Check out the patch notes for the v17 Precursor Update here: http://maplestory2.nexon.net/en/news/article/53778/precursor-update-v17
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@MynameisAlfieri: Arrow Storm 's damage per second (DPS) increases by 4.62 each skill point, whereas Screwdriver Shot and Precision Shooter only increase by 3.8 and 4.2 respectively. Screwdriver Shot will only do more DPS if you use Precision Shooter, which means you're spending more skill points to do the same amount of damage. Even level 1 Arrow Storm does more DPS than level 1 Screwdriver Shot. I don't find it hard to hit bosses with Arrow Storm. Choosing optimal times to use it is part of the archer's skill cap, and if you choose not to use it because it's too hard to hit, you're just sacrificing potential damage.
Here's a handy chart showing the differences in DPS:
As for Precision Shooter's damage: when you take a point in Precision Shooter (PS), you completely change Screwdriver Shot (SS) to a different ability called Improved Screwdriver Shot. (ISS) ISS doesn't do the same damage as SS - in fact, if you hover over the skill and look at the description, you'll see that the huge wall of text explaining the three phases of SS has been replaced with a very succinct description that just has one damage value: 670% at level 1.
Ironically, ISS will never do 670% damage because if you have one point in PS, you're increasing that 670% by 5%, which comes to a total of 703.5%. Leveling SS increases this base number from 670% to a max of 1093%, and if you max PS (available at level 64), it will cap out at 1639.5%.
Here's a chart showing all those damage values:
Hey, there's some great information here, but one glaring issue seems to have had a big impact on all your skill builds, that I just want to address, because it could really hurt you in the future. That's the idea that Bronze Eagle is the "best buff". It has a strong level 1, that everyone should have, but levels 2-10 are pathetically weak. The difference between 0 and 1 is bigger than the difference between 1 and 10.
At level 60, with 25 prestige and every attribute point you can get from trophies, I have 482 DEX. From 2-10, each level of Bronze Eagle increases my DEX by 0.3%, which is less than 1.5 DEX per skill point. Each point in DEX is equal to less than a single point of physical attack, which means that a skill point in Bronze Eagle doesn't necessarily correspond to an increase in physical attack, as written on the character's stat sheet. It's likely that the damage calculator takes decimals into account, but if it doesn't, it's entirely possible that you could put a skill point into Bronze Eagle and actually not see any mathematical increase in DPS.
Now, compare that to Conditioning, which just flat-out increases your physical attack. Since we know that, even with close to 500 DEX, a point in Bronze Eagle is less than an increase of 1 physical attack, we know that even if your physical attack is as low as 168, every point in Conditioning is stronger, because from 168 onward, every .6% increase is at least +1. EDIT: Mine is 237 at base, so I'm getting almost 1.5 physical attack for each point in Conditioning.
Given that your damage as a whole is your weapon attack multiplied by your physical attack, the number shown in Conditioning is just a straight 1:1 increase in DPS, since it's another multiplier. The 6.4% increase from level 10 Conditioning is, in theory, a 6.4% increase in DPS.
As for Agile Archer, which you've given just a single star, that will be the most important buff for chaos raids. It may not seem all that important right now - though I will mention that it is statistically better to spend 8 points unlocking Agile Archer just to get 1 point of it than it is to spend those 9 points on Bronze Eagle - but when chaos raids are added in November, piercing will be the most important stat in the game. It already defines the economy, and items with even 3 or 4% piercing are sold for several millions of mesos, even if they're not epic items, while an identical item without piercing is disenchanted or practically given away.
The ability to get 6.4% piercing for free is one of the things that makes archers so strong at late-game content and it will be instantly noticeable who has piercing and who doesn't, when chaos raids are attempted.
@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.
@Rivalun I've actually been doing a lot of experimenting with Screwdriver Shot. It was unfortunately pretty weak when the level cap was 50 because of how few points we could put into it, but now that we can almost max it, I'm inclined to do so before Agile Archer. It depends a lot on the enemies you're fighting. A chaos dungeon, for example, will require more piercing than the epic questline.
You're not the only one, either. A lot of high-level archers I've talked to agree that Screwdriver Shot has been underappreciated. I've done crits of over 200k damage. The unfortunate part is the fact that you need to max both Screwdriver Shot and Precision Shooter, which is even more points than it takes to unlock and max Agile Archer. We won't be able to get that many points back until level 78.
I'll play with it a little more, but there's a good chance I'll extend the current solo and party builds past where they currently end, and change it to a bossing/non-bossing split, where bossing has you max Agile Archer, and the other has you max Screwdriver Shot + Precision Shooter.
EDIT: I'll also be adding gear and gemstones and bonus attributes soon.