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Aidan's Guild Wars 2 Blog

A in-depth review of Guild Wars 2 from the perspective of a long time Guild Wars 1 player. In this blog, I look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of a promising new title.

Author: Aeander

Improving the Professions of Guild Wars 2 ~ Part 2 - The Ranger

Posted by Aeander Sunday December 30 2012 at 4:02PM
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The Ranger, like all professions, has some issues of its own. With this post, I'll suggest improvements to traits, weapons, utilities, etc.

 

Pets

 

Make them deal a smaller percentage of the Ranger's damage by upping the Ranger's damage. Currently, pets are about 45%+. Make them more along the lines of 30%.

 

Separate pets between PvE / WvW and PvP. Buff their defenses in PvE and WvW.

 

Continue improving AI. 

 

Reduce or remove delay on f2 skills.

 

Weapons

 

Up damage from the following weapons: all of them. Especially the Greatsword, Longbow, and Axe.

 

Fix the Sword bugs (auto-attack rooting). Improve accuracy of 3rd skill. Speed up 2nd skill.

 

Condense the Long Bow's second skill into a shorter channel time. It's an inferior Unload that takes about 3 times as long to perform. 

 

Give the class some dedicated weapons. With the current design, every weapon, with the sole exceptions of longbow and shortbow, is trying to be both direct and condition damage. MH axe could benefit from being a direct damage-oriented weapon, as could the Greatsword.

 

Trait Fixes / Improvements

 

Beast Mastery Majors need to be rethought completely. Most of them are situational or outright awful.

 

Marksmanship Minors are worthless against competent players and completely useless in drawn-out fights (such as bosses). The entire design is bad because they are burst-oriented traits on a class that typically lacks burst. In other words, they are Thief traits, not Ranger traits.

 

Moment of Clarity is still pretty underwhelming for a grandmaster trait.

 

Move trap traits to Wilderness Survival where they belong.

 

Add something to Wilderness Knowledge. For example "All survival skills have a bonus effect," such as causing Sharpening Stone to add flat damage to your attacks, Lightnitng Reflexes to leave a Lightning combo field that stuns foes briefly, Muddy Terrain dealing damage pulses, and Quickening Zephyr losing the heal penalty.

 

Improve the Nature Magic majors. Certain ones (like Evasive Purity) are pretty lackluster for where they are.

 

Rethink the bow-based traits. I would combine Piercing Arrows with Quick Draw and add a dedicated Shortbow trait - such as increased condition dmage + duration or chance to inflict burning.

 

Improve might duration of Companion's Might.

 

Improve bleed duration from Sharpened Edges.

 

Add some cooldown reduction or a precision bonus to Honed Axes.

 

Trait Compression

 

Combine Martial Mastery with Two-Handed Training.

 

Combine spirit-based traits to make them take up 2 trait slots, not 4.

 

Buff Beastmaster's Might and combine it with Signet Mastery.

 

Utilities

 

Spirits:

Improve health considerably.

Improve trait support.

Make "following" baseline, rather than a grandmaster. 

Make spirit skills ground-target, rather than a delayed point-blank effect.

 

Shouts:

Improve trait support.

Improve effects. Rework some if necessary.

 

Signets:

Reduce cooldowns.

Improve trait support.

Make Signet of the Hunt's active not suck.

 

 

Weapon Ideas:

 

Rifle 

Racks up vulnerability with a fast, 900 range auto-attack before finishing them with a 1500 range burst.

 

Off-hand sword

Direct-damage off-hand that parries attacks and punishes foes with a bursty counter-attack and a skill that throws your sword at the target location to be fetched and wielded by your pet.

 

MH Pistol

Inflicts rapid, low-duration bleeds from 600 range.

AIMonster writes:

As an invested Ranger main (4k+ achievement points, Sunrise Legendary, hardcore WvW daily, Fractal Level above 40).  I pretty much agree with most of this.  In beta we were one of the most overpowered (if not the most) classes, then we got hit by a series of nerfs while other classes for the most part got a series of buffs.  I'll point out a few things I don't agree with and a few suggestions of my own:

 

Signets - Signets are fine as long as you have the 30 point trait in Marksmanship to share Signets with your pet.  I'd love for this to be a default benefit of signets though and not feel like I have to be pigeonholed into Marksmanship just to use signets when they seem better suited for Wilderness Survival.  Hunt is the worst signet in the game and the majority of Rangers use it because they don't understand their class (we have Warhorn + Rampage as One swiftness and GS for mobility, and the warhorn swiftness doesn't stack with Hunt) and I agree completely that the active needs to be fixed.  I wouldn't mind the active effects being nerfed on the other signets in turn for the above and possibly a trait to bring them back in line with their old uses.

