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 Post Posted: Saturday, 19. January 2013, 00:08:47 
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I want to start off by thanking those who have done character guides, and recommend
that readers refer to those first. My aim is to channel the essence of each character, to find their uniqueness, and gather where they are headed - based on my thought and outside input (feel free to post on this with your contributions).

(This is as of 1.33)

I wish to start with my first love (awwww :) ) back in 1.08f, which was the Ranger. Then I particularly appreciated that agil also gave armor per skill point, removed for obvious reasons. I have never cared for the model, as he looks like a rat-man of a sort, and especially those bug-eye goggles. But the joy of playing him helped me ignore these tertiary visual details.

And I want to use “buzz” words/terms to get at what I feel the Ranger is about (in no particular order): marksman, expertise, skilled, mentor, natural, balance of mental/physical, solid back-up, danger at a distance, hunter etc

To interpret these words into narrative:
I see the Ranger as a master of his craft. He is not the main man or a character that craves the spotlight, but prefers to do his job in providing solid assistance to his allies. He is a hunter of sorts, using the balance of tools nature provides him and his innate skill. I feel like he wants to share his ability/knowledge/skill with others, so that simply his presence makes them better at what they do.

And to take a general (not intended to be in-depth) look at his current skills (courtesy of Masterja’s guide) and add my assessment:

3a. Woody Might
The only heal spell of Ranger, but non the less, very useful spell. It is also multi-purposed spell. You can use it to deal damage by stacking many spirits near enemy, you can explode them to deal good AoE damage, and if nobody is around when it explodes, you get healed. The backdraw is that it costs hell of a mana, so its not good at start of game!

-I like the idea of this spell. The dual purpose of damage/healing is always a good combo for a spell.

3b. Charged Arrow
One of most awesome spells in Rangers arsenal. It costs no mana, so its natural choice on leveling. It is a single target spell that has 2 goals - deal damage (double damage if enemy hits something), and Knocks enemies away, giving Ranger survivability against single foes. This spell should be in AGI ranger's spellbook at all times.

-Agreed. Good use of the elements without stepping too much on Elemental Mage’s toes. The Ranger should have that 1 shot that severely maims/wounds an enemy. Similar to Power Shot, so it should be adjusted slightly more towards the “effects” angle.

3c. Rush
Rush is also very good spell. Given the fact that Ranger needs survivability, this spell is just b-e-a-utiful! It gives you huge MS boost, and you can go over hills and trees. It also has 5 seconds cooldown. This is a must spell, no mater what build you have.

-Staying out of the forefront is key for the Ranger. He needs to be evasive without trying to step too much on the Assassin’s toes.

3d. Arrow Rain
Arrow rain is main AoE spell of AGI ranger. It deals nice damage, and depends on luck, since random enemies are hit. If you are lucky enough, you deal far more damage than usually.

-Good idea. Showering the groups of enemies with arrows is a true archer/ranger’s purpose for defense against the oncoming assault of the enemy.

3e. Focus
Semi-Passive that requires mana. This thing gives you tons of DPS in form of AS increase and critical strike chance. Use at all times for AGI and semi-AGI ranger.

-Attack speed increase is a perk for low agil builds, so that is fine. Critical strike is logical to his nature, but again we have to be careful not to step too much on the Assassin’s toes.

3f. Overgrow
Overgrow is one of best disables in game. Sure, it doesn't disable enemies attack, but since your range is far larger than anyone else, you can safelly beat crap out of anything thats entangled. It deals good INT damage, and its a must in any build (lvl 1 if you are AGI).

-Employs the power of nature in an effective manner. Similar to Tree Prison, so maybe an area to improve on?

3g. Aura Ward
Aura ward gives awesome damage bonus. Just place it whenever you use Focus, and you got yourself insane DPS!

-This aids in the dps of the ranger and his allies, which fits his profile.

3h. Tree Prison
Tree prison is very awesome anti-melee spell that is primarily used for INT builds. Its single target disable, and is very leinghty one at that!

-The power of nature again, and a good one. Similar to Overgrow, so maybe an area to improve on?

