1. Shorter cooldowns on signets. Explanation: Most people just take signet of the beastmaster for the effects of signet of stone. However, we have three other signets signet which all have decent traited active effects of the wild in particular, that all have decent active effects recharges weren't so long. Suggestions: Reduce Signet of Renewal Recharge to 45s, reduce Signet of the Wild recharge to 75s (it has a fairly strong traited active effect), and reduce Signet of Stone to 90s.
2. Change Signet of the Hunts active effect. Pet's don't really have any active F2 moves that take a whole lot of advantage of it in it's current status, and there is literally only 1 move strong enough on one weapon set to take semi-advantage of the traited active effect (swoop). This effect would be better off changed to reflect the thief version of this skill (your next 5 attacks to x increased amount of damage). More so, if ANet truly was feeling generous, they would make it (for the next x seconds, your attacks do x increased amount of damage). This version of it would and should only be about 4s long to maintain balance, and the increase should only be about 10%.
3. Change the trait that gives might on signet activation. This trait, if you ever tried it, gives a whole one stack of might for 5s on signet activation for signets that have such long recharges that nobody in their right mind would ever consider this trait viable. It has potential, and could be changed to reflect the Necro Blood is Power utility (albeit not as many stacks of might, 5 stacks of might for 10s on signet activation would probably be fair).
4. Rework spirits. Give them mediocre AoE buffs that are constantly applied for 5s at a time with an ICD (every 8s, x spirit applies 5s of swiftness, vigor, etc). Spirits are not worth it at all in their current form except possibly the elite, and it has such an abysmal recharge that in certain areas of the game it isn't worth the slot. Regardless, the buffs need to affect everybody in a certain radius, the effects should be constant, and they should be utility effects (as opposed to infinite might or stability). Make it 2s protection or retaliation with an ICD. Anything of this nature is better than what spirits do now.
5. Reduce Rampage as Ones recharge to bring it in line with other professions similar elites for the sake of balance (particularly, warriors elite signet, as RaO is effectively a worse version of this elite signet).
6. Rework shouts. Protect Me and Search and Rescue are fine, and Sickem could go for a slightly reduced recharge. Guard is... obscure. It does a lot of stuff that looks cool that then serves no purpose. If Guard could be traited to affect the player as well, it would be amazing (it cloaks your pet and adds protection for 6s). Why 6s with the skills crazy longevity and recharge? Who knows, but this skill could be fine tuned in many different ways to allow it to see the light of day. Particularly, I would like to see a utility in while you and your pet instantly trade places (people from guild wars 1 will know what I am talking about). This would be a boon for melee rangers and would most certainly tie in to the whole ranger/pet bond concept (imo).
7. Add a unique class mechanic heal that is affected by either the class or the traits. What I mean by that is that every class has some sort of heal that is down one of their 4 utility lines (War: Healing Signet, Guardian: Signet of Resolve, Engineer: all 3 of its heals, Thief: all three of its heals, Ele: Glyph of Elemental Harmony, Signet of Restoration, Mesmer: Mantra of Recovery, and Either Feast to an extent, Necro: Summon Blood Fiend, Well of Blood). To follow all of these other examples, rangers Heal as One or Troll Unguent should probably be a survival line skill, and Healing Spring should be categorized as trap (as it was in Guild Wars 1). That way, traits in particular trait lines could affect them and give them the boon that every other class in the game gets for their heal in some way.
8. Lastly, the most controversial wish that I know most people will disagree with: make shortbow auto attack an unconditional bleed. However, seeing as how I'm going to be in the minority on that one, I will make a compromise and say that the least I could ask for is for crossfire to apply bleeds as it does now AND if the opponent is attacking (the same way confusion ticks). Actually, that's still probably too easy of a requirement to fulfill to get that bleed and people will complain, so I will be willing to compromise even farther and ask that the bleed be applied if the opponent is standing still, in addition to the current flanking requirement. Basically what I'm trying to say with this last one, strictly in terms of competitive arenas, is that other classes that can go condition have an unconditional condition applied on auto attack. Ranger shortbow is the only one that has this strange positioning requirement, and even if it is something unique to the class that might make it more fun for people, it simply isn't competitive with the other options.
These are my 8 wishes for the ranger in updates to come. Rangers are by no means terrible, but they are lost in obscurity, mostly due to poor versatility in utility choices, and how certain utilities work (not being able to make an active signet build or support shout build (which every other class that has shouts can trait to make their shouts do more supportive stuff than they already do) for instance).
If anybody else would like to share, add, criticize, or repost any of this on the official forums (I still can't, stupid ANet forums not working and support can't do anything to help but apologize for my inconvenience) feel free. That's why I'm posting my thoughts on rangers in the current state of the game, to see what the rest of the community thinks.
Edited by JROH, 19 December 2012 - 09:18 AM.