Help with an archer build.

#1nathraxhPosted 2/17/2013 1:48:55 AM
I've only ever used archery as one of many combat skills for a character, but I'm wanting to make one now who uses it as his main fighting style. I've got a few questions.

Is it possible to use archery without having to kite everything? Like, is using sneak the only way to guarantee killing something before that something reaches you and starts hitting you with a sword? I'd like to use standing archery as much as possible.

Following on from that with the desire to kill things before they can reach you, do you absolutely have to use the best bow you can find to achieve this? My current Imperial uses archery along with many other skills, and I usually use the bound bow with him. I'm hoping to be able to use one of the early bows (either regular, hunting, Imperial, or perhaps even Forsworn) throughout the game and still maximize damage output (not sure I want to glitch, either). Is smithing the best way to do this? Or are those bows just downright useless?

With perks, is it best to take all five of the damage-boosting perks, or are these not worth it?

I'm considering doing a hardcore DiD playthrough on this character, and will probably be using light armour. Race will be Dunmer, probably from Solstheim, or on his way there. Can anyone recommend a build with this in mind? Also, is it possible to get to Solstheim without starting the main quest (not telling Balgruuf about Helgen)?
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Dwarf shortage.
#2LockeadonPosted 2/17/2013 2:41:03 AM(edited)
if you want stopping power more than dps the enhanced dwarven crossbow with dwarven elemental bolts will slightly edge out the dragonbone bow in terms of damage per shot, but the dragonbone bow shoots suprisingly fast for such a heavy weapon and has high damage when loaded with good arrows. auriels bow seems to shoot as fast as the bound bow or zyphyr so its possibly the best for dps unless you plan on enchanting in which case you might be able to get more damage from something you can custom enchant., i dont have most of the stuff from db yet so i dont know if anything from that is better,
i also dont know if you can go to solsthiem that early.

as far as perks go everything in the archery tree is good except for the thing that slows down time when zoomed in. 2/2 in that is overkill imo 1 will be more than enough. ranger is really useful cause being able to aim and run at the same time has alot of defencive and a few offencive applications, and makes it possible to evade enemy attacks while still returning fire which is helpful against just about everything. as to other skills, light armor and sneak synergize really well with archery. improved stamina regen and 10% to take 0 damage are far better for any build than taking less fall damage and 10% to return 10% of damage. and the sneak bow damage increase combined with the other sneak branch all the way to shadow warrior will let you wipe out a camp quickly and easily with a combination of good marksmanship and clever usage of shadow warrior.

as for crafting all three crafting skills can help an archer. especially dont overlook alchemy cause poisons and potions can be extremely useful to an archer for everything from increasing your damage on hit to making you invisible to adding potentially huge poison damage to multiple stats, alchemy is extremely handy. of course so are smithing and enchanting.

the dunmer racials dont really mesh well with a ranged class since enemies will (should) never get close enough for them to come into play. for that reason i would suggest a redguard, khajit, breton, or orc instead: redguard cause they can use their racial to give you enough zoom time to wipe out most of a camp unless your a horrible shot (cause zoom runs off stamina) khajit cause nighteye can come in handy at range sometimes so they are a nice choice if you dont want to be a vampire, breton cause you wont have a hand free for wards or spellbreaker so their racials will both help make up for that weakness in the archer playstyle, or orc for massive damage for your shots (berserk works with any physical attacks including bows and stacks well with stealth) as well as taking half damage from any physical attacks yourself... even at the armor cap! depends which area you want to focus on. orcs are also capable snipers simply cause almost nothing will survive a berserked stealth bow hit. oddly enough bosmer have nothing to benefit archers other than the skill boost... despite the fact that logically they should have an epic archery racial.
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#3scrilla_oPosted 2/17/2013 2:13:13 AM
Well if you put a frost enchanment on the bow it'll slow pepole down before they get to you, allowing you to shoot them mutiple times.
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#4nathraxh(Topic Creator)Posted 2/17/2013 2:15:50 AM
I'd completely forgotten the crossbows! Yesyesyes!

Enhanced Dwarven crossbow is perfect for when I get that far, 'cause this guy's totally joining the Dawnguard. Before that, I can use one of the other bows and try to avoid combat with stealth and run away from most fights, making this a survival-horror kind of playthrough!

This is shaping up awesome in my head.
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Dwarf shortage.
#5nathraxh(Topic Creator)Posted 2/17/2013 2:17:12 AM
scrilla_o posted...
Well if you put a frost enchanment on the bow it'll slow pepole down before they get to you, allowing you to shoot them mutiple times.


Really? I thought I'd heard that destruction frost magic didn't have that effect when used by the player on an NPC. Does it work for enchantments, then? If so, that'd be perfect.
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Dwarf shortage.
#6LockeadonPosted 2/17/2013 2:46:27 AM
nathraxh posted...
scrilla_o posted...
Well if you put a frost enchanment on the bow it'll slow pepole down before they get to you, allowing you to shoot them mutiple times.


Really? I thought I'd heard that destruction frost magic didn't have that effect when used by the player on an NPC. Does it work for enchantments, then? If so, that'd be perfect.


it doesn't work nearly as well when used by the player unfortunately. combine that with ranger and backpedal: most units (especially melee ones) will fail to reach you before they die. don't get to into in though that you forget to dodge incoming ranged attacks and make sure you don't back into a worse situation like off a cliff or into a wall or more enemies.
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everytime i think i've seen it all...
someone does something stupider