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Longbow vs shortbow DPS, Speed, etc.


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#1 Skolops

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 05:18 PM

I'm sure this topic has been discussed at length, but I haven't found any recent topics on precisely this subject, so I thought I'd give it a go.  

I've been tossing around different build concepts in my head, on the calculators, and in the testing area, and I - as many - have come to the conclusion that the Shortbow is just better than the Longbow even without putting a lot of effort into flanking to get those bleeds.  

Now typically when considering shortbow builds, I've been very concerned with getting a very healthy amount of condition damage, because it does lend itself to bleeds being such a big part of its usage.  Unfortunately, its been much easier to get everything I want stat-wise in a pure power/crit build than when I try to get condition damage in there, so I started wondering what would happen if I tried to make a power/crit build with the shortbow and don't worry so much about condition damage, letting bleeds be a bonus more than anything.  However, I asked my self what would then be the point of choosing shortbow over long.  

To begin to answer it, I wanted to get some relatively hard numbers on the difference, so I ran a test.  I took an online stopwatch and timed 17 seconds worth of longbow and shortbow autoattacks.  After a few tests, my results are showing longbow at about 0.8 - 0.9 shots per second, and shortbow at between 2.0 - 2.2 shots per second.  I also tested the longbow's big nuke Rapid Fire in the same way. The result was that, even at longest range and even using Rapid Fire, the shortbow autoattack does more DPS for any given amount of power even without bleeds.

Now I thought I'd seen official numbers on this somewhere, but a quick search couldn't find it. Therefore, I am asking three things.

1) If anyone has the official numbers anywhere, please link me!

2) If not, I'd encourage you to test it yourself and provide your results here so we can get a bigger sample.

3) What are your thoughts on the overall question?  Does Longbow really do less DPS than shortbow even if we don't think about bleeds?  What does this mean for the way we make our builds?

#2 Kaysin

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 05:38 PM

Honestly i utilize both in pvp and pve. The big sell point isnt the amount of damage x does compared to y. But the utilities you gain with each unique bow.

For instance, i spam my shortbow leveling and small scale pvp due to the sheer goodness of daze/cripple/poison/bleed. Yet i will switch out (manually, i keep a GS as my 2nd weapon) for other situation fights before i engage. I will use the longbow on hill battles in wvw due to the point blank arrow being godly in launching enemies off cliff faces. Barrage also settles the score with large zergs :P

In my experience the numbers are pretty comparible. But the tools you gain per situation is totally worth having both.

#3 Sinmain

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 06:12 PM

I love the shortbow longbow combo.  I run a power/crit build http://gw2skills.net...QlgKLVOqkUtwYgB  My biuld also allows me to use the sigs my pet gets for me.  Longbow to unload rapid fire and short bow when they come in close to poison and bleed.  I can't be stoped one on one or 2 on one.

#4 Sizmo

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 10:44 PM

The only thing i see 'wrong' with your build is you didnt take the 5pts in Wilderness Survival to get the +50% endurance regen.

In my books, that is the 1 trait EVERY ranger must have.

#5 Aizea

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 02:02 PM

Are you including vulnerability?

Keep in mind longbow can easily keep at least 10 stacks of vulnerability on a target until they die if the ranger has the 20% cool down reduction trait.

#6 Sinmain

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 02:06 PM

no all for the sigs

#7 JROH

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:40 PM

To the OP's question: I don't have an exact link, but after messing around with numerous stat and trait setups, I've noticed that from the same distance, the longbow and does about 33% more damage than the shortbow (this number barely changes with the eagle eye trait, which lets you do less than 50 extra damage per hit, and the only time the extra damage becomes beneficial is a glass cannon power crit build). However, at range, the longbows auto attack lets it do about 60% more damage than the shortbow (note that none of these numbers are factoring in the bleeding). However, only the auto attack has increased damage, and you'll still see the same numbers with rapid fire at a distance than you will at shortbow range.

The issue then with this is that the shortbow attacks 2 times to every 1 longbow attack. Actually, rapid fire on the longbow is about the same speed as the shortbows normal attack speed. Meaning that no matter what build you are running, the shortbow will always outdamage the longbow, without even factoring in conditions. So even if you are running a power/crit build, the shortbow is still a better option at almost all times.The only time the longbow seems beneficial is in WvW, and even then you're only real use with a longbow is to stand on a wall and basically poke people til they get annoyed have to leave your range then heal for a half second then come back and continue whatever they were doing.

