I'm not sure how doable or desirable this is, but is there any way to modify the AA to be a little more like the WM?
Can you change the seeker arrow ability to be increased multiplier (with their focused bow) and Death arrow to be increased crit range (+2 to range).
This would leave the dev crit type stuff to the assassins and simply increase the crit damage for arrows on critable targets (more reasonable IMO).
This would still leave Scythed WMs the masters of crit damage as their range and crit modifier are sill both 1 better (no keen bows that I've seen and their damage mod (which gets multiplied too) is still far larger (they will still be doing 2-3 times the AAs damage on a successful crit instead of 4-6 times).
Just an idea, which may or may not fit what the mods want for the class. Please don't think because of this I'm on the AAs are useless bandwagon (because I'm not), but they aren't overly powerful either and I really view them as a WM type only with bows and this would simulate that (not having a shield also is a disad that they can't overcome that many scythed WMs can).
It seems like you guys didnt try the ssithrak arrows yet. I can tell you there's no Scyther Wm's out there that can deal twice my dmg on a crit, not even close. Their normal hits are weaker (on most ennemies), and they surely dont hit as often (68+/-ab versus 89
IMHO, the AA is much more akin to a mage than a WM at least in party function. They act as artillery and unless they are well built and sling a shield, they just don't tank well. Even if they can take a decent pounding (by being a rogue with Epic Dodge and Self-Conceal) they don't do anywhere near tank damage in melee.
One of the great attributes of this server is that there is no one build that can do it all. The need for a really good rogue is a case in point and there are several options for playing a really good rogue, one of which is the Rogue AA. What the pure(ish) roge lacks in ab, dmg curve, and possibly number of attacks is more than balanced by the addition of AA. With the addition of LL, the Ranger WM Rogue may well fall by the wayside as locks and traps become nastier and harder to cope with. However, with the right build, the Rogue AA can easily maintain maximal points in locksmithing skills all the way to 63.
I really like the AA. I would love for it to be stronger. I do not really think it is underpowered and it is certainly not useless as long as it supports real rogue skill. Ftr-type AAs do have insane ab, but don't fire so many arrows when they are lying down because they cannot defend themselves. They seem pretty useless to me.
My AA experience is much like Dancer's, in that a FTR-type build is good for AB but often gets turned to mush if caught in melee. A rogue build however has all the benefits that Dancer talks of, plus the much beloved Uncanny Dodge.
Losing Dex bonus to AC in addition to not using a shield means that 2nd, 3rd and even 4th iterative attacks are hitting you, essentially taking three times or more of the damage a round that other builds are at risk of taking.
Of course (as per another thread) I have a little difficulty maxing AC in my builds, but even so my experience was that not having Uncanny Dodge really blew chunks...
Mine too and all my initial comments in this thread were with that in mind. I build my AAs as 19 Rogue, 19 AA, 2 Wiz.
I guess my only disagreement with Dancer is the role the AA fills in the party. They don't fill the caster role at all IMO (except for those few levels early on when your FB arrow is a good option). Hey can the FB arrow be upped to once per level/day instead of 3/day?
They fill the same roll as all all the other fighter or fighter rogue types out there. While mages prefer to stand off too, they don't fill the 'fight one guy at a time role' the fighter/AA types do, they fill the instant death/mass damage role. And miscellaneous spells/buff the party role, neither of which the AA fills. To quote one of my favorite movies for the caster's role, "We ain't one at a timing here, we're mass conflagurating..." (communicating was changed to conflagurating in the quote .
AAs are my favorites for some reason, even though my melee guy has way more defenses (much higher AC) and much more offense. AAs aren't useless, love em even on HG, but they could use a damage boost on their arrows is all. Ssith arrows may be fine, but too limited, heck I go through 200 arrows in a little over 30 rounds of combat (which may not even be 1 monster).
Its also a pain that you can't swap arrows for different targets like they can swap weapons. I'd love to have a stack of petrification or dispel arrows in my inventory for special occasions, but the random autoload thing is such a pain that I only ever have 1 type of arrow in my inventory at a time. Even if it started in lower left pain and worked right, that would be useful, but it seems to grab the next stack from just about anywhere...
I would suggest an AA secret, but it would likely require so many levels of AA that you'd have to give up on Epic Dodge and Self Conceal to get it (things you really can't give up on and remain viable). That type of item would only help the fighter AA, which most seem to agree isn't nearly as viable. But perhaps a Ssith quiver dropable by the Ssith drake? .
There are other ways to get ssith arrows than looting the ssithraks, tho i wont tell you how. I have lots of bags full of em, and i dont think i'll run out soon
Well I'm guessing this method involves DoH (I used abbreviation to help you hide it from non vets). I've always viewed that as an abuse and thus never do it, but any NWN vet knows what you're talking about.
I'd think if the DMs only put 200 out there per reset, they don't want you making almost infinite amounts. When they are comfortable enough to have infinite amounts, I'm sure a quiver will show up.
As for the defensive capabilities, my AA is full ab-built (9ftr/1wiz/30aa). At 108 ac using a bow, i can tank mostly anything (except ssithraks). So with epic dodge and maxed tumble...
