Distance fighting research
It has been a long time since distance research has been done, and many things have changed over the years. I first wrote an article for tibianews.net titled "Let the Spears Fly" back in 2007, after the update that increased the power of Paladins and Knights. While that article listed many formulas, most are out of date or slightly inaccurate, this article will be geared more towards the player that is interested in becoming more efficient in their hunting style but lacking the knowledge or desire to figure out all the complicated formulas. In conjunction with this article, the team at Tibia-Stats is proud to release a distance damage calculator which will give you all the information you need to master your vocation.
Paladins basically have two options when hunting: 1) to use a one handed weapon, such as a spear 2) to use a two handed weapon with ammunition such as a bow and arrows. There are benefits and drawbacks to each choice, and I provide a general summary in the table below (assassin stars and infernal bolts are exceptions to the norm).
Within each category there are slight differences as well. For example, as your distance skill increases the maximum hit % you could achieve using onyx arrows and a bow is 94% while using power bolts and a crossbow is only 91%. The same can be said about one handed weapons. The highest hit % you could achieve is 80% for royal spears while only 76% for normal spears. In fact, the speed at which you reach your maximum hit % changes based on the ammunition you use. The tables below lists these (for those that shoot only 3 sqm, disregard the 4 sqm value).
As you can see, if you want to hit the target the most often with a lower distance level you should stand 2 sqm away from your target. This especially will affect those who train, since blood hits and sparks count double for your distance advance. Once you have past a certain distance level, for instance distance 74 using small stones, you can move to only 1 sqm away from the target and still advance at an optimal rate.
As I mentioned in my previous article at tibianews.net, distance weapons ignore the shield and shielding skill of an opponent. Only the targets armor affects the damage you do to it. On the other side of the coin, if you choose to use a 2 handed weapon and ammunition, it will not defend you at all! Some believe that the shielding skill may still help to defend you, but after testing I have found that it does not. Because of this, choosing an attack stance is simple: full attack while using a two handed weapon since you will not benefit from increased defence if you switch to balanced or full defence mode. To decide whether to use full attack, balanced, or full defence using a 1 handed weapon you can compare your average attack in the distance calculator, to the defence bonus in our damage reduction calculator. (Because there are no defence modifiers to any of the distance weapons, simply select no weapon when calculating your damage reduction)
What should I use to hunt XXX Creature?
This is by far the most common question I receive from many people, and what the Tibia-Stats distance calculator will help you to discover. Once you have entered your level, skill, desired weapon and ammo, and monster, click submit, another button will appear titled "compare". Now, simply change your weapon and ammo and click the compare button. Your original weapon and ammo choice will be highlighted in red while your new choice will be highlighted in blue.
A lot of information is returned after your query. Chance of hitting is based upon how many square meters (SQM) away from the target you are, and what weapon or ammo you are using. Once you have reached a higher distance level this does not matter as much, since all the values will be approximately the same.
The min, max, and avg values are just what you might expect, but with a very important change. The minimum and maximum values take into account both the physical resistance and the armor value of the monster you select. The average values are even more complicated, and you can be glad the calculator does this for you. As you can probably tell, it is not simply the middle point between the minimum and maximum values, but also considers the chance to hit. One other small point for the statisticians out there, it also calculates the average accurately even if the minimum hit is reduced to below 1 damage (which would look like a spark). For those that want to get the highest experience per hour and do not care about the cost, the ammunition that gives you the highest average is the weapon you should choose. At the moment, if you do not meet the level requirement for a certain weapon, the values will not be accurate. This may be added at a later stage.
If you care about how long you can hunt with your weapon choice, then the DMG per ounce column is for you! This is based upon the weight of your ammunition, its break rate if it's one handed, and your average damage. The higher the number, the longer you should be able to hunt without refilling.
If you care about making profit, then the DMG per GP column is most important. Like the dmg per ounce, the higher the number means higher profitability. For those items that do not have an NPC price, we have added a price for each item, for example enchanted spears are listed as 100gp each. It is important to remember that the cost of ammunition is not the only thing you should consider. How much damage you receive and the cost of healing from that per round, as well as how fast the creature heals will affect this. Tibia-Stats has talked about doing such research in the future, but it will not be any time in the near future.
Some test cases: