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#1 JROH

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:21 AM

This thread is for constructive purposes and should generally just be treated as a think-tank type thread to post some ideas and hopes in.

To start off with, admittedly, when the game was first released, I had my qualms with the ranger profession. I still do, on a lesser degree, but I have had time to experiment with most other classes in the game, as well as most of the build combinations you can make as a ranger, so I feel that I have a better concept of the game as a whole to be able to share some of my current hopes and opinions.

Let's begin: rangers are weak.

Immediately there are people out there who are going to rage and say I don't know what I'm talking about or I need to "learn to play" or some such typical rage response, and that's okay that you have your opinion and you don't agree.

I am not referring to DPS when I say weak.

Given that other classes can out-damage rangers in certain instances, and that's how MMOs are usually set up, and while there are a few classes that stand out above others (that the Dev's have acknowledged in a nerf them/buff other classes tone), I am not going to discuss rangers in comparison to other classes.

Rangers are weak in options, specifically utility slots.

Most builds, and 90% of all popular PvP builds are run with some sort of signet or trap focus with Lightning Reflexes on the bar. Occasionally there is the QZ or the sharpening stone, but those aren't what needs the attention (except maybe changing some of the signet cooldowns and active functions so there is more of a point in using them in an active way over a passive way).
Now, if you have read through the rest of this, I will be kind enough to order my thoughts in a list:

1) Shouts/Pet Skills: The community is split love/hate on the pets, as they should be with the AI. I am more on the dislike side until there is either some better AI or some built in damage mitigation or something. For the skills: Protect Me and Search and Rescue are fine (except that the pet still bugs out when trying to revive people) in terms of function. However, Sick'em doesn't work well with the current AI and ease of dodging and Guard has little purpose in PvP modes.
Add more skills that affect the pet or pet AND player (like Rampage as One), and/or change the ones we have to make them more interactive and functional.
If this is the pet class of guild wars 2, I want to own it. I don't just want to add 350 points to all the pets stats and have it a passive way of doing damage when targets stop kiting them. I want to be able to make my pet do reliable damage and burst. I want to be able to buff my pet and work with my pet to take out targets (see guild wars 1 Bunny Thumper). Don't force the pet on the player and then not give us a plethora of options to do things with it.

2) Traits: please, clean up some of the trash traits, rework some of the lesser used ones, combine lackluster traits, and possibly switch a few traits around here and there so there is some more synergy between branches. This isn't a ranger specific issue, this is an issue every class has to some degree, and 6 months after launch, it's a little overdue. The next update is make or break for a lot of the community as well as an indicator of the longevity of a game, so it's time to add some polish that is long overdue (especially on issues that somehow made it out of beta).

3) Functioning in the water the same as on land: Rangers have very fun underwater game play from the weapon skills. Everything has a unique function and for the most part serves a purpose, and serves that purpose with the rest of the skills on that weapon (no random damage condition skill on the spear for instance).

4) Spirits: there is a lot to be said. I don't really have any high hopes, so all I can say is: if there is going to be an entire branch of traits dedicated to spirits, make them better so it is worth dedicating that branch to them. As it stands now, Nature Magics best traits are all reachable within 10 points. That needs to be changed.

5) Shortbow: the flanking. I understand it is a unique concept. But it is a unique concept that gets outclassed by every other class that can build for conditions in the game because of the weird conditional bleed application included on only the ranger shortbow. Now, does it have to bleed on every hit? Personally, if they lowered the damage to cap at 3xx and then put a constant bleed application I would be happy. But for the sake of creativity and people who don't agree, have every hit from the front give our pets hits bleed application, or something else unique that doesn't leave such a crippling feel (unless you're built for power and the bleed isn't the main focus). That would also make the longbow the better power weapon, which, while the longbow is overall lackluster outside of glass builds, would fit its intention.

6) Longbow: speed it up. It doesn't need more damage, just more speed. It shouldn't hit people 3 times in the time they hit you 20 times. If it is slow, for balance sake, it should hit twice as much as weapons that are twice as fast as it. That would be balanced. Whatever they have going on now is not, and it has turned the longbow into basically only being useful in WvW. Note I said useful, and not fun(for everybody about to try to argue their anecdotal experiences with their favorite weapon).

Summary: Most of what I said isn't really a balance issue. More of a housekeeping and quality of life type thing. Seeing some polish on a lot of things would really get me wasting my life on guild wars 2 again, instead of wasting my life posting on forums about how I wish a game was as good as the potential it has to be.

Thoughts, opinions, additions? Purely constructive, again. Just to get ideas out of my head so that I personally can progress as a player and keep moving forward.

#2 Jennifer

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:08 AM

View PostJROH, on 07 February 2013 - 02:21 AM, said:

This thread is for constructive purposes and should generally just be treated as a think-tank type thread to post some ideas and hopes in.

