Just nerf ranged damage by 30%

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Yertyl

Veteran
T6 archer takes 10 shots to down a T6 infantry? I think it's a bit much, I would spam full infantry armies and rush enemy archers if that was the case. Remember, a good amount of infantry also has shields, so its really tough to actually land 10 shots on a guy...
In my ideal of Bannerlord mixed armies would be superior to both archer only and melee only. Yes, a pure archer army could just be rushed down (as they should be). But at the same time, an archer that continuously shoots while protected by a melee front would still output more damage than a melee unit.
You have to remember that ranged units have the huge advantage that they can output damage without risking being damaged themselves. A melee unit will likely only get in a few good strikes before being taken down themselves. If you ever want to balance this out, ranged damage output needs to be a lot lower than melee.
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight at Arms
I am not really sure about the best solution, but I do agree with ranged units are still OP as f***, even when we have been complaining about this since months ago. Some work has been done by TW but archers and crossbowmen are still far to be balanced, and they are making battles boring and easy every time I manage to get some T5/T6 units.

TW please balance ranged units once and for all.
 

Callum

Community Lead
I have seen endless discussion about the specific instances of this, but to me it always boils down to the same theme:
  • regular archers/crossbowmen are way more powerful than melee infantry. We all fear sharpshooters and fians, but laugh about axemen.
  • horse archers are way more powerful than melee cavalry. I think just saying "Khuzait" is enough to demonstrate this point, even with their less than optimal tactical use of those troops.
  • This also contributes to the fast pace of battles, as melee units either rush archers or die trying (mostly the latter)
  • it is usually way easier for the player to rack up more than a dozen kills with a ranged weapon, even if unskilled in the weapon
  • when I go down on the battle field, it is more often than not to a random arrow to the face -- less fun than avoidable melee damage
  • A glancing hit with a melee weapon can be reduced to single digit damage in heavy armor, but arrows always really hurt.
  • And lastly, looter rocks are more dangerous than their pitchforks
Putting aside all discussions of realism, the ability to fire from a distance is such a huge tactical advantage that if you ever want to make melee viable for reasons other than role-playing, ranged damage output can't be on par with melee. If it is, like in the current implementation, we effectively go from medieval to modern warfare in which the effectiveness of an army is largely decided by their number of ranged troops. Ranged weapons should be tactical and supportive, but as it is, ranged troops get kills and melee troops get killed. Even heavily micromanaged melee troops don't come close to the effectiveness of "fire and forget" mass ranged weapons.

The only ranged weapons that seem to be in a good place to me are throwing weapons, but their use is obviously much, much more limited than that of a bow or crossbow. Otherwise, I cannot think of a single instance in which the game would not be drastically improved by significantly slashing ranged damage across the board. I think this would bring the game much closer to what I feel the balance should be: A ranged fighter is more effective if they can shoot unimpeded for a long time and use most of their quiver -- otherwise, the melee fighter should win.

So please, just reduce those numbers? I am tired of every game being a decision of "Do I want to mass ranged units or do I want to make it artificially harder for myself?"

Have you tried playing the game with reduced difficulty settings or are you finding that ranged damage is still too high after lowering the settings?

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BigFat

Regular
Have you tried playing the game with reduced difficulty settings or are you finding that ranged damage is still too high after lowering the settings?
Pretty sure he wants ranged damage lowered across the board because they perform a lot better for both players and npcs.
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight at Arms
Have you tried playing the game with reduced difficulty settings or are you finding that ranged damage is still too high after lowering the settings?

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It is not about difficulty settings. The problem with archers is that they are too overpowered in player’s hands, and they are making battles too easy for the player. If you would add an option to reduce everyone’s archers damage (especially to nerf my own archers), keep for sure that I would use it.

You could say: “if archers are so OP, why just do not recruit them”… Well, this is not a solution because I would like to enjoy playing combined armies where all units would be balanced.
 
