Read: This thread was created in 2009 back during a time where cultivation was a monumental decision for an archer. While gear has always been a large factor, it has become increasingly more important, so much that it overshadows a lot of other decisions a player makes. You were not able to change your cultivation and getting to 89 took a solid 3 months of excessive grinding (3% an hour on exp scrolls at 8x+). Clearly you don't want to pick a path on a simple coin toss.
I created this thread on an impulse while arguing cultivation with some guild members in guild chat which is a terrible medium for debate. Back in 2008-early 2009 there was little information an archer could find when it comes to making a decision so it basically came down to reading the skills and hoping the description is right, trying to make sense out of the my-en perfect world forums or being influenced purely by popularity. This is more than enough for some people but what I really wished for was an ability to have real opinions on the matter. The my-en forums did have some useful anecdotes but they were rare and hardly challenged by other posters.
This thread is basically an attempt at providing what many archers were missing if they wanted to actually make an informed decision on cultivation. The main post is my opinions on cultivation, heavily biased towards demon as that was my decision. There is also a ton of other opinions and arguments throughout the thread which are just as valuable. If you take the time to read some of them and digest the debates ultimately you will have your own opinion and that is the goal.
Unfortunately most of the thoughtful debates and opinions are based on PWI back in 2009 so some of the information isn't as relevant today in some aspects. Don't forget you can always help by contributing some updated discussion but try to steer clear of dead horses and don't just rehash the same arguments for the sake of clarity.
Also, a lot of things may be confusing for newer players, I still had the habit of mixing my-en and pwi names when writing this guide (still a habit to this day) and there will be some inside jokes. Here is a quick run down.
- fury, vigor, spark. This is chi, a spark is 100 chi (the yellow bar)
- victor was a BM who socketed almost pure metal defense.
- yoshiki was a good cash shopping archer
- 8jun is rank 8
- bloodlust was an old guild.
- zhen is your ulti
I don't know how it happened but apparently a pre-requisite to being an archer on pwi is to be half or almost completely retarded. Seriously archer seems to be a magnet for failures. Please stop, too many people have said that archers on this server are terrible. Here is a quick test to see if you qualify for this guide: What level is your poison arrow? If you didn't say 1 please keep reading. In this guide I'll attempt to save the class so many people fail with. I'll outline the basic ideas for pve and for pvp, list several telltale signs of failure and rant while I fly world quest. BTW if I ever finish this, it will be huge.
I'll start off with something that happened today that made me write this.
Heaven vs Hell
After being in a guild with several potential non-fail archer's and thoroughly discussing the pro's and con's to heaven and hell (it's a lie), I decided I need to somehow map out my arguments instead of conveying them with the shift button of justice in guild chat. Kay so, heaven sucks endgame, 9x and even before you hit 89 and I'm here to prove it.
Let me list some key arguments I've received from pro-heaven -- aka fail -- archers.
- Frost arrow is teh **** against heavies.
No it isn't ****. You have 3 god damn metal attacks for pvp already. That's almost more than a cleric. Use them. If you wanna throw 25 chi worth of minimal water damage at the opponent that's your prerogative. Seriously, you really wanna waste a quarter of a fury on a little amount of damage? You need the chi for much more useful things that will actually provide damage. You never used frost arrow pre-89 pvp and you won't now. (If you do use frost arrow in pvp please stop reading my guide, you'll taint it.) The only justifiable time you could ever use heaven frost arrow in pvp is against victor because he has more metal defense than physical defense.
- Take-Aim 1 shots everything, including wb's
Ah yeaaa heaven take aim is a nice skill, I'll admit it but it isn't justifiable to go heaven seeing as the hell version is just as nice. This skill is purely based on your epeen refinement level and comparing 400% to 500% isn't a huge culti changing decision because hell casts half a second faster which is just as nice as more damage. If you were to stop at 90 this skill might be enough to make the switch to the fail side BUT this skills real power comes later in the game (remember it's weapon damaged based) so hell fury > heaven take aim.
- Free 50 chi every minute
Yeah that ****s useful, to an extent. In my opinion archers aren't as vigor based as almost every other class. You can easily overcome this little advantage with fury pots. Pvp wise the only real vigor skills you would use are: triple spark, aim low, wings of grace. Notice how there isn't a huge vigor requirement to pvp as an archer. You can pvp extremely effectively without having to kite for 3 minutes building it.
- 90% damage mastery
Level 10 mastery: 5437-9094
Sage mastery: 5834-9759
Demon mastery: 5636-9427
Don't forget the 1% crit you get. Oh yeah you are an archer. You are pure dex for the crit rate (you are pure dex right?) this is how you do your damage. Crits. If archers didn't crit 5 times in 3 attacks they would be like warriors with bacon axes. That's right, you suck.
