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Pwesiela
09-07-2013, 12:45 PM
What can I say? Now that the new enhancement system has been live for a bit, and now that I’ve had the chance to play around with it and see what’s new and what’s the same, I’ve decided to follow through with my promise and update the old thread. That having been said, the old thread had a lot of good stuff in it, so I decided to just make a new thread. Like the old thread, I figure I may help the community out a bit by offering this little manual.

Some disclaimers are still in order. First, my first and main character is now a completionist ranged ranger. On every life feasible, I made her a ranged character (pretty much all but Barbarian, Paladin, Sorcerer, and Artificer – yes, I had her as an AA druid/cleric/fvs/etc.). She’s been so for the last 7 years as I’ve played DDO. I really enjoy her, and I like playing her. That having been said, I recognize (more than many, I’m afraid) the weaknesses still inherent in the ranged combat system in DDO. This post is not about that. I heavily endorse pulling out your two weapons and fighting in melee. I’ll post on that below. Next, ranged combat is not for everyone. I heavily suggest that before you try working in ranged combat that you roll up a front line melee character first so that you get a feel for it, and for how annoying a poorly played ranged character can be.

This guide is intended for first timers/new to the AA PrE individuals who don't have the background knowledge in DDO to make a truly creative AA. It is not for min/maxing. It is for a solid core AA that helps and doesn't hinder a party.

Pwesiela
09-07-2013, 12:45 PM
Classes

As this is a beginners guide, I’m going to recommend going as a ranger. You get all the feats you need automatically, you get access to the AA enhancement tree automatically, at level 1, and you can easily respect should something get messed up. Other classes are less forgiving, and may need reincarnations to fix any problems. As I said, ranger gets all the feats you’d want for free. These include bow strength, precise shot, improved precise shot, multishot, and rapid shot. You also get the two weapon fighting feats for free, allowing you to use your feat slots for other things. As a ranger, though, your first feat should be Point Blank Shot. This gives you +1[w] damage within 30 meters. This means that your longbow, which normally does 1-8 damage (before damage modifiers) on a hit, will do 2-16 points of damage on a hit within that 30 meters. More on feats later.

Like I said at the start, I have made AA clerics, fvs, monks, rogues, fighters, druids, wizards, and bards. These classes can work, but some are better than others. In my opinion, the best (non-ranger) classes for AA are monk and fighter. After those two, I’d put rogue, bard, druid, cleric and fvs in the next tier, with wizard, sorc, paladin, and barbarian bringing up the rear (in that order). Monks and Fighters get the feats that you’d want for effective ranged, while offering enhancements to boost ranged effectiveness. The second tier classes would most likely use ranged as a support for their primary casting roles (except for rogue, which I’d argue is better off going repeater crossbows if you’re wanting ranged damage). For many casters, AA can provide additional non-sp damage during combat where there is a desire to save sp. The final classes just loose too much effectiveness in other ways by deciding to go ranged (barbarian is tempting again, but most of the enhancements are melee focused, and with AA’s having to actually use spell points for most of their good abilities now, rage would cause problems you don’t want).

Races

Elf: there is an inherent synergy between the elf and the AA. This combo shouldn’t be overlooked in passing. Give it serious thought. The elf gets enhancements to their bow use which become handy in ranged combat. They receive racial bonuses to hit with the longbow when you range, and the scimitar, rapier, or longsword for your melee. They get a racial bonus to damage on longbows, longswords, rapiers, and scimitars. Elves also have the Grace enhancement, which allows you to add your dex modifier to damage, rather than your strength modifier, which allows you to (mostly) dump your strength stat and still do a chunk of bonus damage. Doubltess, a more complex build can get more DPS out of a str/dex mix ranger, it’s more complicated that this post is looking to get into. Search the forums and you can find these builds. Further, the ranger class allows direct access to the AA enhancements, rather than having to put more points into Elf than you may want to. While the other classes and races provide benefits to consider for an AA, for starting off in the AA lines, elf ranger is the simplest effective route.

Human: You do not suffer the negative to constitution that elves take, and you get bonus feats to help flesh out your other build objectives. This racial tree also lets you diversify your stat points, and you can build in for ability boosts.

Dwarf: Extra constitution is a nice bonus, while the negative to charisma really doesn’t hurt anyone (except those looking at you). Unfortunately, most of the dwarven enhancement tree is largely useless to the AA, outside of hitpoints.

Halfling: No negative to constitution, but a negative to strength. If you’re going ranger (which I suggest), this hurts your damage due to bow strength. You do get dex options in your core enhancements, as well as saves boosts, the dodge cap/dodge amount enhancements are also a potentially nice addition to your build.

Warforged: bonus to constitution, while taking a hit to charisma and wisdom. This wisdom hit, while slightly painful, is not truly detrimental. Otherwise, the race doesn’t really bring much to the AA build.

Drow: Similar to the elf, but without the enhancements to the bow. If your choice is between Drow or Elf, go elf.

Half-Orc: The h-orc is nice for tempest builds. It also helps AAs during their melee times. However, other than the str bonuses this race does not really lend itself to the AA who primarily ranges. Their melee enhancements are for two handed fighting, and the ranger class is geared toward two weapon fighting.

Half-Elf: The dilatant lines make for some interesting possibilities with the AA. The h-elf is a viable option for an AA, much like humans are. They do not receive the bonus to dex that the elf gets, but they do get a better con score, and more opportunity for hit points through the human adaptability lines. So on to the best dilatant lines: Don’t take the ranger dilatant. You get all these options anyway, and the note tells you not to regardless. The Cleric/FvS dilatants offer quite a bit in the way of self-healing, especially if you take them to their fullest, allowing 95% success on heal scrolls, without UMD. And that’s big. Add to that the fact that starting with the necessary wisdom is much more likely, and this makes a powerful reason to go h-elf. Similarly, for those interested in AC on an AA, the monk dilatant will permit up to an additional 5 AC based on your wisdom score, without the need of splashing monk, meaning that you can go pure ranger. Rogue dilatant will add significant damage while in SA range, and that synergizes well with the Deepwood Sniper enhancement tree. Finally, the arcane caster dilatants (wizard and sorcerer) will be nice for those wanting to unlock the ability to use scrolls for their benefit (like GH, stoneskin, etc.) Ultimately, one should look carefully at what dilatant lines are open to them, and what they want to invest in it. You’ll have to balance the choice with the enhancements you want to take.

A special note on Elf and H-elf: these two races permit you to access the AA enhancement tree if you choose to go classes other than ranger. However, you have to spend 10 AP in the trees to unlock it. Which is 10 points you can’t spend in another tree. (That having been said, if you’re going for the racial AA tree, rather than the ranger tree, you’re likely more familiar with the game mechanics than I’m assuming for this thread).

Pwesiela
09-07-2013, 12:46 PM
Ability Point Distribution

Obviously, dexterity is a key ability. It determines how often you’re going to hit with that bow of yours. But DO NOT neglect constitution or strength. I will always recommend a starting constitution of 14. As an elf, I recommend going 14 Str, 14 Con, 10 wis, and the rest into dex. This distribution will give you a solid character regardless of whether you are a 28 point build or 32 point build. 32 point builds can afford to put more into constitution or strength, however.

