Funding a Bowman shouldn't be difficult because DEX is super, super cheap. Bowmen are generally great bossers, and are well received because their Sharp Eyes (excludes Mercedes). You'll find that they are sometimes weaker than most other classes in some departments, but all of the Bowmen still really stand out:
- Bowmaster: High lines/minute and good utility; average to below-average mobbing prior to Arrow Rain (5th job)
- Marksman: Small, strong lines; mechanic relies on distance from mob (could be pos or neg); great horizontal mobbing but non-existent vertical mobbing till Split Arrow (5th job)
- Wind Archer: Similar to old Bowmaster; extremely flashy; damage relies on FA (Trifling Whim); immobile Hurricane (Song of Heaven DOES mob though)
- Wild Hunter: 2 modes for bossing/mobbing; relies on summons; arguably most versatile bowman
- Mercedes: Extreme mobility; great bossing capabilities; terrible damage overall, but does make a lot up in 5th job; requires heavy funding
I would suggest trying at least 2 or 3 and see what you like. Personally, I adore Bowmaster with their new 5th job skills.
Also, you should consider starting in a larger server. Maybe Scania and Reboot. It'll give you a lot more options. Party play is almost always non-existent elsewhere.
Let me tell you about Arrow Rain in small maps. In Chu Chu island it's amazing in Slurpy Forest depths, in Lachelein it's incredible at Revelation Palace 3.
Keep in mind this is all taking Kishin/Frenzy into account. If you don't have it available you'll probably end up training at whatever good map and using all your hard muto entries.
I find mercedes a fun side thing, it's incredibly node heavy in 5th, you have so many skills but not enough node slots for them until the latest patch in KMS.
Wind Archer is pretty much how bowmaster played years ago, summon your puppet, use your hurricane, super simple and actually decent damage.
I don't like marksman at all.
Wild Hunter is alright, I think it probably works best when you have the Mercedes Legion Effect and the cooldown hyper, makes bossing a lot simpler. Training is so simplified, you just use WAB and your full map attack.