<Armyn ab Treanid>
"Playing an Elven Ranger!"
A Generalist Type Character.
Dark Age of Camelot (DAoC) is a game that allows you to create just about any type of character you desire. I particularly desired to play an elf, and a ranger. These templates are only suggestions, and how I plan to play my character. Even though this is meant as a guide for elves (Sidhe), all races can benefit. My goal is to be one with the bow, and still be good with many other skills. You will see that theme in this guide a lot. I also will present many other alternatives, so at least you will have other views to compare to and think about. I cant stress enough that this guide is not meant to be a bible, just a guide. I would actually recommend against playing an elf, and even following my templates to the letter! With any guide, there are many subjective sections and even some misinformation. I just want to write down my thoughts for reference, get some feedback, and maybe even build a little notoriety. The true joy of a ranger is the bow though, and with that, I present my guide:
So, you want to play a ranger, and because you got spoiled by D&D and EQ, you just have to be an elf. Well, here is my take on how I plan on doing it.
First, a couple of caveats! Just because Mousemaster or I put forth our ideas, doesnt mean you have to follow them. One of the great things Mythic has done with this game is get rid of the cookie cutter character. I am just offering my opinion, and as everyone knows: "Opinions are like @$$holes! Everyone has one, and they all stink!" Pick a style of play that you are comfortable with, and that you enjoy, and have fun! Thats the whole idea of this, its a GAME! J Also, if you are reading this, then that means you are interested in playing a ranger, so I suggest you go to CritShot - The Archers Mark (http://www.critshot.com/forums/index.php) and ask them. Another great source of information for you!
1.1 Being an Elf (Stats)
Okay, first lets look at being an elf. From a statistical point of view, this is pretty much the worst race to pick, so you better have a compelling reason that you want to be an elf! (Ive been playing an elven ranger in one form or another since 1978! Thats my reason.) Again, I must stress that playing an elf is the worst race to be statistically. Also, these elves arent the AD&D, EQ, Tolkien, or any other variety you may think you are familiar with, they are the Sidhe, read some ancient Irish folklore for more info. Here are the starting stats:
Celt 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60
Elf 40 40 75 75 70 60 60 60
Lurikeen 40 40 80 80 60 60 60 60
As you can see, elves have the same STR and CON as Lurikeen without the bonus to DEX or QUI (they gave us an extra 10 in INT, yeah!) So what do you do? First off, I am not going to get into a detailed discussion of what each stat does for you, I think MistWolf at Classes of Camelot, and everyone else, has done that enough. Now, there are basically 2 schools of thought on placing your initial 30 points. Put all the points into stats as to get a one for one ratio, or try to get a stat up sacrificing some points in the long run. If you want max points, put 10 into STR, 10 into CON, and then the remaining 10 you can split up between DEX and QUI. Or do what I did. Put 10 into STR (so I can carry my loot and equipment) and then 15 into CON (for HP). My reasoning:
Your Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary attributes start to increase after 5th level (every level, every other level, and every third level respectively). That means your DEX, QUI, and STR will start to increase once you become a Ranger! Not only that, once you get some skill in Pathfinding, you can buff your STR, DEX, and QUI. NOTHING you have will increase your CON, and that directly affects your HP (according to Sanya). Remember, I am going for as well rounded a character as I can the will be self sufficient, but still contribute to a group. Of course, I guess in the really long, long run, items, spells, and whatever else comes out there will probably take care of any small deficiencies you may have in initial character creation, but again, I am not going to totally depend on always having the right gear.
An alternate idea for placing your points, if you want the maximum benefit out of your points, is again 10 into STR, and CON, and then put the final 10 all into QUI. Your DEX will quickly reach its cap with the number of +DEX items, buffs, and your level increases. I have found a dearth of +QUI items, and I have noticed QUI seems to lag behind significantly as I level.
2.0 General Skills
Okay, so now you created your elven Ranger, and you are about ready to step into the world of Hibernia. What do you do? Well, first of all, you need to get to level 5! Like Mousemaster said, just go out and kill stuff to get experience. Check with your trainer (and check with everyone that has a name of some sort) for quests or tasks (realize that you can only get the same number of tasks as your level). You can save your skill points until level five, or you can utilize some of them as you level, it really isnt that important, as long as you manage to save most of them (youll need them). Before we get into a deep discussion on what to do with your training points, let me point you to this great utility: Go to http://makeprograms.cjb.net/ and download the DAoC Character Projection! This nice little utility will let you do "what if" scenarios until you are blue in the face! (He updated it! I am updating my guide as well.)
The basic skills that rangers will want to concentrate on are of course the following:
A big choice is; do you go with Blades or Pierce as your weapon of choice? Again, you decide based on your style of play. Blades rely on STR as the primary stat for determining swings and such, so as an elf this is a bad choice for min/maxing a character, but again, you do what you want! I picked Pierce as my weapon skill because I am a follower of the "best defense is an overwhelming offense" school of thought. Granted that in toe to toe melee, rangers are not going to be a truly viable class, especially in RvR (more on that later). Having a skill in a weapon type does two things for you. First it lets you "decrease the variance" of the damage, and secondly it opens up different styles you can perform. I personally advocate that you want to have a high skill in a weapon. Many of the styles are great for us to have available, and can even be a life saver is some situations (again, more on this later).
Another consideration with going pierce over blades, as Rangers, we get this great damage add spell that affects every hit. If we are swinging twice as fast with a pierce weapon than with a blade weapon, that spell will have a devastating effect! Sure, the actual damage numbers youll see with a sword are much larger, but the damage add will not be quite so effective, and if you miss it will hurt you in the long run more than if you happen to miss with one pierce attack.
