Force Archer Guide

Hello. Thought I’d take the time to offer any Force Archer help, who wishes to experience the class to the fullest, and through a guide, I thought I might be able to help with that.

First, let’s start off with the question, "What are Force Archers about?"
Well, FA’s are a DPS based class with the added responsibility in Cabal of being the healer class. Without question, they are undoubtedly one of the strongest classes in terms of endurance and strength in both PvE & PvP applications. They also have the fastest consistency of attacks in the game. If you like being a class with decent damage and the ability to support your friends & guild members, then it’s the class for you. The other supportive role in this game would be covered by the WI (Wizards), and in some cases even WA (Warrior’s) can be described as somewhat of support through their extensive Spirit buff selection.

Before I begin this guide, I’ll start with my background. I am one of the first generation Force Archers from the beginning of NA Cabal’s existence. Started Cabal February 3rd, 2008, and have played since, up until now. I’ve played with among the best players that, in my opinion have played this server. I’m sure I don’t need to list them, they (or you if you’re reading this) know who they are. Why am I writing this guide? Well, my time in this game grows short, and I felt as a departure gift, I would write ALL of my views on force archer. ALL of the tips and tricks that I have learned over the year and a half of playing the class. Some of you may use this to merely sharpen your knowledge of it, others will further embrace it. Now, let’s start, shall we?

Skills:
Now keep in mind, these skills are only the skill set that I myself use today. It is by no means perfect, merely what I think to be the best.

Buffs Skills:

*Vital Force (20)

+315 HP

*Vital Bless (20)

+15HP Regen over 2 seconds

*Mana Condense (20)

+29 Magic Attack

*Repulsive Armor (18)

+220 Defense Rate

*Thrusting Arrow (20

+30% Knock Back (Note- This added KB%  only applies to skills with KB already.

*Eagle Eye (20

+1 Range / +620 Attack Rating (Extremely useful, giving Archers the range advantage over other ranged classes such as WI and MFS)

*Precision (20)

+400 Attack Rate

Please note: Sharpness (20 – +29 Attack) can be substituted in for this, however I do not use Sharpness because I feel that skill points are somewhat limited. Both are interchangable.

*Resist Intension (8) –

This buff does not need to be maxed. It is merely filled with extra skill points that could not be used. The only thing that increases is it’s buff duration, which this is merely a situational buff.

*Art of Healing (20) –

One of the most powerful buffs a force archer aqquires. Used to enhance the two healing skills, Greater Heal & Mass Heal, by 110%. Note, duration goes up by 30 seconds per rank up level. Levels where this takes place is – 80, 120 & 150. @ 150, it’s duration will match it’s cool down, making it a skill that can be put up all the time.

*Art of Sniping (20) –

Another situational buff. Yes, it enhances your critical damage by almost 2x, at the price of not being able to move. This is a steep price to pay for power, and in most case scenario’s too costly. I use this buff mostly against PvE related mobs, and in the highest PvP scenario, Sage’s Ensigns. Using it in PvP will often times lead to you getting killed because of the archer’s low defense.


Offensive Skills:

*Critical Shot (20)
*Shadow Shot (20)
*Gravity Distortion (9, 12, or 20)

This deserves it’s own mention, merely because it’s opinion based. Many would argue that to have Gravity Distortion available more often, is a plus. I respectfully disagree, as I feel that it is a skill that doesn’t need to be spammed, and for maximum effect, level 20.

*Shooting Star (20)
*Drilled Shot (20)
*Stone Cannon (16)
*Fire Cannon (16)

Stone Cannon & Fire Cannon were leveled down to 16 because for them, damage isn’t an issue. They are already strong for their cast time, and in PvE (which is what they are used for) their damage isn’t required to be high. Lances on the other hand, are a PvP based attack, therefore damage must be as high as it can be. These cannons were leveled down to liquidate skill points into other areas of the skill set.