Level up points at 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 should go into dex. This will allow a character to get to a dex score in the low to mid 30s, easily, while still having a con score of over 20, and a str score in the mid to high 20s. Wisdom for spells and imbuing will come from levels, items, and enhancements. The exact numbers will vary based on your class and race.

By refusing to neglect strength, you allow yourself the melee alternative, either by increasing your to-hit and damage should you choose a non-finesse route, or by increasing your damage with rapiers or shortswords. By keeping an eye on your con score, you ensure that you can take a hit, either while using the bow or in melee combat, without crumbling at the first, second, third, or fourth hit. Hopefully even the eighth hit.

With the new enhancements, and as an elf, you can drop strength to 8 or 10 (I’d go with 10, at least) and pumping up your dex score as much as possible. The elf enhancement Grace lets you add your dex modifier to damage while using specific bow/melee weapons that you’ve previously chosen. You can also use the Tempest enhancement tree to mimic the weapon finesse feat.

Skills

You have a lot of leeway in what skills you should get. As a ranger, you’ll get a lot of skill points without ever trying, but you should consider the following abilities. Heal: no longer a wasted skill. You can easily get +30 spell power from this ability alone. That’s 30% bonus healing from your cure spells. Balance: get back up after getting knocked down. They are never gonna keep you down. Jump: at least 10 points in it. Your spell will take care of the rest. Hide/Move Silently: more useful to the soloing crowd. Spot: see what you’re wanting to hit before the rest of the party and plan accordingly.

Pwesiela
09-07-2013, 12:46 PM
Feats

There are no longer any prerequisite feats for the arcane archer. Also, the ranger class gets most of the feats you’d want for ranged combat for free. The big exception to this is Point Blank Shot, which, as I said above, increased your base damage by +1[W]. So it’s a really good feat to get starting off. It also grants Archer’s Focus, which is nice to use until you get Improved Precise Shot. Mental toughness, while no longer strictly needed for the build, is still a nice feat to get, as it grants extra sp, which you need for casting and imbuing arrows now. Dodge enhancements are also very useful on a ranged character, as you have a secondary way to not get hit while being attacked. Basically, you should consider using most of your feats to flesh out your character in non-ranged ways, with only a few exceptions (point blank shot, improved critical: ranged, combat archery, and doubleshot).

My feat progression suggestion is as follows:
lvl 1: Point Blank Shot
lvl 3: Dodge
lvl 6: Mobility
lvl 9: Improved Critical: Ranged
lvl 12: Toughness
lvl 15: Weapon Finesse/Improved Critical: Slashing (for non-finesse characters or pure rangers)
lvl 18: Improved Critical: Piercing (for finesse characters)/Power Attack (non-finesse characters or pure rangers)
lvl 21: Combat Archery
lvl 24: your choice
lvl 26: Perfect Two Weapon Fighting (must cap one primal sphere epic destiny)
lvl 27: Blinding Speed
lvl 28: Doubleshot (2 capped primal sphere EDs.)

The above gets you the feats you need and the feats you’ll want for the melee you will do (IC: Slashing should you choose to rely on your strength modifier and scimitars/longsowrds, or WF and IC: Piercing should you choose to rely on your dex modifier and rapiers).

If you are a ranger, you will receive all the other feats you’ll need for free, if you choose the fighter or monk options, you’ll want to ensure that you get the feats you otherwise would have gotten for free by using your bonus feats for those you can (like IC: Ranged and Multishot) and use the regular feats for those that cannot be selected as bonus feats. If you choose the arcane path, with AA as additional non-sp damage, you’ll obviously want to drop the melee feats for meta-magic feats.

Pwesiela
09-07-2013, 12:47 PM
Enhancements

And now we get to the real changes in the game post-enhancement pass.

Ranger Enhancement Trees:

This is an AA thread, are you surprised there’d be a lot on the AA Enhancement tree?

OK, so this will be your main Enhancement tree. The one you take Tier 5 enhancements in. Some recommendations are in order. First, you need to understand how imbue stances work. You have a primary and secondary imbue stance. Primary stances are focused on additional damage per shot, such as fire/cold/elec/acid/force/smiting/banishing damage. Until you get up higher in the tree, I’d recommend maxing out your force damage enhancement and keeping that as your primary imbue. Until you get the Improved Elemental Arrows enhancement, you’ll do more damage with the force stance. Secondary stances are your core enhancements at the bottom of the tree. These are useful to change the type of base damage your bow is doing, such as the metal type, the alignment type, and the damage type (slashing/piercing/bludgeoning). All are highly useful, as you get to bypass the damage reduction of pretty much every mob in the game.

You also get the opportunity to do special “one shot” effects as an AA. Dispelling and Shattermantle shot are nice in specific loactions/party makups, so I wouldn’t go too deep into them. But I like inferno shot for high hp, non-fire immune boss fights. Especially when I have Improved Elemental Arrows, fire, and can rapidly build up that stack. Couple this with IEA: electric’s vulnerability and the ability to have Master of Imbuement let you have both active at the same time for building up stacks, and you have a nice big chunk of dps for those high hp bosses. The big “one shot” you want, however, is Slayer Shot. It adds 250 points of damage to your shot, before crit multipliers, and will often end with the death of the mob you got targeted (non-boss, that is).

Moonbow and Soul Magic are nice for helping to aliviate the sp drain caused by using your “one shot” abilities, or from swapping between stances. I’ve found moonbow to be enough for the upper levels though, and so I do not have Soul Magic anymore. I also no longer have Action Boosts (which I generally dislike, and specifically don’t like in the AA tree), Awareness (plenty of spot at high levels) or True Strike (I always hit anyway). Not to say they can’t be useful at the lower levels. Just that I’d eventually respect out of them.

For your secondary trees, you have some good choices in both DWS and Tempest. The Tempest Core abilities allow you to essentially get Weapon Finesse as an enhancement, instead of the feat, freeing up a feat slot. This is what I’ve done on my main, especially since she uses longbows for ranged, but preferred scimitars for melee. Between Elvish Grace and the Tempest Core abilities, I now use my dex modifier on all my attacks as both to-hit and damage.

Tempest will boost your melee abilities and give some additional dodge, while DWS will boost your favored enemy damage, and some fun ranged options as well (of course, you have to wade through the low level empathy stuff to get the good stuff…)

Other Good Trees:

Fighter Kensei has good options for ranged (taking ranged as your focus group), and monks still can get Zen Archery, applying wisdom to attack with bows, and 10k stars for a mini-multishot effect. Ninja Spy gives the best enhancements for a ranged monk, in my opinion (since it gives bonuses to piercing attacks), and touch of death no longer requires you to be wearing handwraps (full disclosure, I have not played a ranged monk since the pass, so please correct me if I’m wrong on ToD working with bows).

But if you’re wanting to multiclass and be an AA, you’re likely more advanced than this guide is geared for, so I’ll let you go look in the forums for specific builds like that.

