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misterdude

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misterdude
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PostedNov 16, 2009 3:45 pm   Last edited by misterdude on Aug 28, 2010 10:35 am. Edited 7 times in total

Archer/Hunter Build Guide

A veritable cornucopia of knowledge.


EPISODE DISCLAIMER:

This guide was originally written when Episode 3 was out. I retired from actively playing the game before EP4 was released. However, I did stop back in after the initial release of EP4 in order to update the guide heavily. As such, it contains things up to that point but is incomplete beyond that. In other words, it doesn't include anything from EP5 and beyond and it never will. It likely does not contain everything from later updates to EP4 either.

That being said, much of the guide is still very relevant. Just because it was written for EP4 does not mean that EP5 renders the knowledge obsolete. The newer you are to the class, the more you can still learn from this. So please do not write this off just because it doesn't have all the up to date gear listed. Most of the info in this particular build thread is more general and thus is still valuable. Much of the other threads again are still valuable, they are just rendered incomplete as they don't include new information regarding the latest episodes. I have overhauled the skill guide for EP5 (not 100% complete though).

I don't play anymore and while my curiosity has me check back for a few days after a major episode release, I will never again update this portion of the guide. If the community deems that an updated version is necessary and wanted, someone else will have to be my successor because I've moved on from Shaiya, my friends, and I won't be back.

INTRODUCTION:

This was originally part of Aes's Archer Guide but due to several factors it was determined it should be its own guide.

Before we get to it I should introduce myself for those who don't know. In the world of Shaiya I'm known as Aes (pronounced "ace"). My archer is on the Lailah server, a lvl 58 UM named Aes. I've played every class in the game and most of them to high level. While I know a lot about all aspects of the game and all classes, archer is where my true expertise is. I have about 2000 hours logged. I've reset my stats many times, done multiple tests, and spent billions in gold just to have a better understanding of how things work. So I've got quite a bit of experience when it comes to playing and testing stats both in PvP and PvE of all levels. I retired from Shaiya in Spring of 2009 and have no plans to return. I occasionally check this guide and update it.

INDEX:

Those familiar with online guides will recognize the index system. By using your browser's Find feature (Ctrl + F) you can type in the appropriate letter code and jump right to the section you are looking for. Each "Volume" is merely another post/section in this page, the first being this post right here.

VOLUME I

  • Introduction
  • Index

VOLUME II

  • The Importance of Your Level - [XILVL]
  • How Stats Work - [XSWRK]
  • Critical Damage Formula - [XDFRM]
  • Accuracy/Evasion Mechanics - [XAEMS]
  • Damage Absorption - [XDMGA]

VOLUME III

  • Building Your Archer/Hunter - [XBLDS]
  • PvE Builds - [XPVEB]
  • Grinding Builds - [XGRND]
  • Boss Killing Builds - [XBSSK]
  • PvP Builds - [XPVPB]
  • Refining Your Build - [XREFB]
  • So You Wanna Be A Tank? (rec/dex builds) - [XATNK]

VOLUME IV

  • Other Important Build Points - [XOTHR]
  • Choosing Lapis - [XLAPS]
  • Guide to the Elements - [XELEM]
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misterdude

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misterdude
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PostedNov 16, 2009 3:46 pm   Last edited by misterdude on Aug 28, 2010 10:36 am. Edited 9 times in total
THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR LEVEL:
Index Code: [XILVL]

Before i get into talk of builds and stat points, i want to make a few comments about the level system in the game. The color of a mob's name is not just to make it look pretty, it is to inform you what level that mob is in relation to your own level. In PvP all enemies have red names and there is no way of knowing (within the game) what level an enemy player is. But for PvE it goes like this. The higher the level of the target the more EXP you gain, but the harder it is to kill.

  • A white named mob is 6 or more levels below you. (You gain no EXP for killing them.)
  • A light blue mob is 4 or 5 levels below you.
  • A dark blue mob is 2 or 3 levels below you.
  • A green mob is the same level or within one level of your own.
  • A yellow mob is 2 or 3 levels higher than you.
  • An orange mob is 4 or 5 levels higher than you.
  • A red mob is 6 or 7 levels higher than you.
  • A purple (pink) mob is 8 or 9 levels higher than you.
  • A gray mob is 10 or more levels higher than you. (You gain no EXP for killing them.)

The level difference is a huge part of the game in terms of what it does to the performance of your character. There are "penalties" involved when facing a higher level target. Against a green mob, which is the same level as you, there are no penalties. You'll do your full damage and get hit for its full damage. Your hit rate and whatnot will all be unpenalized. In terms of damage, you won't hit a white mob for more than you hit a green mob, all other things being equal. But in terms of defense and dodging ability, you will perform better against lower level targets. Because by being higher level than it, the mob is now being penalized in accuracy and damage etc. That being said, when you fight a yellow mob, YOU are being penalized in your damage ability and accuracy etc.; even more so with orange, red, purple, and gray. The bigger the level difference, the more you get penalized.

And EVERYTHING about your performance will be penalized; that's important to note. Maybe you have 1000 ATK power, and maybe Cloron Dragon has 600 DEF (completely made up figures btw). That should mean you hit it for 400 damage. But if Cloron is red to you, you will hit for far less because of the level penalties. It also means you will miss completely most of the time because the level difference negatively affects your accuracy rate. Critical damage gained from LUC is affected just the same, while it ignores the DEF stat it does not ignore the level difference of your target. Thus the single most important thing you can do to improve your performance in this game is to level up, unless you are already level 60. So that being said, any kind of testing in regards to how stats affect performance need to be tested against same level targets or the results will be flawed. Unless you are specifically testing with the level difference variable in mind for some purpose.

HOW YOUR STATS WORK:
Index Code: [XSWRK]

Here are the base stats that archers start out with at level one. The amount of HP, MP, and SP you start with and gain per level goes higher as you are higher in mode. The following figures are from Hard Mode characters so expect NM to be a little lower and UM a little higher. The actual stats are the same regardless of mode.

STR 11 / REC 10 / INT 7 / WIS 10 / DEX 14 / LUC 13

HP 242 / MP 137 / SP 218

ATK 33-38 (using the bow you start with) / MAGIC 28-33 / DEF 10 (because of the REC) / RESIST 10 (because of the WIS)


That was the archer starting stats, and here's the hunter's starting figures. They are slightly different but insignificantly so. Hunters get 2 more points in STR and 2 more in REC, archers get those 4 points in DEX. Hunters start with more HP because of the REC but less SP because of the DEX. This in no way is a factor if your trying to choose between the two. I personally would use appearance to make that choice, unless I had friends or other social reason to play on a particular side.

STR 13 / REC 12 / INT 7 / WIS 10 / DEX 10 / LUC 13

HP 262 / MP 127 / SP 198

ATK 35-40 (using the bow you start with) / MAGIC 28-33 / DEF 12 (because of the REC) / RESIST 10 (because of the WIS)


----

Most people talk about builds in terms of what to do with your stat points every level. Such as 3 STR 2 DEX every level. However, if you are really serious, at high level you have to consider your gear as well. If i get 200 DEX from lapis and gear, i wouldn't really need to put any of my stat points into DEX. A lot of us end up resetting our stats to adjust when we get new high level armors etc. So if you were to ask me my build and want a xx STR, xx DEX, xx LUC per level format i simply can't give that to you. Best i could do is list my total stats now. That being said, i will list some of the common xx per level builds.

There are a few common builds that most people use. LUC builds, STR/DEX builds, and a relatively new and not tested by too many people REC build. There is also what i would call Hybrid builds, which in my opinion are ultimately the best. They combine all of those stats in significant quantities, which is why the term hybrid is appropriate. Which build you choose depends on what you are intending to do, your mode, your level, your willingness and ability to spend massive quantities of gold on this character, etc. I should say that in regards to stats everything in this game is capped at 95%. Meaning 95% accuracy rate, 95% critical hit rate, 95% evasion. Nothing can reach 100%, so there is always a chance for failure.

LUCK (LUC) - adds 1% chance to critical hit for every 5 LUC you add (thus 475 LUC is considered 95% critical hit rate - the maximum), adds .3 shooting ATK for every 1 LUC you add (this affects bows and crossbows but not swords), it adds damage to your critical hits (the way it does this will be explained later), it also adds critical evasion. I have not personally tested it but the commonly accepted formula is 1% crit evasion for every 20 LUC.

STRENGTH (STR) - adds 1 shooting ATK for every 1 STR you add. And it adds 1.3 melee ATK for every 1 STR you add. (in order for an archer/hunter to use melee attacks you need a sword or axes equipped).

DEXTERITY (DEX) - adds 1 ATK for every 5 DEX you add, and 5 SP for every 1 DEX. It also adds evasion (dodging ability) and hitting accuracy, though the formulas for this we don't really know.

REACTION DEFENSE (REC) - adds 1 defense and 5 HP for every 1 REC you add.

WISDOM (WIS) - adds 1 resist and 5 MP for every 1 WIS you add. Each point of resist reduces magic damage taken by 2. It is not recommended that WIS be used as a defensive stat for archers/hunters though. There are better ways to gain resist and combat magic.

INTELLIGENCE (INT) - INT increases magic attack. Archers/Hunters don't have any magic skills. Thus, any points put into this stat are literally and completely wasted.

THE CRITICAL DAMAGE FORMULA:
Index Code: [XDFRM]

I will start by saying that this is a highly debated thing. But I've done extensive testing and after over I am finally confident enough to say I'm 99.9% sure I understand exactly how crit damage works, actually damage in general. However, only the developers SonoV know the game mechanics and as you can see, it's basically up to the players to test and make guides like this so we will never get an official confirmation if anything we discover is true.

IS IT JUST 2x 3x 4x BASE DMG?

No, Nuh-uh, Forget it Sally. This is NOT how critical damage works in Shaiya. I know this is a standard setup for crits in other games but I have done a very specific test that blows this theory out of the water. At lvl 57 I put nearly all possible points into LUC; I reset my build just to test this, and I made pure LUC armor as well. My damage was very low but my LUC very high. I used a lvl 1 bow on Pando high defense mobs. My normal hits were doing consistent damage in the range of 50, yes 50 DMG. My critical hits were consistently getting as high as 700 and 800. If the damage multiplier theory was true that would mean that I was getting 16x crits. However, this can't be true, aside from that number being ridiculous, most normal build archers/hunters do normal hits of around 1000, so we would be criting for 16k. A lvl 60 UM using nuke shot lvl 3 can't even muster anything like that. So let it be known that in the world of Shaiya critical damage is not simple base damage multipliers; this we know for sure.

SO WHAT THE HECK IS IT THEN?

While we have to consider this a "theory" because we don't have official confirmation that this is how it works, I can say with confidence that this is correct. Yes I know it may look complicated but it's not and I will explain it all clearly.

critical DMG = (((ATK + skill bonus * ELEMENT factor) - target's DEF) * 1.5) + (your LUC stat * (random # from 0 to 1.5))

You can see that this formula takes your ATK stat, adds in any extra damage your skill may add, such as bull's eye adding 209 damage at lvl 3, and multiplies it by what I have labeled the ELEMENT factor. This figure is determined based on the elemental attributes of your weapon and the target's armor if applicable (I'll explain this later). Then the target's DEF stat is subtracted from this number, and the resulting damage is multiplied by 1.5 times. If you have no LUC then this is the end of your critical damage formula, but archers/hunters will have very high LUC at later levels and that adds even more power to our critical hits. Your LUC stat is taken and multiplied by a random number; anywhere from 0, which negates your LUC in terms of added damage, and 1.5.

ATK, DEF, and LUC

Your ATK stat can be seen on your stat window (press T). If you want your average ATK figure add your min and max stat together and divide by 2. The weapon power up skills do NOT show in your ATK figure, however, it can only logically be assumed that they add their damage in with the ATK and skill bonus placement in the critical damage formula. As far as the target's DEF stat that of course depends on the target, but in general outside map mobs have very little DEF. My recent tests on map 3 put the DEF of fire orcs in the 10 or less range. Tests in cave of stigma yielded results of 50 DEF, so nothing too big. Pando mobs have DEF in the 400 - 500 range. More specifically the non elemental mobs have around 395 and the fire mobs have about 430. The random multiplier on your LUC is just that, random from shot to shot and unpredictable.

ELEMENT factor

Keep in mind that in EP5 there are level 2 elements as well, which this guide does not detail. All talk of elements in this guide are regarding level 1 versions.

Earth dominates Water which dominates Fire which dominates Wind which dominates Earth. Any element will give a 20% advantage over a non elemental target. The elemental factor is applied to your attack stat before the target's DEF is subtracted. It is applied in a single calculation, and the amount of the multiplier is based on which two elements (weapon and armor) are being used.



If you have a non elemental weapon vs a non elemental target it is a figure of 1 (which really means it doesn't effect the damage). If you have a non elemental weapon against an elemental target the figure is .8 (20% damage reduction). If you have an elemental weapon against a non elemental target it is a figure of 1.2 (20% damage increase). Two neutral elements, such as fire vs fire or water vs wind is a figure of 1 (again no effect on DMG). Using a dominant weapon against a weak target such as fire vs wind or water vs fire is a figure of 1.4 (40% increase). Using the weak weapon against dominant target such as water vs earth mob or fire weapon vs water mob is a figure of .5 (50% damage reduction). So the potential figures for the ELEMENT factor of the formula are .5 , .8 , 1 , 1.2 , and 1.4.

A simpler way to quantify your critical damage is to notice what your normal non critical damage is. That is the equivalent of the (ATK * ELEMENT) - DEF) portion of the formula. Your normal damage * 1.5 will be the minimum amount you can critical hit for and your maximum crit is your (normal damage * 1.5) + (your LUC * 1.5). So let's say your normal damage is 500 and you have 500 LUC. Your critical damage will be at least 750 and at most 1500. Now, high LUC based critical hits are inconsistent. You will hit all over the place within that range; sometimes 1500 sometimes 750 and everywhere in between.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE

Another thing to understand about this is the first half of that formula, which is listed in blue, is subject to the enemy's defense, resist, and elemental stats, as you can see. The portion in green, which deals with your LUC, does not take into consideration any of the target's defensive abilities nor elements; It's purely straight damage based on your LUC stat. People refer to this as crits "bypassing" enemy defense. This is not really true though; critical hits don't bypass defense, LUC damage bypasses defense. But only on some shots as the random factor is still there and can cancel your LUC damage completely sometimes.

That's why a pure LUC build would have higher damage output against a boss or target with very high defense, as at that point your ATK power as an archer/hunter is completely canceled by the targets defense. It's also why defenders/guardians do not like archers/hunters so much, as our LUC gives us the ability to hurt them regardless of how much DEF they have.

And again remember that everything is affected by the level difference between you and your target; including base damage, crit damage, damage gained from LUC, everything. If you are going up against a boss that is red or purple you will miss most of the time, and when you do hit your damage will be insignificant even if you have 1000 ATK and 600 LUC.

WHY SHOULD I CARE?

You may not. But if you get serious at high level and you want to understand how stats affect results so that you can know what is the best use of your stats you may start to care. As an example, using figures from my old grind build; using a fire bow against wind goblins on map 3. Let's be generous and say they have 20 DEF.

(((920 * 1.4) - 20) * 1.5) + (500 * (random # between 0 and 1.5)) = 1902 - 2652

My critical damage from normal attacks, and I confirmed this, ranges from 1900 - 2650 in that situation. My bull's eye in that situation hits for as high as 3k which is cool to see. But if I leveled up and I wanted to know what I should do with my 9 stat points understanding this damage formula would help me. If I put 9 STR I would get an extra 19 damage. If I used the 9 points for LUC I would get an extra guaranteed 6 damage and up to another 14 damage on some shots, but that is subject to the random multiplier on LUC. So the LUC on the best shot would add 20 damage to a critical hit in this situation where as the STR adds 19 on EVERY shot; thus the STR is more beneficial to damage in this case.

Being able to understand and perfect stats in this way is why some people care, and why some of us spend hours figuring this stuff out. Casual players likely won't care, but then again casual players would never read such a statistical writing long enough to see this.

EVASION/ACCURACY MECHANICS:
Index Code: [XAEMS]

DO LUC BUILDS NEED DEX?

Let's get this out of the way first. Somehow a long time ago perhaps in a land far away it got started that critical hits do not need DEX to hit, so if you are a high LUC build with 95% critical hit rate you wont need any DEX at all and you will always hit. Certainly in PvE before level 50+ this seems to be somewhat true, you can do just fine with a pure LUC build or even a STR/LUC build and little DEX. But in PvP and against the higher level mobs this becomes less true. Almost everyone who goes high LUC and low DEX thinks everything is fine, until they get to Pando and start missing so much that it becomes unbearable. So then we reset to include DEX and this seemed to correct the problem as did using Big Coup or sharpshooter nos. 200 DEX is the minimum recommended amount for high level action for a high LUC build and 300 - 400 DEX is more recommended for PvP.

FINALLY THE EVASION TEST HAS ARRIVED

There are three basic theories regarding evasion and a bonus theory about critical evasion; some of which can be completely and others partially disproved. I've done all these test with respect to bless and no accuracy/evasion buffs or skills or other factors, just purely based on stats alone. I'm not going to list all the technical data as that's just boring and very few want to see something like that.

THEORY 1: LUC creates critical hits that never miss regardless of target's DEX.

FALSE.
The main point of this theory is that the game tests for a critical hit first and if you crit then it doesn't calculate DEX at all. I've run two tests that disprove this. A shooter with 800 LUC 95 DEX vs a target with 70 LUC 800 DEX. Over the course of several hundred shots there was only a single normal hit. The rest were divided as 27.5% critical hits and 72.5% misses. This tells us a few things. For one, crits do miss and your accuracy does depend on more than LUC, but also the target's DEX. In this case the shooter has 800 LUC and the target only 70 so if it were purely LUC based the shooter would rarely miss. What we see is nearly the exact opposite where the shooter is nearly always missing. This means that DEX has a very significant role in accuracy even regarding critical hits. The second control test I did was having the target remain the same at 800 DEX 70 LUC and the shooter switched to 70 LUC 95 DEX. The results of this test were similar, this time very very few critical hits (about the same that the last test had normal hits). The rest was distributed in a 19% normal hits and 81% misses. Similar to the 800 LUC test except the accuracy rate was roughly 8% less. This could be margin of error as I don't want to nor have the time to run thousands of hits. It could also mean that LUC and critical hits do add a bit of accuracy, though not a whole lot (less than 10%).

THEORY 2: DEX handles all accuracy regardless of critical or normal. LUC adds no accuracy to critical hits whatsoever and it's all dependent on DEX.

UNCLEAR BUT UNLIKELY.
This theory rests on the idea that the game first checks for a successful hit, which is determined by DEX alone. And if the hit is successful then it checks if it becomes a critical hit, which is determined by your LUC alone. It could very well be exactly that or it could be slightly more to it. Again as described above a high LUC build was hitting about 7% more than a low/no LUC build with equal DEX. This would suggest that critical/LUC does have some accuracy boost to it. It's not a ton though and admittedly it could be attributed to a margin of error due to a lower number of test shots, though as said I don't want to do a ten thousand shot test for each build as it takes too long.

