-FPS Doug, Pure Pwnage
An archer specializes in single-target damage. The archer is the sniper of the group, capable of delivering very potent attacks at range: about three normal arrows or two headshots can drop an opponent.
However, arrows drop over distances. In addition to leading a target a player needs to aim higher than normal due to gravity. While points assigned to the Composite Bow upgrade improve this some and taking high ground makes this much less of a concern, it still makes sniping a bit more difficult than it is in most FPS games.
He has no armor or any way to parry attacks, and as a result he falls easily in melee combat. In close combat, your options are generally either to fire in desparation or run away-the former option becomes far easier once you get double or triple arrow. Arrows barely drop up close, so at least it’s easier to hit the opponent then. Running (at least out in the open) is equally dangerous, though, since there is really no way to outrun a warrior and turning one’s back to an assassin is a bad idea.
The Archer’s skills focus on making your bow better and giving you some special types of shots. In a team environment they can either support their friends from a distance or defend points in their team’s territory.
An archer requires some degree of practice, but they can ultimately become very powerful.
+High damage to single targets
-Easily killed in melee
-Moderate to high learning curve
Effect: Launches an arrow with an attached flare, which lights up the surrounding area. Deals light fire damage to a target it hits.
Commentary: It can be used to mark a location or deal with dark spots, but I personally haven’t found practical use for this one.
Cost: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4
Effect: Allows your character to pull back on the string with more force. Arrows travel further, faster.
Commentary: Highly recommended. Improves range and accuracy greatly.
Upgrade Commentary: Keep around 2-4 points in here if you want to be effective at mid/long range.
Cost: 1 / 2 /
Effect: Reduces the time it takes to set a new arrow, increasing your rate of fire.
Commentary: A bargain. Lower shot delay means more arrows, meaning more damage.
Upgrade Commentary: Cheap and improves an already good skill.
Cost: 2 / 3
Effect: Allows a player to zoom in using the Right Mouse Button to get better shots in over distance.
Commentary: It’s a nice aid to long distance play, but since you generally aim above, not at, targets for far shots, it shouldn’t be as high a priority as you might think. Also, you will probably need to upgrade Composite Bow before you train this one, since it’s nice to be able to shoot long range before buying a skill that helps you in those situations.
Upgrade Commentary: If you’ve been getting good use out of Eagle Eye, the upgrade couldn’t hurt, though keep in mind that better zoom means less peripheral vision.
Prereq: Flare Arrow
Effect: Shoots an arrow burning with magic flame, which can catch what it hits on fire.
Commentary: Decent damage, a little more powerful than a normal arrow. Kind of expensive skill wise considering the prereq. Poison arrow is a better choice for a status effect arrow in most cases.
Cost: 2 / 3
Effect: Fires an arrow that poisons [see 2.4] an enemy. Drains mana every time an arrow is released.
Commentary: This is a good skill; a ranged poison debuff can come in handy quite often, although the arrow itself does slightly less damage on contact.
Upgrade Commentary: Adds the hallucination effect; if you like to take advantage of the disorientation effect of your poison, spend the extra point.
Prereq: Composite Bow
Effect: Shoots off two arrows at the same time, spread horizontally. The individual arrows are less accurate than a normal shot, and it takes longer to fire this than a normal arrow. Your movement speed is slower when this is ready.
Commentary: Very nice close-range shot, although paradoxically its requirement is a long-range skill. You become much harder to kill close-up if you’re a multishot user, so long as you keep it ready when you think you need it.
Prereq: Double Arrow
Effect: Behaves similarly to Double Arrow, except it shoots three arrows and penalties are exaggerated further.
Commentary: This skill is wonderful. Although you get slowed considerably while you have it ready and it takes a long time to draw, it can kill very reliably if you can get close enough for a direct hit. So, you can see a warrior coming your way, ready the arrows, wait until you can see the whites of his eyes and blast him away in one shot. Big point cost, but that’s a moot point.
Effect: Slows down the run speed of the player it hits for the duration. Moderately high mana cost.
Commentary: It can be useful, especially against a melee class. A tad overpriced, but it’s a prereq to a nice skill.
Prereq: Bramble Arrow
Effect: Shoots an armor-piercing steel arrow that can go through targets. Very heavy damage, although it’s a bit mana intensive.
Commentary: The longer-range answer to triple shot. These do much more damage than normal arrows. However, the point cost is extreme (you will need to be in the late stages of a campaign before you can use this at long range) and headshots still don’t mean one-shot kills. The mana cost also means you can only really take about three shots in succession at a full mana bar before you need to wait for it to recharge again.
- General tips – archers can be devastating in both ranged and melee combat. In a map with lots of players it’s advised to find a safe spot somewhere where it is hard to notice you and start working! If you are fighting in melee, shoot your enemy in the head but be prepared that he can duck. Double arrows and triple arrows are instant killers so use them when you have them but they are quite slow to load.
- Power upgrade - If you feel you are accurate and can hit people from a distance (and are a bit sneaky) then take the Power upgrade. It will help you a lot. Use rocks to your advantage for cover against other ranged attackers, and snipe effectively.
- Jump when fighting! When fighting a Warrior, jump! This will sometimes make you fly a little away when he hits you which gives you a good chance to shoot at him.
- Reload upgrade. If you want to spam arrows (effective against Assassins and Warriors in particular) go for the Reload upgrades. Use this with Poison or Fire arrows with great effect.
- Always use torches - look for torches and stand close to them (or jump) to lit your arrow. Such an arrow deals even more damage than a standard fire arrow.
- Zoom - at level 1 is useful for sniping. Choose a good spot and shoot down your enemy! Level 2 is great for scouting, but it kinda impairs your shooting ability because it’s hard to calculate right.
As an archer, your only weapon is your bow. Holding down the left mouse button pulls back for a shot, releasing it releases your arrow. The right mouse button, once you get eagle eye, allows you to zoom in to see a bit further. It’s best not to have an arrow nocked unless you see your target, since readying a shot slows you to a walk.
Try to hang around somewhat open areas, if you’re by yourself. If you can, find high ground, since it makes it much easier to get a good shot that way. However, occasionally watch your back, just in case the other guys catch on and decide to crash your party.
You’ll quickly find that headshots are very dangerous, but be careful when firing into a crowd--if you’re not, you might end up racking up some unwanted TKs.
Aiming requires practice, both in leading your target and aiming above them to compensate for gravity. The composite bow upgrade makes arrow drop far less noticeable, however.
If a melee class is on you at close range, try your best to hit them unless you have a fair chance of running away. If they’re wounded, a hit or two, especially a headshot, may be enough to bring them down.
Close quarters fighting becomes a bit easier if you have double- or triple-shot, as that can serve as a sort of shotgun blast for a decent amount of damage. Poison arrow is a nice alternative to sometimes keep them from getting too close to begin with, but beware- poisoned targets maintain any lock they had had previously.
So long as you have space, high ground, multishot and/or good aiming technique, you have the potential to be a force to be reckoned with.