ax/exbow in the brave new world (in General)

AdminJonathan September 26 2006 1:21 PM EDT

Now that everyone has had a chance to calm down, how are the xbows doing? From what I can see, most people have not rushed to train evasion on their main tanks, so xbows should be mostly unaffected in that respect. Nor do I see how xbow users give up more in that missing round of melee than bow or sling users...

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] September 26 2006 1:29 PM EDT

They are certainly much better since the AoI U-turn. Still need to find space for a small EC to make sure they work against PL teams which isn't too much trouble in most cases. What they really need is an image make over as everyone still seems to think they are worthless ;)

QBJohnnywas September 26 2006 1:35 PM EDT

The change to seeking/AoI meant my tank was hurt a lot more by the ax/exbows. I couldn't quite understand why people were in a rush to get rid of them. Although maybe people were blaming the change on ranged for fights lost because they lost that melee round. And also, maybe the average xbow user doesn't rely on dex so much so haven't made the most of their situation?

And as for evasion, when does the current round of NCB players run out of bonus? I think we'll see a lot of new teams in the next lot of NCB's with evasion playing a big part. ;)

QBOddBird September 26 2006 1:36 PM EDT

True. However, it still doesn't seem to be much of a choice, considering the very weak damage it does and the fact that it is now the *only* weapon that can't fire in all 3 ranged rounds.

*shrugs* The recent change with the AoI helps bring it back a little, but doesn't seem to be enough IMO.

PirateKing September 26 2006 1:37 PM EDT

You mean my xbow is not "totally useless" like I have been told over and over again in chat? How can I run in circles screaming "doom" if that is not so? :P

bartjan September 26 2006 1:38 PM EDT

I think I need to double or triple the NW of my axbow to come even close to making up for the lost first round in melee...

QBJohnnywas September 26 2006 1:40 PM EDT

It only takes a few people to say something is useless for everybody to believe that's the truth:

Mithril Cuirass
Executioners Sword

Anyone want to add something?

I think the change to seeking made a big difference personally, affected me loads. All we need now is somebody to use one in such a way that make people shout OVERPOWERED!!!

bartjan September 26 2006 1:41 PM EDT

I don't mind doing without ranged, the only problem I have is this 7M NW paperweight I can't get any cash for in return...

PirateKing September 26 2006 1:45 PM EDT

"I have is this 7M NW paperweight I can't get any cash for in return..."

Funny how that works... you say something is just a "paperweight" then bemoan that no one wants to pay good money for it.

Just sayin....

QBOddBird September 26 2006 1:53 PM EDT

Like I said, the AoI change helped a little, but there's really just no incentive (for me, at least) to use it over another, better ranged weapon. Even on my UC team, for which it should be idea, my Exbow grants me fewer wins than my SoD does. I think they still need at least a little love.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] September 26 2006 1:54 PM EDT

The worst of the ex/axbow for me is that the base damage. It is so low that it's not really a good option, the compound, SoD and elb are far better then these two. Even with the 20% ranged boost.
If it's mend to seek out tanks? All the damage and Str reduction goes right into the wall. So the real nerfer of this is PL.

And the reduction? with all of those ToA tank users, the reduced STR and Dex doesn't really have any effect what so ever. Now more then ever with that new formulae for damage calculation.
All what a tank needs is a huge weapon to get huge damage and PTH, and many people have huge weapons.

QBBarzooMonkey September 26 2006 1:56 PM EDT

I'm only using mine until my SoD comes back from being forged...

bartjan September 26 2006 1:57 PM EDT

What's your offer, PirateKing?

PirateKing September 26 2006 1:59 PM EDT

After that "sell job"?

I'll give you BBQ's unlaundered Combat Gi. :P

QBOddBird September 26 2006 2:11 PM EDT

/me is used to people bargaining over his clothing. No worries. ~_^

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] September 26 2006 2:14 PM EDT

I do agree somewhat with Bart, at relatively low nw the damage done and small drain is very often not worth missing the first round of ranged. However care is needed in helping them out as with the linear x cost they can be very powerful (removing huge amounts of DX) at high levels and with large nw.

AdminShade September 26 2006 2:15 PM EDT

In my opinion the Axbows and Exbows have seriously dropped in favor...

They might not miss more in that round of melee, but they do miss more in that round of ranged in which they don't fire and the other 2 ranged classes of weapons do...

Also their damage is considered to be a laugh in my honest opinion...

AdminNightStrike September 26 2006 2:21 PM EDT

Do they suffer the giant miss chance that bows do without archery?

