Arcane Archer Theorybuild Gone Live Leveling Notes

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Arcane Archer Theorybuild Gone Live Leveling Notes

This is where I'll record my assorted pure/mostly pure class Arcane Archer lives in hopes of sorting out a solid plan for future builds.

Quick Stat Notes

Start with 15 Dex. This will allow Manyshot by level 9 (take Quicken at 12), as well as Improved Precise Shot in epic levels. She has all +4 tomes, with a +5 in Wisdom. I need an additional 2 permanent Dexterity points for the Combat Archery feat in epic levels. If I could get a +5 Dexterity tome and spend 1 extra build point that would cover it.

Starting Attributes:

  • Str: 10
  • Dex: 15
  • Int: 13
  • Wis: 16
  • Con: 14
  • Cha: 13

Feats:

  • 1-Point Blank Shot (+ Artificer Dilettante)
  • 3-Rapid Shot
  • 6-Maximize
  • 9-Manyshot
  • 11-feat swap to Ranger Dilettante (just before taking 12th level)
  • 12-Precise Shot
  • 15-IC - Ranged
  • 18-Improved Precise Shot

Epic Feats:

  • 21-Quicken (If I get Dex up to 21 base, Combat Archery)
  • 24-Overwhelming Critical
  • 26-Precision
  • 27-Blinding Speed
  • 28-Doubleshot

Ghee's TR Record

  1. Cleric
  2. Cleric
  3. Cleric
  4. Paladin

First AA Life: Cleric

Ghee has True Reincarnated for the first time. As she's on her second life, she can only open quests on "Hard", so I will have to find groups if I want elite runs. She farmed Tharne's Goggles while in epics, and I decided to take two rogue levels for trapping. I will try to get Goggles of Perception (as well as the other nice divine Tempest Spine loot) on this life.

Since I couldn't take a meta-magic feat at first level, I whimsically decided to try out the AA build. I have _no_ idea how this will work out. Technically, this is not a "pure" cleric, but the 2 rogue is a very small splash.

She's a half-elf, True Neutral. She will be 18 cleric/2 rogue. She already has most of the gear I wanted for an AA build, including the vital Silver Longbow and a Pinion. I have a Bow of Sinew on my account, and a Serpentbranch, but I did not grab a Quivering Quiver for her last life.

Since she's going to be doing damage with a bow, I decide to skip low-level light spells and instead take all the crowd control options I can find. Instead of my preferred Nimbus of Light/Searing Light SLA combo, I'll slot Command and Soundburst at low levels. This has proven to be a bad idea, in later lives I will focus on evocation spells and necromancy spells.

As a 34-point build, she could not afford the full 16/16/16. I decided to give her 14 Dex, which allowed her to also get 14 Con. She has all +4 tomes, with a +5 in Wisdom and a full set of +4 trapping skill tomes. I didn't apply the four +4 trapping tomes before TRing, so they'll wait until level 13 (Search, Spot, Disable Device, and Open Locks).

For her second AA life, start with 15 Dex. This will allow Manyshot by level 9 (take Quicken at 12), as well as Improved Precise Shot in epic levels.

Starting Attributes:

  • Str: 8
  • Dex: 14
  • Int: 16
  • Wis: 16
  • Con: 14
  • Cha: 8

Feats:

  • 1-Point Blank Shot (+ Ranger Dilettante)
  • 3-Rapid Shot
  • 6-Maximize
  • 9-Quicken
  • 12-Manyshot
  • 15-Empower
  • 18-IC - Ranged

Farming Checklist:

  • Tall Thin Quiver x2 (House D Favor). DONE
  • Troubleshooter's Set (Korthos). DONE
  • Hellfire Crossbow (The Chronoscope).
  • Divine Blessing set (Red Fens). DONE
  • Vulkoor's Cunning set (Red Fens). DONE
  • Venom Set (Red Fens). DONE
  • Boots of the Mire (Red Fens). DONE
  • Goggles of Perception (Tempest Spine). DONE
  • Cloak of Invisibility (Tempest Spine). DONE
  • Choker of the Silver Tongue (Tempest Spine). DONE
  • Robes of Potency (Tempest Spine). DONE
  • Oilskin Tunic (Sorrowdusk). DONE
  • Gauntlets of Eternity. DONE
  • 2nd Greensteel item: Smoke II spellpoint helm. DONE
  • Greensteel bow: triple positive. DONE
  • elite Quiver of Poison (from A Cry for Help or Foundation of Discord). DONE
  • Epic Quiver of Poison (ML: 23)
  • Epic Quiver of Poison (ML: 25)
  • Shimmering Arrowhead.
  • Epic Elemental Bow of Earth.

OOPS! Forgot to buy a Tall Quiver from House Deneith before I lost all their favor. I didn't apply her +4 skill tomes for trapping skills before TRing her. She'll get them at level 13.

1st level: I need to farm her Korthos trapper's set, and 2 pairs of Anger's Step boots. It's a little weird to see Ghee with a rogue icon. She has a Screaming of Bleed Longbow and several stacks of 100 arrows. Memo to self: make a +2 Icy Burst Longbow when the next Risia rolls around, and find a quiver.

2nd level: Started on cleric. Equipped my Eternal Wand of Spark of Life (oozes) and my Eternal Wand of Cure Minor Wounds. Why yes, Mr. Mayor, I have indeed rescued your daughter three times. Thank you so much for the two pairs of boots and the Troubleshooter's necklace. I solo all of Korthos on Hard, and repeat two quests for Elite favor and extra reward items.

After finishing Korthos, I decided to spend my enhancement points. I noticed if I had bothered to put points into Mechanic earlier, I would have been able to take Great Crossbow proficiency at first level. Went back and did the Tavern quest on Elite to nab Oladrin's Great Crossbow. It crits on a 15-20 and will be useful on her third life if I take this build. Put 3 points into Mechanics to help with traps.

3rd level: After the Korthos quests and the harbor Solo quests, she hit 3rd level. All crafted trapping gear can now be equipped, her Blur bracers and Phiarlan Mirror Cloak are on, and she's ready for the PUG train around the Harbor. In addition, her icon now defaults to cleric.

4th level: She's gimp when partied with others in Elite quests. It takes at least 3-4 hits to kill even the weakest of targets. I don't know if this is an issue with the build, or all archers suck at low levels. She has to pay for her party spot by doing breakables and trapping. In hard quests, solo, I don't feel like it takes a "long" time to get through quests, but it's definitely longer than if she was meleeing and using light SLAs. I pulled all my points out of the Mechanic tree and took Mighty Turning (aka: nuke undead). She's putting points in Radiant servant and the half elf tree (to unlock AA). Someone mentions I can buy a quiver in the Ball and Chain in the Harbor. Bless you random pugger! Arrows are still a PITA to manage, but there's a little less pain.

On clerics, I usually rush to get the Radiant Burst. She won't be able to get hers until she has 6 cleric levels (at 7th level). After getting Mighty Turning, I dedicated all my AP to the Half-Elf tree as there's nothing that can't wait until later.

5th level: I landed a good group doing the circuit of level 3 F2P quests, and then Catacombs. There was another trapper, so all I did was kill (slowly) and throw the occasional cure when someone needed it. I crafted a +4 Wisdom item and my Commands and Sounbursts started to be reliable. I added 10% Ranged Alacrity to her Featherfalling ring. I also turned some Scarlet Scarab powder into a trinket that would give me two extra turns per rest (for undead quests). I filled in my helf tree and started saving the 4 ap I need to unlock AA. For trapping gear, I put on her Goggles of Time-Sensing (+5 Search, +5 Spot, +2 wisdom, Haste 3/rest), and upgraded her crafted swap-in goggles and gloves.

I'm wondering if I can go from the Troubleshooter's set to Goggles of Time-Sensing to Goggles of Perception to Tharne's Goggles without needing crafted search/spot gear in-between. It would save a lot of crafting essences between all my toons if I only need to craft gloves on trapping lives.

6th level: I unlocked AA. Of course, I need more AP to start to buy things in it. I couldn't find any parties doing quests so I decided to solo Catacombs on hard. I snagged an Eternal Wand of Cure Minor wounds. With all my toons, having a second one is useful. After Catacombs people started logging in so I was able to find groups. *BOOM* Command. *BOOM* Soundburst. *BOOM* Mighty Turning. *Whimper* long bow. Now it takes 6-7 shots before I kill something. The gap between the damage she does and the hit point pools of mobs is getting wider. However, her crowd control is very solid and I'm earning my party spot as a flexible support toon.

