It shouldn't be possible to use bow from cover of shield and sword
I feel it's not fair and logical to be able to use bow or crossbow and gain defensive benefits of shield and melee weapon at same time. In ADOM archers were abusive being able to shoot accurately and deal high damage from range and having just as high defense values as character fighting with melee weapons would have had. I suggest that missile weapons should use same slot as melee weapon and shield (and be two-handed) or at least using missile weapon should negate defense benefits gained from them until next turn (or otherwise lower melee defense values).
Well, then IMHO first variant is better. You see, what if you need to quickly switch from bow to sword&shield? Probably the best solution would be two slots as arms + one slot for quiver/missiles, with ability to switch weapons in both hands at the same time, something like in Nethack.
But then what about using two different missile weapons? Any ideas?
For smoother inteface, there could be weapon slots for hands that can be alternated with the press of a button. Ie. much like the current ADOM inventory screen, but you can't actually use both the missile and hand slots at the same time, but switch between them which takes the same game time as accessing inventory, but is quicker in real time. Possibly you could also put other than missile weapons in the alternate set.
The bow-slot and tool-slots are probably on your back or in your belt - where you easily can reach them without having to equip them. Equipping a bow, stone or tool instead of your weapon would just be annoying.
Incursion and Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup have same slot to wield ranged and melee weapons and that's no problem at all. But that's not the point. Point is it's stupid and abusive to shoot with bow AND have defensive bonuses from melee weapon AND shield. Of course having to switch weapons would be more realistic too but it's not that important in my opinion.
I vote agaisnt this feature, the original suggestion seems too much hassle for characters that want switch. I'm also against Silfir suggestion because it's unclear for a newbie and it is breaking some turn rules. Ars suggestion seems quite good but the player should have an information abut which weapon is worn. Also switch will eat one turn.
More complex solutions has been seen in various games, allow players define multiple weapon set and shortcuts to activate each one. Ars suggestion is better because of it's simplicity.
How about making the game automatically switch to a bow when you press "t"? That would eat up one turn before you shoot which would be more realistic in my opinion. Maybe you could configure the game to just add one extra turn to the first shot for convenience. Pressing "y" for instance or trying to attack could make the character switch back to melee weapons. Your current weapon could be shown on the information bar.
What about another weapon slot? I don't know if its been stated, but what if you reserved a slot at the bottom of the inventory screen or something for missile weapons, and then just assign an energy cost for switching your weapon and a keypress to the action, like the "z" command in DoomRL?
FantomFang's suggestion doesn't sound half bad. The energy cost of switching between melee weapons and missile weapon should be proportional to the bulk of the melee equipment - putting away a stone flail of devastating heaviness and a crystal tower shield should be a LOT harder than just getting rid of a shortsword.
An exception can be made for small shields: They don't need to be unequipped for missile attacks to work, because they are small enough that the archer isn't restricted in his aiming by them.
Why would you want to require the PC to manually switch between melee and range? I LOVE the way ADOM implements this. It's seamless. In Crawl, you have to hit a key every time you switch, which can be quite quite often. It's a fucking pain in the ass plain and simple. Even world of warcraft doesn't make you do any song and dance to switch between range and melee.
I'd rather see archery balanced. It's far too easy for ANY class to become a super-ninja Legolas clone with a few talents and some bow marks.
I don't think one should *have* to switch manually, only that he should be able to *choose* to do so if it is tactically prudent. The switch could happen automatically, only that it takes up energy points on top of the attack. (I also hate the crap I have to deal in some other roguelikes, for instance that I have to use a command to open doors. Why?)
One of the reasons why archery is overpowered in ADOM is that you can do it while wearing two TWO TOWER CRYSTAL shields and gaining the benefits of both. You can't shoot a bow like that! You have to put down the tower shields, and that should cost energy points.
Anyway, talking about balancing Archery in JADE would require previous knowledge of how powerful Archery will actually be in JADE - and as far as I can see, it doesn't seem like it has even been implemented!
Balancing ADOM... Considering that only a bugfix patch has been hinted at, it doesn't seem likely that there will be a patch with fixes to game balance. It's off-topic anyway.
I think the easiest way would be to have if you attacked with a ranged weapon on the previous turn, than loose your weapon bonus. Simple and easy to fix. the DV would return after 1 turn. Shields could work the same way... but I am in favor of just keeping it the same as it was :)