Topic: Bow Balance question  (Read 8851 times)


« on: February 18, 2020, 01:56:20 PM »
Morning ladies


(actual questions highlighted)

I started getting into modding lately, and got nice results with simple stuff.
but even my "better stone axe", as i call it – because its basically a handaxe with inferior damage stats that cannot be crafted beyond rough quality without really good (iron) tools – needed quite a lot of time to try and twerk. But i finally managed it

(for those who are interested or want to put in their two cents – much appreciated:)
Spoiler: show
.Stone-axe-head. "Stone" [effort:3] [phys:arms,hands] *COMMON*    /4h/         
{Stone}   [remove]   
{Stone} [Ground] '+for grinding, chipping and sharpening'   

.Better Stone-axe. "Handaxe" [effort:3] [phys:arms,hands] *COMMON*    /3h/         %-35%
{Stone-axe-head}   [remove]   
{Slender trunk} [remove] 
{Rope} =3= [remove] 
{Fire} '+for piercing a hole for the head into the handle'
{Knife} <Small knife>

Because i really want every single item i create to fit in the game and not being OP, or make existing items redundant. For i believe that sami and erkka the Great know best how powerful an item should be, because they do know the full mechanics... may the the gods forgive me to nerf the vanilla javelin down one damage-point, to fit my stone-tipped spear in... :-\

Which leads me to some rather (at least for me)big questions...:

I have always been wondering about the bow-stats.
Apparently, the long bow is the best bow of all, if you just look at plain stats. Accuracy 7, damage 8.
Obviously, damage stats are transparent, as draw-weight of the bow is controlling it.

But there has to be more to it, something you cannot see about the properties of a bow.
I mean, the Northern bow does have the same AC value as a simble, primitive juniper bow, and worse than a short bow, which you can craft.
Nevertheless i believe that it is actually more accutate than the juniper stick.
I really dont want (developers) to deconstruct everything here, but its hard to balance self made items when you dont exactly know what the values actually resemble.
There are two hints in the encyclopedia:

Long Bow: "(...)amazing power and accuracy,but it takes years of training to become proficient in its use."
Northern Bow"(...)outstanding performance, and these bows are the finest and the fastest ones(...)"

1.1 What about accuracy?

I mean, ease of use has to be hidden in the items' properties, because both northern and long bow are hard to use but have different accuracy. 

Bowstats at a glance
Spoiler: show
                       Acc    Bl    EdPnt    Weight    Val    Val/lbs.    Comments

Northern Bow    5    0    0    8    3 lbs.    176    58,66    Cultural item of Northern tribes

Hunting Bow    5    0    0    7    4 lbs.    144    36    

Long Bow        7    0    0    8    4 lbs.    80    20    

Shortbow        6    0    0    6    2 lbs.    40    20    Can be crafted

Juniper Bow     5    0    0    6    2 lbs.    16    8    Can be crafted (called Primitive Bow)

Is Accuracy stat reciprocally proportional to the handling of a bow?
The outstanding crossbow stat(8) tells me: No.
I am definitely no expert, but i think a crossbow is much easier to handle than a long bow... and a recurve bow also needs training... or not?

1.2 What about "speed"(referring to the description of the Northern bow)?

Has anyone experienced differences in shooting speed of different bows, besides the crossbow, which actually has a shown reload-time?

1.3 What about the actual inflicted damage output considering bow and arrow damage?

Can i control that as well by twerking the Arrow-damage stat?
For example, if i want to make a less powerful arrow, and i set its damage to 5, is the bow overwriting that with its own damage?
My speculation would be that the outcome is some kind of combination math here... at least that's what i expect.
But is there any method of estimating the damage output of a modified arrow...? 

