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                               The Human Archer
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BALDUR'S GATE: DARK ALLIANCE - Archer Guide
SYSTEM: SONY PLAYSTATION 2
WRITTEN BY: CyberEarth (CyberEarth@yahoo.com)
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FINAL VERSION
COPYRIGHT 2002 BY CyberEarth

LEGAL STUFF:
	This guide is for personal use only! Nothing in this document may be 
	reproduced without prior written consent from the author. This document
	may NOT be published publically, or privately, either in print, 
	electronically, or otherwise without prior written consent of the author. 
	If this document is allowed publication, not one word may be changed, altered,
	or omitted from it. The format of this document MUST remain a .txt file, unless
	specified by the author ONLY. 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
SPOILER NOTICE
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****SPOILER NOTICE*******************************************************************
This FAQ is *NOT* spoiler free! Some of the fun (and replay value) derived from
this game comes from the skill system and experimenting. This document gives some
(ok, a lot) of strategies away, as well as usefulness of skills. If you like 
exploring the unknown and inventing your own style of play, please do not read this.
This is really intended for those that have gone through the game once, and are 
curious about other skills they might enjoy. You have been warned!
*************************************************************************************


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
The Archer
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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Starting Stats
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Strength:	17
Intelligence:	11
Wisdom:		13
Dexterity:	15
Constitution:	14
Charisma:	11

Recommendations: 
Strength:	I recommend avoiding investing in this. The 17 points in strength
		you start out with is enough to carry you, at least until you find
		rings/amulets that add +strength. The only real use for it is to add
		extra weight allowance, or a little extra damage for a sword/shield
		type weapon switch.

Intelligence:	Maybe a little investing here. Extra energy is always helpful, but like
		strength, you can find items that either give +energy regeneration or add
		directly to intelligence.

Wisdom:		This is an opinion-based skill. Extra experience is ALWAYS nice, but so is
		being able to live longer and kill things faster. :)

Dexterity:	This and Constitution are where most of your points should go. Early on in
		the game (especially in Easy and Normal modes), you won't see any use for
		it, except for the additional armor bonus. However, the +1 Ranged Attack 
		can mean the difference between a hit and a miss in later stages. It's very
		annoying to fire an arrow, see it strike the target, and no damage pops up.
		Note that this does *NOT* affect arrow damage (no stat does). 

Constitution:	Great place to put a few points in. +1 HP/level is AWESOME, especially at
		higher levels. You do gain back-level bonuses of this, so if you invest a 
		point at level 12, you'll gain 12 more HPs. The health regen is nice, 
		especially combined with Intenstinal Fortitude and items that give +regen. 
		But in Extreme mode, the regen really won't matter, unless you have MASSIVE
		amounts of it.

Charisma:	This one's like Wisdom. It's nice to have, but so is living longer and 
		doing more damage. The -5% item cost and +5% item resell value boils 
		down to essentially 10% less price, as most of your gold comes from items
		you sell. 


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Strategies
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This section might not make any sense, unless you've played an Archer before, or at
least read through some of the skills. There's a few paths you can take as far as
the skills/equipments go. I recommend experimenting with the different skills to decide 
which is more your play style. 

-=Hail of Arrows Strategy=-
	This play-type requires heavy investing in Hail of Arrows. Obviously, the strategy
	is fire off as many arrows as you can, and kill things with multiple shots. 
	Required skills are Improved Critical and Death Blow. The whole point is to try 
	and nail 1 or 2 enemies with all your arrows, hitting them multiple times per
	attack. This easy to do on bigger foes, but requires some skill on smaller ones.
	With maxed Improved Critical, you can expect at least one critical blow every time
	you fire with maxed Hail of Arrows. This strategy also requires LOTS of arrows, and
	a GOOD bow (try one of the ice-elemental variety, you'll like the results). As 
	a result, you'll want to invest in Arcane Quiver ASAP, and start stockpiling 
	arrows (they aren't cheap when you have to buy them in lots of 800+). With this
	strategy points in Repulsion are not needed, as enemies tend to die rather quickly
	(and you don't want them far away). A high Endurance is also recommended, because
	again, those arrows get pretty heavy. Combat Reflexes is also great, because it
	allows you to fire faster and kill things quicker. You'll see bosses (especially 
	The Beholder boss) die quickly with this strategy if you meet him with HoA at skill
	lv. 2. A good HoA archer can stand just far enough away from an enemy to hit with
	4-5 arrows, and quickly run away before getting hit (if it's still alive). The 
	skill points needed for this route is costly, and it relies on a lot of good
	equipments and passive investments. As for stat investments, get a high Dexterity 
	so you'll be able to make every arrow count, and a high Constitution so you'll be
	able to take a few blows. Some Intelligence is also recommended for the +5 energy
	boost, but Willpower works just as well (and cheaper IMHO). 