AdminShade September 26 2006 2:28 PM EDT

Some stats for Exbows:

Enforcer's Crossbow: top 10

An Enforcer's Crossbow [4x488] (+132) owned by DAWG - not equipped
An Enforcer's Crossbow [4x457] (+70) owned by {cb1}Freed - not equipped
An Enforcer's Crossbow [4x300] (+51) owned by Herbstwind - equipped
An Enforcer's Crossbow [4x133] (+55) owned by Bartman - not equipped
An Enforcer's Crossbow [4x243] (+40) owned by auctioneer (rental master) - not being rented
An Enforcer's Crossbow [4x95] (+51) owned by markxe - not equipped
An Enforcer's Crossbow [4x192] (+43) owned by {Blarg} (Blarg Mk V) - no ammo equipped
An Enforcer's Crossbow [4x300] (+30) owned by [Quoth]The Raven - not equipped
True Shot [4x222] (+32) owned by snowman (SnOwMan) - not equipped
An Enforcer's Crossbow [4x177] (+36) owned by AgentAia - no ammo equipped

out of the top 10:

6 don't have their Exbow equipped
2 don't have any ammo equipped
1 is in rentals but isn't being rented
1 is finally equipped, with ammo

so only 10% of the top 10 Exbows is currently being used.

AdminJonathan September 26 2006 2:30 PM EDT

"I think I need to double or triple the NW of my axbow to come even close to making up for the lost first round in melee"

but, the bow and sling users are missing the first round of melee too, and they probably need it more than you (since their stats are lower b/c of your xbow).

"they do miss more in that round of ranged in which they don't fire and the other 2 ranged classes of weapons do"

sure, but that's nothing new. bows w/ archery did more damage before, and they still do. the only difference is that slings are also a semi-viable choice (and you don't have to worry about elbow + BL).

"Also their damage is considered to be a laugh in my honest opinion"

that's the thing, though; these xbows have never been about the damage.

"Do they suffer the giant miss chance that bows do without archery?"


AdminNightStrike September 26 2006 2:36 PM EDT

Well, shade, that explains it. Those x values are very low. If you want a 5m NW Exbow (Herbstwind's) to equal a 7843795674798654 million NW Elbow in battle effectiveness, you're off your rocker.

AdminShade September 26 2006 2:36 PM EDT

Same statistics for Axbows:

Clumsy [4x1005] (+167) owned by Ranger - is equipped
Leper's Drive [4x1688] (+140) owned by DAWG - not equipped
A 12 Gauge Shotgun [4x635] (+107) owned by {cb1}Freed - not equipped
An Assassin's Crossbow [4x690] (+100) owned by {cb1}jayuu - not equipped
Balefire [4x1050] (+66) owned by Wolvie - is equipped
Assassin's Crossbow [4x650] (+70) owned by IndependenZ - is equipped
Assassin's Crossbow [4x600] (+70) owned by Central Bank - has been auctioned
An Assassin's Crossbow [4x307] (+81) owned by Radiskulle - is equipped but is rented
An Assassin's Crossbow [4x387] (+76) owned by auctioneer (rental master) - is not being rented
An Assassin's Crossbow [4x826] (+40) owned by Sir Leon - not equipped

Summary, out of the top 10 Axbows:
4 are not being equipped
2 are in rentals (of which 1 is being rented and used)
1 has been auctioned
4 are being equipped and used

So only 40% of the top 10 Axbows are currently being used.

If I extend this (mostly because my Axbow is #12 in the game) this is only 33% of the top 12 Axbows which are currently being used.

AdminShade September 26 2006 2:43 PM EDT

Top 10 Elven Long Bows:

Platypus Phlegm [6x8751] (+176) owned by {cb1}Freed - is equipped
Tennis ELBow [6x5700] (+130) owned by {cb1}jayuu - is equipped
Aphetoros [6x5400] (+113) owned by DAWG - is not equipped
Malevolent Bow of Malice [6x3000] (+100) owned by SNK3R - is equipped
The Bow of Mikel [6x2900] (+101) owned by Mikel - is not equipped
A Vorpal Bow [6x2525] (+105) owned by Nymandus - is not equipped
Khaos Bow [6x2400] (+102) owned by auctioneer (rental master) - is not being rented
An Elven Long Bow [6x2919] (+83) owned by markxe - is equipped
Götterdämmerung [6x1934] (+90) owned by Intox - is not equipped
String on a Stick [6x1881] (+85) owned by Monkeyboy - is equipped

Out of the top 10:
4 are not equipped
1 is not being rented
5 are being used

So even here, only 50% of the top 10 ELBs are being used properly

10% Exbows are being used
33%-40% Axbows are being used
50% ELBs are being used

AdminShade September 26 2006 2:49 PM EDT

I'm not stating the obvious that their NW's aren't the same.

I am just stating that they are much less used because of the fact that their usefulness has been comprimised (or at least in my opinion).