I'm sure there are more arguments people have presented but usually those are the first four. If they don't **** or even consider my points and are still on heaven's nuts then I tune them out after that.
Some reasons why hell rapes heaven:
I guess I should divide this section into two categories. First I'll tell you why hell rapes at 90 if you stop leveling (you're dumb) and I'll also tell you why hell rapes at endgame with all skills seeing as heaven people think the heaven mastery appears in their inventory upon reaching level 89.
So you got to 90 and now you want a life AND want to be a factor? Too bad. Don't worry though, as long as you didn't choose heaven you still can sort of do something.
Aka hell fury. Seriously those two words are almost enough for you to snap out of your state of retardation to talk to mo zun (demon guide u nub) instead of the *** with the dress. You are shooting mini heaven take aim's at the speed of usain bolt. I killed yoshiki with it once when he was vit build. (in pvp war, not 1v1, you kidding me)
K so most 90 archers have: take aim, frost arrow, blazing arrow and heaven/hell fury. Take aim I discussed, blazing arrow can go away cause it only works for normal arrows (50% vs 60% isn't culti changing you pve'r) and frost arrow sucks.
So if you are deciding on stopping at 90 with only those 3 skill books readily available hell is still superior.
If you wanna get to real endgame and have several or all skills available read on.
-Wings of protection
-Barrage of arrows
No, I didn't just list every skill archers have. I listed the ones in which hell is waaaay better than heaven. Looking at the list I really don't wanna explain each one because there are so many.
Sage version has a 50% chance to gain 20 additional Chi.
Demon version has a 50% chance to increase attack rate by 30% for 6 seconds.
Holy **** robe classes, you have a 50% chance to die in under 6 seconds. (This is the biggest **** machine with 8jun)
Sage version has a 25% chance to gain 20 additional Chi.
Demon version extends cooldown by 2 seconds, but will never miss.
Ok that cooldown sucks but it will never miss. In terms of endgame that 'will not miss' is important. Sure you won't miss wb's too often already but what about non retarded warriors? That's right, those warriors you made fun of with their miss-miss-miss-zerk crit-miss damage now are more dex based. Prepare to miss on important shots. Also great against other archers.
Sage version always reduces maximum HP by 20%.
Demon version grants a 10% increase to critical hit for 15 seconds.
If you are even pondering heaven you must be a carebear. I'll leave it at that.
Sage version increases stun duration to 4.5 seconds.
Demon version increases critical hit rate by 10% for 10 seconds.
Looks a lot like sharptooth. Good thing archers don't heavily rely on crits.
Sage version has a 20% chance to gain 50 Chi.
Demon version casts a Level 5 Winged Shell on yourself upon a successful hit.
Well holy ****. To be honest I really never noticed this skill till the stupid forge put it in my inventory. It rapes. With a 6 second cool down you can literally sit there tanking warriors and werebeasts unless they one shot you. The shield breaks after 1~3 hits and by then it's already done cooldown. This skill is so vital in group pvp you won't even know till you get it. Imagine a werebeast attacking you in group pvp. Use this skill every 6 seconds while standing still and you got a wb wasting his time while your party kills every other person because they don't have to kite the annoying thing. I only died once tanking a single person's damage because law zerk crit with dragon and hes got a +11 GX.
-Wings of protection
Sage version always increases evasion duration to 1 hour and speed increase duration to 15 minutes.
Demon version always increases evasion by 50% and speed by 20%.
I won't disclose my level of this skill for untold reasons (tldr im cheap) but the evasion boost this skill gives make it way better than an hour buff.
-Barrage of arrows
Sage version reduces damage taken during casting by 33%.
Demon version reduces the interval between attacks by 0.5 seconds.
This skill is much better than heaven because the only time you will be using it is in tw. When you open zhen you have bunch of blue **** which eerily look like arrows pointing at you saying: "STUN THIS FGT" You need to deal damage fast. Most people stun the zhenner so the 33% damage reduction can pz. Only time heaven is better is if you are facing bloodlust and they are continuously spamming their paralyze skills on your open zhen. DONT WORRY BLOODLUST ILL BE SURE NOT TO RUN WITH MY ZHEN OPEN.
Sage version increases Metal resistance reduction to 25 seconds.
Demon version has a 10% chance to paralyze enemy for 10 seconds.
