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Archetype Focus: The Ranger - Official discussion thread

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FWIW, the following article has some interesting information about arrows and archery in Manchu China.

 

http://www.manchuarchery.org/manchu-war-arrows

 

From my perspective there are three items of interest (assuming that you care about realism)

 

1.  The distinction between regular arrows and "plum needle" arrows is a good precedence for having very different quality levels for arrows.  Note that the "plum needle arrows" were forge welded.  (Also note that the enormous expense of making these arrows meant that the plum needle arrows were only issued to the most elite troops.

 

2.  The article discusses a number of different types of arrows including specialized arrows for piercing different types of armor.  It is certainly realistic to feature different arrow designs for use versus various types of armor

 

3.  The Manchu preferred an archery style that focused on one shot / one kill.  Their arrows were quite large and heavy.  It would be extremely rare for an archer to go in battle with more than a dozen arrows.  This seems a little too extreme for the archer, however, I'd argue that a relatively low number of arrows (say three dozen) seems to be the most realistic.


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That's cool, but is have to say it's probably inferior to long bow volleys in large scale combat, and wouldn't one shot or even offend a heavy plate armor.


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That's cool, but is have to say it's probably inferior to long bow volleys in large scale combat, and wouldn't one shot or even offend a heavy plate armor.

 

Nah, archery was evolved to punch arrows through heavy plating. There are plenty of accounts of this, though I'd argue it's more applicable at close distance when the arrow's force is still near max. 

 

As for superiority, that depends on one's operation and situation. In a open large scale battle, then perhaps the volley is the right way. In more complex terrain when the enemy may not all be grouped up or without cover, then roamer-type tactics for greater precision is the better option.

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Interestingly enough, someone actually did some testing in this regard. I think the conclusion was that while it is difficult to swim wearing plate armor, it's not entirely outside the realm of possibility.

 

You can find a video of the experiment here: https://vimeo.com/13634653

Don't forget the ancient Assyrians using inflated goatskin or sheep's bladders (it's on a carving from 3000 years ago) to cross a river in order to assault the enemy. Never underestimate the ingenuity of people who had nothing better to do than sit around and think of ways to solve problems (no TV or Internet!).


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Nah, archery was evolved to punch arrows through heavy plating. There are plenty of accounts of this, though I'd argue it's more applicable at close distance when the arrow's force is still near max. 

 

As for superiority, that depends on one's operation and situation. In a open large scale battle, then perhaps the volley is the right way. In more complex terrain when the enemy may not all be grouped up or without cover, then roamer-type tactics for greater precision is the better option.

Agreed. Look at the longbow in the Hundred Year's war. Bodkin arrows were brutal against plate armor.


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On the topic of the archetype, it looks great to me so far (especially if it promotes to scout!). I never understood why so many games want me to fire an arrow at a guy two feet away when I could easily draw a hunting knife of two and actually parry on occasion.

 

On another note, I'm a big fan of ammo, at least for now. I think it'll be great to force folks to prep for the expected enemy - and with limited resources, it'll certain increase diversity, even among nearly identical builds. 


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Nah, archery was evolved to punch arrows through heavy plating. There are plenty of accounts of this, though I'd argue it's more applicable at close distance when the arrow's force is still near max.

 

As for superiority, that depends on one's operation and situation. In a open large scale battle, then perhaps the volley is the right way. In more complex terrain when the enemy may not all be grouped up or without cover, then roamer-type tactics for greater precision is the better option.

You missed context.


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Nah, archery was evolved to punch arrows through heavy plating. There are plenty of accounts of this, though I'd argue it's more applicable at close distance when the arrow's force is still near max. 

 

As for superiority, that depends on one's operation and situation. In a open large scale battle, then perhaps the volley is the right way. In more complex terrain when the enemy may not all be grouped up or without cover, then roamer-type tactics for greater precision is the better option.

 

I would argue that the opposite is true. Archery quite obviously came about several centuries, if not millennia before plate armour. Plate armour would not have been used, especially in the 100 years war, where over half of the english soldiers were longbowman, if it was not effective against arrows. Remember, good full plate is expensive, and no one would bother making or paying for it if it didn't work.

 

According to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1WZLVZYBwQ, which is admittedly a secondary source, most, if not all, arrow wounds against people in full plate armour were to the face when the visor was up. Also, arrows have to be able to not only pierce the plating of the armour, but also the several layers of padding underneath, in addition to embedding themselves far enough into the body in order to start disrupting major organs in order to be truly debilitating. Most tests of armour vs arrows fail to take this into account, as well as not using historically accurate reproductions of plate armour.

