Make your own free website on Tripod.com







Links

Fletching

Aoenla's Fletching Guide

Introduction

This document is intended to provide a fundamental overview of the art of crafting bows and arrows in Everquest. The Bow and Fletching Guides you buy in the game give you just enough knowledge to get you started, and also just enough knowledge to let you make some really expensive mistakes. When I bought my first fletching kit and my first copy of the Bowyers Guide, I was starry-eyed with anticipation at the thought of the lovely bow I was about to make. I bought a piece of hickory, some string, and a whittling knife, because I thought Iíd like a carved hickory bow, rather than just a rough one. Who wouldnít? All these purchases represented roughly 105% of my net worth at the time, but I was too excited at the thought of my new mighty Weapon of Feathered Destruction that I was about to crank out with my own two hands. With gleeful mouse-clicks I put everything in the kit, musing to myself "I wonder what the stats on my doomsday bow are going to beÖ.", hit "Combine"Öand watched everything disappear. Gone! "These items donít combine to form anything useful," or something similar appeared on the screen, and, as though giving me a little consolation prize, an extra message saying "Your fletching skill has increased! (2)." Argh!

I decided right there that I needed to know more before I went any farther. What kind of bows can one make? How skilled do you have to be to make them? What combinations of components are possible? Why would one select one combination over another? How do the handmade bow stats compare to the bows you can buy from the shops? What the heck are those vanes for?

This document provides the answers to some of these questions.


Bows

Shaped Ash Recurve Bow Shaped Oak 1-Cam Bow

roughdarkwood.bmp (34110 bytes) Shaped Darkwood Compound Bow

Shadewood...the NEW Holy Grail of player-made bows...

Bows consist of a staff and string, are sometimes constructed using optional tools, and optionally may contain 1 or 2 cams. The final statistics of the bow are all dependent upon the choice of each component.

To create a bow, you simply place the staff, string, and any optional components you wish into the fletching kit, cross your fingers, have all your pals /shout Good Luck!, and press the Combine button. With luck, if your fletching skill is high enough and all goes well, youíll be left with a nice new bow on your cursor. If the attempt fails, the staff, string and cams are lost, and the tool (if one was used) ends up on your cursor. If the failed attempt involved some expensive components, you then /cry.

Staff material

Choices are Hickory, Elm, Ashwood, Oak, Darkwood, and as of Dec 2001, Shadewood, arranged in order of degree of difficulty and final potency. The staff material determines the base range, damage, and delay of the final bow.

Bow Staff Materials

Name

Range

Damage Delay

Min Cost

Trivial

Hickory 50 10 50

211

<16
Elm 75 13 51 2110 68
Ash 100 16 58 15750 129
Oak 125 21 65 69300 168
Darkwood 150 25 68 226800 215
Shadewood 150 27 66 359100 ~250?

These values form the basic statistics of the final bow. The choice of string, tool, and cams all provide modifications to these base values.

Note that the Bowyers Guide mentions Steel and Ceramic staves as other possibilities, however to my knowledge these component types have never been put into the game.

String Material, Tools, and Cams

String is required for all bows. Choices include Hemp, Linen, and Silk. Hemp is the simplest to work with, and yields highest damage but greatest delay. Linen and Silk are progressively more complex to work with, and provide progressively lower damages and delays.

Tools and cams are optional, and indeed only allowed on certain staff materials. The simpler tool choice is the Whittling Knife, which yields a Carved bow. The more advanced tool is the Plane, which yields a Shaped bow. The use of Cams yields a cammed or compound bow, and are usable on Oak (1 cam) and Darkwood (1 or 2 cams) and Shadewood (1 or 2 cams).

The effects on the final bow statistics are shown below. All effects are cumulative.