4) Spirits: there is a lot to be said. I don't really have any high hopes, so all I can say is: if there is going to be an entire branch of traits dedicated to spirits, make them better so it is worth dedicating that branch to them. As it stands now, Nature Magics best traits are all reachable within 10 points. That needs to be changed.

5) Shortbow: the flanking. I understand it is a unique concept. But it is a unique concept that gets outclassed by every other class that can build for conditions in the game because of the weird conditional bleed application included on only the ranger shortbow. Now, does it have to bleed on every hit? Personally, if they lowered the damage to cap at 3xx and then put a constant bleed application I would be happy. But for the sake of creativity and people who don't agree, have every hit from the front give our pets hits bleed application, or something else unique that doesn't leave such a crippling feel (unless you're built for power and the bleed isn't the main focus). That would also make the longbow the better power weapon, which, while the longbow is overall lackluster outside of glass builds, would fit its intention.

for 5 i total agree 100%
but for 4 not so much, i just finished a paid tournament and that was the first ever i saw spirit ranger in my life.
if you know how to stack bleed and how to use the spirits, the build can become one of the best in tpvp.(with full trap build i couldn't take him down, i could tank and wait for someone to come and help me, but killing him is a whole different story).

Edited by Jennifer, 07 February 2013 - 06:12 AM.


#3 Tempo

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:20 PM

Spirits are weak, If you failed to kill him it's probably because the rest of his build was strong. And you have probably not seen the bad of his build because you don't run heavy AoE, it was 1v1, you have no stun etc.. whatever. My currnet build is very strong in 1v1 and i can play it with spirit on an 1v1 ranger. It will be hard to make spirit usefull. Men you have only 3 utility slot. In those 3 slots you need some stunbreaker and/or condition removal and/or pet regen and/or mobility and/or damage skill. Where can i pu those spirits? Well, one of the biggest problem woth the ranger is that running no lightning reflex and no signet of the wild is a such a huge sacrifice. And the only mobility option of all condi builds is signet of the hunt! To be on par with that, spirits have to be buffed like mad.

I agree on part 2 to 5 with JROH.
On part 6, i think longbow should be the 100b / heartseeker / shatter option : power damage. BUT, this is range so have to be very carefull with balancing it.

On part 1, i don't agree with "Protect me" being good. You have to play it with a bear to be effective and bears are awfull pets. Their damage is bad. IMO, you can't play a ranger without a pet as part of your damage and control, because if you don't do that, you will not be on par with other class damage wise. You can't deny the great damage or control that bring your pet to you just to play "Protect me".

Edited by Tempo, 07 February 2013 - 01:30 PM.


#4 JROH

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:56 PM

View PostTempo, on 07 February 2013 - 01:20 PM, said:

Spirits are weak, If you failed to kill him it's probably because the rest of his build was strong. And you have probably not seen the bad of his build because you don't run heavy AoE, it was 1v1, you have no stun etc.. whatever. My currnet build is very strong in 1v1 and i can play it with spirit on an 1v1 ranger. It will be hard to make spirit usefull. Men you have only 3 utility slot. In those 3 slots you need some stunbreaker and/or condition removal and/or pet regen and/or mobility and/or damage skill. Where can i pu those spirits? Well, one of the biggest problem woth the ranger is that running no lightning reflex and no signet of the wild is a such a huge sacrifice. And the only mobility option of all condi builds is signet of the hunt! To be on par with that, spirits have to be buffed like mad.

I agree on part 2 to 5 with JROH.
On part 6, i think longbow should be the 100b / heartseeker / shatter option : power damage. BUT, this is range so have to be very carefull with balancing it.

On part 1, i don't agree with "Protect me" being good. You have to play it with a bear to be effective and bears are awfull pets. Their damage is bad. IMO, you can't play a ranger without a pet as part of your damage and control, because if you don't do that, you will not be on par with other class damage wise. You can't deny the great damage or control that bring your pet to you just to play "Protect me".

Just to explain some of my reasoning on part 1 with protect me, it really boils down to 3 things. It works as intended, it is better than traiting for Signet of Stone in almost every way unless running them in conjunction, and it is most likely intended for glass cannon builds who are looking to extend their own survival as long as possible to deal as much damage as possible (in builds like that the pet isn't the focal point of where the damage is coming from).
As far as conceptually, I completely agree that it is counter intuitive towards the whole pet and player working as one idea. It would be nice if some of the functions in skills were trashed entirely and redone. Personally, I would like simplistic overall changes. Like:
Protect Me: your pet becomes passive and grants AoE protection that lasts x seconds
Guard: your pet gains stability and reflects projectiles in target area for x seconds

View PostJennifer, on 07 February 2013 - 06:08 AM, said:

for 5 i total agree 100%
but for 4 not so much, i just finished a paid tournament and that was the first ever i saw spirit ranger in my life.
if you know how to stack bleed and how to use the spirits, the build can become one of the best in tpvp.(with full trap build i couldn't take him down, i could tank and wait for someone to come and help me, but killing him is a whole different story).

