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Short Bow v. Long Bow. Help a Ranger decide.

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#1 Fatalplus

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:31 PM

So I really want to like the short bow.  I've tried again and again to get into it and though I like a lot about it, it still doesn't seem to have the same push I feel with the long bow.

I want to do a pro's and con list to help me decide which is better for me and my play style.  Please add or take away as you see fit.

Short Bow:
Pros:
  • Short Recharge Timer.  Shortest Recharge skills in the game(i think) with conc short being the longest at 15 secs.  This can be decreased further in the skirmishing trait line.
  • Trait Line: Putting points into Skirmishing increases crit and crit damage which also has several of the short bow centric traits.  Boosting Crit/crit damage will fit my playstyle.
  • Mobility: My build will focus on Mobility.  Using Quick Shot, especially when running away from a group of bad guys is another trick in my bag.
  • Conditions: Though I don't want to play a heavy condition build - SB does offer a lot of conditions to add additional pressure.  Bleeds, dazes/stuns, cripples and poisons.
  • Synergy:  has really good synergy with the sword-warhorn off set I plan on using.  Hornet's Sting to Quick Shot is poetry in motion.

Cons:
  • Low Damage: I never saw high spike numbers even with RaO and QZ up at the same time.  It's quick and can cause a lot of pressure but it will never be a spike weapon.
  • Not enough specialization: Though SB does a lot of different things, it doesn't seem to do any one thing really well other than just pressure.  It feels more like an off-set weapon than a stand alone weapon (in PvP anyway).
  • Conditions: I know, I listed it as a pro, but I thought I'd put it here too.  I don't really want to build a condition heavy build with high Malice or Expertise.
  • Flanking: You get the best result with flanking attacks.  I personally like this type of gameplay but it does add a level to the weapon that you simply don't need with a LB.

Long Bow
Pros:
  • High Damage/High Pressure:  With some pretty impressive Long Ranged Shots and Knockback shots as well as the vulnerability from Hunter's Shot I was able to crank out some pretty good numbers on a suboptimal build.
  • Specialized:  Long bow is about delivering good damage reliably with good control mixed in.  It's not flashy but it gets the job done.
  • Knock Back Shot:  Seriously it's that good.
  • WvW: I could get a good build for SPvP and WvW with the same weapon rather than having to switch around.  Since LB is the best WvW weapon (imo).

Cons:
  • Traits: I don't like a lot of the Marksman traits.  5% damage increase...piercing arrows...10% damage when End is full.  They just aren't that fun or intuitive.  Take the traits and forget about them.  With SB I have to think a little.  Plus Marksman has condition duration as a secondary stat increase and LB just doesn't lay on the conditions enough for me to feel like it's not a waste.
  • Uniqueness:  Every Ranger and their mother is running around with a LB.  I like to be a little different.
  • Long Recharge: The go-to control skills are on long cool downs and I often found myself wanting them sooner than they were ready - a problem rarely felt with the SB.

So that's my list of pros and cons.  Help a ranger out and help me figure out which to finally pick so I can start hammering out my "final" build.

#2 Sir Sparhawk

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:42 PM

Longbow has long recharge? Rapid fire has a 10 sec cd and thats ur main damage dealer. point blank and hunters shot have a 15 sec cd. Sure its longer than shortbow but for a reason, its heavy damage and CC/conditions. Imo I like longbow better, guess it comes down to do you prefere to stay at max range doing sweet damage or do you like applying conditions at mid range to almost point blank for the flanking.

#3 quantum712

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:46 PM

I found that the longbow worked better for me with axe/horn as my alternate set.

Quote

Knock Back Shot: Seriously it's that good.
Agreed!

-edit

Also found that barrage was good at clearing capture points of enemy.  :cool:

Edited by quantum712, 15 May 2012 - 10:48 PM.


#4 Spatzimaus

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:18 PM

The longbow has a good mix of abilities: one high-damage burst (Rapid Fire), a great knockback, a great AoE effect (Barrage), and two "meh" abilities (the base long range attack and the debuff one).  It's really just a good all-around weapon, and I'm not surprised that it's been an early favorite; the Shortbow just takes more work to get used to.  Same with the greatsword; it's high-damage with some really great utility, but in the long run I think a lot of GS users will switch to something else (like sword+warhorn or axe+axe) for the greater defensive ability, AoEs, etc.

