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I know this game takes place in a universe with firearms. It sounds like the firearms will be difficult to use, but effective against magic-users. As neat as it sounds, will we still have good old fashioned archery with bows and arrows, crossbows and bolts, etc? If we do, how will it be handled?

 

I'm not trying to be rude, but archery tends to not to be very good in most RPG's. I know it was terrible on the Aurora Engine, which is what the Neverwinter Nights games were made with. I know most people tend not to like archery because it tends to not be as accessible as melee, so I imagine game designers don't put much effort into archery for the next game since most players didn't go for it for the last one, which in turn drives away more potential archers, and it's just a downward spiral.

 

1) I was wondering if the folks at Project Eternity were planning to try to make archery more appealing to players?

 

2) I was also wondering about ammunition. Most games like NWN and WOW made you have arrows on you at all times. If you run out of arrows, you cannot fire with the bow. This makes it realistic, but it can be a little stressful since arrows often miss and you can't retrieve them. You always have to buy them instead of being able to make them, so every time you fire an arrow you see is little pieces of gold or silver flying away from the target. You can overstock to decrease the chance of running out, but then they take up tons of space in your pack and it's just stressful.

 

I know I often use melee weapons just to avoid stressing about running out of arrows, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

 

3) On the other hand, Dragon Age gives us unlimited ammunition with regular arrows; just limited amo for enchanted arrows like fire or ice arrows. I know it isn't realistic to have a quiver of unlimited arrows, but it also relieves the stress of running out of arrows or space in the pack by over-stocking. I was wondering if anyone would be interested in something like that?

 

4) If not, maybe a retrieval method? I know most games let us find random arrows in random places, but we only tend to find a handful at a time (6 here, 14 there), which runs out very fast. If we don't have unlimited arrows like in DA, I was wondering if we could retrieve most arrows we loose. For example, we shoot at a bandit and manage to fire 6 arrows into him by the time he goes down. When we loot his corpse, we find those 6 arrows + whatever randomly generated loot he already had.

 

5) Also, if memory serves, in NWN2 we could craft and enchant most weapons... but not as well with bows or arrows. While we could craft or enchant incredible armor, weapons, magical items, etc. if memory serves, we were limited with what we could do with our bows, and we couldn't craft or enchant arrows at all, which just increased our dependency on merchants or random luck.

 

So basically, my questions and/or suggestions are this:

 

-Will archery be about as strong as melee attacks in P:E so it won't be seen as weaker?

-Will loosed arrows do a similar amount of damage as the swings of swords of a similar tier?

-Will we have unlimited ammunition like in DA games or limited like in NWN games?

 

-If we have limited ammunition, could we be able to retrieve (some of) the arrows we loose?

-Could we be able to craft our own arrows so we don't have to worry about buying them all?

-Could we be able to craft and/or enchant bows and arrows just as well as melee weapons?

-Could we be able to buy cheap, regular arrows and enchant them ourselves so we don't have to pay for expensive enchanted arrows or wait to filch them off enemy bodies?

 

So, discussion time. Do you like archery? Are you looking forward to playing it in P:E? Are there any ways archery has been handled in past games that you like? Do you have any suggestions for archery in P:E? Do you like how archery has been handled in most games and think I need to give this a rest? What are some of your preferences in all of this?

 

I'm just asking because I love archery and I would like to see it handled well in this game.

"Not I, though. Not I," said the hanging dwarf.

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To make archery compelling, distance must be non-trivial IMO. See Darklands, where 1) everyone moved slow as hell across the battlefield and 2) melee was p. dangerous. In another favorite game of mine (tactics wise), Wizardry 8, ranged fire that isn't magic never seems to live up to melee. Probably because you don't move around a lot, backing into a corner is often the best option. Called shots also enhance the whole experience. I hope that combat will be initiated at greater distance than in the IE games, so you really have the option to do good damage before melee, set up traps etc. And encountering a bunch of archers/ riflemen at a great distance should always give you pause and make you try to approach them more stealthily.

 

I'm also all for crafting arrows, as well as other basic items. Much less contentious than crafting epic items. I don't need to be able to retrieve ammunition (no dissection of corpses to remove lodged bullets), but enchanting (wizards) or imbuing (priests) basic arrows would be a nice touch.

