Frostorm

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What are some possible gameplay or mechanical differences between Longbows & Crossbows? I have an intermediate class called "Marksman" that can upgrade to an advanced class and thus specialize into either an "Archer" (Longbow) or an "Arbalist" (Crossbow). I'm just trying to come up w/ some differences so the Archer & Arbalist classes can feel more distinct. Any suggestions? Thx!

Which is faster? Which has more range? Should they do similar damage? Utility options? Etc...
 

ATT_Turan

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It should be pretty easy to look up how the actual weapons are different. The longbow can shoot at pretty impressive ranges (albeit, not with great accuracy at that point).

The crossbow was invented to throw bolts that could pierce armor.

The bow and arrow can be fired pretty much as fast as you can grab an arrow, knock and pull. The crossbow needs to be mechanically cocked again for each bolt.

That's all pretty common knowledge (not common knowledge like you should've known it, but common as in very easy to look up). I'd be amazed if there aren't several YouTube videos comparing them.
 

The Stranger

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Longbows are quicker to load, and not much slower to fire, but it also requires a decent amount of strength to use effectively. Crossbows are mechanical, so they don't require the same level of strength, they are also more accurate than longbows.

Longbows required expertise to use effectively, but they were quicker than crossbows and could still penetrate armour. I believe that crossbows had a much greater range than longbows, and remained fairly accurate at such ranges, but I could be wrong.

Some of this won't matter if you're using a turn based battle system like the one in RPG Maker. Range? Forget about it!

You could use loading and reloading, with perhaps the longbow being able to fire every turn, while the crossbow can only fire every other turn. I don't know. Both can penetrate armour and both can kill very easily. Not sure how I'd really translate that into an RPG, tbh.
 
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MoonBunny

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Crossbows don't really have much over longbows besides being dead simple to use. Thus, it didn't require much training to have a solider use it effectively. One actual combat advantage would be more favorable use in a defensive position, such as shooting from behind a castle wall during a siege. If you want, you could have the crossbow have no penalty to agility or evasion while the longbow has a penalty to one of those, but deals more damage and has greater accuracy.
 

VegaKotes

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I'm not 100% sure on which Tactical plugin you're using so I don't know if some of this will be relevant or not.

1. Range.
One can be better specialized for range. For example 2 to 6 squares of range. While the other can allow for closer range/counterattack. 1 to 3/4 range. Longbow vs Hand Crossbow perhaps? Or Heavy Crossbow vs Shortbow.

2. Damage.
One can be spec'd for more reliable damage vs the other relying on Crit hit chance. Say one does 10 damage per hit every hit while the other deals 5 damage but has a chance to do quad damage. One becomes a good choice for players that like to have consistent damage while the other favors players that like rolling the dice.

3. AOE abilities.
One can give skills like Multishot. Hit multiple enemies in a circular aoe because it's easier to fire arrows one after the other. Whereas the other can give piercing shots. Hit 2 or more enemies in a row because of the piercing power.

Stuff like that.
 

Frostorm

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Omg, I did some "research" and umm...do Crossbows really take that long to reload?!
However, the Longbow in the video has a 160lbs draw weight, while the Crossbow is 860lbs!
 

The Stranger

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Omg, I did some "research" and umm...do Crossbows really take that long to reload?!
However, the Longbow in the video has a 160lbs draw weight, while the Crossbow is 860lbs!
Their draw weight is why they're mechanical. Once you've loaded a crossbow, however, it's ready to fire at all times. A fully drawn longbow can only be held for a fairly short amount of time. This wasn't much of a problem in a battle, but I imagine it'd be a big one in any situation that required the user to take aim for a long period of time.
 

Frostorm

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So maybe the Arbalist can do HEAVY damage, but cannot Attack/Shoot the following turn but can still move, ofc. The Arbalist would still be able to cast spells (if learned) or take other actions that don't involve his/her weapon.
 

The Stranger

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So maybe the Arbalist can do HEAVY damage, but cannot Attack/Shoot the following turn but can still move, ofc. The Arbalist would still be able to cast spells (if learned) or other actions that don't involve the Arbalist's weapon.
Personally, I'd probably have it so that reloading takes a whole turn, and during their reloading action they can't do anything else. I mean, if you're throwing spells or running about the place then you ain't reloading. :p
 

Frostorm

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Personally, I'd probably have it so that reloading takes a whole turn, and during their reloading action they can't do anything else. I mean, if you're throwing spells or running about the place then you ain't reloading. :p
Yea, that makes sense, lol! I just hope it's not too much of a penalty, balance-wise... They are effectively "stunned" for a turn, right?
 

VegaKotes

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Personally, I'd probably have it so that reloading takes a whole turn, and during their reloading action they can't do anything else. I mean, if you're throwing spells or running about the place then you ain't reloading. :p
While more realistic how many players would end up using that weapon? Then again some people do use Slaking with Truant or Giga Impact/Hyper beam. If the damage is high enough to make up for the lack of another turn that could be worth it.

