Crossbow and Bow Balancing



  • Hey everyone, I just wanted to briefly cover my opinion on the current balancing of crossbows and bows. Simply put, the scale leans heavily towards crossbows.

    You may immediately start replying with “Well, crossbows make you stop and reload, plus their reload times are long.” You’d be right. However, I can also tell you that having the advantage of a bolt ready to go, and improved projectile speed is already gives quite the bonus to crossbows. This was offset by the low ammo count and what I previously mentioned. I was alright with this, although before the update I did think crossbows were a little bit overpowered. People underestimate the value of being ready to go before entering the battlefield, and being able to get a shot off quickly.

    Now after the patch, problems arose. The advantage of having a bit more ammo for the bow, one of it’s few advantages, had disappeared. The extra ammo crossbow utility allowed you to not only remove that advantage, but it gave the advantage to crossbows. No longer do crossbowmen have to carry surf boards on their backs and run around like turtles.

    One thing many people don’t realize is that Bodkins/Broadheads isn’t a cool thing for bowmen to differentiate themselves from other bowmen with, it is a nerf to bows. It limits your abilities as a bowman to dealing with a particular adversary, being light classes or the more heavily armored ones.

    Now at this point, the balancing was already completely unbalanced, but what I learned next lead me to believe it was broken. Earlier today, I felt like checking out the spreadsheet of true damage values, located here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc … TZnc#gid=1, I noticed the damage values for the crossbows, immediately reloaded the page. It had to be an error. The light crossbow now out-damages the Warbow. I immediately launched Chivalry and got my friend into a server with me. I tested the Light Crossbow and Warbow repeatedly, I just couldn’t believe that could be true. Emphasis on the light part of that. I was shocked, so I talked to a bunch of my friends about it, and I was surprised to learn most of them agreed with this balancing, many of them gave me the “Real Life” argument, which isn’t even really valid, as crossbows are not more powerful than bows on the whole, just a lot easier to use. Now back to the damage stat, what it means is that using a bow is almost no longer a viable option if you want to do well. I would have liked all of this if there was a proportional increase to bow power as well, but there wasn’t. Also, the sheer visual factor I found crazy, unlike the heavy crossbow, the light crossbow is tiny and quick, but it somehow out-preforms the behemoth that is the Warbow. In my opinion raw damage should go up, and draw/reload speed should go down in this order Shortbow, Light Crossbow, Longbow, Crossbow, Warbow, Heavy Crossbow. Having the bows on a whole being below all of the crossbows ruins the balance.

    If you’re an avid crossbow user, please actually consider my words before making the same arguments I’ve heard many times before, because they’re easily countered. If however you have something new to say, I’d be glad to hear it. Thanks for your time spent reading this.



  • I pretty much exclusively use crossbows as archer and I feel…

    Personally, I feel like the light crossbow headshot is a bit overpowered. I do know it’s not a shot that is that easy to land, but neither is it with a bow.

    I feel the long reload times counter the power, but I feel bows dropoff range is too much. I would personally like to see a bit less dropoff for bows and them shoot more similarly to crossbows.

    If you look at it like an enemy charging you from a few meters away and you’re looking for maximum damage output before he reaches you, you can fire more shots off at the enemy before he reaches you with bows than crossbows. However, the damage from a crossbow is higher.

    The argument about reload times is pretty legit as well… Archers cannot move while reloading a crossbow and you could think of the reload time as their “draw”. Bows draw right before a shot, where as crossbows are after the shot. The difference here is the “draw” or reload time for a crossbow is a lot longer than a bow.

    Crossbow users usually need to find cover before reloading, taking them out of a fight a bit longer than a bow user. Sometimes, crossbowmen will reload out in the open. They usually die easily.

    I agree with light crossbow being a tad overpowered in the sense that it out damages the warbow. However, the other crossbows I feel are pretty balanced in terms of bow vs. crossbow.

    My suggestion to improve bows would be to improve their dropoff range to be more in line with crossbows and to possibly increase speed on draws. Damage should belong to crossbows and speed belong to bows. This is my personal opinion.



  • fuck there is extra ammo



  • @psychoperv:

    fuck there is extra ammo

    Yeah, extra ammo at the cost of your turtle shell. (pavise shield saved my butt countless times in archer fights) not always a good choice, but in some situations can save your life.



  • Well it’s probably unfair to group them into just Bows and Crossbows because they are all different, but as for competitive play it’s currently (in order of most effective/powerful):

    1. Warbow
    2. Everything else that’s not a Shortbow
    3. Shortbow

    The truth is, no one uses anything BUT the Warbow in competitive play. Why? Because it deals similar HTK to Crossbows but is practically twice as fast. Having said that, Javelin is coming through as a bit better now, but still doesn’t match the Warbow.



  • In competitive play, having to find cover due to the vulnerability of reloading a crossbow is a huge annoyance when you compare it with the warbow. Also your character looking down from what you were aiming at during the reload animation kind of throws off your focus.