Much thanks for Answering that stuff. It would really help me to understand which "model" items i can use to get the desired stats and properties in the self .modded. one.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 12:46:26 PM by Dr.Hossa »


« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2020, 01:54:54 PM »
Hey guys
Anybody here who could give me at least a hint to my problems? :'(
I dont know if its just my post being too long, my questions too inaccurate, or the answers too obvious – although i cannot nail it...

Or are vanilla bow stats somewhat "un"balanced?
For example, why does the Longbow have better Accuracy than the laboriously crafted composite/recurve(=Northern) Bow?
Or is the weight difference of the bows (LB: 4lbs, NB: 3 lbs) such a signicant factor that it makes up for the inferior Accuracy?

If that is the case, i can neither retrace the Hunting bow's nor the Juniper bow's stats. I simply cannot identify any system here...
Is there any visible number that tells me the effective range and the firerate?

I really want to twerk and balance stats and understand mechanics. Some things can be tested, like accuracy, given enough(although hundrets or thousands of test shots), time and tries. Next thing, its really hard to find out/test out how much damage my arrows do (if i change bow damage, or arrow damage, or both).

THANKs ppl


« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2020, 05:44:34 AM »
I'd assume the accuracy values you're referring to, which is already presented in the wiki as "by no means a certainty" and is based on very old information, have a high chance of being either incorrect or not the whole story.

I think the game is mysterious about rolls, stats and other details partly because the game was designed around mystery and superstition, so I wouldn't overthink the stats too much. If you really care about accuracy stats, the best thing I can think of would be to experiment by shooting a very very large number of arrows at stationary targets at various distances. Of course, actual calculations may be different on live targets, and may factor in skill or stats in unexpected ways, so even that might not do it.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2020, 07:11:11 AM by marginoferror »


« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2020, 11:59:57 AM »
Yeah, "not the whole story" is probably the most accurate description... I can well imagine that the weight of the bow for example does affect the handling and therefore the actual accuracy of the bow. I will start testing that and trying to put up some statistics. But that would lead to the hunting bow having a overall mediocre performance, considering the shortbow beeing half as heavy and having better acc.
So i guess that the type of the bow also affects how the game engine is handling the shooting.

I mean, deep inside i hope the Northern Bow will be the one with the best performance! ;D
Or is it that Longbows are in fact "unbalanced irl"  which led to the extinction of the heavy armored medieval knight...  ::) ?

But how should i set up the testing?
Test one type of bow with extremely different weights?
For example

.very heavy Hunting Bow. "Hunting Bow"

.heavy Hunting Bow. "Hunting Bow"

.vanilla Hunting bow. "Hunting Bow"

.light Hunting Bow. "Hunting Bow"

Or even out the stats of the bows, so all have the same weight, acc value and point damage, see what happens?
If i remember correctly, the tag for the accuracy would the [Accuracy Value:X] but i cannot find it anymore on the web.

I think i will start by just shooting some hundreds of arrows with unmodded Bows first...
Test range: 5 tiles(perhaps a second or third test range, say 10 and 15 tiles??)
Bow skill should be 50%

man, that'll be a lot of work, but should clear out some of the fog.

Second, all the different bows, with same weight.
3rd, all dif. bows but only same damage
4th, all dif. bows, only same accuracy(need confirming of the tag!)

Then, if i'm still alive: Test no. 2
Each bow with different weight, and so on, blabla
By then, i will need a statistics expert to interprete all that data xD


« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2020, 07:38:21 PM »
I mean, deep inside i hope the Northern Bow will be the one with the best performance! ;D

 This is a common 'feeling' as "it has a name!"
By all means have fun testing and tweaking!

I'll just continue to use my "Elven Longbow"  :D
To help is it's own reward.
Mods:;area=showposts;sa=attach;u=10 Player Quests, Arrow quiver, Bee hives honey & mead, Massive menus, Fish Farmer, Combat trainer, Player made markers, Weaving, Wood stacks, Chicken coop Fish cuts, string&bone.


« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2020, 11:31:56 PM »
Oh, glad a veteran showed up ;D

Did you guys experience the Northern bow being the best?

