Author Topic: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?  (Read 2171 times)

Tranquil

  • Posts: 233
Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« on: July 30, 2021, 05:55:33 PM »
Hey all.

I've been pondering the -crossbow issue- for the last while I've been playing ArmageddonMUD. Generally, they are rather under-powered compared to other ranged weapons (like slings, archery, throwing), and they are probably the costliest ranged weapon still. Pardon all the twinkish language here, but I think it's the best way to convey it all since we're talking purely code. (Please note, I'm no admin and this is all based off my own observations throughout many pvp/pve scenes on my characters.)

Let's look at the alternatives to a crossbow.
Slings: Ammo is everywhere, just free to pick up. Slings themselves are dirt cheap. Damage is scaled off your strength, and is very quick with little to no delay. Pretty much no downsides, except the fact you can't poison a rock to a skull.
Archery: You can poison your arrows and fire them very very quickly, and if you're skilled enough, can do massive damage.
Throwing: Similar to slings, but it has a chance to knock down the victim, and the delay is immense in comparison.

Now.. crossbows? Crossbows do little damage and take nearly a full minute to reload a bolt. Yes, the bolts can be poisoned - but you can't type 'pull quiver' and 'shoot person east'. The shoot delay is immense, and pretty much a death sentence if used in PvP scenarios. Crossbows themselves are often heavy, and very expensive. Admittedly -- they're the coolest ranged weapon. But clearly the weakest.

Therefore, I have some simple suggestions to give crossbows some changes and reasons for use. My proposals:
1. They should have a chance to knock down the victim, just like throwing.
2. They should have an inherent ability similar to 'hack'. Wherever the bolt hits, the armor takes a hefty bit of damage.
3. There should be absolutely zero delay on shooting a crossbow. If you type 'draw crossbow' and 'shoot person e', the only delay would be you drawing the crossbow. This is balanced by the fact a crossbow would likely be 'one-shot' in PvP scenarios, as they would still take a minute or two to reload in the first place.

I believe this would impact the game more then just simply 'buff crossbows', but PvP in general. As things are often very quick and people can type 'flee' to disappear on their mount, a crossbow could potentially knock them off that mount to stop their escape, for one example among many others.

In conclusion: these are just my thoughts, and I wanted to open up a thread for not only staff to see and consider, but to hear other people's opinions on IF crossbows are weak, and if so, how to fix them?
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mansa

  • Posts: 10299
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2021, 06:08:07 PM »
I'd like to have the ability to hold a weapon and a crossbow at the same time, and to be able to shoot one.

Maybe not a full crossbow, but the smaller, hand crossbow.

Dual-wielding hand crossbows, and the game will echo, 'You can't shoot, you have something in your offhand'.
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slipshod

  • Posts: 1008
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2021, 07:18:36 PM »
I agree with most of the OP about crossbows.
I think the armor puncturing idea is a good one, and I could get behind the knocking down idea as well.  What about dismounting the target if they are riding and the crossbow is powerful enough?

On the third suggestion, I do think there ought to be a delay for aiming the crossbow.  Maybe the delay could scale with distance.  So the briefest of delays in an indoor room with the target, slightly longer in an outdoor city room, longer still in an outdoor wilderness room, near, far, etc.?  I've never fired a crossbow IRL, so I don't know if that's realistic about aiming time.


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Hauwke

  • Posts: 2367
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2021, 07:23:01 PM »
I agree with most of the OP about crossbows.
I think the armor puncturing idea is a good one, and I could get behind the knocking down idea as well.  What about dismounting the target if they are riding and the crossbow is powerful enough?

On the third suggestion, I do think there ought to be a delay for aiming the crossbow.  Maybe the delay could scale with distance.  So the briefest of delays in an indoor room with the target, slightly longer in an outdoor city room, longer still in an outdoor wilderness room, near, far, etc.?  I've never fired a crossbow IRL, so I don't know if that's realistic about aiming time.

Given the way they are used, I'd assume similar ish aim times to a rifle, so not inherently all that long.

However, I'd like the addition of a snap-shot command even, that would be super cool.

It halves the time required to shoot at a target, but gives a large accuracy penalty and only ever hits torso or limbs, no head or neck shots.

Pariah

  • Posts: 322
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2021, 08:00:34 PM »
I’ve never used one because it’s always been an archery > crossbow type branch and if I’m already a master (or advanced) at archery why mess with learning something new?

I always assumed they did more damage but couldn’t tell you codedly if they do or not.

Now I want to go buy a crossbow and play with it in game.

mansa

  • Posts: 10299
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2021, 08:02:39 PM »
I’ve never used one because it’s always been an archery > crossbow type branch and if I’m already a master (or advanced) at archery why mess with learning something new?

I always assumed they did more damage but couldn’t tell you codedly if they do or not.

Now I want to go buy a crossbow and play with it in game.

