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How do I get better at Ranger?


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#1 Tatile

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:13 PM

(Also know as: How do I become good in the first place?)

I have a level 80 Ranger and have been doing "adequately" in the dungeons I've had the chance to run in: Ascalonian Catacombs and Cathedral of Flame. I know I should be doing better and that for the most part my survival and ability to kill things has been down to luck.

I've had a look at "The Support Ranger Guide", but some of the links are broken and apparently the required weapons have been nerfed.

Currently the Ranger breakdown is like this:


Traits:
30 Marksmanship
30 Wilderness Survival
10 Beastmastery

Weapons:
Shortbow
Longbow

Pets:
Forest Spider
Jungle Spider

Skills:
Heal as One
Signet of Renewal
Sun Spirit
Stone Spirit

Elite:
Rampage as One

Attributes:
Power: 1861
Precision: 1270
Toughness 1216
Vitality: 1205

Attack: 2830
    Condition Damage: 903
Critical Chance: 21%
Armour: 2,128
Health: 17,972




So, I know as a Shortbow Ranger I should be applying conditions, so my non-weapon-skills must be all wrong and my Condition Damage is obviously too low, but I'm using a Longbow as my secondary weapon. So that's wrong as well, because it means I've put too much into Power and Precision, lowering my damage from my shortbow, and by having gear towards my shortbow I'm lowering damage from my longbow.

So I've geared and equipped myself all wrong.

Is there a guide or thread of reccomendations for Shortbow Rangers? I've obviously missed it.

I like my spiders, but I'm assuming they're also not the pets I should be using.


I was going to start working towards the Twilight Arbor Precision/Toughess/Condition Damage armour, because I think it's good for Shortbow/Condition Ranger, however I'm likely going to be wrong on that as well.


If anybody knows of any guides I've stupidly missed during my 80+ levels of shooting things, it'd be very much appreciated.

#2 Daisy Rogers

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 04:25 PM

If what you seek is condition damage I would suggest as a secondary set axe torch. The short bow is amazing at applying conditions to single target but you will quickly be overwhelmed when facing  larger groups. Next, I don't know what sigils you have equiped but I would suggest fire on SB (extra source of condition damage when fire trap is on cool down and provides some AoE) and which ever one procs bleeding on the axe, since normally it will only stack bleed on #2. Torch sigil is up to you.

When I ran a condition spec I utilized rampager armor (precision power and condition damage) and weapons and jewelry was the one that gave precision toughness and condition dmage, been a while can't remember name of it. I used QZ fire trap and spike trap and entangle.

Spec 30 into the critical line to buff the traps.

For Pets using this spec I had best luck with the bears as they held aggro the longest and surived long enough for me to stack all the conditions.

If you love the SB I would urge conditions, that is by far what it is best at. Hold onto the LB for when you find yourself in WvW zerg fest.

#3 Daisy Rogers

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 04:37 PM

http://www.gw2db.com...91|48791|48791|

Roughly what I used, I had on axe superior sigil of earth and on the torch superior sigil of geomancy.

The build relies on crit procs and constant movement. Since this build tries to stay at range as much as possible I skimped a bit on vitality.

I used troll unguent since with the constant movement I find myself in more trouble using the spring. Brown bear is my condition removal.

Forgot to mention runes I used for PvE, I picked up the Superior Runes of the Mad King. They are pretty awesome for your bleeds. And it gives a boost to your power which is lacking in my build.

Edited by Daisy Rogers, 24 November 2012 - 05:02 PM.


#4 Tatile

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:09 PM

Thank you Daisy Rogers, I'll give all of that a go :)

I do like my short bow, so it's nice to know I can still use it.

I picked up the Power/Precision/Condition Damage Ascalonian chest piece, so now with the improved weapons I'm at 45% Crit Chance, so I should actually be able to do damage now. Yay!

