Alganon Ranger Analysis
Alganon Ranger Analysis by b94fy34t1na2mwd
Preface, Context, Caveats:
I’m not a mean person. However, I am very critical of work that people are paid to do. As such, I am extremely critical of MMO developers. I pay to be entertained by them, and expect the same quality of work that I myself would produce in the same situation. This includes, but is not limited to: internally consistent, contextually appropriate, mathematically provable, and a reasonable attempt at balance. I realize many of these goals are moving targets, but happily, humans are adaptable and very smart.
Understand that none of my sarcasm and harsh words are intended as personal insults to any one person. They are, however, meant to convey my impressions of how effective (or not) some of these actions and abilities are today. I won’t apologize for that, and I’m not going to sugar coat my impressions and opinions for the sake of a thin skinned reader. Some of you will likely feel the words are too harsh, and you would have phrased it differently. Fair enough, post your own impressions. I’d be happy to read them. The most important thing to remember while reading this: All of this content is my personal narrow selfish opinion. It’s full of class envy, biased arguments, and skewed perspective.
Today, in Alganon as with many other MMO’s, tangible progress can be seen primarily through combat. This is how characters grow in relative power, levels are achieved, and better equipment is obtained. What follows is an analysis of how effective a Ranger is in performing a role in combat. In the following posts, over the past two days, I have transcribed all the Ranger actions and abilities currently in game as of patch 188.8.131.524. Any or all of this information will be rendered out of date as soon as I press the submit button, and almost certainly some of it will change with the next patch.
For the past 11 years, the holy triumvirate of tank, dps, and healing has been the mainstay of grouping in MMO’s. True, there are variations, but as a triangle of dependency, it works reasonably well. The Ranger has three trees that allow them to perform, to greater or less degrees, each of these roles. Unfortunately, when compared numerically and practically with Healers, Magus, and Soldiers, this leaves the Ranger with a distinctly diluted role, regardless of equipment, player skill, or specialization choices. The suggestions and recommendations I make are an effort towards refining that role and providing a more desirable and less vague role for the Ranger.
I have first looked at the official description of the Class. It appears to be grossly out of date, but that’s what I had so that’s what I used. From there, I move on to the default actions granted by level, the actions provided through ability trees, and finally to the ability trees themselves. You’ll also note that within the scathing remarks, I make several suggestions, some different for the same actions/abilities. There was a lot of information to go through, and ideas appeared at random intervals. :)
Official Ranger Description (from http://www.alganon.com/classes, 20100118)
Rangers are masters of ranged combat and field control. They are blessed with a natural empathy that allows them to not only read, but to control the emotions of others around them. As children, these natural empaths are often overcome by the emotional energy of large crowds, and become runaways, seeking refuge in the far ranges of Alganon. Learning to survive in these harsh conditions provides these Rangers with a unique set of abilities and talents that make them powerful defenders of the Empire.
>>We are neither masters of ranged combat (we have 1 ranged attack worth using aside from Heart Toxin) nor the masters of field control. (mock is a death wish in a group and cover shot doesn’t do anything). Flavor text aside, we have no unique abilities. Almost everything we do someone else does better. That doesn’t mean unique, that means generic, diluted, and weak. The only thing we do better is debuff resistances, which Prey’s Mark does. So our current group “role” is using one action. Hoo-ray.
Many rangers control the battlefield by use of toxins they can apply to arrows and other weapons. These toxins allow them to perform a large variety of actions, ranging from slows, to damage over time, to debuffs, to crowd control. A ranger is limited on the number of toxins she can apply at one time, so a skilled Ranger plans her attacks in advance, choosing the right toxin for the right target.
>>We have exactly one Toxin. One Toxin is not plural. We have no slows (unless this means snare, in which case it’s “a slow”, not “many slows”). We have one damage over time (heart toxin). Debuffs, nope. Debuff (singular) yep, Prey’s Mark. Crowd Control? Nope, unless you mean using Mock to save the Healer only to die 5 seconds later, with Acrobatics on. Cover Shot, in it’s current form, doesn’t work in a group consuming group content.
Due to their natural empathy, Rangers are masters of non-verbal communication. Rangers can make subtle changes to their body language (presence), allowing them to enhance the abilities of their allies or to place their enemies at a disadvantage. While a Ranger can only maintain a single presence at a time, this advantage is often the difference between life and death.
>>This appears to be confusing Bonds with Presence’s. We offer no group buffs, so this should be “an ally” not “their allies”, unless you’re planning on changing all the Bonds to be group buffs instead of single target. Our Presences affect us only, not our group, so that’s just plain wrong. Also, currently, swapping out gear drops any Presence we have, in combat. We cannot cast Presences while in Combat, even if we don’t have one currently maintained. Also, to be even remotely effective (that is, less than half of a normal healer, or 25% that of a Soldier) in Lifeblood or Guardianship, we have to swap out all our gear, which would have to be done out of combat. See the problem yet? Presence’s also do not place their enemies at a disadvantage, as they’re simply stances for the Ranger alone, so not sure what that’s about.
Rangers have learned to utilize the flora of the wilds to create natural remedies that can heal themselves and their allies. They can apply salves to cleanse status effects, apply bandages to heal wounds, and utilize other natural remedies to heal wounded comrades.
>>Everyone can make and apply bandages to themselves, and Rangers can’t do this to others. We have no “other natural remedies” to heal wounded comrades, unless this is a vague reference to Healing Mist? Salve shot is pointless, there are no status effects to cleanse. And even if there were, swapping ammo in combat to remove a particular status effect would drop any maintained stance we had, reducing the effectiveness of the Ranger even further until combat was over.
