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Ieldra
07-26-2006, 08:45 AM
I'm trying to decide on what to focus in the early development of my Brigand, early meaning levels 2 to 20, then 36 (the end of Normal). Specifically, I have some questions:

Question 1 (levels 6-14): Early Call of the Hunt or not?
I'll start with Hunting, max Wood Lore early and put one point into Marksmanship. But after that, I have three options:
(1) Focus on Art the of Hunt first (max), then go directly for Puncture Shot Arrows and max this.
(2) Put some points into Art of the Hunt and some points into Call of the Hunt, just in case you need to attack faster against certain enemies. Then go for Puncture Shot Arrows.
(3) Put one point into Art of the Hunt and max Call of the Hunt, then go for Puncture Shot Arrows.
Do I need Call of the Hunt at this point or is it better to max Art of the Hunt. After all, Energy tends to be scarce at this point in the game (as I've seen with my Avenger), and Call of the Hunt has an annoying cooldown time as well. If I could do without for now without serious disadvantages, I'd do so.

Question 2 (levels 20-30): Exploit Weakness or Poison next?
If I don't go for Exploit Weakness at this point, I can put everything I'll ever need (Mastery points + 17 points in skills) into the poison line and have this maxed when I reach the Great Wall, which seems very useful. On the other side, Exploit Weakness seems even more useful, but its base skill has a cooldown that limits its use. The question is: focus on the poison, or put a few points into Call of the Hunt and Exploit Weakness.

Question 3 (general): Monster Lure or Traps?
I've read the thread about Monster Lure, and it seems that this would be a better complementary skill for a Bow Brigand than traps. It also seems to be much more point-efficient. I won't have enough skill points for both. What do you think?

Question 4 (general): How many points in Marksmanship?
OK, the added piercing damage isn't so great for a skill point. But I had the impression that increased projectile speed, up to a point, has the same effect as increased attack speed, because you can't shoot another arrow before the first has hit its mark. So, if you have higher attack speed, for instance with Call of the Hunt and maxed Wood Lore, your attack speed would be limited by how fast your arrows reach your enemies more than your attack speed. I'd like to know if I'm right with this impression. If yes, putting more than one point in Marksmanship at some time would make sense, while otherwise, it would probably be more point-efficient to increase your damage or piercing bonus from some other skill instead.

Question 5 (levels 30-35): Scatter Shot Arrows and Volley - when?
I'm thinking of delaying Call of the Hunt until I get into Epic, and instead go for Scatter Shot Arrows and Volley - only one point at this time, because it's more for distributing the poison effects through a group of enemies than damage. Is this a good idea?

That's it. My planned build, at level 35, looks like this (http://www.titancalc.com/TitanCalc.asp?mastery=Brigand&master1=6&master2=7&m1=24-0-0-1-0-0-8-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-8-0-0-0-0&m2=32-0-0-6-1-10-0-0-0-0-6-0-12-0-1-0-1-0-0-1-5-0). What do you think of it?

Emiraven
07-26-2006, 12:47 PM
My experience is only with a 28 Brigand so far, but let me see if I can help. All opinions expressed IMHO, of course:


Question 1 (levels 6-14): Early Call of the Hunt or not?

If it were me, I wouldn't put more than 1 point in. It's a nice 'oh sh*t' power for the combat boost, but the other points are better spent using powers that work all the time: Penetrate, the poison tree, traps, etc.

I'm planning on maxing this, but not until I get my money skills up first (scatter shot, poison line, volley, etc)[/quote]


Question 2 (levels 20-30): Exploit Weakness or Poison next?
If I don't go for Exploit Weakness at this point, I can put everything I'll ever need (Mastery points + 17 points in skills) into the poison line and have this maxed when I reach the Great Wall, which seems very useful. On the other side, Exploit Weakness seems even more useful, but its base skill has a cooldown that limits its use. The question is: focus on the poison, or put a few points into Call of the Hunt and Exploit Weakness.

My opinion is poison. It'll work with every arrow shot, as opposed to points that only work for you 25% of the time. (Do I have that math right? 30 sec Art of the Hunt with 1 point on a 2 min cooldown?)

If you were Ranger, and had Refresh to keep Call of the Hunt up constantly, then that might be a different story....


Question 3 (general): Monster Lure or Traps?
I've read the thread about Monster Lure, and it seems that this would be a better complementary skill for a Bow Brigand than traps. It also seems to be much more point-efficient. I won't have enough skill points for both. What do you think?

