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  1. #1
    2015 DDO Players Council
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Bow Builds and ED selection

    Greetings all!
    There has been a lot of talk recently concerning the ‘Melee Improvements’ and changes to the EDs that were designed with melee builds in mind, and there have been concerns about what will happen to ranged builds that use these EDs. Here are the reasons why the top tier bow-builds use FotW and LD for their EDs, as seen in the Khyber endgame.
    A bow-build is a type of ranged physical DPS build which uses a bow almost all of the time, has manyshot, and has improved precise shot. There are other ranged builds which use either thrown weapons or repeater crossbows, and there are builds that use a bow for manyshot, and even some builds that use a bow for manyshot and a thrown weapon or a repeater crossbow while manyshot is on timer; there are also builds that use a bow but are not designed for physical DPS but either casting or survivability; while these may be ranged builds they are not the type of build I am talking about in this post.
    I am qualified to talk about this because I am Poppytop, who has been playing a monkcher since about a third of the way through U19. I run endgame raids almost nightly, took part in both of the initial completions of u21 EE raids on my server(organized one of them), and regularly inquire as to why people make the choices with builds that they do. I also design and polish a lot of endgame-focused builds for people in my guild, Annihilation, which is one of the higher level guilds on the server ( 135 currently).

    Fury of the Wild (FotW) is the most common choice that I see for endgame bow builds on Khyber. It is what I usually run in. What makes this ED so attractive?
    HP: You get 100 HP for being in this ED. I am personally able to get over 1k HP while starting with a 10 con in this ED, which is quite nice and, honestly, kinda more HP than I actually need.
    Strength: Physical DPS builds work on strength currently, because of Overwhelming Critical(and a few other reasons). Strength points as the stat point option and not needing to twist primal scream or rely on someone else buffing me with it is very nice.
    Wisdom: When ranged you can get 2 points of wisdom for 3 points spent in tree. This is very good for a toon which uses 10k stars, as most bow builds do.
    Sense Weakness: Extra damage vs helpless mobs is a very nice thing, esp for bow builds that twist Pin.
    Adrenaline [Overload]: This is the big reason to be in Fury. It allows an attack to do 400% additional damage, and with a standard profile bow, a 90% crit chance. The attack may be Slayer Shot from arcane archer, which does 250 points extra base damage, which is multiplied by both the adrenaline and the critical multiplier of the weapon. If this is done during a manyshot, you get 4 arrows that do this amount of damage. This attack can then pass through as many mobs as you can line up for an improved precise shot, and the massive amount of damage will commonly straight up kill anything that it touches. This can, however, only be done once every 120 seconds and you can always run out of adrenalines which makes it somewhat inefficient to be used to clear trash, but it does that very very well and is one of the best sources of vs orange/red/purple name DPS in the game currently. A simple adrenaline-slayer can be fired every 20 seconds, adrenaline charges permiting.
    Fury Eternal: This allows for adrenalines to be recharged. It is not documented as working with ranged attacks, but it works with crossbow, thrown, and bow style ranged attacks currently. If this functionality were to be removed the fitness for FotW for many bow builds would be questionable, and it would negatively impact all of them which use this ED.

    Legendary Dreadnaught (LD) is the second most common ED to see a bow build in. It is my favorite ED to run in, and whenever I am in a quest, party, and role that allows me to make use of the Master’s Blitz I will run in this ED, even if I need karma in a different sphere(which is always because, well, karma comes back so quickly in this sphere for some reason). What makes this ED attractive?
    Unstoppable: A way to get out of CC is always nice, and this has a shorter and separate cooldown than the harper’s pin.
    HP: 60 HP is really really nice, if not quite as nice as 100 HP.
    Action Boosts: Rolling them all into one here, they up your damage, give you more interesting things to click on, and some even prevent damage. And this ED improves any action boosts that you already have also, it is very nice.
    Advancing Blows, Critical Damage, Strength stat selector: All of these improve expected damage per arrow, which is one of the major concerns in a bow build.
    Devastating Critical: Improves the crit profile of your bow.
    Pulverizer: This works with bows which either have blunted ammunition or when you have the morphic arrows toggle turned on. Expanding the crit range on the bow is a very nice thing for improving the damage per arrow.
    Master’s Blitz: This works with ranged attacks. 250% extra damage allows a bow user, like a melee, to do a LOT more damage, believe it or not. It also allows for the player to have a massive impact on the party’s ability and clear time of a quest.

