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Talon_Moonshadow
01-22-2010, 07:00 AM
I want to give some Ranger advice aimed at new players.

Rangers are very popular for many new players to the game.
Many are drawn to them because of them being an archer class.

But ranged combat in DDO does not do very good damage, due to it's very slow attack speed....and a few other limitations.

This does not diminish the power of the Ranger at all actually.

Rangers are still one of the most powerful classes in the game.

They just need to understand that their bow is not their only method of power, and that it should not be used as their primary weapon all of the time. A good Ranger will use all of his abilities to get the most out of this very versitile character.

So let me talk a little about those various powers of the Ranger.

I'll go ahead and talk about archery first.

A Ranger gets all of the best ranged combat feats in the game for free!
Except one...Improved Critical Ranged Weapons.
And if you prefer Crossbows or repeaters of some sort, you would need Rapid Reload to get the most out of them.

But Improved Crit Ranged is a feat that IMO, any Ranger should try to fit into his build eventually. The earliest he can take it (on a pure Rgr) is lvl 9.
I recommend 9, 12, or 15 to try to fit that feat into your build if you can.

There are other good ranged feats but that one combined with what you get for free is all you need to be just about as good as an archer as DDO will alllow.


But Rangers also get most of the Two Weapon Fighting feats for free. And they do not have to have the high Dex that others need to get them.

In fact, Rangers can be the best TWFers in the game. Getting more attacks per round than any other class can get. If they take the Tempest III enhancement.

And TWFing has been proven to be the best Damage Per Second (DPS) in the game.
And consequently the fighting style most respected and chosen by the most elite of players.

Rangers can also use shields!
You may have heard that AC is meaningless in this game.
Well the truth is that atthe highest levels, only an incredibly high AC is meaningful.
And the average player has difficulty building and equiping a toon that can reach a meaningful AC.
But at lower levels AC is very valuable. And Shield Blocking remains valuable at the highest levels for Damage Resistance gained and protection from some special attacks.

Anyway, for those starting out I recomend carrying a shield and using it for a few levels.

So some advice on when to use which combat style.

I usually start a quest TWFing. It just looks cool. And we know it does the most damage (usually).
Well it does the most damage if you can hit often enough.
And at low levels you may find that the attack penalties from TWF is making you miss a lot.
If you see a lot of misses...switch to S&B (Sword and Board....as in shield).

Also if you are taking a lot of damage....pull out your shield and try it for awhile.
If you take less damage....keep using it. If it doesn't seem to matter. go ahead and put it away.

If you are taking too much damage, with either TWF or S&B, this when I consider ranged the most useful.

Ranged combat, although slow and thereby doing less damage. Has the benefit of being able to attack and deal damage at a distance....hopefully out of reach of your enemies most damaging attacks.

This is the number one best trait about ranged combat. It is safer (generally, assumng you can stay out of range of the worst of your enemies attack anyway).

And a good Ranger will learn how and when it is best applied.
I could give a lot of examples, but that would make this post a lot longer.

Just know that basically the best time to use your bow is when it will prevent you from taking excessive damage. But in general, melee combat is the most effective way to dispatch your enemies quickly.

I should take the time to point out a few of the other problems of ranged combat in DDO. Most notably how agro works.

In general, the first person a monster sees it will decide to attack.
But it will quickly switch to attack the first person to do damage to it.
Then it will switch again to attack the person who did the most damage to it in a certain short period of time.

This means if you shoot it first....before anyone else has done damage to it.
it will now charge straight to you and proceed to attack you.

If you respond by running away from the monster.....backwards...with the monster chasing you.....resembling trying to get a kite in the air......thus the term..."Kiting!"

Anyone one else in the party who wishes to help you kill that monster (or heal you) will have to chase after you.
Which is extremely annoying for other players.

OTHER PLAYERS HATE IT WHEN YOU KITE MONSTERS!

Whether is it effective or not, they will see it as bad playing on your part.

There is a time to kite. but those times are rare.
A good ranger will learn when and when not to kite monsters.

