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bow or crossbow

If a bow and crossbow have the same thaco, then which one is better to use?


  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,537
    I look at Speed and APR first (for interrupting mage spell casting) then Damage output.

  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 461
    Due to the nature of the Firetooth crossbow i'd say crossbow every day of the week, despite there being higher dps alternatives such as a particular shortbow you can get 20 minutes after starting a new game.

    Arrows and bolts of high enchantment are fairly rare and such a frikken hassle so i always choose the firetooth crossbow simply because the other alternatives do not have a dps high enough to make me bother with them.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,621
    bow has 2 base apr, while xbow only one. for both the ammunition enchantment affects only thac0 and not damage, and they don't get damage bonus by strength, while the sling gets both str bonus (also the returning weapons do) and gets bonus damage from the bullet enchantment.
    the returning daggers have 2 apr.
    there are some very interesting ammo for the bow and xbow ( elemental damage, dispel on hit and save or poison), while for the sling there are only few bullets with fire damage, but in tob you find +4 bullets, while there is no +4 ammo for the bow/xbow.
    there are bows and xbows with elemental damage added, like gesen and firetooth, so can be used with not enchanted ammo to deal elemental damage to enemies protected by stoneskin + pfmw, to disrupt their spell casting, there is no sling with added elemental damage.
    more apr means to use more ammo, a fighter with natural high apr (like mazzy at lev 13) with the +1apr short bow shoot 5 times/round, 10 improved hasted, and will deplete enchanted ammo very fast, while more alpha and less apr means that you use less enchanted ammo for the same damage output so can use the better ammo more often as you risk less to run out of it.

    all this to tell that "which one is better to use?" can be answered only if more context is given.
    the user is a fighter with high base apr or a class with 1 base apr?

    has he special str, naturally or from items, so to use slings or returning weapons is possibly better and the str increases the alpha with them, but not with bow and xbow?

    is the thac0 of the user good, fighter type with good base thac0 and also willing to invest pips in the ranged weapon, so he can use returning weapons, or is a class with average thac0 (cleric, druid, thief, bard) so he has to stack thac0 bonus from launcher and ammo to hit everything that has AC, or is imoen/nalia that has not the thac0 to hit often everything with AC?

    is the user an archer, so to go for the maximum apr (short bow) is the better choice as he has a good alpha from his kit dmg bonus?

    once you have clear that there are basically 4 types of ranged weapons (5 if you count also the darts) and each type has or don't has certain characteristics (str damage or not, stacking or not weapon and ammo enchantment dmg, using or not ammo to stack thac0, no consumption, moderate or high ammo consumption, ammo with special damage and weapon with special damage or not) you can decide yourself what is better for a character, knowing his class and also the party composition ( ie if he choose bow and there are also other bow users they will be in competition for the best ammo, with sling and xbow as the apr is lower there is less competition, with returning weapons there is no competition at all).
    also the purpose of using the ranged weapon is important, the goal is to pack huge damage or to do less damage, but disrupt the spell casters?

  • MartinWMartinW Member Posts: 46
    What an irony how most powerful weapon in BG1/SoD - longbow with acid/fire arrows becomes least powerful in BG2.

  • BlackbɨrdBlackbɨrd Member Posts: 164
    MartinW wrote: »
    What an irony how most powerful weapon in BG1/SoD - longbow with acid/fire arrows becomes least powerful in BG2.

    It's quite funny that.

  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,537
    On the other hand the one ranged weapon that gives you continuity across BG1/2 is the crossbow - the Army Scythe (formerly known as the Light Crossbow of Speed) in BG1 and Firetooth (not to be confused with Fire Tooth the dagger) in BG2.

  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 132
    Firetooth is the notable exception but Cespenar says it best “crossbows be sucky...”

    Mazzy with the short bow of +1 APR has always been my go-to archer. As @gorgonzola has already pointed out, prepare to spend large amounts of money on ammo.
    The unlimited ammo options can help here, but some of cut into your damage a bit.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,621
    edited May 17
    imo the +1 apr bow and xbow are worth to use only by fighter types or anyway people with good thac0, as an imoen can use them but probably the loss of the hits that miss is larger then the gain from the added apr, unless special tactics, like hitting only webbed enemies or enemies that for some reason are automatically hit, are used.
    i prefer her, nalia and jan with a higher enchantment bow or xbow and enchanted ammo to stack their thac0 and actually hit often not only the mages with very bad AC.
    for mazzy, as she has good thac0 and added damage from having GM, or even more an archer, are a way more interesting weapons.

    sometimes i dream about a +1apr sling, after all is the only class of ranged weapons that is stuck to a single apr, as for all the others, xbow and returning weapons, at least a weapon with more then 1 apr is available, but probably it would make them overpowered, my aerie end game can get 2 apr, hasted, with an alpha at least of 28, with a +1 apr sling and improved hasted would have 4 apr with only a marginally lower alpha, hitting for around 100 dmg/round.

    and for fighter with GWW and good str, starting from a high one and using all the possible bonuses or even better a multi FC, to use the better sling and the better ammo is a very good choice, as it should give around 290 dmg/round to the FC multi, giving for granted specialization, for C->F with enough cleric levels to reach 25 str it should be around 320 dmg/round if GM is reached.
    not bad at all for a ranged weapon that let you hit everywhere in the battlefield without having to relocate, and with that dmg output with a mlee weapon there are many situations where you have to relocate as you kill very fast. it is even possible to use GWW with a mlee weapon then, once your direct enemy is dead, switch to the sling to help some other fighter that is not so close to you and use that way the remaining GWW attacks.
    also the opposite, to hit ranged using GWW as the enemy is walking to close the distance to switch to mlee as they close it is a good tactic, you probably will take out at least a fighter as they are approaching.

  • SirBatinceSirBatince Member Posts: 809
    bg2 almost has no magic arrows, which is very odd considering bg1 overflowed with them.

    firetooth you can get straight from the beginning of the game, and you can couple it with the quiver of infinite bolts a few steps inside the Keep.

    of course slings are the master race but that's a different story.

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