I find just increasing armour values does the trick well enough. Solves a lot of other problems too.
I am with you on that. Make armor more protective (especially vs. thrown rocks). Have some ranged dedicated AP capabilities like javelins or heavy crossbows - that's what they are made for. A storm of arrows still should hurt badly armored troops and for the Khuzait...well...it is the way they fight: horseback and archery. It is effective, yes. See reality with golden horde. But eventually they were stopped - with ways we could have implemented in the game: internal squabbling, bad recruitment far from the homelands, fickle economy. Could prevent snowballing. But what do you expect as result when you have infantry and the enemy is riding around you on horseback peppering you with arrows?! Fair? No. But reason to call for a general nerf? I do not see that either. The answer must lie elsewhere. Either in efficient counter-tactics or gameplay-mechanisms that make Khuzait play a lot more different from other factions both allowing stuff no one can do but also preventing stuff everybody else can.
 

Antaeus

Sergeant
But without knowing the details, it seems pretty straightforward that pre-gunpowder combat was still not dominated by ranged weaponry the same way it became after the introduction of gunpowder. Say a Roman Legion looked very different from an optimal bannerlord army, which is 80+% ranged units.

Because the effectiveness of archers and crossbows drops off at range. Unlike the movies, archers were often deployed at close range (less than 80 metres) where they were effective, but also scarily close to mass infantry and cavalry charges. They were limited by their stocks of ammunition (they were mobile - and there are fun stories of English archers firing each others arrows back and forth by moving in and out of each other's effective range). And archery with heavy bows is tiring - very tiring. Archers might only have a dozen shots in them before they're fatigued and have to withdraw to re-equip and take a break.

Also, as shown in the video, it takes lucky shot to hit an arm through a shield, more lucky to embed in a face or chest once the arrow's momentum has been broken by the shield. A shield might take 10 arrow hits while the holder covers a 80 metres of ground, and none might strike bone - at that point if the shield is becoming a hinderance, it can be dropped. But I imagine apart from having to be held well out from the body, would probably be relatively effective with adrenaline going. If the holder was required to withdraw and regroup, it can be swapped or arrows can be removed with effort.

And I showed just one type of late medieval shield, not a Viking round shield, not a Pavise. And only a heavy English bow/arrows - so only one particular set of circumstances. So even with a quick guess, there are plenty of real world limitations on archer effectiveness that have nothing to do with how deadly a bow is.

Its difficult to replicate these kind of mechanics in game - where massed archers should be absolutely devastating, or sometimes not at all depending on circumstances. So you're right, they can't just be blanket deadly in all circumstances. Apocal's cut damage solution is one approach. Where arrows are affected by armour in a different way. Another approach might be to look at damage at the end of it's range to make arrows less deadly at range - although already I feel like a hunting bow is throwing toothpicks when I'm in lamellar at 80 metres.

But what ever is done, it shouldn't be a generic damage nerf - because a single heavy war arrow should be able to take a man in mail down with one well aimed shot at 20-50 metres - and the majority of armour in this game is mail.
 
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black_bulldog

Knight at Arms
WBWF&SVC
Have you tried playing the game with reduced difficulty settings or are you finding that ranged damage is still too high after lowering the settings?

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Whether you meant it or not this response comes off as very flippant and condescending.
This isn't a discussion about making the game easier. It's about balance between troop types, and making battles a bit more tactical so that they aren't over in 5 minutes. Making it so armies full of archers aren't the best/easiest way to play. We're suppose to be a commanding officer/lord/king whose trying to lead his troops to victory not someone who gets to sit and watch a mosh pit happen over and over again.
 

five bucks

Sergeant at Arms
a single heavy war arrow should be able to take a man in mail down with one well aimed shot at 20-50 metres
Hard disagree. Something like that being a consistent outcome is unrealistic. Even the very early longbows, the most powerful bows of the early medieval period, had difficulty doing something like that.
Don't get confused by videos showing tests of Renaissance-era Mary Rose longbows that had poundages of up to 180. Early medieval longbows probably went up to 80-90 pounds or even less.
11th century longbows, the best available, with well-made arrows could probably penetrate single-linked mail and probably get through the padding underneath deep enough to injure, sure. And even if it didn't penetrate, it would hurt. But it would require multiple shots to either weaken the links or get the lucky hit that goes right through, which is the sort of thing you represent either with massive RNG (20% chance of penetration for 100 damage), which doesn't work well with Bannerlord; or with incremental damage (20 damage per shot, 5 shots adds up to 100 damage). Not a straight up one hit kill.