Did you know... ?
Every class gets or branches the crossbow skill.
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Dar

  • Posts: 1809
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2021, 08:04:18 PM »
Is crossbow damage worse then an Arrow one? I always assumed crossbows had more punch, but were longer to reload.  I cant say I used crossbows a lot for PvP. But I did have an occasion when the crossbow put a person to near death in a single shot. A neck Crit obviously.

slipshod

  • Posts: 1008
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2021, 08:28:23 PM »
I think the damage varies with the strength required to reload the weapon.  Tiny wrist-worn crossbows can be reloaded by weaklings, but others require great strength and those are the ones I can imagine knocking someone out of a saddle when their payload is delivered.
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Dar

  • Posts: 1809
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2021, 08:41:51 PM »
Then if a giant dwarf loads up a scary ass high strength crossbow and gives it to a weakling Dune Trader. They can mess someone up with their adv. crossbow?

Narf

  • Posts: 1126
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2021, 09:15:56 PM »
Then if a giant dwarf loads up a scary ass high strength crossbow and gives it to a weakling Dune Trader. They can mess someone up with their adv. crossbow?

That'd be a fun profession. Set up a little stand on the way out of the gates "Crossbows loaded here, ten 'sid"

Fernandezj

  • Posts: 208
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2021, 10:04:44 PM »
I like everything here. But I think that a possible fix could involve maybe have things related to crossbows use tied to its ranged skills, if they don't already.

For example:
Damage: Scales with skill (I assume this exists already). But possibly the ability to knock someone down or damage armor is a second order effect of high damage. Or some sort of crit.
Loadtime: Decreases with skill.
Off-hand weapon: Gain the ability to one-hand + weapon at higher skill levels similarly to how the riding with weapons system works. Representing some familiarity with shooting, that you don't need both hands to steady the thing.

This might be a decent way to balance + add usefulness, but also keep it from being a great PK tool out the gate. This could similarly be applied to other ranged skills... but I won't derail.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2021, 10:23:24 PM by Fernandezj »

The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 9465
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2021, 04:45:22 AM »
I wouldn't want crossbows to typically knock you down. When crossbows do knock you down, it should be based on the distance from the attacker to the victim, and, on the amount of damage vs. max HP the shot does to you.

Crossbows should be more accurate than bows, and rely more heavily on wisdom than agility to utilize that accuracy, making them often a tool for a wisdom build.

When somebody throws a blunt object at you, or uses a sling, it should do minimal HP damage and more stun damage. If it does enough stun damage to you, it should knock you down.
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Inks

  • Posts: 1548
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2021, 09:02:18 AM »
Crossbows are great. Unless you are using them for sustained fire. I like them a lot, and it makes sense more classes can use them realism wise because they were simple to learn in medieval times.

Also crossbows do already get a hit bonus to take that simplicity into account put into the game years ago.

I do think they should be given a damage buff, but I still really like them.

Also hard no to a 2 room knockdown. Think about it more carefully. That is a knockdown that will largely ignore crimflag inside a city. No no no.

A slight damage buff should definately be a thing though, so I am glad this topic was opened (but no buff for xbows less than 3 stones, e.g hand crossbows).
« Last Edit: July 31, 2021, 09:17:11 AM by Inks »
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The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 9465
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2021, 01:32:15 PM »
Oh, forgot something. Crossbows should do more damage than bows by a lot. Make bows do way less damage, but that's offset by how fast they are to fire.
Wynning since October 25, 2008.

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Narf

  • Posts: 1126
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2021, 01:58:01 PM »
Oh, forgot something. Crossbows should do more damage than bows by a lot. Make bows do way less damage, but that's offset by how fast they are to fire.

A quick google search suggests that crossbows tend have a much higher pull than a bow (at least double) so this would make sense.

Tranquil

  • Posts: 233
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2021, 02:08:02 PM »
Whilst I do think a two-tile knockdown would be pretty OP, I do think it should still be possible with expensive, heavy war crossbows. War crossbows in history have had pull strengths of around 1250lbs~. If that hit you, no matter what armor you were wearing, it'd easily mess you up, let alone knock you down. There's a reason crossbows were banned by the Pope for a time in the medieval era. Maybe for regular crossbows, only in tile or 1 tile away knockdown would be reasonable?

Just to clarify, I don't want an -instant- knockdown, I mean a chance of one. Maybe increased with skill? *shrug
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The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 9465
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2021, 02:50:13 PM »
Just to clarify, I don't want an -instant- knockdown, I mean a chance of one. Maybe increased with skill? *shrug
I'm with that, but I'd like the knockdown to happen based on how much damage is done versus your max HP, and distance. Projectiles slow over distance, so there's less chance of it hitting with the impact to knock you down. Part of getting knocked down is also in preparing for the impact.

