This post is going to be intimidating due to it?s length and there is not a TLDR; for what I have to say. I have created a sample video of me playing Archer in Ravenous Gorge to give you all an idea of how I play the class. I?d like to ask you to please take the time to read through what I have to say because I?m fairly certain that no one has ever addressed anything that I?m about to tell you.
Here is the video: Ravenous Gorge Archer Gameplay
I?m Pac and I play an Archer main for PvE and I?m here to make something of an effort to not just help the community become better at the class but also take a stab about breaking the adamant stigma that surrounds Archer.
Let?s open by laying the truth out on the table. Archer is not a good DPS class. When we?re comparing a player who knows the ins and outs of Archer like no other and we take a Slayer of similar skill level a Slayer will do more damage. For the sake of this post I am only going to be comparing Archer to Slayer. The reason behind this is that Slayer has the highest DPS achievable by any class in the game due to their Fury Strike setup. A Slayer who plays perfectly using a Fury Strike build will always beat an Archer no matter how good you are at the class. This is not restricted to Fury Strike setups exclusively. A mediocre Slayer with high ping can easily beat a decent Archer with low ping.
With that out of the way I would like to go over a number of misconceptions that the community has concluded about Archer and why their DPS is likely failing in comparison to other classes.
1) Archer is a ranged Berserker. This class is not designed to spend excessive amounts of time overcharging Radiant Arrow and Penetrating Arrow like a Berserker does with Thunder Strike and Cyclone. This class has a massive kit of skills that can be executed in quick succession that would outweigh the amount of time spent overcharging 1 charge shot to gain 40% more damage.
2) Archers should go with Keen weapons and not roll an attack speed line. I am completely aware of all of the math behind the game and where Keen/Intense stand in terms of raw damage but you cannot quantify attack speed and go on to disregard it without taking into consideration the time of each animation and number of actions performed. Given that Archer is built to be a non-stop machine that unloads as many actions as fast as possible you will need the attack speed to get through the whole kit. Some of the animations on Archer are fairly long and the last thing you want to do is get caught up in some animation that could lead to you putting out less DPS or getting killed.
3) Poison Arrow is good because __________. Even if you?re using the Glyph of Blaze for Radiant Arrow charge speed poison arrow is still a very bad skill. The animation is significantly longer than other skills, the DoT is entirely laughable due to its lack of gear-scaling, and the amount of glyph points that you would even need to use this glyph is not worth it. Radiant Arrow charges fast enough as it is. We?re trying to get away from the emphasis on charge shots because they?re not as good as one might think.
4) Arrow Volley is good because ____________. We have a similar situation. This skill?s damage compared to how long it takes to use it just not worth it. It?s not only an animation lock but if you get staggered when the arrow is flying through the air it will not do any damage because the animation has technically not finished. To give you a comparison Arrow Volley is approximately 1760 damage base. Flaming Barrage on a sorcerer is 3600 damage base. They function entirely the same yet after all these years (and a major Arrow Volley buff in the past) it is still a skill that is not worth using. Now like I was saying before, we have a similar situation with the Glyph of Blaze on Arrow Volley. It increases Penetrating Arrow speed by 40% but given the things mentioned before it?s not worth the effort and what I?m going to tell you later on is going to blow your mind.
5) Final Salvo Glyph of Blaze is good because ___________. If you were using Arrow Volley?s glyph of blaze for penetrating arrow then you were likely considering using the final salvo glyph of blaze just now. This is actually not a good idea either. The reason being that when you use this glyph is requires that you use Radiant Arrow 6 seconds (that?s how long the glyph of blaze lasts) before each penetrating arrow. This greatly reduces your options while DPSing. With the reduced Breakaway Bolt cooldown you should not be using Penetrating Arrow without the Breakaway Bolt powerlink glyph (we?ll go over all these glyphs later if you?re a bit lost.) If you?re trying to get your Penetrating Arrow powerlink from Breakaway Bolt and then you?re trying to pick up the speed from Final Salvo then you?re greatly limited on what you can do to have both of these active. This glyph isn?t terrible but it limits your capabilities of what you can and can?t do at any given time.