What could they do to fix this? Well for whatever reason everybody cries nerf whenever they think something is overpowered. So I've seen quite a few people say to slow down the shortbows autoattack. But then every other class in the game would own rangers. So the point would be to buff the longbow a bit. If it was me, which it isn't, I'd scrap the whole functionality of the longbows autoattack, and make the autoattack provide some sort of conditional vulnerability, and increase the attack speed of it ever so slightly, in a way that would allow the autoattack to stack vulnerability from that autoattack to a fair but not OP amount. Then I'd scrap hunters shot entirely and add some sort of stun or immobilize utility, since rangers have few options to apply either of those conditions, and longbows are heavy hitting enough weapons to justify some sort of better CC option than barrage...

#8 Dahk

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 11:09 PM

Yea, after doing a lot of playing around with the different weapons, I've found that the short bow is pretty consistently doing more damage than longbow, except when you compare shooting the longbow at max range against shooting the short bow when not flanking, which is about even.

Also, some talents are inherently better for the short bow as a result of the faster attack speed, such as Sharpened Edges (chance of bleed on crit) and Companion's Might (crits give might to pets), which widens the gap between these bows even further.

#9 Honey

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 06:53 PM

View PostSinmain, on 30 August 2012 - 06:12 PM, said:

I love the shortbow longbow combo.  I run a power/crit build http://gw2skills.net...QlgKLVOqkUtwYgB  My biuld also allows me to use the sigs my pet gets for me.  Longbow to unload rapid fire and short bow when they come in close to poison and bleed.  I can't be stoped one on one or 2 on one.

Can you be so kind to also share what pets you use? :)

#10 Adrian_R

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 07:33 PM

View PostSkolops, on 30 August 2012 - 05:18 PM, said:

2) If not, I'd encourage you to test it yourself and provide your results here so we can get a bigger sample.
Tested it a while back (I used the recharge on other bow skills for timing), got 0.5s per attack for shortbow and 1.25s for the longbow.
At tooltip 916 power dps (i.e. quite a bit lower than what you actually do in sPvP), that gives
long range shot, max range: 254 dps
rapid fire: 264 dps over 5s
barrage: 423 dps over 4s
crossfire, from front: 268 dps
So longbow has useful slot 3-4 skills and good damage on barrage, but it's hardly the ranger's big damage weapon. I wish barrage's cooldown was lower so we'd have a good long-range AoE weapon.

#11 funkybudda

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 05:01 PM

View PostJROH, on 31 August 2012 - 06:40 PM, said:

To the OP's question: I don't have an exact link, but after messing around with numerous stat and trait setups, I've noticed that from the same distance, the longbow and does about 33% more damage than the shortbow (this number barely changes with the eagle eye trait, which lets you do less than 50 extra damage per hit, and the only time the extra damage becomes beneficial is a glass cannon power crit build). However, at range, the longbows auto attack lets it do about 60% more damage than the shortbow (note that none of these numbers are factoring in the bleeding). However, only the auto attack has increased damage, and you'll still see the same numbers with rapid fire at a distance than you will at shortbow range.

The issue then with this is that the shortbow attacks 2 times to every 1 longbow attack. Actually, rapid fire on the longbow is about the same speed as the shortbows normal attack speed. Meaning that no matter what build you are running, the shortbow will always outdamage the longbow, without even factoring in conditions. So even if you are running a power/crit build, the shortbow is still a better option at almost all times.The only time the longbow seems beneficial is in WvW, and even then you're only real use with a longbow is to stand on a wall and basically poke people til they get annoyed have to leave your range then heal for a half second then come back and continue whatever they were doing.

What could they do to fix this? Well for whatever reason everybody cries nerf whenever they think something is overpowered. So I've seen quite a few people say to slow down the shortbows autoattack. But then every other class in the game would own rangers. So the point would be to buff the longbow a bit. If it was me, which it isn't, I'd scrap the whole functionality of the longbows autoattack, and make the autoattack provide some sort of conditional vulnerability, and increase the attack speed of it ever so slightly, in a way that would allow the autoattack to stack vulnerability from that autoattack to a fair but not OP amount. Then I'd scrap hunters shot entirely and add some sort of stun or immobilize utility, since rangers have few options to apply either of those conditions, and longbows are heavy hitting enough weapons to justify some sort of better CC option than barrage...

hi,

thanks for the informative reply, being a new guild wars player and loving everything about the game and the ranger class, it's definitely food for thought on how I progress and think about the build going forward. I've been running around with long bow for a while, I wish I kept some of the green short bows that I found instead of salvage them for parts.

