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An update on ranged attacks has been posted at the official Warhammer Online site. It gives a behind the scenes overview of what takes place during a ranged attack.
Your choice of weapon (and your proficiency in any associated skills such as 'Rapid Fire') will determine your rate of fire in the combat.
To put it in game terms this is how long each ranged attack's time slice will take. The longer the slice the longer it takes before you can perform the attack again. This means that a pistol's slow reload may mean it's possible for your opponent to get in two well aimed bow shots in the same time as the pistol's one. Of course that one pistol shot should really hurt!
So, assuming your weapon is aimed, your target is in range and in sight and you actually have ammo it's time to see if you can hit.
This is where your character's experience with the weapon they are using, be it archery based, firearm or thrown, is important. Each of the types has skills (assuming you've learnt them) that, depending on your proficiency with them, will help or hinder you in scoring a hit.
Also included is a screen of a pistoleer. Click on the image below for a larger view.
View the update in its entirety at this link.