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Ranged classes vs casters with ranged weapons


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As I am absolutely certain this viewpoint of mine will be hotly contested, I have studied this thoroughly and have tested all the different variables involving both sides of this argument:

 

My argument is:

 

You don't really notice a significant difference with the ranged specialist classes In this game using ranged weapons (eg ranger) vs a spellcaster using a ranged weapon (eg cipher, preist, wizard, druid) and as an overall analysis when you look at the entire capabilities of the spellcaster with a ranged weapon vs a ranger with a ranged weapon the ranger is vastly inferior in comparison because the spellcasters can cast spells. To conclude there is a huge power difference between a ranger and a spellcaster.

 

I personally think the rangers need a huge buff (still after all there recent buffs with patches) they simply have no abilities to choose from upon level up that differentiate them significantly from other classes using ranged weapons.

 

I also think that spell casters should not be able to use ranged weapons like firearms or bows (like in baldurs gate).

 

When you have a look at the 2 comparisons

 

- any class can use any ranged weapon

- a rangers accuracy is higher but you still will consistently hit often enough with ranged casters especially if you pump perception

 

The argument I'm am going to be presented with to counter my point is I'm sure: a ranger gets stunning shots, twinned arrows and can use storm caller...............and I counter this by saying................but a caster has a whole repertoire of spells and can still use the ranged weapon effectively.

 

This is why I don't use rangers. I wish they where better as I enjoy ranged classes but in pillars they really do suck.

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Ciphers are murderous with ranged weapons. Very High accuracy + Biting Whip + the rest of the stuff equals a lot of owie.

 

Durance is pretty handy with an arquebus if you take the WF and the Summer Flame special plus supporting talents, but he's too busy casting usually to have time to do all that much damage.

 

Wizards are pretty good with implements if you build them that way.

 

Rangers, though... I've played a bit with them lately, and have warmed up to them a lot. Having that handy no-strategic-cost meat shield can be really useful, and coupled with the consistent high range damage they do, they're not half bad. Built up and played properly I've found them both effective and fun, at least as much as the casters. (Of them, I think the cipher needs most work -- at least I end up just spamming one, two, or three abilities.)

 

Bottom line is, I don't agree. I think the ranger is pretty good as it is now. The rogue and the barbarian OTOH need work. I'd rather take any other class than the rogue, as things currently stand, and I'd rather take on a monk, paladin, or fighter than a barb.

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That's because Rangers aren't very good OP. Their central mechanic, the companion, isn't good for much besides being a mediocre meat shield. I suppose some may be fine with that, but IMO it's a poor substitute for spells.

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Ciphers are murderous with ranged weapons. Very High accuracy + Biting Whip + the rest of the stuff equals a lot of owie.Durance is pretty handy with an arquebus if you take the WF and the Summer Flame special plus supporting talents, but he's too busy casting usually to have time to do all that much damage.Wizards are pretty good with implements if you build them that way.Rangers, though... I've played a bit with them lately, and have warmed up to them a lot. Having that handy no-strategic-cost meat shield can be really useful, and coupled with the consistent high range damage they do, they're not half bad. Built up and played properly I've found them both effective and fun, at least as much as the casters. (Of them, I think the cipher needs most work -- at least I end up just spamming one, two, or three abilities.)Bottom line is, I don't agree. I think the ranger is pretty good as it is now. The rogue and the barbarian OTOH need work. I'd rather take any other class than the rogue, as things currently stand, and I'd rather take on a monk, paladin, or fighter than a barb.

You mentioned that durance was to busy casting then to use the arquebus. If you have 2 tanks and four casters with arquebus's you don't even need to cast for 90% of encounters you can win with just firing arquebus's, yes even on POTD. Try it seriously try it, it is frickin stupid how effective casters are at using firearms.

 

If you play a game like this and roll spell casters and don't even need to use there spells then something is seriously wrong.

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I've done that, and I agree that the game is too easy.

 

Still don't agree that casters shouldn't be allowed to use ranged weapons. It's enough if non-casters are significantly more effective with them. They are.