Pwesiela
09-07-2013, 12:47 PM
Combat: or how to not get the group angry at you so that you get reinvited

I CANNOT stress this enough: the most important lesson you will ever learn as an AA is when to put the bow away!! Yes, this is coming from an AA who loves ranged action. Just because you are an AA does not mean that you can ignore melee combat. You will melee. Get used to the idea, and figure out when you need to do that. This is especially true during heroic level content, before you've acquired the gear that will help off-set the attack speed and dps penalties to ranged combat. The story changes as you become more experienced and as you unlock epic destinies with great ranged synergy (Shiradi Champion and Fury of the Wild, in particular), and you will be able to spend the vast majority of your time with a bow in hand. But you will never regret being familiar with your melee options and knowing when and how to use them.

Now, on to the ranged combat in party. As I view it, the most important role the AA has in a group is to eliminate those high-risk enemies that melee will have trouble getting to: namely casters and clerics that hang out in the back of the fight and cause problems. I say this because the ranger has a wonderful feat: Precise Shot. It allows you to hit one target, and one target only, that is behind a whole mess of other stuff that you don’t want to get angry. Add burst damage from multishot, and a party with an AA should be able to feel comfortable letting the melee beat on the melee, while knowing that the massive damage from fireballs will be focused on the character with the evasion, reflex save, resistances, and hit points to easily survive them while never draining the clerics resources.

Once these high-risk enemies have been dealt with, the feat Improved Precise Shot becomes your friend for the melee. By this time, most melee should be firmly attacking your party’s melee, and you shouldn’t be drawing aggro, allowing you to safely deal the dps. However, if multishot is on cooldown, feel free to weapon up and get into the melee. You will likely do more damage this way, and show your party that you’re not a one-trick pony.

Placement: What do I mean by placement? I mean where are you located in relation to your target/s? As an AA, either as a fighter or as a ranger, you should have the Point Blank Shot feat, which means that you get a bonus to your damage while within 30 feet. You can tell if you're within the 30 feet by paying attention to the icon next to the first damage number that appears over a mob's head when you hit it. If it looks like a target circle, you're within range. If you're not seeing it, you're not in range for PBS to work. So, if you don't see it, move forward a bit if you want the extra damage. Related to placement, you also have the Precise Shot and Improved Precise Shot. So, pay attention to how your enemies are lining up in order to take advantage of the IPS. Target the furthest from you, and get as much as you can in between you and it. That way, you're doing damage to multiple enemies, not just one. Ranged damage is subpar (by far) to melee when it comes to 1-on-1 without multishot. However, you start hitting 3 or 4 targets, and you're going to start surpassing what melee can do in the same time.

Kiting: this tactic deserves special mention. When you are soloing, kite away. Feel free. Do it all you want throughout the entire dungeon. In a party, you will not earn any friends. Any kiting should be done towards the melee party members, except for one exception listed below. You kite into your melee so that any intim tank can take the aggro, and so that the melee DPS doesn’t run after you trying to kill in 2 swings what you’re running around the dungeon. As a ranged character, you are better off not having the aggro of something with a big sword while all you wield is a bow. If you do pull aggro, but do not want to kite into the party, switch weapons, get into melee, and end the threat. This allows party members to quickly get to your aid, and dispach the mob quickly.

The only time an AA in a party should kite away from the party is when they are doing so to reduce the aggro on melee who are being overwhelmed. Once the party has dealt with the reduced threat, kite into the party again.

Weapon Selection

There are few bows and weapons that I consider essential for every AA to have. They are as follows:

The Silver Bow. Until you get a GS bow, and sometimes even after, this bow is your ultimate weapon against 90% of the mobs in this game. It has an increased base damage. It has an improved crit range, and it’s available at lvl 6. There is no reason for any AA to not have this in their arsenal. It drops from the lvl 9 quest “The Church and the Cult” in House P. The questgiver is up on top of the Golden Wing Inn. It really isn’t a difficult quest. If you don’t have this bow, go get it. Now. I’m not kidding. Stop farming favor or xp and get this bow.

Epic Elemental Longbow of the Earth. Until you get the top longbow, this should be your go-to weapon for levels 20+. It has increased base damage, it has great additional effects (disintegrate, stone prison), and looks pretty slick.

Pinion. The top DPS bow currently in game. So good, that non-ranged focus characters will fight you for it when it drops in the raid chest under someone else’s name. So you’ll likely have to run the raid Caught in the Web several times to get it.

Paralyzing bow. This is one of those weapons that makes melee happy, particularly in the lower levels. With improved precise shot, you can immobilize the entire enemy army for the melee to deal with at whim. Switching targets keeps everything stationary until the death comes. You may not deal the final blow, but you’ve just saved the melee and your healer a TON of hassle.

Specialty weapons. With the change to vorpal weapons, it's a good idea to keep an eye out for the specialty weapons that got changed with them: namely banishing, smiting, and disruption. Each deals additional damage to specific types of monsters. Banishing = extraplanar, smiting = construct, disruption = undead. Bows of these varieties are normally pretty cheap to come by, as are the weapons. Keep an eye out for both.

DPS melee weapons. Keep an eye out for holy/elemental burst weapons of your particular stripe with handy effects such as pure good or destruction. When you get into the Shroud, be sure to make yourself not only a bow (Lit II is generally regarded as the best), but melee weapons as well. For melee, consider making dual Min IIs. This frees up a feat spot (IC: Slashing/Piercing depending on what you've chosen to do) which you can then exchange for something of more value, like Power Attack, Empower Healing, or more Toughness.

Gear

The following are some pieces of gear to keep an eye out for, or otherwise work for:

Dex/Wis/Con/Str items. Each will be a boon for you.

Fortification items. You will not have as much hp as a melee, so preventing critical hits on you is a must.

Wizardry robe or item. As you level up, this will become less and less of a problem, as you will get enough spell points through your class (if ranger) to cover pretty much all that you need, particularly when you start getting some temp sp enhancements (I use moonbow, but hate soul magic...too much noise). But AA abilities now take sp. So you’ll need more than you think for lower levels and longer quests. This is in addition to general spell buffing. The enhancements can help counteract this a bit (moonbow) but it will still drain your sp pool faster than you’d like. Epic destiny abilities will offer you good cheap healing at epic levels, but more self healing is never a bad thing.

Devotion or Potency. As a ranger, you get up to lvl 4 healing spells. Devotion or Potency will boost those healing abilities (making you more self-reliant and more liked by your party healer) and are rather cheap to get, especially on a weapon or shield that you can equip for healing between battles. Again, Epic Destiny self healing will start offering efficient, cheap heals at higher levels, but more self-sufficiency during heroic levels is never a bad thing.

Quiver of Poison. Drops from the Gianthold pack, and adds poison damage to your ranged attacks.

Raid Gear includes the Quiver of Alacrity and Wretched Twilight from the Abbott, Tumbleweed from the Hound (until you get a better dex item) or ToD rings. Raid gear also includes Shroud weapons/items (such as a Min II item).

