Archery vs. Melee

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I hope I'm putting this in the right forum.

Anyhow, I'd like to see the disparity of DPT (Damage Per Turn) between Archery and Melee addressed somehow. It's frustrating to me that in order for my archer to attain damge levels equivalent to the groups muscle-bound fighter swinging a sword witha few feats and no magic, I need to either be muscle-bound myself and/or using enough magic to make my character glow in the dark.

As things are, I managed a TPK when I threw a strafing dragon at my party and discovered that none of them even carried ranged weapons because they do so little damage that they "aren't worth it." Now, obviously, they're always worth it for just these situations, but imagine the dragon has fast healing, good lord, it could take forever to hurt it, let alone kill it, while it's doing breath-weapon damage once every 1-4 rounds, not including any Fly-By attacks in between... Just seems like the ranged weapons, especially in the hands of an expert should be a bit more impactful.
I hope I'm putting this in the right forum.

Anyhow, I'd like to see the disparity of DPT (Damage Per Turn) between Archery and Melee addressed somehow. It's frustrating to me that in order for my archer to attain damge levels equivalent to the groups muscle-bound fighter swinging a sword witha few feats and no magic, I need to either be muscle-bound myself and/or using enough magic to make my character glow in the dark.

As things are, I managed a TPK when I threw a strafing dragon at my party and discovered that none of them even carried ranged weapons because they do so little damage that they "aren't worth it." Now, obviously, they're always worth it for just these situations, but imagine the dragon has fast healing, good lord, it could take forever to hurt it, let alone kill it, while it's doing breath-weapon damage once every 1-4 rounds, not including any Fly-By attacks in between... Just seems like the ranged weapons, especially in the hands of an expert should be a bit more impactful.

Spellcaster-free party? They can't just fireball te poor thing into submission?
Well, I can't recall off the top of my head, but if the sorcerer was there, I think it was a red dragon and therefore took very little spell damage even when the caster managed to beat the spell resistance. It's been a while, basically they had one guy who had ranged attacks, and most had been used up, and the few casts remaining ended up not being very effective.:embarrass

I screwed up, I know, but at the same time, I think it just highlights the fact that archery is weak and that prejudices players to not bother with it.
Regardless of spellcasting, ranged combat does need a boost.

It is silly that a first level barbarian can rage and consistently bust out twenty damage with a greataxe at an excellent attack bonus, but archers are left in the dust.

Once the barb gets into melee range, the archer is screwed anyway. Give the ranged attackers some kind of boost, if only a means to stay out of melee range.
Well, certainly class against class that is an issue, but I'm really just concerned from the standpoint of group contribution. Say you have two rangers, one that when dual-wield and another that went archery. Unless exotic circumstances make the melee ranger unable to reach his opponent, he will easily outdamage the archery ranger because on top of his extra attacks at only a slight BAB reduction, he needs only pump strength to get better attack bonuses and damage bonuses, where the archery ranger needs Dex for AB and Str and a mighty composite bow of corresponding value to do near equivalent damage. While in a class vs. class scenario, this is a bad gimp, it's also bad just from the standpoint that the archery ranger only feels that he can contribute meaningfully when the other characters are completely unable to contribute at all. SO the situation becomes either the archery ranger must be frustrated because the melee ranger is killing everything before he can deal even a fraction of the damage the melee guy is dishing out, or the melee guy is frustrated because he can't use any of his abilities because the opponents are flying or across the chasm or whatever the situational thing is that's giving the archer the edge.
I think it's ridiculous that there are many classes, feats, and other abilities to help melee characters but so few for ranged. In most of my campaigns, I do what I can to compensate, such as adding Dex to damage to represent good aim and precision damage or making the equivalent of Power Attack, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, etc. for ranged attacks, but I'd like it if this were fixed in Core and I didn't have to mess with anything.
I don't see a problem with melee vs. ranged. If you use ranged weapons often, then you tend to be out of harms way or can make attacks before the enemy comes into melee range. You can also attack flying creatures who refuse to come into melee range. Also, you can full attack right away if you have line of site to your target. If you are a melee combattant, you need to move into melee before doing a full attack.
<\ \>tuntman
well once again I'll point to the SWSE, what they've done in this game is remove iterative attacks, and replaced it with a mechanic where you add half you heroic level to damage, so a 20th level fighter using a longsword 1d8 damage, and one using a longbow 1d8 damage (assuming neither have a STR bonus) each will do 1d8+10 damage.
I can't believe I forgot the biggest gripe I had with ranged weapons:

