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I'm exploring the cool ranged build ideas that are floating around in these forums, and enjoying them! I've already got a dual-mortar stunning surge monk Xoti build that I'm enjoying. Right now I'm trying to build Maia as a single-class ranger to take advantage of driving flight/twinned shots. I'm planning on starting with Avenging Storm, activating the Wild Barrage ability on Kitchen Stove (+2 bounces), then switching (with Quick Switch) to either Frostseeker or Watershaper's Focus.

 

That's my question: would Frostseeker or Watershaper's Focus be better, do you think? Frostseeker would have 3 base hits to 2 for Watershaper's Focus, which would proc Avenging Storm more often. You can turn Blast on with Watershaper's Focus, which would slow down attack speed (which is a bigger deal because of the limited durations of Avenging Storm and Wild Barrage), but would Blast proc Avenging Storm too, and would that make up for the slower attack speed? Watershaper's Focus can trigger Ondra's Wrath, but Frostseeker can trigger Garland's Rake; I have no idea which is better.

 

Watershaper's Focus would hit more different enemies (I've noticed that Frostseeker often has all three hits bounce to the same second guy), but that would only matter if I was trying to spread afflictions with it, which this setup isn't doing (she's not a Scout).

Edited by TheMetaphysician

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Blast does trigger Avenging Storm on all enemies it hits.

 

Watershaper's Focus with Twinned Shot + Driving Flight is cool (6 Blasts with one shot) but I can't say if it's better than Frostseeker as soon as you can reliably crit with it.

 

Also check out St. Omaku's Mercy. It has an enchantment that omits recovery on every second crit. With Twinned Shot and Driving Flight and all that accuracy this happens fairly often.


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Some theorycrafting occurred to me; maybe you can check my reasoning. I have a vague idea that Frostseeker benefits more from Wild Barrage than Watershaper's Focus does (remember, activate Wild Barrage then switch to Frostseeker/Watershaper's Focus). The reason would be that Wild Barrage adds +2 jumps, which takes WF from 2 hits to 4 hits. (Then Driving Flight doubles that to 8; Twinned Shot doubles that to 16.) But Wild Barrage's +2 jumps should apply to all three of the Frostseeker projectiles, which takes Frostseeker from 3 hits to 9 hits -- 6 extra jumps, not just 2. (Then Driving Flight doubles that to 18; Twinned Shot doubles that to 36.)

 

A couple of caveats. First, all of WF hits will trigger a blast too, which may end up narrowing the gap significantly in terms of Avenging Storm procs. (Say each Blast hits an average of 1.5 additional enemies each; then if with Driving Flight/Twinned Shot there will be 16 blasts, those will generate 16+8=24 additional Avenging Storm procs, which added to the original 16 actually exceeds the Frostseeker number of 36.)

 

But then we also need to calculate how many frostseeker attacks I can get off in the duration of Avenging Storm vs. how many WF (w/Blast modal slowdown) attacks, which I will try to estimate the next time I play.

 

The second caveat is a big one: this is all way too theoretical. It depends so much on number of enemies, distance between them, geometry (since driving flight only bounces at certain angles), and I haven't done careful testing. Probably won't, either, for time reasons, sadly.

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Driving Flight doubles nothing. It just adds one additional jump to a projectile.

 

If you use Watershaper's Focus with Wild Barrage you get 1 initial attack and 3 jumps. With Driving Flight you get 4 jumps.

 

Twinned Shot doubles that to 8 - and that means with Blast you get 8 AoE shots out of one attack. If you can hit 4 enemies you will generate 24 hit rolls.

 

With Frostseeker you have 2 jumps from Wild Barrage and +1 from Driving Flight. So 6 with Twinned Shot. Since you have 3 projectiles you will generate 18 hits. If you do a crit you will most likely generate more crits than with Watershaper's Focus.

