Obligatory Archer Discussion Thread



  • Because it’s bound to happen eventually. Try and keep all discussions and arguments about archers and their role in the game in this thread so we don’t flood the sub-forum.
    Do try and keep it civil. And try and back up your posts and ideas properly. This goes for both sides; saying things like “archer sux remove pls” and “lol deal w/it” aren’t very constructive.

    I’ll start by posting the rant I wrote a while ago for a different thread as well as my suggestions for improvements. I think it covers my thoughts pretty well regarding the class.

    [copypasta]
    To me, archers just feel like a bad design choice. Every other class seems to be balanced around each other, and then the archer is just… there. With no clear purpose other than to make the game less enjoyable for everyone by ruining melee fights, shooting teammates in the back and getting kills on people who have absolutely zero chance of fighting back.

    A bad archer is worse than an empty slot. At least an empty slot can’t hit friendlies and leaves a spot open for someone who can actually contribute. And a good archer is unbeatable to anything that isn’t another archer unless in certain circumstances. This is made even worse by most maps (especially on team objective) being incredibly archer friendly, with plenty of ledges where an archer can just perch himself for a complete view of the battlefield and little (if any) risk of another player reaching them.

    Even if it is possible to get up close to an archer. If they have even the slightest amount of situational awareness, they can run away to their teammates or hit you with a few shots well before you can get into killing range. Using things like shields or smokepots, or tactics like zig-zagging can only offer so much influence into your chances of survival, with your ultimate fate being decided by the skill of the archer shooting at you. Shields can be shot around, movements can be predicted and smoke either leaves you completely stuck inside it for safety or gives the archer a perfect opportunity to escape.

    They just feel cheap to be killed by as well. Any time I die in a melee fight I see it as a learning experience. Even if I was ganged-up on I chalk it down to me not being aware of my surroundings. But with an archer it’s a different story altogether. It’s almost impossible to predict when you’ll get hit by an arrow, bolt or javelin, so most deaths to archers I just see as something that my own personal skill has zero factor in, which just feels like bad game design. Even when I’m aware of an archer’s location and I know he’s trying to hit me it’s still frustrating to deal with because, like I mentioned earlier, anything I can do against an archer from this distance can only improve my chances of survival, not ensure it altogether.

    I’m not saying that the class is overpowered or anything like that. I’ve played archer quite a bit and I know that it takes a lot of skill to be able to constantly hit targets at long range, especially if they’re moving. But when it’s possible to become good enough at shooting a bow that 3/4 of the classes in the game can’t do anything to stop you is that really fair? When the person playing archer is skilled enough, the only thing that can realistically counter that person is another equally skilled or incredibly lucky archer. And without one they have free reign to kill the other team at zero risk to themselves. And archers are the only class this applies to. An experienced knight, vanguard or man-at-arms will still dominate lesser skilled players in melee, but they can be killed by any other class who uses proper tactics and such.

    It even feels like the devs see archer as an afterthought to the game. If you look at the about page on this very site you can see that the entire reason behind the devs creating this game was “To create the best melee combat game ever.” They call the genre “First Person Slasher” and draw their inspiration from “epic swordfighting movies such as 300, Gladiator and Braveheart.” Now I’ve seen all those movies and not once do I recall a scene with someone perched on a ledge, taking pot-shots at the people in the thick of battle.

    This thread is another example about how archer doesn’t really fit into the game. The majority of replies to the OP are just people saying things like “deal with it” or simply telling him to stop complaining. I’ve read through a few pages and not once has someone given a reason for the archer to belong in the game from a gameplay perspective. The only reasons given for the archer’s inclusion to the game are that archers were an important asset to Medieval warfare in real life. That’s all well and true, but this is a videogame, and videogames should put gameplay and balance before historical authenticity any day unless the goal is to make a simulator, but that isn’t the case in this situation. People saying that this isn’t “Melee Warfare” should realize that the devs have always intended this game to be largely melee focused. And it is, which is why archers feel so out of place. If the game had things like cavalry and huge siege battles then archers would be more than welcome, but it’s based entirely around small skirmishes of teams consisting of 8-16 players each where the combat is largely up-close and personal, so having archers sitting on the sidelines firing projectiles into the fray just acts as an annoyance.
    [/copypasta]

