The state of Archery.

What do you think about the current state of archery in the game?

  • It's great!

  • It's serviceable.

  • It's pretty bad.

  • It's absolutely awful!

  • Archery is for cowards.


Results are only viewable after voting.

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Aurex

Regular
WB
Hello there! Looking for feedback and to share my opinion on archery today.

I've been giving some more chances to single player campaigns recently, and I decided (for purely flavour-related purposes) to create a Battanian archer character.
Previously I've steered clear of archery since I was spoiled by too much horse archery in Prophesy of Pendor (Warband mod, go try it out, it's awesome) but I was curious about how it's handled in Bannerlord, most of my experiences with it having been in multiplayer so far. I took every possible background perk which favors archery, an older character start and immediately started taking down group of looters on my own, building up a sizeable army and taking my first castle in 30 days or so.

I found out the archery system is... well, to avoid using a more loaded term... "lacking." First of all, the character seems to have (no offense intended for people with similar issues) cerebral palsy. There's this little "double-tap" system that wasn't there some versions ago... it makes absolutely no sense in my opinion. Every single time the bow is drawn, the reticle goes haywire and reverts to its previous position for an instant, only to go back to normal. What were they thinking when they added this? NPCs are clearly not suffering from this issue, since "mere" imperial archers literally draw and release arrows faster than my character, who sits at 200 archery and has the best nomad bow I could find coupled with the best arrows. Horse archery is handled similarly to how it was in Warband, having changed little I also have little to report or share on it - I almost always play a foot archer (no, that doesn't mean he nocks arrows with his feet.)

Another issue that impacts archery in general is the AI of every archer unit in the game. They simply do not prioritize their own survival, choosing to aim at ten archers and twenty infantrymen in a shieldwall at very long range instead of releasing arrows towards a throng of cavalrymen climbing a hill to get to them, or even horse archers who are killing half a dozen of them with single volley and are practically holding still at close range: perfect targets that go untouched for some reason. The archery AI during sieges is absolutely abysmal, and to be frank... a little embarassing after 13 months. The incredible kill/death ratio the archers enjoy, from what I could see, is due to the inability of the AI to deal with the archers themselves and the little threat posed by most cavalry units. The shieldwalls are, for example, very happy to sometimes face the opposite way - giving your archers plenty of time to turn them all into pincushions.

The mechanics that allows archers to release arrows aiming way up as to simulate real-life longbowmen tactic is really cool, something I wished we had in Warband. "Ohhh, look at them go" kind of cool, the first time you see them doing it at least. The issue with that is, they're just wasting arrows. There's no morale penalty to infantry receiving those weak, inaccurate volleys from a distance, and it'll be a miracle if the archers can injure one of the enemy soldiers seriously, not to mention downright kill him.

Then there's the issue of control. The current unit control system is very, very lacking, and while it's a general issue I think it might be affecting archer units the most. There is no real way of telling, let's say, half of the archers to pick a specific target and fire at that unit until you say otherwise. You can awkwardly (it takes some keyboard madness) split them and tell them to "look" in a specific direction, but I've noticed they almost always just turn around and keep targeting the wrong unit. That makes the player unable to control them properly.

Last and perhaps least, the lack of flavour in both the archery gameplay and the archer units of all factions.
Flame arrows to spook horses or burn down siege engines. Different nocking mechanics from bow to bow. More realistic arrow drop. More piercing-resistant armor, not much sense in having a hauberk if an arrow shot by a peasant with a flimsy, cracked bow can still do pretty much full damage.
Unique archer formations and tactics (orders, too) according to the unit's faction of origin, or bonuses when fighting in the "right" terrain. I could see Sturgian archers skirmishing in the snow and dispersing as they're chased by slower units, or Battanian fianns having strong bonuses fighting in wooded areas.
Those are just a few little ideas, I know the likelihood of them being noticed and added is minuscule, but hey! And please feel free to add more, that's the whole reason I posted this for. Looking forward to reading your opinions!
 
"Flame arrows to spook horses" - that's not going to work. Those horses, in both singleplayer and multiplayer, have hearts made of steel, they're unstoppable engines from hell. They do not waver no matter the situation, so I really doubt a little bit of fire will scare the bannerlord horses away. At most, you can add extra damage against structures/siege engines by using fire arrows, and maybe extra damage against lightly armored units? Like rags and stuff. That would be cool. I would love fire arrows and bolts only because the aesthetic would be very pleasing, and we already have fire siege engines.