Pwesiela
09-07-2013, 12:55 PM
That’s it for now. I may add more in the replies, or otherwise edit the above, but this should provide a good start for anyone interested in playing an AA that doesn’t get booted from the party once the quest is over.

Urist
09-07-2013, 03:08 PM
Are paralysing/banishing/smiting bows needed any more, since all three effects are now available as imbues? IIRC Paralysing, in particular, becomes available far more easily at a higher DC than random loot paralysers off the AH.
I'm assuming the banishing or smiting imbues don't give the additional bane damage of the standard weapon enhancement (I haven't checked), but being able to combine them with your best DPS bow may be able to make up the difference?

xberto
09-07-2013, 05:16 PM
I CANNOT stress this enough: the most important lesson you will ever learn as an AA is when to put the bow away!! Yes, this is coming from an AA who loves ranged action. Just because you are an AA does not mean that you can ignore melee combat. You will melee. Get used to the idea, and figure out when you need to do that.



Would agree with that in general, depending on your build, however, A Shiradi Archer with full AA line has a lot of bells and whistles that are just not so useful when you pull out the melee weapons.

96th_Malice
09-07-2013, 05:45 PM
Would agree with that in general, depending on your build, however, A Shiradi Archer with full AA line has a lot of bells and whistles that are just not so useful when you pull out the melee weapons.

I agree as well. As a player who only plays ranged toons and has since DDO day one ( and PnP ) .... There is less reason to ever touch a melee weapon since U19 than before.

To the original poster ..... I can't say enough how good this post is .... Great stuff !

Rapthor
09-07-2013, 08:46 PM
Gear:
Wizardry robe or item. AA abilities now take sp. So you’ll need more than you think for longer quests. This is in addition to general spell buffing. The enhancements can help counteract this a bit (moonbow) but it will still drain your sp pool faster than you’d like.

I was considering to take the feat Magical Trainning for Echoes and more SP pool... but:
Energy of the Wild: +30/+60/+100 maximum spell points. Rank 3: You gain the Magical Training feat. = Rams Might forever :) - Resist Energy forever :) - and for those abilities (with some patience)

I got 1lvl cleric on my AA (18ranger/1cleric - atm) for that, and some more reasons (self healing and heavy armor on low lvls). I could go pure now with that 20+ free heart, without any regrets.

Thx.

Oops... almost forget: Cure serious wounds forever too :)

Archangel_666
09-07-2013, 08:54 PM
Do you consider taking the feat Magical Trainning for Echoes and more SP pool?
I got 1lvl cleric on my AA (18ranger/1cleric - atm) for that, and some more reasons (self healing and heavy armor on low lvls). I could go pure now with that 20+ free heart, without any regrets.

Thx.

My pure Ranger AA has Magical Training, and it's handy, the thing is I took the Feat before the Enhancement Pass. I haven't LR'ed her yet, but if/when I do, I won't be taking the Feat again.

Why?

Energy of the Wild: +30/+60/+100 maximum spell points. Rank 3: You gain the Magical Training Feat.

Rapthor
09-07-2013, 09:27 PM
My pure Ranger AA has Magical Training, and it's handy, the thing is I took the Feat before the Enhancement Pass. I haven't LR'ed her yet, but if/when I do, I won't be taking the Feat again.

Why?

Energy of the Wild: +30/+60/+100 maximum spell points. Rank 3: You gain the Magical Training Feat.

LOL - I just fixed it, before reading your answer! Thx anyway :)

Turtlsdown
09-07-2013, 09:59 PM
Are paralysing/banishing/smiting bows needed any more, since all three effects are now available as imbues? IIRC Paralysing, in particular, becomes available far more easily at a higher DC than random loot paralysers off the AH.
I'm assuming the banishing or smiting imbues don't give the additional bane damage of the standard weapon enhancement (I haven't checked), but being able to combine them with your best DPS bow may be able to make up the difference?

I'd also like to know how this works. Let's say I'm using Paralyzing AA arrows Tier III (higher DC). Will this stack with a Paralyzing bow (i.e. 1 chance vs. enhancement Para with high DC, and 2nd chance vs. bow Para with low DC to paralyze)? Or does it only count the stronger of the two effects?

Would be nice if it doubled your chance to proc the effect (or not quite double, but still more than 1.0) and if not, then there is not much point for smite/banish/para bow for AA I guess?

Pwesiela
09-07-2013, 10:04 PM
Would agree with that in general, depending on your build, however, A Shiradi Archer with full AA line has a lot of bells and whistles that are just not so useful when you pull out the melee weapons.

Once you get into Epic Destinies and capping out Shiradi (or Fury) then you're looking at a different ballgame. But for levels 1-20, melee should play a significant part.


I'd also like to know how this works. Let's say I'm using Paralyzing AA arrows Tier III (higher DC). Will this stack with a Paralyzing bow (i.e. 1 chance vs. enhancement Para with high DC, and 2nd chance vs. bow Para with low DC to paralyze)? Or does it only count the stronger of the two effects?

Would be nice if it doubled your chance to proc the effect (or not quite double, but still more than 1.0) and if not, then there is not much point for smite/banish/para bow for AA I guess?

From my tests, only the highest DC counts. So I found that paralyzing was something I swapped out as I got higher in levels. As for banishing and smiting, keep in mind that the enhancement only adds damage on the 20 roll. The bows add bane damage as well, and the improved varieties up the hp requirements for an outright kill.

Carpone
09-08-2013, 11:54 AM
Combat: or how to not get the group angry at you so that you get reinvited

I CANNOT stress this enough: the most important lesson you will ever learn as an AA is when to put the bow away!! Yes, this is coming from an AA who loves ranged action. Just because you are an AA does not mean that you can ignore melee combat. You will melee. Get used to the idea, and figure out when you need to do that.

You can and should ignore melee combat as an Arcane Archer in epic content. There's enough passive ki regen available that you do not need to melee. AAs aren't going to have the avoidance and mitigation of a dedicated melee character, and that becomes a liability if you try to melee in epic elite.


Gear

Fortification items. You will not have as much hp as a melee, so preventing critical hits on you is a must.
At level cap I've got 930 HP as an Elf. You don't and shouldn't have to sacrifice HP just because you're ranged.


Wizardry robe or item. AA abilities now take sp. So you’ll need more than you think for longer quests. This is in addition to general spell buffing. The enhancements can help counteract this a bit (moonbow) but it will still drain your sp pool faster than you’d like.
Between Soul Magic and Moonbow, I've never run out of mana. A Wizardry item is a wasted item slot.


Devotion or Potency. As a ranger, you get up to lvl 4 healing spells. Devotion or Potency will boost those healing abilities (making you more self-reliant and more liked by your party healer) and are rather cheap to get, especially on a weapon or shield that you can equip for healing between battles.
You can obtain 250 Positive Spell Power without slotting a Potency or Devotion item. It's more than adequate for Rejuvenation Cocoon.


