The Ultimate Archer Guide [Updated for GMS2]

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  • lolzfaillolzfail
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    edited 7:33AM May 18, 2018
    Overall, though, the issue with weighing up Conditioning/Sharp Eyes/Bronze Eagle is the fact that Agile Archer requires four points in Ice Arrow, which means you're actually comparing Agile Archer 1 to Conditioning 5/Bronze Eagle 5. So here's the big question: is it worth spending five SP just to get level 1 Agile Archer? The same is true of Conditioning and Sharp Eyes. Your theoretical perfect build falls short when you realise that you need Conditioning 6 to get Sharp Eyes 1. Like I said, it's a mess.

    My bad, I forgot about prerequisite skills. For agile archer, we need 5 evasive salvo and 4 ice arrow to unlock it. That is 8 extra SP assuming you take level 1 evasive salvo for its great utility(and it's probably not affected by crit evasion with its fixed crit rate). In this case, I would recommend maxing conditioning as you pretty much can almost max conditioning with the skill points to unlock piercing.

    As for agile archer vs se, lvl 9 se is around 8.4% base crit rate, which is roughly 2% damage increase, so lvl 9 se is better than lvl 1 piercing, though only barely. However, lvl 2/3 agile archer(depending on crit evasion even lvl 1) is when it overtakes se (also because you can't get level 10 se). But by the time you get lvl 9 se you would be lvl 50, and should thus have enough points for lvl 2+ agile archer. Therefore, you would add points into se until you have enough sp to get lvl 2 agile archer, then channel all your se SP into agile archer. With 50+% crit evasion lvl 1 agile archer is better than max se though.

    For sharp eyes requiring conditioning, do not worry, my analysis still stands. As sharp eyes and bronze eagle are the worst use of SP, and conditioning is now the best use of SP, the prerequisite condition might as well be inexistant as you won't be adding se/eagle 2+ until you max conditioning anyway.

    So basically, for passives, the build would be

    Bronze eagle level 1 > conditioning max > sharp eyes level 1 > sharp eyes level 9(party) OR bronze eagle level 10 > (on next sp) sharp eyes level 0, bronze eagle level 1, agile archer level 2

    or if you REALLY want to minmax it,

    Bronze eagle level 1 > conditioning max > sharp eyes level 1 > sharp eyes level 9(party) OR bronze eagle level 10 > (on next sp) sharp eyes level 0, bronze eagle level 1, conditioning level 6, agile archer level 6
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  • DrYoshiyahuDrYoshiyahu
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    edited 7:27AM May 18, 2018
    Oh, yeah, I didn't even think about Evasive Salvo. Agile Archer is crazy expensive. So the rough outline would be Bronze Eagle 1 > Arrow Rain 10 > Conditioning 10 > Sharp Eyes 9 > Sharp Eyes 0+Agile Archer 2 > Agile Archer 10 > Sharp Eyes/Bronze Eagle 10?

    EDIT: Assuming that the player doesn't opt for a mobbing (Eagle Claw), PvP (Ice Arrow) or alternative (Screwdriver Shot) build. :P
  • lolzfaillolzfail
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    edited 8:22AM May 18, 2018
    Oh, yeah, I didn't even think about Evasive Salvo. Agile Archer is crazy expensive. So the rough outline would be Bronze Eagle 1 > Arrow Rain 10 > Conditioning 10 > Sharp Eyes 9 > Sharp Eyes 0+Agile Archer 2 > Agile Archer 10 > Sharp Eyes/Bronze Eagle 10?

    EDIT: Assuming that the player doesn't opt for a mobbing (Eagle Claw), PvP (Ice Arrow) or alternative (Screwdriver Shot) build. :P

    Yes, that's the idea. Actually sharp eyes is better than bronze eagle only in parties. So a "party oriented" build would be the one you mentioned. A solo build would be more like:

    Bronze Eagle 1 > Arrow Rain 10 > Conditioning 10 > Bronze eagle 10 > Bronze Eagle 1 > Agile Archer 10 > Bronze Eagle 10 > Sharp eyes 10.

    I would put other dps skills between arrow rain and conditioning since passives don't seem to be very strong compared to damage skills.

    For PvP I would assume everything is maxed and you are level 50 with all skill points already, so there isn't much of a build path needed.