I've seen arguments both ways. I prefer traps because they do damage, and I can position them ahead of me. Traps can draw aggro, but they're pretty fragile without upgrades.

I played with Monster Lure and specced out of it. It always wanted to drop behind me, and never seemed that effective. But again, others have reported good success with it.



Question 4 (general): How many points in Marksmanship?

I had maxed Marksmanship, then harvested the points out of there to get Penetrating Arrows. In Normal stage, I figure our choices are specializing toward max damage (Marksmanship / Penetrating Arrows / Scatter Shot / Volley), or maximum status effect (Penetrating Arrows / Envenom Weapon / Night Shade / Mandrake). I'm going for the latter. Your mileage may vary.


OK, the added piercing damage isn't so great for a skill point.

True. However, I'm planning on adding to this later, as with all the Brigand's bonuses to +% pierce, 3 points can go a long way.

At level 27, I have 3 in there right now. The arrows fly at a decent clip, and with my 105% attack speed (and only a yellow relic-ized bow), I can pump out a decent amount of arrows to thin a group before it gets to me.


Question 5 (levels 30-35): Scatter Shot Arrows and Volley - when?

I guess that's a question of which you want to specialize in as a Brigand in your 20-somethings:
+ Traps
+ Pierce Damage/DPS
+ Status Effects

Status Effects has yet to flower for me, but I haven't maxed the poison points yet. I figure that the monster groups never seem to line up right that penetrating arrows can reliably drop the entire group, so maximum damage will still leave some stragglers out of the line of fire.

Good luck. If you choose a different path, I'd be interested to hear how it turns out.

Shiver
07-26-2006, 01:32 PM
The OP's build is one of the best conceivable archer builds in the game. However, there are two problems with it. First off, the build will take a very long time to develop. I imagine it not seeming particularly effective until level 20 or so.

The other problem is the bows you'll find lying around in this game - they're terrible. From my experience the game is biased heavily in this fashion: Casters > Melee > Archers. I have a brigand myself and will give this bit of advice: consider using a spear instead. The spear brigand isn't quite made of glass due to the shield you get and Flash Powder solves the problem of large enemy swarms nicely.

Oh yeah, and traps. They're stupidly powerful throughout the entire game due to the fact that they scale up in power with each difficulty level. I prefer not to use them.

Felexitus
07-26-2006, 02:38 PM
traps and bows arent optimal at all. will traps be the next skill that people start not to use because they are too good :D what doesnt work however is combining lure and traps ;-)

id not raise marksmanship above one until very very late in the game. no it doesnt increase attack speed only connect speed.

poison is only really needed in late epic/ legendary

an early call of the hunt isnt needed.

get study prey somewhere in between lvl 20 and 30 you know you want it

Ieldra
07-26-2006, 05:23 PM
Thanks for the replies - they raise....some more questions ;)

@Shiver: I noticed that bow hunters start very slowly, but it's really what I'd like to play - I tend to not like melee. What do you think about *starting* with spears and respec to bows once you have the points for the necessary skills - and maybe found a good bow?
(Uh - taking on the cyclops in melee doesn't seem so very desirable....)

@Felexitus: You say poison isn't needed until late epic or legendary. Well, what would you do with a character like this in the Obsidian Halls, or really in any place behind the Great Wall? Some monsters there have an insane speed - you can't shoot fast enough to drop them before they reach you.
Ah, and about Study Prey - 8 seconds duration and a very long timer. I think without "-recharge" gear this would only make sense if it enabled you to drop a group of monsters within 8 seconds. I don't recall having seen this type of gear in Normal at all.

@Emiraven: Thanks for your detailed comments. There isn't much to say here, it seems we're thinking in a similar direction. I'll start with my Brigand once I finish Epic with my Summoner - shouldn't be long now, I'm in Chang'an.

Felexitus
07-26-2006, 06:12 PM
hmmm later study prey it enables you to onehit bosses O.o it should be able to make you onehit trashmobs easily.

as for the fast mobs: isnt that what you too the monster lure for?

