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Caligula Dances

On the power of my bows and arrows.

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Hello all

 

Something struck me during my everyday routine, in Project Eternity how powerful will bows and arrows actually be?

Historically they were the most powerful weapons of their day, think of the battles of agincourt and crecy,

or the mongol conquests, the hunnic warriors and japanese samurai.

Potent powerful weapons, the arrows fired from bows would pierce and go through platemailed armour like a bullet through tissue paper.

As such shouldnt bows like say the long bow or the Japanese 'Yumi' bows be considered the best not only in class? (certainly the japanese Yumi bow which like the japanese katana is the best in class for swords historical fact) but also the best weapons in game?

 

Now i understand its a game and there will be firearms which will be more powerful, well the 'upper end' firearms, maybe the Primitive machine gun and a magically imbued gun but for the most part, bows and arrows should be the best of the best.

 

Allow me to set the scene

 

Me and my companion are walking through a forest and decide to walk off the trotted path, eventually we actually uncover a small clearing, it would appear a orc family has infested the area set up a new home there, the area would be beautiful without it.

Two Orc'ish males are tending to some small farm plants and a orc female is walking back from a small river that runs alongside their house with a bucket of water.

Notching an arrow I decide to put her out of her misery and fire, the arrow that strikes isnt struck as a 'critical' hit but as a normal shot, to reflect the power of a devestating arrow fired from a standard bow , the arrow punches cleanly through the bucket and her,she goes flying back into the river obviously dead.

The two orc males then realise that their female companion (whatever counterpart to standard family, mother sister wife etc it doesnt matter) has been slained and react in the only manner that evil creatures know how, and attack.

But again to reflect the awesome power the bow and arrow, i notch two arrows in quick succession and fire them , one arrow kills each mighty orc and they collapse in their little farm yard havent been able to take more than three steps- THATS how quick an archer could notch and fire arrows.

I then proceed to clear the house by notching a 'explosive arrow' (just example sake) and fire through the window, the back half of the log cabin is blown up and it slowly begins to collapse and burn as my companion who wasnt an archer but a platemail wearing swordsman (thus terribly encumbered) should say some banter like 'give me a chance' - notihng too corny but with some humour.

 

so thats set the scene for how the game should *feel* when you're using a bow and arrow.

 

Now I said earlier that historically bows and arrows were mighty weapons - the real game changers in battles, well in fantasy they are also correctly displayed as exceptionally powerful weapons - think Lord of the Rings here when the elven archers can take down any armoured orc warrior with just a SINGLE arrow from their short bows and when they fire in volley's they kill tremendous amounts of foes

 

Furthermore it would be interesting to see some custom or unique arrows, i believe in the older infinity engine games they had 'flame arrows' and 'acid arrows' , there should also be explosive arrows.

 

so i think that covers why Bows and arrows SHOULD be the best weapons in Project Eternity but another question or rather suggestion i would have would be, how damaging to how quick they should be? (the 'DPS' if you will) im off the belief (as ive set out to explain

during this post) that the bow and arrow should be both high damaging and quick thus exceptionally high DPS values on the weapons itself. (even though its likely at this point that the 'DPS' value will be hidden none the less these should be the most powerful items)

 

As a small side issue, as expressed in another topic, id hope that the 'look' of the bows and arrows was more realistic, a slight artistic flare for the fantasy setting but nothing that was to far fetched that would hurt the immersion and overall feel of the game.

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i think you have a wrong impression of a bow as a weapon here

bows are compared to other firearms of the late medieval area the weapon that has the least punch

bows have very different advatages:

- by far the fastest ranged weapon, you can fire like 20 arrows in the time it takes you to fire a single bolt from a crossbow or bullet from a musket of that time-period

- large range while still being very accurate

 

yes, a bow should be the strongest ranged weapon by far, but for those reasons, not for the punch it deals ;)

if you want to do it the realistic way though, a character would have to invest, let's say 20 skill points to learn basic skills with a bow where it would take him 1 skill point to master a crossbow ;)

it's hard to simulate in a video game the fact that you need to train shooting with a bow for half your life, while every peasant can learn how to shoot a crossbow in like no time

 

btw, isn't the japanese yumi rather known for being poor in comparison to european bows?

Edited by lolaldanee
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Okay, firstly, this always bugs me, Japanese katanas are for the most part no better than their western equivalent.

 

I must admit I don't know much about Japanese bows, but after some quick research I can't see how the Yumi bow is better than an English Longbow or a Recurve bow?