Archers are already plenty strong, so buffing them without buffing infantry should never happen. If they do buff armor so they're more resistant to pierce + fix their AI, then I can see it being a good idea to better the AI for archers and give more options to the player, but AI lords need to have better AI as well, and I don't know how much TW plans on improving the current AI... I'd think that when they improve AI for siege maybe we'll also get improvements all-around? Hopefully. Also, please revert the movement speed back to normal on shield-wall units etc when they form formation! When they form and when they advance, they move so slowly... It was better before. They shouldn't form so slowly at least, advancing slowly I guess it's ok - as a cinematic effect...

I don't really play archer so I can't comment on it. Crossbow is more enjoyable for me for RP reasons and also for better accuracy at long range and damage, and for how easy it is to use and how effective is especially early game. One-shotting every looter like a bawler, 1v30+ from level 1. (don't you nerf it, TW. Let me have one thing I like. Also, thank you for the mounted crossbowman-playstyle, it's really nice. Mounted crossbowman vlandian mercenary units when?!).
 

Ser Jon

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
It's serviceable, at best. They have made great strides on it, in my opinion, but there is still a lot off about it. I really like the idea of fire arrows or even similar stuff startling your horse, however, I feel like that should not be until the horses have been reworked and your extreme ease to be knocked off balance/startled yourself. Otherwise, things would become unbearable quick.
 

Aurex

Regular
WB
At most, you can add extra damage against structures/siege engines by using fire arrows, and maybe extra damage against lightly armored units? Like rags and stuff. That would be cool. I would love fire arrows and bolts only because the aesthetic would be very pleasing, and we already have fire siege engines.
I will admit that the aesthetic factor alone would be a huge deal in large battles. Even in smaller ones!
Mounted crossbowman vlandian mercenary units when?!
They'd make wonderful skirmishers and double as great siege troops. I really like the idea.
 
I already had two threads discussing this topic if you were interested in having a read:



There are some good discussions within some of them. Although I believe the first post there was some negativity back and forth.

Mostly people say turn vertical aim correction off and turn the trail off.

But in my eyes the fact that if you turn it off it doesn't turn it off for other players in multiplayer (so they will effectively keep using the laser aim mode) is really poor implementation.

And finally the other main point is that it has lost it's charm and learning curve that existed in Warband, and to my mind this takes all the enjoyment out of the archery. The bows feel like the crossbows of the previous games. And that is really sad for me.
 
I will, thanks. I used the search engine before posting this, but somehow failed to see them.
No problem I am no forum expert myself. So I expect there were probably threads before mine also haha.

Just happened to see someone who shared my concerns and thought I'd link the threads to you. :xf-wink:

Worth noting they have patched the crosshair so that you can choose one similar to Warband now. At the time of posting that was not a thing.
 
My main gripe is that there's not enough functional difference between the experience of the player building up high bow skills and perks (and good bow) VRS the performance of AI troops with much lower skill and poor bows. When having shoot out with low tier units can still functionally shoot you as fast as you can shoot them with 200+ skill+ perks and Noble bow. Yes, ON PAPER TW can say "oh your have such and such % more speed" but if a unit can still get off a shot and hit you as you shoot them it's all just worthless fluff numbers. If they don't actually use the reticle closing for accuracy they should made to, that is always hold for complete closure of reticle before firing to actually be as slow as they should and then made slower and slower until there is an actual USEFUL difference between high skill/gear and low.

Next up, low tier troops fire too far for their skill. The concept of 'accuracy' doesn't exist for the AI bots like it does a human player, it doesn't get headaches and eye strain from trying to pin point long shots. They need a hard cut off from firing beyond a distance per their skill to make a difference. At the distance where units are just tiny specs it is very hard for player to land shots, yet low tier units will gladly fire at this distance, they need to be changed to NOT do this.

And as always, somebody will chime in "akshually they already do..." IT'S NOT ENOUGH. It needs much more difference to actually matter in the game and make good gameplay. TW's goal should be making the game as good as they can. Annoying and sucky things need to be changed.
 

Aurex

Regular
WB
If they don't actually use the reticle closing for accuracy they should made to, that is always hold for complete closure of reticle before firing to actually be as slow as they should and then made slower and slower until there is an actual USEFUL difference between high skill/gear and low.
That's one of the things that bothers me the most about archery at the moment. The NPCs are little machineguns compared to the player, considering even a high level player character has that "artificial" handicap added through that silly double-tap delay, thus making all the investment (both in gear and skill) quite pointless.
And as always, somebody will chime in "akshually they already do..." IT'S NOT ENOUGH. It needs much more difference to actually matter in the game and make good gameplay. TW's goal should be making the game as good as they can. Annoying and sucky things need to be changed.
I've had clashes with that kind of mentality before. I'm quite sure Taleworlds wouldn't need a massive amount of work for even a relatively minor overhaul of the whole archery system... and yet that minor thing could be the difference between enjoyment and boredom. Right now, I find archery much more tiresome and annoying than fun, especially when compared to Warband's. (Jesus, even some old mount and blade mods were better imo...)
 

