Balancing Archery

I posted this in general forum under my .6 thread. I wanted to put it here so more people can see it. Archery was over powered even before the new features. These are fun. (oh and btw, in .5 when I used archery I trained my firearms when Using bows. I dont think that is a good idea).

  1. When you use your bow, you incur some fatigue. The more you use it in a given period of time the higher it gets. you have to stop for a period of time for it to go down. This will help temper you from being a terminator.
  2. The above will be reduced some with high strength (note this is good because pure range guys don’t always go high on strength, so you get a trade off) and as the skill goes up
  3. make it take a little more to train up archery than other skills so it goes up slower. not a ton slower. I think a little on this would add up with the above
  4. archery degrades from lack of use slightly faster than other skills
  5. when you have mobs right next to you archery is slightly less effective (makes sense since you really cant pull a bow or crossbow when someone cloberring you). more you are surrounded the less effective.
  6. we could add a skill smiliar to ‘courage’ in ADOM. This skill reduces the penalty you get more mobs around you.
  7. we could make these changes optional in the options and maybe have a level on it. This way people can BETA test his in a future release and post findings on it. So its not a total nerf.

I think some small tinkering could help. I’m not sure how hard it is to code these changes. Is it hard to have archery act a little different than other skills?

I think these balances should work for all ranged weapons, too, not just arrows. I’d also really like to see a courage system. You get afraid and have trouble focusing and landing hits when you encounter a new enemy, but depending on how your encounter goes, you either stop fearing them or fear them more. If you kick the snot out of some blobs, you’d lose fear for them, and you’d instead gain courage and fight them a little better, but when you’re left near death after a Jabberwock, you should freak out and gain a boost to speed so you can run away next time you see one.

But that’s off topic. As for arrows, I think they’re a good path, but arrows should have realistic weight/volume, so there’s more of a tradeoff, and you cant carry 500 arrows around.

making archery work different from other skills, like making it degrade faster, is a bad idea, as things should work similar to eachother in ways that make sense. i dont think fatigue is a good idea, but perhaps firing the bow should cause recoil.
i think the best way to balance bows is to make arrows take up volume, or simply make the bow less accurate and crit less often. in fact, bows are simply way too powerful damage wise. my character consistently head shots zombies at the very farthest range he can shoot them, which doesnt make any sense because if i cant shoot any farther than that i shouldnt be able to shoot that far accurately.

Thing is, in the apocalypse, archery would be pretty damn effective. I mean come on - if you’re a pro, and you shoot something in the head with a pointy stick, it’s probably gonna be dead before it can know what hit it.

Archery needs a RE-balance, not a nerf.

First, need more range. I’m sorry, but you can shoot an arrow further than whatever 5 tiles is in this game. The streets are what - 7 to 10 tiles long? You can shoot an arrow further than across a street.

Now, I don’t know about you guys, but only the very skilled can nock and fire an arrow as fast as Legolas. Normally, it takes quite a while to prepare a shot, and even longer to focus properly, aim, and fire a decently accurate one. This means that when you shoot one arrow, enemies should move SEVERAL tiles. This makes archery terribly ineffective at close range, because if you tried to fire from anything less than 5 tiles away, you would probably get slapped by a zed and interrupted before you could do it properly.

Lastly, archery has a pretty huge learning curve. You can become half-decent at archery with a little practice, yes, but you won’t be making any perfect headshots as an amateur. You should require a lot of skill levels to get critical hits.

Archery itself doesn’t need to be nerfed. It just needs to be riskier and harder to get to a point where archery is incredibly powerful. At lower levels, the best you should be able to do with archery is put a few shots into a zombie’s upper body before it (and its buddies) reach you, rendering your skill only useful for softening them up. At higher levels, I don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to make headshots from 20+ tiles away, but other zeds may still notice your attack, and a larger mob would probably be able to reach you before you can pick them all off.

why dont you like fatigue? about extra volume. you get a bike or a car. you just dump arrows in there. stand next to it and play terminator. Or I can bring a ton of arrows to town and be burdened. Drop them to get rid of burden. pick up what I need and mow things down. you just set up stashes. I also dont understand why different skills cant work a little differently. I am not sure how this doesnt make sense. Alot of games have different things that function differently.

Id like to add, any balance changes to archery could benefit from the ability to turn them on and off (and maybe levels) in options. I think this might make it easier on the coders. the ydont have to spend as much time testing the balance. they can make them optional and have maybe adjustable ranges. when the version is released, you can ask people in announcements (or even when the game comes up) to try different balance settings, then start a thread in suggestions to post what people think.

this way if people dont like the changes no harm done and the people who play can be the Testers. So coders can focus on features. If you can turn off the settings (or have them off by default), then people should not get mad if they dont like them. and if there are different levels, people can tinker with stuff and post what they find.

