A Look into Rebalancing Bow Tree after Every other weapon got Buffed

    • Combat Balance
    • A Look into Rebalancing Bow Tree after Every other weapon got Buffed

      @Retroman
      First i would like to thank you for helping to solve issues related to corrupted dungeons and for listening to community feedback when balancing the game
      the recent changes to Royal boots (remove resistance buff), merc jacket (on hit heal only) and the work you did for patch CTA 11 have been good additions to the game

      Now on to the main issue
      Long story short Bows need their damage numbers relooked at utmost haste or they would be a non relevant weapon tree for every content for the next 3-6 months as all as other weapons would do their job better then bows
      I have posted this issue several times but during those times there were still viable weapons for the bow tree but going forward this is no longer the case

      Before i go into the finer details first we discuss the cause of my concern
      1)The fall of badon bow
      with the upcoming nerfs to merc jacket only being proc by on hit effects the solo weapon of choice for corrupted dungeons would meet its end

      2)The death of the king of single target DPS - regular bow
      The nerfs in CTA patch 10 was so hard that regular bow fell out of meta completely. on top of increasing the number of arrows to reach max stacks, reduction of resistance penettration the final nail was the attack buff duration which made it hard to sustain the stacks even in a PvE scenario against certain bosses where dodging is required.

      3)the rise of Magic weapons
      the recent changes made magic weapons in particular curse and fire make a come back. the many usability changes made the weapons a viable and competitive pick which is good.
      they also provide some unique dynamics to the team with its many utility skills or high impact E skills (wild fire staff and lifecurse staff)
      this only furthur push out the bow line as an option for DPS

      Comparing Numbers
      Disclaimer: the numbers here is of T8 gear with 700/700 spec in CTA patch 11

      We compare numbers to provide a clear picture to everyone on what is the issue and why i say the numbers need to be relooked at
      under normal circumstances we would not look at resistance when comparing damage but for accuracy sake we assume cloths armor would take 4% more physical damage then magic damage at all times
      and leather would take no less damage from either magic or physical damage

      1) Basic attacks and Q ability single target damage calculation
      Curse Vs Bow
      Both weapons types deal the exact damage of 110 DPS and 85 damage per hit so we can assume same amount of damage done
      but here is the kicker where bow relies on autos to do the bulk of its damage while curse buff his curse stacks from Q with basic attack damage and "grudge"

      here we calculate single target damage
      curse stacks deal 92 damage on cast and 374 damage over 8 seconds stacking up to 4 times
      bow poison arrow deals 103 damage on cast and 248 damage over 6 seconds stacking up to 3 times

      since on cast damage is barely affected we look at Dot damage for single target damage
      at max stacks curse taking 8 seconds 4 casts and bow 9 seconds 3 casts
      curse deals 1496 damage = 374 damage per tick/ 2 sec
      bow does 744 damage = 248 damage per 2 ticks/ 2 sec

      We see that curse can stack damage faster and hit harder in the DOT department

      There are other comparison such as to fire and frost but curse is the closest to playstyle when compared to bow so it is used as a choice when comparing

      2) lack of W choices for multiple situations
      Bow's W choices are often compared to other W abilities from Other trees
      Explosive arrow is the only DPS W skill the bow tree has which is decent but lacks when compared to the single DPS output of Grudge in 1v1 situations
      frost shot is often compared to frost nova and is worst in almost every way. this is also due partly to the cast time nerf a while back
      Speed shot is non viable for anything because of two conflicting stats which is attack speed and move speed
      and ray of light is very difficult to hit with its long cast time animation and time before the arrow lands making it a high skill cap ability

      improvements to be made:
      Increase AoE of Explosive arrow
      remove frost shot cast time to make it more fluent
      rework speed shot completely
      allow ray of light to interrupt casts. landing a arrow with 0.8 seconds animation should pay out greatly

