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Learn Penetrating Shot, never turn it off...

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I just realized something that gives Hunting Bows an edge. Marked Prey is +20 damage per hit. It's one of very few damage boosts in the game that is not based on percentage. +20 damage * fast is better than +20 damage * average.



Regarding realism and hunting bows:

- it's not realistic for each human warrior or bandit to be fully covered in armor. It's expensive, it's cumbersome. Sailors in particular were known to avoid armor, no one likes to sink like a rock. Heavy armor was typically worn right before battle, because it's too exhausting in the long run. Lots and lots of soldiers were light infrantry and peasant conscripts. The best they could get was farming implements. Also, take a look at helmet designs. The heaviest ones, "pot" helmets, barely left two slits for eyes. This is how much they feared a random stray arrow. A proffesional knight would fight for living in many cases, and they couldn't afford a random critical hit. Unless you are completely covered in armor, an arrow can always find a way.

- PoE heavily underplays the difference in firing speed for gameplay reasons. A good bowman could shoot 12 arrows per minute. A good crossbowman managed 2 bolts per minute. Against unarmored targets, a simple bow can be up to 6 times more effective.

- I wouldn't overstate the penetration of crossbows. Ultimately we don't know how medieval crossbows worked. Just because we are more technologically advanced doesn't mean people of the era didn't have a myriad of tricks to make weapons more effective, or use them better. A big plus of crossbows was they were very easy to train. That's why a pope supposedly banned the use of crossbows against Christians - because they threatened social order. To give you something to think about, Gutenberg wasn't very keen to share his invention of print. No, he was hogging it for himself to make maximum profit. When a court ordered him to reveal his invention, he didn't comply. He was stopped while destroying the printing presses. Keeping an invention secret was a very popular attitude.


I give Josh and other designers benefit of doubt. It's rare to get balance just right straight away. PoE is not printed, it doesn't have to worry about backwards compatibility etc. Balance patches will come, one has already come.


How do you recognize that balance is good ? Balance is good when people stop talking about "the best ranged weapon", and start arguing which one is the best. When multiple threads like "Hunting/War/Scepters/Crossbows/Pistols are overpowered/underpowered" exist at the same time. People arguing what is best is a sign of good balance.

Edited by b0rsuk
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With good damage bonus and average accuracy the bows are roughly equal against (effective) DR5 enemies. Boosting damage bonus and accuracy increases the DR threshold. If you have penetration you have to add that to the DR number. Lower DR means hunter bow is better, higher DR usually means that war bow is better but if the DR is so high that the war bow deals minimum damage the hunter bow becomes better again because of higher rate of fire.


I won't deny what you say here.  But I think that one also has to factor in whether the bow-user in question has a weapon focus on only one type of bow, but not the other.  For example, if you have a charcter with the WF Adventurer but not WF Peasant, he'll have a +6 accuracy on his warbow, but not on the hunting bow.  And in this case, it seems that it wouldn't be all that wise to throw away a parfectly good +6 acc bonus, just because you find yourself in a situation where a hunting bow might be a little better, if not for the WF issue.


Ofc there are many things you have to consider, I only wanted to check how the weapons compare when you're just shooting basic attacks with everything else identical. It can be useful for determining what type of weapon focus you want to pick though.


I just realized something that gives Hunting Bows an edge. Marked Prey is +20 damage per hit. It's one of very few damage boosts in the game that is not based on percentage. +20 damage * fast is better than +20 damage * average.

Sadly the description is wrong, it's only 20% extra damage. Hunters would be really strong with +20 damage per hit though.

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PoE should have embraced the firearms/arbalests/crossbows that helps make their world more distinct from usual fantasy drek and just ditched the stupid bows. But no of course thats not possible because of the hard-on a lot of geeks have for bows


This would have made the whole world much less believable. 

Got a bow fan proving my point right here. Yeah a world where guns have relegated archery to a status and hobby symbol. SOOOOO unbelievable.



You ... you do know that bows continued to be used in serious warfare well into the 16th century, right? Around the same point in time that PoE's technology is based.


Also: this is a magic world where people use their magic soul powers to do things with magic. One imagines that might be a factor in the endurance of the bow.

Edited by gkathellar

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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You ... you do know that bows continued to be used in serious warfare well into the 16th century, right? Around the same point in time that PoE's technology is based.



Also: this is a magic world where people use their magic soul powers to do things with magic. One imagines that might be a factor in the endurance of the bow. 


I guess he'd rather scrap bows altogether because they "suck", just like "bow fans" do. 

Probably got shot in the buttocks when he was a kid or something.

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Coming back to the OP's original question, imho, "It depends". In the case of Sagani, since she has a talent pre-spent, it's better to either focus on the hunting bow, or abandon bows altogether. If you're going to "eat" the talent and move her to a new weapon group, you may as well move to arbalest or arquebus, since you get added bonuses(inherent DR bypass, knockdown on crit), as opposed to just being a slightly harder hitting hunting bow. Regardless of choice of weapon, I think Penetrating shot is a bit of a waste for a Ranger, since they get two superior modal abilities for ranged dps in Swift Aim and Vicious Aim. Swift Aim is great if you set your ranger up with per-hit bonuses like elemental damage or Marked Target, and Vicious Aim gives you roughly the same damage boost as Penetrating Shot(+20%), with the added bonus of +10 Accuracy and no diminishing returns against low DR enemies. 