 

Try an all-ranger party. You'll faceroll the game with select-all and auto-attack, except for one or two encounters with ogre druids and such.

Edited by PrimeJunta

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I've done that, and I agree that the game is too easy.Still don't agree that casters shouldn't be allowed to use ranged weapons. It's enough if non-casters are significantly more effective with them. They are.Try an all-ranger party. You'll faceroll the game with select-all and auto-attack, except for one or two encounters with ogre druids and such.

Try a party with six ciphers with firearms spamming amplified wave then you will see the meaning off stupidly easy.

 

I haven't played bg2 in a while now but I Definatley don't remember thinking it was incredibly easy after playing it. There was more tactics involved in bg2 and I think there game mechanics synergysed better. The ADAD 2nd edition rules worked really will with the infinity engine.

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Yes, they did.

 

AD&D2 rules are a really mixed bag though. On the one hand, they don't make any kind of mechanical sense, they're full of entirely arbitrary "hard" restrictions, and a lot of the mechanics are unnecessarily complicated and confusing (THAC0 for example -- you can get exactly the same result with much simpler and easier to understand arithmetic).

 

On the other hand, by the time BG2 rolled around, they were immensely rich. All the spells, items, classes, kits, and what have you gave them a depth and breadth that nothing else since has quite managed to achieve.

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Yes, they did.AD&D2 rules are a really mixed bag though. On the one hand, they don't make any kind of mechanical sense, they're full of entirely arbitrary "hard" restrictions, and a lot of the mechanics are unnecessarily complicated and confusing (THAC0 for example -- you can get exactly the same result with much simpler and easier to understand arithmetic).On the other hand, by the time BG2 rolled around, they were immensely rich. All the spells, items, classes, kits, and what have you gave them a depth and breadth that nothing else since has quite managed to achieve.

I honestly think that obsidian will have to reinvent the wheel when they do pillars 2. Think about it, if they want to hit higher levels (above 16 after wm pt2) say they will aim for up to level 30, it will be a hell of a mess. All the abilities to choose from at those high levels I don't think will work well at all with the current game mechanics. It will be a patch nerf/ nuke fest for about 10 years after it is released.

 

Actually the more I think about they may not even do a sequal.

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Yup, pretty much. It'll be a nerf fest in order for people to not call it "A mess", which they'll do as long as Obsidian won't spend a significant amount of time polishing and balancing the system. Which they do for PoE right now quite successfully, all in all, the changes they've made are all for the better (while pissing some people off that their OP/glitched builds won't any longer work as well, but that's a price worth paying)

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I think the Stormcaller ranger is one oft the best builds in the game - and that's without bis pet that can also do a lot of dmg. My rangers are always top of the damage list even without the huge pet's damage. The pet alone does more damage per hit as a standard rogue.

Edited by Boeroer
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Even without stormcaller Rangers are great. As said above, their pets alone are close to a two handed rogues output and they are far sturdier. Knockdown is a nice bonus. Rangers do a substantial amount of damage and have thorny roots, one of the best single target "debuffs" in the game. Essentially you get two good characters for the price of one. Who doesn't like a good deal?

Of course, once you go stormcaller they become insane.

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Making classes distinct enough is important, though not distinct Bioware-style (foolish restrictions like only rogues being able to equip 2 weapons and cross/bows).

 

If certain classes are able to inflict various status effects, summon powerful monsters or annihilate enemies with aoe damage, for example, I'd like them to be much weaker with auto-attacks.

Give them +5 to spell accuracy, but decrease their base accuracy.

 

Also, I think it's a lil bit silly that a barbarian is more accurate when casting a spell from a scroll than a wizard, for instance. Scroll accuracy bonus only for caster classes maybe?

 

 

 

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Some people like rangers I'm not arguing that.

 

My points are that you don t need a ranger to be effective with ranged weapons and even if you do have a ranger there is not a noticeable enough difference with there ranged capabilities compared to other classes that use a ranged weapon. Eg there abilities selection upon level up are way to underpowered.

