ARCHERS are skilled hunters and scouts, as well as being masters with their chosen weapon, the bow. Their skills represent their ability to survive in the wild, track down their foes, and their self-sufficiency in building and repairing the tools of their trade. Achieving real skill in archery takes such a lengthy commitment that master archers are generally reluctant to teach those who have already started down a different path. Tall, agile races with good eyesight make the best archers, notably ELVES and CENTAURs. Clumsy, bulky or non-humanoid races such as OGREs and GRIFFONs will not fare so well. The PRIME REQUISITE of archers is DEXterity.
- 1 Archers in General
- 2 Archer Creation
- 3 Archers at Lowmort Tier
- 4 Archer Prestige Options
- 5 Archers at Hero Tier
- 6 Archers at Lord Tier
- 7 Archer Remort Options
Archers in General
Archers can be generally described as hard hitting sponges. This is because archers do most damage when using long bows - weapons which only operate properly if the archer is not tanking the mobs but instead remaining at the back, out of harm's way. Because of this, most archers live a relaxed life of being warmly accepted, grouped, tanked and enjoying huge damage they dish out.
To elaborate on this point a bit further - during a standard lowmort/hero run, archer damage far outweighs other beneficial actions an archer may perform, like rescuing groupies, brandishing a staff, or doing some other activity. Thus, the leaders prefer to "leave them be", and require little of the archers save to perhaps choose a proper set of ammunition for a particular area.
However. Archers make for quite capable soloers, have a plethora of utility abilities, and are quite proficient tanks, should the player wish to play them like that. Read on for details.
Archer statistics are somewhat comparable to (small) warriors - they recieve low mana but have plenty of HP.
Race is very important for an archer. The most common choices are elf, orc, centaur, drow, and lizard man. Large or "clawed" races (with the exception of harpies) have a penalty at archery. See the Racial Archery Modifier for more information.
Archers at Lowmort Tier
Once you have created a new archer - the choice which weapon to use is up to you. Some archers prefer to use regular swords for the first 10-15 levels, while others stick to the crossbow from start.
What is important to memorize is that there are several weapons archers can use:
- Long Bows - these deal most damage, but are unusable in direct melee. Use them only if being tanked.
- Short Bows - these do less damage, but have less of a penalty for melee. Generally, archers do not use them at all.
- Heavy Crossbows - these do high damage, but are moderately difficult to use in melee and also carry reload penalties. Generally they are not used at all, either.
- Light Crossbows - thse do low damage but carry no penalty for melee use. These are used when soloing or tanking.
The exotic weapon categories like blowguns, guns (arbalests), compound bows or slings are never used by archers due to lackluster performance in both melee and out of it.
The exception are the slings which are exclusively used by Fusiliers - the only prestige class archers are eligible for.
HR and Ammunition
Also, unlike all other classes that attack several times a round, archers usually fire a single arrow per round.
However, the ammo gets used up, so be mindful of your ammo status and replenish it well in advance. An archer with no ammo does no damage.
Similar to most classes, train wisdom first, then constitution and intelligence. Strength should be increased next since every point of strength also benefits the archer's HR, and dexterity generally does nothing save boost the Armor Class.
Key skills that make using bows more effective are:
- Fletch (level 9), which allows one to make an ample supply of ammunition,
- various ammunition skills, allowing fletching of better types of ammo,
- Target Leading (level 15) and Improved Aim (level 31), which greatly improve accuracy with bows (and thus damage),
- Dodge helps with soloing.
The rest are utility skills which can be deferred till later if needed.
|EFFECTS PER DEITY||Dur||Rxa||Wer|
|Combat Damage||Missile Weapon||better||best||better|
|Combat Experience-Point Gains||-10%||-05%||+10%|
|Death Experience-Point Losses||+10%||+80%||00%|
|Levelup Gains||Hit Points||same||better||better|
|Effective Int for Practicing||+0.5||0||-0.5|
Soloing: If using a missile weapon, you must use a light crossbow or gun for either soloing or tanking. Other missile weapons (bows specifically) suffer a penalty when the user is being attacked, resulting in a large number of missed shots.