3i. Spider Arrow
Spider arrow used to be best spell ingame. Now its "meh". It can be used for DPS by agi/int mix with high spellpower though, but efficiency was greatly reduced, and now INT build has been really damaged (spiders were fully dependant on INT, and woody might lasted 20 seconds, now 12, therefore INT build has been really damaged).

-Cool idea. Fun to see in action. Feels like in needs some more kick.

3j. Multi-Shot
Multi-Shot is pretty good AoE spell for AGI ranger. Its used for 2 reasons - first you attack up to 7 enemies (iirc), and secondly your Power shot damage is trippled! If you use power shot while multishoting, 3 arrows will shoot instead of one.

-Actually one of my favorite skills in concept. Similar to a showering concept, with less maintenance than Arrow Rain, so I like it.

3k. Guardian Wisps
Best INT spell, hands down. It summons 5 wisps, each dealing INT damage, and is affected by spellpower. INT characters can overgrow / tree prison enemies, and use this spell to dish out some serious damage meanwhile.

-Cool ability. Also like this angle of providing spelldamage. Feels like it could use a little something extra.

3L. Power Shot
Most damaging spell in game, next to Sacred Nova. This thingy deals up to 2.5 AGI, and that isn't a small amount, especially when tripled by Multi-shot! A must have for AGI rangers.

-Powerful. The Ranger should have that 1 shot that severely maims/wounds an enemy. Similar to Charged Arrow, but definitely aimed at the damage angle. The combo with Multi-shot is important.

So the future of the Ranger lies in the adjustment of these current skills. Certain ones need more “focus” when it comes to their angle. I think there needs to be something that heals or protects the Ranger maybe in a more conventional manner. And I think he needs to do more for his allies in the form of aura’s and possibly buffs.

With that in mind, here are some specific and non-specific suggestions:
Implement nature more. Consider some attributes of nature: Temperature, Acts of God (ie Lightning, Thunder, Earthquakes, etc), Mountains/Rocks, Water, Nourishing/Healing, Poison, etc. Maybe some sort of blinding/healing effect with the use of the sun. Maybe some more armor/self-damage reduction with the theme of petrified wood. Maybe a stun/slowed enemy movement speed related to the Charged Arrow in addition to what it already does. Adding “venom”/Poison damage to Spider Arrow. The idea of druiding has to be weighed, maybe without changing form but some sort of predator/hunter/animalistic effect, without stepping on the Warrior’s toes. The use of critical strike/evasion has to be defined--how is the Ranger using these techniques which are aspects of a ranger idea? Should he leave a maiming/bleeding effect on his victim? Maybe a stun/bleed effect/reduced enemy damage (ie enemy is weakened).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and for your input. Let us all make a cooperative effort to make this a map worth playing for a long time!


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 Post Posted: Saturday, 19. January 2013, 01:00:07 
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No, nature usually means plant and animal not sun, rock, etc. But the idea of adding venom to spiders make sense. Also, i agree with you about her bad visual.


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 Post Posted: Saturday, 19. January 2013, 01:43:09 
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That is a very narrow definition of nature, but I caught the word "usually" so you saved yourself there :) Thank you for the affirmation on the other aspects.

I appreciate your input :)


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 Post Posted: Saturday, 19. January 2013, 18:31:04 
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Well as someone else said somewhere else (I know these phrasings begin to sound ridiculous, but I have read almost every thread in the game forums and I want to keep making clear, that some of the ideas are not my own, and also, that I am not the only one with this opinion, lol), the word Ranger does not come from the range of combat but from the ranges, that the Ranger travels and keeps. In german, the translation of the word Ranger actually incorporates the word for forest (just added this as an example to make it clearer), and that is, where a Ranger (as thought of in this rpg and other stories) roams. So in this case, nature refers to nature in forests, both flora and fauna.
To sum it up again, a Ranger is less of an archer and marksman, than some people might think (in some lores, the Rangers, who appear do not even use bows or crossbows), and has more to do with nature (in forests^^).
I agree on adding some poison to that, because a Ranger has knowledge of poisonous animals, but what I find missing is some healing herbs, that allow the Ranger to tend to some wounds of allies. Thereby not saying to make the Ranger a healer, but giving the Ranger an opportunity to do a bit of support.

