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Also, I am fine with the ranger being purely range combat - if you want your ranger to fight in melee, that is what the animal is for (or a rogue, fighter, etc). I am fine with giving the ranger a specific role, since that is how fighters and other classes are defined too. Also, this would give choosing the animal more tactical purpose, as they would be given different roles (bear = tank, wolf = dps, etc).

 

Here's the issue, though: for the ranger to be effective as a ranged fighter, it can't use its animal companion. So to enable that, the ranger needs to be effective enough as a ranged fighter that it can contribute to the party without its companion. But that brings us back to the old D&D 3.X druid problem - if the ranger is strong enough on its own, then adding the companion back into the mix makes it too strong.

 

This is not an easy thing to balance, especially not in CRPGs, which lack the abstraction of tabletop games.

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Also, I am fine with the ranger being purely range combat - if you want your ranger to fight in melee, that is what the animal is for (or a rogue, fighter, etc). I am fine with giving the ranger a specific role, since that is how fighters and other classes are defined too. Also, this would give choosing the animal more tactical purpose, as they would be given different roles (bear = tank, wolf = dps, etc).

 

Here's the issue, though: for the ranger to be effective as a ranged fighter, it can't use its animal companion. So to enable that, the ranger needs to be effective enough as a ranged fighter that it can contribute to the party without its companion. But that brings us back to the old D&D 3.X druid problem - if the ranger is strong enough on its own, then adding the companion back into the mix makes it too strong.

 

This is not an easy thing to balance, especially not in CRPGs, which lack the abstraction of tabletop games.

 

 

I guess I can understand your point. I mean, if the ranger is too awesome at ranged combat, the animal companion would just push it to be OP. So maybe make abilities rely more heavily on the animal companion and single target damage (with combination between animal companion and ranger). I mean, I know some people mentioned that itd be like having an extra adventurer, but I don't think thatd necessarily be the case. There would be no extra inventory, and the animal companion shouldnt replace a Fighter. It would be more like a support tank, helping in combat and keeping the Ranger out of harms way, but nowhere near the level a Fighter would (if each animal fulfills different roles, they wouldn't all be tanks, but I think you get my point). Kinda like monster summoning or familiars in baldurs gate. You could argue that a mage's familiar or monster summons made them OP (well they were, but not because of those). It was just like a class benefit, thats all. 

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As long as i get my duel-wielding ranger who can howl at the moon with his wolf companion as they chop and chew their enemies to death, I will be happy.

Edited by Pray
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Maybe make is so that all damage companion receives is only taken from Stamina and only damage Ranger directly receives goes into health as well? 

Or at least give the pet an ability that can be turned on once per encounter that does this.

 

Then there is no real penalty for using a companion with a ranged character and the companion/ranger synergy skills can be balanced around this.

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As long as i get my duel-wielding ranger who can howl at the moon with his wolf companion as they chop and chew their enemies to death, I will be happy.

 

Sentiments like this are why I'm starting to feel that it would be better if there were a Ranger (cast strictly as an archery specialist) and a Beastmaster (pet user at any range). It's obviously not going to happen, but ... eh.

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If the "Ranger" is only meant to be ranged, perhaps the class should be renamed "Archer". 

 

Or Archer with Animal Companion? Or Bowhunter with Animal Companion? Woodsman with Animal Companion? Sharpshooter with One Animal Circus?

 

Ranger seems to roll off the tongue a bit better while mostly eliminating the need to qualify why the character comes with an animal companion I think... :)

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Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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If the "Ranger" is only meant to be ranged, perhaps the class should be renamed "Archer". 

 

Or Archer with Animal Companion? Or Bowhunter with Animal Companion? Woodsman with Animal Companion? Sharpshooter with One Animal Circus?

