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  1. #1
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    Default Heroic Wizard Arcane Archer - Decision Time

    I'm playing around with a High Elf AA Wizard build. Similar to "Strimtom's Acid Arrow" build, the idea is to take advantage of the 9d8 Acid damage w/ +20 Spell Power. Next, I want to combine that with the Spell Critical from the Archmage tree with more Spell Power as well. I've put 6AP into PM to get self-healing from DA and LDA, and zombies are just a tad less squishy. Now, at level 14 going on 15, the build is doing alright. Not as cool as "Strimtom's Acid Arrow" build, but can solo and support a group well. Backing up the archery, I use DoTs like Acid Arrow and Eladar's Electric Surge, and AoE DoTs like Cloud Kill and Acid Fog. I could also tack on the EK Spell Sword: Acid (or other) damage.

    Part of the original thought was to go after Arcane Supremacy for the +25% spell crit chance and 100% spell crit damage. At this level and not a lot of golden equipment, this will hit about 50% crit chance. Combined with Many Shot, this makes the build able to deliver high dps in short bursts every two minutes for near-zero spell point cost (can theoretically get zero sp cost with Soul Magic in the AA tree). Then there's the healing benefits from DA getting those crits as well. Extended, DA should keep the crits coming until the next Arcane Supremacy triggers (in theory, anyway).

    That was until I started playing this build up and realized how conservative it is on spell points. First, the obvious majority of regular damage is dealt with arrows for zero spell points (or 20 sp to occasionally switch to force damage). With the regular 10 temporary spell points from Soul Magic and Extend Spell, I find I'm not using shrines when the whole party is taking a break. So now I think to myself, "self, what if I go with more free spell points with Moonbow?" I can endlessly cast the Evocation SLA Magic Missiles and Chain Missiles Empowered and Maximized, or maybe blanket an area with the SLA Cloud Kill Heightened & Quickened. Death Aura won't be hitting a lot of crits, but I could keep it running at a cost of only 25 SP (or 35 SP with Extend, for a total cost of only 5 SP).

    I'm wondering what folks think about these two directions. Obviously, play-style preference would be a factor. However, I'm looking for more of a min/max theory-crafted solution. Is the nearly-infinite spell points doing moderately high damage better than the burst dps solution?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Careall View Post
    Part of the original thought was to go after Arcane Supremacy for the +25% spell crit chance and 100% spell crit damage. At this level and not a lot of golden equipment, this will hit about 50% crit chance. Combined with Many Shot, this makes the build able to deliver high dps in short bursts every two minutes for near-zero spell point cost (can theoretically get zero sp cost with Soul Magic in the AA tree). Then there's the healing benefits from DA getting those crits as well. Extended, DA should keep the crits coming until the next Arcane Supremacy triggers (in theory, anyway).
    Would be awesome if spell criticals worked with imbues

  3. #3
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    Hmm. I hadn't thought of that. The imbue states it is affected by Spell Power, so there was an assumption on my part that Spell Power related to Spell Crits. Any documentation on this anywhere I can review?

  4. #4
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    Official documentation doesnt exist because i dont believe it ever functioned in that way with imbues. Searching spell critical threads with arcane archer would take a good while to find anything about this.

    Although i did get lucky here is one player post:

    Arcane Archer Question

  5. #5
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    I did some searching too and didn't find anything. I did check the thread you linked to - thanks for that. I guess I'm going with infinite mana. I just ran Madstone and a few other GHs and was pleased as to how this build performed there. Going to reset AM and build out AA, then left-overs will go back into AM.

  6. #6
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    The new Eldritch Knight tree and Wiz/Sorc spells are going live tomorrow. Although arcane archer is superior to EK with bows, im not sure if the imbues are still going to be stackable. This may be a point of extra DPS for your character and may be worth a look see.

    Edit: Here is the official page: Downtime Notice Wednesday December 5th 9:00 AM 1:00 PM Eastern
    Last edited by Coffey; 12-05-2018 at 02:53 AM.

  7. #7
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    I've played dozens of arcane archers from 1 to 30 and I've never seen the elemental damage critical for double it's normal damage.