I wouldn't attribute the success of the build towards the spirits. More so that the trait distribution in a spirit build is essentially going to stack up to 30% boon duration and 3k health. If there is any amount of healing power on the build, coupled with healing spring and runes of dwayna, with the +33% regeneration duration trait, there is a 93% increase to regenerations duration and it is stacked on healing due to the the runes and spring.
That alone, with strong healing power, would make a ranger very hard to kill unless you are a burst build, and that's where all of the dodges and evades rangers have access to come in handy.
I would assume it is either a 0/0/10/30/30 build or a 0/0/30/30/10 build, specifically designed as a point holder. The spirits themselves don't really have the best overall benefits, but I guess the could eat some attacks at times and the procs from time to time are probably adding some of the success of the build. But it isn't really the crux of what is making the build strong.

#5 Tempo

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:52 PM

View PostJROH, on 07 February 2013 - 02:56 PM, said:

Just to explain some of my reasoning on part 1 with protect me, it really boils down to 3 things. It works as intended, it is better than traiting for Signet of Stone in almost every way unless running them in conjunction, and it is most likely intended for glass cannon builds who are looking to extend their own survival as long as possible to deal as much damage as possible (in builds like that the pet isn't the focal point of where the damage is coming from).


Well, in my own, our glass canon builds do not dish enough damage to be viable without pet damage in addition. Just compare with other class. if we had some builds that can be compaered to 100b warrior / BS thieves / shatter mesmers / Scepter dagger Ele / 100nades engi or whatever, i would be agree that the pet could be entirely dedicated to survival. But it is not the case. Ranger have no serious power build, that's it. And Condi builds never fall in glass canon category because condi traits and gear are all designed to be used with some survivability, probably because ine the mind of developpers, conditions need time to tick so the player has to be able to survive this time.

#6 Korra

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:54 PM

Decent Open world pvp and a faster combat system.

#7 JROH

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:59 PM

View PostTempo, on 07 February 2013 - 05:52 PM, said:

Well, in my own, our glass canon builds do not dish enough damage to be viable without pet damage in addition. Just compare with other class. if we had some builds that can be compaered to 100b warrior / BS thieves / shatter mesmers / Scepter dagger Ele / 100nades engi or whatever, i would be agree that the pet could be entirely dedicated to survival. But it is not the case. Ranger have no serious power build, that's it. And Condi builds never fall in glass canon category because condi traits and gear are all designed to be used with some survivability, probably because ine the mind of developpers, conditions need time to tick so the player has to be able to survive this time.

You forgot dagger necros haha. No I'm very aware that rangers are on the lower tier of power builds. I was just trying to make a thread where my own posts dealt with the ranger issues within itself. Logically, if the developers can't even fix the issues that the class has on a standalone basis, I have no optimism for them to balance competitive play across the board.
Thieves, mesmers, guardians, and DD eles were something that I remember from the livestream the devs saying they have to take a look at in terms of how successful those professions are and why they are more successful than others.
I still think, on a standalone basis again, that warriors are the most balanced class in the game based on the philosophy the game was developed around that classes should be able to do multiple roles. Warriors have some of the best options in the game, and the only thing that truly hinders warrior players is failing mechanics at times (which are bugs, not balance issues warrior community) and the fact that at times they have so much versatility that it is hard for them to choose something they wish to specialize with (as in, they are trying to go with Option X is better than Y and Z at all times as opposed to being happy they have multiple effective options).
Unfortunately, for classes that don't share the same versatility of effective options, and aren't capable of doing multiple types of gameplay, the warrior does look like a more overpowered profession because of their options and capabilities.
What I mean for example is that 100 blades is probably the most balanced burst skill in the game. It has a down side, it isn't completely spammable without any draw backs (a good comparison would be blurred frenzy or pistol whip, which both block most incoming damage throughout the entire channeling), and does take some setup to do as well as traiting to be more effective.

That warrior thing wasn't really aimed at anybody in particular, sorry. You always provide good insight and good additions to balance conversations Tempo, it's just a shame we aren't having these discussions on the official forums. Truth is, I can't stand the ranger community on the official forums, who are happy with the class and so blind with rage over people with ideas to make the class more versatile that they rage and any ideas that are presented that don't conform with how they play their "pokemon master" class.