As far as gear is concerned, remember to wear HR improving gear to maximize your damage.
Tanking: Identical to soloing. However, if grouped, hitting is far more effective.
Hitting: Long bows are used when hitting in a group, since they typically have more HR and ordinarily do much more damage.
Healing: Archers cannot heal at lowmort tier.
Archer Prestige Options
Archers at Hero Tier
It is rare to see an archer doing anything except hitting at hero tier. Most group leaders will always welcome an archer in the fold.
Aside for damage output, archers at hero tier can cast Barkskin on others, which is a relatively rare spell. They also can utilize their Tracking proficiencies, as well as Skin corpses for special items, and thus help with farming gear.
Scattershot vs. Held Shot
Using scattershot at hero tier is possible if not tanking - otherwise the amount of scatterable projectiles is reduced and generally not worth the effort. When scattershoting a portion of arrows will hit, and generally speaking, they will deal more combined damage than a single projectile. To be able to see all projectiles remember to have CONFIG +BATTLESELF configured.
However, scattershoting eats ammunition at a high rate (often 5x faster) so one needs to have enough to last over a run.
Held shot spares ammunition and deals multiplied damage every other round, but few mobs are big enough to survive that long during regular hero runs. Thus, it is more used at lord tier.
Also, unlike scattershot, held shots will be interrupted if the archer receives any damage mid-round (from spells, smashes, etc), and will put the archer in a huge lag.
Archers usually either use piercing or splinter arrows. Splinter arrows do more damage (about one * difference) against unarmored mobs but are useless against mobs with armor ('with armor' means with any items equipped other than weapons). Since the difference is not that large, some people just prefer to use piercing arrows against all mobs and save themselves the hassle of changing ammunition. You fletch splinter arrows at twice the rate of piercing arrows. However splinter arrows are destroyed on use whereas piercing arrows can often be recovered after a fight.
Explosive arrows are incredibly difficult to fletch, only do about one * above splinters, but damage armored enemies. When you fletch enough explosive arrows, you will enter a hidden exhaust during which time you won't be able to make any more of them. To stockpile explosive arrows, fletch 3 to 4 batches of explosives (or until you fail to produce anything twice in a row), each time you fletch would normally. Assuming you fletch arrows after every run or every other run, that will be enough time to let the exhaustion wear off. Generally no one uses this type of ammo except for the Ultimate Dragon battle.
Increase your gain-generating stats first: wisdom, constitution, intelligence (in that order). Strength comes next for a Hr boost, and lastly dexterity. Train those two only when you have enough practices to spare.
Of hero abilities notable are:
- Enhanced Aim - final accuracy/damage boosting skill, very important.
- Sanctuary, Frenzy, Cure blindness/poison/disease, Fly, Water Breathing - archers are idle most of the runs, so leaders sometimes expect them to help others who cannot cast these themselves.
- Barkskin - when no other alternatives are around, archers can help spell up others.
- Longshot - this is an ability often mapped to a trigger so the group leader may order the archer to immediately longshot mobs in adjacent rooms. The concept is simple - draw one enemy at a time towards the group instead of rushing a group in a highly-populated aggressive room.
- Scattershot - Rarely used at hero tier due to the quickness of individual battles.
Archers usually devote to whoever they're worshiping.
- Durr: Those worshiping Durr do it for the fletching bonus. This may or may not be affected by intelligence or dexterity. Losing strength means one less HR, and losing constitution means less HP at level-ups.
- Werredan: Devotion means even less mana and less AC, for more damage (1 more STR translates to HR) and more HP on level-ups. The downside of devoting is marginal.
- Roixa: Lower HR (by a single point) and lower mana gains are exchanged for more AC, more HP gains and (potentially) more practices. Since archers rarely use mana, this is generally acceptable.
