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Old May 6th, 2012, 00:06   #1
Jenosavel
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Reflection on the Ranger

I don't have a lot of time to type stuff up right now, but I played ranger and engineer (most experience with ranger at the moment).

The ranger pets have a lot more tactical depth than they did in GW1. The F1-4 keys play a huge role here, and you need to use them very often. Being able to send in your pet on specific targets, call it to your side to position it out of AoEs and pull it away from incoming Big Attacks makes your pet pretty mobile overall.

Of course, there's quite a learning curve on that, and I find myself finger-tied quite often. But with enough practice I think rangers will have quite a lot of control over what their pets are doing.

Unfortunately, the pet AI still isn't very impressive to me. I hope that gets more work before release. It's less of an issue with the player control options, but still an issue.

Pets have 3 skills they use themselves, which they share with all other pets in their family type, and one unique skill which the player has to activate. I'm not really convinced so far with the choice of which skill is player activated, as some of them don't seem as interesting as the family skills the pet has control over.

The pet swapping is also quite interesting. The cooldown timer on it is almost halved if you swap pets while your pet is still alive, and while its swapped out your pet heals itself. So what you end up with is sort of a Marvel vs Capcom style tag-teaming. You always want to swap your pet before it dies rather than after.

With similar pets (say, alpine wolf and krytan drakehound) you might end up swapping your pets as often as the cooldown allows so as to take advantage of their passive skills. In this particular example, you'd be getting twice the dog family's knockdown skill use than if you just stuck with one or the other pet throughout the course of a battle.

With very dissimilar pets (say, a raven and an ice drake) you might end up using only one pet in a particular situation, and try to avoid swapping until the last possible second before your pet would have died.

The different pets don't seem very well balanced yet, but the core ideas seem solid. Hopefully by release the pets will be on a little more even footing with one another. The raven, for example, seems paper thin and doesn't seem to have the damage output to even be considered a glass cannon.


Later I'll try to post on some of the ranger's weapons. I really like how the ranger plays on its own. It has some neat weapon options.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 15:27   #2
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Reflection on the Ranger

Please note: I found some things I liked and stuck with them throughout most of the beta. I'm not the most experimental of players, I tend to judge skills very quickly maybe not giving them the opportunity to shine... Often to my detriment!

First off,the Weapons:

I rolled a Charr and, as a Charr, you start the game with a 1-handed throwing axe. Say what? Where's my bow? The definition of ranger is "guy with a bow". Bow is to Ranger as Lightsaber is to Jedi! When I was a kid I wanted to be Robin Hood; winning archery competitions by splitting the opponents arrow in half. Not running round chucking axes at people. If I'd fantasized about that I'd probably be locked up now.

After a few levels I was lucky enough to get a Shortbow drop for me. Great! the basic attack bleeds people if you hit them from behind or in the sides. I like a system that rewards you for considering tactical positioning. The best part is that Bleeds stack in this game, so it really encourages you to keep moving to maintain a good position. You also get:
an AoE poison shot that fires in an arc
a shot that's makes you jump backwards as you fire it, to escape
a shot that cripples
a shot that Dazes (no skill use) for 2 seconds, or stuns for 1 second if you hit them from behind

The problem is when you're playing solo, it's hard to hit things from behind. Pets can tank for all of 2 seconds, then they die and you're left having to shoot stuff in the face, not getting any bonuses.

----------------

Next I found a Longbow. Great! I'm English so I basically invented the longbow (according to my extensive research in Age of Empires II at least). The default shot with the longbow does more damage the further the arrow flies. The max range is longer than that of the shortbow. You get some nice side-skills too, and these do the same damage however far away you are from the target:
channeled skill: fire lots of arrows at a single target
reduces target armour, gives your pet swiftness
fun shot that knocks the enemy back, the closer they are the further they fly
crippling AoE spell, aimed using a circle on the ground, long cooldown

Again the max-range = max-damage system is an interesting one, but since pets tank about as well as I'd expect my 19-year-old cat to, you end up with enemies right in your face anyway. So it goes out of the window when playing solo.

----------------

The biggest problem with the two styles of bow is that the two AoE skills they grant are on cooldowns and don't do that much damage anyway. This is when I decided to give the Axe another chance.

