Well people sure do have opinions on anything which points out an imbalance. Of course some of them are talking out of their ass, but at least it provides material. First on the magery issue…

*hides his face in shame* Mu has a point. – NT – Cethan 9/16/99 at 3:48 pm

Indeed he does!! – NT – kylania 9/16/99 at 4:38 pm

RE: *hides his face in shame* Mu has a point. – NT – Casarak 9/16/99 at 4:30 pm
Perhaps moo should go look at the smug grins on all warriors past level 30 before ranting again, but then again rants often do only have SOME basis in real fact, such as the fact that the magic economy is less than ideal of an idea for an environment over…300 =p

Uh okay. I’ll go talk to the 30+ level warriors I know… they should be in there somewhere amongst all the 30+ level archers.

did we read the same article? – Cethan 9/16/99 at 8:36 pm «
I was referring to the article about the mana pool and trying to make the magic system ‘web-proof’
i must have missed the part about warriors and stuff….

RE: *hides his face in shame* Mu has a point. – NT – Musashi 9/16/99 at 5:14 pm
Well, my patron is a level 34 warrior type. I never see a smug grin though. I see a disgusted grimace when he picks up a bow, using his DEFAULT skill (probably around 95 from his stats) and kills things faster and easier than he can with melee.

mm – Casarak 9/16/99 at 9:15 pm
and I’m level 36, and all i see is Yunari’s smirk as he swings through things I can’t take more than 2 or 3 hits from in bow mode, but somehow last fine with my 131 kite(though I obviously can’t kill without a weapon now), any questions?
If you kill drudges all your life, you deserve to be disgust..ed.

Here’s a question… – Musashi 9/17/99 at 11:11 amWhat sort of bow are you using? See, the damage for archery is almost entirely dependent on the type of bow used and ammunition, with the exception of criticals. A friend of mine who does not use archery made an archery gimp at level 1 with an utterly flawless gold yumi he found somewhere and some frog crotch arrows, and lo and behold, the level 1 archer with 80 point criticals. Compare this to the great archers in the game who regularly perform 200 point criticals (tested and confirmed). Who else can perform like this? There’s no magery criticals. Sword and melee criticals are decent, but not 200 point decent. And the way magery stands right now, I might have to be killing drudges all my life.

Of course, the drudges I go after are level 38-49, but they have been owning recently. Since I haven’t seen this guy in action, I can only guess what the problems are: less than fantastic bow, less than fantastic ammunition, less than fantastic armor, less than fantastic tactics. Sure archery mode gives you a little less defense ability than melee skills (so I’ve heard), but the standard tac for archers of high level and effectiveness that I know goes like this: stand at maximum range, fire at maximum accuracy, if the critter somehow lives long enough to close, either switch to maximum speed or run for distance. A level 18-20 vassal of mine who trained bow very late in life uses these amazingly simple ideas in the dires, and owns level 35-49 creatures of all persuasions. He started out specialized in sword… now he never even picks one up.

RE: oops – Casarak 9/16/99 at 4:31 pm
oh my bad, mu, not moo =p
just a little bit sick and tired of the redundant limited vision that go into some of the "imbalance" cries.

Ah, thanks for pointing that out. I should remember to extensively test and research and consult with experienced players, testers, devs, etc., and try out my theories and observe the results before ranting. Oops, I did that already. I’m not really sure what the guy’s point is… that he leveled a lot and has friends that fight better than him? Who knows… the "redundant limited vision" thing annoys me though. Reading is fundamental… LOSER.

RE: *hides his face in shame* Mu has a point. – NT – Koru Shinuga 9/16/99 at 4:00 pm «
He has more points than a spiny armoredillo. I got to admire him, he sure brought that home for a non-magic using player.

However, the archery thing got more discussion, as of course I knew it would.