THEORY 3. Both DEX and LUC contribute to accuracy, LUC obviously only helping critical accuracy though and not normal hits.

MOST LIKELY.
This is the theory that looks to be most true. The idea being that for the most part the game checks for a successful hit based on DEX and if you hit then it checks for a successful critical hit based on your LUC. The slight difference it seems is that high LUC does seem to give a slight boost to critical accuracy. Note the difference between accuracy and hite rate. Hit rate would mean the conversion of a successful normal shot to a critical shot, example being if i hit 100 successful shots and 50 of them become criticals that's a 50% critical hit rate. Accuracy means successful hits versus straight out misses. So 95% accuracy would mean 95 out of 100 shots will hit and 5 will miss. 95% critical hit rate would mean out of 100 SUCCESSFUL shots, 95 of them become critical and 5 remain normal. So for example, if you took 100 shots and 75 of them hit and 25 missed and 25 were critical that would mean you have a 75% accuracy with 33.3% critical hit rate; as 1/3 of the successful hits became critical and 1/4 of all your attempts missed.

THEORY 4: LUC evades critical hits by taking your LUC minus target's LUC and calculating crit rate from the resulting figure.

FALSE.
The final test I did was with both shooter and target having high LUC and low DEX, both equal. This was in the interest of testing LUC and critical evasion. Both were at 650 LUC and so theoretically should have 95% critical hit rate and equal 280 DEX. The results were interesting. First off I rarely normal hit, only once out of 200 shots. The results were 83% critical hits and 17% misses. So the idea that my LUC minus your LUC then equals my crit rate is not true as both shooter and target had 650 LUC thus the resulting figure would be 0 and thus no critical hit rate at all. Again though All i saw was critical hits, and only a single normal hit. The idea that LUC outright dodges criticals and makes them misses is not true either, as said I had good accuracy and only 17% misses which is even better than the low LUC equal DEX test in accuracy; the reason being the boost that LUC/critical hits naturally seem to have, which is somewhere in the 5-10% range, so let's say 7%.

So how does LUC actually evade critical hits? This popular theory is something I have not tested. It states that 20 LUC = %1 crit evasion. So If I have 475 LUC, considered to be 95% critical hit rate, and my target has 200 LUC, considered to be 10% critical evasion, then my resulting critical hit rate will be that 95% - that 10%, thus 85%. So it's not LUC minus LUC but rather crit rate minus crit evasion of target.

Therefore, a build of 700 LUC has theoretical crit rate of 140%, capped at 95 of course. A build of 900 LUC has crit evasion rate of 45%. Meaning that 700 LUC will give you enough buffer to maintain that 95% max crit rate against any opponent that has 900 LUC or less, which for the most part will be nearly everyone you meet except the few hunters you may come across that choose to push into the thousand range of LUC. No other class will go much higher than 500. I very much like the 700 LUC figure for serious endgame PvP oriented archers/hunters and recommend a bare minimum of 600 to buffer the 500 LUC evasion rate that many people run with in D-water.

CONCLUSION

I've also run a few more intermediate and less extreme tests in order to narrow down just how much DEX is enough. The first test has an obvious extreme difference of 700 DEX. But you don't need to have more DEX than your target in order to have acceptably high accuracy, you don't even need to be equal it seems you can be a bit lower and still hit consistently enough. I ran a test with a difference in DEX being 190 to the shooter's disadvantage and 190 LUC to the shooter's advantage, the results were 29% misses and 71% hits mixed between normal and critical. I ran a test with a 100 difference in DEX to the shooter's disadvantage and equal LUC and the results were 33.3% misses and 66.6% hits mixed between normal and critical. These results show a few thing. The first is you do want to be remotely close to your opponent in DEX and critical hits do seem to have a boost in accuracy, again though it's not a lot, only a few percent (around 5% or so it seems). The third test I did was equal LUC and DEX and the results were 24% misses and 76% hits mixed critical and normal of course as an archer/hunter must have around 70 LUC as a forced base at level 60. So you can see the difference between being down 200 DEX to being equal is not huge, roughly in the 10% lower accuracy range. Having more LUC than your opponent will give a slight boost as well.

Some other things to consider are this, archers/hunters get a sharpshooter buff that increases accuracy by 21% at level 3, and that's statistically a huge percentage boost. Now, rangers/assassins get an evasion passive skill that counters that but no other class gets such permanent skill so you will have a 21% accuracy boost against all targets save assassins. So while a difference of 100 DEX to your disadvantage caused 33% misses, put on that 21% buff and it's down to only 12% and remember the mechanics limit everything to 95% so you will always miss 5% of the time at least. This is why I recommended having no more than 100 less DEX than your target, the exact figure of course is completely dependent on the DEX of the targets you fight most, which for PvE 300 DEX is just fine and you can get away with less, but PvP is something that can't be pinned down, it's always fluid and relative.

So for practical purposes we can say that the way theory 2 describes it as the mechanics check for accuracy based on DEX first, then critical conversion based on LUC is basically accurate. The motto being "a shot that does not hit does not crit." With the side note of entertaining the idea that LUC does perhaps boost accuracy a bit. What this means is what the best of us already knew, that a LUC build must have DEX in order to have tolerable accuracy in the endgame, whether facing PvP targets with 400 DEX or high level mobs that seems to have in the 200 DEX range. Going pure LUC and too low DEX doesn't have enough accuracy, while it does have max critical hit rate, again a shot that doesn't hit doesn't crit. Critical hits do seem to add about a 7% accuracy boost overall when dealing with significant crit rates. So having 500+ LUC, equal or less than 100 difference between your DEX and your target's DEX, and using sharpshooter buff against a non assassin target, you should be hitting near the max of 95% accuracy and of course all your shots should be critical as well. When facing an assassin you should notice a drop in accuracy both because they will typically have one to two hundred more DEX than you and they also have the evasion skill that negates your sharpshooter buff. So you'll be dropping to about 75% accuracy against them on average.

DAMAGE ABSORPTION:
Index Code: [XDMGA]

With the release of EP4 we saw the implementation of the enchantment system. In regards to armors this means you can add damage absorption. For each level of enchantment, up to 20 per piece, you add an additional 5 damage absorption. It is important to understand that absorption is not the same thing as DEF. The DEF stat simply reduces physical damage taken and it factors in a specific place in the damage formula. Absorption, however, reduces ALL damage taken, be it physical, fixed, magical, LUC based, etc. And Absorption factors in at the very end of the formula after everything else is calculated. If you have 50 absorption and were going to be hit for 1000 damage, you would only receive 950 damage. It's simple and clean cut. Therefore, when decided whether to add LUC or STR, absorption does not really factor in because it will nerf both stats more or less equally. LUC damage bypasses DEF but not absorption.

misterdude

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misterdude
Joined
18 Feb 2008
Posts
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Location
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PostedNov 16, 2009 3:46 pm   Last edited by misterdude on Mar 28, 2010 4:11 pm. Edited 8 times in total
BUILDING YOUR ARCHER/HUNTER:
Index Code: [XBLDS]

Now that we've gotten the mechanics out of the way, let's address one of the most asked questions in the game. What's the best build? The answer is, there is no BEST build anymore than there is a best color or best tool. It's subjective depending on many things that are different for each person. The purpose of this guide is not to put an end to all discussion of builds. That will never happen and I don't want it to. I will list some common build ideas, but stats and builds are something to be played around with and something that is ever changing and being experimented with. First I will list an overview of the different build types and then I will write the sections based on an analysis of the different gameplay arenas of the game and evaluate the builds within them.

There is no way I can address everything because every person is in a unique situation. "I'm an NM lvl 55 archer, what is the best build for me?" I simply can't get that specific. What I am here to do is present you with information that you can hopefully use to understand the game mechanics for yourself so that YOU can answer your question. I'm not here to tell you what to do, I'm here to tell you how things work so that you can tell yourself what to do.

  • PURE LUC BUILDS - When people use the term "Luc build" that is a very generic phrase that could mean any number of things. When they say "pure luc" they almost always mean maximizing your LUC stat while giving minimal reasonable consideration to the other stats. In other words, a "pure luc" mentality would choose to lapis a slot with a level 4 LUC over a level 6 STR. Most people are wise enough to realize that staying so strict to the pure idea is usually never the best option. The problem with pure LUC is that you do still need DEX for accuracy, so in order to make pure LUC even an option you would have to use sharpshooter nostrums, and even that will not be reliable in some of the endgame situations.

  • PURE STR BUILDS - There is only one main purpose for this build and depending on your style of social play it may not even be useful. The fastest way to grind is to have maximum damage. STR gives maximum damage, more than LUC. But in order to utilize it you need lots of STR and you need KO nos for critical hits and sharpshooter nos for accuracy. You need to make great gear maximized for ATK. You also need an element to bump up the damage even more. Most people simply won't do this. If you have a good guild you won't be grinding alone anyway so it won't be necessary to be that unbalanced statistically. But technically, a pure STR on nos is the highest damage build that is possible. Of course, your damage depends on the target and so sl sometimes a pure LUC build is the highest damage build, but in terms of PvE grinding mobs, STR wins. You'll learn more as you read on.

  • STR/DEX BUILDS - 3 STR 2 DEX in NM, 5 STR 2 DEX in HM, 7 STR 2 DEX in UM. Those are the stock basic builds. Boring perhaps, but reliable and superior to LUC based builds for the first 30 levels at least. Whenever I made archers, or any LUC build, I used these STR/DEX builds and reset my stats to LUC/Hybrid builds later.

  • REC/DEX BUILDS - The theory and intention behind this kind of build is to level quickly and restat later. You basically put all your points into the REC stat and thus you make yourself a tank who has very high defense but nearly no attack. So it would be your job to act like a defender/guardian and team up with an AoE caster. You gather a bunch of mobs and attack them to keep their attention and attacks on you, while the mage does the damage and kills them. I've recently began researching this build more and I like what I've found. In the end though this is typically going to be a temporary grinding build where you reset to a more conventional attack build later, usually. You would not be full REC though as you need DEX for accuracy to hold aggro so you would be at least 2 DEX per level and the rest REC unless you get your DEX all from lapis. It's a REC/DEX build though, not full REC.

  • LUC/DEX BUILDS - This would be any build that focuses on mainly LUC but adds DEX in for the necessary accuracy needed. STR and ATK, in this build, would not be emphasized. The purpose is the same as the pure LUC idea except it acknowledges the need for accuracy in the form of DEX. This type of build is mainly used for endgame boss fights where LUC is the primary source of damage and ATK really doesn't matter.

  • STR/LUC BUILDS - There was a time when this was considered a proper build. Our knowledge now, however, understands that DEX is a must because you need accuracy. STR/LUC will simply have the same accuracy issues as a pure LUC build. You need DEX.

  • HYBRID BUILDS - Generally, any build that combines all the stats in significant quantities each (LUC, DEX, STR, and perhaps REC) is something that is considered a Hybrid build. It's also the most solid and "best" build in my opinion but it requires that you have a LOT of stat points, which typically means at least Hard Mode and very very good gear. In the end, nearly every archer/hunter is some kind of a hybrid. However, the specific distribution of your stats depends entirely on what aspect of the game you are most leaning toward. There just is NO build that pwns all. If you want to be the best in PvP you need a certain build. If you want to be the best DPS you can against Cryptic Throne bosses you need a different build. If you want to be the fastest solo grinder you need yet a different build. If you want to be the best 1-15 PvPer it is again a different build. You cannot be the best at everything using only a single build. You either have to constantly reset your build or you need to just take a reasonable balance that favors what you do most but still preforms well at everything you do. That's what most do in the end. The typical hybrid build is a mix of LUC, STR, DEX, and HP.

PvE BUILDS:
Index Code: [XPVEB]

There are a few different areas of PvE content and each one requires a different build to maximize performance. Of course, you don't have to maximize performance in all areas. There are two basic PvE aspects, boss farming and grinding. Those two categories get further separated. There is low level grinding from lvl 1 to around the mid 30s. There's endgame grinding which is lvl 50 on up. There's also a bit of an overlap from the mid 30s to the 50s in which most builds do decently through. Then there's the endgame bosses which get separated into two catagories as well; the lesser bosses and the hardest bosses.

LOW LEVEL GRINDING BUILDS
Index Code: [XGRND]

I quantify this as levels 1 to 35 in general. Typically you won't have good gear nor will you have many stat points to work with. For the purposes of grinding you also won't really want to invest much in good gear since it will be so temporary. Also keep in mind this is a look at maximizing YOUR archer/hunter. You could of course just get in a party and play a less significant role in the killing. So in general this is a look at a solo archer/hunter, which means you'll be the best you can be and thus the best benefit to any party you are in.

  • PURE STR - This will work for a little while but as you get higher in level your lack of DEX will begin to slow you down. The only way to make this build work is to go on sharpshooter nos, and if you're going to do that you should also throw in KO nos as well. If you did that you would be doing the most damage you possibly could. But it's an expensive route.

  • STR/DEX - This is the standard low level build for a reason. The typical way to do it is add 2 points of DEX per level and put the others in STR. The addition of DEX means you don't need sharpshooter nos for accuracy. KO nos would boost your damage in this build as well but if you want a nos build the pure STR is the heavy hitting way to go.

  • PURE LUC - There are two issues with this build. One, you have no DEX, which will be okay for a bit but eventually catch up to you. The second is that LUC doesn't pay off until it gets high enough to raise your critical hit rate significantly. You need in the area of the high 300s LUC before that starts to happen. Otherwise, you will not critical hit enough, you will miss too much, and your overall damage will suffer greatly as a result.

  • LUC/DEX - You could do this, but one problem is that again your critical hit rate won't get high enough for a very long time, and in the meantime your damage will be quite bad. You won't have accuracy issues like a pure LUC build but you will have the same low damage issues.

  • REC/DEX - As mentioned before the purpose of this build is to act like a tank in order to grind faster by partying with a mage/pagan or other AoE damage dealer. The common build would need DEX because you have to rely on your attacks holding aggro so 2 DEX per level and the rest into REC would be the basic idea. You could go full REC but you would have to lapis in your DEX then. I will discuss this build in it's own section later because it's so unique.

  • HYBRID - You've heard the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none." Regarding the idea of a low level hybrid build it should be changed to "five of all trades, jack of none." In other words you will be overbalanced and spread too thin if you try to work with three stats at such a low level. You won't be acceptably good at anything and there is no reason to do this. A low level hybrid, or "Lowbrid", I just coined that term, simply doesn't work.

HIGH LEVEL GRINDING BUILDS

I quantify this as levels 50 on up in general. Now gear is very important and will ultimately account for way more than half of your stat points. I know I skipped about 15 levels but I'll get to that later. After level 50 any sane person will be grinding in Pando or other high level, equally difficult, maps. Again if you're in a party of high levels you won't NEED to be uber but the point of this guide is to help you be the best you can, so again we'll act like you're solo, which you may sometimes be.

  • PURE STR - This is again an nonviable build by itself. It's a nos build. You need sharpshooter and you'll want KO nos on constantly. That's the point of this build, to do the most damage you possibly can. But it's expensive. I would not recommend using any level 6 lapis with this build since the armor is going to be temporary and that's just a waste of good lvl 6 STR.

  • STR/DEX - I said this was the standard low level build for a reason. It is obsolete at high levels. To have any kind of decent damage you would won't to always be on KO. Still not much reason to do this unless you are working with little stat points which would probably mean NM. But then you've got even more issues because you won't have the ATK power to do much at high level with a STR/DEx build. You're better off with a LUC based build in almost any situation.

  • PURE LUC - You would have to nos. And if you're going to use sharpshooter nos for accuracy you may as well go pure STR and have the good nos build rather than a pure LUC grinding build.

  • LUC/DEX - For the purposes of grinding, LUC is really first and foremost a critical hit booster. Yes LUC adds damage to critical hits but STR adds more than LUC does. PvE grinding mobs only have about 500 DEF at the absolute ceiling. Most Pando mobs are around 395, some others are 430. Yes, I DO know that from testing. At that level of defense, STR will give you more damage than LUC would. So really there is no point, for the purpose of GRINDING, to go LUC/DEX over a Hybrid.

  • REC/DEX - I didn't used to be a fan of this build but I've given it the attention it deserves now and I think it is unique and fun and can be very effective and just as fast to level up with. In some cases it might even be the best option for some lower stat archer/hunters. I will discuss this build later in its own section because there is a lot to say about it.

  • HYBRID - This is what a hybrid is for, high level content. For the purpose of grinding the high level Pando and equivalent mobs I've found that 225 DEX is a good amount. 300 DEX would be the tops for grinding. 525 LUC is a good number as well, 600 would be the tops. After those two stat figures, putting everything else into STR will maximize your damage. I've found those figures to give you the fastest, non nossed, killing speed for grinding in the end game.

MID LEVEL GRINDING BUILDS

Aes, you missed 15 - 20 levels in there. Yeah I know. Because you could go either way. You could switch in the low 30s and reset your stats and start working on your high level build. Or you could hold to your lower level grinding build and still do fine. The point where the game changes in terms of PvE is around 49/50 and low level builds don't work well after that.

LESSER BOSS KILLING BUILDS
Index Code: [XBSSK]

There are two types of bosses in the endgame. They are distinguished by the amount of defenses they have and you'll notice a switch where your attack starts to be nerfed too much by said defenses. Since LUC bypasses defenses, a high LUC build then starts to become better. The lesser bosses include Kimuraku, Cloron Troll, and the others in that vain. Any boss that doesn't require a raid party is considered a lesser boss. If a 60 UM fighter/warrior can solo or duo it, it's a lesser boss. I'm not going to list all the builds here because most are not applicable. The debate is between a Pure STR, a Hybrid, and a Pure LUC build.

  • PURE STR - This again would give you the highest damage potential. But there's an issue. You'll have competition for the kill and you won't be able to out damage a fighter/warrior even with a Pure STR nos build. I also don't like the idea of using a nos build for your main build but that's just me. Again you would need KO and sharpshooter nos at the least for this build.

  • PURE LUC - The idea with this is again that you bypass the target's defense with your LUC damage. However, these lesser bosses don't have crazy high defenses so having excessively high LUC is not needed to overcome them. At a minimum you would need sharpshooter nos to complement this build and depending how much DEX you have you may still have accuracy issues, but likely not with the lesser bosses.

  • HYBRID - You could basically call this a STR/DEX/LUC build. It does not require nos. You'll want at least 300 DEX in this area of gameplay. You'll need a minimum of 500 LUC, and more is preferred. Then whatever else you can muster would go into STR. In my opinion the Hybrid build is best in this situation.

  • REC/DEX - Though I like this build's potential for grinding and maybe even PvP if you possess the predisposition for its style, but I'm not so sure about an archers' ability to tank end game bosses. I'm not saying it's bad or good, I'm saying I just don't know and up until now none of the major guilds are using this as part of their strategy as far as I know. Defender/guardians and even casters are used for boss tanks but I've never heard of an archer being designed for this and I can't off the top of my head come up with something that makes us naturally better than any other class at such a task. I don't know WHY you would do it, is what I'm saying.

