Ranger Start Tree feedback

0.11.1 or maybe 0.11.2 will include a reworking of the Ranger skill starting area (and areas nearby if needed).

90% of rangers are built as bow characters (with a variety of builds), with a dedicated minority who play as melee rangers.

Now is an excellent time to provide feedback. If its feedback you have already provided, feel free to compile it here, or point to feedback in other places.

This may involve respecs if we change the trees layout.

The early tree needs to be useful for (1) new players, easy to understand and direct them in good directions, (2) support good mid game play, and (3) have some good nodes for end game players to start with, or dip into from neighbouring classes. As well as pure builds, we will also consider how these nodes work for characters that combine Duelist and Ranger starting areas, and Shadow and Ranger areas.

We will be looking at Accuracy and Evasion values throughout the game.

We may need end up change Iron Reflexes as a result of other changes to Evasion.

Leading questions -

What do you want for your bow characters.

What is your ideal melee ranger?

Note: I will ask support to aggressively moderate this thread. Please don't attack the ideas of others. (Attacking existing GGG design is fine (but be polite!), just allow others to provide their feedback)
Last edited by Qarl on Jul 10, 2013 10:29:42 PM
A melee ranger strikes me very much as someone who avoids getting hit at any cost.

Some way of re-implementing Phase Run might be nice? No increased movement speed, but more evasion (say, 30% more, plus 2% per level to encourage people to level the gem) and allows you to no-clip through enemies. Usable with melee and ranged weapons, but dispels if you attack with a spell or ranged weapon (but not with a melee one). Some sort of cooldown.

On a bow character, some alternative to "move into the Marauder/Templar part of the tree and get as much life as possible" would also be great. Arrows also "missing" an enemy (due to evasion) should be able to hit enemies behind the enemy that dodged - maybe make this a keystone?
Hi! I've recently started a melee ranger in Anarchy. She is okay, but during play, I couldn't shake the feeling that her early game was, as a melee combatant, decidedly less directed (or even relevant to her role) than that of Shadows, Templars, Duelists, and Maras. In fact, the life of my skill tree build as one that begins to disambiguate myself from EVERY other ranger starting down began well into my 20s.

The thing is this: as a Ranger, it makes sense for her start to be flavored with nodes which reflect her nature as a lithe and dextrous huntress (whether she be melee or ranged). However, every path out is pretty bad. For melee purposes, consider a comparison with Duelist's start:

Whereas the Duelist's "Go-Fast" flavored start path starts with 10% aspd (6 and 4, compared to Ranger's miserly 8, as well as some dual wield/projectile buffs), and ends with the ridiculously good Acceleration, thus rounding out the Dex boost in the start with a powerful aspd increase, Ranger is essentially forced down through evasion nodes - four (4 [IV]) of them! - and into a Finesse, acquiring only 4% aspd (12 if she dips one point up). The Duelist is a master of melee combat, according to lore, and I respect this. However, the Ranger is functionally retarded (as in, repressed by the awfulness of her start) when compared to Duelist's.

I think the state of her start warrants a reconfiguration. The other starts relevant to the dextrous-fighter archetype outside of Ranger are much better and relevant than hers, not requiring an escape path to achieve focus (or much of anything, really).
I think the heart of the problem is that rangers don't have very good life node distribution or cluster efficiency.

Rangers have very high offensive point-for-point efficiency, but life cluster efficiency sucks when you're taking a double hit on point for point efficiency.

You take one hit for spending the points to reach those clusters. You take another hit since those clusters lack notables. The lack of notables is a problem caused by the recent patch since life clusters without notables (e.g. 3 x 6%) received a relative 25% reduction. Life clusters with notables (or pseudo-notables like the 12% "standard" nodes) received a relative 20% reduction since notables retained greater than 75% efficiency after the patch.

The impact is more clear if you examine potential builds using the Marauder and Templar areas versus builds using the Ranger and Shadow or Duelist areas. Marauders and Templars get flat health notable bonuses which aren't influenced by the recent patch, they get flat health as a natural byproduct of strength, they have have life notables which retained greater than 75% efficiency after the patch, and they have life clusters that are located on convenient paths to other nodes.

