Since arenanet was determined to make classes a bit ambiguous role-wise in order to break free from the heavy, burdened chains of the "trinity" I've had some issues figuring out how I should play my ranger in PvE. Oddly, I had this issue in GW1 too because it was sort of a midline CC class that offered a kind of CC that was far more effective against other players than PvE foes. This is not the same ranger class--at all--but the question remains.. how do I play it in PvE?
Taking up the role of DPS sounded appealing, but the class lacks strong burst(a la warrior's eviscerate or 100b) and damage coefficients appear to be relatively low. So try as you might to stack offensive stats, you will be disappointed because while you might be dealing more damage you will not see huge returns on your investments and survivability will go down the toilet. Thus I came to the conclusion that while I'd like to contribute at least *some* damage it's not worth it to go full retard(glass cannon).
So if I'm not going to run DPS.. what's left? CC and support. Frankly, ranger CC is mostly movement control with aoe snares.. not exactly super valuable in PvE. The best skill(entangle) has an inhibitive cooldown and dungeon foes almost instantly break through the binding roots. It's much better in most cases for a heavy to soak up aggro and bring foes together(a la guardian greatsword) than have a ranger attempt to mickey mouse snare everything together.
That leaves me with support. There's the obvious option, that being spirits. I tried this on for a bit, frost/stone spirit provide decent benefits.. but there is the crux of keeping spirits alive. You can trait heavy for ranger spirit survival(extra health, movement) and they will still die because armor is low and pve foes slice them up. In the end I decided that spirit of nature was worthwhile but only because it can heal/res people and the other elites seemed suspect. The cooldown for the skill is inhibitive so it's more or less my choice because it's the lesser evil.
So the key element of the ranger support line? out the window. I settled on boon spam instead. Healing spring is actually a pretty good skill, it's a 15 second water field(finishers galore) and it provides condi removal with regeneration--which can be boosted greatly with the nature magic trait line. What's not to like about it in a (typically) stationary PvE scenario? In addition to this I can sport runes of altruism and trait vigorous renewal which will provide ally-wide might/fury/vigor on healing spring usage. Extra boon duration via the runes and nature magic trait line make these boons go a little bit farther. I threw in the warhorn for even more offensive boon stuffs.
The pet is a wildcard, you can use a pet that provides a number of different boons or perhaps a tanking pet to maintain aggro.. although, these pets are not as good at keeping themselves alive as human controlled heavy armor classes. There are also pets that put down combo fields and provide finishers. I'm thinking of using the red moa for additional fury.
Anyway, this is my sort of concept build for the moment; http://en.gw2skills....jVNLp6aYaYCyA-e
The idea is to linger around in semi-melee range to lay down healing spring and maintain call of the wild while chucking axes and arrows at things. Feedback appreciated.
MootillayMember Since 23 Oct 2012
Offline Last Active Jun 05 2013 01:29 AM
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