 

My other point is that rangers are weaker then all spell casters. This is an easy conclusion to come to for this reason:

 

If you want a ranger you get:

 

- to use any ranged weapon including stormcaller

- better accuracy ( not a huge amount more)

- 4-5 abilities to choose from upon level up that are even worth selecting and about 3 of them don't come untill the end of the game

 

If you want a caster you get:

 

- any ranged weapon including stormcaller (cipher)

- if you pump perception you Will basically have the same starting accuracy as a ranger.

- an entire repertoire of spells

- I'll say that again, an entire repertoire of spells

- sorry I'll say that again, an entire repertoire of spells.

 

Now you can be a ranger if you want and fire your ranged weapon with slightly better accuracy for slightly more damage and other people can be a caster and use there ranged weapon for slightly less damage and slightly less accuracy and have an entire repertoire of spells as well.

 

Pillars casters are basically the baldurs gate equivalent of multi class fighter/ Mages without the spell penalty

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I haven't played bg2 in a while now but I Definatley don't remember thinking it was incredibly easy after playing it. There was more tactics involved in bg2 and I think there game mechanics synergysed better. The ADAD 2nd edition rules worked really will with the infinity engine.

 

Without mods like Ascension and Tactics BG2 was very easy. Most fights could be beaten by simply auto-attacking, with a few requiring spell defence removal. The first act of PoE is, in my opinion, definitely harder than BG2, though I agree it becomes pretty easy after that. The first few levels of BG1 are probably harder, but only because low level AD&D is super wonky.

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I haven't played bg2 in a while now but I Definatley don't remember thinking it was incredibly easy after playing it. There was more tactics involved in bg2 and I think there game mechanics synergysed better. The ADAD 2nd edition rules worked really will with the infinity engine.

 

 

Without mods like Ascension and Tactics BG2 was very easy. Most fights could be beaten by simply auto-attacking, with a few requiring spell defence removal. The first act of PoE is, in my opinion, definitely harder than BG2, though I agree it becomes pretty easy after that. The first few levels of BG1 are probably harder, but only because low level AD&D is super wonky.

Yeah maybe you are right. I was probably consumed by the startling originality, the rich story line, the great items to collect and the awesome spells to use and failed to notice it was easy.

 

Hint, hint obsidian for pillars 2

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Well I think PoE does well in those categories but presumably you don't.

Well pillars doesn't have startling originality because it is a IE knock off, it Definately doesn't have a rich story line the whole soul thing I found ridiculously stupid. Great items to collect? No this is where the game lacks the most, 90% of the items in pillars hardly even do anything eg a helmet that does +1 engaged or a ring that gives +1 perception. The spells? Yeah the spells are good like them in pillars.

 

But as a whole, comparing pillars to bg2? No I don't think pillars is on the same level.

 

But bg2 is the best game I have ever played and pillars is probably the second best game I have ever played.

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I thought the whole souls thing was pretty interesting myself, particularly how it relates to the gods. I agree that the items are lacking, though I don't think they're as bad as some people seem to think. The addition of drawn art for soulbound items was much appreciated and I wish that had been included for all weapons. Also let's be honest, the majority of magic items in BG2 were also fairly unexciting: if you wanted to wield battle axes then, before ToB, your only options were Stonefire (+3 with +2 fire damage) and Frostreaver (+3 with +1 ice and +1 acid damage). God help you if you liked bastard swords. Yes there were some really awesome ones too, but it's not like they were the norm.

 

I also find Eora a much more interesting setting than the Forgotten Realms, but that probably makes me the outlier here.

 

All that said, if pressed I'd probably still label BG2 as my favourite of the two, but like you it is one of my favourite games of all time (probably my favourite). That said I am aware that there's some nostalgia involved: BG2 was an amazing experience when I first played it, it had nothing really to compare to (other than BG1 where it definitely compared very favourably) and I was still young. Now I'm old and PoE necessarily gets compared to BG2 in my head. I do think that BG2 is the better of the two as a whole, but there are lots of aspects where PoE is better.