ENDGAME HARDEST BOSS KILLING BUILDS

These bosses do have a LOT Of defenses and as such your damage will be coming from your LUC stat rather than your ATK stat. So STR based builds are not really up for discussion. There is not really a question which build is better damage but rather what level of balance do you want to actually build into your toon. The harder bosses I'm referring to include Cloron Dragon, Freezing Mirage Dragon, the Cryptic Throne bosses including Cryptic the Immortal, and the others that will get added in future updates. Cloron is somewhat on the line in the sense that a fighter/warrior can stand toe to toe with him and live but anyway...

  • PURE LUC - Again you cannot have a pure build like this and have no accuracy stat built in. You will miss too much with no DEX. Now, sharpshooter nos is supposed to bump you to 95% accuracy, or so we assumed, but it doesn't. I've heard from several reliable sources that with low DEX and sharpshooter nos you will still miss the harder bosses a lot. So a "Pure LUC" build becomes nonviable. So the LUC build in question is really a LUC/DEX build.

  • LUC/DEX - We already established that LUC is where your damage is coming from in these fights so the higher the better. But in order to maximize your DPS you need to minimize missing. Thta means you need some DEX, enough so that a sharpshooter nos can boost you to maximum accuracy. I don't know the specific figure, that's something that you'll have to find out yourself, but if you're killing these endgame bosses you should be able to handle that. you'll probably want a few hundred DEX, even more if you don't use nos, and then of course get your LUC as high as possible.

  • HYBRID - Your STR in a hybrid build would be wasted points in this situation. So in terms of the best boss killing build a hybrid is not number one. But again I said it is about finding a balance between all your areas of gameplay so a Hybrid build will do damage and will have use against these bosses, it's just not optimized to kill them as fast as possible.

  • REC/DEX - As I said before, though I like this build's potential for grinding and maybe even PvP if you possess the predisposition for its style, I'm not so sure about an archers' ability to tank end game bosses. I'm not saying it's bad or good, I'm saying I just don't know and up until now none of the major guilds are using this as part of their strategy as far as I know. Defender/guardians and even casters are used for boss tanks but I've never heard of an archer being designed for this and I can't off the top of my head come up with something that makes us naturally better than any other class at such a task. I don't know WHY you would do it, is what I'm saying.

PvP BUILDS:
Index Code: [XPVPB]

Something that is boring me quite a bit lately is the repetitive questions on the forums. It seems it is nothing but some rehashed form of the same question, "I'm HM, I wanna PvP, where should I put my stats." I'm about ready to leave the forums completely because it's just boring and the same questions get asked two dozen times in two dozen different posts every month. The problem with writing PvP guides is that it is a game based on ever changing circumstances. It is also largely dependent on individual variables, such as server, budget, etc. But I'm quite over the endless line of players asking "what should I do for Canta?, what should I do for Canta? what should I do for Canta?" Yes everyone can be in a unique situation but for goddess' sake read what the other 12 people before you asked and at least try to apply it to your situation. People don't want to learn and research themselves. If you can't be bothered to look through the other forum threads before you post your uninspired rehash of a question, I honestly don't think I want to help you.

Building for PvP is based on one thing, knowing your enemy. It would be impossible to say one build is better than another in every case. Will LUC out damage STR? How much DEX do you need? Should you add defense or perhaps some more HP? All of this depends on your opponent and that is something you'll have to investigate yourself because you play on the server you play on at the time you play against the opponents you face. So I can't tell you what to do. But what I can do is tell you statistically what is possible and what makes no sense. I can tell you possibilities to help you so you don't have to shoot in the dark.

Much of these builds are being compared for damage. This does not really bring into play the idea of survivability. My favorite philosophy regarding PvP is that you can't shoot arrows if you're dead. And so it doesn't matter how many stats you have if you get two shotted by the enemy. You need to be able to survive or it will just be a waste of your power.

WARNING: PVP NOT NEWBIE FRIENDLY

I have to say this first, because I get the impression that newer players are under the impression that PvP is going to be possible and fun for them. They ask me questions as though it's a simple response, as though it's a given that they will be good if they just know where to put there stats. Unfortunately this just isn't true. PvP is now fully under the Golden Rule, "whoever has the gold makes the rules." It's nearly impossible to be seriously competitive, and thus have any fun, if you are not completely loaded with game gold or real cash to buy AP to then trade for in game gold.

You need high enchantments, you need good gear with great lapis. You need a ton of stat points. The only way to rack all this up is by spending a massive amount of gold. If you don't have billions of gold then you literally will not be able to do it. Now sure you can still play, but it won't be much fun. Unless you think getting slaughtered is fun. And I don't say this out of frustration from having been slaughtered myself. I don't play the game anymore and left before this perversion happened. But it needs to be understood. "I'm HM, I don't have much budget, how should I put my stats?" I feel bad, but I almost want to simply reply, "Does it matter how the lamb puts his stats when facing the lion? You can be equally good kill fodder no matter how you stat yourself." I personally believe that high level PvP in D-water is where the best hope is. It's also the purpose of the game. You can read my feelings about this in this post called Live or Die, which I now realize was locked and I have no idea why.

1-15 PvP BUILDS

There are two basic options here. LUC based build or STR based build. Within each is another choice, use DEX for accuracy, or use nos for accuracy, or try to go without both. The main limiting factor in this zone is lack of stat points. The enchantment system helps as would level 6 lapis, but still in the end there is only so much you can do. And as said you will need insane enchantments to keep up with the competition. Archers are natively at a disadvantage at low levels, especially level 15. The main reason is you don't have the stat points to build the class the way it was meant to be. In this zone the addition of the somewhat rare worship and heroic and dread armors is also destroying the balance and any hope a newer player had at success or fun.

PURE STR - You know the story by now. Dump everything into STR and get your ATK as high as possible, nos up with KO and sharpshooter. But how much ATK could you get at level 15 even with this extreme build, assuming you are UM? I'll spare you details of the calculations. Enchanting to level [10] is difficult, very expensive, yet possible so we'll use that as a good case scenario. We'll also say you put lvl 6 STR on everything, an element in your bow. Basically the best of the best stuff. You're gonna be looking in the range of 460 ATK power. As for how much damage that will equate to, that depends on your target. Do they have added DEF, damage absorption, elemental armor? If the answer to all those is "No" then you're gonna be looking at critical damage in the 850 range. That's impressive but that is a best case scenario in which your uber gear and nos simply pwns the nonexistent defenses of your target. If your target has defenses those figures can plummet quickly as the DEF eats up your ATK and gimps the potential of your critical and elemental multipliers. Their absorb then finished off the rest.

STR/DEX - Similar to the Pure STR except that you factor in DEX for your accuracy rather than rely on sharpshooter nostrum. How much DEX you need will depend on what the enemies in your zone choose to do. When I played, 70 DEX is what I liked to run with, but whether or not that's accurate for your server now I have no idea. The idea is that you put enough DEX to be accurate and then dump the rest into STR boosting your ATK as high as possible. You typically will not nos so your damage will be nowhere near as described in the pure STR build. This is, or at least was, the standard build for the 1-15 zone when I played. But again, even the uberly geared archers complain about the defensive gear of their opponents practically nerfing them and making them feel like noobs. So what hope does a true newbie or someone without a key to Fort Knox have? Even so it's still the best option, in a situation in which there are basically no good options.

Pure LUC - I'm not a fan of pure build because they lack the inherent accuracy. You have to supplement them with nos and a pure LUC build in 1-15 is no exception if you want to guarantee accuracy and you have no DEX you'll need sharpshooter nos. Nevertheless is this a viable option? First, yes, because people do it and it does indeed work. But polishing a piece of cow dung works too if you know the right technique and that doesn't mean everyone should do it.

What is important to understand, without boring you with more calculations, is that if you do not possess a full set of heroic gear then a LUC based build simply will not outdamage a STR based build, you just won't have the stat points for it.

LUC/DEX - Again the same theory as above except you build in your accuracy with DEX rather than potentially using nos, or as some seem to have done, relying purely on wishful thinking to make you hit because contrary to what people used to think, LUC still needs DEX for accuracy. So of course your damages will be lower than the Pure LUC build but you are not reliant on nos.

REC/DEX - I'm not so sure why you would do this in 1-15. Let's just say that even if you could make yourself extremely hard to kill, what other useful skills do you have at this level? Some, maybe, but not the kind you get at higher levels. In my opinion, maybe in D-water PvP some might like this hard to kill, annoying debuffer/poisoner type build. It certainly seems fun. But in 1-15 you don't have the skills to do it right in my opinion and of course this build has no native attacking ability so it's all about skills to do anything. I'll comment more about this in the dedicated REC/DEX build section later on.

* I cannot tell you what build is best, or even what build I would do because that question needs to be answered after having evaluated the competition in the particular zone you play in, at the time you play, on the server you play, against the opponents you see most. You have to know what you're up against, in general, in order to know what the best build is. And that's the game of PvP, like war, nothing is static, and everything depends on the comparison of you versus your opponent. Which is why things are so screwed up because the opponents have become so overpowered as to make a newer player unable to even PvP unless they literally spend hundreds of real dollars on the game. It's just sad that this has become the stat of the 1-15 zone which is arguably supposed to be the zone for the newbies to learn and have fun in.

But having said that, For 1-15, unless there are uncommon circumstances for you, the build you are going to see the best results with is a STR/DEX based build. However, unless you have billions upon billions of gold spend, you may as well be choosing between different types of vacuums because anything you do is going to suck.

20-30 PvP BUILDS

This is a zone where the stat points start getting high enough to make hybrids decently. Again though, rather than repeat the same general ideas again, I'll just remind you. You need DEX, and how much you need depends on your opponents, which is unique to every server and every zone and time of the day. You're also at the point, using the best gear, where you could reach close to the 95% critical hit rate from LUC. In general, if you make uber gear, a lvl 30 UM is in the position where a LUC/DEX/STR hybrid makes a standard STR/DEX build obsolete. The Pure STR build still holds water, but of course it's a nos build. If you have been jumping around the guide looking for things you may miss the value of it because, for example, I outlined much of the builds in the 1-15 section and won't do it again here. This guide is meant to be a teaching experience where as you read it all you gain the understanding of how stats work so that YOU can determine what to do, rather than having me say "Do this." and then two months later it's outdated information because of a patch, update, or change in trend of the enemy.

STR/DEX - Honestly this is just the poor man's option. It's not really good but what can you do if you don't have the points to make a different build. The answer is, you can get killed, over and over and over again. And then you can quit the zone, and possibly the game. It has to be mentioned, but this build is pretty outdated because of the changes made in EP4 and the massive amount of gear and stats that people run with in Canta.

LUC/DEX - This is pretty much the standard you want to shoot for. If you can't make it, I would seriously consider skipping 20-30 PvP. Actually I advice that in all cases. I think everyone should play at level 60 in D-water and leave the lower and mid zones to the newer players. 400 LUC is going to be the minimum amount you want. 500 would be even better. Last I heard about 100 DEX is the absolute minimum you should go for, and more like 200 is proper. If you had those figures then you could personally decide whether to put points into STR or more LUC or more DEX, depending on what you want.

1-60 PvP BUILDS

This, I believe the true point of the game, utilizing the best gear, skills, levels, and modes to their full potential. So I won't comment too much on builds because high level PvP things are closely guarded, this is war after all. But by reading through this guide you will obtain the necessary information to compile your own conclusions of what build is best for you in the end, given your enemies. You have a high ceiling for potential and you're pretty much looking at some form of LUC/DEX/STR hybrid for endgame PvP. You'll also need to address the survivability issue, which in my opinion, for an archer/hunter, means adding HP from reconstruction and/or lapis.

Again, there's no point in me telling you what to do for PvP. What I want is to impart my experience, time, effort, and research so that you can understand the mechanics of the stats so that YOU know how to adaptively build your character. Because again, there is no right or wrong way and there is no one build that Pwns All. Everything depends on your individual situation. When you learn how to drive a car, you learn how to drive. You don't memorize a path because the path taken changes depending on where you are on the road. You know how to drive so you can adaptively navigate the car. And that's what you want to be able to do here. Understand how the stats work. Learn about your opponents via experience, and adapt. You have the formulas, so you can calculate stats and predict damage. You have the information, you have the research. Now it's up to you to use it, or not. That is why reading this guide through is beneficial rather than just seeking out specific information. I talk about the benefit of HP over DEF, but if you don't read the lapis section you'll miss that gem.

Advising what to do for endgame PvP is somewhat odd. If you manage to make it this far and still don't understand your class, which is sadly common due to powerleveling, then I'm not completely sure I want to help you. Read the guides, understand how stats work, then make decisions about what you want and build accordingly. If you won't do that than I can say that I AM sure I don't want to help you. I put in over 2000 hours compiling research. If you can put in two hours to read it, then you don't deserve the knowledge.

REFINING YOUR BUILD:
Index Code: [XREFB]

LUC OR STR? THE SEARCH FOR MAXIMUM DAMAGE.

We are pretty much talking about high level HM or UM Hybrid builds here. With all serious archers/hunters likely being UM, or perhaps HM these days, lvl 60 in the end with great gear, you will be working with the potential for in the range of 1500+ stat points. Thus Hybrid build is the only way to go unless you're a boss killer exclusively. The big question here is how much DEX? How much STR? How much LUC?

Most agree that DEX is primarily used for accuracy. But the catch is you won't know how much you need unless you know how much your target has. All you can do is feel out your environment. I can't tell you, I don't know your enemy's stats. After you get your DEX figure, the question is finding the balance between your STR and LUC. You'll have at least 500 LUC for your 95% accuracy but after that it's all about one thing, damage. Will LUC or STR give more damage? The answer is completely dependent on your target.

High Def

  • Against a high defense target, whether that be a boss like FM or a lvl 60 UM guardian, they will have DEF stats nearing 1000 or more. As a high level UM archer/hunter you can get higher ATK than that but still, a high defense target will completely negate all or at least most of your attack power, thus giving you single or double digit damage in many cases and elements won't matter at that point. Your LUC is what can save you against such targets as their defense means nothing to your LUC.

    So as I already said, going pure LUC will give you the highest potential damage output against targets with high DEF (500 to 1000+). If the target has 1000 defense, any points you have in STR are completely void and only LUC will help you there. But pure LUC is not the best all around build so unless you want to restat back and forth to kill a boss every time I don't recommend it. A 60 UM fighter/warrior will likely out-DPS you even with a pure build and 900 LUC.

Middle Ground

  • Against a target with 500 or less defense, now the difference between a pure LUC build and a hybrid build becomes much less because now your STR/ATK counts for something in addition to your LUC. In a matter of speaking, these kinds of targets will produce similar results whether your build be high LUC or more balanced between LUC and STR. I've tested against 500 DEF targets two builds with the same DEX (over 200). One with 750 LUC and less STR, and one with 500 LUC and more STR. The damage per hit was very different, but the overall DPS was very similar. To call one better would be a bold statement as the results were pretty close.

The Squishies

  • Against a "squishy" target with 200 or less DEF, which is about what a high level toon would have if not adding anything into DEF or REC, kinda like you may be if you follow this guide. Having more STR vs LUC helps most here as all points you add into STR will count and add guaranteed consistent damage to your critical hits. If these are the kind of targets you are facing then LUC would be useful only to get 95% critical hit rate, after which adding points into STR would increase damage more than adding more LUC.

So in terms of damage against high defense targets LUC is better, and against low defense targets STR is better. Against medium defense targets they are about the same. Now here's the thing, most people are not going to have high defense besides good PvP casters and REC guardians. Everyone else for the most part will be under 500 DEF. Bosses and high level dungeon mobs will have higher defenses though. I'm not here to tell you WHAT to do but rather to tell you information so that you can choose what you want to do given the environment. There is no one build that will Pwn All.

HOW MUCH LUC DO I NEED?

Obviously this depends on your level and intentions. If you have been reading all the information in this guide, as I recommend, you already have a good idea. But there are always different ways to approach a topic. I won't go into great depth here again as I have already talked about all the builds at all the different levels. Nevertheless I will write briefly on each of the different scenarios just to touch on it in a different way.

Proelium (1 -15 PvP): It is impossible to make a Hybrid at level 15. So the simple answer is less than 30 LUC. You have base LUC and you will have 14 points forced into LUC, as well as a few points from your armor. Aside from that, you should not really add any LUC for this zone. THe exception is if you possess the equivalent of a full set of heroic armor, including weapon, and a two slot helm, and you are UM. If this is the case and you have the ability to lapis it with the best lapis (meaning level 6), then you will be right on the threshold of achieving a LUC/DEX build that is superior than a STR/DEX build at level 15. Anything less than this simply will not be better than a standard STR based build.

Low level grinding (1-50): This is a more complicated situation. Much of it depends on many factors. Are you grinding solo or in a group? Do you have a lot of gold? How much do you care about speed? Are you going to stop at 30 for Canta PvP? As such, there is no straight answer that applies to them all. In the beginning it is also impossible to make a Hybrid since you have nearly no stat points.

Starting a LUC build from level 1 is the second slowest grinding build you can make. The slowest being a pure DEX build, though why you would make that I do not know. The reason is because the power of a LUC build is in critical damage. But until you have over 300 LUC you won't have a significant critical hit rate, and it won't be satisfying until you have in the high 400s. You can start to achieve this around level 30 but only if you have great armors. For the purpose of grinding, a LUC based build will not offer more damage than a STR based build until around level 30 to 40, depending on your mode, gear, and PvP rank. Therefore, the quickest way to acheive this is to use a standard STR/DEX build until the appropriate level where you have the stat points to make your LUC/DEX build better. At that point you use a stat reset stone and change your build. The only downside is the cost, either in AP or in game gold, to buy the stat reset.

If you are always going to be in a part, or if you are getting powerleveld then the need to be your best at lower level is not that important. In a matter of speaking you can just leech your way through or you could afford to be mediocre if there are many people to pick up the slack. In such a case you might be more economically smart to just build a LUC build from the beginning and then skip the mid 30s stat reset.

If you are stopping in Cant for 20-30 PvP you also may be able to get away without using a stat reset, however, consider the cost of successfully PvPing. It's not cheap. These days most people spend billions of gold on their PvP armors and the cost of a stat reset is nothing in comparison. That is really all that can be said. You need the appropriate amount of DEX to hit, which honestly isn't that much for PvP. And then as much LUC as you can, up to about 525. You likely will not be able to acheive this in your 1-40 grinding gear. You need a massive amount of points so unless you are having PvP armor and high rank, it's not worth it to invest that much in temporary grinding gear. Nevertheless the answer would be as close to 525 as you can get so long as you have the necessary DEX as well.

Canta (20-30 PvP): Here the answer would be pretty simple, in general. As close to 600 LUC as you can get would be the preferred number. You must, of course, also have the right amount of DEX for accuracy. The idea behind wanting 600 LUC is that it should give you 95% crit rate (maximum) against any opponent that has 500 LUC or less, which would be the majority of people in Canta, including other archers/hunters. It's not easy to get 600 LUC at level 30 but it is possible with high mode, rank, and gear. Ideally you want at least 450 LUC but even that is not easy to get. It's not cheap to PvP in the lower zones, especially as an archer because our best builds are complex and thus tricky to muster the stat points necessary to do it right. If you can't afford to make a decent LUC/DEX based build, then you can use a STR/DEX build here as well. Again, Pvp is not easy to succeed in when you don't have the gold. The state of the game at the time of this writing is not conducive to the average player and the zones are dominated by the ones who spend billions of gold and hundreds or thousands of dollars on the game, unfortunately.