Ieldra
07-26-2006, 06:58 PM
hmmm later study prey it enables you to onehit bosses O.o
Really??? None of my other three characters has been able to do *that*. And my ranged Avenger - her dps at level 21 was 120 :(, and she couldn't even one-hit standard crocodile men. I guess I need to experiment... fortunately skill point allocation is reversible.


as for the fast mobs: isnt that what you too the monster lure for?
Hmm, well....yes, indeed. I didn't consider it because Monster Lure entered my sphere of awareness, so to speak, only as I was writing my post. It all depends on how dependable Monster Lure turns out to be. If it's dependable and I find that it's not too fickle for my playstyle, then yes, I could delay the poison line and avoid having to raise Rogue mastery to 24 early, which does sound desirable. On the other side, if I respec out of Monster Lure I gain 6 points to put into Study Prey, and still have the poison tree developed.... (things like this are why I like this game so much - so many possibilities)

Socrates
07-26-2006, 07:24 PM
Stick with the Avenger a bit longer, past the lizard men it starts to get easier, and better bows show up on merchants. With the Core Dweller, you don't have to worry about Monster Lure or having to hit with poison to slow an enemy. You can place him where you want him, he has the provoke skill, and you have the freedom to pick off your targets.

Viperace
07-26-2006, 10:22 PM
Question 3 (general): Monster Lure or Traps?
You gotta decide whether you want to be a bow brigand or spear brigand or trap brigand, before we can answer that.


Question 4 (general): How many points in Marksmanship?
1 point for me. It stays at one till the end of Legendary.


Question 5 (levels 30-35): Scatter Shot Arrows and Volley - when?
ASAP. First priority in normal mode, near the end of normal, you should have maxed volley, and quite some points in Scatter Shot. They own in normal mode.

As you move on to Epic, you can start tearing down points from Scatter Shot, their efficiency drop.

Felexitus
07-26-2006, 11:02 PM
regarding lure or traps: the main decision is how many skills you want to spend. traps only really rock when you max the tree.

btw being a spear/trapper is by all means possible. actually theres hardly anything youd miss when you make that build

Ieldra
07-27-2006, 04:38 AM
@Felexitus:
As I understand you, you're saying that I should play through Normal just as a Hunter, without much, or even any, development of the Rogue tree. Right?

@Socrates:
The reason I ditched the Avenger is that I started her with the misconception that Earth Enchantment worked similar to Storm Nimbus, in that the damage scaled with the skill level, and it would thus be feasible to play an Avenger with not much spellcasting and without a companion. I might get back to her some day, but just now she's not who I want to play.

@Viperace:
This will be mainly a bow Brigand. Thanks to all the people here, I now have a good impression of how to develop the bow-related skills (including all the piercing damage buffs and enemy debuffs like Study Prey). The only question that remains is: which non-bow skills are most useful for this type of character. If I max all bow-related skills, including all the piercing damage buffs and enemy debuffs, and their upgrades, with the exception of Flush Out which I don't need, max Monster Lure and put everything I need into the Poison line, I'll have 33 points left. My options now are either to respec out of Monster Lure, take some points out of Marksmanship and Scatter Shot Arrows, and use the points to max the Traps line, or instead keep Marksmanship and Scatter Shot maxed, put all 12 points into Lethal Strike and one point into Mortal Wound for the stun, one point into Poison Gas Bomb (66% impaired aim for 9 sec? Great for Legendary, I'd think), and put the rest of the points into Flash Powder als a last-ditch defense measure. Ah, and there's a third option: I could use the latter option, but leave Flash Powder out and take a few points out of Scatter Shot and Marksmanship, and instead max Take Down for an added melee option. Anyway, it will be some time until I must decide on Traps Or No Traps, but the more I think and read about it, the more I hope Monster Lure will work satisfactorily for me, for the options without traps seem to be far more effective...

Viperace
07-27-2006, 06:56 AM
Brigand built is a versatile one, just go for str/dex 1:1 ratio, and you can either do a Bow or Spear brigand. Just go ahead with your normal mode gameplay first , you will answer most of your own question after that. ;)

Respecs if you find a tree disatisfactory. You should have enough gold to do that.

Frostbane
07-27-2006, 07:03 AM
Trapper brigand with a bow but no bow specific skills. Spear as backup. Bosses dead in seconds.

Shiver
07-27-2006, 07:53 AM
Brigand built is a versatile one, just go for str/dex 1:1 ratio

Terrible idea. You don't need that much STR as long as you're willing to settle for the armor-lite type of equipment. A brigand should go DEX/STR 3:2, or even 2:1.


@Shiver: I noticed that bow hunters start very slowly, but it's really what I'd like to play - I tend to not like melee. What do you think about *starting* with spears and respec to bows once you have the points for the necessary skills - and maybe found a good bow?