And we could debate the realism all month (I think I've seen you do so in armor threads before) but that would miss the important part.

It isn't fun, or balanced, or good for the game's tactics, or for game design in general for armor to be that weak. (Leaving aside that it makes headshots pointless too).

When a "single heavy war arrow" (presumably fired by a T5 archer) can take down a "man in mail" who has no shield (this describes multiple troops, including the T5 Vlandian Pikeman and Vlandian Voulgier) in "one shot" from a "50-0 metre gap" (which is about half a football field), and is capable of firing accurately about six or seven times in the time it takes the melee units to cross the gap...

Then with such unrealistically ineffective armor, a T5 archer can slaughter seven melee fighters of the same tier without even getting scratched. 7:1 kill ratio for a unit of the same cost.

As being oneshot would effectively give T5 mailed units the same defense as T1 armorless units, here's an old video with pre-nerf Fians to demonstrate what that would look like. Just imagine the Peasants are T5 Vlandian Pikemen.

That's just stupid.

Mail needs to become better across the board, even against the best archers with the best bows. Post-nerf Fians twoshotting mailed enemies is bad enough, if they could oneshot that would be even worse.
 
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mujadaddy

Regular
WB
Hard disagree. Something like that being a consistent outcome is unrealistic. Even the very early longbows, the most powerful bows of the early medieval period, had difficulty doing something like that.
Don't get confused by videos showing tests of Renaissance-era Mary Rose longbows that had poundages of up to 180. Early medieval longbows probably went up to 80-90 pounds or even less.
11th century longbows, the best available, with well-made arrows could probably penetrate single-linked mail and probably get through the padding underneath deep enough to injure, sure. And even if it didn't penetrate, it would hurt. But it would require multiple shots to either weaken the links or get the lucky hit that goes right through, which is the sort of thing you represent either with massive RNG (20% chance of penetration for 100 damage), which doesn't work well with Bannerlord; or with incremental damage (20 damage per shot, 5 shots adds up to 100 damage). Not a straight up one hit kill.

And we could debate the realism all month (I think I've seen you do so in armor threads before) but that would miss the important part.

It isn't fun, or balanced, or good for the game's tactics, or for game design in general for armor to be that weak. (Leaving aside that it makes headshots pointless too).

When a "single heavy war arrow" (presumably fired by a T5 archer) can take down a "man in mail" who has no shield (this describes multiple troops, including the T5 Vlandian Pikeman and Vlandian Voulgier) in "one shot" from a "50-0 metre gap" (which is about half a football field), and is capable of firing accurately about six or seven times in the time it takes the melee units to cross the gap...

Then with such unrealistically ineffective armor, a T5 archer can slaughter seven melee fighters of the same tier without even getting scratched. 7:1 kill ratio for a unit of the same cost.

As being oneshot would effectively give T5 mailed units the same defense as T1 armorless units, here's an old video with pre-nerf Fians to demonstrate what that would look like. Just imagine the Peasants are T5 Vlandian Pikemen.

That's just stupid.

Mail needs to become better across the board, even against the best archers with the best bows. Post-nerf Fians twoshotting mailed enemies is bad enough, if they could oneshot that would be even worse.
Armor is about half as effective as it probably should be, per point.
 

Yertyl

Veteran
Because the effectiveness of archers and crossbows drops off at range. Unlike the movies, archers were often deployed at close range (less than 80 metres) where they were effective, but also scarily close to mass infantry and cavalry charges. They were limited by their stocks of ammunition (they were mobile - and there are fun stories of English archers firing each others arrows back and forth by moving in and out of each other's effective range). And archery with heavy bows is tiring - very tiring. Archers might only have a dozen shots in them before they're fatigued and have to withdraw to re-equip and take a break.

Also, as shown in the video, it takes lucky shot to hit an arm through a shield, more lucky to embed in a face or chest once the arrow's momentum has been broken by the shield. A shield might take 10 arrow hits while the holder covers a 80 metres of ground, and none might strike bone - at that point if the shield is becoming a hinderance, it can be dropped. But I imagine apart from having to be held well out from the body, would probably be relatively effective with adrenaline going. If the holder was required to withdraw and regroup, it can be swapped or arrows can be removed with effort.

