Arcane Archer

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  • Arcane Archer information on NWNWiki.

Arcane Archers are masters of the bow. From their bows fly arrows with devastating capabilities, but it takes much knowledge and training to maximize their potential.

Contents

HG Customization

  • Quivers: There are several AA-only quivers which provide an endless supply of arrows, alleviating some of the expense involved in playing an Arcane Archer. These quivers are scattered throughout the game world and are frequently tucked away in corners.
  • Bows: There are a series of Arcane Archer Bows which are able to inflict massive additional damage. Some of these bows also alter the damage type done with Imbue Arrow when they are equipped. These bows replace the need for quivers, as they generate their own ammunition. There is also a relatively easy to obtain secret Legendary Archer Bow that allows you to combine all the Elemental and Exotic bows into one item thus saving a load of inventory space and allowing you to change the damage types with simple commands.
  • Auto-keen: At Arcane Archer level 30 (only counting pre-LL), characters will automatically receive the Keen property on any shortbow or longbow they equip.
Seeker Arrow Multipliers
Arcane Archer Level Multiplier
1 x1
15 x2
20 x3
25 x4
30 x5
35 x6
40 x7
45 x8
50 x9
  • Seeker Arrow
    • Seeker arrow does increased damage at higher Arcane Archer levels. Physical damage remains the same, but the magical damage now increases at certain levels. Legendary levels count as arcane archer levels if the character's control class is arcane archer, for the purposes of determining the damage multiplier, penetration, and for gaining additional powers. At level 24 the arcane archer gains unlimited uses per day, and at level 29 the seeker arrow will add a Bigby's Interposing hand effect to the target last ten rounds and resisted at a check against the AA's level (legendary levels still included if the character's control class is arcane archer) + 20 + d20.
    • Base magical damage = enchant arrow bonus (same as always).
    • Total magical damage is now calculated by multiplying base magical damage with the appropriate multiplier (from the chart to the right), which increases as the archer gains levels.
  • Arrow of Death
    • Arrow of Death becomes more potent at higher levels, eventually gaining unlimited uses and an area of effect option.
    • For the standard Arrow of Death power, DC is equal to (15 + Arcane Archer level including LL), capped at 49 at Arcane Archer 34.
    • At Arcane Archer 30 (including LL), the Arrow of Death can be used an unlimited number of times per day.
    • At Arcane Archer 35 (including LL), the Arrow of Death ability becomes a Wail of the Banshee effect, with a DC of (10 + Arcane Archer level including LL) and base spell penetration of (20 + Arcane Archer level including LL). This power may be used once every four minutes.
      • Arcane Archers with both options may toggle between them with the !opt deatharrow SIMTools command, but must rest after doing so for the changes to take effect.
  • Hail of Arrows
    • Hail of arrows increases in damage as the arcane archer gains levels.
    • At 28 levels of arcane archer, including legendary levels if the character's control class is arcane archer, the character gets unlimited uses of hail of arrows.
      • At this point the ability's area of effect changes from being area-wide to cone-shaped, 60 degrees wide and 20 meters long (roughly twice as long as a cone of cold spell) in the direction the character is facing.
    • Hail of arrows follows the same damage multiplier system as Seeker Arrows, but unlike Seeker Arrow, legendary levels do not count when calculating its damage bonus multiplier, which remains capped at x5 for 30 levels of Arcane Archer.
  • Imbue Arrow
    • Imbue arrow now does 1d6 damage per level of Arcane Archer, minimum 10d6, with a DC of (Arcane Archer level + 5). Legendary levels count as Arcane Archer levels if the character's control class is Arcane Archer, for the purposes of damage, dc, penetration, and gaining unlimited usage.
    • Imbue Arrow gains unlimited uses at 22 levels of AA.
    • The damage type may be altered by equipping certain bows found ingame.
    • The spell penetration of this attack is the (Arcane Archer levels + 20 + d20), to a maximum of 70 + d20.
    • Arcane Archers with Sorcerer/Wizard as their Control Class inflict vulnerability equal to (Caster level/3), stacking with other inflictions up to 25%

Arcane Archer Types

There are two overarching build types that Arcane Archers usually follow, regardless of what classes they choose:

  • Non-Keen: Non-Keen builds sacrifice the auto-keen on bows at 30 levels of Arcane Archer in order to take a splash level during epic levels, allowing players to dump skill points into relevant skills such as discipline, concentration, tumble, or class specific skills.
  • Keen: Keen builds yield a bit of flexibility by requiring all non-AA levels be taken pre-epic, excluding the possibility of a skill dump in epic levels. For builds dependent on AC, they tend to rely on the Blooded feat, in order to take LSA Tumble, and subsequently maximize tumble skill in legendary levels. Most builds involving the full 30 levels of Arcane Archer revolve around devastating critical in order to maximize the possible damage that can be done.