Basically though, as a summary, the game needs to be balanced around where the warrior class stands right now I think. The game itself rewards mindless facerolling over tactical gameplay in general, because people can go: "well if I miss my burst, I can just stealth or tele away" which isn't healthy for a game with a self proclaimed aspiration to become an esport.

Here's just a general balance breakdown though:
direct damage is countered by dodge, utility mitigation, protection, aegis, weakness, blind
condition damage is countered by condition removal
healing is countered by poision
kiting is countered by cripple, immobilize, chill
stealth is not countered...

and the balance is immediately broken, but was already broken in a more subtle way because not every class has enough access to the counters to other things to be a balanced game.
If we can't balance mechanics, the classes won't be balanced, if the classes aren't balanced, then there is no viable competitive gameplay.

#8 fatrodmc

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:40 AM

View PostJROH, on 07 February 2013 - 07:59 PM, said:

Basically though, as a summary, the game needs to be balanced around where the warrior class stands right now I think. The game itself rewards mindless facerolling over tactical gameplay in general, because people can go: "well if I miss my burst, I can just stealth or tele away" which isn't healthy for a game with a self proclaimed aspiration to become an esport.

Here's just a general balance breakdown though:
direct damage is countered by dodge, utility mitigation, protection, aegis, weakness, blind
condition damage is countered by condition removal
healing is countered by poision
kiting is countered by cripple, immobilize, chill
stealth is not countered...

and the balance is immediately broken, but was already broken in a more subtle way because not every class has enough access to the counters to other things to be a balanced game.
If we can't balance mechanics, the classes won't be balanced, if the classes aren't balanced, then there is no viable competitive gameplay.

This is probably the best take on the current 'balance' I have seen. Totally agree.

To the OP, have to disagree on DPS, we are stupid weak. And its because ANet force us to use pets, and the only pets that do damage get one shotted (cats). This is stupid because a glass cannon can still keep himself alive through doding, timing, etc. But the melee pets are going to get themselves killed regardless.

I've found that devourers make the best pets because they attack from range and have the best toughness. This means I don't have to micro them, and they will still be alive when I need them for protect me. But of course I lose the damage output...

I'm actually ok with the utility skills. QZ is awesome. So is protect me if I use the right pet. The real problem for me is the elite.

RAO is useless for a power/crit build.

Binding roots is easily broken with a stun breaker.

SoN - umm...

I'm actually having to use Hounds of Balthazar in WvW which feels ridiculous.

#9 Tempo

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:23 AM

View Postfatrodmc, on 08 February 2013 - 04:40 AM, said:

This is probably the best take on the current 'balance' I have seen. Totally agree.

To the OP, have to disagree on DPS, we are stupid weak. And its because ANet force us to use pets, and the only pets that do damage get one shotted (cats). This is stupid because a glass cannon can still keep himself alive through doding, timing, etc. But the melee pets are going to get themselves killed regardless.

I've found that devourers make the best pets because they attack from range and have the best toughness. This means I don't have to micro them, and they will still be alive when I need them for protect me. But of course I lose the damage output...

I'm actually ok with the utility skills. QZ is awesome. So is protect me if I use the right pet. The real problem for me is the elite.

RAO is useless for a power/crit build.

Binding roots is easily broken with a stun breaker.

SoN - umm...

I'm actually having to use Hounds of Balthazar in WvW which feels ridiculous.

Man, i would kindly advise you to learn more about rangers before disussing balance.
please forgive me, i don't want to be rude but i see some errors in your post.

We are stupid weak at power DPS that's true, but we are strong at condition DPS. But i agree with you, not strong enough to play without pet damage.

Birds do crazy damage and dog do pretty ok damage. Not only cats. You don't want to micro your pet, because you don't like that, that is not a balance issue.

QZ is not awesome, it's just "ok". What make QZ awesome for other class is the skills that are casted at double speed. We don't have those heavy hiting skills that benefit so much from QZ. And no, Zerker QZ shortbow is not that good. In addition you have accessto 2 seconds of QZ on pet swap, without having to sacrifice a utility slot.

RAO is usefull for all builds, 20 seconds of stability is crazy.
Binding roots are not broken with a stun breaker.
There is more than just "umm" to say about the spirit. You can rez with it, you can autorez with it, 2 times. It has a problem of cooldown and survivability but some tweaks could make it crazy good. And i think that spirit are being worked on by Anet.