High Level Grinding (50+): Much like the low level grinding, the idea would be to shoot for 525 LUC. There really isn't going to be any serious PvPing until you are near max level (60). The reasoning behind 525 LUC is that it will give you just about maximum crit rate against the PvE mobs. 525 should be taken as the minimum and honestly I would call 600 the maximum, for grinding purposes. Of course you also need the appropriate DEX. After that you would benefit most from STR. But until you have the maximum critical hit rate against your target, LUC will benefit you more in terms of damage than STR will. It is better to have a bit too much LUC than a bit too little because LUC also adds critical damage and ATK. So the difference between 1 LUC and 1 STR, in terms of damage, is the 1 STR offers about 0.7 more damage per hit in the best case scenario (which will be pretty much all the time in PvE.) So it's worth ensuring you have max crit rate rather than toe the line. So 525 to 600 LUC is the proper figure. After which, you can put the rest into STR to maximize your grinding speed. Again don't forget the DEX, which we will talk about next.

D-Water (1-60 PvP): This is the zone in which you have the most flexibility. Much of this comes down to preference, but I will give you my logic on the matter. I consider 600 LUC to be the minimum figure. I see no logical thought to anyone going less than 600 LUC. The reason is that it is common for every offensive class to build in at least 400 to 500 LUC. If you build in 600 LUC you will have a buffer that will allow you to maintain maximum critical hit rate against anyone with 500 LUC or less. Nearly nobody that is not an archer/hunter will build in more than 500 LUC. But some might have Incantation level 3 on, and what about the other archers/hunters? 600 is the minimum, and I consider 900 to be a solid "maximum" though you can of course go higher if you want, I just don't really see a whole lot of point to it, just for PvP purposes. The reason 900 is a ceiling is because it offers you enough buffer to maintain your maximum crit rate against any target with 1700 or less LUC. Remember, LUC offers critical evasion so the LUC of your opponent can reduce your critical hit rate even if you have more than 475 LUC. That is why you need to build in a buffer to counter this.

Now, nobody is going to have 1700 LUC, I don't even know if it's mathematically possible. So you can see that if you had 900 LUC you would have zero concern of ever not having your maximum critical hit rate. 850 LUC would protect you against any opponent with 1500 or less LUC and 800 would protect you against anyone with 1300 or less LUC. Only you can determine if your opponents will actually have this much LUC. In any case 900 would be the maximum in my opinion and again 600 is the minimum. Your exact choice is up to you. Again, after you acheive the proper amount of DEX for accuracy, and your 600 to 900 LUC or more if you choose (for some reason) you can dump the rest of your points into STR.

Boss Fights: There is no limit here. Enough DEX to ensure you hit, perhaps complimented with SharpShooter nos, and then as much luck as you can muster. This applies only to the hardest endgame bosses. Many of the lesser bosses, including things like Cloron/Fantasma Dragon, Kimu, etc. do not need this high LUC build and you can often be better off with a more balanced LUC/DEX/STR build. In any case, if you are fighting these endgame bosses you should not need my advice on how to build.

HOW MUCH DEX DO I NEED?

This is going to be even simpler than the LUC. I'm not going to tell you much regarding PvP because it's so conditional, relative, and fluid depending on the current trends, your zone, and your server. It would be like asking what fashion is in this year or how fast you have to run to win an Olympic gold medal.

PvP (all zones): You need to have DEX that is comparable to your opponents DEX in order to effectively hit them most of the time. You can afford to have less than them but you must be close. How close depends on your level. You would want to be within 100 DEX of your opponents in D-water, but obviously that doesn't apply to Proelium of Canta, where most only have one or two hundred total. You'll have to do research and ask heavy PvPers on YOUR server, in YOUR zone, at the time YOU play for advice. Generic answers just won't be of much use, you need to know the state of your battlefield and only the ones fighting beside you can help you there.

PvE Grinding: I'm just going to run this all together. In the beginning you don't need much at all, assuming you fight mobs appropriate for your level (green or yellow names) and preferably outside mobs (not dungeons if you are alone), then you won't need more than a few dozen DEX. If you are not going to get it from gear (lapis) then you can add 2 DEX each time you level up and that will serve you well for most of the trip. You really don't need much more than that 2 DEX per level until you get to about level 48. AT this point you are going to need to get to 200 DEX really fast. You're going to need gear to do so but the 50 to 60 grinding journey will require that you have 225 DEX, or more if you want, but 225 is a solid figure. Don't go too much more or you will sacrifice your damage potential.

Bosses: It depends on what bosses you are talking about. Things like Kimu, or Cloron/Fanta Troll, or even Cloron/Fanta dragon don't require the same amount that Freezing Mirage/Haru or the Cryptic Throne bosses do. For the lesser bosses you can do fine with about 300 DEX, but for the bigger baddies you might need more, or you might want to use nos to supplement. But then again, you don't kill these things alone anyway so there will be many others helping you so the need to be perfect is not huge. Again, if you are seriously refining for this situation I hope that you do not really need my help. You should already be a skilled archer/hunter and have several experienced players in your guild to help you.

HOW MUCH STR DO I NEED?

This is assuming you are an attack based build of course. There are other options, like a tanking build that obviously would not require any STR at all. This one is even simpler than the DEX. The answer is, after you have the appropriate amount of DEX, and the correct amount of LUC that you have decided on, then the STR comes last and simply gets whatever you can muster. For some builds that will mean many hundreds of STR and for some it will mean nearly none. There is nothing fancy with STR, it's almost always just "as much as you can get" after you have your other stats. As said, at lower levels it is common and often wiser to build higher STR and little to no LUC. But at higher levels, with the exception of a nos reliant pure STR grinding build, it is never appropriate to be a STR based build rather than a LUC/DEX.

HOW MUCH REC DO I NEED?

If you are making a tanking build then you'll want as much REC as you can get. If you are not doing this then the REC you will want will be minimal. In fact, most do not build any REC at all. The only exception is the 1-15 and 20-30 PvP zones, mostly the 1-15 exclusively. There you will sometimes add REC, or more accurately DEF in the form of some dual lapis. The amount will not be huge though as you have precious little stats at that level. If you are making a tank build there is an entire section in this guide devoted to that.

HOW MUCH WIS DO I NEED?

None. There is no reason to put any points into this stat. If you need MP, there is mental lapis for that. If you need Resist, there are better lapis choices that add Resist, including LUC/Resist or just straight Wit lapis on your helm. Only a tank build might have a valid excuse to add WIS but you would do so not in the form of adding points to WIS but in the form of WIS lapis, mostly dual lapis that also gives Resist or DEF or HP or something in addition to the WIS.

HOW MUCH INT DO I NEED?

For the one behind the keyboard, you need as much intelligence as you can get. For the fictional archer/hunter you are controlling, none. Since you have zero magical based skills, you would get zero benefit from INT. So the simple formula is calculate the amount of points that you want to utterly waste, and then put those into INT.

misterdude

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misterdude
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PostedNov 16, 2009 3:46 pm   Last edited by misterdude on Aug 28, 2010 10:30 am. Edited 18 times in total
SO YOU WANNA BE A TANK?:
Index Code: [XATNK]

REMEMBER:

This was written for EP4. Future episodes have changed things. Regarding archer/hunter tank builds, Viper Sting Shot is a huge change. VSS is no longer AoE, so that pretty much renders "the sting that kills" strategy impossible. Nevertheless I left the text in, just in case you happen to be playing a server that is pre-EP5. Of course, not everything following is obsolete, but some specific things are.

I admit when I first heard of this build idea I wrote it off. "Yeah it could work in some situations but nobody's really gonna wanna do it." But really it has the potential to be a very fun and effective unorthodox way to play this class. Now the first question is, why would you do it?

If you like to tank why not pick the proper tanking class, Defender/Guardian? Why choose an archer/hunter and try to force them into a lesser tank? The reason would be that you want to play a standard archer/hunter but want to level up faster. You use it as a temporary build and in the end you actually rebuild your character to be a "normal" archer/hunter attacker.

In PvE the biggest draw for this type of build is simple, you can level faster as a party tank than you can as a solo archer, potentially. The lower your mode, the less stat points you have, the more that statement is true. A solo attack based archer build is not simple, it's not like a caster class who can basically go pure INT and get thousands of damage bonus from spells. It's not like a fighter/warrior who gets multiple 2x and 3x damage skills to spam. An archer/hunter with low stat quantities feels it a lot more than the other classes do; to the point where people say to skip the class altogether in Normal Mode. When you have low stats totals, your ability to pull off effective builds that use two or three stat categories is crippled and completely destroyed in many cases. A tanking build can be simplified and still be effective.

But why would you do it in PvP? Again, if you want to be a tank, why not choose a REC priest/oracle who can also heal, or a defender/guardian who can be a tougher tank? Why choose archer/hunter? Because you're weird. Seriously though it does have potential if you have the proper predisposition. If it fits your style you might find it fun, and that's what the game is all about. You won't directly kill anyone but you can be an annoyance and you eventually will get lots of skills that can help your team win. You get debuff skills and DoT skills and stun type skills. Plus you'll be like Steven Seagal. Did you get that one? But the main reason to play this kind of PvP archer/hunter would be because it's weird, it's not normal, it's fun to you. It would have use, it would have effective strategies to aid your team, it's not useless. But it's weird, so you too have to be weird to play it. Just like only the weird ones like me played LUC based defenders in EP2.

Tank based archer/hunter builds are interesting and can be very effective so they shouldn't just be written off, especially in PvE grinding. Still, they probably won't ever become normal or commonplace but they do deserve the proper recognition and their own little place in the guide. This section is new and not completely formatted. I'll tune it up when I have time.

PvE - THE BULLETPROOF VOLKSWAGEN

You won't know by appearance but you'll be one of the toughest characters of your mode and level. Archers/Hunters are not considered a tanking class and nobody will expect you to be able to do so. But remember that casters, the naturally most squishy class in the game, make tank builds that leave them practically unkillable all the time, and therefore any class, including archer/hunter, can do the same. You are naturally defensively stronger than mages/pagans to begin with so if they can do it, you can do it. We are not "meant" to be tanks, but they aren't either, and that doesn't mean you can't.

The Basic Build Points:

Remember this is for grinding, not PvP; we'll get to that later. I hate to say per level builds here. So much depends on your lapis. What you really want to think about is stat totals in the end but this is not going to be a Pure REC setup. The reason is that you are not skilled to be tank, so you don't have Taunts, you don't have skills designed specifically to hold aggro, and you don't have fixed hit rate spamable skills. To hold aggro you will be relying on actually hitting the target with your skills/attacks and aside from one or two, they all need proper DEX to hit. So an archer/hunter tank is at least REC/DEX. Actually in terms of base build that is probably the only general option you would take. LUC and WIS have defensive qualities that would be useful but getting them in your base stats would not be the way to go. Only a UM at higher level with great gear would consider adding in significant LUC or Resist. The lower modes just won't have the points. So REC/DEX as a base or Pure REC base if you can get all your DEX efficiently from lapis instead. If you want a stock build it would either be 2 DEX per level and the rest in REC, or 1 DEX per level and the rest in REC, or Pure REC (and DEX via lapis).

If you are a Normal Mode wanting to do this build you will be hard pressed to give up base stats to DEX and in the end I feel you are going to want to be Pure REC with your DEX from lapis. It all depends on how much funds you have to make gear but even the lowest budget gear can get 150+ DEX and unless you have the funds to fill your gear with all quality REC lapis you're are going to have to put some DEX in your gear, and doing this efficiently will give you quite a bit, as I said 150+. In my opinion I would say an NM should try to skimp by with minimum accuracy because you need to have your defenses up and you'll be short on stats unless you have uber gear. Thus, pure REC and do everything you can to get some armor with DEX in it, the 1-15 PvP set, and then the 20-30 PvP set is all most people use when grinding up to 50. But if you're not going to get the 1-15 set then you're going to have to build DEX in. You can't go 30 levels as Pure REC unless your killing partner takes the mobs you pull out in one or two spells (before you lose your aggro). I hope I'm being clear enough. Saying a per level build even as a tanking archer/hunter is difficult. The lower your mode, the less room you have for diversity. This is why NM defenders/guardians just go Pure REC. But you can't really get away with that since you need DEX.

So in NM I say try to go pure REC and get gear for some DEX, but if you can't then you have to go 4 REC 1 DEX. In HM I would say go 6 REC 1 DEX regardless, and in UM 8 REC 1 DEX regardless of gear. Still, gear with more DEX and REC/DEF is going to be needed eventually. Maybe you can get to the 30 dread set without it but typically people get a 1-15 set to bridge the gap since it has resale value when they're done. That's what I recommend.

Before I go on I will list the stats and how they apply to you, the potential archer/hunter tank. They work differently than an attack build in terms of how you value them and how useful they are to you.

STRENGTH (STR) - For a tank build STR is worth about as much as the value of war to Edwin Starr. Putting points into this via lapis or base stats is just utter fail.

INTELLIGENCE (INT) - It's always useless for a class with no magical skills at all.

WISDOM (WIS) - This is potentially useful because it gives MP, which some of your good tanking skills use a lot of. Resist is also good for defensive builds. But it's not more important than your other main stats and so unless it's a WIS/DEF dual or piggybacked secondary orange stats, you should not put any points into this stat. The standard tank strategy is to simply avoid magical mobs when you don't have the points to spare for resist. In any case, adding straight WIS is the most inefficient way to get these advantages. Actually, adding INT would be the most inefficient way to get resist since it gives none. But seriously it's all about dual lapis for things such as resist.

LUCK (LUC) - LUC to you is useful for only one small reason, crit evasion. But at 20 to 1% it will be very small. Not worth doing anything aside from secondary bonus orange stats. Pretty much consider LUC as a non issue, don't lapis it, don't base stat is and don't sacrifice better orange stats for it either.

DEXTERITY (DEX) - Now this is important. SP helps but you should not have SP issues for the most part. If anything it would be your MP that limits you with some skills. But you need DEX to hit. Without it you will not be accurate enough and how you hold aggro depends on your ability to effectively hit the mobs with your DEX based skills and attacks.

REACTION DEFENSE (REC) - This is you main stat. You're gonna go pure or near pure in your build and get as much from lapis and orange stats as you can.

Also remember that DEX is being used for accuracy not evasion. Especially in NM you don't have the points to get fancy, just as a NM defender/guardian doesn't. In HM or UM with great gear you have more room for diversity but the reliability of DEF is proffered over the, still not fully understood, ability of DEX evasion. In other words, don't give up significant DEF/HP to try to gain more evasion, because i've found it to be unreliable. Lower modes with lesser gear need not even think about such things.

Look at me, I'm a fancy boy!

Unless you are at leas HM and high level and with amazing gear, you're not building resist in either. I know it is common for the average player to try to balance. The problem is, this is a game with 6 useful stats and limited points. In real life I'm a "jack of all trades" but in this game you honestly cannot become such a thing. You want to specialize and do one or two things well, rather than three or four things mediocre. In NM you don't have the stat points to get fancy. Unless you're high level with amazing gear, you have to focus, tank means REC. Archer/hunter tanks means REC and accuracy DEX. Put resist and evasion aside and build a good physical defensive tank that can hold aggro, just like an NM defender/guardian would build.

If you're HM or UM again you have more wiggle room but without really amazing gear this is no longer true. In any case resist should be achieved in a "piggyback" fashion, not directly from WIS. Dual REC/resist is great, Dual WIS/DEF is good too, WIT lapis is great. These are the kinds of ways a tank gets resist. You don't waste a slot on it because you don't give up the defensive benefits that come on such lapis (besides WIT, but that is helm only and you have limited options there). Building WIS into your base stats or using straight WIS lapis is NOT recommended. An archer is not a class that gets many tank enhancing abilities so we really have to focus and force the ability in with our stats and lapis.

So no evasion and no resist. Not until your REC/DEF/HP is sufficiently high, which it never will be as an NM and only potentially as a HM or UM if you have amazing gear at high level.

Oooooh, it's so shiney!

There's not a lot of things that separate an archer/hunter from a defender/guardian in the lapis department. It's the standard tank setup with one exception, DEX. Higher stat tanks often add DEX because they have so many points that they don't know what else to use them on, so they aim for some more evasion from DEX. Archer/Hunter however needs it for basic accuracy in order to hold aggro. So you lapis in DEX as a primary stat along with REC. Up to a point they are both fairly equal in importance but after you get about 150, which is minimal accuracy in the endgame, REC starts to become more important.

REC, DEX, DEF, HP. These are your important stats. Resist and LUC are your secondary stats that only the higher level higher modes with great gear will even start to consider. UM archer/hunters get Magic Defy but that's not enough to save you as a tank. It's enough as a normal attack based archer who kills one at a time. But you can't expect to pull 7 magic casting mobs and rely on Magic Defy, which will negate only 5 magic attacks every five minute. It will run out, and you will get lit up. Like a standard tank, you are better off simply avoiding magic mobs unless you have so many points that you built up your DEF and DEX and HP and still had enough left over to build high Resist. Then Magic Defy compliments that but is not the main source of your magic defenses.

So REC is primary and DEX is also important. Duals are your best friend. You're likely not gonna waste level 6 lapis on such a build unless you plan to make this a PvP build, but don't blow them on your grinding armor. Level 5s can fill in gaps that duals can't. Here is a general list of all the great duals you would use. If you can't swing any of that, don't worry and read on.

  • Dual REC/DEF - awesome of course, it's not quite as good as a level 5 REC because the 12 DEF doesn't give HP.

  • Dual REC/Resist - this is great because it gives the resist in addition to the REC so you don't waste a slot for simply resist. Still, the usefulness of just "some" resist is not huge. Either you are built to tank magic or you will avoid magic. A few resist won't change that.

  • Dual REC/SP - Good for the REC and SP doesn't hurt, but MP is really what can give an archer/hunter trouble. You will more often run out of MP than SP. But 9 REC is not a bad use of a slot depending on your other options which depends on your budget.

  • Dual REC/ATK - The attack is useless for you but again 9 REC might be a good use of a slot on your weapon and it's typically one of the cheapest options.

  • Dual DEX/HP - DEX is needed, and HP is good too.

  • Dual DEX/DEF - This is even better for a tank. The DEX is needed and 12 DEF ontop of that is awesome.

  • Dual DEX/SP - it's okay, but not the best. Better than a lvl 3 DEX of course, even a lvl 4 DEX maybe. Cost would be the biggest factor there because it's not much better than those other two and SP likely won't be a big concern.

  • Dual STR/DEF - purely for the 12 DEF it can be okay. If you need to fill a slot and 12 DEF is the most you can afford to put on it then this would be an option.

  • Dual WIS/HP - it's okay but not for a more basic tank. Unless you're the afformention high stat fancy boy you wouldn't use this really. Even if you are said fancy boy there are better options, you don't have THAT many slots to fill and with higher budgets there are tons of great choices, this is not one of them.