The core of a Ranger lies in their ability to influence and control their opponents and allies. They can use abilities such as cover shot and misdirection to control who an enemy is most likely to attack. Their leg shot can reduce the movement speed of their opponents, allowing their allies to escape. A Ranger can even alter their own presence, using their body language and mannerisms to inspire their comrades-at-arms and increase the combat effectiveness of their party.
>>Cover Shot doesn’t work. Misdirection? No idea what that refers to, I think that’s a Magus ability. Controlling who an enemy is most likely to attack? Nope. Leg shot is not an AE, so it should be “an opponent”, not “their opponents”. Also, Sweep uses less focus than Leg Shot, so a Ranger is better off rooting the target and fleeing, if it was a dire situation. Presences are not group buffs, so it should be “an ally” not “their party”. This text does not appear to have been updated to include Bonds.
Survival in the wilds of Alganon is not easy, and many Rangers learn to survive in the wilds by taking on the defensive abilities of the beasts of the forest. A Guardianship Ranger specializes in improving their own defensive nature so as to increase their own survivability and defend their allies against enemy attack.
>>Defending allies against enemy attack? How? I don’t disagree with increasing their own survivability, it’s true, they can increase their health by 5%, reduce damage by 10%, and the presence adds more bonuses to that. But how are they defending their allies? By using Mock? It’s not even in the Guardianship tree.
The predators of the forests can provide inspiration for another method of survival – carnage. By specializing in predation, Rangers greatly increase their ability to damage their enemies, attempting to strike down their opponents quickly and efficiently.
>>Greatly increase? Sure, compared to not having Predation up, because your attack power is lower. Compared to any other class? Not so much. The utter lack of detail here is very telling. Predation offers the least variability (because 6 of the abilities deal with Power Shot, primarily) and adding only one additional action when the other trees offer a minimum of two? Lame.
The wilds of Alganon are not only a place of death, but also a bastion of life. A Ranger who specializes in Lifeblood is able to utilize these natural remedies to their extreme, and act as a healer to their friends. This provides the Ranger with a great deal of flexibility in determining which role they wish to undertake in a well-rounded party.
>>Errmmm no, in a well rounded party, there would be no point in having the Ranger be the healer, because you would have an actual real “Healer”. However, I will admit, Lifeblood is the most effective stance for a Ranger, from a party perspective. It’s just too bad this is the case.
### General Comments, Rants, and Suggestions from the Official Description ###
>>The current list of damage abilities worth using for the Ranger, while grouped, is: Heart Toxin, Power Shot, Torrent, Arrow Stab. That’s it. Prey’s Mark is also worth using, as a debuff.
>>If we are really supposed to be the masters of ranged combat, why is there only two abilities that are specifically ranged damage, and one requires 31 points in Predation, namely, Torrent. Arrow Stab is a melee ability, not ranged. Heart Toxin is a great ability, but doesn’t require range to use (nor should it). So without specializing into Predation for 31 points, we get… Power Shot? An ability that does 800 damage at level 50 with 1100 attack power, on a crit. Otherwise, barely over 500 damage once every 10 seconds. Get out your stopwatch, see how long 10 seconds is? See all the other classes in the game casting 6 abilities while the Ranger waits 10 seconds to cast their one? I’m exaggerating, but only slightly. Point Blank gets you yelled at for moving the mob unpredictably, ok, so can’t use that for damage, not that you would with a 43% focus cost. Leg shot does no damage (even with spec points it’s a pittance) and has no desirable ancillary effect to the snare. So, once every 15 seconds Heart Toxin. Once every 10, Power Shot. Two actions. Really? That makes us the masters of Ranged Combat, while grouped? Pressing two action keys every 15 seconds? How about a little more action on our part?
>>If you want to make us the masters of ranged combat, you need to reduce the refresh timer on Power Shot and detach it from the refresh timer of Mash. That’s a good starting point. From there, we need a second ranged ability added to the Predation tree, or the Predation buff from Master Predator needs to be a group Haste buff on proc. That would make us desirable in a secondary way for groups, in addition to Prey’s Mark.
>>If you want to make us the masters of field control (I presume this means crowd control) you need to make Cover Shot work. It needs to remove 10% total threat of the targets target, plus the Ranger’s Agility. Not just threat equal to the Ranger’s Agility, as it is now. Cover fire needs to add more total threat removal % to this, or reduce the refresh timer of Cover Shot.
>>Point Blank shot needs to root after the knockback by default, and Improved Point Blank shot needs to increase this root time significantly. Both the root of Point Blank shot and the root of Sweep need to break on damage after x seconds, where the specialization points increase either the root duration, the damage grace period, or both. So, for example, the Ranger would have the CHOICE of either Cover Shot’ing someone who pulled aggro in a group, or Point Blank’ing the target and telling everyone to leave it alone for xx seconds while it’s rooted.
>>To be clear, the root effect of point blank and the root effect of sweep should break on ANY damage after 1,2 or 3 seconds. Not just a chance to break, but 100% guaranteed. Additionally, all DoT’s on the target should be cleared by Point Blank shot so people aren’t afraid to DoT, and it can’t be used to “root-n-rot” as in certain other MMO’s. The break on damage after x seconds grace period is there to allow people time to switch targets after it’s been CC’d. If Point Blank had these features, it would be worth 33% focus cost, even if it did NO DAMAGE. For durations, I suggest a 10 second root to start, with additional seconds per spec point up to 25 seconds. Keep in mind, these roots break on ANY damage after the grace period has expired. Oh, and that damage should NOT include enemies, to prevent out of group/non-solo-rangers from breaking the roots.
>>If we’re not going to be able to perform the role of damage dealer, healer, or tank in any meaningful way compared to Magus, Healer, or Tank, at least give us Crowd Control/Debuff.