    One simular thing that is seen with these EDs that is not seen in several other EDs for bow builds is that they scale the physical damage abilities that a player used throughout heroics into epics. They provide synergy with the style of play that attracts people to bow builds over other styles of ranged builds. I plan to put further posts in this thread (using posts to separate thoughts) as to why I do not think that particular other EDs are well suited for bow builds.

    Happy questing everyone!
    Last edited by Ladislaio; 08-02-2014 at 10:46 AM.
    Poppytop of Khyber; I have no alts. Sodapoppy, Poppydieslot, and Poppytart may never be seen in the same party as me but, I assure you, that is because of reasons other than their being alts.
    Come party with the Poppy! Join the BrattyTop flight!

  2. #2
    2015 DDO Players Council
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Shiradi Champion

    Why doesn't Shiradi Champion fit well for bow builds?
    The third most common ED to find bow users in is Shiradi Champion (Shiradi). While not bad, this ED is not as powerful for a bow build as either LD or FotW, and when using a bow in this ED it is quite a bit weaker than using a Shurkin build or a caster build and results in a lackluster toon. Why is this?
    Shiradi provides two attacks, Pin and Otto’s Whistler(Otto’s), which can be used with a bow. These are both very nice and I know several people who currently twist them or have twisted them in the past. Having access to these abilities without twisting them is nice, but the fact you *can* twist them unlike, say, adrenaline or master’s blitz, means that they loose some of their value in terms of motivation to be in the ED.
    Nerve Venom is a proc chance of 7% of no-save CC, and is lovely. I would say for a bow build that this is the most attractive thing to draw you to running in Shiradi. I would also say that it isn’t strong enough to justify picking it over the power to straight up murder the trash that you can get from LD, and as a proc chance ability it is non-ideal to be applied with a bow.

    Bows are not well suited to make use of % chance procs compared to other ranged attacks. The volume of fire for a bow over a period of 120 seconds is LESS than the volume you can get out of a dex based shuriken thrower by quite a lot. Assuming they have the same wisdom(42, the standard), both use 10k stars, and the shuriken thrower has 60 dex(which is quite low), and they attack at the same rate(the thrower actually attacks much faster), the bow user will get about 75% the proc chances that the shrunken thrower will get. This means that the bow user isn’t getting anywhere close to the extra damage from Shiradi procs that you can get with a thrower build. Um, for a practical comparison, I have three people I run with on Khyber on a fairly often basis who have good shuriken throwers(70-84 dex) that they run in Shiradi, and when I’m blitz’n and they are just doing their Shiradi thing we usually have very similar kill counts. Keep in mind that my DPS goes up with them in party also because the CC procs and attacks provide additional damage for me also, so I get to leach a portion of their kit to add to my own power, AND that they help me get a few kills at the start so my blitz gets going instead of risking it fizzling. The damage when I’m in Shiradi isn’t anywhere close. Likewise during double dragons we usually drop the HP on our dragon at about the same rate (and I’m in fury for that, although I *do* also usually take the big dragon who has more DR, and people do help a bit, but the general dps rate seems to be about the same).p.s. If enough people ask for it I will post the numbers I used to come up with the 75%(and other numbers in these posts). But I'm not posting that without requests because I'm lazy and people are likely already asleep at this point in their reading anyway, so, yeah. Let enough be, say, 7 people asking nicely before Monday night or one dev? p.p.s. Devs are people too! I didn't mean to imply otherwise, just that one asking would be enough to bother to type up the maths.

    I’m not sure about a volume of fire comparison between a Shiradi caster and a ranged build, I do not have good information to do a comparison of these with. But what I *can* comment on is that when a Shiradi proc comes from a spell, but not a ranged attack, the damage from the proc scales with the spell power of the correct ability. This means that casters are able to improve their damage in ways other than volume of fire, which is not something that is available to ranged builds.

