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392 - Significant problems: The Ranger and Light Weapons


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Are there any other differences between each companion other than reported in the descriptions? The bonuses for the wolf, stag and lion didn't seem worth using compared to the bear and antelope.

 

Also can anyone confirm that Merciless companion is actually working? I noticed a damage bonus from it when the target was hobbled, but when the target was just flanked the bonus wasn't apparent even though the "Merciless companion" text appeared in the combat log.

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I've posted about this before but since the topic is hot again...

 

I dislike the ranger class in general. Instead of a shared health mechanic (which makes the pet into an outright liability), they really should consider designing the class around coordinating attacks with their pet. Additionally, it is a bit of a shame that they are pigeonholed to be played at range. Many classic fantasy rangers (Drizzt, Aragorn, etc) are much more melee oriented.

 

Frankly, I would rather see an implementation similar to Pathfinder's Mad Dog Barbarian archetype but with abilities equally useful at range or in melee.

Edited by Shevek
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I tried again with a Ranger. I still don't like it.

You will only learn to appreciate the Ranger when you Sneak/Scout with the animal companion in Dyrford Crossing, that's when you will realize it's full potential (hint: There is no sneak animation for the Animal Companions... vroooom vrooom! :p bah, you'll get it).

 

EDIT: Jokes aside, I still don't like it either to be honest, but I did learn to appreciate the Druid much more, so maybe I will learn to appreciate the Ranger as well. It's just a bit of an "itch" about the obligatory Spiritshift and Animal Companion. At least you can avoid using the Spiritshift Ability, which you can't with the permanent Animal Companion.

 

 

 

I've posted about this before but since the topic is hot again...

 

I dislike the ranger class in general. Instead of a shared health mechanic (which makes the pet into an outright liability), they really should consider designing the class around coordinating attacks with their pet. Additionally, it is a bit of a shame that they are pigeonholed to be played at range. Many classic fantasy rangers (Drizzt, Aragorn, etc) are much more melee oriented.

 

Frankly, I would rather see an implementation similar to Pathfinder's Mad Dog Barbarian archetype but with abilities equally useful at range or in melee.

 

Huh... a shared Action Speed/Recovery? Taking turns attacking? (Ranger attacks once, then Animal Companion attacks, then Ranger etc)

 

Example:

1-Fighter Attacks

2-Ranger Attacks at the same time

3-Fighter Attacks a 2nd time

4-Animal Companion attacks

5-Fighter Attacks a 3rd time

6-Ranger Attacks

 

Hm?

Edited by Osvir
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The druid rules. I love the spell selection.

 

Spiritshift is kind of derp though. It's fun to go all BWRAARGH IMMA BEAR! at the end of an encounter, but it's not supremely useful or anything. It would need more talents to properly flesh out. (Or maybe I just didn't study them properly.)

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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The Ranger's problem is that even with the animal, it's damage is too low. With the pet serving as a liability due to disengagement, the ranger's coordinated attacks with the pet should be signficantly higher than any other class, even the rogue, while it's attacks without the pet should be average with all other classes.

 

They need something more significant in the damage arena, since their pet's are extremely fragile.

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Osvir:

Naw, all that I would do is have more abilities similar to the Throat Cutter ability of that Pathfinder Mad Dog archetype I linked. (I would definately get rid of the shared health foolishness as well).

 

Throat Cutter (Ex)

At 14th level, whenever her war beast succeeds at a bull rush, drag, grapple, overrun, or trip combat maneuver against an opponent threatened by the mad dog, a mad dog can take an attack of opportunity against that opponent.

 

In my view, if 80% of the ranger's abilities were like this (as opposed to just a couple), then two things would be accomplished. 1) The pet would be seen as a source of power for the ranger rather than a liability and 2) the ranger would have a compelling reason to use the pet in the thick of it.

 

In other words, coordinating attacks through special moves, etc.

 

As for the health sharing, I would change that a selectable class modal that does DAMAGE sharing when they are within 10 feet of eachother. So, when they are close, they split the damage that the other takes. This would make them better in melee. This would be mutually exclusive with other class modals. Again, the pet should not be a liability. It should be a source of strength.

