Archers are able to do some pretty incredible damage and if played right can take little to none.
Throughout this guide i'll tell you some neat little tricks and go into detail on a few advanced tricks.
Remember this is a "Guide",if you don't like it,don't use it.
In my opinion there is no right or wrong way to build an archer (excluding pure vit),below will be a basic overview of how you can build them.
First lets go over which "type" of archer you would like to be.
Glass Cannon:Low hp, consistently high attack,skill spammer.
Kiter:Mid range Hp,high crit auto attacks,focuses on no channel CC and maelstones.
Balanced: High enough damage through late game gear,nice sustain,hard to kill easy to get kills.
Archer Stats for Playstyles:
(Stat distribution changed,credits to SleepAssasin)
Balance: Per two levels
Pros and cons:
GlassCannon (Slow attack speed bow,high damage)
Glass Cannon is easily focused and picked down
Lower crit chance
Auto attacks hit like a truck
Can do insane damage with skills
Traps can tear through enemies with ease
Glass Cannon should of course never be in the front lines but behind the tanks obliterating anyone focusing on your clerics. If you see someone iniating,pop your stealth,smack them with secret fire,then feel free to spam them with Deadly shot and Poison Arrow.
Should be simple enough to Deadly Shot auto attack and then another Deadly shot to take care of any equal lvl mob. In boss fights keep your Poison shot on them at all times and spam Deadly shot. Should be doing 3-5x more than the tank and much much more than any mercs you've picked up to fill the holes.
Kriters:(Low damage bow,high attack speed)
Kiter's damage falls short when crits dont activate
Relatively easy prey while CC's CD's are down
PvE requires kiting mobs the same as you would in PvP
Constant auto attack crits (2 in every 3 hits)
The CC and mobility buffs through maelstones are amazing
Traps can drop 40 mobs with 3(Will reveal later)
Kiter or "Kriter"...(Im making it a thing,go with it) should wait for the tanks to charge in swinging and run to the sides of the battle picking off the clerics/mages/rangers while constantly staying moving. If you get focused simply target the person,drop a "Defensive Shooting" on them activate "Purity" after the debuff wears off and kite them down while auto attacking all the while.Dont forget your skills crit as well,whenever you aren't getting focused spam Deadly shot,and don't forget your faction skill. Could easily make the difference between one kill or four.
Traps and kite. Lay down an "Iron Trap" wait for the CD to refresh then lay down another a few feet away(shouldnt take too long if you go for the lowered cooldown skill,i'll go over that in a bit). Run out and agro a few monsters,5 is your best bet without taking lethal damage.Run back some and let them all group up,then kite them over one trap,if all 5 of them didnt die,then kite them over the other. My personal best record was 41 mobs with the help of a cleric. Post yours below!
Balanced:Mid speed bow,Mid damage,mid attack speed.
Not as high damage as you could do
Can farm longer than other builds
Pop Ardeant Zeal and live through anything
Mix both above overviews.
Prelude: Looking over my skill tree and the skills I use most consistently now I wish I would've done it differently. I'll be detailing which skills and why I would chose them in this next section.
At this level cap you get 64 skill points,what i'm about to go over isnt theory crafting.
Color coding is how i'm going impress the importance of certain skills:
Killing Spree: Get the skill[Who doesnt want the benefits it has to offer?]
Chaser of Madness: Five points [25% phys crit rate]
Quick Aggression: Three points [15% dodge]
Deadly shot: One point[Skill]
Master Ranger(Shot of death):Five points[30% bonus skill damage]
Defensive Shooting:One point[Skill]
Precise Skill(Check shot):One point[1 sec cd/Prerequisite skill]
Trap Check Shot:One point[1 sec duration/Prerequisite skill]
Compound Poison:One point[10% elem poison resist/buffer skill]
Poison Arrow:One point[Skill]
Crave Combat(Poison Arrow):One point[1 sec cd]
Overlapping Poison(Poison Arrow):Five points[50% bonus skill damage]
Cobra Kick:One point[Skill/After dodge you can stun(Within melee range)]
Black Shadow:One point[Skill/Stealth]
Black Shadow Extension: Two points[20% stealth duration/Prerequisite skill]
Black Shadow Specialization:Five points[Level five stealth/Cannot be detected by most other rangers/maelstones]
Secret Fire:One point[Skill,90% slow(Must be stealthed)]
Chill Mix:One point[10% ice resist/Prerequisite skill]
Ardeant Zeal:One point[400 base dodge when activated]
Iron Trap:One point[A mine that does DoT to many areas within 5 meters]
Iron Trap Expansion:Three points[Increases duration 6 seconds/Prerequisite skill]
Iron Trap Specialization: Three points[Cooldown reduction/Prerequisite skill]
Chill Shooting:One point[Skill/60% slow]
Aimed Shooting:One point[Skill]
Aimed Shooting Distance Enhancement:Three points[Range increased by 1.5Meters]
Break Spell:One Point[Removes physical DoT]
Fast Break Spell: Five points[Instant cast Break Spell]
Break Spell Cooldown Specialization:Three points[36 sec cooldown]
Concentrated Fire:One point[Area of Effect/Three second channel,Can move while casting]
Shadow Pursuit:One point[Detect Stealth]
Shadow Pursuit Specialization:Five points[Increase stealth detection level]
With this build you will get the maximum effectiveness and damage from your skills along with amazing survivability.Some people won't like this build because I completely throw out the stun.Granted the stun does have its benefits and viability but your job is to slaughter,not hold them still or interrupt a cast.
The five points into stealth is so end game the only players who could possibly find you,are the ones who devoted their points into the same,maelstones won't be able to detect you,and you should be able to ambush anyone,even other stealthed rangers.
You will not get your first skill point until level four.
Regardless of which path of archer you chose I would recommend this trick for anyone with the patience to master and control a unique asset. What you need to do,is try and maximize the cooldown reduction on the trap and start planting,one in the middle of the area you're trying to lure, one about 7 steps in any given area then one about 7 steps away from that one in the same direction. You should then trigger your Purity if the mobs are aggresive and run right into as many as possible in a big circle around your middle trap,after purity wears off slowly back up over the traps with all mobs clustered together. Depending on your lvl and power of your bow it should only take one trap,if you missed a few mobs with it or they simply didnt die then use the backup traps.If you're only agroing a small amount of mobs you should only need one or two traps. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH POTIONS,this will eat the potions up in no time,but save you so much time its unreal,plus pulling in some exta mobs means pulling in some more cash that you would've otherwise ignored. Damage done is based on the weapon damage you have as with all skills,the stronger the bow,the stronger the trap. For people wanting to go Glass Cannon I would suggest a slower bow 1.8-2.3 attack speed for maximum damage.
(Note,traps hit in a small AoE of 5 paces in each direction)
Below is what you can expect from a trap
Hope this helped someone somewhere even a little bit or persuaded someone into being a archer(there simply isnt enough of us),taking a break from this guide,may come back to it later if I can come up with anything else.
Edited by altus201, 08 November 2012 - 06:29 PM.