Since the Great Wipe is nearly at hand, I decided to mix things up a bit and shuffled points around to try my hand at archery, specifically, ranged weapons. The Amazon was a fun character from Diablo II, so I figured I’d give it a try here. Plus, I’ve seen a couple players engage in some heavy PvP and thought it looked quite interesting.

I swapped out my heavy armor for the Founder’s Armor which is much lighter. It wasn’t hard to come up with a bow, so I went with the Elven bow. Redistributing my points got tricky since multiple parts of the tree affect ranged items. To start, I just moved my Combat points to Ranged. That would be enough to give me a sense of what I was working with. And then out I went to see how I would get on against some wolves.

It took a mere 10 seconds to realized I was a bit unprepared. There are 5 kinds of arrows associated with the Archer and you need each kind for the different skills. If you just buy a bunch of the standard arrows, you only get 2 skills. I’ll be dead within minutes.

Off I trekked to Theo the Blacksmith in Owl’s Head where I bought all the arrows he had to offer. There are Bodkin arrows, Bola, Burst, Flare and Quick Draw arrows. How very confusing, not to mention incredibly expensive. Each skill needs a different arrow so when you run out the skill is no longer available and with the encumbrance feature, this could get kind of hefty. But anyway, I had a few thousand of each and was ready to try out my skills. Can your character really carry 500+ of each arrow? 2,500 arrows would be something to see.

Back in the woods, I stood on some rocks and let the arrows fly. Oddly, it worked quite well. I was able to take down multiple wolves including the wolfpack leader without much trouble. And there are some interesting combat features as well. The flame arrow takes a few seconds to conjure and then flies a great distance to the target and sets it on fire. The others inflict a fair bit of damage, but are affected by line of sight.

Feeling rather confident, I wandered over and shot some skeletons in the backside. They seem rather confused by the ranged weapons. If you stand on a rock or on a wall, you can keep plugging away at them until they drop and they just seem to run back and forth, confused as to where these nasty arrows are coming from. It was a wee bit funny. But I was able to take down several of them without taking a single point of damage.

Things got a bit more tricky when my enemies had me on the run and there was no rock to climb up. I still managed to back up and shoot, or dodge and shoot, but the camera work was a bit dizzying at times.

Time flew by as I used my new skills and shot everything that moved and even some stuff that didn’t. It was pretty damn fun though. I definitely need to move more points around and fill out the skill tree correctly. There are some very interesting combos the ranged fighter can come up with.

Once I figure out where to best apply points, this could be a fun character to play. I have no idea how I would fair in the sewers or against the Lich and I’m not sure I have time to find out this Release. I’m not sure I want to stand toe to toe with the Lich in light armor and a bow. I have enough trouble with the heavy armor and sword. I have a penchant for getting stunned and being a Lich play thing.

One thing I do know, this set is expensive! Each arrow type is 2gp a piece and you need all 5 kinds. If you get a hundred of each, which will probably last a few minutes, that’s 1000gp. That is a bit much for the starting archer to have on hand. It might be better if they were sold in bundles, like 5gp for 10 or 15. And of course if you run out, you’re screwed. You got to think ahead and that isn’t my strong suit.

For R14, I will complete some quests, craft some items, get some gold and start off with the melee attack. After a couple levels, I might switch to the ranged fighter again and see how it works out. I’m sure with enough practice and points distributed the right way it can be a good solo character. I can also see how it will be great fun in a party. There are plenty of places to get to higher ground and unleash a quiver of fury while the other take the brunt of the blow and keep the enemies occupied.

The ultimate goal? Dungeon Run as an archer. Yeah buddy!

Not solo, that’s just nutty!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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