Edited by Shevek
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Spiritshift is kind of derp though. It's fun to go all BWRAARGH IMMA BEAR! at the end of an encounter, but it's not supremely useful or anything. It would need more talents to properly flesh out. (Or maybe I just didn't study them properly.)

Spiritshift is almost completely useless. Actually It is completely useless.

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I wish they'd just dump the animal companion. Aside for it not working as is, it pigeonholes an archetypal class that should be flexible and interesting. Understanding that POE is not defined by existing examples of the class, why do RPGs need another squishy pet controller? A ranger, like Aragorn or Drizzt, is a self sufficient skirmishes type, adept at surviving in the wild. They're not defined by a weapon type, or even ranged/ melee.

Wouldn't it be more interesting character to have a ranger in the party, or build one, if...

1. Having ranger in party added a small stat bump at rest, similar to resting in an inn but less substantial

2. Ranger had high mobility, similar to the barbarian class talent- allowing you to either move to defend your wizards or race ahead to target a caster

3. Modal talents that let them switch between tanking (for a middling duration) and damage.

4. A set of talents that encouraged using ranged AND melee. Slowing effects/ control with the ranged, spike damage with the melee

 

Essentially, they should become a fighter/thief class that adds new tactical opportunities to the game

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Sooo, I was thinking about this (the dt bypass of weapons and whatnot), what if weapons only lowered the effective DT if it is above a certain amount, dictated by weapon.

 

These are totally random numbers since I haven't written them down, but will illustrated the point.

 

Assume the arquebus does the same damage now but if it hits a target with a DT 50% or more than its damage, it then lowers the DT by X amount.  If it is lower than that, it does nothing to the effect DT for the attack.

 

This would make it so that the lower damage weapons could end up doing more damage against low arm targets while still giving the high dmg weapons a benefit at high arm.

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There needs to be a compelling reason to use light weapons. Currently. there isn't. In other games, dual wielding exploits integer based bonuses. In this game, bonuses tend to be percentage based. It might be cool if all weapons had the same interupt value (thus allowing dual wielders to be superior interupters) but since two handers interupt better, well...

 

I hope they add some kind of reason to dual wield. I am currently replaying Might and Magic X. It is a flawed gem, to be sure, but dual wield has a definately use. In that game, with integer based bonuses, dual wield can do massive damage. The real benefit of dual wielding, however, is breaking through a blocking enemy. I would never play MMX without at least 1 dual wielding dagger user simply to ensure I could break through enemy blocks.

 

I would suggest OE think of a way to make dual wielding "worth it" and ask themselves "why would a player choose this other than simply looking cool?"

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Glad I'm not the only one seeing the problems with the ranger.

 

Biggest gripe: How are they supposed to be used? What role?

 

How are pets supposed to engage? The bear is obvious, but what about the lion, wolf, boar? Do I move these like I would a rogue? And the other two, are these just supposed to be parked near the ranged or something?

 

I'd rather not have a pet and have it function like the D:OS ranger, or have pets and have it function like the NWN2 ranger. Thus far it feels like they're handing me a fish head and saying this will help... How?

 

They were presented as DPS and that is what they are, especially once you get the pet synergy going. Think of them as nature themed rogues that comes with two parts: one ranged and one melee. The pets are not designed to tank, they are designed to increase the Ranger's contribution to damage.

 

 

That's all well and good in theory, but when they're getting destroyed repeatedly because the companion cannot weather the melee it's supposed to be engaged in... Rogues can't really tank, but they also manage to stay up in the front line. With the range, as soon as the pet engages stamina starts plunging rather quickly.

Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. - Julius Caesar

 

:facepalm: #define TRUE (!FALSE)

I ran across an article where the above statement was found in a release tarball. LOL! Who does something like this? Predictably, this oddity was found when the article's author tried to build said tarball and the compiler promptly went into cardiac arrest. If you're not a developer, imagine telling someone the literal meaning of up is "not down". Such nonsense makes computers, and developers... angry.