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But it is a tax. As presented, there's no inherent advantage to having ammo. You don't see champions and confessors begging to have some ammo-like mechanic added for them as well. And it doesn't function as a 'ranged tax' if mages are exempt from it.

 

And the 'realism' argument doesn't mean anything. This is a game, not a simulation. 

 

From what little information we have know, it seems like ammo is the price rangers pay in exchange for a full suite of both melee and ranged skills.

 

Sorry, but that old argument 'this is a game, not a simulation' is actually in-fact erroneous.  This IS a simulation.  Many games are simulations.  The best online games draw upon reality, just like the best fiction does.  This isn't a card game on a table.  A chess match on a square.  This is in very many ways a simulation, from crating, to movement, from combat to death.  If it isn't grounded in logic and some reality, imbalances will definitely pop-up where they could have been avoided by sticking to a real-world model. 

 

 I have a metric ton of PVP experience, having played against archers in games like DAoC (as an example), and having played a Ranger in the same game, and requiring ammunition is not as much of a strain as you might think really.  What I'm actually very interested in seeing is how many arrows/bolts/etc. ranged classes will have easy access to from a quiver, etc.  If this is even a thing in this game (I think it should be).


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Sorry, but that old argument 'this is a game, not a simulation' is actually in-fact erroneous.  This IS a simulation.  Many games are simulations.  The best online games draw upon reality, just like the best fiction does.  This isn't a card game on a table.  A chess match on a square.  This is in very many ways a simulation, from crating, to movement, from combat to death.  If it isn't grounded in logic and some reality, imbalances will definitely pop-up where they could have been avoided by sticking to a real-world model. 

 

 I have a metric ton of PVP experience, having played against archers in games like DAoC (as an example), and having played a Ranger in the same game, and requiring ammunition is not as much of a strain as you might think really.  What I'm actually very interested in seeing is how many arrows/bolts/etc. ranged classes will have easy access to from a quiver, etc.  If this is even a thing in this game (I think it should be).

I think you missed his point.  This isn't a realism game which generally is deemed a simulator.  A simulator tends to mean a program that as closely as possible resembles the real world version of whatever its topic is.  There are plenty of games that try to simulate a more realistic style.  Mount & Blade, by contrast to Crowfall, is much more of a medieval combat simulator given its momentum and physics engines working in tandem with weapon type, strike type, and armor type it impacts.  As well (except for sieges) it was rare for you to go ammo hungry with a bow during combat.  If you got knocked down and wounds dressed to return to battle, you'd restock anyway.

 

The main worry is that the ranger will end up playing in such a way that you never want to use your melee skills, that you're constantly compelled to stay ranged for one reason or another, and that combat is consistent enough that it won't be unusual to blow through hundreds of arrows in an hour's playtime.  The biggest concern, I'd say, is the worry that ammo will become an inventory hog.  Every class will deal with degradation of gear, every class will have its mana pool, but only physical ranged classes will have ammo.  This becomes a tertiary resource only bow/gun have to deal with.  if you played a hunter in vanilla WoW or ever tried a bow amazon build in Diablo 2 you'll know what I mean about the aggravation of this tertiary resource.  Having a viable melee kit will be absolutely crucial to making the tertiary resource sensible, as will a reasonably simple crafting process to keep stocked with at least basic and functional ammunition.

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I would argue that the opposite is true. Archery quite obviously came about several centuries, if not millennia before plate armour. Plate armour would not have been used, especially in the 100 years war, where over half of the english soldiers were longbowman, if it was not effective against arrows. Remember, good full plate is expensive, and no one would bother making or paying for it if it didn't work.

 

I've got to say that I disagree with this. An arrow doesn't have to penetrate the armor to kill you - if it knocks you off your horse onto your back, it's easy enough to stab you under the armpit. If it penetrates your shield, it can render it nearly useless. In addition, most armor tests I've seen go straight to the breastplate - they ignore the easier to penetrate pieces (like anywhere with a joint), and a debilitated enemy is easier to kill by other means. Remember, if you can't defend yourself because both arms are useless, or your kneecap is shattered because your horse was killed and rolled over you, etc., then you are just as dead at the end of the day.

