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Archetype Focus: The Ranger - Official discussion thread

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First, I'll point out that this game isn't really going to adopt the strict strengths and weaknesses of bows.

 

Second, I'll point out to vandarr that I've also seen a sword slice through a breastplate as well... and it was fake, let's not confuse what you've seen with real accounts of actual plate armor tests. Even armor punching arrows fail at actually punching quality armor, and there are levels of armor that will repel even the best bows. Matt Eastern does a real good analysis of plate armor vs archery on YouTube.

 

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)

As for Asian bows and plate armor, it's not really that simple, a few extra lbs isn't going to put that shape of arrow into real plate armor, the longbow itself rarely performs against real plate armor with Bodkin points, but it at least attempts to penetrate it with hardened narrow arrow heads, it's really basic physics.

 

If they took a stronger Asian bow and used a high quality European style Bodkin Point, maybe under favorable circumstances, na really they could just use better armor.

 

Would you expect an arrow to shatter a spring tempered sword? It's kind of ridiculous to pretend the same quality of forging can't be applied to armor.

 

The reality is that bows weren't required to penetrate armor, as Raizen points out, such good armors is prohibitively expensive, and also includes plenty of other shortcomings.

 

You may armor yourself, but your horse can't afford as much protection, you armor your horse, than you get dominated by faster cavalry. And the majority of your army won't have that level of armor, that's what the arrow's perform against, and that's what eliminates opposition.

 

As for all the unscientific archery demonstrations popular on the Internet, it's important to realize that it's easy to produce arrows of superior quality than authentic Bodkin points, but a large piece of forged armor is not in the average practice shooters budget, they are shooting at steel foil shaped like an infantry breastplate, and couldn't hope to penetrate a real hardened steel forged armor of superior design like Maximilian armor.

 

We might as well get a speed archer to shoot some toy arrows at fake chain mail while we're at it, most humans can't even draw a real war bow, and even if they did, it's not going through the best armor.

 

Asian archery was designed to challenge the kind of armor they faces, honestly inferior protection in reality, it's still amazing archery and very deadly against most targets, but in reality, they'd have to down a knights horse, tackle him and shove a dagger in the eye or trample them with their horse perhaps.

 

Few fantasies honestly depict armor, it was used because it worked.

Edited by bahamutkaiser

a52d4a0d-044f-44ff-8a10-ccc31bfa2d87.jpg          Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes... Than if they're upset, they'll be a mile away, and barefoot :P

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Huger fan of ammo, adds to adventure ten fold... Trust me, I came from old school Asheron's Call, I had to craft my arrows.. It was fun as hell, getting the parts or buying them, crafting them up, making sure i had enough ammo to potion inventory due to wegith constrants, then adventure out and hope i score big...

And I had to craft differnt types...

 

Regular, Blunt, Piercing, Armor Piercing, or Fire Infused, Lightning INfused, ACID Infused, , OMG, i'm not a perfect ranged assassin for every battle, i need to RESEARCH what i'm hunting.. this is HOW CREATURE LORE (which no longer exists) evolved.. Remember as a kid with those D&D Books of the artwork of the creatures with their resistances, stengths, and a page to add your own data and you learned it... THIS WAS THE FUN... all removed, so johnny dork, can boot up and press go and be done with his quest and get his treasure before mom says get to bed...

 

The more ya cheat, the more your wasting your work.

 

Bring back the adventure to games, but i gueses crowdfunding will never deliver this hope, because its already funded, they just burn the money and retire

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First, I'll point out that this game isn't really going to adopt the strict strengths and weaknesses of bows.

 

Second, I'll point out to vandarr that I've also seen a sword slice through a breastplate as well... and it was fake, let's not confuse what you've seen with real accounts of actual plate armor tests. Even armor punching arrows fail at actually punching quality armor, and there are levels of armor that will repel even the best bows. Matt Eastern does a real good analysis of plate armor vs archery on YouTube.

 

I'm an avid military historian. I haven't seen any modern day tests, and to be frank, wouldn't give them too much credence, as much has been lost in regards to the art of both bowmanship and armor forging over the last several centuries - and many improvements have been made in both as well. It's simply too hard to pinpoint exactly what was used on both sides of the battle lines to make a realistic modern test.

 

All of my knowledge comes from reading first hand accounts, and while I certainly don't know even a fraction of the information out there, I do know that both armor and arrows were effective - as you stated, the prohibitive cost would've prevented their use otherwise. In the main, my above statements referred to the early dominance of the English Longbow in the Hundred Years' War. With that said, the longbow's dominance declined rapidly in the latter half of the war, likely in part due to improvements in armor manufacturing no different than those adopted in tanks after the invention of the hand-held anti-tank weapon. After all, the shape of the armor is just as important as its material quality in the deflection of attacks.


