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Old August 28, 2013, 17:36   #11
Estie
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Originally Posted by Philip View Post
Except for the fact that a Ranger is almost twice as good as anyone else at archery, and only has support spells and a small amount of melee, the fact that archery reliably does more damage than say, melee for many characters etc.

Ranger is a specialist archer, he is super powerful as an archer, what more do you want?
Twice as good ? Not when I play them

But that isnt the point. For an archer to be a class, I would want archery to be the prime choice for killing things, the way melee is for most characters and magic has become for the 2 casters (at least for long stages of the game), with the mana cost reduction for offensive spells and increase in mana potion supply.

Sure, I can kill everything with arrows and it isnt (much) slower than using melee, but for efficient play I want to conserve those arrows. Playing a mana only mage is fun. Playing an arrow only ranger is tedium.
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Old August 29, 2013, 03:17   #12
Timo Pietilš
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Originally Posted by Estie View Post
Twice as good ? Not when I play them

But that isnt the point. For an archer to be a class, I would want archery to be the prime choice for killing things
Twice is actually underestimate.

Ranger primary method for killing is archery. If in your way of playing it isn't then you are doing something wrong. (wrong as in non-optimal). You can kill a Great Hell Wyrm before it gets a move with cold-branded seeker arrows with +10 speed clvl 40+ ranger with a good longbow. Melee and spells don't get even close that killing power.

Try bookless ranger sometimes. They are ridiculously easy, especially now that ID is no longer a serious problem.

I have proposed this before and I think it is still valid: we should swap spells between rogue and ranger. Rogue should be the one with almost all spells and ranger the one with only utility spells.
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Old August 29, 2013, 03:31   #13
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Timo is right, but at the same time, killing everything with arrows as a ranger isn't really practical, because ammo breaks. That means that your awesome ammo has to be conserved, and you have to use the crap stuff for killing basic mooks. And while archery with slay/elemental ammo is amazing, archery with basic (+0, +0) ammo is merely rather decent...and you can't keep it up for long before you have to head back to town to resupply.

A high-level ranger with a longbow of extra shots +1 gets 4 shots/round, though, and there is no possible way that any other damage source can compete with that. That means they're getting actions 4 times more often as any same-speed monster in the area; it also means that even if each shot only deals 125 damage they're still beating out both melee and spellcasting for damage over time in most cases, while still avoiding melee and not depleting their spellpoints.
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Old August 29, 2013, 09:31   #14
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Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
Twice is actually underestimate.

Ranger primary method for killing is archery. If in your way of playing it isn't then you are doing something wrong. (wrong as in non-optimal). You can kill a Great Hell Wyrm before it gets a move with cold-branded seeker arrows with +10 speed clvl 40+ ranger with a good longbow. Melee and spells don't get even close that killing power.

Try bookless ranger sometimes. They are ridiculously easy, especially now that ID is no longer a serious problem.

I have proposed this before and I think it is still valid: we should swap spells between rogue and ranger. Rogue should be the one with almost all spells and ranger the one with only utility spells.

The smiley was supposed to indicate humour. Maybe its not obvious, but I was referring to my rangers usually not finding great archery items.

I know how much damage rangers do. I still dont value their archery as a full main attack, rather as support, for the reasons me and Derakon stated.
Being able to kill a GHW earlier than others is certainly nice, but imho doesnt make up for the hours wasted with picking up arrows (or with "suboptimal" melee, which I prefer). Others milage may vary.

One way to instantly elevate rangers to an archery class would be to get rid of all arrows. Just assume a wielded bow shoots them, without actually having the micromanagement played out. Give bows a reasonable damage (less than current damage with optimal arrows).
Note that I am not proposing such a change, merely giving an example of what I would consider an archery class.

As for what I am proposing: for me, archery would need a slight buff back to where it was a few patches ago to be useful again. Most f the time I just dont bother, and carry ammo out of habit rather than to actually use it.

IF I was to make a real archer class, I d try this: remove magic ammo of all kinds; only normal ammo exists. It comes in large stacksizes and is cheap.
Only launchers come with magic properties, as before.

This alone makes for an effective, but boring archer. A melee warrior has to work to reach melee range. To give the archer a similar task, have archery NOT work in melee range. If that is not enough....increase the minimum shooting range by 1 more square.