There were no decent one-handed ones! Throwing weapons don't count, because you end up running out or having to get returning on them; plus their ranges are much lower and they don't do as much damage.

In Star Wars, you've got blasters. You can dual wield blasters, and that's an effective strategy. In D&D, the closest thing is the hand crossbow, but that requires you to reload with the other hand, making dual wielding impossible.
I can't believe I forgot the biggest gripe I had with ranged weapons:

There were no decent one-handed ones! Throwing weapons don't count, because you end up running out or having to get returning on them; plus their ranges are much lower and they don't do as much damage.

In Star Wars, you've got blasters. You can dual wield blasters, and that's an effective strategy. In D&D, the closest thing is the hand crossbow, but that requires you to reload with the other hand, making dual wielding impossible.

This is DnD, not SWSE. They won't add true one-handed ranged weapons due to it being imposible with the settings tech. The best I could see is a gnomish version of repeating crossbows so you could dualweld them, for a penalty.
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I'm not opposed to the idea of heroic level bonus' to damage, but I think that's not really going to address the issue, since the melee fighter still gets all his other goodies on top of that.

As to the ranged nature of the attack making up for the fact that it does relatively poor damage, that's certainly true, but again, I find that most of these make you pick a character to frustrate and then, the melee fighter picks up his bow and can suddenly do just about as much damage as the archer, perhaps minus a few points on average for a lower AB or the wrong weapon specialization, etc.

However, these aren't invalid points, I'd just like to see a little more balance, or maybe I'm letting my melee players min/max too much, who knows.
Archery is immensely powerful...for those who specialise in it.

Singing Rapid Shot <30ft : 33/33/33/28/23/18 1d8+26 +4d6 +1d4
(4d6 is 1d6 of each elemental, 1d4 is the sonic)
That's from my BARD/Arcane Archer.

Even without PBS/Deadeye Shot I'm sitting on...

Singing Rapid Shot : 32/32/32/27/22/17 1d8+17 +4d6 +1d4

I call hax on those who say archery is weak.
But my point is that you have to have levels in Bard to magically augment those numbers, not to mention the fact that each of those arrows must cost a fortune or your bow does because adding all elements to each missle is a costly proposition. I'd like my character to be able to throw up good damage numbers without bending the magic item rules to the point of broken.

Oh, and for crying out loud, can we do something about all these feats that reduce the effective range of archery? PBS, sneak attacks, etc. Sure, you CAN hit a target from 100 yards, but you might want to close the gap first, because you're really only effective with that bow when you're within range of the opponents charge.
All the enchants aren't that costly, +6 weapon in total. By 19th, it is easily my most expensive item, but I'm an archer afterall...

Arcane Archer currently provides free +5 arrows. So my bow does not need anything beyond +1 base enchant.
What sort of boosts do you have in mind? With the splitting weapon property from champions of ruin, a high lv fighter (lv16+) gets 12 attacks each round (base 4, rapid shot, haste, and he is almost always assured a full attack, or 8 attacks via manyshot as a standard action). This allows him to take down a balor in 1 round.

