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#447461 23/07/11 03:38 PM
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I'm pretty psyched to play this game, seems like dragon age except better. I'm definitely gonna play a ranger, but I've just been having problems googling the answers to some questions that are troubling me.

1.) Does intelligence/dexterity affect the damage of Explosive arrow?

2.) Does Way of the Ranger/Ranger Strength/Destruction/Way of the Battle Mage affect the damage of Explosive Arrow? I've been reading conflicting information regarding this.

3.) Does Confusion work with explosive arrow?

4.) Ranger stat points. Do I need to increase strength (is this needed to wear better armor?). Do I need to increase spirit for mana? I plan to take at least one point in life tap. I'd also like to take 5 points in mana efficiency, but that seems like a huge spend on mana alone.

Basically, how do I build my ranger in a way that I don't have to drink some mana potion every minute?

Finally, has anyone done any hair mods for this game? Not a big deal, just wondering.

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Explosive Arrow damage is straight skill based, with no stat / skill / bow influence. See here (other posts in this topic discus ranger skills, but there are also spoilers up to about Maxos temple, IIRC).

I never tried Confusion, Destruction or Way of the Ranger / Battle Mage, or tested if Ranger Strength had an influence on Explosive Arrows.

In DKS the stat requirements were removed from equipment, though you may still want a little strength for its boost to your healing rate and melee armour rating (at least in the early game some opponents are bound to get close). The original release of D2:ED had stat requirements on equipment, though I don't recall if there were strength requirements on armour.

With my ranger I didn't put any stat points into Spirit or Intelligence and found that between eventually putting 6 points into Mana Efficiency and enchantment bonuses on armour that I had more than enough mana. Early in the game there were a few points where mana was in short supply during tougher fights, and playing another ranger I'd probably start investing in Mana Efficiency a little earlier than I did.

There are no hair mods, AFAIK. You are not going to see much of your character's hair, anyway, unless you avoid wearing helmets.


Anyone help a newb with Warrior build ... ???

looking for some character advice for a ranged character


Welcome to the forum. wave

Raze #447466 23/07/11 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Raze

Explosive Arrow damage is straight skill based, with no stat / skill / bow influence. See here (other posts in this topic discus ranger skills, but there are also spoilers up to about Maxos temple, IIRC).


Ahh, that's exactly what I needed to know.

So if I make an explosive arrow ranger, stats become somewhat irrelevant. I could go all vitality for example (great for lifetap). Or intelligence, and make some kind of mage/ranger hybrid.

I'd still guess split arrows use your bow damage (affected by skills, stats etc..) however.

Originally Posted by Raze

I never tried Confusion, Destruction or Way of the Ranger / Battle Mage, or tested if Ranger Strength had an influence on Explosive Arrows.


I can test those myself later on (since they can be reset). The stats were the most important part.

Originally Posted by Raze

In DKS the stat requirements were removed from equipment, though you may still want a little strength for its boost to your healing rate and melee armour rating (at least in the early game some opponents are bound to get close). The original release of D2:ED had stat requirements on equipment, though I don't recall if there were strength requirements on armour.


This is even better as far as stats are concerned.

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There's no such thing as an "Explosive Arrow" ranger. Explosive Arrow is only a ranger skill in name. The fact of the matter is that, because its damage is completely separate from the stats of your character and the bow, it works equally well on ANY character build of any kind. There is no character who won't be getting the full benefit of Explosive Arrow.

If you're that keen on using the skill anyways, I'd build a different kind of character (or even a different Ranger, such as one that DOES use other skills), and level Explosive Arrow up too and use it.

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Later in the game Explosive Arrows are not the best choice for attacking single targets, and even for groups you'd still probably want decent damage on your standard attack (waiting for cooldown times or mana regeneration).

You still have plenty of freedom on how you wish to distribute your stat points, though.
I described my ranger playthrough (with lots of spoilers) in the topic Who's playing DKS on nightmare difficulty ?. From my (currently) second last post in the topic, I quoted my stats and skills on level 37 (I stopped distributing stat points on level 15):

At the end of the Hall of Echoes, I had 98 unused stat points, and 21 unused skill points.


Code
equipment            with  without

hit points           942     306
mana                 639     222

Code
vitality              53      14
spirit                22       2
strength              21      21
dexterity             51      36
intelligence           7       7

Code
damage              281-425
magic damage        114-133
melee resistance      22.1    10.4
ranged resistance     38.5    16.6
magic resistance      37.2     3.7

conditioned body      21      21
heightened reflexes   74      36
indomitable will       7       7


Skills

Ranger Strength - 10
Explosive Arrows - 6+8
Splitting Arrows - 7+3 : these 3 I should probably max soon

Poison Arrows - 1
Stun Arrows - 1 : secondary skills

Death Blow - 1
Evade - 1
Healing - 1
Regenerate - 1 : tertiary skills

Lockpick - 5
Ranger Stealth - 5
Mana Efficiency - 6
Mindread - 15 (1 up until shortly before entering the Hall of Echoes)


Before the battle tower I had a couple points in Poison and Stun Arrows, as well as equipment bonuses (recently replaced some +2 Poison Arrows earrings). Both still come in handy, but mostly just as a way to pause and select a specific target, then come out of pause attacking (a normal ranged attack doesn't unpause the game).

I'll probably boost Death Blow when I have lots of skill points I don't know what to do with, and after that possibly Regenerate, then Healing.
Lockpick will get maxed when I can raise the level cap. Unless I start upgrading to equipment without mana bonuses, I will not need to invest any more into Mana Efficiency.


