What is the best Ranged Weapon? (in General)


VsCountStrum [Black Watch] September 18 2009 10:59 AM EDT

Moving this from Debates and expanding on it.

What do you think is the best ranged weapon for equal NW.

ELB for Damage and accuracy
SoD for Splash
MageSeeker for getting rid of those pesky DD mages
Xbow for nerfing the opponent

PoisoN September 18 2009 11:08 AM EDT

Depends on your opponent.

PoisoN September 18 2009 11:08 AM EDT

Oh and of course the rest of your own setup.

Demigod September 18 2009 11:10 AM EDT

This is going to be an interesting topic, as the actual gameplay application is dependent on team setup.

For example, even if the SoD were ever-so-slightly stronger than the alternatives, I'd personally still have to stick with an ELB as I have a FF that deals the splash damage already. And for me, a MageSeeker won't be a winner as mages aren't my downfall -- larger tanks and GA are.

Demigod September 18 2009 11:10 AM EDT

Bah, Poison beat me to it.

QBRanger September 18 2009 11:15 AM EDT

If I had to do it over again, I would use a SoD without any hesitation.

You stated all the pluses and minuses of an ELB vs SoD very well.

The decision would boil down to the ability to not be FORCED to train a skill just to use a weapon as it was intended. This for me would save over 1.3M levels which I could put into something else. For others with higher strength it would be a lot more.

Also, with the exbow, the SoD, with its ability to attack all minions in a round is invaluable.

If or when there is a missile salvage yard, I can assure you ELB's will be very rare as most ELB users I have chatted with will go to a SoD.

QBRanger September 18 2009 11:18 AM EDT

The only time an ELB would be worse for me is vs another single or dual minion tank based character.

But then those extra levels I would save by not being forced to train archery could boost my dexterity enough to hit them more, or give me more hp to outlive them, or let me learn evasion with the ability use EBs.

I can see very few scenarios in which an ELB > SoD. Perhaps if you have a FF as was stated. However, I have tried a FF with my archer and prompty lose 4 people from my fightlist vs the HF mostly due to the stupid splash damage.

VsCountStrum [Black Watch] September 18 2009 11:31 AM EDT

I know that the design of the team will greatly influence the ideal ranged weapon for that team. However, am trying to not to get too detailed or looking for strategy help.

I have an currently have an Archer with an ELB, but I have been recently thinking about other ranged weapons and just looking for peoples opinions on which they like best and why.

Demigod September 18 2009 12:19 PM EDT

If we're talking about a team like Sylvan Mist with one source of direct damage (disregarding GA), then the splash damage is definitely going to help at face value. You'll have to run the numbers to figure out how much damage or + you'll lose per NW and also figure out how much you'll regain from archery.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] September 18 2009 12:28 PM EDT

ELB, why? 100 BTH, cheap X, cheap PTH and massive damage. Only need a fraction of the exp for archery

QBRanger September 18 2009 12:53 PM EDT

And your subject to exbows crippling you due to the lack of evasion skill.

Dark Dreky September 18 2009 1:22 PM EDT

"Only need a fraction of the exp for archery"

It's not a small fraction.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] September 18 2009 1:58 PM EDT

not debating about the counters to the elb. If you look at pure damage and easy to use, the ELB is king. Archery is a fraction unless you equip a ToA, but who does that anyway... Ow wait.

Neo Japan September 18 2009 2:24 PM EDT

I have a team with a monk using SoD and an Elf using ELB. Same ST, same size Weapons, and the ELB does more damage every fight. more hits, less misses.

I love the Monk, but it has to be ELB all the way.

QBRanger September 18 2009 2:53 PM EDT

Maybe my views are from having used the ELB for so long. The grass is always greener is the key saying.

But if we get a Ranged Salvage Yard......

Dark Dreky September 18 2009 3:05 PM EDT

"Archery is a fraction unless you equip a ToA"

Archery is always a fraction. And is only non-significant if your strength is low (~2M).