The default attack bounces and hits 3 targets at a time. So important in this game where attacking a foe once gives you kill credit, XP, loot. The other skills are:
an AoE attack that bleeds targets in an arc infront of you
a chilling attack, your pet also causes weakness on its next attack

So; AoE and a slow, nice. The best part though is that the Axe only takes up one-hand leaving you free to compliment it with your choice of offhand weapon.

----------------

And then camethe Offhands:

Maybe because of their emotional appearances in the Lord of the Rings books, there's something about Warhorns that just inspires me. They galvanise your allies and strike fear into the hearts of your enemies. They give 2 skills to rangers:
swarm of birds to attack a single target
gives bonus damage, crit chance, and run speed to you and all nearby allies

Once I found these two skills and got used to using an axe instead of a bow, I never really went back. Call of the Wild lasts 15 seconds with a 35 sec CD, gives mad damage in combat and helps you get where you're going quicker. Running skills make such a difference in games like this.

----------------

You can also use a Torch for setting people on fire, an Axe for reflecting projectiles, a Dagger for crippling and poisoning. But the two Warhorn skills were so fun and useful that I barely tried the others.

----------------

If you want to go Melee you can use a 1-h Sword, which gives you some dodging attacks and a poison, or you can try the 2-h Greatsword, which gives you a huge leaping attack and a parry which knocks back the next foe who attacks you. Great fun honestly, but since melee seems to be generally a pain in this game, I just used it while messing around. And stuck with ranged setups when was playing for reals.

In the end I used:
Set 1 [Axe + Warhorn] Moving around and killing multiple targets.
Set 2 [Shortbow] For group boss events vs single units where I knew I could get behind them and stack bleeds.

----------------

What about the Utility Skills?

You start out with Heal as One, which heals you and your pet. This was fine but dull and didn't seem to heal all the much. Also it was annoying having to cast a heal for your weak little animal when you were on full HP, especially since the pet would always contrive to die during the cast time anyway. I never tried Troll Ungent since I didn't really like it in GW1. I unlocked Healing Spring pretty early and really enjoyed it. It's a trap that heals allies over time (and removes conditions too) so long as they stand in the AoE. I liked being able to help in team fights, and it provided enough healing to stand toe to toe with some enemies.

I didn't really like the Utility skills available to ranger. Instead of feeling; oh wow so many cool things to pick from, what should I take first! I was just feeling; oh I have a slot on the skill-bar, I guess I should fill it.

First I took Signet of the Hunt. it gives 10% faster movement speed at all times. Movement speed is some important to me. How much time do you waste walking from one place to another? Even the towns in this game are huge. How do you escape from another player in WvW? Walk quicker. Since its a Signet you get some bonus from clicking it, but I never used it since no matter what it did it wouldn't be worth the price of walking 10% slower for 2 minutes.

Flame Trap was quite fun. You need an enemy to trigger it, then a small area is set on fire, burning enemies and lighting any arrows your shoot through it on fire too. The trap only lasts for about 2 seconds though.

Once I'd taken this the routine became; put down healing and burning traps tank the mobs in the fire while bouncing axes off their foreheads. It was super effective.

----------------

Not so super effective, the Pets

Things have changed since GW1. When you played with a party, there was a Warrior there tanking for you, leaving your pet free to just be an extra source of DPS. Now that we're in what's largely a soloing environment I was expecting the pets to be damage sponges leaving the master free to get in position behind and riddling enemies with arrow-holes.

This doesn't happen.

Pets die very very fast. They run into melee and before you know it they're hobbling back to you with 0hp. They stay in melee until they die. They stand still in burning fire. I resorted to leaving pets on passive then only sending them in once the enemies were almost dead. Often I forgot, so they may has well have not been there. But at least I didn't have to revive them between every mob - a process that takes around 10 seconds every time. The Devourer pet was ranged and therefore survived longer.

Maybe I should have used the swap pet feature more often, but it just doesn't make sense from a role-playing point of view. I can understand toggling stances, weapons. But toggling an animal in and out of your pocket? I'm not playing Pokemon.

Finding pets was fun, and a nice reward for exploration. You encountered the animals in the wild, usually at a shrine of some kind, then just added them to your list of available pets. They all die just as quick though.