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 Post Posted: Sunday, 20. January 2013, 03:10:12 
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I appreciate your consideration of other's ideas. I appreciate the history lesson, and I was aware of the original idea of a travel and keeper, though I believe that in these two terms there is some broadening of what it means to travel and keep.

If one truly wanted to stay to the strictest definition of the "ranger", I fully agree with you. But I think that the character has already deviated from that to more of conventional sense of a "ranger", and this broader conventional sense lends itself to flexibility in character creation--so my above assessment was based having those two things already established.

I follow you on providing "natural" support. Reminds me of the Ranger character in a game I have returned to from time to time called "Monster's Den" which is a saving flash game, notably on Kongregate. It is a nice dungeon crawler game series, that I analyzed to death to figure our best team/item combos. (I turned to it after GOH was having a period of updates requiring code resets, because it makes me mad to lose progress. This is also why I play Diablo 3 on occasion, though I must admit from a gameplay standpoint GOH is more rewarding.)


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 Post Posted: Thursday, 07. February 2013, 11:11:43 
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I want to expand on my ability suggestion regarding the "petrified wood."

Thinking about an ability called Petrify, I thought about using armor bonus, and then combining it with any of these: damage reduction, evasion, stun, chance to miss, chance to critical hit, etc

So here is a more concrete suggestion (number values are not concrete):
Petrify:
The Ranger uses ancient methods to craft petrified wood into into protective gear giving him "10*skill level" armor bonus. Upon activation, the Ranger's presence strikes fear into all enemies within an AOE of 450, stunning them for "0.2*skill level" and buffing all the enemies with a "5*skill level" % chance to miss for 5 seconds.

It seems like the armor bonus should be a passive, but the skill reads like it is more like an active.

Next more concrete idea (number values are not concrete):
Balm:
The Ranger's knowledge in the mixing of plants and natural extracts allows him to create a salve that he can apply to himself or an ally to heal them by "10*skill level"% of his intelligence per second for 5 seconds.

Thoughts?


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 Post Posted: Thursday, 07. February 2013, 15:08:29 
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450 range for the aura would be less than the attack range.
Heals are always dependent on str nowadays.
Of course, there would be a need of balancing towards the numbers, but as you said, those are not concrete.
Also, there are a few questions, that would need to be answered.
What skills would you replace?
How high are the cooldowns?

RP wise, those skills would probably fit a ranger. The question is now, whether they would also fit the game. Both skills, even when balanced further, would greatly increase the survivability and affect the Ranger playstyle overall. From what I can see, Ranger would become a much stronger solo char, while having almost the same efficiency against bosses on high level. A healing skill and a defensive skill make the Ranger more of an allround class instead of the agi or int dps, that she used to be.

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 Post Posted: Thursday, 07. February 2013, 16:48:56 
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A ranger has got the highest attack and spell range of all characters.
That's why this class should suffer from the lowest defense while being a great offense class at range.
So, the perfect playstyle for a ranger is to shoot enemies or use your spells from range and never (or seldomly) get hit by them at the same time.

Robbepop


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 Post Posted: Saturday, 09. February 2013, 05:43:10 
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what about some melee str-based skills and dinosaur companion?)


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 Post Posted: Saturday, 09. February 2013, 06:00:48 
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1st: How does that fit the lore? A dinosaur? Also, for summons, the Ranger already has Spider Arrow.
2nd: How the hell does that fit the playstyle? Melee skills? Why would you want to combine high range and melee? So far, I have seen no str build for Ranger, and judging for my (admittedly limited) knowledge of her skills, I doubt, that those are effective. Adding a minor heal as suggested by crazywolf as a realisation of my comment on it missing in the lore, might open up new diversity, but imo Ranger should not become a Tank or anything close to it. Using Nalan's set and similar defensive items and some lifesteal, an agi Ranger with 3k hp is already able to take a lot of damage, this should not be encouraged beyond certain boundaries.

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