As a ranged/ELB focused team, you should have one high strength character (~6M+). Which means a ridiculous amount of experience just to use a weapon!!

QBRanger September 18 2009 4:19 PM EDT

And since you cannot use a skill such as evasion, you should not generally use EBs. As the exbow is just too much of a thread.

So your archery skill gets less of a boost than if you used a SoD/evasion with EBs.

ResistanZ September 19 2009 4:57 AM EDT

I'd say doing a lot of damage to 1 minion beats doing a little damage to 4 minions.

Demigod September 19 2009 9:57 AM EDT

What if one of those 4 is a 20 hp decay mage or a TSA PL wall?

Brakke Bres [Ow man] September 19 2009 12:38 PM EDT

quad hits demi, quad hits

AdminTitan September 19 2009 12:55 PM EDT

Henk do you think that only Elbows can quad hit? With AA's SoD I was getting quints.

Cube September 19 2009 1:43 PM EDT

When you factor in PL and Walls etc. the SoD definitely comes out ahead. Msker isn't useful most of the time. XBow's NW is only useful up to 60 mil NW or so...

So SoD. Since it's only weakness is GA, and if you have a big DM, you probably don't have to worry about that.

Plus, you can replicate the Elb's effects with a Halidon for cheap.

QBRanger September 19 2009 2:18 PM EDT

I agree completely Cube.

VsCountStrum [Black Watch] September 21 2009 10:20 AM EDT

I was able to rent a fairly comparable SoD to compare against my ELB.

A Sling of Death [5x1330] (+63) NW 16.7Mil
An Elven Long Bow [6x1200] (+75) NW 16.8 Mil

The main difference in damage is related to the number of minions on the team and, therefore, the amount of splash damage that is done by SoD. Testing method was too simple for accurate ratings, but should be good enough for general deductions. I created a fight list with 1 -5 (4 minion team with Familiar) minions and fought each one 3 times with the ELB and the SoD and compared the damage. I did these fairly fast (15 minutes), so I am assuming (always dangerous), that the opponants did not change equipment or train in the middle. Therefore, the only difference was the ranged weapon.


1 Minion team - Sod does 65% of the damage of ELB
2 Minion team - Sod does 90% of the damage of ELB
3 Minion team - Sod does 95% of the damage of ELB
4 Minion team - Sod does 114% of the damage of ELB
5 Minion team - Sod does 118% of the damage of ELB



An interesting note, is that my fight list results (W / L) was the same for ELB and SoD.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] September 21 2009 10:22 AM EDT

Titan, with an ELB its rather cheap to get a quad hit since it starts at 100 CTH you only need 250 CTH more.

QBRanger September 21 2009 10:32 AM EDT

As Henk did point out, the ELB has about 40 more CTH overall due to its higher BTH, 100 vs 60.

HOWEVER, if you get to melee rounds, the SOD fires every round vs every other for bows.

VsCountStrum [Black Watch] September 21 2009 10:39 AM EDT

I am definitely seeing additional hits/round with the ELB. Which I partially attribute to the increase CtH of the ELB and partially to the nearly 20% additional '+' of the ELB (+75 vs +63).

I do like that the SoD fires more effectively in Melee rounds.


I am leaning towards the SoD since so many teams have 3 or more minions, but is has been a fun test.

TheHatchetman September 21 2009 10:39 AM EDT

"HOWEVER, if you get to melee rounds, the SOD fires every round vs every other for bows."

Wow, did not know that. Thought SoD missed every other round too... Did that change or is my memory playing trciks on me?

btw, bows get a 60% penalty to DX and CTH in melee, slings get 80 ;)

QBRanger September 21 2009 11:06 AM EDT

Slings have always been every round in melee.

miteke [Superheros] September 21 2009 12:39 PM EDT

How are the damage comparisons affected by the Archery skill? In other words did you compare SoD to ELB without archery or SoD to ELB with archery?