But the problem is easily solved, simply by waiting until someone else hurts the monster first.

Just be patient. Wait till you see the melee guy damage a monster, then shoot at it.

This will easily solve most of your kiting problems.

But like I said before, you don't need to use the bow, if it's an easy fight.
Remember that first agro rule? The monster agros on the person it sees first?
Simply not being the first guy in a room will greatly limit the damage you take.

Or being blocked by terrain from line of sight to the monster, will make sure the monster sees someone else first.
You can also open doors from the side....and almost guarantee that someone else in your party wil be seen first. and thus get agro first.
Allowing you to jump on the monster as it attacks someone else, and safely assist in a quick kill. And not have to worry about other monsters attacking you from behind as you do so.

Another way to avoid first agro is stealth.

Which happens to be another strength of the Ranger class.

Rangers get more skill points per level than any other class but a Rogue. (equal to Bards)
And their class skills include some very useful skills.

The best IMO are Hide, Move Silently, Spot, and Jump.

Spot may be your most important skill. As it allows you to see hiding monsters.
To either shoot, avoid getting agro from, or sneak by without bumping into them.

Hide/Ms allow you to snesk by things and never get noticed....if you learn how to do it right.
DDO is also not stealth friendly.
Many players will tell you it is a useless skill or that it does not work.
But if you can learn how to make it work for you it can be a powerful skill to have in your bag of tricks.

I include stealth as a strong power of the ranger class. That should not be overlooked IMO.

Jump
Monster have a hard time hitting a jumping target. But another benfit from it is to be able to get out of a bad situation and move to a more defensible position.

if you have a high enough jump, you can be surrounded by a mob of monsters, but be able to jump over their heads, and get out and way from them.

This a valuable skill for a Ranger.

One Rangers can add to with the Jump spell.

Which brings us to yet another advantage of the Ranger...

Spells
At levl 4 Ranger can cast a small number of spells.
Their spell list is small too.
And the number of Spell Points (SP) they get is also small.
SP per lvl for Rgrs is based on Wisdom. As is the save DC of the few spell sthey have which require monsters to make a saving throw against.

You will also nee to have a Wisdom of 10+ spell levevl to cast a spell.
Wis 11 to cast lvl 1 spells (which you get at lvl 4) and Wis 14 to cast lvl 4 spells (which you won't get for a long time)

You can use Wisdom items though to allow you to cast these spells, if you have a low wisdom.

So don't worry if you have an 8 Wisdom. Just go find a Wisdom item to wear and you will be fine. In fact many build experts recommend an 8 Wisdom for Rgrs.
(I disagree, but anything higher than 14 is a waste...unless you are going for a very rare build anyway)

Other spells of note.
We mentioned Jump. Plus other players would like you to cast Jump on them.

Tumble can be useful...very useful in one quest.
But you need to have at least one rank in tumble to get any benefit from the tumble spell.
I almost always put one rank (2 cross class skill points) into tumble at lvl one on all my chars....just so I can get a benefit from the spell or items later.

Ram's Might.
Gives you more damage. Nice.

Resist Energy.
Before you get evasion (lvl 9) this spell is very useful.
And acid resist remains useful forever.
Plus it's very useful to cast on others.

Also at high levels you can cast some minor cure wounds spells.
The biggest benefit of which is the ability to use those same cure wands at lvl 1!


Thats right...go to the market and buy Cure Light Wounds wands. And have access to the cheapest form of healing this side of a good cleric, just as soon as you step off the boat from Korthos.

I'll hold off there.


But I mentioned evasion. Which even though you do not get till lvl 9, is the best feat in the game IMO, so it's worth mentioning.

Evasion is a strong power that all Rangers get.

Anyway, enough for now.

TWF
Shields
Archery
Spells
Cure Wands
Evasion
Stealth
Other skills

So many great and powerful abilities is what makes the Ranger one of the best classes in the game.

