Jump to content

Animal Companion Mechanics and the Appeal of the Ranger Class


Recommended Posts

I searched these forums for topics on the animal companions, but couldn’t find anything dedicated to animal companion mechanics. Hence this topic. 


 


When I first played the BG series, I rolled an elven ranger who I stuck with throughout both games and the expansions. I really like the idea of a marksman tracker and therefore I’m toying with the idea of playing an elven ranger again. However, I feel that the ranger class is not quite as appealing as some of the other classes (e.g. the cypher or monk) based on the details that have been revealed so far. Where the cypher and monk have a lot of abilities and mechanics to fuss over, namely the concepts of focus and wounds that power special abilities, the ranger’s key distinction seems to be bonuses/abilities in ranged weapons and the animal companion which seem a little bland at first sight. What I mean to say is that, for example, cyphers, monks and wizards have plenty of abilities and “resources” that need to be managed and therefore allow the player to be more involved with the actions of the character. We don’t know much about the ranger class yet, but based on the information at hand, the class doesn’t seem to require as much attention from the player or provide as much strategic depth, except for the management of  shared health/stamina pools between the ranger and animal companion.


 


This is what Josh had to say about rangers:



"Rangers have the second highest single-target damage output capability (behind rogues) but have the advantage of range. While many rogue abilities allow the use of ranged attacks, the rogue needs to be relatively close to the target to use them. Rangers do not have this restriction. Rangers also all have animal companions. They are an integral part of the class and animal companions gain additional abilities as the ranger advances. Because rangers and their animal companions are soul-bonded, they share a common pool of Stamina and Health. Mechanically, this means that rangers cannot use their animal companion as a "meat shield", but they can gain good synergistic benefits from working together.”


 


As the animal companion is such a distinctive part of playing a ranger, it’d be interesting to hear the opinions of others on what you expect the animal companion to play like and what kinds of companion mechanics would you like to see implemented in order for the ranger class to be as unique and appealing as some of the other classes? Also, what kinds of animal companions would you like to see (e.g. large melee type animals, stealthy scouts, magical creatures)? 


 


 


TLDR: What kinds of animal companions and animal companion mechanics would you like to see in P:E?


Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually with time animal companions become irrelevant or too vulnerable to use, at least the kind I would imagine that would follow a ranger. So I am also intrigued to learn what they came up with(synergistic benefits from working together)

As for my preferred fearsome battle beast, what about this one.
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

However, I feel that the ranger class is not quite as appealing as some of the other classes

 

 

Yet you liked playing ranger in BG where they had even less abilities?

 

Well, in my defense, I was about half as old then as I am now, and stuff like mechanics didn't really appeal to me back then as much as the thought of playing an elven ranger. But more importantly, what kinds of abilities and animal companions would you like to see in P:E?

 

Usually with time animal companions become irrelevant or too vulnerable to use, at least the kind I would imagine that would follow a ranger. So I am also intrigued to learn what they came up with(synergistic benefits from working together)

 

As for my preferred fearsome battle beast, what about this one.

 

Go for the eyes, Boo, go for the eyes!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like different animal companions/familiars to have different ability/skill trees.

 

For instance a dog or wolf could maybe smell invisible or cloaked enemies, and could track npc's (seeing a trail where tagged NPC's walked, which disperses after a time, time based on tracking ability

Monkeys could have acrobatics and some mechanics use, meaning they could climb (preset climable objects) walls and pick pockets or locks. (due to their increased intelligence and hands which can manipulate objects.

(small) cats, ferrets, rodents, snakes(poison damage!) could fit through small spaces (preset interactive objects in the game) and could scout manoeuvre that way. They'd also have a stealth ability/bonus, allowing them to transfer touch spells and attacks as surprise attacks.

Birds of any kind could fly over anything while outside, to scout, and are difficult to hit (bonus to reflex) plus can quickly flee the battlefield (use of an ability) by flying high.

Bears get a big bonus to attacks and can knock enemies down.

Big Cats get a decent bonus to attacks, can stealth in the wilderness and get a chance to score a sneak attack. (pounce ability)

Horses and Mules could carry you, giving your ranger speed and attack bonuses (though I don't expect to see mounts)

Bats give you darkvision and are difficult to hit, but nearly useless in combat

Pet-animals (cats, dogs, some rodents, some birds) are welcome where other animals are not and may provide conversation options and disposition bonuses. (for the social ranger)

 

I don't know what wild monster mobs there are, but it'd be nice if (since there are part of the natural world of P:E) they could also be soulbonded

These could have different abilities, such as thick skin (immunity to some types of traps, damage reduction) (elephants?)

 

I also imagine each companion/familiar to boost the senses of the ranger/wizard.

Edited by JFSOCC
  • Like 7

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea of different animal companions having vastly different advantages and foci. Could be a good way to make the class feel varied and versatile.

