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Old July 28th, 2012, 17:51   #16
Yamagawa
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Had plenty of fun with ranger myself. The sword play (specifically, longsword) seems well suited to the GW2 style of close-quarters combat, where two of the attacks double as distinct dodges, and while barrage is fun, I found myself favoring the shortbow a fair bit, and the random buffs that my pet kept finding.
Distinctly simpler than the ele, more suited to close in fighting, and able to evade attacks without needing stamina.
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Old August 12th, 2012, 19:58   #17
Jenosavel
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I feel like I could go a hundred different directions with Ranger!

This, however, is my favorite one as of when I last played. It looks like Mighty Swap might be changing from an on-swap trigger to an on skill-use trigger, which would change a lot about how it plays. With axe (5 bleeds) torch (AoE burning) and sword (poison), you can laying down a lot of conditions. Even more if you add the Sharpening Stone utility in (5 more bleeds). The combination of wilderness survival and beastmastery gives you decent armor and healing which should make you survivable enough to withstand melee for a bit, especially considering the defensive potential of a well-timed sword and dagger (very much missing my timing right now ), The protection on dodge-roll trait sounds amazing.

The sword #1 skill wasn't very friendly with auto-attack on, which is annoying but can be worked around. I just hope I don't kill my #1 key by turning off auto-attack!
http://gw2skills.net/editor/en/?fMAQ...LRGEcAZ7xbhpAA

I think it could also be modified to be even more aggressive but not as deep in melee range, using the pet less as a damage source and more as a dummy body to confuse enemy AI. I probably won't play it this way, but I plan to at least try it out.
http://gw2skills.net/editor/en/?fMAQ...LGGEcAZ7xbhpAA

Edit: changed links to the better build tool
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 20:27   #18
Jenosavel
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I've updated my build slightly: Rabid Skirmisher.

I know that an up-front and personal playstyle isn't what a lot of people think of when they think of ranger, but I'm absolutely loving it! I just have to do a write up on how I've been playing.


What you end up doing:
Ranger is a great class for PvE, and my build in particular works wonders when you're in a small group (1-3 players) and outnumbered by foes. The idea is to start and end fights quickly, never stop moving, and always, always, always over-extend and fight things you tell yourself you shouldn't. And of course, that's why I like to call it my Rabid Skirmisher build. I've been pushing areas too high level for my character for the challenge they bring. My little list of personal victories so far:
  • Last night managed a zone completion with Bunter where I was 8 levels too low. I went down sometimes, but I think I only needed to be revived 2 or 3 times on the entire map.
  • I took on 7 1-level-higher-than-me drakes solo and didn't go down at all.
  • I took out a Champion Ice Wurm with just 2 people where the other person was almost exactly at-level and I was 2 levels under.


How it works:
Here are the key points that make this build work:
  • high mobility
  • toughness + healing power synergy
  • condition damage ignores armor
  • buffs for swapping weapon/pet

High mobility
This build provides a lot of extra dodging, and you're combining all that extra dodging with a protect-on-dodge-roll trait. This makes the character highly survivable so long as you're paying attention. A short lapse in attention when you're so over-extended, however, and you die quickly. Because if you're playing this build I assume you're over extended. You're surrounded on all sides by enemies, perhaps even red-numbered enemies.

This build does have a good deal of toughness and healing power, which does let you make some mistakes. But repeated mistakes against these much higher level foes will kill you.

Toughness + healing power synergy
This character also has a really survivable pet with decent damage output. While many are tempted to restort to the bear due to its early-game tankiness, after you have begun to spec into the beastmastery line I find that pets with higher toughness (such as drakes) survive just as well as pets with higher hp (bears, pigs). Due to the synergy between toughness and healing power and by virtue of increasing your healing power at the same time as pumping your pet's stats (extra toughness for all!), toughness-based pets close the gap and outstrip vitality-based pets the more you spec into beastmastery. At my 20 points there's just no reason to use a bear any longer. The drake's high toughness combined with its AoE attacks (both F2 and non-F2 AoEs) makes it a great pet to follow you into a thick fray.

The same effect applies to your character as well. The wilderness survival line gives you toughness and the beastmastery line gives you healing. You will be survivable enough that you will need to venture into harder and harder content in search of danger.

Condition damage ignores armor
The wilderness survival trait line that gave you half of your survivability is also giving you half of your damage, condition damage. While the pet offers decent damage in PvE vs still foes, conditions will be your bread and butter.

