Acid Arcane Archer, The Early
Years Levels (1-7)
*Author’s note: A big thank you to Strimtom for sharing his build as well as allowing me to post about it! Check out his stream on Twitch: Strimtom
If you’ve ever played an archer in DDO, you will know that at times you can be… underwhelmed. Ammo shortages, lack of damage output, the fact that they can be squishy; all justified reasons that, for many players, make ranged rangers (that feels weird to say) a hard pass. I hope that this series of posts will help to fix that notoriety.
In the first part of this series, we covered the overview of Strimtom’s Acid Arrow (also known as the Acid Arcane Archer build). Now we’ll take a closer look at how to configure and play this build through the first seven levels.
Remember that as you level, you’ll want to continue to increase your acid damage capacity with “Elemental Damage” enhancements from the Arcane Archer tree once you get “Acid Arrow”.
If you solo, you’ll want to keep your hireling to accordance with your character level, so as to keep both them and you alive!
Levels 1 – 3
Now that you’ve gone through character creation, it’s time to hit up some quests. If you’ve played DDO long enough, you might have enough XP Gems (from Daily and/or Weekly dice rolls) to get through the first three levels without issue. If so, you may still wish to run some of the Korthos quests to get some of the gear. Case in point, I ran quests until Sacrifices, which I ran twice for the Anger’s Step speed booster. If you’ve already got something that gives you the necessary speed to run with others, then you’ll want to go directly to Stormreach to begin your adventure.
If you don’t have those XP gems to level up to 3rd, then you will want to explore all that Korthos has to offer. For further information on Korthos and its benefits for new players, visit my Starter Gear and You post. I recommend Anger’s Step from Sacrifices and two of Fintan’s Bite for when you’re required to engage in melee.
At second level, you’ll get Rapid Shot, which will increase the rate of fire. This is the first step toward self sufficience!
How to play the build: This early in the game, you won’t have enough damage to do quests without some help. Either find an appropriate group, or get yourself a Hireling from the vendor. At level one hire Byron, at level 3 hire Frenzy, and let them do all the work. You’ll want to concentrate on breakables while the other members of your party, hireling or otherwise, do the killing.
Gear: You’ll want to be on the lookout for Corrosion properties on items you can wear so that you can take advantage of the acid damage when you get it from Arcane Archer.
Levels 4 – 5
Here it is. You finally have enough enhancement points to get acid damage on your bow from the Arcane Archer enhancements, as well as Weapon Finesse via Deepwood Stalker.
Any and all ability points you gain from levels should go directly into your DEX in order to build your to-hit and damage numbers, not to mention your dodge and reflex saves. If you acquire a +2 Inherent Ability Tome as a favor reward, choose either Intelligence for more skill points (this carries over to your subsequent lives, so it will also be of assistance in the future) or Wisdom to help improve Will saves.
Eventually, you’ll get Morphic Arrows and Force Arrows. Morphic arrows give you all damage types (pierice, bludgeon, slash), which will help get around damage resistance of undead like skeletons and zombies. Force Arrows will grant your bow Ghosttouch so that you can bypass the increased miss chance on undead that are incorporeal.
Now that your damage is up to snuff, you’ll need a different type of hire, or your role may change a bit, dependent upon if you have a group or are solo.
When in a group, focus on the casters so that the effect they have on your group is nullified. You’ll also want to wait until someone else gets the mob aggro so you go largely unnoticed (and thus take minimum damage).
As a soloist, you’ll be the biggest form of DPS in your party, so your choice of hires will change from barbarian to cleric or favored soul. Be wary of the ones that have offensive spells in their list, as they’ll use up their precious spell points (read: healing) in rapid order. You’ll kite mobs a lot, and should start to lead them around in a circle so that you don’t accidentally run into more mobs- or, worse yet, a trap.
You’ll also get your first spells, and- though Cure Light Wounds is an option, you’ll want to hold off on that for the moment and let your hireling be your source of life. You will get far more use/ wear out of Ram’s Might, which will add to your strength, which in turn adds to your damage! Keep this buff up at all times while questing.
These tactics will be your mainstay until you reach the next level (6), where you will begin to see this build’s true capability at devastation! I’d like to draw attention to the word “begin” in that sentence, as this build continues to amaze!
Level 6 – 7
Manyshot. For this build, there may not be a single more important feat, and you get it for free! Rangers, as a class benefit, get Manyshot as a feat, however this also means they don’t get as many options as other classes. In the case of this build, however, it doesn’t matter because Manyshot is a beast!
Manyshot is an active feat that, for a short period of time upon activation, increases your chance to fire two or even three arrows at once! I find such power only necessary during tough fights, such as big mobs or boss battles, since on its own, this build already does quite a bit of damage.
Metalline Arrows will make life a little easier as well, since it helps get past many damage resistances in the game. In a couple of levels there won’t be much that can stand against you anyway, as you will work to get a silver weapon.
So there we have it, a basic look at how to play the AAA build from level one through level seven. The moments you will find this build most difficult is in the first three levels when you’re dependent upon others to kill monsters, and when something spawns right on you, or from behind. There’s issues with spells that affect the mind, but it’s the same with any build with low Wisdom.
I’m sure I’ve missed some things, and if someone points them out or I think of them later, , I’ll add them.
Have questions, hints, suggestions, or critiques? Feel free to share them in the comment section below! I’m always looking to improve both my writing and builds!
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