    For screwdriver shot, I'm not sure it is actually useful at the moment. Its max level is currently 4, which makes it relatively weak compared to other skills. It also requires you to charge to outdamage your no cooldown dps abilites like rapidfire. Add on the fact that you need snipe to be active, and I feel it is not very worth unless you are able to reliably keep in snipe range. I would take eagle claw over screwdriver since eagle claw does more damage than the 1st 2 charges of screwdriver, and you will semi-reliably have an eagle out. And precision shooter removes the damage of screwdriver shot(since you need to charge it to be useful) in exchange for attack speed, so a precision build would be better without the screwdriver shot. But do take my words with a grain of salt, as I have not tested screwdriver shot, so I do not know much about it apart from the skill description.
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  • DrYoshiyahuDrYoshiyahu
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    Yeah, sounds about right. Given how hard it is for Archers to solo bosses, a bossing build is pretty much always going to be a party build, but I'll be sure to specify that in the guide.

    I'm pretty sure I'll go back to the original idea of rushing Screwdriver Shot at 43 and saving the passives until after that.
  • lazimilazimi
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    @DrYoshiyahu srry i dont agreed with ur skills build

    me and more 2 top Archer try combined the skills build until we find the best in max lvl 50+ all skills points u can get from trophies
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  • KillerkonnatKillerkonnat
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    edited 12:47PM May 18, 2018
    I do believe that Archers should be looking specifically for equips that offer increased critical damage,

    Every dps class should be, when we get to higher raids at least. I don't know if with the first raid you have enough availability for it (and crit rate) to make a priority. But when you get to higher tier content it'll be the best stat you can roll. For archer, thief and assassin it's already worth it because of the inherently higher crit%. (Sharp Eyes or Luck)

    Edit: Note that there's actually one more passive to consider. Precision Shooter gives attack speed even if you don't care about the buff/change to Screwdriver. And it doesn't have any prerequisite skills. Putting 1 point in for 1% attack speed seems worth it. (Unless you have big problems with SP.)
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  • DewyChewyDewyChewy
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    Still debating if I want to go back to playing as an Archer, however, hope to see this guide become up-to-date when the time comes for the official release.
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  • DrYoshiyahuDrYoshiyahu
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    edited 5:41PM May 18, 2018
    Every dps class should be, when we get to higher raids at least. I don't know if with the first raid you have enough availability for it (and crit rate) to make a priority. But when you get to higher tier content it'll be the best stat you can roll. For archer, thief and assassin it's already worth it because of the inherently higher crit%. (Sharp Eyes or Luck)

    Unfortunately that also means it's expensive. We may quickly find that items with Critical Damage as a bonus attribute are far more expensive than others.
    Note that there's actually one more passive to consider. Precision Shooter gives attack speed even if you don't care about the buff/change to Screwdriver. And it doesn't have any prerequisite skills. Putting 1 point in for 1% attack speed seems worth it. (Unless you have big problems with SP.)

    Yeah, one of the first things I'll do when I get to level 64 is test out the difference in DPS between 0 Precision Shooter and maxed. At a surface glance, the assumption is that 5% increased attack speed means 5% increased DPS. That's probably not true, but if it's even close to that number, it's not a very strong skill.

    I did have a look during the CBT, but with just a 2% buff at level 50, it was pretty hard to determine a difference in DPS, and Attack Speed doesn't affect the Attack score or Physical Attack stat, so we're not getting any hard numbers to work with. The biggest question overall is whether it affects every skill or not. You would assume it affects the spam-type skills: Rapid Shot, Ice Arrow, etc, but does it affect the charged skills? (Arrow Storm and Screwdriver Shot)
    lazimi wrote: »
    @DrYoshiyahu srry i dont agreed with ur skills build

    That's okay, I definitely don't expect everyone to follow this build religiously. Even if it was statistically the best DPS, that doesn't mean it even suits everyone's playstyle. Against Pyrros Fard and other fire-resistant bosses, players may elect to use Ice Arrow instead of Rapid Shot, against fast-moving mobs, players may go down a more crowd-control oriented build, for the animal-lovers out there, some people might just want to max out the Eagle path as soon as possible. And that's okay. The last thing I want is for anyone to criticize anyone else for their build.
  • KillerkonnatKillerkonnat
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    the assumption is that 5% increased attack speed means 5% increased DPS.

    It should be 5% dps IF you have 0% attack speed from other sources and if you never run out of SP. That's not considering things like Eagle Claw but archers won't be using too many cooldown abilities. By the time you're 64 it's probably worth spending points in Screwdriver though so you'd have 2 abilities not taking advantage of attack speed. I think you'll have some attack speed from random equipment but not a lot so that wouldn't affect the value of it too much.