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@Luridis Yeah. I did find the bear with Resilient Companion sort of survivable, especially if I let BB Fighter take the first brunt of the attack. Combine that with BB Priest's Consecrated Ground and it's... workable.

 

It's not fun though. I'm fairly confident by now that my dislike of the ranger and especially the shared health isn't just unfamiliarity and "playing it wrong."

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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I wish they'd just dump the animal companion. Aside for it not working as is, it pigeonholes an archetypal class that should be flexible and interesting. Understanding that POE is not defined by existing examples of the class, why do RPGs need another squishy pet controller? A ranger, like Aragorn or Drizzt, is a self sufficient skirmishes type, adept at surviving in the wild. They're not defined by a weapon type, or even ranged/ melee.

Wouldn't it be more interesting character to have a ranger in the party, or build one, if...

1. Having ranger in party added a small stat bump at rest, similar to resting in an inn but less substantial

2. Ranger had high mobility, similar to the barbarian class talent- allowing you to either move to defend your wizards or race ahead to target a caster

3. Modal talents that let them switch between tanking (for a middling duration) and damage.

4. A set of talents that encouraged using ranged AND melee. Slowing effects/ control with the ranged, spike damage with the melee

 

Essentially, they should become a fighter/thief class that adds new tactical opportunities to the game

 

I completely agree. I feel like the pets are gimmicky as they are. Rangers as ranged physical DPS or melee nuker, sans rogue-like tricks would define them into a unique roll. As for melee, they'd be more tanky than a rogue, but have less utility. Additionally, if weapon swapping were a little easier for them then they would also be able to switch on the fly to a light, backfield tank, should something get through the front line.

 

Edit: I wasn't trying to reword your post, I meant to say that my thinking is in line with yours because what I wrote has been rolling through my head the whole time I was trying to play one.

Edited by Luridis
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Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. - Julius Caesar

 

:facepalm: #define TRUE (!FALSE)

I ran across an article where the above statement was found in a release tarball. LOL! Who does something like this? Predictably, this oddity was found when the article's author tried to build said tarball and the compiler promptly went into cardiac arrest. If you're not a developer, imagine telling someone the literal meaning of up is "not down". Such nonsense makes computers, and developers... angry.

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Spiritshift is kind of derp though. It's fun to go all BWRAARGH IMMA BEAR! at the end of an encounter, but it's not supremely useful or anything. It would need more talents to properly flesh out. (Or maybe I just didn't study them properly.)

Spiritshift is almost completely useless. Actually It is completely useless.

 

 

I found it useful a few, well, a lot of builds back to engage melee that broke the line and keep them off the clothies. But that was about it, too frail for the front and you lose all that utility too in animal form.

Edited by Luridis

Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. - Julius Caesar

 

:facepalm: #define TRUE (!FALSE)

I ran across an article where the above statement was found in a release tarball. LOL! Who does something like this? Predictably, this oddity was found when the article's author tried to build said tarball and the compiler promptly went into cardiac arrest. If you're not a developer, imagine telling someone the literal meaning of up is "not down". Such nonsense makes computers, and developers... angry.

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Glad I'm not the only one seeing the problems with the ranger.

 

Biggest gripe: How are they supposed to be used? What role?

 

How are pets supposed to engage? The bear is obvious, but what about the lion, wolf, boar? Do I move these like I would a rogue? And the other two, are these just supposed to be parked near the ranged or something?

 

I'd rather not have a pet and have it function like the D:OS ranger, or have pets and have it function like the NWN2 ranger. Thus far it feels like they're handing me a fish head and saying this will help... How?

 

They were presented as DPS and that is what they are, especially once you get the pet synergy going. Think of them as nature themed rogues that comes with two parts: one ranged and one melee. The pets are not designed to tank, they are designed to increase the Ranger's contribution to damage.

 

 

That's all well and good in theory, but when they're getting destroyed repeatedly because the companion cannot weather the melee it's supposed to be engaged in... Rogues can't really tank, but they also manage to stay up in the front line. With the range, as soon as the pet engages stamina starts plunging rather quickly.