  • Dual WIS/DEF - again this is great just for the 12 DEF, better than a forbid lvl 3 or something like that and the WIS adds MP, which you'll need, and resist, which is meh but still defensive in nature.

  • Level 5 - REC, DEX, Forbid, Life, Wit. These would be the only ones you would consider if you can afford them. You can compare their efficiency based on your other options to see what is best for you.

  • Level 3 and 4 - Again REC, DEX, Forbid, and Life. Wit is out at anythingless than lvl 5 because if you have the funds to get slotted helms you have the funds to get a decent level WIT lapis to put in it if you want to use WIT at all.

  • Elemental Armor Lapis - Especially in PvE this is about the best thing you could do for defenses but it's insanely expensive. So yeah, it's amazing but is it worth the cost to you? Only you can answer that. High level mobs hit for 1000 or even 2000 damage so an ele would drop that by 200 to 400 per hit. From one lapis that effect is unmatched. But can you afford it and will you stay a tank long enough to justify that cost?

  • Absorption Lapis - less 50 damage. It's relatively equal to 50 DEF and 25 resist. Based on how the damage formulas work that's not quite true but it's somewhat close. So yes it is a great use of a slot but again can you afford it and is it worth it to you? If you are getting these things free from drops then yeah, it's a great choice but it has resale value as well so is it better to sell it or use it. Only you have these answers for yourself.

All the rest are pretty much attack based lapises. Dual LUC/resist is not the best option. There are so many level 5s and other dual lapis to build in resist if you are in the "fancy boy" position to effectively build resist a LUC lapis will not be your first choice. Again you've got 6 slots per peice max and there are more than 6 great lapis to choose from, mostly duals.

Now, does this mean you need duals to be an effective tank? Not at all. I took an archer with 250 base stats (about level 51) in pure REC, and lapised in REC/DEX/DEF and was able to handle 3 to 5 of the hardest mobs in the game at one time, tanking and killing myself, without using potions. It doesn't get much more budget than that. You can be successful with level 3 lapised gear but you can start to be a true tank in higher modes and with dual lapis or better, though duals are so good you may not need to go better, especially if this is a temporary build for you.

Turning skills to kills.

What about skills. There's a few you'll want. I'm not going to list every skill you DON'T need, just the ones that you will want. And this is for PvE.

  • Body Training - the average archer build doesn't even take this skill but 27 more defense for no stat point cost is exactly what we want here.

  • Relax Bosy - "Bosy" what's that? Yes I left my typo in so that I could make a comment about it. Relax Bosy doesn't exist in this dimension of reality, but Relax BODY is something you will want as a tanking build.

  • Bow Mastery - You'll have the points and attacking faster is valuable so max the BOW mastery but skip the projectile skills unless you have the points, which you probably will but it's not crucial you have the projectile mastery. Your main weapon is likely going to be the Piku Hawk/GTC.

  • Sharp Shooter - We're using DEX only for minimum accuracy and without this buff you simply make your accuracy even harder to get. No reason to not get this and keep it active ALWAYS.

  • Slow - okay, here's the thing. This seems promising at first. It's fixed hit rate of 70% It's a defensive skill. But it messes with moving speed and you don't want one of your mobs moving like he's a common zombie in a group of Las Plagas. So basically you could skip it or use it selectively to mess with the last mob in the situations where they don't die evenly, which they usually won't. You can also use it to pull a rogue mob off your caster/damager.

  • Long Range - whether you are trying to not reskill, or going to reskill and are worried about reskilling again after you're done with this build. In any case you get Long Range. That dot is a period.

  • Big Coup - recharge time is bad but it's useful for an emergency situation. If you're about to ingest the brown crummy substance under your boots pop this, start kiting better, and hope, above all hope.

  • Piercing Shot - this has value actually, by using it on the very first mob you begin your pull with, it freezes them allowing you to pull one or two more without the first even moving toward you yet. The damage is less important so you could simply go with level one to conserve SP use. That refers to when you are higher level and alone. If you are duoing/partying you would save this for stopping mobs that go rogue on your casters.

  • Sustain Shot - You certainly don't need it. But you will be pulling the mobs to draw aggro rather than collecting by proximity like a defender often does. So you need to use a skill to pull them and this DoT will start killing the mob before you collect them all and start nuking or VSSing.

  • Nailed Shot - another skill useful for inital pulling. 218 damage every 3 seconds is significant. Nearly 900 damage from the total skill. That's 10% of the endgame mobs' HP.

  • Slump Shot - like slow, it seems to have defensive purposes, and it does. But the recharge time is an issue. But more than that, the dropping of the mobs STR and ATK speed is what is useful about this skill. lvl 3 doesn't become available until level 57 but even lvl 2 drops STR by 30. The real issue is this. It's only really useful as an inital pulling skill because it's not AoE. But the effect only lasts 15 seconds, which means by the time you acutally get your pull collected the effect will be over and thus it won't help you much if at all. It could be used to deal with the final single mob you will likely have left over but even so you'll proably either Airshot and renew VSS or Nailed Shot if it is nearly dead instead. That applies to a solo situation. For parties/duos you can use it to cripple a mob going after your caster by slowing is atk speed and STR as you get his aggro back.

  • Jumping Airshot - Especially useful at lvl 3 because 1250 damage is huge to someone in your position. 500 is still good. In any case, you will use this to take care of single mobs that survive your VSS spam cycles. There's usually one leftover and if it is almost dead you can finish it with this and perhaps nailed shot, rather than VSS again. You can also pull with it.

  • Viper Sting Shot - When you are solo.... THIS skill is what makes it possible to truthfully begin such a sentence as a tank archer. Without this you are just a tank, with it, you can be a one man AoE party with a countdown on your enemies life span. A countdown of 60 seconds. It has fairly high SP and more importantly MP costs. This means even my 58 UM archer couldn't use it more than three times without restoring in some form. I could actually BARELY get three off with my MP pool. But I found my reserves to be fine, combined with some blessing to restore and get the job done. There's always pots or even MP lapis, especially if you could get you hands on some slotted rings and use them strictly for MP. These rings are not cheap but they are NPC sold in the desert so you won't ever have to pay 100s of millions for them. And MP lapis is quite cheap as well.

  • Evasion - This is only for archers. Last I heard and tried, this skill didn't seem to work at all. It costs no point but it uses all your MP and SP reserves. This means one thing, even if it does work. It's an emergency skill. When your spidey sense starts tingling, you pop Big Coup THEN Evasion, and then kite like you're at the PKRA World Tour. If it still doesn't work then there's no point to use it of course. If we knew for certain that it did work you could use it earlier in the pull but then you'll have to likely pot so you can use VSS properly, unless your bless and regen is very high at the moment. I just recently tried it (on december 9th, 2009) but it didn't seem to make me evade more at all.

  • Battle Cry - This is only for Hunters. Last I heard it also didn't work. If it did it would be a no brainer to keep it buffed as often as physically possible. Faster HP regen for a tank, I don't even have to say anything else.

  • Potentially Viable - This is something you'll want for one reason. When things do go more South than a penguin's bowel movement sliding down an iceberg, you'll appreciate the increase in movement speed to increase your kiting performance. You may also want to swing for grape ice cream, the cheapest and most useful flavor for someone in this position. You can kite just fine with normal movement speed but being faster makes it much easier and will increase your survival potential greatly.

  • Absolute Attack - This is good because it can deal up to 20% damage, which is going to be around 1800 damage to these mobs. And it deals that damage even if the mob only has 1800 HP left. It can be used to finish off the trailing mob just like Jumping Airshot, only stronger. But the recharge time makes this nearly useless. You won't get to use it much at all.

  • Misfortune/Blunt - Archers get the former, Hunters the latter. You could pull with it if you want, but it won't do all that much to aid you. Blunt dropping DEX is potentially better to give maybe slight boost to evasion/accuracy. LUC at best would give such minimal critical evasion that it's hardly worth the time it takes to type that. I don't understand the aggro generation system in the game fully but if you think a constant buff gets more aggro than say a normal attack you might pull with this instead.

  • Shot Pointer - unless your damagers in party include archers/hunters this won't serve any benefit. Again, it's a debuff so if you think that generates more aggro then okay. Lvl 3 is AoE though so THIS then becomes something to have. If you're gonna party/duo to your best you want AoE moves.

  • Wide Shot and Ballista Shot - For the times when you're a party tank you want the AoEs to hold aggro so get them both and carry a secondary crossbow/javelin. (the high level one you'll probably want is the high 40s Pando Lanhaar drop with 38 REC stats. You can even lapis it because it will cost so little to do so.) But you don't have to get the power ups or masteries, all you'll do is switch for ballista and occasionally bloody shower and then switch right back to bow.

  • Shower Time and Bloody Shower - The idea behind having both weapons is to have maximum AoE potential so that you can hold aggro. These skills have massive recharge time though so if you can't get them you should still be okay because if you are relying on these, then you're screwed anyway because they spend 99% of their time on cooldown.

  • Rapid Shot - This could be good for getting back rogue mobs that go for your caster. If you have a debuff lapis or two on your weapon this becomes even better because it gets three chances to proc with this one skill. Otherwise you won't NEED it.

  • Mana/Stamina Shot - Mobs don't have MP/SP reserves but this skill still works and again if it's true that a debuff generates more aggro then this might have use but i don't know. If not, there is no use for this skill in PvE.

  • Magic Defy - If you don't know whether a tank should have a magic immunity skill then there is nothing I can say to help you. However, it can't be your only magic defense. It only blocks 5 every 5 minutes and if you're pulling magical mobs you're gonna get hit with more than that. So basically your options are still the standard tank strategy of build resist (only high level high stat builds) or avoid magic mobs.

  • Bull's Eye - it never misses but aside from that I can't think of any particular use for it. You're building the DEX to be accurate. But if you're going to try to tank red mobs you should consider that you have to actually hit to hold aggro, you're not a defender/guard so you need to adjust your strategy. Tank yellows to avoid problems and greens in the endgame if you have too much aggro loss.

The initial stages: A true party boy.

Playing as an HM defender certainly made trying out a tank archer a natural fit. The standard idea is you are the tank, you pull several mobs at once, a caster nukes them all, they die, and you repeat. Whether or not you need a healer in the party as well is dependent on what mobs you pull and what mode you are and how good your gear is, as well as how fast your caster/damager kills the mobs. However, no tank needs a healer. You can always adjust the mobs you pull to fit what you can handle with pots.

In the beginning you are just like a normal tank, you're party reliant. You can't kill the mobs yourself so you'll need someone to do it for you and you'll want someone who can do so in AoE fashion. Could be mage/pagan, battle priest/orc, or even fighter/warrior (especially after lvl 34). An archer does gain the ability to be a "one man AoE party" but only after you get Viper Sting Shot does this even become a possibility. Such as strategy does work successfully at the highest level mobs using VSS lvl 3 but still duoing with a true AoE nuker will be the fastest option for you and the only option for the first half of your leveling journey to 60.

The idea is simple. You gather the mobs either by proximity or by attacking each one. The problem with just running by them is you don't get much aggro from it. Attacking them is better. This works similar to a defender pulling with panic or curse raid. In the situation where you are just the tank, and not the damage dealer you can simply pull with normal attacks. For the most part the skills are not going to be a major help to your damager. But on the other hand they do generate enemy malice towards you. After you gather them all, you have no taunt, so what do you do to hold aggro? If you have a powerful damager on your team you may not even really have to. A caster that drops your pull in three spells won't even need you to keep the aggro because by the time the mobs are hit, go after the caster, and get to them, they will be dead.

After level 10 you use Wide Shot and Ballista Shot after gathering your pull. It would be beneficial to carry both weapon types for this purpose. You won't get many AoE skills and trying to cycle through mobs one at a time to attack them and hold their aggro, your options are limited. This is why pulling with skills such as Sustain Shot, Nailed Shot, and the like can be beneficial. Ideally, you want to take on mobs that your caster/damager can kill quickly in three skills or so. Because if you do lose aggro on the lot the caster needs to be delivering the killing blow before they start beating on them. You have enough aggro generating ability as an archer/hunter to get back rogue mobs but not multiple ones at the same time because you don't have the AoEs to do so. After you get Viper Sting Shot at level 37 then the game changes. It's spamable. It's DoT. It's awesome. So awesome in fact that you can build a solo AoE strategy around it. A technique that is powerful enough to drop pulls of near unlimited numbers of Pando/Lanhaarr non magic mobs for moderately geared HM/UMs.

What you should note is that in many cases, to maximize your tanking ability to don't act like a standing tank. Meaning you don't just pull use taunt and stand there getting beat on. If you can handle doing this then you should consider stepping up the mob difficulty. Being a kiting tank is what you will end up as in the end. Which is basically the same except after you pull them all and use your Wide shots etc. you run around and therefore you don't take many hits. You stop only to use the AoE skills again or to pull of a mob that goes rogue on your caster. When you do this, you barely get hit, and bless regenerates the HP you do lose. If things get tough you can use HP pots, but for the most party you don't NEED a healer. If you have a healer you can step the mob difficulty up even more. The limiting factor is going to be how strong your caster is. The mobs have to be appropriate so that the caster can kill them in a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise, it's likely faster to step it down a notch and actually get the mobs killed, and therefore kill more of them, faster.

I have to say this too, though I mentioned it already. You're not a defender/guardian. You don't have Taunt, you don't have 6 AoEs that are independent of your DEX. YOU have to hit your targets to hold aggro. Red dungeon mobs are not your ideal situation, even if you had the DEF to tank it. How are you going to hold the aggro when you can't hit them because they're 5 levels higher than you and your DEX isn't enough? Adjust your strategy. Yellow mobs, okay. Increase your EXP rate by taking on more. Easier mobs, but more of them in the same amount of time equals similar or better EXP. You don't really have a choice. Unless your caster is higher level than you and only needs you to hold the mobs for a few seconds before killing them all in three spells. The mobs don't get pissed off at you if you don't hit them and your success as a party tank relies on your mob pissing off ability.

The later stages: The sting that kills.

After you get Viper Sting Shot, a new possibility opens up. Especially at lvl 2 and 3. It deals enough damage that you can effectively kill the mobs yourself, just given enough time for the poison to work. There are no immunities to this so it will work on every single target in the game, including bosses. It's not faster than a good caster or damager but it does work if you can't find said damager. In Pando/Lanhaarr you can kill the mobs in three cycles of VSS, which is roughly 60 seconds. Your success in these harder maps depends entirely on your defensive capabilities. A NM archer with lvl 3 mediocre lapised gear can generate about 450 or so DEF as well as around 150 DEX. This is enough to handle pulls of about 3 Pando/Lanhaarr mobs relatively easily, without really even needing HP potions.

A UM with the same moderate lvl 3/4 lapised gear can raise their DEX very slightly but more importantly their DEF up to the mid 700s. Keeping DEX around 150 is the idea until you can get 1k+ DEF, then that starts being so much DEF as to make it worthwhile to put other stats, like DEX to 225 and possibly some resist, etc. 750 DEF is going to be enough to allow you to pull a near infinite number of these types of non magic mobs. The only limit is how many are in a given area. And the good news is that regardless of how many mobs you pull, they don't take longer to kill. VSS kills 10 as fast as 1, it still takes 60 seconds either way. Therefore you killing power comes from your DEF and not your ATK because you increase your EXP gain by taking on more mobs at one time. No matter what, you take around 60 seconds to kill your pulls solo.

The reason why you can tank an "unlimited" amount of these mobs is because you won't be a standing tank. With the 750 DEF UM setup I described you can stand tank for a few, about 3 or so mobs. But why do that when you can kite tank 10? And I should mention again that this is solo, no healer, and not even HP pots. Moderate, or even medium low bless is your healer (so long as it says the increased HP during rest). Because VSS is what is killing, you can just run around "at rest" the whole time and regenerate. By simply avoiding those few mob types that poison HP you've got a technique in which you will nearly never get hit. If you add grape ice cream or some equivalent of that, you are not literally going to never get hit once you learn how to kite defensively. In this sense your amount of DEF is not super important except for the fact that you want the ability to get hit because you WILL take some hits throughout the course of your gathering. Once you lock it in and Sting em though you will not be taking much damage at all.

The nice thing about this is that you can do it alone. But you can revert right back to a party/duo tank if you find another to join you. The only difference is you will again have to give thought to aggro. When you're alone it doesn't matter. You can gather by proximity and do nothing except VSS. In a group you might want to pull with skills or attacks, use VSS and the AoEs like wide/ballista shot to ensure you hold aggro. Again, preferably you want you damager to be able to kill these things fast enough. If they are taking 10 spells to finish them off and losing aggro is becoming an issue, you have a few options.

You can advise that you go to mobs they can handle better. My NM mage could drop earth Pando mobs in three or four spells with lvl 3 budget gear. A caster that is struggling in this situation means they're either not a nuke build or they are too low level for the mobs. If you don't want to go lower there is another option. Suggest they notice how much damage their main instant cast spells can do. Maybe it's 1/3 of the mobs' HP. Then have them waiting as you apply the solo VSS strategy until the mobs have 1/3 HP left, then have the caster nuke them off. Which way you choose depends on which you feel ends up in faster EXP. These are just ideas, and once you get experience and learn this style of playing you will know yourself what is best.

Yeah yeah yeah, so it works, but does it work BETTER?

I'm the first one to jump in with the "hammer speech". You can use a screwdriver handle, or a frying pan to drive in a nail, but a hammer is still better. This is often given in talks regarding LUC builds in 1-15 PvP. An archer/hunter tank is weird, but there's no doubt it works. NM archers tank with poor "lowbrid" builds and they have been since EP2. They're just not well known because they didn't really do it on purpose and they are dismissed as newbies. That is to say they have some REC but also STR, DEX, and LUC. They typically build like this just because they didn't know they weren't supposed to. Overbalancing is the technical term for it. But still they can handle kite tanking one or two of these high level mobs. My NM mage and an NM archer did just that, without realizing the true potential of what we were doing. Had I been the statistically oriented player I am now, we would have reset the archer to a full tank build until we hit 60, and we would have actually hit 60 before she quit at 58 and 1/2.

I've said before, the less stat points you have, the more a tanking build will serve you compared to your other options. An archer/hunter attack based build needs a lot of stat points to be effective. Many NM characters cannot muster enough to do this. But you can make a viable tank build with less stat points. I did so with as little as around 500 or so.

Although a UM archer can grind very fast killing one at a time with an attack Hybrid build. The potential leveling speed of a tank/caster duo, dropping 10 mobs at one time is also very high. Even soloing and taking one to two minutes to kill 10 mobs via the VSS solo strategy is good. I can't say for certain if the solo VSS would be faster than a normal high geared UM archer killing one at a time. I haven't compared them enough. But if you are duoing then your caster is going to kill your pulls very fast and this will be faster than a solo archer/hunter build. As I said, if you have budget gear, or lower mode, this means less stat points. And that means your ability to quickly kill one at a time with an attack build becomes much less, and much slower. And therefore, since the VSS strategy or duoing with a caster always takes the same 60 seconds to kill the pull, this can make it far faster.

The beauty of it is that if you are alone, you can still solo. Dead in 60 seconds is the motto of it. VSS is your artificial caster simulator, and it works well enough. So you're never screwed like a defender/guardian would be if they can't find a nuker. Also, though it will be slower, you will be alone and thus get more EXP helping to offset the lack of the casters' power.