      3) E choices are out contested by other weapon trees
      With the nerfs to regular bow the bow tree lacks a reliable single target weapon when compared to things like 1h fire and 1h curse E which is much more user friendly
      warbow has its niche users but is outshined by other weapons like 1h frost which has better mobility and utility to keep enemies at bay
      long bow is still under used in part due to its hard to use ability and high mana cost per cast. changing the mana cost to work like great holy E would hopefully improve the mana situation of the weapon
      Whispering bow seems powerful but the reduce defences is a turn off for many when the user is running cloth armor. Remove the reduce defences and it would be balanced
      Wailing bow is too weak for any small group and only viable as a zvz weapon due in part to how it works. there is also the existance of mispiercer which the wailing bow need to compete with
      i suggest buffing the base damage to allow it to be viable in smaller groups while rewarding the player for landing many hits in one shot with a unique mechanic
      badon would see a huge nerf due in part to the upcoming changes which see its 2 main items nerfed. a buff to W choices would hopefully make this weapon great again
      Mist piercer is the only weapon left viable after all the changes but has heavy competition from other clap weapons

      4) Other improvements (Drastic Ideas)
      As we can see bows would be in a bad spot. as a Auto attack focused weapon with passive to go along with its auto attack play style
      i suggest buffing the base auto attack damage of the weapon slightly or buffing its attack speed to differentiate from magic weapons

      another drastic idea is to improve the range of auto attacks and skills by 2 meter to a total of 15 meter. this would be drastic for the bow's ability to poke out of range but would solidify bows play style as a long range damage dealer compared to curse's mid range and fire's long range ability casts

      the last drastic idea is shifting bow's damage to mainly physical to take advantage of the fact that it should be more effective against cloth targets. in its current state some of bow's ability deals magic damage so to make it more deadly to cloth users a shift from magic damage to physical damage would make it better
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      The post was edited 4 times, last by The_Support_God ().

    • i think they are buffing regular bow so stacks dont fall off for 3.5s instead of 2.5, not sure how big that will change but seems like reasonable amount of time to swap targets if needed, etc. I feel like whispering and regular bow are basically the same thing, they should just make regular bow a 10s toggle or something (lower cooldown to maybe 10-15s after toggle wears off instead of 20), no increased dmg taken like whispering, and stacks fall off after 3.5s and see how goes. That way bow wouldnt be completely countered by purge but at same time couldnt prebuff enchant and completely stomp people that lack purge. Change whispering into something completely different.

      Badon i think could be really good for 10v10 + content if they just doubled the size of thunderstorm radius, would be an interesting utility + dmg option.

      IDK about others, id say buff warbow E travel time or dmg 20% or something, but otherwise dont know.
    • The_Support_God wrote:

      curse is the closest to playstyle when compared to bow
      Well, that's one hell of a massive stretch.
      Different attack ranges, different ways of applying damage and pressure, different burst timers with different degrees of preparation.

      Hattenhair wrote:

      EQ cycle after nerf:
      EQ -> 100% hit (100% AS, 0.77s) -> 130% hit (113% AS, 0.68s) -> 160% hit (126% AS, 0.61s) -> 190% hit (139% AS, 0.55s) -> 220% (152% AS, 0.5s) hit -> 250% hit (165% AS, 0.47s) -> 280% hit (178% AS, 0.43s) -> remaining 12 hits at 310% (191% AS, 0.4s).

      EQ time to reach 7 stacks ~4.01s.
      EQ full burst duration ~8.81s.
      Take for example the regular bow. It can drop it's full burst in 8.8s, while curse only starts dealing significant damage after reaching 4 stacks of Vile, which is after 8s; completely different burst windows. Bows can swap targets at will, but cursed staves can't; bows can't keep pressure on multiple targets effectively and cursed staves can. 9m AA range vs 13m AA range, considering bows most of the time rely on AA, while curse relies on spells, this is a very significant difference. Very different combinations of utility and damage aswell, while curse is mostly damage oriented, bows have good utility to boot.
      It's really not as simple as comparing swords to spears where both use combinations of AA and skills for sustained damage, while the only difference being that spears keep the target in place with roots and slows, while swords chase it with MS buffs and dashes.

      The one thing I can put against curse is that there are not enough DoT cleanses in the game, with only Guardian helmet to boot the gear combinations which would play well versus curse are quite scarse.

