How to fix archer balance… really.



  • Just to start of some background. (Impatient “archer is cancer” folk, TLDR; at the end)

    I have played Chivalry since the launch, and Age of Chivalry before that for a long time.
    I started playing competitively on Chivalry pretty soon after the game came out, played in one of the best teams EU until a year hiatus, and now again doing the same. My main class is archer.

    Now before you get all retarded about “cancer trying to lecture you” on game balance, I’d like to say that since the launch there has been 2 major changes to archer gameplay. The second ofc was the recent “Archer nerf”, and the first most of you might not even remember or know about, was an “Archer buff”.

    Alot of people who play archer and many who don’t, but are involved in competitive chiv. Viewed the “nerf” a bad thing. Me myself however, I understand and still continue to play archer in competitive clanmatches.

    What people whining about not enough “nerfing” should realize, that the game was much better balanced before the first change… back then the archer class was “underpowered”, hence why they made the “buff”.

    I’m going to run down some of the more meaningful pros and cons from launch before and after these major changes.
    Please bare in mind that in AoC my favorite class was knight, and I started playing archer in competitive mainly because of my accumulated experience on sniping from other games with ballistic projectiles.

    Launch:

    • Archer: +50% melee backstab damage
    • Archer: Arrow Flinch
    • Archer: Slow arrow flight speed
      Reversed for melee players.
      Damage pretty much the same as now(except broadhead 1 shot archers in chest)

    At this time it was an actually meaningful decision on wether to use Shortbow vs. Warbow for example.

    Shortbow offered a truly poor range and velocity. However you could use it to flinch enemy melee often, to give your own team an advantage in the fight. It also meant you had to be close, which made you vulnerable.

    Warbow traded the reload speed for speed of the arrow and much higher damage, but range was still much shorter than it is today.

    This is where the first change came.

    They increased the speed of the arrows and bolts seemingly universally. Increasing range and speed of projectiles for bows and crossbows.

    After this I was forced to change to Warbow, having previously used the Shortbow. The only reason for it was that the new offered arrow flight speed made hitting your target so reliable in comparison, that it more than compensated for the slower reload.
    Other abilities stayed the same.

    This went on pretty much until the late great “nerf”, can’t remember when but crossbows got added and rebalanced, eventually making them sort of railguns.

    The “nerf”.

    The general population after seeing new players with aiming skills, get better and become even more of a nuisance. Loudly voted to “nerf” the archer. And so they did.

    • Arrow flinch
    • 50% melee backstab damage

    For me personally, after all the whining from archers. This was a small step back for a good archer, but a big step back for the diversity of the game dynamic.

    I never cared too much about the +50% melee damage. A good Knight/Vanguard/MaA has always owned me, most of the time. Made very little difference.

    Removing arrow flinch however made the good archer, just a sentry gun. Having to opt for maximum damage per minute.

    Conclusion:

    Now, suppose we instead of removing the flinch, would have rolled the arrow flight velocity and range back. Even lowered the damage for limb shots and body shots.

    Leaving the correctly timed shot regardless of damage, a real asset for friendly melee players. Having it harder to hit opponents at range. Bringing archers closer to the fight.

    Rewarding the well placed shot, instead of aiming at everyone and anyone just for maximum damage. Having it actually take skill and prediction to hit opponents.

    TLDR;

    • Lower Arrow velocity to where it was on launch.
    • Lower damage for arrows hitting arms, legs and torso.
    • Bring back the arrow flinch.

    I know what it’s like to play melee when there are many enemy archers… how sometimes it’s frustrating. But it brings an element into the melee fight you have to take into account, it brings depth, it requires situational awareness AND it can be used to your advantage if you keep your wits about you.

    Trust me… it’s not the damage, or the flinch that makes you rage… it’s the unbalanced speed of the projectiles.



  • You make sense man, seems like archers have a easy time landing shots. I do agree with projectiles speed nerf



  • Speeds are pretty slow. You’re lucky this isn’t a realism game. Projectile velocity would be doubled.