So what are the styles you get with each skill? Well, unfortunately, we dont know much about the Stealth and Recurve Bow Styles yet, so I wont go too in depth about them. I will say though, that both of them are very important to how I want to view my ranger. For Pierce and Celtic Dual, here are the lists:
2.1 Weapon Skills
2.1.1 Celtic Dual
|Skill Name: Celtic Dual|
|2||Misty Gloom||High fatigue cost, medium bonus damage|
|4||Blinding Rain||Low fatigue cost, use after evading target, medium bonus damage, short duration bleed, medium bonus to hit|
|6||Squall||Medium fatigue cost, use any time, low bonus damage, attempt to taunt target to attack you, small bonus to hit, medium penalty to defense|
|8||Snow Shower||Medium fatigue cost, use from behind target, high bonus damage, short duration movement reduction, medium bonus to hit|
|10||Gale||Low fatigue cost, use after successful Snow Shower, medium bonus damage, short duration bleed, medium bonus to hit, small penalty to defense|
|12||Blizzard||Low fatigue cost, use after successful Blinding Rain, high bonus damage, medium attack speed reduction, medium bonus to hit|
|15||Thunderstorm||Low fatigue cost, use after successful Snow Shower, medium bonus damage, attempt to taunt target to attack you, medium bonus to hit, high bonus to defense|
|18||Ice Storm||Medium fatigue cost, use from side of target, medium bonus damage, short duration stun, medium bonus to hit|
|21||Hurricane||High fatigue cost, use any time, medium bonus damage, small bonus to hit, medium penalty to defense|
|25||Tornado||Low fatigue cost, use after parrying target, medium bonus damage, long duration movement reduction, high bonus to hit, medium bonus to defense|
|29||Tempest||Medium fatigue cost, use after successful Ice Storm, Medium bonus damage, medium duration bleed, medium bonus to hit|
|34||Meteor Shower||Low fatigue cost, use after successful Tornado, medium bonus damage, short duration stun, medium bonus to hit|
|39||Solar Flare||Medium fatigue cost, use after successful Hurricane, High bonus damage, small bonus to hit, small bonus to defense|
|44||Twin Star||Medium fatigue cost, use after successful Meteor Shower, Medium bonus damage, long duration bleed, medium bonus to hit|
|50||Supernova||Medium fatigue cost, use after successful Tempest, very high bonus damage, heavy attack speed reduction, high bonus to hit, small bonus to defense|
|Skill Name: Piercing|
|2||Dragonfly||High fatigue cost, medium bonus damage|
|4||Wasp's Sting||Low fatigue cost, use from behind enemy, medium bonus damage, short duration bleed, medium bonus to hit|
|6||Bumblebee's Sting||Medium fatigue cost, low bonus damage, attempt to taunt target to attack you, medium bonus to hit, high penalty to defense|
|8||Hornet's Sting||Medium fatigue cost, use after successful Wasp's Sting, medium bonus damage, small attack speed reduction, medium bonus to hit|
|10||Scorpion||Medium fatigue cost, no bonus damage, attempt to taunt target off you, medium bonus to defense|
|12||Black Widow||High fatigue cost, use any time, medium bonus damage, small bonus to hit, small penalty to defense|
|15||Tarantula||Low fatigue cost, use after blocking target, medium bonus damage, medium duration bleed, medium bonus to hit, small bonus to defense|
|18||Sidewinder||Medium fatigue cost, use after successful Black Widow, medium bonus damage, medium bonus to hit|
|21||Copperhead||Medium fatigue cost, use from beside target, medium bonus damage, medium duration movement reduction, medium bonus to hit, small penalty to defense|
|25||Diamondback||Low fatigue cost, use after evading target, medium bonus damage, medium duration stun, medium bonus to hit, medium bonus to defense|
|29||Viper's Bite||Medium fatigue cost, use after successful Copperhead, high bonus damage, medium bonus to hit, medium bonus to defense|
|34||Asp's Bite||Low fatigue cost, use after successful Tarantula, medium bonus damage, medium attack speed reduction, very high bonus to hit, medium bonus to defense|
|39||Cobra's Bite||Low fatigue cost, use after successful Sidewinder, high bonus damage, high bonus to hit, small bonus defense|
|44||Dragonspider||Medium fatigue cost, use after successful Diamondback, medium bonus damage, long duration bleed, medium bonus to hit|
|50||Wyvern's Bite||Medium fatigue cost, use after successful Asp's Bite, very high bonus damage, long duration bleed, high bonus to hit, small bonus to defense|
Now a couple of things that I want to go over first before telling you what my plan is on this. First of all, Mythic just changed this so that if we wanted, we could fully spec in either skill if we wanted to (as opposed to being limited to half your character level). Anything that says High Fatigue cost, Attempt to Taunt target to attack you, or High penalty to defense isnt all that desirable. Not to say that these skills may not come in handy, but they wouldnt be in my everyday bag of tricks! So at what level are you going to stop spending points in Pierce and Celtic Dual? Well, to get to two thirds your level in a skill is pretty much the ideal level if you arent fully specing in it, so lets look at the skill for Celtic Dual.
2.1.3 Celtic Dual Discussion
Both Tornado and Tempest sound like cool skills, and are pretty useful overall. Only problem is that Tornado requires someone to parry before you do it (a skill we dont get so if we are solo its useless to us). Tempest sounds nice, but to raise the skill from 25 to 29 take a lot of points, and is it really that good a skill? In my humble opinion, I dont think so. All the skills after 29 are dependent on other skills being used and successful, so I wont go into those that much. Well, what about Hurricane? High Fatigue cost and penalty to defense? No thank you! My recommendation would be to stop Celtic Dual at a skill level of 18. Granted that Ice Storm will mostly be used in a group, but Blizzard and Thunderstorm are excellent skills. Even solo, it doesnt matter if you taunt a MOB, and Thunderstorm still gives you a defense bonus, so thats good. If you wanted to minimize your use of Celtic Dual, I would say 4 is the absolute minimum, with 12 being a better cutoff, but again, thats just my opinion.
As a small bonus, Mythic increased the rate at which dual wield will occur. The old formula was considered to be 15%+(CD skill/2), now it is supposed to be 25%+(CD Skill/2). Each skill level is worth 0.5% of an increase, so once you get to where you want to be with your styles, adding points just to increase your chance of CD going off really isnt worth it unless you want to spend a lot of points.
Just so you know, even with the additional points we get in the 40+ range, I decided the skills that you get in Celtic Dual really arent worth it. If you really want to make sure to keep the skill at about 50% of your level, I guess you can go up to Tornado (25). Later on I included a discussion on why I didnt take it up to that level, but again, this is only a guide, not the bible! Additionally, with Realm Ranks and items, you can easily get even a bit more utility out of Celtic Dual than your spec points would initially indicate.
I have also found that as I level, I seem to have more bonuses than I know what to do with! Even stopping at 18 CD, I find that with bonuses I am able to get an easy 5% increase in my CD ability. Besides, there will be many other skills that you need the points for. Stop at 18 CD. A lot of people have gone really in-depth into formulas and massive calculations and CRAY computer analysis, and having CD at about 2/3 of your primary weapon seems to work really well. Ill trust them since it seems to agree with the way I want to spend my points.
2.1.4 Pierce Discussion
Pierce is a little more tricky. Having a skill in a weapon directly affects the damage output of that weapon, so having a high skill is probably pretty useful. Not only that, most of the styles are pretty useful. So what to do here? Well, I decided to take my skill up to about two thirds of my level. That has me stopping at Vipers Bite. Why not increase up to Asps Bite? Asps Bite depends on Tarantula, which depends on a block. If you are using dual wield, you again need to depend on someone else for the block, so I didnt think it was worth trying to raise your skill above that. All the other styles again depend on previous styles, and I really didnt think they were worth the points. For a minimum level in Pierce, I would say get the Scorpion skill. At the very least, it could save you in a group, but its not as an attractive skill for the rest of your groupmates. J
Now 29 isnt quite two thirds of my level, so why didnt I take it up to 33 or 34. Well, again, it is EASY to find an additional 4 or 5 points of skill. There is also a lot of talk about a 4 style, no opening chain. I really have very little confirmation on this, but if you want to, you can go a more melee oriented ranger, and see what it gets you.
Mythic has also changed the way each weapon skill works (and have done some shuffling about of the actual skills and their opening styles). Apparently, the more skilled you are with a weapon, the more of a bonus you will get for lower styles. For instance, if you did +2 with each Wasps Sting at a skill level of 6, if you have a skill level of 12, the bonus may be +4 (I am just making up numbers here). So not only is your damage variance reduced, but you also get bonuses to your older skills. I think this is the way it should have worked from the start!
EDIT: With the extra points that we get in the 40+ range, you can raise pierce to 29 since its a nice damage add and also has a bonus to defense! Again, as more information becomes available about other skills, I may want to change this and put the points somewhere else. This is a work in progress that is constantly changing. Also, now that you have the points, actually getting to 2/3 of level in pierce ability is quite feasible with items and Realm Ranks.
