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  1. #1
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    Default Still red-headed step-child?

    Just started to look at leveling my ranger up, and at first glance it appears that assassins are still the preferred class when developers make decisions.

    One example I've seen of this is Opening Volley vs. Killing Fury. Instead of giving the opening bonus to the class that can transfer hate and help stabilize the agro sooner, they give it to the ranger. Not only did assassins get a 50% larger window, theirs is at the end when the mob is debuffed. To add insult to injury, their bonus effects all attacks and not just combat arts like it does for rangers.

    Do our other AA abilities make up for this blatant favoritism of assassins?

    (Note: I had this discussion with a guildie who pointed out that sorcerers get this same opening/closing bonus, but I believe this further proves my point. My understand of game mechanics would lead me to believe that Warlocks should get the opening bonus as any DoTs cast while the mob is over 80% would still have the bonus if they are ticking away after the mobs drops below 80%. As well, wizards would have the benefit of the tank having better agro control before they get the bonus to their big nukes. To have it backwards from that seems like it is intentionally limiting the potential of these two classes as well)

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: Still red-headed step-child?

    Well the beginning of the solution is approximately as follows:

    -Remove the hidden penalty to auto bow damage that Aeralik implemented when he "fixed" arrow mechanics back in RoK.

    -Remove the inherent penalty to proc rates off bow shots.

    -Do away with the ancient rule that melee weapons can't proc off bow and vice versa. The distinction between a weapon proc as an enchantment on the weapon (but only in the case of fighters and scouts) and an armor/shield/jewelry proc or mage/priest weapon proc as an enchantment on the character was always arbitrary and contradictory. Furthermore, the obvious purpose of the rule at the time it was implemented was to reign in ranger dps and limit the number of procs scouts (especially rangers) could get at a time when ranger dps was high and procs limited in their availability. Now, however, one can get a proc in every item slot. The old rule thus only serves to penalize rangers relative to other scouts, who have a wider selection of weapon procs to choose from, and scouts in general relative to mages, who can get procs in all three slots that trigger off their spells. A proc on a primary hand weapon or bow should trigger both off primary hand swings and bow shots. A proc on an off-hand item should trigger either off off-hand swings and bow shots or off primary hand swings and bow shots (despite the fact that the proc is on the off-hand weapon), and obviously only the former of those two rules can be used in the case of a non-weapon off-hand. To be clear, each proc, regardless of what item it's on, should trigger off one melee weapon and off bow, but never off both melee weapons, as this would double the number of procs dual wielders would get; dual wielders would essentially have two chances to trigger procs for each cycle of their auto attack timer if we allowed procs to trigger off both melee weapons.

    -Make flurry and hurricane buffs work off bow. Obviously these mechanics as they apply to bows would need to be balanced to account for the fact that a bow is greater than a primary hand weapon (as flurry and hurricane don't work on off hand). There is no cognizable legitimate reason that rangers should be the one scout class completely excluded from these bonuses when clearly they can be properly tuned for bow use.

    -Bring TSO and SF ranger AA's in line with assassin AA's from those expansions.
    -In SF, rangers' damage bonus to CA's only for the first 20% of a mob's HP is grossly unbalanced against assassins' damage bonus to CA's AND auto attack for the last 30% of a mob's HP. This fix is obvious.
    -In SF, assassins get the same damage bonus to offensive stance proc that rangers get PLUS assassins also get a trigger chance buff from the same AA. Rangers should have the same trigger chance buff or something comparable in its place.
    -In SF, assassins get an AA for one of their big DoT's while rangers get an AA for their crappy DD/root. The ranger version of this AA should be for Hidden Shot instead.
    -In SF, Predator's Final Trick is significantly better for assassins than it is for rangers, as assassins have more stealth CA's they can chain with it. I think the best solution to this problem is simply to put something on the buff that is blatantly tailored to rangers. As I said, the removal of the stealth requirement favors assassins, but only implicitly, not facially. It would be preferable to have something on it that only implicitly favors rangers, but I'm not quite sure how to do this, so basically the buff would need something that only works off bow.
    -In TSO, the Death Mark AA is vastly superior to the Ranger's Blade AA. This problem could potentially be remedied by making the buff to Ranger's Blade from the AA significantly bigger.
    -In TSO, assassins' poison damage AA is vastly superior to the Arrow Rip AA. I would scrap the Arrow Rip AA and give rangers some different poison AA, perhaps one that puts a secondary effect on damage poisons in the form of a fast-ticking DoT, sort of similar to the TSO AA brigands have that adds a nox resist debuff to their damage poisons.
    -In TSO, assassin verdict is vastly superior to the buff to the group part of Focus Aim. I would make the TSO Focus Aim AA attach a damage proc to the group part, and also make the group part raid-wide with the final rank.
    -Ranger CA's are still inherently vastly inferior to assassin CA's.
    -Hawk Dive and Coverage are both terrible and need to be completely revamped.
    -A lot of other ranger CA's are still quite lacking and need some combination of their damage buffed, cast time reduced, and recast lowered. Examples of ranger damage CA's that are very lacking include Rear Shot, Miracle Shot, the debuff shot, Snaring Shot, Arrow Rip, and the DD/root.
    -The ranger epic should remove the minimum range from bow CA's, as it originally did. This change will make it easier for rangers to dps mobs with large hit boxes.