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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At least for me on upscale potd at the hasongo lighthouse, multi jump death ring from arcane archer (with 20 arcana) was not decimating the mobs..... Maybe it's a fort save thing or the scaling issue AA still has, but it definitely was not an instant win button. Same with Flooded Cave.

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Driving Flight doubles nothing. It just adds one additional jump to a projectile.

 

If you use Watershaper's Focus with Wild Barrage you get 1 initial attack and 3 jumps. With Driving Flight you get 4 jumps.

 

Twinned Shot doubles that to 8 - and that means with Blast you get 8 AoE shots out of one attack. If you can hit 4 enemies you will generate 24 hit rolls.

 

With Frostseeker you have 2 jumps from Wild Barrage and +1 from Driving Flight. So 6 with Twinned Shot. Since you have 3 projectiles you will generate 18 hits. If you do a crit you will most likely generate more crits than with Watershaper's Focus.

 

Thanks! I thought something was wrong with my assumptions. I thought Driving Flight applied to the jumps too; thanks for that correction. That makes Twinned Shot more powerful for this sort of jump-stacking exercise (which is fitting for a higher-level ability that costs Bond).

 

One possible correction: doesn't Twinned Shot double the initial hit too, and doesn't the initial hit cause a Blast? Your numbers seemed to neglect that (I think). So the numbers would be:

 

Watershaper's Focus: 1 initial hit, +1 jump (WF itself), +2 jumps (Wild Barrage), +1 jump (Driving Flight) = 5 hits. All doubled by Twinned Shot = 10 Blasts total.

 

Frostseeker: 3 initial hits, +3 jumps (Driving Flight), +6 jumps (Wild Barrage) = 12 hits. All doubled by Twinned Shot = 24 hits total.

 

It still isn't clear to me which would be better. But this is a fun exercise. :)

 

 

Edit: let's play around a bit. Let's assume, conservatively, that you hit an average of 3 enemies with all your Blasts. With 10 Blasts, that's 30 hits total and 30 procs of Avenging Storm.

 

What would your crit rate have to be with Frostseeker to proc Garland's Rake to get the same number of AOE hits? (Though I don't actually know if Garland's procs Avenging Storm; I'm not sure how to test that.) To get to 30, you just need 6 more hits. If Garland's Rake is a separate effect that hits the original guy and the other 2 enemies, you just need 2 crits (in 24 hits) to get there. So an 8.33% crit rate.

 

If you cluster the enemies and hit an average of 4 per Blast, that's 40. To get there with Frostseeker you need 16 extra hits. That would be 4 crits (again, assuming you are hitting 4). In 24 hits, that would be a 16.66% crit rate.

 

That seems pretty achievable. So assuming Garland's Rake procs Avenging Storm, Frostseeker might be better. And that's not even including the increased attack rate of Frostseeker over Blast modal WF.

 

Once you start increasing the number of clustered enemies, the math shifts gradually toward Watershaper's Focus.

Edited by TheMetaphysician

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Driving Flight doubles nothing. It just adds one additional jump to a projectile.

 

If you use Watershaper's Focus with Wild Barrage you get 1 initial attack and 3 jumps. With Driving Flight you get 4 jumps.

 

Twinned Shot doubles that to 8 - and that means with Blast you get 8 AoE shots out of one attack. If you can hit 4 enemies you will generate 24 hit rolls.

 

With Frostseeker you have 2 jumps from Wild Barrage and +1 from Driving Flight. So 6 with Twinned Shot. Since you have 3 projectiles you will generate 18 hits. If you do a crit you will most likely generate more crits than with Watershaper's Focus.

Sort of off topic maybe, but how exactly do you get up to "five" Death Rings with an Arcane Archer using Watershaper's Focus?  At most, it only jumps once, giving me two (Driving Flight doesn't seem to be granting an additional Imbue with it either).  Twinned Shot doesn't seem to allow you to use an imbue with it either.  Now that I'm level 15 in my current game, my Nature Godlike Evoker is pretty far ahead of my Arcane Archer, who is using a fully upgraded Essence Interrupter and Spearcaster, with everything being dumped into Metaphysics and Arcana.  That's not counting the pet damage, but my pet has not contributed tens of thousands worth of additional damage, so it's pretty negligible.  But anyway, even once I get Death Ring, I don't see how it's supposed to activate more than two times at most, and with a weapon that does pretty crappy base damage compared to the other two weapons I am currently using.