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I found ammo quantities in all of the past IE games to be balanced fairly well. There were times when I had so many I couldn't carry them all, and other times not so many, which made me more frugal in using what I had. I actually preferred the fact that I had to plan certain areas so as not to run out too early. I think if the encounters in P:E are designed well enough, there could be a few enemy archers in key locations that you can loot ammo from (once they're dead), so probably no need to retrieve used ones from corpses.

 

One thing I'd like to see standardized though is how and when STR bonuses are applied to ranged weapon damage, which seemed to deviate over the course of a few games. And also, what happens if you're firing into a melee where your own party members are in danger of being struck if you miss your intended target? Hopefully melee and ranged combat mechanics will be addressed in the next update. But overall, I really enjoyed IE archery and plan to use it a lot in P:E.

 

Edit:

 

I meant to say, if there's a danger of running low on (or running out of) ammo, it's the same adventuring stress/considerations when running low on healing potions, or spells. Half the challenge is knowing when to splurge and when to conserve.

Edited by TRX850

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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It depends on the FOV you have whether archery is useful. If enemies can close the distance in seconds it's quite useless to have

 

@3) yes, that's a good idea.

And maybe it's nice if some enchanted arrows have an X% chance of returning to quiver.

The reason I usually stay melee is because (decent) ammunition is a constant money drain.

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And also, what happens if you're firing into a melee where your own party members are in danger of being struck if you miss your intended target?

 

This. Doesn't need to copy the D&D mechanic, but something along the lines of penalizing shooting into melee. Along with a greater distance at which they're effective, it would make those early ranged weapons exactly what they were; the weapons of choice when enemies were a good way away from you.

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A "rainbow" would be nice, like a grenade in many other games in the GUI. A Player controlled "Aim" in a sense, click the enemy you want to shoot, then "bend" the GUI to avoid friendly fire (so an arrow flies over your Fighter and not through him). Not every arrow would have to be directed, but the shooting path you decide is the general direction that your Archer would shoot towards. You could perhaps even be able to bend the path horizontally (and not just vertically) because of Magical arrows or whatnot.

 

If "Archery" could have Friendly Fire on harder difficulties (or as an option) it would require me to position the Ranger in possibly dangerous positions (just to get a shot at the opponent) as well as mitigate some of the risk of a "Critically Missed" arrow that hits my Fighter between the eyes. This adds tactic. Perhaps some sort of "Attack Ground" (as seen by siege weaponry in Wc3 and other strategy games) but instead "Attack Target". If the target moves, the arrow should miss.

 

Arrows and bullets, in my opinion, should continue going straight towards their path. So if I manage to dodge an arrow, it should continue it's path forward and not hone in on you as if it's heat-seeking. This adds further tactics, as the AI could simply move out of the way (if they manage dodge it) and I'll hit my sneaky backstabbing Rogue in the face instead :p

 

Lots of tactical stuff that can be done if Archery has friendly fire.

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I disagree with your assertion that "most people" dislike archery in games; that's just an unsubstantiated opinion on your part. I've used archery in virtually every FRPG I've ever played, and I don't see matchlock weapons replacing that (if only because of the painfully slow reload).

 

What I wouldn't mind seeing is a mechanism to restock arrows in between fights. I.e. limit the available arrows during combat, but allow an automatic draw upon stored stocks when the combat ends. In this sense it would work somewhat like spells.

Edited by rjshae
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That sounds great my fellow Necromancer ;) Adds tactics to archery. Might even require the Archer to go melee, later levels the Archer perhaps can conjure arrows (or have a Wizard that does it for him/her) in battle. Or add choose a "perk" or whatnot that allows the Archer to have a larger stock in combat.

 

Though the question comes to me then, can you drop a bunch of arrows on the ground and then use them as ammo?

 

EDIT: Can you utilize some sort of "Ammo Cart" stuff? (in concept, you wouldn't suddenly dish one out). Could a Utility type character act as an "ammo" holder? Let's take Rogue as an example for the heck of it: Could the Rogue have a quiver that the Archer can utilize if standing close?

