Acid Arcane Archer, The Middle Age Levels (8 – 14)
*Author’s note: A big thank you to Strimtom for sharing his build! Check out his stream on Twitch: Strimtom.
*Strimtom’s Build Note: This build is NOT recommended for reaper mode, though it can be an excellent support character if you drop the damage a bit and instead focus on Paralyzation Arrows. See comments section for ideas on how to get this accomplished.
In the first part of this series, we covered the overview of Strimtom’s Acid Arrow (also known as the Acid Arcane Archer build). In the second, we went into a little more detail on the first seven levels of the build, and how to play. Now we’ll do the same for the next set of levels; numbers eight through fourteen.
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 as well as the utilization of the appropriate gem augments.
If you solo, you’ll want to keep your hireling to accordance with your character level, so as to keep both of you alive! If you happened to get a DDO Starter Pack, that includes a level three gold seal hireling that you can use to complement your at-level healer. If you’ve purchased the Mists of Ravenloft expansion, you’ll have access to another gold seal hireling at level ten, as well as Barovian weapons, which is basically the same as the Silver Longbow, but with a huge upgrade!
Levels 8 and 9
Once you reach level eight, you’ll want to either join or start a group to run The Church and the Cult. This is a free to play quest, and one of the end chest drop possibilities is the Silver Longbow. Run this fast and often until you get your new weapon of choice. If you are unsuccessful and end up with chest ransack, either wait a week from your first run (pay attention to date and time) or get on another character and run it some more! The bow is Bound to Character on Equip (BtCoE), so be careful not to equip it on the wrong character or your success will be for naught!
Once you have this shiny new bow, you can purchase a Ruby of Corrosion for your level either from the DDO Store (costs DDO points, but is rather cheap), or the Auction House (more expensive), or gather enough Mysterious Remnants from Champions and turn them in to the Collector in the Hall of Heroes.
Once you have both items, you can apply the augment to the red slot on the Silver Longbow, and enjoy hours of monster murder entertainment. Just be sure that when you’re able to upgrade the augment you do so until you get to 20th level, which should be the last upgrade needed.
At ninth level, you’ll get the feat Evasion as part of the ranger class. This will help avoid traps and AOE spells that can be so nasty.
How to play the build: By this point, you’ve just about become a mobile sniper, with the ability to one- or two-shot creatures in wildernesses. If you’ve found an appropriate group, you’ll find levels fly past, and your kill counts will dominate. If you solo, you’ll find you have become quite adept at the backpedal and fire strategy. Your hires will most like be healers, whether that be clerics, favored souls, or bards. That’s right, after a certain level, bards can heal. Keep your hireling’s level equivalent to your own, but don’t be afraid to drop to one level lower hirelings if you find all the ones available at level to be inadequate.
Swap from Acid Arrow to Force Arrows against incorporeal undead to bypass their miss chance, and don’t forget to use Manyshot in a tough (bosses, champions, very large mobs) situation.
Gear: You’ll want to watch for what levels you can upgrade your Ruby of Corrosion, as this will stack with your spellcraft to increase acid damage. Get a Silver Longbow asap, and a Barovian Longbow if available. No other gear is required, though items with the “ghostly”, “blurry”, “Heavy Fortification”, and CON will aid in your survival. Properties that raise your DEX or STR will boost your damge, as will “Impulse” for when you swap to Force.
Levels 10 – 14
At tenth level, Barovian Weapons will be available to those that have the Mists of the Ravenloft expansion, and you’ll likely use this through the rest of your heroic life. Once you get into epics, this will also change, but more on that in the future.
Any and all ability points you gain from levels will continue to 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 an 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.
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 no/ minimum damage).
As a soloist, you’ll be the biggest form of DPS and thus the primary target of monster mobs. You’ll kite mobs a lot, and should start to lead them around in a circle so that you don’t run into more mobs- or, worse yet, a trap- on accident.
Keep Ram’s might up, cast Freedom of Movement (FoM) when you get it, and be sure to always get the best cure spells available. You may be tempted to use CC spells (like Tanglefoot), but remember, your WIS is too low to really make them worth while. Barkskin and Jump are far better investments.
Once you get AA enhancements up to 4th tier, you’ll want to take Moon Bow (free temp spellpoints when you land a successful hit), then you’ll switch to the Deepwood Stalker tree, and spend the majority (41) of your AP.
How to play the build: AAA gameplay will remain the same as it was for levels eight through nine for the rest of your build’s life, though you will get feats like Sniper Shot and Mercy Shot that will make these strategies more enjoyable. As you progress through the Deepwood Stalker enhancement tree you’ll notice more and more doubleshot procs, which will make you far more deadly.
Gear: Follow the same guidelines as levels eight through nine, and you’ll be fine. Until epic levels, this doesn’t much change. I’ll discuss the epic level changes in my next post of this series.
So there we have it, a basic look at how to play the AAA build through mid levels. The minimum requirements for gear make this an extremely good build for new players and first lives.
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!
Thank you so much for the time you spent here. I appreciate your patronage, and hope you’ll visit again!