#10 Dirame

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:16 AM

View PostJROH, on 07 February 2013 - 02:21 AM, said:

1) Shouts/Pet Skills: The community is split love/hate on the pets, as they should be with the AI. I am more on the dislike side until there is either some better AI or some built in damage mitigation or something. For the skills: Protect Me and Search and Rescue are fine (except that the pet still bugs out when trying to revive people) in terms of function. However, Sick'em doesn't work well with the current AI and ease of dodging and Guard has little purpose in PvP modes.
Add more skills that affect the pet or pet AND player (like Rampage as One), and/or change the ones we have to make them more interactive and functional.
If this is the pet class of guild wars 2, I want to own it. I don't just want to add 350 points to all the pets stats and have it a passive way of doing damage when targets stop kiting them. I want to be able to make my pet do reliable damage and burst. I want to be able to buff my pet and work with my pet to take out targets (see guild wars 1 Bunny Thumper). Don't force the pet on the player and then not give us a plethora of options to do things with it.

The first time I noticed pets have improved was when I fought the "unkillable" Ranger. The dog pet he had just kept getting in the way of my projectiles. I would shoot and the dog would take it on top of the fact that his master is flailing around like a maniac and I would just start getting frustrated.

The first time I noticed that we sucked as pet masters was when I learnt that stowing and swapping should be used more liberally; see this vid here

View PostJROH, on 07 February 2013 - 02:21 AM, said:

5) Shortbow: the flanking. I understand it is a unique concept. But it is a unique concept that gets outclassed by every other class that can build for conditions in the game because of the weird conditional bleed application included on only the ranger shortbow. Now, does it have to bleed on every hit? Personally, if they lowered the damage to cap at 3xx and then put a constant bleed application I would be happy. But for the sake of creativity and people who don't agree, have every hit from the front give our pets hits bleed application, or something else unique that doesn't leave such a crippling feel (unless you're built for power and the bleed isn't the main focus). That would also make the longbow the better power weapon, which, while the longbow is overall lackluster outside of glass builds, would fit its intention.


Positioning is what this game is all about. The fact that the shortbow shoots so fast is why it is the way it is, if you could just walk up to someone and constantly stack 15 stacks of bleed on them even if they tried to dodge or cleanse isn't fun. And with the eureka moment that is that video up there, I do believe that rangers may have an easier time getting into position.

Edited by Dirame, 08 February 2013 - 11:16 AM.


#11 Tempo

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

View PostDirame, on 08 February 2013 - 11:16 AM, said:

The first time I noticed pets have improved was when I fought the "unkillable" Ranger. The dog pet he had just kept getting in the way of my projectiles. I would shoot and the dog would take it on top of the fact that his master is flailing around like a maniac and I would just start getting frustrated.

The first time I noticed that we sucked as pet masters was when I learnt that stowing and swapping should be used more liberally; see this vid here


Remember that, IMO, switching pet should be used to quick rez / quick stomp and / or Avoid pet death as a priority.

#12 Dirame

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:59 PM

View PostTempo, on 08 February 2013 - 01:18 PM, said:

Remember that, IMO, switching pet should be used to quick rez / quick stomp and / or Avoid pet death as a priority.

It's up to you what you do with your pet but if you're not going to do what facilitates the use of the Shortbow, then why complain about it?

#13 JROH

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:39 PM

View PostDirame, on 08 February 2013 - 11:16 AM, said:

The first time I noticed pets have improved was when I fought the "unkillable" Ranger. The dog pet he had just kept getting in the way of my projectiles. I would shoot and the dog would take it on top of the fact that his master is flailing around like a maniac and I would just start getting frustrated.

The first time I noticed that we sucked as pet masters was when I learnt that stowing and swapping should be used more liberally; see this vid here



Positioning is what this game is all about. The fact that the shortbow shoots so fast is why it is the way it is, if you could just walk up to someone and constantly stack 15 stacks of bleed on them even if they tried to dodge or cleanse isn't fun. And with the eureka moment that is that video up there, I do believe that rangers may have an easier time getting into position.

Actually, the most bleeds you can stack without QZ is around a consistent stack of 9, while an example to compare against to see how condition builds fare is a necro, who can maintain a longer lasting stack of 12 bleeds with poison on top of it.
Actually, as far as condition builds go, necros are the strongest due to their scepter, because scepter is an imbalanced weapon by design, being the only ranged weapon with an auto attack chain. Why this design decision was made, I'm not sure, as most professions with access to scepter gain more utility or damage from using it simply because the auto attack chain does multiple things which creates bar compression that other ranged weapons don't have access to. Whether or not the compression and access of skills is useful in a type of build people are trying to run is a different story, but mathematically and logically speaking, 7 is greater than 5 and that is an unchanging fact.
Back to my thoughts on the ranger shortbow, yes, I am more than able to comprehend the designed mechanics of the weapon and how it is pigeonholed into a forced positioning requirement. Yes, that does add a layer of depth to the game. But, compared against any other condition build, not a single condition build in the game besides the ranger has a forced positioning requirement to be effective.
On paper, it is interesting and unique and adds a layer of skill to the game. In practice, all that layer of skill does is make you have to play like your Mozart among a bunch of other professions than can repeatedly smash their keyboard against their face and see success because their condition builds do not have a positioning requirement.