 

I wonder if each ranger will have a whole menagerie of companions to swap between, or if you stick with one throughout the game? Maybe there could be Talents that let you choose if you want to focus on improving ranged attacks or focus on keeping multiple animal companions at the same time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

JFSOCC: I already like rangers a lot. It's often my starting PC class, and the way you present them here, with all the animal companion options, makes me want to play one so bad! :wowey:

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

@JFSOCC, that sound interesting, but very familiar to the way NWN familiars worked. If rangers and their animal companions share a common pool of Stamina and Health. It would mean that companions are the ranger Achilles' heel. Why target the ranger when you have such a soft target instead? If so I hope they have some "lay low" AI for them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually with time animal companions become irrelevant or too vulnerable to use, at least the kind I would imagine that would follow a ranger. So I am also intrigued to learn what they came up with(synergistic benefits from working together)

 

True of many games, but in P:E, I think they're more part of the class, itself, and less your +1 on your RSVP. 8P

 

 

Go for the eyes, Boo, go for the eyes!

"Go for the optics, Chiktikka! Go for the optics!"

 

:)

 

Rangers have the second highest DPS? Wow. Must be some wicked powerful bows in the game.

I think it's the Rangers, themselves, that generate the DPS, whether or not they happen to be using a given bow. A Navy SEAL has much higher DPS with a butter knife than I do with a military-grade combat knife.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it's the Rangers, themselves, that generate the DPS, whether or not they happen to be using a given bow. A Navy SEAL has much higher DPS with a butter knife than I do with a military-grade combat knife.

 

By that logic the warriors should be unparalleled in a melee.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I understood what Josh wrote as, basically:

  • Rogues can backstab -> Their damage output capability (i.e. max damage in one hit?) is the highest
  • Rangers have 2nd highest damage output capability -> They also have an ability to cause severe damage in one hit (along the lines of an assured critical hit with a bow or something similar) 

DPS refers to damage per second, right? Maybe DPS isn't the perfect analogy for what Josh meant. Mr. Sawyer, please enlighten us? :) (I am hoping that posting his name summons him like Adam Brennecke.) I would assume that fighters, barbarians and paladins deal a more steady rate of damage over time compared to rogues and rangers.

 

JFSOCC, that's a great list of great ideas! I too really like the idea of different companions providing unique bonuses and abilities. Due to the development budget and time constraints, we won't likely see that many choices, though. It'd be great if we had a couple of companions to choose from all of which are really well-designed and implemented, i.e. quality and depth over quantity. Personally, I'd like to have a crow or a raven that could be used as a scout and who would give perception and accuracy based bonuses. Also, animals capable of tracking would also complement a ranger's capabilities.

 

 


Go for the eyes, Boo, go for the eyes!


"Go for the optics, Chiktikka! Go for the optics!"

:)
 

Tali was one of my favorite NPCs in the Mass Effect series. :)

Edited by Boox
Link to post
Share on other sites

I understood what Josh wrote as, basically:

  • Rogues can backstab -> Their damage output capability (i.e. max damage in one hit?) is the highest
  • Rangers have 2nd highest damage output capability -> They also have an ability to cause severe damage in one hit (along the lines of an assured critical hit with a bow or something similar) 

DPS refers to damage per second, right? Maybe DPS isn't the perfect analogy for what Josh meant. Mr. Sawyer, please enlighten us? :) (I am hoping that posting his name summons him like Adam Brennecke.) I would assume that fighters, barbarians and paladins deal a more steady rate of damage over time compared to rogues and rangers.

 

That is what I thought at first, but no, fighters=tank (crowd control), paladins (aura), as for barbarians I forgot what their role is.

 

edit: yeah barbarians are for dealing with trash mobs.

Edited by Sarex
Link to post
Share on other sites

I understood what Josh wrote as, basically:

  • Rogues can backstab -> Their damage output capability (i.e. max damage in one hit?) is the highest
  • Rangers have 2nd highest damage output capability -> They also have an ability to cause severe damage in one hit (along the lines of an assured critical hit with a bow or something similar) 

DPS refers to damage per second, right? Maybe DPS isn't the perfect analogy for what Josh meant. Mr. Sawyer, please enlighten us? :) (I am hoping that posting his name summons him like Adam Brennecke.) I would assume that fighters, barbarians and paladins deal a more steady rate of damage over time compared to rogues and rangers.

 

 

 

I think that they mean that rogues and rangers can do great amount of damage in short period of time, but that don't mean that they can constantly do that damage.

 

So rogues backstab and rangers similar abilities give them ability deal lethal amount damage against most enemies in one attack burst, but attacks after that will do much less amount of damage. 

 

Fighters, paladins and barbarians don't have similar high damage abilities, but their base damage level is probably higher in most cases.

 

So when rogue uses his/her backstab ability s/he will have highest dps in party for that hit, but that don't mean that s/he can do that level damage constantly, like in D&D. Of course with right tactics you probably can use rogues abilities so that s/he deals only backstap hits to enemies. Like for example you build you fighter to be specialist to tie enemies in close combat so that your rogue has much easier time to backstab them or something similar.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I whoud like to have cougar ... or panther .. and i mean big cat not women "cougar" :)

 

They just look awsome

 

 

Black-Panther-HD-Wallpapers-9.jpg

 

 

 

Imagine what type of mechanics it coud be input to a panther. Yeah wolf and bear whoud propably act as typical warriors becouse they atact directly, panthers and in general wild cats perefer more "sneak" silent killing .. yeah i like that idea allready .. :)

Edited by Ulquiorra
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that they mean that rogues and rangers can do great amount of damage in short period of time, but that don't mean that they can constantly do that damage.

