I want to do a pro's and con list to help me decide which is better for me and my play style. Please add or take away as you see fit.
- Short Recharge Timer. Shortest Recharge skills in the game(i think) with conc short being the longest at 15 secs. This can be decreased further in the skirmishing trait line.
- Trait Line: Putting points into Skirmishing increases crit and crit damage which also has several of the short bow centric traits. Boosting Crit/crit damage will fit my playstyle.
- Mobility: My build will focus on Mobility. Using Quick Shot, especially when running away from a group of bad guys is another trick in my bag.
- Conditions: Though I don't want to play a heavy condition build - SB does offer a lot of conditions to add additional pressure. Bleeds, dazes/stuns, cripples and poisons.
- Synergy: has really good synergy with the sword-warhorn off set I plan on using. Hornet's Sting to Quick Shot is poetry in motion.
- Low Damage: I never saw high spike numbers even with RaO and QZ up at the same time. It's quick and can cause a lot of pressure but it will never be a spike weapon.
- Not enough specialization: Though SB does a lot of different things, it doesn't seem to do any one thing really well other than just pressure. It feels more like an off-set weapon than a stand alone weapon (in PvP anyway).
- Conditions: I know, I listed it as a pro, but I thought I'd put it here too. I don't really want to build a condition heavy build with high Malice or Expertise.
- Flanking: You get the best result with flanking attacks. I personally like this type of gameplay but it does add a level to the weapon that you simply don't need with a LB.
- High Damage/High Pressure: With some pretty impressive Long Ranged Shots and Knockback shots as well as the vulnerability from Hunter's Shot I was able to crank out some pretty good numbers on a suboptimal build.
- Specialized: Long bow is about delivering good damage reliably with good control mixed in. It's not flashy but it gets the job done.
- Knock Back Shot: Seriously it's that good.
- WvW: I could get a good build for SPvP and WvW with the same weapon rather than having to switch around. Since LB is the best WvW weapon (imo).
- Traits: I don't like a lot of the Marksman traits. 5% damage increase...piercing arrows...10% damage when End is full. They just aren't that fun or intuitive. Take the traits and forget about them. With SB I have to think a little. Plus Marksman has condition duration as a secondary stat increase and LB just doesn't lay on the conditions enough for me to feel like it's not a waste.
- Uniqueness: Every Ranger and their mother is running around with a LB. I like to be a little different.
- Long Recharge: The go-to control skills are on long cool downs and I often found myself wanting them sooner than they were ready - a problem rarely felt with the SB.
So that's my list of pros and cons. Help a ranger out and help me figure out which to finally pick so I can start hammering out my "final" build.