-=Elemental Arrows Strategy=-
	This is an odd strategy. This is basically a one-hit kill type strategy. You'll 
	also want a weapon switch to a sword/shield type when you're regenerating mana or
	surrounded. You'll find that you can do this quickly with just the <- arrow on the
	d-pad. Not a bad deal there, and if you're holding down R1, it's an instant block.
	You'll also find that instead of switching back to your bow to fire an arrow, if 
	you use an arrow-based skill, you only need to hit the square button, and it'll
	switch automatically (very nifty). Try and invest at least one point in each of 
	the elemental arrow types, and max Lightning Arrows. I recommend first investing 1
	point in Ice Arrows, and then saving for a point in Lightning Arrows. Don't worry
	about buying a good bow, because it won't matter anyways. Spend your hard-earned
	gold on armor and rings/amulets to beef your stats. You don't need to carry as many
	arrows, so you might not even need Arcane Quiver. Repulsion here is a must, as you
	want enemies to stay as far away as possible to shoot them. You'll need to practice
	switching from Repulsion to an arrow-type, and moving around a lot to avoid 
	enemies. Investing in Meditation and Willpower will be a must, but you can avoid
	Death Blow. You can still get critical hits on elemental arrows, and a critical 
	hit with a lightning arrow is a killer. You might also hold off Combat Reflexes,
	because you're rate of fire really won't matter all that much unless you're 
	fighting something big and nasty, at least until later difficulty stages. Also,
	investing in Enchant Arrows is useless, as you want every arrow you fire to be 
	an elemental type. 

-=Warrior Type Strategy=-
	Yup, you can essentially play a Warrior class with the Archer class. The main
	differences are the starting stats, and the Energy/Health regeneration rates, 
	and the passive skills which improves melee damage and adds armor class for 
	shields. The Warrior class regens health faster, but less mana. The Archer is 
	more of an in-between against the Sorceress and the Warrior. In exchange for the
	trade-off for extra damage and extra armor, you get to use some great bow skills.
	With this strategy, you want to focus on one-hand fighting style, and use blocking.
	With enemies that run away (and there's a few), or enemies that are off-screen,
	you'll switch to the bow to take them down. Heavily invest in the passive skills,
	especially in Improved Critical and Death Blow. Early on, you'll want Combat
	Reflexes to improve that attack speed. Your main bow skill should be Lightning 
	Arrow (because it's only one arrow, does good damage, and isn't bow-dependent). 
	Get Fire Arrows ASAP to use so you can practice. Remember you can use the Square
	button to instantly switch AND FIRE an -elemental Arrow. You'll need to manually
	switch back to your sword/mace, but by that time, the enemies should be worn down 
	if they came at you from a distance. Repulsion also works great for slowing an
	advancing pack of monsters, a skill that the Warrior doesn't have. Toughness,
	Endurance, Dodge, and Intestinal Fortitude should all be 2nd-tier investments. 
	One point in each early on, just for the initial low-cost bonus, but concentrate 
	on the important 1st-tier skills listed above. You'll want to avoid investing in
	Willpower and Mediation, especially early on. Just use potions to replenish your
	energy if needed (and you shouldn't need that much). When you level up Lightning
	Arrow to the 2nd level, you might want to level Willpower to the 2nd level also. 
	The 10 extra energy comes in handy then (about mid-way through). Deflect Missiles 
	is about useless if you're using a shield, so avoid this one as well (just block 
	the stupid arrows with the R1 button). Arcane Quiver should be avoided, because 
	with this strategy I was never carrying more than 100 arrows, and I always found
	more along the way. 5 skill points invested elsewhere early on makes a big
	difference. As for stats, stick to high Strength and high Constitution. The 
	Strength serves a three-fold effect to give bonus damage for hand-hand, increase 
	hit accuracy, and increase weight allowance(for those heavier armors and potions).
	Constitution is great, because it gives you lots of HP's, especially at higher
	levels, and increases your health regen rate. Avoid Intelligence. If you need 
	some energy, use the more abundant skill points to give you some through Willpower.
	Charisma might be a decent investment also, because you'll definately be buying a
	lot of heavy (read expensive) armors and weapons. However, I always found enough
	gold (or items that I wanted) to where investing in Charisma was useless. I found
	STR/CON combo very effective, and let me survive really well. You'll see this
	strategy shine against bosses and bigger enemies, because you'll be able to avoid
	them and fire arrows, doing decent damage, with little cost to you (a few arrows,
	some crappy bow, and a few skill points). Contrast this against the Warrior class,
	who must always come in for hand-hand combat. On enemies that push you away or
	freeze you, this strategy rules (see the Act 2 dragon, and you'll find out).