Burning, bleeding and poison should be up almost constantly, and should be able to cover multiple enemies. If you can clump them nicely, I haven't yet found a limit to how many I can apply my burning and bleed stacks to. For both, and for bleeding especially, positioning is vital. When you're learning the build you'll miss a lot of your condition applications, but as you become more positionally aware and your fingers more accommodating, you'll start getting the full stacks on whole groups of enemies. You can expect to maintain bleed stacks of 5-10 (5 on multiples, 10 on single targets).

This is why the build works so well in small groups but starts to feel less effective in larger groups. You already have poison and burning up with such high condition damage, and that means that other players also doing burning and poison can start to lessen your overall output as you essentially start stepping on each other's toes. Other players can also spread out the enemies meaning you won't have positioning as nice which leads to lower bleed stacks and missed burning applications. But having 1 or 2 extra players around adding bleed stacks is a lovely thing to behold!

Buffs for swapping weapon and pet
The most fun part of this build, however, is firing off the machine gun that is the shortbow. The shortbow's attack speed is pretty good normally, but it's even more amazing if you swap to it from another weapon and then immediately swap pets. If possible you start out the fight with axes/torch and drake for the brute force job of softening everything up. And when you need it or just feel like feeling awesome, you have your swaps up your sleeve: shortbow and dog.

A few things happen here. First, you get swiftness and fury for swapping weapons; the fury is key. With the right sigil you'll also get 3 stacks of might. Then, from swapping the pet you get a few seconds of quickness, which will turn your shortbow's already fast attack speed into a machine gun. And lastly, if you've been keeping a dog as your reserve pet like I do (alpine wolfie!), you're likely to have your opponent knocked down on the ground while you unload half a quiver of arrows into them. Much fun!



I sometimes think I should try out one of my alts, but I'm just having too much fun with this character.
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 22:18   #19
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Jeno I think you'd be interested in one of the weapons upgrades that gives 30%(or more at higher level?) chance to cause Bleed on a Critical Hit. I've been using it with my Shortbow (plus the same crit-bleed Trait as you) and getting really high stacks!
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 23:11   #20
Jenosavel
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Yep! I have a lesser version of that upgrade (30%?) and I'm not sure yet if I'll prefer that or the aoe-bleed-on-swap one. Currently I'm trying out the on-swap and enjoying it because of how much swapping I do. But I think once I get the higher version (60%?) and level up some more (so I can actually fill in the rest of my skirmishing trait points and start accruing some +precision gear) I'll probably go back to that. Bleed stacks are fun!
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Old September 4th, 2012, 01:53   #21
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Ranger is probably going to be one of my top 4 most play professions in this game. And so far I love the Sword main hand and either Axe or Dagger for the off hand. I love the mobility, condition stacking and just overall speed of this Ranger melee lay out. I just jump in, out, in, roll out, hit from range, several cripples or an AoE attack. You just load out so such damage from so many angles its just hard to keep up with a ranger that does this. If you enjoy Thief, I recommend this load out. Second weapon set is a long bow incase I get into an underleveled fight.

One thing I am disappointed on is the forced on pet play. I would actually prefer not to have a pet and get like a 5-10% bonus to my attributes and such if iI choose not to being one. But since finding some traits that allows for some effects to work on myself via signets and such, I guess I will be ok with it.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 22:44   #22
Jenosavel
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Since the failed attempt to fix the Red Moa/Fern Hound exploit, I've found that not being able to swap pets out of combat has made my pet damage much more unreliable. There are still a significant number of bugs with the pet and the best way to clear them and return your pet to functioning is through pet swap. Previously this meant that any time you were out of combat you could clear the bugs on your pet and be freshly ready for a new fight. This is no longer the case as there is now a significant cooldown on swap even outside of combat.

That said, I've been shifting more points out of beastmastery and into power recently, slowly migrating towards this: Jeno's shortbow DPSer. My character has become significantly more glass-cannon-y, but the DPS output is quite high.

Then today I see iQ has put out a DPS ranger build which is extremely similar, but perhaps fine tuned around the edges a bit better: iQ's DPS ranger. They also have a video explaining it, most of which applies to my build as well:
Yay ranger!
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Old September 19th, 2012, 02:41   #23
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Really useful info here guys!