    The ED does not give any strength to improve your core damage stat, and there is nothing besides the two attacks that makes use of the ever-so-slightly better crit profile of a bow over a shuriken, the ED does not synergise with Arcane Archer abilities from your enhancements (or, honestly, any other bow-friendly tree), and the randomness can be poorly suited for raids - how do you say sorry to the raid tank who died because you proc’d an adrenaline overload on the boss he was tanking(which, keep in mind, doesn’t expend its charge until it times out or the attacker has hit something)(also you rarely say sorry, people usually just blame the tank for building a bad tank)(and it is my understanding that it still procs, but very very rarely, and, um, I’m waaaay to busy to watch enough Shiradi procs to see if it still happens myself)(although it is rare enough now that I don’t bother asking people to turn off Colours of the Queen and/or Double Rainbow anymore).
    Bow builds that run in Shiradi are not able to make as good use of the ED as many other builds and would be better served to either change their build or their current ED selection. If other ED selections are removed Shiradi is not going to be a close replacement to the current functionality of bow builds in either LD or FotW.

    I feel I should state that I am NOT suggesting changes, or trying to do such at this point. I am also not trying to complain about problems I want fixed, and even more so not complaining without suggesting solutions(which I HATE to do). I simply want to clarify the state of EDs with respect to current bow builds so devs and player counsel people can keep it in mind when they make the changes to the Melee EDs, and hopefully be better able to deliver on the statement that they do not wish to nerf or break any established builds at this time.
    Last edited by Ladislaio; 08-02-2014 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Added the intended body to this post.
    Poppytop of Khyber; I have no alts. Sodapoppy, Poppydieslot, and Poppytart may never be seen in the same party as me but, I assure you, that is because of reasons other than their being alts.
    Come party with the Poppy! Join the BrattyTop flight!

  3. #3
    2015 DDO Players Council
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Divine Crusader

    Why doesn't Divine Crusader fit well for bow builds?
    Some people run in Divine Crusader (DC) with bow builds. I suspect that a 8 fighter 6 ranger 6 monk bow-kensi build might actually work ok in DC, but I have not seen anybody try this build yet. And I strongly suspect that it would be a second tier build as there are really only two things in DC which are favorable for bow users.
    HP: DC gives you some hp. Not as much as LD or FotW, but 50 HP is still nice.
    Crit range improvement: Weee, more crits! Same as LD tho, without a blitz. It would stack with Kensi’s keen edge, so something might be here for a bit different of a build, but the lack of a blitz makes it less powerful all around.
    Strength and Wisdom: not really a reason to be in this ED, but at least you can put all the points you are not spending on useful things on useful stats.

    There are also two traps that look good but really are not.
    Just Cause: Full BaB seems nice, but, well, my testing gave me the same number of arrows used in a Manyshot with this, tenser’s, and nothing to improve my BaB, so I suspect that the BaB improvement with a bow build has minimal improvement in actual DPS.
    Doubleshot: You can get lots of doubleshot in this ED. Doubleshot is nice, but it is not something that is worth spec’n for. You cannot get enough doubleshot to be better off using just doubleshot and not manyshot, and if you are using manyshot you also cannot get enough doubleshot to replace the power that you can get from using 10k stars with about 42 wisdom. (100% doubleshot is slightly better than 100% doubleshot+manyshot, but still worse than manyshot+10k stars @42 wisdom with no doubleshot. 100% doubleshot cannot be sustained. 86% doubleshot is the breakeven point for manyshot+doubleshot and just using doubleshot, but the highest sustained doubleshot I think you can get(assuming you keep killing things) is 79ish. And even then you are *still* better with 10k stars and 42 wisdom.)
    Last edited by Ladislaio; 08-02-2014 at 11:11 AM.
    Poppytop of Khyber; I have no alts. Sodapoppy, Poppydieslot, and Poppytart may never be seen in the same party as me but, I assure you, that is because of reasons other than their being alts.
    Come party with the Poppy! Join the BrattyTop flight!

  4. #4
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Nice post, pretty accurate to my experience of being around bow users.

    Shiradi archers, I feel get a bum rap for not having the Overload damage available, but I've never noticed them being deficient in effect during quests. They can sustain damage and CC quite well when leveraged properly.

    I'll be honest, I think Overload combined with the abilities in the Arcane Archer tree are somewhat excessive in the sense that they redirect the classes focus. I like bows in a different party role than the gun turret they kind of are now. That my taste though, and Im admittedly jealous because the only thing that regularly shames my sorc is Manyshot+Overload+Slaying Arrow, and it feels like I get my thunder stolen as a prime-level dps toon.

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