Archer Build - Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance
The Archer in this game can be played a couple of different ways, my way relies heavily on passives and uses a Bow. Even though this class is called an Archer you'll spend a bit of time using a shield and 1h weapon during Act 1, I personally didn't start using a Bow til the start of Act 2 mostly because the weight and cost of Arrows.
Once you unlock the Arcane Quiver Skill you'll be able to carry twice the amount of arrows for the same amount of weight and it'll help out a lot. However, using a bow isn't that beneficial until you get one that's good (since it costs time and money to use) - which is another reason why I waited until Act 2.
You will also have to use melee some during the final boss fight and also during the final dungeon. Once you enter the final dungeon you can't exit or Recall to a vendor which means you can't replenish your Arrows. Now, the final dungeon does give a lot of Arrows but if you're using Hail of Arrows and spam it for most enemies... you will run out of Arrows.
When it comes down to skills for the Archer, I chose to focus mostly on the passive skills that were available to me. I experimented with many of the available abilities and if I had to pick one that is worth using it would be Hail of Arrows... However, even Hail of Arrows isn't perfect considering it will fire twice as many arrows at a time and that will result in more money spent and more trips to the vendor.
Shock Arrows is the best elemental arrow skill there is but it's going to end up costing you a ton of Mana Potions if you plan on using it often. In my experience if you want an ability to use that deals damage you should just go for Hail of Arrows and if you want to maximize damage done with Hail of Arrows, use it to "shotgun" your opponents.
By shotgun what I mean is, stand close to your opponents and fire Hail of Arrows in their face so your "shotgun" of arrows all hits the same target. This will allow you to deal double, triple or even quadruple damage depending on how many arrows hit the target. Works better on bigger targets for obvious reasons.
Now, with all of that information out of the way let's talk a little bit about the build I chose for my Archer. I mostly focused on passive abilities while choosing Hail of Arrows as my only "spell". I personally invested a lot of points into an elemental arrow too (Frost) and I was unimpressed with it.
My advice to you is to max out the important passives such as Improved Critical, Death Blow, Combat Reflexes and Arcane Quiver then invest the rest of your points into the lesser passives. It's up to you how much you want to spend on Hail of Arrows and how often you'd like to spam the ability.
Arcane Quiver: Arcane Quiver is one of your most important skills that you can purchase. It halves the weight of all arrows that you're carrying which is an extremely big deal when you need to lug around 400x Arrows at a time. You should get this skill sometime in Act 1 before you switch to using your Bow full time.
Enchant Arrows: Enchant Arrows can be summarized as "Eh". It's ok, essentially all it does is adds +1 Damage per skill point that you purchase. For me, the first 2 ranks of this are the most important because they cost very little Skill Points to purchase. Once it starts costing 8 Skill Points and more per rank I tend to not buy it.
Dodge: This falls into the same category as Enchant Arrows, buying one or two ranks of it isn't such a bad idea since the cost is so cheap but I don't recommend you go further than that.
Deflect Missiles: Deflect Missiles is one of the best passive skills available to you on an Archer. It's a bit of a bummer that it only works on ranged enemies but it's still a really good passive and will help you during some of the hardest parts of the game.
Hail of Arrows: Hail of Arrows is the best spell an Archer gets and is the only one I can really recommend you invest Skill Points into. All this skill does is fire multiple arrows that deal the same amount of damage as a regular attack; you can shotgun a single enemy to hit them with all the arrows if you stand in their face.
Endurance: Increases your carry capacity by +15 Pounds. This is very good to invest one or two points into since we're not a Strength based class.
Toughness: One or two points is all you should invest into this skill - if you're going to invest any points at all.
Intestinal Fortitude: Intestinal Fortitude increases your health regeneration by 50% for each rank. For those of you who are wearing Constitution Jewelry this skill can be pretty good, otherwise it's kind of meh.
Combat Reflexes: Each point into this skill increases your Attack Speed and it seems like a significant amount too. If you buy 2 ranks at the same time it's very noticable how much faster you attack. Definitely get this early on as it makes a big difference in how much damage you deal.
Death Blow: Death Blow gives you a flat increase on the damage you deal with critical hits. It's one of the better passives and typically the 3rd one that I get.
Improved Critical: This skill increases your chances of scoring a Critical Hit by 5% per rank. It's insanely good and typically the first thing I will get.
My Order for Skills: Improved Critical, Combat Reflexes, Death Blow, Arcane Quiver, Enchant Arrows (2), Hail of Arrows (1) and then various other passives depending on what I feel my character needs. If you want to play a more 'active' Archer that uses abilities more often then spend more points into Hail of Arrows and get it earlier.