 

 

I personally never had that problem and I don't use the bear. My rogue always lose more health than my ranger (well the pet) do.

 

Just to check. I made a Ranger with a wolf, the wolf has 54 Deflection while BB Rogue only has 36. Technically, the wolf shouldn't get hit as hard as the rogue.

Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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I found it useful a few, well, a lot of builds back to engage melee that broke the line and keep them off the clothies. But that was about it, too frail for the front and you lose all that utility too in animal form.

And you attack slow and do no damage either.

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I think the shared health works okay, as long as you set a catch 22 rule that the pet always "falls unconscious" at 75% endurance. That way the last 25% you gotta deal with the ranger themselves

How on earth would that be an improvement? It would make Rangers even worse than they are now.

 

Forces you to play a ranger intelligently.  Also makes it so enemies can't just focus fire your soft companion and drop you.  It is an ill conceived design to begin with, people thinking they will drop the shared health are probably well... living in dream land.  Best case you can hope for is Rangers just get artificially bloated health and stam pools.

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Also makes it so enemies can't just focus fire your soft companion and drop you.

 

Animal Companions have higher defenses than the Ranger does. Some have higher DT (Bear/Boar?). The issue is that you can focus fire the Ranger because he's way easier to hit, and ignore the animal companion.

 

Josh Sawyer already stated on Something Awful that they've been considering applying a debuff to the Ranger or Animal Companion if one falls in combat, rather than having both get knocked out, but they haven't looked at it yet because there are still many bugs to fix with Rangers.

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Josh Sawyer already stated on Something Awful that they've been considering applying a debuff to the Ranger or Animal Companion if one falls in combat, rather than having both get knocked out, but they haven't looked at it yet because there are still many bugs to fix with Rangers.

In all honesty it doesn't really bother me anyway.  As long as rangers are at least usable in combat it is okay.  "Perfect balance" is a great goal and idea.... but with 11 classes it might not actually be possible.  It won't be the end of the world if one is weaker than the others.  Sure power gamers will avoid it but who cares?  As long as the class works and is capable enough to be effective someone will use it and have fun with it.

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I agree that it's not the biggest problem with the class. As they are now I wouldn't use one simply because they are terrible. I'd prefer they actually be more useful in combat than anything.

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I've always liked "the feels" of the Ranger class.  To me, those "feels" equate mechanically to something along the lines of: Animal companion, ranged/melee/status effects-capable team, requiring some micro and risk, yet never feels OP as far as DPS and they are far closer to rogue than fighter as far as defenses.  A ranger without a dedicated animal companion feels wrong to me.  

 

In earlier builds I had no problems with health of Ranger/companion.  This build is more difficult though and my entire party gets whipped quite quickly.  I never used the animals as the party tank, i have Fighter and Priest for that.  I suppose that my ideal is for Fighter/Priest to get all the aggro while animal companion is roaring aoe status effects at the enemy and ranger pew-pews them from afar.  Running that way I never really had too many instances where the pet got KOd during encounters.  I understand that my ideal encounter scenario is limited and honestly quite vanilla.  What can I say?  I'll tell you what I can say:  Git off my lawn :)

 

Some thoughts I've had during this post:

 

-When animal dies, the ranger gets some kind of "forever alone/demoralized" status effect for a certain amount of time, until he befriends a new companion.  A bummer, to be sure.  However, his raw DPS is raised during this time because his feels have been hurted.  So until his next animal companion is found he is more like a straight Archer build with no status effects but better ranged DPS.   

 

-I WISH that players could make their rangers more towards the fighter end of the durability spectrum and have the pet be some form of hawk or falcon - that would be AWESOME!  What was that Nintendo game where you were wandering a castle and you had that owl companion?  I don't remember if that game was good or not but I thought that whole idea kicked ass.  This way your ranger could be mixing it up and getting his hands dirty with the fighters while the hawk dive bombs/removes the eyes of enemies.  I would love that.