6) Using Rain of Arrows (RoA) from the back of the mob are considered back hits.WRONG!!! Rain of Arrows is not dependent upon where it it shot from. It it dependent on a) whether the mob is actually being hit and b) where you are facing at the time of impact. If you watch the video closely you can see me shoot a RoA from the front and jump through to the back and still get back crits. You cannot use Rain of Arrows and face left, right, or turn around or you will not inflict back hits.
7) Archer is a ranged class. As ironic as this is, it?s not even remotely true. In case you?ve never been told (or realized it yourself) that when you are beyond 12m your damage is diminished on many of your skills. The ranges are 0m-12m(100%) 12m-18m(80%?) 18m-23m(60%?). The following skills are all affected with range penalties: Arrow, Rapid Fire, Final Salvo, Penetrating Arrow, Radiant Arrow, Poison Arrow, Restraint Arrow, and Web Arrow. These ranged penalties have been removed months ago in KTERA and they will be coming to NA/EU soon but this will not change the play style of the class. Incendiary Trap, Close Quarters, and Breakaway Bolt all require that you be in melee range to land the attacks.
8) Using Arrows and Rapid Fire is a bad idea because ____________. This is probably going to be the most difficult thing to go over because this is heavily ping based. While Archer does require very low ping to stay in the realm of viable DPS, shooting regular Arrows and Rapid Fire and by far the most ping reliant source of damage in the game. It?s not as simple as saying ?I have 100 ms ping, that means I have 0.1s delay when I use skills.? Most people who play TERA don?t understand how high ping ruins the TERA Online experience. Players of NA and EU will never experience gameplay at <10 ping but what I will do is put some videos below giving examples of what ping can do to your level of play. Rapid Fire is the most ping reliant skill in the game because your connection has to ping in between each shot of Rapid Fire. Rapid Fire takes me approximately twice as long at 40-70 ping as it does for someone with less than 10. If Rapid Fire functioned like Traverse Cut where the game did all of the hits for you then Rapid Fire would be awesome. While this doesn?t mean that it?s a useless skill or necessarily a bad one, using Rapid Fire with 200 ping or higher is going to be a colossal waste of time whenever you decide to use this skill. With my 49-70 ping I can shoot about 3 regular arrows (3 x 464) each second. If I had ping similar to KTERA, JTERA, or Taiwan TERA, I would be able to shoot 4 arrows per second. With the same attack speed I would be able to execute around 20% more actions (not just regular arrows) in the same amount of time if I only had lower ping. Since ping affects all of my actions as well as the rate at which I can use these two actions, I don?t spend an abundance of time using these skills. However, I do use them occasionally.
If I remove my glyph of blaze from final salvo or arrow volley what do I do?
If you didn?t catch it from the video I?m using the Glyph of Blaze on Stunning Trap but I?m not actually dropping the trap onto the ground. So long as I use the skill and cancel the animation I still receive the glyph?s effect for penetrating arrow. This functionality is exactly the same for how lightning trap canceling worked for Sorcerers before it was removed from the game several weeks ago. Chances are you never saw me cancel my stunning trap once because it?s so fast and subtle. By using this glyph I am allowed to use penetrating more freely after I have received the powerlink from Breakaway Bolt. The glyph cost is exactly the same as the other glyph of blaze for Final Salvo and Arrow Volley and yes, when glyph points are reduced in the coming patch this will STILL be viable.
The gear that I was using in the video is full Disco+12. I am using a crafted quick bow with flat damage, speed, and enraged monsters. Here is a picture of the crystals that I use:Click me!
As far as what my thought process is while playing I do have a priority system and it?s all based upon how much time I have to perform each action. While it?s not good to have Rain of Arrows or Explosive Trap ready for use, you don?t always want to use these skills as soon as they come off cooldown. You have to know when is the right time to use each skill and since some animations are longer than others it takes a lot of on-the-fly judgement calls. ?Do I use it now and hope it turns around or do I wait 5-8 seconds to be sure?? I?ll likely go over this in detail in a a tutorial in the near future. Hesitation and idle time crush your DPS in games so what?s most important is that you?re never standing around making trying to decide what to do. I challenge everyone to record a video of themselves playing and count the number of seconds you spend doing nothing when you?re in the middle of a fight. The first time I did this I was so disappointed. Sometimes we all need to take a step back and really look at what we?re without doing it in the moment.