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Class Overviews: Getting to Know The Archer

By Pamela Blalock on July 07, 2009

Getting to Know The Archer

In Free Realms, it’s your world and in that world you actually have a lot of freedom. In most MMORPGs you pick a class and that’s it. Of course, there are different types of classes in the genre; some evolve into other classes, some are dual classes, and in a game like Free Realms you can freely move from class to class. The widely popular free-to-play game, now boasting 3 million players (around 4 million unofficially at the time of the writing), offers 14 jobs currently with another on the way. The combat class, the Druid, was announced during Sony’s Fan Faire.

Classes are called jobs in Free Realms because you can take on any job whenever you need to, and you never have to do a certain job. There are really four types of jobs and those are: combat, resource gathering, production, and miscellaneous. In my first look at the jobs in Free Realms, we looked at the Adventurer job which falls under miscellaneous. In this article, we’re looking at a combat job called the Archer. The Archer is a members’ only job meaning you must pay the $4.99 per month subscription fee to play this class.

Note: Not all jobs are members only and during each explanation of the jobs the status of members only will be pointed out just like this. You can tell if a job is members only by looking at the job list by pressing “C” and finding the little gold wings icon on the badge. The current members only jobs are Archer, Blacksmith, Medic, Warrior, and Wizard.

To open up the Archer job, you must be paying the subscription fee and you must find the trainer. The trainer is named Lugabow and he is located in the Greenwood Forest. The Greenwood Forest is in the southwest corner of Shrouded Grove. Lugabow is west of the Lavender Coast Pass warpstone near the Bandit Hideout battle. He’ll send you on a series of quests that will begin your journey through the 20 levels of the Archer.

All combat jobs begin at a trainer and guide you through leveling via quests. When you get so far in these quests you’ll be offered repeatable quests to complete to hit certain milestones. For example Eddie Eagle Eyes, located south of the Crossroads warpstone, will offer you repeatable quests until you hit level 5 at which point you’ll return to Hilfron (a contact you’ve made through the questline Lugabow started).

As you can probably discern from the name, the Archer is a master of the bow. Although you can run around as an Archer all the time, you use your abilities as an Archer only in combat. These are the abilities of the Archer:

  1. Multi-Arrow - Fires multiple arrows, striking your target and 1 additional nearby target for 50 damage. Higher ranks increase number of targets that can be potentially struck, as well as damage done.
  2. Explosive Arrow - Fires an explosive arrow at your target causing 50 damage to all enemies in a small area. Further ranks increase the damage dealt.
  3. Stunning Shot - Fires arrows at your target and 2 additional nearby targets, stunning them for 3 seconds. Further ranks increase the stun duration.
  4. Sniper Shot - The archer takes aim and unleashes a powerful pinpoint attack causing 133 damage. Further ranks increase the damage dealt.

You begin with a basic bow attack and Multi-Arrow, Explosive Arrow opens up at five, Stunning Shot at ten, and Sniper Shot at 15. It’s important to note that the basic bow attack is ranged, not automatic, and can be used at close range, too. As you can see, classic archer abilities are found in these four skills. Don’t be put off by the number of abilities; the Archer still contains great utility and high damage.

The first three abilities hit multiple people while Sniper Shot focuses on one target. As you spend stars to make your skills better, damage is increased with all the abilities except for Stunning Shot. As you improve it the stun duration lasts longer. Stars, as you may know, are like experience gained during certain activities. Since the Archer is a combat job you’ll earn stars through incapacitating enemies, completing objectives during instanced combat, and completing quests.

For each ability, there are four ranks. The first rank requires 400 stars to acquire, the second 1000, the third 1600, and the last 3175. To spend these stars just press “C” or click the “My Jobs and Equipment” tab in the dock. Click the job you wish to improve and then click the golden star called “Abilities” below. From there you merely click to fill the stars (pressing and holding will speed up the star fulfillment). This model works for all combat jobs. The Archer does substantial damage and can take a hit for a brief period; however, the job doesn’t do well solo in long battles at least not without a few potions and orbs to keep you going. It’s always better with at least one other player around. I often played with a Warrior who would keep enemies at bay while I stayed back a distance firing at will. My experience with the Archer has been fun so far. I’m currently sitting at level 10, newly equipped with Stunning Shot. I’m not rushing through the levels because you really don’t need to. I do play all the jobs and I’m in no hurry to max everything out. Among the combat jobs the Archer is one of the most rewarding. It’s viable alone, although more difficult and it’s a blast in a group. When I feel like incapacitating things quickly and at range I play the Archer when I’m in a healing mood I pick the Medic. That’s one of the joys of playing Free Realms.

Pamela Blalock / I write about MMOs at [][/link]. games, writing, cats equals happiness.