I would just caution putting too much punishment on a player for choosing that weapon type.

Edit: I would also add @Frostorm, put consideration if you have Counter Attacks or not.
In my own project I have a Overheat Mechanic. Basic attacks cost mana and if a unit runs out of mana they get stunned for a turn or 2. I'm planning on allowing the players to make as many attacks per turn as they want until they run out of mana or end their turn.

However I had to do some extra searching in order to make sure their counter attack's didn't also burn up mana because it would guarantee that any of the player's units getting attacked would for sure get stunned during the enemy turn which is out of the player's control and thus anti-fun.
Instead counter attacks use a weaker basic attack with a range of 1 that costs no mana.

So if your longbow can counter attack however much it wants to but your crossbow can't that might frustrate players using the crossbow.
 
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The Stranger

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Yeah, it'd depend on the kind of battle system you're using. If you can freely move around, or at least retreat to a backrow where enemies do less damage or can't even target you, then you could have the slow reload speed.

If you're using something like those battle rows that let you position actors and enemies in one of three rows on the battlefield, you could have the crossbow be able to fire from right at the back, where as the longbow could only fire from the middle. I once toyed with that idea only using sniper rifles and regular rifles. The ranges are totally nonsensical in such a situation, but I felt that it conveyed the idea that one had a longer range than the other.
 

Andar

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There are very few and very specific cases where a crossbow is better than an experienced and trained archer - mostly only indoors (the bow needs a high ceiling for ranges) and ambush (as said it takes strenght to hold a bow ready). The crossbow is also less affected by wind and weather, but that is offset by its horrible rate of fire compared to a bow.

The disadvantage of the bow is that it takes years of training to get to that point, as opposed to weeks for crossbow training. That is why armies (who want to get their recruits to use fast) switched to crossbows (and later muskets).
 

eomereolsson

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So my takeaways from that video (combined with my previous knowledge) was that the longbow is just generally the superior weapon over the crossbow. They have a far greater rate of fire and apparently greater penetration power. I knew that crossbows had greater draw weights and assumed that the would therefore also have greater penetration power. But according to the guys in the video the longbow is so much more efficient in transferring the draw weight onto the projectile that despite the difference in draw weight the longbow surprisingly also comes out on top in this comparison. You learn something new every day.

Key advantages for the crossbow were:
- Way less training required to operate it reasonably effective (could be represented in-game through the Crossow- class leveling up much faster, than the Longbow-class)

- In confined spaces a longbow quickly becomes impossible to use, whereas a crossbow can still be used without significant hindrance. In the video they specifically call out siege and naval warfare, but also mention how harshly only a few twigs overhead can impact the accuracy of the longbow
(Since you mentioned you are building a tactics game, maybe Longbow-characters take accuracy penalties or outright can't shoot while they are on tiles of a certain terrain, while Crossbow-characters are unaffected. This could create an interesting tension, if tiles of that terrain generally are desirable to be positioned in. For example the classic defense buff while standing in a forest.)


Also while typing this out I had a slightly different idea to implement the long loading times than just 'stunning' the unit after firing:
I'd give them a state like 'Weapons ready'. They can only use their crossbows while they have that state and once the do, they lose it. Later on they can spend their action on a 'Reload'-skill to regain that state. If you want to, maybe make it so that this skill can only be used if the unit didn't move, or didn't move far this turn.
While effectively still making it so that the unit can only fire every other turn, this would give the player more agency in when it is safe to 'take a turn off' to reload and when they'd rather retreat - or engage in close combat.
This I feel is less harsh, and therefore less of a nerf than 'stunning' the unit every time it shoots.
 

CaRa_CrAzY

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I recommend you to take a look at D&D 5th edition rules on crossbows.

In D&D it is a common trope for characters to perform multiple attacks per Attack Action. It is similar to Final Fantasy 1.
However, since crossbows need reloading, such Attack Actions using a crossbow can only deal 1 hit.
 

Frostorm

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@Frostorm Can your bows counter when you're attacked at range?
Only if they have the Counter Skill "Countershot" equipped, which will only be available from the Archer's skill tree. It is basically like Fell Seal's counter system.

I'd give them a state like 'Weapons ready'. They can only use their crossbows while they have that state and once the do, they lose it. Later on they can spend their action on a 'Reload'-skill to regain that state. If you want to, maybe make it so that this skill can only be used if the unit didn't move, or didn't move far this turn.
While effectively still making it so that the unit can only fire every other turn, this would give the player more agency in when it is safe to 'take a turn off' to reload and when they'd rather retreat - or engage in close combat.
This I feel is less harsh, and therefore less of a nerf than 'stunning' the unit every time it shoots.
I really like this idea!
 
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Sword_of_Dusk

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Only if they have the Counter skill "Countershot" equipped, which will only be available from the Archer's skill tree.
Nice. I've been following your progress through the various posts like this you make. Gotta say, it sounds like a good game.
 

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