 

Ranger seems to roll off the tongue a bit better while mostly eliminating the need to qualify why the character comes with an animal companion I think... :)

 

 

I would agree. If the animal companion did not exist, I would vote archer. Because it does, however, I vote keep ranger. Plus, I never personally understood why a RANGEr wouldnt use RANGEd weapons. I mean, its in the name... (I know, park ranger, forest ranger, etc, but I think it was originally intended as a ranged class-hunter type, rather than the Drizzt legend that made it popular. Could be wrong about that though) for the record, Drizzt is awesome, but he really is just a fighter who follows the faith of Mielikki....and has a pet panther....

 

Actually, on second thought, if Guenhwyvar is his animal companion, it would more make sense that he would be a ranger....

Panther needs to be an animal companion! and melee Rangers too! with dual scimitars!

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Not a fan of the Drizzt wanna-be build myself but to each their own - maybe that's why they gave the ranger such dismal melee ability :p

 

Definately needs work on the animal companion - it's a real PITA in the BBeta -

 

if you play a ranger you can't add an adventurer - (you can but you can't get control over him outside the inn)

 

You apparently can't hire a ranger adventurer either whether you are playing a ranger or not - or at least my last attempt (barbarian) ended with the ranger's stag stuck in the door of the inn making it impossible to continue. I was looking forward to some Barbarian plus stag carnage! :)

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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Not a fan of the Drizzt wanna-be build myself but to each their own - maybe that's why they gave the ranger such dismal melee ability :p

 

Definately needs work on the animal companion - it's a real PITA in the BBeta -

 

if you play a ranger you can't add an adventurer - (you can but you can't get control over him outside the inn)

 

You apparently can't hire a ranger adventurer either whether you are playing a ranger or not - or at least my last attempt (barbarian) ended with the ranger's stag stuck in the door of the inn making it impossible to continue. I was looking forward to some Barbarian plus stag carnage! :)

 

Hahaha I like the Drizzt books a lot, but ironically I dont think ive ever actually created a character specifically modeled after him...lol Love dual wielding, but thats not necessarily a ranger thing for me. 

 

I would think thats a bug. I mean, I could maybe understand not allowing you to have 6 people in your party if you have a ranger (the animal would count as a companion?) but then I think the animal companions are probably really under-powered in that case. Although probably a bug, if i had to guess. Although I dont have the beta so i cant test it or anything.

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Hahaha I like the Drizzt books a lot, but ironically I dont think ive ever actually created a character specifically modeled after him...lol Love dual wielding, but thats not necessarily a ranger thing for me. 

 

It actually wasn't for him, either. Drizzt could dual wield because drow in 1E AD&D were ambidextrous. It was only after he got super-popular that they added dual-wielding to all rangers in 2E, to allow for Drizzt clones. This is the entire reason people associate dual wielding with rangers.

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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

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Hahaha I like the Drizzt books a lot, but ironically I dont think ive ever actually created a character specifically modeled after him...lol Love dual wielding, but thats not necessarily a ranger thing for me. 

 

It actually wasn't for him, either. Drizzt could dual wield because drow in 1E AD&D were ambidextrous. It was only after he got super-popular that they added dual-wielding to all rangers in 2E, to allow for Drizzt clones. This is the entire reason people associate dual wielding with rangers.

 

 

So what is Drizzt's actually "class"? Is he a fighter with a panther companion and a follower of Mielikki or is he actually a Ranger? Sorry, other than the IE games I never really had any other experience with DnD rule-sets. (Im not sure if R.A. Salvatore actually classified Drizzt as a ranger - I THINK he did, but honestly I cant remember)

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Hahaha I like the Drizzt books a lot, but ironically I dont think ive ever actually created a character specifically modeled after him...lol Love dual wielding, but thats not necessarily a ranger thing for me. 

 

It actually wasn't for him, either. Drizzt could dual wield because drow in 1E AD&D were ambidextrous. It was only after he got super-popular that they added dual-wielding to all rangers in 2E, to allow for Drizzt clones. This is the entire reason people associate dual wielding with rangers.

