Tips for javelin/short spear/heavy javelin Archer?



  • Fairly new player here, I’ve found myself gravitating towards the Archer class running some variant of a javelin set up but I’ve only had limited success. Any tips from those of you who have more experience with it? I tend to play as a support class, staying out of big fights and trying to assist teammates by flanking. What is a good range to use the various javs at?

    From my experience jav throws are very strong against any class but Knights, as a headshot will not kill them and often it won’t cause a flinch meaning I get killed during the reload time.



  • i always play archer class since i play this game and i love it :)
    play as much as possible and you’ll know what to do XD
    sorry for my english



  • In my opinion, javelin archers are anti-archer troops. They have a shield and a one-hit ranged weapon against archers; they’re practically immune to them. I play javelin archer often and here are some of my tips/preferences:

    1.) DON’T USE SHORT SPEAR! The short spear is NOT a good javelin. The heavy javelin is only good if you’re more melee oriented. The first javelin is the most well-rounded and good in almost all situations. The short spear is not good because it sacrifices damage and reach for a TINY boost in speed and one extra toss.
    2.) Respect the range of your weapons. Unless you’re up against a vanguard, you can probably pull off the first hit with a well placed javelin thrust.
    3.) Don’t try to throw at people up close! Chances are you’re going to miss, and after you throw a javelin, there is a long delay between the time you can block again. This will leave you very open to attack.
    4.) Don’t turn your back on people. This goes for just about any class; they’ll catch you and kill you.
    5.) Use the shield bashes! When you’re using javelin with a buckler, pressing F will unleash a sideways shield bash that, if followed by a javelin thrust, can be lethal. Also, roll down on your mousewheel to do a forward shield bash now and then. This attack can be unexpected and unblockable.
    6.) Aim up! Even if you hit an archer, a javelin to the foot will not be lethal. Center-mass is the place to be. Keeping your center-point cursor above your opponent’s head will usually result in a chest-shot.



  • Strangely I find javelin archer to be more proficient at tackling Vanguards and Knights than Archers, but maybe I’m playing bad heavies?

    One thing I found with javelin is, the amount of ammo you have teaches you how you should be playing. Only go for a throw if you’re sure it’s going to hit, then they’re either dead or you can follow up with stabs. For heavies who get in my face I often find stab>shieldbash>throwjavelin will deal with them. If you get back quickly after the shield bash you have an easy throw into their chest.

    I think javelin archer is almost like a vanguard, a skirmisher. Not necessarily on the front lines, but it’s a very competent class for flanking, as your shield gives you cover and 1 javelin to the chest takes out archers.

    T1 Javelin > rest.

    EDIT: A tip.

    If you need ammo, it’s useful to draw your secondary then press 3 to put your shield on your back, will atleast give you some cover if anyone is shooting at you. Bit of a niche situation though.



  • Strangely I find javelin archer to be more proficient at tackling Vanguards and Knights than Archers, but maybe I’m playing bad heavies?

    One thing I found with javelin is, the amount of ammo you have teaches you how you should be playing. Only go for a throw if you’re sure it’s going to hit, then they’re either dead or you can follow up with stabs. For heavies who get in my face I often find stab>shieldbash>throwjavelin will deal with them. If you get back quickly after the shield bash you have an easy throw into their chest.

    I think javelin archer is almost like a vanguard, a skirmisher. Not necessarily on the front lines, but it’s a very competent class for flanking, as your shield gives you cover and 1 javelin to the chest takes out archers.

    T1 Javelin > rest.

    EDIT: A tip.

    If you need ammo, it’s useful to draw your secondary then press 3 to put your shield on your back, will atleast give you some cover if anyone is shooting at you. Bit of a niche situation though.



  • Brave Sir Robin here! I’ve actually been unlocking the javelins just for funsies today, so I have a few more tips than I normally give out to fellow archers (spoilers because LONG):