For testing skills, it would be better (and cheaper) to save before learning them, and then simply reload to go through the same group or fight the same tough opponent repeatedly. Resetting your skills costs gold, and the price doubles each time you do so.

Raze #447547 26/07/11 10:35 AM
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Explosive arrows are awesome later in the game. It fires pretty fast and throws out LOTS of damage.

Put lots of Dex in a ranger, as it influences how much damage you do on critical hits, level Way of the Ranger to max, it's pure awesome to run around with it running.

I'd go for an explosive arrow/critical hit ranger who has Way of the Ranger max. Throw enchantments on the bow that increase damage (+100 magic, +100 normal, +11% critical chance in FoV are pretty nice, you can do around 10.000 damage per critical hit later (with Ranger Strength and Way of the Ranger)). Increase that critical-increaser as well, a 60+% chance to crit is pretty nifty.

Forget confusion, imo it does not work with ranger skills anyway and boss enemies are immune (and normal ones will die easily enough).

Life tap is awesome for a ranger. Get int until you have like 200 or 300 mana (you'll know when it works for your current skills and stuff you want to use), mana eff up to 5 is a pretty good thing. Use it to counter the increased mana-usage of your skills as you increase them.
Life tap is something that will work like a breeze around 3 or so points. I had a ranger with lots of vitality, life tap, and that was also equipped for fast regen... I never gobbled a mana potion in the later game. Vitality is good as life tap converts 10% of your vit to mana - the more you have, the more mana you get. If you have lower str, it's also good to have more HPs to absorb damage.
Str is not that necessary. I'd say: get some (regeneration) but not too much.

Imo: Do not bother with Poison Arrows or Stunning.

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Originally Posted by Silverdragon
level Way of the Ranger to max, it's pure awesome to run around with it running.


I got earrings that gave me two points in WotR (no lvl req) from The Killer Bunny at lvl 12, helped me out LOTS!

Originally Posted by Silverdragon
Str is not that necessary. I'd say: get some (regeneration) but not too much.


I think it's clearly obvious that STR is subpar for a ranger (versus vit or dex), unless doing some kind of melee hybrid.

Originally Posted by Silverdragon
Imo: Do not bother with Poison Arrows or Stunning.


Completely agree. Poison arrow is just useless in comparison to WotR. Stunning could probably be used to setup a point blank Splitting Arrow shot with WotR.

I never put a single point in PA (just the free one from the beginning).

If ranger wants single target DPS (besides normal attack), better go for max WotR and split arrows, when fired point blank, massive damage will ensue.

I also did some testing with Explosive Arrow (just hit L15), and here's the results.

Doesn't help:

- bow magic damage
- Ranger Strength
- Way of the Ranger
- Confusion
- Dexterity (except crits)
- Intelligence

Does help:

- Destruction. Yes, that's right. It increases Explosive Arrow damage.
- Way of the Battle Mage = unknown, don't have it yet. I'd bet it does increase the damage though, since Destruction does too.

This leaves me with soo many choices regarding how to build my character.

I could make a...

- max Explosive Arrow
- max Destruction
- max Way of the Battle Mage
- max Magic Missile and Firewall etc... hybrid.

- put ALL points into vitality, while dex raises crit damage, the boost from Destruction and Battle Mage should compensate for the "lost" critical damage, while making the character a huge tank that never runs out of mana with Life Tap, while having magic to spam when Explosive Arrow is on cooldown.

Bah I can't even be bothered to write down all the possible builds... there are too many frown

But I'm seriously leaning towards an all vitality build, since Explosive Arrow can be boosted so much, the crit multiplier becomes less of an issue, unless you want to make a HUGE glass CANNON.

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I you want to play as ranger you should also invest points in Splitting Arrows skill. at point black(and with way of the ranger skill) they are really DESTRUCTIVE.

Last edited by pall; 26/07/11 06:37 PM.
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I tried out Way of the Battle Mage and Explosive Arrow in FoV, doesn't work. Well, that leaves Destruction as a way to boost Explosive Arrow dmg if you have leftover skill points.

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I don't think Explosiive Arrows' damage is boosted by ANYTHING besides the skill level, not even Destruction or Way of the Ranger.

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Originally Posted by Lancet
I don't think Explosiive Arrows' damage is boosted by ANYTHING besides the skill level, not even Destruction or Way of the Ranger.


But I just tested it in game so...

And no, they weren't critical hits. Destruction DOES boost Explosive Arrow damage, nothing else does. If you want to see it for yourself, it takes like 5 mins to start a new FoV game, buy a bow, find an enemy.

Anyway, I'm pretty setup on a mage/ranger hybrid

Max Fireball
Max Firewall (FoV)
Max Battle Mage
Max Destruction
Max Explosive
+ assorted skills

~max vit & dex.

The great thing about it, is that I can swap between regular ranger (EA, SPLIT, WotR) and the mage hybrid at any time.

Mage pet

Stick bow full of crit ench
Armor with mana
Jewels with life regeneration
Charms to max with vit & dex, rest spirit

Good to go!

I think the best mage spell combination would be Magic Missile + Fireball, but I'm going all fire for style reasons, plus magic missile tends to eat mana rather efficiently.

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I have a new question, anyone ever used Mana Leech in a bow?

I was wondering if I made a secondary bow with either dmg/leech, or crit/leech, and use that to refill my mana.

I mean, I'm level 25 and I'm already firing close to 3k crits with split arrows, so a L9 mana leech would give me like... A LOT of mana, even with 25% trigger rate. Maybe explosive arrows would be better for this, since it's easier to hit alot of enemies. I'm just wondering if mana leech actually works with Explosive Arrow?

Making a "mana bow" would save all points from mana efficiency, as well as life tap.


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