In the interests of balance and furthering the game, I’ve decided to put together a little thread/poll here about bows and crossbows, specifically looking at their balance. To be clear, I’m the one responsible for most of the recent changes to bows and crossbows, and I fully intend to continue tweaking and expanding them until the heat death of the universe (Or I just get bored of Cataclysm), so useful discussion and voting here will likely have an (eventual) impact on the game itself.
A pretty common comment I’ve seen around Discord and Reddit is that bows are overpowered, and that crossbows are comparatively useless. I can kinda see where people are coming from, but I’d like some actual opinions on how and why.
It seems to me that the most obvious issue is that crossbows are far too slow and don’t do much more damage than bows. I see three main ways to fix this, first, a general 10-20% nerf for bow damage and range. This would make them less comparable to guns, and make crossbows relatively stronger. My only issue with that is that a hard nerf would make bows useless, while a minor nerf wouldn’t make any difference, so it would end up as an ugly balancing act that could piss people off.
The alternative is improving crossbows, either with higher damage (which might bring them uncomfortably close to guns in power (but maybe they should be?)), or a specialised piece of equipment that allows you to reload crossbows more rapidly. Something like the belt hook described here could be equipped as a slightly encumbering (and heavy) piece of clothing that flatly allows all crossbows to be reloaded in 2 turns (200 moves, as opposed to the compound crossbow’s current 300 moves). Unfortunately that would require some hardcoding that might be difficult, so it would probably be easier to implement as a magazine attachment for the weapon itself. That would also open up the possibility of other loading mechanisms, some of which are slower or faster, but require more or less strength to use, or even require a bit of UPS power.
The final possibility is to indirectly nerf bows by making bolts/arrows take longer to produce and/or making them more fragile, or taking up greater space in the inventory, etc. This could be in addition to other changes, as it would make crossbows more practical because you would need to spend a lot more time making ammunition with bows as opposed to crossbows, which would require less ammo to put down the same enemies.
I’m very open to discussion and ideas since archery is kind of my pet project for CDDA, but I’d first like to look mainly at whether or not people actually think bows are OP/crossbows are weak, to show which way it should be handled, so that’s what the (first?) poll will be on.
DISCLAIMER: I’m making the assumption that any balancing will be based around the top-end bow/crossbow (the compound bow/crossbow) and the lower level bows/crossbows will reflect balance changes to a lesser extent (Thank you Rod).
I.E If you’re not sure, base your opinion on the Compound Bow and Compound Crossbow.
- Bows are fine and need no balancing.
- Bows are too strong, they should be nerfed.
- Bows are too weak, they should be buffed.
- Crossbows are fine, and need no balancing.
- Crossbows are too strong, they should be nerfed.
- Crossbows are too weak, they should be buffed.
- Bows AND crossbows are too strong, their ammo supply should be nerfed.
- Other (please explain in a comment).