Edited by Osvir
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Personally, I'm fine with the game giving me unlimited normal arrows. Because firstly limited ammo leaves archery at a macro-scale disadvantage compared to other styles (because you have to spend time/money on restocking), and secondly because I find tracking arrows with little value boring. I'd just have the game presume that we resupplied off-screen and have `enough` arrows, just like most RPGs assume the party has enough food to be getting on with.

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It would be more believable to have unlimited sling stones, because you could pick them up from most overland areas. Arrows, on the other hand, need to be fletched and tipped properly, at least ideally. I'm all for adding abstract mechanics where it streamlines a trivial process, but unlimited arrows (or quarrels for that matter) seems a tad iffy.

 

If an archer runs out of ammo, can't he/she resort to melee and/or magic/stealth if need be? They should really be managing their "tools of the trade" in the same way a wizard manages their spell pool. And as I mentioned earlier, if encounters are designed with this possible shortfall in mind, then ammo could be in continuous supply anyway. There is of course the option of finding (or crafting) a magic bow with unlimited ammo, which is a fairly standard RPG concept.

Edited by TRX850
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I meant to say, if there's a danger of running low on (or running out of) ammo, it's the same adventuring stress/considerations when running low on healing potions, or spells. Half the challenge is knowing when to splurge and when to conserve.

 

I understand your point of view, but I have to respectfully disagree. I don't think it's the same because healing potions are relatively optional. You can get by without them with healing spells, resting regularly, or avoiding getting hit too hard. Spells have phenomenal cosmic power, a wider variety of uses (damage, healing, buffing, etc) whereas arrows are pretty much limited to one or two uses (physical attack, maybe stunning), you can use scrolls or magical items to cast spells without drawing from your mana pool (whereas with arrows, you pretty much have to loose them) and you can replenish your spells by resting whereas you can't magically restock on arrows by taking a nap. Spells and healing potions also don't take up nearly as much space in your pack.

 

In WOW, most melee weapons took damage every time you hit a target, so you had to take them to get repaired about as regularly as you had to get more arrows, so at least they were evenly handled. With NWN games at least, you never have to worry about melee weapons blunting or breaking the way you have to worry about ammo running out. This means you can use the same melee weapons endlessly, while you have to use ranged weapons in limited doses, or have to pay much more to keep fighting rather than being able to craft your own arrows. To me, this is very uneven.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is tactically "knowing when to splurge and when to conserve" is great for those who enjoy it, but is not as great for those who don't. Archery as it is requires more calculating than any form of combat, which can be discouraging for those who enjoy it but don't enjoy stressing. Melee and even spellcasting does not require knowing when to splurge and when to conserve as much as archery, and I would like the designers to even the odds if possible.

 

I disagree with your assertion that "most people" dislike archery in games; that's just an unsubstantiated opinion on your part. I've used archery in virtually every FRPG I've ever played, and I don't see matchlock weapons replacing that (if only because of the painfully slow reload).

 

What I wouldn't mind seeing is a mechanism to restock arrows in between fights. I.e. limit the available arrows during combat, but allow an automatic draw upon stored stocks when the combat ends. In this sense it would work somewhat like spells.

 

I'm very sorry to have assumed. I guess I based my "most people" assumption on the games I've played and the forums I frequent. Far too often, I seem to see people say, "Don't do archery, it sucks," or "Only do archery if you really, really, really love it," or "Don't expect it to be as good as..." or "I love archery and I enjoyed role-playing as x archer, but..." I just don't want it to be this way for Project Eternity. =(

 

I like the idea of restocking arrows in between fights, though I'm not sure I like the limit to available arrows during combat. In a way, it's even worse since limited arrows means running out much earlier in a fight, which means resorting to melee or spells much more than before, which can be even more discouraging for dedicated archers.

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I like the idea of restocking arrows in between fights, though I'm not sure I like the limit to available arrows during combat. In a way, it's even worse since limited arrows means running out much earlier in a fight, which means resorting to melee or spells much more than before, which can be even more discouraging for dedicated archers.