And then your foe casts a wind wall and your archer is left gnashing his teeth in impotent fury...
Well, yes, I can see that, but I guess my point is that if you compare numbers at level 5, or even level 10, archers don't come out looking quite as good as they do at level 19, and what if your DM were to rule that a weapon can only have one of the diametric elemental damage types, eg. fire or cold damage, not both? Or, if you're fighting a creature that has immunities to some or multiple energy types? Oh, and could you deconstruct that floating modifier to damage? There's that +26 in there, which is +5 from arrows, where's the rest come from? I'm just curious. Thanks.
I guess I'm looking for a more even gradation. MY biggest gripe is that if I'm playing a character below level 10, even with optimized feats, I can't keep up with the melee fighters and get laughed at for playing an archer (which I love), and after level 10, if I want to keep up with said fighters, I still have to multiclass and optimize feats, if I don't take Arcane Archer or some other prestige class, I don't do well at all.

Runestar, on your comment about almost always assured a full attack, give the Balor a polearm, or natural reach (I can't recall if they have that) and then just press the archer, that drastically reduces his damage. Also, I'd like to see this build, and compare it with an equivalent level melee fighter and see who, with haste, is dishing out more damage per turn. I'm not saying you can't dish damage as an archer, I'm saying it requires too much optimization, and that it's only at high levels that archers hit their stride, at low levels, they are pretty sad.
Well, yes, I can see that, but I guess my point is that if you compare numbers at level 5, or even level 10, archers don't come out looking quite as good as they do at level 19, and what if your DM were to rule that a weapon can only have one of the diametric elemental damage types, eg. fire or cold damage, not both? Or, if you're fighting a creature that has immunities to some or multiple energy types? Oh, and could you deconstruct that floating modifier to damage? There's that +26 in there, which is +5 from arrows, where's the rest come from? I'm just curious. Thanks.

1d8 from bow, or 2d6 if you cast enlarge person (this is iffy, since you suffer net -2 to hit). Assume 4.5 average damage per hit.
+5 damage from a +5 bow (which you have no reason not to have due to greater magic weapon)
+4 damage from greater weapon spec
+8 damage from 26 str (boosting both str and dex is tricky and expensive, but I still assume base14 str, +5 inherent, +6 enhancement and +1 from stat boost).
+2d6 damage from holy enchantment (no brainer, since most of the foes a good party faces will be evil foes, and you will need to overcome dr/good). This averages out to +7 damage per shot.

At the same time, I will be firing +1 arrows of evil outsider bane, which add +2d6 damage (or +7 average).

This works out to an average of 35.5 damage per shot. A lv20 fighter should have an attack bonus of around +42, so his attack routine would be at +40/+40/+40/+40/+40/+40/+35/+35/+30/+30/+25/+25.

With weapon supremacy, you may add +5 to one of your attack rolls (I generally choose the +25), and take 10 on another (apply this to the +30 attack roll).

Given the balor's AC of just +39 (with unholy aura), you should be able to hit consistently with 10-11 shots most of the time, which should allow you to deal the 290+ damage needed to 1-shot the balor. You are actually doing 350+, so you can afford to miss 1 or 2 more.

The end result is a +1 holy splitting bow (at least), with evil outsider bane arrows if need be.

Runestar, on your comment about almost always assured a full attack, give the Balor a polearm, or natural reach (I can't recall if they have that) and then just press the archer, that drastically reduces his damage.

Possible, but I am wondering how likely it is. The balor and archer are contenders for winning initiative (not counting the rogue), since both will have high dex and improved initiative. If the fighter wins initiative, it can act in the surprise round with a manyshot volley, which still delivers 8 attacks at +34 each. Bearing in mind that weapon supremacy lets you take 10 on 1 attack roll each round, and that all 8 shots use the same attack roll, this means that you effectively roll +42 to-hit on all 8 arrows (thus hitting the balor for 284 damage), leaving its hp in the single digits (and I am assuming one of your other party members can mop up....)

Likewise, it cannot threaten with its whip, and a polearm still gives it only 20-ft reach. So it still seems far from assured.

However, you are right in that at lower lvs, archers go seem gimped damage-wise until they get the opportunity to twink out their gear (and they really need to twink to achieve the same damage potential as a 2HFing fighter). I failed to consider this point in my earlier post due to my haste in replying. My bad.