      Another thing about bows is that they rely on explosive arrows too much for dealing the bulk of their damage, a slight shift in value from those to AA (You could grant them increased AoE in turn for the lost damage, as an example; Reg bow % modifiers should be adjusted as a result too) could be an interesting choice, which in theory would allow some buffs to other E's and open up more options for the W slots.

      If i were to throw around some rough ideas considering bows it would be something along these lines:
      • Shift value of explosive arrows to AA, while giving them more value in other areas as a return (like increased AoE radius), at the same time adjusting reg bow % modifiers to keep the previous damage, which would allow more choices for W and E slots.
      • Multishot to loose knockback, while gaining a low duration slow in return to keep the kiting playstile it allows (RDPS weapon having access to a hard-CC Q is fucking stupid).
      • Ray of Light to receive spell interrupt in return to compensate for Multishot's loss.
      • Wailing needs adjustments to AoE escalation, as currently each different group of players hit is escalated separately. Or simply a damage increase for the lower sequences of the arrow pierce.
      • Longbow to receive a damage buff to compensate for over-reliance on now adjusted explosive arrows, with some minor buffs to spell value (be it damage, energy efficiency, or CC strength).
      • Whispering to receive a reduction in % taken damage penalty (down to ~10-15%, presumably). You already loose alot of spell value if you are getting CC'd, considering that receiving damage should be a little less of a concern. With the current 20% debuff every time you activate your E enemies get attracted you you like mosquitoes to blood.
      • Speed shot needs a rework (I really don't have any concrete ideas here). You could make it into a kiting tool by giving it better movespeed while removing AAS bonus, or you could make it into a low cooldown ranged poke for sustained damage (Akin to fire Q3) to allow weapons like Warbow to compete in teamfights with other weapons.
      • A new W to fill a defensive role (Some sort of evasive dash, resistance increases or even a sleep shot to fill in the lack of hard-CC).
      - You're a monster.
      - Am I?
    • @Hattenhair
      Lets break it down into smaller pieces

      first off while i agree the auto ranges is different it mostly does not make a Huge diffrence when trading blows with other range players unless it comes to melee vs ranged only then the range makes a big difference

      secondly due to bow nerfs it is very hard to keep the stacks on the target to reach maximum potential (even at 3.5s) now and this is compared to curse who has 8 seconds to work with

      Assuming explosive arrow and grudge do roughly the same damage for W of choice and both sides trade Autos within range
      the dps diffrence i showed with poison arrow vs curse stacks is huge even if they do the exact same thing
      furthur more poison arrow (Q3) cannot switch targets like you said as you need to restack the Dot on the target

      while i would agree that Regular bow has more freedom in targeting (due to Q1 and Q2) than curse over all the damage difference is too much when it comes to single target
      the time for Q3 to charge up to max damage takes 3 casts 9 seconds which is longer then curse and deals less damage than curse stacks as well

      and now considering that merc jacket no longer procs on Dots Poison arrow Q3 is considered a dead skill when compared to curse stacks.

      Also note that if regular bow is taken out of the picture the bow line would have terrible autos when compared to other weapons
      for a auto attack focused weapon it lacks behind other things such as spear charges, sword charges


      for the rough ideas you proposed
      i agree with most of them as they push bows in the right direction
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    • Reworking the Bow Part 1
      Here i shall attempt to rework the bow tree to give it an Identity of a fast hit and run hunter play style while attempting to keep its identity of a long range back line
      Values shown here is reference to T8 with 700/700

      Base stats changes
      Auto attack speed increase to 1.4 from 1.3
      Auto attack DPS increase from 110/s to 119/s

      Reason: after some thinking buffing attack speed would be much healthier for a hit and run build instead of making the already powerful regular bow more powerful
      increasing its AA DPS would allow some room for other bow weapons besides regular bow to output damage in-between abilities

      Passive changes
      Attack speed - replace with Hit and run
      Hit and run. Every 4 Spell cast your move speed is increased by 20% for 3 seconds

      Reason: Attack speed compete with piercing arrows and loses in every scenario imaginable. regular bow and whispering bow could take attack speed passive but would quickly hit the attack speed cap when factoring in the rest of their build having attack speed sources. also piercing arrows is much better for team fights