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Legend
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0 		= 	Skill available when character is first created 
Lv 		= 	Level the skill attains
Points 		= 	Points needed to advance the skill to the next level
Energy Cost 	= 	Energy cost to use the skill 
Damage 		=	Damage done from using the skill
Passive 	=	Skills active at all times

*Note: 	If a skill has a ---- under the level, that skill can not achieve that level.
	Some skills, especially passive ones don't need additional levels beyond the first.

Passive Feats:
-------------------------------------------------------
|     Feat      |     Points Needed Per Level         |
-------------------------------------------------------
		   Lv.1  Lv.2   Lv.3   Lv.4   Lv.5
Accuracy        :  (X)   ---    ---    ---    ---
Targeting       :  (X)   ---    ---    ---    ---
Arcane Quiver	:  (5)   ---    ---    ---    ---
Enchant Arrows  :  (1)   (4)    (8)    (14)   (20)
Dodge		:  (1)   (2)    (3)    (4)    (5)
Deflect Missles :  (1)   (2)    (3)    (4)    (5)
Endurance       :  (2)   (4)    (6)    (8)    (10)
Toughness       :  (1)   (2)    (3)    (4)    (5)
Willpower       :  (1)   (2)    (3)    (4)    (5)
Meditation      :  (1)   (2)    (3)    (4)    (5)
Intestinal Fort :  (1)   (2)    (3)    (4)    (5)
Combat Reflexes :  (2)   (4)    (6)    (8)    (10)
Death Blow	:  (1)   (2)    (3)    (4)    (5)
Improved Crit   :  (1)   (2)    (3)    (4)    (5) 
-------------------------------------------------------

-=Accuracy=-
Improves accuracy of ranged weapons (bows). It's free. 

-=Targeting=- 
A line target appears right before you let loose an arrow.
Helpful when trying to shoot enemies coming around corners. Also free.

-=Arcane Quiver=- 
50% Arrow Weight
This skill is a *MUST* if you expect to carry anything 
besides arrows. In the later stages of the game, I found myself constantly
carrying 800 arrows, they went by so quickly. In the early stages of the game
(before you get Hail of Arrows), you won't need it, but HoA uses up your supply
QUICK. 

-=Enchant Arrows=-
+1 damage/skill level
This skill is so-so. Some people swear by it, some don't. 
The damage is not that great, but +5 damage when it's maxed isn't bad,
considering bow damage isn't that great to start with. This skill will *NOT* affect
arrows fired by Hail of Arrows, Ice, Flame, Shock, but *WILL* affect Exploding Arrows
(not the explosion damage, the normal arrow damage). 

-=Dodge=-
+1 Armor/skill level 
I found this skill about useless. The armor class bonus isn't all that high, and I just 
found myself wanting to apply my skill points to something more valuable.