I'm not sure. The way I played brigand was as a pure Rogue with a blade for 20 levels before I started investing into Hunting for spear skills. If you wanted Hunting to carry you far into the game you could get Ensnare and abuse that... it says it does 35 damage at top level but that must be per second or something because it has this nasty habit of killing everything. Not much fun like that.

Felexitus
07-27-2006, 08:38 AM
Terrible idea. You don't need that much STR as long as you're willing to settle for the armor-lite type of equipment. A brigand should go DEX/STR 3:2, or even 2:1.

even pierce classes get more damage from str. so actually id say stick to the 1:1 i dont want to show the calculations anymore, but they have been done.

str > dex

nah im just telling you to start that way if you want the feeling of a bow char from the start. if you just want to speed as quickly as possible through the levels

traps(full tree)->art of the hunt(not the tree)->study prey->blade honing->call of the hunt->exploit weakness->anything you like and use a spear. once you fel your level is high enough kick blade honing and reskill as you like

Ieldra
07-27-2006, 08:46 AM
@Shiver:

About attributes: for both of my characters who finished Normal, I got two thirds of my best equipment from shops (and it's still about a third for the one who's finishing Epic by now). Given the scarcity of hunter armor drops, I'll try to get the strength for good fighter armor. I really like those armor types for hunters that exist - but getting a decent green one may take, for instance, a day of farming the gorgon queens. So I'll likely put enough points into Strength for good armor, until I have something to trade for the Hunter set.
I wonder why there there isn't any light armor to buy. I think this is a very annoying aspect of playing a Hunter without a second melee-oriented mastery.

Apart from that, I noticed Brigands don't get *any* energy for their mastery points (if titancalc.com is right). It might make sense to put a few points there. For energy recharge, you'll depend on pots and equipment anyway, so I might as well not bother to put a single point into Intelligence.

About the "Ensnare abuse": if that's something that will get me from Helos to Delphi on Normal fast, I might use it. That's not exactly the most interesting area, and I hate Centaurs, especially those with the battle standard (=instant 40% life loss just from being near it) - simply *the* most annoying enemies in chapter 1 normal, for any kind of character without a companion.

@Felexitus: Thanks again!

Felexitus
07-27-2006, 08:56 AM
i have to admit energy is a problem if you use blade honing/art of the hunt/poison but apart from that its no real biggie. the potions arent expensive after all you only need normal act 2 potions to full you up ;-) you might as well wear a ring or amulet that gives energy, maybe a piece armor might, too.

dont get discouraged about setting into str. if id make a new brigand, since i have all his equipment already id give him like 290 dex only and let the rest be done by my 2 apollos will ;-). that would max out his dps

ScottyBones
07-28-2006, 03:40 AM
Terrible idea. You don't need that much STR as long as you're willing to settle for the armor-lite type of equipment. A brigand should go DEX/STR 3:2, or even 2:1.



I'm not sure. The way I played brigand was as a pure Rogue with a blade for 20 levels before I started investing into Hunting for spear skills. If you wanted Hunting to carry you far into the game you could get Ensnare and abuse that... it says it does 35 damage at top level but that must be per second or something because it has this nasty habit of killing everything. Not much fun like that.


I agree, if you want to level up quickly on normal then use ensnare with your bow. You can just net and forget most opponents, since one net often kills them. You can level up real quickly then respec.your skills.

Ieldra
07-28-2006, 06:43 AM
This is just to say that those of you who told me to develop Study Prey early have been right. I mis-remembered the cooldown time. It is short, and enough energy provided, you can have it on almost all the time. I only tried it with my level-20 Avenger at skill level three, and I already got about +80% damage or so. My Brigand will definitely max this early!

Viperace
07-28-2006, 07:58 AM
My bow brigand was actually dex-heavy. Hence, I could only settle with dex-based armor.

And guess what, I regretted putting that many dex point. I should do a 1:1 str:dex. Mainly because dex-based armors rarely exist. Until the dev fix the proportion of dex-based armor, I am no gonna ignore my str.

Griffin
07-28-2006, 10:12 AM
Hey guys I have a intersting question

If I use this build :
http://www.titancalc.com/TitanCalc.asp?mastery=Brigand&master1=6&master2=7&m1=32-8-0-12-0-0-8-8-6-12-0-0-0-0-12-8-8-0-0-0-0-0&m2=32-6-0-6-12-0-6-8-0-0-0-0-12-0-0-0-0-0-0-12-2-0

Will the Scattershot be affected by envenom and Anatomy ?

