Manor Lords dev concedes that archers aren't strong enough but promises changes: 'This will surely take a while to get right'

 A pitched battle happening in a field.
A pitched battle happening in a field.

Developer of Manor Lords Gregg 'Slavic Magic' Styczeń has confirmed that there are still a couple of kinks to work out, the biggest of which comes from lacklustre archers who don't seem to be as effective as you'd think.

Manor Lords is pretty accurate for a medieval city builder and management game. Despite this, Styczeń has previously commented about how "you can't die on every historical hill" in a Reddit post:

"Whenever I see someone on this subreddit bring up a good gameplay point that might be cool to have, invariably there will be some wise ass in the comments going, 'but that's not historical', Styczeń says. "I think there needs to be some understanding that the game's foundation is definitely rooted in historical accuracy, but there are absolutely going to be deviations from it for the sake of having a game. And many of you just need to be at peace with that."

One recent example of this deviation is the archers in Manor Lords. Before the game was released to early access, press and YouTubers were reporting that they were way too overpowered and made battles a bit too straightforward to enjoy. To try to remedy this before release, Styczeń decided to dial down their effectiveness. It was "a risky last-minute balance change cause they were reported to be OP (rightly so, I think)," he says in a tweet. "This will surely take a while to get right."

Historically, archery became incredibly prominent in Europe around the medieval period and was a common unit and supplemental part of the military. Several overwhelming victories in battle, like the Battle of Agincourt, meant that archery and the longbow became influential in military tactics. In layman's terms, it's hard to fight a pitched battle if you're also having to dodge metal objects falling from the sky. It also made defending boundaries easier, as archers could sit in their perches and pick off invaders.

So having useless archers doesn't really make sense for the period Manor Lords is set in, but even so, I understand why Styczeń toned their strength down. He even said before that while the game's foundation is historical, he doesn't want to be beholden to that and sacrifice fun, and I've found that battles are far more entertaining when both sides are matched well, and victory comes down to the wire.