Hmmm, after reading Mu’s rant, I’ve decided Archery isn’t – Arcy 9/16/99 at 10:29 pm «
Hmmm, after reading Mu’s rant, I’ve decided Archery isn’t imbalanced. The power of the bow’s are. I’ve got a 13th level archer, with similar skills to what he’s talking about, and she’s only got a lilitha bow (or a Yumi depending on how looted I am…) and doing damage in the high 20′s when I get the good hits in. According to what he’s saying, I guess I could compete with a level 3 archer who has a well crafted bow. Hrmm…

Actually this is exactly the point, which was probably not clear enough in the rant. Sure archery is unrealistic… firing without an arc to accelerate the projectile, firing in close quarters… but I can buy that for the sake of gameplay. The real problem is that good bows are so hideously powerful, and there are no requirements on them (except for any spells which are added), and are just as effective for a 1st level archer with bow 60 as they are for a 20th level archer with bow 200.

am just doing something wrong here…. – Machreth 9/17/99 at 10:44 am
I’ve got one character who has archery as his only specialized skill (sure the rest of his points are distrubuted on things like axe and creature enchantment and healing , so its not like I pumped all my points into coordination or anything) and one character who specializes in sword and Crossbow. I’ve not noticed any of these ridiculously high damage numbers from missle weapons… yeah sure my ivory heavy crossbow with broadhead quarrels sometimes hits for 20-25 damage, but my regular tachi sometimes hits for thirty, and it hits a hell of a lot more often. as for my bowman, yeah he’s only level five with a regular yumi, but he has a tough time bringing down a blood shreth on his own, as damage not coming from a crit hit is in the 8-10 range most often. do you just need ungodly bow skill to get these kind of damages or what?

Umm a blood streth at level 5 and your unhappy… – Hetzer 9/17/99 at 10:47 am
My axe warrior couldn’t take bloods until level nine or ten. I think bows are very unbalanced if thats the case. Bloods ripped my head off at level 5.

RE: Umm a blood streth at level 5 and your unhappy… – Machreth 9/17/99 at 11:15 am
yes, but that was 1 lone blood shreth, and I had strenght, endurance, coordination, and quickness all upped with creature spells. and I ended up with a grand total of 5 health points left after running away and healing several times in combat. in the same situation, my swordman could take a blood at level 5-6 without a problem with a tachi.
I’m not saying that archery is or is not imbalanced here… or that everyone who says it is imbalances is wrong or whatever… all I’m saying is what are people doing to get these incredible damage values, because I just don’t see it.

Damage values come from (a) great bows and (b) good ammunition. For hunting monsters this usually means frog crotch and armor piercing. For PvP, lightning arrows are the weapon of choice 70% of the time (for ALL PvP, which shows how common bows are in this most excruciatingly exact lifestyle choice).

RE: Hmmm, after reading Mu’s rant, I’ve decided Archery isn’t – Constrictor 9/17/99 at 09:23 am
You’re kinda clueless, so I’ll explain it to you.
He only had a well crafted bow, which is only one step better than a normal bow. When you realize that there are about 6 more steps above well crafted, and you know that each step is a more and more dramatic increase in damage, and then when you realize that there are NO requirements on quality bows, then you might begin to understand the problem.
Then again, maybe we will like Archer’s Call. Sounds like a fun game.
-Zashi Watta in Dereth (Level 27 spearman)

I’d have to disagree – Karenath 9/17/99 at 08:38 am
Having now leveled an archer to 11th and now a spear fighter and a staff fighter to 5th I have to say that IMHO archery is, compared to those two weapon skills, vastly superior. Currently with the spear fighter (who is specialized in spear and getting it up as quickly as possible) I sometimes win fights against carrion shereths, sometimes not… Considering I could easily take these out at 2nd level as an archer with a regular bow that does seem a little out of whack…

Better bows should have requirements – Danielle Dellaster 9/17/99 at 02:54 am
As a level 7 mostly archer, I’m not finding it terribly unbalanced. Probably because I’m just using a so-so yumi. Attacking a bunch of drudges and outcasts with a similar level sword-swinger yesterday, it came out about even on the kills.
Put a requirement on better bows. In RL, a longbowman would train from childhood in order to be able to pull and accurately shoot. Perhaps a combination of STRENGTH & Archery skill needed for that ivory yumi? Or more simply have a limit based on Archery skill. Lilitha bow = 100 arch skill requirement or something along those lines.Average damage should not go up so dramatically. Criticals should — so a real good bow might only do 15-20 average damage but get the big criticals. And the higher your Archery skill, the more often you get criticals.Just my thoughts, possibly spoken in ignorance. ;-)