2.1.5 Recurve Bow Discussion
(Since this skill has changed so much, I am leaving my initial discussion here, and including a whole new discussion.) So what about Recurve Bow skills. Unfortunately, the skills have not been fully detailed, but just from the little bit that I have seen, it really can make a difference in combat. Its nice if the MOB (or enemy player) is nearly dead by the time they come after you. The critical shots are a great opening to any battle. Now, I plan to fully spec in Recurve Bow! "Why?" you may ask. Well, there are a lot of items out there that add a skill level to an applicable skill, but you dont get the associated styles with that skill! That would really suck if the level 50 skill for bows is a 20% chance to totally assassinate your target or something equally cool! The bow sort of defines a ranger anyways, so I plan on fully specing in it. Thats the way I will play my ranger, so if you have problems with it, dont read this guide! J Not only that, but having a higher skill will improve your performance with the amount of time it takes to line up a critical shot and a normal shot, plus giving you better damage (which is what Im all about!). There also seems to be an effect where you can get a better critical on MOBs or enemy players that are higher level than you if your skill is higher. Again, my goal will to be fully speced in bow starting at level 10!
Since we are still waiting for the promised volley and longshot, and Mythic has not discussed what they plan to do with archery, my plan is still to keep maxing Bow. However, if the whiners win, and the bow skill is not fleshed out to its full potential, I may just depend on getting my realm levels and item bonuses to get my skill to 50, and use the points elsewhere.
Well, it seems Mythic only knows how to nerf us archer types, so now that we have Volley and Longshot added in as Realm Abilities, I have radically rethought how I plan to spec out my ranger. I doubt there will ever be any particularly cool skills added in to the actual spec line of recurve bow. Even if there are, since I am a particularly slow leveler, I will most likely have time to decide what to do as well as have my 2 respecs available to me.
Since +Recurve is so easy to come by, and four to six points is not an unreasonable number to actually depend on for your abilities, I decided 44 spec is a good stopping point. I still want to get to at least a 50 spec by the time I get to level 50. Specing over your level will only grant you 3 more damage per hit, and when shooting a bow, 9 to 15 points of extra damage in a fight really wont make that much of a difference in the end game.
2.2 Utility Skills
So that leaves Pathfinding and Stealth. This is probably one of the places where most of the arguments for how to place skill points comes from. Again, one of the problems with this is that Mythic is currently reworking some of the skills you get with stealth and exactly how it works. Pathfinding is fully developed though, so I guess I will cover this first.
What does pathfinding do for us? Well, we have five lines of spells. All of them are self only buffs of some sort. We have an Armor Factor buff line of spells, a STR buff, a QUI and DEX buff, a Sprint buff (or whatever you want to call it), and a damage add line. Again, all useful spells (especially solo), but I dont think sacrificing another skill for pathfinding is worth it. Here is a list of the spells:
|6||Sharpened Senses||+20 Dexterity & Quickness|
|12||Keen Sight||+27 Dexterity & Quickness|
|19||Enhanced Senses||+36 Dexterity & Quickness|
|29||Honed Reflexes||+48 Dexterity & Quickness|
|40||Superior Coordination||+62 Dexterity & Quickness|
|48||Perfect Acuity||+72 Dexterity & Quickness|
|Speed of the Forest||Self-Only|
|9||Forest Shadow||35% Speed increase, 20 seconds|
|16||Greater Forest Shadow||50% Speed increase, 25 seconds|
|25||Forest Spirit||65% Speed increase, 35 seconds|
|34||Greater Forest Spirit||80% Speed increase, 45 seconds|
|43||Forest Phantom||95% Speed increase, 50 seconds|
|2||Determination||+12 Armor Factor|
|4||Perserverance||+14 Armor Factor|
|8||Self Control||+18 Armor Factor|
|11||Iron Will||+21 Armor Factor|
|14||Resolution||+24 Armor Factor|
|18||Devotion||+28 Armor Factor|
|23||Steel Mind||+33 Armor Factor|
|31||Inner Strength||+41 Armor Factor|
|42||Invincibility||+52 Armor Factor|
|Strength of Will||Self-Only|
|3||Vigorous Will||+13 Strength|
|7||Strength of Will||+19 Strength|
|13||Fortification of Will||+26 Strength|
|20||Focus of Will||+36 Strength|
|30||Power of Will||+49 Strength|
|39||Force of Will||+60 Strength|
|50||Sovereign Will||+75 Strength|
|5||Piercing Strike||Adds 1.4 Dmg. per sec.|
|10||Incisive Strike||Adds 1.8 Dmg. per sec.|
|15||Cutting Strike||Adds 2.9 Dmg. per sec.|
|21||Sharpened Strike||Adds 4.2 Dmg. per sec.|
|27||Precision Strike||Adds 5.4 Dmg. per sec.|
|36||Unerring Strike||Adds 7.3 Dmg. per sec.|
|46||Perfect Strike||Adds 9.4 Dmg. per sec.|
As you can see, up to level 16 in skill, you get a spell every level of increase. Pretty sweet deal for the points you put into it (although, this is pretty close to how most skills work to a varying degree). So now the big question is, how far do you want to go with improving your pathfinding skills and how much worth do you get out of spending the points. At The Rangers Glade, there was a pretty good discussion on this. Basically, once you hit the mid 20s to low 30s, its pretty much a diminishing returns proposition on how many points you put into pathfinding and how effective the buffs are. Let me quote something that was posted on CritShot - The Archers Mark:
"I think it's pure data that anyone needs to see who may be considering maxing PFing. In conjunction with the DAoC Catacomb character builder, I have come up with: <snip> The DEX/QUI buff lasts about 15 minutes, and the best increase from the points is at 21 points when it boosts from +27 to +36. The rest are smaller (well the next one is a bit bigger, but the points going there not gonna be worth the other skills).
Since ranger's DEX and QUI are going up so fast, the bonuses won't do much if that's ALL you're going for. In other words, don't fully spec PFing, nor go all out in DEX/QUI stats if you're an Elf or Lurikeen. You need other vital stats.
The PFing damage add is only about a few points when you're critical hitting for 200+ at higher levels. That's like 2-3% more. Is that gonna matter?
Also heard that the second running buff is AWESOME, but the ones after are insanely small upgrades, so don't go for it.
Now Esis said this about the AF buff:
"the AC buffs are so minimal, that the most powerful buff at level 42, you get 'invincibility'--which adds 52ac. But when you've already got the lower version, say level 18 "devotion" gives you AF +28. So ...at 42 you're getting a whopping +14 total. And thats worth beans."
So don't go farther than Devotion (18).
*GASP*. Whew, that was good. I've figured out that to get the best bang for yer buck in spells, put exactly 23 points into PFing. <snip>
Ya get the most recent STR buff (<snip>) before spending another ton of points for only a few more STR.
Ya also get the recent AF buff without going for another 10 specs for the other one which has little advantage.
It also gives you the first two running spells which are the most important.
Gives you the damage add without going to the next one at 27, AND it gives you the third DEX/QUI buff (next at 29).
And the best thing is, you just got all that, and there's nothing for a while after this, so don't worry about any one spell falling behind! The next upgrades are far away, and not worth it IMHO."
Pretty in-depth post about why he wanted it this way, and I actually agree with him for the most part. You may want to try to get the skill up to 25 for the new sprint spell, or even up to 27 for the new damage add spell, but I really dont think that the cost in points will justify the increase in skill you may get (EDIT: With the bonus points we get at the 40+ levels, it is actually quite viable to go all the way up to 27 in pathfinding. Even though the argument for stopping at 23 is still valid to a degree, I am personally going to spread the extra points out in pathfinding, pierce, and stealth. You still can do what you want!).
Here is a quote from Mousemaster:
"Also, While your guide IS INDEED accurate to include the excerpt about the damage add spell, it should be placed with the qualifier: that adder spell is FAR more valuable in melee than in ranged. True, firing bows I do like 200 dmg +15 from adder, but in melee I do 14/swing + 10/adder each. That's a biggie. J "
Also, if you are in a group, any self buff spells you may have are going to get over written by whatever buffs your groupmates are handing out. Getting pathfinding up just enough to help you solo is great, but trying to spec in it where you are a pathfinding machine really isnt worth it.
