So after much urging by both the playerbase as well as OutSpark, we finally have our first steps toward achieving a bit more balance to the Archer class. Here is a breakdown of what's to come and what I think can still be improved.
So here's what was announced:
- The Archer's skill, Nature's Mist, will now be extended to include levels 6, 7, 8, and 9. The current level cap will allow tier 8 to be received at level 107.
My thoughts: This is great! This was much needed ever since the 89 cap was raised. Archers capped out on this skill at level 83 [Tier 5], so aside from more damage from leveling up and a better weapon, the skill remained unchanged all the way through Prestige. I'm extremely happy that this skill will get the attention that it deserved. I'm guessing at 105, I'll have up to [Tier 7].
- The Archer's Skill, Entrap, will now be extended to include tiers 2, 3, 4, and 5. At the current level cap, tier 3 will be the highest attainable at level 110.
- The damage for Entrap will be increased significantly and its cooldown will be reduced.
My thoughts: Since I'm not a Ranger, I don't have much experience with this skill. Keep in mind that this is the 'Invisible Flower Traps' skill and not Entangle. From talking with friends and witnessing a bit in FBZ, the skill as it was was pretty useless. It did minimal damage, similar to the damage the SharpShooter skill Slow Shot does. We're guessing that with each tier, an additional flower will be dropped. This skill is kitable, and with increased damage and shorter cooldowns, it may be pretty useful.
- The Archer's skill, MultiBloodShot, will take 50% of the original Spirit Points needed to cast the spell. Tier 1 will now take 451 SP, Tier 2 will take 533 SP.
- MultiBloodShot will be a skill that can be cast while moving. (still being worked on)
My thoughts: This is also a welcome change. However, as it is currently, the DOTs for MultiBlood and Piercing Shot are not stackable. One cancels out the other which makes no sense as Piercing does 'Disease'-type damage and MultiBlood does 'Bleeding'-type damage. The single target equivalents of the two skills can be stacked however. Hopefully this is addressed when they implement these changes. This skill also had a nasty habit of locking up all of your other skills if you cast it too often. This skill-bug required a full log out to correct and oftentimes resulted in your death.
- The Soul Stone limitation for Archers that are below level 100 will be increased.
My thoughts: This is a good thing for Archers, our stone capacity was really low, often requiring us to restone every 20-30 minutes depending on what we were kiting.
- The Soul Stone limitation for Mages that are below level 100 will be increased.
My thoughts: Nice bonus for the mages too. Mages were capped at only 72 HP stones all the way up to 99, if you were duoing or soloing in a far off place, like TOS Boss Room, your HP stones got wiped out really quickly, especially if you didn't have a Cleric available.
So those are the announced changes so far... not bad, at least it's a start. There is just so much more that can be done though.... Here's what I would do, feel free to debate any of this:
1. Increase base damage of both Archer weapons. If base damage is not increased, we need a serious upgrade in the skill damage instead. Either way, our attacks are really weak.
2. Aimed Shot & Power Shot: Once a Scout chooses SharpShooter, the level 100 upgrades should have a no cast time upgrade as well. Having to wait to cast these skills is ridiculous, we're better off just standing there auto-attacking.
3. Multishot: Kitable after Prestige also with no cast time. More base damage than Piercing Shot.
4. Increase in Evasion. No reason a fighter's evasion should closely rival that of an archer.
Will add more in a bit........