Traps - Traps are absolutely terrible right now, and I laugh at any Ranger that uses them.  They have very little situational uses and aren't powerful enough to waste a utility slot.  Though spike trap is the most typically used trap, the frost trap is actually the most powerful because with a shortbow and quickness you can constantly proc chill (over 30 seconds straight if not removed); however the ease of condition removal, the small radius of traps (even when traited which is the only way to make these useful), and the lack of damage they do make them pointless traits.

I agree 100% with making pets less a part of Ranger.  Having the AI essentially play my class (a popular powerful build relies on Guard Me and Sick Em' keep harassment while only stacking healing and tankiness and literally letting the pet do all the work while you keep it healed) is bad design.  Pets should be more like they are in other MMOs where they act as a benefit for the pet owner and not have the entire class revolve around pets.

Speaking of pets, they need a lot of work.  Rangers have some of the worst scaling in the game right now through power/precision (no trait that really boosts the benefit of crits, yes there is bleed on crit but it's poor compared to say Warrior might on crit, and our power scaling is quite weak).  Adding some scaling to the pet as Rangers improve; however minor will help a lot.  As Ascended gear is introduced the Ranger will become more and more useless as the class sees a decline in power scaling.  Pets should also be able to attack on the move and need serious improvements in path finding as strafe kiting can avoid nearly all the damage pets can deal.  A highend Beastmastery trait that adds a % of power/precision of the Ranger to the pet would go a long way.  The delay and lack of response on F2 skill makes it nearly unusable unless you are using something that absolutely requires using the F2 skill (the only pet I can think of is the hyenas).

Healing Spring is overpowered at the moment, though if this was removed from the Ranger I'd probably quit playing the game entirely.  It is currently the only reason I can continue to play a Ranger in high Fractal levels and WvW.  Coupled with a Thief, Warrior, or Guardian who can constantly splash heal (or several) you can make a group of you near invincible while it's up with 50% uptime.  The constant condition removal it provides is godlike.  The other heals of the Ranger are weak by comparison.  Troll Ungent is almost never used for good reason (no burst healing and the heal over time isn't large enough to compensate).  Heal as One barely heals for more than Healing Spring, but without the benefit of a Water Combo field (a leap finisher or two from the GS puts Healing Spring at more overall healing overtime) and condition removal.

Our weapons are just badly designed at the moment.  Every single one of them does low damage.  The shortbow use to do good damage, but with the overall 10% speed nerf and 20% nerf to QZ it actually took a huge hit to it's damage output and now is about equal to a longbow at max range (which is downright terrible DPS).  If you take the Ranger's best DPS options and compare it to every other profession the Ranger loses to everyone.  What's sad is a heavy support and control profession like Guardian does more damage than many other professions (Necro/Elementalist/Ranger) while being better at every other aspect of the game.  Why can an Engineer stack 25 vulnerability, bleed, burning, and poison at 1500 range while doing more damage and having each attack doing an AoE?

The Ranger right now is in really poor shape.  We're one of the most underpowered classes (I think Necros are worst off) and would probably be my vote for most underpowered if it wasn't for having lots of stability (Rampage + SoW) and quickness (5 point BM pet swap + QZ) for fast safe revives and the ridiculously overpowered Healing Spring utility.

For the record I play a tanky / mobile GS Ranger with Axe + Warhorn (~3k armor which is the cap before DR, 2.2k power, rest in vitality and healing).  Healing Spring, Signet of Wild, Signet of Stone, Quickening Zephyr, and Rampage As One.  5 Points Beastmastery, 5 Nature Magic, 30 Marksmanship, 30 Wilderness Survival.  Dual wolf pets.

Sun Dec 30 2012 10:35PM Report
wandersonfm writes:

Pet in Fractals = Dead in agony fases, dead in aoe. For WvW and pvp is ok.

I agee with u about Longbow and need urgent a fix in traits

 

Mon Dec 31 2012 12:18PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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