I think we can all agree that NPC archers are not quite as impressive in their performance as you'd expect from one of the most lethal weapons in the course of human history. The range is low, the damage is pathetic and they can only aim straight at the target.
I have noticed that spear-throwing units can throw their spears as far as the player. If you put their render distance higher (with a spawner), they will throw the spear on sight. Quite a funny thing to see if you have large numbers of high-render-distance units with spears in a battle, seeing the projectiles fly around on large distances.
So, I have a possible solution for the poor archer contribution in the mod. If the entire system of an archer could be changed from a skeleton-like short distance shooting with low damage to something like the original Gondor tower-guard having infinite javelins, making a new projectile for the NPC archers to simulate arrows with more damage (possibly thrice as more damage as they do now, varying per unit, making elves significantly better than orcs, etc.) and a much higher range, it would greatly improve the archers. Next to that, their render distance could possible be upped a little bit to make sure that the player cant just stay a bit outside of their range and hunt them like sitting ducks.
Aside from this, I understand that archers often only have a ranged weapon, making sure that they dont just run in battles most of the time, but rather sit back and fire. The archers should have a larger range at which point they start walking away from their target to make them more effective in battles (especially for horse archers, relying on mobile and swift skirmishes). Aside from this, it is a bit strange that archers only have a ranged weapon, so the introduction of a melee weapon would improve things. This would be hard to balance, since minecraft does not allow us to edit "skill levels" of an NPC, and they would just do as much damage in melee as infantry. This could be solved with the possible introduction of lighter archer armour, or limiting them to smaller and less damage inflicting weapons.
For archers shooting into friendly units all of the time, making them ineffective in blobs, I do not have a solution.
Some of you might say that this would make archers way too strong, which is perhaps true. But history shows us that archers ARE very vital. Right now it is just annoying to face one because he keeps you a bit at a distance with the arrows, but it is not life treathening in most situations.
I do want to make clear that the most important thing about this suggestion is the way they fire their projectiles. Even though I dont agree with the lacking of a melee weapon and the rather low damage infliction, I can live with it being unchanged. But honestly, the range is terrible.
Please, do share your thoughts with the rest of us in the comments below, it will only change this suggestion for the better. Thank you for reading.