Well, now that we have had the only reason for specing to 50 in Recurve taken away from us, I decided that I might as well go for an added QUI/DEX buff. My DEX is usually capped as it is, but my QUI seems to fall behind a bit, so it will mostly affect my QUI as opposed to DEX. Taking Pathfinding to 29 may still seem to waste a few points according to the above arguments, but I really didnt see that many other places I really, really wanted to spend the points in. Also, I am looking for things that will benefit me as much as possible in the long run. Why not go for it in a big way with self sufficiency and versatility? Even though I am taking pathfinding this high, I dont look at it as a primary skill. All the above arguments apply, and putting the skill points into pierce is a viable alternative (or any other skill for that matter). Remember, this is just the way I plan to play MY ranger.
So this leaves stealth! Well, like I said earlier, this skill is not fully developed. Right now (from what I have seen and read) its just a glorified hide and sneak skill. Still pretty good. Once you get to RvR, this is going to make or break you, especially in conjunction with your bow skill. Mousemaster did mention that you can use terrain to your advantage, but nothing beats being able to hide on the top of a hill, plinking some Midgard barbarian or Albion scum with your bow, and then hide again. The better your hide skill, the closer to you they have to get in order to see you, and by then, hopefully they are dead! Some other skills that will be tied into stealth are Climb, Danger Sense, Detect Hidden, Safe Fall, and even Tracking. Now, I really cant speak to exactly how these skills will work, or if rangers will even get all of them, but just like with Recurve Bow, it would suck not to have the points available once these skills are developed. (And trust me, even at a very low level, you can evade enemy realmsfolk with a low skill! I hid from a purple Viking at level 8 with only a skill of 2 in stealth! Of course, he was probably only level 12!)
So far it seems that we are not getting any of the "additional" skills associated with stealth as rangers. However, being able to hide is so incredibly useful that even if we dont get any additional abilities tied with stealth, I will still put a lot of points here.
Regarding the latest "Stealth Nerf", I still plan on specing my character the same. Many people over react (possibly even Mythic). I still maintain that stealth is an important skill, and using your playing ability, smarts, and other skills will keep you alive and prosperous. As this discussion continues, I may change a few things, but for now Ill just wait and see. This also applies to the realm abilities of True Sight and See Hidden. Mythic has even admitted they are a bit skewed and will be adjusted.
Well, it seems the flurry of posts at the Vault has slowed down a bit, and Mythic has released a more detailed discussion on how stealth and bow skills work. The basics on this is that once you nock an arrow, there is a percentage chance that you will become visible based on your skill in stealth. If you are trying to line up a critical shot, then you have even more of a chance to become visible. Well, especially after these changes, I am more convinced that stealth is very important! Especially if they get the "Line of Sight" (LOS) issues resolved.
Not only that, you cant re-stealth while your arrow is in flight, nor for 10 seconds after you shoot. So, you may ask why even bother with stealth at all and just follow Mousemasters template. That actually is a valid template, but just want to let you know that I still plan on playing my ranger my way, and Mousemaster can play it his way, and you can play it your way. I think the reason for me using a lot of points in stealth are in anticipation of the fix in the LOS issues as well as the "collision detection" issues. We will have to expose ourselves in order to fire a shot!
Okay, so I have finally finished talking about all the various skills, so how will your character look once you start to level. Ive seen a lot of folks post what they will look like at level 50, and thats all fine and dandy, but what about before that? I know that 50 is a long way away for me!
Well, with the discussion though, this is how I think Ill spec out at 50:
27 Pathfinding (29)
29 Pierce (29)
50 Recurve Bows (44)
37 Stealth (43)
18 Celtic Dual (18)
I am leaving my old profile there and putting my new specs in parenthesis, so you can see what changed. I think its valuable to see the effect of changes. The biggest thing that I am still trying to figure out is Stealth. I just have no idea on how this will play out in the future. And with this profile, I am actually only wasting 7 points!
This leaves me with 15 unused points. So what type of Ranger is this? Well, I like to call it my general utility guy! I have the pathfinding up there just for self utility. That and soloing is basically all it is good for. The pierce and celtic dual are basically at ideal levels for high damage output, but still not under the delusion that I am a melee class! Recurve bow is maxed for the deadly strikes whether thats in PvE or RvR! Having a high stealth makes me a great scout and sniper. I can use these skills in both RvR or PvE to great effect! EDIT: Since we a get the half level bonuses, I decided that I really wanted that 29th level pierce style. One, it will reduce my damage variance, and secondly its a style with a defense bonus. I also increased pathfinding to 27. This gets me one more upgrade to my speed spell, and the self damage add to weapons spell. Of course I upped Stealth. Keep in mind that since a lot of this is speculation, please stand by for any updates I may come up with in the future.
So how about at other levels. Well, lets work up. Getting to level 10 is probably your first milestone (level 5 really is, but you are still mostly just saving your points at the really low levels, so I am skipping them!). So here is the start of my table of every 10 levels from 10 to 40. Enjoy, and hope you get something from this.
10 Recurve Bows
4 Celtic Dual
Dont bother trying to get skill 6 in pierce or celtic dual. They are taunt skills and you really dont need them unless you are the primary tank in a group (LOL). You want pathfinding up at 6 so you can get your first DEX and QUI buff. I maxed recurve bow at level 10 just to be more effective on the initial shot, but you dont have to. You really arent in the RvR range yet, and if you see someone from an enemy realm, just expect a quick trip back to your bind point.
20 Recurve Bows
8 Celtic Dual
You are now ready and fully fledged for RvR. You want 9 in pathfinding for your first sprint spell. You want to keep your main melee skills at about half your level at this point. Particularly the pierce skill since you really want to be able to shed a MOB if you are in a group with the scorpion skill. I went with getting my celtic dual to 8 (another taunt off me skill) instead of 10, even though the level 10 skill has a nice bleed effect just because I wanted to max my stealth as much as possible. If you want, you can transpose these two numbers, depending on which you prefer.
28 Recurve Bows
12 Celtic Dual
Now your stealth is catching up. I decided to go all the way up to 16 on pathfinding since I am still getting a spell increase every level and I just got the second in line of the sprint spells. I really didnt increase my skill in celtic dual or pierce that much since the subsequent styles arent that useful or beneficial to us. The small increase is to keep the skill up to a respectable level, and to take advantage of the best styles open to us at this point. Also, stealth is important for the ability to try and remain hidden while lining up a shot.
I didnt max my bow skill because at this level you start to get a lot of +Recurve items. With that increase, I actually put the points into pierce so you have an easier time with monsters that you must fight and can do the XP grind easier.
36 Recurve Bows
15 Celtic Dual
I decided to let stealth fall behind again a little bit just to open up my melee combat skills. At 18 celtic dual and 21 pierce you just get some really cool styles. Of course, if you sacrifice some of the melee skills, definitely raise your stealth! I took pathfinding to 19 since thats a new DEX and QUI buff, probably some of your most important stats! Also, realize this is basically the point you decide on whether you want to go more stealthy or get that pathfinding up. If you pick the superstealth route, you almost need to start that hardcore at around level 30 (sacrificing your CD at that point, but you can still spec out nearly any way you want after 40 still).
This is where my old template and new template start to diverge a bit. I didnt bother leaving the old one here since this is just my plan, and you can get to what you want any way you want. So here I upped stealth and pathfinding, and sacrificed CD a bit along with recurve. No really major surprises.