Having a limited stock of arrows shouldn't be discouraging, since spellcasters suffer from the same limitation. It's a matter of the developers properly balancing the game and players being more flexible in their tactics. If each archer has, say, 24-36 conventional arrows available at a time, those should readily last through most battles. They can then use their gear inventory to hold special purpose arrows for those situations where the opponent would be too tough to finish off rapidly. (Note that most medieval quivers only held up to about a dozen arrows; many archers just carried the arrows stuck through their belts.)

Edited by rjshae

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I disagree with your assertion that "most people" dislike archery in games; that's just an unsubstantiated opinion on your part. I've used archery in virtually every FRPG I've ever played, and I don't see matchlock weapons replacing that (if only because of the painfully slow reload).

 

What I wouldn't mind seeing is a mechanism to restock arrows in between fights. I.e. limit the available arrows during combat, but allow an automatic draw upon stored stocks when the combat ends. In this sense it would work somewhat like spells.

 

Archers could have options to shoot aimed shots (more likely to hit, longer reload time), snap shots (faster rate of fire but less chance to hit) or rapid fire (sprays many arrows in an area like AOE). Since the ammo during the fight would be limited he would have to decide how to expend his limited ammo in the most effective way.

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I like the per-encounter limit on arrows. It's obviously still abstracted, but it could work very well if ironed out properly. What if, to go along with that, in place of buying all the individual arrows of various types, you could purchase bigger/more quivers? I don't mean to the point where you've got an archer with a quiversuit, carrying 1,000 arrows that replenish every encounter, heh. BUT, if the arrows were to function like the spells, don't the casters gain a larger and larger repertoire of spells as they go along? And there's talk of grimoires/tomes possibly being an equipment item tied to the number and variety of spells available on the per-encounter (and/or per-rest) regiment.

 

Again, this obviously wouldn't be 100% realistic, but I don't think it would have to be anywhere near ridiculous, either. I know there were hip-quivers and back quivers, and it wouldn't be entirely infeasible (probably more of a "how much stuff can you really carry around on your person?" issue?) to have both a hip quiver AND a back quiver. Or maybe you have a dual back quiver, or maybe not (since that would, essentially, achieve the same result as a single back {dorsal? I like the word "dorsal," ^_^} quiver with simply a larger capacity.) So, maybe two actual separate quivers would be the limit. Either way, you could purchase quiver upgrades, or have them enchanted or something so that they'd basically give you fire/ice arrows. Instead of buying 50 ice arrows at 1 silver a pop, you'd probably spend about 15 gold on a quiver with Frost-enchanting capabilities (15 gold being an estimation of the expense being relative to the benefit). I mean, if you can enchant so many arrows, what magic rule says you can't enchant a quiver?

 

*shrug*. I know it would need a lot of detail-ironing, but I just thought it could be a cool idea, in the midst of existing abstraction. I'm just not sure the absolute best way to handle it off the top of my head. If anyone thinks it's worth discussing further, I'll gladly continue my efforts to work out viable details.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I know I don't mind infinite ammo, but I would like it if that only occurred with the help of magic. For example, a basic spell or ability that could be used once in a while, or a magical quiver that provided a specific type of ammo in endless quantities.

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I like the idea of restocking arrows in between fights, though I'm not sure I like the limit to available arrows during combat. In a way, it's even worse since limited arrows means running out much earlier in a fight, which means resorting to melee or spells much more than before, which can be even more discouraging for dedicated archers.

Having a limited stock of arrows shouldn't be discouraging, since spellcasters suffer from the same limitation. It's a matter of the developers properly balancing the game and players being more flexible in their tactics. If each archer has, say, 24-36 conventional arrows available at a time, those should readily last through most battles. They can then use their gear inventory to hold special purpose arrows for those situations where the opponent would be too tough to finish off rapidly. (Note that most medieval quivers only held up to about a dozen arrows; many archers just carried the arrows stuck through their belts.)

 

I don't think it's entirely accurate to say spells suffer the same limitation as arrows. True, you probably can't cast as many spells as you can loose arrows (depending on how many arrows you have), but spells make up for it by being much more powerful and much more versatile in uses. Magic can buff, debuff, damage directly, damage elementally, raise dead, summon allies, inflict every status wound there is and then some, rain fire and ice, etc. Arrows don't have as many abilities. You just knock, aim, draw and loose. They might be able to do a few neat tricks like stun, volley, inflict status like burn or poison damage (depending on the enchantment of the arrow), but not nearly to the degree of decent leveled spells (at least none that I've seen.) I don't think of limiting arrows as balancing a system so much as inflicting an even further handy cap.

