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My view on the Hunter Ranger

gabrieldourdengabrieldourden Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,212 Arc User
The recent thread on the Hunter Ranger changes on preview was pretty messy but I guess it brought up a lot of issues.
Many thanks to @ralexinor (even if we don't see things eye-to-eye) for a lot of interesting information and insight and to @lirithiel for enlightening me on the Combat tree which I really don't know much.

I played an HR as a main since release date, mostly PVE as my connection doesn't really allow me to play PVP properly, so forgive me if my comments are biased towards PVE. I go by Le-Shan in game.

First of all let's look at the basics. The tab power of a ranger is a stance change. Currently two trees have almost no use for it. Their buffs and feats to damage are one-sided and the encounter powers on the other side are mostly fillers as at-wills are horrible.
Trapper is the only style that weaves in encounters on both sides and fully benefits from stance changes (Swiftness of the Fox, Master Trapper, plus extra bonuses from Aspect of the Serpent). It's a cheesy tree but valued for the fluid playstile especially by the new console generation. I really like it too but it's not my favourite HR ever.

The other HR that really worked well (and to me the best one) was the Hybrid Archer Combat in mod 2. To some extent it worked in a similar way to Trapper with cooldown reduction achieved via a feat called Prime Critical (reducing cooldowbs on crits) and a set called Royal Guard (reducing cooldowns on a random basis when hitting). It had no real control in PVE (except for a three-stage-daze Constricting Arrow then nerfed due to PvP outcries).
It was more an heavy hitter (Fox Shift in particular) and really fun to play.
The only drawback it had, one that the HR always had, was the lack of an heavy daily which was an issue when spike damage was needed (Valindra at Malabog and her hand in VT). CWs with Ice Knife and GWFs with other heavy hitting powers always overshadowed us there...

My suggestion would be to get rid of the two unwieldy trees we have today and revive the hybrid making it have synergy with stance changes. It should be an heavy hitter while trapper is dot based (and heavy hits should not come from rooting powers). @amenar recently suggested that different melee/ranged power combinations could become possible and that would really help in general. Most of the PVP crowd would probably like this one to be back too.

This would leave room for a third tree. My suggestion would be reviving nature with substantial buffing feats for our utility powers. As of today only Fox's Cunning is used (because it is just a free dodge, and doesn't need to be buffed in any way to do its job) but the rest is rather meh and never got adjusted since the big changes to HP pools in mod6.

This way we will have three clearly distinct trees, all able to get benefits from both stances.
- heavy hitter (damage and pvp focus)
- dot damage and control (trapper). And please give control a sense in this game. It had sense only up to mod3 and then in mod6 due to the monsters arpen bug. By the way, trapper control in PVE is a joke. Crushing roots makes monsters blink no matter how you pump it. One of my best friends tried full control builds in Trapper and Oppressor and the difference is staggering.
- buffer, healer (nature)

Last thing (repeated). We still miss an heavy hitter. We always did and sometimes it was a pain....
Le-Shan: HR level 80 (main)
Born of Black Wind: SW Level 80

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    lirithiellirithiel Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,482 Arc User
    edited August 2016
    While I loved the hybrid playstyle you mentioned, the reason we have 3 distinct trees is because the community wanted it this way. There are a lot of people that want to play an Archer but due to survivability issues and damage most of them have gravitated to Trapper to stay competitive. Trapper should really be the buff/debuff/CC tree but due to their high damage (compared with Archery and Combat) it became the new FotM and only viable option. Trappers could easily pull it off too with fast cycling of duffing/deuffing encounters, but most just want to deal the most damage possible.

    There were actually other key feats in the Hybrid build that made it work, which were similar to Deft Strikes and Stillness of the Forest. But as much as I miss that, I like my Archer and Combat HRs for providing different playstyles. I just want them to be on par with Trapper if it continues to be a damage-dealing tree. As @ghoulz66 pointed out, there is nothing Archery and Combat offer that Trapper can't do better. For stance-switching to play a more defining role for all 3 trees, both melee and ranged versions of encounters and at-wills need to be on level footing in terms of usefulness. But I can't see that happening. Probably the only 2 encounters that are good in both stances are Longstrider's Shot/Gushing Wound and Cordon of Arrows/Plant Growth. Fox's Cunning/Fox Shift could also be included I guess. Problem with Longstrider's for Combat is that it is difficult to get to 30' range to cast it once you're engaged with a mob.