#5 Dahk

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

Hmm, gw2db must be down or something since the link isn't working for me, but a short bow build with a good balance of dps and defense is the best way to go.  Personally, this is what I run as my baseline build:
http://gw2skills.net...G7MuZkzsCYEwWAA

One of the great things about PvE is that you can change your slot skills, talents (at least the ones you've spent points on), and pets any time you're out of combat, so doing this is pretty key to putting out an optimal performance in a dungeon.  

If you're going into a fight with conditions, make sure you have sig of renewal or a condition removal trait and a brown bear out.  If there will be knockdowns, bring Lightning Reflexes or grab something like Hide in Plain Sight from the Skirmishing tree.  If melee gets chewed up on a fight, make sure you have two ranged pets equipped.  Etc., etc., you get the idea.

Speaking of pets, the spider is actually a good all around pet for a lot of dungeons since their ranged attacks allows them to survive very well.

Anyways, there's no one exact way to do well in dungeons, but as long as you're asking yourself the right questions, you'll be awesome.

#6 My Sweet Lily

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:12 PM

I have said this many times on this forum, and I will say it again: You don't have to be conditioner as a shortbow user. Shortbow is better than longbow in direct damage. But if you want to do conditions, it's fine. If you go for conditions, I recommend that you take axe/torch secondary weapon set. Just remember that if you want to do direct dmg, shortbow is your best choice (only if you have full berserker's armor+weapon+jewelery).

On to topic: If you want to be good, you should change your skills/pets/traits/weapons to fit the situation. So if you do dungeons, get to know them. Learn them. Then you will know the situations you will encounter and then you can change your skills/pets/traits/weapons accordingly (wow thats a lot of "yous").

#7 Garimeth

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:12 PM

View PostMy Sweet Lily, on 25 November 2012 - 12:12 PM, said:

I have said this many times on this forum, and I will say it again: You don't have to be conditioner as a shortbow user. Shortbow is better than longbow in direct damage. But if you want to do conditions, it's fine. If you go for conditions, I recommend that you take axe/torch secondary weapon set. Just remember that if you want to do direct dmg, shortbow is your best choice (only if you have full berserker's armor+weapon+jewelery).

On to topic: If you want to be good, you should change your skills/pets/traits/weapons to fit the situation. So if you do dungeons, get to know them. Learn them. Then you will know the situations you will encounter and then you can change your skills/pets/traits/weapons accordingly (wow thats a lot of "yous").

This. ^^^  I ran some dps calcs and posted them here:

http://www.guildwars...-dps-speed-etc/

You will see that even in the most ideal circumstances condition "barely" outdamages pure physical damage, and when those circumstances are not met condition damage is one of the lowest damage dealing specs we have.

Also the biggest way to stay alive is not getting hit.  You have to know when to use your dodges, quick shot, condition removal etc.  Part of that is just experience and learning the dungeon.  Think of extra vitality and toughness as cushion for your mistakes, and build in however much you need to stay alive.  dead players deal no dps.  I personally like using healing spring because each tick also gives vigor if you take the WS trait, and dodges are worth thousands of hp. plus for the regen you do not have to stand i the field, only shoot through it.  So I like to pop it in between me and the boss so my team can use it too, and then move in and out of it while I shoot through it, it also removes a condition when applied and gives a water field.

Speaking of which how are you handling condition removal?  I did not see a list of utility skills?  Dahk gave some great advice on defensive utilities.

Lastly keep in mind your jungle spider has an on command immobilize, another immobilize it uses on its own, and can apply a poison field.  What?!  Polar bear can apply chill, drakehound a short cd aoe immob, wolf aoe fear, etc.  those are all types of CD usable on a champ.  Spider is one of the strongest boss pets imo, so is the black bear.

#8 Tatile

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:17 PM

I hadn't realised that condition builds were so bad. That's a shame, I've been enjoying the axe/torch set-up. I guess I'll have to look at the Greatsword thread then.

I thought Signet of Renewl was condition removal, though. Is it not?

#9 Garimeth

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:01 AM

View PostTatile, on 25 November 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

I hadn't realised that condition builds were so bad. That's a shame, I've been enjoying the axe/torch set-up. I guess I'll have to look at the Greatsword thread then.

