VII. External References
Hello, everyone! I hope this guide finds you well. Below, you will see a very, very basic guide designed to help those who are new to the Archer class and/or considering taking it up. Be forewarned that I am writing it as I go along starting in Beta Phase 3, so it is always going to be a “work in progress”. As such, it will not be surprising for information to be out of date or completely incorrect. Please, feel free to message me with anything wrong or outdated and I will repair the guide as quickly as possible.
In case you’re curious, I have played various MMOs throughout the past 10 years ranging from EQ to WoW to GW2 and just about everything in between. Often I have played a healer, though I have progressively raided in every single trinity role. Though I did play XIV v 1.0, I will NOT be making any references to the differences – this beginner’s guide will be focused SOLELY on ARR to avoid any possible confusion for newcomers.
Thank you for reading and, once again, please send me a message if you notice anything incorrect or outdated. -Vicious
a.)DoW – Discipline of War
b.)DoM – Discipline of Magic
c.)DoH – Discipline of the Hand
d.)DoL – Discipline of the Land
e.)HS – Heavy Shot
f.)SS – Steady Shot
g.)RS – Raging Strikes
h.)CD – Cooldown
i.)GCD – Global Cooldown
j.)VB – Venomous Bite
k.)HSS – Heavier Shot, Steady Shot proc
l.)ME – Misery’s End
m.)SB – Shadowbind
n.)CC – Crowd Control
The Archer is the only ranged DoW class in the game right now and one of 3 total ranged classes. Focused primarily as a damage dealer, the Archer can QUICKLY take hate off of tanks, especially at lower levels. As such, Archers need to pay attention to their surroundings and know when to “lay off” the damage when in a group, and know how to kite effectively when soloing to avoid taking any damage. There is a lot of chatter going around about how tanks are producing a ton of hate. I have not personally experienced this, yet. As I said above, many other Archers have expressed how quickly they gain aggro. Be forewarned and don’t be the Archer that ruins it for the rest of us.
The only job currently associated with the Archer is the Bard, which adds more buffing capability to the ranged damage dealer. It also needs to be said that you can move around while casting your abilities, so do it. Unlike WoW, FF11, and a few other MMORPGs, you are not bound to the earth while casting your abilities in FFXIV – at least not as an Archer. It is in your best interest to move while fighting, so make your keybinds accommodate movement.
Upon further review, Archer and Bard will focus primarily on DEX, as it appears to be the sole ranged damage statistic at this time. However, odd as it may sound, those wishing to play the Bard role effectively may also want to consider PIE. Why? Because many of the bard buffs drain MP while being channeled and PIE increases your MP pool. I have not personally seen whether or not this is necessary, but it is something to consider. As usual, VIT is a stat you may want to consider if you plan on soloing regularly, just in case you get in a bind. It’s never a terrible thing to have more health, but it won’t help your damage production.
Heavy Shot (60 TP, 25y Range) – This is your first Archer ability and your general “filler”. At level 8 you’ll gain the “Heavier Shot” trait, which gives each of your HSs a 20% chance to make your next SS a guaranteed crit.
Steady Shot (60 TP, 25y Range) – This is your first buffing ability, in a way. Gained at level 2, it does slightly less damage than HS, but increases your Critical Hit rate by 10% for 20 seconds. Once you gain this ability, it is wise to open with it – buffing yourself before hitting with your “harder” shot – and keep it active. With the current 2.5s GCD, you’re looking at SS > HSx5ish > SS.
Raging Strikes (0 TP, 0y Range) – This is a full self-buff you gain at level 4 and is supposed to be off the GCD, though it’s a little tricky on when you can cast it (I’ve had issues, at least). It increases ALL damage dealt by 20% for 30 seconds, with a 180s CD. Very useful in sticky situations and should be used on CD on boss fights.
Venomous Bite (70 TP, 25y Range) – Your first debuff ability is gained at level 6. The attack, itself, does considerably less than SS, let alone HS, but it’s the 9s poison that makes this your new opener. It, too, should be kept up at all times. Between the GCD and input lag, you can fit 2 shots in between each VB and keep the poison active. Your “rotation” of sorts is now VB > SS > HS > VB > HS > HS > VB.
Misery’s End (0TP, 25y Range) – An execution ability, only usable when your enemy is below 20% health, gained at level 8. Now it’s a full on “priority” system to manage as an Archer, since you’ve also gotten the Heavier Shot trait at level 8. Open with VB > SS and use HS until you either have to refresh VB (2 shots) or you proc Heavier Shot and get a guaranteed Crit on SS. If you never proc, make sure you keep the buff up, though most things will be dead before it falls – even without a proc. So, in short, ME > VB > HSS > SS >= HS
Shadowbind (0TP, 25y Range) – At level 10 you get your CC ability. SB will bind your target for 10s on a 12s CD. Keep in mind that this will stop your auto attack and any damage done to your CC’d target will break Shadowbind.
At this point you’re well on your way at being “more” than another DPS. As mentioned in the intro, you can move while casting abilities, so experiment with range and kiting. I will be adding to this guide in the future, and have no intention of moving past level 10ish on any one class during Beta3 in order to get a basic ideal of how they all work well together, and how/if other DoM/DoW/DoH/DoLs improve Archer/Bard, specifically.
That being said, anything brought to my attention about advanced levels BEFORE I get there will be taken into consideration, so don’t hesitate to send me a message.
Chart showing cross-class ability functionality. Note – Bard cannot use all the same external abilities that Archer can. That’s the price for specialization.https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsPI9Wq6z6GwdHJEYmR0Qjk4QzV2SmYzVzhYTVdCSkE#gid=0
Basic rundown of ALL class/job abilities, focusing on Archer. You can use the filters to show/hide just about anything.http://xivdb.com/?search/!filters/1...SOkFDQV9JTkdBTUVfMTpBT0FfQU9BTFZMX0FPQUFTQzoi
A Vicious Introduction to Archery
A basic introductory guide to Archer / Bard for new players.