    Now for what I think should be done to fix the class and its role in the game.
    I don’t think they should just outright remove archers from the game. That would be a bit drastic and uncalled for. But I do think that they need to make some major changes regarding how close an archer needs to be to perform well in battle. A lot of people see the class as a sort of medieval sniper and play accordingly, sitting well out of the way of the battle and just firing at people across the map. This playstyle feels very out of place in the game because, as the devs have said multiple times, the game is based around close range melee combat. It’s also largely ineffective anyway. With the rather slow projectile speed coupled with the frantic movement at close range, you’d be lucky to hit anyone from long-range, nevermind an enemy.

    That said I think the class should be redesigned to fit a skirmisher role. A massive change I think should be put in is the removal of bows and crossbows. This gets rid of the weapons that can be used for extreme-range and therefore results in people playing archer having to get much closer to the front to make an impact on the battle. Of course some new weapons should be added to compensate for 2/3 of the archer’s primaries being removed. I suggest some more close-ranged weapons that can still be somewhat used from a distance. Throwing axe variants (light and heavy as well as the ones already in the game), heavy daggers, darts and slings are some things that could replace bows and crossbows as the archer’s primaries.

    I look forward to seeing some civil discussion and not just shit-flinging.


  • Global Moderator

    There are those that say archers suck balls.

    Some archers do suck and are easy kills as they turn and run instead of fight or they just stand there with their bow completely oblivious to anyone else.

    In one of the good archers I even got archer veteran after 60 hours. Ad that’s after all the other classes first. But I still do better as a vanguard or knight than I do when I play archer. And most ofny kills is me killing other archers as that’s an archers biggest threat. I also move up with my team rather than snipe as archers make good decoys in melee. I wrote a guide on how not to suck in melee as an archer but your still at a massive disadvantage. Don’t be over confident when you attack archers or change to your secondary some of us archers are a slippery bunch.

    Archers in the medieval times were in large groups that fires in volleys at the enemy. But they have changed it slighty as more of a bottleneck soldier as it denys certain paths. And its bloody hard to hit someone with a sheild. And an arrow in the leg only does 50% damage.band some large shields are hard to get by and the heater sheild’s hit boxes are bigger than the sheild.

    Most archers are bad in melee an its harder to hit a target trying to put your aiming off running at you. And if your not over confident and treat the archer as an MAA you have more chance of killing the archer. When I’m an archer and someone is gonna attack me try all do the stupidest thing and take a swing at me. I stab them before they get momentum going and cut them up after that. Don’t under estimate an archer.



  • The addition of a Skirmisher class - a lightly armored, mid ranged/melee hybrid would be a great idea, and you wouldn’t have to remove the archer to implement him.

    I would think, with this kind of class in play, that noticeable gap between effective range of our melee classes and the effective range of the archers would be filled - keeping archers in check, and lessening the viability of run back, shoot, derp, repeat when chased.

    Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe another class with real ranged capability would just double the number of things whooshing by our heads…



  • @StrategicSteak:

    The addition of a Skirmisher class - a lightly armored, mid ranged/melee hybrid would be a great idea, and you wouldn’t have to remove the archer to implement him.

    I would think, with this kind of class in play, that noticeable gap between effective range of our melee classes and the effective range of the archers would be filled - keeping archers in check, and lessening the viability of run back, shoot, derp, repeat when chased.

    Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe another class with real ranged capability would just double the number of things whooshing by our heads…

    viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6846

    ;)

    It would increase the amount of things whooshing by a fair amount. Some players who would’ve played an archer will play a peltast instead, and some melee people would play it too. Other classes have throwing weapons as it is, but there’d still be more ranged weapons in the game.

    Anyway, I obviously brought up the idea of a Peltast or Skirmisher a while ago, and I’m still quite attached to the idea. I feel it’d fit well with the historical backdrop of the game, and it’d also bring in a unique niche not quite covered in the game yet. I’m afraid it’s merely limited by workload, though, as it would require new models, animations, and possibly even new voiceovers.

    That said, I would totally love it even if it was a slightly modified archer/MaA model with same voiceover. Because the idea of having a [proper] spear and a shield is just excellent.


