When are archers / archery going to be done right? 7 replies

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#1 12 years ago

When are archers / archery going to be done right? I don’t know about you, but I have always favored archer type characters or weapons in any game. I used to avidly practice bow hunting when I was a teen. One thing that I have never understood is why gaming creators have never done archery right in an MMORPG or an RTG. If you ever watch some well known movies that re-enact battle scenes fairly well (i.e. – Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, etc.) then you will always see that archers were critical to an army and a victory. I have experienced that within a game, there are not realistic archer battling capabilities. Some points that I have noticed are:

  • Limited range compared to realistic real life range: Even if another character is way off in the distance, your archer character should still have a chance (even if it is a small chance) of hitting that other character with an arrow depending on their strength, dexterity, equipment, proficiency and other factors that play in with shooting an arrow from a bow.
  • Mass archers: When the enemy army is approaching you, then you should have the option of lining up your archers, commanding them to fire long range in an attempt to slow them down or hit some of them (again referencing to the scenes in the movies given above).
  • Archers from atop castle walls: This was a very important strategy in medieval times and has been done fairly well, but how many vertical-shaped or cross-shaped slits do you see in tall castle walls where only a defending archer from inside the wall can poke his arrow out to shoot at the enemy below in games?
  • Aiming at targets: Hitting a target (especially armored) is not easy unless you are proficient, strong, dexterous, and have good equipment. These factors should all play in when trying to hit a target and also how fast your character is capable of firing arrows repetitively at their target. I’m thinking what would be best for this is to have some type of cross sight which symbolizes your character’s line of sight and range. That cross sight would chaotically move around to various degrees depending on the wind, strength score, dexterity score, equipment quality and properties, character energy level/health, race, terrain, and other factors. This might be a programmer’s nightmare having to code all of these factors to how still the cross sight is to how much the cross sight moves around which translates to how easy it is for the gamer to hit their target vs. how hard it is for the gamer to hit their target.
  • Firing arrows from trees: This could be done but with penalties to the archer in their chance to hit since.
  • Amount of damage done: This would also depend on the type of bow you are using, your strength score, the area of the creature you hit (i.e. – arm, leg, chest, eye, etc), and other factors.
  • Called shots: It would be more realistic to try to aim at specific areas of a creature’s body (i.e. – the arm holding the sword, their eyes, etc). Again, this would be with severe penalties, but it would be cool to be available.

Too complex? I don’t know. I think the more realistic and detailed a character can be, the more interesting it is since the gamer has more role playing capabilities. The same can be said for melee or hand-to-hand. Some games are just such a plain ol’ hack and slash and have no melee strategy to them. How about this scenario: your character is a fighter with a sword. Wouldn’t you like to have the option to plug into his melee strategy a specified degree of disarming their opponent? Or hitting their legs if their legs are unarmored and an easy target? Anyway, if anyone has thought about the same thing or has any comments…




KoЯsakoff

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#2 12 years ago

:moved: to General Gaming..




Diabolic

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#3 12 years ago

i agree, those thoughts are great, but i doubt developers would be able to do them right.




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#4 12 years ago

correction: replace RTG with RTS in my first post




fatal1ty

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#5 12 years ago

What are you talking about, Fable archery was done great and so was Elder scrolls 4 oblivion....




Fortune

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#6 12 years ago

On the topic of Realistic games and more accurately sieges...

You would need a PERFECTLY realistic game for this, about the closest you are going to get is the Stronghold series, just because it balances out the "Siege" and "Sieged" aspects of the game.

If you can't "Siege" the enemy, then it is going to force everyone to stock up on troops inside their walls to incredible degrees, the only way you can even that out is to make food consumption completely gone, which is what Stronghold does, no food = no peasants = no troops = no defense.




Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#7 12 years ago

Stronghold has been the only game which has satisfied my archery needs. Archers were extremely useful in that game. They stood atop of the battlements and rained down arrows on any enemy that tried to get within a range of about a million metres. If you provided them with a brazier, they could light their arrows, and if instructed to could even fire a flaming arrow into a tarpit, creating a deadly fire trap... always a key defence in my constructions. Of course they were weak if anything managed to get near them, but the key was... their main purpose was to make sure nothing got near them. A castle without archers was about as likely to survive an attack as a giant lump of jelly.

Granted, that game didn't allow archers to stand inside towers, partially due to technical restrictions, and also because of game balance (i.e. the enemy would have no chance at trying to take them out). Nor could they target specific body parts (it was a strategy game, after all), but most often they didn't need to. But I feel it's the best attempt yet. If you haven't, you should play it.

fatal1tyWhat are you talking about, Fable archery was done great and so was Elder scrolls 4 oblivion....

Oblivion's archery was terrible. Arrows were slow-moving, lacked range, didn't do nearly enough damage... and seeing as enemy AI consisted almost entirely of "THERE'S THE PLAYER! LET'S GO STAND RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM AND BOP HIM ON THE HEAD SOME TIMES!", you almost always had to draw a sword anyway. It can be improved with mods, but out of the box... ugh!




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#8 12 years ago

I hear that the new Legend of Zelda game for the Wii will have pretty good archery. It's mostly point-and-click though.