Req: What is a lilitha bow? – NT – Parcifal 9/17/99 at 07:04 am

Its lighter and a little slower than a Yumi – NT – Arcy 9/17/99 at 07:56 am

Good stuff. It’s hard to say whether or not the archery skill is whacked (although, comparing standard archery gear with standard melee gear with 1st level characters, I would still say yes), since the archery weapons are so whacked.

And now, posts from someone who has benefited from my new guide to Archery’s Call!

Mu is full of doodoo! – Azeraab 9/17/99 at 1:44 pm
I broke down an made a newbie archer last night. At first level I was only able to tackle 2 4th level monsters at a time and they took me down to almost 1/2 my life! Archery is way underpowered. I should be able to easily kill lugians at that level….oh wait….I can ;P

Ah, see, you’ll get the hang of it eventually. Soon, like the legendary Welsh longbowmen of yore, you too will be decked out in enchanted plate, dropping Olthoi at point blank range while adroitly sidestepping all manner of attack.

He’s kinda right.. – kylania 9/17/99 at 1:49 pm
I have a 6th level archer, with a VERY powerful bow that was given as a gift. I’m doing 20+ dmg with each hit. Drudges fall with one shot, banderlings can’t even get close to me and I’ve even take out a pack of hunters!!
Now, this was using armor piercing arrows, but even with regular arrows i’m pretty vicious. Only problem is either coz of lag or my low bow skill (60 something I think) many of my shots go wild.
I like the archer now though.. definitly a lot of fun.

Which is why the bows need more requirements – Karenath 9/17/99 at 1:53 pm
Rather than archery being changed… shoot if they make archery worse you will HAVE to have a great bow to kill things.
I can’t kill a hunter still at 11th level because my bow is only a normal one.

*grumble*… A hunter… I still avoid em. I was amazed when I first researched IV that I could drop a PROWLER with one spell. Wow! Of course this no longer works.

aye better bows need better skills..down with twinks. – NT – no name 9/17/99 at 1:55 pm

The cheesy home page forum momentarily seemed to have a topic after these rants too. Here’s a short discourse from Kynn, the "example fighter" in a lot of these rants…

Oh dear god help me, I’ve posted to mu’s forum :P by Kynn posted 9/17/99 4:10:42 PM
Regarding the posts below, It seems to be that you are judging things from lack of experience. I’m at a rather high level and have had the benefit of seeing what high level bows do, and what the best hand to hand weapons do, and watched the SoLL in action. Oddly enough, I also agree with what Mu says.
Here’s my take on things, and while it may be more informed, I can’t guarentee it’s correct.

  1. Archery, don’t kid yourself, it’s bugged. If a level 20 can kill an olthoi worker before my level 34 ass can, it’s bugged. Completely, quit trying to provide facts against it, as it makes you look like a raving lunatic without a clue. I’ll spell it out for you, If you aren’t doing crazy high damage with archery, you have a shitty bow. Considering I can find 4 a day in the direlands that do 30+ damage each (Criticals between 70 – 80), your statement that they are ‘hard to find’ is also wrong. Take into account that I can (and have) given that same bow to a level 1 archer and watched him score the same hits as a high level archer, I’d say it’s really bugged.

  2. Magery, while the spell economy may indeed be a part of the problem, I find it hard to believe that while maybe 4 war mages can cast level V war, it’s suddenly doing below it’s minimal damage. Don’t believe me? Well then, msg rasa’min in game and ask for yourself, he’s currently the highest level mage and able to cast all war V. The current damage for those spells is the minimal for war magic IV :P. That’s not spell economy, that’s a bug.