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Longbow dominance had nothing to do with punching plate armor, if you watch Matt Easterns video, he points out that the greatest longbow victory resulted in the CAPTURE of so many prisoners, that they had to cull them in order to prevent an insurgence.

 

These knights who rode through tens of thousands of arrow shots survived unscathed, they were simply dismounted and captured, because the arrow's didn't kill them.

 

If they did armor justice it would flatly be OP, most of the weaknesses wouldn't be properly demonstrated by video games, like crap visibility. Once you get into advanced armor, the geometry itself robs most attacks of their power.


a52d4a0d-044f-44ff-8a10-ccc31bfa2d87.jpg          Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes... Than if they're upset, they'll be a mile away, and barefoot :P

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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.

 

 

Longbow dominance had nothing to do with punching plate armor, if you watch Matt Easterns video, he points out that the greatest longbow victory resulted in the CAPTURE of so many prisoners, that they had to cull them in order to prevent an insurgence.

 

These knights who rode through tens of thousands of arrow shots survived unscathed, they were simply dismounted and captured, because the arrow's didn't kill them.

 

I think I posted an agreement with that in my above post that I self-quoted. I apologize if I wasn't clear.


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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.

 

Cool. I'd love to hear it.

Edited by Raizex

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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.

I'm certainly hoping for the best as I plan to play a murdeer on the side.  I just know what D2 bow amazon felt like, I know what vanilla wow hunter felt like, I know that I do not want that kind of system.  I also do not want to see the ranger feel less useful than a confessor or other ranged DPS in situations ranged is more useful and also feel less useful than an assassin or similar melee DPS in situations melee is more useful because then that risks the pendulum making them OP in the counter swing.  I don't want the idea of finite ammo become a factor in their balancing due to its "burden".

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The knee-jerk reactions to finite ammo are caused by a lot of specific circumstances, most often a terrible ammo system. Is it super easy to by 10,000 arrows and have your quiver auto-refill? Then now finite ammo is just annoying and costly. Is it super-expensive and/or difficult to buy or make even simple ammo, and/or maybe you can only carry 20 arrows around on your person ever? Better yet, can you never retrieve any arrows you've fired? Then, once again, the system's way more trouble than fun.

 

The key is to make it easy to use, but hard to use to maximum effect. What I mean is, it should be easy to have arrowsbost of the time, and to refill a quiver or something if you have more in your pack, but hard to always use the best arrows for the task at hand (partially because of cost, etc.), and hard to always take down your opponent without running out of ammo, etc. That last one, for example, relies heavily upon your skills and tactical decisions, rather than simply being a case of "did I stick enough items into a container in my inventory."

 

Think if finite arrows like finite mana. A mage doesn't have to buy or craft mana, but he can only use so many spells in a given amount of time. However, in infinite-ammo games, we often see classes such as Ranger resting in the crutch of cooldowns. You can aim at that guy's knee, but only once every 30 seconds for some reason. They have much simpler combat systems, usually just all about DPS and buff/debuff control than more tactical/active factors. But with finite arrows, you can use that knee-shot skill 15 times in a row, if you'd like... At the cost of using up all your "mana." Sure, you can refill a quiver, but it's a bit hard to do in the midst of combat.

 

Anhwho, as long as there's a viable option to spec your Ranger towards either ranged combat or melee combat, and any mix in between, and there are actually tactical incentives to using both styles at least a bit, and the ammo system's handled well, everything will be amazing, whether or not any given person here can imagine it as anything other than annoying. Running out of ammo is no fundamentally different than running out of anything else, be it health, potions, stamina/mana, etc.


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Actually I just thought of something. OK, so the Ranger has both ranged and melee skills, specifically bow/arrow and dual-wield either swords or daggers, not sure which. This is good, seeing as keeping the ranger ranged-only would definitely handicap them in close-range.

 

However, I have a question: At the beginning of all this there was a question (either in the forums somewhere or Q&A video) about having 2 sets of weapons (like Path of Exile) that you can switch between at any time, usually with the push of a hotkey. Originally ArtCraft sounded very against this, but if the Ranger is going to have 2 fighting styles, is this going to be the method of switching weapons? And, more importantly, if the Ranger has this weapon-swap hotkey, does that mean the other Archetypes will have it as well?


Can we have a Bard? If not as an Archetype or Promotion, then maybe a Discipline?


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Excellent question, shadowfang. I hope so, though I hope it's not magically instantaneous as in most games. "Hah! Gotcha with the old sword-thrust-arrow-shoot combo!" *eye roll*. There's not much that ruins a nicely detailed combat system faster than someone switching to a sword to parry, then counterattacking, THEN drawing a bow and letting fly an arrow while you're still recovering from your attack that was parried. There's fast action, then there's ludicrous speed.

