This is going to be slightly silly and nitpicky. However, bear with me!
Rangers are a staple class/profession in anything fantasy. The nature-attuned bow-wielder, able to put an arrow through anything that crosses her path. As bows were what was primarily used for ranged fighting before guns existed (and became widely used), this is no surprise. I’ve always loved the ranger archetype, and I will not deny that my early days of reading fantasy and playing D&D influenced my decision to take up archery as a hobby. It requires a lot of skill and practice to be able to shoot accurately – you have to be able to judge and adjust for things like the arrow’s flight and arc, wind (direction it’s coming from, if there’s any lift, windspeed, and gusts), if you’re just shooting something stationary or a moving target…not to mention the fact that archery requires a surprising amount of upper body strength in order to fully draw a bow.
It’s also a hobby that can easily lead to injuries – I refuse to wear armguards any longer after one incident where I didn’t have my arm turned out enough and the string caught on the underside of the amguard, both yanking it off and scraping a few layers of skin off the underside of my left arm. Ouch. As that little story suggests, though, there are proper archery forms, and they exist for a reason. Following them not only helps to maximize the power behind your shot, but it also helps prevent you from injuring yourself like I did.
So what does this have to do with Guild Wars?
Well, somewhere along the line…Rangers in Guild Wars never learned how to hold a bow properly!
At the left here, we have my Ranger, Verene (yeah, guess where my nickname came from :P). She’s being a good little Ranger, shooting at the poor Master of Damage who puts up with so much abuse from players. Also, can I just say that I love the Dryad Bow? Best bow skin in the game. Anyway. See how she’s holding her bow? Well, part of the form is correct. Standing with her body perpendicular with her target, right arm pulling the string back straight and even with her ear (or so it would be, had I gotten the screenshot from a straight side angle). I generally stand straight instead of bending my knees when I shoot, but that’s not necessarily wrong, and her feet are planted far apart to brace her.
But the way the actual bow is held…my goodness. Sure, it looks cool. Her left arm – the one holding the bow itself – is bent, which would prevent her from being able to get the max draw on the bow. But the worst…if there was an actual string there, when she looses that arrow? It would get caught on her armor and the force behind the arrow would be lost, or worse, it would simply carve the hell out of her arm. Also note how her head is tilted in order to try and get a proper line of sight – with the bow drawn that far, the string would also catch on her chin and shoulder. Ow.
This continues in Guild Wars 2, or at least from what we’ve seen in videos thus far. Look at Eir, in this screencap from the new trailer shown at gamescom 2011. She’s doing it again! In fact, what she’s doing is even worse. At least Verene up there had the arrow held on the top of the bow, so it was possible to get a full draw on the bow, even if loosing the arrow was going to result in pain, realistically. The string was going over the top of her arm. Eir is holding the bow on the underside of her arm. At least it appears that she’s got her arm turned so that the string shouldn’t catch on it, but…it appears that she’s holding the arrow between her hand and the bow. Assuming it flies at all, she’s going to get a handful of fletching, which I can also say from experience is painful. Not to mention the fact that without the fletching, or with it damaged, the arrow is not going to fly straight. You can also see pretty clearly how her body blocks how much of a draw she can get. Where she is right now is about the maximum draw she’d be able to get.
However, a second later in the video…
Not only are the arrows taking flight while the string hadn’t been released (physically impossible!), but…where’s the other half of the string? How does she have it drawn that far back? It just doesn’t make sense!
I have no idea if male Rangers shoot like this in GW/GW2, because I’ve only ever played lady archers in GW1 and I haven’t seen much Ranger gameplay yet from GW2 videos. And yeah, I know, this is monstrously nitpicky. It’s a small detail that bugs me, though, and I can only really think of one explanation.
Rangers in GW/GW2 have magical bows that defy the laws of physics and the strings are just for show (or don’t exist at all); the arrows have a mind of their own and just have to be placed on the bow and the Ranger has to go through the motions of firing for them to fly 😛
For the record, this shows decent archery form, though the right hand should really be up against the cheekbone so that you can get a proper sight down the arrow. Not perfect, but it would actually work pretty well in reality 😉
What little details do you tend to get nitpicky about in games? Your own personal pet peeves?