One thing that you must keep in mind when looking at these templates is that you can modify them to what best suit your needs and style of play. Also, as you are leveling up, you will probably be in a position where you have to save points to be able to raise the next skill to where you want it. Use the DAoC Character Projection program to fine tune all the in between levels. I could try to hold your hand and show you a template for every level from 5 to 50, but that would make this document unbearably long, and my head would probably start to explode around level 41 or so! Just keep in mind what your goals are and you should be fine.
3.1 Template Feedback and Inputs
I have also received some questions and feedback on a few of the templates, so I figured I'd add them in here. Like I already said, Mousemaster e-mailed me and did point out that if you are in toe to toe melee, the damage add spell we get can add up significantly. That is particularly why I went with getting pathfinding up to 27 in the revised level 50 template. If you dont plan on using stealth (like Mousemaster advises), the I would suggest putting the extra points in pathfinding just for that reason.
I also had a question as to why bother with Celtic Dual, and if it will do any good to have it at a level of 18 when you are level 50. Well, the way I understand this skill working is that once you have it (even at a level of 1), if you equip a weapon in your off hand, you will always have a chance of it going off. The higher your skill is, yes the more of a chance you have to get additional attacks, but you also have the new styles open to you (and thats why I advocate this skill). Stopping at 18 doesnt handicap you in any way, especially at level 50. If you have pathfinding up to 27 at level 50, then you can get that damage add spell to every attack. Something I found on CritShot - The Archers Mark:
"When equipping two weapons, either has a chance of firing. This means that if you have a slow, high damage weapon in your right hand and a fast weapon in your left, that your left weapon will probably fire more frequently than your right. Thus, it is better two have two similar speed, if not the same, weapons in each hand. The dual wield skills, along with styles, only affects your chance of a double hit."
JarJar Bonks also has a comment on CritShot - The Archers Mark that may give you some insight. You may want to check out this thread: (http://www.critshot.com/forums//showthread.php?s=&threadid=356 ). Of course, here he states that your Celtic Dual will not go off as often as someone who has it at 50% of their level, but it will still be valuable (overwhelming offense makes a heck of a defense!). Another gelain quote:
"If your class gets to spec in Celtic Dual then you can use two weapons starting at lvl 5. Like EQ, the higher skill in DAoC the better chance that both weapons will swing at the same time. Unlike EQ, dual wield in DAoC will use EITHER hand for the normal swing. What this means is that if you have a big slow weapon in one hand and a faster weapon in the other, you are more likely to have the slower weapon hit than the faster. Really, if you are going to dual wield it is best to have either the same weapon in each hand or very similar speed weapons."
Not 100% sure if this is true, but I plan on using two similar weapons.
As I keep getting inputs and such, Ill keep adding/answering them, as well as updating other sections of this document.
3.2 Alternate Templates
A lot of these templates may not really be as applicable as they once were, but I shall keep them here just so you can look at some of my thought processes. Who knows, I may go the rout of one of my "alternate" templates once its all said and done!
Decided to do a couple of alternate templates (just for 50) to give folks a bit more of an option. Mousemaster has already done the offensive, ginsu ranger, so I will not do that. What I am concentrating on are variations on my original profile (and hey, I may even adopt one of these profiles as my own once I figure out what it all really means).
For a stealthier variation on my profile:
50 Recurve Bows
18 Celtic Dual
This profile has the advantage of still keeping some effective melee skills, but just sacrificing a little bit of pathfinding to increase stealth. The reason I decided to sacrifice pathfinding is basically as per the discussion from Zaerich (page 8 of this guide).
Again, a small variation on the above profile:
50 Recurve Bows
18 Celtic Dual
Again, I am trying to accomplish that maximum flexibility while using all my skills. Basically, here I swapped pathfinding and pierce.
Sacrificing even more melee ability for stealth to make an even more effective sniper, I came up with the following profile. Realize that with this profile, if someone gets in melee range, you are basically dead (which most rangers are anyways!). Also, your PvE solo ability is seriously hampered, but you sure will be able to gather realm points. Besides, once you get to 50, going PvE really isnt much of a factor, but getting to 50 will be the trick!
50 Recurve Bows
9 Celtic Dual
Again, this is a more stealthy sniper. I figured that you will need some melee skills just to get to this level. Since it costs so many points to get both stealth and recurve up, I just filled in some of the other skills just to use points instead of leaving them unused (i.e. pathfinding and celtic dual). You can do whatever you want with those extra points though.
A couple of things to keep in mind: I am still maxing my recurve bow skill for the same reasons as I stated earlier. I want to have whatever skills may be opened up by having an actual skill of 50, and not depend on +skill items. I do think that my stealth can get speced up to 50 easily with either profile with +stealth items, and I am willing to sacrifice any abilities associated with stealth at those levels. I will always depend on my own abilities before I depend on having the "right" equipment.
For a more offensive minded ranger, and some templates and ideas, I highly recommend you go to http://copland.udel.edu/~trevor/camelot/hibernia/guides/Ranger1.txt and check out Mousemasters guide. I think the big difference between his guide and my guide is that he doesnt depend much on stealth, and really likes the utility of pathfinding. Let me make it clear that he isnt advocating a melee speced ranger per say, but more of a "surprise you with surprising damage output" type of character. Of course, Ill let you read his guide so you can form your own opinions.
I have yet another guide to point you at: http://www.guygrim.com/whyrl_wynds_ranger_guide.htm This is more of an open discussion on templates, and accomplishing what you want. One thing that I really like about this guide is that he talks about a hotkey set up! He also explains things like how quality and condition affect your armour and weapons. Again, great info. Between these three guides, I think you will have everything you could possibly need to play a ranger in DaoC!
3.3 Additional Alternate Templates
Okay, I figured that since a lot of people are reading this guide, I would make it apply to people who dont want to play their characters like I plan on playing mine. So what other types of templates are there out there? Well, lets take a look, and see what we can come up with. Again, if you have any ideas and inputs you want to send me, please feel free to do so.
3.3.1 Super Sniper: Okay, here is the super stealth sniper template. This is a maxing of bow, stealth and pathfinding, and basically ignoring any melee skills. To actually get to this point is the hard part!
50 Recurve Bows
1 Celtic Dual
The whole idea here is to have that killer shot with the bow, hide right under your enemies nose, and be able to buff yourself up (and run away fast if you need to). You need to have some melee skill, so at least work on one that will help you in a pinch. I figured that 27 is probably the highest you would want to go in pathfinding if you want to have any melee skills. Even though the damage add spell doesnt do a lot of additional damage when compared to a bow shot, this is all you have, so even a mere +15 could help (who knows!).
3.3.2 Super Ginsu: This is more like a Nightshade template (only included just for fn, and to show that you really CAN gimp a character in DAoC, despite what Mythic says!). Basically what you are trying to accomplish is be a killer with your weapons and ignore your goddess given ability with the bow. I guess the template would look something like this:
(Auto Train) Recurve Bows
34 Celtic Dual
Why someone would want to choose this template rather than play a nightshade, I have no idea, but it could create an interesting diversion. I picked pierce only because they are faster, and I took pathfinding up to 46 for the final damage add spell. 7 went into stealth just so I actually used up my points.
3.3.3 More Realistic Ginsu: This is probably more like Mousemasters template! J Just thought I would included this one here since I cant recall exactly what he had.