#12 Foxtrot

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 05:39 PM

I know this isn't very rigorous but I was testing out the longbow and shortbow yesterday on the target dummies.

For auto attack with a glass cannon build on the longbow (air on both weapons) I was getting 17 seconds to kill I think. With the shortbow it was 12. With abilities it was 14 for the longbow and 9 for the shortbow. With quickening zephyr the difference didn't really change, the shortbow still had an advantage.

I tried this about five times for each weapon and got the same results every time. It was difficult to test condition builds because the targets die too fast.

#13 JROH

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 07:50 PM

View PostFoxtrot, on 04 September 2012 - 05:39 PM, said:

I know this isn't very rigorous but I was testing out the longbow and shortbow yesterday on the target dummies.

For auto attack with a glass cannon build on the longbow (air on both weapons) I was getting 17 seconds to kill I think. With the shortbow it was 12. With abilities it was 14 for the longbow and 9 for the shortbow. With quickening zephyr the difference didn't really change, the shortbow still had an advantage.

I tried this about five times for each weapon and got the same results every time. It was difficult to test condition builds because the targets die too fast.

It depends how specific you want to be with a condition build. Basically, for a general idea, take whatever conditions you are applying, and see the damage they are doing (the number that pops up). If it's a condition that stacks intensity, then you want to calculate: (damage*1 stack)+(damage*2)+(damage*3)+.... etc to get the total number of damage over time that it does. Remember that damage from conditions only ticks for every second (so if you have an extra 1/2 on 6 seconds of poison, for instance, it will only damage them 6 times). Conditions that don't stack intensity are easier cuz they are just Damage*time. Then you want to add it to an average damage output (you can do this with a shortbow by attacking an enemy from the front without anything the procs bleed/conditions) by taking the lowest number you see your auto attack doing and the highest and averaging them, then multiplying that by the number it take to kill the attack dummy.

This won't calculate an entirely accurate number, since if you are applying all of your conditions and attacks, attacks have a different damage output value then your auto attack. But it will give you a general idea on how much numerical damage you are actually outputting.

Time to kill is also a completely and totally accurate number too lol. Doing all of this is more for number junkies, and possibly for people that are looking to do that extra tiny bit of damage by applying multiple conditions in the most effective way possible to maintain the highest damage output possible (example: more damage stacking bleed first and the poisoning, or poisoning, and then beginning to stack bleed)

#14 PyrexFierceshot

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 08:54 PM

View PostSizmo, on 30 August 2012 - 10:44 PM, said:

The only thing i see 'wrong' with your build is you didnt take the 5pts in Wilderness Survival to get the +50% endurance regen.

In my books, that is the 1 trait EVERY ranger must have.

This, as well as 5 pts for quickening zephyr on swap.

#15 Garethh

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 04:49 PM

Both are mediocre.
Trajectory.

You can click left then right repeatedly and dodge every single shot from either, sure in a larger fight that isn't always viable all the time, but it still means, in those spastic motions of combat a large portion of shots will miss... which just sucks.

#16 Foxtrot

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:16 PM

View PostGarethh, on 05 September 2012 - 04:49 PM, said:

Both are mediocre.
Trajectory.

You can click left then right repeatedly and dodge every single shot from either, sure in a larger fight that isn't always viable all the time, but it still means, in those spastic motions of combat a large portion of shots will miss... which just sucks.
Please explain.

#17 Garethh

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 11:27 PM

Ranger arrows have longer travel times than any other projectile.
Painfully so.

If you use the weapon for a bit, then go fiddle with the warriors rifle or seemingly thieves shortbow... in comparison, you'll see the vast difference

Edited by Garethh, 05 September 2012 - 11:34 PM.


#18 minbari

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 01:03 AM

Try using your bows in WvW and miss 90% of shots and you'll understand. The only way I consistently hit is to be up close. Rifle Warrior doesn't have the same problem.

#19 Pirhana Scout

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:24 PM

View PostFoxtrot, on 04 September 2012 - 05:39 PM, said:

I know this isn't very rigorous but I was testing out the longbow and shortbow yesterday on the target dummies.

For auto attack with a glass cannon build on the longbow (air on both weapons) I was getting 17 seconds to kill I think. With the shortbow it was 12. With abilities it was 14 for the longbow and 9 for the shortbow. With quickening zephyr the difference didn't really change, the shortbow still had an advantage.

I tried this about five times for each weapon and got the same results every time. It was difficult to test condition builds because the targets die too fast.

for this test were you at 1000+ range so the longbows main attack did max damage? and did both bows have teh same stats?