And I showed just one type of late medieval shield, not a Viking round shield, not a Pavise. And only a heavy English bow/arrows - so only one particular set of circumstances. So even with a quick guess, there are plenty of real world limitations on archer effectiveness that have nothing to do with how deadly a bow is.

Its difficult to replicate these kind of mechanics in game - where massed archers should be absolutely devastating, or sometimes not at all depending on circumstances. So you're right, they can't just be blanket deadly in all circumstances. Apocal's cut damage solution is one approach. Where arrows are affected by armour in a different way. Another approach might be to look at damage at the end of it's range to make arrows less deadly at range - although already I feel like a hunting bow is throwing toothpicks when I'm in lamellar at 80 metres.

But what ever is done, it shouldn't be a generic damage nerf - because a single heavy war arrow should be able to take a man in mail down with one well aimed shot at 20-50 metres - and the majority of armour in this game is mail.
Thank you for that long reply, that was an interesting read :smile: One thing that's missing from that discussion for me though: I think the question is not only how deadly arrows were, but how deadly they were relative to melee weapons.
As much as heavy bows had the potential to penetrate relatively light armor -- although I do agree with fivebucks' later point that you have to compare bows and armor of the same period -- I feel like being directly stabbed with a sword had a lot more potential. If I look at my current game:

Hunting bow damage: 45 pierce
Tapered blade stab damage: 31 pierce

Now that seems really really off. Equally, stabbing polearms like spears, the actual kings of ancient and medieval warfare AFAIK, have absolutely pathetic damage and handling in the current implementation of MBII.

So to me, the general guideline should either be buff armor but then also buff melee damage -- or just nerf ranged damage.

Have you tried playing the game with reduced difficulty settings or are you finding that ranged damage is still too high after lowering the settings?

As others have mentioned, it's mostly about how good ranged units are compared to melee units. I actually feel like that difference is greater in the hands of the player than the hands of the AI for several reasons:
AFAIK autocombat thinks they are only as good as a melee unit of the same tier, the player can make better use of their wider range of (cheesing) tactics compared to melee, and the player tends to be a lot better at snowballing, whereas the AI gets wiped out a lot and is thus reset to recruits
 
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Callum

Community Lead
As others have mentioned, it's mostly about how good ranged units are compared to melee units. I actually feel like that difference is greater in the hands of the player than the hands of the AI for several reasons:
AFAIK autocombat thinks they are only as good as a melee unit of the same tier, the player can make better use of their wider range of (cheesing) tactics compared to melee, and the player tends to be a lot better at snowballing, whereas the AI gets wiped out a lot and is thus reset to recruits

Ah ok, by bad for misunderstanding. I will forward the feedback to the team.
 

Ni

Veteran
M&BWBWF&SVC
Hunting bow damage: 45 pierce
Tapered blade stab damage: 31 pierce

Now that seems really really off. Equally, stabbing polearms like spears, the actual kings of ancient and medieval warfare AFAIK, have absolutely pathetic damage and handling in the current implementation of MBII.

So to me, the general guideline should either be buff armor but then also buff melee damage -- or just nerf ranged damage.
I don't know, I think the bow should probably do more damage. If you take into account the speed of the arrow versus the speed of a thrusting weapon, it just seems to me that the arrow would penetrate easier. Although I guess a two-handed polearm would do more damage once the armor was pierced .... so maybe not.

I am also against an overall damage nerf as well, at least until other options have been exhausted. I'm just wondering if simply having the AI use better tactics would help. In a few recent battles when I was using an archer heavy army I was pleasantly surprised when the enemy AI formed a shield wall and effectively countered my archers forcing me to have them hold fire until I was able to break up the shield wall. It'd be nice if the AI did that more often. Also, oftentimes when I face an AI army they have so few cavalry units I feel safe just ignoring them and focusing on the main body of the army. I don't want every AI army to be cavalry heavy, it would be boring and repetitive, but I do feel like they could do with more. And speaking of AI cavalry, when they do bring them it would be nice to see them try to circle around and focus down the archers. Right now they just charge into my infantry and get mowed down by thrown weapons, polearms, or stopped and shot off their horse.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
Have you tried playing the game with reduced difficulty settings or are you finding that ranged damage is still too high after lowering the settings?

