x Class Overview: Primeval

One of the big selling points of ArcheAge is the class system. Unlike other MMORPGs that have pre-decided skill trees, ArcheAge lets you choose 3 out of a possible 10 skill sets so you can mix and match your build and the skills it uses in combat. It is because of this system that ArcheAge has 120 different class combinations. I am now experimenting with writing a class overview of each class to see how the community likes it.
Disclaimer: This is not a guide. It is merely an overview of the class and how it plays.
The first class featured in the overview is Primeval. Arguably the most powerful class in the game at this point, in this overview we will break it down to analyse the build and the game play associated with it.
A Primeval is a class that primarily deals damage from range with the Archery skill tree but has tools to stun and damage in melee. Primeval is difficult to deal with not only because of the range but because it combines range with high damage, crowd control and exceptional mobility. The Primeval class as a whole is not hindered by movement at all which makes it very strong in every scenario.
This is a typical Primeval build but it can be customized to make it accustom to any situation.
Skill build
Primeval uses an Archery/Shadowplay/Auramancy skill combination. Here is an explanation of each skill and why it is taken.
Archery contains the primary damage source of the build.

Charged Bolt Charged Bolt – Deals damage and slows the target. This skill always hits. A reliable slow that allows you to keep your distance from the target.

Piercing Shot Piercing Shot – Deals initial damage and applies a damage over time effect.

Endless Arrows Endless Arrows – Deals damage and has a chance to grant a stack of Bloodthirst. This is your spam button when everything else is on cooldown.

Double Recurve Double Recurve – Flat 15% ranged damage increase.

Snare Snare – Can be used to escape Shackled debuffs or can be used to slow the enemy and reduce their damage if they get too close.

Intensity Intensity – Cooldown that increases your critical strike chance over the duration and also gives you a stack of bloodthirst from your attacks. Great for burst damage and makes you immune to fear.

Wild Instincts Wild Instincts – Increased movement speed to allow you to kite and/or keep your distance. Will also be useful for chasing enemies trying to escape.

Archery Expertise Archery Expertise – Reduces cooldown of your primary skills

Marksman Marksman – Increased range of all bow skills

Sharpshooting Sharpshooting – More crit but more importantly 20% more critical damage. Has great synergy withIntensity for high burst damage.

Feral Claws Feral Claws – Flat damage increase for Archery skills.

Shadowplay provides additional damage skills, a cooldown and stealth to avoid enemies so that you can get the first hit in combat.

Overwhelm Overwhelm – Short range damage + stun. Good to control the enemy.

Drop Back Drop Back – Short cooldown disengage. Allows you to create distance from the enemy so that your abilities don’t get the 20% damage penalty from being too close to the target.

Stalker’s Mark Stalker’s Mark – Solid PvP skill. Causes the target to take additional damage and reduced healing which makes it easier to secure a kill.

Stealth Stealth – Useful to get the jump on an enemy or if you are low on health you can try and escape combat with Drop Back + Stealth because it can be used in combat.

Toxic Shot Toxic Shot – Deals initial damage and applies a DoT. Key part of your rotation and has some good combo potential.

Shadowsmite Shadowsmite – Melee skill. Good follower to Overwhelm because it deals additional damage to stunned targets. While the opponent is stunned you can move behind them and use Shadowsmite for increased damage.

Freerunner Freerunner – Solid cooldown. Flat damage increase and provides additional mobility through increased move speed. Also makes you immune to poison which can help reduce incoming damage from a Toxic Shotfor example.

Auramancy provides the Primeval class with additional utility and survival skills.

Thwart Thwart – Can be used to slow nearby enemies but I primarily use it nearly every cooldown because it increases your attack speed by 8% per stack. Stacks 3 times

Teleportation Teleportation – More mobility. Whether it be used to escape or chase, it is a great skill.

Shrug It Off Shrug It Off – Removes stun and impale and makes you immune to them for 4 seconds. Also reduces magic damage taken by 50%. Great skill for staying alive.

Leech Leech – Melee range interrupt with a chance to steal a buff from the target. Can work nicely withOverwhelm or you can teleport into a healer to interrupt them.

Hearten Hearten – Increases the duration of the attack speed buff you get from Thwart to 30 seconds. Allows you to stack the attack speed buff to 3 stacks.

Combos are a significant part of combat in ArcheAge. By properly comboing your skills together you can maximize your damage and utility. Here is a list of available combos with this Primeval Build.

Charged Bolt + Leech = Chance to steal 1 beneficial effect from slowed targets.

Charged Bolt + Charged Bolt = Slowed targets are stunned.

Charged Bolt + Piercing Shot = Increases severity of slow effects on the target.