49 Recurve Bows
26 Celtic Dual
Here you take pathfinding up to 46 for the last damage add spell and you also have your fastest sprint spell. You have your primary melee up at least to 50% of your level, very respectable bow (I just couldnt get it to 50 with the melee and pathfinding abilities I wanted), and finally a pretty good Celtic Dual. The whole idea here is that you can do a bit of sniping but you are more of a support guy for pitched battles. Your stealth will be the terrain (so here you basically have to be a short Lurikeen). How is this MouseMaster?
3.3.4 Sidhe Cast Spells Dammit! Here is a template that takes a bit of what I have in my original template and mixes it with a bit of what MouseMaster had in his template:
45 Recurve Bows
18 Celtic Dual
Here you can see that I really added a lot to pathfinding for that final sprint spell and still added quite a bit to stealth for the sniper ability. This is an all around well rounded template that offers a lot of flexibility, but you may not be the master of any ability (in this case bows).
3.3.5 Drizzt DoUrden: Okay, you read too much R.A. Salvatore, but here you go! A blade wielding, Celtic Dual, stealthy template!
40 Recurve Bows
34 Celtic Dual
As you can see, even a misguided attempt to make a character like something you read in a book can turn out a pretty decent template. Again, this template is really good at a lot of stuff, but by no means an expert at anything.
Ill have more templates as I think of them (or someone sends them to me). If you want to mess around with templates, just go to the DAoC Character Projection site, and download the program that lets you quickly move points around to see what you can make. The program is available for download at http://makeprograms.cjb.net/ (he doesnt maintain this program any more so go to Catacombs at http://daoc.catacombs.com for a character builder. Lets you do all sorts of "what if" scenarios (didnt I already mention that?). Another place to look at alternate templates is a thread started by Elphin at CritShot - The Archers Mark (http://www.critshot.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=982 ). Please forgive my attempts at hijacking this thread!
Well, I honestly thing Mythic did a great disservice by making Volley and Longshot realm abilities, but Ill live with it, and see what we can do. Now a discussion on these skills is going to be really difficult, just because getting realm points is one of those things the constant nerfs have hurt our ability to do, and many folks may not want to RvR. Also, the maximum points we can get is 100, and there are just so many skills that are nice to have, that I cant get into a detailed discussion of them all! So I am sticking to the way I plan to do it, and well see where we go from there. Finally, I dont know of anyone on any server that is past Realm Rank 5! So getting to 10 is all theoretical at this point!
First, what skills do we get? Well, this document is already nearly 30 pages long, so I am just going to point you to the official Mythic link of Ranger Realm Abilities. http://www.camelotherald.com/realmabilities/ranger.html This also includes the description of each ability, so feel free to print it out and set it in the pile of all the other things you have printed out for the game.
So what skills are the ones I am going to get? Well, I have broken it down to the list I most definitely will get, the skills that I would really like to get, and then the nice to have skills. A thing to keep in mind here, since skills cost a great deal towards the higher levels (basically 35 total points for L5 in most cases), you can eat up points really quickly!
My list of gotta have skills:
Augment Dexterity: I plan on taking this up to L3, especially since one of the skills require that level of augment dexterity. Also, an additional 18 DEX cant hurt since these bonuses get added to your overall ability score cap.
Augment Quickness: I also plan on taking this up to L3 (youll see that a lot, since this doesnt seem to be too much of a cost, and gives a good bonus). One of the skills I really want also requires this as a prerequisite, and I am taking it up an additional level since my quickness seems to be lagging.
Avoidance of Magic: Planning on taking this up to L3 as well. Can you say anything bad about a +9% resistance to magic effects? This is added on top of any cap you may be at as well! If I find out about better skills, this may end up on my would really like to get list, but if it gives me a chance to resist Mez and Stud, oh boy!
Dodger: Another skill that I plan to take to L3. An additional 9% evade! Thats almost like having Evade V! Ive seen some of those nightshades evade, and its insane. Not only that, many of my styles use evade as an option, and face it, I just dont have the hitpoints to take a lot of hits!
Falcons Eye: Yet another L3 skill. A 9% increase in getting a critical hi sounds nice! I have often finished off yellow MOBs before they even get to me if I have a good string of criticals. Not only that, I am going for that archer type!
Master of Archery: What can I say, I plan to be a master! Taking this to L3 for a 9% faster firing time. With my +18 augmented QUI, I should be shooting quite quickly! Hopefully I can hit the cap!
Purge: I HATE Mez and Stun!!!!!!!!! Need I say any more? Only bad thing is that its on a 30 minute timer.
My list of skills I would like to get:
Longshot: Bah! A pox upon Mythic! Oh well, I really liked the idea of this as a skill. Making it cost 10 points moves it from must have to would like to have, and then its on a 10 minute time to add insult to injury. Bah!
Volley: Double Bah! May the fleas of a thousand camels find the jockstraps of all the Mythic idiots who made these skills realm abilities! (Can you tell Im mad at them?) Again, a skill I really wanted that ended up on the like to have list. And this one costs 14 points! What the hell is up with that!
True Sight: I hate assassins as much as the next guy, so this would be a really nice skill. Only thing is that its on a 30 minute timer and only lasts for 30 seconds. If you use it at the wrong time, or the stealther is smart and uses the terrain, you are sort of out of luck. More of a reactionary skill really.
The Empty Mind: Since I like Avoidance of Magic so much, Im sure you can see why I would like this one as well. Maybe something to use after you used up Purge if you are still in the thick of things.
Tireless: If I am in a good group, I find that I sit down more often to recover stamina than hitpoints, so this is something I would really consider getting.
My list of nice to have skills:
Toughness: Since I complain about us not having that many hitpoints, I think I would like to have this skill. 3% at the end game is probably about 30-50 hitpoints. Do that a couple of times and it could be worth it.
Long Wind: Hey, we have the run away spell, but this sounds very useful.
Regeneration: Opposite of grouping, when I solo, I usually have the worst downtime for waiting for my hitpoints to come back.
Arrow Salvaging: Who doesnt hate running back to the store? Especially if you are in Darkness Falls or deep in a dungeon.
First Aid: The effectiveness was reduced, but still a good downtime reducer, and a prerequisite for Ignore Pain.
Ignore Pain: Any extra hitpoints we can get, especially during combat, cant hurt.
Whirling Dervish: Along my whole line of reasoning that the best defense is an overwhelming offense philosophy.
Notice that I didnt put any skills on my list that required prerequisites I didnt put in my must have list. I just didnt want to tempt anyone to spread themselves too thin. Also, many skills may get added and fall off either list as things progress and get adjusted. I also left some skills off the list intentionally as well because they didnt suit my style of play. For instance, if I was following Mousemasters guide, Mastery of Pain and Mastery of Arms would be highly desirable skills. As well as maybe wanting to Augment Constitution and Avoid Pain.
Well, thats my first stab at the realm abilities. Well see where I go from here on this I suppose. As always, feedback is appreciated.
5.0 PvE Discussion
I just thought I would cover some basics as far as how I play my character. Nothing cosmic or in-depth. Basically I am also fishing for some feedback on this guide along with any hints and suggestions you all may have.
Since the AI in this game is much like any other AI, hunting the MOBs Mythic has made for us is pretty basic. You will basically be under two different situations, solo or group. Both scenarios are pretty much the same. Solo, I would stick to pulling yellows and blues until around level 20 (after that stay to blues). You can try an occasional orange, but you need to be very lucky though! I always try to stay hidden if I am solo, just so other nasties dont get a jump on me. Also, it builds a habit pattern that you will use in RvR! Open up with a critical shot (of course!). Try to get as many normal shots on the beast as it closes with you and then finish it off using melee. Pretty basic for solo! Rest, rinse, and repeat.
