She is really named more after the (very fast) sports car than she is after the (very fast) metal band, but either way, Pantera is a high-speed high-power Elf. And she totally wears the part: Pantera’s look is just epically cool.
She is the answer to the question “Can one create a decent Arcane Archer with a 28 point build?”. Resoundingly, yes!
In fairness, she’s only level 16. One trip through the Shroud does not prove her Epic qualifications. But it is late enough in the character progression to get a feel for her at end game, and I like what I see.
- Decent hit points (312 @16 without greensteel or draconic vitality)
- Good use of evasion (22 reflex save without any resist item)
First, let’s discuss what she is not. Arcane Archers – and any ranged character – get a bad rep because they screw up the agro patterns, and kiting bad guys makes it frustrating for the melees. Pantera does neither of these things. She kills what she draws, and she stands there and shoots.
I like to use her in support – paralyzing bow, get one target frozen, then line up that frozen target with one that is still free and shoot them both. Add other targets as available: sometimes I have four or five monsters all standing there paralyzed while the party beats them down. Better, paralyzation now counts the same as Hold or Stun for bonus damage; paralyzing is no longer just a crowd control method.
And when I turn on Multishot … oh … the beauty of all those floaty numbers, it fills the screen. Nothing has more or better DPS than a decent Arcane Archer in Multishot mode. It really is worth all of the hassle, building the character, growing her, equipping her, just to see what happens when you combine Improved Precise Shot, Acid Imbued Arrows, and Multishot together on a large group of bad guys. There is nothing else like it.
An honest appraisal would mention that outside of Multishot, her DPS lags behind that of the melees. It can take her awhile to solo kill monsters with a lot of hit points. She probably won’t take any damage though, and if she does, she can heal herself.
Besides, this isn’t an honest appraisal, it is a love letter.
I’ll post up her build sometime soon (or SOON™ as it is more likely to be). I am quite pleased, for a 28-point build she really does rock. It is important to remember that Pantera has never had access to plat or twink items, she was my Cannith pioneer. Everything she is she has built up from nothing.
Next up: what greensteel to build? Hitpoints, sure, but which bow? And since I really don’t get to play Pantera very often, grinding the Shroud is not an option. Can get by with only one greensteel bow?
Either way I will be enjoying the chances I get to play her. She is not my most fun character (that is still Oriental Adventures) or my most capable (that is usually Mawry Haversack, depending on her current life) or my hardest hitter (Chelena Armstrong) or my most useful to a party (Sparksy/Ejecta).
But she is my best-looking, most badass character, and that is saying something. Now and then, it’s just time to unleash the badass.
🙂 😀 🙂