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archers ammo and ranged attacks

Edam
Just throwing some thoughts out here for discussion:

Background

In alpha Archers were arguable overpowered. Strong attacks and substantial bonuses based on opportunity (which almost everything you shoot at from range presents). This all changed:
  1. As a result of player comment and in particular a strong forum campaign by the player known as Spitfire all ranged combat whether longbow, shortbow, cleric focus or wizard wand/staff was rooted. Shooting ranged shots made you stationary. ( later an exception appeared, the dagger feat Star Slinger) Even with the ranged rooting Longbow in particular was still a very powerful choice.
  2. some people still felt that archers were OP in PvE. in particular the ability to "oneshot" lowlevel mobs was seen as a sign of being OP. The fact that, at the time, it took a well trained T2 archer to one shot very low level T1 mobs was somehow ignored
  3. A little later in early EE (allegedly) complaints began to arise from PvP players that organised groups with good tactics and discipline were able to focus fire grouped archers with sufficient alpha to take out targets whilst then evading and hiding. This was controversial as others (including myself) felt it was more a complaint about using organised tactics in general (coming from people wanting to "shine" in 1v1 combat and calling more than 6 players together a "blob" ) however that is all past history. As a result the Longbow in particular was substantially nerfed to the point of it now being an occasional secondary weapon choice to "pull" mobs.

Current state of play with Archers
  • archers are clearly subpar, many dedicated archers actually quit the game BEFORE the great finance crisis of 2015 when Ryan et al left. Those archer players that did stay have mainly converted their archer characters into DEX based crafters. A few specialist archers still exist and when using one or two very specialised narrow builds (generally based around Vital Strike and penetrating Strike or rogue feats) can still be effective but these characters are rare
  • it was claimed by Ryan/Steven (not sure who) that the PvP inspired nerf would be reversed with ammo HOWEVER I very much doubt they put any thought into this as in PvP games you will happily burn through as much Gold in ammo as necessary. Ammo is mainly going to effect PvE where you will wish to make a "profit" over time.
  • there were hints that the "temporary" ranged rooting may end up being permanent

My personal thoughts

Introduction of ammo is not going to solve any of the PvP issues that led to the over-the-top and excessive archer nerf. The problem, if there was one, was that organised groups with competent leaders calling targets could use massed archers and focused fire to bring overwhelming Alpha to bear on single targets. This was powerful in PvE and deadly in PvP. Reducing the power of individual archers to the point they are almost useless solo was a poorly thought out solution addressing the symptoms rather than the actual problem.

Assuming Archers are unlikely to ever get a substantial reversal of the nerf (it has been 12 months now) a few things can still be done to help. One is adding some Trophy Charm Expendables that are Archer friendly. I expect that ranged Trophy expendables are missing for non-negotiable reasons but there are other options. An expendable granting Ranged Attack Bonus is one such example. It just requires some creative thought.
LoneWolf
I play an archer (well, if you can call logging in every couple weeks to train some feat “playing” at this stage). My goal is to be a Ranger, if that class is ever introduced. I used to enjoy my archer, before the nerfs, now I don’t really at all. I much prefer to play my DT wizard, and frankly in pretty much any combat situation (PvE or PvP) my wizard is far superior to my archer in almost every aspect. It’s a problem (not that I prefer my wizard now, but that my archer is basically relegated to a few closet corner case scenarios where he is viable).
Introducing ammo now without fixing some of the nerf issues would completely destroy what little an archer has going for it now.

I have one suggestion that would, in my opinion, help tremendously boost the archers capabilities and I don’t think would make them OP (and I have stated this many times before since the nerf). Increase the range of their attacks. Leave me rooted if you have to, even introduce ammo if you have to, but increase my range to make an archer an effective force in some aspect of the game, which they are not now. The fact that a great sword fighter has a “ranged” attack that has the same range as my longbow archer is ludicrous. I believe a polearm fighter has an equivalent attack (I don't recall as I don't have any polearm feats). That is just non-sensical, there is no way a greatsword fighter or a polearm fighter should be able to close the gap on my archer before I can get more than one attack in on them.

Increase the longbow range to 75M (at least) and increase the shortbow range to 50M. This one change would make archers viable again. Make this a trainable feat even, something archer specialist characters have to work towards. This would make ranged archer tactics viable, and would create a situation where PvP opponents would need to develop tactics to close the gap and engage those archers to eliminate that threat. I think it would add interest all around and certainly would make my archer more fun to play.
Flari-Merchant
Could be that I am way off base here, but I too have an archer character so I feel like I have grounds to voice concerns(grumble) about their state. The first thing that I'll say is that the fighter's Trophy Charm expendables need a "look see" and expansion all around. Second, I like the idea of increased range, but then NPC archers need a fixing as well and that would have to come with a greater agro range for some of them.

The archer is "alright" for low stakes solo play. The archer is less than mediocre in PVP or high end PVE. Being fixed for the "shot animation" is bad but being fixed in position until Big Zog acknowledges and reports the hit on an opponent is just silly. It isn't as if the archer is mentally guiding the arrow in after it is released.