Kiting: this tactic deserves special mention. When you are soloing, kite away. Feel free. Do it all you want throughout the entire dungeon. In a party, you will not earn any friends. Any kiting should be done towards the melee party members, except for one exception listed below. You kite into your melee so that any intim tank can take the aggro, and so that the melee DPS doesn’t run after you trying to kill in 2 swings what you’re running around the dungeon. As a ranged character, you are better off not having the aggro of something with a big sword while all you wield is a bow. If you do pull aggro, but do not want to kite into the party, switch weapons, get into melee, and end the threat. This allows party members to quickly get to your aid, and dispach the mob quickly.

The only time an AA in a party should kite away from the party is when they are doing so to reduce the aggro on melee who are being overwhelmed. Once the party has dealt with the reduced threat, kite into the party again.
Archers are better off kiting the hard hitting melee mobs rather than the melee. The shadar-kai in Shadowfell are a perfect example of this. Melee can move on to other mobs while you finish yours off.

SSFWEl
09-08-2013, 12:14 PM
You can obtain 250 Positive Spell Power without slotting a Potency or Devotion item. It's more than adequate for Rejuvenation Cocoon.

Can you detail how for a non caster toon? Would love to do that without slotting devotion on my Rogue. I got halcyon boots but that does not even stack (mostly) with devotion.

Rhaphael
09-09-2013, 03:04 AM
@OP:

2 things I missed in your posts.

1) You neglected to mention Paladin dilettante (you spelled this wrong btw). It gets you up to +5 saves (which is huge) and allows you to use extra divine scrolls your ranger can't use.
2) I find Precision to be a really good feat for ranged characters. +5% to-hit would probably be insignificant, but -25% fortification is pretty good. Doesn't stack with Power Attack, but it stacks with all ranged stances.

Other than that great post! I'm sure it will help a lot of people.

As a side note, I find Soul Magic to be plain irritating btw. It gives +1 temp SP with each shot which is nice, but at the cost of a sound effect and a visual effect for every arrow fired (so with Manyshot you get multiple effects in rapid succession). Those get really annoying really fast.

Pwesiela
09-09-2013, 04:27 PM
Updated the Combat and Gear sections to add a bit more clarity on why I feel these skills/items are a good idea for new ranged players to get used to/use.

Chai
09-09-2013, 05:41 PM
With dex to damage on elves and rogues nowdays, arcane archer became more newbie friendly, due to having to invest in less stats.

Wis/Dex build, with a side order of con for good measure. Something like 11 ranger, 6 monk, 3 rogue.

High stunning fist DC
High EIN in GMoF
Weapon finesse + assassin3 core = dex to damage w/ melee weapons that all use finesse to hit.
Grace = dex to longbow damage
Lots of SA dice that can be picked up.
Manyshot + 10k stars
Can work on many different class splits - without having to build for bow str.

riskyraines
09-11-2013, 01:32 AM
With dex to damage on elves and rogues nowdays, arcane archer became more newbie friendly, due to having to invest in less stats.

Wis/Dex build, with a side order of con for good measure. Something like 11 ranger, 6 monk, 3 rogue.

High stunning fist DC
High EIN in GMoF
Weapon finesse + assassin3 core = dex to damage w/ melee weapons that all use finesse to hit.
Grace = dex to longbow damage
Lots of SA dice that can be picked up.
Manyshot + 10k stars
Can work on many different class splits - without having to build for bow str.

first I would ignore ALL advice chai gives you. He actually doesn't play the game he just posts on forums all day. Second the best class mix for the build he speaks of is actually 8 fighter/ 6 monk/ 6 ranger. My guildmate redwedding invented the FURYSHOT build. This mix works ranged or melee and you can remained centered with your choice of melee weapons.

Chai
09-11-2013, 07:50 AM
first I would ignore ALL advice chai gives you. He actually doesn't play the game he just posts on forums all day. Second the best class mix for the build he speaks of is actually 8 fighter/ 6 monk/ 6 ranger. My guildmate redwedding invented the FURYSHOT build. This mix works ranged or melee and you can remained centered with your choice of melee weapons.

The build youre talking about was posted long before your friend invented it. Fury shot is more than a year old now and has has 2 iterations.

My suggested class breakdown offers more in the skills dpt, is more new player friendly.

Darkrok
09-11-2013, 08:54 AM
First, I find 6 monk indispensable to AA. Having 10k stars to fill in a minute of the CD time between Manyshots (cycle 10k->MS->10k as each comes off CD) or simple using 10k only to 'save' MS when you're not sure exactly when you'll be hitting a boss fight makes a huge difference in damage output.

6 ranger is a given too...it's not required but it gets you to Metalline Arrows/Sniper Shot and to Tier 5 of AA without playing an elf.

So the question is just what to do with those last 8 levels. Honestly DDO has become much more open in the enh pass. There isn't any one 'right' answer now. Just some guidelines/significant levels.


14 ranger gives level 4 spells including cure serious wounds and freedom of movement
11 ranger gives all of the twf and archery feats including gtwf and improved precise shot
8 ranger gives access to the Empower Healing feat
12 monk gives leap of faith and the 4th fast movement
9 monk gives improved evasion and the 3rd fast movement


There's also a huge set of options beyond our two base classes. Any class that has something we like in the trees can be splashed just for the enhancements. Fighter can be splashed for extra feats. FvS/Cleric can be splashed for access to Empower Healing and Magical Training. Rogue/Arti can be splashed for trapping skills, open lock, or even just to get UMD as a class skill. Paladin can be splashed for the saves boost (though it's really hard to balance all the stats an AA needs).

Your stats you focus on will depend on your build you choose. Pretty much any AA following what I've shown here will want a hefty investment in Wisdom though - if you have 10k stars you want wisdom. Given that we'll want to stay centered for 10k stars we'll need Zen Archery which means we'll get our to-hit from Wisdom if it's higher than our Dex. In addition, I'd be really sad to make an AA that didn't get Cleave -> Great Cleave -> Overwhelming Critical so 23str is required for that. Whether you decide to go Str or Dex for damage with bows will depend on your build. In my specific case I went with a Human 9 monk, 8 ranger, 3 artificer. I wanted to have full UMD with a 75% bonus to scrolls, to have a 5 minute elemental weapons buff available both for myself and for the group/raid, and I wanted to maximize my healing output with Cocoon by picking up Empower Healing. If you're not concerned about that last part, 12 monk, 6 ranger, 2 artificer would fit the bill for everything else I mentioned. With this build I found no enhancement room left for Ninja Spy and also found a large gap between buffed strength and buffed dex (Primal Scream, Titan's Gloves, etc. don't have a dex equivalent) so I opted for Strength to damage.

I would say that AA has more options now than ever. For anyone that wants to try and future-proof their builds the OP's thought of simply staying 100% ranger is definitely not bad. At worst you're a standard lesser heart from fixing anything that's wrong, and most things will be fixable with a feat swap or enhancement respec. But an AA build without 10k stars will definitely want to consider melee'ing in between manyshots. For those wanting to remain at ranged or running EE's a lot where it's a good idea to stay at ranged I think that 10k stars is a necessity to smooth out the dips in damage when MS is on cooldown.

