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Solving the Archery Dilemma - PVE Close Range Archery-Combat Hybrid Build

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  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    @artifleur Thank you and I really do appreciate your feedback on the guide.

    The basic concept here of using Skirmisher's Gambit is not an entirely new idea. After the earlier comment from @time2011, I did a little more digging and found two previously published builds on MMOminds with this same idea. The earliest one is a brief guide from "Billycraft" in September 2015 (all the way back to Mod 6!) and then there is a more recent one from "KindredEagle" in May 2018. I first posted my thoughts on this build concept in The Neverwinter Hunter Ranger Group on Facebook back in February 2018.

    As @stinkypiratepete#1341 points out in an earlier comment here, he is 17.8K HR who also came up with this same idea himself (even if he didn't post a build) and he astutely points out that really it is an idea that does not require being a super genius to come up with it. There are simply only so many combinations of feats possible and, if one looks at Trapper or Combat or even other classes, you will often find quite a few very very similar builds being published.

    For archery, with all the people who appear to be arriving at the same conclusion about using Skirmisher's Gambit, that to me speaks to the basic merit of this idea. Of course, it is not a perfectly effective approach, the archery path does need work, and likely there will be archers out there who completely hate the notion of a rotation with melee. (An option for this later group might be to shift some points into Bottomless quiver, instead of Rising Focus, and then they can just fire away from ranged stance without worrying about melee.)

    But there is really no harm, no foul in trying something like this. It is just about having fun in the game!
    Post edited by typo#6563 on
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    Thank you so much @fallenlord00! I think it is great you are going to try this. Please let me know any feedback and I'll be happy to take that into consideration for future updates. Enjoy!! :)
  • teucer#3019 teucer Posts: 189Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    I have hammered this build and find you will need a good amount of recovery. I was fine with 7K but it started to shine with 9k (one of my mounts) to where I could hop out and back in faster with fewer at-wills filling in the gaps.

    I ran a Spiders and finished with 178 mill. My solo Shores was off my best time by a couple minutes, finished @ 9:23.
    The Legendary Outlaws
  • khoaskhoas Posts: 1Member Arc User
    "Better yet, consider abandoning this build altogether and try a Combat or Trapper. I assure you, those will be much more pleasant experiences than this one." Probably my favorite lines in the whole build. :) my hats off to you for posting the build (both on Facebook and here) I run PF Archer and SW Combat and plan on trying this out along with trapper. keep up the good fight for us Archers and thanks
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    In response to several comments made about the Trapper-like rotation for archery, I thought I'd share the source of my inspiration.

    I am still in awe of this Feb. 2017 YouTube video by Sume -- "Neverwinter: Archery HR Vs. High Priestess Syndryth (Solo Challenge)". He probably demonstrates better anyone how a rotation of both range and melee attacks can be an effective combination.





    In case you are wondering about his exact rotation, here is a copy of the notes I took when I first watched this video:

    Starts in Melee Stance > Stag Heart > Wheel (Fire Element)
    Switch to Range > Longstriders Shot > Commanding Shot > Thorn Ward [Exact Order of Encounters Seems to Vary]
    Runs in and uses Slashers Mark Daily along the way (which helps to span the distance too!)
    Switch to Melee > Gushing Wound > Thorn Strike > Stag Heart (optional) [Exact Order of Encounters Seems to Vary]
    Runs and Jumps to get back to range
    Switch to Range: Aimed Shot x3 to x6 > Commanding Shot
    Notes: Using Relic Weapons. Armor Enchant is Negation. Weapon Enchant is Vorpal.

