Is Ranged worthwhile?


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Swamp Slogger

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Post Thursday, 21st April 2016, 11:48

Is Ranged worthwhile?

I feel that melee beats ranged anytime for å couple of reasons. First and foremost going ranged dupes me into bad playing kind of like axes do.my movement and positioning suffers. Second, most dangerous monsters is most dangerous at range
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2016, 13:17

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

The masterminds of Tavern™ would tell you that ranged is superior to both melee and conjurations as long as you have enough ammo. I can even recall this seemingly absurd quote by one of them:
duvessa wrote:the lengths people go to in order to try to prove melee in crawl is good compared to ranged attacks, or that it's useful in conjunction with ranged attacks for anything other than convenience (hint it isn't either one) are hilarious

everyone gets melee because ranged attacks have a flawed design that leads to a cumbersome interface. not because melee is actually good (because it isn't)
if someone can stand having 0 melee weapon skills, and does so as soon as they have a ranged attack, they are playing pretty much optimally

Melee beats ranged in conveniency department most of the time indeed. But ranged is basically a polearm which reaches the entire screen (not past other enemies but Portal Projectile and occasional peneration can fix that). Not only you can tab dudes with it and get free attacks on melee enemies but also snipe high priority targets and beat ranged monsters in their own game. Of course, things like yaktaurs are trivialised by luring them into your melee range but, for example, Elf:3 is pretty much a cakewalk with a ranged weapon.
However, ranged just got nerfed a few days ago: ammo brands (except from the needles and throwables, i believe) got removed from the game. It's probably still good because of its, ehm, range but i'm yet to test this change.
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2016, 13:19

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Sagrath01 wrote:I feel that melee beats ranged anytime

Ranged is better than melee. Nothing stops you from exercising good movement and positioning tactics with ranged. Also, you can use a ranged attack even if the enemy is next to you, so "most dangerous monsters is most dangerous at range" does not matter (melee has no advantage over ranged here).
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2016, 13:58

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

I'm pretty sure only centaurs, yaktaurs, and the upgraded versions of those monsters are more dangerous at range than nearby. Most monsters who are dangerous at range are equally dangerous when adjacent.

Melee is simpler and less annoying than ranged for sure, but yes, it is certainly worthwhile to be able to kill enemies at range. Right now throwing is kind of king of ranged, but I know the devs plan to even it out. Even still, all the ranged weapons are pretty useful
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2016, 14:16

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Even if ranged did less damage than melee, it would still be good, because it lets you hurt most monsters when they can't hurt you. That's generally a good plan. Combine this with the fact that missile combat *does* do a bunch of damage and that it's cheaper to train (and has better range and is resisted less) than conjurations, yeah, missiles are generally a good way to kill things.
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2016, 14:43

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

You do know that arbalests have the same base damage as an executioner's axe, right? And at 18 crossbows skill you get the same attack delay as you do for an executioner's axe with 20 axes skill? (1.0 aut - correct me if I'm wrong). But, I hear you say, 1.0 is the min attack delay for an arbalest - they're slow weapons. True, but if you get 26 crossbows then you can get a triple crossbow at min attack delay (1.0 aut), for 22/18 = 22% more base damage than an executioner's axe at 26 axes, which mostly makes up for the lack of speed.

So basically, crossbows are a bit slow, but they more than make up for this with their power and range, in my humble opinion.

And if you want to compare dex-based weapons, longbows are a little less powerful than a lajatang (15 vs 16 base damage), but the min delay is the same and the accuracy is better.

I haven't done a full analysis, but just looking at these stats, I'd take ranged over melee any day. And I'd take it over offensive magic for single opponents (PA, IS) as you can use it when drained, silenced and engulfed, and you don't have to keep checking your mana levels in the middle of a fight.
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2016, 15:12

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

this has been hashed out pretty well already but if you don't think ranged is worthwhile I highly encourage you, just try training throwing and giving it a decent whirl and see what you think

if you still think ranged sucks after that I can't help you but you're free to feel how you feel

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Post Thursday, 21st April 2016, 17:24

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Thanks for the replies. I frequently do throwing as auxilliary attack and it performs allright. Right now i've a got a char With +6 flaming longbow and +5 freezing demonblade but i tend to lure monsters and kill them one on one in corridors. Love my wands of digging and disintegrate. The bow really helped i shoals though! Maybe it's just a question of taste and playstyle. I've done stabbers, meleechars and nukers mostly, but you guys made me want to try out some Hunters.
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2016, 19:00

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Throwing is so good in 0.17 that if you had infinite javlins using throwing only at melee range would be better than melee
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Post Friday, 22nd April 2016, 03:45

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

ZoFy wrote:But ranged is basically a polearm which reaches the entire screen
...which by itself is incredibly, incredibly powerful. So I don't really know why you're saying it's absurd to think that it's better than melee.

