First, this is an *appendix* to Daisuke's archery guide
, and doesn't have a video to go along with it yet... but I'll try to get to it this weekend! Daisuke, feel free to add any of these tactics to your guide too. =p
Background: It all started when my guildmate Koiyumi and I (foojin) were fooling around with crossbows, and we started discovering some really cool things you could do with zero shot and windmill! We kept trying out different things, and so I decided to compile a list of nifty tricks, in the order that they were discovered, that can be done by windarchers and/or windxbowers.
Note: many of these tricks require enemies that don't charge skills (e.g. defense) immediately after getting knocked back, like spiders. If you try to do a running zero shot at a defending ratman for example, you're going to get hit! Instead you want to do #1 below.
1) Windmill+zero shot vs. a defending enemy (Koiyumi):
Works against: Everything with arrow pd lower than 1, maybe not red laghodessas, since they can defend again sometimes.
Many enemies get confused after you windmill them in defense. In general, they will try to attack and not be able to target you since you are invincible in windmill. Instead, they will stand there doing absolutely nothing, even after you come out of windmill for about 1.2 seconds. (The only time they will strike at you is if you try to melee attack them.) If you charged ranged shot during windmill, you can come out of windmill and hit them with an arrow at 99%!
Actually, I've discovered that even against cyclops, ogres, and arguses, the windmill+zero shot works against them in defense, even though double windmill does not (it takes too long to charge another windmill)! However, you have to make sure you are right in the center of their target, such that you can get off quick arrows.
2) Moving zero-shot with ranged weapons (Koiyumi):
When you zero-shot an enemy, you can recharge your bow immediately after the arrow hits. During this time, it is possible to run around without losing any time between zero shots. (This is also possible with melee weapons, but there's a catch! Read on!) Just make sure to stop and start shooting as soon as you're done charging the skill.
for a demo with an elf. A human just takes 0.8 seconds to load an arrow instead of 0.4, so it's definitely harder (and virtually impossible with lag).
3) 5 x zero shot (+windmill) with xbow (foojin):
Works against: spider, wolf, and snake AIs
Xbows, unlike other bows, enable you to run around while loading a skill. This allows you to perform some killer combos that are not as easy to perform with other bows at lower ranged attack ranks. For example, it is often possible to hit an enemy 4 times with zero shot before it gets knocked back. But if you run towards the enemy (tactic #2) while loading your skill after the 4th shot, it is possible to position yourself closely enough to hit it with a 5th arrow at 99% accuracy!
You can then add an immediate windmill after your 5th shot!
Note that with melee weapons, once an enemy is knocked back or knocked down, there is a delay before the character can move again, or activate a charged offensive spell
. For example, you can charge windmill after you knock an enemy back, but it can't activate until your sword comes back to its original position. This delay is fine if you have a 2hit weapon, since you can windmill before the enemy gets up, but it fails if you're attacking with a 3 hit weapon in a corner. However, ranged weapons, like magic, do NOT suffer from this delay. You can run around and activate any skill immediately after firing an arrow!
4) Infinite zero-shot with xbow (Koiyumi):
Works against: spider, wolf, and snake AIs
Forget SoG with xbows; this is the equivalent of perfect timing training for xbows! Perform zero-shots on the enemy until it gets knocked back. Then run in for your 5th zero shot to knock it down. Immediately charge another arrow, but watch the enemy's animation. If you shoot it while it's still lying on the ground, it will cancel its get-up animation and hit you hard! Wait for it to (almost) get up, and then shoot it. You will knock the spider back again! Run up to it and shoot it, and it'll get knocked down.
Just remember the pattern: wait, shoot, run, shoot, repeat.
5) Zeroshot x 5 + wm x 2 loop on giant (red/black) spider (foojin):
Familiar with the ice+ melee x 4 + wm loop? This is a similar loop that combines 1) and 2) together. However, it's much trickier with ranged weapons and requires a great deal of practice. You want to position yourself in the CENTER of the giant red/black spider target at the beginning of each zero shot! Otherwise, it'll treat you as if you are some distance away from the target (center), and load your shot much more slowly. The zeroshot x 5 + wm combo puts the giant spider into defense. Use windmill again (at point blank) to get it out of defense, and resume zero-shooting. Repeat.
Note: this tactic is also significantly easier if you have arrow revolver, partly because you don't have to center yourself exactly to hit the spider with 99% arrows. However, unless you time it *like* a zero-shot, you will usually only get 3 arrows off before the spider gets knocked back, and 4 arrows before it gets knocked down. So if you prefer to windmill more and shoot less, this is the way to go.
6) Point-blank magnummill against a cornered golem (foojin):
It's basically the ranged version of smashmill, but works for entirely different reasons. I believe it's far more effective with rank 9+ magnum due to the shortened load time, since you can have magnum skill loaded immediately out of windmill. If you are familiar with the golem ai, you'll know that doing a windmill with a 3hit weapon will cause the golem to get back up while you are still invincible. The golem will not be able to target you with an attack and will (almost) always try to stomp at you instead, but you can reach it before the stomp goes down, and 1+wm it again. Rinse and repeat.
Now think about the same thing with a xbow. A windmill with ranged weapons knocks enemies down for a duration similar to a windmill with 3hit weapons. After you magnum and mill the golem, you can magnum it again before it gets its stomp down on you (you will have a little over 1 second after you get out of windmill). Then repeat, windmill, magnum, windmill, etc. Note also that this works regardless of the skill the golem is charging after your magnum. Unlike melee smashmill, where you have to worry about doublemilling a golem in defense, a magnum shot does not count as a melee attack, so the golem will just stand there and wait for your magnum shot.
That's all for now. We shall add more tactics as they are discovered!