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Archer spread.


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I ran some tests to learn something about the effect of the spread statistic. I measured the performance of 8 units. I was able to determine the distance better than in my previous post, so the numbers differ slightly. The camel archer has spread of 2.0 and the spread for the archers is given in the top row of the table. I also listed the distance of which the units fired, either 30 meters or 60 meter. Finally I looked at some units firing at a single target or firing at 4 targets close to each other.

So I modded the spread value of the archers and then used these to fill a column in the table. Not every run had the same duration as the others. The time related to a run is correlated to the damage dealt by the camels. Some runs are shorter than other, but in my analysis I will account for that. I made the following table where the numbers in it represent the experience which is correlated to the damage dealt and shots landed. In the brackets, I mentioned the % of damage it dealt compared to the long range variant (so the 51% in the bottom right corner means that archer at long range vs multiple targets did 51% as much damage as the archer at short range vs multiple targets(which did 89)). For the camel (firing at a group of enemies) this value is always around 0.7 as the spread of camels was left constant. These are my test results.

 

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-The first observation is that camels(spread 2.0) at 30m range are fairly close to near perfect spread archers. We also see that firing on a group does not give the camels an advantage at short range.

-The second observation I would like to make as that a camel is fairly close to an unmodded archer except for having 7.0 pierce damage instead of 6.7.

-The third observation If the archer is firing at a group, its increase in spread will have less effect than when it is firing at a single target.

-The fourth observation If the spread is increased from 2 to 2.5, the decrease of 30m range damage at a group is proportional to the decrease of 60m range at a group(We both get around 0.7). For a spread increased to values higher than 3.0 the ratio decreases from 0.7 to 0.6. Though the ratio stays the same from 3.0 onwards to 4.5, the absolute values decrease.

-The fifth observation starting at a spread value of 3, archers are no longer effective at targeting single units, but can still do decently against groups.

 

An increase of spread from 2 to 2.5 results in a 5.4% nerf at 30m range against an opposing group while it is a 4.1% nerf on long range against an opposing group.

An increase of spread from 2 to 2.8 results in a 10% nerf at 30m range against an opposing group while it is a 13% nerf on long range against an opposing group.

An increase of spread from 2 to 3.0 results in a 14% nerf at 30m range against an opposing group while it is a 25% nerf on long range against an opposing group.

An increase of spread from 2 to 3.5 results in a 21% nerf at 30m range against an opposing group while it is a 33% nerf on long range against an opposing group.

 

Historically, at long range archers were not effective at targeting single units and were more effective at fire at opposing formations. Also archers at long range did not cause a lot of casualties. Also I think it is lame to have a game where units deal significant damage from long range, while I think that on the 30 meter range their damage can be maintained. If archers deal less damage at long range, I think it would benefit play with early cavalry aggression.

 

I think an increase of spread to 3.0 would serve these purposes best. Because I consider the results of that to be quite hefty, I would suggest giving the archer a 10% attack boost, resulting in a 30m nerf of 5% against groups and a 18% nerf at 60m range against groups. It also means that archers become now only feasible in large groups and would thus struggle early on.

 

If you read all of this, what do you think is the perfect spread value for archers?

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I think that spread aka inaccuracy should be removed completely from the game as it costs performance but brings only frustration.

Archers could be nerfed by increase of fire rate. To compensate the removal of spread, some more statistics could be changed, too.

Why do I think that spread sucks? Well, you cannot see it in the ingame stats, for example. You might think that javelin cavalry is cost efficient against archers, but the javelins miss their targets quite often.

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16 hours ago, Player of 0AD said:

I think that spread aka inaccuracy should be removed completely from the game as it costs performance but brings only frustration.

It might be frustrating, but depending on how the projectiles are done, it could be something to better appreciate than you might think.  Assuming that an inaccurate arrow deals damage to an enemy target it hits, this would mean that a large number of archers would not have their damage wasted when the player selects single targets due to overkill.  

That all said, your point about spread not being seen ingame is a valid criticism that should be considered regardless of whether spread is incorporated in the game or not.  

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