 

Archers definitely weren't the end all be all historically, but if you look throughout time, there is a very consistent ebb and flow between better penetrating weapons in general, and the development of advanced armor to protect you from the new weapons.

Edited by vandarr

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That's cool, but is have to say it's probably inferior to long bow volleys in large scale combat, and wouldn't one shot or even offend a heavy plate armor.

 

I'm not too sure about that.

 

The Manchu bow is a very different beast than the english long bow.  The Manchu had an extra 500 years or so to innovate and improve on the design.  The most significant difference is that the Chinese bows - like most of the "Eastern" bows - have levers "siyah" at the ends of the bows.  You can see this well in the following picture.

 

http://www.manchuarchery.org/images/wufu.jpg 

 

This design feature hurts the performance of the bow at relatively low poundages.  (With traditional materials, the break point is about 80 pounds).  At high poundages, the designs become enormously more efficient.  (Intuitively, levers are great force multipliers, however, its expensive to waste energy accelerating the lever arms rather than transferring energy to your arrow.  However, once the bow is heavy enough to overcome this loss, your force curve really improves).  You end up with a design that is optimized to transmit enormous amounts of energy in a straight line.  

This is discussed in more detail at http://www.manchuarchery.org/bows.

 

The second major difference is that the Machu bows were heavier than English war bows.  Most of the authorities suggest that the English war bows topped out at 185 pounds or so.  The truly elite Manchu archers were firing bows with draw weights of 200+ pounds.  (The Chinese were meticulous at record keeping and testing, so we have written recordings like the following  "The champion in a 1728 contest between the one hundred top bowmen in the empire won one hundred taels when he hit the bull’s eye using an eighteen-strength bow an estimated drawing weight of almost 240 pounds.”  

 

Please note:  As I understand matters, it is possible that the relatively low numbers of arrows carried into a typical battle is at least as much due to how damn tiring it is to fire these bows as it is the size of the arrows.

 

(FWIW, I recently ordered a 70 pound "modern" manchu bow and am trying to get some more practical experience with this all)


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Oh yah one more thing. Watch this please it annoy's me how archers today load their arrows just a fast draw animation and much more simpler also a very intresting watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEG-ly9tQGk

The way this guy draws the bow is just wrong.

You can release the arrow from the right hand side of the bow, but the roll of the string will make it very unprecise.

The mongols used to do this when shooting from horseback, but they offset this by drawing the string with their thumb. So if you want to use such an animation, please do it the right way ;)

(Okay, okay, this gets much too technical, I know)

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In considering this ammo limiter on combat effectiveness of the ranged portion of a Rangers dps burst I keep returning to the real limit which is the down time planned for returning to the fray...   respawn, run back time... It appears that it may be the developers goal to both increase combat time to death (longer fights) and correspondingly lengthen the down time before effective return to battle.  This balance will be crucial as battles rage...  ebb and flow.   Our player who favors a ranger archetype will find herself in a graveyard in crow form with vessel and arrow stock lying back at the battlefield...  is there death sickness?   how far to the tomb to recover imported fresh fully stocked vessel.   is there a choice here to rather grab a stock vessel and try to recover the lost one?   will death sicknesses stack upon a quick additional death.   All of these have serious effect on effective re-engagement in combat.  Will grouping up with friendly dead be the better choice, form up, resupply, and move in strategically?   Are all the bodies picked clean, how easily are they found by enemies if scattered across a wide field?  Does my minimap show my fallen vessel?

 

I know that in Warhammer Online the return to battle time was far to small...   endless mindless zerg storming death-spawn-death-spawn was not as fun as in Shadowbane where you spawned a continent away and had to wait for summons back if you had a summoner strategically hidden close enough to efectively return to the objective and not get ganked by enemy scouts.   I do remember many great battles that turned on finding that summon chain before the full complement had been brought in and wiping it clean...

Edited by Frykka

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I'm not too sure about that.

 

The Manchu bow is a very different beast than the english long bow.  The Manchu had an extra 500 years or so to innovate and improve on the design.  The most significant difference is that the Chinese bows - like most of the "Eastern" bows - have levers "siyah" at the ends of the bows.  You can see this well in the following picture.

 

http://www.manchuarchery.org/images/wufu.jpg 

 

This design feature hurts the performance of the bow at relatively low poundages.  (With traditional materials, the break point is about 80 pounds).  At high poundages, the designs become enormously more efficient.  (Intuitively, levers are great force multipliers, however, its expensive to waste energy accelerating the lever arms rather than transferring energy to your arrow.  However, once the bow is heavy enough to overcome this loss, your force curve really improves).  You end up with a design that is optimized to transmit enormous amounts of energy in a straight line.  