I greatly appreciate that the team is small now and that some fixes look daunting from that viewpoint but we are talking about a long time here that this has been begging for a "look see" and a fix. So long in fact that we barely remember to put it on requests for upcoming patch "X.Y". Just an example of something that could be done to improve everyday play, but has been bypassed over and over…

Edit: My personal fix idea(almost forgot) was that unless extremely skilled(or better always) an archer should be almost useless within melee range if he is targeted by an opponent. That is a more realistic approach to empowering an archer that has range and time while giving him an inherent weakness in some situations.
Decius
Having a few attacks that traded some things off for range would be a great start. Maybe an attack that had 75m range and a 2.5 df but a 3s attack time, 45 stamina cost, stationary, open to self? Include as a counter a shield bash that is fast, has a short charge, precise +30 on open, stun 5s on open.

But as one of the people who played the first iteration of longbow, allowing full maneuverability while making ranged attacks is just bad. A little bit of iteration on movement speeds could substantially improve things- -90% stamina regeneration while sprinting would do a lot to make the maneuver element meaningful.
Kenton Stone
Food for thought.

How about end rooting, add attack penalties while moving.

Kenton Stone
Former Longbow user
Huran
Here are my thoughts:

Having some attacks available while running would be good - the feat 'running shot' comes to mind which is pretty much pointless now that shortbow users are rooted.

Maybe a compromise would be having only one or two special attacks available while moving and the rest root you.

As a currently active longbow user, I honestly don't mind being rooted - it seems more realistic to me since the English longbow user had generally been stationary while shooting. Shortbow users make sense to me to be able to have some attacks while moving but with decreased accuracy unless they have special training.

I do like the increased range idea a lot. Maybe having range increments where you can shoot further but with minuses to give it more of flavor like the TT version (30m normal, 60m -20, 90m -40 and the max cap or something similar). I also think someday adding cover bonuses and penalties for shooting into melee would be nice where the balance should be having a higher df while a clear shot is available then getting minuses for the more things that are in the way including buildings, trees, allies, etc.

Edit: I originally spaced the actual shortbow feat name changed 'shot on the run' to 'running shot', also changed minuses to match more appropriately to PFO in my range example (not that it matters terribly).
"Circles of power, gathered by EARTH, welcomed by GOLD, in strife and in mirth. Focused by CRYSTAL, guided by LIGHT, showing the way, by day and by night. wrought in IRON, strengthened by STEEL, together we stand, in wrack and in weal. Hidden in SHADOW, explored by WOOD, we circle together, for the greater good." –Maxikyd– http://www.kotcguild.com/
Edam
Huran
Here are my thoughts:

Having some attacks available while running would be good - the feat 'running shot' comes to mind which is pretty much pointless now that shortbow users are rooted.

Maybe a compromise would be having only one or two special attacks available while moving and the rest root you.

As a currently active longbow user, I honestly don't mind being rooted - it seems more realistic to me since the English longbow user had generally been stationary while shooting. Shortbow users make sense to me to be able to have some attacks while moving but with decreased accuracy unless they have special training.

I do like the increased range idea a lot. Maybe having range increments where you can shoot further but with minuses to give it more of flavor like the TT version (30m normal, 60m -20, 90m -40 and the max cap or something similar). I also think someday adding cover bonuses and penalties for shooting into melee would be nice where the balance should be having a higher df while a clear shot is available then getting minuses for the more things that are in the way including buildings, trees, allies, etc.

Edit: I originally spaced the actual shortbow feat name changed 'shot on the run' to 'running shot', also changed minuses to match more appropriately to PFO in my range example (not that it matters terribly).
I absolutely agree that archers should have LOS issues and currently being able to fire through buildings, trees, rocks and other terrain with impunity needs to be addressed though I suspect the programming involved would be extensive.

I am unsure of the wisdom of increased range for archers but if it is done it would need to be balanced by enhanced stealth interfering with target locking and adding the ability to use cover to add to stealth.
Flari-Merchant
For the most part I am technically ignorant of what is very simplistic to code and what is pretty advanced. Nor do we really know the actual skill range of our intrepid GW team, though they have demonstrated that they are a good ways above novice.

-For instance, could they get ammo into the feature set if they wanted to spend the time on it?
-Could they code some type of short debuff for ranged attackers that fire/cast on the move?
-Line of site coding with solid objects, do you need solid things or do you just need LoS and no target with out LoS? Is there a downside to skipping the "solid" part for things like AoE attacks?

For LoS there is already preliminary code because of stealth. Can that be adapted more widely?

Edit to Add: Think of how much the game would change with LoS requirements, ammo, exceptions/alternatives to rooting and how that would keep us excited for months.
Nihimon
Kenton Stone
How about end rooting, add attack penalties while moving.

As I recall, the basic problem was that the combat system as-coded didn't allow for the general application of Effects (Stationary was apparently a special case) at any stage other than the end of the attack, after damage was dealt. I remember Stephen was hoping to be able to apply something like -50% move speed at the beginning of a ranged attack, but was waiting on coding.
Nihimon murmurs in sheer ecstasy as the magic courses through his veins
NamelessOne
Having an archer as well, I think that the longbow especially is under-powered (as has been noted). I'm all for increased range (75m), and maybe a bit more damage per shot. Do that, and I'm fine with rooting. As for taking out low levels with one shot, longbows with more range become the snipers of the groups.
 
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