*Fire Lance (20)
*Aqua Lance (20)
*Freezing Lance (20)

Now before questions arise, the reason that I use Freezing Lance over Terra Lance is because of it’s ranged. It’s a heavy difference when standing at maxed ranged, the time in which it takes for you to step forward one range can be the time that determines whether you live or die. Also note, for my skill combo, Terra Lance was a level 19 skill, because of cool down. The damage difference for archers when comboing as fast as we do is completely un-noticable.

*Lower Defense (20) –

Used to enhance the effect of Battle Mode 2 (Because for BM2, defense is an issue a lot of the time. Lowering defense by 39 can often times take the monster or player’s defense down to the bracket to which you can hit effectively.

Also, of course there is Fade Step & Dash. I certainly didn’t forget ^.^

Upgrade Skills:

Also, for more gutsy, cunning, experienced, whatever word you want to use for it, archers, you can substitute out Sixth Sense for Mana Mastery Lvl 10, which will make most people with Transcender ranks, immune to mana freeze with the proper equipment. This isn’t recommended though. The person who tried it did comment how he gets hit a lot more without the 798 Defense Rate. If you can surpass mana freeze without doing this, props to you. My gear allows it, other’s, not so easily.

I believe I have covered all of the skills that I use. If there are any skills that any of you feel purtinent to the Force Archer class, let me know how you feel!

Alright, well, you all knew it was coming!

Builds
I’ll try to keep this as informal as possible and less subjective.

There are three builds of Force Archer (don’t ask about heavy). Battle (most prominent), Martial, and Forcium. Now since I don’t want to take up the entire guide on just this subject alone, so i’ll keep it brief. Any questions, you are welcome to post or even PM me via forums.

Battle – The best of both worlds. Well, not really the BEST because the defense factor isn’t that much more significant than Martial, though you can see it. Most players with a +7 battle build will come close, if not toppling 700 defense. This is impossible for a martial force archer. Battle provides good power, with good durability, both from armor rating and stat allocation. It is the ideal build for beginners, ranging from 100, to 140 ish.
Stat allocation: 111 Str / X Int / 223 Dex.

Martial
– Martial is what I consider to be the end game build. It is for archers who feel their control skills allow them to be more lenient with their defense. The difference defensively between battle & martial is not HUGE, but it’s not small either. I’d say stat wise, you lose 13-14 defense if you go halfway, and about 20 defense if you go completely martial. The magic attack difference to going hybrid renders about 19-21 magic attack (I forgot, it’s been a while) and full martial, 27 or so magic attack. This 27 magic attack is very helpful and increases damage by a lot when talking about BM2 (guns) and Critical Shot. BE AWARE: The closer you get to full martial, the more expensive it gets, though.
Hybrid Stat allocation: 79 Str / X Int / 157 Dex. (Str & Dex vary slightly based on gear choice).
Full Martial Stat allocation: 68 Str / X Int / 136 Dex .

Forcium – This is an unpopular build, and for good reason. It’s build requires significantly lower magic attack. I’ve never actually tested it, but i’d say from battle to forcium, you lose 50-55 magic attack. You can make your own conclusion if one would wish to go from martial to forcium (heh). It is a very good build if you love your supportive role, but lacks in the offensive side of the equation.
Stat allocation: 153 Dex / X Int / 304 Dex

For your own calculations, each int is .33 magic attack per, each dex is .125 defense per dex, and I believe (not 100% sure) it’s the same value for the magic attack gained with dex (don’t forget to factor that into your calculations. Pretty sure you can find some of the charts online somewhere. I lost the one I had.

Combo’s

This branches off into a whole new area of discussion, and again, I won’t go into too much detail where you’re then comparing my guide to a Harry Potter novel. It will be brief, I promise! (lol).