  • Global Moderator

    @NikolaiLev:

    @StrategicSteak:

    The addition of a Skirmisher class - a lightly armored, mid ranged/melee hybrid would be a great idea, and you wouldn’t have to remove the archer to implement him.

    I would think, with this kind of class in play, that noticeable gap between effective range of our melee classes and the effective range of the archers would be filled - keeping archers in check, and lessening the viability of run back, shoot, derp, repeat when chased.

    Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe another class with real ranged capability would just double the number of things whooshing by our heads…

    viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6846

    ;)

    It would increase the amount of things whooshing by a fair amount. Some players who would’ve played an archer will play a peltast instead, and some melee people would play it too. Other classes have throwing weapons as it is, but there’d still be more ranged weapons in the game.

    Anyway, I obviously brought up the idea of a Peltast or Skirmisher a while ago, and I’m still quite attached to the idea. I feel it’d fit well with the historical backdrop of the game, and it’d also bring in a unique niche not quite covered in the game yet. I’m afraid it’s merely limited by workload, though, as it would require new models, animations, and possibly even new voiceovers.

    That said, I would totally love it even if it was a slightly modified archer/MaA model with same voiceover. Because the idea of having a [proper] spear and a shield is just excellent.

    You instantly turn into a peltast as seen as you equip a javelin and spear why have a whole separate class.



  • @NikolaiLev:

    It would increase the amount of things whooshing by a fair amount. Some players who would’ve played an archer will play a peltast instead, and some melee people would play it too. Other classes have throwing weapons as it is, but there’d still be more ranged weapons in the game.

    Anyway, I obviously brought up the idea of a Peltast or Skirmisher a while ago, and I’m still quite attached to the idea. I feel it’d fit well with the historical backdrop of the game, and it’d also bring in a unique niche not quite covered in the game yet. I’m afraid it’s merely limited by workload, though, as it would require new models, animations, and possibly even new voiceovers.

    That said, I would totally love it even if it was a slightly modified archer/MaA model with same voiceover. Because the idea of having a [proper] spear and a shield is just excellent.

    Well… crap. Still! Good idea! THE HIVEMIND!

    As for why a whole new class would be beneficial, simply, It’s easier to balance around. Instead of a wierd, off-shooty subclass, a whole new Skirmisher/Peltast class can be given exactly what it needs without having to worry whether or not it would make a bow or crossbow user imbalanced.

    Realistically though, this would require a lot of time/effort on Torn Banner’s part (that I’d really rather honestly be put toward polishing the classes we already have), so this is sadly more of wishful thinking and theorycraft than anything.



  • @lemonater47:

    You instantly turn into a peltast as seen as you equip a javelin and spear why have a whole separate class.

    Reading the aforementioned thread would answer that question for you. But I can summarize some points.

    • The current Javelineer is arguably in a bad spot right now

    –- This is caused by things inherent to the archer class; his armor and speed are poor because that is fitting to archers (but not peltasts)

    — He must be balanced accordingly (so javelins might be more powerful than they really should be, because if they weren’t there’d be no reason to use him)

    • Creating a new class allows us to make use of new weapons (slings, darts) without having to deal with the aforementioned archer problems

    • It’d be Cool (this is obviously subjective)

    • It’d allow a javelineer access to more unique weapons, like spears (which we obviously don’t want regular archers to have)

    Peltasts are supposed to be quick, light infantry. Archers aren’t terribly quick, and especially not agile, because this would be problematic if they had a bow. So really, we don’t have a Peltast, we have an Archer with javelins.


  • Global Moderator

    @NikolaiLev:

    @lemonater47:

    You instantly turn into a peltast as seen as you equip a javelin and spear why have a whole separate class.

    Reading the aforementioned thread would answer that question for you. But I can summarize some points.