    1% dps for 1 skill point seems higher than most of the passives give past the 1st point in them though.
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  • DrYoshiyahuDrYoshiyahu
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    It should be 5% dps IF you have 0% attack speed from other sources and if you never run out of SP. That's not considering things like Eagle Claw but archers won't be using too many cooldown abilities. By the time you're 64 it's probably worth spending points in Screwdriver though so you'd have 2 abilities not taking advantage of attack speed. I think you'll have some attack speed from random equipment but not a lot so that wouldn't affect the value of it too much.

    1% dps for 1 skill point seems higher than most of the passives give past the 1st point in them though.

    The issue is actually Arrow Storm more than anything else. Even if it increases the amount of time it takes to fire the arrow, it doesn't affect how quickly the arrows fall, or how quickly the skill cools down. It's still 1320% per enemy spread evenly over a couple of seconds that can be activated once every 13 seconds. The only way to make that skill faster is cooldown reduction. The same is true of Eagle Claw and Screwdriver Shot, as you mentioned, but most of the Archer's DPS comes from Rapid Shot/Multi Shot and Arrow Storm.

    The current understanding, based on @lolzfail's calculations, is that Bronze Eagle 1 gives significantly more than +1% DPS, Agile Archer, in theory, gives more than 1% DPS per level, but costs 9 SP to unlock, and Conditioning gives +1% DPS at level 1, but (obviously) less than that going forward. Sharp Eyes is more complicated, but without large buffs to critical damage, it's as weak as Bronze Eagle.

    So if Precision Shooter did just give a straight 1% DPS increase, which would be true if the player only used spammable skills, it would be stronger than Sharp Eyes 1-10, Bronze Eagle 2-10 and Conditioning 2-10, but weaker than Agile Archer 1-10, Bronze Eagle 1, and Conditioning 1.

    But then again, Precision Shooter does limit your damage with Screwdriver Shot, which is an issue if you rely on that ability.
  • KillerkonnatKillerkonnat
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    I forgot about Arrow Storm because I'm dumb in the brain. I think still with those numbers it should be worth 1 point in the endgame. (Not if using Screwdriver Shot) For example 10th point in Conditioning actually increases your dps by 0.57% (1.064/1.058) and Bronze Eagle is even less. It's likely you can afford to spend 1 point when you've picked up all of the skill points. (All but one? Funnily there was only one difficult/slow skill point to gain in CBT.)
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  • lolzfaillolzfail
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    edited 2:09AM May 19, 2018
    I just recently hit level 50 on my cms archer. It would seem that precision shooter with screwdriver shot is actually good. Apparently the enhanced screwdriver shot has its own damage: 670% dmg at level 1 and gains 47% per level excluding the bonus from precision shooter(the tooltip damage did not increase when I upped precision shooter). This damage is less than 10% weaker than the middle charge of normal screwdriver shot. Add on the passive screwdriver shot damage from precision shooter and it is actually stronger than the middle charge, all while not needing to be charged(thus you can hit mobile enemies reliably while having higher dps from instantly attacking), and can be used in close range. Therefore screwdriver shot actually increases dps when you take precision shooter.

    I did damage tests over 1 minute, and found that level 4 screwdriver level 3 precision beats level 4 screwdriver with the precision sp added into bronze eagle(since I already maxed conditioning) by about 7.5%. Of course, with higher precision levels the gap just gets wider since you enhance your screwdriver shot damage while adding attack speed.

    I also tested arrow rain + rapid shot vs arrow rain + rapid shot + screwdriver and the latter wins by around 3.5%. All these were tested with arrow rain hitting 3 dummies while rapid shot and screwdriver both hit only 1 dummy as I could not position myself for all skills to hit 1 dummy. However, since arrow rain is a constant variable it doesn't matter. I also found that with snipe active, I do not ever run out of sp with arrow rain + normal screwdriver due to the charge time. For enhanced screwdriver I do run out of sp, but it happened during the dps test, so it actually means enhanced screwdriver is slightly stronger than the dps test shows.
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  • KillerkonnatKillerkonnat
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    Apparently the enhanced screwdriver shot has its own damage

    Seems like the tooltips are bad yet again...
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  • DrYoshiyahuDrYoshiyahu
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    I didn't realise you had a CMS account, @lolzfail.

    Yeah, I knew Precision Shooter was comparable to the second phase of the basic Screwdriver Shot, but I forgot to do tests and get screenshots before the CBT ended. That final day really snuck up on me.