7th level: I rushed to 7th level to get rezz scrolls and the Radiant Burst. After this, I can afford to put points in her AA tree. I also put on her Lesser Boots of Striding and Springing and re-crafted her gear. Ghee happens to have a ML: 7 lootgen ring with Invisibility 3/rest and Devotion +42, so she has a little boots to her positive spellpower. She has enough Mysterious Remnants to buy a +2 Dexterity augment (slotted into boots) and +3 Constitution (saved for her level 8 armor). I'm able to bank 8 by toddling after a pair of chatty zergers who don't mind gimps. I run into a slight hiccup when a bard talks me into trapping Partycrashers. Because Ghee is a trapper, she has no social skills (no Bluff, Diplo, or Intimidate). The bard's player just assumes I have enough skill to max Ghee's diplo, and doesn't bring their bluff item. This means we can't do any optionals. I do pull a sapphire of Heavy Fortification in the final chest, which is a nice find. My trapping is perfect, but the whole quest feels messy. I feel like Ghee is stretched thin in all ways. Not enough skill points, not enough AP, not enough damage, not enough spell slots, needs to boost too many attributes, no fallback UMD, didn't farm enough TR gear on her first life.

I also discovered I hadn't farmed the Divine set from the Red Fens. This hurts a bit as I really like the consolidation in these two items. I think there's a poisoning set I also want, and I'll want Boots of the Mire for the Waterbreathing.

Inspiration strikes while writing the level 7 update. I _should_ have taken Artificer Dilettante to start, and then swapped out to Ranger Dilettante when Arcane Archer gets "good". That would have left me free to ignore strength items, conjure ammunition from scrolls (and not worry about buying arrows), do triple damage from the repeater rate, have a dilettante that made use of my archery feats, etc. One Imperfect Siberys Dragonshard and a little plat spent, and Ghee has a new Dilettante feat. I turn her Strength gloves into Wisdom gloves, and craft Charisma into a necklace. I buy 100 Conjure Bolt scrolls, and 100 Elemental Weapon scrolls, steal the Hellfire Crossbow from my level 9 arti, confirm that all scrolls work, and am ready for action.

8th and 9th level: Since she doesn't yet have the Goggles of Perception, I put her in the Snakeskin Vest (ML: 8). It gives +10 Spot and +10 Search, as well as the Mobility feat. I get in a good PUG group and blow through quests. Still not killing fast, at least it's not as slowly as earlier. A Soundburst or Command followed by repeater damage allows me to solo hard quests effectively, or be good Crowd Control in a group. I get a few T1 AA enhancements, including acid arrows, but I'll keep my crossbow for now. It may be a glitch, but the acid arrow imbue is applying to her conjured bolts.

9th and 10th level: I run with guildies and we hit some nice high XP quests, as well as re-doing Delera's so another member can get their Voice of the Master. One of the party members is happily surprised I can trap on a cleric and I give the 30-second pitch on how I do it. I get an imbue with Force and Ghost Touch. I haven't yet failed a trapping roll, and I don't use skill boosts or Greater Heroism (except briefly when a guildie insist on casting it on me *after* I finish each trap). At 10th level she gets Greater Command and Slay Living. I tend to feel that Slay Living is the first spell on the way to being a full DC caster. I visit my bank and pull out her Mace of Healing (augmented with Impulse 54) and her Dalorent's Seal (augmented with Nullification 54), and I feel like I'm over the worst of the hump.

Her BAB is now +6, but her Dexterity is too low to qualify for Manyshot. Level 10 is the first time I begin to feel confident I can play this through on a second life. That's okay, learning from my myriad small and large mistakes is part of the process.

Second Half 10th Level: I run Sorrowdusk with my husband, on his high-DPS paladin. I handled trapping, light heals, and CC. Archery DPS was weak. I tried using her Silver Longbow with the Morphic and Acid imbues, as well as the repeater with free bonus acid. As my end reward item I grabbed the Bound-To-Account armor I wanted (Oilskin Tunic) and augmented it with her Heavy Fort and Constitution +3 augments from level 7. After Sorrowdusk and one favor cleanup quest, I can finally buy a Tall Thin Quiver from House Denieth. We joined a PUG doing two runs of Tempest Spine, where I snagged a pair of Goggles of Perception and augmented them with Intelligence +3. It's slow to farm remnants for augments, but I'm very grateful the developers added augments to the Mysterious Remnant trader. My husband got his own pair of goggles, as well as a Cloak of Invisibility. Not a bad start on looting for 10th level. I get enough experience for 11th but keep it in the bank. I will sit at 10th until I get all Tempest Spine loot Ghee needs. Before I go to sleep I spend 2 AP for the Metalline imbue.

I go to sleep and wake up to discover a guildie has lent me an old Required Race: elf/drow/helf +1 Longbow of Paralysing with a Risia Icy Burst on it. To celebrate I return the Hellfire Crossbow to my shared bank (for my arti) and run around the Red Fens wilderness paralysing spawns.

11th level: I realize once I wake up that I want to jump to 11th level. Her Torc and her greelsteel accessories are waiting for her! Tempest Spine can take up to 12 and keep Bravery Bonus. Level 11 also means she can start farming the Fens. Her Con-Op hit point belt gives +6 Wisdom but makes her odd, so I borrow 2 AP from the AA tree to grab a point of Wisdom in the Radiant tree. Having a Wisdom item also allows me to move some crafted gear around. I leave Charisma on her neck (a placeholder for the eventual Choker), and Dexterity on her helm, but I increase both to 6. Then, I re-craft her Wisdom gloves into +13 Balance gloves. I switch her from the Greater Stalwart Trinket (bonus HP, Stoneskin proc) to the Greater Cunning Trinket (bonus SP, +1 Enchantment/Necro DCs). I also make a +2 Evocation Focus of Kinetic Lore ring for level 13. Between the extra Wisdom and the +1 to DCs, I'm hoping mobs will save less often against her Greater Command and Slay Living spells.

Lingering at 11th level: I take off a few days to run other toons, and then come back to Ghee feeling refreshed. I'm now farming the Red Fens and joining Tempest Spine runs whenever I see them in the LFM panel. I get two Tempest Spine runs the first day back but nothing named drops for Ghee, not even something unwanted I could pass on. Before finding openers for the Fens quests, I run with a PUG as their trapper in level 11 quests on elite (level 13 quests), including a couple of Necro 3 quests and Made to Order. Tomb of the Forbidden is a rough trapping job when I'm trying to switch between turning undead (which I boost with a trinket) and Spot (which I boost with a trinket), and my skills are right on the edge of elite quests. Luckily the group has a bard so Ghee is able to get Greater Heroism and the bard Song of Competence. When the group breaks up I stumble across another group doing the Red Fens chain and get all the quests opened on Elite. I do the whole chain on elite, and I all get of use is the Sacred Band. Then, I farm the quests on casual to get my missing items. It's slow going as I'm only being offered items I want on the 3rd lists, and there's three sets I'm trying to complete. I managed to drag in a friend for the last 3 runs and we each get a wanted item in our mutual 3rd list. Since Ghee now has the Divine Blessing set next life I won't have trinket competition when she's on trapper duty. After farming the three sets, I bank two and put the Divine Blessing set in her pack, then slot an un-upgraded BTA Sora Kell set. Now, as long as she doesn't have to face a lot of undead, she can get the better stat boosts from the Sora Kell set, but still have the cleric set when she 'needs' it. This frees up her craftable necklace to be +6 Dexterity.

I'm still struggling with trying to do too much on one character. Turning, Trapping, DC casting in Necromancy and Enchantment without touching the DC casting tree, and archery all put a heavy demand on her gear slots and AP. On paper, they seem to fit together well: charisma can boost both turning and Divine Might. Bow Strength benefits from Divine Might. Trapping requires Dexterity and Wisdom and Intelligence, all stats she needs elsewhere in the build. Without archery, Trapping/DC Casting/Turning all work fine. (I suspect) without Trapping, the Archery build might work better. She would have been in a position to take Manyshot at level 9 if I had given her a starting Dexterity of 15. I probably should have limited casting to heals and evocation spells (only one DC to worry about). Still, I'm trying to keep an open mind. She basically crashed hard due to lack of vital gear at 7th level. She's at rough transition point I hit on every trapper cleric life when I'm just waiting for blade barrier, and then the second rogue level. Since her burst is a bit gimpy and I don't feel like her cures are too weak, I trade a Siberys Dragonshard and some plat for a feat swap: Empower Heal gets replaced by Maximize. I level her to 12th level, and get Blade Barrier and Manyshot. I hope the Tempest Spine runs start coming soon.

Level 12: Got all her Red Fens gear and took 12. Ghee finally has the much-vaunted Manyshot feat, and Blade Barrier. My lowbie bard wants the Oilskin Tunic, so I farm up a set of Nightforge Mesh light armor and slot it with heavy fort. She loses the +3 Con augment, but she has a hit point greensteel, and the bard really needs the armor boost and Constitution augment. I snagged another Tempest Spine run. After I reach the first door the party leader pipes up in voice chat and says "Oh, yeah, so this is the part where I admit I don't know this quest." *OUCH*. I'm able to guide to the first couple of locations, then someone else remembers the next few sections, and someone else can guide through the last part. Only item that I pull is a Robe of Potency, which is only useful if Ghee does monk splash or a wiz life. Still, it's not complete trash, and I'll take it and bank it. Once again, someone on the run is surprised a cleric is trapping. The one point I feel the character shines is in Fire and Ice, as I'm sent to kill a Fire Reaver. Ghee's borrowed bow does lots of frost damage, and I'm able to toggle on the cold arrow imbue, so even with a slow rate of fire the Reaver goes down fast.