Chai
09-11-2013, 09:07 AM
First, I find 6 monk indispensable to AA. Having 10k stars to fill in a minute of the CD time between Manyshots (cycle 10k->MS->10k as each comes off CD) or simple using 10k only to 'save' MS when you're not sure exactly when you'll be hitting a boss fight makes a huge difference in damage output.

6 ranger is a given too...it's not required but it gets you to Metalline Arrows/Sniper Shot and to Tier 5 of AA without playing an elf.

So the question is just what to do with those last 8 levels. Honestly DDO has become much more open in the enh pass. There isn't any one 'right' answer now. Just some guidelines/significant levels.


14 ranger gives level 4 spells including cure serious wounds and freedom of movement
11 ranger gives all of the twf and archery feats including gtwf and improved precise shot
8 ranger gives access to the Empower Healing feat
12 monk gives leap of faith and the 4th fast movement
9 monk gives improved evasion and the 3rd fast movement


There's also a huge set of options beyond our two base classes. Any class that has something we like in the trees can be splashed just for the enhancements. Fighter can be splashed for extra feats. FvS/Cleric can be splashed for access to Empower Healing and Magical Training. Rogue/Arti can be splashed for trapping skills, open lock, or even just to get UMD as a class skill. Paladin can be splashed for the saves boost (though it's really hard to balance all the stats an AA needs).

Your stats you focus on will depend on your build you choose. Pretty much any AA following what I've shown here will want a hefty investment in Wisdom though - if you have 10k stars you want wisdom. Given that we'll want to stay centered for 10k stars we'll need Zen Archery which means we'll get our to-hit from Wisdom if it's higher than our Dex. In addition, I'd be really sad to make an AA that didn't get Cleave -> Great Cleave -> Overwhelming Critical so 23str is required for that. Whether you decide to go Str or Dex for damage with bows will depend on your build. In my specific case I went with a Human 9 monk, 8 ranger, 3 artificer. I wanted to have full UMD with a 75% bonus to scrolls, to have a 5 minute elemental weapons buff available both for myself and for the group/raid, and I wanted to maximize my healing output with Cocoon by picking up Empower Healing. If you're not concerned about that last part, 12 monk, 6 ranger, 2 artificer would fit the bill for everything else I mentioned. With this build I found no enhancement room left for Ninja Spy and also found a large gap between buffed strength and buffed dex (Primal Scream, Titan's Gloves, etc. don't have a dex equivalent) so I opted for Strength to damage.

I would say that AA has more options now than ever. For anyone that wants to try and future-proof their builds the OP's thought of simply staying 100% ranger is definitely not bad. At worst you're a standard lesser heart from fixing anything that's wrong, and most things will be fixable with a feat swap or enhancement respec. But an AA build without 10k stars will definitely want to consider melee'ing in between manyshots. For those wanting to remain at ranged or running EE's a lot where it's a good idea to stay at ranged I think that 10k stars is a necessity to smooth out the dips in damage when MS is on cooldown.

Not only is 6 monk STILL the best for an archery split, Turbine in their infinite wisdom, made it so that minimum 6 monk is also best for melee as well. Earth stance is simply that powerful, and water stance can be used to push wis over 40 for that 4th arrow chance when using 10k stars.

Rangers are solid on their own for future proofing, and its a true hybrid, as it should be.

Teh_Troll
09-11-2013, 09:13 AM
My guildmate redwedding invented the FURYSHOT build. This mix works ranged or melee and you can remained centered with your choice of melee weapons.

That's quite an outrageous claim, did he also invent the question mark?

I think 30 people "invented" the furyshot build at the same time, they just kept quiet about it in case it wasn't WAI.

Kawai
09-11-2013, 01:24 PM
First, I find 6 monk indispensable to AA. Having 10k stars to fill in a minute of the CD time between Manyshots (cycle 10k->MS->10k as each comes off CD) or simple using 10k only to 'save' MS when you're not sure exactly when you'll be hitting a boss fight makes a huge difference in damage output.

6 ranger is a given too...it's not required but it gets you to Metalline Arrows/Sniper Shot and to Tier 5 of AA without playing an elf.

So the question is just what to do with those last 8 levels. Honestly DDO has become much more open in the enh pass. There isn't any one 'right' answer now. Just some guidelines/significant levels.


14 ranger gives level 4 spells including cure serious wounds and freedom of movement
11 ranger gives all of the twf and archery feats including gtwf and improved precise shot
8 ranger gives access to the Empower Healing feat
12 monk gives leap of faith and the 4th fast movement
9 monk gives improved evasion and the 3rd fast movement


There's also a huge set of options beyond our two base classes. Any class that has something we like in the trees can be splashed just for the enhancements. Fighter can be splashed for extra feats. FvS/Cleric can be splashed for access to Empower Healing and Magical Training. Rogue/Arti can be splashed for trapping skills, open lock, or even just to get UMD as a class skill. Paladin can be splashed for the saves boost (though it's really hard to balance all the stats an AA needs).

Your stats you focus on will depend on your build you choose. Pretty much any AA following what I've shown here will want a hefty investment in Wisdom though - if you have 10k stars you want wisdom. Given that we'll want to stay centered for 10k stars we'll need Zen Archery which means we'll get our to-hit from Wisdom if it's higher than our Dex. In addition, I'd be really sad to make an AA that didn't get Cleave -> Great Cleave -> Overwhelming Critical so 23str is required for that. Whether you decide to go Str or Dex for damage with bows will depend on your build. In my specific case I went with a Human 9 monk, 8 ranger, 3 artificer. I wanted to have full UMD with a 75% bonus to scrolls, to have a 5 minute elemental weapons buff available both for myself and for the group/raid, and I wanted to maximize my healing output with Cocoon by picking up Empower Healing. If you're not concerned about that last part, 12 monk, 6 ranger, 2 artificer would fit the bill for everything else I mentioned. With this build I found no enhancement room left for Ninja Spy and also found a large gap between buffed strength and buffed dex (Primal Scream, Titan's Gloves, etc. don't have a dex equivalent) so I opted for Strength to damage.

I would say that AA has more options now than ever. For anyone that wants to try and future-proof their builds the OP's thought of simply staying 100% ranger is definitely not bad. At worst you're a standard lesser heart from fixing anything that's wrong, and most things will be fixable with a feat swap or enhancement respec. But an AA build without 10k stars will definitely want to consider melee'ing in between manyshots. For those wanting to remain at ranged or running EE's a lot where it's a good idea to stay at ranged I think that 10k stars is a necessity to smooth out the dips in damage when MS is on cooldown.

+1

Kawai
09-11-2013, 01:41 PM
...As for banishing and smiting, keep in mind that the enhancement only adds damage on the 20 roll. The bows add bane damage as well, and the improved varieties up the hp requirements for an outright kill.

Banish & smite do stack, if u r using both.
Which is nice.

problem lies in do u want to.
there might b some mobs, cant think of them offhand, where it would b helpful.
ie immunities to nearly every thing. rare. think bosses etc...

i m under influence that only one is more useful.
better to arm the arrow, and use best bow of choice, depending @ level.
MinII, LitII, MagII etc to Pinion.