I honestly can't say when this will be better for you and when you're better off with a standard archer/hunter attack build. But the great thing about it is that the cost is minimal. I have to stress that you can pull this all off with minimal cost in gear. So worst case scenario is you have to reset your stats and you're out the cost of lapising dread gear with some of the cheapest defensive lapis around. You're seriously talking about gear you could all buy from the auction house and lapis up for like 50 mil. That's just an estimate but it's dirt cheap, really. You can get great results with bad gear because you are getting full potential from the stats you build upon. So you're out 50 mil maybe and you have to buy a stat reset, which is more costly, but it's not like you're talking about making two uber sets of 10 billion gold gear to try out a tank. The cost is minimal and if you don't like it, you barely lose anything. And people with the most chance of not liking it are ones who can pull of a great attack based build, and to them 50 mil is the cost of a single lapis in many cases.

Does this make my butt look big?

Obviously the better your gear the better your performance. But I certainly didn't have 6 billion gold to throw around trying this technique out. In fact, I had 140 million to my name. But I used only a fraction of it to build my entire gear set. I dumped much of it on a, statistically not worth it, NM cape for 40 mil. And another 50+ mil trying to get a Lv6 Debuff to stick, just to see if I could, which I failed at lol. The amount of gold I actually spent was only a couple dozen mil maybe. That is pennies by today's standards.

The reason is multilayered. One, archer/hunter gear has always been some of the cheapest gear in the game. Two, dread gear is acceptable and again very cheap these days when everyone wants at least legend and the spotlight is on goddess. Three, gear with native defensive stats on an archer/hunter is even cheaper as everyone is trying to be an attacker, which honestly is the true point of the class. Four, Pando/Lanhaarr weapon drops are statistically some of the best you can get without spending a ton of money, and not only are they cheap, they're dirt cheap. Five, level 3 lapis is dirt cheap, and even splurging on some lvl 4 or certain dual lapis is hardly splurging when they cost less than 1 mil each. Some of the lapis you will be looking to use, forbid and life, etc. are some of the cheapest in the game.

Combining all this makes for one cheap set of gear that can serve you well enough to get the job done. All at minimal cost, so the long term risk is very low, or non existent.

I've already listed the lapis you are considering. But here is what I used. My top was dread Raffiniert, which is nearly equivalent to a dread Dragon/Python. It had 500 HP orange stats and was lapised with lvl 3 and 4 forbid, lvl 3 dex, and lvl 3 life. My pants were dread. I bought these pre-made for like 15 mil. They had 1000 HP from orange stats and dual str/def, dual dex/def, dual dex/luc, and dual luc/resist on them. Two of which, the dual luc and dual dex/luc were not so critical to my tanking build at all, but it was pre-done and i'm not gonna rip stuff off. The gloves were 5 slot but, my boots, while also 5 slot, only had 3 lapis in them so that evens it out and you could do the same with dread. The gloves had 700HP orange and 3 dex, 3 rec, 4 rec, 3 life, dual str/def lapised in. The boots had 3 dex, 3 rec, 3 life, and 3 mp (take it or leave it). All these armors had a few orange stats, some in DEX and a few in REC. I just got whatever the best that was cheapest in the auction at the time. All the duals in this setup could be effectively replaced with lvl 4 REC or even 5 Forbid. There are certainly even cheaper ways to achieve these same stats by not using duals. I only did because the armor came with them in already. So we're talking basically lvl 3 with some lvl 4 dread armor. And it was insanely cheap to get.

The weapon is the same story. If you're working with a budget, that is to say not going to use legend/goddess with level 5s or great dual lapis, then there is one choice you want for your weapon. It's the best and it's about as cheap as you can get. A less than one million gold Piku Hawk/Golden Tree Core, with +43 base DEX. The pure DEX is what you want because it gives you maximum use of stats. There are crossbows with 38 REC, there's Piku's with half REC. But the other half goes into STR or LUC and that is a waste for you. The pure DEX means you get the full use of the 43 stats and to you DEX is as important as REC up to a point. My Piku happened to have orange stats of 16 more DEX and others I don't recall, some WIS I think. I lapised it with a lvl 3 rec, lvl 3 dex, and dual rec/atk (simply for the 9 rec at a dirt cheap price). The last slot I tried to get a Curse Lv6 in which I failed after about 25 attempts. I heard that people say they are so abundant that you can afford to link them without hammers etc. I did not find that to be the case however, the active high levels likely consider 50 or 60 attempts to be acceptable, for budget players, especially those who can't farm them for themselves, this is not such a great option. 1% is tough odds.

I used cheap NPC jewelry because the lvl 55 stuff with 18 stats is nice but 5+ mil each depending on the seller. You can farm them from map 3 mobs though. 9 REC/9 STR or the 9 DEX/9 LUC is what you would be wanting (for the REC and DEX). Failing that, I used a lvl 48 or so +10 DEX amulet and the +11 REC loops from NPCs. I had no rings because STR and INT are worthless. The slotted rings have potential in that VSS is an MP hog. If you could link a worship or heroic with 3/4 Mental that would be a nice way to address the issue. I also had a +10 DEX NPC cape as I said, but at 40 mil that's not a cost effective way to get 10 stats, but it made me look cooler.

I say all this just to illustrate how bad that gear really is. It's not good. The few good things about it came on the armor when I bought it and it was still super cheap even when linked with +DEF duals. So you see we are not talking about HM/UM only running in REC/DEF and lvl 5 REC lapis here. We're not talking about spending 7 to 30 mil per lapis. We are talking 95% level 3 lapis that costs like 200k each and many under 100k and links more often than not.

Now, I'm UM and level 58, but I ran a half stat build of 250 (what an NM has at lvl 51) and it still worked extremely well. I've also talked to other NMs, and I duoed with an NM archer who tanked with an overbalanced build in EP2, so I'm familiar and confident with their performance. When I dumped my full base into REC, and boosted to 750 DEF with said dirt cheap gear and no buffs, my performance went through the roof. I died once in Calipurr (endgame Pando mobs) only because i had no potions to heal me and they hit me with un-dispellable stopping magic. Eventually the group beat on me until I went down. That's why you don't mess with such mobs that have attacks you can't cure. I would have made it aout alive if they didn't keep renewing the skill, but I can only stand so long with 7 of the hardest mobs beating on me with no HP potions and no ability to move lol. I stayed up longer than expected though. Long enough for a good caster to have killed them and saved me lol. Mobs without the un-dispellable stopping skills were just child's play.

The best part of this build is again the cost. It's just so cheap to make that gear it's ridiculous. You don't need billions, you don't even need hundred of million (yes, single tense was intentional). I can say for certain an NM with such a build and a little practice and skill could get through the endgame solo on an seriously low budget. You can get at least to 59 without facing the magic mobs in Pando, that I'm sure of because I got to 58 with a less capable build and the mobs were not white yet. By going to a better map it would be much faster as well but the point is "NM" and "archer/hunter" doesn't mean "screwed in the endgame" or "party leech". You have another option, and it may just work for you.

PvP - The armored mosquito on your TV.

You're not going to be the powerhouse one shot killer that the highest stat attack archer/hunters are. You're going to be something else entirely. An annoyance, a potential deadly annoyance. It's dark and the glow from the TV screen is the only thing illuminating the room. A mosquito becomes obsessed with it. You know what I'm talking about. Now imagine the mosquito has Malaria and is armored in reinforced steel. You're hard pressed to kill it, it annoys the **** out of you, and if you underestimate it, it could be the cause of your death. Now imagine that mosquito is not alone, but planning an assault with a polar bear and rabid mongoose. The mosquito might not be the biggest threat but as a whole you WILL feel it's presence when it bites you as you try to fend off the other threats around. This is the potential of a tank archer/hunter.

If you really go all out with this and make insane gear you can be potentially amazing. You won't be a solo killer but this has the potential to be an incredibly fun build in team PvP, which is what PvP SHOULD be anyway. The additional of the party buffs and amazing gear can take you to another level of defense, especially if you're 60 and UM. Again the idea is to be defensive, not build attack, and rely on debuffs, DoT, crippling skills. Here lv6 Debuff lapis becomes a real thing to consider rather than using your weapon for a few more stats. Adding slows, and stuns, and all kinds of debilitating potential effects to all your attacks is potentially great, when they take effect.

I'm not going to list builds or anything of that sort. Reading the PvE portion will benefit you. The idea is just simple. Go insane on your defensive measures and use your skills to hurt the enemy, and by hurt we don't simply mean HP damage. That fighter closing in on your Assassin friend is not going to do so well when you Slump, Slow, and VSS him. Your friend gets the kill but your count goes up too. You see the underestimated kind of thing you can do if you are concerned about more things than glory and damage output. The reason you build defense is simply because you decide that if you're using skills in this fashion you don't really want the attack so you pump the DEF/Resist/HP/and or DEX/LUC. What you can do depends on your mode and gear of course.

As far as skills I think you can decide for yourself. The debuffing skills and DoT skills and stunning and stopping skills, these are going to be things you want. Even utilizing a sword/dual axes with Mana Decay or Sleeper Ban become effective annoyances. Yes you can pot away most effects but that doesn't mean they are useless. The PvPers that have a core of harder density usually run with pots and know how and when to use them, but many others, "newbies" or just lazy people don't use potions. Also, someone thinking about being stopped and spamming their potions are at the very least partially distracted. This is a big deal in itself. A healer dispelling is a healer that's not healing. A caster potting back MP is a caster who, for a second, is not nuking your party for 4k damage. A warrior curing slow is a warrior who might miss the fighter DSing from behind. Your value is not in direct measure, it's a support role and even you won't know the butterfly effect your "Malaria bite" could have for your team. VSS and Piercing Shot, by the way, are not curable with a potion, only a healers' dispel skill.

It's just a unique way to play this class. Yes you'll get "60 skilled" and be the target of enemy Erasers and Syeeric Touches. But the fact that they HAVE to do this to take you down is nothing to be mad about. If they're doing it to you, they're not doing it to your DPSers. Distraction is also a deadly skill that can lead to team victory. This is definitely not for everyone but some people, the kind of people who tend to like the Ranger/Assassin class, might find it deliciously fun. And that's what everything is about in the end. As soon as you stop playing the game for reasons of entertainment and fun, you need a priority check.

misterdude

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misterdude
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PostedNov 16, 2009 3:46 pm   Last edited by misterdude on Aug 28, 2010 10:39 am. Edited 1 time in total
OTHER IMPORTANT BUILD POINTS:
Index Code: [XOTHR]

  • I JUST WANNA UNLOCK HM/UM - If this is the case then 2 DEX every level and the rest into STR is the only way to go if you are looking for a solo/attack based build. LUC based builds are slower to level in the beginning stages so no point in putting points into LUC if you are just gonna move on when it starts to pay off. A REC/DEX build, in the form of 1 DEX or less per level could be the fastest way to unlock the next mode with an archer/hunter. However, it's a pure party build. Archer/hunter does gain the ability to be a "one man AoE party" but not until the later levels when they get their "AoE killing skill" Viper Sting Shot. And this doesn't apply much since the mark to unlock the next mode is level 40. That being said you may wanna consider another class if your only goal is to unlock the next mode. Fighter/Warrior would be faster, as would priest/oracle, mage/pagan, defender/guardian if you can get consistent parties.

  • SWORD WIELDING ARCHER - Also consider this an Axe wielding Hunter. The first time i heard of it i just dismissed it as a newbie question and replied not to use a sword but a normal bow. Then it came up again, and again. So let me offer my thoughts. There is just one massive problem that simply cannot be gotten around with this idea. Archers/hunters get virtually NO skills to use with a sword. Sleeper Ban and Mana Decay, that's it, and guess what? Mana Decay doesn't even work on mobs, and even if it did it's junk anyway. If you were to make a sword using archer or ax swinging hunter, you would be doing nothing but normal attacks the whole time. An archer/hunter using a sword/axes will also take an extensive amount of damage that a normal bow archer/hunter does not because of the range. Swords also don't get speed upgrades. In the end you simply won't be a good enough damage dealer to be able to handle the increasing difficulty of the monsters. However, if you are for some reason set on using a sword as your weapon of choice, what kind of build should you use?

    Treat yourself like any other melee class at this point as the way LUC works for you now is just as it does for a fighter/warrior, ranger/assassin, or battle defender/guradian. This doesn't mean that LUC is no longer useful, it just means that I wouldn't go over about 400 LUC. Though since you get no ATK bonus from LUC anymore, going pure LUC from the beginning is out as you will have no damage. 7 STR/2 DEX is all i could recommend for this. Of course this is all hypothetical as quite honestly this idea is a pretty horrible one and I doubt anyone would play it long enough to accrue so much LUC. Also, I wouldn't even attempt anything like this unless I was UM as you're gonna need every advantage you can get with this one. Yet i wouldn't dare do it in UM as you will certainly be dying a lot. On the plus side you won't have to worry about skills as you will get nothing useful for a sword. But it also means when you finally give up you can go to the merchant, buy a normal bow or crossbow/javelin, purchase the proper skills, and continue your life as a normal shooting attack archer/hunter. If you wanna use a sword as your main weapon you're gonna have to play another class. There's no way to effectively build a solid melee archer/hunter, you just don't have any good skills to use.

  • TO RESTAT OR NOT RESTAT - This is a simple question. There were always a lot of people tentative to reset their stats. The complaint is that they don't have the funds to do so. But here's my simple retort. If you can't afford to reset your stats, then you certainly can't afford the gear you'll need to play this game at high level effectively. Going Pure LUC from lvl 1 because you don't want to have to reset at level 50 is not the best reasoning. I'll say it again, if you can't afford a simple restat stone, how are you going to afford the gear you'll need to kill anything in the endgame?

    Here's how I see it. The general advice for low level archers is 2 DEX, the rest in STR. People often try to push a LUC or LUC/DEX build and the only reasoning is to avoid the cost of a stat reset. There is no statistical advantage to going LUC in the beginning, it's statistically a worse build than a STR/DEX for the first 30 levels or so, even in UM with good gear.

    So there are a few situations one might find themselves in regarding the attempt to avoid using a stat reset.

    Player 1: Newer player, or doesn't have a previous higher level character. Maybe just used NM and HM to 40 to unlock UM. Maybe doesn't have much or any AP. This player technically "can't afford" a stat reset from their current position, they just don't have the gold.

    The first question to such a player is this, "Can you even afford a single Resurrection Rune?" This assumes the player is UM. But without any kind of supplementary funding you will be in trouble. Even Supergeek MMO Pwnzer will get lag, get DCed, and what happens when you're pulling a mob that can kill you? What happens is you die. What happens is you're deleted. What happens is you've just wasted the past ________ hours/days/weeks of playtime.

    You have to be able to get Rez Runes as a bare minimum. Maybe you don't need armor or lapis before lvl 50, maybe you can get by without stat resting, but you NEED a way to get Rez Runes. And if you have a way to get those, then getting a stat reset is not that far off in terms of gold.

    Player 2: Same as above except they are HM so don't need Rez Runes.

    This is the most valid situation to make the argument, "I can't afford a stat reset." Still, while the argument may be valid it doesn't mean it's a good situation to be in. So you can't afford a stat reset, then you can't afford any kind of good gear, You're going to struggle to solo past level 50. It's going to be a rough road.

    Remember that when working with lower quantities of stat points, even a LUC build won't magically save you. Let's say you managed to get 450 LUC 150 DEX. You're not going to be very effective endgame. A STR/DEX build wouldn't be very effective either but that's not that point. The point is you've got to get yourself a way to fund your character. If you can't afford anything than you can't afford to be effective, can't afford to be statistically competent, can't afford to do what you need to do to play the endgame. So I won't argue that such a person can or can't afford a stat reset, I'll just say that if they don't change something then they can't afford to play the game period.

    Player 3: I've got a higher level NM/HM. This is not my first toon. I do have a way to make gold. I can farm things like dual lapis.

    This person has simply never thought about what they are doing. To avoid using a stat reset even though you have a way to get gold is not logical. It means you just haven't put the thought into it. By choosing a LUC based build at lower levels you end up increasing you grinding time by hours, even days, perhaps weeks. The amount of time it takes to farm gold by selling things like dual lapis also takes time. But it takes far less time to farm the gold for a stat reset than it does to grind without the stat reset. This is the point where it becomes illogical to not use the stat reset, it's just a waste of your time.

    Player 4: I'm getting powerleveled the whole way or partying with guildmates so it doesn't matter if I can't kill anything efficiently in the beginning.

    The only real situation in which using a stat reset would be unnecessary. If you don't need to kill anything there is no reason even stat in a low level build. You could begin working on your high level grinding build from level 1 then, or perhaps you could simply just pool your points and wait until you are higher level before you allocate them. In any case, this is not the situation most people find themselves in. If this is your situation you really don't even need to be asking about build options right now so should not be posting topics asking if 7 LUC 2 DEX is a good build. You don't need a build right now, you're just being pulled along by someone else.


CHOOSING LAPIS:
Index Code: [XLAPS]

What Lapis should I use? A valid question but no straight answer. Of course so much depends on your build and your playing style and what your intentions are, but there are a few truths that are useful to all archers/hunters in terms of lapis; and there are some things to keep in mind when choosing lapis. I will list the different kinds of lapis and then offer my thoughts about some helpful things to keep in mind when choosing lapis. As of right now, lvl 6 stat lapis are becoming more common but they are insanely expensive. If your guild farms them then that's a different story. There also may be one or two lvl 7s out there but again too rare to even think about in this episode of the game. Dual lapis has 4 varieties for each type and can be linked to ANYTHING that has slots (except jewelery - rings/amulets/loops).

Lapis are gemstones of power that you can link to your weapons and armors in order to increase the stats that they give you. You do this by acquiring the lapis either from killing a mob in a PvP zone and getting the drop or from buying it from other players or merchants in a guild house. Once you have the lapis, you can take it to a blacksmith in any major town. You talk to him, tell him to link lapis, and then put in the piece of slotted gear (not all has slots for lapis) and then place the lapis you want to try to link in one of the slots and click link. It costs gold to do this and depending on the lapis lvl it has varying degrees of success. It can be as low as 1% chance or as high as 50% chance. You can use AP item linking hammers to increase the chance but it will never go above 50% chance.

CRAFT LAPIS - Adds STR and can be linked to top armor, pants, boots, and weapons.
Normal Craft: lvl 1 adds +3 STR, lvl 2 +5 STR, lvl 3 +7 STR, lvl 4 +10 STR, lvl 5 +20 STR, lvl 6 +30 STR.
Dual Craft: lvl 1 adds +9 STR and +8 DEX, lvl 2 gives +9 STR and +12 DEF, lvl 3 gives +9 STR and +175 HP, and lvl 4 gives +9 STR and +175 SP.

SHREWD LAPIS - Adds DEX and can be linked to top armor, gauntlets, boots, and weapons.
Normal Shrewd: lvl 1 adds +3 DEX, lvl 2 +5 DEX, lvl 3 +7 DEX, lvl 4 +10 DEX, lvl 5 +20 DEX, lvl 6 +30 DEX.
Dual Shrewd: lvl 1 adds +9 DEX and +12 DEF, lvl 2 gives +9 DEX and +8 LUC, lvl 3 gives +9 DEX and +175 SP, and lvl 4 gives +9 DEX and +175 HP.