My Ranger is 42ish. I've been playing Longbow primarily with Sword-Axe as my second. I love the Eagle Eye trait in Marksmanship, so much range! I use a cave spider (I named him Varys) mostly. With his Weakening Venom and my Hunter's Shot I can dispatch most mobs with a single Rapid Fire. I really like that the spiders have defensive stats and can attack from range. Barrage plus Whirling Defense give me adequate AoE if I pull too many.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 16:01   #24
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I have been playing a Ranger since release and I have a hard time playing my alts to level sometimes. I have a VERY glass cannon build, purely Power/Precision/Crit, for PVE. I use two very different setups tho. I have what I call an "Event" build that I am usually in. Then I also use my standard single target DPS build. Both focus on the longbow/greatsword uses.
I first want to thank Jeno for showing me the brilliance of piercing shot! That with Rapid fire, is major damage, and serious agro. I often times now have difficulty kiting through so many mobs (Spike trap FTW).

So I am using a 30/30/5/5 build. I have traits in traps and damage focus for my event build. I use 3 traps to spread damage with barrage, and rotate through them, and rapid fire. I always have one or two available during any event, and it allows me to tag EVERYTHING I can basically see. There has been some debate weather Viper's Nest does the job, but in my last few night's of testing, it appears that it does in fact count for me. So I just barrage, trap, rapid fire, loot. Rinse and repeat. This is ideal for events where you have a bunch of mobs, to damage. It can also cause MAJOR agro with the high power, even though I thought agro was a randomish issue relative to proximity and other nonsense. I use the Hounds for my Elite.

For my other build I swap for Signets and trait for it. I use rampage as one as my elite here. My Crit rate is about 54% currently and I use the traits that balance off of it, like the 30% more pet damage after crits (I think).

The last thing is choosing pets. Again you should use pets that allow you to focus on the type of damage you want to dish out. River drake for multiple targets, or Jaguar for the ambush crit attack on a single target. I usually keep a bear as my back up for events, because they stay alive a little longer than most pets, and allow my CD for pet swapping better.

I really love both builds, but they are truly squishy. I can't wait to get into some real gear either! Mostly Master/Rare/ with blues for me right now.......lazy!
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Old January 4th, 2013, 08:33   #25
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=9CwM4u24ERA

Video was posted to the YB WvW forums. I honestly have no idea whats going on or why it would be important. Halp?
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Old January 4th, 2013, 08:42   #26
Jenosavel
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Oooooh, Guard the skill not guard the pet stance. The utility skill Guard tells your pet to home in on the location and fight anything that goes there.

A note about F "skills" vs utility skills that affect the pet:

Using the typical F skills on something on the ground while you're on the wall will have your pet just stare at you stupidly and not do anything. It can't path to it so it ignores the command.

With utility skills, however, if the pet can't path there it assumes its own pathing AI is failing (ex: needing to jump like a player when the pets are incapable of jumping) and thus it teleports. This works whether or not its a place a player could get to.

I've used this "feature" before with Search and Rescue. Ano once died in a jp on a vertical cliff area that was completely unreachable by a player (without falling and dying yourself). My magical teleporting wolf res'ed him for me instead.

So in this video's case the pet can't path down the wall and out of the fort. Using F commands would have it stare at you dumbly. But with the increased priority of utility skills, Guard will force the pet to teleport to ground level. Once there the F commands work normally again.

This is good to know.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 23:08   #27
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O Yes, I remember that. I fed the wonderful wolf the next 3 kills I made. Good Boy!
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Old January 31st, 2013, 22:43   #28
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I've been playing mainly with a crit/precision focused shortbow + sword/horn build and thinking I wanted to go the other direction - mainly long bow and greatsword! Rather than play other's builds as they post them up on the web, I tried to craft one of my own:

Bob's GreatSword idea

I'm not completely sold on it yet, but was hoping some folks here might have some suggestions to improve it.

Thanks!
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Old May 12th, 2013, 19:28   #29
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Ranger is pretty good. Awwww yeah.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 03:42   #30
Ayano Mitsu
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Omg Nightsorrow you weren't kidding about this video My sides hurt from laughing so much...and this comment only made it worse:

Quote:
Summary: GW2 has an overpowered class called "Bear" who tears it up in Tyria, and he can summon a faithful pet called "Ranger" to share in his adventures.
Awwww yeah, pretty good
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