    -Spells and CA's for a long time have only checked for the caster being within the spell's max range at the start of the cast. We need to apply the same mechanic to stealth, position, and minimum range checks, as having CA's disrupted by checks at the end of the cast is extremely frustrating.

    -The devs have gradually eroded the number of bow CA's that can be cast on the run, and at this point almost none fit this category. There need to be more bow CA's that are castable while moving. In particular, any bow shot that requires stealth should be castable while moving, as getting knocked while casting a stealth bow shot and then immediately popping out of stealth (by virtue of either damage from the AE or auto bow firing) is extremely frustrating.

    -From the revamp of Stream of Arrows and the introduction of the new ranger SF end ability, it appears that the devs may want to make rangers the "AE predator." If that's the direction they want to go, I'm fine with it, but they need to do a hell of a lot more if anyone is to expect rangers to compete with warlocks on AE content (the comparison to warlocks being the obviously relevant one if we go that route). Rangers would need access to high values of hurricane (that works off bow), more AE damage procs, and harder hitting AE's with shorter recasts. Taking this direction of course would not obviate the need to bring ranger single target dps way up out of the abyss, as warlocks currently do extremely well on single target, as well.

    -Scouts in general can't stay to dps raid mobs without great risk (or certainty) of dying to AE's. Either scouts need some kind of inherent AE damage reduction or avoidance (not through new AA's or gear and not some bullshit temporary buff that only covers one round of AE's every 3 minutes or whatever) or we need to completely do away with range-based AE's and make them solely position-based (in front of vs. behind the mob).

    -Somehow, the devs need to address the issue of potency affecting only a fraction of scout dps, but nearly all of mage dps. Scouts have been capped on all auto attack mods except flurry and hurricane for a long time, and those mods are exceedingly rare. As such, the emergence of potency as a common buff on items has vastly favored mages over scouts, with scouts getting really nothing to counter this advantage.

    -Brawler mobs that severely penalize melee hit rates are a problem. I haven't seen any so far in SF, but I'm by no means convinced I won't see them again. The devs either need to eliminate brawler mobs or implement other mobs that similarly severely penalize mage dps.

    Obviously I have listed a lot of changes here and some people may immediately have the emotional, knee-jerk reaction of something like "omg, doing all that would be ridiculous and would make rangers overpowered," thus prompting such people to make retarded posts. The essential problem with that argument, even if framed properly, is that it has no basis in observable reality. The reality right now is that rangers simply do not show up on the map in discussions of top-end dps (http://www.eq2flames.com/combat-disc...ve-t1-dps.html). There isn't even a close question. Rangers are a joke. As such, timid half-measures would be woefully insufficient to address the problem. The devs need to comprehensively address all of the problems that make rangers just terrible right now, whether those problems have arisen from pure prejudice against the class, fear of it being overpowered, or mere negligence. The devs' historical habit of just doing "little tweaks" frankly won't cut it.

  3. #3
    High Priest Vatican Assassin Warlock Szai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still red-headed step-child?

    That is a good post, its easy to get mad about all them things but taking the time to actually list and explain them is a good step toward getting them addressed. I like the proc buff on focus aim idea a lot.
    I honestly dont think the aoe auto attack should be implemented for rangers but flurry wouldnt be bad, also what would it hurt to add a new ranged only stat since melee has 2 or something, though they obviously wanted to consolidate all the stats, I liked it more when rangers were a very unique class.

  4. #4
    Singing Ranger
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    Default Re: Still red-headed step-child?

    Go Azleya!

  5. #5
    I have returned!
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    Default Re: Still red-headed step-child?

    -Remove the hidden penalty to auto bow damage that Aeralik implemented when he "fixed" arrow mechanics back in RoK.
    A-fukin-men brutha!

    We were fucking monsters when RoK came out.

  6. #6
    Get Mad...
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    Default Re: Still red-headed step-child?

    Azleya, a lot of good reality-based recommendations that I'm sure many people would love to see implemented. Pretty much all of the topics listed I'd get behind. Coverage really isn't too bad as it stands now, not sure it needs too much added to it but I wouldn't complain if the damage percentage went up or the recast went down.

    You should go drop that post on the official forums. I doubt the devs would listen to much, (or any) of it, but it never hurts to add some fuel to the fire.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Still red-headed step-child?

    Quote Originally Posted by Upirus View Post
    Azleya, a lot of good reality-based recommendations that I'm sure many people would love to see implemented. Pretty much all of the topics listed I'd get behind. Coverage really isn't too bad as it stands now, not sure it needs too much added to it but I wouldn't complain if the damage percentage went up or the recast went down.

    You should go drop that post on the official forums. I doubt the devs would listen to much, (or any) of it, but it never hurts to add some fuel to the fire.
    Knowing the devs they would probably suspend her account.

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