-=Deflect Missles=-
5% chance/skill level
Now here's a skill you can get behind. This skill gives a chance 
of automatically avoiding an enemy missle attack (sorry, this doesn't affect MAGIC 
attacks). Without a shield this skill becomes necessary when battling archers with a bow. 

-=Endurance=-
+15 pounds/skill level
Another great skill, especially early on with the low skill point 
cost. This skill increases your carrying weight, allowing you to grab more stuff
to sell, carry more arrows or potions, or wear bigger armor without a STRENGTH stat
commitment. 

-=Toughness=-
+3 HPs/skill level
This skill is so-so. I prefer investing in CONSTITUTION above this, but 
one or two levels in it early on can mean the difference between life and death. 

-=Willpower=-
+5 energy/skill level
The energy boost is just like a point in Intelligence. I recommend a few
points in this as needed. Better than spending points in INTELLIGENCE. At higher levels,
its easy to max this out.

-=Meditation=-
+25% energy recovery/skill level (125% base for Archer)
This skill is debatable. Your energy consumption tends to be
on the higher side, with a quick rate of fire. Potions are the easiest and quickest 
way to refill it, and since you can buy potions, it's not a big deal. But it's cheap,
so a few points in it isn't going to hurt anything.
Expect about 1 energy/second at max level. The energy recovery rate depends upon your
max energy. The higher, the more you recover in a second.

-=Intestinal Fortitude=-
+50% health recovery/skill level (150% base for Archer)
This works good with a high constitution and +regen items.
You can either end up with a little bit of this and use potions, or a lot, and 
carry less potions. But during Extreme mode, it doesn't really help too much. 
Your HP regen will depend heavily on your Constitution and max HPs, but at max level and 
15 Constitution, expect about 1.5 HPs/second. 

-=Combat Reflexes=-
15% faster attack speed/skill level
This is the skill you definately want to max. No question about it.
The faster you fire, the faster things die. I think you gain 15% faster attack speed/level,
but that's only an estimate. 

-=Death Blow=-
+2 damage on criticals/skill level
Another skill you want to max. If you plan on using Hail of Arrows, 
this skill will add VOLUMES to your damage when combined with Improved Critical. It may
not seem like a whole lot of damage, but considering that bows do low damage to begin
with, it's a huge help. Remember, bows don't gain all the Strength bonuses for damage,
only Dexterity bonuses to strike. 

-=Improved Critical=-
5% increased critical strike rate/skill level
This skill is just awesome. Even if you don't use Hail of Arrows,
this skill is great. You get 5%/skill level increase of getting a critical hit, which
means double-damage plus any extra damage from Death Blow. This skill is better with
Hail of Arrows, because you can fire up to 6 at once. With a full HoA mastery, expect
to get a critical every fire. 



-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
The Abilities
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-=Flame Arrow=-
-------------------------------------------------------
    Level    :   1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th
-------------------------------------------------------
Points Spent :     2       4       6       8      10
Energy Cost  :     5       6       7       8       9
Damage       : 15-20   20-27   25-34   30-41   35-49
-------------------------------------------------------

This is a great skill early on, especially if you don't have a good bow.
However, I don't recommend advancing this skill beyond the first level. 
Using it after you get Hail of Arrows and a decent bow is plain madness. 
The burning damage is also very minimal 3 damage/second with no increase for
additional skill levels. 
The only redemption for this skill is there is no casting delay, so feel
free to fire as much as you want (or your energy can afford). It's also
pretty to watch the arrow strike something and burst into little flaming embers.
Notice the lightning effects there, and how things are shadowed. Very impressive.
***NOTE: The damage for the Flame Arrow skill is *NOT* weapon based. It
ALWAYS does a set amount, regardless of the bow you have equipped.


-=Ice Arrow=-
-------------------------------------------------------
    Level    :   1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th
-------------------------------------------------------
Points Spent :     5       6       8      10      14
Energy Cost  :     8       9      10      11      12   
Damage       : 20-26   25-35   30-45   35-56   40-67
-------------------------------------------------------

I found no use for this skill whatsoever, except for the occassional
slow/freeze effect it would produce. Two slow effects equal a freeze
effect, which is very useful, but you can find a bow that does this
naturally. The slow/freeze effect lasts longer at higher skill levels.
A bit more useful than fire arrow, and if you're using the elementalist
strategy above, invest in it to slow targets down, then lay waste with
Shock Arrows.