Obviously, at least I think I made it obvious, that if the change was implemented to the shortbow in order to make the positioning requirement less strict (or nonexistent) that it would have to be balanced in order to compensate for the bleeds it would be able to stack. I would have no qualms with the speed getting lowered even farther to match the loss of the positioning requirement.
That is the price I would pay to see our condition build be balanced across the board with the rest of the games condition builds.

My response to the video is that I've been playing nothing but pvp and have a very strong understanding of how the pets I choose to use work, and am able to swap and use them efficiently in almost every instance. The only time I get frustrated with my pet in PvP is when AoE blows them up when they weren't even the target, and ANet still hasn't gotten around to that AoE nerf the mentioned. That isn't just with the pet however, but the player. I really have an issue with how strong some of the PBAoE is (point blank AoE) where a person can hit you for 1/4th of your health (with 3000+ armor rating at that) and not even be looking at you or attacking you.
I am aware that is a positioning issue as well, but it also has a lot to do with the fact that hotjoin is 8v8 over 5v5 and it makes for constant zergs that leap on you at a time, and certain maps are too small to be able to avoid an 8 man zerg long enough to be effective and counter cap, especially with the access to speed buffs that everybody has.
Summarized: the more people there are on a small map, the less good positioning counts for.

Not sure how much of all that is related to anything, just throwing out my thoughts on things as I have them.

Edited by JROH, 08 February 2013 - 03:40 PM.


#14 JROH

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:14 PM

View Postfatrodmc, on 08 February 2013 - 04:40 AM, said:

This is probably the best take on the current 'balance' I have seen. Totally agree.

To the OP, have to disagree on DPS, we are stupid weak. And its because ANet force us to use pets, and the only pets that do damage get one shotted (cats). This is stupid because a glass cannon can still keep himself alive through doding, timing, etc. But the melee pets are going to get themselves killed regardless.

I've found that devourers make the best pets because they attack from range and have the best toughness. This means I don't have to micro them, and they will still be alive when I need them for protect me. But of course I lose the damage output...

I'm actually ok with the utility skills. QZ is awesome. So is protect me if I use the right pet. The real problem for me is the elite.

RAO is useless for a power/crit build.

Binding roots is easily broken with a stun breaker.

SoN - umm...

I'm actually having to use Hounds of Balthazar in WvW which feels ridiculous.

What I mean by ranger damage being okay is that shortbow shoots at around 1 time per 65-70ms or so, but I just round it to 2 shots about every second (it's slightly longer but still a good benchmark to use to estimate DPS). Rangers in pvp can get the shortbow to hit for around 500 damage per arrow against a light armored and medium armored target. That means 1k damage per second at 1200 range, without quickness. In itself, that is great damage. In the balance of the game as a whole, I am aware that is not comparable to other DPS classes. However, the two balancing factors is that 1) the DPS is not melee, it is 1200 range and 2) the game, at least in my opinion, should not be designed around classes instagibbing each other.
An example is that, with an armor rating of 3024, a backstab still managed to hit me for 6.4k damage. Now, off of the basic calculation (not factoring in Diminishing Returns because I just got out of calc class and I really am not in the mood for more math) that every 100 toughness you add on top of the base armor is +3.4% damage reduction, we can see that (3024-1980) is 1044 added toughness which is about 34% damage reduction, meaning that at a base armor rating, that backstab would have probably done about 8.5k damage, in just one hit from stealth, which thieves has ridiculous amounts of access to with minimal to no recharge.

That is insanity, pure and simple, and I will say it again, the warrior class is probably the most balanced class in the game DPS and versatility wise, and the game right now should be balanced around the warrior standard, as the largest issue the affects a warriors performance stems more from broken or not functioning game mechanics than it does from class issues. They can put out large amounts of damage as a reasonable cost to defensive options as well as a reasonable tradeoff and position/snare requirement in order to do such damage. High burst classes that don't share that tradeoff like mesmer and thieves should be brought into line so they aren't totally invulnerable (or able to spam stealth and burst over and over while the player on defense has to guess and swing blindly and hope to get lucky) during their burst. Eles and guardians have proven to be much too unkillable while being able to provide strong DPS at all times.
The state of the game concluded however that at this point, besides the issue of unkillable builds, the devs would sort of rather have every class be able to be played with the fluency and effectiveness of the ele without the unkillable qualities (defensive is fine, but unkillable cuz of healing and cantrips is not). That mindset is a good omen in my opinion, and the only thing disappointing me at this point is the lack of results from the developer end because they would rather push new content then polish the current items.

