Check out the patch notes for the v18 Kritias Expansion here: http://forums.maplestory2.nexon.net/discussion/45974
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@Eneka, I'll add some images of finished builds at each stage, but basically, at max SP, you should have Rapid Shot, Arrow Storm, Conditioning, Screwdriver Shot, and Precision Shooter maxed, in that order. You need one point in Evasive Salvo and one in Bronze Eagle. Any leftovers can go to Sharp Eyes first, and Bronze Eagle second.
@Alph, Agile Archer is great in chaos raids, and you should definitely max it whenever you attempt a chaos raid. Outside of that one scenario, most mobs don't have enough defense to warrant high amounts of piercing, and it really goes to waste. For that reason, you're better off going with Screwdriver Shot in all other situations.
I'll be adding a gear section to the guide very soon, hopefully, but yes, piercing, boss damage, and total damage are the three best attributes for gear.
@Twotrickpony, if you feel like you need more defense, don't try to get it as bonus attributes on your gear. What you should do is enchant your armour. Just be aware that it won't make a huge difference in the end. If you don't already have full epic armour, that's really your priority.
The reason you shouldn't get defensive stats as bonus attributes is because people will expect you to have nothing but damage, damage, and more damage, especially the later you go in the game. By the time you get to chaos raids, you're really going to struggle to compete with anyone else if you're worried about defensive stats. If you're dying to enemies, your priority should be to learn how to avoid their attacks, rather than assuming you're going to get hit and need to survive the damage. Most attacks from enemies and bosses alike are avoidable, and there are some bosses, even in Hard Adventure dungeons, that don't deal any guaranteed damage. Pyrros Fard, for example, can theoretically be beaten without any party members taking any damage.
I hope that helps!
@Shawnyy: this was a community vote. You can't blame Nexon for something the community asked for. If the community's lowest preference for a template redesign was the dagger, then it would be pretty bad if Nexon just ignored us and focused on the dagger instead of the eight other options that everyone collectively considered more important. As an archer main, I would love a cool new bow template, but I also recognized that the bow is one of the best templates we've got right now, and the scepter, staff, and cannon were my votes.and 33 others.
I've heard people complain about thieves, but I have never heard anyone complain about the dagger template. It feels, to me, like you're picking the wrong fight against the wrong thing.
EDIT: But to get back on topic, I'm really surprised the blade was voted as high as it was. I considered the blade to be possibly the best template. The top four are all definitely the most important, and I was expecting to see a clear divide between the top four and the bottom five, but it looks closer than I imagined it would be. I wonder how many people just voted for their own class' weapon instead of considering which template actually needed an overhaul.
@tinklekins It's been proven, from years of loot boxes in gaming, that this business model works better than directly-purchasable items. Data analysts, marketing experts, and even psychologists have been working on this dilemma for as long as online gaming has had microtransactions, and they always come to the same conclusion: the best way to make money is to use loot boxes.
A big part of that is because of "whales". Given your analogy, the two people in the room willing to spend money will out-spend the other eight. In fact, even if all ten people are willing to spend money, there will still be two people that contribute 80% of the profits. This is known as the Pareto Principle: the idea that 80% of a company (Nexon)'s profits come from 20% of the customers (whales).
As strange as this business model may seem, Nexon has both the resources and the experience to know what will work and what won't.
I am not exaggerating when I say that I have caught over 18,000 fish with a golden lure active the entire time, and I have not seen a single exceptional golden fish. As far as gold fish go, I've caught around 500 commons, 33 rares, and 0 exceptionals. I was beginning to wonder if they were bugged, or if the exceptional fish were just broken. Less than 1 in 18,000 is just a little too rare, if you ask me.