    Also I'm not sure people understood what @amenar meant by combining different encounters. To me he suggested that 2 separate powers could be worked into 1, not using 2 different ranged and melee encounters in the same slot.
    Post edited by lirithiel on
    Our pain is self chosen.

    The most important thing in life is to be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.
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    gabrieldourdengabrieldourden Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,212 Arc User
    You know @lirithiel, whatever the community asked for, it will be very hard to fit a pew-pew archer and a full combat spec into a class based on stance shifting... Unless they change the effect of the tab key...
    Le-Shan: HR level 80 (main)
    Born of Black Wind: SW Level 80
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    lirithiellirithiel Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,482 Arc User

    You know @lirithiel, whatever the community asked for, it will be very hard to fit a pew-pew archer and a full combat spec into a class based on stance shifting... Unless they change the effect of the tab key...

    Not unless they give us more self-buffing options on melee version of ranged encounters and visa versa. Like say Hawk Eye buff as the melee alternative to Rain of Arrows or Commanding Shot as the flipside to Gushing Wound. Currently it is very difficult to find good options on both sides of the spectrum when it comes to encounters. Trappers still have it best.
    Our pain is self chosen.

    The most important thing in life is to be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.
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    gabrieldourdengabrieldourden Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,212 Arc User
    If they'll actually implement a LEGO build of powers where you can choose the three ranged and the three melee then things may change.
    Le-Shan: HR level 80 (main)
    Born of Black Wind: SW Level 80
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    aslan3775aslan3775 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 295 Arc User
    I know the thread is a few days old, but I don't get to play my archer HR too often (because I get frustrated going back to the campfire in WOD and IWD too often), so I don't always check the Wilds.

    Never-the-less, I really like the pew-pew style. Call it my Legolas wanna-be if you want, but I would really like to see something in Mod 10 that helps me keep the archery style and improve my 'survive-ability'.

    I agree with your posts, though, that it seems a change to the tab mechanics or a Lego approach might be the best manner to revitalize the Archer tree. I don't know that a base damage modification is really the best method--that just smacks of power creep rather than fixing mechanics. I would love to see them keep the 'Archer' concept by changing the mechanics. Base the mechanics on the Ranger series by John Flanagan--his protagonist is an archer first, and a knife wielding fighter last.

    Too late, I know. And each of the HRs in this thread have a much better handle on the mechanics than I do. All I know is that after mod 10, I will roll with the punches, take my lumps, and play my Archer in the zones that she doesn't die too often. Still having fun, just limited in zones.
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    lirithiellirithiel Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,482 Arc User
    aslan3775 said:

    I know the thread is a few days old, but I don't get to play my archer HR too often (because I get frustrated going back to the campfire in WOD and IWD too often), so I don't always check the Wilds.

    Never-the-less, I really like the pew-pew style. Call it my Legolas wanna-be if you want, but I would really like to see something in Mod 10 that helps me keep the archery style and improve my 'survive-ability'.

    I agree with your posts, though, that it seems a change to the tab mechanics or a Lego approach might be the best manner to revitalize the Archer tree. I don't know that a base damage modification is really the best method--that just smacks of power creep rather than fixing mechanics. I would love to see them keep the 'Archer' concept by changing the mechanics. Base the mechanics on the Ranger series by John Flanagan--his protagonist is an archer first, and a knife wielding fighter last.

    Too late, I know. And each of the HRs in this thread have a much better handle on the mechanics than I do. All I know is that after mod 10, I will roll with the punches, take my lumps, and play my Archer in the zones that she doesn't die too often. Still having fun, just limited in zones.

    The increased radius of Rain of Arrows should help somewhat. I generally drop a Cordon from range, follow it up with Longstrider's then drop a Cordon at my feet and RoA afterwards and that seems to do the job in clearing mob packs that swarm me.
    Our pain is self chosen.

    The most important thing in life is to be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.
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    aslan3775aslan3775 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 295 Arc User
    I saw the increased radius in one of your other posts and that seems to be a good idea.

    I think one of the issues is that I haven't respecc'd my HR in quite a while, because I kept expecting them to change the class. After the release of Mod 10, it will force me to respec and I think that will help as much as some of the changes.
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