The problem with the shortbow, in my experience, is that to get the best use out of it you need to be in the thick of things (to get those flanking/back shots), and if you're going to do that, you'll just switch to your melee set for the higher damage.  Sure, its debuffs/poisons/etc. are nice, but melee weapons have those too.  The real advantage is that you don't NEED to swap weapons when enemies close; just keep using the weapon that you were using when they were 20m away from you, and it's still pretty useful.

Now, what I think is going to happen is that there'll be some players who want the GW1-style Rangers.  Just bows and pet, none of this "sword" stuff.  For those people, I think you'll see the shortbow become their "melee" set; that is, they'll use longbows at range, and then switch to the shortbow once the enemies are in close, just like Rangers did in GW1.  Besides giving you two distinct playstyles at different ranges, this also has the advantage that certain traits (like Piercing Arrows) would help both weapon sets.  Also, combo fields work far better with projectiles than with melee weapons, so the shortbow can make far better use out of the fields Rangers can produce.  (We can do ice, fire, or water, and certain pets can make poison or smoke fields as well.)  Effectively, you can think of the Shortbow as being a melee weapon, and not try to compare it directly to the longbow.  Or at least stick it in that mid-range category with the Axes.

#5 Farlen

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:42 PM

I was actually looking into using both bows. Though it does seem very less appealing then say Longbow + Axe/Warhorn which is what i used in beta and was really good at getting some fast burst damage. I primarily see myself playing lots of WvW so having longbow and traiting for it is a must, for me.

#6 Husky

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:48 PM

If you're into kiting, then shortbow is the way to go. But the longbow is just good in general. I personally did not enjoy the longbow, and refuse to touch it, even in wvw. I really enjoyed the mobility of the shortbow since I'm always on the move. The longbow is great with damage and some control, but it was not in my playstyle to really enjoy this weapon.

#7 ryb

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:50 PM

If you like standing still and/or deal direct damage: Longbow
If you like moving around and/or deal condition damage: Shortbow

Longbow is definitely the most immobile weapon for rangers and that's why I don't fancy using it very often. I can see it being very useful during sieges in WvWvW though. Shortbow is my go to skirmishing out in the field weapon. 1200 is plenty of range then.

#8 JP Blackout

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:54 PM

Depends on what you are using it for (sPvP, WvW or PvE). I found the short bow to be useless in all situations when compared to the long bow. It just doesn't have enough power. Now for the long bow, the story is not much different when in sPvP. Everyone keeps saying that it depends on the situation blah blah blah. This past stress test has only proved me more correct. There is no situation (in sPvP) that the great sword will not come out on top when compared to the long bow. Which is sad because I want to like and use the long bow but it is too underpowered for it to be. But in WvW and PvE. I would suggest the long bow. Especially in WvW.

#9 Sacred Gee

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:55 PM

I played around in PvE areas with the LB + Axe/Warhorn sets with several friends. The LB skills worked beautifully, especially during those escort events when the centaurs ambush the caravans. I wasn't really worried about the damage, but rather keeping foes from knocking me on my ass (downed). The damage was perfect, considering I only died a few times when the Veteran-named foes decided I needed to die.  ;)

#10 JohnnyQuest

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:59 PM

View Postryb, on 15 May 2012 - 11:50 PM, said:

If you like standing still and/or deal direct damage: Longbow
If you like moving around and/or deal condition damage: Shortbow

Longbow is definitely the most immobile weapon for rangers and that's why I don't fancy using it very often. I can see it being very useful during sieges in WvWvW though. Shortbow is my go to skirmishing out in the field weapon. 1200 is plenty of range then.

cant use all of longbows skills on the move?

#11 Epic_Bear_Guy

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 12:02 AM

Spoiler

This is what i was doing for the most part in structured pvp. I switched to longbow + axe/warhorn shortly after though because i had issues chasing people down. Not to mention the warhorns 15 second swiftness can also help you gain distance when enemies get in close. I also used QZ as a means of escape.

View PostJohnnyQuest, on 15 May 2012 - 11:59 PM, said:

cant use all of longbows skills on the move?

You can use all except barrage on the move.

Edited by Epic_Bear_Guy, 16 May 2012 - 12:04 AM.


#12 Sir Sparhawk

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 12:14 AM

Barrage is more for an aoe medium damage cripple attack not really there for on the move damage. But yes the other skills can be used on the move.

#13 DoomBunny

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 01:36 AM

I tried both bows in the BWE and Stress Test, and I found each had a different flavor.

