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Grugnas

[Alpha 22] Bolt Shooters

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Despite the vector bug, bolt shooters can be massed with ease as long as they require 2 population and their training time is of 20 seconds (quite low in comparison to other sieges).

Their role isn't really clear to me. If they are meant to be used against waves of units, i guess this is the reason of their 150 pierce damage (50% of their pierce damage as linear splash damage seems a bit high), why do they even have part of damage dealt as crush damage? They can bait units as long as they can destroy buildings and kill waves of units resulting in a slow but sure victory especially for Roman Scorpios. Would be nice if there would be a counter unit (with the term counter i don't mean a counter system but a unit that uses its actual statistics as advantage) required to get rid of bolt shooters e.g. a player could use sieges like rams (garrisoning rams and perhaps ungarrison near the bolt shooters and try to capture them)  and catapults to destroy them, but the bolt shooters high pierce damage and the part of crush damage let them destroy sieges with ease.

 

EDIT:

Replay of what I am talking about:    boltshooters.zip

full bolt shooters  army against the strongest infanatry champions in game (spartan infantry spearmen) and rams.

I guess that the replay is reproducible also with the bug fix.

Edited by Grugnas

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7 minutes ago, fatherbushido said:

I meant 0 H/P/C non splash damage.

why not, if you believe that value is more appropriate.  (i updated the first post with an example replay).

Edited by Grugnas

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One problem with bolt shooters is that you have to manually give orders to destroy siege, if you do nothing your units simply die to bolt shooters trying to capture them, so you have to split up your army and give each group orders to destroy another bolt shooter. This is really difficult if there are alot of bolt shooters and you are attacking with lots of units, unless you got fast fingers.
Concerning that replay @Grugnas could just test it if the bug fix changes it. I think the bug fix would change this situation a little. To deal dmg to bolt shooters rams with champ swordsmen to bait and then rush with sword cav might be better than champ spears.

Edited by realNoobNoob

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You have some nice questions about the role of the bolt shooter.

But I want to say that the a22 bug is enormous. You should be basing your thoughts on how bolt shooters were in a21, because unless your enemy's really packed together, that's what it's like in svn. Testing now, even against box formation they only do about 50% more damage than in a21. Well, I guess they have extra health and better accuracy, too. But my point is that a22 is very misleading.

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1 minute ago, temple said:

You have some nice questions about the role of the bolt shooter.

But I want to say that the a22 bug is enormous. You should be basing your thoughts on how bolt shooters were in a21, because unless your enemy's really packed together, that's what it's like in svn. Testing now, even against box formation they only do about 50% more damage than in a21. Well, I guess they have extra health and better accuracy, too. But my point is that a22 is very misleading.

Bolt shooters in a21 weren't worth the effort because they had lowed hp and slingers used to crush any siege (we can say that in a21 bolt shooters were never used in multiplayer games i had the pleasure to partecipate).

31 minutes ago, fatherbushido said:

Well, next time, give the mins to look at. (edit: :))
Well so 42 boltshooters (!) don't let people come near them. What do you want to conclude from that?

the point is that at equal population cap a player should be able to counter any unit indipendently from the civ.

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1 minute ago, Grugnas said:

Bolt shooters in a21 weren't worth the effort because they had lowed hp and slingers used to crush any siege (we can say that in a21 bolt shooters were never used in multiplayer games i had the pleasure to partecipate).

That's a good point, slingers have half the crush damage and bolt shooters have twice the health, so that's a factor of four altogether.

A picture's worth a thousand words, (2) is a22 and (3) is svn.

p4Romqh.jpg

(Actually it's been changed so that there's no splash damage behind where the bolt lands, so ignore the northern-most damaged unit in (3).)

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I am ok with that, but the point is that if 1 bolt shooter can deal that damage to many units, consider when there are many bolt shooters at once (they cost 2 population and train in 20 seconds). If no organic unit can reach the bolt shooter in order to get melee range, perhaps a siege could (bolt shooter crush damage doesn't really help on this point). As you said, alpha 22 is really misleading. Pehaps in svn they aren't that "uncounterable" even if massed.

Edited by Grugnas

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17 hours ago, Grugnas said:

Their role isn't really clear to me.

I had a solid idea for the role of bolt shooters, but it's pretty much lost in the ether unless someone wants to work on it. It basically only requires a few conceptual changes and the implementation of one patch from Trac, the visiblegarrisonclass patch.