 

I will agree with the post above me though, bows hold some major advantages over crossbows and early firearms but damage isn't one of them. It's very comparable on unarmoured/lightly armoured targets, but crossbows and early guns have much better armour penetration than bows. On top of that, after trying to learn how to use a bow for quite a while now I am still not very accurate any further out than 40 yards, those things are hard to use.

Edited by Jandor
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Okay, firstly, this always bugs me, Japanese katanas are for the most part no better than their western equivalent.

 

I must admit I don't know much about Japanese bows, but after some quick research I can't see how the Yumi bow is better than an English Longbow or a Recurve bow?

 

Don't tempt the japanophiles, they can smell katana denial from across the black void of the internet.

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--Bows shouldn't be able to pierce certain magical shields or whatever equivalent there is in the game.

--Bows shouldn't be so powerful as to make using melee feel unnecessary because all you have to do is have a team of 6 archers.

 

Other than that, I'm fine with bows being a very powerful ranged option in the game ... as opposed to some weak plinkplink attack where you'd only fire one volley then switch your archer/ranger to some melee or magical attack, or something.

 

 

 

edit: punctuation. To err is human, right?

Edited by LadyCrimson
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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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I'm pretty sure that arrows did have more penetrating power than bullets of the day. I have even read that plate armor regularly stopped those bullets while an arrow fired from an English longbow was most likely going to puncture through.

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Op... you suffer a common misconception about arrows vs plate armor. Nothing in life is ever so simple, and an arrow vs plate or even chain armor isn't either.

 

First, there are MANY different kinds of arrow. There are specialized arrows designed to penetrate chain, and arrows designed to inflict blunt force trauma to plate. Some plate armor was susceptible to joint penetration. Some, such as thin low grade iron plate, could be penetrated by arrow or crossbow with little difficulty. Steel plate provided a far greater challenge, and an expertly designed and manufactured component of steel plate stood up fairly well against arrows and bolts alike.

 

On top of that, remember that arrows that are fired in an arc do not hit their target straight on, and both plate and chain is far more likely to shrug off even armor piercing bodkins in those cases.

 

There have been many test firings of arrows vs different types of armor in laboratory settings and it takes a the right arrow under the right conditions to penetrate enough to seriously injure or kill.

 

So... to get right to the point... bows/arrows are useful, and they can be deadly when used appropriately and under ideal circumstances, but combat - both ancient and modern - is rarely fought under ideal anything.

Edited by Katrar
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--Bows shouldn't be able to pierce certain magical shields or whatever equivalent there is in the game.

Guns were developed in PE because they pierce the usual magical defense (a veil or something) that spellcasters use, forcing them to wear armor. So certainly arrows (bows) have not much success against certain enemies.

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Yes, I remember that, now that you mention it. Getting hard for me to keep track of all the info. I'll have to re-read that part...can't recall why guns/bullets are supposed to be more effective then metal tipped arrows ...


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Speed. Bullets move a **** load faster then an arrow. All it comes down to, weight difference is just the shaft behind that arrow head, and the speed doesn't make up the difference. Bows are effective in old-timy combat because just... sheer volume. That and most bows where of about the same pull around 60lb, untill you get to england longbows. They'd get up to 200lb-ish. Those where some powerful bows, but where still war time stuff, basically group artiliary to be used against personel.

 

OP should actually go look up arrow vs armor tests, doesn't really pierce as easily as one may think. And even super low grade stuff may pierce but its not 'like paper'. It's mroe around to half an inch and bending the metal in which will... get really painful but isn't going to down a person. Granted, second shot into the same spot would but that's like waiting for lightning to hit the same general area twice.

 

-edit-

Ahh and as someone mentioned, depends on the era for gun piercing armor effectively. They used breast/back plates rather consistently after guns for quite awhile. Advancements in powder and the like is what ultimately did plate in but that wasn't an overnight thing. The guns they're using in the game I doubt have great plate penetration, and like I said above other then english longbows most bows had bad plate penetration.

 

Even in relation to english longbows your talking a low chance, with special arrows and a volley including a assload of people. Once you go into a 1 on 1, bow loses 99% of the time with a full plated person.

 

-double-edit-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-Xp56uVyxs

 

here's a reletively good example of arrow vs armor, using 100lb longbows (lower end scale but still high up there) vs mildly stronger breastplate (though it's kinda flat and not angled much). More angular plate would of just done a better job at deflecting vs 'taking the blunt' of the arrowsl ike that but, that aside, you can see how eventually you'll get an actual direct penetration given enough hits. Chances of a single arrow piercing a properly made breastplate in a 1 on 1 fights just minimal. If That archer is going to win that fight it'll be via the helmet visor, not by shooting at the bulk of the armor.