Bowstrings, Tools, and Cams

Item Material Dmg Delay Usable On Min Price Final Name Trivial
String Hemp 0 0 All 10 Rough 16
Linen -1 -4 All 21 Rough 32
Silk -2 -8 All 52 Rough 46
Tool Knife -1 -4 Elm and up 2110 Carved 102
Plane -2 -9 Ash and up 10710 Shaped 148
Cam Cam -1 -5 Oak and up 37800 1-Cam 192
2nd Cam -1 -5 Darkwood and up 37800 Compound 235

Special Note about Cams and Shadewood:  When Cams are used on Shadewood, they not only provide the modifications to Damage and Delay as stated in the above table, but they ALSO provide a range bonus.  Adding 1 cam to a shadewood staff yields a 175 range bow, and adding 2 cams yields a 200 range bow.

The Bow Table

At this point weíve got everything we need to prepare a table or spreadsheet of data.  This table shows every combination of bows possible in the game. For comparison purposes, it also includes the bows available via purchase or quest within the game.  Note that all cost values are shown in coppers.

The Bow Table

Bow Tool Cam Rng Dmg Delay Ratio Trivial

 

Hunting    

50

5

43

0.116

  
Short    

50

6

40

0.150

 
Long    

100

8

51

0.157

 

 

Hickory, Hemp    

50

10

50

0.200

16

Hickory, Linen    

50

9

46

0.196

32

Hickory, Silk    

50

8

42

0.190

46

 

Elm, Hemp    

75

13

51

0.255

68

Elm, Linen    

75

12

47

0.255

68

Elm, Silk    

75

11

43

0.256

68

Carved Elm, Hemp Knife  

75

12

47

0.255

102

Carved Elm, Linen Knife  

75

11

43

0.256

102

Carved Elm, Silk Knife  

75

10

39

0.256

102

 

Ash, Hemp    

100

16

58

0.276

129

Ash, Linen    

100

15

54

0.278

129

Ash, Silk    

100

14

50

0.280

129

Carved Ash, Hemp Knife  

100

15

54

0.278

129
Carved Ash, Linen Knife  

100

14

50

0.280

129
Carved Ash, Silk Knife  

100

13

46

0.283

129

Shaped Ash, Hemp Plane  

100

14

49

0.286

148
Shaped Ash, Linen Plane  

100

13

45

0.289

148
Shaped Ash, Silk Plane  

100

12

41

0.293

148

 

