Archery in perspective

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Archery in perspective

Post  Pigron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:03 pm

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Have you ever noticed how goblins are able to target you with bows, even though you can't see them yet?
This is a trick of the "camera" angle.

The above figure shows the tilt and zoom of the camera in two different positions. The first represents the optimal 45% position that I usually use. It allows me to see threats coming from all directions and to target things in my immediate vicinity. To see more, at this angle, I need to zoom out.

The second represents the camera at its lowest tilt with maximum zoom. The low tilt allows for more perceived distance than any other angle. This position allows the camera to zoom in close to the back of your character's head. To see more at this angle, zoom in.

To control your camera like this, you must be in "top down" mode in game options. Tilt low with the page down key, and zoom in with either the up arrow key or with the wheel on your wheel mouse.

Note how our hero spots the goblin in the second frame with the low angle camera, but cannot with the 45% angle, even with maximum zoom. The goblin doesn't have to control a camera so at the higher angle, he will spot you as you blunder into his threat range.

If the camera is low when approaching an area where you suspect to find trouble, you can spot a group of monsters before they spot you.

There are several strategies that can be employed once you have mastered sneaking up on monsters using superior spotting skill. I will write about a few of those later this week.

Feel free to use this thread to include any of your own archery tactics or questions as well.

Pigron
Posting Knave

Number of posts : 34
Registration date : 2014-02-06

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Archery strategy

Post  Pigron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:05 pm

There is no more effective way to lure than with a bow, crossbow or sling. In close quarters, such as hallways and around corners, handaxes darts and shurikens work well, too.

Out in the open, there is no other real option, aside from standing at distance and waiting to be spotted. This involves considerably more risk, as more creatures, or the wrong creature may wander closer and spot you while you are waiting.

To lure a creature with your missile weapon, tilt the camera low and zoom in. Use walking keys - (w=forward, s=reverse) to move ahead slowly, and stop as soon as the first monster comes into view. Click on the monster to let your missile fly and immediately step back. Do not wait to see if you your missile hit.

Now the monster will pursue, unless you turn and run early, in which case, it may give up the chase, having separated itself from the group. Most importantly, even if it yells when hit, though the others will seek a target, you will be out of range.

In roleplay terms, shooting and waiting to see if you hit is like a sniper standing and waving after peeling off the first shot. A single ranged attack alerts people, but they usually need a second to determine what direction it came from. When the mob cannot aquire a target, it is the equivalent of scouring the bushes for the culprit or peering off at the opposite hill.

Once you have separated one creature, you can either back away and repeat the process, or fire off a shot and stand, so the creature will close. Then finish him with melee weapon, point blank shots or your big stinky melee companion, whichever delivers the most satisfaction.

If your stinky companion runs ahead, of course, none of this will work. Leave him to his fate and make sure you and the rest of your group are safe.

This is especially advantageous when fighting spellcasters. A missile can fly faster than the shortest casting time for a spell. If the spell does not go off before you duck around a corner, the caster must either stop casting, or pursue you around a corner to a foolish demise.

If you want a challenge, try this on the haste quest and leave all of your immunity items at home. I have done this effectively several times. Doing the earth stone without death magic protection adds a whole new dimension to the excitement of the quest. It gives you much more respect for your foe, and for me anyway, makes the experience seem much more real.

Pigron
Posting Knave

Number of posts : 34
Registration date : 2014-02-06

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Archery: Common mistakes

Post  Pigron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:06 pm

Here are the most common mistakes when trying to be a good archer:

1) You forgot to equip your bow. As you click on the creature you have targetted, you notice to your horror that you are charging into the fray with a club in your hand! Sounds dumb right? Stuff happens.

2. You have the wrong ammunition equipped. Some of the advanced arrows and bolts have area of effect spells that are cast with every hit. Needless to say, fireball arrows will bring a mob down on you in a hurry.

3. You stand gawking after you shoot. This gives spellcasters time to finish spells. It also allows others to spot you when your target cries out in pain. The mob will tend to run to a friendly that has just been hit. This gets them closer to spotting range to spot you.
It is hard to master shoot and duck, but once you have, it is way too much fun. Listen skill helps immensely with this. 5 points is a good investment in listen, even if you need to pay double for it.

