This isn’t your average class suggestions topic, but if it was… it might be a little more interesting.
While I was playing Alpha 11, I was thinking about the Archer and how Tom said that it wouldn’t come along for awhile, probably not even in A12. While I don’t have specific suggestions for the class itself, it’s more for the job menu.
I’m not sure if you plan on having a footman progress into an archer, but I would advise against that. It takes a whole different set of muscles to pull back any kind of bow, let alone a longbow. Even hunting bows or shortbows require not the muscle mass in the arms or body like most soldiers require, it takes a large amount of back strength to pull back a bow that’ll do damage to the enemy.
The main thing that I thought of, was that instead of a whole new… line? of jobs, have the archer and their future jobs as a branch of the ‘combat’ tree, that would include footman/sorcerer and any other combat classes.
Also, if it’s appreciated, as suggestions to the class - you promote a regular worker to an archer with a shortbow/composite bow, and eventually you can either give them/promote them with larger and stronger bows like a composite bow, recurve, longbow, etc.
I believe there’s been a little discussion regarding this so far, but it’s still a very viable issue to bring up. Part of the discussion I see is that the colony is just starting out, and for the most part such an early establishment would have the majority of its “army” in a general combatant class.
Maybe it would be better to start out with a general combat class called “Militia” (or “Squire”, “Apprentice Soldier”, etc.), rather than the current “Footman”. The latter suggests a degree of experience and organization that, honestly, seems a little unlikely for a brand-new town or city-state. With this, they’d still get a “general” combat experience (the class could maybe upgrade its name as the city grows to reflect the organizing military system).
Ultimately, I agree with you–the progression from Footman to Archer seems a little off. I think it comes down to finding a way that is both believable from a real-life perspective and practical for gameplay and progression.
I’d be more concerned about the implementation of the class’ mechanics than whether or not the class promotions are realistic in terms of what muscle groups are used to fire a bow. Surely it’s fine to simply suspend disbelief in this case.
I’ve been putting some thought into archers and the only thing I keep coming back to is whether or not we will be able to assign them to a station. As a roving patrol they would be pretty ineffective but if we were able to station them at entry points to the village or on castle walls they would give a huge defensive advantage.
It would also add to the realism of the city defense. Roving patrols were usually soldiers or horsemen (archers could accompany but never alone) and archers lined the city walls where ammo was more readily available and they were less exposed.
Not sure if TR has put much thought into this aspect of it yet but thought I’d put it out there to get some thoughts on it
I was thinking a modified version of the party attack command. Basically the archer is treated like a party of one. From the character sheet (or somewhere else…haven’t thought on that) you could choose between patrol or station, selecting station would bring up a flag similar to the party attack command, with a slightly larger range, that can be dropped anywhere. It would save cluttering up your party interface and leave that for organizing attacks without the worry of accidently calling up your archers.
Afterthought: the archer station would also allow them to rotate out to bed/food without having to disable the party attack command every time
I think the party feature is pretty good, as is. It would just have limited effectiveness for defense. I find it doesn’t give the footman enough range to chase or intercept so not sure how that would work with ranged units.
[quote=“Boulderboy, post:12, topic:15747”]
the party feature […] doesn’t give the footman enough range to chase or intercept[/quote]
Agreed, and the need to turn it off every time you select an attack waypoint could be streamlined also. It would be great if units would attack any hostiles within a certain range of the selected waypoint, then return to normal operation if no additional targets are found after a certain time.
Hopefully archers will have some actual range to their attacks and/or move away from targets that close into melee. They could end up being more versatile than footmen depending on how the range mechanic works IMO.
Out of curiosity, what craft will make the bow? Carpenter?
I agree with the thought of having a “station” button, as clicking “defend town” makes EVERYONE stop what they’re doing to defend the town. and they don’t eat/sleep when doing this. the same thing happens with the attack position, albeit only with the individual party. however, instead of being a “station” button, I’d rather have it be a “patrol” button. soldiers patrol freely as-is, but it’s very inefficient. for example, I could design my city so that 3 sides face a cliff, and 1 side is open (although may have walls). the soldier, when patrolling, will wander around - sometimes at the open spot, oftentimes around town where there is no reasonable reason for them to patrol. also, if you have a large city, you don’t want soldiers to spend all their time patrolling the ENTIRE city. you’ll want 1 soldier to patrol one area, and 1 soldier to patrol another. by allowing the “patrol” button to be both a single-click and a multi-click tool (similar to the free-standing wall tool, where you can shift+click to connect pillars, but this time shift+clicking will connect patrol points, and just clicking without holding shift will simply place a single patrol point and end it there), it will fulfil both the need for a patrol button and a station button. this way, you can set 2 soldiers to guard the gate, while 3 soldiers patrol only the walls, with archers standing by on the walls, again stationed there. then there will be a few patrol parties wandering outside the city walls and some “police” patrolling inside the city, each one patrolling a specific area.
mmm, while it’s TECHNICALLY correct that a carpenter is what often made bows, both game-wise and historically, it’d be a bad idea to make the carpenter craft the bows. the initial bow, sure, but the bows after that? no. that role should be given to the “bowyer”, an upgrade to the carpenter whose job is to refine wood into usable pieces, and to turn things such as wool and silkweed into usable string, and then combine those into bows, crossbows, and the like. a professional bowyer will be able to produce higher quality weapons than your average carpenter. while the carpenter turns wood into tables, it is the bowyer that refines and combines different types of wood into usable parts.
There’s actually a decent bit of discussion on all of this in the Feedback on Combat. Additionally, some of the community’s suggestions on Archer-related classes can also be found in the Class Suggestions thread.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind an archer “craftsman” in the future, but I don’t feel the early game needs this (or can support it). Essentially, this hypothetical unit would be on par with the Blacksmith as seen with melee units, and considering ranged units can be so powerful and versatile in the game, I can see justification for having a unique class that is required for tapping into that particular branch of combat.
As I’ve argued for every other crafter we currently have (besides the Carpenter, who already meets these points a little too well), they need lots of recipes and purposes to keep them practical and justifiable. Additionally, having more recipes that require multi-class cooperation will make them feel more connected to the town’s community (unlike the Mason, which is currently in its own little world…).