Some advanced strategies could be to let the MOB close with you, let it hit you once, then SPRINT away and try to get a couple more bow shots off on it as it chases you down. This is a rather tricky technique since you dont want to run away too far (otherwise the "anti-kiting" code kicks in). Also, you may not end up getting far enough away, and all that happens is that the MOB just gets to beat on you for free. Mousemaster covered this in his guide too, so I wont go into it any more.
Grouping is when it gets fun. Expect to be the puller! Again, you want to open up with the critical shot. Now the big danger here is that you will be hunting reds (or even purples) and they can put the hurt on you fast. Make sure that you have someone in the group that has plenty of taunt styles and they know how to use them! Also, MOBs have an annoying tendency to move out of range as you line up your critical shot, or get right up in your face. Just be ready for this and move around a lot. Here you can use your stealth skill at least to get into a good position. I have also found that if you are hunting in a particular spot, the game actually uses elevation for bow shots (at least it seems that way to me, I could be totally wrong!)! Try to get up on a hill as your camp spot. Not only that, but it can offer you better visibility. Also, if you are hunting in a frontier area, try to get a wooded hill to use the terrain to mask you.
If there is more than one ranger in your group, try to coordinate the timing of your critical shots so you both can get them off (unless you just want to have one puller). Its tricky, but can be done.
Once you get whatever you pulled back to your party (and the taunter gets it off you), line up behind it (or beside it) and use your styles to the max extent possible. Once it is dead, sit down immediately, then ask if the group is ready for more or just sit for about 30 seconds. The healer will be doing some touch up healing, and you can get your stamina back. Then pull some more. Again, Mousemaster covered some of the basic grouping styles, so I wont get into them any more than I have to. If you have some strategies or styles that neither Mousemaster or I have covered, feel free to send them to me, and I will include them with proper credit to you of course. Just send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6.0 RvR Discussion
RvR is a blast! Let me first off say that I HATED Ultima Online and the rampant PKing there. I also played a blue server in EverQuest and never liked any of the PvP servers there (no matter what ruleset they put in with the possible exception of the RP server). As a matter of fact, I was considering not even trying DAoC due to the RvR aspect! Well, I had a chance to try it a little bit, and all I can say is that Mythic did a FANTASTIC job with it! They got it right!
If you build your character they way I plan to, you will have a couple of roles in RvR. Basically you will be a sniper and a scout. You can probably rack up some nice realm points with these skills, but also realize that quite often you will be out there alone. So even though you can kill a lot of enemies, expect to die a lot too (at least you dont lose XP or CON in RvR deaths! One of the things I really like!). So, how do you make the most of your skills?
First of all, use your stealth skill. Sure, youll be moving around slowly, but they wont see you and hopefully cant kill you. Not only that, use the terrain to your advantage. Like Mousemaster said, the terrain is your friend. Stay in wooded areas, hold the high ground, and stay hidden. Now, as an elf, you are taller than a Lurikeen, so you do have a bit of a disadvantage in using the terrain, but not too much. As you scout around, if you can find a caster or an enemy that is lower in level than you, go for it! Be aware though that they may be bait (I was in my first RvR battle). Make sure you communicate clearly with your party (or parties).
When selecting your targets, remember that the "straight melee" classes will have you for lunch in toe to toe combat, even the blue or green ones. Use your skills to your advantage. If you have to fight a melee, remember that you cant hide immediately after a bow shot, so the terrain is your friend. Also, if you do end up getting a melee class, sneak up to bow range with a Nightshade friend! The nightshade will remain hidden until the dumb tank closes in on you and then perforate their kidneys! If you are up against a caster, you can actually use some of those melee skills you practiced in. If you have styles that stun, and use pierce, even with quickcast they will most likely not be able to get spells off on you. Also, hopefully you have softened them up with a few arrows. You may want to use your sprint spell to close with them since while running up to them you are most vulnerable. (The only reason to close with a caster is that some bolt spells have a greater range than your recurve bow. If you are outside their spell range though, PORCUPINE!)
Something else to keep in mind: KEEP MOVING! If you stand still, and people are searching for you, especially after you kill one of their friends, they may find you. Dont be predictable either. Vary your routine as much as you can. If you are always up on the mile fort or behind the main battle, then people will start to search for you there. Archers have a reputation in RvR, and people are usually looking to pick us off since we tend to gather a lot of realm points.
Another important point. If you are in a group with a lot of stealthers, dont cluster together! That just makes it easier for an enemy assassin type to find the whole lot of you and kill you off. Spread out and communicate!
With the recent (proposed) changes in how stealth works while nocking an arrow, I still want to emphasize using the terrain to your advantage. If you are familiar with the military crest, it can actually be used in this game (if not, Im not giving away ALL my secrets! J ). Not only that, but Line of Sight has not been resolved yet, so expect stealth to play an even more important role if you actually have to come out into the clear in order to shoot a bow. Get rid of the bright red cloak, fire from near concealment so you can at least move into the brush again, and play smart! I really cant offer a whole lot more advice than that since any strategy I can come up with can be countered by anyone who puts forth the effort.
Something else you may notice is that I dont mention any of the skill increases you can get for each "Realm Rank" you hold. Again, that is intentional. First off, I dont want to depend on anything external to myself for my skills. Also, the associated styles will not be open to you if your skill level is a result of realm points or items. Aside from fully specing in Recurve Bow, all the profiles do offer the opportunity to get your skill to a higher level through these items and Realm Points. Potentially you can get an easy 12 to 15 points between realm points and magic items to add to most any skill you have. Pretty sweet!
I am waiting to get some experience in large scale battles before I write more on that. I would guess that our jobs will mostly consist of targetting and taking out the casters.
7.0 Other Races
Okay, so you dont have a compelling reason to play an elf (remember, worst race to pick and not the elves you normally think of!)! Is this guide still useful to you? Heck yeah! I think the only real difference should be in the initial point spread out..
As you saw in the starting stats table, if you pick a Celt you have pretty decent STR and CON stats, so you need to concentrate on DEX and QUI. One cool thing is that you get increases to both of these stats as you level, so you really arent that bad off! My recommendation on a Celt is to try to get the most bang for your buck with the points they give you. Raise your DEX and QUI by 10 points each. The final 10 points you can either put all into CON (see earlier discussion on that) or 5 into STR and 5 into CON. This way you will have a very well rounded character, with a bit better melee. I would still recommend that you stick with piercers since they are so fast and your DEX will continue to climb as you level. Of course, Celts are probably the one race that could be effective with blades. I really havent looked at the blades skills that much, so I really dont know what to recommend here. For this, I will leave it totally up to you!
If you go with a Lurikeen, you are probably going for the max effectiveness with piercers and bows! I would put my starting stats in the same places as if I were an elf for exactly the same reasons. You just get a leg up on elves with the higher DEX and QUI. Good for you! Too bad you look so goofy! J
8.0 Hunting, Quests, and Tips Portion of my Guide
Here are a couple of quotes from an excellent thread over at CritShot - The Archers Mark for where you may want to hunt from time to time:
"Ok my hopes with this post is that we all can post some good solo Locations for rangers at specific levels. I understand this is subjective but hopefully our fellow rangers can look at this post and see where a good spot to hunt is as they approach the next level or so. I am trying to post places that are safe and steady exp. There are times for exploration for sure but this should be a reference for people to use as a guide. I realize there may be more than one spot just post away or correct mine. Together we will have a nice list going soon.
I will edit mine to reflect you ideas and make this post a nice keepsake.
