I've been playing a ranged ranger and I am liking it. There is a temptation to use a gun+shield to get the % block, but it seems just wrong in terms of RP. Even the lightning skill tree panders towards allowing guns probably for this reason. The core classes already have the outlander which is more of a gunslinger type of character, it would be nice to have this character favor bows and crossbows even more so than currently IMO.
I was thinking that a passive to increase damage and range with bows and crossbows would be one such passive. The storm front skill is pretty meh IMO, I was wondering if you could replace it with a skill that does +2% bow/crossbow damage per level and +range with those as well (not sure of the amount).
Also I was thinking about what it would look like to replace the Giant Killer skill (it is a very odd skill anyways) and instead have a bark armor skill. It could either be one that would absorb damage (like a shield spell basically) or perhaps better, applies a chance to block when using a bow/xbow. Say 4% chance to block per level with a cooldown. For example, 15sec at tier0, 30sec at tier1, 45 at tier2 and 60seconds at tier 3. Then do a 30second cooldown on the skill.
This would then bring bows almost up to snuff with a shield. So the advantage of the shield would remain (magic properties, more sockets, etc.), but would allow the bow ranger a better reason to be viable.