Author Topic: The 2022 Archery guide  (Read 709 times)

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Offline Algarn

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The 2022 Archery guide
« on: April 23, 2022, 06:18:48 pm »
In light of players actually playing the game again, there have been an influx of players wondering why their arrows do 5 damage, so I took it upon myself to write a short guide to explain some of the more mechanics that affect what is in native an easy class to play. None of the previous guides are up to date, disregard most of the things you'll find in there regarding mechanics. This guide might be subject to change because of some future update, and might become out of date in the unlikely even of some archery rebalance.

Firstly, do not play the class if you're easily discouraged, as there are many barriers that will make it hard for brand new players to just hop into it and start wrecking faces. Play another class, a spear and 1h shielder for example will be immensely useful to your team, and teach you about the game at the same time, while providing you with more survivability than a terrible archer build you made while knowing nothing. Just dip your toes in archery or ranged in general class once you're comfortable with other aspects of the mod. I will divide the guide in several parts, first one shall regard character creation, second one being gear, and I shall finish with some additional, but essential tips to be of use to your team.

1/ CHARACTER CREATION (or “build”) :

Any bow requires one more thing than your average melee build, that thing being power draw (PD). Not only that, but any point of power draw that exceeds the requirement of your bow will increase its damage by 14%, up to 4 times (56%); as well as giving you some unspecified hidden bonus to missile speed. As such, Power Draw is a crucial stat you need to put into your build, as you'll either not be able to deal any damage, let alone equip a bow if you have none. The second, mandatory skill to get is Weapon Master (WM), as it allows you to increase your weapon proficiency (WPF) with bows, which affect the drawing speed, accuracy, and damage (marginally). Disregard putting anything into melee WPF, as increasing WM increases your melee WPF with all three categories, being 1 handed, 2 handed, and polearms.

What is not immediately apparent however, is that power draw comes with DRAWbacks (sorry), as each point of power draw comes to a hefty cost of WPF, which increases for each PD point you add to your build. Anything above 8 Power Draw is not advised, as you'll simply ruin your build's accuracy. As we will see, accuracy is determined by both your final, effective WPF, and the accuracy and damage of your bow (bow damage has a negative effect on precision, so keep that in mind for later).

As such, I recommend either 7 or 8 power draw, either taking partially advantage of the high PD requirement bows such as the Rus Bow or Long Bows, or taking fully advantage of the PD bonus by choosing lower requirement bows, such as the War Bow or Yew Hunting Bow. Which bow you wish to choose will be delved more into in the second part of the guide.

Besides these two skills which are required to make the build actually exist, the following are "secondary" skills, but still heavily recommended for obvious reasons : athletics (ATHL), and power strike (PS) are skills that will allow your character to not get slaughtered if things go badly, and trust me they will go horribly wrong half of the time. ATHL allows you to increase your speed, and to reach your maximum speed faster, which is also increased by your Agility (AGI) attribute, and reduced by the weight of your equipment (armor, weapons, arrows). High ATHL, and thus acceleration is necessary to duel other players with a melee weapon, or to get out of dodge fast when you made a terrible decision. Meanwhile, Power Strike is the bread and butter of melee builds because of what it says on the tin, you put some PS into your build, you strike 8% harder per point. Combined with high Strength (STR), which adds 1 raw damage to melee weapons, but also ranged and throwing weapons, you will hit your enemy harder, turning you from a prey to a danger in your own right in close range. While you can skip this stat to make a pure archer build, it is both looked down upon, and not recommended for multiple reasons : firstly, you will be entirely useless in melee, which will make you entirely reliant on your team to win their fights, you will not be able to assist them in any other way than by shooting, and once you run out of arrows, you'll find yourself glancing on full-plated enemies, laughing at your decision to skip this vital skill as they kill you in one hit. In short, put some PS unless you want to die many deaths more. As a final note regarding PS, it is a good choice if you want to improve at the game, because while you'll be inherently at a disadvantage against melee builds, your skill will build up over time, and you'll be able to stand your ground on some occasions, gaining confidence in your abilities to multitask.

Last, but certainly not least, comes Ironflesh. Alongside your STR value, it adds hitpoints upon your base 35 hp (1 per STR, 2 per IF). Not only that, but it creates a weight threshold, which is the amount of armor weight you may take without incurring a penalty to your WPF. While more of a luxury, and often skipped over to get more attribute points in its stead, ironflesh can allow you to tank more hits, and taking more armor without any loss of wpf, meaning more armor, meaning more tankiness, meaning more survivability (as long as your speed isn't too impacted, stay reasonable on how much armor you want to carry with you). I will touch more upon armor in the following section regarding gear. HOWEVER, the formula is currently broken, and works in mysterious ways. The only thing I can be sure of is that more strength and ironflesh means you can take up to a certain individual item weight without any penalties. For example, my 24 STR, 8 IF character can put on up to 1.8kg helmet without any penalties.

Lastly, I refuse to mention shield as a viable skill for several reasons : bow and arrows are the lifeblood of your build, and they both take up slots. You only have 4 of them, do not waste any slot on a shield, nor a skill point on this. Please don't.