You have to remember, archery is ridiculously under powered at the start like you never critical anything or get headshots but also, there are things that counter archery like the smoker zombies and skeletons and even vinebeasts sorta counter archery. it’s one of those skills you have to invest a lot of time and focus into and it can become more powerful and doesn’t really need a nerf it just needs more things that can counter it like those pesky wolf spiders will laugh at a relatively low level archer and walk up and murder them. also unless you have really good arrows or a really high level high tier monsters like robots will laugh at your arrows bouncing off of them. though archery is basically for most standard enemy and either it’s effective or it isn’t. if something is op you don’t nerf it you have things that can go against them. :smiley: skeleton archers would be funny. and i also think someone in power armor would laugh at most archers… kinda like guns archery will run out of ammo and you have to spend most of a day to get your ammo back. although implementing a quiver would be nice like it would be specifically for holding the arrows and probably allow you to shoot faster instead of searching your pack for stray arrows in it :D.

also, unless your characters epic like some lord of the rings character you won’t be taking down certain creatures in a couple hits.

and like all things the opportunity to accidentally kill your self is put into archery cough cough explosive arrows and fire arrows. or accidentally shooting an npc

another unit that can laugh at your archery is worms cause they wait underground then eat your face when nearby making you lose what range you have

Good ideas people, this is a really helpful discussion.

There’s an implementation detail I’m meaning to take a look at that I think is part of the problem here.
Weapons have a rating for how accurate they are, used to be accuracy, and was recently renamed to “dispersion” because it’s more precise. This value is in quarter-degrees, so if you have a (really terrible) dispersion value of 40, your shot is up to 10 degrees off, which basically means a miss at anything but very short range.

When you fire a weapon, we randomly pick a number between 0 and that score for each factor that contributes.
The factors are dex, perception, gun skill, weapon skill, arm encumberance, eye encumberance, weapon, ammo, and recoil.

The problem I mentioned is that at very high kill and stat levels, those values go negative, which means you can actually outshoot a ranged-in gun in a shooting vice, which is impossible. The same applies to archery, so you can make shots that are physically impossible for the weapon used.
This is utterly nonsensical, so I need to change that so that it’s purely addative, which might mean a big rebalance exercise since the system currently relies on that, and then we can see where we’re at.

Other than this big issue, there a bunch of other valid points brought up here, so we’ll be looking at those too, but I wanted to let you know about an issue that I wasn’t even aware of until recently that’s contributing to the problem.

I’m not completely sure how weight/volume are calculated, but would it be possible to give arrows .1 weight/volume. So 10 of them would add up to 1 weight 1 volume?

Ammo should have weight, so you cant load up on 9mm and be a bullet-spewing machine.

The current unit of weight is 1/4 of a pound, you can’t have a weight below this.
I’d personally like to put the weight granularity at a gram, and every item would weigh at least one gram. Inventory weights would still be displayed in lbs or kg based on your preference.
There are also weird interactions with items that have a “count”, like ammunition.
Fixing this would simply require setting the item weight to a single instance of the item, and multiplying by the count. Along with some kind of override for e.g. batteries and lighters since the count actually refers to charge level, not “number of sub-items”

Both of these are things we want to address, it’s just a matter of time.

by the way, i just tried out the new ganz rustung, and i was disapointed. sure, it can one hit kill anything, but so can my reflex recurve bow. i think that bows should have their damage reduced, and crossbows, particularly the ganz rustung, should get some armour piercing.

Bows and crossbows should have reduced damage, but much much higher damage on critical hits. That way it pays off a bit more to level up archery, but it’s not over powered early on.

The Ganz Rustung needs steel bolts for effective piercing and reaching peak 36 tile range anyway it’s compensated by it’s raw 30 DMG that even normal wood bolts pierce any armor and have effectice 30 tile range versus normal wooden arrows and weaker bows which would still need high piercing and range arrows. Also the reflex recurve bow can’t 1 hit anything with higher hp where as the Ganz Rustung can with 40-50 dmg based on bolt

The Ganz Rustung needs steel bolts for effective piercing and reaching peak 36 tile range anyway it’s compensated by it’s raw 30 DMG that even normal wood bolts pierce any armor and have effectice 30 tile range versus normal wooden arrows and weaker bows which would still need high piercing and range arrows. Also the reflex recurve bow can’t 1 hit anything with higher hp where as the Ganz Rustung can with 40-50 dmg based on bolt[/quote]
actually both of them deal a little over 200 damage per hit, because they seem to crit 100 percent of the time.