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I thought the whole souls thing was pretty interesting myself, particularly how it relates to the gods. I agree that the items are lacking, though I don't think they're as bad as some people seem to think. The addition of drawn art for soulbound items was much appreciated and I wish that had been included for all weapons. Also let's be honest, the majority of magic items in BG2 were also fairly unexciting: if you wanted to wield battle axes then, before ToB, your only options were Stonefire (+3 with +2 fire damage) and Frostreaver (+3 with +1 ice and +1 acid damage). God help you if you liked bastard swords. Yes there were some really awesome ones too, but it's not like they were the norm.

 

I also find Eora a much more interesting setting than the Forgotten Realms, but that probably makes me the outlier here.

 

All that said, if pressed I'd probably still label BG2 as my favourite of the two, but like you it is one of my favourite games of all time (probably my favourite). That said I am aware that there's some nostalgia involved: BG2 was an amazing experience when I first played it, it had nothing really to compare to (other than BG1 where it definitely compared very favourably) and I was still young. Now I'm old and PoE necessarily gets compared to BG2 in my head. I do think that BG2 is the better of the two as a whole, but there are lots of aspects where PoE is better.

I have super high expectations for pillars 2. Super super super high. I will be incredibly let down if it is not better the bg2.

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While the story as a whole is serveable, I too think that the soul thing wasn't pulled off well. The metaphysics in particular were incredibly dull and uninteresting, basically everything magical was explained by some form of  "because of the soul", "through the power of their souls" "soul does x" "souls are the reason for xy". It would have done wonders for the game if they had treated the concept of souls as something more abstract and less tangible, instead of shoving it in your face at every opportunity.

 

 

 

I have super high expectations for pillars 2. Super super super high. I will be incredibly let down if it is not better the bg2.

lol

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The metaphysics are a realized system that represents a developed cosmology.  Complaining that everything is the result of souls is like complaining because all of our technology uses electricity.  

 

D&D, including BG's cosmology is fun to play with, but makes no goddamn sense sometimes (negative energy being perhaps the worst offender).  The endless parades of Gods and Goddesses are ridiculous: Buscemi - the slimy god, the shark man god, the misfit god of redeemed monster races, the redemption god of dark elves, sharkman's eviler half-brother sharkmantula, the god of werewolves, Hungry Harry, the goddess of cutters, Mopey - the god of gloomy dwarves, Blibdoolpoolp, the evil deity of half-monkey octolizards with schizophrenia, etc.

 

Fun fact: only two of the Gods above are my own invention.  But now I really want to run a D&D session in the Island of Misfit Toys.

Edited by anameforobsidian
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Except even our technology doesn't always use electricity, and in the wide space of physics (which would be a much more fitting comparision for metaphysics) there are many more phenomena that make up our still very mysterious physical world. In Metaphysics there a  different qualia like emotions, conciousness, will etc.  Taking a blackbox named soul that is supposed to encompasses all of that somehow and  use it as a placeholder for all kind of events is just not very intersting and rather monotone, and if you don't want to come up with something better you're probably better off not going into details at all. Ever heard about negtive capability?

D&D is a  very rich world and in all kinds of aspects, and while I agree with you that some parts weren't very good, because you can always pick bad stuff out of this rich setting, there are enough other things that I found interesting enough. Better than always the same juvenile power rangers souls.

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Actually in physics there are relatively few fundamental principals with which every physical phenomenon can be explained. The explanation and understanding of these physical phenomena can be very complex, but the starting point are a few fundamental principals. In this respect the whole spirit thing isn't that dissimilar: we know that all these various, for want of a better term, "magical" phenomena come from the the interactions of souls in this world; the details may be very complicated and not understood fully (or at all) but we're (fairly) certain that they are products of soul interactions.

 

Meanwhile I have always found D&D to be a random mish mash of things all thrown into a box, and not very interesting for it.

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