>>A suggestion for Leg Shot, if it had an additional ancillary effect of reducing all resistances OTHER than the currently equipped ammo damage, this would make a great group specific enhancement. The debuff effect would be cleared if the Ranger swapped ammo. (to prevent solo abuse) It would stack with Prey’s Mark, but only on one target. This would allow the Ranger to designate a focus fire target. A following icon above the target (similar to the Mock icon) would be ideal. Another implementation choice would be if the Ranger was using Cold, this debuff would additionally debuff Fire. If the Ranger was using Fire, it would addtionally debuff Cold. Pairs of damage types would be Fire/Cold, Storm/Wrath, and Physical/Essence.
Ranger Actions at 50
with Focus Pool: 1590 (106 ‘base’ intellect, no gear bonus)
### General ###
Ranged Attack – Does NOT show critical chance on tooltip, but it should
Attack – Shows critical chance on tooltip
Recall – cast:5s, recast: 45m
### Control ###
Prey’s Mark (cast:0s, recast: gcd, dur:2m, 17% focus cost) – Applies the Prey’s Mark to your target. Reduces the resistances of the target by 517.
Resuscitate (cast:10s , recast: gcd, dur:90s , 75% focus cost) – Resuscitate a dead friendly target with 5% of their maximum life.
Camouflage (cast:0s , recast: gcd , dur:~ , 0% focus cost) – Removes the ranger from sight as long as the ranger does not act aggresively.
Cover Shot (cast:0s , recast: 10s, dur:0s , 16% focus cost) – Fires a distracting shot at a foe, lowering the threat of the target’s target by your agility.
Mock (cast:0s , recast:10s , dur:3s , 10% focus cost) – Taunts an enemy target, drawing it’s attention to the Ranger.
>>Prey’s Mark appears to work, generally speaking, it would be nice to have some kind of visual effect on the target in addition to the debuff icon, so we can tell at a glance which creature has it on them. This ability has nothing to do with crowd control. It’s simply a debuff, and given Marked for Death is in the Predation tree, probably belongs there too.
>>Resuscitate is the worst rez in the game. If Magus are supposed to be better rez’ers than Rangers, everything is working as intended. If, however, Magus are supposed to be worse rez’ers than Rangers, something needs to change. Also, Resuscitate should be in the Lifeblood tree, not the control tree. It has nothing to do with crowd control. If this was an in-combat rez, you might be able to spin it as some kind of ‘control’ ability, but even that is a stretch.
>>Camouflage seems to be working fine, except that with 184.108.40.2064 the Ranger becomes invisible permanently to other players, even after the action is removed. Mobs, however, see the player just fine, so it’s not that big of a deal. This ability has nothing to do with crowd control, it seems a better suit for the Predation category or under General.
>>Cover Shot should be changed so that it removes a minimum of 10% of the targets total accumulated threat, plus the Rangers Agility worth of threat. The spec points could then be spent either on reducing the refresh timer or increasing the percentage, whichever would balance the action better. Cover Fire (the spec ability) merely increases the percentage of the Ranger’s agility, it has nothing to do with removing a percentage of total threat, currently. Cover Shot has great potential, but at the moment, it does not appear to do anything at all. The only time this ability would be useful is in a group, and after 10 seconds of group combat, ~250 threat means absolutely nothing compared to the dozens or hundreds of thousands of damage required to kill group targets. If the ability is ever going to be useful, it -requires- a total threat reduction of some percentage. If threat is accumulated over the entire duration of a fight, reducing it by 10% on someone has some value. Otherwise, delete the action and give us something else. This is currently the only ability a Ranger has that even comes close to “Crowd Control”.
>>Mock seems to work fine. It is a deathwish to use on a group mob, but sometimes it’s better to have the Ranger die rather than the healer. It’s odd that it has a duration, it would be nice to know why that’s there.
### Guardianship ###
Protector’s Presence (cast:0s , recast:gcd , dur:~ , 0% focus cost) – Increases your physical resistance by 350% of your agility and other resistances by 100% of your agility. Also increases endurance by 6% and threat generated by 30%. Some attacks refund half their cost while in Protector’s Presence.
Bond of Pack-Mates (cast:1.5s , recast:gcd , dur:30m , 25% focus cost) – Reduces damage taken by the ranger and one ally by 3%. If either player dies, the effect is cancelled.
Mash (cast:0s , recast:10s , dur:0s , 22% focus cost) – Instantly strikes with all equipped weapons dealing 120% damage.
Arrow Stab (cast:0s , recast:5s , dur:0s , 11% focus cost) – Instantly strikes current ammo, dealing 100% of it’s damage plus 49.
Sweep (cast:0s , recast:60s , dur:4s , 17% focus cost) – An unbalancing strike that roots the target for 4 seconds.
Acrobatics (cast:0s , recast:3m , dur:15s , 47% focus cost) – A defensive technique that allows the ranger to swiftly escape harm, freeing you from all current movement impairing effects. Also improves dodge by 25% for 15 seconds.
>>Protector’s Presence. Seems working as intended except for the threat generation. 30% more threat, straight up, is more powerful than (I believe) any action or ability a Soldier can do. It seems out of place that such overpowered threat generation is in place by default.
>>Bond of pack-mates. Currently useless in light of Bond of Den-mates and the ability to enhance bond of den mates to 11%. No sane ranger would ever use this ability. If this was turned into a group buff, it might compete with bond of den mates, but even that is generous, as it would be difficult to notice 3%.
>>Mash, not a bad ability, but the recast timer is shared with power shot, so makes it pointless if you open with power shot and then expect to use it to melee. Refresh timer should be separated from Power Shot. Also, text should read all equipped melee weapons, as the bow is not used in this attack, and is an equipped weapon. Or the bow should also be included in the attack and the tooltip can remain the same.