I'm getting a sense (although at this point I don't know if it's just wishful thinking) that this theorybuild would be much stronger built on a paladin framework. Ghee will be doing paladin lives, and I'm toying with the idea of a burn-and-turn run to reincarnate to paladin instead of cleric. I'm going to have to resist the temptation, so I can see the build in action now that her TR gear is getting farmed. Manyshot is nice, it lasts longer than I expected it to.

More Level 12: Easter Weekend. I get a nice string of Tempest Spine runs, including TWO with guildies. Early in I get the necklace. Now all Ghee needs is the cloak. I found a Youtube video showing how to farm the cloak on a character, I try the run on my level 16 Challenge Monk. It goes smoothly and now I'm debating whether to go back to levelling or stay at 12 a bit longer. Most of the gear on my farming list should be easy to get, except the Gauntlets of Eternity. People do occasionally run Reaver's Fate but it's not a popular raid, and from what I recall the gloves are rather shy about dropping. It may be better to grab 14 (or even 16) and start running Reaver's and Shroud for some wanted raid items. As a plus, I'm getting a better sense of what I want to farm before I reincarnate my acrobat. As a minus, I really don't have a strong sense of how my theorybuild is performing (other than badly), I'm resigned to muddling along till Ghee gets another life in it. I run Ghee back to Fred and give him another Siberys Dragonshard + plat to swap back to Ranger Dilettante but I find out I'll have to re-spend most of her AP. I decide to update this wiki entry instead.

Since I've spent all this time yammering about gear, here are her main gear items at level 12:

  • Trinket: Greater Cunning Trinket (+50 sp, +1 Necro DCs, +1 Ench DCs)
  • Head: Teraza's Sight (+5 Wis, Detect Secret Doors 5/rest)
  • Cloak: ML 8 Cloak of Night (Invis Guard, Dusk)
  • Gloves: Maenya's Fists (+5 Str, +10 Intim)
  • Bracers: Bracers of Wind (Blur)
  • Boots: Lesser Boots of Striding and Springing (+2 Dex, Striding 20%, +10 Jump)
  • Neck: cannith crafted Necklace +6 Dex
  • Ring 1: Katra's Wit (+5 Charisma, +10 Diplo)
  • Ring 2: cannith crafted: Feather Falling of Ranged Alacrity 10% (colorless slot: Gift of the Master)
  • Belt: greensteel Con-Op (+6 Wisdom, +45 hp, +4 str skills, +6 con skills)
  • Goggles: Goggles of Perception (+2 Int, +10 Spot, +10 Search)
  • Armor: +5 Nightforge Mesh (Heavy Fort, Adamantine DR 1/-)

For trapping she has swap-in +13 Disable Device and +13 Open Locks gloves, a Dark Blue Ioun Stone (+15 Spot and +15 Listen), and +13 Search goggles. She only swaps to the ioun stone or the second goggles when the Goggles of Perception aren't cutting it.

For undead-heavy quests she swaps in a Token of the Faithful (they're resistant to necro and enchant spells so no use keeping the Cunning trinket in place).

The Sora Kell set bonus is: +40 Equipment bonus to Universal Spell Power, and +2 Artifact bonus to Attack and damage rolls.

Her bows are a Silver Longbow slotted with a Ruby of Endless Night, and a lootgen +1 Paralyzing with a Risia Icy Burst ritual on it.

Back to level 12: Took a 2 week break from the game. Posted another Tempest Spine. It took over an hour to get people, then got a flurry of latecomers after we started. I didn't get anything I wanted, but I was able to pass a Maelstrom and a Choker to players who wanted them.

Level 13: Her second rogue level. It seems I was cannibalizing a bunch of xp by doing high-level quests earlier. Oh well. I finally got 2 ranks in the paralyze imbue (now I can equip her Silver Longbow all the time). It doesn't really help as she still kills very slowly. I noticed I never went back to Fred, and off we go with _another_ dragonshard to swap Artificer Dilettante back to Ranger Dilettante. Her turns are weaker now that I took the second rogue level, at least when a Champion is involved. This will need adjustment next life. I had her eat her trapping skill tomes. I also farmed up a Petrifying War Bow using one of my epic toons. I snagged it on the third run through the chain, of course :(. Luckily I had a set of Stonedust Handwraps just sitting in my bank and I have spares of all the Marks. I go through another gearing dance. I bank her Greater Cunning Trinket and replace it with the Greater Nimble Trinket (which gives her perma-Blur). Then I remover her ML: 3 Bracers of Wind and replace them with the Wind Howler Bracers (stolen off my arti) with their tasty sonic vorpal proc (as well as a nice +2 to hit and +1 to damage). The Petrifying Warbow isn't as nice as I hoped, both effects proc too infrequently to be reliable. I wonder (for about the millionth time) what the key is to doing damage on this build. Maybe it's a lot of little effects that all stack on every hit (or at least nearly every hit). I'm considering farming up a second Serpentbranch that I can slot with a higher-level damage augment.

More level 13: Since I rarely use the Radiant Burst I pare the Radiant Servant tree down to 8 AP spent just in Turning "stuff". This reclaims enough AP to grab the third tier of the Paralyze imbue both the Banishing and Smiting imbues, and the final elemental imbue (Shock Arrows). This is really hard on me, because I don't think I've ever played a cleric without the Burst. I've learned to do without the Aura on some builds, but I've always clung to the Burst. As soon as she gets 6 more AP, I'll be able to give her Slayer Arrows.

I've been brooding about the build and I think the only fair way to test it is to go for pure cleric, without the rogue splash. As much as I love the utility of two levels of rogue it eats into her skill points and build points too much. That 16 Int could be going to boost both Strength and Charisma. Also, losing a point of casting DC and depending on a dumped Charisma for turning power is really irritating. If I drop the two rogue levels I think it will allow me to focus the build in a constructive way. I had planned to burn-and-turn and Reincarnate as soon as she hit 20, but I think I'll take the time to farm up my her two missing greensteel items and try for the Gauntlets of Eternity. It would also be a good idea to grab Colors of the Queen as a Primal destiny Past Life since it procs off ranged damage. While I'm really unhappy with the build, I'm very happy at the progress I've made gearing her. With at least a perma-Blur greensteel I could see being able to give the build a fair try next life. I also need to find a way to keep the trinket slot from being so hotly contested. Hopefully dropping Rogue levels and having her Divine fens set in the bank will help.

While frolicing through the Gianthold wilderness testing my different bows, something occurs to me. My borrowed Paralyzing Bow + Fear Arrows + Slay Living. The bow means I don't need the Paralyze imbue, Fear lowers their saves, and Slay Living...well...to slay. I avoid using the Fear arrows because they cause mobs to run away. But with the Paralyze bow they stay put (at least most of the time). It also burns through spellpoints. Of course, once I have a sp greensteel for her, that will be less of an issue. I also need to sort out a longer-term plan for this build that doesn't depend almost entirely on a bow borrowed from someone else. I have an invitation to use it as long as I need, but there's a difference between two or three lives, and "forever".

More long-term planning: A plan is starting to take shape for next life.

  • Artificer Dilettante until end of level 8 if I pay a dragonshard, or use the free feat swap at 10. Use Hellfire Crossbow from 5-8/10.
  • At level 10, equip the loaner Paralyzer. Use Fear arrows and Slay Living (when appropriate) to contribute to kill count. Swap in a Crafted trinket that gives Greater Necromancy Focus.
  • At level 11, remove Bracers of Air and swap in Blur GS helm. See if I can fit in the Venom set from Red Fens.
  • At level 13, swap out whatever bracers for Wind Howler Bracers. Also swap in Tharne's Goggles (useful even if not trapping).
  • At level 14, swap to the Bow of Sinew. Use the Slayer imbue. Switch Tall Thin Quiver to an elite Quiver of Poison.
  • Keep using the Bow of Sinew from 14-20, swapping imbues as needed.
  • At level 20, swap primary bow to Epic Elemental Bow of Earth.
  • At level 23, swap primary bow to Pinion. and swap elite Quiver of Poison for eNorm Quiver of Poison.
  • At level 25, grab AA capstone. Swap eNorm Quiver of Poison for eElite Quiver of Poison.