I thought Signet of Renewl was condition removal, though. Is it not?

I used to run a conditions build myself.  Conditions is not terrible if you have a guaranteed flank, and its arguably easier to build survival into a conditions build since you save on trait points from the marksmanship line.  The most important thing is to not die, contribute, and have fun...but from an omptimization standpoint, yeah condi is not very good I must say.

Well conditions are still bonus dps imo, i still use fire and spike trap and if I hadn't started using gs again would say that axe is still a great aoe weapon, and with a combo field you can spread out some conditions very nicely.  Burning is still decent damage.  I just view the conditions as nice to haves now, not a build objective.

signet of renewal is condi removal, i just didn't see your utility list.

#10 ScorpioSpork

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:04 AM

View PostTatile, on 25 November 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

I hadn't realised that condition builds were so bad.
I wouldn't say that they're bad. This is my current build: http://gw2skills.net...nA1FwecIH9o/h0D

I run 20/30/5/0/15 with Shortbow and either Axe/Warhorn or Axe/Torch. I usually run with Warhorn for the fury and speed.

20 Marksmanship: Piercing Arrows is just too good to pass up. I find myself using shortbow 80-90% of the time in combat, so the added AoE makes a huge difference.

30 Skirmishing: This is pretty much mandatory for condition builds, since traps are a huge source of AoE damage and conditions. My Adept trait changes depending on which pet I'm using. In general PvE or WvW, I use birds for their high damage and speed buff. In dungeons I use either devourers or spiders.

5 Wilderness Survival: This is just too nice to pass up. I don't build a lot of defense in my armor, so the extra dodging is great.

15 Beastmastery: Zephyr's Speed and Loud Whistle is just an amazing combination with shortbow. And since I use squishy birds, having a low pet swap cooldown is incredibly useful. I could even drop the 5 in Wilderness Survival for Vigorous Training so my brids apply 5s AoE vigor every 15s. But if you're not using birds or moas, 5 in Wilderness Survival is better.


So this build isn't 100% conditions. It's more of a hybrid. I get just enough precision to get me to around 50% critical chance with full Rampager's armor and weapons. I'm currently using beryl jewelry, but chrysocola would be better. I'll probably grab 5 Runes of the Mad King and fill any open upgrade slots with chrysocola.

I've tried pure power/precision builds with Ranger, and I have to say that I still prefer this build for PvE and group fights in WvW. Even in 1v1 skirmishes, I still do well. If things go south, I can usually escape.

And I feel like trading crit damage for condition damage is a good deal.

#11 Dahk

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:29 AM

I've been doing some testing on pets lately and I've come to realize that I've grossly underestimated canines as pets for PvE.  They can still be a little squishy for some situations and sometimes a ranged pet is just easier to deal with, but here's a brief outline of why I've started going canine for my go-to pet in dungeons:

1) Outside of glass cannon pets like birds and felines, they do some of the best dps for pets because of their fast attack speed and simple attack animations.
2) They do the best dps on moving targets (well, pretty much tied with felines) because of both their fast attack animations and their snaring abilities.
3) They're not tanks, but they have a good amount of toughness, which makes them decent at surviving.
4) They bring good utility and CC.

However, one thing I've realized is that the hyena is kinda gimped.  It is the only canine with a full dps F2 ability, but they have half as much power as any other canine, which gives them less dps overall than the other canines.  But on the bright side, I don't have to feel like I'm gimping my damage as much by taking a pet with a utility F2 ability.

#12 Zheo

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:00 PM

I highly recommend the use of Healing Spring in dungeons; gives AoE regeneration and when you stand in it and use projectiles, you cast Regen on any players near the target.

#13 CepaCepa

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:52 PM

If you're thinking about dpsing as ranger, I've got a few pointers that are often overlooked.