      Q Changes
      Q1 Multi shot replace with Dodge Shot (Reworked Speed shot)
      Leap 5 meters in target direction
      Your next 3 basic attacks have 50% attack speed buff and reduce the cooldown of this skill by 1 second per hit
      Cooldown: 6 seconds
      Mana cost: 30 (considered high for a Q skill)

      Reason: bows in many other games combine dodging with a flurry of arrows as the staple way of doing damage
      this combine with the attack speed buff and hit and run passive would allow bows to weave autos in between dodges
      The high mana cost is implemented to balance the skill

      Q3 Poison arrow Rework
      Attack the enemy dealing 110 phy damage and poisons the target dealing 250 Magic damage over 6 seconds
      Stacks up to 3 times
      at max stacks the physical damage from the initial hit becomes true damage
      Cooldown: 2 Seconds

      Reason: stack up DoT damage more reliably and have a devastating effect upon reaching max stack


      I shall continue the post in a Reply below for W choices and E choices
      After receiving some more feedback
      https://forum.albiononline.com/index.php/Thread/155980-The-Forums-Could-Use-a-Night-Mode-Theme/

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      The post was edited 5 times, last by The_Support_God ().

    • To Offer a Counter View, Bows are pretty well balanced.

      Regular Bow is still the most uncomfortable weapon to have your opponent on. in 5v5 or Small-Scale Open world you get shredded, even as Tank even through Resistance Potion.. you cant stay in Range for more than 4-5 Seconds.
      Longbow still the biggest clap on a clump of 5+ People.
      Wailing is fantastically easy to use, and deals decent Damage, if you get lucky or use it well it can be a True Force.
      Mistpiercer is Good Damage that goes through the Opponents Frontline and reaches far.
      Warbow is quite the Solo Weapon, cant say much about that.
      Badon is incredibly useful(can determine Outcome in close Fight Singlehandedly) in small Scale Fights but can be very hard to pull off.
      Whispering is great Fun, the Damage is Good, but differently to regular you cant take down an Opponent by yourself.. if you wait for your Teammates to get a Target half Health and you have the ability to not get stunned the Whispering is one of the Best finishing off Weapons.

      overall seems Fine to me.
      Have a great Day!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by jack12 ().

    • jack12 wrote:

      To Offer a Counter View, Bows are pretty well balanced.

      Regular Bow is still the most uncomfortable weapon to have your opponent on. in 5v5 or Small-Scale Open world you get shredded, even as Tank even through Resistance Potion.. you cant stay in Range for more than 4-5 Seconds.
      Longbow still the biggest clap on a clump of 5+ People.
      Wailing is fantastically easy to use, and deals decent Damage, if you get lucky or use it well it can be a True Force.
      Mistpiercer is Good Damage that goes through the Opponents Frontline and reaches far.
      Warbow is quite the Solo Weapon, cant say much about that.
      Badon is incredibly useful(can determine Outcome in close Fight Singlehandedly) in small Scale Fights but can be very hard to pull off.
      Whispering is great Fun, the Damage is Good, but differently to regular you cant take down an Opponent by yourself.. if you wait for your Teammates to get a Target half Health and you have the ability to not get stunned the Whispering is one of the Best finishing off Weapons.

      overall seems Fine to me.
      Have a great Day!
      bow, especially with the current planed NDA update is totally fine..

      The only thing I dislike is the hard CC on q on short CD. It should be a slow..
    • @jack12
      you say balance and i would agree with you if this was 3 months ago

      Reg bow is now so bad due to the time of buff that this dream of yours shreading tanks is not going to happen
      1 CC or 1 defensive would make that small 2.5 second timer of yours non existant

      Badon getting a nerf in both the merc jacket and spectre cowl which would make it super weak now
      since DoT will not proc merc jacket in the coming patch

      and long bow has so many issues that it would be better to go frost and get a better result by playing frost

      Warbow and whispering is unique to bow line but only works for solo play

      Wailing and mistpiercer is balanced in a sense but there are options equal to or better than them
      in their respective roles
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by The_Support_God ().