LvL 11 - 12
Just north (find the stablemaster and go north for about 100 feet or so) of Tir mBeo is a small patch of woods. There are alot of Lums to kill and also wolves are plentiful (which offer a neg on hits). mBeo is close and you can bind/sell there
LvL 15 - 17
Miner camp. Is part of your quest at 15 anyway so might as well exp there. In fact some nice gloves and items can drop from there as well. If you stay high on the hill exp is good and safe. Bind in Howth and Go straight east. Swim across the water and keep running east until you see a camp. Just north is a cove of trees. Siabra Miners and Archers are there. They hit hard but swing REALLY slow.
LvL 19 - 21
Parth Farm. This place is usually heavily camped BUT there is 2 other parth farms I have also found. One way up north in Connacth and another down south. The most popular one is the east one not to far from Meg. Either way Exp is steady and the stablemaster is a place to sell.
Irewood Saplings in Lough Gur. Take a horse to Innis. After you cross the bridge and Tower near Connla in about 2 minutes of riding there is a tent with merchants. Jump off here. follow the path SE a little and the first patch of woods you see will have these mobs there. They are slow, stand still so you can get max range and drop good money items to run back to vendor. Easily make a gold per 30 minutes of exping here.
Lvl 25 - 27
Water Badgers/Merman .. Just north of the bridge near Connla in the water is two patches of water badgers and merman. Also a little further north is a split in the water , follow it for merman heaven. Badgers are good steady exp and very safe. The tower near the bridge is a place to sell and also has a vault
LvL 27 The Young Irewoods just north of Tir North gate. Easy, steady and good
Level 32 - 34: Gorge rats/Squabblers.
Level 35 - 36: Phookas.
Level 36 - 37: Imps
Level 37 - 38: Torcs
Level 38 - 39: Megafelids
Level 40 - 42: Irewood Greenbarks"
The thread that I lifted this quote from has several other posts with some good low level info as well as more expanded high level info for hunting. Also, it seems the original poster is also updating his post as he gains experience, so I would recommend checking back often. http://www.critshot.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=3135&t=3240#post3135
I was planning on putting in a big long discussion on quests that are specific to Hibernian rangers here, but the game is really too new to actually have a low down on all the possible quests and missions a Hibernian Ranger has open to them. Besides, there are web sites and forums that have a whole lot more resources than I do already tracking this information, so Ill refrain from re-inventing the wheel! J
Ill limit your quest search to just a couple of places. First there is Camelot Warcry http://daoc.warcry.com/quests/ This is probably the best site out there for quests so far. The database is searchable by realm, level, and class. You can also check out Allakhazams Magical Realm, a great general information site. He lists all his Hibernian quests at http://camelot.allakhazam.com/quests.html?realm=Hibernia The comments people leave can be a bit juvenile, but all in all, an okay place to search too. He also does a good job updating this site, so just look for that.
The place I would go of course is (you guessed it) CritShot - The Archers Mark. People are quite often posting questions and answers about quests there, and it has the added benefit of mostly being about the ranger classes. As I wrote earlier, CritShot - The Archers Mark is at http://www.critshot.com/forums/ but you can go to specific quest boards too. A general sort of quest board is at http://www.critshot.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=11 while the forum for the Hibernian classes can be found at http://www.critshot.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=7 Between these resources, you should be covered for all quests as they develop and expand. Please let me know if you want me to go more into depth on this.
8.3 Tips on Gameplay
Like any game out there, there are certain things that the players sort of just find out on their own that can make your life a lot easier. Again I draw on the knowledge of CritShot - The Archers Mark. From the man himself, Sun Moon!
"Thought I'd pass on the little things that have made the game better thus far.
* You can adjust the messages you see and receive by right clicking on the tabs at the top of your chat box. Useful if you are on the group tab and still want to get tells, etc. This is also where you change text color.
* You can resize the text box by hold-dragging the upper right hand corner of the text box, then simply dragging the separator line up and down in the two chat boxes. I currently run small text, 6 lines high on both at 1024 resolution.
* Most people don't use any spec points on their char until level 5. This gives you the full range of your class talents without wasting a point or two.
* You can jump off horses at any time by pressing your normal jump key. Useful if you see a rare mob, or don't feel like going the whole way.
* Every box on the screen can have it's alpha channel accessed and adjusted by right clicking. I run all of mine at about 50% and it makes more of the underlying landscape come through.
* If you ever die, make sure you recharge your con points before you level. You'll have to buy them at the next level's price if you don't.
* To remove icons from your quick bar, left-shift + right-click.
* To create macros such as /assist, type in "/macro ASSIST /assist playername" That will create a quick button for you.
* When doing tasks and consignments, I often create a macro for "/whisper help" Whisper allows you to only talk to that NPC without everyone else seeing you type "help" all the time.
More as I think of them.. add your own!"
This particular quote is from the following post: http://www.critshot.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=358 I highly recommend you go there from time to time to check it out. People are constantly adding to it, and it since this is a young game still, a lot of good information is there.
Another great tip is MAPS! Hey, were rangers, were never lost (exploring maybe, but not lost!). A nice set of maps that I found are at http://www.rps.net/mojo/daoc/hibmap.shtml . Another good place for some maps and such is at http://www.frostryder.net/~armsofvalour/daoclinks.html .
I am including a section on fletching mostly as a result of feedback I have received. I am not quite as familiar with tradeskills as I am with just being a ranger, but I think I have a few gems of research that I can offer. First of all, as a Ranger, you will burn through money faster than nearly any other class with arrows. Especially if you want the Footed Flight Broadheads to really put the hurt on your enemies. Fletching will allow you to save at least 15% on making stuff, and if you are really lucky, maybe even more. Another thing, for arrows that dont require a lathe, the components actually weigh less than the arrows themselves! This way you can even fletch in the field.
A couple of resources that you can use to find out about tradeskills, fletching, and archery would be Oakliefs page at http://rothwellhome.org/. Just follow the appropriate link there. Another site dedicated to tradeskills is http://www.daoctradeskills.com/index2.asp. Here they cover all tradeskills.
Now, one of the frustrating things about fletching is that it is tied in with woodworking, clothworking, metalworking, and leatherworking. Some strategies for fletching that I used. Do consignments. Do a lot of them. This will hopefully keep you from losing too much money, and once you get some skill, you will even start to make money. Now, once you get your skill up around 350, if you have neglected your metalworking skill, you will start to only get bow consignments. This is where the big money is (I funded the guilds emblem with this!).
Well, one of the whole goals of taking up fletching was so you could make those laser guided, nuclear tipped arrows, right? Well, thankfully each of the secondary skills required for fletching have "trinkets" you can make in order to improve your skill. Just make as many of the trinkets as you can, and sell them back to the vendor. Youll take a loss, but not that severe of one as you would in your primary skill.
You may have noticed that I mentioned leatherworking as a secondary skill. What on earth does leatherworking have to do with fletching? Well, as you get your skill higher and higher, you will see that you can make torsion bars! These are used in seigecraft for catapults (dont know if they are used in trebuchets though). If you are going to get involved in a lot of RvR, someday you will build one, so its always nice to have that ability.
Now I know this is just a brief discussion, and its intentionally so since the websites I mentioned above are so much better at explaining it all that I could ever hope to be. Best of luck to you.
Well, thats my guide. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed typing it! I will most likely keep updating this and post it on my personal website http://geocities.com/brightblades/daoc.html (just scroll down to My Ranger Guide, and check out Clamarghs Campion Guide while you are there too) so feel free to visit the site and check back where you got this from. I am also always open to suggestions, so you can always e-mail me at email@example.com. Thank you!
Larian LeQuella <Armyn ab Treanid>
Ranger of Hibernia
(updated May 2002)