Edited by Adhin
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Def Con: kills owls dead

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i think you have a wrong impression of a bow as a weapon here

bows are compared to other firearms of the late medieval area the weapon that has the least punch

bows have very different advatages:

- by far the fastest ranged weapon, you can fire like 20 arrows in the time it takes you to fire a single bolt from a crossbow or bullet from a musket of that time-period

- large range while still being very accurate

 

yes, a bow should be the strongest ranged weapon by far, but for those reasons, not for the punch it deals ;)

if you want to do it the realistic way though, a character would have to invest, let's say 20 skill points to learn basic skills with a bow where it would take him 1 skill point to master a crossbow ;)

it's hard to simulate in a video game the fact that you need to train shooting with a bow for half your life, while every peasant can learn how to shoot a crossbow in like no time

 

btw, isn't the japanese yumi rather known for being poor in comparison to european bows?

Speed. Bullets move a **** load faster then an arrow. All it comes down to, weight difference is just the shaft behind that arrow head, and the speed doesn't make up the difference. Bows are effective in old-timy combat because just... sheer volume. That and most bows where of about the same pull around 60lb, untill you get to england longbows. They'd get up to 200lb-ish. Those where some powerful bows, but where still war time stuff, basically group artiliary to be used against personel.

 

OP should actually go look up arrow vs armor tests, doesn't really pierce as easily as one may think. And even super low grade stuff may pierce but its not 'like paper'. It's mroe around to half an inch and bending the metal in which will... get really painful but isn't going to down a person. Granted, second shot into the same spot would but that's like waiting for lightning to hit the same general area twice.

 

-edit-

Ahh and as someone mentioned, depends on the era for gun piercing armor effectively. They used breast/back plates rather consistently after guns for quite awhile. Advancements in powder and the like is what ultimately did plate in but that wasn't an overnight thing. The guns they're using in the game I doubt have great plate penetration, and like I said above other then english longbows most bows had bad plate penetration.

 

Even in relation to english longbows your talking a low chance, with special arrows and a volley including a assload of people. Once you go into a 1 on 1, bow loses 99% of the time with a full plated person.

 

-double-edit-

 

here's a reletively good example of arrow vs armor, using 100lb longbows (lower end scale but still high up there) vs mildly stronger breastplate (though it's kinda flat and not angled much). More angular plate would of just done a better job at deflecting vs 'taking the blunt' of the arrowsl ike that but, that aside, you can see how eventually you'll get an actual direct penetration given enough hits. Chances of a single arrow piercing a properly made breastplate in a 1 on 1 fights just minimal. If That archer is going to win that fight it'll be via the helmet visor, not by shooting at the bulk of the armor.

 

Interesting points you make, perhaps I am mistaken about the Yumi types of bow being best in its class (for bows) and plate armour seems to have..worked , it seems strange because historically in some battles plate armour seemed just silly and offered no protecton (like at agincourt?) and its entered mainstream that arrows overcome armour in a single shot making the former worthless. (and weighty not to mention pricey too)

 

That is a good point though loladanee the archers capable of quickly notching and loosing arrows with great acuracy and power should be reserved for those players that have actually invested alot of time grinding and getting experience/skill points for those skills, but the power of the bow i feel should be largely independant of the chracters skill in archery say (as in its the bow/weapon itself), maybe effected slightly by strength of character with drawing bow? (maybe draw the bow string back further?)

 

So perhaps a good archer not only has the experience invested but needs high strength attribute to determine draw speed, maybe also endurance so you can keep notching arrows and firing without tiring and a element of dexterity/speed to actually reload quickly. And then skill points in archery itself so as to be accurate with the bow and arrow, the damage of the shot mostly influence by the bows statistics? - and arrow type acid/fire/explosive/armour piercing etc

Edited by Caligula Dances

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OP: re. Agincourt. Rate of fire, environmental conditions and knights trapped under horses won the day. Not taking away anything from the awesome skill of English and Welsh arches armed with Yew war-bows, but more French knights died from a misericord thrust through the visor of their helms, trapped under a horse, than they did from direct arrow strikes.

 

Many medieval weapons are in fact force multipliers, especially bows and polearms that require volume to make a tactical difference. That's difficult to recreate in a small unit computer game. To my mind the skills of the combatants is more important than who made their sword or bow.


sonsofgygax.JPG

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Hello all

 

Something struck me during my everyday routine, in Project Eternity how powerful will bows and arrows actually be?

Historically they were the most powerful weapons of their day, think of the battles of agincourt and crecy

 

No.

That's a common misconception right there.