Alright, well! Standard Combo’s, aswell as my own,  are as follows:

PvE:

Stun Lock:
My old combo: Gravity Distortion (9) > Drilled Shot/Prismatic Arrow (20) > Shadow Shot (20) > Fire Cannon (20) > Stone Cannon (20) Repeat. It’s not perfect, though.
Bunny’s old combo: Gravity Distortion (9) > Lightning Cannon (20) > Poison Arrow (20) > Shadow Shot (20) > Stone Cannon (20) (100% Stun Lock combo but doesn’t work if GD doesn’t have room to move)

KB Lock
:
A bit harder to describe, so i’ll just let you see for yourself how it works in a practical, grinding scenario:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAnxFh6ZYB4
This setup also let’s you put Gravity Distortion to level 20, which if you read up in the guide, I explained that.

I feel as though Stun Lock combo causes more harm than good. The reason for this is that when you hit all the monsters at the same time with a stun (in combo) it will stun every single one of them at the same time. This will make it so when the stun effect wears off, they will all strike you at the same time, which in many case scenario’s will lead to you getting spiked for all of your HP (archers aren’t plentiful in defense rate, so this is probable).

PvP:
There is a choice. You can go with the preferred, or mine. I don’t really read combo threads so I don’t know anything else that people use. I just know the preferred, and what works for me. You’re welcome to use either.

In terms of PvP (duels):
*My Combo: Critical Shot (20) > Shadow Shot (20) > Fire Lance (20) >Aqua Lance (20) > Shooting Star (20)
*Preferred: Critical Shot (20) > Shadow Shot (20) > Terra Lance (20) > Fire Lance (20) > Shooting Star (20)
a NOTE for both combo’s: If they aren’t dead by the time you use Shooting Star, you can loop crit shot again once more beforehand.

NOTE: Gravity Distortion (20) is a viable skill to be used anywhere, when up against a melee class. All you have to do is time your GD when they’ve exhausted their distance closing skills (i.e Charge, Shield Charge, Assault, Force Assault) & Force Kick.

In terms of using this as a DPS combo, your bar should have the skills in the following order:
My combo: Critical Shot – Shadow Shot – Fire Lance – Aqua Lance – Freezing Lance – Shooting Star. And YES, you can spam combo start and it works! Easy pzy huh?

Some Mission War tips:

****Never try to take on 4 or more players by yourself. Your HP is just simply too low for this.
****Never use BM2 when you have a legacy in your hand.

This is very simple. Legacy with the combo’s that I have provided here equal out to more DPS when striking a player than guns do, especially someone with lower base magic attack. Guns are primarily used for getting a legacy back, and in tier 3, killing Ensign’s.

****Eagle Eye > Vital Bless !

I’ve heard this talked about in the nation war lobby in tier 3, and in other area’s. Fact is this, the +1 range could be the determining factor whether you get to get a finishing hit off on someone or not. The +620 Attack Rate is also very helpful when in bm2. Aside from that, 15hp/2seconds is just not enough.

****Fade Step is an important factor for FA’s in nation war. Embrace it.
****Breakdown

If you don’t have a Storm Guardian title (i.e anyone not in tier 3, or those who didn’t make 7 wars), then when shooting in BM2 against a player, you’re going to need to use this little trick. Anytime you use a dash or fade step skill at the precise and correct time of your opponent’s attack, no matter how much down or KB% they have, it will always negate it. Sure it stops you from firing for the moment, but isn’t that better than getting KD’d? This is most practically used in BM2 fighting warriors, but can be used with just about anything. I know the name is a little cheesey, I had to think of something to call it, so you’ll live. ^.^

For added bonus, here’s the video I made of nation war pvp sometime back.
Made when I was in FiRe:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOx9NQYKRGY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEfTF-9hRZk&feature=fvw (ch20 video)

Little more recent, some Karma footage:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml8ewReTM40&NR=1
Some of the things I listed for nation war can be seen in here.

Any other questions relating to nation war. Post here.

That’s all I can think of (for now), if there’s anything else that you guys can think of that you would want me to elaborate on, i’ll be happy in doing so. Sorry for any spelling or grammatical errors that i’ve made. I pretty much did a brief guide and I only went back and skimmed it. Revisions will come soon.


Credits go to Phoenix029.