Just learn how to switch between them and use them all to their greatest potential.
:cool:

lord_of_rage
01-22-2010, 07:14 AM
Great job Talon does this mean you will be sticking around or just lurking here and there:)

Talon_Moonshadow
01-22-2010, 07:17 AM
Great job Talon does this mean you will be sticking around or just lurking here and there:)

Well, I gotta go take my kid to school....and might go back to bed for awhile...but I'll be back. :)

Atisha
02-03-2010, 07:09 AM
Posts like this are the rare gems that truly help both new rangers and seasoned alike. It's easy to fall into the Tempest/DPS/MinMax mentality, and this post reaffirms that Rangers are more than the sum of their parts. This advice is pure gold!

Thank you, Talon Moonshadow.


I want to give some Ranger advice aimed at new players.

Rangers are very popular for many new players to the game.
Many are drawn to them because of them being an archer class.

But ranged combat in DDO does not do very good damage, due to it's very slow attack speed....and a few other limitations.

This does not diminish the power of the Ranger at all actually.

Rangers are still one of the most powerful classes in the game.

They just need to understand that their bow is not their only method of power, and that it should not be used as their primary weapon all of the time. A good Ranger will use all of his abilities to get the most out of this very versitile character.

So let me talk a little about those various powers of the Ranger.

I'll go ahead and talk about archery first.

A Ranger gets all of the best ranged combat feats in the game for free!
Except one...Improved Critical Ranged Weapons.
And if you prefer Crossbows or repeaters of some sort, you would need Rapid Reload to get the most out of them.

But Improved Crit Ranged is a feat that IMO, any Ranger should try to fit into his build eventually. The earliest he can take it (on a pure Rgr) is lvl 9.
I recommend 9, 12, or 15 to try to fit that feat into your build if you can.

There are other good ranged feats but that one combined with what you get for free is all you need to be just about as good as an archer as DDO will alllow.


But Rangers also get most of the Two Weapon Fighting feats for free. And they do not have to have the high Dex that others need to get them.

In fact, Rangers can be the best TWFers in the game. Getting more attacks per round than any other class can get. If they take the Tempest III enhancement.

And TWFing has been proven to be the best Damage Per Second (DPS) in the game.
And consequently the fighting style most respected and chosen by the most elite of players.

Rangers can also use shields!
You may have heard that AC is meaningless in this game.
Well the truth is that atthe highest levels, only an incredibly high AC is meaningful.
And the average player has difficulty building and equiping a toon that can reach a meaningful AC.
But at lower levels AC is very valuable. And Shield Blocking remains valuable at the highest levels for Damage Resistance gained and protection from some special attacks.

Anyway, for those starting out I recomend carrying a shield and using it for a few levels.

So some advice on when to use which combat style.

I usually start a quest TWFing. It just looks cool. And we know it does the most damage (usually).
Well it does the most damage if you can hit often enough.
And at low levels you may find that the attack penalties from TWF is making you miss a lot.
If you see a lot of misses...switch to S&B (Sword and Board....as in shield).

Also if you are taking a lot of damage....pull out your shield and try it for awhile.
If you take less damage....keep using it. If it doesn't seem to matter. go ahead and put it away.

If you are taking too much damage, with either TWF or S&B, this when I consider ranged the most useful.

Ranged combat, although slow and thereby doing less damage. Has the benefit of being able to attack and deal damage at a distance....hopefully out of reach of your enemies most damaging attacks.

This is the number one best trait about ranged combat. It is safer (generally, assumng you can stay out of range of the worst of your enemies attack anyway).

And a good Ranger will learn how and when it is best applied.
I could give a lot of examples, but that would make this post a lot longer.

Just know that basically the best time to use your bow is when it will prevent you from taking excessive damage. But in general, melee combat is the most effective way to dispatch your enemies quickly.

I should take the time to point out a few of the other problems of ranged combat in DDO. Most notably how agro works.

In general, the first person a monster sees it will decide to attack.
But it will quickly switch to attack the first person to do damage to it.
Then it will switch again to attack the person who did the most damage to it in a certain short period of time.

