An argument for buffing bows [Reddit Xpost]

I’ve come across many arguments for and against bows while perusing the forums, and have also spent many hours on testlive and live testing out builds (including a bow-heavy build) in duels with other players, and I’d like to put some of the more inane arguments to rest.

Claim: Bow damage is fine! Melee characters should do 2-3 times more damage because you need to get in people’s faces to deal damage!

Fact: You can out-heal bow damage with a high quality meal in heavy armor.

Fact: Bows aren’t sniping tools in this game - if someone is using a bow and shooting arrows that they actually mean to hit you with, they are about 1 or 2 seconds of sprinting away from “your face”.

Claim: Bow damage is fine with 50 pt stat investment if you get head-shots!

Fact: Telling someone to land head-shots and actually landing them on a moving, dodging player in a duel are two different things. Couple this with inaccuracy while moving and trying to maintain range, and you might as well forget about it.

Fact: If you do manage to miraculously land a head-shot (which is the hardest thing to do in the game, hands down - much harder than running up to someone and spamming the left or right mouse buttons), you still do less damage than you would with a melee attack.

Fact: Melee damage with 0 stat investment is still twice as high as ranged with 100% stat investment.

Claim: Bows are in a good spot, I play a melee character.

Fact: Arrows are more expensive to make, feathers are hard to find. The entire weapon class is a poor investment and completely sub-optimal, about two or three times more expensive to maintain than a melee weapon with virtually no pay-off.

Fact: There are serious problems with the spot bows are in right now.

Claim: But I used snake arrows to kill a rhino!

Fact: This post has nothing to do with PVE.

Claim: The developers said that they wanted this to be a melee-centric game.

Fact: They also said they wanted bows to function like a mid-ranged melee weapon when they added in the bow combo. This indicates that they wanted bows to be a viable mid-ranged combat option and currently, in PvP, they simply aren’t if you are fighting anyone who is remotely skilled.

Fact: They also included an entire stat tree dedicated to ranged damage - including this tree while also making it strictly inferior to any other type of build. If bows were meant to be a tertiary option for chasing down pvp enemies, why even include the accuracy tree? What is the actual point of the tree’s inclusion? This “meant to be a melee” game argument is trash when there are clear mechanics included in the game that are clearly there to support gameplay alternatives. Why not make them viable? Melee weapons are viable without a strength investment. Bows aren’t even viable with 50 accuracy. Change my mind.


IMO the problem is the slow speed of arrows / not being able to “move & shoot” / not being able to instantly switch to the bow and shoot. The damage itself probably does need a small buff but the issue is more about the bow being unable to fulfill it’s role as a “sidearm” or “finisher” in it’s current state due to those core issues.

ACC as a stat needs to be reworked entirely. If they want bows to be a sidearm then it shouldn’t need a specific stat for increasing damage that requires a significant investment. That should be for main weapons only. Right now ACC is like a steep barrier to even attempt to use bows for their intended role, and isn’t worth the huge investment whatsoever.



What I’d like to see done with the ranged combat is have longbows/shortbows. Shortbows have very light armor penetration, quick draw speed and the light combo. Damage slightly higher than what it is at currently. Used for stacking poison arrows.

Longbows would be manual aim, lengthy draw time with heavy damage and high pen, but a much more punishing window if you miss. Something that can potentially one or two shot people with a head shot, three or four shot people without.

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Longbows would be way too strong for this kind of game. The shortbow idea is fine but if you could snipe people like that with a longbow then everyone would use them and melee combat would become a joke that leaves you vulnerable to anyone that sees you from afar. It was bad in the february testlive version because of that. It would turn into a longbow meta where everyone tries to get above you and force you to use one as well.

idk I get kills with the bow all the time I dont have a bow build i use it to start the fight if the player charges me i just pull out my king slayer and go melee. But i have have got a bunch of kills when some one trys to run or when they are charging me. I cant really see a need for a buff or a nerf on bows maybe make arrows a little less heavy.

Have you actually tried hitting a moving target from extreme range with the bow in this game? A longbow could work because it’s actually very difficult to hit long range shots in PvP at this point. Couple this with the addition of something like a weapon-swap cool-down on bows and I think longbows could be balanced perfectly fine.

The game requires a few tweaks to make PvP fun. All damage should be increased by 30% so that end-game (heavy armor) fights are at least somewhat based on skill. This includes bow damage.

The inclusion of a longbow would obviously have to come with some downsides. I would tweak the damage per point to have a more exponential model instead of a linear one, so that people who invest heavily in the trees see more of a reward in terms of % damage. Either this or move the headhshot perk lower in the tree, the % ranged damage higher and increase the overall percentage increase to 30 or 40%.


I get hits on people at range all the time mostly when they are running its not as easy as it was but its not super hard. I also never use the power shot i use the quick attack shot with snake arrows i have had 3 arrows in the air heading to a player when they are running as long ■■■ one hits and you keep doing that they die pretty fast.

Also i dont engage from supper far out ether i probably get to 20 - 25 yards before shooting. and if they do run at me iv already hit them a few times with snake arrows so i have the advantage in melee fight.

So a break down of most my pvp fights start like this ill shot a lot of snake arrows using quick attack typically the play will charge ill switch to my king slayer or what ever spear i have we fight a little some times i get the kill with the spear but most offten they try to run and when they run i switch back to bow and use the snake arrows again with quick shot.

For me the bow is a really good option that is strong if you use it correctly.

Have you ever killed someone at long range before they reached you?

That is the primary purpose of a bow. I don’t mind having a lethal option to keep people at range. Would more people use the bows in an open area? Yeah - that’s the point. Melee should be much stronger in - well - melee, and bows should feel more lethal at range.