***NOTE: The damage for the Ice Arrow skill is *NOT* weapon based. It 
ALWAYS does a set amount, regardless of the bow you have equipped.

-=Shock Arrow=-
-------------------------------------------------------
    Level    :   1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th
-------------------------------------------------------
Points Spent :    10      11      13      15      19
Energy Cost  :    10      11      12      13      14  
Damage       : 30-48  *35-59   *40-73 *45-89 *50-105(!)
-------------------------------------------------------

If you were going for the elemental arrow types, this would be the one
to get. The damage on it is great, exceeding just about any bow you could
find, even at the first skill level. The energy cost on it... well, it's a
bear. Most monsters are not immune to lightning (except the last boss), so
you shouldn't have any problems there. Personally, I prefer Hail of Arrows
hitting a target 6 times with about 2 critical hits than this route. But,
this is definately a route that saves arrows, gold (for bows), and inventory
weight (see elementalist strategy in the strategy section). 

*At skill level 2, it gains a radius effect, dealing 36 damage/second, until 
it strikes something. Very nifty effect indeed. 

***NOTE: The damage for the Shock Arrow skill is *NOT* weapon based. It 
ALWAYS does a set amount, regardless of the bow you have equipped.


-=Hail of Arrows=-
-------------------------------------------------------
    Level    :   1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th
-------------------------------------------------------
Points Spent :     5       7      10      14     20       
Energy Cost  :     4       7      10      13     16
Damage       : ***DAMAGE IS WEAPON-DEPENDENT***
	       +1 arrow fired/skill level
-------------------------------------------------------

You may think this skill is worthless, until you get close to a foe, and
unleash it. This skill *CAN* hit one enemy with multiple arrows, even though
they are fired all at once and at angles. Even with just 2 arrows, it doubles
your damage easily. When you get up to 4+ arrows, it can be difficult to hit
all 4+ arrows on small targets, but with practice, it can be done. 



-=Exploding Arrow=-
-------------------------------------------------------
    Level    :   1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th
-------------------------------------------------------
Points Spent :     5       6       8	  10      14
Energy Cost  :     5	   6       7       8       9
Damage       :  1-15	1-20	1-25    1-30    1-35
-------------------------------------------------------

Not that great of a skill, and Fire Arrow does more damage. The damage is
also 1-X, so you've got a big damage minimum there. The only real advantage
is that the bow damage IS taken in consideration (it actually hits twice)
and it explodes, so the explosion will hit nearby enemies. Effective for
groups of small enemies, but that's about it. The other advantage to this
is that it ALWAYS hits (at least in my experiments), so if you see the arrow
strike something, it takes the arrow damage and the explosion damage. This can
be of great help if you have a low Dexterity, but again, Flame Arrows will do
the same thing. 
You're better off just saving your skill points for something useful. 


-=Repulsion=-
-------------------------------------------------------
    Level    :   1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th
-------------------------------------------------------
Points Spent :     5       6       8      10      14
Energy Cost  :     8       8       8       8       8
Damage       :  1-10    1-17    1-24    1-31    1-38
-------------------------------------------------------

Great skill to use sometimes, epsecially when surrounded. It creates a ring,
about 1/2 a screen radius around the casting, and pushes all enemies back. It can 
be difficult when switching between this and another skill to attack with, but
with a little practice in switching skills, you'll find it nice. I found no reason
to advance this skill beyond the first level, as the subsequent levels have just as
much of a radius effect, just higher damage.
*Note: There is a casting delay with this skill, and you will NOT be able to use
other skills while the delay is in effect. 


Copyright:  Please note this Document is (c) Copyright 2002 by author,
            Anthony Rubino. Nothing in this document may be reproduced
	    without prior written consent from the author. This document
	    may NOT be posted publically, either electronically or 
	    otherwise without prior written consent of the author.