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#1 Edited by Gatehouse (933 posts) -

Hello all you lovely Dark Souls loving duders, I was just thinking about starting a new playthrough and going all Robin Hood and using a bow as my main weapon.

So, mainly, I was just looking to see if anyone had tried this and whether it was actually an effect strategy against the hordes of Lordran.

I don't really care about how good it is in PvP, I mainly stay hollow just to avoid being invaded.

Let me know y'all whether this is a fools errand or a stroke of genius.

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#2 Posted by IBurningStar (2273 posts) -

Good? No. Effective? Yes.

It is a viable strategy, just expect to spend a long time on every boss.

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#3 Posted by mosespippy (4751 posts) -

I'd say it's probably a viable option. I always keep a bow as my side weapon. Poison arrows have their use. I'm not sure how well you'd do against bosses though.

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#4 Posted by groin (869 posts) -

Bows are effective against the final boss: http://www.twitch.tv/santzo84/c/2753324

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#5 Edited by SarcasticMudcrab (307 posts) -

I did lumber one around for specific situations but then I leveled intelligence and got the soul arrow spell instead, which is great for certain bosses/mindless grinding. Other than shooting the dragons tail I'm not sure of any other real need for it, but I am sure its viable as a 2nd weapon if you level the right stats. Maybe for a second play through it could provide some fun edition challenge to use it as a main.

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#6 Posted by chiablo (1043 posts) -

Bows are entirely a support weapon for me. You can cheese the ai really easily using a bow.

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#7 Posted by weegieanawrench (1965 posts) -

I mainly used a bow to lure out enemies when I was still getting used to how they behaved. Poison arrows are pretty effective against tough enemies that you want to take down a peg before you directly engage them.

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#8 Edited by haffy (681 posts) -

Can be a fun play through if you plan on using bow only even if it's impractical. Run up against some difficult areas like Sens fortress and Dukes archives, but it's always pretty easy to just run through those areas and ignore the enemies if you're struggling too much. It's quite different to a regular melee build and a lot more time consuming. But quite fun figuring out ways of dealing with shielded enemies etc.

It's also kind of funny how some places are much easier with a bow that you wouldn't relaise, like Quelagg can be stun locked to death if you just aim at her body.

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#9 Edited by Karkarov (3385 posts) -

It is perfectly effective and with the right strategy and build for it can do heinous damage. You just also have to be careful cause the right build to maximize bow damage sucks in pvp (cause bows) and leaves you will little hp or defense since the idea is never being close to enemies anyway.

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#10 Posted by golguin (5275 posts) -

I can use bows with my Dex/Pyro builds and deal some decent damage, but I'll always be better with my Uchigatana. Poison arrows are always useful though.

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#11 Posted by Nasar7 (3210 posts) -

Not really viable as a main weapon, unfortunately. No powerful bows either a la Demons.

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#12 Posted by Shirogane (3629 posts) -

As a PvE build, perfectly viable. I believe someone on youtube has a bow only no lockon speedrun or something dumb like that.

I did do crossbow only up until Sens, that's the point where thing become really tough. But basically you just need to do a lot of dodging and kiting of enemies. Bows are probably easier than crossbows since they both scale and shoot faster, and also don't require you to stand still to reload. Not to mention they can be aimed too.

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#13 Edited by TobbRobb (6083 posts) -

I think its kinda dull. But it works sort of. Go look for damage increasing buffs outside of just the bow though, like power within or similar. Just to make it go faster. Also rushdown bosses like Gwyn might be hard, but I think you got dis.

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#14 Posted by probablytuna (4916 posts) -

They're only useful for luring enemies out or killing enemies from afar if you don't want to engage more than one enemy (albeit in the most tedious way possible). The only times I killed enemies using solely the bow was for the necromancers that keep resurrecting the skeletons.

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#15 Edited by gerrid (545 posts) -

The key is to have enough stamina to dodge away quickly, and lots and lots of patience. Compound bow will do more damage (as it has a faster draw) but the Pharis bow has better range, so switch as the situation requires.

Consider putting the grass cress shield on your back for stamina regen. Get the Hawk Ring as soon as you can, and remember since you only have one weapon you don't really need your souls as much, so you can avoid lots of normal enemies. The hardest part is having enough arrows on you all the time.

Are you going to allow yourself the crossbow? It's much easier for boss fights since you can roll fire roll super quickly before anything is able to hit you, and you can use a shield too. Headshots stunlock bosses and do more damage. You can stun Artorias out of his charge up by headshotting him.

