Topic: [Spoilers] Which bow is best? Aiming to resolve confusion around bows  (Read 1862 times)


Teellox

« on: July 21, 2020, 04:49:27 AM »
There's a regular debate around the bow accuracy stat on the wiki, and it left me wondering... Are shortbows really more accurate than Northern Bows? What's going on here?

So, having recently found myself with extra time on my hands thanks to the global pandemic, I fired up ghidra and spent some time decompiling UnReal World 3.62 to see what's really going on.

Decompiling code isn't exactly straightforward; one gets the instructions executed by the CPU, not the original source code, so there's a lot of piecing things together and sleuthing required. But I think I've managed to get to the bottom of this particular open question, and Sami has been extremely kind in letting me share my results.

Before I get into spoilers, I want to point out that the in-game manual on missile combat gives an accurate description that appears to be confirmed by code:

Quote from: Missile Combat
Success at firing an arrow or throwing a weapon depends on the applicable weapon skill. This is a common combat rule and missile attacks are no exception, but your performance only determines the initial quality of the shot/throw, ie. how much your aiming is off and how accurately you manage to send your missile on its course. The worse your performance the wider the cone of spread is possible, so it's not always guaranteed that a good shot/throw will result in a good strike at exact location of impact. Even a minor deviation from the intended trajectory will accumulate over distance. Any shot/throw is bound to hit better at close range, and the further the target, the more precision is required. Should your missile miss the original target or  even fly completely wild, it can still hit something else on its course - unfortunately this could be also your own dog.

Quote from: Ranged Target
A target that is being attacked by a missile weapon can't choose any conscious defense maneuver as in melee combat, but moving targets can still avoid getting hit. This defense possibility for moving targets is automated and it doesn't matter if the target is aware of the attack or not. A target is considered moving if it is actively running, flying, escaping etc. from one location to another, but also when it's making fast movements in its place like when engaged in a fight. The faster the target is moving the better chance it has to make it out of the way or to make a lucky movement in its place and unintentionally dodge the missile. This is based on the target's actual mobility and manner of moving, so if the target is slowed down due to physical penalties or for whatever reason, its chances to avoid missile attacks are lowered accordingly. Naturally, it's not only the target's speed that matters but the missile velocity as well. It's easier for any moving target to make it out of the way of low-velocity missiles, but very fast animals will be challenging to hit even with bow and arrow - and exceedingly challenging if they are both fast and small.

So straight up, the game tells you the important factors involved are:
  • Your missile skill, which determines the accuracy cone
  • Distance to target, which determines how much aiming errors can accumulate
  • Size of target, which determines what you need to hit
  • Mobility and activity of target, which determines their chance of getting out of the way
  • Missile velocity, which reduces the chance of a target dodging

None of this mentions "weapon accuracy", and Sami has confirmed in a PM to me that:

Quote from: Sami
If the bow accuracy would really be radically different between bows it surely would have been mentioned in the game information.

So I can confidently say that the accuracy figure on the wiki is extremely misleading. It does mean something, but you are almost certainly never going to encounter that in the game. Read the spoiler section below if you really want to know, and also have a little more bow mechanics revealed.

Spoiler: show


Every item in the game has an 'accuracy' figure, it's a measure of how un-aerodynamic the object itself is. Arrows and javelins have the lowest number (1), whereas plants and articles of clothing can have numbers in the hundreds. Items with lower numbers are more accurate when used as a missile. So if, in desperation, you were to throw your actual bow at an opponent, you could make a more precise throw with a Northern Bow ('accuracy' 5) than a heavy crossbow ('accuracy' 10).

To be clear, unless you are throwing the bow itself, this 'accuracy' value has no effect.

Your weapon skill, and the item quality (of both bow and arrow) all appear to contribute to tightening the cone of spread, with poor quality items making it especially hard to shoot straight. There is also a velocity calculation which is determined by the square of the bow's piercing/point stat, plus a constant (which appears to be the same for all bows). Higher powered bows (such as the longbow and Northern bow) will shoot higher velocity missiles, resulting in more damage on impact, and reducing the time a target has to get out of the way.

I presume, but have not confirmed, that higher velocity missiles also means missed shots will travel father, and are more likely to break on impact.

I have not checked to see if a bow's weight has any relevance on missile velocity. My gut feeling says it does not, but I do not have evidence to support that. Nor have I checked to see if the bows have different shooting speeds.



Many thanks again to Sami for not only an incredible game that's brought me much joy throughout the years, but also for his understanding and support when I decided to dig further into its mysteries!

~ Teellox

irontide

« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2020, 09:11:48 AM »
Discussing the spoiler text below:

Spoiler: show
So, it turns out that Northern bows have the best base statistics of bows? I have a masterwork longbow and am unlikely to change, but it would be good to know.

trowftd

« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2020, 09:44:22 AM »
Thanks for sharing this. The wiki also always bugged me, you don't necessarily get a more "accurate" bow as the wiki says I guess.

JP_Finn

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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2020, 06:12:37 AM »
Interesting, as the game tells you also not to throw the bow but to wield an arrow and shoot it instead.

