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Old March 17, 2014, 00:36   #1
bron
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My stupid opinions: archery

Archery in Sil is very powerful. In fact, I would say it is unfairly powerful compared to melee. Not so much because it halves evasion, nor because it lets you get extra damage dice against many opponents (via Flaming Arrows and/or Poison Arrows), nor because you can fire without removing your shield, although all of those things are unfair advantages over melee too. No, the reason I think it is unfair is because there are three inventory slots given over to archery "for free" that cannot be used for anything else (i.e. the Bow slot and the two quiver slots). A player can pick up a bow and some arrows at essentially no cost (other than the weight). I see no particular justification for this. Carrying this stuff should use up inventory slots. Or more to the point, *not* carrying this stuff should *free up* inventory slots. That would make there be some advantage to not carrying archery gear and being a pure melee character. I'll agree that the Bow slot is analogous to the Weapon slot (which also can't be used for anything else), but at the very least the quiver slots should be available for non-archers to store other gear.

Personally, I think that rather than a Melee weapon slot, and a Bow slot, there should be a Primary weapon slot, and a Secondary weapon slot, either of which can be used to carry a melee weapon or bow. Even more radically, I think that you should only be able to attack with your Primary weapon (meaning that archers would have to switch back and forth), and that bow is a 2-handed weapon, meaning that when you equip it, it automatically un-equips your shield. This would significantly reduce the power of archery, without actually needing to change any of the archery rules.
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Old March 17, 2014, 00:44   #2
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Originally Posted by bron View Post
Personally, I think that rather than a Melee weapon slot, and a Bow slot, there should be a Primary weapon slot, and a Secondary weapon slot, either of which can be used to carry a melee weapon or bow.
I toyed with this idea in a Sil variant I was tinkering with making. At first, I thought I was being really clever, but it turns out that it was just fumbly and not very much fun, since you have to manually switch whenever someone gets in your face. I didn't like it.

I guess you could make switching weapons take several turns to further discourage swapping-at-melee-range, but that's getting into DCSS-mechanic territory (and I'm not sure they do that with weapons in addition to armor)
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Old March 17, 2014, 00:54   #3
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that's getting into DCSS-mechanic territory
Sorry; DCSS ?
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Old March 17, 2014, 01:35   #4
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Old March 17, 2014, 06:54   #5
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switching weapons in crawl takes one turn (armour takes multiple turns, which seems reasonable at first but i've come to dislike multiple-turn actions. and it's not like you carry many armour pieces around for resists anyway.) the one thing i'd do is get rid of the inventory/equipment dicotomy and use a single list (so no more dropping shields while swapping to a 2-handed weapon etc, and it'd solve the dedicated equipment slots problem).

also yeah switching from melee to ranged weapons manually sounds reasonable but it's a pain in practice.

having just played my first short bow-char i do agree that archery's nuts though. i had some problems with troll guard packs and early kemenraukar but just about everything else died before it got to melee range (one-shotting ancient serpents from 10 squares away is hilarious).
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Old March 17, 2014, 08:18   #6
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Melee chars get two "free" equipment slots as well, melee weapon and shield which both see some work on some archers, but are quite unimportant in a non-versatile specialised archer (other than say carrying around a spear of the vanyar or a sceptre of power). Also archery doesn't really save you equipment slots - quite the contrary really - how many arrows do you carry usually (4 different arrowtypes + 1 artefact + you really can't afford to run out of arrows so you want a lot of them) vs. how many spare weapons in a melee char?
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