The attack strength of a ranged attack is determined on the appropriate skill required to use that attack. Bolt spells use the Spell Aiming skill, while a thrown weapons and ranged weapons use their associated skill.
Bolt spells are not weapons, and therefore do not receive a weapon enchantment bonus. Otherwise, most spells that provide a bonus to ranged attack strength will provide a bonus to both physical ranged attacks and magical ranged attacks. This is identical to spells that provide a defensive bonus against ranged attacks, although one notable exception is Resist Elements (602), as most bolt spells are considered elemental in nature. Although, Minor Acid (904) and Hurl Boulder (510) would bypass the defenses provided by Resist Elements, as would all non-elemental bolt spells.
Ranged defensive strength is only determined by two portions of the Evade/Block/Parry system, except where runestaves are involved. Parry defense is not considered when attacked by ranged attacks, unless the defender is wielding a runestaff.
- Main article: Evade
Ranged evade defense is 50% higher than melee evade defense. While moving completely out of the way of a projectile is much harder to do than with a melee attack, quick reflexes can cause a shot to hit somewhere less damaging than the shot intended.
- Main article: Block
Ranged block defense is identical to melee block defense, except shield size modifiers are increased by 50%, meaning small shields are less effective at blocking ranged attacks than melee attacks (since they have a negative size modifier), and large and tower shields are more effective at blocking ranged attacks than melee attacks. Medium sized shields are equally effective at blocking both ranged and melee attacks. Also, ranged attacks cannot normally be outright blocked, unlike melee attacks.
The shield size modifier against ranged weapons are: -22.5% for small shields, 0% for medium shields, +22.5% for large shields, and +45% for tower shields. Additionally, the shield bonus depends on the size of the shield: 15 for small shields, 20 for medium shields, 25 for large shields, and 30 for tower shields.
- Main article: Parry
With the exception of runestaves, parry defense is ignored when dealing with ranged weapons. Regarding runestaves, ranged parry defense is half of their melee parry defense, but only when dealing with magical ranged attacks. Staff-wielding spell-casters who train in Dodging or are benefiting from the effects of Mass Blur (911) or Mobility (618) become much more capable of defending against magical ranged attacks, possibly more so than a spell-casting shield user benefiting from the same spells.
- Note: 8 ranks of magical skills per level give a runestaff skill bonus equal to the bonus that would be provided by training once per level in Two-Handed Weapons. Increased training in magical skills will provide increased bonuses to this defense. See Runestaff for more information. Additionally, there is evidence that suggests that the above formula may not be entirely correct.
- Combat Guide: Combat Factors, on Play.net