Level 14: When I take 14 I'm one AP away from her getting the Slayer imbue. I pull the Bow of Sinew out of the bank and also grab her Sustaining Symbiont. The Bow of Sinew is _very_ nice with an improved crit range, a x4 multiplier on a 19 or 20, Aligned arrows, Seeker +8 and some other goodies. The down side is it gimps Search and Spot (only a problem on lives with trapping skills). However, the Sustaining Symbiont trinket fixes that and it can be equipped at 15. When I hit 14 I get to run with a very experienced and relaxed guildie who could care less that I have no DPS and is just glad I can trap. We do the first Lordsmarch chain, Invaders! (where I scrounge extra tokens off people), and 2/3 of the ADQ flagging. Then I red door the pre-raid. After a very prosperous day of Champion kills, I get to trade in remnants for another diamond of Constitution +3. I slot it into her Nightforge armor, and then craft her a set of heroic dragon hide. She's in a very vulnerable place right now. With her blur trinket, she has no boosts to casting DCs. She has no Devotion (or other spell power items), so I have to set her main cure spell to be Maximized to get back enough hit points to cure herself. She has no Burst. I end up putting her Nightforge Gorget on her neck, crafting a Dexterity +6 cloak, and then putting her in blue dragon hide for a little Potency. I feel like I'm moving backwards gear-wise as I level her. There's little sense of accomplishment in making progress farming specific items, even though progress has been made. I luck into a few more groups that don't mind a gimp trapping cleric and stay at 14th level long enough to bank 15 and half of 16. Despite running the two quests it shows up in twice each, there's no sign of the heroic Quiver of Poison.

When I get Slayer arrows I'm unpleasantly surprised to discover it's not an always-on imbue like the other arrow toggles. It's a single-shot effect with a 20 second cooldown between shots. If I'd thought about it I should have realized that AA's wouldn't be able to do 250 damage a shot on every shot, but every other AA imbue is a toggle that stays on with every shot. She has enough AP for the T5 elemental arrows, which adds an extra effect to each imbue. Slayer arrows will need some practice to be useful.

Level 15: I take 15 when she's rank 77, and pick up Aligned Arrows, and the third point in the Awareness enhancement. I also go back to the Helf tree and take a point of Dexterity in her Dilettante line. I fall into a good group and we run for a while. We do the second Lordsmarch chain and all I get offered of use in the chain list is a Mark. :(

Level 16: I take 16 at rank 79 (almost 80) because we're in a good group groove and then we re-do the second Lordsmarch chain on hard. This time I get offered the Gnollish War Bow, which I take to replace the one I upgraded for Ghee. The group breaks up and now I'm ready to start flagging her for the Shroud. I don't find a Shroud group but I do land the Lords of Dust chain. She has her first blown trap box this life. The group I fall into must be very new and green, because I'm out-killing the others, including a paladin. I didn't think a poorly specc'd AA could out-kill even a badly build paladin with all the pally changes, but I guess I should never underestimate noobness (noobosity?). The group wipes multiple times but I'm within range of a shrine and am able to rezz everyone (multiple times). One of the group members gets insulting and blames me for the wipes, so I leave. I decide it's probably as good a time as any to get some sleep.

After a strong start with good group camaraderie, it's discouraging to have finger-pointing be the end of the day. While repairing in the tavern I notice I didn't grab 7th level spells when I took 16 on Ghee. Tomorrow is sure to be better with Destruction freshly slotted.

More Level 16: I end up running with the good group leader from the day before. We do some heroic Eveningstar quests, flag for the Shroud, and get through the Lords of Dust chain. It's nice to be part of a well-oiled machine and there are a few moments where I feel genuinely useful. Since I didn't finish Lords of Dust the night before I stick with the group even after I cap out on xp. It felt worth it to be in a good group to get Eveningstar opened up. Destruction is nice, but doesn't hit much (lacking DCs). I'm really hoping next life is "better" with most of her gear farmed, especially so I can sort out her casting DCs.

Level 17: I start off with some raiding, including a full Reaver's Fate, and a 5-man hard Shroud (only cleric, no deaths!). In this first Shroud run she picks up a Great Shard. She already had a Supreme, so she's halfway to a Smoke helm with Blur. I decide to check over my artificer's gear. It's a little weak but not as bad as I expected (she has both the Goggles of Perception and the Cloak of Invisibility). Also, I have enough Mysterious Remnants to get her a diamond of Constitution +3, now that Ghee's lowbie gear is all slotted. I look in her bank and see she has her own Wind Howler Bracers, which means Ghee's are a genuine spare set. I make a note that I want to farm a Shimmering Arrowhead on Ghee, as I did this on my acrobat and eventual Shuriken-chucker and it was both quick and very useful. I land a group doing the Missing Chain (and thus a chance at a Quivering Quiver) but the opener/DPS falls asleep in the second quest.

I may sit at 17 until I get the Quiver and greensteel. This will allow me to post for more Foundations of Discord, join Shrouds, and try for the Quiver. A channel buddy has offered to run the Reaver's Fate raid and do puzzle solving to help Ghee get the gloves, so this may prove to be a bit of a 'sweet spot', at least until some farming progress is made.

More Level 17: I drag Ghee through the end of the Missing chain by grabbing a random high-level person with a LFM that says they're willing to run anything for company. No quiver :(. Friends point out that I probably don't want the quiver as it's not "all that". I do luck into last two needed greensteel shards on her next run through the Shroud. I also re-arrange her quick bars a bit and swap Turn Undead and Manyshot. I use the turns so rarely in these levels it's better to have quick access to her archer powers. When she gets her greensteel helm she loses her crafted helm with Constitution +6. One step forward, two back. I snag another Tempest Spine run (surprisingly) with someone who just wants the favor and completion. I don't get the cloak, but I do pull a Choker I pass on to the raid leader. I need to farm some mats on my challenge Monk to make the epic Elemental Bow of Earth. I wonder if I should make the BTA version.

Even More Level 17: I join a previously two-man group doing the Gianthold Saga and pull an elite heroic Quiver of Poison in A Cry For Help. Now that I have it, I decide to cross the Quivering Quiver off my list. Ghee now has a quiver, time to move on. I swap to an epic toon to pass tokens in an eNorm Devil Assault, then take 18 on Ghee.

Level 18: First try of the day I get Gauntlets of Eternity. Since the gloves dropped so quickly, I go back to considering whether or not to TR at 20. Even on a third life the run up to 20 should be fast, and I could finally dump these rogue levels. While juggling gear slots yet again, it occurs to me that if I get the cloak of invisibility for her, it has a green slot. If, instead of the usual +3 Resistance I slot in Heavy Fortification, this makes enough gear slots work that I can put on her Venom set (at least in Heroic levels). If I don't go with the venom set (it only procs on a vorpal which is rare), it frees up gear slots. In any case, once I _do_ get the cloak I think Heavy Fortification is the way to go while playing racial AA. I've been struggling with Fortification this whole life, and once again she can't put on a good necklace (this time the Alchemist's Pendant) because she needs the fort on her Gorget. I put on her Cannith Boots of Propulsion, and swap in a pair of BTA Fabricator's Bracers and I notice they have +5 Resistance. SCORE!

I sleep on it and decide. New Goal: TR once she has the Cloak of Invisibility

More Level 18: I do three solo runs of Tempest Spine on Elite. It's a little slow but I'm able wrangle Ghee into killing everything on each run. No cloak. I drag a channel buddy along to be a spare pair of hands and he pulls it on the third run (sixth of the day) and passes to Ghee. That's the last item on the heroic list. I immediately swap around gear. She loses her Dex cloak but gets +6 Constitution on her neck, and now has both blur and ghostly. Plus, if I really want, I can dump her +6 Charisma ring for +6 Dexterity. I get lectured on why she should have a Vitality Augment and I consider crafting a second ring with a colorless slot. Then I'm also lectured on why she needs +5 evocation in heroic levels. I let the lecturer choose, and he picks evocation. After a quick run through Friends in Low Places she has a +5 Evocation necklace. Of course I can't put it on her, as the only gear slot as contested as her trinket slot is her neck slot. Still, it's useful for future content. I won't take another level until she's ready for 20, so her next two levels will be banked.

Level 19 (banked): Level 19 is in the bank. I'm feeling excited and optimistic because she only has 4 ranks to go and it's not yet 5:00pm local time. If I get a good after-dinner group I may be able to TR her today! I do some vale slayers and get a rank, then take a break to run a quick shroud. After spending an hour waiting for the group to fill, I get all three shards to make a Triple Positive bow. Talk about luck!

Level 20 (banked). She hits level 20. This is a huge relief as I can finally TR her and race back to 20 as a pure cleric.

Second AA Life: Cleric

For her first AA life, splashing 2 levels of Rogue proved to be a huge mistake. Also, playing with a longbow at lower levels was not enough damage to be worthwhile.

For this life, I will try building her around evocation and necromancy, with a little enchantment before necromancy spells are available.

Because she's not trapping, I get to lower her Intelligence, but I should still have enough points left over for UMD.