Oak, Hemp    

125

21

65

0.323

168

Oak, Linen    

125

20

61

0.328

168
Oak, Silk    

125

19

57

0.333

168

Carved Oak, Hemp Knife  

125

20

61

0.328

168
Carved Oak, Linen Knife  

125

19

57

0.333

168
Carved Oak, Silk Knife  

125

18

53

0.340

168

Shaped Oak, Hemp Plane  

125

19

56

0.339

168
Shaped Oak, Linen Plane  

125

18

52

0.346

168
Shaped Oak, Silk Plane  

125

17

48

0.354

168

1-Cam Oak, Hemp  

1

125

20

60

0.333

192

1-Cam Oak, Linen  

1

125

19

56

0.339

192
1-Cam Oak, Silk  

1

125

18

52

0.346

192
1-Cam Carved Oak, Hemp Knife

1

125

19

56

0.339

192
1-Cam Carved Oak, Linen Knife

1

125

18

52

0.346

  192
1-Cam Carved Oak, Silk Knife

1

125

17

48

0.354

192
1-Cam Shaped Oak, Hemp Plane

1

125

18

51

0.353

192
1-Cam Shaped Oak, Linen Plane

1

125

17

47

0.362

192
1-Cam Shaped Oak, Silk Plane

1

125

16

43

0.372

192

 
Darkwood, Hemp    

150

25

68

0.368

215

Darkwood, Linen    

150

24

64

0.375

 215
Darkwood, Silk    

150

23

60

0.383

 215
Carved Darkwood, Hemp Knife  

150

24

64

0.375

 215
Carved Darkwood, Linen Knife  

150

23

60

0.383

 215
Carved Darkwood, Silk Knife  

150

22

56

0.393

 215
Shaped Darkwood, Hemp Plane  

150

23

59

0.390

 215
Shaped Darkwood, Linen Plane  

150

22

55

0.400

 215
Shaped Darkwood, Silk Plane  

150

21

51

0.412

 215
1-Cam Darkwood, Hemp  

1

150

24

63

0.381

 215
1-Cam Darkwood, Linen  

1

150

23

59

0.390

 215
1-Cam Darkwood, Silk  

1

150

22

55

0.400

 215
1-Cam Carved Darkwood, Hemp Knife

1

150

23

59

0.390

 215
1-Cam Carved Darkwood, Linen Knife

1

150

22

55

0.400

 215
1-Cam Carved Darkwood, Silk Knife

1

150

21

51

0.412

 215
1-Cam Shaped Darkwood, Hemp Plane

1

150

22

54

0.407

 215
1-Cam Shaped Darkwood, Linen Plane

1

150

21

50

0.420

 215
1-Cam Shaped Darkwood, Silk Plane

1

150

20

46

0.435

 215
Compound Darkwood, Hemp  

2

150

23

58

0.397

 235

Compound Darkwood, Linen  

2

150

22

54

0.407

 235
Compound Darkwood, Silk  

2

150

21

50

0.420

 235
Compound Carved Darkwood, Hemp Knife

2

150

22

54

0.407

 235
Compound Carved Darkwood, Linen Knife

2

150

21

50

0.420

 235
Compound Carved Darkwood, Silk Knife

2

150

20

46

0.435

 235
Compound Shaped Darkwood, Hemp Plane

2

150

21

49

0.429

 235
Compound Shaped Darkwood, Linen Plane

2

150

20

45

0.444

 235
Compound Shaped Darkwood, Silk Plane

2

150

19

41

0.463

235

 
Shadewood, Hemp    

150

27

66

0.409

~250?

Shadewood, Linen     

150

26 62 0.419  ~250?
Shadewood, Silk    

150

25 58 0.431  ~250?
Carved Shadewood, Hemp Knife   

150

26 62 0.419  ~250?
Carved Shadewood, Linen Knife   

150

25 58 0.431  ~250?
Carved Shadewood, Silk Knife   

150

24 54 0.444  ~250?
Shaped Shadewood, Hemp Plane   

150

25 57 0.439  ~250?
Shaped Shadewood, Linen Plane   

150

24 53 0.453  ~250?
Shaped Shadewood, Silk Plane   

150

23 49 0.469  ~250?
1-Cam Shadewood, Hemp   

1

175

26 61 0.426  ~250?
1-Cam Shadewood, Linen   

1

175

25 57 0.439  ~250?
1-Cam Shadewood, Silk   

1

175

24 53 0.453  ~250?
1-Cam Carved Shadewood, Hemp Knife

1

175

25 57 0.439  ~250?
1-Cam Carved Shadewood, Linen Knife

1

175

24 53 0.453  ~250?
1-Cam Carved Shadewood, Silk Knife

1

175

23 49 0.469  ~250?
1-Cam Shaped Shadewood, Hemp Plane

1

175

24 52 0.462  ~250?
1-Cam Shaped Shadewood, Linen Plane

1

175

23 48 0.479  ~250?
1-Cam Shaped Shadewood, Silk Plane

1

175

22 44 0.500  ~250?
Compound Shadewood, Hemp   

2

200

25 56 0.446

 ~250?

Compound Shadewood, Linen   

2

200

24 52 0.462  ~250?
Compound Shadewood, Silk   

2

200

23 48 0.479  ~250?
Compound Carved Shadewood, Hemp Knife

2

200

24 52 0.462  ~250?
Compound Carved Shadewood, Linen Knife

2

200

23 48 0.479  ~250?
Compound Carved Shadewood, Silk Knife

2

200

22 44 0.500  ~250?
Compound Shaped Shadewood, Hemp Plane

2

200

23 47 0.489  ~250?
Compound Shaped Shadewood, Linen Plane

2

200

22 43 0.512  ~250?
Compound Shaped Shadewood, Silk Plane

2

200

21 39 0.538

~250?