Also, regarding riding and horse archery, they're considered both cancerous, and non-viable. I will not elaborate much, but the restrictions are very severe, and the advantages do not justify the shitty damage you will do, nor the constant lack of ammunition. If you put Power throw in your archery build, may God have mercy on your soul.

As far as recommendations go, I would not advise to try an archer build below level 32, and below GEN 16 (max EXP bonus). For all intents and purposes, the following builds all have their WM, ATHL, PS and PD maxed, with IF being the only stat not being fully specced into unless specified otherwise.

21/21 -> bow-focused archer, try to not go into melee or you will not live long. Stay mobile or die.
21/18 -> damage-focused archer, might be able to spare a few points towards IF, and thus carry more armor at the cost of both accuracy and moving speed. Able to hold his own in melee.
18/21 -> lighter bow focused build, if running around is more your playstyle. You will deal less damage, so be aware of that. You might be able to put some points into IF, but again, why would you pick this over 21/21 or 21/18 is beyond me. Might be viable if played with a blunt weapon as a secondary, but again, your bow damage will be sorely lacking.
24/15 -> You will suffer immensely in terms of accuracy, but at least you'll not be limited in your choice of armor. Wait for higher levels to go for 24/18 and have more WPF. It is a viable build, but less so than 24/18. Relatively dangerous melee capabilities, if you can get over the lacking speed, best paired with a longer melee weapon to make up for it.
24/18 -> You are a heavy hitter, but try to limit your armor to mail as a rule of thumb, as anything beyond that will hurt your only asset being your damage coupled with high bow proficiency. You hit relatively hard in melee, but try to stay away if you can help it, as you do not have the armor or hp to back yourself up.


Firstly, your choice of armor depends on the build you wish to choose. Any armor you wear carries with it WPF penalties as follows:

WPF Penalties (%) = (Body Armor x1) + (Leg Armor x1) + (Hand Armor x6) + (Head Armor x2)

After this, you need to factor in the weight threshold, which unfortunately was broken some time ago by a change of website address or something similar. Just know that, again, more IF and STR means more gooder. You’ll be able to use heavier individual pieces depending on your STR and Ironflesh.

Normally, your armor should equal roughly, in a +3 heirloomed state to the following values :

Roughly 45 head armor
Roughly 45 body armor
Roughly 40 leg armor

These should be your values. Keep in mind, anything higher than this is good. Considering the weight threshold is currently broken for the foreseeable future, I can not predict which gear you will be able to put on without penalties. Keep in mind, as long as you have at least 75 effective wpf, and preferably over 100 in archery, you’ll be fine. Higher is better, but it has diminishing returns, so taking on some armor after a certain point might be a good idea.

Now for the killing part, you need 1 bow, 2 stacks of arrows, and last but certainly not least, a good melee weapon.

You can do the following :

1 slot bow
2 stacks of arrows
1 slot weapon

2 slots bow
2 stacks of arrows
0 slot weapon

2 slots bow
1 stack of arrows
1 stack of wooden arrows (0 slot, but they absolutely suck)
1 slot weapon

Not advised combination :
2 slot bow
2 stacks of wooden arrows
2 slots weapon

The choice of arrows is very simple : to the day of the making of this guide, the only arrows that are worth using are the barbed arrows, as they come in to 30 arrows total, and deal a lot of additional cut damage, allowing you to obliterate low armor enemies. You will struggle against armored targets with any set of arrows, so be wary of that. You can choose any of the alternatives as long as they have at least 10 cut damage, and more than 24 arrows in 2 quivers. Do NOT choose piercing arrows (such as bodkins), as they do jack shit currently, you have been warned.

For the melee weapon, it will depend on your playstyle and objectives. There are many weapons you can equip following one of the slot arrangement described before, so I will keep it simple :

There are three categories of weapons you’re interested in : one-handed swords, maces and axes. Some of them can be taken with 2 hands by switching its use mode. Swords are generally a poor bet, boasting low damage, unless you are in the higher tier, higher length swords. Such weapons are good for low agi characters and duelists, however be wary that they will not perform well against armor, and will be anemic against shield users.

Maces are the opposite : they’re potent not because of their high damage, but because of the blunt damage profile that chews through armor. They will have a lower range than swords, but will pose a threat to armored enemies, even having the chance of knocking them down (depending on weapon weight) for another free hit. Some 0 slot maces can become absolute killers in the right hands, so be sure not to overlook them.

Lastly, but to me the most effective secondaries : the axes. Your main threat come from shield infantry, breaking their shield leaves them vulnerable to strikes from your allies, and to arrows. Axes also deliver very high cut damage, but sometimes come with a secondary mode that deals pierce damage, which can be used against armored targets better than the “cut” side of the axe. They are excellent in the hands of mobile characters, and will prove the most beneficial when it comes to polyvalence.

A few good places to start would be to look for the following (in +3 loomed items) :

a length above 70 preferably
a speed rating above 97 preferably
a cut damage value above 34 preferably
a stab damage value above 29 preferably
a blunt damage value above 27 preferably
as mentioned earlier, bonus points for a bonus against shields, knockdowns, and secondary modes, as they increase your weapon’s viability.

