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  1. #1
    Community Member doubledge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Arcane Archer: A Summary of what works, and what doesn't.

    Hello. A thread earlier stated an idea that SSG doesn't want to be told how to do their jobs, but rather wants feedback on what works, and what doesn't.

    I thought about this for a moment, before deciding that I'll work on Arcane Archer.

    Arcane Archer:

    What works:

    Arcane Archer currently provides... Some elemental coverage.

    What doesn't work:

    As of right now, Arcane Archer is the most heavily-frontloaded tree in the game. For 7 AP, you gain access to 3d8 elemental damage of your choice for a bow. For 12 ap, you gain 5d8. For 22, 7d8. However, as you can plainly see, the first two steps are easy, and can be acquired as early as level 3.

    This is a problem, because once you have those five, or seven dice... The tree is entirely worthless.

    Every single perk in the tree is overpriced or underperforming.

    To go down the list of what exactly is the problem:

    Active Abilities

    Arcane Archer is a tree saturated with Activated Abilities. This is good, thematic, and fits well. However, the abilities they have are worthless.

    True shot is a waste of AP, granting accuracy at a dramatically reduced rate to be useful. Dispelling shot is incredibly expensive AP wise, for very little benefit past the first point.

    Inferno shot is a joke at best, and if they could replace it with just... I don't know, "For one shot your imbues scale with 200% spellpower", I'd be happy.

    Oh, and shattermantle shot, a perk that reduces spell resistance in a tree with nothing that checks spell resistance. Bleh.

    The Imbues Themselves

    The imbues currently scale relatively well in early heroics. You get higher level you spend more points, you get more dice. Past level six, however, the tree's extra elemental damage drops to nothing. The problem is twofold:

    - There is no spellpower granted anywhere in the tree that isn't attached to something expensive

    - The cores do not grant anything of value whatsoever.

    I think the easiest way to balance the tree, is actually a bit of an earlygame nerf.

    Rather than the current 1/2/2/2/2 progression that the tree currently has, I suggest that they replace the tier 1 core with an ability similar to spellblade imbue: Grant all four toggles at the same time as well as one die. Then, the in-tree progression should become 1/1/1/1/3. Why? Because this frees up space to add more dice to the cores.

    This way, every core can add a number of dice, making pure arcane archer more viable, instead of how it currently is.

    My suggestion for this spread of cores is +1/+2/+2/+2/+4/+4 dice.

    Effectively, this means that at level 3, an AA can have 8 dice, slightly more than it currently does. At level 20, a pure AA can have 22 dice, a dramatic increase from the hideously bad 9d8 that they had previously. This is a marked improvement over the terrible power plateau they hit at level 12.

    The Cores

    The cores are all absolutely horrid. The second one grants transmuting (okay), the third one grants metalline (okay I guess) and the fourth grants aligned. The fifth grants... Drumroll... 5% doubleshot, exclusive from the other cores, and +1 crit multiplier.

    And the capstone? The Capstone is just +4 dex +20 doubleshot.

    What's missing?

    Ranged Power. Spell Power.

    Either of these two would have been acceptable. Fun fact, the entire enhancement tree has zero ranged power, unlike most other 'ranged' trees. It would have been acceptable if there was spellpower to make up the deficit, right?

    The 'exclusivity' of the toggles needs to go. In a world where DR breaking is no longer the luxury it once was, in the face of just powerful things like Barbarian Metalline bond, or artificer metal bypass, having a 12th level arcane archer be able to have transmuting/metalline/aligned on the same weapon is no longer groundbreaking. Merely making them passive improves the feats dramatically.

    Secondly, as I mentioned earlier, they should grant some sort of passive power. I suggested AA dice, and do you know what goes great with AA dice? Spellpower. Even something as simple as +5 spell power per AA dice (effectively meaning 5/10/10/10/20/20 universal spell power) would go great lengths in improving AA's base damage, while still not crowding out specialized trees like Savant.

    Even putting Ranged or Spell power onto Moonbow would be great at bridging the gap caused by the usual "15 ranged power and 10% doubleshot" that other ranged trees give out so commonly.

    In Summary

    Arcane archer has the base idea right, but it's missing enough oomph to make it actually viable. Hopefully this points out the problems with the tree... Please feel free to add your own feedback and critique. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Archers do need an umph

    Archers do need an umph of some type and this would be a decent step in that direction but the problem comes from choosing what roll they are supposed to occupy.

    Devs have been leaning toward CC but that requires a significant investment in wisdom which takes away from all damage and from the evasion that makes ranger a less than squishy class. The changes you suggest would send the bow users in the direction of DPS which is already the niche of the inquisitor's and mechanics.

    Bows just can't compete in that arena and even if you changed things so that they did there would be several problems: balancing between bows and xbows is difficult because once one is determined to be superior DPS the other is dumped by the community AND, even if you made them balanced, redundancy in the roll of bows and xbows is boring.

    DPS would be nice but how would you set rangers apart from the already DPS heavy inquisitors and mechanics?

    What would make going bow ranger worth the loss of trapping or the sneak abilities or save-less nock-downs?

    Para arrows are neat looking and help in rare instances but they are a hard thing to maintain for an ability that doesn't even cause helplessness. Their exclusivity with elemental arrows means they don't do jack if the archer is soloing and there are no other people around to provide the DPS. (I would rather fail quest than spend 5 minutes pounding on each individual monster).

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