VsCountStrum [Black Watch] September 21 2009 12:49 PM EDT

No, I did not untrain my Archery. Therefore all test were done with 100% Archery.

QBRanger September 21 2009 12:51 PM EDT

Archery skill has no bearing on damage.

However, that xp you need into archery, if put into strength, can make damage more for the SoD.

Demigod September 21 2009 1:11 PM EDT

I did a search for the number of players by team size. It's not remotely an exact science, but I excluded teams with PR less than 100k (mostly dead players) and came up with this:

1 Minion - 24%
2 Minions - 24%
3 Minions - 17%
4 Minions - 35%

Which teams are sporting familiars is not included. If we assume (not accurately) that it's about the same across the board, the percentages will hold up.

Based on VsCountStrums' numbers, and giving a touch of credit back to SoD from wasted EXP on archery, it seems that the break-even point is at the 3-minion mark, or 2 minions plus a familiar.

If half of the 2-minion teams use familiars (not accurate), then the ELB only wins out with about 36% of the opponents, with the SoD leading the other 64% of the time.

Again, NONE of this mess is scientific, but it does warrant more interest in the SoD.

QBRanger September 21 2009 1:14 PM EDT

I do believe as well the SoD has a tougher upgrade curve on the x and the +.

However, the ability to use a skill such as evasion or UC with a SoD is extremely valuable and would tip things for me towards using a SoD.

Especially being able to use evasion vs the exbow.

AdminNightStrike September 22 2009 11:04 AM EDT

How is it that nobody thinks the exbow is the best ranged weapon?

QBsutekh137 September 22 2009 11:10 AM EDT

Because damage comes first, and then comes the gear to accentuate that damage and/or debilitate the enemy.

Since the exbow is extremely good at debilitating the enemy with moderate NW and fairly small experience investment, it shines at that second tier of gear, but doesn't quite make it into the first.

QBRanger September 22 2009 11:31 AM EDT

Because the exbow is specialized to work well only vs tanks.

And while it can work vs mages, the damage is very low compared to the other weapons one can use.

When one thinks of the "best" ranged weapon, one has to consider all the characters one will face in the game.

If we break the question into 2 parts, that is best vs tanks and best vs mages, we will likely get 2 different answers.

But, given that it only works well vs tanks, it does that function too well for the xp/NW needed to utilize it.

Even a 300M NW elb takes many rounds to kill your opponent, especially if s/he uses some of the counters described above.

But a 70M NW exbow can in 1 round and 1 hit effectly win the battle no matter how long it goes.

I would just love to see a mage specific item that can do that exact thing.

But we had such railing vs the MgS with its 1% per + magic damage reduction that it got nerfed to near uselessness. And that item has such restrictions on its use.

AdminTitan September 22 2009 12:56 PM EDT

IMHO the exbow is the best ranged weapon. I just thought we were going to leave it out of this conversation b/c it's going to get changed again soon. Right NS? XD (But really, exbow should be on every team, great weapon for 60-70M. I just don't count it b/c you can't kill very easily with it. It has to be incorporated with another means of attack.)

QBRanger September 22 2009 12:58 PM EDT

I agree Titan.

If you have the spare minion to put 2M strength and about 1M dex, it is a perfect weapon. Esp if you have a high Leadership to help get that 1 hit in you need.

I mean, seriously, how else can you spend 80M CB and effectively destroy most tank teams?

DBs do not seem to do it. I have +205 DBs and get hit often from exbows.

AdminTitan September 22 2009 1:18 PM EDT

It only makes sense. After a certain point, pumping your armor, or even your large weapon does very little. However, if you put on a 70M NW exbow, and even just 500k ST. You can destroy tank teams.

QBRanger September 22 2009 1:43 PM EDT

And my problem, the one I always had, is how is this good for the game?

Especially the long term effects of such an abusive item?

Up till now, it was difficult to have a secondary weapon with that much NW. But now, it is much easier and may become commonplace as there is little defense against getting hit just 1 or 2 times.

Which in most cases is all it takes.
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