Jon: true they always used to lack the 2nd round, but now in addition to the low damage and the PL taking away a part of the drain they originally were meant to do, they are less wanted.

Jon: The damage never was big, but they don't drain like they used to, which is the problem with them now. You now have to raise the X much much more to drain the same as 'before' and that's for just 2 rounds, in which you miss the first one most likely if your friendly opponent tank has an AoI and the next minion has Evasion (which is often the case).

Also tanks don't have to train evasion, they wear Amulets of Invisibility to have 100% evasion of ranged rounds already in a multi minion environment.

QBOddBird September 26 2006 2:53 PM EDT

"that's the thing, though; these xbows have never been about the damage. "

Then why does my Exbow do such awful drainage, as well? I know I've 'only' got 2.6M invested in it, but why does it only do like 1% STR drain if the whole point is the drain? ='(.

So basically, my Exbow fires in two rounds, misses more in those rounds, does less damage, but the point is for it to drop my opponent's STR by 5% so that I can live longer. (If I'd invest a little more to increase that drain all the way up to 5%.) After all, that is far more useful than killing off 1 or 2 minion in ranged rounds.

I dunno, seems like it would take *MASSIVE* NW to make it useful.

QBJohnnywas September 26 2006 2:54 PM EDT

'Also tanks don't have to train evasion, they wear Amulets of Invisibility to have 100% evasion of ranged rounds already in a multi minion environment.'

Shade, the AoI now doesn't work against ax/exbows remember. That's why they now hurt my team far more than they did before. The only thing I have to work against them is the amount of haste I'm training. If somebody was to couple an axbow with DM my team would be toast....

Brakke Bres [Ow man] September 26 2006 2:56 PM EDT

Jon wrote:
"Also their damage is considered to be a laugh in my honest opinion"

that's the thing, though; these xbows have never been about the damage.

If they are all about the reduction of stats, why won't they do there job?????
You have a small chance of landing any hit, and the hits you land are "sucked" away by Phantom link wall. Only way to use them is with EC. But then your choices of EO are suddenly very limited.

So no jon, these things don't serve any purpose.
Simply put: This game revolves around damage and if you made an item that doesn't, then that item is pretty much useless.

Especially when they only have 2 rounds to fire in.

QBJohn Birk [Black Cheetah Bazaar] September 26 2006 3:17 PM EDT

Let me just pitch in here a little bit.

Back in the day when I was challenging Ranger for the top spot in the game, the main reason I could not beat him was his axbow. He would do so much DX drain in the first round (we were comparable DX wise but he had the + up way high and my DB's couldn't reach it) that the fight was basically over in that first hit he would do. Once my DX got way below his, then my + could not match up to his higher DX and his DB's and poof no contest.

This is a situation to avoid. Yes, there are things now in place, like evasion, like PL that can help change that today vs. what was in place when I was trying to figure out what to do. But, if you energize the axbow too much, you will simply mandate that all single tanks learn evasion, and all multiple minion tank set ups have a well deployed PL strategy. You may say that is already the case, and it may be so, but be careful what you wish for, because you might get it, then find yourself in the same spot I was in, which was if I do not doge his axbow round one (or PL the drain away) then you lose.

As far as the overall landscape, I think it is good. Certainly not what I had in mind when I said archery needed a buff, but it got a buff in a round about way at the very least. Now with the loss of the melee round, and the lack of hitting without archery trained, and the boost to evasion, bloodlust is not longer the de facto skill for any tank to train. Now your choice of tank based skill is much more flexible and involves your whole strategy.

AdminShade September 26 2006 3:20 PM EDT

True your standard silly tank now has to adapt itself a lot more.

Which is why mine has adapted to not use any ranged weapon at all for a while... :(

QBOddBird September 26 2006 3:28 PM EDT

So the solution is to make Ex/Axbows entirely useless down low and incredibly powerful up high?

QBRanger September 26 2006 4:07 PM EDT

I would like to chime in a bit.


The AOI change I have not seen in writing about it effecting ax/exbows. It was stated to effect seekers but I have not seen in black and white. But from my battles I see the AOI is not effecting it anymore.


I am equipping Clumsy, my axbow, because I can think of nothing better to do with it and occasionally I get a hit due to its +173. It is not a part of my strat except for window dressing. If I could sell it for 50% NW, it would be gone.


Axbows and exbows are NOT designed to do damage. They are to leech dex/str and that is basically it. Get it out of your minds that you need to do a lot of damage with one. That is what the compound bow, elven long bow and now the sling of death are for.


PL started the decline of ax/exbows. Since PL can stop the leech from happening in round 1, you have to wait till round 3 almost all the time to start the dex/str leech. So your losing 1 full round of potential leeching, which is 50% of the potential. IMO that HAS to be changed to make them useful again. Sure, the new rule stating that when the minion with the PL gets below 0 in dex/str you start leeching the tank helps and that is why ax/exbows are slightly more useful than composite bows.