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Aka #3488. Haven't decided whether I want to add those buttons. That would make the patch way more gameplay changing that it should have...

I'm also considering finding a way to set a variant mesh for garrisoning. So that you could replace the big bolt shooter with a smaller one when it's garissonnING.

Edited by stanislas69

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17 hours ago, fatherbushido said:

What about a17?

what about this replay? We played a game with user1 Pro Balance Mod

and what we noticed is that Scorpios can be a quite nice support as long as it kills champion cavalry with 2 hits and "snipes" fortresses from great distance.

Scorpios had armor and increased crush damage technologies researched (not Will of Fight).

This isn't a pretension to change and rechange stuff but a concern on an unit that may influence games in alpha 23 (if there aren't any balance plans on the agenda) in a way that someone likes to call "OP".

boltshootmod.zip

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25 minutes ago, fatherbushido said:

I was serious when talking of a17

I never played alpha 17, i had knowledge of the game at the end of alpha20.

After a quick look I saw that there was a big crush damage nerf to bolt shooter as long as it was able to destroy buildings. While buildings armor didn't change at all after the giant rebalance. bolt shooters had more tweaks until a20 where their attack rate has been reduced by 1 second from 5 seconds to 4. Is that relevant? I can't get your point, explain please.

For sure bolt shooters are more effective also against champions since champions were nerfed in a21 ( pretty good stats nerf even if this is true for infantry champions only as long as ranged champion cavalry has 270 hp and melee champion cavalry has 300 hp despite the performance gap, but this is another topic), thus bolt shooters are able to kill waves of enemies and make pressure on buildings aswell. Basically training bolt shooters is faster than training champions as long as bolt shooters have 20 sec training time and roman army camp has a quite low batch time multiplier.

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18 minutes ago, fatherbushido said:

You can still download it.

May i please get the reason behind this suggestion? I really can't get it and I fear I have no time to download an old alpha for a test only. Indeed I can imagine what would happen with bolt shooters "equipped" of more crush damage.

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I can't say if Bolts shooters became relevant to use in 0ad22 as much players still never use them ..   though, some other cav spammers prefer to ban them from the game (guess why).

All the concept of balancing a game is to give  ++ and -- for each units and ensure none units are OP enough to turn them into a the unique unit used in an army ( and yes, i see some players destroying a CC with skirmish-cav !).  If players starts to use only 1 or 2 units in the game, there's evidence of bad balance.

 

So what about bolt-shooters ?    -->  I think they should punish only ennemy players who rely on a bunch of ranged units packed together .  For that :

  • Range: bigger than any archer units; if the range is lower, than the deployment time to re-engage acts too much like a penalty and thus, there is no cover for the protected melee units.
  • Accuracy:  pretty low, to avoid OPiness of the Bolt its important that the Bolt have success to create damage only if the enemy units are packed together ; target missed but other killed
  • Projectil speed:  low,  moving targets should dodge the arrow easily ;  immobil units (so those firing) should be subject of having the heavy arrow in their face
  • Splash : no splash, doesnt work like a catapult ; 1 arrow go through 1 body, not many bodies  -> splash is non-sense
  • Damage :  total annilation ;  1 hit should kill 1 elephant or almost (moving elephants might be more lucky). No crush damage, Bolts should NOT replace catapults !

Since some players are usualy doing straffing with 1 unit , here the bolt player can select a target among the bunch behind to hit direct without being fooled by moonwalk

Summary : So what should be the use of bolts ?    -->  Should be used to defend a position against a bunch of ranged units spamming arrows on our units AND/OR  used to kill some elephants and rams in their crushing CC activities. As the bolt should have no crush power, it might not be used to replace catapults while sieges.  The bolt could be used as an effective defence for some workers (especially for females) against ranged rushers as it can kill ennemy unit 1 by 1 (unlike towers which send some random arrows a bit everywhere ; lowering health without killing much).  A moving army in expedition could bring a 1 Bolt or 2 to be used as an effective umbrella against all the annoying ranged units willing to kill sieging units 1 by 1.

 

 

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Can 4-5 melee infantry or 2 melee cavalry win over it? If so then it's ok. 

The only thing I don't like about siege weapons is that they are automated. They are supposed to be manned and needs protection during siege. Accuracy? Well do the math. 

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    Splash : no splash, doesnt work like a catapult ; 1 arrow go through 1 body, not many bodies  -> splash is non-sense

    a long bolt should spear several units behind it too, thats why linear splash

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