This^

 

See, the thing about DPS comparisons is that they tend to be RAW data, devoid of all the factors that exist in an actual combat encounter, in actual gameplay.

 

Think of it as taking all the classes out to a target dummy that measures sheer offensive damage output. That's going to tell you how much damage you can dish out with your given tools, but you're not measuring how effectively you can put out that damage.

 

Basically, a Rogue (for example) will do more straight damage, in general, than a Fighter, but more of the Rogue's time will be spent avoiding direct, face-to-face conflict with one or more enemy combatants. Meanwhile, the Fighter, doing less straight damage by the second, will spent much more of his time standing toe-to-toe (to toe to toe... to toe... :) ) with one or more (most likely more) combatants, dishing it out to them (while defending others and sort of getting all up in people's grills).

 

So, not that that is going to cancel out perfectly, and both the Rogue and the Fighter are going to end up with the same effective DPS. BUT, you can't just look at numbers and say "so, wait, the Rogue can dish out 50DPS, but the Fighter can only dish out 20? So, every single second of combat, my Rogue's going to have dealt 30 more damage than my Fighter will have dealt!", because that's not how it works, and that's not what raw DPS comparisons are for (unless you're playing an MMO... a-burrrrrnnnn! No no, I'm joking, :) ).

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget that "Rangers have the second highest single-target damage output capability".

 

That is what I thought at first, but no, fighters=tank (crowd control), paladins (aura), as for barbarians I forgot what their role is.

 

edit: yeah barbarians are for dealing with trash mobs.

Barbarians has an interesting ability that allows him to crash through your defenses. So he is perfect to prod at your low defense support unit you might place at the back.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Animal companions. I assume, given the shared HP pool and stuff, the companion is constant?

You have what you take in the beginning and that's what you'll have for the duration of the game?

But anyway and either way. You have that wicked cool bagheera following you around.

 

Are everybody in any given town completely ok with your panther/tiger/direwolf running about?

Nobody gives a damn, business as usual?

 

Or would there be advantages to picking, say..  a large dog instead of a wild predator?

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

What I mean to say is that, for example, cyphers, monks and wizards have plenty of abilities and “resources” that need to be managed and therefore allow the player to be more involved with the actions of the character.

 

 

As someone who played his ranger through the whole BG saga, you shouldn't be surprised about that kind of stuff :) though, as you said, we can't say much about PE and, from what we know, all classes seems to profit way more usability than their equivalent in ad&d.

Qu'avez-vous fait de l'honneur de la patrie ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Animal companions. I assume, given the shared HP pool and stuff, the companion is constant?

You have what you take in the beginning and that's what you'll have for the duration of the game?

But anyway and either way. You have that wicked cool bagheera following you around.

 

Are everybody in any given town completely ok with your panther/tiger/direwolf running about?

Nobody gives a damn, business as usual?

 

Or would there be advantages to picking, say..  a large dog instead of a wild predator?

Josh mentioned that rangers and animal companions are "soul-bonded", so I think your assumption is correct. I really like your idea of the animal companions affecting people's attitudes and thereby dialogue, etc. which would make the choice of companion more meaningful. Wouldn't it be cool, if certain quests would become available based on what companion you choose (and expanding on that thought and generally speaking, class choice)? For example, if you chose Ulquoirra's panther, a band of poachers might capture it while you are resting. This would result in a quest to rescue your companion.

 

Jarmo: It would be great if NPCs reacted appropriately to whatever animal companions you have in your party! :)

I agree! Also, animal companions could be used to interact with NPCs, too. A belligerent NPC could be easier to influence if an intimidating animal had them pinned to the floor.

 

As someone who played his ranger through the whole BG saga, you shouldn't be surprised about that kind of stuff :) though, as you said, we can't say much about PE and, from what we know, all classes seems to profit way more usability than their equivalent in ad&d.

As I mentioned before, I was a lot younger then and not as fussy about this stuff. That doesn't mean that I can't wish for more depth and variety in the P:E ranger class, right? I agree that, based on the limited knowledge we have now, P:E is attempting to provide a lot of choices and interesting gameplay experiences regardless of which class you choose to play. Which is really great!

 

 

Hawk companion.

 

or Falcon.

I, too, would like to have the opportunity to choose an avian companion.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Boox: Your ideas and compilation of other ideas gave me *surprise!* yet an idea! :D

 

In certain Native North American cultures, there were initiation rites, where the young men (and hopefully women too) went out in a deep forest on their own in order to find their soul animal, their special animal companion of sorts. They were out there for days, until they had a vision (encountered an animal that responded to them/stared at them), and voilà! You got yourself a soul animal, and it even affected your name in some cultures. 

 

Imagine if this was in PE. At some point, in some setting, a ranger has to go out in a forest on her/his own, and I find her/his animal companion. In that way, we would not be able to choose, though. I bet that I would get for three days and nights of stumbling through the sticks a warty toad.

  • Like 3

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...