Archery Q&A with XLGAMES
Hello Archers! Below you’ll find a summary of the discussion we had with XLGAMES regarding their take on Archery, how they are looking to change and improve Archery in upcoming patches, and the vision for the skill line at large. To note, much of this information is based on findings from the Korean version of the game as it existed during Update 2.5. Each section is forwarded by the questions that were sent along, marked in bold. As always, you can use this thread to post your thoughts and feedback.
Do you feel Archery is balanced? If yes, why do you feel that way?
In data, Archery-based classes have good winning percentages in their 1v1 arenas. But, since 2.0, the number players of choosing Archery has been decreasing. There is a wish to change the class to improve its balance with upcoming patches.
Archery is still a viable skill line that can still overpower other lines in the game. Upcoming changes seek to improve Archery’s balance, without changing its position in the game. For example, Darkrunner is meant to be effective against Archery, and that relationship is meant to stay in place.
What changes may impact the success Archery in the future?
Adding in Skill Queue. Archery is highly dependent on the utilization of successive skills to produce sustained DPS, which is the line’s main purpose. Skill Queue could go a long way to improving that continuous damage that Archers are made to embrace and change their balance in our version of the game.
In Update 2.9: Ascension, while Archers only received a few changes, there is a reduction in the effectiveness of Defense, Witchcraft, and Battlerage. These changes aid Archery in a sense, bringing those more highly powered trees more in line with the other trees in the game.
Additionally, in 2.9, some of Witchcraft’s effectiveness against Melee damage dealers is being increased. Expect these changes to increase the synergy between the Archery and Witchcraft trees.
What percentage of Korean players use Archery in PvP?
Data shows about 15% of the players in the Sparring Arena make use of Archery. Mostly, when a player picks Archery, they make it into the main aspect of their class. However, this version of the arena didn’t have Agility builds or Shield builds in the selection menu, which may have limited the success of certain Archery builds. To fix this, the team added an Agility and Shield option, one-handed weapon and shield option, and reduced the ability selection timer.
What class builds do you personally recommend to be used with Archery?
Distance is a key factor for Archery in PvP. An increase in the number of defense archers, such as Stone Arrows and Bastions point towards a strategy of staying alive and keeping distance. Losing your distance advantage can lead to quick deaths, after all, hence the switch to some level of defense or crowd control.
Overall, Primeval and Bastion are still the most popular Archery classes. Primevals with good movement and control skills beat Darkrunners and Bastions with solid timing and survival skills to keep up the fight against opponents. Success of Primeval players are due to high levels of demonstrable player skill and their ability to counter most opponents that face them.
In the KR version, the number of defensive classes such as Stone Arrow and Bastion increased, and this is interpreted as players trying to minimize the cons of Archery by combining it with Defense.
Let’s discuss how flat damage calculations and, to a lesser degree, percent damage reduction is applied after the mitigations from armor and evasion. Why is flat damage reduction applied after the mitigation calculation instead of before it?
This is how the calculation is intended to work for all combat in the game. Received damage is always the first check, followed by the types of defense.
Why does Archery scale differently than Battlerage or Sorcery when compared to damage throughput based on respective attack power?
Archery has a lower throughput due to the long range and short cast times they possess versus the other builds. As it has the longest range, it needs to have the lowest respective damage per second to maintain balance. Sorcery suffers from longer cast times and more opportunities to be interrupted. Archery features a large selection of skills that can be quickly fired without chance of interruption. Skills with lower cast time can actually output more DPS in some situations, and this is intended.
How can Archers combat highly defense-oriented targets? Battlerage users have the ability to bypass evasions (such as the shortspear puncture proc) or the passive ability that reduces defense by 2000.
Archery is made to specifically counter low physical defense opponents, not highly defensive targets. This was done to avoid getting into a situation where one skill line can overpower all other skill lines and classes.
Some archery specific items may not be offering enough Focus, and this may need to increase to keep them viable. There was also discussion of an Archery skill that was specifically made to combat plate users. But, there are no exact plans on when or even if that skill would be introduced into the game. It is an idea, and it is a possibility.
Finally, we asked them a very community centered question: Does a 3,500 Equipment Point Battlerage player have the same offensive PvP throughput capabilities as a 7,000 Equipment Point Archery player?
This changes depending on the situation. When testing classes with similar Equipment Point scores in a closed environment against a scarecrow, Battlerage did come out on top, followed by Sorcery, and then Archery last. But, in tests in Mistsong Summit, Archery came out on top simply because Archery was firing faster for more continuous damage in combat situations versus the other two. There were also situations created where a 3,500 Equipment Point Archery player was out DPSing a 7,000 Equipment Point Battlerage player due to how they were positioned and moving. The answer to this question lies in what’s happening.
Battlerage is good at quick damage dealing while Archery is centered on continuous damage. Archers need to keep their distance while fighting, or else they will end up on a side of the equation that they don’t want to be on.
Despite all advantages of Archery mentioned above, it is understandable that Archery still requires consideration of all variable situations just to make an average amount of damage, and it has limited combo effects compared to other skill trees. Many discussions are happening to improve Archery. Any opinion regarding skill balance is appreciated.
Thank you to the Development Team at XL for taking the time to answer these questions! As they have said, please post your opinions in the thread below and we will be sure to share them with the team.