Ranger Upgrades, Phase 2: Archery

The second round of Ranger updates go live today, along with some changes to the core game. Today's updates are focused on overhauling the ranged weapon system and giving Rangers a set of archery powers to accompany their dual wield powers.

Ranged weapons have been rewritten from the ground up and integrated into the MUD's existsing combat systems. This means that archery and bows no longe require special commands to use, and the damage is determined just like it is with melee weapons. Rangers and Dire Raiders are the first classes to have access to the new system.

Rangers also receive 6 new archery powers. These powers are similar to the dual wield powers introduced in the last update, with a focus on battlefield control over pure damage. Rangers now have access to two sets of weapon based powers, and can switch between them at any time by changing their weapons.

Changes

  • New ranged weapon system: See below for details.

  • New archery power set for Rangers: See below for details.

  • Dazed condition: Think of this as a mini-stun. When you're dazed, you can still perform actions but you are much, much easier to hit.

  • Powers prompt: The powers prompt has been expanded to allow up to 10 powers. It will now automatically hide powers that require weapons that you aren't currently using.

  • Global cooldown on weapon wield: Wielding a weapon will now impose a 6 round global cooldown. This means that you can't just switch between dual wield and archery powers in the middle of a combat round.

New ranger powers

  • Ranged Shot: Fire your bow at a target one room away. NPCs know to take cover after they get hit, so this is best used for luring.

  • Triple Shot: Fire three arrows at your target, inflicting extra damage.

  • Knockdown Shot: Knock a target within three size categories of you down to the ground with a well-placed arrow.

  • Splintering Shot: Fire an arrow that splinters under the skin, inflicting enough pain to daze the target and briefly make them much easier to hit.

  • Concussive Shot: Stun your target with a powerfully drawn arrow.

  • Hail of Arrows: Launches a swarm of arrows at your target and up to five others in a large radius for heavy damage.

Ranged Weapons

The old ranged weapon system has been removed and rewritten from scratch. The old system was almost entirely self contained, which led to many irregularities with melee combat. The damage was determined differently, lots of buffs and debuffs didn't affect it, defensive skills didn't work against it, etc.

The new ranged weapon system is just another feature of the existing combat engine which means that all spells, conditions, and powers are treated the same. In a nutshell, ranged weapons now work a lot like normal melee weapons, with a few extra quirks.

Example:

> wield bow

You wield a slender elven longbow.

> wear quiver
You strap on a deerskin quiver.

> kill golden

Your average shot barely wounds the golden warrior.

You easily dodge an attempt by the golden warrior to hit you.  
You easily dodge an attempt by the golden warrior to hit you.  
Your strong shot barely wounds the golden warrior.  
Your average shot barely wounds the golden warrior.  
Your average shot barely wounds the golden warrior.  

Highlights of the new system:

  • Simple to use: Bows and other ranged weapons are used like melee weapons: just wield them and attack.

  • Standard damage: The damage from ranged attacks now comes from the bow, not the arrow. The damage has also been standardized across the types of bows: longbow, composite bow, and shortbow.

  • Unlimited basic arrows: You can now fire unlimited basic arrows so long as you're wearing a quiver. These arrows don't have to be collected and you'll never run out.

  • Magic arrows: All of your magical arrows can still be used to add extra +hit and +dam to your attacks, which stacks with the bow's damage. Load them in your quiver and they'll be used automatically until they run out.

  • Collecting: Magic arrows still need to be collected. To make this a little easier, the get all command will no longer pick up other people's arrows.

  • Backwards compatible: All of the old bows, arrows, quivers and procs will still work in the new system. You can even use the fire command to initiate combat.

  • Cover: The missile shield spell has been removed, as has the missile aware flag. They've been replaced with cover. Mobs that are hit by an arrow from a remote room will automatically go into cover, which makes it much harder for subsequent ranged attacks to hit them. Cover has no effect on missile weapon attacks in the same room. For now, this ability is limited to mobs, but we may roll it out to players in the future.

Up next

We hope you're enjoying The Great Ranger Upgrade Experiment. We've made some changes already to the existing powers and will continue to evaluate the class as we work through the rest of the upgrades. There are more changes for Rangers up next.

Thanks for all your feedback, and happy Rangering!