Everything just needs to be much more lethal. I made a post about the pre-balance patch for the combat update and that felt about right. Combat was fast-paced while remaining tactical. People died in 3-4 melee swings and within 5 arrows, tops.

I agree. I also think the damage needs a buff, not a small one, just enough to bring them back to viability.

I would like to as the OP however. What Bow and what arrows were tested. You are assuming that we know you are using the best ones or that you have used all. I would just like to see you quantify your claims.

I have tested some Bow play on PvE not PvP and I found it very underwhelming on damage in comparison to similar level melee weapons.

like i said in my last 3 posts i normally get the kill when players are running away so yes i do get almost all my bow kills at range the poison also dose a tone of dmg and that will kill them a lot of times to. but any way i guess we will just have to agree to disagree :slight_smile:

That means those players were not healing with aloe potions. Experienced players always abuse healing (I know I do) so that indicates to me that they weren’t familiar with the new combat system. What works against newer players doesn’t necessarily reflect how effective it is-- just because I kill someone with a pickaxe doesn’t mean it’s a viable weapon. Especially if it happens because I stand there in silent legion armor and heal while they desperately swing at me with an iron weapon.

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And in the same time, those players are more likely to not zick zack or running behind trees/obstacles - meaning those were nothing but clay pigeons.

with a bit of gameplay you can do nice thing :

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I have to play devil’s advocate, as I believe it is intended for healing effects will drop off those hit hit when taking damage. The healing in combat as it works now could be bugged.

And we all know, or should know that you don’t balance around bugs.

With that said. I’ve been testing bows myself recently and not only are they inferior weapons. But due to how ranged works. Accuracy is an inferior stat compared to all others.

Here’s the major issue with ranged weapons. When you fire/throw them, they follow a weird and hard to predict angle that has to do with what is behind the crosshair/reticle. If it is a target it automatically makes an adjustment. If it is terrain, well it tries to hit the spot the dot is positioned over.

This dynamic aiming makes it hard if not impossible to lead shots with. Bows and throwing weapons are not hitscan. So anytime a target is moving laterally to you, you must lead, but you must also take into account the terrain and objects in the back ground.

Getting headshots and leg shots are harder than body shots. But getting body shots is hard enough as it is. This issue alone makes Accuracy an inferior stat.

Even if they buff damage across the board. 2x, 3x, 5x, 10x, or even 25x. Bows and throwing weapon would still be inferior to melee (with the exception of 25x being able to 1 shot things, if you hit). Damage is only one problem, and a minor one at that. Though damage on throwing seems about fine, at least on paper.

So bows have a damage issue and lets be honest, its a pretty bad set of damage values, even for a weapon that can be used at range. But throwing weapons have a resource and logistical issue.

Throwing weapons can be picked up on a miss (if you can find them). But they are still quite expensive to use. I think this issue is easily fixed by changing the recipes to grant 5x instead of 1x per craft.

In addition we cannot use throwing weapons reliably because they do not stack. You throw one and you’ve got an empty slot. No other weapon works like that. Even orbs which do far more damage and AOE can stack. I would consider allowing throwing axes and javelins to stack to either 5, 10, or 20. Or fix the bug that does not allow them to stack.

And then to fix bows, I would consider reverting them. The combo is awkward to use. And the dynamic trajectories is even worse. I’m not going to comment on the heavy attack since it’s been mentioned we may see the return of the click and hold mechanic.

Also this idea of the game being melee focused is rather a bit of a fallacy. Accuracy is a stat it costs as much as Strength or Grit. It should not exist simply as a trap to new or misinformed players. Which it currently does.

If ranged is meant to be second to melee, then Accuracy needs to cost less than other stats, or removed entirely. Or at least come with a warning suggesting that you will be making a weaker character if you place points within it.


I just wanted to point that out as an indicator of newer / inexperienced players. But even if healing is stopped upon taking damage if you miss your first 1-2 shots your opponent will have recovered almost completely. And if they carry violet cure-alls poisoning them won’t guarantee they can’t be healed.

I’m really hoping they nerf healing into the ground.

Sounds interesting.
I dont like throwables, but for those who do like them, this sounds good.

Or give accuracy the purpose of enhancing melee.
I have mixed feelings about no reason for an accuracy tree if this was supposed to be some melee based game.
Instead the accuracy tree could be about applying cripple becoming an option at all (by hitting the legs), or some keen eye granting a basic 20% armor penetration. Or enhancing the attacks in a chain, as having all attacks in a chain to connect may prove difficult, at least when talking about pvp. And possibly lots more which would in any way be linked to accuracy - because even melee attacks need to be placed accurately

But currently we got an archer tree which is about archery. Making Conan Exiles not a melee based game, but mixed instead. (Btw, how are orbs “melee”?)
This is why bows and melee should be on par. As it was stated above an archer might be caught up with in like 1-3 seconds. Plus zick zack (like presented by JustHorse) aready makes it really hard to hit in pvp anyway. Plus those arrows being this slow. (I dont really know if the old arrows have been this slow - I guess they were, but we didnt have to hit really small hitboxes like some head back then. The smaller a hitbox is, the lower the chance to hit it during movement. Even more when arrows are this slow…)

100% chance you are killing people with little to no armor…and are level 1-10. Fight a pvp geared level 60 with decent armor and stats with a bow for once…it’s trash and 100% useless except to MAYBE cripple them with a shot to the legs.


This. 100 times this. I have run so many duels in end-game equipment and bows are just extremely sub-par.

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Yes I have, not once but several times. I account for the arc of the arrow and I can down three or four enemies before they can get within melee range…

Can you record a clip of this?