One of the problems seems to be lack of access to a ranged version of power attack (which appears to account for a fair chunk of a melee fighter's damage). Plus, they still get only 1x str mod, while 2HFers get 1.5str mod, and access to abilities such as charge, shock trooper and leap attack, which further allow them to pile on the damage.

However, the upside is that archers are usually assured of getting full attacks in (this is less so for melee). Though it still seems like little consolation...
Well, my thought with the reach thing is that if the Balor moves into melee range, the archer had to move out of range to fire without provoking attacks of opportunity and can't just 5' step back and full attack. But, yeah, still sounds less than feasible if the fighter wins initiative.
What I find funny is how everyone is talking about 3.5 rules, and talking as if they are assuming things work exactly that way.

They've talked about rangers kicking ass in 4e with bows, doing crazy awesome things... so I'm not too worried about that.

But will *all* other classes have something interesting to do for ranged attacks without too great an expenditure of resources?

Personally, I'd like to see ranged weapons be done a bit differently...

Shortbow, Longbow, Composite Recurve Bow, Yumi, Sling, light crossbow, arbalest, repeating crossbow, Blowgun, Atlatl and Javalin, War Dart, Francisca... all these things are, to me, better names for various ranged weapons...
I think that archery should always be a little behind melee because you're dealing with a ranged weapon which gives you way more versatility in terms of target selection, ability to make full attacks and safety from retribution. However, I do agree that right now melee vastly outshines ranged weapons and that should be corrected, but if ranged is too good then it basically becomes a situation where everyone packs ranged weapons and never gets into melee (if they can help it).

Edit: Just to add that personally I'd like to see 4ed play up more on the versatility of ranged combat rather than straight damage output.
This is DnD, not SWSE. They won't add true one-handed ranged weapons due to it being imposible with the settings tech. The best I could see is a gnomish version of repeating crossbows so you could dualweld them, for a penalty.

Why is it impossible? Is the double-sword really that "possible" with the "settings tech"?

One-handed ranged weapons, please.
1d8 from bow, or 2d6 if you cast enlarge person (this is iffy, since you suffer net -2 to hit). Assume 4.5 average damage per hit.
+5 damage from a +5 bow (which you have no reason not to have due to greater magic weapon)
+4 damage from greater weapon spec
+8 damage from 26 str (boosting both str and dex is tricky and expensive, but I still assume base14 str, +5 inherent, +6 enhancement and +1 from stat boost).
+2d6 damage from holy enchantment (no brainer, since most of the foes a good party faces will be evil foes, and you will need to overcome dr/good). This averages out to +7 damage per shot.

At the same time, I will be firing +1 arrows of evil outsider bane, which add +2d6 damage (or +7 average).

This works out to an average of 35.5 damage per shot. A lv20 fighter should have an attack bonus of around +42, so his attack routine would be at +40/+40/+40/+40/+40/+40/+35/+35/+30/+30/+25/+25.

With weapon supremacy, you may add +5 to one of your attack rolls (I generally choose the +25), and take 10 on another (apply this to the +30 attack roll).

Given the balor's AC of just +39 (with unholy aura), you should be able to hit consistently with 10-11 shots most of the time, which should allow you to deal the 290+ damage needed to 1-shot the balor. You are actually doing 350+, so you can afford to miss 1 or 2 more.

The end result is a +1 holy splitting bow (at least), with evil outsider bane arrows if need be.

This is laughable compared to what a level 20 melee character can do.

Put in at least one barb level, grab Pounce, and you can beat the crap out of anyone without worrying about DR because you concentrate all your damage on a few attacks.

None of the damage enhancers you showed above are specific to archery (holy, bane, +5 weapon, weapon spec). The problem is, archery also sucks tactically. You don't threaten squares, you can't trip, you're dead if someone gets to you, etc.
This is laughable compared to what a level 20 melee character can do.

Put in at least one barb level, grab Pounce, and you can beat the crap out of anyone without worrying about DR because you concentrate all your damage on a few attacks.