She needs at least a 13 Intelligence for Artificer Dilettante. Next time make it 14 so she'll have full skill points, as she has a +4 Tome.

Starting Attributes:

  • Str: 10
  • Dex: 15
  • Int: 13
  • Wis: 16
  • Con: 14
  • Cha: 13

Feats:

  • 1-Point Blank Shot (+ Artificer Dilettante)
  • 3-Rapid Shot
  • 6-Maximize
  • 9-Manyshot
  • 11-feat swap to Ranger Dilettante (just before taking 12th level)
  • 12-Precise Shot
  • 15-Improved Precise Shot
  • 18-IC - Ranged

Note: Although I planned to take Epic Spellpower and Mass Frog, when I go back to her cleric life I should probably take archery feats at 27 and 28.

Farming Checklist:

  • Extra heavy repeating crossbow: Impact of Righteous
  • A duplicate Splinterskull Acolyte Ring
  • Ring of Balance
  • A duplicate greensteel blur item in the Goggle slot
  • Epic Quiver of Poison (ML: 23)
  • Epic Quiver of Poison (ML: 25)
  • Shimmering Arrowhead
  • Epic Elemental Bow of Earth

Because I barely used her metas first life I'm going to take Maximize (to pad out her Burst) and then all archery feats for heroic levels. Meta-magics will come in epic levels. I don't know if it's buggy or not, but IC: Ranged did not actually improve the critical profile of her bows so I'll save it for 18th level. If it was working properly I'd want it by 12th level so she would have it for the ML: 14 Bow of Sinew.

Her Intelligence is odd. I should have made it 14. Oh well, if that's all I've forgotten I'll consider myself lucky. I add the Ring of Balance to her farming since list I know she'll be going into epic levels and will be able to deal with the Beholder level drain. There was an update posted in the middle parts of Ghee's last life, and the animations for all crossbows (including repeating crossbows) have been fixed. It's a very obvious change for the better and I can see how much faster they fire now. This is a very good thing!

Level 1-3: Levels 1-3 are run with a guildie and go so fast there's no point in separating them out. Oladrin's Great Crossbow from last life was too slow, I switched immediately to a cannith crafted Screaming of Bleed heavy repeater. In Korthos she farms up the Devoted set for the last bit of useful cleric gear (Devotion bonus). After I reached third level we took a break. I did some crafting and got her back into her bound mithril fullplate armor. She spends her first 8 AP getting Mighty Turning (aka: Nuke Undead). I also crafted her xp ring and made her False Life +10 belt. I feel very productive as an end to the day.

Level 3-4: Ghee dives into the PUG train around the Harbor. She settles into her level 3 and 4 gear (Bracers of Wind, Phiarlan Mirror Cloak, Greater Cunning Trinket). I run into several noobs and pass out bundles of starter potions. The repeater is a fun choice. She's not top DPS, but it's also not embarrassing. That's all I can ask from a cleric without Carnifex and Cleave. I get two runs through the Waterworks, but no special material weapons in the end reward lists.

I decide to return the loaner Paralyzing bow to the original owner. It just feels like too much of a cheat to make this build work. If it's not working before I unlock the paralyze imbue, I'll simply stick with repeaters.

5th level: 5th level is a big gear breakpoint for any TR. Out comes the Hellfire Crossbow. I swap in her Mask of Comedy (Devotion and Good Hope 3/rest), her Splinterskull Acolyte Ring (Devotion, Nullification, Colorless slot). Given she has the ring she doesn't need the Devotion in the Mask, but she doesn't have anything better to put in the slot and I figure the Good Hope clickie may be of some use. I craft up Evocation Focus goggles (+2 Evocation DCs) and Enchantment Focus (+2 Enchant DCs) in a her craftable trinket. I also craft up some Evocation, Necromancy, and Enchantment Focus II shards for future use.

She is playing _so_ much better than her first AA life. With repeater damage she kills quickly, and I have more fitting slots than I need. It will get harder later as gear begins to matter more, but for now she has all the gear flexibility she could want. I miss trapping, but dropping Rogue was a really positive change. The Hellfire Crossbow is disappointing, so I go back to Screaming of Bleed.

More 5th level: I decide to linger at 5th for a bit and bank xp. The goal is to farm Waterworks by running it 1-2x a day (with days off in between to run epic toons) and see if I can get some special material weapons. For my third run Ghee is top DPS and carrying stones to shrines (repeatedly). Nothing made of special materials in my third run, maybe I'll get something in later runs. I do snag a normal +2 heavy repeating crossbow, which allows me to craft a second Screaming of Bleed version to pass back to my arti. With her goggles on Ghee's Soundbursts are very reliable. I collect enough remnants to buy another augment and discover skill augments aren't at the Trader. I was going to get a heal diamond to slot in the Splinterskull Acolyte ring. I'll have to keep an eye on the AH. I'm saving the 4 AP for Ghee's arcane archer tree.

6th level: I take a 2 week break from the game and then come back. After another Waterworks run with no special metal weapons, I decide to take 6th level. Since I get the Maximize feat, I decide to take her Burst after all. From this point on tho, all AP will be held till I get AA. I get a couple House K and Necro quests, plus an at level heroic Chrono (where she gets a Hellfire Crossbow) and then take 7.

7th level: I pull her level 7 Fens gear out of the bank. Once again, I'm delighted to have all her TR gear at my fingertips each time I level. The painful grind last life has paid off. I unlock AA and put 1 point in the tree and I still have 2 ranks to go before 8th level. Not bad.

8th level: I take 8th and grab the acid arrow imbue. I put her in the Scavenged Warplate she farmed last life as she still only has light Nightforge armor from splashing rogue. But, that's why I farmed it up. Nothing else of note gear-wise other than I put on her ml: 8 Mabar cloak. it's silly for her to only wear it one level, but, it's not a huge issue. I take the Morphic Arrows and the Conjure Arrows AA enhancements.

I burn through 7th and 8th levels in one day, and then continue to 9th without getting time to catch my breath. I spend most of my time in over-levelled quests and I'm able to keep up with kills, heals, and provide some crowd control. In undead-heavy quests, people are delighted by my effective, controlled use of Mighty Turning.

9th level: She gets Manyshot. Since her strength is still low (14) I don't bother to switch to the Ranger Dilettante feat. I have her free feat swap saved this life for when she finally wants it. She finally gets her sweet sweet Tempest Spine gear, as well as her heroic Kundarak boots for Freedom of Movement. I take a long break to adjust her gear. I give her +10% Ranged Alacrity on her xp ring, and Greater False Life, as well as farming up some Adamantine to make her heavy armor. I give her Constitution +3 and Resistance +3 in the armor augment slots. She already has Heavy Fortification in her cloak. The Scavenged Warplate goes back into the shared bank. For her 4th level spells I take Slay Living and Flame Strike. Flame Strike kind of sucks, but I would like "something" that can be used on undead targets. When I get another spell slot, I'll take Greater Command.

I do start to feel the DPS bite of using a Screaming of Bleed heaby repeater in the 8-9 levels. However, she's also mostly doing over level quests (1-2 levels higher than her level), as those are the groups I'm finding. I swap her trinket from +2 Enchantments to +2 Necromancy DCs. I decide to craft up a second repeater with better damage boosts. I try an acid burst of righteous which gives acid damage, a burst on crits, Good damage, and +2 to hit/damage against Evil creatures. Surprisingly it's only ML: 2. An Acid Burst of Pure Good would be even more DPS, but would require her to be Good-aligned. I need to sort out what will give me the most (flexible) DPS with a higher ML.

Here are her main gear items at level 9:

  • Trinket: Cannith Crafted Necromancy Focus II (+2 Necromancy DCs)
  • Head: Sacred Helm (Deathblock, Eternal Faith)
  • Cloak: Cloak of Invisibility (green slot: Heavy Fortification)
  • Gloves: Silver Flame (Turn Undead +6 Total Hit Die)
  • Bracers: Bracers of Wind (Blur)
  • Boots: Lesser Boots of Striding and Springing (Striding 20%, +10 Jump, colorless slot: Dexterity +2)
  • Neck: Choker of the Silver Tongue (Charisma +5, yellow slot: Fear Immunity)
  • Ring 1: Sacred Band (Wisdom +4, Lesser Turning)
  • Ring 2: cannith crafted: Feather Falling of Ranged Alacrity 10% (colorless slot: Gift of the Master)
  • Belt: Greater False Life +30
  • Goggles: Cannith Crafted Evocation Focus II (+2 Evocation DCs)
  • Armor: +5 Nightforge Plate (blue slot: Resistance +3, colorless slot: Constitution +3, Adamantine DR 1/-)

Sacred bonus: +48 Positive Spell Power

Last Life at 9th level she was still farming her Sacred Set, she didn't have her cloak or necklace, she couldn't afford gear slots for spellpower or DC boosts, and she was still farming her augments. She has a Dexterity of 22 with gear and tomes, and a Wisdom of 26. She has 205 Hit Points. The only issue I have is her DC-based spells don't hit as often as I'd like. Once she gets her Wisdom +6 greensteel at 11 that will resolve itself.