There are various class combination ideas in order to allow the Arcane Archer to fit various roles in a party. It is not recommended to use Arcane Archer levels when using another class as your bow damage is dependent on the amount of Arcane Archer levels you have (such that a character with only 1 level of Arcane Archer, while able to use the bows, only gains 6d8 bonus damage out of the possible 15d8):

  • Fighter/Ranger Splash: Splashing with Fighter or Ranger permits higher possible damage at the expense of defense offered by Monk splashing. In addition to being a Tier 1 class (allowing 19 Base Attack Bonus pre-epic versus the Monk splash 16), players can utilize Fighter bonus feats such as Weapon Specialization to further increase damage.
  • Harper Scout Splash: As a ranged attacker, Arcane Archers are capable of firing on enemies the instant they appear, and continuing to constantly attack without stopping until all enemies are killed. It is this capability that makes up for the lower damage per hit that AAs achieve compared to other classes that have bonus damage abilities or large damage buffs. The Harper Scout splash is the natural extension of this, maximizing the amount of attacks per round (and therefore the damage potential). This does have a limitation compared to using Clockwork Boots, in that the extra 2 attacks provided by the Boots of the Wanderer are only active for 5 minutes twice per rest, tying your attack power to your Ring of the Planar Traveler (but giving you extra damage for that time frame and some defensive bonuses from those boots.
  • Monk CC: For the highest possible defense, making a Monk CC Arcane Archer is the way to go. With AC higher than most dex tanks, these characters sacrifice 4d8 off their damage dice with bows in order to gain extra AC from both Monk levels and from having tumble as a class skill into legendary levels without having to use a feat. In addition, players receive the full benefits of Monk mind immunity at 20 levels of Monk, which allows more freedom in gear and artifact selection.
  • Paladin Splash: Like the Fighter/Ranger splash, this class combination provides the higher 19 Base Attack Bonus, but at the same penalty of losing the defensive bonuses of using Monk for AC. However, in not using Monk, players can wear armor heavier than robes with this build, substituting immunities and defense for a lack of AC. This particular splash is useful when combined with Divine Might, augmenting the Arcane Archer's excellent high single element damage with bonus physical damage. This particular class combination is not recommended for new players as it is very weak defensively, requiring the player to prioritize threats and relocate often in combat to prevent themselves from getting killed--something not typically required of the higher defense Monk splash AAs.
  • Rogue Splash: Splashing Rogue on an AA provides extra damage from sneak attacks and allows players to throw in some rogue skills. In specializing in these areas however, the AB and AC of the character decreases relative to other builds.
  • Wizard CC: This particular class combination takes a minimal amount of Arcane Archer levels, leveraging this with the capabilities of an almost full level wizard. These builds rely on Tenser's Transformation for bonus attacks and AB, and also benefit from wizard class epics and buffs though, in order to be offensively viable with a bow, their DC for offensive spell casting is effectively non-existent. They still have a number of useful spells for the party and as a wizard can switch them as needed for the area. As Arcane Archers are able to apply 3/5 of their casting class levels to their damage while using the Arcane Archer Bows, damage output is still respectable. Though they may not have the offensive punch of a character that uses devastating critical and auto-keen benefits by having Arcane Archer as their control class, the extremely high defense and spells make this still a playable option and is quite nice for success-challenged parties.

Play Guide

No matter what is happening on the field of battle, the Arcane Archer is capable of bringing its damage to bear on any target regardless of obstacles (other than occasional terrain aside). Target selection is one of the Arcane Archer's constant tasks; they must know the target they're hitting, what target they want to hit next, and expect those targets to change depending on the needs of the party.

  • Pre-Legendary
    • When leveling an Arcane Archer, there is not as much consideration that can be taken, as you do not have the same options available to you that you will have in legendary levels. You have whatever quiver you can find (or store bought arrows if you have found no quiver) whatever bow you are using, and you attack whatever is on the screen. this all proceeds fairly straightforwardly until your Arcane Archer abilities become unlimited use, then you can begin using them more often. Seeker Arrow in particular is very useful on a number of bosses that are largely immune to most elements if you do not yet have arrows with magic damage on them.