----------------

And now for some PVP?

I had an enjoyable time here. I stuck with my PVE weapon setups, since the Warhorn provides a speed boost for catching up with people (or escaping), the Axe has a ranged slow. Then once you're in range you whip out your Shortbow and shoot them cowards in the back. Stacking bleeding, poisoning, crippling, dazing and stunning. What more do you need?
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Old May 6th, 2012, 16:27   #3
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Great write-up, Mish! I played the ranger almost exclusively during the BWE, with a heavy emphasis on PvP. In a nutshell, it is a great PvP class both 1v1 and in group combat.

The longbow knockback is extremely versatile. In addition to the standard use of getting someone out of your face if you want range, you can do two other really fun things with it. First, you can use it to pick-off stragglers in group PvP by looping around them, facing toward your own group, and pushing them toward the certain death of being alone in the middle of your team. The other really fun use of it is to run up in the face of someone who's fighting on the edge of a bridge, cliff, etc., and send them flying. That gave me a few laugh-out-loud moments during the BWE.

From reading (way too many) post-BWE reviews of people who played rangers, it appears the longsword is the non-bow weapon of choice for PvP. It can be used for good burst damage or as a kiting tool.

Torches drop a ring of fire through which you can combo, but otherwise seem pretty underwhelming.

The warhorn run speed increase is very useful and the flock of birds is pretty funny, particularly when they scale in size with large targets. Whether the latter is a bug or intended seems open for debate. Hopefully they don't change it!

The talented skills are a mixed bag, but Signet of the Hunt is definitely worth unlocking and rarely (if ever) activating. If buffed through talents, both spirits and traps can be effective. If not, then Muddy Terrain is a great utility skill for kiting around or dropping behind you while escaping.

For elites, Rampage as One got most of my attention in sPvP. It's exactly like the WoW beastmastery talent Bestial Wrath. You're basically a wrecking ball for 20s or so, with run speed, might, etc.

Finally, the pets . . . . Mankind may have advanced during the centuries following GW1, but pets seem to have devolved. Perhaps they spent too much time watching TV and eating potato chips or maybe they formed a union and decided to coast toward retirement. Whatever the reason, they go from healthy to "downed" in the blink of an eye in group PvP. Only bears seem capable of consistently tanking mobs in PvE or staying alive in PvP. Active pet swapping is a must! Also, the pathing and other AI is really buggy. Some pets border on worthless because their special skill requires them to stand still during activation. Finally, while I've seen pets attacking gates in closed beta videos, I always received a message to the effect of "your pet is too far away to attack that target" when standing directly in front of an enemy gate in WvW. That needs to be fixed.

Overall, this seems to be a quality class. I felt comfortable fighting against any class in a 1v1 situation, but didn't feel like the class was particularly overpowered. In group PvP, there's a fair amount of utility to the class, including the inherent utility of being ranged and able to shoot downrange from keep walls. If there were an option to be a petless ranger in exchange for damage or other buffs to compensate for the utility loss, I would unequivocally commit to making this my main. As is, the necro is likely to get a lot of my attention in the next BWE.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 19:11   #4
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I'm actually glad that they start you off with the axes. It dispells the idea early that rangers should use bows. GW2 seems to treat its rangers as in "park rangers" or "one who ranges/cares for a tract of land." I actually really enjoy playing a melee ranger in this game!


What these guys say about pet lifespan is pretty accurate in the beginning. However, by the end of the weekend I was experiencing almost no pet deaths with the exception of in Champion boss fights. My PvP experience is limited however.

The tricks to having a pet that doesn't die immediately seems to be:
  • Avoid the paper-thin pet families. Currently it looks like bird and cat are the worst; dogs were surviving for me just fine. Birds don't have the damage output to even be worth trying, but cats appear to be a glass cannon at the moment. Hopefully they will be better balanced by release.

  • Give your pet some stats if you want to use a type that isn't bear. Once you start getting trait points, don't be afraid to give some to your pet. This is also tied to your healing power, so you'll be getting more bang out of your heals as well when you do this. It's just too useful to not through some token points at.