10th level: 10th goes by quickly. I probably should have banked 10 and jumped straight to 11. Damage is low because I'm only doing level 12 quests (10 on elite).

11th level I get my two greensteel accessories made last life, and I have to swap back to the BTA Warplate as it has Deathblock and her personal ML: 8 armor doesn't. She starts with 251 Hit Points, and goes up to 316 Hit Points when I'm done swapping gear. She does end up losing her Devotion, but she'll get healing gloves at 13. She gets Blade Barrier and Cometfall as spells. Since she has a couple other AoE spells that hurt undead, I opt for Divine Punishment instead of Flame Strike.

I can see that 11-14 will be an issue on later lives, especially with the lack of spellpower once she starts getting damage spells. I can't stack spellpower with the DC items, as they're both the same affix. The best solution would be to use Serpentbranch, but I can't make the longbows do reasonable damage at this level. I doubt Turbine will release a low-level two augments slot heavy repeater at this point. She could slot in Potency if I could put her in the Sora Kell set. However, that's blocked by her Blur helm. I may have to make a third greensteel item, a blur item in Goggles. From experience on other clerics, I already know the helm will be useful in later levels so it's not a total waste. While the obvious replacement Blur item would go in the Bracer slot, that blocks her from using the Windhowler Bracers, boots block all her Striding gear, and Gloves block her healing gloves.

12th level: I was stuck at 11th (and then 12th) level for over a week. I just couldn't get into the groove of playing her. There was nothing 'wrong'...I just didn't want to do the at level quests. For 12th I gave Ghee Precise Shot and set up the Archer's Focus toggle. I also swapped her dilettante feat from Artificer to Ranger, which means she'll start wearing a Strength item. I banked her repeaters and switched to the Silver Longbow with Serpentbranch and her Triple Positive Bow as backup weapons. I found a lootgen pair of ML: 11 Striding 30% boots in the AH for only 10,000 plat. I don't know who listed them so low, but their loss is Ghee's gain.

Here are her main gear items at level 12:

  • Trinket: Cannith Crafted Necromancy Focus II (+2 Necromancy DC)
  • Head: greensteel Smoke (Blur, +6 Exceptional Int Skills, +4 Execptional Cha skills, +300 spell points)
  • Cloak: Cloak of Invisibility (Ghostly, Invisibility 1/rest, green slot: Heavy Fortification)
  • Gloves: Maenya's Fists (+5 Str, +10 Intim)
  • Bracers: Cannith Crafted Greater False Life +30
  • Boots: Lootgen Striding 30%
  • Neck: Choker of the Silver Tongue (+5 Charisma, +10 Diplo/Bluff/Intim, yellow slot: Fear Immunity)
  • Ring 1: Cannith Crafted Dexterity +6 (colorless slot: Vitality 20).
  • Ring 2: cannith crafted: Feather Falling of Ranged Alacrity 10% (colorless slot: Gift of the Master)
  • Belt: greensteel Con-Op (+6 Wisdom, +45 hp, +4 str skills, +6 con skills)
  • Goggles Cannith Crafted Evocation Focus II (+2 Evocation DC)
  • Armor: +5 Nightforge Plate (+5, Adamantine DR 1/-, blue slot: Resistance +3, colorless slot: Constitution +3)

She has no spellpower items on at this time. The "best" solution would probably be to get Universal Spell Power from the unbound Sora Kell set. However, that would involve doubling up on items that provide Charisma and Wisdom, as well as creating a new Smoke greensteel item. This means I'd have to wait for another life.

13th level: I decide to solo the Delera's chain, so I can try for another Serpentbranch. I didn't pull it, or Carnifex (I'm always on the lookout for another), but I do get a craftable tiara. Since I won't be using the bow before level 12 next life, I replace the Ruby of Endless Night with Radiance +66. I leave the Meteoric Star Ruby as it has no minimum level. This makes the bow level 12, but I can always pull out the Radiance augment later (or farm a second bow). This means her Silver Longbow is good for anything that can be level drained, her triple positive is good for undead, and her Serpentbranch is good against anything left over and vulnerable to poison. I replace her hit point bracers with the Wind Howler Bracers, and put on her shiny new Gloves of Eternity. I put Dexterity +6 into her craftable ring.

It was a little silly to weaken her gear just so I could put on her new gloves. In the future, I should swap in the Gauntlets of Eternity the same level I put on her Blue dragonscale.

14th level: I swap in her blue dragonscale (heavy), Quiver of Poison, and Bow of Sinew. No issues with hitting, but very low damage. I've saved just over 1700 remnants since finishing her heroic augment gearing. I grab the second half of a Cursed Crypt run and turn in her Silver Flame trinket for the Amulet (1st upgrade). I have enough xp to take 15. I also land a really good group doing the second Lordsmarch chain, and snag three spare Windhowler Bracers (bringing my account total to five). It's overkill, but I just can't pass them up.

15th level: I take Improved Precise Shot, which is a toggle that conflicts with Archer's Focus. Yet another thing I forgot about playing bow users. I can either eke out a tiny bit of extra DPS, or paralyze multiple targets. I'm getting a little tired of burning 34 ap "just" to get a little more crowd control. :(. I finally unlock Slayer Arrows. I also drop an AP into Aligned Arrows, which is her last AA core before epic levels.

IPS isn't as bad as I thought, given I'm striking multiple targets at once, especially combined with Destruction.

16-18: I zipped through these levels pretty quickly. There wasn't enough happening to make it worth doing level-by-level breakdowns. I think for later lives I'll cover multiple levels in each update. Ghee is lackluster, but again, still much better than last life.

19-20: These two levels ended up being a hellish slog. I TR'd the day I hit 20 rather than farm any gear. Onwards to Paladin!

Third AA Life: Paladin

For her cleric lives, the one secondary power I could make full use of was Turn Undead. So this life we're trying 2 levels of cleric for Mighty Turning, and seeing if it eats too many AP in the Paladin trees. Mighty Turning is 8 AP. She has all +4 tomes, with a +5 in Wisdom and I buy a +6 in Dexterity from the DDO store.

I remembered to set her Intelligence to an even number.

Starting Attributes:

  • Str: 16
  • Dex: 15
  • Con: 14
  • Int: 14
  • Wis: 8
  • Cha: 14

Feats:

  • 1-Point Blank Shot (+ Artificer Dilettante)
  • 3-Rapid Shot
  • 6-Precise Shot
  • 9-Manyshot
  • 11-feat swap to Ranger Dilettante (just before taking 12th level)
  • 12-Improved Precise Shot
  • 15-IC - Ranged
  • 18-Shot on the Run

Epic Feats:

  • 21-Quicken (If I get Dex up to 21 base, Combat Archery)
  • 24-Overwhelming Critical
  • 26-Precision
  • 27-Blinding Speed
  • 28-Doubleshot

Farming Checklist (mostly Epic gear this life):

  • A duplicate Splinterskull Acolyte Ring. DONE
  • Greatbow of the Scrag. DONE
  • A duplicate Serpentbranch
  • The Blood Stone. DONE
  • Ring of Balance. DONE
  • Dynamistic Quiver. DONE
  • duplicate greensteel blur items in the Neck and Goggles slots. Neck DONE.
  • elite Goatskin Boots. DONE
  • elite Guardian's Ring. DONE
  • Lesser Harper Pin. DONE
  • Epic Elite Quiver of Poison (ML: 25)
  • Epic Dynamistic Quiver
  • Shimmering Arrowhead. DONE
  • Epic Elemental Bow of Earth. DONE

Level 1-3: Two cleric levels and her first paladin level. It's a bit surreal, with three cleric past lives I'm giggling each time she nukes undead in Korthos. This is before she gets Mighty Turning, and is purely a side effect of damage. Because I dumped her Wisdom and couldn't be bothered to gear her with a Wisdom item, she started out being unable to cast spells. When she gets ship buffs and her first tome kicks in, this clears up. She gets enough AP for Mighty Turning just as I take third level. Since I've ground out all the other useful sets, I pick up the Arcane necklace after Misery's Peak. I've been toying with the idea of doing at least one Wizard life. As with last life, the repeater is awesome damage in very low levels. Since we have Mighty Turning, next up is buying Arcane Archer.

I notice I spent skill points in Diplomacy (oops). I'd meant to take Intimidate. I later realize I _did_ want diplomacy as I want to shed aggro, but I only realize this after I've put the rest of my points into Intimidate. I'll fix it on my first ER.