Ningauble

Veteran
You might also like to peruse the recent post here ( Will Greaves, 01 Mar 21, The Keep - Single Player ) about horse archery ( even has an illustrative video link to competition horse archery ) noting that the BL rider's forward vector is missing from the shooting algorithm, so your BL arrows do not drift into / off your target as you canter past. And this from Turks !
 
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Grank

Sergeant Knight
WBNWVC
Turn off Vertical Aim Correction.
So that's why my aim keeps going bonkers!

You might also like to peruse the recent post here about horse archery ( even has an illustrative video link to competition horse archery ) noting that the BL rider's forward vector is missing from the shooting algorithm, so your BL arrows do not drift into / off your target as you canter past. And this from Turks !
Link please? I love horse archery in this game, and still getting used to BL system.
 

Mabons

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Perfectly sums it up, the archer AI is the best AI in the game simply because the other troop type AIs are absolutely abysmal. I didn’t have too much trouble using a bow having played a lot of multiplayer but there isn’t any reason to level combat skills past the first 60 or so anyways because your troops do the fighting and having Max steward leadership etc. Will always be more useful.
 

Stromming

Sergeant at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
I feel like archery has been improved since Warband and I find it to be highly acceptable.

Could it be better? Yes probably. But the cost-benefit probably wouldn't be great and there are several areas where TW could deploy their resources instead.
 
You might also like to peruse the recent post here ( Will Greaves, 01 Mar 21, The Keep - Single Player ) about horse archery ( even has an illustrative video link to competition horse archery ) noting that the BL rider's forward vector is missing from the shooting algorithm, so your BL arrows do not drift into / off your target as you canter past. And this from Turks !
This is easily moddable / codable but AI does not understand it and misses all the time - we did it in one version of RBM and had to revert it back due to this problem.

Many problems with archery can be traced to super speeds of the arrows. Historical arrows were moving at 50-60 m/s when combined with proper bow (high draw weight bow requires thick and therefore heavy arrows if it is to hit armor without breaking / exploding, heavy arrow is slower). 50 m/s was typical for armor piercing arrows shot by war bows. Vanilla arrows are more in ballpark of 70-80 m/s which results in almost no aiming above and also no ability to hit over shieldwall (assuming that forcefields on shields would be disabled). Ability to kill everything with in 2-3 hits with basic bow does not help with sense of progress either, I mean sure you can kill everything in 1-2 hits now that you have noble bow but its not that much of a difference (aka armor is garbage in vanilla). Also there is very little or no skill requirement to unlock high tier bows in vanilla, so if you are lucky enough to find noble bow / noble long bow in the shop and have enough money to buy it you can use it very early on, so you can achieve everything early and you have nowhere to progress.
 
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Ningauble

Veteran
Why pay when you can simply marry someone who comes with a Noble Bow, like Svana and Arwa ( good catches both )?
Archery, like everything else in BL, needs a ton of real professional - grade ( or artfull modder labour of love ) work to satisfy ( and ultimately impress ) a discerning, sophisticated, clientele.
 

Magello

Sergeant
Archery feels to be in the same boat as all combat though. The skill points don't make a big enough impact. There needs to be a much larger change in skill including aim, missile speed, range, and damage. Most troops tier 2 through 6 feel and play too similar for my taste.

Right now pretty much 100 archers is 100 archers no matter the levels.
 

Aurex

Regular
WB
Archery feels to be in the same boat as all combat though. The skill points don't make a big enough impact. There needs to be a much larger change in skill including aim, missile speed, range, and damage. Most troops tier 2 through 6 feel and play too similar for my taste.

Right now pretty much 100 archers is 100 archers no matter the levels.
I agree, there's so little difference between archer units that it makes Warband feels like a game with ten times the diversity.
 

vertibird

Recruit
"First of all, the character seems to have (no offense intended for people with similar issues) cerebral palsy. There's this little "double-tap" system that wasn't there some versions ago... it makes absolutely no sense in my opinion. Every single time the bow is drawn, the reticle goes haywire and reverts to its previous position for an instant, only to go back to normal."
This bugs me so much, I've registered to this forum just to write this!
 
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