The recent patch did improve offensive point-for-point efficiency, but it didn't actually liberate any of those points for defense; life point-for-point efficiency is bad enough that you'd honestly rather have the damage than the life increase.

My thoughts are:

- Completely revamp the north part of the ranger area. That entire part is a catastrophe. I don't know if you have a heat map of player node use, but I'd imagine that part of the skill tree (with the Mana Geyser and Elusiveness clusters, and the five life node "wheel") is one of the least used in the game.
- Increase the number of life notable clusters in the ranger tree. Natural candidates are the cluster opposite of Gymnastics and the cluster underneath Reflexes.
- Create a cluster like Mana Flows within the ranger tree. The duelist rework moved "Mana Flows" deeper into the Duelist area which indirectly hurt rangers (but significantly helped Duelists).
- The status ailment prevention nodes aren't very useful. It could be reworked into a more useful cluster if you're not partial to its ultra-specific novelty value.

I think the melee ranger problems are the same as the pre-rework duelist (albeit reduced); you have an overload of very good offensive clusters and efficiency but no early access to the most important defensive stat: life. Maybe the simplest solution is to reverse the life and evasion nodes.

I'm not sure the ranger needs many changes to be "good." It probably requires fewer overall changes than the Duelist area.
IGN: exaltareBEYOND
Last edited by exaltare on Jun 10, 2013 9:43:38 PM
I'd agree that the biggest problem is lack of good access to quality life nodes. There's plenty of nodes in the area, but all low value and off the beaten path.

Secondarily mana is a bit of a problem. I think moving the Mana Geyser cluster into the tree would help with that.

Minor issue is that the crit nodes (Pressure Points cluster) is very difficult to get to unless you are going melee.

Lastly there are SO MANY FREAKING BOW NODES! Granted this is the Ranger area, but at least that convoluted wheel in the top right part is just overdone. You know, the one with Greater Impact.

I feel that the core ranger area really needs some work, but is fine once you get beyond that. As is, whenever I plan a ranger build I can feel myself trying to plot a shortest-path route to either Duelist or Shadow.

--My suggestions--
Replace some of the bow nodes in the Greater Impact wheel with some of the nodes in the Heart of the Panther melee cluster. If needed buff the remaining nodes to compensate for the lost potential, but I don't think it'd be necessary. Rework the path a bit so you have a Bow and a Melee track going through the top part.

Move Mana Geyser cluster the spot now vacated by those melee nodes. If you don't want it that early, could also swap it with the 3 mana nodes towards the right side of the area.

Improve early life by replacing the Shield Wall cluster with life nodes. One of these should be a notable, be it high % Life, Life + Strength, or flat Life. Something better than 6% anyway.

I don't think that's perfect, but it gives a general idea of what I'd like to see.
I've always been a stickler for underdog builds and less common/less known versions of each class. When I play a melee ranger, the idea I have in mind is of a character who strikes fast, is evasive and hard to hit, dodges attacks and spells as well as blocks with a shield or parries, and hits often with a chance of critical damage.

To me, the melee ranger has really held my attention the most due to the challenge of trying to get the right balance of life, evasion, resists, and DPS all at once. The problem with a melee ranger is the inherent nature of dexterity itself as well as the lack of any way to cope with spell damage. Dexterity only adds accuracy and evasion ratings, both of which lose their impact quite quickly. Where Strength has its life and Intelligence has its Energy Shield, both of which are excellent ways of soaking up damage, Dexterity has only the chance to avoid damage entirely at the cost of being life-hungry and vulnerable to spells.

Therefore I propose adding new notables/keystones/skills that might add benefits that play off of a character's dexterity and evasion and hopefully make the ranger's side of the tree more attractive and worth investing in other than just a purely physical bow build.

At the ranger's starting area this could be something along the lines of:

-Add a notable passive at the start of the ranger's defensive melee portion that significantly increases life, evasion, and dexterity.

-Add a notable passive at the start of the ranger's offensive melee portion that increases critical hit chance, melee damage, and strength.

