Sunday, 14 November 2010

Weapon guide. Part 2 - The bow.

"Some monsters think they can outsmart me. Maybe. I have yet to find one who can outsmart stack of arrows."
- Burntcustard pretending to be The Heavy

Part 2 of this guide covers how to use the bow to kill Aggressive mobs (Not including creatures from the Nether) Whilst playing Survival Single Player.

The Basics
If you haven't yet used the bow in Minecraft, the easiest way to find out what its like is to just make one and try it. You will also need arrows, these are simply a stick above a feather (obtained from zombies and chickens), and a piece of flint (obtained from shoveling gravel) above the stick, this makes 4 arrows. Arrows travel approximately 15 blocks when fired horizontally and have a maximum range of around 50 blocks when fired at a 45 degree angle, though they will travel farther if the terrain is sloped downwards. The bow has the disadvantage over the sword, crafting wise, that you have to kill mobs to begin with before being able to make it.

Using just the bow
The bow needs 5 arrows to kill a monster which is quite a lot of hits/time compared to using just the iron or diamond swords. The bow can also take a quite a lot of resources to use if you miss often (you can pick up shot arrows that missed usually). The bow does not run out of uses and break like swords do, this can be an advantage if you don't have much stone or iron for a long period of time or don't like having to craft new weapons often. The most advantageous point with just using the bow is obviously that you don't have to get close to monsters, where they can hurt you. Unfortunately quite often in Minecraft, you can be "ambushed" by monsters, so they are already close to you and the above point is made slightly less important. Using just arrows is the recommended way to kill skeletons.

The bow the stone sword
2 arrows and 2 sword strikes are needed to kill a monster, and 60% less arrows are needed over using just the bow. The combination of 2 arrows and 2 sword strikes on a mob help to keep you at a safe distance from the monster half the time. This technique doubles the stone swords bad number of kills per item up to a more usable 32.

The bow and the iron and diamond swords.
3 arrows and 1 sword strikes are needed to kill a monster, and 40% less arrows are needed over using just the bow. These combinations are great at killing creepers as it stops you having to run away slightly in between each hit. Using a bow with the iron sword triples the iron swords number of kills to 129, the same as using it along with a stone sword. Whilst less efficient, using a bow with the diamond sword doubles its number of kills to a massive 1024.

The "machine bow"
The bow can fire as quickly as you can smash your right mouse button, using the bow as a "machine bow" involves pointing in the general direction of the monster/s and tapping as quickly as you can. Although most of the arrows will bounce off the mobs as they cannot take more than a certain amount of damage in a certain time, you can pick up afterwards the arrows that didn't make it into the monsters. If you are too close to what your shooting at, the arrows may bounce back and hit you. This technique requires that you are holding a large amount of arrows (I recommend at least one stack of 64). Because of the huge amount of arrows you are firing, you are bound to lose quite a lot, so this way of using the bow is only possible if you very rarely go after monsters or have a mob "farm" or large trap. A backup sword is recommended whilst using the bow in this way in case monsters are too close or you run out of arrows.

There are lots of different viable ways of using the bow, all of them having their advantages and disadvantages. Trying them out is the best way to determine which one suits you best. Also, do not use the bow alongside the wooden sword or tools because they do around the same damage of just one arrow. Those items can however be used as back up weapons.

In the next section of the guide i will cover:
The fishing rod as a weapon
Lava as a weapon

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