What would a professional archer say about how the different bows perform relative to each other, i mean IRL...

Btw, should i test that elven bow too?


« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2020, 12:13:49 AM »
 Well I'll defer to Sami or other bow enthusiasts;

 As to jmo of bow calculation 'rationalization' accuracy is both a measure of 'targeting' and range.
Making short, juniper, northern and others fine at shorter ranges. At greater distances longbows and crossbows (though suffering slower operation) become more widely used.
To help is it's own reward.
Mods:;area=showposts;sa=attach;u=10 Player Quests, Arrow quiver, Bee hives honey & mead, Massive menus, Fish Farmer, Combat trainer, Player made markers, Weaving, Wood stacks, Chicken coop Fish cuts, string&bone.

JEB Davis

« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2020, 01:14:26 AM »
Try a search of this and also the old forum. Many have gone down the path you have started treading and tested/analyzed bows until the cows came home. I remember them doing it, but didn't pay attention to any results because it's not my play style.

(edit: spelling)


« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2020, 02:10:27 PM »
Ok, uhm... perhaps first of all sorry for digging up and penetrating you with that seemingly old topic...
I can well understand it is "not your playstyle" to know everything about the mechanics, it's not mine either.
And sure some correlations should not be too visible for players in order to have a nice gaming experience. Some day, i will find out if the spirits like pike or roach better, before or after the catch, every or every second day...

On the other hand, some are realy, realy foggy. And repeatedly testing is not delivering any technical expertise. So there must be a balance between knowing all, and knowing nothing about game mechanics.
Second, my problems do not concern gameplay. Gameplay is actually very fine – if not perfect, considering balance, realism, and ambient feeling.
But when i mod new things in, i want to know what i am changing, just because the base game is balanced that well.
It is almost for sure that the new item or thing or whutever i add, is not fitting in the balanced system when i just dont have basic information like, for example:

 – Does the name of the bow lead the enginge to treat it differently? (i guess so, will test. Trusting the realistic calculations of the devs, i think/hope that will actually have the biggest impact)
 – Is weight of the bow changing something? (i guess so, will test)
 – Is the bow damage combined with the arrow damage?(i guess so, but thats almost impossible to test) 
 – Is the Rate of fire differing?

I have already soaked up all information i could find and i am well aware of the forum search possibility, but actually for these answers there are not really any information found.
Or perhaps i have to dig deeper?... Additionally i cannot browse the old forum, dunno if its broken but i cannot visit that website.
What i can find, are people complaining about not hitting a moving bird at 50 yards despite being the best archer in the (Unreal)World, and i think many of us are tired of that one.

I think there is a lack of centralized information on some things, many infos are scattered over different sites. The Wiki is a extremely useful and important tool, yet giving much outdated or wrong information. The Enzyklopedia is more reliable imho, because its written my the devs themselves, but does only give you cryptic or abstract info.

Just an example: 


Wiki says, its good when you have low bow skill, because of the high accuracy.
Enzyklopedia says, it takes years of training to shoot one.

If that is not a paradoxon, i dont know what is. So one of them must be wrong, and i dont think its the Enzy...
Perhaps i can put that stuff a little bit together here, because people like me will repeatedly ask those questions. And if somebody wants to join, much appreciated. If not, feel free to ignore ::) Really no sarkasm intended ;). I mean, what's the point in having a wiki or a forum with people who talk about the game... It's all about knowledge


« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2020, 06:33:31 PM »
 The Wiki on the official site, if I recall correctly, was intended to be maintained mostly by players.
So I'll not damn anyone for the work that's there. I also encourage anyone willing to take their time to make it better.
To help is it's own reward.
Mods:;area=showposts;sa=attach;u=10 Player Quests, Arrow quiver, Bee hives honey & mead, Massive menus, Fish Farmer, Combat trainer, Player made markers, Weaving, Wood stacks, Chicken coop Fish cuts, string&bone.


« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2020, 01:19:00 AM »
Yeah dont get me wrong, i gratefully look up to these people who are sacrificing their time.
The wiki is and will be the most important pool of information. Especially for quick look-up it is way better, and does cover more ground than the ingame enzyklopedia.

But it has just become so big of a topic that there is damn much work, and perhaps just too few people, and when some author is wrong he didnt necessarily make a bad job. I just want to bring some light into the dark corners where misunderstandings and oppositional information is sitting.

And of course, just because I dont think the enzy is wrong doesnt mean it has to be like that.
Perhaps the longbow is unintentionally easy to use, the best bow ingame and plain paper stats tell the truth alone... who could know?  ::)...
I mean, there wouldnt be the need of tweaking and patching the game itself if it were perfect, and i am looking forward for the next package. whatever will be delivered(i dont think it will be the spouse at first ;)).

and perhaps somebody has an answer to one or more of my 4 questions... otherwise there's only waiting for test results. time to get to work


« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2020, 02:50:52 AM »
So, this post was very interesting,
and I'm also in doubt,

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.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 01:48:19 AM by Evuul »


« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2020, 05:34:09 AM »
Not a bow expert nor experienced player, but I guess I can contribute a little to this topic.
I started my current character with very low bow skill (around 20?) and grinding it very hard until it becomes grandmaster level.
Obtained my masterwork longbow in early gameplay and still using it, and obtained masterwork northern bow much more later, so I won't be able to tell how low bow skill level affect the performance of northern bow. I also tested these two bows in a separate testing save using URW character menu.

First thing I notice between the two bows are their drawing/ reloading speed. Northern bow can be draw very fast so you can shoot enemies even they are close enough to melee attack you. In contrast longbow cannot shoot arrows when enemies are that close, they will just attack you before you are able to wield another arrow in second hand.

Second thing I notice is northern bow tend to give me more failed bow skill check even my character already have 95+ bow skill, in contrast longbow tend to give me more steady shot (could be coincidence). Interestingly it seems to only happen when my character actually shooting something, when the shoot is not targeting living creatures i.e. water surface, their performances are more or less the same. When I was grinding bow skill  I also notice northern bow have lower dispersion even in 20 tiles away when compare to longbow, however, the failed shoot from northern bow also tend deviate more significantly.

In short, I can only answer one of the questions, I would say Yes to the "Is the Rate of fire differing?"



« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2020, 03:11:08 PM »

Thats is indeed very substantial information. Thanks!
I break this down to:

Accuracy stat just tells you how tight the "fire cone" is. Hitting your target actually is more dependenant on mastery of the shooter.

(and also dependant bow-weight/draw weight/strength? There is no other way for me to explain why you would miss more often with the long bow. Perhaps a stronger bigger character(e.g kaumo) will have better results with a longbow than with a Northern, but he cannot achieve that incredible bulls-eye hit rate of a weaker (e.g Owl tribe) bowmaster with a Northern bow, who otherwise will not do so good with the longbow in comparison)
I would love it to be that way. And i think i underestimate how many realistic effects are implemented by erkka and sami.

I have to check this drawing speed thing as well.
Just to make it clear: Does your statement also mean that i get more arrows on target in the same time?
I guess so

Now, next thing would be to see how the differences(expecially regarding "speed") between the other bows are.
Im trying to mod in craftable bows of every taste, but it must be a comlicated, hard and time consuming process. And the results should be inferior unless the art has been mastered.
I got into Real life bowmaking a little, but i still do not know if bows were crafted this way in iron age Finland. but this gets too offtopic now.

ACTUAL change: looking into the wiki, i realise that accuracy is not listed anymore.


« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2020, 04:47:38 PM »
ACTUAL change: looking into the wiki, i realise that accuracy is not listed anymore.

You might want to check this topic.