>>Arrow stab. A very very very low damage attack. Only redeeming quality of this action is it has a low refresh timer. Damage analysis will likely prove out it’s not worth the focus to cast, given the low damage value. Needs to be 200-300% ammo damage at minimum to make it worthwhile. Level 45+ Ammo does 25 damage. We’re talking about doing 75 damage at level 50 for 11% of the focus pool? Yeah, right. Actions should do MORE damage than auto attack, not less, especially considering the focus cost involved. You’re better off just letting auto attack cycle than waste the gcd time with Arrow Stab.
>>Sweep. Duration is too short to be used for anything except running away, which you would just use invigorate for. Tooltip text has been wrong since Beta, as it reads as a stun when it’s a root. If this ability were changed to 15-30 seconds with 100% break on damage after 3 seconds, it could be used for crowd control. As it is, a gimmick at best, even fully spec’d into it.
>>Acrobatics. Duration is too short. focus cost is too high. effect is hardly noticed. A few options here. Raise the dodge rate to 50%, or drop the focus cost to zero, or increase the duration to 30 seconds. As it is, pointless, only forestalls the inevitable for another 2 or 3 hits, not even long enough to cast two more actions. However, it does stack with Duck, so that should be considered in any adjustments. The best part is that you typically would -never- have the 47% focus to cast this, especially if you “needed” to in an emergency situation. At minimum, the focus cost needs to be more like 7% instead of 47%.
### Lifeblood ###
Lifeblood Presence (cast:0s , recast:gcd , dur:~ , 0% focus cost) – Increases your spell power by your agility.
Bond of Den-Mates (cast:1.5s , recast:gcd , dur:30m , 25% focus cost) – Increases the healing received by the ranger and one ally by 6%. If either player dies, the effect is canceled.
Invigorate (cast:0s , recast:6s , dur:15s , 27% focus cost) – Restores 100 health over 15 seconds. Increases movement speed by 25%.
Healing Mist (cast:3.5s , recast:2m , dur:20s , 57% focus cost) – Disperses a restorative ointment into the air, healing all friendly targets within 20 yards for 65 health every 2 seconds for 20 seconds.
Salve Shot (cast:0s , recast:gcd , dur:0s , 10% focus cost) – Cures a negative effect from an ally. Type of effect removed depends on ammo.
Triage (cast:3s , recast:gcd , dur:0s , 40% focus cost) – Restores 347 to 468 health points.
>>Presence works, unfortunately there is no “of Vigilance” gear beyond level 29 in the game that is medium. This means in order to be an effective Lifeblood Ranger, you have to wear light armor from level 29 onward. Obvious fix is to finish populating the loot tables with the full range of Medium gear, including “of Vigilance” (agi/soul)
>>Bond of Den mates , pretty much the only bond worth using, especially in a classic healer/tank/dps style group scenario.
>>Invigorate is only useful when fully spec’d into lifeblood and with modifications to gear. Given the Ranger’s inability to switch stances in combat, (not even once per fight) this action is relegated to the status of gimmick most of the time. Even trying to cast this on the run is dubious, as the ability will often not ‘stick’ when you cast it, especially if it has recently been cast. Furthermore, the long refresh timer prevents it from being used on more than 1 target at a time, so in a group setting, you can only focus on one target to heal. The countdown buff timer is also still bugged as of 220.127.116.114. Maxed out with the best gear I can get at level 50, this HoT heals for half of one of the Healer HoT’s. Kinda puts that whole “you can do more than one role” QOL hyperbole into perspective, doesn’t it?
>>Healing Mist. Great ability if you spec into Lifeblood, but pointless otherwise. Range is large enough that there’s no point in Field Medicine. Seems like QOL ran out of Lifeblood ideas and threw Field Medicine in there cause it sounded cool. Just like Sniper’s Draw and Sharp Words. In fact, they’re all useless and no sane Ranger would spend points on them.
>>Salve Shot. never used it. There are no negative effects to remove, why would I need to?
>>Triage: great if you’re fully spec’d into lifeblood with soul on every piece of gear, not worth casting otherwise, generally speaking, given the 40% focus cost. Even with soul in every equipment slot at level 50, it’s not possible to chain cast Triage continuously. In order to perform even half the role of an average healer, chain casting Triage is your only hope.
### Predation ###
Predator’s Presence (cast:0s , recast:gcd , dur:~ , 0% focus cost) – Increases your attack power by your agility and causes basic attacks to restore focus.
Bond of Hunt-Mates (cast:1.5 , recast:gcd , dur:30m , 25% focus cost) – Increases the critical strike chance of the ranger and one ally by 3%. If either player dies, the effect is canceled.
Heart Toxin (cast:0s , recast:gcd , dur:15s , 22% focus cost) – Injects a toxin into the target’s bloodstream, dealing 215 points of damage over 15 seconds. The type of damage dealt is dependent on the ammo you have equipped.
Power Shot (cast:0s , recast:10s , dur:0s , 22% focus cost) – Instantly strikes with ranged weapon dealing normal damage plus 116. Damage type is based on the ranger’s ammo.
Point Blank Shot (cast:0s , recast:30s , dur:0s , 43% focus cost) – A quick, powerful blast that knocks the target backwards by 10 yards. Also deals half ranged weapon damage plus 60. Effect type is determined by ammo.
Leg Shot (cast:0s , recast:20s , dur:10s , 19% focus cost) – Impairs the target’s movement, reducing it by 95%. The effect fades by 10% every second. Effect type is determined by ammo.