-Remove the 'Avoid Stun' and 'Stun Recovery' passives from the starting area of the ranger's tree. To me these are a waste of passives that could be moved much further away from the starting location. Stun is far from the mind of any beginning character. Instead put life nodes and perhaps movement speed or life regeneration.

-Add more significant life regeneration nodes, even perhaps a significant life regen notable. When I think ranger/hunter, I think of being able to heal themselves with salves/herbs and so to me a big life regeneration boost. This might be a good option to simply adding more and more life nodes.

Something I'd also like to see is more critical hit chance/critical hit multipliers spread out around the ranger's tree. When I think of dexterous and swift rangers, I think of someone who can hone in on critical weak points and take advantage of them. Right now too many of these critical hit nodes are in the shadow and witch trees when they could be shifted more towards the ranger's area.

Some other ideas for improvements to the melee portion of the ranger's tree could be:

-A keystone/support gem that would add *melee damage* based off of a character's accuracy or evasion rating, much like the 'Iron Will' skill gem applies strength's damage bonus to spell damage. This would give a much needed boost in damage for any dexterity-based melee character who tries to remain in the ranger's area of the skill tree.

-Add a temporary elemental resists/armor buff gained for each successful evade/dodge in some way.

-Add a counterattack mechanic (if possible) after a successful evade/dodge.

-Add a special 'parry' mechanic only found in the ranger tree that adds a chance to block and damage the attacker in the process.

-Add perhaps a keystone node 'Grandmaster Fencer' in which the character gains added benefits but without the ability to use 2-handed weapons or duel wield.

-Add a 'combo' dexterity skill that could allow chaining linked melee skills together for a combo attack that uses those skills in quick succession for an increased mana cost.

-Add more ways to be able to dodge/evade spells that are only available deep in the melee ranger portion of the tree.

-Change the location and/or nature of the 'Elusiveness' and 'Reflexes' notable passives so that they are more easily accessible to melee ranger builds. By the time I have skill points to even think about heading in those parts of the skill tree, the impact of evasion per increased 10% is lessened to the point where most everything else takes more importance.

I'll add more to this if anything else comes to mind.
Last edited by SaranCadrey on Jun 10, 2013 1:43:23 AM
Aside from generally buffing the melee node values so that they're actually worth taking, I'm keen to see the node layout changed:

1) An escape path from Heart of the Panther to the main attribute highways. Pathing to HotP and out to the rest of the tree currently takes far more points than any other starting paths. This will also benefit late game non-rangers that want to dip into ranger melee nodes.

2) Combine Evasion and Life nodes into a single defensive cluster, and move Avoid Stun and Stun Recovery nodes out to completely optional clusters branching from the attribute highway. Nobody ever takes the Avoid Stun over Evasion or Stun Recovery over Life anyway, so the current branching setup really isn't offering much of a choice, and could be detrimental to newer players.

3) Rearrange the big bow cluster with attack speed nodes on one branch and physical damage nodes on another, maybe with Greater Impact changed to something less physical-damage-centric. The ranger start overall should give more of an idea to beginners that focusing on elemental bow damage can be an option.
I've created one 'stubborn' ranger - that is ranger based on bow (that works), criting with bows (that kinda doesn't work as the crit curse is an int curse and without it you need incredible gear to crit 1/3 shots) and evasion-only (that doesnt work at all). I know that this was my last evasion character and will never try this again. When I say evasion it means no mandatory passive: Iron Reflexes (there should be besides notable and keystone passives also mandatory passives - CI and IR are such ones..). I think that this (and Dex providing useless stats - accuracy negated by Resolute Technique (you know how many people use this) and evasion completely trashed by health/ES) is the main issue with Ranger, not the skill tree. In this game surviving bursts is THE king. HP/ES helps with that. Evasion doesn't.

Add like 'each point of not-converted evasion increases stun threshold' or add conversion penalties for IR/CI. Currently people buy evasion gear because it is easier to chrome it to desired colors - that's it. It is all converted to Armour anyway. This has to go.

Back to the topic.