Yes, but my point was that it should suffice. There is little point to a barb being able to deal 1000damage and saying that it is superior to an archer who can only manage 300, when the typical foe you face has less than 300hp to start with.

What I find funny is how everyone is talking about 3.5 rules, and talking as if they are assuming things work exactly that way.

Well, the OP did state that he wanted a revision since that was the case in 3.5, so it seemed to make sense to address this from a 3.5 POV, and base any observations/analysis off there.

Especially when we know nuts about how the combat system in 4e will work, so any comments made this way will be speculation at best, and thus cannot make for a meaningful discussion, IMO.:P

One of the benefits of an archer is that he can stack +10 arrows on top of his +10 bow, though this is prohibitively expensive, and will unlikely see the light of day in 4e, given that they will be reducing gear dependence (and by extension, how readily magic gear is available).
Actually, in 3.5 magic bonuses from bows and arrows don't stack anymore. They did in 3.0, but not in 3.5.

Though, yeah, I am addressing mostly from a 3.5 perspective and arguing from that framework.

I think archers suffer some of the same issues as focused melee fighters, that is take away their chosen weapon and they're crap all use to you. Both are fairly weapon dependant. I'm not saying that this should change (magic weapons should be a big boost in effectiveness) but just compare a 1st level fighter using melee and a 1st level fighter doing archery.

The 1st level character can't really afford a mighty composite bow, so even if the fighter could have equivalent Dex and Str, it wouldn't make much of a difference, because in order to apply an attribute bonus to damage, the archer must spend extra money. A lot of it. Meanwhile, assuming that the archer is using a longbow and the meleer is using a longsword, both have the same base damage die, 1D8. The archer gets +1 to hit and damage from point blank shot. Assuming he takes Rapid Shot, he can attack twice per turn, for a maximum of 2D8+2, or 18 damage, assuming the -2 to hit doesn't invoke a miss. But lets look at optimal scenarios here, so archer has 18 Dex and Meleer has 18 Str. The meleer lets say takes Power Attack and Weapon Focus(Longsword). This may not be optimal, I'm putting this together without my books in front of me. The meleer gets +1 to hit, no damage bonus from feats, but can use two hands and poweer attack to instead of adding a second D8, add a raw +4 to damage at -2 to hit. Plus he gets to add 1.5x his strength bonus, which is +4, so another +6. This means that the meleer hits for 1D8+10 per attack or 18 damage.

Okay, that didn't turn out quite as I expected. So it appears that all things being equal, you're looking at a similar baseline in damage output. I would argue that the problem arises still through the fact that within a group setting, without feat that allows you to fire into melee unpenalized, the archer still loses an advantage due to the fact that the melee fighter must necessarily obstruct his shots unless he's able to shoot at targets not engaging the meleer, but this is at times the case, to be sure.

I don't know, maybe it's fine and I just haven't been min/maxing as well as my melee focused comrades and that's why I fail to keep up.:embarrass
Well, yes, I can see that, but I guess my point is that if you compare numbers at level 5, or even level 10, archers don't come out looking quite as good as they do at level 19, and what if your DM were to rule that a weapon can only have one of the diametric elemental damage types, eg. fire or cold damage, not both? Or, if you're fighting a creature that has immunities to some or multiple energy types? Oh, and could you deconstruct that floating modifier to damage? There's that +26 in there, which is +5 from arrows, where's the rest come from? I'm just curious. Thanks.

1d8 + 4 Strength + 5 Enhancement (Arrows) + 5 Collision (MIC enchant, brings my weapon up to +8, feasible for this point) + 8 Dex (when the target is less than 30ft away, Deadeye Shot from Dragon Mag Compendium) +1 PBS (also at <30ft)

The elementals matter little, since I've yet to have a chance to use them properly, we've been fighting a lot of demons and devils. And were my DM to have said that only one elemental on a weapon...well, my bow just got cheaper. Might add Holy or Unholy or something to help overcome DR's.
This is laughable compared to what a level 20 melee character can do.