For those not here until recently, PL absorbed all the dex/str leech and only recently was it changed as above.


Evasion is tough for both elb and ax/exbow users and has no bearing on whether or not they are useful. It is what it is.


My recommendation is to keep the damage the same, do not change evasion or DB's but make the ax/exbows drain from the minion it hit immediately. Sure, let the DAMAGE alone be absorbed by PL but let the leech effect the minion it hits. Waiting 1 round for you to drain the PL minion is too long. OR make the axbow/exbow/all xbows, fire in all 3 missile rounds without the penalty bows have. Heck, even in ancient times, people could use xbows without much training while you needed to be proficient at using a bow.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

AdminShade September 26 2006 4:12 PM EDT

From changelog: "Removed anti-seeker properties of invisibility"

I also think this is in regard to being 'anti-seeker ammo'

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] September 26 2006 4:14 PM EDT

Good points Ranger and I would not be averse to your suggested change. I don't totally agree with point 5. Taking evasion over BL/archery is a not a great choice for most tanks in multi minion teams (unless of course the Ax/Ex come back to the fore) You can have an evasion wall or enchanter up front (or at the back with AoI on other minions) and keep those good skills BL/archery on your tank. The AX/EX allow you to bypass this evasion minion versus the thing it is most useful against.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 26 2006 4:20 PM EDT

I wear an AoI and get hit with ax/ex bows constantly...I have a lot invested in Haste and GS to make the most of PL, and it's abilities in eliminating drain. I think multi minion teams need a way around stat draining, even those unwilling to hop on the evasion bandwagon.

Do you really think we need the AX/EX to be effective against every tank team not training evasion?

Brakke Bres [Ow man] September 26 2006 4:20 PM EDT

to add what ranger sayed about the old days:
Crossbows in ancient times
Why not make these repeating crossbows?
Maybe the ex/axbow?

Like this they can fire all 3 rounds and might have a bigger hit ratio.
What you can't do with quality, flood them with quantity.

AdminShade September 26 2006 4:21 PM EDT

R1: Melkor 'Arises in Might' missed Leviathan

R2: Melkor 'Arises in Might' missed Leviathan

Leviathan wears an AoI

so Indeed, the seeker ability is the Axbow/Exbow seeker ability...

nevertheless, they aren't about damage but about drain, they do make you lack a whole lot more damage (1 melee round), while they don't drain enough to make up for it with their draining abilities.

QBRanger September 26 2006 4:22 PM EDT


In point 5 I was talking about those who are moaning that evasion makes axbows useless.

Evasion is certainly not recommended on a tank but those that do, and those that use UC make them less likely to hit.

So my statement, 'evasion is what it is'.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 26 2006 4:25 PM EDT

I hate to say this, but the SoD and EX Shots are ging to need to be reduced in power (or Ex Shots made rare again) for X Bows (any type) to shine.

Imagine having a few SoD's and some 50 x 2500 Ex Shots on your minions for defense. We've all seen hiow much damage was done with the free untrain. ELBows are stil kings of damage, but the Ex Shots do it to the whole team!

Damage. It all comes down to damage. ELBows crank out massive damage to single opponents, Ex Shot to whole teams.

While X Bows are situational at best. Got the largest A/EXBow in the game? Useless verses any mages you might face. And what Tank doesn't have PL now days to suck up one round of draining. That only leave your with another round left to drain on.

As for losing the first Melee round, SoD will probably be used on UC teams, which don't lose the first round (I plan to use on on a CoC Mage, which again won't lose the first round), and Tanks are start to specialise either Archery (in which case losing the first round doesn't mean much lose of damage) or BL without any Ranged weapons.

I might be worng on an asusmption. In a single round, where PL asorbs A/EXbow drain, if the PL minion only has 20 STR/DEX does it only stop 20 drain, with the tank aking the rest in that round?

As for non specialty crossbows, why use them? You only get two attacks in ranged, lose your first melee for the privaledge, while a SoD is so much better.

AdminNightStrike September 26 2006 5:30 PM EDT

Henk, for shame! These are the proper images to use for weapons:

horseguy001 [Blender 2021] September 26 2006 5:56 PM EDT

I was going to start my own thread for this, but then I saw this one :D

do the xbows still drain what they are supposed to drain regardless of a minions strength? Say I had 20 str and a 10 mil NW Exbow, and I hit for no damage (or very little damage), would it still drain x% about of str?

QBOddBird September 26 2006 6:06 PM EDT

Hurrah, 3 rounds! I can deal with this. Thanks Jon. =)
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