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In all honesty it doesn't really bother me anyway.  As long as rangers are at least usable in combat it is okay.  "Perfect balance" is a great goal and idea.... but with 11 classes it might not actually be possible.  It won't be the end of the world if one is weaker than the others.  Sure power gamers will avoid it but who cares?  As long as the class works and is capable enough to be effective someone will use it and have fun with it.

 

True, but there's still such a thing as "really not good enough." I compared a ranger with ranged rogue and ranged fighter builds. Both of the latter had significantly higher damage output, and since damage is the only thing the ranger does, that's... not good. At the very least the dedicated ranged class should be more lethal with a bow than melee classes rebuilt for range. It was also much higher-maintenance because I had to baby the animal companion.

 

Comparison protocol: Medreth to get the war bow, ranged build pumping Mig, Per, Dex and dumping Con, taking Weapon Focus: Adventurer and the best ranged talents available AFAICT, then dragon egg quest, then fight through drakes to get back to Dyrford. Then look at statistics. Rogue and fighter are on par with each other, more or less, ranger is a ways behind both. Then, to confirm, I did another ranger, named him Park, equipped BB Rogue with a war bow (Ranger still got Medreth's superior one) and gave her Penetrating Shot on levelup. BB Rogue beat Ranger Park in damage output by a significant margin, and she wasn't even built ground-up for it.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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-I WISH that players could make their rangers more towards the fighter end of the durability spectrum and have the pet be some form of hawk or falcon - that would be AWESOME!  What was that Nintendo game where you were wandering a castle and you had that owl companion?  I don't remember if that game was good or not but I thought that whole idea kicked ass.  This way your ranger could be mixing it up and getting his hands dirty with the fighters while the hawk dive bombs/removes the eyes of enemies.  I would love that.

 

I like the idea of a falcon-equipped ranger. You could assign it a target which would qualify for the companion-related ranger talents. Its attacks would do no damage but apply a mild debuff (it's bound to be harder to fight if you've got a falcon swooping at you), and it could have some stronger single-target per-encounter debuffs.

 

You could even name him Boo and tell him to go for the eyes. How's that for an IE games homage?

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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the small weapons should get a speed buff, and attack speed should be a much more significant factor in combat than it is now.

 

I also think that perhaps conditionals that trigger on even a graze could make faster smaller weapons better, if you want to focus on not just dealing damage but also weakening your opponents. Just a thought. As someone who wants to play a rogue this way, I'm currently very tense to see if I get to player my character concept the way I want to.

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In all honesty it doesn't really bother me anyway.  As long as rangers are at least usable in combat it is okay.  "Perfect balance" is a great goal and idea.... but with 11 classes it might not actually be possible.  It won't be the end of the world if one is weaker than the others.  Sure power gamers will avoid it but who cares?  As long as the class works and is capable enough to be effective someone will use it and have fun with it.

 

True, but there's still such a thing as "really not good enough." I compared a ranger with ranged rogue and ranged fighter builds. Both of the latter had significantly higher damage output, and since damage is the only thing the ranger does, that's... not good. At the very least the dedicated ranged class should be more lethal with a bow than melee classes rebuilt for range. It was also much higher-maintenance because I had to baby the animal companion.

 

Comparison protocol: Medreth to get the war bow, ranged build pumping Mig, Per, Dex and dumping Con, taking Weapon Focus: Adventurer and the best ranged talents available AFAICT, then dragon egg quest, then fight through drakes to get back to Dyrford. Then look at statistics. Rogue and fighter are on par with each other, more or less, ranger is a ways behind both. Then, to confirm, I did another ranger, named him Park, equipped BB Rogue with a war bow (Ranger still got Medreth's superior one) and gave her Penetrating Shot on levelup. BB Rogue beat Ranger Park in damage output by a significant margin, and she wasn't even built ground-up for it.

 

 

PJ, does the stat sheet for the Ranger take the pet damage into consideration? Because by himself only the Ranger was never supposed to beat the Rogue's damage output. Rogue was always said to be the best damage dealer anyway.

Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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