 

 

So what is Drizzt's actually "class"? Is he a fighter with a panther companion and a follower of Mielikki or is he actually a Ranger? Sorry, other than the IE games I never really had any other experience with DnD rule-sets. (Im not sure if R.A. Salvatore actually classified Drizzt as a ranger - I THINK he did, but honestly I cant remember)

 

He's always officially been a ranger - because of that + his popularity, rangers in later editions got stuck with a lot of his baggage.

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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I made a Ranger/Stag combo in both 257 and now 278.  While many things have gotten better in 278 that class combo has become weaker in combat.

 

So, playing on Hard, fighting beetles and cultists underground, here is what usually happens, given my usual attack methodology.

 

BB M initiates attack...  Ranger and BB R fire blanks... err I mean arrows... Stag, BB F, BB P attack in melee.

 

Against one enemy - enemy is usually overwhelmed quickly without the need for many spells(~1-2).

Against two enemies - tough battle.  Depends on using the correct spells at the correct moment.

Against three or more enemies - very tough battle/ often death... and here is where we get back to the discussion on Rangers and their animals...

 

Who dies first 100% of the time? (this is in a sample of about 20-30 battles)  The Stag... so who then automatically dies? ... The Ranger... now I am down to 4 peeps.   BB P usually dies next, then  *shrug*,  whoever the enemy wants... i.e. I am doomed.

 

Who does the most damage in this fight?  Strangely enough (to me) its BB M.  In my mind the weakest class ... does the most damge... hmmm... strange indeed... BB F does ok damage - sometimes - and so does BB P - sometimes - but BB P takes a lot of damage and usually must retreat.

 

Stag seems to do ok damage but also seems to draw huge threat cause he dies first and that means I automatically lose my Ranger... not they way it should work I think.

 

I concur that the Ranger/Stag (and maybe the other animals) combo is far weaker than it should be.  So how to fix things?

 

One part of the problem is the blanks (err arrows) shot by either the Ranger or BB R seem to do virtually nothing.  This needs to be adjusted to do much more damage.  In BG my 2-3 ranged classes would often kill an enemy before my three melee characters could even reach the target.  That was much better.  In fact, my mages in BG often killed more using their slings and darts then they did using spells.  In IWD on extreme mode the ranged classes would take maybe 1/3 the enemy's HP before melee folks engaged.  And my spellcasters needed to use spells. A lot of spells.  Now?  in PoE?  I cant really see any effect for the blanks  (err arrows).  Ranged damage seems nonexistent. And melee damage seems weak at best.

 

Second part of the problem is the animal receives way too much damage.  How to fix?  You could dramatically lower its threat from the enemy PoV. Or, you could give it pretty high evade chances... esp for Stag, Wolf, Antelope... and by high I mean it rarely gets hit.  If it does get hit maybe it auto retreats for a while... to lowers its threat and damage inducing potential.  (most of the time BB F should have most of the threat but frankly that rarely happens)  I would not give Bear, Lion, Boar evade ability... I would give them high damage threshhold (DT) thru either high armor or high HP.

 

Third part of the problem is the shared HP pool.  While its an interesting concept, and I am not unilaterally opposed to it, its implementation so far needs some adjustment.  To lose one character means you lose another automatically is two painful.  This problem may be fixed giving the animals high evade/high DT and I would suggest starting there.  Another approach may be for the animal to auto disengage, either to retreat and regenerate (assumes it will NOT be chased), or to play a game of "catch me if you can" with the enemy who chases after the animal as it runs in circles, allowing the rest of the party to pound on the enemy until one of them gains the enemy's attention and finally it ignores the animal.