 

Runed Oak    

125

21

43

0.488

 
Larktwitter    

100

14

42

0.333

 
Spectral Bow    

150

19

50

0.380

 
Bow of the Underfoot    

150

33

60

0.550

 
Wind Saber    

150

13

22

0.591

 
Sarnak War Bow     150 12 25 0.480  
Efreeti War Bow     

75

40

100

0.400

  
Light Velium Bow       100 30 40 0.750  
Recurve Velium Bow     110 30 39 0.769  
Wrapped Velium Bow     120 30 38 0.789  
Double Recurve Velium Bow      130 30 37 0.811   
Priceless Velium Reinforced Bow      200 33 35 0.943  
Primal Velium Reinforced Bow       200 33 35 0.943  
Bow of the Silver Fang     200 34 44 0.773  
Bow of the Destroyer     150 10 17 0.588  
Gloomwater Bow     170 25 55 0.455  
Talisen     150 25 50 0.500  
Bow of the Huntsman         180 20 30 0.667    
Skydarkener       150 28 44 0.636   
 
Trueshot    

100

20

45

0.444

205?

Raincaller    

200

20

45

0.444

 

 

Bow Table Analysis

  1. STORE-BOUGHT BOWS

    The first thing that jumps out is that the store-bought bows are a VERY bad deal for the money. New players of course donít know this and buy those bows anyway (I know I did), but itís clear that even the most basic bow is much cheaper and much more damaging than anything in the store.

     
  2. DAMAGE RATIOS

    When I first started playing I just assumed that highest damage was the desirable weapon characteristic. So why would the more advanced components actually reduce damage? The answer of course is that delay plays a key part in the combat model. In general what is of most interest is the damage ratio, or damage / delay. This value represents the rate at which damage is dished out, and higher values are better. Although the more advanced bow components are reducing damage, they are also reducing the delay, with the result that the damage ratio is (usually!) increased with their use.

     
  3. HIGH DAMAGE RATIO, OR BIG FIRST STRIKE?

    In general the argument that a high damage ratio yields a better weapon is based on the assumption that the weapon will be used multiple times, over and over, during combat. With bows this isnít always the case Ė if you are playing in an area where you canít get off multiple shots before you get into melee combat, it may indeed be better to go with one or two hits at a higher damage value. Itís a matter of combat style and situational tactics. So donít fall into the trap of mindlessly lusting after that high damage ratio bow, you may indeed be better off with a rough staff and hemp string!

     
  4. HICKORY AND ELM

    In general the system yields a very logical progression of higher damage ratios with the more advanced components. However, with a Hickory staff the Hemp string yields higher damage and a higher damage ratio. Plus, itís the least complex bow to build. The Hickory/Hemp combination seems the clear winner in the Hickory category, although one small attraction with the faster bow is that you may get off more shots with it, and thus increase your archery skill at a faster rate.

    The Elm staff yields essentially identical damage ratios for all combinations of components, so thereís not much to differentiate between the various options. One attraction of the Carved Elm/Silk combo is that with a delay of only 39 it is indeed the fastest bow in the game!

     
  5. CAMS AND TOOLS

    It is possible to make an oak or darkwood compound (cammed) bow without also using one of the shaping tools. From examination of the table, it doesnít seem like a particularly cost-effective option, since building a rough compound bow yields very nearly the same stats as building one using tools but no cams. However, the data is presented for completeness.

    One interesting note on the use of the knife: It is definitely NOT cost effective to use it without also using silk, since the exact same statistics modifier from using the knife can be had at much lower cost and complexity simply by improving the string.

     
  6. QUEST AND DROPPED BOWS

    The table also includes every quest and dropped bow in the game of which I am aware. The fabled Trueshot, and its successor the mighty Raincaller are shown, as well as the dropped Runed Oak and the Larktwitter.

    Trueshot Raincaller larktwitter.bmp (48858 bytes) Runed Oak Bow

     
  7. MORE QUEST AND DROPPED BOWS

    Several new bows have surfaced in the game, shown below.  The Spectral Bow is found in Traks Teeth, the Bow of the Underfoot comes from The Hole, the Wind Saber (aptly nicknamed "The Uzi") from Old Sebilis, and the Efreeti War Bow from the Plane of Air.



     
  8. EVEN MORE QUEST AND DROPPED BOWS

    Some new ones have been found in Velious (sorry, this is messy...)