If your ultimate goal is to just deal damage, take the Longbow. Its skills are perfectly suited for chilling behind your line of angry warriors while firing arrows into anything you can. I was actually able to hold off attackers by myself in WvW by using the longbow to scare them away with damage before they got close (strategically placed spike traps helped too). The scary thing about this is how fast it can put pressure on enemies. It may lack the raw spikes of the Greatsword, but try dropping Hunter's Shot+Rapid fire on the guys trying to fight guards and see how fast they drop. I also found Barrage useful for sticking people near the gate and making them suffer through Burning Oil.

The Shortbow is a whole different monster. Although I do remember reading it is capable of higher DPS than the Longbow, most of said DPS relies on bleeds, which don't scale as well as flat damage. However, the Shortbow has a much wider toolkit than the Longbow. With a Longbow, you're only doing damage. With a Shortbow, you've got more options. Crossfire does put out some good damage, and stacking bleeds can put some good pressure on enemies to help the spikers. Poison spread is amazing in skirmishes, as all the arrows land, some hitting 1 person twice. The Poison helps to prevent people trying to heal through your bleeds. Crippling Shot, aside from having the best flavor text in game, can reliably snare people to get ,melee on them.  Quick Shot gives you an escape, but the swiftness is the real trait here. It gives you reliably kiting power plus is useful when running to revive or protect someone. Concussive Shot rounds out the weapon with a stun, which is self explanatory.

Really, they are completely different. Longbow offers the most raw damage. Shortbow offers condition damage and a myriad of other tools for helping out your team. The best way to look at IMHO is if you enjoyed playing the GW1 "Toolbox" Ranger PvP build, the shortbow is very comparable. The Longbow is similar to what you'd find in any other Archer class.

In the end, it's Legolas vs. Green Arrow
Take your pick.

#14 Shae

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:55 AM

My problem with the Shortbow is that it is a utility weapon, and only that. It is not capable of dealing real damage unless you can guarantee you will constantly be triggering the bleeding from your #1, and you also have to be investing heavily into your damage-increasing stats. That said, I found it more than capable of evading/griefing foes while I (very) slowly whithered them down conditions. Concussion Shot is great for stopping healing skills if you can predict their usage, giving you a few extra seconds to finish your opponent off. The only advantage it has over Axe/dagger is its #3 for the direct evasion, but Axe/dagger has dual snares anyway so it's more than manageable.

#15 T J

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:45 AM

I'd just take both and forgo a melee set. I'm a fan of the Shortbow but right now in unorganized PvP it kinda sucks, it really is a utility weapon, meaning you need other people to be effective. Right now, in Random Teams Conquest, the coordination level is ...euh.. minimal.
The stun/mobility/snares are nice, but right now raw damage (burst) does a much better job at winning games than those things. Once the game's a little further than stresstests and beta and organized PvP teams start figuring out tactics/strategy I think the Shortbow will be used more.

#16 Husky

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:57 AM

in the last bwe, i actually enjoyed the shortbow in pvp more than in pve. I loved crippling shot the most. Not only does it cripple an enemy, but it also bleeds enemies. I paired this with the greatsword, so if anyone decided to get in my face, I would kill them quickly with a mual and a few other attacks. Quickness zephyr is amazing with the shortbow if you can position yourself properly. It's almost like rapid fire that stacks bleed 6+ times. It does act like a utility weapon, but it is effective if you swap between the shortbow and whatever you have around.

#17 Neato

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:01 AM

I tend to recall a guildie saying that long bow and greatsword are the only good Ranger weapons. So, I'd go with that.

#18 Scarlet_Blossom

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:06 AM

I like the shortbow because the conditions (especially bleed) offer constant damage output instead of some spike-damage  that can easily be avoided.

#19 Sir Sparhawk

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 12:03 PM

Seems shortbow is great when coupled with melee rangers. Longbow seems to be aimed more at those rangers who want to do bow damage, guiltyyyyyyyyyyy. I dont think I will run anything except longbow simply because I like longbows more, the skills more, raw damage more. In WvW it seems to be ranged biased also so I could just sit atop my walls and fire unending stream of death from above.

#20 Fatalplus

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:14 PM

View PostDoomBunny, on 16 May 2012 - 01:36 AM, said:

In the end, it's Legolas vs. Green Arrow
Take your pick.

Damnit DB - that quote just sealed the deal for me.  Short Bow it is...

