The first Fusiliers were gnomish, dwarvish and halfling heroes during the Great Wars when the Giants of Straul devastated the world. Armed with little more than slings, throwing axes and boomerangs, they fought enemies five times their size and prevailed. This tradition continues in the Fusilier Prestige Class. They are adept at abusing their small size to confound larger opponents, are highly skilled with slings and throwing weapons. Like all Prestige Classes, they retain the original class's Prime Requisite, in this case, Dexterity. Fusiliers cannot become Assassins, like Archers can. Given that Fusiliers hunt giants, the few who remain might be found in the vicinity of their prey.
Fusiliers in General
Fusiliers are similar to archers in their abilities, but gameplay is somewhat different. Unlike archers who work best while being tanked, fusiliers are at their best while either tanking or solo adventuring. This is not to say that in groups they don't contribute, quite the contrary - read on for more details.
Fusiliers excel at dodging enemies larger than themselves and get bonuses when targeting the same with their slings. This is why only small races can become fusiliers, and sprites are notable for two reasons - they are the smallest race available (virtually all mobs will be larger than it), as well as the fusilier's dodge bonuses stack well with sprite's racial dodge.
Furthermore, the general concept behind fusilier gameplay is to use scattershot extensively - when launching many stones the damage they do is similar to mages at high surge - ie. very high damage output.
- level 50 Archer
- Fairly healthy
- Slay an untamed giant
The giant you need to slay is the strong-willed giant in Trials of Zin. Directions from Zin: e, s, 2u, w, s.
When it says "fairly healthy" it should say "very healthy", particularly given that you have to be a small race. A full set of hp gear will easily give you 500 hp though, so this shouldn't be an issue. Based on some testing, 697 hp was not sufficient, but 705 was, so 700 seems to be the cutoff point.
Races that can gain the fusilier prestige are all either small or very small. Note that is it possible to remort a fus into a medium or larger race - but this only limits them since they will lose the bonuses against the mobs they "overgrew".
Of the races that work well as fusiliers, selection is broad - most of the races will have similar HP (with dwarves/duergar being much larger, and sprites being the smallest). Demonseeds are a good choice as well due to very high dexterity and good archery.
Fusiliers at Hero Tier
At hero tier fusiliers are very versatile. They can farm gear with ease, explore areas using their archer skills like Map Lore and Track, are not limited in anti-magic rooms, and can Skin the mobs for special items, same as archers.
The combined damage output from scattershot is very high - approximately similar to surge 4 disintegrate if all stones hit the target, but they can scatter 2 extra stones if being tanked for even more damage. To keep track of all stone hits have CONFIG +BATTLESELF configured.
Another aspect of Fusilier gameplay is their proficiency with thrown weapons. When scattershoting is impractical (hero groups moving quickly, one-rounding mobs, or lack of ammo) thrown weapons can give a moderate boost to damage, but they will require foddering and often pick-up triggers, lest they be left behind.
Train attributes in the usual order for non-casters: wisdom, constitution, and then intelligence. You can leave strength (which will give a HR bonus) and dexterity (AC bonus) for later.
Practice all the important skills first: transportation spells, sanctuary/frenzy, pass door, fly, water breathing, cure spells, sneak, move hidden, dodge.
Of special note are:
- Precise Shot - this enables fusiliers to use slings,
- Underfoot - increases damage significantly and gives "second dodge" (or "third" if sprite),
- Barkskin - useful when barkskin isn't otherwise available,
- Fusillade - only available at hero 500, it allows 2 more stones to be fired - effectively increasing damage by 60% if soloing.
The Quick Draw and Trick Throw skills are used with thrown weapons, but these are best used when grouped, something many fusiliers do not have the need for - so it depends on your personal gameplay style.
Worship and devotion choices are identical to archers.
Soloing: Soloing is where fusiliers find themselves easily. After Hero 101 when Underfoot and Scattershot become available, they can solo as well as spellcasters. At first use mixed gear (see Tanking In Hit Gear for information on gear selection), and later use regular HR gear - fusiliers won't be left wanting for HP. When soloing, scattershot is used almost exclusively.
Tanking: If one can solo, one can also tank. With a healer in tow, using mixed or straight HR gear (depending on size), nothing prevents fusiliers to tank and deal solid damage while at it. Their rescue will be out-of-class and slow, but that is true for most classes.
Hitting: After Fusillade, fusiliers can scatter 7 stones when being tanked, and depending on area selection can deal significant damage. If using single stones only, their damage will be somewhat less than that of an archer, but consistent.
Healing: Similar to archers, fusiliers are usually too busy to heal. Equipping brandishes or wands will leave them unable to shoot, but they can cast Heal and other curatives when idle.
Fusiliers and UD
One more thing to keep in mind is that unlike archers, fusiliers cannot skin the Ultimate Dragon for Ultimate Archer's Gauntlet.
If you are intent on getting this important piece of archer gear, only two options are available:
- use a regular archer to defeat UD and skin the gauntlet, then remort onto a sprite/dsd and become a fusilier,
- defeat UD as a creatable archer and then descend and become a fusilier - solution for remaining dwarf, halfling, etc.
Fusiliers at Lord Tier
See Archers at lord tier.
Fusiliers can do even better damage than archers using scattershot to fire 9 stones per round. The damage is comparable to a spellcaster if you use scattershot consistently through the run. Moreover, if the mob is bashed, the damage increases by 50%. Therefore, with a basher/pusher/feller in the group, fusiliers are capable of doing a tremendous amount of damage. However keep in mind that scattershot uses up ammunition very fast, so you need to have fletched a large amount of them in advance.
Note that simply typing 'scat' will send 5 stones, even with a sling when it should send either 7 in direct combat or 9 otherwise. To get 7 or 9 you have to specify, i.e, 'scat 9'.
Ice stones (un-armored opponents) can be bought on Thorngate from the Old Hunter, but lightning stones (armored opponents) need to be fletched.