Wether Id be happy with this archer I am not sure; but Iīd want to play it and see.
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Old August 29, 2013, 12:09   #15
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Originally Posted by Estie View Post
IF I was to make a real archer class, I d try this: remove magic ammo of all kinds; only normal ammo exists. It comes in large stacksizes and is cheap.
Only launchers come with magic properties, as before.
This is interesting suggestion which I'm not at all disagreeing with. Now that shooters can have slays you could remove them from ammo (as well as ammo branding spell). You could add whole new world of ego-shooters. Multi-slay would have to be achieved from shooter instead of carrying multiple different stacks of ego-ammo. Branded shooter should be rare.
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Old August 29, 2013, 14:19   #16
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Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
This is interesting suggestion which I'm not at all disagreeing with. Now that shooters can have slays you could remove them from ammo (as well as ammo branding spell). You could add whole new world of ego-shooters. Multi-slay would have to be achieved from shooter instead of carrying multiple different stacks of ego-ammo. Branded shooter should be rare.
Its not quite that simple. How much damage should an archer do ?

A typical melee encounter might go like this: @.....D

@ moves up 5 squares. @ spends about 5 turns meleeing D.
The number 5 is a bit arbitrarily picked, and @ might wait around corner rather than walk up to D, but the point is that he spends some time setting up the fight (since he can only fight in melee range). The whole fight lasts about 10 turns.

Enter our archer. He has plenty of ammo and no qualms about wasting it on D.
Lets assume he does similar damage to the melee @; then he just presses the button at 5 square distance, and D croaks as he reaches melee range. The fight lasts only 5 rounds, half as long as the melee fight, and furthermore the archer is only exposed to Ds ranged attacks, while melee @ has both melee and ranged attacks to contend with.
Clearly the ranger has an easier time.

While this in itself is not necessarily a problem - similar to highelf race, there could be an easy class in angband - one might want to balance it, if only to not have archery being the best method for everyone.
The options that come to mind are

a) reduce archer defense so he is at similar risk as melee guy. This is not really viable the way vanilla is set up.

b) reduce archer damage so he gets exposed for longer. There are (unfortunately) many games that have adopted this way, for example diablo I.
It leads to what is sometimes called a "tank archer", where the fights last long and most of it takes place in melee range (because its easier for the archer to get some defenses up than to constantly maneuvre out of melee range). I dislike it because it feels wrong that a normal (non-unique) monster should take dozens of arrows to kill, and using launchers like a melee weapon goes against everything I associate with archery. Historically, once the infantry or cavalry caught up, the archer unit was toast.

Hence my suggestion to disable archery in melee range. This way he can have high damage, but is forced to do tactical maneuvres similar to the melee guy.
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Old August 29, 2013, 16:08   #17
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Honestly I like that idea. It seems interesting. My main qualm would be that it can be very hard to avoid melee range in Angband, simply because there's so bloody many enemies. In the (very common) event that you're fighting a group, if you can't kill one enemy per turn then eventually you'll be in melee range and can't shoot things any more. Which basically means that any archer class will still need some form of backup offense that they can use when in melee range, so you still can't kill everything with archery.

The idea of ditching ammo entirely in favor of carrying multiple bows around is perfectly fine by me. Among other things, this would mean that we could have bows have exactly the same stats as melee weapons. E.g. a longbow could be a 3d4 weapon, a heavy crossbow a 4d5.
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Old August 29, 2013, 17:56   #18
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Sil has a thing where if you shoot at point-blank range, every adjacent monster gets a free "attack of opportunity"...

There's an ability that can help you reduce it to 50% probability but it's still a nasty repercussion.
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Old August 29, 2013, 18:20   #19
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
E.g. a longbow could be a 3d4 weapon, a heavy crossbow a 4d5.
Sil also has bows work like this. In fact, rather amazingly, we managed to make short swords and short bows have the same dice, and for long swords and long bows too.
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Old August 29, 2013, 20:38   #20
Timo Pietilš
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Its not quite that simple. How much damage should an archer do ?
I'd say about what it does now. Ranger is not broken, just powerful.

Point for removing ammo slays is that you would no longer be able to just select ammo that suits your requirement best. It's now very easy to get brand that matches the resistance hole of the opponent by casting a spell and just by picking up right combo of ammo.

This would not be so easy with bows. Would you carry swap-bows like you carry swap melee-weapons and other swap stuff? Maybe, but inventory space is still very valuable, so probably not.

Archery as main killing method would still apply as best solution against big ones. It's best solution even for most non-archery classes like priests if you just happen to have very good shooter and have proper ammo.
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