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First of all on a personal level, my congratulations and my wish for the best possible enjoyment of your honeymoon.
A prosperous future, sincerely.



On the professional side, I am glad that there has been an upturn in activity in terms of interactivity on the forum, beep-boop :iamamoron: 🤖.

Joking aside, it's not a question of difficulty but of how badly the damage-protection relationship is working... We don't know how we can make you guys see this as a major problem to tackle as a high priority; there are hundreds of threads repeatedly talking about it ad nauseam.

Threads like this one: Armour. Why it doesn't work and how to make it work

I assume you guys have heard about the Realistic Battle mod and other similar mods where the damage-protection relationship has been comprehensively reworked. Well these mods, for a VAST majority are essential. You guys cannot delegate this to the mods as well, you must tackle the problem at its root by default in Native.

There are too many fundamental problems with the game that would fall under "the basics" which to this day (1 year + >6 months / no mention to MP *crickets*) its performance is bordering on disastrous, one of them as I say is the formula of damage-protection (weapons damage- armor protection/ what protect more than what).

We are in such a dreadful situation in this matter that one can only hope that you will "at least" reach the same level as Warband in this respect.

I really wish you could convey this to the team, plenty of players would thank you for it.
 

Yertyl

Veteran
I don't know, I think the bow should probably do more damage. If you take into account the speed of the arrow versus the speed of a thrusting weapon, it just seems to me that the arrow would penetrate easier. Although I guess a two-handed polearm would do more damage once the armor was pierced .... so maybe not.
I just played around a bit with custom battle duels -- Carfid (ranger bow + norse hatchet) and Belarn (Steel Tipped Hooked spear + fine cavalry broadsword) vs Gaston (ridged army sword).
The most extreme example I found was a bow headshot doing ~60 damage, and a stab to the head with the spear doing ~15. But also otherwise, the ranger bow seems to consistently deal a bit more damage than a 1h axe/sword ( ~35-40), and much much more than a spear (~15).
Even if you think this is realistic, which I do not, it should be obvious that if you have the choice between dealing damage from a distance, and dealing damage while you get hit yourself, the former is the superior option by far. Even the comparatively tiny range advantage a spear gives made them dominate real battlefields.
To be fair, I believe you do take longer to aim a bow than to swing a sword, but on the other hand, you will very rarely be constantly swinging in melee. If melee combat should ever be a viable alternative, ranged damage needs to be much lower than melee damage.

Shields do offer great protection from ranged fire, but it's just too easy to play around them. A single line of infantry marching against a single line of archers in shield wall will win. But: Split your archers -- infantry dies. Cavalry charge from behind -- infantry dies. Large battlefield with lots of attacks from different angles -- infantry dies. And of course: No shield -- infantry dies.
Shields alone are not enough to limit the power of archers if infantry dies as fast as it currently does as soon as they are not attacked directly from their front.

On a positive note I can say that in my custom battle tests in the current 1.6 beta, horse archers in particular dominate far less than they used to and actually lost to melee cav on F6. They still destroy infantry and archers, but I think not to such a ridiculous degree as they used to.
 
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The Sign of 33

Sergeant at Arms
WF&S
Shields do offer great protection from ranged fire, but it's just too easy to play around them. A single line of infantry marching against a single line of archers in shield wall will win. But: Split your archers -- infantry dies. Cavalry charge from behind -- infantry dies. Large battlefield with lots of attacks from different angles -- infantry dies. And of course: No shield -- infantry dies.
Shields alone are not enough to limit the power of archers if infantry dies as fast as it currently does as soon as they are not attacked directly from their front.

