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Old January 21, 2020, 11:01   #2
Quirk
Swordsman
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 353
Quirk is on a distinguished road
So, just to begin, orcs aren't foolish enough to blunder into webs and pits. It's only the hapless player who does so, and who is well advised to keep handy a source of free action, or perhaps even a staff or song of freedom, in order to neutralise these dangers.

You are roughly correct in your concerns about archery scaling, but there are a few other contextual things that need to be considered.

Firstly, most importantly, is damage. The real question is not how often you hit your enemy, but how fast you can expect to kill your enemy. If your bow did 1d1 damage, you could be shooting with Archery of 100 against an asleep enemy at -5 Evasion, scoring 13 criticals or so, and still rarely piercing the armour of some of the lower enemies*.

Bows are not however 1d1 and in fact in Sil 1.3, Archery had multiple significant advantages, some of which I lay out here: http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?p=133300. Where archery base damage is competitive with or superior to melee, the bonus criticals are a big deal.

In Sil-Q Flaming Arrows has since gone, as has Precision and bows with slay effects. Arrows of slay or poison still attract an extra damage die.

I dialled back damage sides on longbows and dragon-horn bows (the latter getting several damage dice to compensate). We're not at 1d1 territory, but broadly speaking the damage without crits is worse than typical melee weapons now.

Secondly, archers are open to attacks of opportunity. Firing point blank at an enemy without having the skill Point Blank gets you attacked twice each round. Being surrounded is terrible, as even with the skill Point Blank everyone you're not aiming at is attacking you twice. In another change from Sil 1.3, in Sil-Q your own evasion is halved against attacks of opportunity - you can't parry very well with a bow. Archery is still powerful - at distance.

Thirdly, some enemies resist or negate crits. Those that resist crits halve your critical damage dice, those that negate crits do away with them altogether. Mostly the crit-resisting enemies are undead, some are rauko; the crit-negating ones are plants or stone.

Fourthly, of course, archery needs arrows. Run out of arrows and you're suddenly falling back on skills that haven't had much investment.

*13 criticals: assumption based on the critical base being 7 (no skill now exists to lower this for archery) with a 1 lb bow - heavier bows of course will score fewer criticals.

1d1 with 13 criticals is 14d1. 6d4, the armour of some of the deeper serpents, averages 15 protection. About 43% of the time you will do no damage; 90% of the time you will do 4 damage or less. Being able to hit an enemy is not the same as beating it.
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