     

     
  9. THE BOW FROM THE WARRENS



     
  10. TRIVIAL SKILL LEVELS

    Similar to arrows, the complexity of a given bow is driven by its most complex component.  When combining various combinations of components to create a bow, the game examines each component and uses the complexity value of the most complex component to determine the final complexity rating of a given bow.

    The values presented in this table represent the work of many fletchers.  Occasionally for some reason it seems that some very slight variations in the trivial values can occur between players.  If you discover that you have data that would seem to be different than what is presented in the table, I would encourage you to send me a note telling me that.

    A few of the more advanced bows are listed with best-guess trivial values, but these should be taken as guesses only.  

     
  11. SUGGESTED SELLING PRICES

    As with any market-driven economy, the selling prices for bows is driven by the cost of materials as well as what the market will bear, i.e. supply and demand.  Some suggested prices for the most popular bow combinations are shown below:
     
    Bow Suggested Selling Price
    Rough Hickory (any string) 1pp
    Carved Silk Elm, Damage 10 Delay 39 12pp
    Rough Ash, Damage 16 Delay 58 30pp
    Shaped Ash, Damage 12 Delay 41 60pp
    Rough Oak, Damage 21 Delay 65 150pp
    Shaped 1-Cam Oak, Damage 16 Delay 43 250pp
    Rough Darkwood, Damage 25 Delay 68 500pp
    Shaped Darkwood Compound, Damage 19 Delay 41 750pp
    Trueshot 200pp

    Special note concerning the shaped darkwood compound bow:  The shaped darkwood compound bow is exceedingly difficult to make.  Unlike the other types of bow stave material, darkwood never becomes trivial, and as the most advanced bow a player can attempt, the shaped dual cam darkwood has an acknowledged (and personally verified, ugh!) failure rate of roughly 40 percent at skill 200.  It is not uncommon (again, speaking from personal, painful experience!) to "enjoy" multiple failures in a row when attempting these bows.  I personally have failed five times in a row at one point, have failed three times in a row on two other occasions, and know of other fletchers who have experienced similar failure rates.  The high failure rate of these bows requires a correspondingly higher markup.

     

  12. In the Shadows of Luclin tinkering upgrade it became possible for tinkers to create items which can give you a slight boost to your tradeskills.  The fletching tool is the Geerlok Planing Tool, which as you can see, adds 5% to your fletching skill.  Whether that modification is applied to your actual fletching skill, so that someone with a fletching skill of 200 would fletch as though they had a skill of 210 for example, or is implemented as a 5% increase in your chance of success, is a matter of some debate.



     

Restringing Your Bow

It is possible to change the string on your bow.  This allows the discriminating archer to change out bow strings and modify slightly his/her bow characteristics according to the situation at hand.

To change bow strings, simply place a completed bow into the fletch kit along with the new desired string, and hit the combine key.   The new string will disappear, and the newly strung bow will appear on your cursor.  The old string from the bow is not recovered.  Changing strings appears to become trivial at skill 16, but appears to always succeed, offering an interesting alternative to gaining skill at least up to skill 16.

Bow Component Vendors

  1. FEERROTT
    Fugla (964, 1260)

     
  2. KELETHIN
    Merchant Sylnis, standing by a wheelbarrow outside Trueshot Bows (-360, -610)

     
  3. SOUTH KARANA
    The centaur Ulan Meadowgreen, in the centaur village near (120, -2200)

     
  4. SUREFALL GLADE
    Tonsia, inside the Ranger guild house.

     
  5. FIRIONA VIE
    Jessica Winter, inside the Ranger guild, near (-3430, 3315)

     
  6. EAST CABALIS
    Klok, near (135, -200)

     
  7. THURGADIN
    Argash, inside Argash House of Carpentry, near (-200, -290)

     
  8. NORTH FREEPORT
    Timor Strongbranch, near (-100, -50)

     
  9. SHADOW HAVEN
    Junun Rawkins, near (250, 950)
    Narmase Flecher, near (220, 1180)

     
  10. KATTA CASTELLUM
    Rebecca Wolfeye, upper level near the Magistrate Palace, near (-400, -650)
Copyright © 2003 The Secret Order of the Phoenix Guild on the Rathe Server
Last modified: 11/17/03