#21 CharliePrince

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 12:49 PM

honestly speaking, you can't go wrong.. and most people will pick longbow just for Rapid Fire and say pew pew pew when they use it :)

shortbow I find is amazing in certain aspects of PVP.. it's by far the deadlier of the two because of the control options it has (poison, cripple and more importantly.. the daze/stun)

3 control options in pvp = guaranteed death, specially in WvW where most people ... run away, yes.. RUN AWAY! Free access to their back means that daze becomes an automatic stun :)

what enemy can escape being chased by a pack that has a warhorn ranger dualed with a shortbow? :X i have yet to see any enemy escape me if i'm chasing them just because of that stun

turn your back = stunned, throw in the cripple along with warhorn skills and really.. there's no escape

as to the actual playstyle, I prefer LB because well.. pew pew pew!

#22 AndrewSX

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 12:52 PM

LongBow = long range, hard hitting, AoE.

ShortBow = bleed spam, tons of cond, CC.

End of the thing.

#23 nicefff

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 01:38 PM

i personally felt the short bow to feel so under powered, the conditions didn't feel like they did much,even at close range, so i stuck with longbow and used the push back shot thing to gain distance and use utility skills like muddy terrain and frost trap to slow the enemies down for more of my barrage to hit :)

#24 Thorgrum

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 01:50 PM

The short bow affords you the ability to bleed, stun, slow and poison a mob. That’s going to be a situational use IMHO on the mid or higher level bosses. Getting those conditions on the higher end mobs along with managing your pet will suffice for damage. You won’t need that on the ordinary trash in PvE, and really any weapon should suffice there. For PvP it’s really about damage output, conditions are great in a coordinated action with your team but longbow damage is excellent.


In my view the deciding factor should be the situation, if you’re in for a long fight the short bow might be a better choice because of the conditions over time along with your pet damage output. If you’re just grinding PvE trash mobs then the long bow will be much faster.

#25 rd1102

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 02:01 PM

both are good when your opponent lets you go unattended.
shortbow = support dps @ close range , dmg good as long as target isnt facing you
longbow = support dps from afar
pet swap zephyrs are very good with rapid shot/barrage

once they switch their attention to you , dmg drops
shortbow = dmg drops when your target faces you
longbow = dmg drops when target closes up on you

so they aren't too good on 1v1 situations

View PostNeato, on 16 May 2012 - 08:01 AM, said:

I tend to recall a guildie saying that long bow and greatsword are the only good Ranger weapons. So, I'd go with that.

not really , other weapons are all viable .
iam leaning more and more towards the axe.
last stress test i tried running a axe/warhorn and a axe/axe setup with spirits.
it fared much better than my usual paring of longbow/axe+warhorn  or GS / axe+warhorn.

you could say as far as rangers are concerned , weapon choice is up to personal preference , they could all work with the correct build

#26 Korra

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 02:06 PM

Okay guise! Now because Longbow have 1 skill that lock you in place it's the weapon that has less mobility in the WHOLE GAME WOAH.

Nah but seriously, Longbow > shortbow, in general.

#27 Maik

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 02:15 PM

View PostFatalplus, on 15 May 2012 - 10:31 PM, said:

  • Synergy:  has really good synergy with the sword-warhorn off set I plan on using.  Hornet's Sting to Quick Shot is poetry in motion.


I didn't try this in the BWE (nor in the stress test), so one question comes to my mind. Do these skills (Hornet's Sting + Quick Shot) get you out of shortbow's range, or are you still able to shoot right after using this awesome combo? :P

#28 Farlen

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:18 PM

For PvE, i feel they are both good choices. Getting to flank is pretty easy since you have a pet who can draw the attention of the target, same with staying at long range.

For PvP, both take a lot of babysitting to get maximum damage out. Though both are still relatively easy to do if you stay with a buddy or in a group. You just have to make sure you have the right positioning on your target at all times to keep the damage flowing smoothly.

#29 Korra

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:01 PM

There's tons of stuff that remove Conditions, cripple, poison, bleed.... also Daze from the shortbow is extremly overrated, point blank shot interrupts, gives you range and i takes atleast 1 - 2 second for the enemy to do anything after.

Second, Damage > Conditions, Rapid fire is insane, get a feline, get the opening vulnerability trait, use Hunter's shot and the enemy have 5+ Vulnerability, follow by rapid shot and in case they get near you, point blank.... now, can your shortbow do this? Well you can always do a cone of poison whcih have a pathetic damage, and well, cripple, yeah... You've got tons of traps that do that. and daze, well i already explained it.

And well, overall shortbow skill do mediocre damage compared to the longbow, specially the autoattack with the "the more far you are the more you hit for" If you combine this with Lighning reflexes, hornet's/Monarch, and dodges, and point blank you should be able to keep your distance all the time.

#30 Stormsy

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:20 PM

Is it viable to run Shortbow/Longbow?




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