Most important thing to remember is only upgrade along the normal path. A fire bow is pointless because it will only deal its fire damage when you use flaming arrows.

Good luck with the Capra Demon

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#16 Posted by Turambar (7996 posts) -

They are utility weapons, luring, poisoning, etc. Not really meant for normal combat.

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#17 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4714 posts) -

They come in handy, but don't expect to just Legolas that shit and be arrowing dudes in every encounter.

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#18 Edited by Cheesebob (1307 posts) -

Bows are only good for kiting IMO. Although I have never specced for bows only so what do I know?

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#19 Posted by gerrid (545 posts) -

The other advantage of doing bows only is that you have nice freedom in your rings. You could use the dark wood grain ring and flip about like a maniac. Boost your poise with the wolf ring, or the cloranthy ring for more stamina regen. You could even use Havel's ring and wear some big fat armour just for kicks. Or since you'll be at range you could run about at low health with the Red Tearstone on for the damage boost.

For reference, with 50 dexterity, the +15 Pharis does 403 damage, and the compound does 367, but shoots faster. That's more damage than you'll get out of an Estoc.

Only other tip is to use the bow in your left hand, so you will still be able to use the kick. That's especially important for getting the dark wood grain ring off Shiva's ninjaguard.

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#20 Posted by xyzygy (10595 posts) -

I always start out with bow characters in Demon's and Dark souls. In Demon's bows were probably the best weapon (in my experience anyway - Sticky Compound Long Bow +5 can completely devastate anything and anyone). Well. Aside from the Sharp Uchigatana +5.

In Dark, bows were made a little less weaker, but they were still awesome. You'll want to make a build for DEX and find Pharis' Black Bow. If you want to do the most damage with a bow, find this bow and make a DEX character.

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#21 Edited by development (3009 posts) -

@gatehouse No one has mentioned a certain ring yet, so I will. In case you want to find it or figure it out, I'll put it in spoilers, but just know that you can become a fucking gnarly sniper if you find the right avenues.

Get the Red Tearstone Ring. If you get hit while wearing it, you'll likely die, but you're going to be at range so it shouldn't matter as long as you're aware of your surroundings. It alone will get you pretty powerful, but you can tweak some other things to get even stronger. You can get the certain unarmored "roar" buff (ambiguous as to not spoil it for you) and combine that with Hawkeye Ring and your favorite upgraded bow to murder everything in distance. If you feel extra cheese-happy, you can find the *special* crossbow (not the Sniper Crossbow) and equip some form of invisibility to severely wound enemies, then run away a bit and wait a couple seconds for them to return to patrols, then finish them off.

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#22 Posted by dudeglove (12570 posts) -

Getting your character into hyper mode with red tearstone ring/power within along with hawkeye ring and plenty of dex is a perfectly viable way to get through the game, if a little unwieldy.

Quite a few bosses can actually be stunlocked by bows. Quelaag, for instance, has infinite poise on the spider part of her body, but her "torso" part actually has zero poise, meaning any hit against that stuns her immediately and you can just spam her to death (although if you're locked on you need to be a very specific position to do so). Manus is the same if he's hit in the face. Many enemies take more damage with headshots, and will be staggered to boot.

I mostly use bows to either knock enemies off ledges, poison them, or draw aggro, rather than outright killing them. The spear throwers of Anor Londo will cause you no grief if you manage to hit them with just two poison arrows and then just lame it out. Certain enemies can be literally attracted by the noise of an arrow hitting a surface.

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#23 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10202 posts) -

Certain enemies can be literally attracted by the noise of an arrow hitting a surface.

Hitman: Dark Souls Money

Bows are useful for pulling and so on, though most often I find the game is more enjoyable/interesting if you never use a bow (you learn enemy aggro radii and so forth, definitely useful for preparing for Dark Souls 2). Beating the whole game with a bow is either gimmicky or tedious or both, granted the same could be said for a lot of Dark Souls runs.

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#24 Posted by sub_o (967 posts) -

It is useful in some situations, especially when you wanna bait a single enemy out from a group. I don't think it's that useful against bosses though.

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#25 Posted by dudeglove (12570 posts) -

@sub_o said:

I don't think it's that useful against bosses though.

Poison arrows work on Ornstein, and fire arrows work on both of them.

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#26 Posted by Mikemcn (8173 posts) -

Be prepared to dodge constantly, and against groups you're most likely screwed... but i'm sure you could manage it.

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#27 Posted by hippocrit (290 posts) -

I've heard that an enchanted composite bow and moonlight arrows is a good time.