Author Topic: Experiances with a Combat Ranger  (Read 14575 times)

Evadebug

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Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« on: September 12, 2014, 11:09:28 AM »
Seeing as Im sure others have tried out this enjoyable class build, I was hoping to gain some insight into ways to improve my own experiance as I have run into difficulties.  Let me preface this by saying I have been playing synergies for about a year now as a wolfpack berserker, so my issues my come from a biased comparison to that class build.  I specifically wish to deal with endgame experiances, as I found leveling the combat ranger balanced, but like many class builds, endgame causes problems, but Im hoping the community has answers.  My ranger is currently sporting full Residual Aftermath set, with Tokioson's Guard in the offhand to meet the requirements of the combat tree, and gain me 29% extra parry.  For skills, I have been trying many different setups, my most current is:

Combat
15 Thousand Cuts
15 Sweeping Strikes
15 Blade Dancing
15 Bladeweaving
15 Closure
15 Percison
15 Inner Focus
1 Slashing Wounds

Nature
15 Bramble Wall
1 Old Growth
15 Nature's Blessing
15 Gift of Renewal

My main issues have stemmed from 2 areas, Initiation and Survivability in groups.  As a berserker, I could debuff mobs prior to engaging them with howl, utilize wolfpack to shred thier armor (there by bolstering my own), and intiate with shadowburst in order to close the distance quickly and regain health.  And I can always stay at range with wolfpack if there was too many enemies to thin the herd.  Same thing with my emberquake engineer, initial debuffing and ranged options were available. With the ranger however, until I actually walk up to melee range and swing my melee weapon I have no debuffing, extra armor or life gain.  Closure pulls them closer, but not always into melee range, and doesnt offer any initiation benefits.  If closure allowed tier benefits of debuffing the enemy or health/mana steal similar to frost breath at its top tier, It would go a long way to making it safer for the combat ranger to get where he needs to be without being chunked to death trying to get your first swing off.  I have tried bramble wall as an intiation tool, but its small range means the enemies are already damaging me while I am locked in casting animation.  What are my fellow combat rangers using to get into the fray without arriving low on health?

The other problem is shared by other melee classes attempting endgame, the damage output of groups of enemies exceeds our abilities to mitigate it.  Other melee classes can get by this through kiting, using ranged abilities, and good defensive stats (eg. Berserker gets 90% missle reflect and 40% dodge).  Natures Blessing is amazing, especially when fully charged with natures counters.  But for a class build that has a requirement that you can NOT have a shield, the lack of defensive abilities placed in the combat tree makes me feel very squishy.  Shred armor in the berserkers tree seems to do what bladeweaving and bladedancing do, but in one passive skill.  Tier bonuses added to gain dodge, parry or missle reflect on bladeweaving, or some % debuffing of incoming damage or attack speed on bladedancing would set them apart from shred armor, without pushing up the survivability of ranged rangers. But perhaps the tradeoff to great damage is to not be able to face tank all the content.  How do other combat rangers deal with large groups of enemies, or those big baddies that have the ability to oneshot classes foolish enough to be in melee range?

In summation, this is not a criticism of the phenomenal work or the amazing class that the Ranger is.  I absolutely love this game and enjoy the class diversity, I just have been struggling to survive and hope that others can offer advice as to how to overcome these difficulties.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 12:29:52 PM by Evadebug »

Salan

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2014, 01:06:33 PM »
I appreciate your feedback so much, thank you!

I have been spending so much time making the class I haven't been able to test every situation yet.  I just started testing out the end game raids myself.

I think we will see some changes along the lines that you point out coming pretty soon, I have noticed some of this myself.    I didn't want to make the ranger really mimic any other class in any way.  It WILL be a bit more of a challenge with the melee because of that, until I figure a way to make it less.   I think the melee version definitely needs to debuff the enemy at contact (closure is the perfect spell for this as you state) and maybe buff himself prior to how bladedancing/weaving work in the ramp up style.

I will look through the class and test some ideas, look to the dev notes over the day, likely get something in today.
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Salan

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2014, 01:38:37 PM »
Also try to get a full set of reactive aftermath... the two weapons add ranger stats on proc and the set itself offers way more survivability stats,  with less damage bonus's in general.

The set still performs on the offensive but is a different direction then the residual took.



***** EDITED TO POINT OUT REACTIVE not RESIDUAL *****
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 02:55:50 PM by Salan »
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Salan

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2014, 02:55:02 PM »
from the 1116+ dev notes, so far


RANGER
Balance changes:

Inner Focus
Fixed the wording to say which counter it adds correctly.

Closure
This attack can not be blocked
Mana cost on normal graph increased by 10%
Cooldown increased to 5 seconds between casts.
5 skill points: decreases damage dealt by monsters by 2% per skill investment, lasts 3 seconds.
10 skill points: decreases attack speed, and cast speed of monsters by 2% per skill investment, lasts 3 seconds.
15 skill points: decreases a monsters chance to critically strike you by 1% per skill investment (15%), lasts 3 seconds.


I had to make sure that closure wasn't a 100% uptime debuff, so I increased its cost a BIT, and made its cooldowns longer.   And of course it can't be blocked now.  All old effects are still there (growing in size etc.)

I think this will offer you some initial survivability and the ability to continually debuff after every 5 seconds.




