues, different terror arrow mechanic, etc), but it's not a problem for ranged combat, but for the prestige itself only.

I don't understand this part.

My ranger is a ranger not a wizard. Which means that he can't become an Arcane Archer.

Which would then mean that he wouldn't be able to get any prestige enhancement at all, as a first-lifer.

licho
09-04-2012, 07:40 AM
1. You may be wrong with your definition of combat styles.
Just because you can kite with bows, it dont mean you should, or thats is the only purpose of it. In fact kitting is a very annoying for melees so arches shouldnt be encourage to kite.

Kiting is superios to melee, since you take 0 damage. So if you kite you deal less dmg, if you not kite, you gain dps back.

Also kitting is abuse of poor AI. Running in circles backwards shooting 4 arrows at once is not realistic even as for game about dragons - its more like strafing with sniper gun in fps games - maybe fun, but ddo can do better.

2. In may proposition IPS is totally optional, even without it archer will deal decent dmg with buffed Archer Focus + Rapid Strike doubleshot.

IPS is for extra dmg in specific situacion.
The 2HF comparison is wrongly placed, since Greater 2HF is part of chain (something you should have) and IPS is optional tactical feat.

Even if its high: deal with it. Not every feat requirments can be bypass with just a +2 tome.

3. The power attack enhancement increase the power of feat by 60%.
Your propose will increase the effectivness of feat by 300%. You see the diference?

Also if we decide that 4 arrow Manyshot is OP, it will be still OP if you give it to few classes. This may be used to justify to nerfing them in other ways. Moreover it will be far less valuable for all other builds (no ranger/fighter heavy)

The better idea for balancing Manyshot is to lower the attack speed, so it will not be so rapid fom increase. Like 33% lower RoF in Manyshot. So the increase would be more like 133%/ 200%/266% + movment speed reduction of 50%.

So yes, you have some nice dmg, but its risky for you!



4. 10k is not feat tax.
Feat tax is when you give something which should be part of class as feat or enhancement. The good example of feat tax is Bow Strenght and current rapid shot. They serve no purpose, just to take some feat from builds for something which should be base.

10k stars is a burst ability, same as action boost.

5. Allowing to combine any racial and class PrE will solve all future problems.
SInce dwarven defenders can benefit from tha as well.
Its much more simplier solution than making PrE sometimes Ranger taged, but sometimes wizard.

nibel
09-04-2012, 08:12 AM
I don't understand this part.

My ranger is a ranger not a wizard. Which means that he can't become an Arcane Archer.

Which would then mean that he wouldn't be able to get any prestige enhancement at all, as a first-lifer.

Only for racial. Pure rangers could still get AA normally.

Personally, I would limit AA as only a racial PrE for elf/half elf, and put Deepwood Sniper as the ranger ranged prestige. But the game can't take it back now.


1. You may be wrong with your definition of combat styles.
Just because you can kite with bows, it dont mean you should, or thats is the only purpose of it. In fact kitting is a very annoying for melees so arches shouldnt be encourage to kite.

True. Giving Manyshot (as a stance) a speed penalty would help on this. IPS requires a lot of mobility, and you need to kite, so you can align the mobs. There are lots of tools to reduce or remove the annoyness of archer/caster kitting, like hamstring, intimidate, trip, and tons of spells (cometfall, web, disco...).

The reason archer kitting today is considered annoying is because people aren't used to it, and don't have a way to control it. When a sorcerer starts to kite around, people don't whine because they presume the sorcerer is strong enough to take care of things alone.



IPS is for extra dmg in specific situacion.
The 2HF comparison is wrongly placed, since Greater 2HF is part of chain (something you should have) and IPS is optional tactical feat.

IPS is also part of a 3-feat chain. You need PBS and PS to get it.

GTHF also give you a third glancing blow in your full-attack routine. GTHF alone give a huge damage increase to any THFer (+10% in each glancing blow, plus 50% more glancing blows).

Again, fair is fair. Drop IPS requirement to 17 Dex, or raise GTWF and GTHF to 19 str/dex too. From all 3 feats, GTWF is the weakest of them, giving only a relative 12.5% DPS increase.



3. The power attack enhancement increase the power of feat by 60%.
Your propose will increase the effectivness of feat by 300%. You see the diference?
(...)
The better idea for balancing Manyshot is to lower the attack speed, so it will not be so rapid fom increase. Like 33% lower RoF in Manyshot. So the increase would be more like 133%/ 200%/266% + movment speed reduction of 50%.


I said the numbers might be off. I actually liked your suggestion.



4. 10k is not feat tax.
Feat tax is when you give something which should be part of class as feat or enhancement. The good example of feat tax is Bow Strenght and current rapid shot. They serve no purpose, just to take some feat from builds for something which should be base.

10k stars is a burst ability, same as action boost.

You need 6 monk levels to be a decent full-time archer. It's more expensive than a single feat like Bow Strenght. I agree that Bow Strenght/Rapid Shot should go to ether, but so must go the "must have 6 monk levels" requirement.

Or at least, giving you the choice of poison, forcing it to be 6 ranger, fighter, OR monk levels.



5. Allowing to combine any racial and class PrE will solve all future problems.
SInce dwarven defenders can benefit from tha as well.
Its much more simplier solution than making PrE sometimes Ranger taged, but sometimes wizard.

Agree. Changing OP for this one.