    EK spellsword and arcane archer imbues stacked when last I tested (long before the EK update); but back then EK spellsword was so weak it wasn't worth even considering. Now with the updates they're actually a considerable amount of damage but... I'm not sure if it's enough to make such a build perform well at any point in the game. And by well, I mean deal more damage with the bow then simply casting spells or more damage with the bow then a simple arti-repeater build or whatnot (at any level 1-30).

    One of the big problems with a wizard arcane archer is the fact that wizard is a 1/2 BAB class; which makes getting feats hard, and pretty much in the going pure is a stupid idea territory of getting feats. With a 2 fighter/18 wizard (or 2 fighter/18 sorc) build you can get IPS by level 20 - the feat that pretty much brings quest completion times down from daisy-picking rates to competitive for ranged builds. Losing more levels then 2 wizard starts cutting into the imbue damage, but perhaps it's worth it to be able to effectively solo at a lower level?

    Another problem is that the EK tree offers very little for ranged builds outside of its core enhancements, which makes the higher cores hard to get. This is offset somewhat by being so AP constrained with a AA build that you don't have the AP to spend in the tree anyways. Basically you just want to put the minimum points into the tree and deal with your spellsword dice being d6s.

    Another problem is that Wizard trees offer nothing in terms of doubleshot; so your arrows-per-second will be significantly lower then that Strintom's build over there.

    And the final problem is that both classes (wiz/sorc) are robes wearing classes without evasion. PRR and MRR are going to suffer for this and getting hit by fireballs and other spells is going to hurt. This can be offset somewhat in a 2fighter/18 EK class split by simply using heavy armor and not casting spells (outside of buffs).

    *Note: Barbarian is also a nice 2level splash instead of fighter; 2 less feats, but it comes with runspeed, which is a vital stat to ranged builds being able to kite.
    Selvera: Sunelf Sorc 16/cleric 1; Getting a sorc pastlife
    Jen: Halfling Cleric 9/Pali 3; Turning out a tankish build idea
    Mayve: Drow Fvs 15/ Monk 5/Epic 10; Ninja Healer
    EK rework suggestions

  8. #8
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    Thanks Coffey: Yay. Good news for my EK zombie!

    Thanks Selvera: This is more of a flavor zombie-archer build, but I want it to be effective too. I was playing around to see how much damage I could get with AA Acid on a Wiz, but now it's an SP-sipper. I ran around GH wilds (toon = lvl 15) and hardly used 10% of my mana the whole time w/o shrines. The arrows did sufficient damage - low 100's usually - which was enough for a few single-shot kills. Not really looking at end-game with this build just yet, but I'm not ignoring it either.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selvera View Post
    ... And the final problem is that both classes (wiz/sorc) are robes wearing classes without evasion. PRR and MRR are going to suffer for this and getting hit by fireballs and other spells is going to hurt. This can be offset somewhat in a 2fighter/18 EK class split by simply using heavy armor and not casting spells (outside of buffs).
    EK cores 3 and 4 give 15 and 20% spell fail reduction respectively, so heavy armor isnt a problem at all, since your going to want the cores for the dice bump.
    (sorcs ignore this) also look at taking 2 rogue and grabbing insightful reflex, which will make spells and traps alot easier to deal with, if you have a decent int.

    Im currently working towards a pure 20 wiz EK AA, using a 14(13 racial) Elf, 41AA, 25EK, 12Harper build (1 ap i dunno what to do with). Based on the math, I should be some considerable damage.
    Im looking at about 800 spellpower, possibly more.

    (15d8 Elemental *9) + (2d20 *9)
    135-1080 + 18-360
    153-1,440 (averages 891) with about 50ish doubleshot and the full 120 doubleshot and ranged power from manyshot due to knights transformation. might not be the best dps possible. but still pretty solid.
    Last edited by IdontKare; 12-07-2018 at 03:14 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by FlimsyFirewood View Post
    That ship has sailed, came back, sailed again, got raided by pirates, became a pirate ship, got cursed to chase after the Flying Dutchman for three centuries, got exorcised to fight in the American Civil War, then got modernized to fight in both World Wars, participated in the D-Day landing and is a decommissioned museum/restaurant now in Key West, Florida.

  10. #10
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    A pure AA EK build will give an opportunity to use the 5th and 6th core of the EK tree while leveling to 22 and then 25 when the final AA cores can finally be taken.

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