Hell no. We can TOO beat the machine. John Henry LIVES!

As for the rest of the topic, I’d think fatigue over-complicates things and haven’t had much time to mess around with the new stuff. Sorry–maybe over the weekend.

if you want realism I think a fatigue factor on bows is realistic. In the middle ages archers would train for years to build up strength in their arms. Pulling a bow over and over again is fatiguing. Over time it could make you stronger. We could possible add the ability to ‘train’ attributes by doing different things. Similiar to how nethack/adom does it. you can train for a chance to raise them (possibly with potential caps for different character types like ADOM) and ‘abuse’ them to get them lowered depending on what you do. This would be a bigger change beyond archery, so I dont want to clutter the thread with it. I do like the idea of looking at other games and pulling out cool stuff.

go to an archery range and try it sometimes. you will get tired very quickly and your hands will get sore. At higher skill levels your fatigue loss can go down. Strength can reduce fatigue loss too (so making an all range guy has a cost more fatigue).

that is a much bigger chance. I like the fatigue thing because it basically makes it harder to be a terminator with a bow. also a bow is not going to work too well if your dodging mobs right next to you.

another idea I mentioned elsewhere. It looks like with focus I seem to train alot faster. Or atleast at lower levels. Might be time to expand out on the skill levels. so that 9 or so isnt the max. Make it more gradual. So max out is like 30 and 9 isn’t as strong as it was. But its hard to keep any skill at the super max, but not too hard to keep many of them pretty good and a few key ones real high.

Reduce damage of all ranged weapons. Increase range of all ranged weapons. Make most ranged weapons cause a “bleeding” status on enemies similar to the one the PC can suffer based on the amount of damage they deal (Higher damage = higher chances to cause bleeds. Bows have the lowest chance and guns the highest) to compensate for the lowered damage. Make enemies aware enough of being attacked that they will break line of sight when shot at if they can’t reach the player within a reasonable amount of time. Encourage the player to go into places that aren’t wide open shooting galleries. Etc., etc.

Anyways, on the topic of fatigue, being tired and sore isn’t exclusive to shooting bows. Melee and dodging should also cause fatigue drops if we are going that way. It would be ridiculous if pulling back a compound bow (which requires minimal strength to pull in real life) would somehow be more tiring than firing a shotgun (your poor shoulder) or swinging a stick with enough force to crack a skull or dancing around avoiding lunging enemies.

Anyway, i find that players seem to expect their weapons to be just as terrible at skill level 6+ as they were at skill level 0. So, they call for everything to be nerfed if it gets powerful once your skills are increased.

You are essentially guaranteed to get high skills over time, especially given that you can victory-dance the skill in question very easily. If there was an actual cost involved, it would be okay for high skill to provide commensurate benefits, but that’s not the case.

That might not be the case though. When hunting, an arrow with a “muzzle velocity” for hunters that mainly hunt with guns equal or lower than that of a bullet would inflict much more damage than the bullet bleed wise. It’s mostly dependent on the head of course, a sharpened knife edge head would do far more damage as a cutting motion than the poking motion a rounded or tipped bullet/arrow would do.

Perhaps you can make fatigue/stamina a skill, like the firearms and melee skill, that impact a lot of the usage of the other skills.

Regarding fatigue: If & only-if the critters start feeling pain and fatigue too. As is, zeds can chase you for 10-20 map squares if they get a good scent trail, and I’ve yet to see a predator disengage (no matter how badly I hurt it) in the May versions. The RNG has an effectively* unlimited supply of critters, so the player having some level of ability to keep going is only fair.

*How often have you run out the spawn pool in the middle of a fight? I can’t say I ever have.

You are essentially guaranteed to get high skills over time, especially given that you can victory-dance the skill in question very easily. If there was an actual cost involved, it would be okay for high skill to provide commensurate benefits, but that’s not the case.[/quote]

Over time. There are a lot of skills that need raised from 0, incidentally, and leveling combat skills can hurt if it goes wrong. If I’ve put in 20 wall-clock hours* on one character, xe’d better bloody well be good.

*If that’s not a cost, I’m not sure what is.

Maybe there should be a mode where your skills increase at 1/100 the normal rate. That might make people who want their characters to stay terrible at fighting forever a bit happier.