 

Ok, fourth part of the problem, we have danced around and mentioned it in passing already.  Threat.  In most (all?) of the IE series, threat was generally not a well developed concept.  It usually fell on whoever was closest to the enemy, would sometimes shift to a ranged class or spellcaster but as often not.  The way many games deal with threat is the 'tank' who is supposed to gain and keep it throughout the battle, sparing attacks on other party members.  I do not see that dynamic here.  If it is possible its not obvious nor is it working well.  BB F is usually one of the last to take damage and he should be tanking them all.  Not sure this can be adjusted and it would change the feel  away from the IE experience so not sure I would even want it.  But I am saying that animal getting killed first is no fun at all.

 

I also like Hormalkh's ideas on animals from the first page of this thread and feel they are worth exploring, but his deal with specifics and I am talking more in the macro sense.

 

I understand some are afraid of Ranger/Animal becoming too powerful... I do not see where it would hurt the experience to make them the most powerful class combo in the game.  And I see a lot of logic in doing so.  Two will always be better than one.   Making them the weakest, on the other hand, is neither logical nor fun.

 

Food for thought.

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@ EldritchSong - well you are playing on hard - isn't that supposed to make it....hard? ;)

 

Are you doing anything to mitigate the damage the animal and others are taking or just letting them fight until they die?

 

I am playing on normal since it's the BB and supposedly this would be what the game is more or less balanced for.

 

My BB-p rarely gets a chance to do anything but cast buffs and debuffs and is generally wielding a big gun/crossbow so on the few occasions there is time between casting & he gets a shot off that if it hits it does some significant damage and this also puts him in the second line away from the big damage melee enemy.

 

I haven't found the animals to be all that good at tanking on their own so I generally hold them back until BB-F and/or another warrior type engages first or send them against the enemy casters and when they start to get low on stamina I pull them back.

 

I've been giving my ranger big guns/crossbow types as well recently in favor of the lower damage but faster bows and it's working fairly well for me - at least when they hit it's significant and not a graze for .05 points.

 

I've actually been doing fairly well with the ranger types recently and while it's always going to require some micro-managing (IMO) I'm quite optimistic about the class.

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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yeah, because of how DT works, fast lower dmg bows are horrible compared to slow, high dmg guns/xbows.

Applies to melee weapons as well at the moment.
Hopefully will be rebalanced at some point. Just a reminder that if you want, you can try out different weapon damage ranges against different values of DT, MIG, Accuracy, Deflection etc to get the expected DPS using the DPS calculation spreadsheet I've made available. A link to the latest spreadsheet is at the end of the pdf posted on the first page of the "attribute redesign" thread. I'll be uploading a new one after the next patch that takes any changes into account as well as minimum damage vs DT. :) Edited by Matt516
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yeah, because of how DT works, fast lower dmg bows are horrible compared to slow, high dmg guns/xbows.

Applies to melee weapons as well at the moment.
Hopefully will be rebalanced at some point. Just a reminder that if you want, you can try out different weapon damage ranges against different values of DT, MIG, Accuracy, Deflection etc to get the expected DPS using the DPS calculation spreadsheet I've made available. A link to the latest spreadsheet is at the end of the pdf posted on the first page of the "attribute redesign" thread. I'll be uploading a new one after the next patch that takes any changes into account as well as minimum damage vs DT. :)

 

I fully expect it will be rebalanced.  Not really tripping over it at this point.

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@ EldritchSong - well you are playing on hard - isn't that supposed to make it....hard? ;)

 

Indeed it is!  And should be.  I am not complaining about the hardness of hard... its appropriately hard now.   I have not tried normal or easy mode yet, so have no comparison there.

 

Since we were talking about the Ranger/Animal combo, my complaint, if you will, is that Animal dies way too quickly and then I auto lose the Ranger.  And I dont like either part of that.

 

I have been using all the standard equipment that the chars start with, so you bring up some interesting points.  I may have to experiment with different weapon combos.

 

And I may have to experiment with different tactics, but not commiting the Animal to melee makes him essentially useless, unless I can teach him to shoot magic from his rump!

 

To me Animal should either be a damage absorber (thru high HP or high armor or some such)... or... a high threat coupled with high evade char so he keeps the enemy occupied but does not take much if any damage.