    • The current Javelineer is arguably in a bad spot right now

    –- This is caused by things inherent to the archer class; his armor and speed are poor because that is fitting to archers (but not peltasts)

    — He must be balanced accordingly (so javelins might be more powerful than they really should be, because if they weren’t there’d be no reason to use him)

    • Creating a new class allows us to make use of new weapons (slings, darts) without having to deal with the aforementioned archer problems

    • It’d be Cool (this is obviously subjective)

    • It’d allow a javelineer access to more unique weapons, like spears (which we obviously don’t want regular archers to have)

    Peltasts are supposed to be quick, light infantry. Archers aren’t terribly quick, and especially not agile, because this would be problematic if they had a bow. So really, we don’t have a Peltast, we have an Archer with javelins.

    And peltasts had a sheild historicly and OMG no armour. They were peasant folk usually. And having no armour helped with throwing. Also they would retreat behind friendly lines if the enemy got to close or they ran out of spears. No needs to waste armour on them.

    They have got them right. And whats stopping the archers from having spears and slings? in your mind. And what do you mean by spears? Turning them into a full melee class? throwing spear is another name for a javelin.



  • I like the ideas posted about the peltast class, but I still think that it would work out better if they shaped the current archer into this role rather than adding a new class to the game. Adding a second ranged class would make projectile spam even worse and I really think that the archer’s current role needs adjusting with the other 3 classes at the moment.

    I’ve been wondering about what draws people to play archer and I think the main reason is because the bow and crossbow really do make him out to be a medieval sniper. And a lot of people like to play the class that sits back and takes out others with precision. And while it isn’t really effective in this game, it doesn’t stop most people from trying. Playing archer using a bow and crossbow is incredibly simple right now. There’s no real strategy involved other than point and shoot. Or point, shoot then reload for crossbows. And I don’t think that kind of gameplay should have a place in this game. But if you replace the bows and crossbows with closer ranged weapons, it’ll at least require some thinking on the archer’s behalf since it’ll be a lot closer to the battle where you need to be aware of your surroundings compared to just sitting on a perch taking potshots and people half a mile away.



  • @David:

    Playing archer using a bow and crossbow is incredibly simple right now. There’s no real strategy involved other than point and shoot. Or point, shoot then reload for crossbows. And I don’t think that kind of gameplay should have a place in this game.

    Is “point and shoot” really any more simple than “point and swing”?



  • @stickytape:

    @David:

    Playing archer using a bow and crossbow is incredibly simple right now. There’s no real strategy involved other than point and shoot. Or point, shoot then reload for crossbows. And I don’t think that kind of gameplay should have a place in this game.

    Is “point and shoot” really any more simple than “point and swing”?

    There are tons of things that make melee more complex than range. You’ve got 3 different kinds of attack, feints, aiming blocks, knowing when to block or to try and dodge, etc.



  • @David:

    @stickytape:

    @David:

    Playing archer using a bow and crossbow is incredibly simple right now. There’s no real strategy involved other than point and shoot. Or point, shoot then reload for crossbows. And I don’t think that kind of gameplay should have a place in this game.

    Is “point and shoot” really any more simple than “point and swing”?

    There are tons of things that make melee more complex than range. You’ve got 3 different kinds of attack, feints, aiming blocks, knowing when to block or to try and dodge, etc.

    Granted, but archers have to position themselves, can take advantage of cover, have to manage ammunition, have a zoom for long range, can tradeoff movement for accuracy by crouching, can shoot around shields by targeting feet and heads, have to deal with projectile dropoff at range, have to account for motion by leading targets and predicting behaviour, and so on.

    Sure, you can stand still, point, and click, but that is the equivalent of grabbing a greatsword and LMB combo spamming. If you want to get good at archery you’re going to have to take into account all of the things listed above, in the same way that being skilled with a melee class involves learning footwork, feints, hitting around shields, etc.



  • Anyone who argues that it takes more skill to play vanguard, or truly any melee class, who is guaranteed to strike their target in melee range as long as the opponent doesn’t block/parry, than an archer, is invited to post videos of him playing an archer for a week and showing us just how overpowered and easy the class is.

    I could use a good laugh.



  • Hold on now guys, focus. OP never said the archer was overpowered; only that their presence in large numbers has a negative effect on the pacing of the game, forcing players who would normally rush headlong into the fray to hang back behind shields or cover.