Edited by JROH, 08 February 2013 - 04:15 PM.


#15 Dirame

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:34 PM

View PostJROH, on 08 February 2013 - 03:39 PM, said:

Actually, the most bleeds you can stack without QZ is around a consistent stack of 9, while an example to compare against to see how condition builds fare is a necro, who can maintain a longer lasting stack of 12 bleeds with poison on top of it.
Actually, as far as condition builds go, necros are the strongest due to their scepter, because scepter is an imbalanced weapon by design, being the only ranged weapon with an auto attack chain. Why this design decision was made, I'm not sure, as most professions with access to scepter gain more utility or damage from using it simply because the auto attack chain does multiple things which creates bar compression that other ranged weapons don't have access to. Whether or not the compression and access of skills is useful in a type of build people are trying to run is a different story, but mathematically and logically speaking, 7 is greater than 5 and that is an unchanging fact.
Back to my thoughts on the ranger shortbow, yes, I am more than able to comprehend the designed mechanics of the weapon and how it is pigeonholed into a forced positioning requirement. Yes, that does add a layer of depth to the game. But, compared against any other condition build, not a single condition build in the game besides the ranger has a forced positioning requirement to be effective.
On paper, it is interesting and unique and adds a layer of skill to the game. In practice, all that layer of skill does is make you have to play like your Mozart among a bunch of other professions than can repeatedly smash their keyboard against their face and see success because their condition builds do not have a positioning requirement.

Obviously, at least I think I made it obvious, that if the change was implemented to the shortbow in order to make the positioning requirement less strict (or nonexistent) that it would have to be balanced in order to compensate for the bleeds it would be able to stack. I would have no qualms with the speed getting lowered even farther to match the loss of the positioning requirement.
That is the price I would pay to see our condition build be balanced across the board with the rest of the games condition builds.

My response to the video is that I've been playing nothing but pvp and have a very strong understanding of how the pets I choose to use work, and am able to swap and use them efficiently in almost every instance. The only time I get frustrated with my pet in PvP is when AoE blows them up when they weren't even the target, and ANet still hasn't gotten around to that AoE nerf the mentioned. That isn't just with the pet however, but the player. I really have an issue with how strong some of the PBAoE is (point blank AoE) where a person can hit you for 1/4th of your health (with 3000+ armor rating at that) and not even be looking at you or attacking you.
I am aware that is a positioning issue as well, but it also has a lot to do with the fact that hotjoin is 8v8 over 5v5 and it makes for constant zergs that leap on you at a time, and certain maps are too small to be able to avoid an 8 man zerg long enough to be effective and counter cap, especially with the access to speed buffs that everybody has.
Summarized: the more people there are on a small map, the less good positioning counts for.

Not sure how much of all that is related to anything, just throwing out my thoughts on things as I have them.

Funny, some people I know believe that Rangers are inexplicably better than Necros at conditioning a target. Personally, I don't agree with them but it's nice to see your points on why you think Rangers are worse off. I believe that Rangers are alright with the way they are, yes it takes a little more to perform but they have to tools to do it and we've seen a lot of people excel at it.

Also, I feel that the necro auto-attack is quite slow so unless you're counting the other ways they can stack bleeds (which are ground targeted skills) the only way they would beat rangers (barring the fact that they can cleanse pretty well) is through positioning and when fighting a ranger, it's pretty hard to get your positioning right especially since strafing with a SB ranger is a bad idea.

Edited by Dirame, 08 February 2013 - 05:35 PM.


#16 JROH

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:24 PM

View PostDirame, on 08 February 2013 - 05:34 PM, said:

Funny, some people I know believe that Rangers are inexplicably better than Necros at conditioning a target. Personally, I don't agree with them but it's nice to see your points on why you think Rangers are worse off. I believe that Rangers are alright with the way they are, yes it takes a little more to perform but they have to tools to do it and we've seen a lot of people excel at it.

Also, I feel that the necro auto-attack is quite slow so unless you're counting the other ways they can stack bleeds (which are ground targeted skills) the only way they would beat rangers (barring the fact that they can cleanse pretty well) is through positioning and when fighting a ranger, it's pretty hard to get your positioning right especially since strafing with a SB ranger is a bad idea.