>>Predator’s Presence. Sounds good, but even with 1100 attack power, we’re still the lowest damage dealers in the entire game, even Healers do more. Pretty remarkable, actually, when you think about it. That level of imbalance is almost artistic in design.
>>Bond of Hunt mates. Ha. 3%. Right. Tell me another joke, QOL, I’m laughing already. Needs to be 5% and group wide to even consider casting this useless action instead of bond of den-mates.
>>Heart Toxin. The only ability consistently worth casting as a Ranger. Unfortunately, nerfed badly in 18.104.22.1684 with the removal of up-front damage (straight to the heart) and the addition of that damage to the tail end with the Heart Stopper ability. Unfortunately, the modification is bad in two ways. First it’s bad because with straight to the heart at least we had a sliver of ‘burst’ damage, so losing that hurts solo’ing Rangers quite badly. While grouping, though, this new mechanic punishes Rangers who actually maintain their DoT’s properly, as the tail end damage is never seen, as the DoT never expires. So, hooray for a double nerf? /shrug Heart Toxin damage is NOT affected by Prey’s Mark. Heart Toxin damage is NOT affected by increasing spellpower. The only way to increase the damage on Heart Toxin is to increase attack power. This fact becomes relevant later with some of the Lifeblood abilities.
>>Power Shot. So many abilities focus around this in the predation tree, it’s ridiculous. The primary problem with Power Shot? It’s on a 10 second refresh. It’s not like you can spam the thing, so all the junk with reducing cost, giving cost back, and all that, are just band-aids on the open wound of a 10 second refresh timer. At best, on a crit, you might see this ability break 800 damage. It’s potentially our highest single damage ability, but Torrent is better as it’s only on an 8 second refresh and can hit multiple targets. Worth putting into the shot rotation while grouped, but while solo’ing, you have to decide between this and Mash, and honestly, it’s a tough call as they share the same refresh timer. This ability should not share a refresh timer with Mash. Should be on a 5 – 8 second refresh, and sheesh, just drop the power cost, come up with some better Predator tree abilities.
>>Point Blank. yeah… 43% focus cost for basically nothing. At minimum, this ability should knockback AND root the target for 1 second. Improved Point blank should just increase the root time, no percentage chance. In it’s current form, not worth casting. The focus cost is too high for no value. Also, currently bugged as of 22.214.171.1244 and it does not inherit damage type from ammo. (always does Physical) This ability has the potential to be a crowd control ability if adjusted properly, but it will require a longer root time by default, a longer root time to spec into, and a huge focus cost reduction. (see Sweep comments above)
>>Leg Shot. A fair solo ability if you spec into it with Quill Leg, but Leg Maim is a joke. Even if 5/5 Leg Maim was part of Leg Shot by default, and you added ANOTHER 35%, it would still be a joke. While grouped, this ability in it’s current form has zero value. If the snare was say 80% for the entire duration, maybe worthwhile while grouped, but given Magus and Soldier snares are AE’s and permanent, why would you ever use Leg Shot? I used points in Quill Leg while leveling up, but dropped them when I hit 45 and was started doing group content. If this ability interrupted & silenced mobs for it’s duration, AS WELL, it might be useful for grouping. Otherwise, nope.
New Ranger Actions by Ability Tree:
### Guardianship ###
Rampage (cast:0s , recast:5s , dur:0s , 35% focus cost) – Strikes all targets within reach, dealing 77% normal physical weapon damage with all equipped weapons.
Duck (cast:0s , recast:15s , dur:10s , 16% focus cost) – Increases your dodge chance by 18% for 10 seconds. If you dodge during this time you will gain a Tactical Advantage which increases the critical strike chance of your next Mash, Arrow Stab, or Rampage attack by 30%.
Weapon Shield (cast:0s , recast:3m , dur:10s , 15% focus cost) – You parry all attacks that can be parried for 10 seconds. If you parry a melee attack you retaliate with a free Mash
>>Rampage is the worst AE in the game, even with 2 points in the “upgrade”. Sorry, take this one back to the drawing board and try again. Only reason to have this is to get a second ability (in addition to arrow stab) on a 5 second cooldown. Unfortunately, the reality is that both Soldiers and Magus have massive AE’s that only have the gcd to deal with, so it makes you wonder why Rampage is even in the game at all. Additionally, even if the damage were doubled, it would still be half the damage of the next best AE, and the focus cost is ridiculous. There is no build of gear that permits chain casting of Rampage, at level 50. Doubling the damage and adding an additional resist debuff, and/or attack speed debuff, and/or group haste component would be a fair start in improving this ability. Or two additional effects and leave the damage as is, but they would have to be pretty spectacular effects.
>>Duck appears to be great, but there are no stats enumerated on the ability tooltip, so I’m not sure it’s working as intended. Until that’s fixed, no point in speculating. Stacks with Acrobatics, although for 10 seconds, it makes no appreciable difference.
>>Weapon shield is also great, but the recast timer is a bit long. Remarkably, Riposte for the Soldiers is essentially the same thing, but can be cast every 15 seconds, so it’s a mystery why this is on such a long recast timer.
### Lifeblood ###
Life Shot (cast:0s , recast:6s , dur:0s , 25% focus cost) – Fires an arrow of pure natural energy into the target, healing them for your ranged weapon’s damage. Improved by spellpower.
Restore (cast:0s , recast:3m , dur:0s , 13% focus cost) – Heals your target for your total maximum health.
>>Life shot. Shooting arrows at people to heal them is a bit of a stretch, but ok. 6 second recast, 25% focus cost, and heals for (at best) 425. Absolutely under no circumstances worth using. The typical tank has well over 4000 hit points. How is restoring 10% of a Soldier’s hit points while wasting 1.5 seconds when you could heal for 2000+ with a Triage in 2.5 seconds in any way useful? It’s not. The only way this ability would be made worthwhile is if it was changed to an AE heal (say, the three closest group members or a 2 meter radius) and doubled in effect.