Ranged is like playing melee except
  • Every time an enemy shows up, as long as it didn't pop up around a corner 1 tile away you get 1-7 basically free attacks against them before they get to react unless they're a really dangerous ranged enemy
  • Your inventory is more annoying.
The second is why I don't play ranged(well, plus webtiles lag with attack animations), the first is why I wish I did.

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Post Friday, 22nd April 2016, 09:01

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

The main disadvantage with melee is that it takes time to get into melee range from first seeing your opponent.

In this time, the opponent can call summons, fire things at you, catch you in a net, spit poison at you, torment you, blast you with magic, hex you, cast haste on himself and his mates etc. etc. Even if they're straight melee dudes, they'll probably shout when they first see you, probably attracting a load of unwanted attention that will converge on you while you wait for the first dude to approach. This generally means that playing melee, you have to hang around choke points and stairs a lot, which I find quite ironic as they're supposed to be the tough, fearless type.

Also, I don't get this thing about the ranged commands being tricky - all you have to do is type f, then plus until you find your target, then keep spamming f and return until your target is dead, which I find easier than repeatedly having to hit the correct arrow button (I'll admit that spamming tab is a bit easier, though). And having 6 or more piles of bolts (for example) in your inventory is a good thing as it gives you the flexibility to target your opponent's weaknesses, and it doesn't take any time to re-quiver the right ammo.
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Post Friday, 22nd April 2016, 09:12

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

If you can fight monsters 1-on-1, which you should try to do always, the best killing skill is whatever deals most damage. I recently got my first ranged win with a KoHu, and the main problem was running out of bolts in the early game, which means that one needs to train a weapon skill anyway. So instead of being good at one killing skill, one tends to be average in two.

After getting lucky with a branch rune, like getting Snake Pit with all those bolts, the problem goes away. But isn't the common wisdom that early game is the hardest part of the game, so whatever works there is the best strategy? This makes ranged problematic, and in the midgame the choice of damage dealing becomes less interesting because all of them deal enough damage to kill most dudes anyway.

Edit: Not to hammer the point any further, but Oka is especially good with ranged characters because of the bolt/arrow/javelin gifts. I wouldn't have had the amount of penetration and silver bolts in Zot:5 without her, and those made all the difference in sniping most threats dead before they could reach me. A +12 Str ring was another big factor, for some reason it gives a ridiculous damage boost with crossbows, a weapon which I see has no benefit from strength in the real life.
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Post Friday, 22nd April 2016, 10:22

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Shard1697 wrote:
ZoFy wrote:But ranged is basically a polearm which reaches the entire screen
...which by itself is incredibly, incredibly powerful. So I don't really know why you're saying it's absurd to think that it's better than melee.

I called the statement "seemingly absurd" because you don't see people running ranged characters with 0 melee skill, so the viability of that playstyle might be mind blowing for someone who doesn't play with ranged that often. I wouldn't play like that myself because ranged seems to have less dps so that adds to the annoyance of the build. Obviously, it'd make no sense for ranged to have full LOS reaching and the same dps as melee. Also, i've yet to try out throwing on non-ogres, maybe it's still hella strong (can't fsim it).
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Post Friday, 22nd April 2016, 11:47

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

I feel like ranged is often inaccurate as compared to melee. This could be completely imagined, but it sure seems like it some times. There isn't much more annoying than firing arrows at an adder until you're dead. I believe the last time I checked code Fighting was used as a factor in determining ranged accuracy. But then there is the description of fighting which either contradicts this, or is misleading:

"Fighting skill increases your damage and accuracy in hand-to-hand combat, and also increases your maximum health."

hand-to-hand combat makes it sound like melee only...

If Fighting isn't used to boost accuracy of ranged weapons, then that could explain why I feel it is much less accurate. I'm pretty sure it is used though, does anyone know for sure? I might just go and look that up.. If it is used to calculate accuracy, perhaps the description of the Fighting skill could be made more clear.

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Post Friday, 22nd April 2016, 11:52

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Maybe it's because ranged is slower due to firing animations so you feel every miss, unlike with melee, where you hold tab and things die?