BRAMBLEWALLS.. I am curious if the knockback on this spell is detrimental or not.  Its not designed JUST for a melee ranger, but Breathingroom was made to create space for the ranger... Does bramblewalls NEED knockback, maybe a slow movement debuff instead, leaving the enemies where they are so you can capitalize on their debuff state would be smarter.  You can use breathing room to make space..  most likely make that change.
People motivate themselves, and are inspired by others.
--- I love making FUN encounters, the ones that make you scream with terror, and remember them forever! ---
**more awesome then an awesome possum**

Evadebug

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2014, 03:12:09 PM »
I appreciate the response, and I am currently attempting to obtain a set of reactive aftermath (as I already am wearing the full set of residual aftermath with tokioson's guard in offhand for the 29% parry).  The mod is phenomonal, and the open communication with the community is amazing.  One thing I have noticed in relation to the bladeweaving vs. shred armor is that when spamming wolfpack, shred armor increases my armor values to a max of +6518, whereas with bladeweaving my armor only raises to a max of +1772.  I realize that each class is unique unto itself, but this seems to be a large discrepancy in skills that work similar.  Keep up the amazing work, I love the unique feel of the ranger class, and the constant button mashing to maintain counters  ;D

Salan

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2014, 03:42:16 PM »
The ranger inherently casts Parry as well, you don't need a parry set of armor to take advantage of it.

Parry was created with the Ranger in mind (on gear) not the berserker.  TBH the berserkers shred armor amount is WAY higher then I like and when I get around to altering the berserker it is one of the things I intend to look at.  For now it gets crazy because the berserker was not created with parry in mind, and parry wasn't created with the berserker's shred armor in mind.  At some point they will have to have a reckoning between the two.

Lets see if we can balance the ranger NOT based on what other classes can do, its not really a stable way to balance something.  Embermage can do this with its electric skills, why can't the ranger?

the ranger itself is designed purely on its own merrits.  And yes the skills on the ranger are more controlled then they could be, but it is on purpose for balance.
People motivate themselves, and are inspired by others.
--- I love making FUN encounters, the ones that make you scream with terror, and remember them forever! ---
**more awesome then an awesome possum**

Evadebug

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2014, 05:06:17 PM »
I was not suggesting that the ranger be altered to bring it in line with shred armor, I was just noting a discrepancy.  You have previously stated there were certain skills that had to be toned back from the vanilla TL2 (such as ice shield), and I realize you have a vision of where you would like things to be. So when I see a 5kish difference, I tend to want to inquire to understand why.  As far as bramble walls, the knockback can be a bit counterproductive in gaining melee range.  And since brambles tend to slow things down, I love the idea of a slow debuff, especially as it gives the combat ranger a more efficient way to kite when unsafe to engage in melee. 

And seeing as there is no parry chance indicator in the defensive section of the arcane statitics, does DF reduce parry chance?  Is parry capped at something other than 100%?  And does it have any effect on any spells, or is it melee only?

Salan

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2014, 05:40:30 PM »
watch your equipment page when parry triggers, you'll see all your armor jump, including elementals.

parry doesn't have a cap.
I might try to make a counter that shows your chance to parry thou.
People motivate themselves, and are inspired by others.
--- I love making FUN encounters, the ones that make you scream with terror, and remember them forever! ---
**more awesome then an awesome possum**

Salan

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2014, 02:22:23 AM »
Fully equipped Aftermath Reactive melee ranger with the following skills:
(fully gem'd and soulcrafted to the extreme)

5 points thousand cuts
15 points sweeping strike
15 points closure (could likely drop this to 10 and take thousand cuts to 10, but I really wanted to try the debuff)
1 point bladedancing
1 point bladeweaving
1 point Rites of the moon

1 point slashing wounds
15 points inner focus
15 points precision

15 points bramble wall (debuff stacking with closure)
15 points tree of life
1 point natures vengeance
15 points giant killer
15 points old growth to fuel giant killer
2 points natures blessing (left overs)
15 points gift of renewal

1 point thunderstorm
1 point stormwarning



I was able to do abe without dieing, ALMOST died 3 times in stage 4, was down to 1000 health at one point, but I didn't get the challenge chest :(
People motivate themselves, and are inspired by others.
--- I love making FUN encounters, the ones that make you scream with terror, and remember them forever! ---
**more awesome then an awesome possum**

Salan

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2014, 02:23:22 AM »
Tree of life needs some buffs I think the stat isn't effecting it and i know how to fix it..
People motivate themselves, and are inspired by others.
--- I love making FUN encounters, the ones that make you scream with terror, and remember them forever! ---
**more awesome then an awesome possum**

Salan

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2014, 02:24:11 AM »
I need an extra freaking hot bar for this set up :(
People motivate themselves, and are inspired by others.
--- I love making FUN encounters, the ones that make you scream with terror, and remember them forever! ---
**more awesome then an awesome possum**

Momiji

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2014, 09:48:33 AM »
I need an extra freaking hot bar for this set up :(

I've felt like that a few times with some builds in this game lol

Too bad the only mod I've seen that adds an extra hot bar for the function keys is for an older TL2 version... :'(

Salan

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2014, 10:14:27 AM »
I could add one, I wonder if I should or not.  hmmm
People motivate themselves, and are inspired by others.
--- I love making FUN encounters, the ones that make you scream with terror, and remember them forever! ---
**more awesome then an awesome possum**

stackmanpf77

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2014, 05:14:12 PM »
one thing i've noticed - although i'm not sure if i understand the charge mechanic in which case my point is most likely null - but the charge counters deplete wayy too fast for thousand cuts and sweeping strikes - and using fast enough weapons you run out of charges before the cooldown counter has been reset, and it's a wicked crazy drain on mana.

although, that could be how you intended the mechanic to work so the buff couldnt be constantly up?

Salan

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Re: Experiances with a Combat Ranger
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2014, 05:53:56 PM »
The buff stays up but it won't fire without counters.
People motivate themselves, and are inspired by others.
--- I love making FUN encounters, the ones that make you scream with terror, and remember them forever! ---
**more awesome then an awesome possum**