    Keep in mind, Sume is playing a mostly pure archery pathfinder here (a few points in Trapper actually). And he is soloing and not in a party. The point of my build of course is focused on being in a party and providing as much value to the party as possible. But certainly you can solo with the build too! Still, this video is so very entertaining to watch!
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    Hi again @teucer#3019, I am really happy to hear how well the build has worked out for you! Those are impressive numbers! Yes, indeed, recovery of at least 9K is recommended. It is one of the tradeoffs of this hybrid build, but not an impossible amount of recovery to achieve. This is one reason I highly recommend the Huntsman armor because that set is loaded with recovery, but certainly a mount with recovery is another good option to get there. :)
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    @khoas Thanks for the encouragement and compliment on the guide! Guides can sometimes be boring (or even an ego trip for some authors), so I was trying to make this one a little more down to earth and fun to read! :)
  • micky1p00micky1p00 Posts: 2,925Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    I haven't played HR since the original rework at mod4 or so when archery got its first death (up until then all you had to do is split strike, and it was glorious).
    So I wont comment about rotations, HR specifics and all that stuff that the guide is actually talking about :D

    I do want to comment that first of all, I really like the humor, and the honesty behind it, unfortunately archery has fundamental issues and being honest about those is IMO the right way.

    Minor thing I saw is that in stats, defensive you wrote defense, LS and deflect. I saw the daily for healing, etc.. But why not HP and LS as a higher priority ? I think HR can benefit from AoC and you will be in the 30' range needed from the OP.

    And last but not least, I know we shouldn't 'judge a book by its cover' but that is a very pretty cover. Love the PDF design overall, and the colors on the feats and all the rest of the visuals.
    Guild: The Imaginary Friends
    If you disagree with me: My opinions are my own and do not reflect on my guild and friends.
    If you agree with me: My opinions are totally the guild official policy !
    ;)
  • soul#7920 soul Posts: 2Member Arc User
    Nice guide. Unfortunately doesnt work in Barovia where everyone simply rush you în solo play if you are below 12k and didnt reached 100& critical chance. Because of that, pls put a warning note for beginner archers who think they will conquer Faerun!
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    @micky1p00 I am really glad you like the humor, honesty, and design of the guide. I personally do take advantage of AoC but you make a great point about needing to call out the importance of hit points. I'll include an update to make sure this is noted and will also look at lifesteal again. Those are great suggestions! Thank you!
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    @soul#7920 Thanks for the heads up about mod 14. I do not yet have access to Bavaria since Xbox is only at mod 13b right now, but I will likely make an update soon regarding rotation/playstyle that could help with soloing in extra tough areas like this. Most of this guide focuses on being in a party. I agree with you though that survivability outside of a party can be quite challenging as an Archer. This is partly due to all the slow cast times of many of the best AoEs and ranged attacks. Devs really should shorten those cast times. But again, I think I may have something new to add that will help. And I will include a warning of sorts too (humorously perhaps) about the potential challenges of solo play and include a little bit more information in general about the best approach for solo play. Stay tuned! :)
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    Ignore this comment from me. Appears to be no way for me to delete this, LOL.
    Post edited by typo#6563 on
  • hastur905hastur905 Posts: 119Member Arc User
    Well first I want to say thank you @typo for showing bravery and posting ur build out there to be critiqued, esspecially in this forum that can be less forgiving than others.

    My favorite and first character is my Archer, I have made many changes over the years, some were lean years, where to get through content I had to resort to running a trapper. Its a fine tree, but not my passion. In Mod 13 I went back to being a full time archer and dedicated myself to finding a workable build. I dabbled in PF and SW and for a while found a balance between SW loadout for trash and PF for bosses, that changed again when they reworked Careful Attack recently. I fancy myself a very good Archer and I must say that ur build is very close to mine. So rather than go line by line about differences I would rather take a larger view of ur build. In short it is very endgame, which is not a bad thing, but might not be helpful to newer future Archers. The main reason I say this is your build is prefaced entirely on Fey. For a newer player Fey is probably out of their reach, at least in PC. The second issue is that u expect them to hit 100% Crit chance, which is the goal don't get me wrong. They way forward for a new player should be based around a Vorpal, U gain the addtional Sev without sacrificing Chance until u can get it up to 100%. Thus my suggestion would be as a starter 1 point in Skirmishers, 4 in Lucky Blades, once u exceed 100% crit continue to add points in Skirmishers until u get to your build. Also as an aside you are only needing 12k Rec because you didnt take Bottomless Quiver. I realize that u chose Rising Focus over it, but Severity has a cap, and Power can be gained in other ways just as Recovery can. 30% reduction in cooldowns is a steep price to pay for 5% Sev and 5% even though they stack. I am sure u looked at the calulations and thought ok well I need those, I am just suggesting that u dont need anymore REC than around 7700, if u running with an OP that will give u 100% Recharge speed.

