Beastmen Archers Rework

Playing high level weaves can really emphasize the design of a particular enemy and how it feels to fight them. Prior to playing weaves I didn’t really have a strong opinion of beastmen archers. They were just mildly annoying.

Fighting them in high level weaves, however, I have found them to be incredibly frustrating and incredibly unfun. They form these hyperdense stacked regiments and fire huge amounts of arrows. It is not fun at all wasting a magazine only to find out there’s still more archers in the exact same spot .

Getting hit in the back or the side with a shield is no fun (especially with the arrow then lodging front and center of your screen), makes it confusing to try and figure out where they are since your brain thinks, “oh that was from the front, but my shield was up, how did I get hit?” (meanwhile they’re off somewhere behind you and continue to shoot and interrupt your ability to block or attack the nearby melee units).

Archers seem to shoot through obstacles, through the curvature of the terrain, through each other, through all other enemies… You can’t return fire because the bodies they’re shooting through block your shots (but not theirs!). Furthermore, unlike gunners who track slowly and maintain their firing angle even if they’re not directly on you, archers track you instantly so trying to flank them feels a lot like spamming dodge and praying until you finally get up close (and in those high level weaves if you ever make it that close).

I just wished their ranged component was like a skaven sniper instead; like a glorified lifeleech with a red dot sight and a wind up so a well-timed dodge would keep you safe.

Instead for archers to be “fun” I think is going to require a series of changes - spawn less, more spread out, reduce their range, don’t let them shoot through geometry or their own units, increase their friendly fire, make it easier for you to figure out where they are (don’t spawn HUD arrow if not directly in front of the player and maybe have callouts or better indicators of direction), make fighting them more nuanced, fun, and less one-dimensional (e.g., maybe archers should have a “supply” unit/box that you can destroy that is supplying them with arrows and without it they cannot shoot so you don’t have to be weirdly accurate about wiping out literally every single archer. It’s so annoying to think you’ve killed them all and while you’re leaving one bloody camouflaged goat shoots you in the back).

Also, pinging an archer should highlight the group of them, not just one.


Usually the AI director gives a reasonable amount of ambient archers or as part of beastmen hordes, but when you give a child a “ungor archer” brush and tell him to paint a picture on a weave, you end up with a stupid amount of invisible, resistant pests that make the game unfun (weave 35 I think it was that made me give up on weaves).

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I just wanted to write a similar post, because they are incredibly annoying while fighting against a horde. I think they don’t even cause friendly fire?
Imo they should cause friendly fire like all the other ranged enemies do, too (ratling, flamer, etc.) and the arrows should not go through the other enemies and still be able to hit you. Those are just some
“crude arrows”, as Queen Kerillian likes to call them.

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Weaves isn’t that great a way to balance the main game itself because it is inherently a flawed game mode.

I have heard that later on in really high weaves you can get one shot by these projectiles so you are eventually forced to have a shield wall and cheese the game with Sienna.

For myself and not mentioning weaves because difficulty scaling in that is just stupid, since they are throwing javelins they should have like 2-3 shots before they move up for melee attacks with their remaining spear. Projectiles should hit enemies to deal damage and shouldn’t pierce unless that is some sort of elite/specie/boss.

I agree they shouldn’t be balanced to fit weaves, my main point was that the extreme circumstances within weaves can highlight design flaws more effectively because it makes every action “matter”, and a single action or set of unclear and unfair behaviours become very, very big problems.

E.g., getting headbutted or spear-poked by a zero telegraph gor isn’t too bad on recruit, but on Cata where that might take out 50 hp and knock you? Yeah, you’re gonna notice and be significantly more upset.

That is how Fatshark chose to scale their difficulty. Weaves is even worse because they ran out of options and simply resorted to increasing stats and such.

I’ve always expressed the idea of having some difficulty specific enemies that you’d encounter on Champion, Legend, and Cataclysm with varying spawn rates. This way you don’t have to fully rely on the crutch that is enemy stats.

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