    Even a few points really seem to boost the stats of your pet, and the early minor trait in the beastmastery line gives you speed buffs (both movement and CD, I think?) whenever you swap a pet. I'm having a hard time seeing any ranger that ignores the Beastmastery/healing line all together.

  • Avoid pets with a shout or breath-weapon attack, since these currently require the pet to stand still to activate and won't hit much of anything. The primary offenders seem to be drakes and moas. When I used dogs I didn't have much of any trouble with getting my pet to hit. The dog even has a leap/charge skill which will combo with any fields you put down.

  • Give your pet commands. No one can survive while standing still in the game, and pets seem to be no exception. Make sure you are moving your pet around the field of combat using the F1 and F3 buttons. Think of it like a boomerang or like the elementalist's phoenix spell. Where you position yourself in relation to which enemies you are attacking will determine how well you can pull your pet out of harms way. Long range rangers have much less work to do in this regard, but melee rangers can still increase their pets' lifespan by being aware of positioning.

Weapons

Now for some of my own thoughts on weapons! I didn't use the bows very long, and since Mishkin already covered them so nicely, I'll skip right to the weapons I have more insight with: melees!

Greatsword
This thing appears to be a powerhouse stats wise. It easily has the highest raw damage output of any of the ranger weapons. However, it requires you to be right up front in the thick of things and thus is much harder to survive with. You will need to be making use of your dodge rolls and learning the timing of various attacks to best avoid them.

The auto-attack on the greatsword is an aoe attack skill. It hits all enemies (perhaps with a number cap, but one I couldn't seem to count out very well) immediately in front of you and as a result really tears through things if you can keep them at close range.

To help with this, the greatsword has a gap-closing leap skill. I don't know how it compares to warrior gap-closers, but it seems to be quite a bit faster in recharge time than the guardian's gap closers. Additionally it puts you into a state of evasion for the duration of the leap, and is thus useful for damage mitigation while already in melee range. And on top of that it's also a "finisher" in the combo system. Any time you leap through a combo field you will pick up an effect from it and scatter it at your final destination.

This means that a greatsword ranger can drop a healing spring, which gives an initial burst of healing, then leap through the spring for a second wave of healing, on top of the regen the spring will give thereafter for people inside it.

Greatsword also has a block skill. You will be immune to the first attack against you, and you will counter it by knocking that enemy away. This not only can be timed to avoid huge hits, it can help thin the numbers when a melee character is overwhelmed and slow down the damage for a little while.

If you double tap this skill you will cancel it, and in canceling it you will throw a crippling projectile. This is too slow to be used in kiting situations, since you will stop to perform the block no matter how fast you hit the keys. However, it is very useful for situations where an opponent recognizes your block and decides to disengage rather than triggering the counterattack. You can then cripple them and have at it again.

And that's not even the best part. The greatsword's #5 skill is a 1s daze. Its not exactly the mesmer-type shutdown that we're used to from GW1, but its quite fast in triggering and can be used as an active interrupt. It requires melee range, but does charge forward a short distance and therefore can still hit if there is a small gap between you and the target. Only a small gap, mind you, but it really helps.


1h Sword
This weapon is interesting to me, but also apparently somewhat broken in the beta build we played. Hopefully it will be fixed by release, so I will mention but not dwell on the bug.

It was hard to tell, but I believe that this sword's auto-attack is also hitting multiple enemies in front of the ranger. I believe only 1 part of its 3-part chain is AoE, which makes it not as powerful in that respect as the greatsword for which every swing is AoE.

Also, one hit (the second portion?) of the 3-part chain is currently bugged and will snap you to an enemy. This is cool if you've got someone kiting away, but also neuters your dodge. You have to disable auto-attacking on this weapon if you want to use it in its current state.

The #2 skill of the 1h sword is a 2-part mobility skill. The first part rolls you directly away from your target (after swinging at them, of course) and the second part leaps you the same distance back towards your target. This makes it really fast to put distance between yourself and a large attack, while allowing you the choice of where you want to rejoin the fray (provided you switch targets before triggering the 2nd half).

Again the leap is a combo finisher, capitalizing on any fields you leap through.

The #3 skill is my personal the reason to use the 1h sword. It is a poisonous roll. This skill can be timed to dodge damage, although unlike a regular dodge roll, rolling through AoE will still hurt.