FORTUNE LAPIS - Adds LUC and can be linked to top armor, pants, boots, and weapons.
Normal Fortune: lvl 1 gives +3 LUC, lvl 2 +5 LUC, lvl 3 +7 LUC, lvl 4 +10 LUC, lvl 5 +20 LUC, lvl 6 +30 LUC.
Dual Fortune: lvl 1 gives +9 LUC and +8 STR, lvl 2 gives +9 LUC and +11 to min AND max ATK (this only links to weapons), lvl 3 gives +9 LUC and +175 SP, and lvl 4 gives +9 LUC and +36 magic resistance.

SAFE LAPIS - Adds REC and can be linked to pants, gauntlets, boots, and weapons.
Normal Safe: lvl 1 adds +3 REC, lvl 2 +5 REC, lvl 3 +7 REC, lvl 4 +10 REC, lvl 5 +20 REC, lvl 6 +30 REC.
Dual Safe: lvl 1 adds +9 REC and +12 DEF, lvl 2 gives +9 REC and +11 to MAX ATK, lvl 3 gives +9 REC and +36 magic resistance, and lvl 4 gives +9 REC and +175 SP.

ASSAULT LAPIS - Adds MIN and MAX ATK to weapons. It can ONLY be linked to weapons.
Normal Assault: lvl 1 adds +3 ATK, lvl 2 +5 ATK, lvl 3 +8 ATK, lvl 4 +16 ATK, lvl 5 +24 ATK, lvl 6 +32 ATK.

WIT LAPIS - Adds magic resistance, reducing the damage you take from magic spells. It can only be linked to helms.
Normal Wit: level 1 adds +10 resist, lvl 2 +20 resist, lvl 3 gives +30 resist, lvl 4 gives +50 resist, lvl 5 +75 resist, and lvl 6 +100 resist. (there is no reason to use lvl 1, 2, or 3; there are better uses for that helm slot including any dual lapis that has magic resistance as its secondary stat; which gives +36 resist).

LIFE LAPIS - Adds HP and can be linked to anything except weapons.
Normal Life: lvl 1 gives + 50 HP, lvl 2 +100 HP, lvl 3 +180 HP, lvl 4 +240 HP, lvl 5 +360 HP, lvl 6 +500 HP. I believe HP lapis is the way to go with an attack based archer/hunter if you want more defensive survivability. I'll write below why I think it's better than adding DEF.

WISE LAPIS - Adds WIS and can be linked to pants, gauntlets, boots, and weapons.
Normal Wise: lvl 1 adds +3 WIS, lvl 2 +5 WIS, lvl 3 +7 WIS, lvl 4 +10 WIS, lvl 5 +20 WIS, lvl 6 +30 WIS.
Dual Wise: lvl 1 adds +9 WIS and +175 HP, lvl 2 gives +9 WIS and +195 MP, lvl 3 gives +9 WIS and +12 physical defense, and lvl 4 gives +9 WIS and +36 magic resistance. Personally I think this is only a viable option for a tank build. A standard attacker archer/hunter should not use these at all. I only added them to the guide after adding the tank build section. Still, for a tank build, I don't feel that the normal WIS lapis is the way to go. I think that the duals have potential. The lvl 1 dual is alright. The lvl 3 is nice, as is the lvl 4. They are good mainly for the secondary stats, the HP, the DEF, and the resist, not so much the WIS. But WIS does add 1:1 resist and 1:5 MP so that's beneficial. Whether or not these are the best use of your armor slot only you know based on your budget and what other options you can afford. Lower modes typically shouldn't be building in resist when their DEF is still not as high as it should be. Therefore, the lvl 3 dual is okay for the DEF but the others become less attractive.

HELMET LAPIS - adds +20 to one stat. It comes in all six stat categories, STR, DEX, LUC, REC, WIS, and INT. It's essentially like a level 5 lapis that can be linked to helmets, and only to helmets. It has the same % as level 5 lapis as well, but it is quite expensive.

ACCESSORY LAPIS - There are rings, loops, and armlets that have slots for lapis. SP and MP lapis can be linked to these, and there is also what we call accessory lapis that gives +7 to one stat and +6 to another, so each lapis ends up giving 13 stat points divided in that ratio between two stat categories, an example, one gives +7 LUC and + 6 DEX. These lapis have a linking rate of 1% and 2% at high bless. If you use an OP hammer it will be 20% chance of success. However if it fails to link it will break your jewelry as well. The way to stop that is by having an AP item called a Lucky Charm. If the lapis fails then the lucky charm will break and your jewelry will be spared. This is very hard to link, just like sonic lapis, and can be very expensive.

SONIC LAPIS - Increases your movement speed. Can only be linked to boots. lvl 1 increases speed by 1 level, lvl 2 increases speed by two levels. This also has a 1% linking chance, 2% at high bless. Again using an OP you can get 20% chance and it will break your boots if it fails, unless you have a lucky charm, in which case the charm will break. This is even more expensive to link than an accessory lapis as the sonic lapis itself is very expensive, plus the OP hammer, and the lucky charm you need for every attempt. But it is so awesome especially as an archer/hunter to have sonic boots. It makes kiting much easier and ends up saving you a lot of damage both in PvE and PvP. If you can manage to get sonic boots you will not regret it. If you can't then using constant grape ice cream will have a similar effect. Sonic lvl 2 is still faster though I believe.

DEBUFF LAPIS - These lapis offer various debuffing effects that have a chance to hit on every attack. There are many of them out there but in my opinion there are only a few that interest me as an attack based archer/hunter. Slo Mo, which decreases the target's attack speed by two levels for 30 seconds. Combined with Slow and Slump Shot you could knock down an enemy in PvP by 4 attack speeds, rendering them pretty much a sitting duck. A fighter/warrior has an attack speed of "fast" when using dual swords/axes so this would take him down to "slow", which is horribly debilitating; not to mention the Slow skill also takes his moving speed down. That would be one annoying archer to deal with. The accuracy of the debuff effects is something that seems to vary between each type, but I've heard good things about Slo Mo's effect actually hitting most of the time.

There is also Toxin, which does HP damage over time like a poison. There's Croll, which slows moving speed by 1 level. There's paint lapis, which stuns the target for 3 seconds, freezing lapis stops them from moving for 5 seconds. All those would be useful for an attack based archer/hunter. The issue is that slots can become valuable and using them on these lapis means you have to give up other stat lapises to do so. A common idea is to make a separate weapon specifically for debuffing.

For tank builds, most of the level 6 debuff lapis would be very useful. But the issue remains you have to give up slots for them which means less DEF or DEX or HP or Resist. And of course the procure rate of these lapis is something that is not great. So much of the time, when the debuff doesn't take effect, you have simply wasted your slots. As a tank archer/hunter in PvE if you can afford to do so without negatively effecting your defensive abilities then having a full debuff weapon would be cool. Most of them are useful. You would have to look through them yourself and pick ones you like. Just avoid the ones that do MP and SP damage as that doesn't work on PvE mobs. And keep in mind that things that mess with movement are usually not desired because they won't hit every mob in your pull equally and having some stunned, not moving, or moving slower can mess up your kiting. But things like Curse would be useful for tanks. In PvP, it's pretty much the same story EXCEPT now nearly every lapis becomes good. I still don't like the MP/SP ones but movement debuffs in PvP are awesome.

FLASH LAPIS - I've changed my view on Flash lapis. Well not really changed but i have a different way of thinking about Flash lapis in general. Right now only Flash lvl 1 is available but lvl 2 and lvl 3 do exist, they just have not been released on the server. I do not want them to ever be released because they have the ability to upset the balance of the game mechanics beyond repair. That being said, i've discussed that in multiple other threads. So regarding Flash lvl 1 lapis, what do I think? It's about the best thing you could do for your DPS. Regardless of whether you use a bow or crossbow, if this is a permanent uber weapon, Flash lapis should probably the top lapis on your to do list.

HORIZON LAPIS - Horizon lvl 1 increases your range by 1 meter. Honestly that's pretty insignificant. I would be interested if it was a bigger increase like 5 m, but from what I remember from the Chinese site even the higher levels of horizon lapis do not give that much. Perhaps if you stacked multiple lapis on a single weapon you could achieve something significant but then you're wasting far too many slots. So to me horizon lapis is pretty much useless and always will be. In my opinion, in order to balance the negative effect sonic has on ranged classes like archers/hunters, there should be a horizon lapis that gives a significant range boost (like 10m or something) only to shooting attacks. But that's just me dreaming, no such horizon lapis currently exists.

AND THE OTHERS - I've decided to collect the other types of lapis and list them here; knowing this, they are almost completely useless for archers/hunters, or there are better options out there. INT, completely useless. Endure, 100% crap. Deceive, assault is better. Mental, adds MP but you shouldn't need it, don't waste a spot except in rare cases. SP, if you have slotted jewelery and can't afford to link the accessory stat lapis to it, SP would be a good choice. Forbid, if you're not a tank build then forget it. Absorption lapis, again for tanks only and maybe not even them given the cost, i wouldn't use it unless I got the drop for free.

CONSIDER BEFORE LAPISING...

MAGIC DEFY the UM archer/hunter skill at lvl 3 blocks up to 5 magic attacks every 5 minutes. For the most part this make resistance unnecessary. Just something to keep in mind. You may want to choose duals with more HP or more stats over something like wit or resist. If you're a tank build this won't save you when you pull a seven mob group that uses magic. It can only save you from 5 magic attacks every 5 minutes at the most. It can help but it cannot be your only magic defense if you want to pull groups of magic mobs as an archer/hunter tank. For normal archers that kill one at a time this CAN be your sole magic defense if you want it to, which most do choose that route.

USE YOUR RANGE to your advantage. This is certainly true for PvE, not necessarily for PvP. But since archers/hunters are ranged attackers, we take less hits than fighters/warriors. So it is usually not necessary to have high defense as a typical attack based build. Thus you can choose lapis that give more stats rather than defense. I'm not saying not to add REC or DEF stats, I'm just saying your range does offer some protection and that is something to keep in mind as well.

HP IS NEVER A BAD THING Especially in PvP, there is only so much you can do if you don't have enough HP to survive an initial attack. Some high level fighter/warriors' DS (deadly strike skill) for 6k+ damage. If you don't have that much HP you are just one hit kill fodder for any fighter/warrior you meet. And high level hunters rapid shot for the same. You have to be able to take at least one hit. You can't pot if you're dead. So I recommend shooting for a minimum of 6k HP at high levels. (and you can't make it without adding some kind of HP via lapis). Archers/hunters, even in UM only get about 4800 natural HP. Adding unto that the base HP of armor it's in the 5900 range. That's really pushing it, I prefer to have a few thousand more. There is straight life lapis but I would recommend only lvl 5s at high level (slots are valuable). And there are dual lapis as well that add DEX and HP as well as STR and HP. For PvE this is less important and you should not have much problems with survivability in PvE.

Now, let's think in terms of high level PvP. You have one slot open, You could potentially get up to 20 stats out of that slot, or you could get 360 HP. Neither seems all that big, you're not gonna notice an extra 20 damage when you hit for 2k+, nor will 360 HP do much to thwart someone who does the same. But over the course of 4 or 5 pieces of gear, that 360 HP can turn into nearly 1800 HP and that IS significant. Of course you have to give up about 100 stat points to get that and is that worth it? hmm an extra 150 critical damage or 1800 more HP. Again I would ask, do you think you would notice a difference from 150 damage when you are critting for over 2k? probably not. Would you notice a difference in survivability with an extra 1800 HP? probably. Even if it means nothing more than you can survive a DS/WS combo long enough to pot and run. Anyway, just making some observations. Especially in PvP victory depends on more than how many stats you have. An extra 100 stats doesn't mean much if you're dead. If you put a dual craft 3, dual dex 4, and lvl 5 life on all 5 armor pieces that would give you an extra 3550 HP. Combined with prayer and AoP you could reach over 10k, not bad.

*Note that the previous was written before lvl 6 and enchantment systems were in the game but you see the point is still valid, a few hundred more damage or a few thousand more in survivability. I'm not here to say only one option is best, I'm just pointing out the data. Remember, you tend to get more kills when you're still standing and it doesn't matter if your attack is 5k. You can't shoot arrows when you're dead. Power vs survivability, attack vs defenses. Finding the right balance that YOU prefer is something only YOU can do. For tank builds of course HP gets a priority spot in addition to defense because you don't build attack in at all.

WHAT ABOUT REC OR DEF? If you're a tank build keep in mind as you read this, that it is taking about standard attack based archer/hunter builds. As a tank you don't choose between HP or DEF really, you choose both if possible. But DEF is typically your priority as a tank. So this doesn't apply to your build.

HP always offers more survivability for attack based build archers/hunters than REC or defense does. The exception would be if you are doing a REC build for the purpose of faster grinding, but eventually you will probably be a normal attack archer/hunter in the end. The reason HP is better is because as archers/hunters, in general (and in PvP), we are usually dealing with one on one fights. When comparing equal DEF vs HP lapises, the HP always offers more survivability. It averages out to needing to take 15 hits before the defense lapis is better than the HP lapis. What I mean is that comparing a lvl 5 Forbid (24 DEF) and a lvl 5 Life (360 HP), by taking 24 less damage per hit with the forbid lapis, you need to take 15 hits before you save 360 damage.

Now if you were AoEing (which stands for Area Of Effect and refers to the idea of gathering a lot of enemies around you and then using skills that damage all enemies within a given area) 10 mobs at once you could get hit 15 times very quickly, (not even two attacks from each mob) but in PvP even against a few targets at once it will take a while to get hit 15 times. Unless of course we are talking high level and a few fighter/warriors DS/WS/EWS you, but you'll be dead in about 4 hits anyway regardless of your lapis so it won't matter. Which brings up the main point, if you are not built to take 15 hits in a short amount of time and still be standing, which pretty much means a tank build, then HP will help you more than DEF.

The 15 figure holds true for the other level of lapis as well, lvl 4s and the dual lapis, etc. But if you are really sold on adding DEF the REC/DEF dual lapis is the best choice, better than a lvl 5 Forbid. Well actually lvl 5 REC is the best as it gives 20 DEF and 100 HP, but for the top armor the REC/DEF (Dual Safe lvl 1) is the best. But even comparing a 5 REC with a 5 Life it will take 13 hits to make the REC lapis better. And of course DEF offers no protection from magic where as HP does.

ASSAULT IS ALWAYS BETTER than craft lapis on your weapon (well lvl 1 and 2 craft and assault lapis are equal, all the rest assault is better). Archers/hunters get 1 ATK for every 1 STR. So assault ends up giving more ATK than craft, and thus if you are only choosing one to use, use assault. It's cheaper anyway.

DUAL FORTUNE LVL 2 gives 11 ATK and 9 LUC (which archers/hunters get 3 more ATK from). So it gives 14 ATK and 9 LUC. To me that is better than assault 4. It's also definitely better than Dual Fortune lvl 1 which gives 8 STR (8 ATK) and 9 LUC. Dual fortune lvl 2 is one of the cheapest dual lapis out there, it's also one of the best for archer/hunter weapons.

THINK MORE CREATIVELY than just "put all lvl 5s on everything". With so many dual lapis around there are actually better ways and cheaper ways to achieve the same or better results. An example: using two slots to put lvl 5 craft and lvl 5 LUC would yield 27 ATK (20 from the craft and 7 from the LUC) and 20 LUC. It also means you have to link two level 5s which usually means using OP hammers. It can get pretty pricey pretty quick. Or you could use those same two slots to put dual fortune 1 and 2, which would give you 25 ATK and 18 LUC. It's slightly less than the lvl 5s but costs a quarter of the price since you won't need OP hammers to do it. And honestly you're not going to notice any performance difference between those two setups. You will save 100s of millions by using the duals though. There are lots of options out there and just because you don't have billions of gold doesn't mean you can't get uber gear and great results. There are 3 dual lapis that give +17 stat points, which puts them nearly on par with a lvl 5 lapis; but again the cost of linking a dual lapis is a fraction of that of a lvl 5 and the performance difference will be insignificant.

GUIDE TO THE ELEMENTS:
Index Code: [XELEM]

REMEMBER, that this was written in EP4 and now there are level 2 elements. All talk about elements are regarding level 1 versions.

"To ele or not to ele?" That was the title of this section way back when I first wrote it. Ironically, since EP4's release, "that" is no longer the question. The question now is only HOW will i choose to imbue my weapons with elemental power? There are two options regarding weapons for archers/hunters, the traditional elemental lapis, and the new elemental buffs. Before we get to that though let's evaluate the lower level PvP situation, because the buffs start after lvl 31 so only apply to grinding and high level PvP.

Elemental lapis is very expensive. The reason being that everybody wants it; and not just one but many. That, plus the fact that only one boss in the entire game drops it, Kimiraku (the D-water dungeon 2 boss) and he spawns a lengthy 12 hours after the last time he was killed, the supply that can get into the game is small compared to the demand.



The effect of elemental lapis is huge. I don't have room to write a total elemental guide here but an element gives % of damage increase/reduction of up to 40% depending on if it's dominant or weak against the element of your opponent. Remember Earth > Water > Fire > Wind > Earth. There is no BEST element, as every element has a strength and a weakness.

  • 1-15 PvP

    * First note that this was written a while ago and many things said depend on the specifics of the zone on the server you play on, which I cannot possibly know. The important thing to understand is that elements work on a % based system and that is the key to helping you decide what is best for you.

    When I played, elemental gear in 1-15 was not essential to success. If you had elemental gear you are among the elite as far as gear goes. It also doesn't really matter what element you choose as most people don't have elemental weapons or armor at that level. Fire armor is nice as it will protect you from enemy casters wind spells. Because of that, putting water on your weapon would not be bad, in case you do run across someone who has fire armor. I'm not going to get too much into elemental and PvP strategies.

    However, in 1-15 keep in mind elemental lapis works on damage percentage system. Assuming your target does not have elemental armor, which few do at lvl 15, then an elemental weapon will do 20% more damage than a normal weapon. So if you have an attack power of 200, using an elemental weapon will up that to 240. My fighter at lvl 15 had 350 attack power so an elemental weapon benefits me a bit more at around 70 ATK boost, but archers/hunters usually won't have attack quite that high. Please note this was written a long time ago, things are different now but the point is the same. It depends on your ATK, how much an element will benefit you. So keep in mind that an assault lvl 5 lapis adds 24 ATK and costs a fraction of the price of an elemental lapis. You really really really have to be serious about staying a long time in order to invest that kind of gold into a lvl 15 weapon or armor.

    And speaking of the armor, the damage you will take, again assuming the enemy does not have an elemental weapon as most don't will be 20% less damage. So again if the enemy was gonna hit you for 200 he would now hit for 160. If I was going to hit your for 350 I would now hit you for 280. And also keep in mind that a forbid lvl 5 is pretty cheap and adds 24 defense. Because of the cost of elemental lapis and the fact that at level 15 we don't have much stats and ele lapis works on % based system it is not always best to throw eles on your gear at that level unless you are super crazy about maximizing your damage/defense.

