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Bows: Limited ammo?  

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  1. 1. Should ranged weapons have limited ammunition?

    • No, all ammunition should be unlimited
      15
    • Standard ammunition should be unlimited, magical arrows etc should be limited
      119
    • Yes, all ammunition should be limited
      277


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That's how it should be. Limited number of arrows per quiver, and so if you want to basically horde an entire shop full of arrows, you'll have to sacrifice other items in your backpack to accommodate the extra arrows.
I don't get this mentality at all. Limited number of slots of inventory in the IE games was a flaw in the system, rather than a feature that should be kept around.

 

A single arrow should not take up the same amount of inventory space as a suit of armour. That's what encumbrance is for.

 

One of the cool things about arrows in some of the IE games were all the different effects you could find on different arrows, which was undermined by the fact that it took up so much of your inventory "space" to carry even a handful of arrows of a few types with you.

 

With regards to the bolded, my idea wasn't for a single arrow taking up an inventory spot. It would be a quiver, which would hold however many number of arrows (20, 40, 50, 100, whatever).

 

Secondly, it doesn't have to be exactly like the IE inventory system. It could very well be more similar to the NWN inventory, where bigger items took up more space. So if the inventory system was like the latter, the suit of armor would still take up more space than the quivers, but if you decide to carry a dozen quivers, eventually they add up to take up more space that could have been used for armor, or a huge battle axe, or whatever.

 

So limited ammo doesn't have to equal exactly what they did in the IE games.

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I'm in favor of unlimited standard ammo and limited non-standard ammo.

 

The key question to me is whether or not archers will be able to stay in the rear of the formation next to the wizard and remain relatively unmolested. If they can't, then it'll be a case of firing off 3 or 4 shots at the beginning of each encounter and then switching to back-up melee weapons. Unlimited standard ammo would by and large be a moot point because you'd hardly ever run out. This set-up would disappoint me somewhat, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.

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I'm in favor of unlimited standard ammo and limited non-standard ammo.

 

The key question to me is whether or not archers will be able to stay in the rear of the formation next to the wizard and remain relatively unmolested. If they can't, then it'll be a case of firing off 3 or 4 shots at the beginning of each encounter and then switching to back-up melee weapons. Unlimited standard ammo would by and large be a moot point because you'd hardly ever run out. This set-up would disappoint me somewhat, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.

 

Obsidian will be implementing group formations and tactical mechanics akin to the IE games, and IWD specifically. Additionally, based on comments by Bobby Null, they will be playing around with some ideas to expand on it.

 

Thankfully, combat won't be anything like tactically deficient NWN or DA, let alone the a-RPGs

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Hardcore, oldschool RPG means give me my hardcore gameplay, all limited ammo I say!

 

Though in terms of DEGREES, I suppose I wouldn't really be that upset with unlimited regular ammo. Though in playing through Icewind Dale 2 co-op right now, having my rogue run out of bolts and need to switch to a returning throwing Axe was actually kind of interesting.

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I like buying arrows and I like running out of arrows. I like making sure I have brought enough arrows. These are all things that make the game more interesting. Not firing off 5000 arrows and never running out. Even if you could buy 2000 arrows and encumber your Ranger just to be sure you'll never run out, it's still a choice being made by the player.

Edited by Ignatius
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I prefer limited ammunition. It does tend to make an actual difference to cost when buying supplies earlier on, so you have to balance the need for arrows or bullets with the need for other supplies, and it can make for some interesting on-the-fly tactical decisions (you didn't bring quite enough arrows, now what?).

 

Also, I do think that each quiverfull of arrows should take up a reasonable amount of inventory space (I do mean reasonable here -- not as much as larger items like armour, but as much as smaller weapons). If you try to carry something like five hundred arrows around with you, you're going to get rather burdened down.

 

I even think it would be nice if merchants don't sell an unlimited supply of base ammunition, so you could buy out all the merchants in the area and have to come up with back-up plan not involving ammunition for a while.

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It would depend on the availability of arrows in the game. I've rarely played a game that let me run out of arrows. There always seemed to be abundant arrows found on bodies so having to continually restock them was just an annoyance. If PE is going to have a small number of arrows as loot, then I can see a value in them being limited rather than unlimited, as long as I'm not forced to juggle bundles of 20 arrows in my inventory.

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I would go for severely limited, but reasonable damage and a chance of recovery (they end up in the target's inventory.) Maybe if there was a some sort of crafting system on these lines, even recovering the broken ones could be worthwhile.