 

What's more, in most games I've seen, spellcasters can cast as many spells as they have in their spellbook, mana pool, et cetera until they run out of mana or spell slots. They can cast as many spells as they have room for; they aren't limited to just a dozens spells when they have plenty more they're perfectly capable of casting on standby.

 

I also don't see the point of being limited to loosing a few dozen arrows per battle if you can store way more in your pack. Being limited to loosing just a couple dozen arrows when you can have many more makes about as much sense (to me) as being limited to swing your sword, ax, mace, whatever just a couple dozens times before being forced to put away your melee weapon and switch to something else. Imagine running out of sword swings when you've only taken 1/4th or 1/3rd of your total opponents' health because "realistically," you should be tired by this point. Especially if you configured most/all your skills into melee fighting? It'll be an uphill battle.

 

Also, yes, real medieval archers could only fit a dozen arrows in their quivers, but this is a universe with magic. Slightly different situation and resources.

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There's always the Ammo Belt option from BG2:ToB. I think it held 2,000 units of any ammo combination.

 

I don't think I ever succumbed to "Archery Stress" before, unless it was my low level characters missing all the time. Running out of ammo was rarely a problem in IE games, and I tend to have 3-4 capable ranged weapon characters in my party. I think the difference is how you view them. I always thought of archery as a kind of perk, i.e. being able to deliver damage from a distance, with minimal risk of melee engagement or return fire. And even then, even if I had a highly specialized archer, like Kivan in BG for example, that wasn't all he was good at. If he did indeed run out of arrows, he was also a capable fighter. And wizards and sorcerers who double up as crossbow bolters from the back are only doing so to "soften up" the enemy before deciding whether spells are needed. I think as long as the devs provide a range of options to alleviate unnecessary stress, then I can't really see it being an issue.

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I also don't see the point of being limited to loosing a few dozen arrows per battle if you can store way more in your pack. Being limited to loosing just a couple dozen arrows when you can have many more makes about as much sense (to me) as being limited to swing your sword, ax, mace, whatever just a couple dozens times before being forced to put away your melee weapon and switch to something else. Imagine running out of sword swings when you've only taken 1/4th or 1/3rd of your total opponents' health because "realistically," you should be tired by this point. Especially if you configured most/all your skills into melee fighting? It'll be an uphill battle.

How does this argument make any kind of sense? You use up arrows; you don't use up a melee weapon. I don't really care that it doesn't seem "fair" for archery not to have the same advantages as melee. Tough sh*t; war is brutal. The benefit of the bow is that you stay out of harms way while killing off some of your opponents. The rest you'll just have to deal with by other means.

Edited by rjshae

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^ Yeah, I mean, if you didn't have a limited number of throwing daggers and arrows and other ranged weapons, then why not just let everyone with a sword attack from range? What would be the trade-off? "This weapon does 10 damage and attacks from 2 feet away, and this weapon does 10 damage from 70 yards. Which do you want?" That would be a no-brainer. The ranged weapon would always have an advantage.

 

And, regarding the spell-like limitations (probably per-encounter, for arrows), it would just be a matter of number-balancing. Maybe a Wizard only gets 10 spells per encounter at Level 5, and an archer character gets 40 arrows per encounter. Depending on the damage of the bow and the arrows (if there are types, etc.) and the capabilities of the character, maybe it needs to be 60. But, quite frankly, if you're going through 400 arrows in a single encounter, I think you've got a balance issue.

 

I suppose another alternative might be to allow arrows and other ammunition to slowly regenerate, like mana, in combat, but that's edging closer to the fine line between abstraction and nonsense. Besides, then you run into even more possible problems, like "what's to keep you from just kiting an enemy around for 10 years while all your arrows regenerate?". It's more fun when battles don't take an hour (especially when you can potentially run out of finite health and resources at the 57-minute mark), so that's the type of scenario they're trying to steer away from.