This is definitely a personal choice for me. I like hell better because if it does proc it will be against a heavy user (aka melee) so you either get 10 seconds of nuking or 10 seconds to kite. Sage is nice because this skill costs 30 chi but 15 seconds is enough as you will be spamming this skill against heavies.
Sage version always gives a 14 meter range increase.
Demon version increases accuracy by 10% on ranged targets.
Demon version increases critical hit rate by 1% on ranged targets.
This is annoying. 2m isn't anything. Stop arguing like it is. Basically I tell people this: get to 88, use the 88 bow, **** now. The 10% acc is great because it adds a lot and ofc the 1% crit doesn't need anymore explanation.
Opinions on PVP builds
I will only talk about 3 builds because even though I think there is only one proper build there are two other acceptable builds and any other build besides these 3 were never meant to be. The 3 builds are: pure, hybrid and vit.
First off all this part of the guide is geared more towards 90+ pvp. Really the builds work for every level but the stats I will show will mostly be 9x stats.
Basically all my points for the pro's of this build are the con's for the other two builds so this might get redundant. First off let me clarify one thing that makes me rage: archer's str stats. Any proper archer build will require minimum strength, emphasis on the minimum. Not 2 more strength, exactly your level + 4. If you are 90 you better have 94 strength. If you get bonuses from your equipment restat it. This build is called pure for a reason. Actually you can probably get away with capping your str at 94 for hh90 till you need more for higher 9x gear. Put all that extra str into dex. Restat your int to 3 and if you are a high level and 1~2 dex away from another crit restat your vit.
I just remembered one thing. I need to emphasize this.
☆Helm of Archer Terribleness
No archer on this server should have this helmet. It is one of the first signs that you are doing something wrong. You aren't as fail with it at 95+ but when I see people with this at 8x it makes me raaaaaaage. Class participation time: What is the str requirement for that terrible helmet? Following the proper way to play an archer what level could it first be worn at? If you said 101 congrats you can subtract. That's right level 101 is the earliest you should wear this helmet. If you have it on now I'm sure you can sell it to another 7x archer who hasn't read this yet. Even better trade it for a lion spirit helm.
As you can see pure dex is very demanding and you really want to squeeze every single dex point possible that you can. This is because your dex is directly related to your crit rate. If you have played an archer into the 90's you will realize that we actually are terrible without crits. It's depressing trying to kill something when you can't get a crit in 10 shots. You won't kill anyone not terrible without critting. Not only does pure dex provide much more crit than other builds it also gives you more damage. Now let's think about that by throwing some numbers around.
Let's say a pure dex archer hits a cleric for 1.3k no crit.
Now let's say a hybrid archer hits the same cleric for 1k no crit.
Now add the crits:
Now the damage difference is even higher. Factor in that the hybrid has around 5% less crit that means if you even do crit as a non-pure, your damage will be even worse comparing both crits. Those numbers are purely made up and I'm sure that the damage difference is probably even more but it's just there to emphasize that the damage a pure does is tons more.
Vit build (3 dex 1 str 1 vit)
No no nooo please tell me how you can pvp with this build. At 90 you are sacrificing a huge chunk of your damage for 1k more hp. Sure that hp sounds nice but it isn't helping you do anything other than tank more damage. Are we in the werebeast forums? No. In pvp you are meant to kill things, not fly around tanking 4 people, you aren't pandora - you don't even have blink ffs. You are no good surviving 1000 more damage when you deal a terrible amount back. This build is absolutely terrible at any level of the game for both pvp and pve.
Hybrid Build (7 dex 2 str 1 vit)
I really wanna rename this build as 'I'm not bad enough to go pure vit - I'm worse.' I don't understand what people are trying to accomplish with this build. Do you want to tank? Do you want to do damage? These people seem to be stuck in the middle and quite frankly it's worse to not choose a side. Hybrid is basically gimping your damage for a not even noticeable amount of hp. Congrats you now crit less and do less damage but don't worry you get a whopping 500 more hp. You really are just hurting yourself not choosing a side because you still will have trouble killing people and lasting one poison dot longer wont help you kill things.
Ugh, writing sucks. I'll stop for now. I tried to make it not look like a giant wall of text but I failed. Ill add more later.
Please please please argue against all of my points. Talking with people is way better than writing a guide. If someone were to read this guide I'm sure they would learn a lot more from the points other people raise and the arguments people provide against said points.
DOTS: Stick stop.
ARMOR: No danika, go away.
Other stuff I forgot:
Don't flame in here. I want this to be actually referenced for people who have questions. Again, please provide your opinions and constructive critism as they help make this guide better.
42709 - started qq on heaven/hell
42909 - qq'd about builds
72111 - <3