#20 JROH

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:21 AM

View PostPirhana Scout, on 10 September 2012 - 10:24 PM, said:

for this test were you at 1000+ range so the longbows main attack did max damage? and did both bows have teh same stats?

Unless he was using a sigil of force on one and not the other, yes they had identical stats.

As far as testing max range or not, I'm not sure he did or not, but I can tell you I've tested at max range damage vs shortbow. The shortbow still out-damages the longbow, the longbow only ever does about 75% more damage per hit than the shortbow, and the shortbow attacks twice as fast as the longbow, so the shortbow has done more damage in the same time the longbow takes to damage somebody.

#21 Munster Mushroomie

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:18 AM

Has anybody tested if the Eagle Eye trait further adds to the longbows damage (it will throw off the the damage by 5% because of the trait so maybe not)?

Also looking at the wiki (Long Rang Shot updated August 23, Crossfire August 13) it seems that from close range (0-500) the Long Bow is supposed to only do ~30% more damage, ~70% damage from mid range (500-1000), and at max range (1000+) do ~130% of the damage of the Short Bow (just divided Long Bow damage by Short Bow damage). Seems to be that the Long Bow is designed to be used at extreme range (kinda like the real thing).

Maybe a way to balance the two would be to decrease the range of Short Bow to 900 range? Then add Short Bow to the Eagle Eye trait. This way Rangers could still elect to use Short Bows for long range combat, but it evens out the fact that Short Bows shoot ~2x as fast as the Long Bows.

#22 Daedin

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:35 AM

I sure hope not. Longbow needs buffs; not shortbow needs nerfs.  Let's not nerf shortbow down to longbows overall power level just to make them even.. bring longbow up!

#23 Munster Mushroomie

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:51 AM

View PostDaedin, on 11 September 2012 - 02:35 AM, said:

I sure hope not. Longbow needs buffs; not shortbow needs nerfs.  Let's not nerf shortbow down to longbows overall power level just to make them even.. bring longbow up!

Oh don't get me wrong. I wasn't saying nerf shortbow. Like most of my posts, I'm just spit balling the first thing off the top of my head to help with the topic of discussion. Granted most of my first ideas, in hindsight, are poor, but what are ya going to do?

What about a 50% damage increase in longbows (at all range) to make up for the difference between Longbow/Shortbow firing speeds? I'm just stating the data I've found and letting the people who play rangers figure out the best way to fix the discrepancy.

#24 Daedin

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:20 AM

I tihnk we need to see a damage increase, yea.  A projectile speed increase would be at the top of my wishlist heap though.

#25 Skolops

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:21 AM

View PostDaedin, on 11 September 2012 - 04:20 AM, said:

I tihnk we need to see a damage increase, yea.  A projectile speed increase would be at the top of my wishlist heap though.

Maybe.  I tried messing with a rifle warrior and I have to say I found it more difficult to land shots on people than with the shortbow.

#26 FBRin

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:31 PM

View PostFoxtrot, on 05 September 2012 - 10:16 PM, said:

Please explain.

He might be talking about the thing you can do to ranged enemies in pve. If you just strafe left and right semi-quickly the auto-tracking causes the shot to lead way off to the side and you just step back towards the center and not get hit. Not sure if you can do the same to ranger shots but I haven't tried yet. Would be a real shame though.

#27 Garimeth

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:44 AM

Hey gents, I felt that this was common knowledge but I still see people not knowing this.  I posted it in my guild's forum but figured I'd share so that people have some metrics instead of just anecdotal evidence.


Now I myself have done some testing in the mists and will post my results.

Methodology:

All tests were done in the Mists on the medium armor practice golem with no sigils on the weapons and full runes of the eagle on my armor.  The long bow tests were done at maximum traited range with rapid fire being used after the third autoattack.  Pets were placed on passive and no boons were on the player.  the build used in all examples was  http://gw2skills.net...KyWkrIZRLLGVs/A .  The times to kill are an averaged amount of time after 5 kills I realize this was a small data sample, but did not want to invest more time.

Beserkers:

Longbow: Attack: 3,119 Crit: 54% 53 damage
  • Front: 11.2 seconds
  • Flanked: 10.68 seconds
Short bow: Attack: 3,039  Crit: 54% 53 Damage
  • Front: 11.4 seconds
  • Flanked: 9.34 seconds
Longbow at 750 range:
  • Front: 17.8 seconds

Knights (less dps, 6k more hp):

Longbow: Attack: 2,765 Crit: 54%; 33 damage
  • Front: 15.16 seconds
Shortbow: Attack: 2,685  Crit: 54%; 33 Damage
  • Front: 14.8 seconds

Conclusions:
  • At the optimal distance the longbow with rapid fire off of cooldown deals essentially the exact same amount of damage as the short bow when the target is not flanked.  Flanking pull the short bow ahead because of bleeding ( I maintained a 7 bleed stack from auto-attack.)
  • At a distance of 750 the short bow's dps is around 75% more than the longbows, again not factoring bleeding or proc on crit abilities.