    Even a good archer lands less than 50% of his shots though.



  • @lemonater47:

    Speeds are pretty slow. You’re lucky this isn’t a realism game. Projectile velocity would be doubled.

    Even a good archer lands less than 50% of his shots though.

    Use the heavy crossbow and tell me it isn’t ridiculous. I have sniper battles with Archers and we can headshot each other from across the map. It’s too easy to casually point and click with most archer weapons with even a modicum of skill.



  • It’s basically what I’ve said all the time.

    You’ve missed a few things, for example crossbow reloading faster and arrows not being affected by fps. If I recall it correctly the majority didn’t want the projectiles flinch to be gone completely, what I and most people wanted gone was that they flinch parries and release. Instead TBS decided to remove the flinch during release and windup but letting them continue to flinch parries.

    Btw the velocity wasn’t that different at launch, the main difference was that fps bug made the arrows slower.

    Either way lower velocity would help a lot, as of right now I can barely dodge arrows at 40 meters because they come at me too fast, if I duck underneath I can get hit because they look different on my screen compared to on the shooters screen.



  • Flinch removal was never properly removed so I am all for returning it, in return for lower project speeds and range.

    I wonder if the new community manager will have anything to say - no doubt nothing.



  • The cure for Archer Cancer

    Melee:
    Allow archer to be 1 hit by every primary weapon if they get hit in the back
    Increase weapon switch time
    Allow archers kick with bow in hand
    Reduce armor/health by 10%
    Archers take additional 5% damage with successful parry from the top 5 heavy and slowest weapons - Maul, Polehammer, Halberd, Double axe, Zwie (maybe a couple more)

    Arching:
    Stamina drain when drawing the bow (percentage) divided by the number of arrows
    Allow archers to sprint while loading and shooting (exception X-bow reloading of course)
    Remove zoom, Remove crosshair
    Increase range of arrows but lower the speed

    Other
    Fix Kick
    Fix chase mechanic
    Archer limits 4 per side per 24 man server - but if the above was implemented then no archer limit.

    See how easy that is to balance the archers? Jav is another story though and not quite sure how to balance it but maybe the above would be enough.

    Whoot I cured archer anal cancer!



  • Great Retsom, way to come up with an immense list of changes that they would never implement for being so complicated and convoluted.



  • @Oy:

    Use the heavy crossbow and tell me it isn’t ridiculous. I have sniper battles with Archers and we can headshot each other from across the map. It’s too easy to casually point and click with most archer weapons with even a modicum of skill.

    Heavy crossbow?

    Pfft.

    Standard crossbow is vastly superior for sniper battles. Heavy crossbow has tons of drop in comparison.



  • Mobility, and with javs melee capabilities, make archering so much easier by allowing you to get closer(easier shots) and shoot more with less effort(don’t need to bother about getting counter-archered as much). That’s why javs are so damn op.



  • javs are not op because if they miss they go into a long recovery which is basically a free hit. and the shield is more of a hindrance than a help.

    archers however switch weapons instantly and have super fast strikes and ripostes.



  • @gregcau:

    javs are not op because if they miss they go into a long recovery which is basically a free hit. and the shield is more of a hindrance than a help.

    archers however switch weapons instantly and have super fast strikes and ripostes.

    Then don’t throw if you can’t hit it and someone can punish you for missing. With any other archer weapon you’d get hit in a scenario like that anyways unless you manage to kill the target.

    How is the shield a hindrance when you can actively and passively block with it while still having the possibility of using the shortsword? Longer switch times maybe but that shouldn’t be too big of a hindrance since if caught pants down just block with the shield.



  • What’s the use of shortswod when the javelins are stronger at stabbing though? And the free no cost raise javelin feint helps a lot.



  • @gregcau:

    Great Retsom, way to come up with an immense list of changes that they would never implement for being so complicated and convoluted.

    I have been saying much of that since release and it mirrors the original post.


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