The neat thing about poison is that not only is it a damage over time, but it also reduces the target's healing capability by 33%. With everyone able to heal, and there being several PvE mobs who will heal as well (I forget which exactly I ran into now...), being able to reduce healing capability is a nice touch.


Axe, mainhand
The axe is a ranged weapon with a shorter ranger than the shortbow. I found it useful for a melee character who wants a swap that allows a little more freedom to kite when things get hairy.

The axe #2 is a spray attack of 5 axes that all cause bleeding. If you are close enough to an enemy for all 5 to hit one enemy then you will get a nice 5 stacks of bleeding. Bleeding seems more powerful the more stacks you add, so being able to drop 5 at once on a skill that recharges pretty quickly is nice.

The 3rd axe skill inflicts chill. In addition to being a ranged snare, chill also increases skill CD on the target. I really like chill right now. This skill also makes your pet inflict weakness with its next attack. I didn't notice much difference from that, but it may have been one factor in my pet's increased survivability.

Torch
I love the torch right now, primarily because burning seems to do a good bit of damage. It is very short duration high output, like GW1, but with the fire field that #5 on the torch lays down, you can get 8 seconds of burning + the awesomeness of combos.

#4 is a burning projectile. Not really that exciting, but for a build that's based around condition damage, I could see the torch being useful.

Warhorn
The warhorn's #4 skill is the infamous hawk attack we've seen in so many teaser videos. Other than being amusing I think the hawks have the potential to obscure the screen and visibility for your target. They're not going to blind a player, but they do add noise and confusion to an already noisy and confusing visual display.

They are pretty much straight up damage, but the nice part about them is that they can't be kited. They stick to their target like homing missiles.

Warhorn #5 is an AoE buff granting fury might and swiftness. I like swiftness and especially group swiftness. Great stuff here.

Utilities
I didn't get really far into these, but I can say now that I love frost trap. It applies chill with each trigger, allowing for a lot of reduced CDs and therefore increased survivability going around if you're in a movement restricted situation (at a choke point or against any NPC enemies).


Beginnings of a Build
I can't wait to see what builds surface when we have more time to play. For this round, I found I really enjoyed playing a melee ranger with a conditions and combos focus. I used Healing Spring as my heal as well as Frost Trap as my 1st utility. I went with Greatsword & 1h sword/torch or 1h sword/torch & axe/warhorn.

I like to start combat with the greatsword equipped. Using its leap I can get myself into melee range where I can drop the greatsword's bleed and daze then swap to sword/torch. Lay down a fire field and drop some poison on your enemy, who should now be coming out of daze. Lay down a frost trap on them so they can't kite well and set them on fire with the torch projectile if they try to flee your fields. By this time greatsword should be coming off of swap cool down so you can switch to it while your conditions chew away at the target. Drop more bleeds and daze on them, block/evade/leap when you need to and just hack away with your high damage output until your weapon cooldown is ready and repeat your condition applying process.

Keep an eye out for allies low in health and use your healing spring + combo to give them a fighting chance.


Pet Families
I went into general stuff about pets last post, but here's a little bit about the different pet families we've seen so far.
  • Dogs Good attack, armor and HP values. Their family skills offer knockdown, cripple, and a combo finisher. The alpine wolf & drakehound's trigger ability suffers from the stand-still-to-cast issue and is a chill and immobilize respectively. If you watch for when your pet does its knockdown and time its howl just after, you should be able to hit the prone foe without much trouble. The Hyena summons a second hyena. I wasn't too impressed with its performance.

  • Cats They seem to have less survivability than dogs, but with an incredibly high crit rate. They also apply vulnerability and bleed in their family skills. which makes them very offense oriented. The stalker can apply 3 stacks of AoE might, which is nice as long as your allies stand still long enough to get it.

  • Moas Same stats as the dog pretty much, and also badly suffers from the stand-still-to-cast issue on their trigger abilities. It still has decent family skills, though as it can apply vulnerability and AoE heal. Unfortunately you can't control family skills so its somewhat unpredictable.