A) Life nodes. Current patch changed VERY little and HP is mandatory for all non-CI characters. Rangers are on the short end of life nodes (and they dont gain HP from 'connector' stats, only evasion). Please add like 2-3 life nodes (maybe with +max life, not %) to upper path. Currently upper path in most if not all cases takes 4 nodes up to Perfect Aim and ends there. Making melee ranger is rather counterproductive so I ignore this scenario as you are better off with any other class.

A1) Life regen. No life regen present at all. Maybe a new notable with life and regen?

B) Mana. Bow skills are very expensive (poison arrow..) early on, and early on Rangers have no mana bonuses of any kind. Mana Geyser is on the path to nowhere and that other 3*8% mana cluster is located terribly. Maybe adding "5 mana on kill" somewhere would make sense? These are quite far away from starting area and when you get there you need to prioritize life nodes anyway.. Some kind of notable with mana leech and/or +mana would make a big difference.

C) Early bow damage nodes - the big circle where Greater Impact is. Terrible. Terrible. There are ten nodes with like 6nodes worth of stats. And linked terribly on the path to nowhere. only first-time players are going to pick these up. And they will regret it baaaadly.

D) layout. connection between paths is TERRIBLE. Shadow connects trough LIFE nodes. How good is that? Marauder does not connect at all as people dont use the lower path at all. Templar connects trough life nodes and all notables are +strength (that is +life as strength does not matter itself much). Don't force bow users to connect two paths using melee skills.. this is rather unfair.

E) late game points. in the starting area there are no notables that would make me go pick them if playing another class. no utility, no damage, no life - compare to templar or marauder, or heck - even duelist! why would i spend points to go to ranger starting points? there is literally nothing there. The good stuff is around Wisdom of the Glade (but there are no bow skills nearby besides Master Fletcher. That cluster itself is rather meh as it grants 3 points worth of stats for 5. not a good deal. I think that a solution to that might be in slight increase of crit cluster of Pressure Points. Make it good enough so people will waste points to get it.

F) Resists. No significant defense +all resist node. Something along the lines of Nullification is needed. The +15allress/+6other res clusters are nice but they are so far away from anything useful..

G) Add a notable passives similar to Piercing Shots with small albeit visible chance to Fork/Chain. Make it like 10% (or lower) just for lols. Something to make people try something new. Maybe add it to Greater Impact?

In summary Rangers have quite bad starting area. It is workable but the way to work with it is mainly to leave this area asap and go to other classes starting areas. Also the whole 'evasion is used only to convert itself to armor' disaster and strength/int providing useful bonuses and dex providing.. well. These are the reasons i wont bother with evasion based character ever again and if i want to make a bow character (i will, they are very fun) ill do what others do - create a bow marauder, pick iron grip and enjoy 5k HP ranged monster.

I think this is the time that other choices are nerfed because templar/marauder for some reason in almost all cases seems to be the best way. the +strenght and general +life bonuses seem to be the biggest factor..
Last edited by sidtherat on Jun 10, 2013 3:12:56 PM
I was quite upset by the very low chance to avoid stuns in the Ranger area, especially since the Ranger is a typically low HP melee class which suffers from stuns. I hope to see an increase in the chance to avoid stuns (maybe 10-15% would be good imo) but more importantly, even if it remains at 8%, you should merge the stun chance is the other nodes for avoiding chill / freeze etc. It simply costs too many skill points (plus a few more skill points to get there if you are not interested in the extra cold damage).
It would be nice to avoid the mandatory trip all the way to the marauder start area. The big problem I have with my ranger is feeling like I have to waste a lot of passive nodes traveling to other areas to get the good passives. The marauder/templar area has tons of life, life regen, resist all, and elemental damage, which makes a trip all the way over there pretty much mandatory.

The ranger could benefit from more health nodes, some kind of resist all node like diamond skin, body-and-soul, elementalist, etc., some life regen nodes ("wolf's blood"?), and some damage nodes that offer a tempting alternative to the far away skills resolute technique and static blows. It would be nice to see marauders and templars heading our way for once instead of the other way around :)
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