    Also I use savages in my DEF slots, HP and LS. The earlier person is correct that when running with an OP, HP is more damage done for u with AoC. Also most OP is they are built right run with more than a 30' radius, 36 to 39' is usually optimal.
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    @hastur905 This is excellent feedback and you are welcome.

    It has actually been a pleasure to work on this little project. Where any negative feedback is concerned, I generally find it best for me not to take things too personally, assuming the feedback is a reasoned explanation of the push-back on the idea or approach. So rather than me burying my head in the sand, I'll try to listen and understand these issues because, if I do that, then this might actually become a better build. That is my goal anyway.

    Based on your feedback. I will add more content in the next version specifically for newer players. I was also thinking of adding a small section on soloing too.

    I hear you on the issue with Careful Attack. I used to use a PF loadout for single targets, but now just use SW for everything. Although, where Trapper is concerned, PF is still ideal even with that CA issue. For a Trapper, all the key powers are still available and some CA is better than no CA. But for Combat and Archer, I wholeheartedly agree with you that SW is the way to go right now.

    I was originally a little on the fence about rising power (vs. bottomless quiver). Reasons to go with the latter include buffing/debuffing, as it sure would help to have those cool downs so that buffs can stay up more of the time. Even where DPS is concerned, I've seen tests that show it is better to hit more often than to hit harder. Smaller hits are capable of adding up to more damage than doing fewer but bigger hits over the same time span. And this feat might free up the ability to invest in other stats in place of recovery. Now, a toon with a very high item level might still be able to pull off the original approach using rising power to do more damage, so I'll probably keep that listed as an advanced end-game option (in yellow, rather than green, in the feats illustration). I gave BQ (and a couple other small changes) some testing last night and everything seemed to work a little more smoothly and reliably.

    I'll definitely address all your points, plus some others I've also been looking at, in the next version. :)
    Post edited by typo#6563 on
  • wdj40wdj40 Posts: 1,958Member Arc User
    Careful Attack is still fairly decent... It is better than anything else in the Pathfinder Tree to equip. Hopefully it will get tweaked/fixed to proc more consistantly again. I did a video on it a while back and posted it in the bug report forum.

    Anyhoo it can still be useful as it procs At-Will based things, for instance I use a Death Slaad in my Actives which ticks poison on At-Wills... it pretty much ticks a poison tick every time CA Procs... it is actually pretty decent and adds up to a fair amount of damage.

    It also procs other things on occasion even though it doesnt proc a damage tick itself.
    Main - Rydia (HR70) - Xbox One Player only
    Alts :
    Storm (SW70), Edge (TR70), AD Farm (CW70), Grunt (GF70), Rosa (DC70), AD AD AD (GWF70), Your Mum (OP70)

    Member of Q-Snipe
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    @wdj40 Agree. CA is not what it once was, but it does still contribute in a worthwhile way. Only reasons I choose SW over PF for Combat or Archer is because of (1) Split the Sky / Throw Caution and (2) the options for Blade Storm (Combat only) and Twin Blade Storm passives. You can't get these at all as a PF.

    I have a death slaad, though I'm not currently using it as an active companion. But for a while, I was using it as a Combat. It does noticeably help the At-Will damage. But I've since switched things up as I've gradually been improving my toon. But death slaad is really not a bad choice at all and they are relatively inexpensive to get.
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    Can Archers Solo Barovia? YES!!