Soloing: Soloing is hard until you can get enough HP to cover the hits you will take. Using appropriate mix of hit and AC gear is important - see Tanking In Hit Gear for more information. A light crossbow is essential. Also, try and find areas with bow-wielding mobs; arrow dodge is a very useful skill.
Tanking: Arcs can certainly tank, and can even do well - but you'll need excellent AC and a good light crossbow (unless you want to tank with wield/shield - which probably won't be worth it). If larger you can tank in mixed or full-HR gear, or optionally simply pack a healer.
Hitting: Archers are the best hitters after 101 overall. After defeating the Ultimate Dragon, they hit even harder. A centaur in proper gear and wearing Ultimate Dragon gear can easily average a *MANGLE during the course of a run, and several other races with Racial Archery Modifier bonus can approach this closely.
Healing: While archer certainly can brandish, it requires removing arrows from held slot and for that time the archer cannot shoot. Thus nobody does that since archer damage is generally too precious. Archers do get access to Heal to be used in emergencies.
Archers at Lord Tier
Normally, regular archer damage is low even in T1 gear - however, see the comments on scattershot below It is near the bottom, beating out only Fus and War/Bod. Therefore archers are not as popular in lord groups like they are in hero groups, and are usually required (beckoned) only if there is something that requires skinning on the run.
Archers at lord tier use in either ice arrows or lightning arrows (mithril arrows do junk damage), but fletching these does cost mana - which means fletching is a grueling affair requiring a lot of sleep and time. Ice arrows (and stones) do very little damage against armored foes, so lightning arrows (or stones) are recommended for mobs with significant armor.
An archer who uses longshot can make a major positive contribution to a group by forcing mobs to change rooms; strategic use of longshot can help a group lure away one mob at a time from a large room. This can prolong the group's overall hp.
When running, archers can choose to either held or scatter their shots, held does less overall damage and is prone to (frequent) interruptions, but it saves the ammo, whereas scatter does more damage due to increased scattershot limits (can fire 7 arrows if not tanking), but this can consume huge amounts of ammo (1-3 thousand arrows a run).
Occasionally on gear runs an archer might be placed near the end of a tank chain and to quote someone else, "there is absolutely nothing wrong with an arc being in tank chain, even naked, or wearing all Arcgear. Buying the casters more time to kill the mobs is a GOOD thing". An archer at lord might be asked to cast spells on group members, usually sanctuary for those without it or regeneration on tanks. Occasionally an archer may even be asked to bash for the group. Archers are needed for a couple of runs for skinning. Due to the death exp penalty Rxa can be a very bad choice of worship at lord as lord exp is harder to come by therefore a lot of archers worship Wer or Dur at lord.
In general hero is relatively easy for an archer and there is a big chance to sponge, at lord this is harder to do and usually frowned upon by your fellow group members. AFK archers have been known to be ungrouped in dangerous places.
Archers can do a fair amount of damage using scattershot, especially if the mob is bashed - comparable to a caster. The best way to do this is to first initiate combat normally (either with the kill command or wait to be drawn into combat after the tank) and then scatter 7 every round (initiating combat with scattershot will put you in lag, 1 sec for each arrow you use in scattershot). To see the damage from each shot, you need to config +battleself. Note that scattershot uses up ammunition extremely fast, so you need to have fletched a lot of them in advance. Together with the mana requirement for fletching at lord, this can be a tedious affair, requiring lot of regenning. The best way to do this is via a script in your mud client. You can keep the arrows (braces of 500 each) in a locker (if you can find one available).
Archer Remort Options
Archers can remort into assassins.
Remort races that benefit archery are High Elves (terrific archers akin to centaurs), and Tuataurs (very good archers). Archers also remort to Sprites or Demonseeds after defeating the Ultimate Dragon in order to create powerful fusiliers that carry the Ultimate Archer's Gauntlet - which is otherwise unavailable to fusiliers.