    You can see the damage formulas earlier in this guide in order to calculate how much of a boost you would get from adding an ele. Also, the enchanting system allows 1-15 toons to get even more attack than was possible before, as does lvl 6 lapis. An element definitely COULD make a significant difference, but whether it will for you depends on your stats and the competition on your server.

  • 20-30 PvP

    Elemental lapis has more of an impact. Again because it works on a percentage based system and at level 30 you have much more stats and also 3 and 4 slotted gear and helms to get even more stats. So here, where people can hit in the 1000+ range, an elemental lapis starts adding a significant amount of damage both given and taken. But it's still expensive so only for those who are serious about their low level PvP. I used to say that an ele bow will serve you well after you eventually level out of 20-30 and make your way to higher level. However, now archers/hunters get the weapon elemental buff skills which makes that a moot point. Just like in 1-15, you'll want an ele if your a hardcore enthusiast in the zone, but if you're not dedicated to staying a long time then don't waste your gold. Ele's are not cheap but at least a heroic lvl 25 ele bow would retain its value and you could probably get your money back out of it when you move out of PvP.

  • END GAME

    Let's start with elemental armor. In PvE, really any element will do because most mobs attacks are non elemental, thus ANY elemental armor will give you a 20% protection boost against attacks. Some attacks like magic have elements on them, such as meteor is fire. against those attacks it does matter what element your armor is. But such attacks are not very common and thus it's not all that important for PvE which element you have in your armor. It's also not essential that you have any ele at all in your armor as an archer/hunter. If you are a tank build than an elemental armor can be a huge deal if you can afford it. It will reduce the damage you take by 20% and that's a big deal when mobs want to hit you for 2000 or even 1000 damage and a single lapis cuts it down by 400 or even 200. That's huge gain with minimum resource usage. Now it's far from minimal gold usage. If you're buying the ele instead of farming it, it will cost you a ton. But the benefit to a tank build in PvE is amazing.

    For PvP things can get really complicated when trying to choose an element. You have no idea what kind of elemental weapon your opponent has, and at high level he likely has two or three, even four different ele weapons. It can also pose a problem, if it becomes known what element you have in your armor (and that's not hard to figure out if someone fights you a few times using different elemental weapons). Then they know exactly what to use against you to get that 40% damage bonus. It could be argued that it's better to have no element in your armor, unless you have several armors to switch out. Otherwise, if your weakness becomes known your expensive top just became a liability. A liability that is potentially costing you more than the stats of that armor give you benefit. That's fancy talk for saying you may be better off running with no top on at all than getting exploited with a known ele top.

    What about elemental weapons? For lower level (31-50) grinding i suggest choosing the ele you like best, getting that buff, and just grinding with any bow you have. It's temporary so no need to have an uber bow. If you want my opinion I would suggest taking the Flame Element buff and grinding with that against wind mobs because there are a ton of wind mobs on your grinding journey from 31-50. You should also stock up on slow cure scrolls if you do that though because the wind mobs tend to have slow magic that will be annoying without scrolls. That's what I did using a lapised fire bow back when i grinded my archer.

    Now, the high level (after 50) endgame talk. For grinding, the strategy is the same. The elements you would need will change depending on your level. Wind and water is what you need for Pando, Earth and Fire is what you need for Deep Desert. Those are your two endgame grinding maps. You get a water epic bow that you can change to any element of your choice. You also have access to all 4 elements via the buffs. Do you actually need all 4 buffs for the grind? No you could work out a way to not need all four elements, but it depends where you intend to grind. In any case it doesn't really matter because you can go ahead and get all the buffs. But won't that be a lot of skill points? Yeah it will, but this is a grinding setup and once you are done, be that lvl 60 or whatever level you say "i'm done" you can just reset your skills at that time. This is the best way to go about it, don't shy away from the idea of reseting skills. Just pick up the elements that you need, there is no permanent consequence and no reason to struggle, for example, without wind in pando or settle for EC because you have access to all the elements so you can go grind wherever you need to.

    So the real question about ele lapis vs ele buffs really only applies to endgame builds after you're done grinding and finally ready to settle into D-water PvP. When that time comes what should you do? There is no one answer, both strategies will work and both offer advantages and disadvantages. First we need to understand how the lvl 2 buffs work. There are a few important points to know. They have no cooldown time so there is no limitations in that area. When you switch your weapon the active ele buff disappears. When you use another ele buff it replaces the previous one. When you right click the active ele buff it disappears (like priests' evolution skill). The element of the buff also over rides the element of your weapon so if using the 45 epic or a bow with an elemental lapis in it, using a buff will not cancel out and make your weapon non elemental.

THE LAPIS ROUTE:

Both the buffs and lapis strategies have pros and cons to them. One downside to using ele lapis is that the lapis is incredibly expensive. Another is that you need multiple high end bows and each bow needs uber lapis and a different ele lapis in it. The third is that if switching between more than two elemental weapons it can get confusing. Two is manageable with the skill bar because you can easily flip back and forth but you can't do that with three or four weapons easily. You'll have to check each time you switch to confirm you got the right bow. The advantage that genuine ele bows have is that there is no downtime when switching, it's instant whereas the buffs are a skill and thus take time to cast. But as said, the complexity of managing more than two bows will cost you more time then the buff casting time will. The cost of making 2,3, or 4 high end uber weapons lapised with level 6s and flash etc. is insane. Your end game weapon will also be high enchanted most likely. We're talking in the range of 7 billion or more to make one weapon. Having to do that 4 times would be excessively difficult and just plain impossible for most players. Also, new update, new best weapons, now you're starting over again to remain on top. This makes it not worth it to me.

THE BUFF ROUTE:

There are really two drawbacks of the elemental buff system. One is that it's a skill so you have to cast it and thus it takes time to switch elements, unlike when switching between ele lapised weapons, which is instant. The other is that they cost quite a bit of skill points (10 each). Dropping 40 skill points may just be unfeasible as even at lvl 60 UM there are going to be choices regarding skills, especially after EP4 because now there are just way more useful skills and you don't have enough points to get them all. Even taking a few ele buffs may require you to sacrifice other potentially useful skills. But like most things in life we are creatures of habit, and tend to only actually use a handful of the things we have. So while something like wide shot is nice, how often do you use it and is it THAT important? That's just an example. The upside of the buffs is cost. It's free, financially speaking. And the most attractive aspect of this setup is that you only need a single high level weapon which will save you billions of gold. Just getting one uber weapon and then only needing to lapis it once and you don't even need to put an ele lapis on it, now that is a huge burden lifted. And if you want to switch weapon types, no problem, just lapis one new weapon and you're set. New update, new best weapons, no problem. The most significant drawback of the buffs is the skill point issue but it is definitely the lesser of two evils in my opinion.

THE MIDDLE WAY:

What about a combination of the two. It was originally speculated to be impossible because the buffs were expected to cancel out when combined with an elemental weapon. But now we see that they don't. So, what if you already have, or just make that one high end bow and put an elemental lapis in it? That cuts down on one buff that you don't have to get now. Yeah linking an ele isn't super easy but it might end up being a great option.

Here is my proposed ideal setup. Get a Cloron/Fantasma Dragon drop bow or crossbow/javelin, or failing that, get the best weapon you can. Lapis it with an ele lapis of your choice, a flash lvl 1, an assault 5, a STR 5 (assuming you can't get 6), and then perhaps something like a SloMo or if not then whatever else you like. That would be the best weapon setup imo. Then get two ele buffs that are different than the lapis in your bow. Then change your epic 45 bow/javelin to whatever element you still don't have via the quest. Now you have all elements and you have three on a single weapon. The epic is really a specialty weapon that you won't use except in rare cases. That's why i recommend that you make it the element you suspect you will use least. So basically you'll only be using that one uber weapon and you'll have the ability to switch between three elements with that one weapon. But you'll have your epic with the remaining ele should you ever need it. If you really can't afford it though you could omit the ele lapis. For the most part just having two complimentary ele buffs is enough because you'll never be stuck with the weak element in PvP.

OPTIMIZE FOR YOUR SITUATION

PLEASE NOTE:

Are you sick of reading these yet? I'm about to talk about skill points and remember that this was written for EP4. EP5 and beyond revamps the skills to a significant degree, so take what you read with that understanding. The basic principles still apply but the specifics, especially when I start calculating exact numerical figures, are no longer completely true in EP5.

When it comes to PvE grinding you have enough skill points to get the elemental buffs and all your other essential skills, yes you do. For this reason, I personally feel that you should, for the purpose of grinding, take all the elemental buffs that you need. If you are talking about the endgame and you grind in the Deep Desert you need Fire and Earth. If you grind in Pando you need at first Wind, and after level 54 all you really need is Water. Having the elemental advantage is important. In the endgame it is far more important to have the right elemental weapon than it is to have any other skill. Even if you had to give up something like Bull's Eye to get, which you won't have to. The elemental multiplier adds such a damage boost to your attacks that even a normal arrow with dominant element is stronger than a Bull's Eye without dominant element. So if an elemental buff is better than Bull's Eye it's definitely better than things like Big Coup, Absolute Attack, and other useful but not so important in PvE grinding skills.

So, now I will analyze the amount of skill points you will have in NM, HM, and UM, and what skills that will be essential for PvE grinding and what skills you don't really need. Every mode has enough skill points to get the elemental buffs and still keep the essential skills. Saying you "can't afford" to get the elemental buffs is like saying you're going to level a UM from 1 - 60 without any EXP stones because you "can't afford it". The truth is, this would be so unwise that you would be better off leveling up an NM, farming gold with it and then buying the stones for your UM to use. The combined effort and time of this strategy would still be faster than grinding the UM without the stones. "Can't afford" means "Not willing to give it the proper thought." So I'll give you most of the thoughts and all you have to do is read them.

We're going to use level 50 as the marker, this is when the ele buffs become available in level form, it is also when the game changes. 50+ is what people call the endgame grind. The main maps are Pando/Lanhaar, Deep Desert, and Stable Erde (Jungle). The supplemental spots are Cloron/Fantasma's Lair and Elemental Cave/Rubber Chaos or D-water dungeon 2. At this stage you want elemental advantage though no matter where you go. Unless you're super uber or not alone you pretty much need elemental advantage in Pando/Lanhaarr, desert, and jungle. So at level 50 NM has 152 skill points, HM has 201, and UM has 250. Remember this is for grinding, not PvP, endgame PvP is most wisely saved for when you are 60 or very close and you typically reset your build/skills to adjust once you no longer have to grind.

ESSENTIAL SKILLS

  • Rapid Shot lvl 3 (point cost: 8)
  • Bow Mastery lvl 2 or Projectile Mastery lvl 3, depending on your weapon choice (point cost: 8 or 15)
  • Sharp Shooter lvl 3 (point cost: 8)
  • Long Range lvl 3 (point cost: 9)
  • Piercing Shot lvl 1 (point cost: 3)
  • Marksman Song lvl 3 (point cost: 9)
  • Bull's Eye lvl 3 (point cost: 21)
  • Bow/Projectile Power Up lvl 3 (point cost: 9)
  • Relax Body lvl 3 (point cost: 5)
  • Town Portal (point cost: 0)
  • Evasion: (point cost: 0)
  • Flame/Surgy/Earth/Storm Weapon lvl 2 (point cost 40)

These are the things you NEED, no frills, but this is the meat and potatoes of your grinding setup, if as an NM this is all you could get you would be fine. The total skill point cost of this setup is 120 to 127 depending on if you go with bow or crossbow/javelin. So even NM still has about 25 - 30 more skill points to use and this is only at level 50. Can't afford the elemental buff? False.

PREFERRED SKILLS

  • All the skills in the previous list (point cost: 120 - 127)
  • Backpack Upgrade (point cost: 5)
  • Piercing Shot lvl3 (point cost: +6)
  • Slow lvl 3 (point cost: 8)
  • Viper Sting Shot (point cost: 12)
  • Nuke Shot lvl 1 (point cost: 8)
  • Magic Defy lvl 3 (point cost: 14)
  • Shower Time or Bloody Shower lvl 2 (point cost: 8)
  • Wide Shot / Ballista Shot lvl 3 (point cost: 12)
  • Slump Shot lvl 2 (point cost: 9)
  • Interpretation lvl 3 (point cost: 5)

The total point cost of this setup is 207 to 214. NM won't be able to get everything on this list, however some of the skills are not for NM anyway. I would recommend NM taking the first list plus VSS, Slow, and Backpack upgrade, but that's just my opinion. Jumping airshot is not on this list because it doesn't get decent damage until lvl3 which is available only after level 54. Magic Defy is UM only so HM has enough points to get everything on this list (save magic defy).

LUXURY SKILLS

  • All the skills on the previous lists (point cost: 207 - 214)
  • Bow Mastery lvl 2 AND Projectile Mastery lvl 3 (point cost: + 8 to 15)
  • Bow Power Up AND Projectile Power Up lvl 3 (point cost: + 9)
  • Wide Shot lvl 3 AND Ballista Shot lvl 3 (point cost: + 12)

Total point cost of specializing in both weapon types is an additional 29 to 36 points, bringing the total skill point cost up to 243. Remember UM has 251 at level 50. There are a few other things like Flash Attack, Absolute Attack, Big Coup, that have uses even in PvE but as you grind higher you will get more skill points, or you could switch around some of the skills I recommend. It is the ESSENTIAL SKILLS that everyone will want though and you can see in HM and UM you have enough points to start getting fancy even with 40 points into the elemental buffs. NM has more than enough to competently get the necessary skills and the buffs. If you are HM and claim you can't spare the points then you need to learn proper skill management, if you're UM and "can't afford" them then you don't know what you're doing, no offense. Separate grinding and PvP, that's how you maximize and optimize your efficiency.

There are many possibilities though of course. You can do whatever you like best, this just lists options.

Thanks for reading. Have fun!
- Aes


Allfor5

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PostedMar 20, 2010 10:26 pm
so 7str 2dex for level 1-30 then restat to 7luc 2 dex?

of_adam

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PostedMar 21, 2010 7:42 am
Thnx man, once again a seriously helpful post
restatting to 7luc 2dex will increase % of crit though crits won't be as high as if u put STR into your build that's y u can only have luc hybrids.

PLS STICKY!!!

xybolt

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PostedMar 21, 2010 8:40 am
of_adam wrote:
Thnx man, once again a seriously helpful post
restatting to 7luc 2dex will increase % of crit though crits won't be as high as if u put STR into your build that's y u can only have luc hybrids.

PLS STICKY!!!  


it's stickied, please check the stickied guide of Aes, you will find 4 URL's in big text that should lead you to here.

why did Aes do this ? cos his guide has a lot information to form it into one thread, he've decided to make a thread with 4 diff guides in it ...


Allfor5 wrote:
so 7str 2dex for level 1-30 then restat to 7luc 2 dex?  


that would work indeed. i've a STR/DEX lapissed gear which it's not an issue to change into full LUC, but if you don't have 100 DEX from gear, then i should suggest to add DEX from base stat yes

signature of xybolt

misterdude

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PostedMar 21, 2010 9:47 am
Just remember, resetting stats is not really about levels, it's about stat points. A LUC based build is founded on the critical hit. When you don't critical hit, you leak massive damage. It's like all your eggs are in one basket, the critical hit basket. So the proper way to do it is to wait until you have enough points to get maximum critical hit rate. Until then, your non critical hit STR based build will serve you better. Remember you get buffs that ensure you dominant element in all situations. This means that your ATK based build will get a big boost. The critical hit power of a LUC build will still be better BUT again only if you are always critical hitting. A good standard is to wait until you can get 450 LUC and DEX equal to your level x 2. (note: this DEX formula applies only if your level is less than 48, after that the game changes). You may want more DEX if you go into dungeons a lot. It depends on your style, but in general 2 x your level is a solid figure for the first 4x levels.

If you can manage that then it's probably an acceptable time to reset your stats. If you can't, then wait until you can. As far as Hybrids go, the power of archer builds is in this order: STR/DEX, LUC/DEX, LUC/DEX/STR. The proper way to reset is at the earliest time when you can successfully produce more DPS with the next best build. STR/DEX is best with low levels of stat points. As soon as LUC/DEX becomes better DPS (based on how many stat points you have) that's the time to reset. Going too soon will slow you down, and waiting too long will slow you down. Skipping LUC/DEX altogether will really slow you down. Resetting stats is about speed and ease. LUC/DEX is not the best build because it does lack ATK power (which you can get from weapons, enchantments, lapis, as well as STR). But if you wait until you can muster the attack power it's like going from step one to step three, and it will cost you time. Saving time is the very point of the stat reset.
 
"restatting to 7luc 2dex will increase % of crit though crits won't be as high as if u put STR into your build, that's y u can only have luc hybrids."  

I have a strict definition of the term hybrid, considering I was one of the first to begin commonly using it. I said it to label a specific build. Not just one that is a combination of multiple stats, but one that is a combination of three specific stats. One that is relatively high in ATK, LUC, and DEX. As such, I don't agree with the statement that you can only have LUC hybrids. They have their place, and in terms of offensive based archers, this is ultimately the best all around build in the endgame.

But the point is that a LUC/DEX build (which is not a "hybrid" as I meant the term) has its niche too, where it's better DPS than a STR/DEX build, and you don't have the stat points to make a LUC/DEX/STR build yet. You could attempt a "Lowbrid" build, which is ultimately a fail, trying to take insufficient points and spread them across STR/DEX/LUC (Hybrid), this is typically attempted at low levels (hence Lowbrid), the extra ATK/STR does not overcome the lost damage due to lack of critical hits. The Lowbrid is ultimately worse than both the solid STR/DEX and the superior LUC/DEX builds.

There is a point in the journey at which LUC/DEX is king of DPS. This is the spot you're looking for when you make the "30s" stat reset. It is roughly when you can muster 450+ LUC and a proper amount of DEX based on your needs (roughly your level x 2, or a bit more depending on your tastes). Working with these numbers of points you just can't build a Hybrid.

Regarding the guides, it was determined that the current setup is best. There's no way they could all be a single guide, for several reasons. The current stickied thread is insufficient so would have to have been removed. A new thread would have had to been created and stickied. The thread would be huge. The number of posts I would have to reserve would span several pages. It runs the risk of being limited by the post character count limits. It would take forever to load for some people. It would be a hassle scan and search through. And you would be forced to go through all the information instead of being organized and only having to open the post with the things you need at the moment.

Whether or not all five topics should be stickied, that doesn't matter to me. I think it works fine the way it is. Obviously I don't care if they were stickied but I've left that up to the general community. I'm not pursuing that . I'm not sure if we want 5 stickies on the front page anyway. You're free to rally for a sticky if that's what everyone wants, doesn't matter to me.

Gnasha13

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Australia
PostedMay 01, 2010 12:44 am
Hey thanks a heap[ man your a legend this guide has helped ALOT,
i have a LUC/DEX build and was wondering why a lvl 16 was hitting 30's on green monsters... so i decided to look up some guides and have decided to go with the STR/DEX build till bout lvl 35-40 then changing to LUC/DEX but ive got one question
yeah i know its a noobie question but im new and yeah...

how do you reset your stats?
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