    Here is a video demonstration from @hastur905 on PC (aka greyhastur on Twitch) showing how this type of hybrid archery build can solo just fine in Mod 14's Barovia. Notice how Greyhastur even rushes to the aid of a couple other random players! Enjoy!



    Obviously the Barovia zone is harder than other zones in Neverwinter. Players will need to be properly geared and level-ready, but this is not a unique challenge for archers. Other classes face the exact same issue.

    Because I'm on Xbox One, I do not yet have access to Barovia, so I really want to thank @hastur905 for making this video from PC and also for the very nice shout out about my hybrid archery guide.

    Be sure to follow him on Twitch!

    So What's Next?

    I am planning to make some updates to the guide and will include feedback I have received from @hastur905 and others who have commented. I really have been listening to everyone and do appreciate all of your responses. Among the updates will be more content geared for new players and soloing.

    Happy Hunting Everyone!
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    My humble thanks to Elven Archer who has now added my archery build into his popular Hunter Ranger guide on MMOminds. His all-in-one guide covers Combat, Trapper, and Archery. For the archery section, just click on the PVE Archery tab.

    https://nw.mmominds.com/2018/07/20/elven-archers-hr-guide
  • patcherrkmpatcherrkm Posts: 127Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    Both hastur and myself have done CR as full archer. It's viable end game. Is it better than combat? nope. But it works.

    -Sleek pepper
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    That's great @patcherrkm! I do think in the hands of players, like you and hastur, who really understand how to get the most out of archery, this path can be played quite effectively. :smiley:
  • wdj40wdj40 Posts: 1,958Member Arc User
    Skirmishers Gambit is over-rated... its not just 4k Crit that is taken away from you (which is what 10% crit chance would be). It is actually subject to more than that... The more Crit you have the more is taken away with that 10%.

    I would rather put the 5 points into Lucky Blades for 15% extra Encounter Damage and with all those points you get back in Crit you can pump into Power or other stats.

    Each to their own though and some people will just stand by Skirmishers Gambit regardless.
    Main - Rydia (HR70) - Xbox One Player only
    Alts :
    Storm (SW70), Edge (TR70), AD Farm (CW70), Grunt (GF70), Rosa (DC70), AD AD AD (GWF70), Your Mum (OP70)

    Member of Q-Snipe
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
    @wdj40 That is a fair concern and it is also an issue for Combat HRs too. Skirmisher's Gambit is worthless if you do not Crit. For me, even with Skirmisher's Gambit, I have 100% Crit. A less developed player doesn't necessarily have to have 100% Crit, but they should be working toward that. At a minimum, with Skirmisher's Gambit, a player should not be dipping below 50% Crit. And really, I'd strongly urge Crit to be even higher. In the build, I do recommend for anyone who can't quite absorb the loss of Crit from Skirmisher's Gambit, then Lucky Blades is indeed an excellent alternative for some or all of those five feat points. It is really up each person how they balance their stats. But ultimately, if like me, you have got the Crit, then Skirmisher's will be the superior feat because of the added Crit Severity. Crit Severity is quite valuable and is the reason so many players like to use Vorpal and Dread enchantments. In my case, I currently use a Trans Feytouched so that my damage gets buffed by the party but the +50% Crit Severity is still very nice!

    Quick note on achieving 100% Crit: Standard assumption in the game is that this includes companion stats when bonding stones are proc'd. If you stack crit on your companion, getting to 100% Crit is much easier than you might think (because the stats are amplified), though there is still some work needed to get there and you will need to have a base Crit on your character too. The exact balance of Crit between toon and companion will depend on the rank of your bonding stones. Higher rank bondings make life much easier.
    Post edited by typo#6563 on
  • wdj40wdj40 Posts: 1,958Member Arc User
    typo#6563 said:

    @wdj40 That is a fair concern and it is also an issue for Combat HRs too. Skirmisher's Gambit is worthless if you do not Crit. For me, even with Skirmisher's Gambit, I have 100% Crit. A less developed player doesn't necessarily have to have 100% Crit, but they should be working toward that. At a minimum, with Skirmisher's Gambit, a player should not be dipping below 50% Crit. And really, I'd strongly urge Crit to be even higher. In the build, I do recommend for anyone who can't quite absorb the loss of Crit from Skirmisher's Gambit, then Lucky Blades is indeed an excellent alternative for some or all of those five feat points. It is really up each person how they balance their stats. But ultimately, if like me, you have got the Crit, then Skirmisher's will be the superior feat because of the added Crit Severity. Crit Severity is quite valuable and is the reason so many players like to use Vorpal and Dread enchantments. In my case, I currently use a Trans Feytouched so that my damage gets buffed by the party but the +50% Crit Severity is still very nice!

    Quick note on achieving 100% Crit: Standard assumption in the game is that this includes companion stats when bonding stones are proc'd. If you stack crit on your companion, getting to 100% Crit is much easier than you might think (because the stats are amplified), though there is still some work needed to get there and you will need to have a base Crit on your character too. The exact balance of Crit between toon and companion will depend on the rank of your bonding stones. Higher rank bondings make life much easier.

    That is exactly my point, you are pumping your Companion for Crit and sending that over via Bonding Stones. What is your Companions Crit? It must be crazy high. Anyhoo you have to stack a lot of Crit to offset the 10% loss from SG.

    Instead of doing that I opt for higher Encounter damage and pump power off my Companion... in fact I dont have to put a lot of Crit on my Companion at all to hit almost 100%. I also use Dread rather than Vorpal for higher Encounter Crit + Enemy DR lowered... Dread is also incredibly effective for Archer, Combat and Trapper paths.

    If you have around 12-13k Crit... you would need around 5-6k on your Companion with 3 R13 Bondings just to hit 100%, so with SG equipped a lot more Crit is needed to be stacked.
    Main - Rydia (HR70) - Xbox One Player only
    Alts :
    Storm (SW70), Edge (TR70), AD Farm (CW70), Grunt (GF70), Rosa (DC70), AD AD AD (GWF70), Your Mum (OP70)

    Member of Q-Snipe
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    I really get all the power I need from the party buffs. Feytouched adds a nice buff with that. But yeah, I have R13 bondings and actually get a combination of power, crit, and armpen from my companion. My total crit and armpen are both each at 100% and then my total crit sev is around140% thru a combination of things. I don't see this as a bad approach because I do get a ton of power too, when in party. Personally, I would not recommend stacking power first. I'd stack it last after getting crit, armpen and recovery where they need to be.
  • micky1p00micky1p00 Posts: 2,925Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    wdj40 said:

    Skirmishers Gambit is over-rated... its not just 4k Crit that is taken away from you (which is what 10% crit chance would be). It is actually subject to more than that... The more Crit you have the more is taken away with that 10%.

    I would rather put the 5 points into Lucky Blades for 15% extra Encounter Damage and with all those points you get back in Crit you can pump into Power or other stats.

    Each to their own though and some people will just stand by Skirmishers Gambit regardless.

    I'm not sure what you mean in that "More Cirt you have, more it taken away"

    It's flat 10% chance, not 10% of the stats, and in any case, 10% of the stat will always be less or equal than 10% flat chance, as it's always less or equal than 4k.

    So lets say the 4k stats all goes to power, that will be about 1.5% - 2% dps in a party.
    And the 50% Crit Severity will be around 18% dps increase (for things that can crit) - much less if you already has vorpal or dread.

    So in essence we get more or less the same numbers but for sightly different things, about 16.5% - 17% for Lucky blades for encounters only.
    And around 18% for everything that can crit.

    Obviously the better combinations are Fey + Skirmishers Gambit, and Fey/Dread/Vorpal for Lucky Blades.

    So it remains just to look of what your damage is made of, simply running ACT, if it is all encounters and AoC and both types of encounters (ranged and melee or at least those that you use) affected by the boon, then Lucky Blades win.

    If you don't have AoC and other things that do not crit then the severity wins.