    Ranged Combat Stuff

    ! * It’s disappointing, but the only good javelin is… the javelin. The short spear deals very little damage and will only kill on headshots (archer, MAA, vanguard) and the benefits in speed are so minimal that they aren’t worth the difference. The heavy javelin deals only a tiny bit more damage, not enough to change the number of hits you’ll need to kill anyone, even taking into account head and foot shots. It even performs almost identically in melee, except for being slightly slower; just take the regular javelin.
    !
    ! * As above: don’t throw point blank unless you have no alternative. The javelins do not come out straight, they shoot from above your targeting reticule and possibly slightly to the right (your throwing arm, as there are no southpaws in this world). This can be really misleading if you aren’t used to it, and even if you are, it means you have to deliberately aim off, which lowers your chances of hitting if you don’t judge correctly. Basically, even when you’re point blank and you’re sure you have them dead to rights, you probably don’t. Besides, your reload time is crap, and unless you can finish them in one shot, you’re probably meat anyway. I prefer to switch to melee… more on that later.
    !
    ! * Don’t waste your shots; you have very limited ammo, and running to go get more wastes valuable time in which you are vulnerable to being chased or ambushed. Nothing sucks worse than running to the ammo box only to find two enemy vanguards there… who just restocked on axes that can kill you in two hits. Avoid long distance shots unless you’re very confident of your aim and your target is standing still. Even if you happen to be fighting near the ammo box, be careful: there are reload timers on those things, and you may not be the only one using it.
    !
    ! * Another reason not to waste ammo: you need to save one javelin for melee, if you’re into using them that way.
    !
    ! * Generally, stay near melee classes, though beware that MAAs are prone to abandoning you. Well, everyone is, but they’re just faster at it. :P You can target archers fairly well, as one shot will kill them, you have a shield to block their fire, you can hold your throw ready to fire indefinitely (bowmen can’t do this), and your windup and reload times are better than any other archer; you just have to get within range, which means being sneaky.
    !
    ! * Careful with your throws against allies in melee, but if you have a clear shot, take it. Bear in mind that 1v1 duels tend to move backwards and forwards a lot, and move around in circles. If they’re JUST moving back and forth, and you have your enemy’s back in your sights, you can cross your fingers that he won’t move and take a shot. If they’re moving in circles, hell, just leave it alone! Don’t risk hitting your ally unless he’s for sure going to die anyway. The best time to aim into a duel is when one guy or the other is clearly just backpeddling. Guys in these situations tend to do this thing where they stare each other down, try to fake each other out with little steps here and there, while they try to recover health and energy. They are sitting ducks. Inject them with some vitamin J.
    !
    ! * Otherwise, melee. Again, more below.
    !
    ! * Be patient when learning to aim; it takes time, and a lot of practice - and that means a lot of dying until you get it right, and even some after that. Learn how to lead running opponents and try to take mental notes about how you tend to aim. Are you aiming too low? Too high? Not leading enough? Too much? Etc. Kinda obvious, but bears repeating.
    !
    ! * Opponents who spot you will almost always go after you; this tends to be the case with all archers, as we’re squishy, tend to be out of practice with melee, known to carry short weapons, and have a reputation for cowardice (which is unfounded, by the way; you walk onto a battlefield wearing cotton armor and tell me how brave YOU feel!). When they do, they typically do one of four things:
    !
    ! 1. Charge right at you with a shield up. In this case, consider just forgetting about throwing and commit to meleeing them. If you really want to throw, aim for the feet or the head; sometimes you can hit the head over a shield, particularly a small one, but it is very tricky. Aiming for the feet isn’t a terrible idea if you know them to be badly wounded (very bloody).
    !
    ! 2. Run in a zig-zag pattern. This is a very basic, but effective trick, but it isn’t as difficult to deal with as they usually think. My advice is still to draw a secondary and commit to melee, but if you have enough distance on them and want to throw, here’s what you do: First, be calm. It’s okay. Even if you die, this is just a game, you’ll respawn better than ever in like 15 seconds; however, this is your time to shine and make them regret ever even looking in your direction. Ignore their silly zigzagging self and look at a point in the center of their zig zag. That is where you will aim. Wait until they’re at the end of a zig, and about to zag back in the other direction: this is your moment to throw, just as they’re running into your line of fire. Think of it that way: they aren’t running out of your line of fire, they’re constantly running into it. When you can stay calm and think of it that way, you’ll find you’ll hit them more easily. It can still be a crap shoot, but if you have the ammo and the time to recover, why not try? Damn is it ever rewarding when it works.
    !
    ! 3. Run at an angle in one direction only, trying to flank you. This tends to only happen when they’re very near; again, melee if you can. If not, they can actually be fairly easy to hit, but be patient with your shot if you have the time: they may be waiting to zag just as you ready your throw. Still, this is no different than throwing at someone who is running on the map in front of you, just lead them and throw.
    !
    ! 4. Run behind an obstacle, such as a big rock, to try to get to you. This can be tricky, but it can be just as tricky for them - basically, it becomes a guessing game. While they’re out of your sight, you’re out of theirs. Do not stand your ground. Move. Pick a direction and run. You can either run away, towards a more melee-capable ally, if you have one (advised), or chase them around the obstacle, or run AT them, hoping to catch them off-guard. It’s up to you, but good luck if you choose either of he last two!