 

I think if the characters were understood to resupply between each encounter, and you got the numbers right, everything would be fine. Keep in mind, archers will progress in damage and effectiveness just like any other weapon-user. It's not like you'll need 20 arrows (7 damage a piece, maybe?) per battle early on, then, you'll need 500 arrows per battle at level 30 because an arrow from your bow will still only do 7 damage while everyone else has 60+-damage longswords and daggers and pikes and chakrams.

 

Also, your archer character shouldn't be SO specialized (or, in this case, restricted) that he literally can't use any other weapon but one that requires ammunition. He should be able to break some emergency glass and whip out a short sword of infinite swinging or something, in the event that he does, in fact, run out of ammo before the battle's done. Or maybe he defaults to a boomerang? (INFINITE AMMO, 8D!)

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I am hoping that projectiles are not governed by traditional hit rules. It's a longshot but I would prefer if it worked like this

 

Your hit 'roll' determines your aim at your intended target, if you miss the projectile either passes through or lands at a co-ordinate on the map determined by X formula and has a chance of hitting something else in it's path. This would be more important for the firearms based weapons, followed by crossbows and then bows. That way it's more realistic, firing into melee is dangerous because you have a chance of injuring one of your companions (like real life) or you might luck out and accidentally hit another enemy ... that would make projectile weapons FUN. There is nothing more hilarious in an FPS or like in DotA with say Mirana's arrow or Pudge's hook etc where you aim at someone, miss, and accidentally hit someone else.

 

They probably won't do that, but I'm gonna cast my vote for those mechanics.

Edited by Sensuki
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In addition to arrow supply being limited, there could be different types of arrows for different situations, forcing the archer to decide which arrows he wants to have at the ready:

 

- longer range

- armour piercing

- riphooked for extra damage

- explosive tipped

- flammable

- magical (frost, acid, heat seeking, etc.)

 

The majority of the arrows would be kept bundled in the archers backpack for longer term storage, with a bunch more in a quiver on his back for quick access when fighting, and an option to hold a few specialized arrows in the belt. There could be different sized quivers and specialized archery belts (possibly even a skill) to help the archer increase the number of available arrows during individual fights.

 

How about bows vs crossbows vs revolvers? Bows can be fired the fastest and have the greatest range, but the least damage. Crossbows have moderate range and damage, could load 4-5 quarrels to fire off rapidly, but then it takes longer to reload it than it does to reload a flintlock. Flintlocks would get the shortest range and average reload time, with the greatest damage.

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It'd be nice if there was an easy mechanism, perhaps even an AI rule, that causes an archer to switch from regular ammo to scarcer but more effective ammo. In BG it was kind of a pain to do so, given the number of potential targets and the task of opening the inventory and swapping ammo in and out.

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It'd be nice if there was an easy mechanism, perhaps even an AI rule, that causes an archer to switch from regular ammo to scarcer but more effective ammo. In BG it was kind of a pain to do so, given the number of potential targets and the task of opening the inventory and swapping ammo in and out.

 

Agreed; In my view this is something that needs to be fixed whether or not they change how archery works and If they're going to increase the complexity of the mechanic beyond what was in BG this should be mandatory. I'd actually like a few options to set on my archer, sort of how gambits worked in the FF games, where I can set some basic behaviours (if monster is weaker, if monster is stronger, if im wounded, etc) to free me up during battles for other tasks, rather than always micromanaging my archer.

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As a bowhunter, I'm very much in favor of archery being a viable and satisfying option for a PC to pursue. Turning opponents into pin cushions is always entertaining*, but for archery to be worthwhile in the context of a game one needs to:

  • be able to engage at a fair distance and shoot rapidly
  • have various feats available for archery specialists
  • have a variety of arrows with different damage enhancements (fire, ice, wounding, poison, etc.)
  • inflict enough damage to remain more or less as effective as melee specialists
  • offer the player some option with regards to arrow capacity (endless quiver of standard arrows) or encumberance (non-restrictive inventory)

 

 

* I will neither confirm nor deny that I've dealt with certain undesirable individuals in such a fashion. :shifty:

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