This is discussed in more detail at http://www.manchuarchery.org/bows.

 

The second major difference is that the Machu bows were heavier than English war bows.  Most of the authorities suggest that the English war bows topped out at 185 pounds or so.  The truly elite Manchu archers were firing bows with draw weights of 200+ pounds.  (The Chinese were meticulous at record keeping and testing, so we have written recordings like the following  "The champion in a 1728 contest between the one hundred top bowmen in the empire won one hundred taels when he hit the bull’s eye using an eighteen-strength bow an estimated drawing weight of almost 240 pounds.”  

 

Please note:  As I understand matters, it is possible that the relatively low numbers of arrows carried into a typical battle is at least as much due to how damn tiring it is to fire these bows as it is the size of the arrows.

 

(FWIW, I recently ordered a 70 pound "modern" manchu bow and am trying to get some more practical experience with this all)

 

Poundage and the ability to penetrate armor only get you somewhere if the majority of your enemy is heavily armored. Historically, there were almost no armies that could afford to outfit the majority of their troops in full plate, meaning that outfitting your entire army with weapons that can penetrate heavy plate is also a waste of time and money.

 

Until, of course, the widespread adoption of firearms, at which point full plate became more of a detriment than an advantage, and was phased out of use.

 

Now, perhaps you are correct in saying that manchu bows are superior to english longbows at penetrating armor. However, I think some testing would be in order to determine if they would actually be able to penetrate historically accurate full plate, and, if so, if they are able to penetrate far enough to be lethal, and at which points in the armor it would be able to do so.

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I've got to say that I disagree with this. An arrow doesn't have to penetrate the armor to kill you - if it knocks you off your horse onto your back, it's easy enough to stab you under the armpit. If it penetrates your shield, it can render it nearly useless. In addition, most armor tests I've seen go straight to the breastplate - they ignore the easier to penetrate pieces (like anywhere with a joint), and a debilitated enemy is easier to kill by other means. Remember, if you can't defend yourself because both arms are useless, or your kneecap is shattered because your horse was killed and rolled over you, etc., then you are just as dead at the end of the day.

 

Archers definitely weren't the end all be all historically, but if you look throughout time, there is a very consistent ebb and flow between better penetrating weapons in general, and the development of advanced armor to protect you from the new weapons.

 

Have you seen the myth-busters episode about being blown back by the force of being shot by a gun? Perhaps you should watch it. I highly doubt that being shot with an arrow is going to be any more effective at knocking you off your horse than being shot by a gun, but perhaps some testing is in order.

 

I agree that weapons and armor developed side-by-side in an arms race, but disagree with historical bows of the late-medieval period being able to pierce full plate of the same period in most circumstances. Now, the video I linked did mention that there was a historical account of archers piercing the sides of plate helmets (a weaker portion of the armor) but it was fairly clear that such an occurrence was unusual and surprising, even to those of the day.

Edited by Raizex

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Poundage and the ability to penetrate armor only get you somewhere if the majority of your enemy is heavily armored. Historically, there were almost no armies that could afford to outfit the majority of their troops in full plate, meaning that outfitting your entire army with weapons that can penetrate heavy plate is also a waste of time and money.

 

Until, of course, the widespread adoption of firearms, at which point full plate became more of a detriment than an advantage, and was phased out of use.

 

Now, perhaps you are correct in saying that manchu bows are superior to english longbows at penetrating armor. However, I think some testing would be in order to determine if they would actually be able to penetrate historically accurate full plate, and, if so, if they are able to penetrate far enough to be lethal, and at which points in the armor it would be able to do so.

 

I agree with what you are saying.  Full plate armor is very expensive.  It's also difficult to pierce.  

 

As I understand matters, the Manchu archery bow design and archery style was (predominantly) an outgrowth of big game hunting amongst the Jurchen peoples. 

 

The Jurchen hunted boars, tigers, bears and the like.  None of these are creatures that you want to "wound".

(Pissing off a tiger is a very bad thing).  Their goal was killing the critters with the initial shot.

This carried over into their military practices.


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In this game I think that armor will be dmg reducers. It will be kinda complex to allow certain arrows to "bounce" of  plate armor but penetrate chain armor or leather armor. Armor will probably give you a certain pierce/slash/crush resistance with plate giving the most resist.