Most of the below information is particularly relevant to an Arcane Archer while in legendary areas, though some advice transcends level considerations. How do you play a successful Arcane Archer? Know Yourself, Know Your Enemy, Make a Plan, and Attack, Attack, Attack!

  • Know Yourself
    • Arcane Archers can be defensively weak depending on their build. You do your best damage when you're attacking, so it does not behoove you to be moving around much. Know what enemies you can handle attacking you and which ones you can't. If you're in over your head--relocate before you wind up dead. The attacks lost in relocating will be made up by the attacks you'll be making over someone on the ground.
  • Know Your Enemy
    • This is what sets apart most Arcane Archers. You need to know exactly what each enemy is doing, what threats they pose, and how best to eliminate them. A large percentage of this is decided in your damage selection. Knowing what damage type an enemy is weak against greatly increases your combat effectiveness, enabling you to keep up with most high-end damage tanks and casters. Without this knowledge and properly applying it, you're trying to take a butter knife to an ice cube, and your damage output will reflect it.
      • Review the Bestiary for whichever run you are on, these often contain useful information such as what damage types to use, what damage types are dealt, and what mobs will cause kickback to you or your party.
      • To maximize your damage output, the use of loggers is recommended to help you analyze the combat data that is showing up in your logs
        • YAL is recommended for real-time damage output, in order to quickly determine if a particular damage type is the best to use
        • SNARL is recommended for preparation and overview data on enemies, as it has the functionality to use a Know Vulnerabilities database containing information on what damage types enemies are weakest against. Good for double checking a damage type before switching targets, or recalling what damage heals a particular enemy.
  • Make a Plan
    • What enemy are you going to attack after you're finished with the one you're on? Will your character auto-attack something you do not want it to? Should you be switching targets to something more important? These are all questions that should be frequently asked, as it impacts your party's efficiency. This touches more on the target selection aspect of playing an Arcane Archer.
    • Always know where the kickback mobs are.
      • Do they do personal, or party kickback? Do you have the right immunities to be attacking something that gives personal kickback?
        • Adjust your equipment as necessary so that you can keep attacking without having to spend time healing instead, from doing too much damage to yourself. Remember that changing out any piece of equipment causes all attacks for that round to miss, as part of an anti-exploit.
      • Can you reposition yourself so that you have another enemy between you and the kickback mob?
        • This will reduce the chance that you will auto-attack the kickback mob after killing your current target
      • Be prepared to use a heal potion
        • This is one of the best ways to cancel all actions, so that you do not end up auto-attacking a party kickback mob, or if you accidentally have, then you can heal the damage you've done. Alternatively, you can !voicebind !abort or put /talk !abort on your quickbar to cancel your attacking.
  • Attack, Attack, Attack!
    • The more attacks you make, the more damage you do. By being a ranged attacker, you can start fighting as soon as you see an enemy, and not stop until all the enemies are gone. In addition to simply trying to make sure you are attacking as often as possible, there are several other ways to increase the number of attacks you are making:
      • Rapid Shot: This extra attack (at -10 AB for a -2 overall AB penalty, if it is your only bonus attack) is very useful in increasing your overall damage output, so keep it on at all times. Due to the extra +15 AB that Arcane Archers get via Enchant Arrow, this class can easily afford the -2 penalty.
      • Clockwork Boots: Provides an extra attack (at -15 AB assuming Rapid Shot and Hasted) that will likely hit against most enemies
      • Boots of the Wanderer: Provides two attacks (at -15 and -20 AB assuming Rapid Shot and Hasted). The usefulness of the second attack can be debated, as it will tend to not hit as often against high AC targets such as bosses. If you use these boots and are going up against high AC targets, it is recommended that you not use Rapid Fire, losing the attack at -20 AB but also removing the -2 AB penalty from Rapid Shot.
    • Note that being quick to attack as soon as a spawn appears can sometimes work to your disadvantage, as being the first PC to attack an enemy can cause that enemy to attack you directly unless something else draws its attention away. For less defensive characters it is recommended to attack enemies that are already engaged, keeping you from having to relocate and lose attacks because an enemy is beating down on you.

See Also

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