I personal find Posion Weapon and Splitting Arrows NOT useless (with a Warrior type) !
And especially if you first poison you bow(s), then take Splitting Arrows as your active skill and fire arrows (poisoned!) to a group (or just one!) enemies, it's a great thing!! Even a Giant Orc going fast death and lower Orcs very fast!! After 2 or 4 shots with this combine of the two skills all Orcs are death
True, I forgot about poison+splitting arrows, very useful. Honestly though, poison is so powerful that you can take out all the Orcs easily without Splitting Arrows, as every Orc will survive only one or two poisoned arrows even on Hard mode, except Giant Heavy Orcs.
But most of my bows have already a good damage value! My bow with the highest damage value has 148 damage (max) !
I do many many tradings, so I spend much time in trading to find the best equipment items and weapons. Patient is worth that time !
But that's the thing - when you use skills, the base damage doesn't count! So a puny shortbow will deliver the same damage as any other bow!
About "loot" : I don't know about any "difference" between HOW you kill an enemy and the difference between the "loot frequency" ...
I was always thinking it's just a "roll of a dice" (randomly) and so you're a "unlucky or lucky hero" to find low or great loot /// less or more loot !
I'm definitely sure there's a difference, but try yourself: take a warrior, kill the Orcs around Aleroth with melee combat; then take a mage and kill them with magic attacks. Compare the loot on both characters; the mage should definitely have gotten more and better drops. With one mage, I managed to get 7 or 8 enchanting gems from the Orcs around Aleroth alone! I never got anywhere close to that with a melee char.
Question I think about is now :
And what about killing an enemy using a Skill like Frost, but with a melee weapon that have Frost? Or a melee weapon that have Lightning or Fire ...? Is this kill a magical(?) or just a melee killing blow?
I can't really comment on that as I haven't tested it. I also must say: when I used magic to kill enemies it was mostly with a mage, while my melee chars are usually warriors. Maybe the difference in loot drops is hard coded depending on class?