Friday 6 July 2012

UO Class: Archery

Tips for my fellow arrow flinging comrades on giving enemies the shaft... preferably from very far away! You can find the other available lessons in the binding post.

Choice of Weapon:
This really depends on your team and play style. If you have a whole bunch of fighters or pets to hold the bad guys back then you will have time to "plant" yourself with a crossbow or heavy cross and dish out some good damage. If you are running solo then it is probably best to stick to something that has good range and shoots at a decent rate. I personally preferred the standard-type bow and arrows as that provides good range and a decent firing rate.

Out-Gun Them:
Against enemy mages and archers you'll have no choice but to outgun them. This can be helped dramatically by taking a dex pot and getting agility blessed as your firing rate will be increased for a few minutes. Remember if you're bringing a repeater xbow you'll need to hide behind a corner or other "hard cover" and lure them into your kill range as by default they can out-snipe you. Rushing them is also an option, but will usually put you on the spot (a dangerous one) so you'd better know what terrain lies ahead incase you need cover. Remember too that being mounted also cuts down the number of "firing" frames which occasionally lets you shoot faster.

Blind Fire:
Enemies can usually target you before they come on your screen (if you are being "noisy"). Provided you are on combat mode, you can stop and fire upon them immediately even if you can't see them yet as most bows have greater range than your screen. Remember this goes two ways though, and just because you are shooting at "something" doesn't mean it's alone.

Types of Soft Cover:

Useful against melee mobs (as ranged ones can shoot you right back), these are things you can shoot through or over while exploiting the stupid AI. Take note on some rp shards this is frowned upon!

Terrain - stand on a hill, a tower or a boat and you have a relatively safe firing position. Note that a few things can "swim/fly" onto a boat though, even without teleporting: like eles, wisps and sometimes dragons (shard dependant).

Furniture - stuck on an empty plain with an army of orcs coming at you? Just setup some small tables and you'll have yourself a little wall/fort to protect you from the wave. With a partner you can even use this method to corale a beast you are trying to tame (start with the NW corner). This is obviously heavily RP breaking (who carries around 20 tables into battle) and shard dependant. Some shards let monsters walk right through non-locked down furnishings while on others the monsters actually pick them up!

Allies - have your friends, pets or summons stand in a line infront of you (at least 3 required on open ground with you standing behind the center one) and suddenly a rampaging ogre will have troubles reaching you, while you can freely shoot back. Note that the characters acting as the "wall" do not need to fight the target. If you are shooting it, it will continue to aggro and try unsuccessfully to reach you. Doesn't work too well against things with breath weapons as that forces the "wall" people to fight back, which may give them the aggro. If you only have 2 allies you will need to be next to a wall (form an L shape with you at the back) for it to work. More than one enemy will mean you need more people as eventually they will "spill" around the wall and reach you.

- Yes. Even enemies are cover. While they can start "stacked" in one square, once they start moving an npc will never occupy the same spot as another one. How does this help? When there are combined groups of things attacking you can usually tell which ones you can take hits from and which ones you can't. As an example a large band of ogres and pet cats attack me. An option if I know that a) all enemies have no range and b) I can take hits from 8 cats is to stand in the middle of 8 cats, one in each square next to me. Bows can't fire on things in melee range, but they work just fine on enemies beyond. While I take a million bandagable scratches the ogres are being shot to death, unable to reach me because the little cats are in the way.

Yes, one of these can block an ogre from reaching you.

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