>>Restore: Recast timer too long to even bother testing. Gimmick at best in it’s current form. This would have to be changed to a group heal to even compete for a place on my hotbar. Or some kind of no-cooldown toggle that allows the Ranger to harm himself over time to heal the group over time. Dunno, just completely uninspiring, lackluster, and unimaginative the way it is now.
### Predation ###
Torrent (cast:0s , recast:8s , dur:0s , 27% focus cost) – Unleashes a barrage of shots, dealing normal bow damage and five times your ammo damage. These shots will be split between the primary target and up to four additional targets around it, reducing the bonus damage from ammo for each additional target struck.
Predation (Master Predator proc)
>>Torrent is a fair ability currently, however, it should hit 5 targets once each, or 1 target 5 times, but it should not simply ignore the other 5 shots because there are fewer than 5 targets. It’s called “Torrent” not “A single arrow”.
>>Predation does not appear to do anything in it’s current form. There is no haste value changed, and there is no apparent increase in attack damage, even from intense observation. A ticket I opened regarding this issue was closed with the comments that “Ranged Haste” is not displayed. Ok, then change it so “Ranged Haste” is displayed under Haste, or change the ability so it simply grants Haste and not just Ranged haste. Unfortunately as it stands, there is no way to verify in any way this ability is doing anything it claims. As such, 100% broken and not working. Personally I think it should just grant Haste, as that’s the easier fix and there’s absolutely no harm in doing so, as the haste value is only 15% (at best) for 12 seconds.
### Guardianship ###
Blood Hound, Increases the accuracy of Mash, Arrow Stab and Rampage by 1% (0/5)
Improved Parry, Improves your chance to parry by 1%. (0/5)
Improved Dual Wield, Improves the damage dealt while dual wielding by 1% (0/5)
>>I’m dubious regarding the whole accuracy stat in general, as accuracy is determined by weapon skill, so.. once your weapon skill is maxxed and you’re never missing, why would you need this to be more accurate? Putting points in this ability is a waste of time until we have a client side logfile to determine if it’s working.
>>improved parry should be good for solo’ing.
>>improved dual wield; it’s important to note that the offhand weapon is automatically reduce to 50% damage. If the offhand weapon should hit for 100 damage, it will never hit for more than 50. Adding 5 points into Improved Dual Wield increases the offhand damage by 5 percent. So, if it has 100 base damage, it will hit for 55. And that of course is before mitigation. So, not a particularly good expenditure of points, but the other two choices are fairly “meh”.
Guardian’s Favor, Increases your Endurance by 1% (0/5)
Aggression, Increases your attack power by 2% (0/5)
Power Sweeper, Increases the duration of Sweep by 1 second (0/5)
>>guardian’s favor; seems pointless to have a ranger tank when a Magus does it better (more physical mitigation), holds aggro better (ae taunt) and kills faster (so many gcd AE’s). I s’pose if you wanted a few more hit points… this is where you would spend your points.
>>aggression is a good ability, no complaints.
>>power sweeper needs to be adjusted as per comments above. This ability will be forever mediocre if left unchanged.
Wild Guardian, Reduces the damage taken while in Protector’s Presence by 2% (0/5)
Rampage, A vicious attack that strikes all targets within range. (0/1)
Self Sustainability, Your Invigorate action heals you for 20% additional when cast on yourself. (0/5)
Quill Leg, Reduces the cooldown of Leg Shot by 2 seconds. (0/5)
>>wild guardian; yeah, again a ranger tanking makes no sense as they can’t hold aggro on more than a single target, but if 10% less damage is going to make or break it, throw those points on the pile.
>>rampage comments above.
>>self sustainability; Unless in lifeblood, invigorate heals me for 24 health per tick. So I can increase that to 48 health per tick? Woo, that’s very useful when some solo mobs hit for over 125, at level 50, and all elites hit for over 300. Not. Would never waste the points. And to those two people in the game that think increasing spellpower to increase healing at the expense of damage and attack power is a good idea: You’re mistaken. All you’re doing is lowering your kill rate over time.
>>quill leg comments above. Quill leg has been used by the developers to justify the current “ranger balance” by stating that rangers can kite any target in the game indefinitely. My counter claim is that the casting time and decreasing nature of the snare for the last 5 seconds of it’s effect make this claim false. If Leg Shot were modified so that it reduced 5% snare per second instead of 10% per second, I would agree it might be possible. However, during the last 5 seconds, the monster is definitely catching up to the ranger, and chain casting between leg shot and invigorate means there is no leftover focus or time for actually harming the target in any reasonable way. Add ’em up. Leg shot + invigorate is 46% of the focus pool consumed. That means you can do this twice, so after 20 seconds you’re out of focus and the mob is constantly hitting you. How are you going to regen 46% of your focus pool every 10 seconds while in combat AND the constant damage of the mob hitting you every 5 seconds AND try to pew-pew down a target with 60k hit points 200 points at a time? If you were -perfect-, never missed a shot, didn’t get an add, no lag spikes, nothing, it would take 15 minutes at 200dmg every 3 seconds. You show me a fraps of a ranger kiting an elite target with 60k hit points and I’ll admit I’m wrong. Until then, Quill Leg is handy for increasing kill rate while solo’ing, but has no value, kiting or otherwise.