Thanx

Felexitus
07-28-2006, 10:29 AM
no it wont and i honestly think any hunter build without study prey is bad ;-)

MiloDrama
07-28-2006, 10:32 AM
Hey guys I have a intersting question

If I use this build :
http://www.titancalc.com/TitanCalc.asp?mastery=Brigand&master1=6&master2=7&m1=32-8-0-12-0-0-8-8-6-12-0-0-0-0-12-8-8-0-0-0-0-0&m2=32-6-0-6-12-0-6-8-0-0-0-0-12-0-0-0-0-0-0-12-2-0

Will the Scattershot be affected by envenom and Anatomy ?

Thanx
Anatomy ? You mean Open Wound ?

**EDIT**
Well, it won't. Dommage.

By the way, you don't plan on Art of the Hunt, Call of the Hunt, Study Prey, Lethal Strike. You don't plan on Trap, Monster Lure.
When you'll start Epic, you'll need some of them skills. :)

Griffin
07-28-2006, 10:43 AM
Yes basically all the passive bleeding and Poison skills.

Cause if the arrow passes through it's target and hits another behind it, will they both be affected ?

And if the arrows do AOE damage (scattershot) will all of the targets affected by scattershot be affected by bleeding and poison skills.

I think it could work, and yes I know this is a rogue build, thats why it doesn't have study prey.

Has anybody got some concrete info on this ?

Thanx

Felexitus
07-28-2006, 11:02 AM
didnt we already say it doesnt work?
scatter shards dont spread poison or bleed. only the primary arrow will and the chance to inflict the bleed on every monster are the same, if the first one is struck by bleed and the arrow pierces and hits the next, it doesnt necessarily make him bleed too, and vice versa.

MiloDrama
07-28-2006, 11:22 AM
I think it could work, and yes I know this is a rogue build, thats why it doesn't have study prey.
If you want a rogue build, take Throwing Knife with Flurry : procs work with it. :)

Ieldra
07-28-2006, 01:36 PM
scatter shards dont spread poison or bleed. only the primary arrow will and the chance to inflict the bleed on every monster are the same, if the first one is struck by bleed and the arrow pierces and hits the next, it doesnt necessarily make him bleed too, and vice versa.
Sh*t! I had counted on this. I thought I had a way to affect groups of monsters with disabling effects at range. Is there any way of doing this with a Brigand? What's the range of Flurry, if that is a way?

Felexitus
07-28-2006, 01:43 PM
that is a way and the range is alright, ever saw those desert assassins throw them at you? its the same skill

jeht
07-29-2006, 10:21 PM
you people saying bows in game arent good are out of your damn minds.... if got two blue bow drops in normal that were insane. i use one of them on my paladin right now because i also found a quiver (torso armor) that gave sick attack speed boost. Anyway if u wanna play archer by all means F A R M for a bow.





*** spoiler ****

the second boss u kill in normal (centaur) has a damn good blue bow pop from his majestic chest just farm it....

ScottyBones
07-30-2006, 03:14 PM
you people saying bows in game arent good are out of your damn minds.... if got two blue bow drops in normal that were insane. i use one of them on my paladin right now because i also found a quiver (torso armor) that gave sick attack speed boost. Anyway if u wanna play archer by all means F A R M for a bow.





*** spoiler ****

the second boss u kill in normal (centaur) has a damn good blue bow pop from his majestic chest just farm it....


Bows don't suck, some of the Legendary bows are pretty good. The problem is that the good bows are alittle harder to get. People like to farm typhon and I've not had him drop a Legendary bow for me. Like you hinted above, you just need to know the right monsters to farm.

Ieldra
07-31-2006, 06:10 AM
that is a way and the range is alright, ever saw those desert assassins throw them at you? its the same skill
No - either the spells or the pets of my other characters killed them before they had the opportunity. But is that the same skill used by the larger Peng you occasionally meet on the Silk Road? They have a means of doing a lot of damage against a whole menagerie of pets *and* the character in one attack, and I haven't yet been able to find out what kind of attack that was. If they use Flurry, it is very effective...

Felexitus
07-31-2006, 08:46 AM
i dunno just put a point into throwing knife and look for yourself ;-) you can alway delete the skillpoint afterwards