It might just be the specific way I build my necro (30 curses, with rabid amulet and sigil of earth on scepter, and all runes that increase poison by +30% duration and bleed +15%, so the poison on chain lasts 3 seconds) but after 2 full autoattack chains I typically have about 8 bleeds and have applied 6 seconds of poison in total, and I am fairly good at landing scepter 2 which usually also applies up to 3 bleeds (2 if sigil of earth is on cooldown). I have no issue maintaining permanent bleeding (around 10-12 stacks) and poison on a target, which, even though you have the potential to burst a higher stack from a flanking position as a ranger, it is just that: burst. They don't last long, and it's harder to recover(by this I mean reapply) when a rangers bleed stacks are removed compared to a necro (or any other class) because of the positional requirement. A good player who just got a ton of bleeds bursted on them isn't just going to let a ranger gain a flanking position again, and unfortunately without strong control of the pets the CC options we have to hold an opponent in place to flank are few and far between, meaning a heightened skill cap for a ranger condition build compared to any other condition build in the game really.
On a condition build, without sigil of earth(and decent precision) on the shortbow, I would flat out avoid the weapon altogether unless running my BM setup because I enjoy a 1200 range weapon and that is preference more than effectiveness. I would most likely run axe/torch and sword/dagger.

When I play necro, I find the easiest way to beat a ranger is landing staff 3 (I trait for unblockable marks) and dagger 4. Returning conditions back to the ranger, maintaining bleeds, and using death shroud to stall to be the easiest way to do it. Marks are useful for controlling the positioning as well, and that can put the fight in your favor.

To be honest though, rangers condition builds and necro condition builds are completely different in what battle conditions they favor. What I mean is that ranger conditions last short durations but hit high stacks fast, and are much more useful for bursting on to a target quickly. The overall metagame right now however only really has people building in two different ways, glass cannons and pointholders/bunkers, with the few outliers being the classes that don't function well as either. Bunkers build in ways where they healing and cleansing overpower the short lasting conditions of the ranger, and it is hard to maintain conditions on the weapon skills.

Rangers can melt glass cannons with their condition builds however, because glass cannons generally don't build with a high hp pool or main defensives, and rangers have all the evasive damage mitigation that a long condition build would favor, without the ease of applying long duration conditions. Meaning that rangers can make glass cannons blow their initial offense and eat high stacks of bleed with burning and poison here and there on top of it, which usually melts through most glass builds.
Necros on the other hand, because of the low amount of evasion and having to deal with burst through death shroud often, prefer to fight against bunkers, because they have long lasting conditions that are applied easily, especially poison which is a healers bane. They have an easy time recovering and death shroud can be used to eat any damage a bunker puts out since bunkers tend to be sustain over burst.

If I had it my way, I would rearrange a lot of the skills on the shortbow for rangers:
shortbow 1: bleed enemy if flanking. If not flanking, do x (my current two ideas would be either to apply bleeding to the pets next strike, or that chance of applying bleeding is reduced to 50%).
shortbow 2: I would change it from a fan to a volley and reduce poison to 1s on each hit. Each hit does pathetic damage already so it wouldn't benefit power build, but having a fan skill on a 1200 range weapon is counter intuitive to begin with and it is really on of the only ranged weapons in the game that has to deal with nonsense like this.
shortbow 3: the evade is fine but I would like to see this give the pet either might or fury, instead of you both gaining swiftness. I find the swiftness to be largely negated due to the in battle status, and would rather see a skill that interacts better with the pet than a generic "you evade and both gain swiftness."
shortbow 4: depends on which one of my shortbow 1 options is implemented. If it is the first option, then instead of the pet gaining bleeding on its next strike, this skill should give the pet swiftness for 5s. It would just make sense that you are crippling the enemy so the pet can catch them and do damage. If my second option for shortbow 1 is implemented, than it could retain its current function, or still make the change over to this new suggestion.
shortbow 5: for a 30 second cooldown, the least that could be done is making it last 2 seconds. Look at the mesmers offhand pistol, which doesn't have a flanking requirement and applies 2s of stun to one enemy, and daze to another if it bounces, and blind to a third. Increasing the condition to 2s would be fine for my own taste, but it could have the additional effect that the greatsword does to make the weapon sets have better synergy (if this was the case, somewhere on every 2h ranger weapon set should be a chance for a pet to gain an attack of opportunity. I don't understand why this effect is as sparse as it is).

I mean, I'm sure there are different and/or better options and opinions out there, and that is largely based on what suits somebodies playstyle, but I think overall the community wouldn't complain if the shortbow was changed like something that reflected this suggestion.

#17 chefwaffle

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:40 AM

Aside from the things the OP said, I would like the F1 button to be a permanent charge move so it can chase target better.

They mentioned that they will indeed slightly tone down (aka nerf) the trap ranger, which really sucks because trap rangers had been in GW2 since day 1 and it didn't have any complaints about how OP it is until highly skilled players started using it. :/

#18 Xsiriss

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 12:08 AM

Useful signets, more on demand condition removal, trait reworks and less gimmicky shouts (eg. Sick Em grants fury to you when your pet hits and you grant might to your pet when you crit).  Oh and Ranger is no longer Beast-master-type-pewpew-thing.




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