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I honestly wish it was MORE limited. Realistically, you aren't going to tote around 200 arrows. I think that the use of ranged weapons should be slightly de-emphasized. They should be powerful, but only in skilled hands. Nonetheless, they shouldn't be valid weapons for close range- there def has to be penalties to attack chances if they are used in that manner.

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Definitely not the "more damage - less ammo" balancing act,

because that'd just make it all the more important to run back to town after every second battle.

 

And bows absolutely shouldn't be the most effective killer weapons, no matter how powerful bows are made,

hitting someone with an axe or sword or spear should still do more damage.

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In general I'd prefer that the "walk back to town" solution is heavily limited (irrespective of how much ammo you can carry). Long-term planning should be necessary for dungeon crawls and long excursions. That would allow serious attrition and require strategy in addition to tactics. In that context, I vote for limited ammo.

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I think ammo should be limited, but that limit should be balanced by allowing archers to do massively damaging critical hits given the right skills, stats and preparation (enough damage that an archer might be preferable to a raw DPS scenario.) A fighter doesn't usually run out of swords in an RPG, but archers who have a limited supply should be balanced out by giving them potentially massive offensive abilities, since they're going to be little more than a distraction or a corpse once they run out of arrows.

 

Definitely not the "more damage - less ammo" balancing act,

because that'd just make it all the more important to run back to town after every second battle.

 

And bows absolutely shouldn't be the most effective killer weapons, no matter how powerful bows are made,

hitting someone with an axe or sword or spear should still do more damage.

 

Tell that to the Mongols. They conquered their way accross Asia and Europe with the bow, against the best medieval armor available at the time. A properly fired arrow will penetrate deep into the body through a suit of chainmail, a sword thrust might break some rings and leave a flesh wound. An axe is good for crushing a skull, but if that axe misses the uncrushed skull's brain is going to have a nice opening. An archer at range can take another shot. The bow is a force multiplier,put simply, an archer can deliver more force, concentrated in a tiny area, than a man swinging an axe or sword. Not just that, but in reality, archery builds strength and it takes strength.

 

The bow is just one of a long line of tools used to improve man's capabilities. Ancient hunters didn't use swords or axes or clubs, they used spears, and with those spears they used levers to multiply the force of those spears. Simple obsidian blades mounted on shafts killed mighty mammoths thanks to an extra stick with a notch in it - a force multiplier.

Edited by AGX-17
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Definitely not the "more damage - less ammo" balancing act,

because that'd just make it all the more important to run back to town after every second battle.

 

And bows absolutely shouldn't be the most effective killer weapons, no matter how powerful bows are made,

hitting someone with an axe or sword or spear should still do more damage.

 

Tell that to the Mongols. They conquered their way accross Asia and Europe with the bow, against the best medieval armor available at the time. A properly fired arrow will penetrate deep into the body through a suit of chainmail, a sword thrust might break some rings and leave a flesh wound.

 

Firstly, I meant per strike damage, as you said, the bow has the advantage of being able to fire multiple times, thus can be more powerful all in all. And that's why the brits slowly turned to be mostly bow armed troops. Secondly, per strike, no I don't believe you'd do more than slight wounds with a bow against an armored opponent (unless the chain would be of poor quality or something). Even mongols had to basically wear down the western knights by constantly withdrawing, doing slight damage with bows and then finished the job in hand to hand combat.

 

Thirdly, for anyone interested, Dan Carlins Hardcore History has an ongoing pretty darn good series, Wrath of the Khans about the mongol conquests, heartily recommended for anyone with interest in history.

Edited by Jarmo
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Put me down for unlimited ammunition. I'm just going to point to all the people in this topic who used ranged weapons to annihilate people before they closed in Baldur's Gate 1 and 2. I did the same thing in DA:O. In both cases limited arrows did NOTHING to stop you from outfitting your entire party with bows and raining death.

 

That being the case, why bother with it? It doesn't take any planning beyond remembering to fill up on arrows at each town, for sums that are pitifully low almost immediately. Immersion strikes me as a poor excuse. We all love using our imaginations otherwise we wouldn't be here. Is it really so difficult to imagine your archer simply makes arrows (or gunman making bullets or what have you) whenever he's got some down time and therefore has a plentiful supply handy at any given moment?

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All limited, with the capability of ranged being balanced with this in mind. Usually ranged needs to either have limited ammo or it has to do less damage to compensate for the advantage of ranged, and even with limited ammo they need to be careful how they balance it as it is.

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