Sounds like you have nice items, don't know how your AC is so high without tumble (I have all +15 items too and mine is only mid 90's). Maybe you're xclassing tumble for half, I know I would if I were you. Mid 90's with ED and SC5 is enough to tank 1-2 ssiths though.
Yep i have Xclassed Tumble, and got a pretty high ammount of Dex from all those LLs. I know the DoH technique seems an abuse, but well that thing must have some use eh? And its not without risks either..
Agreed on the abuse issue--just because I can do a thing, doesn't mean I should/want to. But also, to each his/her own--it isn't AFAICT duping/exploit.
i see your point with the one target thing and i grant that at mid-lvl aa.s certainly do not have the same roll as mages, n.b. wail. However, at high levels, the resemblances come a bit more to the fore (though point taken on buffs). When the casters lay in with the FoD and IGMS, it is ranged, "I'd rather not be in melee thank you", and one-ish target attacks/spell effects. certainly casters have many more options from which to choose, but the general "gunship" approach to combat is fairly similar. a greater damage curve and lower defenses on the mages part is counter balanced with much better survivability, rogue skills, and lack of reliance on resting with the aa.s.
however, i think a lot of this discussion stems from aa.s really having their own thing/style of play. i tend to lump them with the casters mostly because i tend to think in terms of necessary conditions. this results in kind of a three part break down: front line (tanks), damage dealers (casters), and special teams (bards/rogues/that guy you need to have because he has the "x" needed to do "y"). the rogue aa is a special team player for locksmithing and a back up tank (given sc and ed), and a back up damage dealer: consistent but not overwhelming in that capacity. my tendency is to play a tank unless the front line is already full and then play rogue aa as an all around stop gap character with the ability to get into anything. (not a fan of casting and if there is no front line, the back lines don't last long.)
On the topic of rogue skills...it seems that the higher the level of the area the more difficult (or impossible) it is to just warp in a locksmith and so having a rogue in each party from start to finish is becoming more and more necessary. if it becomes the case that there are LL areas beyond the sssiths, with commensurate locks and traps, a LL rogue will become an absolute requirement start to finish.
Finally, don't think i am not drooling over the very possibility of a revamped top of the line quiver--i SOOO am. however, with the exception of ranger gear, weapons have not really been ratcheted up a notch as yet. sssith weapons are about on par with moad where ab balances elemental and seems to be a wash. this same analysis is good for the weirding quiver: aa brings better ab but at the price of elemental dmg. furthermore, weirding arrows are pretty much on par with the sssith weapons. hence, it seems i will continue to drool in anticipation for a while longer. (i would guess that hell may well hold what we seek when it arrives....)
i see your point with the one target thing and i grant that at mid-lvl aa.s certainly do not have the same roll as mages, n.b. wail. However, at high levels, the resemblances come a bit more to the fore (though point taken on buffs).
I don't think they are similar at high levels either Dancer, sure FoD and IGMS are used when needed, but there's plenty of Wailing going on too (it seems to be the #1 ssith tactic for exp . While single target spells are very useful, mass targeting is still very useful too. Mages can kill dozens of ssith a round with 2 wails, AAs take out 1 ssith in 5-10 rounds. No comparison IMO, however, AAs compare almost exactly with the role/style of their melee counterparts, the only difference is the melee folks kill the ssith in less rounds, but still 1 at a time...
I think the similarity that both AAs and mages would prefer to stand off is very minor compared to the similarities AAs share with the melee crowd and the vast differences in abilities mages bring (buffing/mass death/destruction). If you had to lump AAs into either of those 2 camps, they are clearly much closer in role to the melee folks.
On the topic of rogue skills...it seems that the higher the level of the area the more difficult (or impossible) it is to just warp in a locksmith and so having a rogue in each party from start to finish is becoming more and more necessary.
So far this hasn't proven to be true, every part of ssith where you need a locksmith is very close to the translation chamber. Maybe someday it will be true, but not now...
Finally, don't think i am not drooling over the very possibility of a revamped top of the line quiver--i SOOO am.
Me too, maybe once they are comfortable with ssith arrows, there will be a ssith quiver.
I also wish stacks of arrows, and not just bows, could provide infinite arrows (like the Northwind bow). Then the quivers could be replaced with those and the AA could start keeping multiple types of arrows in their inventory, instead of just one (since no unwanted swapping would happen). You could quickslot the different types and swap them in/out as needed. As it is now, keeping multiple arrow types in your inventory is [to quote the dancer in an email to me] "...as annoying as fighting as a monk with circle kick..." .
One thing that could fix the arrow swapping issue is to have a location on the server where you could put a Bow and quiver or arrows into *something* and this something adds the arrow damage to the bow and destroys the quiver or arrows in the process (and add the AA restriction to the bow if the quiver was an AA quiver and the bow wasn't already an AA Bow).
This way the new bow would work like the Northwind bow and have infinite arrows that matched the quiver or stack put into the location. Archers could then get multiple copies of their bow of choice and make multiple types of bows with different arrows.
They could then swap these bows in combat like everyone else, and *never* have the wrong arrows (or any arrows for that matter) swapped into their arrow slot.
The one downside to this is that I'm not sure what this would do to the level requirement of the bow (having the functionality of 2 items merged into 1). But some of the bows like Arcane are low 30's I think, bumping them higher with the arrows might not be too bad.