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Post Friday, 22nd April 2016, 12:25

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

One of the reason of the past ranged reform - it was done in 0.15 - it was to make melee and ranged combat work the same.
As far I know, now the only thing that differ from the two is might, which doesn't work with ranged - fighting description is most probably a typo which hasn't been updated then.
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Post Friday, 22nd April 2016, 15:26

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

nago wrote:One of the reason of the past ranged reform - it was done in 0.15 - it was to make melee and ranged combat work the same.
As far I know, now the only thing that differ from the two is might, which doesn't work with ranged - fighting description is most probably a typo which hasn't been updated then.

There are a couple other minor things, infusion, formerly the nonsense with ammo brands etc.

But the actual to hit and damage calculations run through the same code as melee.
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Post Friday, 22nd April 2016, 15:34

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Is there any special reason why ranged isn't being weakened to make it more of a choice?

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Post Friday, 22nd April 2016, 15:50

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Probably because no one uses it anyway because it's so tedious. Throwing wasn't tedious, so it got nerfed. Maybe proper ranged will be nerfed too after some interface improvements (always mulch or infinite ammo), though I heard the plan was to make it more of a supplementary attack, with ranged weapons taking their own slot a la Angband.

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Post Friday, 22nd April 2016, 17:57

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

4Hooves2Appendages wrote:Is there any special reason why ranged isn't being weakened to make it more of a choice?

Ranged has been nerfed at least twice in the last few weeks, and there's a long-term plan that changes it significantly.

ZoFy wrote:maybe it's still hella strong (can't fsim it).

You can fsim it by quivering the thing you want to throw and wielding a ranged weapon that does not launch that thing.

ThreeInvisibleDucks wrote:I recently got my first ranged win with a KoHu, and the main problem was running out of bolts in the early game, which means that one needs to train a weapon skill anyway. So instead of being good at one killing skill, one tends to be average in two.

It's often a good idea not to significantly train your ranged weapon during the part of the game where you have very little ammo for it. If you happen to find a lot of ammo early, you can switch back to training it earlier. That does mean that you often end up training two weapon skills, but the aim is to use your existing, modest skill and the 6+ free attacks you get to kill threatening monsters while you get melee up to par, usually using a low-investment weapon, then use ranged as a way of softening dangerous targets until you have plenty of ammo, then train the ranged weapon heavily for the significant part of the game where it's significantly better than other forms of combat.

Zargon wrote:I don't get this thing about the ranged commands being tricky

I've never heard anyone say they're tricky. The complaint I usually hear is that they're irritating and time-consuming.

Zargon wrote:The main disadvantage with melee is that it takes time to get into melee range from first seeing your opponent.

In this time, the opponent can call summons, fire things at you, catch you in a net, spit poison at you, torment you, blast you with magic, hex you, cast haste on himself and his mates etc. etc. Even if they're straight melee dudes, they'll probably shout when they first see you, probably attracting a load of unwanted attention that will converge on you while you wait for the first dude to approach.

These aren't meaningful considerations in the balance between melee and ranged combat because melee suffers from all of these problems to at least the same degree, usually more.

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Post Saturday, 23rd April 2016, 10:54

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Lasty wrote:
Zargon wrote:The main disadvantage with melee is that it takes time to get into melee range from first seeing your opponent.

In this time, the opponent can call summons, fire things at you, catch you in a net, spit poison at you, torment you, blast you with magic, hex you, cast haste on himself and his mates etc. etc. Even if they're straight melee dudes, they'll probably shout when they first see you, probably attracting a load of unwanted attention that will converge on you while you wait for the first dude to approach.

These aren't meaningful considerations in the balance between melee and ranged combat because melee suffers from all of these problems to at least the same degree, usually more.


I said "The main disadvantage with melee is that it takes time to get into melee range from first seeing your opponent", and then gave a load of things that can happen in this time, implying that ranged is better. So I don't understand your comment...
Last edited by Zargon on Monday, 25th April 2016, 08:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Sunday, 24th April 2016, 22:33

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

  Code:
 j - the +10 arbalest of Harmony {freeze, +Blink rElec Int+3 Dex+3}
   (You found it on level 11 of the Dungeon)   
   
   It causes projectiles fired from it to freeze those they strike, causing
   extra injury to most foes and up to half again as much damage against
   particularly susceptible opponents. They can also slow down cold-blooded
   creatures.
   
   It affects your intelligence (+3).
   It affects your dexterity (+3).
   It insulates you from electricity.
   It lets you blink.