Level 4-5: Still going strong. When there's a lot of warlocks in the party I don't get many kills, but I can hold my own with the repeater and just one warlock. I forgot to grab them earlier, so she ends up wearing her Blur bracers at 5th level. The first time Ghee died this life was doing Kobold Assault on elite with a day one player. He doesn't have any gear/pots/etc and his hire is dead. I'm not quite up to soloing KA with all the champions on my own. A few deaths later I get everything cleaned up and we finish. I help the noob get some much-needed potions in the marketplace. At 5th level she gets Greater False Life and the Mask of Comedy (+42 Devotion).

Level 6: When Ghee is able to take level 6, her BAB is too low for both Improved Critical (needs to be +8) and Manyshot. I end up giving her Precise Shot. This works with repeaters as well as bows. Next level she gets her Fens gear. She's begun saving for the Arcane Archer tree. Ages ago my friend Pianoforte pointed out that the Greater Stalwart Trinket (with +10% exceptional fortification and a Stoneskin proc) is amazing for TR's. I stuck mine on my bard and then "forgot" it was the good trinket. When Ghee is 6th level I find it and stick it on her. She's now immune to both disease and fear, which are the two big Paladin immunities I love.

I'm finding she has more gear slots that I can be bothered to optimize. This is a Very Good Thing and I'm hoping it will continue in the future.

Level 7: I spent most of level 6 running with a pair of undergeared brothers visiting from the Khyber server. They're not complete noobs, they know how to play the game. But they have the same weak gear as any noob. I opened quests on Elite for them and we just chatted. It was really nice. When I finally hit 7, I have a lot of trouble turning things. I put a post up on the forums for help, but I suspect the answer will either be that I botched my build, or I have to change which feat I use to turn. On the plus side, she now has her Divine set from the Red Fens. After a small delay I update her Charisma to 22 instead of 20, and her turns start working. I confirm she can use Mighty Turning with the Paladin Turn Undead feat, her turning issues are probably a side effect of all the champions now in the game. She unlocks AA.

I rather embarrassingly stepped into the Delera's chain without a ghost touch item. Luckily, she killed everything in sight with her turns. Still no replacement Serpentbranch :(

Level 8-11: This is all gear swaps. At 8th level she got her first damage imbue (Acid). At 9th she got Manyshot. I get a few solid days in with friends and hit 11. I get gifted with a Greatbow of the Scrag which means she can now fire blunted arrows from a bow without an imbue.

I want to try her in a pure elf life, to see how differently an Aerenal Grace build plays. I've noticed after spending a lot of time farming three sets of Fens gear she barely wears it.

More level 11: I took a long break from the game. She just barely qualifies for Paralyzing arrows at level 11. At 12 I swap from Artificer Dilettante to Ranger Dilettante and change her from repeaters to her Silver Longbow.

Level 12: I took level 12 and got the Paralyzing arrows, and then went to bed. When I woke up, the devs had uploaded changes to Arcane Archers (most of which were not good) and I lost access to her Paralyze arrows. I had to have 22 ap to spend in the tree before I could get them back. This whole build take a lot of work to sort out now as I have to figure out what is the best play style for me. I remove all mentions of repeating crossbow gear from the build as I don't think I'll be using it in the future.

Update 28 Fixes: I use one of the +5 Hearts of Wood the devs gave us to remove her two cleric levels. It hurts a bit as I _really_ love to use Mighty Turning. But this will make her a stronger archer and undead content is starting to thin. I have learned that a paladin with cleric lives _can_ be an effective undead nuker by splashing cleric. However, if I did this on future lives I'd want to use Sun Elf for the extra stacking turn enhancements. I hand in some challenge mats and make BTA versions of ML: 3, ML: 8, ML: 11, and ML: 15 Bracers of Wind. While I'd also like to get the epic version, I just don't have enough mats. This will take care of her Electric Spell power now and for future lives. I adjust her arrows so she has both Shocking and Force imbues, and put the other elemental arrow enhancements in "Elemental Damage", I re-slot her Serpentbranch so it has a ML: 4 Ruby of Impulse (force damage) in one slot and Cannith craft her a ML: 11 +54 Impulse ring.

I also decide to move her build points around a bit.

  • Str: 16
  • Dex: 16
  • Con: 16
  • Int: 12
  • Wis: 8
  • Cha: 10

I put 1 level-up point into Dexterity for Combat Archery and the rest into Strength.

I'm pretty happy with these results as I'm a sucker for skill points and she'll have some extra hit points. I also re-do her feats.

Feats:

  • 1-Point Blank Shot (+ Ranger Dilettante)
  • 3-Rapid Shot
  • 6-Precise Shot
  • 9-Manyshot
  • 12-IC - Ranged
  • 15-Improved Precise Shot
  • 18-?

I also put her skill points into Diplomacy instead of Intimidate, as I want to shed aggro on an archer build, not attract it. Since I'm taking a small break to re-do all her stats, I also re-craft her gear. True Seeing Goggles, +6 Strength gloves. I try out the Vulkoor's Cunning set and it doesn't appear to proc. I use the Ruby of the Endless Night to test when I've made a vorpal strike.

More level 12: After all the changes, here are my new "goals": (1) Get Doublesthot. (2) Use Diplomacy to shed aggro when I can (when in groups). (3) Specialize in Shock arrows (using Bracers of Wind for spell power) with Force arrows as a backup element. Get all the items I can that boost base damage on attacks and crits.

Level 13: I managed to get a few good groups at the tail end of 12 and into 13. I also focus on cleaning up Ghee's gear now that the AA changes have happened. I run around the Sands wilderness for a while and pick up a Blood Stone. I also start cycling toons through farming a heroic Dynamistic Quiver. I run my challenge monk for a bit and farm up an Epic Elemental Longbow of Earth and a heroic level 12 version. I get her into three runs of the Cursed Crypt and make her a fully upgraded Silver Flame Talisman. I add a Force Damage ritual to her Silver Flame Longbow. It's a tiny change but it adds 1 point of force damage to every hit and will stack up over time. I put Force Critical on her Bow of Sinew (1-4 force damage on every crit). These two Alchemical rituals are part of my efforts to increase the steady damage she does. At rank 63 in level 13 she gets Slayer Arrows.

Level 14-16: I do three Sagas through heroic Gianthold. I'm sick of the color of the ice but it's worth almost two full levels between saga, monster manual, and quest xp. Once I hit 16 it's time for Vale and the fast rush to 20. At 17 I do the Missing chain and pick up a Quivering Quiver (finally!). One of my TR buddies passes a pair of heroic elite Treads of Falling Shadow when we're running on our level 20's, and I snag a heroic elite Roadwatch bow to pass her. This is starting to feel like a good life for gear, even if it's a bit of a pain to have to farm so much of it.

Level 18: I loot a Mindfury Symbiont on Ghee. While it first glance it's not very sexy, I notice it has a clickie for 3/rest Greater Efficacy, which boosts USP. I decide to carry it as a swap item. Other than that, I've stalled at 18. I'm trying to avoid leveling to help my latest noob buddy get flagged for Shroud. On the positive side, a friend got a Dynamistic Quiver and passed it to me, so now I only have to farm the epic version. I did manage to get into a High Road run and get her Lesser Harper Pin and a pair of heroic elite Bracers of Twisting Shade for my Pale Trapper.

I'm hoping to finally be "happy" with her gear on her next life as I'm a bit tired of spending each life feeling stressed her gear isn't quite where I want it to be. In my defense, I only ended up stressed on this paladin life because the devs decided to make Doubleshot vital to every archery build, but it's a very big change for archers.

Epic Life 2

Level 19-22: I sit at 18 with 19 banked for a few days, then get my new friend flagged for shroud. I finish the same day at level 22 as I run into an old zerging TR buddy who is at level 18. I had planned to TR at 20 but now I feel like I shouldn't waste the xp. 28 it is!

Level 23: I go to the bank to grab Pinion and it's not there, nor is it in her TR cache nor her inventory. It's just _gone_. I've had this happen before, I've lost both items and past life feats when Reincarnating, but this one is particularly painful as the entire point of doing this AA experiment with Ghee is that bow. I'm now going to have to flag for CitW, loot the bow (eventually) and then get enough PDK favor to upgrade it. :(.

Level 24: I slot a feather falling augment into a set of eHard Iron Beads and now I have +214 electric spellpower (+114 from the necklace, and another +100 from AA USP enhancements). Her level 15 Bracers of Wind come off and are replaced with Wind Howler Bracers. I snag a nice Shroud run where I get one of each shard, and begin work on her Smoke necklace.

Level 25: I spend the day getting another noob flagged for Shroud, guiding 4 of the 5 quests (he already had the 5th). No xp for either of us. After that, with one set of daily xp quests, Ghee's ready to level. Ghee gets her capstone and I make her a nice set of flawless black dragon plate (heavy) and slot it with yet another Heavy Fortification augment. I also put her in Iron Mitts. I'm still ticked off about the missing Pinion, but there's not a lot to do about it.