Try this set up: 30 30 5 0 5. Or 30 25 10 0 5. You get the increased endurance generation (possibly 20% reduction on both lightning reflex and quickening zephyr), and you get quickness on pet swap. For pet, use a devourer + cat/bird. For weapons, use Sword/Warhorn + Short Bow. Go full berserker and exchange crit damage for toughness/vitality if you're dying too much.

For heal obviously use healing spring. For utility, Lightning Reflex + Signet of Stone + Quickening Zephyr. Elite would be rampage as one.

Play Style:

Pet:

Try to keep pet close to you, which means switch to devourer when you're using short bow and switch to cat/bird when you're using sword. Use pet F2 skill on CD, especially true if you're using eagle; Use F3 and F1 a LOT, else pet just dies. If you can't F3 a pet back in time for a big boss hit, use signet of stone. And it's perfectly OK to use your heal at full health to heal up your pet. No matter what build you are as a ranger, pet is a significant source of damage, and should be prioritized over many other things. Also, with 5 points in Beastmastery, pet swap gives you 2 second of quickness, which is one other reason that you should not ever let a pet die, else it would be several seconds of quickness missed along with pet damage itself. On that note, try to switch pet on CD to make the most out of the quickness on pet swap, unless of course if doing so will kill either you or your pet.

Weapons:

With 25 points in skirmishing, you'd want to ALWAYS be behind or at the side of the mob that you're hitting for 10% more damage. This means running around when you're usig a short bow instead of standing there and pew pew, and this means using Sword #3 when the boss is facing you so you can get to the back. Save Sword #2 and #3 for situations that you'd either need a evade, leap finisher, or just getting away/behind the mob, because using Sword #2 and #3 is not a dps increase, your highest dps in Sword is simply #1 spam. Drop your healing spring in melee if you can so other party member can make good use of it, and when you need a quick heal, do a Sword #2 back and forth in your own water field so you get a nice heal on yourself. Swap weapon as much as you can (you can do so on CD, OR you can do so whenever pet swap is off CD) for the fury on weapon swap and for pet swap synergy, and when you swap weapons (especially when swapping INTO sword) remember to go to melee first with short bow, then swap to sword so you start hitting the mob right away, and THEN swap pet to bird/cat so that you'd be hitting the mob for the full duration of quickness (along with the benefit of pet spawning right beside the mob to hit it right away). When you need to get away from the mob either for the swaps or for avoiding death, you have two options: use Sword #2 ONCE (without leaping back in) and immediately switch weapon to short bow, followed by swapping pet to devourer; or you can switch to short bow first, use short bow #3, and then switch pet.

Utilities:

Since cat/bird hits hardest, along with your sword, your "burst mode" should be placed whenever you can melee the target. Remember however that you can't be healed when you're using quickening zephyr, and that you don't want to overlap quickness (it sometimes stacks, sometimes not, but basically don't risk it). So once you're in melee, upon pet swap wait out the 2 second of quickness, then cast Rampage as One, then use Warhorn #4 to quickly build up pet might, and THEN use quickening zephyr. By this time your pet is hitting like a truck and you yourself would be melting faces too. If you need a heal or need to place a water field there for your team mates, do so before using quickening zephyr. A final note on Warhorn #5 --- It is wonderful, but only use it when rampage as one is finished. As wonderful as it is you don't want to waste precious cast time when you have either quickness or rampage as one on you (rampage as one already gives you fury anyways).

Death:

You can avoid a LOT of things with Sword #2 and Sword #3 despite being a squishy glass cannon in melee, however Sword #1 has a nasty property of rooting you in place such that you can't even dodge at times. So death does happen. But keep in mind that you can press F1-F4 still in down state, which means you can send your pet to kill off a mob for a quick rally, and/or even use F4 for 2 second of quickness which can help you rez yourself faster OR help your pet dps down that mob faster. Having said that, there is such a thing as downed penalty so... After several down, you'd probably want to back off and switch to that short bow, to avoid instant defeat.

This is by no means the "optimal ranger play", I guess I'm just explaining my own playstyle to you and maybe you can find some of this to be useful. :)




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