Missile damage needs to be reduced

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Bluko88

Sergeant
So the effectiveness of ranged weapons (specifically bows and crossbows) is something I've long mulled over. Before patch 1.8 it was pretty obvious that armor was lacking to say the least and that was the biggest problem. With the armor changes in patch 1.8 and beyond I feel melee combat is about right; heavier armor provides enough protection that you can actually expect to survive a few more hits from a typical long sword.

However ranged missile weapons don't seem to have been affected much. It became pretty glaring to me when I had a fairly decent tier 4 spear, stabbed an imperial cataphract on horseback did about 10 damage. Pretty low damage, but then again it's some of the heaviest armor in the game, so that's fair. But then I take out my tier 3 steppe bow with steppe arrows and a close range body shot does like 30 damage...


Ranged units just seem far too powerful in too many circumstances, even with cavalry having a lot more charge damage as of 1.9, archers are still quite effective against cavalry, when really cavalry should demolish archers. It's my earnest belief a modest damage reduction of 15-25% on all ranged missile weapons (again just bows/crossbows, throwing weapons are mostly fine as is) would do a lot to promote a more balanced battlefield.

And while speculation is great, the proof is in the pudding as they say. So I went ahead created my own archers with just bows (no melee weapons) and some test dummies (no weapons at all, just armor) to get a good grasp of what's happening. I also selected 3 short bows; the steppe bow (tier 2), the steppe recurve bow (tier 3), and the noble bow (tier 5) and reduced the thrust damage by them to varying degrees - ranging from 90% to 60% reduction of their original damage.


It quickly became apparent during my tests, that even with damage reductions, bows were still wildly effective.


Just to give an idea how absurd bows are in-game as is, I ran a mock siege (just ladders) of my archers armed with just said bows (no damage reduction) and their fists against an equal mix of imperial infantry. My archers won... Now obviously you expect the attackers to suffer casualties getting to the walls, climbing the ladders, but you know once the infantry are over the walls it should have been a slaughter - since the infantry have swords, shields, and menavliatons. But nope! And this was me letting the A.I. do all it's own thing, only taking over at the end since there were some pathing issues with the A.I.

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My archers are basically just modified Highborn Warriors (tier 2), Battanian Heroes (tier 4), and Fian Champions (tier 6) using regular arrows.
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And here are the dummies I used as "target practice". You got dummies with 0 armor, 12 armor, 37 armor, and 55 armor for all hit locations.
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So I ran a series of tests with my bow armed only troops versus a bunch of unarmed dummies. Due note that even without weapons the A.I. will resort to fighting with their fists in melee combat. I felt this was the best to ensure results in melee combat were truly fair between both sides. I ran 10 Archers vs 10 Dummies to make up for misses, etc. Also larger sizes would really drag on and I wanted to keep things brief for my own sanity.

The idea of these tests is to get a good what would happen to melee units advancing on archers without a shield; so shock troops or potentially other archers out of ammunition. (Flawless Victory is where the archers suffer 0 causalities)

Now this is what I would like to see more or less:
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Basically a nice gradient where low tier archers are good against weak armored foes, but pretty bad against high armor, and only high tier archers can really pull off flawless victories 100% of the time. Needless to say the actual results were quite interesting, even at a 40% damage reduction the results did not change a whole lot. Obviously there's quite a bit of RNG, and I only ran each scenario once, obviously you'd get better data from many tests. But I don't have that kind of patience.

(Also at the last minute I tested a different Dummy set with 25 armor all-around, since 37 armor is rather high in this game)
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* denote results that probably could have wound up better/worse based on RNG

Pics or it didn't happen right? (sorry thought video would be too tedious, didn't want to do that much video editing)
Low Tier Archers
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Mid Tier Archers
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Max Tier Archers
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Low Tier Archers
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Mid Tier Archers
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Max Tier Archers
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My conclusions are basically this...

Taleworlds could reduce ranged missile damage by 15% and most would be none the wiser. The player might notice their damage reduced a bit, but honestly I have doubts it'd be noticeable in battle.

I think Taleworlds could and should reduce damage with missile weapons by 25% and the overall game experience would not be that negatively impacted. Ranged missile weapons as is are just way too strong, and this is pretty evident in a) how easily the player dies to missile fire and b) how easy it is to pick off troops yourself with a bow/crossbow whether it's looters or militia on wall.

That said I think going past a 25% damage reduction would be too much, even if the results don't seem to show much difference. I do believe missile fire should be dangerous, I just don't think it should reign supreme like it has for the past 2.5 years in Bannerlord.
:sneaky:
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Grandmaster Knight
The AI just letting everyone shoot them should probably be solved probably several steps ahead of any damage reductions. Also I'm always surprised by how moderate ranged troops seems to be when I play as one with RTS command, even as KG it take 4 body shots to drop many units and that just drives in how bad the AI is to just sit their and take so many shots and not defend it's self.

