Topic: Improving Bow Skill?  (Read 4823 times)


« on: May 04, 2018, 08:08:58 AM »
Is it possible to improve the bow skill outside of combat? According to the wiki, it can be improved by shooting arrows at objects at least five tiles away, but I've been shooting arrows at a tree (nine tiles away) for ages with no luck. I haven't kept count of how many arrows I've fired, but I'd estimate well over a hundred, and all I've gotten from this so far is losing/breaking most of my arrows.

Do I just need to be more persistent, or will shooting at trees actually not increase bow skill?

PALU

« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 10:42:10 AM »
In the past I've shot arrows at the ground two tiles away, and it has resulted in very slow skill increases (a point for every 200 shots or so). The advantage of firing into the ground is that arrows don't break. Firing at targets isn't a viable strategy because the arrow breaking rate is so high you run out of arrows very quickly.
It may be that firing at the ground further away has a better chance of increasing the skill, but I have no info on that.
If firing at the ground, try to select a target where the ground behind it slopes upwards, as it increases the chance of missed shots getting stopped before they travel too far away. Also make sure any dogs are out of the way...

Currently I'm playing with the house rule of no such training, but I DO (ab)use opportunities for live training a lot:
- Large animals in traps: Fire blunt arrows aimed at the head from a close distance (adjacent tile for herbivores and 1 tile further away for predators). I get a arrow high loss rate, though, but the harm to the skin is very limited. Also note that any arrows that break when hitting an animal just disappear (known issue) rather than resulting in broken arrows.
- Njerps: I fight those with a bow unless they manage to catch up. Once they're unconscious I fire at their legs from where I was when downing them until they die (if they had a bow that distance is farther away than if they only had melee weapons, typically). Firing at the legs is hard, so fewer arrows hit the target, which means more arrows can be fired before the training session ends with the Njerp dying.

Regardless, increasing the skill is very slow, but it does happen occasionally.

It can also be noted that it seems the chances of getting a skill increase decreases as the skill level increases, and the number of attempts before a skill increases varies wildly (I suspect it might be a straight percentage rather than one increasing gradually with each attempt). I gave up my latest dodge training after 600 attempts without a skill increase.

Edico

« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 02:50:26 PM »
On one of my chars i just fired arrows into the adjacent wall of my house, there's no distance requirement.  When enough arrows broke I just fired those. It's very slow, but skill increases on combat skills are very slow in this game.

PALU

« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2018, 07:03:59 PM »
On one of my chars i just fired arrows into the adjacent wall of my house, there's no distance requirement.  When enough arrows broke I just fired those. It's very slow, but skill increases on combat skills are very slow in this game.

As I said, fire at the ground...

caius

« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2018, 07:06:56 PM »
Several characters ago (after ~2 years of in-game living), I had modified my lodge to be very long and skinny (interior dimensions of 3x9).  I put a fireplace on each end and then fired a stack of 300+ arrows from one end of the lodge to the fireplace on the other end.  I didn't lose any arrows out of the building, but many broke (I seem to recall ~10% broke, but I don't remember).  I didn't get a single skill increase from firing the 300+ arrows.  I haven't tried that experiment again. 

I also use Palu's approach to shoot arrows into a downed (but not yet dead) animal to try to increase my skill. 

MrMotorhead

« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2018, 07:14:26 PM »
I think bow skill increases slower than other combat skills, at least I've had a harder time increasing it than spear.  Great advice from Palu, why didn't I think of shooting at the ground?

My most recent survivor has all but abandoned the bow in favor of javelins.  I'm very impressed with the results.

Cons:
  • Shorter maximum range
  • Less ammo capacity
  • No blunt or cutting damage

Pros:
  • No more lost or broken arrows
  • Easily recover almost every shot while on the chase
  • One handed use (especially while skiing or using a shield)
  • Easy and cheap to make
  • Trains very fast (just hunt birds)
  • Uses spear skill which is a top tier melee weapon as well

As a specific example, it might be much harder to hunt a small, cautious animal like a glutton with javelins, but it won't be a picnic with a bow either.  Ulf has had no trouble bagging large game and its not rare to knock a bird out of the air up to 20m away.  Recently Ulf has been able to upgrade to fine javelins which have proven to be incredibly effective.[/list]

PALU

« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2018, 01:19:12 AM »
I used to go with javelins, but have switched to bow as the main weapon (but I use a javelin as a one handed spear). An important reason for this is human bow/crossbow wielding opponents, as those are very dangerous when they hit (which they do far too often for my taste, including insta-kills), and it takes an eternity to close the distance, but they're fairly easy to take out with a bow. Also, I've found it's a lot easier to run down a reindeer or elk if it's been softened up with an arrow. Javelins risk damaging the hide a level, and certainly tends to make a mess out of bird skin.

I think bow skill increases slower than other combat skills, at least I've had a harder time increasing it than spear.  Great advice from Palu, why didn't I think of shooting at the ground?
:
Probably because it's stupid in real life ;)

caius

« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2018, 01:58:00 AM »
Has anyone ever tried throwing staves as "blunt javelins" to preserve hides?

PALU

« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2018, 08:49:49 AM »
Has anyone ever tried throwing staves as "blunt javelins" to preserve hides?
I've used rocks, but that uses the club skill. I doubt staves would be considered spears, though (more or less expecting them to be clubs as well).
Rocks work reasonably well, and I use those for my starting characters before I get hold of real weapons. It can be noted that blunt arrows still harm hides of birds (obviously assuming you're not hitting the head).

Dungeon Smash

« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2018, 01:49:35 PM »
Has anyone ever tried throwing staves as "blunt javelins" to preserve hides?
i have.  i tried with a character who had high spear skill, and tossed staves at a squirrel hiding in a tree.  it took a long, long time.  i do not think they work based on spear skill.  possibly club skill.

PALU

« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2018, 02:14:31 PM »
Has anyone ever tried throwing staves as "blunt javelins" to preserve hides?
i have.  i tried with a character who had high spear skill, and tossed staves at a squirrel hiding in a tree.  it took a long, long time.  i do not think they work based on spear skill.  possibly club skill.
I suspect staves work about as well as rocks for preserving hides.
Why don't you investigate it, caius? Keep throwing staves at critters (or just at the ground) until a weapon skill increases and then report which one it was?

However, I suspect anything that isn't defined as a weapon ends up in the club category, in which case killing squirrels with spoiled meat would eventually increase the club skill. Hm, I wonder if the daily throwing of two pieces of spoiled meat at/to my dog counts as club training?

JEB Davis

« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2018, 02:42:13 PM »
IIRC, examining a staff in inventory shows that it uses the spear skill.
Whether this holds true when throwing it, I don't know.

PALU

« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2018, 06:50:00 PM »
Good observation! Then it *ought* to "be" a spear when thrown as well.

 

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