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Archery skill and equipment changes.

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CalenLoki

Grandmaster Knight
WB
Here's bunch of ideas how to tweak archery, mostly to give player more meaningful equipment choices. So more pros and cons, rather than straight upgrade.

It is not balance suggestion. Numbers are just examples, and there is no intention in direct nerf or buff to archery.

1. Remove hard limits, use soft limits instead. "Required skill" should be the point where you can draw a bow long enough to achieve max accuracy.
Using too strong bow will make cross hair to start increase before reaching it. It also reduces damage and arrow speed.
On the other hand using bow way below requirements allows keeping it drawn longer. It shouldn't magically increase max damage - overdrawing bow would just break it. But there should be enough bows that you can always find something suitable to your abilities (bows with up to 250 skill req).

2. The hard limit of which bow can be used on horseback should go away too. Instead give all bows damage/speed/velocity/accuracy/focusing nerf on horses proportional to bow length.
It could also reduce the angle at which you can aim. So with longbow you could only shoot to the side, but not directly front or back.
Riding skill should gradually reduce both penalties.
Perk could help reducing them too, if you insist on using perks... (tip: they are not fun)

3. Bows are accurate. 99% accurate. It's the archer who's ****ty, or arrows. Of course some bows are easier to use (more stable, better grip, less shake), but with enough practice you can achieve almost perfect accuracy with any bow. So I suggest removing accuracy stat from bows. Give it 0-50% "handling" instead. Kind of "granted" accuracy, while skill allows reducing the remaining accuracy.
Longbows are generally easier to learn IRL - more stable, easier drawing techniques. And since they are weaker in so many fields, they deserve higher handling.

4. Make bow size matter more. Mentioned previously horse penalties, but also shorter and lighter bows should be easier to use while walking/turning, and be faster to draw.

5. Make bow types more distinct.
The longer the bow, the more efficient. So higher damage/velocity for the same skill requirement. At cost of being more clumsy.
The more advanced shape and materials, the more efficient as well. But also greatly increased price. Those probably shouldn't appear before tier 3.
So you get short bow: cheap and handy, but weak; longbow: cheap and powerful, but clumsy; recurve bow: handy and powerful, but expensive; and composite war longbow: clumsy and expensive, but powerful as hell.
It's already somehow present in game, but IMO not enough low tier longbows, and too many low tier recurve bows. Also the difference isn't that noticeable.

6. Arrow choice should matter more. Their affect on damage should be % rather than negligible +1 or +2.
a. Arrowheads: barbed 150% cut damage, bodking 100% pierce, practice 50% blunt. Of course numbers are just example, but the difference should be that noticeable. With one being definitely better at tin cans, one against horses, peasants and other animals, and one suitable for slavery business.
b. Quiver type: bag quivers should hold more arrows compared to quivers with separators, but at cost of arrow accuracy. Keeping them all together damages feathers and bend shafts. Again - large extreme differences: 20 capacity with 100% accuracy for separated, 30 cap 95% acc for bag. Quivers with separators can be made bigger of course, but they will always weight much more per arrow stored. Quivers with separators should also increase rate of fire.
c. Arrow weight: Give us option of light arrows with higher velocity and heavy arrows with higher damage. Heaver arrows should also loose momentum slower over time/distance, if that can be modelled in game.
d. Quality: all listed previously numbers are for top tier stuff. Lowest tier will be much worse in pretty much everything.
All those combined give us theoretically 12 arrow types per tier. Although there are probably no top tier blunt arrows, and no low tier quivers with separators.

7. Make skill matter more. ATM you start as very proficient archer, and don't really get better over time. Skill should be much more than perquisite to use good gear.
Thus I suggest very simple formula for accuracy:
[Arrow accuracy - ((100% - bow handling - current action (i.e. moving or turning) / archery skill) - (current action / riding or athletics) - ((for AI, leading target) target perpendicular movement speed * distance / archery skill]

All that ensure that skill progression and weapon choice, even within the same tier, matters a lot.
While this thread is about archery, the same could be applied to other ranged weapons (crossbows, throwing, siege equipment)

Last, less important notes: in game models:
Quivers have anchor point too low. they should be attached very close to the opening, so they don't sway that much (risking arrows falling off).
Bow cases for belt-mounted bows are a must. I know it's EA, but for now it's better if you just place them on the back, while waiting for models.
Most longbows and shortbows shouldn't have that thickened handles. It's something for recurve bows and modern toys.
 
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