Put in at least one barb level, grab Pounce, and you can beat the crap out of anyone without worrying about DR because you concentrate all your damage on a few attacks.

None of the damage enhancers you showed above are specific to archery (holy, bane, +5 weapon, weapon spec). The problem is, archery also sucks tactically. You don't threaten squares, you can't trip, you're dead if someone gets to you, etc.

They did help out on that problem with combat actions a little, Ranged Disarm, Ranged Pin, Ranged Sunder, all from Complete Warrior.
Actually, in 3.5 magic bonuses from bows and arrows don't stack anymore. They did in 3.0, but not in 3.5.

The other enchantments stacked though. So if you fired +1 evil-outsider bane arrows from a +1 holy bow, you got +1 holy evil-outsider bane arrows. That was what I was referring to.

So you could in theory obtain +1 arrows with +9 worth of other misc properties, and fire them from a +1 bow with +9 worth of other properties. Naturally, the +1 bow will be enchanted to +5 via greater magic weapon. The result would be +5 arrows with +18 worth of weapon enchantments, the equivalent of a +23 weapon.

Extremely unlikely to take place, since +10 arrows are darn expensive, and get used up too quickly to be worth the effort, but it is certainly possible if you feel so inclined...:P
Actually, in 3.5 magic bonuses from bows and arrows don't stack anymore. They did in 3.0, but not in 3.5.

Though, yeah, I am addressing mostly from a 3.5 perspective and arguing from that framework.

I think archers suffer some of the same issues as focused melee fighters, that is take away their chosen weapon and they're crap all use to you. Both are fairly weapon dependant. I'm not saying that this should change (magic weapons should be a big boost in effectiveness) but just compare a 1st level fighter using melee and a 1st level fighter doing archery.

The 1st level character can't really afford a mighty composite bow, so even if the fighter could have equivalent Dex and Str, it wouldn't make much of a difference, because in order to apply an attribute bonus to damage, the archer must spend extra money. A lot of it. Meanwhile, assuming that the archer is using a longbow and the meleer is using a longsword, both have the same base damage die, 1D8. The archer gets +1 to hit and damage from point blank shot. Assuming he takes Rapid Shot, he can attack twice per turn, for a maximum of 2D8+2, or 18 damage, assuming the -2 to hit doesn't invoke a miss. But lets look at optimal scenarios here, so archer has 18 Dex and Meleer has 18 Str. The meleer lets say takes Power Attack and Weapon Focus(Longsword). This may not be optimal, I'm putting this together without my books in front of me. The meleer gets +1 to hit, no damage bonus from feats, but can use two hands and poweer attack to instead of adding a second D8, add a raw +4 to damage at -2 to hit. Plus he gets to add 1.5x his strength bonus, which is +4, so another +6. This means that the meleer hits for 1D8+10 per attack or 18 damage.

Okay, that didn't turn out quite as I expected. So it appears that all things being equal, you're looking at a similar baseline in damage output. I would argue that the problem arises still through the fact that within a group setting, without feat that allows you to fire into melee unpenalized, the archer still loses an advantage due to the fact that the melee fighter must necessarily obstruct his shots unless he's able to shoot at targets not engaging the meleer, but this is at times the case, to be sure.

I don't know, maybe it's fine and I just haven't been min/maxing as well as my melee focused comrades and that's why I fail to keep up.:embarrass

You're looking at max damage when you should be looking at the average damage. Your archer does an average of 11 damage while your melee's minimum damage is 11 with an average of 14.5.
The archer's near-guarantee of getting a full attack is not something to be overlooked. What he lacks in raw damage potential he more than makes up in consistency. That said, this model of the archer as a "machine gun" strikes me as contrary to the the fantasy ideal. If I'm playing a ranger, I want to be dropping bad guys with a single well-placed shot, not pumping enough arrows into them to build a small house.
That can be done with a load of skirmish damage or something similar.
That said, this model of the archer as a "machine gun" strikes me as contrary to the the fantasy ideal. If I'm playing a ranger, I want to be dropping bad guys with a single well-placed shot, not pumping enough arrows into them to build a small house.