    I feel that crossbows could still use another kind of advantage over normal bows.



  • The Warbow deals 105 damage or Swing or Pierce depending on the arrow type.

    The Light Crossbow deals 98.

    Your confusion might stem from the fact that Crossbow Headshots deal 2x damage instead of 1.5 like all other projectiles (while melee weapons deal 1.25 in the head).

    Other than that, the Warbow is indeed the best archer primary. I feel it deserves nerfs, but the Crossbows have almost been boosted up to its level, so it seems like the Longbow and Shortbow have merely been left in the dust.

    Boosting the draw time of the Shortbow and Longbow dramatically might bring them up to par. Or, we just nerf the rest. Either way.



  • To my knowledge, a Warbow nerf is still on its way. It will still be able to 2 hit Knights, but 1 shot must be a headshot. HTK vs all other classes will be untouched, and the Broadheads will need 2 headshots to down a Knight. This should indirectly buff Crossbows (by comparison) as they can 2 hit Knights with body shots.



  • @Slaughtervomit:

    @psychoperv:

    fuck there is extra ammo

    Yeah, extra ammo at the cost of your turtle shell. (pavise shield saved my butt countless times in archer fights) not always a good choice, but in some situations can save your life.

    Funny, I almost always choose extra ammo.

    I think that crossbows, at least all but light (and especially the heavy) should pierce shields. For such a long crank, having a weapon that is completely useless vs a shield is dumb. Other than that I love it. (javs obviously should do this too).

    This would allow crossbows to be true snipers; slow firing, longer range, flatter trajectory, less damage loss, but would also allow them not to be countered by 50% or more of the people playing. Thus, the slow fire rate would be compensated for.

    I’d love a buff to the short bow. Speed, mobility, and slight damage would help it a lot. The shortbow sucks, and is all the more worse when you don’t receive hard-earned assist points because of game bugs.

    @NikolaiLev:

    The Warbow deals 105 damage or Swing or Pierce depending on the arrow type.

    The Light Crossbow deals 98.

    Your confusion might stem from the fact that Crossbow Headshots deal 2x damage instead of 1.5 like all other projectiles (while melee weapons deal 1.25 in the head).

    Other than that, the Warbow is indeed the best archer primary. I feel it deserves nerfs, but the Crossbows have almost been boosted up to its level, so it seems like the Longbow and Shortbow have merely been left in the dust.

    Boosting the draw time of the Shortbow and Longbow dramatically might bring them up to par. Or, we just nerf the rest. Either way.

    Good point. I would agree draw time buffs would be perfect here, but the shortbow really does need more buffs than just that…more maneuverability, and more damage.



  • I kind of like the shortbow. It’s great for mid-range. I don’t think it needs a buff. The fire rate is great and even though it has low damage, it is pretty easy to get in those extra shots or two, since you can sprint with it if you sprint while nocking the arrow.



  • Statistics wise they are very overpowered. But in the game they are very hard to land a hit. So they are pretty well balanced.



  • Hey veteran archer here

    I do not think it is a wise choice to nerf archers or bows or crossbows.

    In FFA games and many other more hectic game modes archers lose value decreasing damage and making them less viable will only make it a wasted class.I do not think touching a warbows damage or changing any damage outputs as far as arrows or bolts go isn’t smart, for the reason above.

    I do feel strongly about leaving crossbows as is and why many of you say its less of a dropoff and speed is a good thing you could also argue the latter. And i think from personal experience i normally do not get all my bolts off ANYWAY, but this could be me. I found the long reload time and you having to take careful time and precision with shots made you almost naturally forced to be more ammo conservative.

    PAVICE SHIELD OWNS. This thing is insane protection from other archers and espically anti archers and vgs with axes, etc. It is a fair trade in my opinion.

    A very strong advantage with bows espically the long bow is being able to manipulate the curve of your arrow in flight to hit targets normally out of view or would otherwise be impossible to hit.

    With that being said I dont feel changes should be made to any archer weapons except perhaps the javelins and 3rd person archery because 3rd person bows are screwy as hell.



  • @Martin:

    Well it’s probably unfair to group them into just Bows and Crossbows because they are all different, but as for competitive play it’s currently (in order of most effective/powerful):

    1. Warbow
    2. Everything else that’s not a Shortbow
    3. Shortbow

    The truth is, no one uses anything BUT the Warbow in competitive play. Why? Because it deals similar HTK to Crossbows but is practically twice as fast. Having said that, Javelin is coming through as a bit better now, but still doesn’t match the Warbow.

    This post almost nails it. The Warbow and Xbow are pretty much the only things worth touching ever in the archer’s loadout, although some things are rather more comically terrible than others. Javelins, though, are in a class of suck well beyond the shortbow, or indeed, just about anything else in the game. Given that’s not relevant to this particular discussion though, I’ll save it for elsewhere.