Also, it's important that it's only the higher tier armored units (including ranged) that get more defense against missiles as you WANT ranged to quickly mow down trash units and also be defended against lower tier ranged units. Just making all ranged do less will just crap up the game more.
🌈🤡🌈
 
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five bucks

Knight at Arms
Yes OP, I think anyone with sense can agree that archers and horse archers are way too strong in Singleplayer. Taleworlds should:

* Increase the protection of armour against pierce damage by 1.7x, so arrows kill in 7-8 hits instead of 4-5. (This will make archers/horse archers balanced).

* Increase the base damage dealt by spears and pikes by 2.5x. (This will give spears and pikes the buff they badly need).

* Increase the base damage dealt by all other pierce melee weapons and javelins by 1.7x. (This will keep them in the same good spot they are in now).
 
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geala

Squire
I think a general decrease of damage from bows/crossbows is not the solution. Such weapons are quite effective against low armored unshielded humans, that should stay in the game. Ranged piercing weapons are also effective against many forms of armor and maybe were the biggest threat for them. That's the reason why armor was tested against projectiles and not sword thrusts or maces. For example, that there were special forms of strong mail, said to be very effective against projectiles, tells us that normal mail seemingly was not that effective (why else making strong mail, using big shields and adding plate?). Penetration was therefore a matter of materials and strength of the weapons, with varying results.

In BL we have no realistic armor models at all. But we have unarmored and badly armored people and they should die quickly if hit by projectiles. Top tier armored troops should survive a certain time, in this system that's a certain amount of hits (while in reality maybe one hit which penetrated took out the person).

The time well armored troops should last is arbitrary, taste and habituation (Warband ...) do play a role. I would be satisfied by a change to pierce damage like proposed by five bucks, seems reasonably dealing with all problems of weak pierce for swords and spears and (too) strong pierce from ranged. As BL now is out also for consoles, the hint to mods to solve general problems is not longer that convincing, TW has to do it themselves.
 

Bluko88

Sergeant
The AI just letting everyone shoot them should probably be solved probably several steps ahead of any damage reductions. Also I'm always surprised by how moderate ranged troops seems to be when I play as one with RTS command, even as KG it take 4 body shots to drop many units and that just drives in how bad the AI is to just sit their and take so many shots and not defend it's self.

Also, it's important that it's only the higher tier armored units (including ranged) that get more defense against missiles as you WANT ranged to quickly mow down trash units and also be defended against lower tier ranged units. Just making all ranged do less will just crap up the game more.
🌈🤡🌈
So you want unshielded troops to just start dancing? Do some Neo backflips?

Does the A.I. loiter too much in defense? Yeah, but it's that or a reckless charge. A.I. in Bannerlord is okay, most issues stem from poor pathing or not reacting to threats.


I played around a bit with the whole Imperial Archer line having their ranged weapons reduced by 15%. Could barely tell the difference. It was mostly Horse Archers that had their kills go down by like 5% when skirmishing (still very easy to attack infantry formation from two sides wipe em out easy that way).

I think a general decrease of damage from bows/crossbows is not the solution. Such weapons are quite effective against low armored unshielded humans, that should stay in the game. Ranged piercing weapons are also effective against many forms of armor and maybe were the biggest threat for them. That's the reason why armor was tested against projectiles and not sword thrusts or maces. For example, that there were special forms of strong mail, said to be very effective against projectiles, tells us that normal mail seemingly was not that effective (why else making strong mail, using big shields and adding plate?). Penetration was therefore a matter of materials and strength of the weapons, with varying results.
I appreciate all that... but it's a game first, and well not really much of sim let's be real.

Did you not look at my chart? Even when bow damage is reduced by a massive 40% Archers can still annihilate an advancing formation of unshielded infatry with little to no armor (0-12). It's only when you've got modest armor like Leather or basic Chainmail that low tier archers struggle, and again that's low tier archers.

Everything should scale up, that's kind of the point of weapons/armor.


Again against a "trash" looter it typically takes 3 body hits with the Steppe Bow normal (46 Dmg). And guess what even at 25% reduction (35 Dmg) still takes 3 hits.

Noble Bow w/ Regular Arrows against 55 Body Armor - 4 hits to kill

Noble Bow (damage reduced by 25%) w/ Regular Arrows against 55 Body Armor - 5 hits to kill

TW has to do it themselves.
Yes that's what I'm trying to illustrate.

I'm not a modder, nor do I want to make some kind of mod that reduces all bows/crossbows damage. BUT I will if it comes to that.
 
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