@ higher levels, there r also new Improved versions of effects.
Banish/Smit/Disrup & even Vorpal.
thus, food/thought/debate.

=================================

cheers, Pwe, for updating this.

cyadra
09-11-2013, 06:27 PM
It is so painfully obvious that you get so much more by going 6 monk/2 ranger/12 fighter.

Alfhild
09-11-2013, 07:00 PM
It is so painfully obvious that you get so much more by going 6 monk/2 ranger/12 fighter.
You also lose a lot. specifically arrows of slaying.

Archangel_666
09-11-2013, 07:15 PM
You also lose a lot. specifically arrows of slaying.

Not if you choose Elf or Half Elf as a Race.

I'm not placing a value on it and saying that one is better or worse than the other, but alternatives do exist.

Alfhild
09-11-2013, 07:22 PM
Not if you choose Elf or Half Elf as a Race.

I'm not placing a value on it and saying that one is better or worse than the other, but alternatives do exist.
Agreed but then you are talking a specific racial build not a general class build. And there are tradeoffs for that build including the 10AP essentially wasted in purchasing it: if you want the Kensai Psionic Strength boost, you have to give up Shadow Veil for instance; if you choose Elf, you forgo Human heal amp. I too am not advocating one build over another when the truth is that each player will place different values on the tradeoffs involved, which makes for a diversification of builds, which is all good.

riskyraines
09-11-2013, 08:34 PM
The build youre talking about was posted long before your friend invented it. Fury shot is more than a year old now and has has 2 iterations.

My suggested class breakdown offers more in the skills dpt, is more new player friendly.

actually it was my guildmate that posted that build smart guy :)

riskyraines
09-11-2013, 08:39 PM
That's quite an outrageous claim, did he also invent the question mark?

I think 30 people "invented" the furyshot build at the same time, they just kept quiet about it in case it wasn't WAI.

Before any of the enhancements dropped he had a 28th level furyshotter on lamania before anybody else. If you are the first to do something, usually that means you are also the catalyst. he is I saw with my own two eyes. Very first furyshotter on any server was my guildmate redwedding. don't believe me check youtube for his other builds. He also invented tha monk druid FOTM build proof on youtube since the video was posted before anybody else even fathomed the build. Stop thinking you know everything. Someone has to come up with these builds it just so happens its my guildmate doing it. If it weren't true and I were just spouting off wouldn't I TAKE CREDIT myself for the invention?

Pwesiela
09-11-2013, 09:23 PM
I'm just gonna ask nicely that the furyshot discussion get tabled for some other thread. Last thing I want is for this thread to get closed down for forum violations.

Please table it.

See? ^ Nicely. :)

Kawai
09-11-2013, 10:47 PM
I'm just gonna ask nicely that the furyshot discussion get tabled for some other thread. Last thing I want is for this thread to get closed down for forum violations.

Please table it.

See? ^ Nicely. :)

aww. gotta admit it is humorous though.

u guys do know i totally invented Elves right?
and it was SO before last week!

riskyraines
09-12-2013, 12:05 AM
aww. gotta admit it is humorous though.

u guys do know i totally invented Elves right?
and it was SO before last week!

Actually it was Lord Dunasy that invented elves in modern literature. JRR tolken made them what people see them as today. I will correct my former statement. Redwedding, my guildmate, made the first Furyshotter with the new enhancements on lamania. He was the first to use the 8 fighter/6 monk/6 ranger FS under the new enhancement line. When I visit other servers I see a lot of these builds everywhere now and multiple threads about them. He was the very first person to plan and achieve the CURRENT furyshotter that has become so infamous. Therefore he was the inagurial FS on any server post UD19. I should not have chosen the word Invented because idiots would take it the wrong way. Its quite obvious the DEVELOPERS invented it. Stop being nitpicky about forum posts.

jskinner937
09-12-2013, 12:09 AM
While I agree that dex to damage is nice for leveling...str to damage way outperforms in epics. I have tried both and I was unpleasantly surprised that my crits just sucked with dex to damage. I personally believe an AA should be high str (mostly maxed) with enough points in dex to get combat archery (for at least a to hit benchmark if not monkcher) and high wisdom for monkcher. Rest into Con. AAs probably gain the most benefit from many past lives, completionist and tomes because it allows them to qualify for things easier. 16 starting dex with +5 tome = combat archery...15 str with 3 lvl ups and +5 tome = OC.

Carpone
09-12-2013, 05:35 PM
Can you detail how for a non caster toon? Would love to do that without slotting devotion on my Rogue. I got halcyon boots but that does not even stack (mostly) with devotion.

My 12 Monk/6 Ranger/2 Druid AA has the following Positive Spell Power:

45 Increased Empathy
30 Versatile Empathy
75 Empower Heal Spell
30 Implement (Arcane Archer)
10 Soul Magic (Arcane Archer)
10 Moonbow (Arcane Archer)
65 Heal Skill
10 Shintao
---
275 Positive Spell Power when solo
080 Potency/Halcyon Boots (when FoM is available from group/raid)
----
355 Positive Spell Power in group/raid situations

I wear Epic Kundarak Delving Boots in situations where no other sources of FoM are available, which is a majority of time for me. 275 Positive Spell Power provides 110-130 per tick for Rejuv Cocoon with the 189% Healing Amp I have.

The_Mud_Man
10-26-2013, 12:16 PM
Which Favored Enemy feats?

Arlathen
10-27-2013, 04:34 PM
A think a little expansion on the possibilities of Sneak Damage should be added, essentially through:

- Half-Elf as the base race, taking Rogue Dilletante for +3D6 Sneak
- 8AP spent in DWS can give you another +3D6 Sneak Damage
- 11AP Spent in DWS can also give the Sniper Shot for automatic ranged Bluffs
- Slot a Seal of Avithoul (or similar item) for Improved Deception procs and +13 Sneak damage
- Half-Elf and DWS Innate enhancements stack for increasing your PBS & Sneak Damage ranged distance
- Half-Elf also allows you to take racial Arcane Archer, which means...
- A light (1-2) splash of Monk will give you more sneak damage through Ninja Spy
- And you can still grab the AA Capstone for the Doubleshot bonus

It's a potent recipe that I've been exploring to great sucess, and will also help augment your melee side when it's time to pull out the blades and start hacking.

schelsullivan
10-28-2013, 03:36 PM
Great thread +1

Im lev 28 Elf pure ranger 2nd life, running Fury of the Wild. Ive been soloing epic elites lately and I find switching to melee with Adrenaline + Overwhelming force 3 is absolutely crucial at times. A ten second knockdown is freaking awesome, time enough to finish of mobs with melee, while usually gaining extra Adrenalines via Fury Eternal. Between my twisted Pin and Ottos arrows, 10 seconds of melee knockdown is one more CC option that for me, is a must. Plus it just feels epic knocking down lev 50+ mobs. Its very usefull in groups as well, who doesnt need a bit of extra CC in EE content?