Wild Rampage, Increases the damage done by Rampage by 5%. (0/2)
Ravenous, Your Mash and Arrow Stab actions deal 11% more damage to targets below 35% of their total health. (0/3)
Sharp Words, Your Mock gains 1% accuracy. (0/5)
>>wild rampage really doesn’t matter. The level 31 soldier pbAE does double the damage of maxxed out rampage at level 50. Even with the best weapons I can get (purple level 50’s) the best Rampage does is ~175 dmg. Truly a pittance.
>>Ravenous might be good if it wasn’t so high on the tree (like, tier2 instead of teir4) and it was on targets below half health. Otherwise, waste of points.
>>why would you need this? Mock never misses. And if you “fix” Mock so it can miss, no-one will use it and this ability will be even more useless. Remove this ability and add something good/worthwhile.
Energizing Invigorate, Improves the movement increase of Invigorate by 5% (0/5)
Duck, Increases your dodge chance by 18% for 10 seconds. If you dodge during this time you will gain a Tactical Advantage which increases the critical strike chance of your next Mash, Arrow Stab, or Rampage attack by 30%. (0/1)
Rolling with the Punches, You now take 3% less damage while using Acrobatics. (0/5)
>>if this was a groupwide buff that lasted for 30 minutes, it would be worth the points, otherwise, pointless. Rangers cannot hold aggro while kiting in a group, so that’s out. You move faster on your mount, so for travel that’s out. While solo’ing this is so far up the guardian tree you would lose out on any Ranged damage that you might get from Predation. What I mean by this is presuming this is here so you can kite more effectively, it costs you HALF your total points just to get this maxxed out, never mind anything else along the way, so you’re down to half of what you can spend in Predation to actually try and do ranged damage while kiting. Illogical either way.
>>duck comments above. seems unfinished/unbalanced.
>>rolling with the punches. heh. I’m going to spend 5 points on something I can use for 10 seconds every 3 minutes, whose effect is so miniscule you can’t tell the difference? Not likely. And seriously, 15% less damage? So that 300 hit from an elite is now 255 damage? Hold me back! If Acrobatics is truly the “oh sh**!” button, make it GOOD. More Acrobatics comments above.
Stick and Move, Arrow Stab now grants Stick and Move, which increases your dodge chance by 1% for 6 seconds. (0/5)
Quickdraw, Increases the damage dealt from Arrow Stab by 8%. (0/5)
Hunting High, Your Mash causes you to regenerate 1% of your base Focus over 5 seconds. (0/5)
>>Stick and Move; 5% dodge for 6 seconds for five points? nope.
>>Quickdraw; great, but too high on the tree.
>>Hunting High;possibly useful, but I doubt it even recovers the cost of using Mash. Nope, it doesn’t. Mash is 22%, so this recovers 5% over 5 seconds, effectively reducing Mash’s cost to 17%. /yawn
Weapon Shield, You parry all attacks that can be parried for 10 seconds. If you parry a melee attack you retaliate with a free Mash. (0/1)
>> Weapon Shield comments above.
### Lifeblood ###
Discount Salve, Reduces the cost of Salve Shot by 3% (0/5)
Anasthetic Treatment, Your Triage heals for an additional 2% (0/5)
Surgical Skill, Reduces the cast time of Triage by 0.1 seconds (0/5)
>>discount salve has no point until salve shot has a point, which it doesn’t, as there are no effects to remove.
Medical Efficiency, Reduces the cost of your Lifeblood actions by 2% (0/5)
Improved Point Blank Shot, Point Blank Shot now has a 2% chance to root the target for 6 seconds. (0/5)
Natural Bounty, Improves the bonus of Lifeblood Presence by 6% (0/5)
>>improved pbs should be changed as mentioned above.
Empowered Invigorate, your Invigorates gain an additional 7% benefit from your spell power. (0/5)
Combat Medic, Your Triage critical strikes reduce the focus cost of your next Heart Toxin by 20% (0/5)
Caregiver’s Bond, You and your bonded ally receive an additional 1% health when healed.(0/5)
>>combat medic; Chain casting either triage or heart toxin would simply result in being out of focus, and there’s no way crits are going to make it worthwhile. I suppose you could change it so casting triage would reduce the focus on the next heart toxin, possibly, but the ability slot could probably be used for something more creative.
Heart of a Healer, You gain an additional 10% of your Soul as spell power. (0/3)
Master of Mixtures, Reduces the cooldown of Healing Mist by 15 seconds (0/2)
Miracle Mist, Your Healing Mist gains an additional 5% benefit from your spell power (0/5)
>>heart of a healer is broken as there is no MED agi/soul gear in the game beyond level 29. no other class is forced to wear lower protection armor to perform a secondary role.
Healing Wind, The amount healed by your Triage and Healing Mist actions is increased by 5% (0/3)
Life Shot, Fires an arrow of pure natural energy into your target, healing moderate wounds instantly (0/1)
Blood of Life, When your Heart Toxin deals damage, it restores 2% of the damage dealt to your focus (0/5)
>>comments above for life shot
>>blood of life does not provide enough focus. If it was doubled, it would still be dubious. The primary reason is that while in lifeblood, heart toxin hits for almost nothing, as the only way to improve heart toxins damage is to increase attack power, and you give up all your attack power bonus to be in Lifeblood. I’ve tried this ability with it running on 5 targets, and the focus regen is barely noticeable. Lifeblood rangers are better off stacking soul and skipping blood of life. Gimmick right now.
Field Medicine, Increases the range of Healing Mist by 1 yard. (0/5)
Lick Wounds, Your Triage heals an additional 4% health on targets below 50% of their maximum health. (0/5)
>> field medicine is a complete waste. Unfortunately, the range of healing mist is just fine by default, and reducing it to make this ability worth using would make healing mist even more useless given it’s long recast timer.