I found this on a DDFi of Pakalas last night. It's tempting but I've been using a shield all game and it's two handed.

http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/Kidou/Kidou.txt
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Post Monday, 25th April 2016, 14:58

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Xion350 wrote:
  Code:
 j - the +10 arbalest of Harmony {freeze, +Blink rElec Int+3 Dex+3}
   (You found it on level 11 of the Dungeon)   
   
   It causes projectiles fired from it to freeze those they strike, causing
   extra injury to most foes and up to half again as much damage against
   particularly susceptible opponents. They can also slow down cold-blooded
   creatures.
   
   It affects your intelligence (+3).
   It affects your dexterity (+3).
   It insulates you from electricity.
   It lets you blink.


I found this on a DDFi of Pakalas last night. It's tempting but I've been using a shield all game and it's two handed.

http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/Kidou/Kidou.txt


lol - are you kidding? If that was a +10 executioner's axe of freezing, and you could get it to min delay without much bother, you do it, wouldn't you? IMHO, you should train xbows to 18, ditch that shield (you have plenty of AC anyway) get yourself a great mace for backup and go on a rampage.
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Post Monday, 25th April 2016, 15:13

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Xion350 wrote:
  Code:
 j - the +10 arbalest of Harmony {freeze, +Blink rElec Int+3 Dex+3}
   (You found it on level 11 of the Dungeon)   
   
   It causes projectiles fired from it to freeze those they strike, causing
   extra injury to most foes and up to half again as much damage against
   particularly susceptible opponents. They can also slow down cold-blooded
   creatures.
   
   It affects your intelligence (+3).
   It affects your dexterity (+3).
   It insulates you from electricity.
   It lets you blink.


I found this on a DDFi of Pakalas last night. It's tempting but I've been using a shield all game and it's two handed.

http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/Kidou/Kidou.txt


lol - are you kidding? If that was a +10 executioner's axe of freezing, and you could get it to min delay without much bother, you'd do it, wouldn't you? It's a great xbow with a great brand and a great enchantment and useful resists / buffs as well. IMHO, you should train xbows to 18, ditch that shield (you have plenty of AC anyway) get yourself a great mace for backup and go on a rampage.
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Post Monday, 25th April 2016, 18:05

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Zargon wrote:
Xion350 wrote:
  Code:
 j - the +10 arbalest of Harmony {freeze, +Blink rElec Int+3 Dex+3}
   (You found it on level 11 of the Dungeon)   
   
   It causes projectiles fired from it to freeze those they strike, causing
   extra injury to most foes and up to half again as much damage against
   particularly susceptible opponents. They can also slow down cold-blooded
   creatures.
   
   It affects your intelligence (+3).
   It affects your dexterity (+3).
   It insulates you from electricity.
   It lets you blink.


I found this on a DDFi of Pakalas last night. It's tempting but I've been using a shield all game and it's two handed.

http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/Kidou/Kidou.txt


lol - are you kidding? If that was a +10 executioner's axe of freezing, and you could get it to min delay without much bother, you do it, wouldn't you?
If I already had a good 1H+shield setup, no, I would not dump all that XP in since the XP required to get an ex axe to mindelay is huge and could be better spent elsewhere. Of course, an arbalest doesn't need 26 skill, but if he wasn't training crossbows before(since he's Pak, I'd assume he's using evo for ranged) it's stilla big investment which is probably not worth it if he already has worthwhile offense imo.

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Post Tuesday, 26th April 2016, 09:15

Re: Is Ranged worthwhile?

Shard1697 wrote:If I already had a good 1H+shield setup, no, I would not dump all that XP in since the XP required to get an ex axe to mindelay is huge and could be better spent elsewhere. Of course, an arbalest doesn't need 26 skill, but if he wasn't training crossbows before(since he's Pak, I'd assume he's using evo for ranged) it's stilla big investment which is probably not worth it if he already has worthwhile offense imo.


It's not that much of an investment - you need 18 crossbows skill to get min delay on an arbalest, which has the same base damage as an executioner's axe (which is the point I was trying to make). And being a deep dwarf, he has a +1 aptitude for it. Ok the min delay (1.0) is not brilliant, but the whole point of this thread is about how great ranged is compared to melee. By the time he's got another rune and cleared most of the vaults, he'll have plenty of ammo and a beautiful xbow to use it with! And his defences are already fairly good, so it's not like he's making himself vulnerable in the process.
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