 

I am not sure I care if Animal deals a lot of damage and maybe thats how the combo is prevented from being overly powerful -  if thats a concern.

 

You bring up some interesting options to ponder though, and I may need to do so further testing using different weapons and different tactics.

 

But it is, and will remain, difficult to build complex tactical manuevers though when the damn beetles run 100mph and teleport and somehow alert their buddies who are way off screen. 

 

Oh well - back to work.

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@ EldritchSong - well you are playing on hard - isn't that supposed to make it....hard? ;)

 

Indeed it is!  And should be.  I am not complaining about the hardness of hard... its appropriately hard now.   I have not tried normal or easy mode yet, so have no comparison there.

 

Since we were talking about the Ranger/Animal combo, my complaint, if you will, is that Animal dies way too quickly and then I auto lose the Ranger.  And I dont like either part of that.

 

I have been using all the standard equipment that the chars start with, so you bring up some interesting points.  I may have to experiment with different weapon combos.

 

And I may have to experiment with different tactics, but not commiting the Animal to melee makes him essentially useless, unless I can teach him to shoot magic from his rump!

 

To me Animal should either be a damage absorber (thru high HP or high armor or some such)... or... a high threat coupled with high evade char so he keeps the enemy occupied but does not take much if any damage.

 

I am not sure I care if Animal deals a lot of damage and maybe thats how the combo is prevented from being overly powerful -  if thats a concern.

 

You bring up some interesting options to ponder though, and I may need to do so further testing using different weapons and different tactics.

 

But it is, and will remain, difficult to build complex tactical manuevers though when the damn beetles run 100mph and teleport and somehow alert their buddies who are way off screen. 

 

Oh well - back to work.

 

This. Right now the Ranger is hopelessly weak & desperately needs a buff.

 

Cool way to improve them is:

 

Give the animals that don't have any powers like the bear a minor power while giving animals that have a power slightly better stats.

 

Easy way to improve them is:

 

Give the Ranger +1 Hp/Stamina per level.

 

That'll make the class at least a little viable. Something like this will be needed if the design goal of "no weak classes" will be reached.

Edited by Namutree

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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Has anyone played all the different companions and can give them a rating out of 10? What are the better companions and what are the worse?

 

I've used several but none really enough to "score" yet.

 

I've played bear which currently has a size issue that can mess with path finding and/or get stuck in walls etc...did fairly well in battle

 

I played antelope which was very survivable for me (liked it best so far) and recently tried a stag on a ranger adventurer but he never got to the battlefield (stuck in door of the inn.)

 

Haven't played a boar yet but played against them and they seem pretty tough on the opposition side and seem to hit pretty hard.

 

 not excited enough about the Lion "roar" to try one out myself but I suppose it might be useful - 

 

I plan to test them all more efficiently once the next update comes through...:)

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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I've tested just about every animal companion, and found them all to be more or less equally vulnerable. Granted, this is an emotional and purely reflective observation not based in concrete mathematics. I think the core problem with people's complaints about the Ranger, is that the animal companion is not "tank enough". This is understandable. The intuitive relationship suggests that the animal companion should be. Acknowledge that this is not the case. Please recognize the fundamental balance problems that would arise from having the animal companion act as thus.

 

The Ranger is a support DPS class. The animal companion supports this role through enabling the Ranger's designation as being a support DPS focused class. Do not expect otherwise. To broaden the scope of the Ranger/Companion relationship is to intrude on the narrowly defined domain of other PC classes within PoE. Do not test the Ranger as if it were in a vacuum. Test the Ranger and the animal companion as if they are a single entity. That is the intention. That is the design.

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I've tested just about every animal companion, and found them all to be more or less equally vulnerable.

 

That's because the have the same Stamina and Health right? The Bear has higher DT and does ridiculous damage though, IMO they are the best atm.

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