 

The Longbow didn't win the battle at Agincourt. The reason the english won was because the french general was a moron, the terrain was muddy (a very specific type of mud actually) and the stupid french charged all at once into a funnel.

 

The mud had perfect sticking properties for metal, causign the french charge to come to a standstill, as the men from behind trampled the men in front to death. More french were killed by mud and their own than by the english that day.

 

 

Potent powerful weapons, the arrows fired from bows would pierce and go through platemailed armour like a bullet through tissue paper.

 

Also false. Even at 20 feet a bodkin arrow longbow had problem penetreting a good breastplate.

 

 

As such shouldnt bows like say the long bow or the Japanese 'Yumi' bows be considered the best not only in class? (certainly the japanese Yumi bow which like the japanese katana is the best in class for swords historical fact) but also the best weapons in game?

 

Again, no.

The katana isn't the "best sword". There is no historical fact about it. Only a stupid and widly perpetuated myth.

 

Where do you people get all of this from?

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there are far more decisive elements to the victory of the english at agincourt than "lol, l0ngblow ar the l33tzor".

because the longbow is actually quite ****. the only reason it was used on the isle as long as it was is because they have **** weather there that messes with any kind of composite bow. the french knights were not defeated by the longbow, but the archers. because they actually charged alongside the english men at arms and engaged them in melee combat. so you can't say the longbow is superior to the crossbow because the longbowmen actually stopped using it as soon as it became apperant that heavily armored knights are practically invulnerable to it, and many crossbowmen couldn't even use theirs. it all came down to weather conditions and a battlefield that strongly favoured the english.

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Yeah, yumi style of shooting is good in it's not really power based but more precinion. I mean even today you see folks who practice yumi style of archery and they can put an arrow through eye shaped targets rather consistently but it's not a very quick style. Also the kind of 'plate' samurai wore just wasn't even close to the kinda stuff we're talking about for this game. Soo many more openings to exploit.

 

As for the post above me, you can say anybow is superior to crossbows as far as rate of fire and distance is concerned. The smaller bolts and time it takes to reload a crossbow ultimately make it the weaker of two over time. Only reasons guns won out was advancement in better powered, faster speeds with the actual projectile which started puncturing armor far more regularly and, like the crossbow, anyone could fire it with little training.

 

Either way definitely not the be all end all of whatever. Nothing is.


Def Con: kills owls dead

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The best application of bows in this kind of setting would be taking down giant monsters. For human-sized opponents they're relatively hard for a single archer to hit, likely to be wearing magical armor plus you've got the problem of shooting into melee and risk of hitting your own fighters. Giant monsters you really don't want to be getting into close combat with if you can avoid it, as your shield + armor aren't going to do much good if a swipe from an owlbear casually knocks you to the ground and gives you concussion. Bows are great in that situation as they're a large slow-moving target.

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They should be very powerful and slow to draw, easy to fumble and miss a shot if you get hit while drawing the bowstring.

 

Although it was designed for a different sort of game (first person, 3D perspective with hit detection) and some aspects might not translate to PE, Duke Patrick's Combat Archery mod is a good illustration of an archery system that works really well for an RPG. The mod author is a medieval archery expert and he went through a lot of effort to capture the fundamentals of archery.

 

Here are some of the features of his mod:

 

  • Bows can be player set to do various multiples of the vanilla damage (or of what ever damage is set to the bow in the game by other mods).
  • Arrow damage and speed will be calculated based on the materials and craftsmanship used to make the arrow. A bonus is given to magic arrows. This arrow damage feature is optional.
  • Duke Patrick’s "Don’t Shoot Me Bro" system helps to prevent NPC from shooting their friends in the back!
  • The bow jerks off target after the shot is fired. You will need to re-aim after each shot. However this feature is optional.
  • Breathing bow sway if you are in zoom sniper mode, but you can also hold your breath!
  • Moving around will make you miss (shoot off the cross hair) a lot. Running or jumping is worst than walking. This is reduced by holding still for a few moments. There is an optional Bobbing bow sway effect that visually tells you when momentum is no longer effecting your shot after moving or jumping.
  • Moving backward has RISK! This is NOT a random event. My mod detects tripping hazards! You may trip over the dead, change in elevations like stairs or large world objects that interfere with your movement such as a chairs!
  • The PC strength is now as important as their skill in detraining the damage that a weapon can inflict. Weapon selection strategy will be important by using the right kind of bow for the PC Marksmanship agility and strength!
  • Stronger bows will take much longer to draw the arrow then weaker bows depending on your strength. If you try to use a Bow that is stronger than you are it will take a great deal of time to draw the bow.
  • Bows eat fatigue no mater what skill level you are. The stronger ones eat more than the weaker ones. So if your bow is stronger than you are your may become exhausted very quickly TRYING to draw the bow!
  • If you fire the bow without drawing it all the way your arrow will be drastically reduced in speed AND DAMAGE.
  • Slow arrows will bounce off of the armor your target is wearing.
  • Arrows that hit Critical locations such as the Head, Solar Plexus or Crotch will cause pain and may multiply damage done by the arrow. Plus an optional feature where the player character will say things like "That had to hurt!' when they land a critical hit on their opponent.
  • Weaker bows fire faster and use less fatigue, so if you are a good marksman that can hit the Critical locations more often you may find using a weaker bow is a much better strategy!
  • Shield men will now be the archer's worst night mare! NPC will Shield Charge and sprint at you to knock you and your bow to the ground. (Kill them before they get too close!)
  • Bows are not mêlée weapons! You will not be able to draw your bow if you are being crowded by your opponent (they are too close to you). If the NPC hits you as you are drawing the bow it will be knocked off target.
  • Better NPC AI! Your target will side step or block the arrow if they see you fire at them and have the agility, speed and skill to do so.
  • Npc will run up inclines to get you now. (no more perching on top of a pile of rocks!)
  • Aim your bow straight down to the ground to denock it!