All in all, I’d recommend using your prior experience with melee combat to determine what you need the most/what you are most comfortable with.

And finally, the choice of bow. As mentioned earlier, what your build aims for (haha pun, please kill me) determines your choice of bow. There two generic types of bows :

-high damage, low missile speed bows, slow draw speed bows, 2 slots
-low damage, high missile speed bows, fast draw speed bows, 1 slot

I’d advise to stay away from the second category, unless you want to aim for headshots exclusively, which I do not recommend not only because the head hitbox is shit, but also because people move and dodge your arrows, making headshots near impossible to achieve on a target that is aware of your presence. Ping also makes headshots harder to score, so be aware of that. Any variation in latency will negatively affect your performance, as you need to aim before the enemy not only to compensate for the projectile’s speed, but also for your latency.

Whatever bow you choose however, do not choose the fucking Yew Longbow, it is a joke item, purposfully put into the game as a meme. It is unusable, unless you spec full archer as a level 40, and brings one of the slowest missile speed, worst accuracy rating, slowest drawing speed for ONE (1) damage over a 5PD req longbow. Don’t. Just don’t. If you really insist on knowing why 10 power draw builds are useless, you can create a 30/12 on a skip the fun character, and check the beautiful, sub 50 wpf precision you’ll get. You’d need at least 7 WM to break even just for the PD penalty alone, and that would be an insane investment to make when you already have 30 STR, even for someone with a high level character. So no, please don’t.

3/ General advice :

You are an archer, and your role is supportive in nature. Try to look for elevated positions on the map, learn the spawns, the routes, and so on.

Kill vulnerable targets, light horses are an absolute danger to you and your team, take them out first. Use their speed bonus against them, only shoot at a retreating rider if he’s on very low health, or needs to die immediately at all costs. Do not waste arrows on heavy horses if you can help it.
Take out throwers if they can die in a single shot. Same goes for other ranged units.
Aim for agi builds first and foremost. aim for stationary, slow-moving and unaware targets if you are sure to hit them, or if you have allies to back yourself up if you miss.
Do not start a fight you won’t win, and be opportunistic; use the terrain to your advantage, be it cliffs, tight corners, fences and hills against cavalry, whatever is there to help you stay alive a little longer.
Stay with your team, especially pikemen and spearmen, as heavy cavalry will eat you alive.
Check the scoreboard to know the class make-up of the enemy team, and your team. as it will allow you to prepare in consequence (if the server is teeming with ranged, like 50%, consider not playing ranged, as an overabundance of ranged makes for a shitty experience for everyone).
You lose damage over range pretty fast, conserve your ammo until you are in range of your enemies, long-range headshots are very rare, and unless your target is basically naked, body shots will have no impact, and will make you spend precious arrows.
Try to not shoot people who are fighting a 1vs1 if you aren’t sure to hit, as unpredictable movement, latency, poor hitboxes often cause teamkills, despite what your screen tells you at first.
If you are with another archer and a shielder is approaching you, go to melee with him to give his back to your buddy, or even better, destroy his shield to shoot him later.
Use voice commands to alert your team, they work.
Spot high value targets and shoot them if they are not well armored. Disregard shielders, as your arrows will hit an invisible shield if you shoot them in the leg. Unless you are sure the target has no shield skill, in which case go ahead.
If your target has noticeably worse foot armor than both body and head armor, it might be better to simply fire into the legs.
Focus on learning the velocity of one bow, two at most. Muscle memory is built up through repetition; so try out all the bows, pick one or two, and stick to them if you can help it.
If you struggle with hitting your targets, even with high precision, this means you are probably not compensating for the arrow drop, or for the travel time + latency. Aim slightly above the target, try to get closer to hit them more accurately and for more damage, and aim slightly above the center mass.
Last but not least, drop the bow once in a while if you get dogpiled, try another class if you get too burned out, or play another game for a while.

That’s it for the guide, if you have questions, you can ask them through a PM, or in the thread, just don’t expect a super fast answer.  If you spot a mistake, besides the choice of playing archer in the first place, please point that out and I will make the necessary changes. I might do crossbow and throwing guides in the future, but I have less experience with these classes, so probably not.

Offline Thryn

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Re: The 2022 Archery guide
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2022, 10:31:13 pm »
play 2h
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Re: The 2022 Archery guide
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2022, 11:16:18 am »
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he,  the god admin.  drink the tea, not ascared to  fight in th  batefield,

Offline Torben

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Re: The 2022 Archery guide
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2022, 08:24:00 pm »
Yes, I know from whence I came! Discontented as a flame, Upon myself I live and glow. All I grasp like lightning flashes, All I leave behind is ashes
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Re: The 2022 Archery guide
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2022, 02:21:51 am »
play cRPG
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Re: The 2022 Archery guide
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2022, 04:09:41 am »
Thank you for making this

Offline njames89

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Re: The 2022 Archery guide
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2022, 03:45:25 pm »
very nice guide