 

On top of everything else, the Archer just feels very lackluster to play.  I already played a Ranger/Berserker, and while it was mostly just autopilot, it was still pretty fun when using the prenerfed Frostseeker.  Now though, it just feels like I am playing a neutered Geomancer, especially since you can't really aim the imbues to specific areas, but instead have to aim on a target; often having to wait until they've stopped moving, and then have to hope that it doesn't hit your tank.  Death Ring should "fix" that issue, but it's still a long road to reach that point, and before then it's kind of like "what's really the point of this subclass?".  The additional damage from imbue missle is nothing special for the cost, and the fireball is pretty crappy too.  Pull of Eora is also pretty silly since it usually grabs the tank along with it, so the build really just seems like it revolves around Death Ring or nothing.  I am pretty confident at this point that a Ghost/Evoker would destroy the Arcane Archer in overall usefulness and damage.  You'll have a similar accuracy, yet access to haste, better defense, and spells that actually deal damage and can be aimed and shaped.

Edited by Sanctuary

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I was using Watershaper's Focus (has its own jump) + Driving Flight + Wild Barrage which means 1) initial hit + 2) own jump + 3) Driving Flight + 4)&5) Wild Barrage.

 

Last time I checked Imbue spells triggered with every jump and that's in line with the statements from the designer of the Arcane Archer.

 

Pull of Eora has a decent foe-only area if you INT is decent. You can use Bindig Roots to first root enemies in place and then Pull of Eora to pack them tightly together for even better nuking (use Spellshaping with your casters to raise PL and still hit all tightly packed enemies.

 

@TheMetaphysician: Ha, you are right - I forgot the initial hits and only doubled the jumps with Twinned Shot. :)

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Death Ring should "fix" that issue, but it's still a long road to reach that point, and before then it's kind of like "what's really the point of this subclass?".  The additional damage from imbue missle is nothing special for the cost, and the fireball is pretty crappy too.  Pull of Eora is also pretty silly since it usually grabs the tank along with it, so the build really just seems like it revolves around Death Ring or nothing.  I am pretty confident at this point that a Ghost/Evoker would destroy the Arcane Archer in overall usefulness and damage.  You'll have a similar accuracy, yet access to haste, better defense, and spells that actually deal damage and can be aimed and shaped.

 

In its favor you have to admit that a ranged Death Ring beats the PBAOE of the evoker/wiz, but agree that evoker gets more from missiles (should do anyway, esp. with empower) and more defensive/buffs.   Worth testing. 

EDIT:  I think it has to be no-subclass Wiz or other Wiz, as evoker can't use conjuration which includes death ring.  If you go non-evoker you also can use phantasm to increase your dps.

Edited by brasilgringo

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Argh. Did they nerf that? Because I remember doing so in earlier stages of the game.

 

Sidenote: Why does Driving FLight not work with the Fury's naturel weapon's jump? YOu will still get 1 jump, not two. Stoopid...


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It never made sense for me to keep the unique properties of a weapon after switching to another (same as Red Hand damage bonuses).

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It never made sense for me to keep the unique properties of a weapon after switching to another (same as Red Hand damage bonuses).

 

Yeah, I agree with that as a matter of design principle. I'm just disappointed because the cool idea I thought of doesn't work. :)

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It never made sense for me to keep the unique properties of a weapon after switching to another (same as Red Hand damage bonuses).

Except there's now a bug where the Red Hand's self-damage malus persists on you even after you swap it out to a non-active weapon slot or remove it from your weapon slots entirely, if you don't rest. 

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