Artillery is not that effective in 0 A.D., partly because their damage per second is unimpressive (especially compared to rams or war elephants), partly because of their splash damage.
Splash damage was added in rP11886 (nearly eight years ago). The values have changed multiple times, as has the exact calculation (see simulation/components/Attack.js). While it's quite interesting in theory, in practice it's not that effective. @fatherbushido explained how it works on the forums. It's important to understand the actual splash damage depends on the distance to the centre of entities, in contrast to ordinary attacks, which do full damage when they hit the footprint (edge).
Splash damage has some serious problems:
- It has no effect vs entities with footprints longer than the splash radius, such as many (most?) structures and warships.
- The AI does not take it into account.
- It's anachronistic: exploding shells did not exist yet in 0 A.D.'s timeframe. Missiles were rigid objections, and even the very largest projectiles were well under a metre in diameter.
This patch therefore removes splash attacks from artillery and improves the normal attack. The changes are:
- Splash damage is removed from stone throwers, onagers, quinqueremes, bolt towers and artillery towers.
- Attack damage is significantly raised in compensation. (And also to compensate for rP23285.)
- Bolt shooters and bolt towers inflict only pierce damage, no crush.
- Stone throwers, quinqueremes, and artillery towers inflict only crush damage, no pierce.
- Fireraiser and fireship inflict only s all damage types equally (cf. fireship).
- Bolt shooters have lower minimum range and higher maximum range, making them more effective vs soldiers.
- Stone throwers, onagers, and quinqueremes have higher minimum range, making them less effective vs soldiers.
- Roman artillery no longer have +8 maximum range; the +10% attack damage at no extra cost is already a great bonus.
- Artillery and bolt towers have their minimum range increased (unlike archers, artillery can only shoot forwards or upwards, but not downwards).
- Fireraiser has increased minimum and maximum range, because of its long footprint.
- Fireship has increased maximum range, because of its footprint.
- Preferred class:
- Artillery towers no longer prefer Human; instead, they prefer non-Organic (i.e. ships, siege engines, and structures equally).
- Bolt shooters no longer have a secondary preference for Siege.
- Bolt shooters have their spread lowered to 1, making them more accurate.
- Stone throwers and quinqueremes have their spread raised to 6, making them less accurate; accuracy matters vs units (which have small footprints), but not really vs structures (which are large, convenient targets).
- Stone throwers have their projectile speed rounded from 37.5 to 40 (still slow; archers have 100).
- Artillery and bolt towers get the same projectile stats as their siege engine counterparts.
- Artillery and bolt towers no longer get additional projectiles from garrisoned units.
[EDIT] For comparison the resulting damage per second values:
damage / time = damage per second boltshooter : 240 pierce / 6 = 40 bolt tower : 100 pierce / 4 = 25 champion cavalry javelineer : 36 pierce / 1.25 = 28.8 [unchanged] champion infantry javelineer : 26 pierce / 1 = 26 [unchanged] basic cavalry javelineer : 18 pierce / 1.25 = 14.4 [unchanged] basic infantry javelineer : 16 pierce / 1.25 = 12.8 [unchanged] ram : 150 crush / 1.5 = 100 [unchanged] stonethrower : 210 crush / 7 = 30 quinquereme : 150 crush / 5 = 30 onager : 150 crush / 5 = 30 artillery tower : 90 crush / 5 = 18 fireraiser : 30 + 30 + 30 / 2 = 45 fireship : 10 + 10 + 10 / 0.1 = 300 [unchanged]