    I'm definitely glad to hear the DPS comes out ahead in favour of Precision Shooter at low levels, because I was expecting it would only be valuable at level 6 or 7+.
  • mmviimmvii
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    Nice, I might make an archer to use this now. You give a skill build per level outline to follow which is great. Was going to consider winging it for skill build because I haven't seen any guides here that outline them.
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  • Amy_Clyne1Amy_Clyne1
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    Sadly I wasn't chosen in beta invites, would be happy if I get to play my archer and probably help out this thread :(
  • PosePose
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    This guide is amazing! Thanks for the time put in to make this!
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  • MeowrenMeowren
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    Thank you for this guide!! It's very informative & thorough which is great for a total noob like me :3c

    I'm a zerker main, but I was thinking about playing around with archer just for fun in CBT2 -- I do archery in real life, & I love the aesthetic, so I thought it could be fun to give it a try, even though I basically never play range classes in games :o Seeing your posts around the Archer subforum, I love your passion for the class, it's really inspiring <3 & makes me want to give it a try myself! ^^
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  • melatoninlolmelatoninlol
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    Just to add some conversation, DrYoshi and others in cbt1, how did you allocate your skills while leveling, and what were your thoughts on it? Leveling/basic questing can be a much different build than your ideal raid/dungeon spec.

    I know i personally was using arrow barrage 3x (for the back somersault) and then evasive salvo to increase the distance from mobs when i was out in the world killing for quests/boredom, etc. I also tried getting as much movement speed from conditioning as possible to promote movement (does it stack with mount movement? would be curious since really you won't be moving around unmounted much once you get one since mobs are kinda spread out). I used arrow storm as well (start with arrow barrage at max range, arrow storm between me and mobs, and then keep barraging as i could) for extra dps and most world mobs were dead by then.

    When i was screwing around in the 50+ zones, i was using ice arrow for the slow, and there's definitely merit in that as an approach too so you don't have to kite as much.

    Also, with cbt2 coming up, any requests for data/tests needed to help secure some math? i should be able to sink a lot of time into cbt2 and don't plan on making any alts so while afking in town for trophies i can do gear swaps and such for comparison purposes. lmk.



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  • lolzfaillolzfail
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    Just to add some conversation, DrYoshi and others in cbt1, how did you allocate your skills while leveling, and what were your thoughts on it? Leveling/basic questing can be a much different build than your ideal raid/dungeon spec.

    I didn't get to play CBT1, but I did try a bit of CMS 2. Personally, I feel there is no need to care about a levelling build as levelling is really fast(may be different in CBT2 since quests are being adjusted). I could get past normal quest mobs even with low levels of arrow barrage and no ice arrow. I am a lazy person so I basically just built up my single target build, similar to the bossing build in this guide to avoid having to reset. Rapidfire can hit up to 3 enemies so it is actually decent at mobbing. Of course, this is far from the best build but there is really no point min-maxing early levelling unless the mobs become significantly tankier.
    I know i personally was using arrow barrage 3x (for the back somersault) and then evasive salvo to increase the distance from mobs when i was out in the world killing for quests/boredom, etc. I also tried getting as much movement speed from conditioning as possible to promote movement (does it stack with mount movement? would be curious since really you won't be moving around unmounted much once you get one since mobs are kinda spread out). I used arrow storm as well (start with arrow barrage at max range, arrow storm between me and mobs, and then keep barraging as i could) for extra dps and most world mobs were dead by then.

    IMO arrow barrage is not a very good skill. It has a high sp cost and it's damage is not that good. The only reason I use it over ice arrow is because as mentioned above I am too lazy to reset, so I don't add skills I don't need in my bossing build. Conditioning movement speed is definitely good as there is alot of movement required, and conditioning is best damage passive skill in terms of sp until you get to high levels, where agile archer takes over slightly. Most of the time I use arrow storm and walk away because mobs usually die to arrow storm, but I would say ice arrow/rapidfire > barrage. Of course 1 point in evasive salvo for mobility.
    When i was screwing around in the 50+ zones, i was using ice arrow for the slow, and there's definitely merit in that as an approach too so you don't have to kite as much.

    I personally did not have time to try out 50+ zones, so I have no comment here.
    Also, with cbt2 coming up, any requests for data/tests needed to help secure some math? i should be able to sink a lot of time into cbt2 and don't plan on making any alts so while afking in town for trophies i can do gear swaps and such for comparison purposes. lmk.

    Once again cbt evades me(and someone in my office is playing it so I'm in a constant state of sadness). As for now, it would be nice to gather information for anything that the global version has which the other versions do not have(I have not read the patch notes so idk any examples). Also, it would be nice if you could test damage in PvP, in order to help with the damage formula calculation, which can then be used to calculate the stats of monsters. Also, try to test how attack speed affects different skills(especially rapidfire).