So if they hit you in the arm from 2 rooms away, and take 25 of your 100 HP, no knockdown. If they hit you in the head while in the same room with you, and take 80 of your 100 hp, sure fire knockdown.

Also, I'd like you to be able to sit down with a crossbow and fire it, gaining an accuracy bonus. It would also make it one of those scary sorta weapons that somebody could shoot you with across the table.
Wynning since October 25, 2008.

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Tranquil

  • Posts: 233
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2021, 02:55:58 PM »
Quote
Also, I'd like you to be able to sit down with a crossbow and fire it, gaining an accuracy bonus. It would also make it one of those scary sorta weapons that somebody could shoot you with across the table.

This would be pretty awesome.
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The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 9465
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2021, 03:03:06 PM »
Oh! Sorry, lots of things on my mind right now ... forgot something else.

Defense against getting shot? Go prone. Rest. Make yourself a smaller target, doubling the difficulty of hitting you. This could be dependent on size, too, making hitting a human who's prone way harder than hitting a mekillot that's prone. This also makes shooting someone with something that knocks them down only the first part of such an attack, unless you wait them out.
Wynning since October 25, 2008.

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Pariah

  • Posts: 322
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2021, 03:04:36 PM »
While I know it’s magnitudes more force.  I’ve been shot at 10 feet in a bullet proof vest with trauma plate and it knocked me out cold, broke three ribs and punctured a lung, almost died.

I’ve also been shot from about 100 feet into a bulletproof vest and it still knocked me onto my ass and gave me a hell of a bruise.

I don’t think the distance is going to drop off that much within 1-2 rooms.

The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 9465
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2021, 03:50:20 PM »
While I know it’s magnitudes more force.  I’ve been shot at 10 feet in a bullet proof vest with trauma plate and it knocked me out cold, broke three ribs and punctured a lung, almost died.

I’ve also been shot from about 100 feet into a bulletproof vest and it still knocked me onto my ass and gave me a hell of a bruise.

I don’t think the distance is going to drop off that much within 1-2 rooms.
Well, but you just noted how much different the knockdown was. Because this is a game with way less detail to injury, we have to exaggerate the differences. THat's the basis of my arguments. Gamifying what would really happen.

ALso ... dude/dudette ... quite glad you're still here. Fuck.
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Pariah

  • Posts: 322
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2021, 05:06:24 PM »
Military police is a hell of a job.

X-D

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Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2021, 06:40:16 PM »
Sorta funny thing. Bringing up the crossbows of old with 1000lbs draw....They were FAR FAR weaker then modern 150lbs crossbows. You can find hundreds of videos on youtube with people testing this. Yes, they had a massive draw weight, but a VERY short string travel... And so 1200lbs crossbow  with a 8 inch string travel has a much lower speed of projectile and so energy verses a modern crossbow with 18" of travel. Even my 150lbs crossbow is over 400fps.

The reason crossbows took over from other types of bows was MUCH less practice is needed to get halfway good.

Crossbows should not knock down. If you want to make crossbows match RL then give them what crossbows actually have. VERY high short to mid range accuracy and initial firing speed. IE, you have master crossbow skill and you are firing same room or 1 room away you have a VERY short aim delay and a MUCH higher chance to hit a crit zone.

I hunt several styles of bows. The bonus to say a longbow over crossbow is actually how quiet they are and so you can actually shoot safely from a slightly greater range without as much worry about the deer jumping from the sound before the arrow arrives. Crossbow is loud and they have to be closer. But it is easier to hit crit areas and You can fire from more positions. You cannot use a longbow prone and even seated you would not normally.
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creeper386

  • Posts: 2744
Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2021, 07:10:06 PM »
I don't know how often I've been told flat out IC not to buy a crossbow.

I'd just like that to change.
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Delirium

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Re: Crossbows: Are they weak, and if so, how to fix them?
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2021, 07:11:57 PM »
These are crossbows without metal. Heavy and cumbersome and slow. You're not going to get anywhere near the punching power of a bullet or javelin with these things. If you add knockdown to crossbows you'd need to add knockdown to slings and archery. Maybe add in a location-based chance to knockdown with slings, arrows, and crossbows. if you hit them in the neck, head, leg or foot, with a modifier for pain tolerance. People with certain spells active would be as immune to this effect as they are to other skills which apply a seated position. Blowdarts would obviously not apply knockdown.

There are benefits to crossbow use already... I wouldn't want to see them become the next bludgeoning weapons skill.

High crossbow skill is slow to achieve due to factors, but those same factors are why crossbows are probably better than you think.

If anything, it'd be nice to get a bolt and load a crossbow, get a dart and load a blowgun, or get a bullet and load a sling, in one line, like you can pull quiver for archery. Maybe <load blowgun strap> gets and loads the first dart in the dart-strap into the blowgun, with appropriate delay.
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