    • The_Support_God wrote:

      2.5 second timer
      Buffed back to 3.5s in next patch.

      The_Support_God wrote:

      Badon getting a nerf in both the merc jacket and spectre cowl which would make it super weak now
      DoT proc had to go. Badon being able to get reliable healing from a 26m range was too much for any purge to reach it, and purging shield was made to not proc on DoTs. Now you have to choose between brawling with explosive arrows to trigger the jacket or kite without them. Also remember that the average amount of hits per second to trigger all merc jacket went down from 1.8 to 1.5, so a wider arrange of weaponry will be able to use it effectively, including bow AA's, even without explosive arrows.
      Specter hood becoming counterable by other means than the body armor slot is also welcome, as with double merc situation very few builds had double purge in them.
      Badon still remains a hard counter to all caster classes, so there's that.
      - You're a monster.
      - Am I?
    • Furthur posts about reworking bow will be delayed
      until i do more intensive testing on current abilities

      standby as i test further on
      Poison arrow (damage and merc jacket nerfs), speed shot(all content), ray of light (open world)
      reg bow vs whispering (damage output and range advantage), badon (after merc jacket nerfs), wailing vs mist piercer(ZvZ) and longbow (5v5 team fights)
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    • Reg Bow Vs Whispering

      Range advantage of 4.5 Range from whispering E definitely play a role when targets are a screen away and you are in the backline dealing damage
      Damage is comparable to reg bow but is front loaded but falls off when bow gets fully stacked

      but whispering feels clunky when used with poison arrow and speed shot due to range difference
      only suitable ability are deadly shot, multi shot and explosive arrow

      in team fights it does well but in solo (corrupted dungeons) the reduce resistance plays a big role in making this weapon unsuitable for 1v1

      provides no utiltiy to team aside from damage
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    • Currently bow does very well. I dont know if you are actually playing but I see bow players all the time in my CD and they are abusing the hell out of the glitchy volley interaction with royal boots sometimes bugging people out of a full charge even though it was completed. Frost shot used properly with volley makes a bow user quite uncatchable. So youre right bow has no damage, however they have insane kite potential and buggy interactiosn with volley cancelling posthumously some abilities ,and very wonky game displacement mechanics. Just play liek a bitch and run around in circles like every other bow boy waiting for your cooldowns. Or be a fuckign chad like the rest of us and pick your damage abilites, count cooldowns, dodge shit, and attack.
    • @Sedocoi

      bow like is currently doing well but after the upcoming nerfs to merc jacket being unable to proc heal via dots
      i wish you you can say the same after nerfs

      reg bow is currenly trash even in groups
      warbow only good in solo pvp
      badon is viable but getting nerfed of merc jacket and spectre hood

      P.S for everyone new to the thread please read the top post first and understand my concerns about the bow line after nerfs are implemented
      as of now before any nerfs bow still has viable builds but i am afraid later their choice are cut in half
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    • Regular Bow and Whispering Bow are going to be super annoying next meta.

      Reggy bow will be back to 3.5 second stacks and a double power merc jacket
      Whispering Bow will have insane range and a double power merc jacket as well.

      Good news is that there is fair outplay with Cleric Cowl, Cleric Robe, Assassin Jacket, Purges, hell even an invis pot.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Painball ().

    • Bows are pretty clunky right now, you cant attack and run like in some mobas. Even if it is auto attack focused weapon you need to use your skills whole the time bcz they simply do more damage and are much more usefull.

      My idea (probably wont satisfy bow users): remove auto attacks from bows, rework all Q so they have all the same range as the poison arrow. Add slowing arrow that stacks like poison arrow but instead slowing the target, the last Q can attack multiple 2-3 targets and reduce their armor by x%
      Remove self-buffing w from skills, add the removed Q's to w placements.

      the reason why i want to remove autoattacks from bows is that everytime I play with poison arrow it actually feels smooth, but using auto attacks is just clunky as hell and you can missclick the enemy so easily.

      I want to hear your feedback, its just an idea and can be changed

      also some of bow E's are not impactful at all
      :evil:

      The post was edited 1 time, last by yaaseth ().