Let's be real though, Eder and Itumaak dialogue makes Sagani worth keeping in the party, even if she was spec'd to be as sub-optimal as possible. Eskimo-Dwarves ftw. 

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I don't think you have a clue how bows and guns - those guns - actually work. It took some time and advancement before guns overtook bows, since the latter packed mroe power with greater range.


Hell, by your logic, we should remove swords, because guns!



If you're going to play the realistic ranged weapons card


  • Hunting bows are completely useless in RL warfare even hundreds of years before guns had even been invented, zero draw strength vs metal armour.  So 100% historical realism in PoE, a hunting bow designed to kill deer is useless against human beings.
  • Non-longbow European warbows weren't very useful against armored targets in the era where guns were beginning to see use because again, not enough penetration compared to crossbows which penetrate extremely well even though they're slower.  Few European forces fielded large units of archers that weren't using crossbows or longbows because crossbows were that much more effective even though they fired slower.Crossbows>everything except Longbows and Composite bows.  
  • Basically nobody used longbows and composite bows in Europe, ever.  Relatively speaking a few randoms in the British Isles were a tiny minority in historical warfare, and composite bows, although incredibly effective game changing weapons that were far in advance of European archery, just didn't exist in Europe.  100% historical accuracy to Pillars of Eternity.
  • Crossbows and guns co-existed and over time guns replaced Crossbow.  The status quo for most of continental Europe in the 1400s and 1500s was well equipped crossbowman=extremely effective, missile weapon of choice for Spain/France/Italian Penninsula/Holy Roman Empire, and eventually guns took over as they became cheaper and cheaper.  So just like Pillars of Eternity, where in the early game Guns are both hard to find and the -5 accuracy renders crossbows far more viable, while

Not surprising for Josh Sawyer, the Pillars of Eternity setup is coincidentally doesn't make much sense at all from a gameplay perspective, entire weapon types are redundant, but is fastidiously accurate historically speaking.  


I'm pretty sure people used longbows in Europe, even outside the British Isles. The chief difference was the training regimen and widespread popularity of the longbow in England. The Hundred Years War certainly proved the effectiveness of a properly trained archery force (a few 'randomers' who soundly defeated the best cavalry forces of the day). Composite bows were certainly used by the Ottomans, the Byzantines and the Avars on the fringes of Europe. Europe was not some self-contained box.


The reason for the crossbow and early firearms eventually taking over in terms of popularity is not that they were more effective but that they were a damn sight easier to use and required a lot less training.


In gameplay terms, a ranger can take both Penetrating Shot and Vicious Aim with a hunting bow and consistently deal moderate-to-high damage to anything that doesn't have really big DR, using Envenomed Strike to get raw damage on anyone that does. If you want to skimp on Penetrating Shot, the Warbow is possibly more valuable.

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I dont have the numbers to prove it, but since attack animation and recovery is such a small percentage of total attack time when it comes to guns, penetrating shots malus is much less than 20%. Even though DT reduction is supposed to be less useful on slow/hard hitting weapons, I've a hunch that its still a major dps boost for the Pistol and Arquebus. (its an obvious dps boost for blunderbuss, essential really).


I wish the talented modals didnt use constant animations. None of the class specific ones do XD I dont see why penetrating shot needs to make my rogues hands sparkle lightning.


Free cake to first modder to tone down(off) modal spell effects.

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There was a very large thread not too long ago that researched attack frames and recovery frames, and attack speeds apparent effect on things. Might be worth a read. 


Faster weapons are not nearly as weak as the rest of the forum seems to like to believe. Slashing weapons are not nearly as disadvantaged as people like to believe either and will generally work against the majority of enemies you fight. For those enemies who *do* have a very high slashing resistance I recommend switching to a club; enemies with very high slashing resistance are almost always vulnerable to crushing. 

I have a post about the differences between Sabre and Sword as well that might be worth going over. Sabre is just generally a powerful weapon. 

Edited by Akos
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Which brings me to the question: why not go with a War Bow instead ? Smaller portion of it is consumed by DR. I would have a spare talent. When is a Hunting Bow better than a War Bow ? Should I take Interrupting Shots, or something ?




According to the DPS vs DR spreadsheet made by awesome players here in this forum:


DR 0 Hunting Bow > War Bow


DR 1 - DR 13 War Bow > Hunting Bow


DR 14+ Hunting Bow = War Bow

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I suspected as much, because it never seemed like Sagani is dealing +20 damage when I turn it on. :(

Thanks for confirmation :(


Speaking of DR, I'm starting to think it should work differently. For example if you have DR of 20, it would roll d20 two times and get the higher result. Hmm.

Is 40% multiplicative (lash damage) vs 25% target DR .. Pretty massive come endgame and pretty useless in the beginning ..


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