On a positive note I can say that in my custom battle tests in the current 1.6 beta, horse archers in particular dominate far less than they used to and actually lost to melee cav on F6. They still destroy infantry and archers, but I think not to such a ridiculous degree as they used to.
You are basically saying employing tactics over an opponent who doesn't, makes you win. The horror. Shields' blocking cones (I think that's what its' called by TW) is already ridiculous, protecting far more than their physical existence like some magic items. The game has already a bias aganist bows in that manner, I don't agree there's a need to nerf archers, maybe it should be a bit harder to train archers which is realistic.

Even if you think this is realistic, which I do not, it should be obvious that if you have the choice between dealing damage from a distance, and dealing damage while you get hit yourself, the former is the superior option by far. Even the comparatively tiny range advantage a spear gives made them dominate real battlefields.
A bow doing more damage IS realistic tho, if you do the research that is, if you go by the movies where characters pull out arrows like they are tiny tooth sticks, it's easy to underestimate the good ol' bow and arrows. If a choice was given to medieval rulers where they can have as many archers as they want, I can assure you they would go with armies that consists of at least %60 archers but that would depend on the terrain.
 

Penn

Regular
Quite funny how a game called "Mount and BLADE" is so unbalanced in favor of the arrow/bolt and not the blade
 

rhoube

Recruit
Hello, Actually I think everybody is taking this matter from wrong side. I do not actually think we need a big Nerf for bows in general only a distance correction can do the job. But people think that bows are overpowered because how human manipulate the system. If you hire 300 fian champions ofc it would be very powerful for a mixed armies. But how would you think if AI would hire 300 cavalary ( where they need their charge capacity from warband) to counter you. Actually this can be solved by defining a army composition restrictions. There should be huge disadvantages for single type armies. For example in my latest game I had 300 horse-archer army where I nearly wiped everything. But the only cause for this is that AI does not counter me with 300 Archers! Normally AI is hiring according to a mixed formula! But human does not have this so we are manipulating the system. So I would prefer an AI improvement.(where it is imposible :smile:) or army composition restrictions. So an army should consists Archer + Cavalary ( Light, Archer, Heavy) + Infantry. In warband everybody was crying that mount+blade is too powerful now same is happening for archers. But the thing is AI improvement effects archers mainly and actually reversed everything in favor of archers. Also another good idea is to make archers train harder ( I agree with it but it would not help), but still we are talking about a game where is all about grinding and human will wait 1 more month to have their archers if he is sure that it would break the balance in favor of him.
 

flarebright

Recruit
Hello, Actually I think everybody is taking this matter from wrong side. I do not actually think we need a big Nerf for bows in general only a distance correction can do the job. But people think that bows are overpowered because how human manipulate the system. If you hire 300 fian champions ofc it would be very powerful for a mixed armies. But how would you think if AI would hire 300 cavalary ( where they need their charge capacity from warband) to counter you. Actually this can be solved by defining a army composition restrictions. There should be huge disadvantages for single type armies. For example in my latest game I had 300 horse-archer army where I nearly wiped everything. But the only cause for this is that AI does not counter me with 300 Archers! Normally AI is hiring according to a mixed formula! But human does not have this so we are manipulating the system. So I would prefer an AI improvement.(where it is imposible :smile:) or army composition restrictions. So an army should consists Archer + Cavalary ( Light, Archer, Heavy) + Infantry. In warband everybody was crying that mount+blade is too powerful now same is happening for archers. But the thing is AI improvement effects archers mainly and actually reversed everything in favor of archers. Also another good idea is to make archers train harder ( I agree with it but it would not help), but still we are talking about a game where is all about grinding and human will wait 1 more month to have their archers if he is sure that it would break the balance in favor of him.
You know this could be a cool way to bring some personality to AI lords. I remember posts complaining that AI lords don't have enough personality. Have some lord that really likes foot archers for example and another one that loves cavalry. So when you ROFL stop around with your horse archer army and run into foot archer lord or a crossbow lord, or heavy cavalry lord that will be a memorable experience. Or maybe not just individual lords but clans. Would actually make sense that clan leaders would teach their tactical doctrine to children.

Would be tough to implement finding prefered recruits for AI lords thought... Maybe give them slightly unique castles/town villages that reflect their preference but would revert to normal ones if captured. Actually if those specific clans modified the type of troops that would be available from villages they govern it could become strategic goal to recruit them and give them fiefs.
 
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