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Arjen December 9, 2013 17:06

Starting as archer without smithing

I've been trying for a few hours (half a day) to start as Falathrim archer (1/5/3/3). But I've no idea how I must survive. I've started a few who could survive by forging a bow and 48 arrows. It's a bit waste of smithing as you won't create anything else than a bow and arrows (and maybe a digger someday).

So I tried to do without smithing, but never got anywhere as finding a bow AND arrows is extremely hard. I've died so many times without actually firing a single arrow. This is a bit frustrating as you are clearly an archer race who doesn't start with one. You are bound to train some evasion and take versatility so you can actually do some damage. Or am I missing something?

My solutions for this problem:

- Instead of always giving a Curved Sword at the start, give the player a choice if he wants to start with sword/axe/polearm/blunt/bow? Or make this bound by race, as Dwarves not starting with an axe is somewhat weird too, why would a Dwarf leave his home without one?

- Make bows more common (why are those 1d7 shortbows so rare anyways?), on at lvl '50 I sometimes find 8 weapons and several pieces of armor/cloth, but never found a bow and rarely arrows.

So far my thoughts about this while (not) playing as pure archer. Or maybe I'm just missing something.

Philip December 9, 2013 17:36

I always figured you should just take Versatility, or smithing. After that you pray. I have seen shortbows as early as 150, and sooner or later you will, too. Arrows are actually pretty easy to find. You're not supposed to find weapons at 50 feet, all you have there is shoes and light armor. Also daggers. Shortswords start at 100 feet for example.

Arjen December 9, 2013 18:12

Of course after my post, I found a 1d8 shortbow and 50+ arrows... So I'm running now a promising archer who also found mithril greaves. Result, fean lamp, archer gloves, boots of speed and some stealth gear (made at -100 forge so I could sneak a bit).

half December 9, 2013 18:13

This doesn't sound too good. What do other people think about the difficulty of finding one's first bow/arrows? I hadn't thought it was nearly as hard as this, and don't know if you are just having very bad luck. At least you know that you can just sink 800 experience or so into Smithing, solve the problem and also not have to worry about arrows running out later in the game...

There is some downside with just making arrows more common early on as it will make them more common later too and upset the ammunition balance, but it should be easier to make shortbows a bit more common early on if needed. They are currently native to 100 ft with a rarity of 2 (second most common). I suppose I could change that to 50 ft or rarity 1 if needed. For reference, boots and daggers are 50 ft rarity 2, shortswords and spears are 100 ft rarity 1, while cloaks are the same as shortbows.

Derakon December 9, 2013 18:23

Maybe you could allow spending experience during character creation to start with certain gear? Of course it'd have to be more expensive than just smithing the stuff. Most characters probably wouldn't care all that much, but those that depend on certain items could get it guaranteed at the start, at the cost of having less in the way of skills.

debo December 9, 2013 18:31

I've always felt the opposite actually -- I feel like versatility makes it too easy to start a dedicated archer, when they're already mega-powerful in the lategame.

Sure you might starve for arrows the first few hundred feet, but the odds of finding a bow by 400'ish are high and you can pretty easily survive with nerfed melee that deep.

I do often have a hard time finding a bow in the early game, though. I rely on throwing weapons (if found) when that happens to deal with flighty orcs.

taptap December 9, 2013 18:34

Take 2 strength and a longbow. Shortbows are strong once you get the perception abilities and high archery, but they are a pain at start and you need flaming arrows far too often. I never play archers without weaponsmith though.

Alternatively you can try stealth (you can avoid everything until you collected bow and ammunition).

Imo, versatility is overrated (you don't need it in late game and it is more expensive than you thought when you bought it for free as your first ability) + it encourages you to engage at close range where you aren't strong. (I am currently experimenting with a 3 3 3 5 Finarfin, going with concentration at start and a small investment in melee/evasion.) Early on versatility gives you 3 or 4 points, you can afford to buy these points directly, it is cheaper in the long run.

HallucinationMushroom December 9, 2013 19:04

Increase the chance of orc archers dropping shortbows upon death?

mrrstark December 9, 2013 19:43


Originally Posted by HallucinationMushroom (Post 87576)
Increase the chance of orc archers dropping shortbows upon death?

Give orc scouts a shortbow with a tiny (like 5) amount of arrows?

I dunno if I like my own suggestion though... so dangerous...

Thraalbee December 9, 2013 21:23

I don't see this as a problem. First, I always get smithing when going archer since flaming arrows are so useful through-out the game, but burn through a stack of arrows quickly. Second, you need only a little stealth or evasion to survive to the first bow and arrows unless you are unlucky. I used Versatllity in the beginning, but no more. It's a big waste and only useful for a short period.

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