Short bow condition Vs. Power and Precision

Another debate I hear alot is that shortbow does more DPS when specced for condition and vice versa so I ran some tests for that as well.  DPS Calcs for Beserker's, Rampager's, and Carrion.  All sets include short bow with superior sigil of Earth. For the runs with traps I used spike trap, then fame trap, then AA until target died.

Beserker's:

Short bow: Attack: 3,039  Crit: 54% 53 Damage
  • Flanked: 9.34 seconds
  • Traps: 8.08
Rampager's:

Shortbow:  Attack: 2,445 Crit: 68%; 33 damage
  • Flanked: 8.84 seconds
  • Traps: 7.72 seconds
  • Front: 16.88 seconds (STILL better than longbow at max range!)
Carrion: (for Carrion the crit chance as only 24% so I swapped to runes of undead and sigil of agony)

Short bow: Attack:
  • Front: 20.1 seconds (worst dps of any spec I tried.)
  • Flanked: 8.68 seconds
  • Traps:  7.34 seconds


Conclusions:
When taps are off CD and the enemy is flanked Carrion provides the best dps.  However when traps are not off CD and the enemy can not be flanked carrion is the worst DPS of any spec. In my opinion from a purley dps perspective beserkers IS the highest damage for rangers, as it can be reliably applied from any direction and does not rely on CDs.  The difference between beserkers and carrion under ideal circumstances in carrion's favor is 0.74 in favor of Carrion.  When those circumstances are not met it is 8.7 seconds in favor of beserker's.  The results, I feel, are self explanatory.

#28 Kam8T88

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:41 AM

I've tested the #1 attacks against each other shortly after the shortbow stealth nerf.

My test involved hitting the target dummies in Fort Mariner, as crits and conditions don't apply to them. I got completely naked, I fraps'd myself autoattacking for 1 minute for each test (shortbow autoattack, longbow at short, med, and longe range) Then I went through the footage frame by frame, divided it up into 10 second segments and counted the numbers, averaged them out etc.

The results were that at long range the longbow does out damage the shortbow. At short and med range however the shortbow is better. As stated previously this does not count condition damage.

#29 Garimeth

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:51 PM

View PostKam8T88, on 25 November 2012 - 05:41 AM, said:

I've tested the #1 attacks against each other shortly after the shortbow stealth nerf.

My test involved hitting the target dummies in Fort Mariner, as crits and conditions don't apply to them. I got completely naked, I fraps'd myself autoattacking for 1 minute for each test (shortbow autoattack, longbow at short, med, and longe range) Then I went through the footage frame by frame, divided it up into 10 second segments and counted the numbers, averaged them out etc.

The results were that at long range the longbow does out damage the shortbow. At short and med range however the shortbow is better. As stated previously this does not count condition damage.

Hmm not sure why your results would show the longbow doing more damage just from autoattack, I even used rapid fire and the shortbow still did more, unless rapidfire is actually less dps than the autoattack of the longbow as well, which if true is just pathetic.  I will point out that in my test the longbow did 0.2 seconds better, but that difference is so negligible I don't feel it puts itself as being better or worse.

#30 Kam8T88

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:10 PM

View PostGarimeth, on 25 November 2012 - 06:51 PM, said:

Hmm not sure why your results would show the longbow doing more damage just from autoattack, I even used rapid fire and the shortbow still did more, unless rapidfire is actually less dps than the autoattack of the longbow as well, which if true is just pathetic.  I will point out that in my test the longbow did 0.2 seconds better, but that difference is so negligible I don't feel it puts itself as being better or worse.

I only tested the auto attacks. The targets I tested the shortbow #1 bleed did not factor in as I was hitting targets that conditions don't apply. But yes, the longbow actually does something better than the shortbow :) But only at max range.

Also rapid fire damage is NOT based on range like the auto attack. Rapid fire should do more damage than the LB autoattack at short and possibly mid range. My guess is Rapid Fire is the game designers solution to damaging close range targets.

Edited by Kam8T88, 26 November 2012 - 05:14 PM.





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