  • @Martin:

    Well it’s probably unfair to group them into just Bows and Crossbows because they are all different, but as for competitive play it’s currently (in order of most effective/powerful):

    1. Warbow
    2. Everything else that’s not a Shortbow
    3. Shortbow

    The truth is, no one uses anything BUT the Warbow in competitive play. Why? Because it deals similar HTK to Crossbows but is practically twice as fast. Having said that, Javelin is coming through as a bit better now, but still doesn’t match the Warbow.

    Nailed it. I think, however, that the Warbow is the benchmark to balance against, not as something to be nerfed.

    Shortbow needs accuracy and damage and ROF buffs. Mainly accuracy and damage. The longbow needs a slight ROF and damage buff. I also think that the regular and heavy crossbows, and all javelins, ought to pierce shields at a reduced damage (say, 50% of normal dmg for regxbow, 75% for hxbow, and 90% for javs). Since they take a long time to reload and/or are in short supply, this would make them more useful since having a slow reload and not being effective against half of the enemy team really hurts the Archer. Thus, you wouldn’t be completely screwed going against a shielded enemy, since while as a bowman you could spam arrows and get a hit or two, you’ve only got one with a xbow/jav, so hitting through a shield would balance that out. Finally, of course, you need to be able to recover your Javelins properly, and then things would be golden. Stamina drain for bows could be added if need be as well.

    Here is what I think these suggestions would accomplish.

    Bows: The changes would bring the other two bows up to the warbow’s useability, and would solidfy them as a great mid rage harraser. They are rapid fire, high damage with quick drop off, better than the xbows at medium range due to speed but worse at longer range and not as good at Javelins at close range.

    Crossbows: The sniper rifle of the medieval era, these guys would be best at long ranges and great at taking out everything. Their long reload time makes them very vulnerable, and punishes the user since arrows are hard to hit with because of slow speed, latency, and everything else, but their high damage and immense range would compensate. The light crossbow is comparable to the Warbow, so it is fair that it would not pierce shields. However, due to the long reload time for the other two xbows, it only makes sense they get piercing damage against shields so that they don’t have nearly so much trouble with enemy units. They must engage at range, and if half the enemy team can just put up a shield and be immune, it isn’t fair or fun for the archer. Finally, this would balance the crossbows against one another, since the regular crossbow is a poor choice vs the other two. Making it have piercing and the lightxbow not would make the choice more difficult.

    Javelin: Fixing the disappearing Javelin problem and allowing it to bypass shields (like real ones do) would ensure that Javelin players would not be gimped at the range there are supposed to play - short range. Actually having ammo and being able to take on the 50% or so players that use shield would allow them to come into their own.

    Sling: Needs a lot of work, but I’d like to see this become a nemesis for Knights and Vanguards while giving up usefulness against the lighter guys. Mind you, it already sucks vs them, but it also isn’t good vs the bigger guys either.



  • @Tankcommander:

    Sling: Needs a lot of work, but I’d like to see this become a nemesis for Knights and Vanguards while giving up usefulness against the lighter guys. Mind you, it already sucks vs them, but it also isn’t good vs the bigger guys either.

    If i am not mistaken slings and slingers were used as a counter measure to archers in medieval times.



  • @Pitchfork:

    @Tankcommander:

    Sling: Needs a lot of work, but I’d like to see this become a nemesis for Knights and Vanguards while giving up usefulness against the lighter guys. Mind you, it already sucks vs them, but it also isn’t good vs the bigger guys either.

    If i am not mistaken slings and slingers were used as a counter measure to archers in medieval times.

    really now? That makes sense, since they wouldn’t be doing much damage against heavy armor…well, what then do we do with the sling?



  • Since this game has gone to the way of every class does every thing, real balance would be:

    Archers use bows,
    Man at Arms use javelins (their true place anyway, as skirmishers), carry fewer
    Vanguards get the sling, reduce the damage a little
    Knights the crossbows, make reload slower

    Now imagine the epic crying lol



  • @Pitchfork:

    If i am not mistaken slings and slingers were used as a counter measure to archers in medieval times.

    Largely because Slingers could carry shields to protect themselves from the arrows, while Bowman formations were largely defenseless to the barrage of stones.



  • @NikolaiLev:

    Largely because Slingers could carry shields to protect themselves from the arrows, while Bowman formations were largely defenseless to the barrage of stones.

    Thank you for the confirmation on this I’m glad you knew!



  • They’re fine. I just think the Xbow is garbage because I don’t like the playstyle it facilitates, nor the reload time. I like the accessibility and fire rate of the warbow and the fact that I can play in the action if I choose. Same with javs. So even though I hate the xbow, I acknowledge its uses. TOP OF WHICH IS KILLING OTHER ARCHERS. I hope you all just read that.


Log in to reply