    Melee Combat Stuff

    ! * This is going to sound weird, but as a jav archer, knowing how to melee effectively against all classes is possibly the most important thing you need to learn. You have 5 javelins, and can only throw 4 if you want to stab with one. That sucks hardcore. You can’t throw them very far, and you can’t safely throw them point blank, leaving you with a very vulnerable. Throwing into a melee can easily TK an ally. All these things, plus a boatload of weird bugs, make the javelin arguably the most awkward and difficult weapon in the game. As a result, you will be spending a lot of time in melee.
    !
    ! * Don’t worry, though, you can certainly melee as an archer. You are almost as fast on your feet as a MAA (minus the dodge, naturally), and your weapons, while weak, are very fast. Plus, perhaps best of all, most will underestimate you, get sloppy with their attacks, then get flustered and frustrated when you start to beat them.
    !
    ! * Be aware that the melee thrusts with the javelin come out from the right side, perhaps even more than regular stabs. They come out very quickly when you’re super close, so whenever possible, get right up close, keep your opponent on the right side of the screen, and poke away.
    !
    ! * Likewise, the “overhead” (which is actually a shield punch of sorts) comes out from the left side, so use it in the opposite situation.
    !
    ! * However, I don’t actually like to melee with the javelin if I can avoid it, for a few reasons: it’s still kinda slow, there are no combos, no slash attack, and you can’t really feint. That really hurts when it comes to advanced dueling, and even fighting LMB spam nubs, frankly! I prefer secondary weapons for dedicated melee: I lean towards the cudgel unless I know there aren’t many heavy classes on the field, but your mileage may vary, and I don’t see that many other cudgels. I have seen guys do really well with the broad dagger, thrusting dagger, short sword, and scimitar, too. The hunting knife is kinda meh, but ultimately, the best weapon in the game is the one that you feel most comfortable with: try them all out and see what sticks.
    !
    ! * There are two main schools of archer melee: the careful, cautious duelist, and RAWR IMMA SLICE OFF YOUR FACE AND WEAR IT AS A HAT BLARLARGHGBSLFHGHSGLHS!!! The former involves agile footwork, knowledge of swing distances for weapons of all sorts, and decisive counter-attacks; the latter requires a dagger and a resilient left mouse button. I prefer the former, but I see an awful lot of the latter, and it can be surprisingly effective when you can catch a guy off-guard.
    !
    ! * Also: You have a +50% damage bonus to attacks from the rear. This, combined with the unlikelihood that you’ll hit an ally makes you a very competent combat support class in melee. Come up behind an opponent and giving them a stab can completely turn around a duel. Just be sure you’re welcome! Some people don’t like “kill stealing” and sometimes you’ll mess up their rhythm. Sometimes I like to give them a kick in the butt, actually: preferably right into my ally’s sword!
    !
    ! * Beware who you’re helping, too: vanguards and knights with long weapons are likely to swing THROUGH the enemy and right into your tender parts, which is fun for no one involved. MAAs are often accustomed to fighting solo and may dart around unpredictably and use a lot of dangerous slash attacks. Try to make yourself aware to your ally by coming into their field of view with your melee weapon drawn and approach cautiously with intent. Unless they’re idiots - and there are a lot of idiots out there… sweet Agatha are there a lot of idiots… - they’ll work with you rather than through you. You don’t need to overstay your welcome, just give your guy the edge and be gone if you can’t finish the deal quickly.
    !
    ! * Kick. Kick the everliving crap out of people, or shield bash, as is often the case. God I love the kick/bash. It can really throw people off, and essentially resets the timing of a duel, which is usually a good thing for you, the guy with probably the faster weapon. In particular, kick men at arms. A torso shot with a javelin won’t kill them outright… but all it will take is one F to finish them off.
    !
    ! Two Generic Tips:
    !
    ! >! * In TO, go for the objective when you can. People complain a lot about archers TKing (but my aim isn’t even very good and I hardly ever hit allies compared to how often the other classes do; maybe once every 5 hours I’ll hit an ally) but the actual most annoying thing about archers is that they tend to ignore the objectives. It’s easy to get caught up in picking off targets or having an arrow duel with an enemy archer in the next zip code, and forget to actually do the thing you actually came here to do. Go stand on trebs, push the cart, etc. Your allies need you. Jav archers are a little better at this than other archers, as they have more melee options, don’t particularly benefit from long range anyway, and have that ever-important shield.
    ! >!
    ! >! * And my biggest overall tip for javelin archers: Do not let the javelin define you. You are quick footed, lightly armored, armed with a thrown weapon, stabbing spears, a bashing shield, one of a six secondary weapons, and a backstab bonus. Use all of these things when they’re to your advantage and switch tactics when they aren’t. Don’t just run around throwing spears all day; do everything. Kill dudes every which way, and any way you can.