4. Travelling with someone who runs ahead, even when you have declared that you wish to scout and lure. Why does this happen?
a) Your companion is uninformed. This is the easiest to fix. Show them once that you can do the airstone without once getting ice stormed.
b) Your companion is stubborn. Some players just won't listen, even if they die several times. The stubborn player will often blame you for being too weak in melee to back him up. Sometimes, he will call you a coward. Solution, let him find another party.
c) Your companion is arrogant. We have all travelled with them. They think they have THE build and that victory is all about being able to deliver as much damage as possible. Whether it is fighting rats with acid dripping scythes or charging into a Dis swarm with the Melkor's helm a-glowing (because you know, ALL crafted helms are useless), their approach is the right one, and you will just have to rebuild your archer into something useful, like a weapon master with dual katanas. Ya!
The arrogant player tends to do well going solo, so leave him there. Quick level gains are no substitute for enjoyable play, and if you are in party, EVERYONE in the party should be enjoying it. Remember, on this server, even the arrogant players tend to be good players, and they will usually accept your resignation with no hard feelings. Don't be surprised if several other party members decide to follow you instead - I have found often that players will not speak up until you put your foot down.

Pigron
Posting Knave

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Registration date : 2014-02-06

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Archery teamwork

Post  Pigron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:08 pm

Smart weapons rely on communication. You cannot party smart without agreeing on strategies before you go into combat.

The archer and the tank are a very effective formation as long as you maintain two principles:

1) The tank should be able to stand his/her ground. If the tank is overcome, you are next. Consider pooling resources to upgrade your tank or give up on this style.

2) The archer controls the movement of the combat.

Usually, the formation is as simple as the pink line strategy in the tanking tactics thread, but monsters being what they are, they may occasionally get behind the tank. When this happens, the archer should immediately target a different creature on the other side of the tank, and the tank should target the creature that has found its way into the gap. Don't wait for it to charge the archer. Cut its head off, shout "Who's your daddy?" or some other tank nonsense, if you must, but neutralize the threat to your archer.

Now comes the hard concept . . . (really, it's not that hard . . .)
If the foe in the gap charges the archer, the tank stays put. the archer drops back. Remember archers, keep a big gap and this is never a problem, unless your stinky tank closes the gap. If you stop targeting the monster in the gap, it will be more interested in the big tin can with the two handed axe, and will turn back long before it reaches you.

Finally, if there is just one monster left and it decides to charge, or if it looks like the monster is closing the gap and will pass the point of no return (Where the monster is closer to the archer than it is to the tank), tank draws a bow :oand brings the monster back. If this is not manly enough for the tank, a throwing axe will do fine.

The pink line strategy works, but it is up to the archer to be continually redefining where the pink line is. Remember that you can always circle the combat to keep the gap and the tank between you and your target.

Pigron
Posting Knave

Number of posts : 34
Registration date : 2014-02-06

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Archery: other weapons; technical

Post  Pigron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:34 pm

DISCLAIMER: Fire rate here applies to initiative, not number of attacks. You can peel off shots with darts much faster than you can with a heavy crossbow, especially noticeable when being pursued.

Here is a list of the different weapon types, their advantages and disadvantages:

Darts (Highly underrated, especially at low level.)Advantage.

   All darts allow unlimited strength bonus.
   Very fast fire rate.
  Darts allow you to run and throw every other round, or every round with rapid shot.
   Enchantment applies to both "to hit" and "damage"

Disadvantage.
   Heavy. Darts only stack to 50 and a stack weighs 5 lbs.
   Darts with high magical enchantment are hard to find. Repeater darts do not exist.
   Oddly, cannot be used by wizards in NWN.
  Enchantment is tied to disposable object

Throwing axes:
Advantage:
  1d6 damage and allow unlimited strength bonus.
   3X critical includes strength bonus.

Disadvantage:
  Slow fire rate
   requires martial weapon or monk weapon feat to use.
   Very heavy. A stack of fifty axes weighs 50 lbs. Unless you are musclebound, you need an bag of holding for these.

Slings
Advantage
  Fast fire rate
   Bludgeoning damage does not suffer half damage penalty when smashing skeletons and liches.
   Many great stock Bioware slings.
   Light. Ammunition is weightless and stacks to 99. Slings weigh 0.1 lbs.
   Allows halfling hurled missile bonus +1
   Can be permanently enchanted (attack bonus) though damage bonuses are still attached to disposable bullets.

Disadvantage:

   low base damage
   strength bonus is limited to the value of the sling's mighty enchantment, if it has one.


Shurikens
Advantage:
  very fast fire rate
   weightless and stack to 99
   enchantment applies to both "to hit" and damage

Disadvantage:
  No strength bonus, ever. (Not a concern for monks with girly chicken arms)
   Enchantment above +3 not readily available.
   No crafted shurikens exist.
   Must have exotic weapon feat or be a monk to use them.
  Enchantment is tied to disposable object

Note that it is relatively easy to create enchanted ammunition in Dhoral, making it less tempting to use a weapon that does not fit with your player persona.

Pigron
Posting Knave

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Registration date : 2014-02-06

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