>> Lick wounds is also a waste. Triage heals for ~2000 at best with 630 spellpower. Ok, if anyone is ever in a position where this might make a difference, you’re talking about adding at most 400 more health to the heal. The long casting time of Triage means that for this to matter, the player would have to actually survive long enough that the heal would hit them between 1% and 49% health. If the tank has 4000 hit points, that means they would have to be taking more than 1000 damage per second for Lick Wounds to be worthwhile. This means in the time it would take to cast one Triage (2.5s, with spec points), they would be below half health, and these points would help push them back up to full. Otherwise, the player being healed is going to die so quickly that you can’t save them, or it wouldn’t matter if you had the extra heal because they’re not going to be taking enough damage. Put simply, the window of opportunity where points in this ability would matter is so narrow it’s entirely not worth it.
Restore, A powerful heal that restores your target for an amount equal to your maximum health (0/1)
>> comments above
### Predation ###
Prowler’s Guise, Reduces threat generated while in Predator and Lifeblood Presences by 5%. (0/5)
Power Drawing, Reduces the focus cost of Power Shot by 1% (0/5)
Marked for Death, The resistance reduction of your Prey’s Mark is increased by 6% (0/5)
>>prowler’s Guise: Won’t be needed, ever, while all other classes do more damage. If this design is working as intended, might as well take away this ability slot and put in something more creative & interesting.
>>power drawing: the first of six modifications to power shot, and generally pointless in light of Reload.
>>marked for death: might be working, but very difficult to tell for sure as the tooltip (on the hotbar) and the debuff icon (on the mob) does not reflect any numeric upgrades as it should.
Leg Maim, Your Leg Shot now causes 7% of your normal ranged weapon damage when used (0/5)
Reflex Training, Increases your Agility by 3% (0/5)
Heart Stopper, Increases the damage done by Heart Toxin by 5% and causes it to deal 5% of the total damage dealt as additional damage when it expires. (0/5)
>>leg maim even at 35%, the damage is a pittance and not worth it. points better spent elsewhere, more comments above.
>>reflex training is a good ability, after it was buffed in 126.96.36.1994.
Improved Power Shot, Increases the critical strike damage of Power Shot by 6% (0/5)
Blood Bond, Any time you critically strike with Power Shot you and your bonded ally gain a 1% damage boost for 20 seconds (0/5)
Reload, Increases the damage of Power shot by 8% and using Power Shot restores 8% of your maximum focus instantly. (0/1)
>>improved power shot seems a waste of points until we know what our ranged crit rating is. The tooltip over Ranged Attack doesn’t show out crit percentage, but it does for melee auto attack. Are they the same? Why then does it show over one and not the other? Something needs to change there before I would waste the points.
>>blood bond is a waste of points. 20 seconds is too short and/or 5% is too little. If the duration is going to remain at 20 seconds, the damage increase needs to be greater, at minimum 10%, to even be noticed. 100dmg vs 105dmg, for five points? It’s doubtful you could even parse the effect in action. Also, given it’s based on Power Shot, you’re talking about a -chance- to proc every 10 seconds. As mentioned above, without knowing our ranged crit rate, there’s no informed decision going on here.
>>reload is a good ability. I hate the whole mechanic of “consume & give” regarding focus, but 8% more damage is worth 1 point.
Ammo Mastery, All of your attacks that use ammo gain a 10% increase to damage from that ammo. (0/5)
Master Predator, While Predator’s Presence is active your Power Shot gives you a chance to get the Predation buff, increasing your ranged attack speed by 3% for 12 seconds. (0/5)
Heart of the Predator, Increases the attack power bonus of Predator’s Presence by 4% (0/5)
>>ammo mastery is a fair ability, only if the points aren’t better spent elsewhere. We’re talking about adding ~12 more damage to each ammo based shot, before mitigation, at level 50, with the best ammo you can get. 12 more damage per shot for 5 points… it’s a tough call.
>>Predation doesn’t work, as mentioned in the comments above.
Precision Point Blank, Reduces the penalty of Point Blank Shot when used at range by 20% (0/5)
Marking Flare, Prey’s Mark now reduces the dodge, parry, and block of affected targets by 1% (0/5)
High Power Shot, Increases the base damage of Power Shot by 8% (0/5)
>>The focus cost of point blank makes this ability useless. Why improve something you’ll never use?
>>marking flare another pointless ability. If this were 5% it would be worth it, any less is a waste of a point.
>>high power shot is a good ability, no complaints.
Cover Fire, Your Cover Shot removes an additional 10% threat. (0/2)
Sniper’s Draw, Increase your ranged attack range by 1 yard (0/3)
Critical Aim, Increases your critical strike chance by 1% and the critical damage bonus of all your attacks by 2% (0/5)
>>cover fire is useless until we can verify cover shot is working, or cover shot starts working or cover shot is changed so it actually works.
>>sniper’s draw is a waste of points, as there is no value in increasing range at this time in the game.
>>critical aim appears to be good, but without knowing what our ranged crit rate is, a bit dubious to spend points in this. Gotta fix that Ranged Attack tooltip to be like the Attack tooltip, QOL.
Torrent, Unleashes a barrage of arrows, dealing normal damage plus five times your ammo damage. This attack can strike up to four additional targets beyond the first, but each additional target reduces the bonus damage granted from ammo. (0/1)
>>I’ll expand on the comments above. If there is 1 target, torrent should hit it 5 times. If there are 2 targets, torrent should hit the first target 3 times and the second target twice. If there are 3 targets, torrent should hit the first two twice and the third one once. If there are 4 targets, torrent should hit the first one twice and the other 3 once each. If there are 5 targets, torrent should hit each target once. Clear enough? Great, now go fix it!