You want the rules to allow 1-shotting of balors and pit fiends with a single arrow...?:P
well, it is true that nothing can beat a pouncing jumping barbarian... oh wait, yes, there is one thing... an archer 200 feets away from the barbarian able to shot him down before can reach him or a flying one.


Yes, archery deals less damage that THF but have the huge advantage of reach.
The best damage dealer in our level 6 group was the archer (fighter), though admittedly we didn't have a melee specialist.

Str 14/Dex 17, WF, WS, PBS, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Multishot. +1 composite longbow (+2 Str) flaming.

Normal to-hit: +11 for 1d8+5+1d6. Tweak as appropriate for PBS, Rapid Shot, Multishot.

While an average 13 points per hit isn't that fantastic compared to a melee heavy-hitter, she could do this reliably at targets up to a couple of hundred ft away, often with 3 shots per round (4 with haste). That's significantly more damage than a level 6 fireball.

The most important aspect of a bow is range. If all your encounters begin indoors at charge range with minimal obstructions and only get closer from there, bows will seem pretty weak. Change the environment such that melee is not a forgone conclusion and being skilled with the bow becomes a very different proposition.

Looking forward, I hope ranged weapons remain different from melee. In a modern or sci-fi setting, melee has little reason to exist as a primary option without special conceit (eg lightsabers): guns are smaller, ranged and do more damage. Part of the attractiveness of the "medieval" era is the "up close and personal" nature of combat, which is why fiction allows conceits such as lightsabers to exist. "I use a sword" vs "I use a bow" should mean something more than just range.
well, it is true that nothing can beat a pouncing jumping barbarian... oh wait, yes, there is one thing... an archer 200 feets away from the barbarian able to shot him down before can reach him or a flying one.


Yes, archery deals less damage that THF but have the huge advantage of reach.

The problem is that in an open area, archers rule, but in an enclosed area they really can't bring that to bear. It's a tough balancing act because dungeons are clearly iconic to the game (I mean they're in the title of the game) but outdoor encounters happen too. You need a way to make archery work more effectively in a dungeon situation but not make it overwhelming in outdoor encounters.
The problem is that in an open area, archers rule, but in an enclosed area they really can't bring that to bear. It's a tough balancing act because dungeons are clearly iconic to the game (I mean they're in the title of the game) but outdoor encounters happen too. You need a way to make archery work more effectively in a dungeon situation but not make it overwhelming in outdoor encounters.

Why? I mean I'm all for game balance and such, but isn't that the way things should work?

IMO a lot of veteran players get so immersed into rules and game balance that they forget how the object of their debate functions in the real world.

I remember having a long discussion with a DM over my in game tactics. He complained that my lv 12 ranger with a light horse animal companion can out run and out shoot most of the melee monsters, if outdoors.

He actually said "it's not fair that a bow-wielding mounted character can so easily defeat a sword-wielding character on foot".
Well, that's certainly true. I think perhaps slightly less damage alright from ranged weapons, given the range advantage. I probably just don't give the ranged characters the opportunities to be useful. I'm still peeved that so many abilities require you to be within 30ft and therefore chargable, but oh well. I know my DM when I was playing an archer didn't really support that weapon selection and I was constantly in close combat jockeying for position.
Why? I mean I'm all for game balance and such, but isn't that the way things should work?

IMO a lot of veteran players get so immersed into rules and game balance that they forget how the object of their debate functions in the real world.

I remember having a long discussion with a DM over my in game tactics. He complained that my lv 12 ranger with a light horse animal companion can out run and out shoot most of the melee monsters, if outdoors.

He actually said "it's not fair that a bow-wielding mounted character can so easily defeat a sword-wielding character on foot".

