So up front...started playing back in 2006, been in and out a few times since then, but recently haven't played for a year and a half or two. Came back and found a lot of interesting changes and want to try some out.
One character I have is an elf bard/ranger split. Long, long ago (I think she was created in 2007 or so) the idea was to bring bard buffs to the party, then to serve the secondary role as a ranged status debuffer, CCer, etc., by carrying crursespewing/destruction/paralyzing/etc. (trust me, they were all good at one time).
She was never my "main" and I just started playing her lately for the sake of picking up a mabar +5 tome. So I had to redo enhancements, and as a result, I discovered that archery itself isn't nearly as gimped as it used to be. I really dig the new arcane archer for instance, and as I stared digging into some other archer related things (monks, DWS), I found even more I like. So I have been reading a lot to try to understand the monkcher concept (and I think I do have an ok understanding), but I have some outstanding questions.
1) Why not T5 DWS over AA?
Most of the build advice I've come across really emphasizes T5 AA enhancements. Call me crazy, but it seems like Heavy Draw, Head Shot, and Improved Archer's Focus (especially the first two) outstrip Moon Bow, Arrow of Slaying, and Runebow. Crazy talk?
2) Is Half Orc an ok race choice?
Personally it seems pretty good. A strength bonus without penalties to important stats, more STR enhancements (plus some bonus STR if injured, though that isn't a good thing to plan around), and a line that increases power attack, which works with Heavy Draw.
3) Speaking of Improved Power attack...when used with Heavy Draw, does each point in the Orc enhancement increase dmg by 2, as it would for two-handed weapons?
4) How do I get 10 Thousand Stars. Sorry, this must be the simplest of my questions, but the DDO wiki seems jacked up in this regard. It says 10K stars is still linked to an enhancement line, but some of the builds I've been reading seem to indicate it's a monk feat (though again, it doesn't show up on the wiki as a martial arts feat). Either way, my understanding is that I need 6 monk levels...I at least have that right?
5) Same question about Master of Forms. I can either take full 12 monk levels OR just 6 and take it as a feat?
I personally would really like Master Earth stance for the built in crit multiplier, but is it really necessary?
6) Do Manyshot/10K Stars fire multiple projectiles when special ranged attacks are made (Arrow of Slaying or Head Shot for instance), or only with regular auto-attacks?
7) How to get enough Ki?
If I understand correctly, passive Ki regeneration is per six seconds, so the minimum to earn 20 Ki for 10K stars in during the 1 minute cooldown is +2 passive. Assuming I'm correct about that, it seems like an item with +1 Ki regen and one enhancement (Kensei Ascetic Training, Henshin Contemplation, or GMoF Enlightenment twisted in at Epic levels) should do the trick. I'll say that, while I understand switching to Water Stance between combat and/or sneaking with Stealthy from Ninja are options, I don't like them as much.
So those are the outstanding questions I have right now. Unless I get some feedback explaining that it's really dumb, I'm considering a Half Orc 6 Monk/6 Ranger/??. If I'm not an elf, those investments in monk and ranger are necessary, but it honestly seems like there are a ton of viable options to flesh it out.