IIRC, it also made arrows significantly more scarce compared to the vanilla game.

Edited by IcyDeadPeople

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Thank you Katrar and TrashMan for some excellent mythbusting.

 

I'm sick of the idea that longbows are somehow the 'best' bows in existence. Yes, longbows have their strenghts, but they also have lots of weaknesses. Still, in RPGs the best bows are usually longbows, and just about every archer uses one (though in BG2, for example, the best magical bows were actually short bows, even when longbows were the best 'vanilla' bows).

 

One thing that's pretty much always ignored in games is the fact that different kinds of bows were used in different parts of the world, by different people and for a different purpose. A Mongol horseman wouldn't have been able to use an English longbow, and a Mongol composite recurve bow would have been completely useless to an English archer. Yet they were both fantastic weapons on their own - when used for their intended purpose, in their intended environment.

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One thing that's pretty much always ignored in games is the fact that different kinds of bows were used in different parts of the world, by different people and for a different purpose. A Mongol horseman wouldn't have been able to use an English longbow, and a Mongol composite recurve bow would have been completely useless to an English archer. Yet they were both fantastic weapons on their own - when used for their intended purpose, in their intended environment.

 

Yes, but for that to matter they would need to implement mounts (for NPCs). I'm not sure that will happen given the resource constraints.


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One thing that's pretty much always ignored in games is the fact that different kinds of bows were used in different parts of the world, by different people and for a different purpose. A Mongol horseman wouldn't have been able to use an English longbow, and a Mongol composite recurve bow would have been completely useless to an English archer. Yet they were both fantastic weapons on their own - when used for their intended purpose, in their intended environment.

 

Yes, but for that to matter they would need to implement mounts (for NPCs). I'm not sure that will happen given the resource constraints.

 

But there are so many other considerations. ROF, fatigue, 'speed factor', penetration... I'd especially like to see the size, weight and handling of bows affect gameplay in some manner. A 'shortbow' is generally a much better weapon for a stealthy rogue, for example, because it's much easier and faster to handle in tight spaces and you can easily shoot from a kneeling position. In fact, it's a much better weapon for most people in general, which is why most bows throughout history were not longbows.

 

Besides, from a relatively close distance and against unarmored human target, all bows are equally deadly. It's not the speed of the arrow, it's where it hits that matters. Longbows should have better range and better armor penetration (affected heavily by the arrow used); unfortunately range is a rather meaningless concept in these games.

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Yeah true there Caerdon. Range is just, not part of the equation in these games, it's all very 'shoot directly at' instead of volley war stuff. Literally no point taking in war tactics to any of this stuff. Also, something else to keep in mind that's completely out of you know, reals stuffs and things? The games all based off Souls and the like, and folks gain power (or can) from that. I'd say the whole japanes archery priest thing or, arcane archers in DnD... I could easily see some kinda ehh, soul enhanced archery being used as normal archery like skills in this game which could really kinda change all kinds of stuff in relation to the 1 on 1 thing (or small group combat).

 

And, really, none of that has any comparison to anything we have other then made up stuff so. I kinda get the feeling all the classes will use that kind of stuff. DnD non-magic based classes already kind of due but never directly explain it (like gaining health regen for epic lvls). Least with there soul thing, regardless of class of combat role focus they have a good reasoning for any of that kind of thing they decide to add in. It's something I'm looking forward to at least.


Def Con: kills owls dead

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