    At the end it depends on your damage composition. If someone can run the ACTs, it will be possible to see more and guess less.
    Guild: The Imaginary Friends
    If you disagree with me: My opinions are my own and do not reflect on my guild and friends.
    If you agree with me: My opinions are totally the guild official policy !
    ;)
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    @micky1p00 Would be interesting to also have an ACT log showing what happens for a mix of mostly encounters plus dailies and even some at-wills too, as this particular build mixes it up quite a bit with the powers.
  • wdj40wdj40 Posts: 1,958Member Arc User
    typo#6563 said:

    I really get all the power I need from the party buffs. Feytouched adds a nice buff with that. But yeah, I have R13 bondings and actually get a combination of power, crit, and armpen from my companion. My total crit and armpen are both each at 100% and then my total crit sev is around140% thru a combination of things. I don't see this as a bad approach because I do get a ton of power too, when in party. Personally, I would not recommend stacking power first. I'd stack it last after getting crit, armpen and recovery where they need to be.

    I never said or recomended stacking power 1st... also why on Earth have you got Arm Pen up to 100%?
    Main - Rydia (HR70) - Xbox One Player only
    Alts :
    Storm (SW70), Edge (TR70), AD Farm (CW70), Grunt (GF70), Rosa (DC70), AD AD AD (GWF70), Your Mum (OP70)

    Member of Q-Snipe
  • wdj40wdj40 Posts: 1,958Member Arc User
    micky1p00 said:

    wdj40 said:

    Skirmishers Gambit is over-rated... its not just 4k Crit that is taken away from you (which is what 10% crit chance would be). It is actually subject to more than that... The more Crit you have the more is taken away with that 10%.

    I would rather put the 5 points into Lucky Blades for 15% extra Encounter Damage and with all those points you get back in Crit you can pump into Power or other stats.

    Each to their own though and some people will just stand by Skirmishers Gambit regardless.

    I'm not sure what you mean in that "More Cirt you have, more it taken away"

    It's flat 10% chance, not 10% of the stats, and in any case, 10% of the stat will always be less or equal than 10% flat chance, as it's always less or equal than 4k.

    So lets say the 4k stats all goes to power, that will be about 1.5% - 2% dps in a party.
    And the 50% Crit Severity will be around 18% dps increase (for things that can crit) - much less if you already has vorpal or dread.

    So in essence we get more or less the same numbers but for sightly different things, about 16.5% - 17% for Lucky blades for encounters only.
    And around 18% for everything that can crit.

    Obviously the better combinations are Fey + Skirmishers Gambit, and Fey/Dread/Vorpal for Lucky Blades.

    So it remains just to look of what your damage is made of, simply running ACT, if it is all encounters and AoC and both types of encounters (ranged and melee or at least those that you use) affected by the boon, then Lucky Blades win.

    If you don't have AoC and other things that do not crit then the severity wins.

    At the end it depends on your damage composition. If someone can run the ACTs, it will be possible to see more and guess less.
    Yeah I just ran a test myself... I really need to stop taking what other people say as truth. In fact it was a highly respected member of the community who last said that it takes away more than 10% so I never tested it... unless soemthing has changed in game at some point. Kinda like how Shadowclad added to the numbers not actually the Deflect % and they changed the tooltip.

    So my bad and apoloiges for mis-information there.

    Man I wish I had ACT... I have had to do all my testing on the Xbox with the rubbish combat log lol.
    Main - Rydia (HR70) - Xbox One Player only
    Alts :
    Storm (SW70), Edge (TR70), AD Farm (CW70), Grunt (GF70), Rosa (DC70), AD AD AD (GWF70), Your Mum (OP70)

    Member of Q-Snipe
  • typo#6563 typo Posts: 190Member Arc User
    @wdj40 Just preparation for Mod 14 final boss. Can't wait for Barovia! All done with Omu and just doing hunts and summer fest mostly.
  • jaime4312#3760 jaime4312 Posts: 844Member Arc User
    edited July 2018
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