 

If someone wants to swap weapons, there needs to be some modicum of commitment involved.


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Longbow dominance had nothing to do with punching plate armor, if you watch Matt Easterns video, he points out that the greatest longbow victory resulted in the CAPTURE of so many prisoners, that they had to cull them in order to prevent an insurgence.

 

These knights who rode through tens of thousands of arrow shots survived unscathed, they were simply dismounted and captured, because the arrow's didn't kill them.

 

If they did armor justice it would flatly be OP, most of the weaknesses wouldn't be properly demonstrated by video games, like crap visibility. Once you get into advanced armor, the geometry itself robs most attacks of their power.

 

Let us not forget that this is also a fantasy game, and if I can't get my armor enchanted, somebody is going to get the bull horns.

 

Enchanted armor FTW.

Edited by Stormcrow

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Let us not forget that this is also a fantasy game, and if I can't get my armor enchanted, somebody is going to get the bull horns.

 

Enchanted armor FTW.

 

The problem being that if you can get your armor enchanted, so can the bowman get their bow enchanted. At which point you have now passed beyond the realm and understanding of real-world physics.

 

At which point you simply start uselessly debating the age old question of, "What will win, the unstoppable force or the immovable object?"

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At which point you simply start uselessly debating the age old question of, "What will win, the unstoppable force or the immovable object?"

 

It's a trick question. The situation would be resolved by the unstoppable force moving around/through the immovable object, thus preventing the unstoppable force from stopping and the immovable object from moving.


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The problem being that if you can get your armor enchanted, so can the bowman get their bow enchanted. At which point you have now passed beyond the realm and understanding of real-world physics.

 

At which point you simply start uselessly debating the age old question of, "What will win, the unstoppable force or the immovable object?"

Well, since there are item enchantments in CF, I think that question might become reality anyways, lol. But, from my understanding, the enchantments bow before the low power curve just as everything else does, so it's really not a big deal since there is no Unstoppable Force or Immovable Object, seeing as everything can be destroyed (or in the case of structures in Campaigns and EKS, they can only be destroyed at specific times).


Can we have a Bard? If not as an Archetype or Promotion, then maybe a Discipline?


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Well, since there are item enchantments in CF, I think that question might become reality anyways, lol. But, from my understanding, the enchantments bow before the low power curve just as everything else does, so it's really not a big deal since there is no Unstoppable Force or Immovable Object, seeing as everything can be destroyed (or in the case of structures in Campaigns and EKS, they can only be destroyed at specific times).

 

I suppose the point I was trying to make was, once you start throwing magic around, the laws of physics and our general understanding of how reality works get thrown out the window. At this point, the designers can say an enchanted arrow shot from an enchanted bow does anything they want to an enchanted piece of armor, because magic.

 

This is similar to how, in dungeons and dragons, putting a portable hole inside a bag of holding creates a rift to the Astral plane. Why does this happen? Because magic, that's why.

 

It's entirely up to the designers on how they want their magic system to work. Or any system, really, just that magic systems are so far removed from reality, that they allow for a much greater artistic license without breaking the user's suspension of disbelief.

Edited by Raizex

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I suppose the point I was trying to make was, once you start throwing magic around, the laws of physics and our general understanding of how reality works get thrown out the window.

Often true, but not necessarily. Magic doesn't inherently shatter physics. Sometimes it simply expands upon them. Can real humans conjure a ball of electricity that can then be hurled at something? No. But if they could, that would be magic. Doesn't mean you can't have the ball of lightning perform as much within the realm of physics as possible.

 

Magic is essentially no different from any other natural force. It's simply fictional. One could easily assume it's just as difficult to light a wet log with magic fire as it is with mundane fire, for example.

 

If you ask me, all the best magic systems at least bow courteously to science and the rules of nature.


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If you ask me, all the best magic systems at least bow courteously to science and the rules of nature.

 

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” ― Arthur C. Clarke

 

 

I love this quote.  :)


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I can't wait to see the list of powers for the Ranger. All of the classes have been so cool and varied so far, yet very balanced to one another. As more and more classes are introduced I wonder if they will be able to maintain this level of variety and balance. 

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I can't wait to see the list of powers for the Ranger. All of the classes have been so cool and varied so far, yet very balanced to one another. As more and more classes are introduced I wonder if they will be able to maintain this level of variety and balance. 

Yes ditto... All the conversation about the bow and arrows vs armor and which is more effective is all nice and good, but lets get serious here...... what are her powers?  What will she be able to do?  I agree that the weapon swap speed should be slow, you have to commit to stashing your bow and drawing your blades and vice versa.  


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Very impressed by the art so far for this archetype, cannot wait to see the male counterpart. Additionally, I think having ammo be limited is a fantastic design choice and am glad this was decided upon. 


For the night is dark and filled with terrors.

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