Level 26-28: I pick up a T2 Thunderforged bow for her to fill in for the missing Pinion. I get 2 levels in 24 hours by pushing hard and breaking out a Sovereign XP Potion from the bank. I ER her back down to 20th level and take a primal past life feat for Doubleshot.

Epic Life 3

Since I'm not really "using" the Ranger faux bow strength, I decide to take Rogue Dilettante for sneak attack dice.

Starting Attributes:

  • Str: 16
  • Dex: 15
  • Con: 16
  • Int: 12
  • Wis: 8
  • Cha: 12

Feats:

  • 1-Point Blank Shot (+ Rogue Dilettante)
  • 3-Rapid Shot
  • 6-Precise Shot
  • 9-Manyshot
  • 12-IC - Ranged
  • 15-Improved Precise Shot
  • 18-Precision

Epic Feats:

  • 21-Combat Archery
  • 24-Overwhelming Critical
  • 26-Holy Strike
  • 27-Blinding Speed
  • 28-Doubleshot

For my epic Twists, I've taken:

  • Grim Precision
  • Blue Dragon Heritage
  • Rejuvenation Cocoon

The dragon heritage gives Ghee +30 Electrical spellpower.

For now she's running in Fury of the Wild to farm up her three Doubleshot past life feats. I'm not sure what she'll use in the future, but there's supposed to be some extra ranged power (or Doubleshot, or both) in Divine Crusader.

Before TRing, I should make sure to at least farm a Shimmering Arrowhead, a Guardian's Ring, and replace her greensteel.

Level 20-21: I snag a Shroud run and finish her greensteel necklace. Now I only need to make Goggles to be done with greensteel accessories, then decide if I want a Lightning II bow or not.

Level 22-23: More quick leveling. I manage to interest my reincarnation group in doing a heroic elite Stormhorns run, and get the elite Guardian's Ring, and also pick up the epic Skirmisher's Bracers, which have Doubleshot 8% on them. Until she gets an epic Dynamistic Quiver, these are an equivalent substitute. Since Ghee has a ML: 20 Ring of the Stalker, I decide to switch her Treads of Falling Shadow out for a pair of Goatskin Boots, and give the Treads to my paladin (who doesn't have ghostly). It costs a few shards in the Shard Exchange, but I've built up a small surplus from selling epic gear. I move some augments around, which gives her a +1 to her Enchantment DCs (Arcane Archer arrows), and rummage through my bank toons till I find a spare Embrace of the Spider Queen armor for her.

Here are her main gear items at level 23:

  • Trinket: Epic Blasting Chime (blue slot: Good Luck +2, colorless slot: Intelligence +6)
  • Head: Purple Dragon Helm
  • Cloak: Mysterious Cloak ML: 14 (green slot: Defense +8, colorless slot: Charisma +4)
  • Gloves: Purple Dragon Gauntlets
  • Bracers: Bracers of Wind ML: 15
  • Boots: heroic elite Goatskin Boots (yellow slot: Feather Falling)
  • Neck: Smoke spellpoint Greensteel
  • Ring 1: epic Ring of the Stalker (yellow slot: Enchantment +1, colorless slot: Master's Gift)
  • Ring 2: Guardian's Ring (yellow slot: Fear Immunity)
  • Belt: Con-Op hit point Greensteel
  • Goggles: Tharne's Goggles
  • Armor: Embrace of the Spider Queen (+3 Insightful Constitution)

Her primary bow is the Epic Elemental Longbow of Earth (red slot: Impulse 90, colorless slot: Globe of Imperial Blood).

At 24 she'll pick up her epic Iron Beads and Iron Mitts, at 25 she'll get her Halcyon Boots and Flawless Black Dragon Plate.

Other than her missing Pinion and not yet having an epic Dynamistic Quiver, I feel like her gear is where I want it to be. All she 'needs' now is the Shimmering Arrowhead and the goggle Greensteel (plus flagging for CitW).

Level 24-25: I post for a Weapons Shipment farm where I say I'll pass the Bauble and all I want is a Shimmering Arrowhead. People join and leave. We pull two Baubles, which get passed on to others, and an Arrowhead on the sixth run. I go through all my toons and put all my seals/shards/scrolls into the shared Bag bank. Then I search for everything with the word "Bow". Turns out I have the seal and shard for the Bow of the Silver Flame. If I can just get a scroll I can epic it for Ghee. More gear progress for the day. I also go through the first Eveningstar chain and Don't Drink the Water to begin the grind for PDK favor and flagging for CitW. I'm running in Shadowdancer because I realize I never ground out the last million or so xp after reaching 5. While doing this I manage to finish an epic Longbow of the Silver Flame. I now have my heroic Abbot beater (too bad I hate the raid).

Level 26: Flagging for CitW on hard is done, now I just need epic Wheloon for the rest of the PDK favor. Shadowdancer is capped. I slot my new epic Bow of the Silver Flame with a Meteoric Star Ruby since that's good with everything and scales to the level of the bow. I discover that the Cannoneer's Goggles from Precious Cargo in Three Barrel Cove have +114 Impulse Spellpower, +225 Spell points, and a green slot in a pair of ML: 24 goggles. This would allow me to pull spellpower out of Ghee's higher level bows and replace it with something else to increase her effectiveness. I'll have to farm a pair. I help one of my noob friends farm up an Epic Dynamistic Quiver. While I have to admit to a teeny bit of jealousy, he needs it more than I do and it's important to get noobs geared for higher level play. The Bow of the Silver Flame is turning out to be a handy devil beater with Silver and Holy Burst damage. There are too many mobs with fire immunity in the epic content, so I make her a new T2 Thunderforge bow with negative energy damage and paralyze instead of fire damage and paralyze.

Pinion Update: I submitted a ticket for the missing Pinion and GM +Sparker+ mailed me a new one. Now I don't have to farm the Pinion, I just need the PDK favor/Comms and to upgrade it when ready.

While still at level 26 I finish getting PDK favor and upgrade her shiny replacement Pinion.

I leave Ghee at level 26 for about a year while I take a long break from the game. When I come back to her I review my notes for reference.

Level 26 (more): The game has changed a lot while I was away. Level 30 arrived, and there's also racial reincarnation. More lives she "needs" and I don't really feel like this is a good thing. I'm already too far behind as it is.

When I hit 30 I think I"m going to run through some heroic lives.

Fourth AA Life: Planning

Next life she needs to be a pure elf to try out the Dexterity for Damage build.

I was going to run her as a monk but I think I'll do ranger since I'll be TRing other monks.

I'm tempted to try 1 rogue (again) for a trapper splash. She won't need 2 Rogue since Rangers get Evasion as a class feat. Since she'll have plenty of skill points this should go better than her cleric trapper AA life. As a ranger she'll get her archery feats for free and will have access to the Deepwood Sniper tree. In addition, Ranger is a good class to run through more Epic Reincarnations.

Monk Life Notes

I was going to take monk for her fourth AA life, but I've decided to put that on hold and go for Ranger. I have two other monks to level and I can't imagine running three heroic monks at the same time.

I want monk to try out Ten Thousand Stars. She'll be loosely based on Teacher Syn's Zen Bowmaster.

Starting Attributes:

  • Str: 8
  • Dex: 15
  • Con: 14
  • Int: 10
  • Wis: 18
  • Cha: 10

All level-ups to Wisdom. Max Dexterity boosts from skills/tomes.

Suggested Monk Feats

1. . . . : Skill Focus: Use Magic Device
1 Monk . : Deflect Arrows
2 Monk . : Zen Archery
3. . . . : Point Blank Shot
3 Monk . : Path of Inevitable Dominion
6. . . . : Rapid Shot
6 Monk . : Ten Thousand Stars
9. . . . : Manyshot
12. . . . : Precise Shot
15. . . . : Improved Critical: Ranged
18. . . . : Improved Precise Shot
21 Epic . : Combat Archery
24 Epic . : Great Ability: Wisdom
26 Destiny: Toughness
27 Epic . : Blinding Speed
28 Destiny: Doubleshot

Instead of Skill Focus UMD, I might take the active past life feat for cleric, to give a little bit of self-healing that doesn't depend on scrolls. While I have no issues with taking toughness at 26, I think Shot on the Run might be better for a speedy always-moving monk.

Planned Monk Feats

1. . . . : Past Life: Cleric
1 Monk . : Deflect Arrows
2 Monk . : Zen Archery
3. . . . : Point Blank Shot
3 Monk . : Path of Inevitable Dominion
6. . . . : Rapid Shot
6 Monk . : Ten Thousand Stars
9. . . . : Manyshot
12. . . . : Precise Shot
15. . . . : Improved Critical: Ranged
18. . . . : Improved Precise Shot
21 Epic . : Combat Archery
24 Epic . : Great Ability: Wisdom 
26 Destiny: Shot on the Run
27 Epic . : Blinding Speed
28 Destiny: Doubleshot