I was about to link this old (somewhat outdated) combat design I had made and proposed to Bobik https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IFM ... sp=sharing
But then I saw this :
somewhat short suggestions
So I cried. But I have these files which talk in further and more updated fashion of my armors and damage designs.https://docs.google.com/document/d/16yq ... sp=sharinghttps://docs.google.com/document/d/1HQh ... sp=sharing
Read if it is of any interest to you guys. It basically sums up all my thoughts and ideas to make the game more balanced, especially ranged warriors.
A lot of what is stated in the "main" design file has 0 chance of ever getting even considered (for example, the health system deemed "overcomplex" and too long to implement by Bobik).
A short version of my thoughts would be to balance archers not (only) by nerfing simple values such as damage or crafting costs but also by bringing in more commitment to fighting with a ranged weapon. By that I mean, where most infantry has to risk their lives and armor / weapon to do any damage, making it very hard for them to be cost-effective, archers and crossbowmen can just come in, release a few arrows which they're sure will harm anyone pretty badly and just run away, with a horse if possible, all of that from 50m. And even if they're close, they can still tap-shot, instantly switch back to peace stance, move and still aim properly.. the options for them to defeat basically anybody are legion.
To bring that commitment to ranged warfare, or at least a bit more of it, archers should be rooted while shooting (you can't properly aim and keep an arrow drawn AND move at the same time as your legs are what keep everything steady), holding the bow drawn should consume soft stamina the longer it is held depending on the archer's strength, and finally if you use "flee" or draw another weapon, the bow / crossbow should be dropped on the ground if not in the inventory.
That way in small scale, archers can still take advantage of the surprise effect and run away when needed as they do now, but they can't kite forever while taking advantage of the peace stance reduced stamina consumption, and in large scale, carefully placed archer units can be devastating, however, the second they get caught by infantry they lose their advantage and have to flee, or fight in melee.