I’ve not noticed differences in accuracy between bows. But hunting, long and Northern give more deadly hits than juniper/primitive and short bow. (I’ve not got one shot kills on deer or elk with lesser than hunting bow. Eye or neck hits. Those are rare too though, so not really valid data, just an observation.

koteko

« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2020, 01:30:19 PM »
This is very nice - it's also been a curiosity of mine for a long time.

If you verify this, you'll be my hero forever  ;D

> I have not checked to see if a bow's weight has any relevance on missile velocity. My gut feeling says it does not, but I do not have evidence to support that. Nor have I checked to see if the bows have different shooting speeds.

Teellox

« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2020, 10:01:41 AM »
> I have not checked to see if a bow's weight has any relevance on missile velocity. My gut feeling says it does not, but I do not have evidence to support that. Nor have I checked to see if the bows have different shooting speeds.

If you verify this, you'll be my hero forever  ;D

I was back in the decompiler earlier today, and look another glance at the missile code now that I'm more familiar with ghidra. I couldn't find anything that referenced the weight of the bow, so it's looking increasingly unlikely that it makes a difference.

This does mean that the hunting bow is the odd one out. It's not as powerful as the longbow, but it weighs the same and costs more.

Admittedly there are many layers to the combat code, so it's entirely possible hunting bows might be special-cased somewhere, but if it is I've yet to find it.

Ara D.

« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2020, 05:13:59 PM »
Reload speed maybe?

Dr.Hossa

« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2020, 12:20:37 AM »
Interesting that this topic is still bringing (quite experienced) people together.
If that "accuracy value" is indeed just relevant when throwing the bow itself, the misleading wiki entry should definitely be changed or at least deleted...

BUT i think it is also important to make decisions based on common sense and not solely on wiki-stats. The people who run the wiki dont get paid i think, and the wiki ist still quite important to look up trivial stuff which never can stay in one's head...

And i am pretty sure sami did give the hunting bow a place.
I am also pretty sure a hunting bow DOES have advantages in certain situations over the long bow. I dont know how draw weight is calculated and influencing shot outcome, but i guess a weaker character might get better results with a hunting bow as the long bow really requires some strength. What is it worth to have a 8 "impact" shot if you miss all the time?
Furthermore, the tribes specialised on bow hunting a generally weaker.
So, if i have a strong character, i choose the long bow, because it should be theoretically easier to use it. But when i am playing an Owl tribe char, i take the hunting bow. because it gives me that better handling and hunting results.

There have been a few situations where i made decisions like that, and i was stunned how well that worked. Just think about what would you do in "real" life.

The final question "Which bow is best" is  somewhat answered(it is or should be,... Surprise... the Northern bow), but there are still many unclear things. for example, what is the difference in the performance of a juniper bow compared to a shortbow, since they have the same "impact"?
But hey, maybe I answered that question by myself in this post...  ???

MrMotorhead

« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2020, 07:49:46 AM »
Can anyone provide more information regarding arrow speed in game?  Is it affected by character stats or just the bow type used?

Teellox

« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2020, 06:51:47 AM »
Can anyone provide more information regarding arrow speed in game?  Is it affected by character stats or just the bow type used?

As far as I can tell, it looks like it's just the bow type, projectile aerodynamics, and projectile weight.

Bow accuracy is clearly linked to character skill and item quality. I believe that character stats determine how easily it is to raise a given skill (shown with the '*'s next to the skill in question). It certainly determines skill boosts during character creation.

Quote from: Dr.Hossa
What is the difference in the performance of a juniper bow compared to a shortbow, since they have the same "impact"?

My understanding is that since the juniper bow/primitive bow uses the 'common' skill to construct, putting a limit on its quality. Whereas the short bow uses carpentry and allows for more quality materials, so you could potentially self-craft a fine or masterwork shortbow, as well as it being good for training carpentry in general.

As always, take everything with a bag of salt; while the missile code is where I've spent the most time, I can hardly say I've traced all of it.

甜汤

« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2020, 08:00:29 AM »
I am sure that the crossbow is more accurate than the longbow or the shortbow

Teellox

« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2020, 09:54:27 AM »
I am sure that the crossbow is more accurate than the longbow or the shortbow

Oh, absolutely! But the code suggests this is because they shoot with a higher velocity, which makes the arrows harder to dodge.

Evuul

« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2020, 02:55:17 AM »
Since the Longbow its best,
picking a hunting bow (or other), would give me more shots per time?

Thats one question could not answer still.

user1805

« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2020, 06:38:34 PM »
Velocity depends mainly on draw weight.

For a higher draw weight the archer needs to be stronger (and more experienced).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penelope

That a longer bow increases accuracy but makes the action/agility slightly slower was mentioned, as some other things and what I read was correct.

When the "Hunting Bow" is called like that, it may be possible that it does not have a high draw weight as a war bow, as animals wear no armor. Lower I expect the handling to be slightly faster als for a strong guy.

This is when I expect that a hunting bow is easier to handle for an adventurer with lower strength.

Maybe it is set in the game as the programmer is a bow freak, even if draw weight not visible for the player in action.
This description I count as quite nice:
http://bogen.online/wie-stark-soll-der-bogen-sein-so-findest-du-als-anfaenger-dein-zuggewicht/
https://translate.google.com/

This is when a long bow could have 50 pounds draw weight and also 100 pounds draw weight. But how it is implemented in the game I dont know.

 

anything