  • Bears Armor & attack damage are the same as dogs, but with almost 1/3 more HP. Their skills are all based on survival, giving themselves health regen and endure pain. They also have an aoe condition removal. This is the pet to take if you just want to forget your pet exists.

  • Drakes All around same stats as the dog, but with half the HP and bad attack animation leads to difficulty hitting If you trait for drake regen their survivability seems okay, but their trigger ability still doesn't hit much. They do have an aoe combo finisher in their family skills, which I think hits better, but since you have no control over it its difficult to tell.

  • Birds They have a high crit rate but their survivability is horrendous. On a PvP dummy they theoretically do the best damage, but anything stronger than a gentle breeze will kill them outright. The activated skills seem to focus on things like blind (okay, I only really saw the raven ), which is just not enough to save them. Hopefully they will be fixed sooner rather than later.

  • Pigs They have the same stats as the bear, but rather than having tank skills they have knockdown and bleeding. The power of their bleeding doesn't seem affected by pumping your own condition damage, so I'm a little ambivalent towards it. Also I didn't see an activated skill that did damage (spawn a random environmental weapon...), which makes them less appealing.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 19:28   #5
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Interesting to hear another perspective.

I went for the Skirmishing trait, which increases Precision (crit chance) and increased crit damage. This led to a temp speed boost when weapon switching in combat, and then a few good choices for the major trait. I went for bonus 33% crit damage on Axes, but there was also one that gives health to your pet every time it crits. Assuming your stats affect your pet's; that could be a nice way to sustain a Cat (or maybe even a bird) as a pet.

I was running around with an Owl at the end of the beta, because it looked cool. The second spot never changed from a Devourer since the ranged attack kept it alive constantly.


I feel guilty for not even trying any of the Nature Spirits, and will definitely do so next BWE.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 22:07   #6
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Rolled a ranger in BWE2 and enjoyed it quite a lot more than I was expecting. It was fun to collect pets and I enjoyed the different playstyles from melee through to ranged (very rare for me to play melee characters).

Favourite skills? Greatsword skill Swoop was great fun and great animation - really enoyed that. Longbow skill Barrage I really liked. Call of the Wild (AOE buff) on the warhorn was very useful, especially in groups, as was the hawk skill which looks very cool as the size seems to scale up so on big mobs you get LOTR-like birds swooping away.

Axe I found under-whelming (just didn't 'feel' fun to use). Traps were fun though I didn't realise they weren't ranged (to place) until I started using them but I guess it's obvious now (never played one in GW1).

Looking forward to working on my ranger some more at the next BWE.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 23:42   #7
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Unsurprisingly, the ranger is one of the top contenders for my release character. Melee weapons didn't really convinced me despite their dmg output. The longbow is quite nice for single targets and the axe is excellent against multiple opponents. I prefer to use a horn with the axe for the speed buff which saved by skin a couple of times. It seems that ranger pets got some love since BWE1 because mine was a decent tank.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 02:02   #8
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Tanking pets depend on what type; boars, bears and drakes are the "tanky" type of pet. I personally like the ice drake, it has an AoE attack and also has a chill breath weapon.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 03:07   #9
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It also really depends on how much beastmastery you put in and what traits you take. The tier 1 trait (10 trait points in) "Master's Bond" is a good way to go if you don't plan on swapping pets often. 1-shotting white innocent creatures (rats, bunnies, etc) count towards the kill-count and can boost your pet's stats dramatically. Once you get the bond maxed out any pet type can survive pretty well. Although if it does die then the bond resets.
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Old July 20th, 2012, 14:48   #10
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Pet changes for BWE 3
http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/inte...an-chap-sharp/