  3. Melee, All melee people are just big pain sponges, tanks to soak up the damage while archers and mages (usually, when the system isn’t wrecked) to do the real damage and get the kills. Don’t believe me? Take your bow wielding, non-shield wearing archer up against an olthoi or a monster that actually hits hard. Considering I watched Osium (level 40) have to use me as a tank so the olthoi wouldn’t go after him, I’d say you’d die quite quickly … can I watch? This may or may not balance out how powerful archery is, but on the pvp scene (which I happen to be a part of) your opponent generally doesn’t hit quite as hard as an olthoi, nor do they have as high missile defense or protection against elemental arrows.

I hate ill-informed opinions more than bad drivers.

A little addition, by Kynn posted 9/17/99 4:18:22 PM
At the time the level 20 archer killed the olthoi worker before I could, I was using probably one of the best nekodes in the game right now.
Nekode: 6-21 damage,+10% attack, +10% Melee D, Speed: 0
My unarmed skill was 240, and I was hitting about 1 in 3.
The archer had an archery skill of 120, and was hitting 1 in 2 (this is due to the way missile defense is caluclation, debatable if it’s a bug or not.).
This is to ward off replies of the like, "Well, anyone is good with the right weapon, You were probably using a 1-4 dmg cestus :P"

Okay, here’s a momentary discourse on why imbalance is bad.

The game goes public, and the current imbalances are there. A group of 3 friends get accounts… Mageguy, Archerguy, and Swordguy. At level one, they go out to kill stuff. Mageguy gets left behind a lot because Swordguy and Archeryguy don’t understand the need to regain mana. Swordguy gets chewed up a lot, but manages to make it through with healing. Archerguy kills everything. Mageguy rationalizes that maybe his character is a slow starter (he’s played AD&D, like any good gaming geek has) and will be patient. Swordguy is having a good time killing stuff, but is getting his ass kicked all over. Archerguy whines about buying more arrows, earning the ire of Mageguy, whose cost of living gets dramatic as soon as he starts researching.

The group gets to midlevels, although Mageguy is a little behind because (1) mages do suck at lower levels, and (2) he has to take a lot of time out to research, assuming he can’t just go to a cheat site and grab all the formulae. Swordguy has found some semi-ok swords, but can’t use a lot of them because they require arcane lore, which he has yet to train. Archerguy has found an exquisitely crafted bow, and loved his amazing damage so much he adventures a lot by himself, rising faster than the other two. Mageguy has broken through and has researched level II spells, only to find that (a) they’re not really all that good at full power, and (b) they’re never at full power anyway. Force Bolt I ahoy. Mageguy is doggedly persistent, although he grumbles about his lack of experience. Swordguy gets penis envy looking at the hunters that drop from Archerguy’s shots.

The group gets into teen levels, although Archerguy is clearly in the lead, and Mageguy is still getting owned by carrion shreths, earning a certain amount of ridicule from Swordguy and Archerguy. Swordguy has decided that, after he has trained arcane lore and learned that his "good" swords are nothing next to the exquisitely crafted gold yumi Archerguy is using (one of many he now mules), he will train archery… and does, at level 16. Swordguy, even though he is way behind the curve, still kicks more ass with one of Archerguy’s spare weapons and never even looks at his sword. Mageguy quits his character, since it is no fun getting your ass kicked all the time, he can’t handle monsters of a high enough level to earn enough experience to advance, and is basically a tagalong in his friends’ fellowship, where he earns less xp anyway due to the level differences. Archerguy and Swordguy go on to become high level archer PK’s, and Swordguy eventually starts over as a pure archer, since he "now knows how the game works".

While it’s true that AC is not a race, and that some character types are better against certain enemies, a general sense of balance is important because of these reasons:

  1. A character (who is reasonably designed) who cannot handle monsters around his level or slightly higher will not advance, and will become frustrated.
  2. Diverse characters who try and form a continuous fellowship will break up because the underpowered characters will drag them down, and the overpowered characters will resent the group and strike out on his own.
  3. In PvP combat, due to the nature of the online PvP community, the "best" type of character will quickly emerge and become predominant, and almost all other PvP players will be one so they can compete.

That’s all for now. I’m going to go home and see whether or not my underpowered red ass got killed yesterday when my power went out.

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