Charged Bolt + Endless Arrows = Deals 24% additional damage to slowed targets.

Piercing Shot + Piercing Shot = Increases severity of bleed effects on the target.

Overwhelm + Charged Bolt = Inflicts an additional 23% damage on stunned targets.

Overwhelm + Shadowsmite = Inflicts an additional 33% damage on stunned targets. Stunned targets are tripped.

Stalker’s Mark + Overwhelm = Inflicts an additional 77% damage on marked targets. Marked targets are tripped.

Stealth + Shadowsmite = Resets Stealth cooldown if used in Stealth.

Toxic Shot + Piercing Shot = Inflicts additional 27% damage over time on poisoned targets.

Toxic Shot + Stalker’s Mark = Inflicts additional 38% damage to poisoned targets.

One of my favorite things about this particular class is that some of the skill points that are spent are actually quite flexible. Here are some examples of skills that you could drop in favor of other alternatives. Keep in mind that this isn’t a full list, just some examples. You are free to customize and play around with your build as much as you want.
The amount of points spent in Auramancy is required in order to get the Hearten passive but you can move some points around. For example, if you play the class and find that you never use Leech then rather than have a skill point wasted on a skill that is never used, you could swap it for another skill in the Auramancy tree. Possible alternatives are:
  • Health Lift or Conversion Shield – Useful for increased survival
  • Protective Wings – If you are in group/raid based PvP or PvE then this can be a great tool to protect your allies while your healers catch up with incoming damage.
If you really want to avoid the whole idea of getting in melee range for an Overwhelm + Shadowsmite combo then those talents can be spent elsewhere. You could take the 2 points from Overwhelm and Shadowsmite and choose between additional skills in Archery or increased survival provided by Auramancy. Possible alternatives are:
  • Eagle Eyes for increased accuracy and crit
  • Boneyard to lock a target in place
  • Deadeye if you are sure you will get time to stand still because the extra ranged attack will increase burst potential.
  • Concussive Arrow for another skill to use between cooldowns and also shackles targets.
  • Evasion for increased survival
  • Conversion Shield and Health Lift for increased survival
  • Protective Wings for additional utility
  • Absorb Damage for a passive survival boost
  • Meditate to regenerate mana as this can be an issue during prolonged combat with poor gear
The Primeval Class uses Leather gear for the increased agility because agility increases ranged attack damage, critical strike chance and evasion. Since Archery is one of your skill trees and your damage is primarily ranged you want to invest in a good bow because that is where your damage is coming from.
You can refer to our overview of stats in ArcheAge article for more information on stats. Here is a list of stats that are relevant to the Primeval class.
  • Agility – Increases ranged attack damage, evasion and critical strike chance.
  • Stamina – Increases health by 12 per point.
  • Ranged Attack – Damage you deal when attacking with a ranged weapon.
  • Physical Defense – Reduces the physical damage you take from targets of the same level.
  • Magical Defense – Reduces the magical damage you take from targets of the same level.
  • Ranged Accuracy – Your chance to hit the target.
  • Ranged Critical Rate – Your chance for an attack to critically strike.
  • Ranged Critical Damage – The damage multiplier for your critical strikes.
  • Ranged Skill Damage – Additional damage dealt by ranged attacks.
  • Focus – Reduces the chance that enemies block, parry or evade your attacks.
  • Evasion – Your chance to evade physical attacks from a target of the same level.
  • Resilience – Reduces the critical rate and critical damage from targets of the same level.
  • Toughness – Reduces the physical and magical damage you take from targets of the same level. Only applies in PvP.
I have played Primeval for a few weeks now and even though my gear isn’t at the highest level I still had a lot of fun with it. Before Primeval I played melee but took a lot of damage and was close to death too many times for my liking.
I then took the decision to try my luck at a ranged class and I decided on Primeval. It didn’t take long to learn, I just had to read the tooltips to learn which skills combo with each other and I could comfortably kill the monsters in Diamond Shore. In PvE I generally had a good time playing Primeval but during world bosses,such as Captain Rangora, I found myself eating mana potions on cooldown half way in to the encounter. This is likely due to my poor gear but I could have changed my build around to better fit the situation, such as takingMeditate.
In PvP I had a lot of fun as Primeval. The ability to not be restricted to cast times was an amazing feeling after testing some Daggerspell. I had more freedom to move around while I output my damage and that brought a new level of fun to PvP. The mobility provided by Teleportation and Drop Back were great for keeping my distance from the target when needed or chasing them down to land a killing blow.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the Primeval class. If you want to play a ranged Archer style class that has great well-rounded potential then this is definitely a contender. If you liked this overview then feel free to share it with the social media buttons below!