 

Since Crowfall is supposed to be a game where you can wear what armor you fancy (plate casters!) then the better armor you have should also give a disadvantage. For instance, movement speed could be reduced based on armor type and your strength. If you have a dex based toon and wear plate, you will have slower movement speed than a STR based mino wearing the same. 

 

Better armor should also lower DEX, since you IRL would be less agile in plate than in cloth... So you have to balance your DEX monkey and choose between higher dex but less resist or less dex but more resist. I like this since it basicly mean you can create several viable builds out of the same toon. There is not a one-build-rule-em-all option.  Maybe armor choice should lower spell casting damage too, but most likely it will be that cloth stuff will be able to have magic enchantments (INT, pow dmg etc) but that is up to Team ACE to reveal.


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Have you seen the myth-busters episode about being blown back by the force of being shot by a gun? Perhaps you should watch it. I highly doubt that being shot with an arrow is going to be any more effective at knocking you off your horse than being shot by a gun, but perhaps some testing is in order.

 

Arrows and bullets are very different beasts for a number of reasons.

 

Bows are most efficient when they are firing heavy arrows.  (The heavier the arrow, the greater the amount of energy that gets transferred from the bow to the arrow).  Heavier arrows also penetrate much better and are typically preferred for big game hunting when you need to punch trough thick hides.

 

Conversely, because of the whole Mass * (Velocity^2) thing, guns work best when they are firing small light ammunition.

 

When you get hit by a "heavy" arrow, there's going to be a relatively large transfer of momentum.

 

When you get hit by a "light" bullet, there's going to be a large transfer of energy, but a lot of this is going to going to manifest as shock waves that are destroying body tissue, deformation of the bullet, and a bunch of other stuff.

 

I have a copy of Mike Loades book on the British longbow lying around somewhere at home.  As I recall, he did some interesting work studying transfer of momentum from English war bows and study the effect of impact of large heavy arrows on armored folks.  I'll (try to) see what he has to say.

Edited by narsille

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I think you missed his point.  This isn't a realism game which generally is deemed a simulator.  A simulator tends to mean a program that as closely as possible resembles the real world version of whatever its topic is.  There are plenty of games that try to simulate a more realistic style.  Mount & Blade, by contrast to Crowfall, is much more of a medieval combat simulator given its momentum and physics engines working in tandem with weapon type, strike type, and armor type it impacts.  As well (except for sieges) it was rare for you to go ammo hungry with a bow during combat.  If you got knocked down and wounds dressed to return to battle, you'd restock anyway.

 

The main worry is that the ranger will end up playing in such a way that you never want to use your melee skills, that you're constantly compelled to stay ranged for one reason or another, and that combat is consistent enough that it won't be unusual to blow through hundreds of arrows in an hour's playtime.  The biggest concern, I'd say, is the worry that ammo will become an inventory hog.  Every class will deal with degradation of gear, every class will have its mana pool, but only physical ranged classes will have ammo.  This becomes a tertiary resource only bow/gun have to deal with.  if you played a hunter in vanilla WoW or ever tried a bow amazon build in Diablo 2 you'll know what I mean about the aggravation of this tertiary resource.  Having a viable melee kit will be absolutely crucial to making the tertiary resource sensible, as will a reasonably simple crafting process to keep stocked with at least basic and functional ammunition.

 

Melee weapons should be essential for rangers when engaged closer than 6 feet away, because quite frankly, unlike the TV show 'Arrow' likes to portray, bows make incredibly poor weapons for HtH and are incredibly fragile compared to any standard melee weapon like a sword, mace, etc.  

 

I think DAoC handled ranged classes well enough.  Situations and proximity dictated what weapons a ranger would go to.  It appears to me that ArtCraft is going to work to make sure Rangers in Crowfall are not one-trick ponies, allowing players to decide just how much specialization they apply to melee vs ranged.  And I strongly support this approach.  We don't want a pack of cookie-cutter anything running around in Crowfall.  There is so much more potential fun for all involved when we are never quite sure what skills we are facing -- until we get to know an enemy by name perhaps.

 

Also, if crafting a few arrows is a no-go for some people, so be it.  There will be plenty of other archetypes to choose from.  Having done crafting in games like UO, DAoC, Shadowbane and WoW, I highly doubt the demands upon Rangers in Crowfall are going to be very difficult in order to keep stocked up on viable ammo.


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