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.