Dec 052014

Is Mawry Ranged?
Is Mawry ranged? More like “ranged-ish”.
AdventureDog on the other hand is not ranged at all

As I was playing last night, a guildie who has been mostly-absent recently was observing my character Mawry in action.

“Is Mawry Ranged?”

I knew what he meant, in that he was asking if Mawry was fully specified for ranged attacks. But I wondered, was he asking this because he was impressed with her ranged damage, or the opposite?

The latter seems more likely, doesn’t it?

See, I get all insecure about my custom builds just like most people. Plus, I have the advantage (disadvantage?) of knowing for a fact that they don’t all work out, and many custom builds are better off just left unbuilt altogether.

But there is more, this is not just normal background insecurity. Now that Mawry is more-or-less a permanent inhabitant of the epic levels, she is going to encounter the end game. She has already, only a bit, but still, end game awaits. Most characters need a tuning to transition from [dominant heroic] to [dominant epic] to [at least adequate end game]. It almost always happens. So … nothing personal here, no reason for Mawry to get all verklempt, it’s just a topic that needs addressing: is Mawry end-game ready?

And I think the answer is “no”.

Her survivability is ready – lots of Dodge, lots of ways to get different forms of incorporeality, enough AC and PRR to matter (but not too much), very robust self-healing. Survivability is a go.

But her DPS does not feel like it is up to end game standards. It takes her too long to defeat opponents when she is singled-up; unless she is in Multi-Shot mode she is just not chopping them down quickly enough.

Part of the issue is inherent in that guildie’s innocent question: is she ranged? Because the answer is not a clear yes or no. She is built to range OR to melee as the situation requires, and to be equally adept at either. Except when one gets to the end game, flexibility can be a bad thing; when you try to be good at more than one thing you often end up inadequate in all of them.

But this is how I see Mawry. Her character vision requires this flexibility, even though it is much harder to attain than a single-use character like Knicker (who just hits things) or Pantera (who just shoots things).

I think it comes down to the basic character attributes.

A STR-based ranger needs to maximize Strength, but also needs DEX in order to hit anything with a bow. Dex is also needed to take advantage of a ranger’s natural Evasion. So you end up splitting emphasis between Strength (melee attack and damage, ranged damage), Dexterity (ranged attack, reflex save) and Constititution (hit points).

On the other hand, if Mawry went all-in on Dexterity, she could have a much higher DEX than she is able to get to in STR. She could use enhancements to apply her Dex bonus to melee damage. Her reflex saves would be through the roof. And she’d only have to focus on Dex and Con, a much easier build situation then trying to amp three attributes. But she’d sacrifice ranged damage, I am not aware of any way to apply Dex bonus to ranged damage.

The new Harper Agent enhancement tree adds a new wrinkle: she could be Intelligence-based, use Int to apply to melee and ranged, both attack and damage! And with the feat Insightful Reflexes, she could still have amazing Evasion. On the down side, Armor Class would suffer but on the plus side, she would have all kinds of points available to build up all kinds of skills; skill use is very Commando-like.

  • STR-based: has highest damage potential, but needs to build up three stats, and ranged attack suffers
  • DEX-based: better all around build, only needs two stats, but ranged damage really suffers
  • INT-based: only needs two stats, gets more and better skills, but needs to use a feat and armor class suffers

So many trade-offs! I’ve been mulling this for a few weeks now, ever since Harper came out and I realized Mawry could be an Intelligence Commando. But they all seem like good ideas; I can’t come to a clear winner.

What do you all think?

🙂 😀 🙂

  7 Responses to “Is Mawry Ranged?”

Comments (7)
  1. 🙂 well, you can always try different builds and see which one you like best?

  2. Dex to Damage is possible for Elves…. Just a reminder that Elven Grace is an option for Dex based range builds. You can also get Dex to damage with thrown weapons in the Halfling tree and Shuriken builds are quite powerful. There are also some decent high level thrown weapons from recent content. Dagan’s Mallet, the Coffin Nail and that Negative Energy pot from Thunderholme come to mind if you don’t want to just use Shurikens.

    Ranged is more than just a bow.

  3. I’ve been trying out the Harper tree, a bit more with each character. Haven’t tried the level 5 plunge yet… It makes it easy to add a lot of utility to a character because of all the skill points.

  4. i didn’t know my innocent question caused you to think so hard. (:P) i have always been impressed with Mawry and her growth, in particular, the long trek to epic.

    indeed, the question was certainly due to the end-game readiness. like Mawry, my character has pondered over STR/DEX over a long time in the past. After the switch to INT made it seem a wiser decision and with the new Harper, makes it even better (although the decision was made easier by being a rogue).

  5. I wish I had some infinite words of wisdom to pass on for ya, but unfortunately I’m not that wise.. I would suggest what Micki mentioned, experiment with all three builds and see what works the best. Of course that might not be an option. However, if you are looking for damage output, it sounds like the strength and intelligence builds would be the way to go. I guess it would depend on which feat you would be giving up for the intelligence build (taking insightful relfexes will replace what?) and if the extra skills can make up for the loss. AC, I wouldn’t worry about that too much, especially if you have a lot of dodge and incorporality.

  6. In case you are curious, the end result of all this thought can be found here:

What do you think?

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