    Unfortunately, there’s several reasons why the archer can get into this kind of trouble. Map design often times encourages less confident archers to hang back and lob arrows far out of their effective range, hoping for a lucky shot. Even if an archer has moved into the effective range of his bow, he’s still safe from danger as long as he remembers to look around every now and then. There’s also the issue of player mentality and perception of the class, which can be tricky to change.

    Overall, I think everyone can agree that the archer would be more effective, interesting to play, and more deadly if we could move him closer to the battle. The goal isn’t to nerf him, it’s to make him less of a low risk/low reward fighter.



  • I’m all for that, I’m not someone who fires arrows across one side of the aquaduct map to the other (the one with the river in the middle)

    My ideal firing distance is usually about half the diameter of the arena map. So to make archers more effective at that distance, and less effective at a mile away, I’m all for.



  • @StrategicSteak:

    Overall, I think everyone can agree that the archer would be more effective, interesting to play, and more deadly if we could move him closer to the battle. The goal isn’t to nerf him, it’s to make him less of a low risk/low reward fighter.

    Well put. I think to this end, I think making it easier to draw a secondary would encourage archers to get a little closer to combat; I know that’s my main concern when positioning myself: how much time do I need to cancel a shot, draw my weapon, and parry? Slightly reducing draw time could be helpful, too.

    As for crossbowmen, maybe allowing them to look around while loading would help. And the tutorial doesn’t cover the way you can look up before loading to at least see forward, and how you can press Q while loading to cancel (can’t recall if you can directly hit 2 to swap to your secondary). Crossbowmen could also use an option besides the pavise shield… that gets brought up a lot.

    The javelin also needs a lot of attention, but maybe that deserves its own thread…

    However, while these sort of changes would encourage close-range skirmishing, I don’t know what to suggest for discouraging ranged combat. My first thought was “decrease accuracy, and/or increase dropoff, and/or remove the zoom ability” but I worry that that might not discourage the “hail mary from the spawn” shooting that we sometimes see - in fact, it may just make it that much more useless and annoying.


  • Global Moderator

    I always move up with my team. You are also a good decoy.



  • @David:

    A bad archer is worse than an empty slot. At least an empty slot can’t hit friendlies and leaves a spot open for someone who can actually contribute. And a good archer is unbeatable to anything that isn’t another archer unless in certain circumstances. This is made even worse by most maps (especially on team objective) being incredibly archer friendly, with plenty of ledges where an archer can just perch himself for a complete view of the battlefield and little (if any) risk of another player reaching them.
    [Other stuff along the same lines]
    I don’t think they should just outright remove archers from the game. […] A lot of people see the class as a sort of medieval sniper and play accordingly, sitting well out of the way of the battle and just firing at people across the map. […] It’s also largely ineffective anyway. With the rather slow projectile speed coupled with the frantic movement at close range, you’d be lucky to hit anyone from long-range, nevermind an enemy.

    So in your own post you say that long-range sniping is ineffective, but proceed to complain about people firing from half a mile away/across the map/etc. The way to be effective IS to play like a skirmisher, so I fail to see the relevance of this thread apart from a vehicle to push your personal fantasy of a guy with a bunch of rocks and knives to throw at the enemy instead of a proper bow.



  • I think people should NOT count the value of archers by how many kills they get on a scoreboard. Just look at the effectiveness of a team who has two good archers vs a team that has none. It is the SUPPORT roll of the archer that makes them so valuable.

    People should not discount how good pellatists can be at mellee. Its hard to get a grip of but if you stick at it for a long time you can be very effective. MAA class can be very effective in general, its just that the risk is so much higher. If you play right and play aggressive then 1v1 pellatist can be very effective against a vanguard -> block, thrust, shield bash, thrust, thrust and the job is done. Not to mention that you dropped his buddy with your javelin that you threw first.

    Main problem with pellatists is that its nearly impossible to hit someone with a javelin throw at close/point blank range.



  • @giantyak:

    I think people should NOT count the value of archers by how many kills they get on a scoreboard. Just look at the effectiveness of a team who has two good archers vs a team that has none. It is the SUPPORT roll of the archer that makes them so valuable.

    This is why SCORE is important. It tracks assists. If an archer has 3 kills but 90 points in an LTS, you know he was landing tons of shots, especially with how the game regularly fails to award assists anyway.


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