  • @stickytape:

    Brave Sir Robin here! I’ve actually been unlocking the javelins just for funsies today, so I have a few more tips than I normally give out to fellow archers (spoilers because LONG):

    Thanks for the advice, I would prefer to use the Jav as a melee weapon, seeing as how I might as well be using a bow with less drawbacks if I can’t melee fight with it. Flinch and hit detection is a big deterrent right now to the class, so many times I’ll land hits only to be counter-attacked in my wind down of my attacks, making vanguards and knights very difficult to fight. I’ve been noticing that MAA sometimes don’t die to chest javs, I’m not sure if they were rebalanced or hit-detection is just poor but it’s been happening pretty frequently today.



  • Tips for a Javelin user:
    Sorry, but just don’t use javelins. They really really suck after the latest patch.



  • Chest shots won’t 1-hit kill a man at arms (except in the case of a backstab), but it will leave them with ~5% of their HP, meaning that any hit of any kind from anything will kill them. That’s why I suggest a kick/shield bash, as it is unblockable and very quick.



  • I did a video on the Javelin (first one), but it was before the last big patch, where several things were changed. However, a lot of the concepts still do apply to the Javelin in its current state, so give it a watch if you’re interested.

    8x7tCEDdCG0

    Best of luck!



  • @stickytape:

    Chest shots won’t 1-hit kill a man at arms (except in the case of a backstab), but it will leave them with ~5% of their HP, meaning that any hit of any kind from anything will kill them. That’s why I suggest a kick/shield bash, as it is unblockable and very quick.

    If by shots you mean throwing, they don’t get the +50% backstab damage, it applies to melee only.



  • @Martin:

    @stickytape:

    Chest shots won’t 1-hit kill a man at arms (except in the case of a backstab), but it will leave them with ~5% of their HP, meaning that any hit of any kind from anything will kill them. That’s why I suggest a kick/shield bash, as it is unblockable and very quick.

    If by shots you mean throwing, they don’t get the +50% backstab damage, it applies to melee only.

    What exactly does backstab apply to? Is it any weapon or only sharp, only stabs?
    I’ve been wondering.



  • Pretty sure it’s any weapon, as I’ve downed guys that I suspect were at full health with shorter combos than usual when running up to them from behind with the cudgel. For example, an archer or MAA usually takes 3 swings and/or overheads with the cudgel to kill (torso shots) but you can reliably finish an archer off with an overhead and a swing, and the same goes for MAA if one strike hits the head.

    @Martin:

    @stickytape:

    Chest shots won’t 1-hit kill a man at arms (except in the case of a backstab), but it will leave them with ~5% of their HP, meaning that any hit of any kind from anything will kill them. That’s why I suggest a kick/shield bash, as it is unblockable and very quick.

    If by shots you mean throwing, they don’t get the +50% backstab damage, it applies to melee only.

    Just a moment ago I 1-hit a full HP vanguard with a thrown javelin (regular javelin) that hit him almost completely from the side, but just enough from the rear that it his his back. That could only have worked with the bonus damage, no? He had only spawned a few seconds prior and ran past me, so I punished his rudeness (a polite “sorry, love to chat, but I really must be off to war now” would have sufficed) by serving him a kidney kebab. I guess its possible that someone else hit him a fraction of a second before I did, but I didn’t hear any other impact and I got the kill.



  • It would be kind of useless if the 50% didn’t apply to the main mode of attack, wouldn’t it? Then again, I don’t think I’ve ever really been in a position to be BEHIND their lines as an archer and getting clear shots, so I can’t tell anyone from experience what it applies to =/



  • The backstab only applies to melee weapons, and it works with all of them. The cudgel will kill a knight in two hits if you get him in the back of the head with overheads.



  • @Daiyuki:

    It would be kind of useless if the 50% didn’t apply to the main mode of attack, wouldn’t it? Then again, I don’t think I’ve ever really been in a position to be BEHIND their lines as an archer and getting clear shots, so I can’t tell anyone from experience what it applies to =/

    Back shots happen from time to time if you’re firing into a 1v1 duel, but I admit that most often I’m firing from the front, usually at roughly a 45 to 90 degree angle from the target’s point of view. Otherwise, I sometimes like to position myself around a blind corner when I know someone will soon be on the way; firing a shot into their back is usually pretty easy once they run past you, and in the ensuing confusion you can often either get in a second shot, run up for a killing blow, or at least have plenty of time to draw a secondary.


Log in to reply