MagicBlade
11-08-2013, 06:39 PM
Hello Pwesiela, I've read through your guide, and was wondering if you might be able to give a little more specifics to the different classes as Arcane Archers? Such as multi-classing. I'm wanting to make an AA, but not sure which mix I want to use. I've currently got a lvl 7 AA - 4 Bard, 1 Fighter, 2 Ranger...and it's fun, but I don't remember what setup I was originally going for with it to finish it off, so will have to remake. Currently, Half-Elf with Rogue Dillitante but wanting something different I think. One option I might like to try would be the Kensai AA - but I haven't a clue on where to set the enhancements, not with the new system...

Vellrad
11-08-2013, 06:53 PM
Agreed but then you are talking a specific racial build not a general class build. And there are tradeoffs for that build including the 10AP essentially wasted in purchasing it: if you want the Kensai Psionic Strength boost, you have to give up Shadow Veil for instance; if you choose Elf, you forgo Human heal amp. I too am not advocating one build over another when the truth is that each player will place different values on the tradeoffs involved, which makes for a diversification of builds, which is all good.

Build is build as a whole. It consists of more than a class.
Talking about class build without race is like talking about burger without meat.

Vellrad
11-08-2013, 06:56 PM
About kiting in groups:

Don't do it, unless its absolutely nessesary. If you're not saving team from a wipe, don't kite unless its a party strategy.
You know what I do with kiters?
Nothing. I act like they don't exist, I won't chase mob, I will simply go to next mob(s), and to next room after. No heal, no rez, nothing.

UurlockYgmeov
10-13-2014, 02:48 PM
nicely written guide! Reminds me of another I read many years (and many many many lives ago) that helped me step into the role of ranged character. (Walt Snider's Toxophilite build (which I should repost since ddosource.com seems to be dead))

I agree on the Silver Longbow. Old (original version better because it is ml:6 instead of ml:8 and does not bind; however the new ml:8 version adds a red slot)
http://ddowiki.com/page/Silver_Longbow

http://ddowiki.com/images/Silver_Longbow.png

I agree on Pinion. Bow is a must have.

Some have said a fully maxed out Thunderforged bow with mortal fear beats pinions, and I must agree for trash mobs. Mortal fear is like a GE Mini-Gun on steroids:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_IAIypo9Hdk/ULlGELvORZI/AAAAAAAAMmM/BE-vc_uaQGY/s1600/tumblr_lb3i9n30dm1qdf90go1_400.gif

But from experience with pretty much any and all bows in the game (even MinII, LitII, RadII, HolyII, OozeII etc) - the best lv14 to 20 bow is Unwavering Ardency (especially if you have improved critical: ranged). I've been known to use it up to level 23 when I switch to using Pinion.

The Silver Longbow (both old and new versions) has:

Increased base weapon damage [1d10]
Double critical threat range to 19-20/x3, when compared to a typical longbow.
Base Damage Rating of 10.20


Unwavering Ardency (unupgraded) has:

Increased base weapon damage 2[1d12]
Double critical threat range to 19-20/x3, when compared to a typical longbow.
Base Damage Rating of 19.20
Flaming Burst: This weapon is sheathed in fire. The weapon deals an extra 1 to 6 fire damage each hit. In addition, critical hits deal an additional 1 to 10 fire damage for weapons with a x2 critical multiplier, 2 to 20 for a x3 critical multiplier and 3 to 30 for a x4 multiplier.
Grants bearer Immunity to Fear
Smoke Screen: You are surrounded by wisps of concealing smoke, giving opponents a 20% concealment chance to miss you.



Upgrading Unwavering Ardency grants:


Blinding Embers: Blinds on a confirmed vorpal hit. Duration is about 20 seconds. DC35 reflex save negates the blindness.
All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) to the blinded character.
Blinded creatures are vulnerable to Sneak Attacks, regardless of who they are currently attacking.


http://ddowiki.com/page/Unwavering_Ardency

http://ddowiki.com/images/Unwavering_Ardency.png


It is also one of the best looking bows in the game - hands down. Yes it is often harder to get than Pinion - but well worth it.

Uurlock Ygmeov of Khyber @ level 20 modeling Unwavering Ardency:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10153648_361441820680041_5417465995411959632_n.jpg ?oh=c8d68fd9fca117e13dd7ce1f6eb0c745&oe=54BC164E&__gda__=1421953060_ee3466e46d0f9d3d8f8e37bc6f2d22e 8

Kulothar
05-25-2017, 11:46 PM
Since you are trying to help new to ranged players I will keep my comments to sub epic. Some observations since for the past 7 years I have also played AA ranged characters. My 3 basic builds for reference are:

Pure FVS AA Elf which is mainly a raid support character but now also is a Reaper group healer/AA. Good utility and mass healing plus some spells to back up the AA line.
Pure Monk AA (past life Sorc. HE) This is a solo/group build that uses AA but also melees. This is not a build for a new player.
Pure Ranger Elf The basic AA build with just enough melee to survive.

For gear some of the following are useful:

The undead bows from Necro 1/2/3/ low level but useful.
Ranged alacrity (trinket/quiver/etc.)
Dodge. With evasion this keeps you alive.
Diversion. The more the merrier. A mob cannot hit you if they keep turning around. Combined with bluff, I have seen dragons just keep spinning.
If robe wearing class the Ice robe from the House C challenges causes your bow to proc freezing Ice
The House C Challenge boots proc flesh to stone if you are hit.
An item with crippling if possible. It is better if it takes longer for them to get to you.
If you can, web/hypnosis/etc. so you can single out mobs without a crowd.
Crafted petrify or stun stones to single out mobs. If they save there is no damage so less agro. If they don't you can kill the others around them first or wait till they save and come after you.

Raid bows:
The 3xPoss Green Steel (GS) is a must and is the only disrupter bow you will need after lv 12.
Radiance GS blinds the mobs.
Nice to have: Vacuum GS if true neutral since it procs Trap the Soul (save or die and a soul stone)
Min II GS will hit anything
Earth Bows from the House C Challenges. Nice stats at various levels and farmable at all levels.

LV 16 Envenomed Blades (1 or 2) only melee paralyzer you will need until Epic then Priestess's dagger.

Kiting is your friend but if you are going to group always let the melee get good agro first. While you are waiting for him to get agro you can buff/heal/etc. Sometimes patience is more than a virtue, it is a strategy. If you get agro and the mobs are going to make it to you kite them through the tank preferably jumping over him. Any good tank will have intimidate and aoe attacks. This also places you around him should the healer cast an aoe heal or the caster cast and aoe spell. This also keeps the tank from having to run all over chasing you and the mobs.

If you are forced to melee stand on the other side of the mobs from the tank so that if he intimidates the mobs will lose interest in you. Once he has their interest again you can back off and range again.

If you are going to solo consider a fear item such as the Emerald Claw Talisman or other fear item but be careful of them running for friends. I usually only use a fear item if I have paralyzing or the caster has some type of control to stop them. Open areas with no other mobs near or in a closed room, it is not such an issue and will save a lot of healing.

Just a couple of suggestions. There is a lot of gear my AA Characters use each life but a starting character would not have them. Good hunting.