We recently had the chance to ask Guild Wars 2 Game Designer Jonathan “Chap” Sharp a few questions around PvP and balancing, here’s what he had to say.
Many of those who played a Ranger in previous BWE’s felt like their pets didn’t provide enough damage or had a slow reaction/target time, both ultimately resulting in a lowered DPS. First, have any significant changes been made to pets since BWE2 to balance DPS? Secondly, are there any future changes expected, and if so, what do they include?
Chap: Since the last BWE we’ve improved Pet AI, and we’ve also rebalanced a lot of the pets. Their damage should be higher than before, due to the AI changes, and a lot of them had slight tweaks to their defensive stats as well! This means we had to rebalance some ranger skills to account for the fact that their pets work now. Also, there were a number of bugs that had ranger pets stop attacking. We think we have addressed them all now.
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Old July 20th, 2012, 15:47   #11
Jenosavel
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I really need to check out thief this weekend. So to anyone trying the ranger, let me know what you think of the rebalancing! Hooray for the thought of pets responding, but mild apprehension at the question of pet vs ranger damage. I'm curious to see where they went with it, and just hope that the player stays the major source of damage output.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 09:24   #12
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I played exclusively ranger for this BWE and found it a solid choice for both PvE and WvW. After trying out different weapon combinations I gravitated into a shortbow + longbow set, and used bears (brown and black) for PvE as aggro anchors, and tried various ranged pets for WvW (couldn't find a satisfactory solution yet). My kills to deaths ratio in WvW was better than 10:1, no deaths on the PvE side, which tells something about the resilience of the profession. In many situations, a ranger can inflict damage while being at a safe distance from receiving the same.

Ranger is a great choice for solo play, especially with bears that can take a good beating before needing a swap-out. The pet takes the aggro, the character unloads a barrage, there's a pile of bodies as a result. In team play, rangers can provide good support, both passive (traps, spirits) and active (e.g., both bows can cripple and interrupt). I only got up to level 28 during this BWE so I don't have an opinion on elites except for becoming very familiar of the ranger elite Grasping Vines in WvW (on the receiving side ) which seems to be one of the strongest elites in the game for typical WvW battles.

In summary, ranger will certainly be among my favorite professions once the game goes live, and it seems to have a very moderate learning curve which makes it suitable as a first character.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 13:32   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmakinen View Post
.... on elites except for becoming very familiar of the ranger elite Grasping Vines in WvW (on the receiving side ) which seems to be one of the strongest elites in the game for typical WvW battles.
I also played a ranger this BWE and your description totally fits the experiences I made with the class this weekend.

And yes, this elite is painfull in WvW, ouch!

I liked the ranger in WvW alot and at times I defended NPC camps, like the ogres, alone vs invader groups < 6, with only the NPCs to aid me.

I rarely died, mostly when I got walled in.

Read http://forum.sof-guild.com/showthread.php?t=12984 for more on this topic.

Of the few times my ranger got snared I got killed or came very close to it. CC removal is not as easy as on the warrior. (I just saw one on a 10 second timer and you need your pet alive) The warrior clearly has more options to break snare. Maybe other skills exist but I must have missed them due to my low level, only 24.

I had loads of awesome 1 vs 1's, won all of them except against skilled warriors. Guardians I could only kill if they had a glass cannon build (why be a glass cannon guardian if you can be a warrior and so much better? ).

Against warriors with 2 CC (crowd control) I always lost, because their dmg output is too high when they get in close. 1 CC I barely survived but 2 not. I learned to just annoy warriors and to pull the noob warriors into the ogre camp where I then had my own private party with the ogres as bouncers (thanks mates you were awesome! ).

I got over a hundred kills even though I just started WvW saterday night late. I think this would have been harder with any other class.

I plan to also play a ranger when the game goes live, especially for defending keeps in which they excel.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 13:42   #14
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I agree. I played a Ranger for BW3, because after playing in BW1 I was totally annoyed at them and the pets for being buggy and squishy. I wasn't on alot this beta, so I only did PVE. I used a bear and boar for pets and found it easy to solo Veteran mobs 4 levels higher than me, and multiple groups of mobs, much higher than me. When my bear got low I just swapped for the boar and kited stuff. I only died one time, and that was due to a DC. I will definitely be rolling a Ranger as one of my 3 mains.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 20:45   #15
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I'll admit the force pet thing was a bit annoying, but I gave the Ranger a try and with a bear its pretty good. I hated the other pets with their weak armour and low HP however.

I hope many of you remember how much I enjoy being a support character laying down fire from the sidelines, and then movement makes the ranger a much less static role to play.

I'll be rolling a Ranger for main, followed closely by a Elementalist.

So if anyone wants some fire support please let me know

Likely my Ranger will be Human or maybe Sylvari, if I can get my Sylvari character to not look so ugly
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