I'm not saying that it needs perfect balance, I'm just saying that some care needs to be taken. A big design concept in 4ed seems to be to make sure that all of the party members can contribute to an encounter. That doesn't have to mean perfectly balanced or all in the same way, just that they aren't left out. The issue is that some classes are severely focused on melee to the exclusion of ranged, that's fine in a dungeon but as soon as you get outdoors you get every round being that they say, "okay, I run another 60'" while the caster's saying "hmm, I have a 300' range on this spell, zap" and the archer can be loosing arrows. Then you get into a dungeon and the caster is still good (loses range but the power is still there) and the meleeist really shines (likely gets into reach with 1 move action) and the archer ***** back and fires a couple of shots but is really outshone by the casters and meleeists.

Basically we have 2 problems:

Any situation where melee can come into play will result in melee outshining rnaged
Any situation where range can come into play will make melee useless and be dominated by casting

Or put another way:

Casting is always good
Melee is good in close up encounters
Ranged is almost always outshone by casting or melee

What I think is needed is for melee, ranged and casting to be better balanced against each other, this way ranged can contribute in close up encounters akin to how casting can still work in a close up situation. As for ranged encounters, I'd just like to see meleeists have some kind of ranged options, not necessarily as good as an archer or a caster but at least something so they're not spending the whole encounter running to the enemy or just sitting back and twiddling their thumbs.

Right now though ranged pretty much sucks in general, but the only thing that sucks worse is when you're a melee-focused build who suddenly has to pull out their bow.
Well, that's certainly true. I think perhaps slightly less damage alright from ranged weapons, given the range advantage. I probably just don't give the ranged characters the opportunities to be useful. I'm still peeved that so many abilities require you to be within 30ft and therefore chargable, but oh well. I know my DM when I was playing an archer didn't really support that weapon selection and I was constantly in close combat jockeying for position.

I don't know, from my experience once you have precise shot and improved precise shot (or just coordinated shot) you might as well be armed with a battleaxe that has 120' reach. If you're feat poor you could always buy those nifty goggles from MIC (ignore all cover). And the arrow mind spell allows you to threaten adjacent squares AND shoot without provoking AoO's, for those rare times the enemy gets close...

Anyway, the WotC said that weapon selection will have more meaning for the fighter. Maybe we can expect some variations in ranged weapons that aren't just range, damage, reload time.
well, it is true that nothing can beat a pouncing jumping barbarian... oh wait, yes, there is one thing... an archer 200 feets away from the barbarian able to shot him down before can reach him or a flying one.


Yes, archery deals less damage that THF but have the huge advantage of reach.

Straw man. Archer PCs and barbarian PCs don't fight each other. They fight encounters. If the archer can take down enemies before they even get to the party, this makes the encounter a lot less fun for the barbarian? If the archer can't, but he's dead in melee, this makes encounters a lot less fun for archers? There's a fundamental problem, and it needs to be addressed through battlefield control rather than damage.

But to humor you: From 200' out, the monster can just execute a run action, and that's 40' X 4 = 160'. Now he's 40 feet away from you. Next round he can charge. Unless you kill him in one attack sequence, he's charging your ass, and you're screwed. Again, problem does not lie in damage, but in strategic options, of which the archer has none.
Straw man. Archer PCs and barbarian PCs don't fight each other. They fight encounters. If the archer can take down enemies before they even get to the party, this makes the encounter a lot less fun for the barbarian? If the archer can't, but he's dead in melee, this makes encounters a lot less fun for archers? There's a fundamental problem, and it needs to be addressed through battlefield control rather than damage.

Yes, having 1 class shine and the other one be useless ends up making it not fun for that other class

But to humor you: From 200' out, the monster can just execute a run action, and that's 40' X 4 = 160'. Now he's 40 feet away from you. Next round he can charge. Unless you kill him in one attack sequence, he's charging your ass, and you're screwed. Again, problem does not lie in damage, but in strategic options, of which the archer has none.

Why don't you use the standard 30' move rate? Then it's 30' x 4 = 120', still 80' away and can't charge next round, suffers another full attack from the archer.