This means if you shoot it first....before anyone else has done damage to it.
it will now charge straight to you and proceed to attack you.

If you respond by running away from the monster.....backwards...with the monster chasing you.....resembling trying to get a kite in the air......thus the term..."Kiting!"

Anyone one else in the party who wishes to help you kill that monster (or heal you) will have to chase after you.
Which is extremely annoying for other players.

OTHER PLAYERS HATE IT WHEN YOU KITE MONSTERS!

Whether is it effective or not, they will see it as bad playing on your part.

There is a time to kite. but those times are rare.
A good ranger will learn when and when not to kite monsters.

But the problem is easily solved, simply by waiting until someone else hurts the monster first.

Just be patient. Wait till you see the melee guy damage a monster, then shoot at it.

This will easily solve most of your kiting problems.

But like I said before, you don't need to use the bow, if it's an easy fight.
Remember that first agro rule? The monster agros on the person it sees first?
Simply not being the first guy in a room will greatly limit the damage you take.

Or being blocked by terrain from line of sight to the monster, will make sure the monster sees someone else first.
You can also open doors from the side....and almost guarantee that someone else in your party wil be seen first. and thus get agro first.
Allowing you to jump on the monster as it attacks someone else, and safely assist in a quick kill. And not have to worry about other monsters attacking you from behind as you do so.

Another way to avoid first agro is stealth.

Which happens to be another strength of the Ranger class.

Rangers get more skill points per level than any other class but a Rogue. (equal to Bards)
And their class skills include some very useful skills.

The best IMO are Hide, Move Silently, Spot, and Jump.

Spot may be your most important skill. As it allows you to see hiding monsters.
To either shoot, avoid getting agro from, or sneak by without bumping into them.

Hide/Ms allow you to snesk by things and never get noticed....if you learn how to do it right.
DDO is also not stealth friendly.
Many players will tell you it is a useless skill or that it does not work.
But if you can learn how to make it work for you it can be a powerful skill to have in your bag of tricks.

I include stealth as a strong power of the ranger class. That should not be overlooked IMO.

Jump
Monster have a hard time hitting a jumping target. But another benfit from it is to be able to get out of a bad situation and move to a more defensible position.

if you have a high enough jump, you can be surrounded by a mob of monsters, but be able to jump over their heads, and get out and way from them.

This a valuable skill for a Ranger.

One Rangers can add to with the Jump spell.

Which brings us to yet another advantage of the Ranger...

Spells
At levl 4 Ranger can cast a small number of spells.
Their spell list is small too.
And the number of Spell Points (SP) they get is also small.
SP per lvl for Rgrs is based on Wisdom. As is the save DC of the few spell sthey have which require monsters to make a saving throw against.

You will also nee to have a Wisdom of 10+ spell levevl to cast a spell.
Wis 11 to cast lvl 1 spells (which you get at lvl 4) and Wis 14 to cast lvl 4 spells (which you won't get for a long time)

You can use Wisdom items though to allow you to cast these spells, if you have a low wisdom.

So don't worry if you have an 8 Wisdom. Just go find a Wisdom item to wear and you will be fine. In fact many build experts recommend an 8 Wisdom for Rgrs.
(I disagree, but anything higher than 14 is a waste...unless you are going for a very rare build anyway)

Other spells of note.
We mentioned Jump. Plus other players would like you to cast Jump on them.

Tumble can be useful...very useful in one quest.
But you need to have at least one rank in tumble to get any benefit from the tumble spell.
I almost always put one rank (2 cross class skill points) into tumble at lvl one on all my chars....just so I can get a benefit from the spell or items later.

Ram's Might.
Gives you more damage. Nice.

Resist Energy.
Before you get evasion (lvl 9) this spell is very useful.
And acid resist remains useful forever.
Plus it's very useful to cast on others.

Also at high levels you can cast some minor cure wounds spells.
The biggest benefit of which is the ability to use those same cure wands at lvl 1!


Thats right...go to the market and buy Cure Light Wounds wands. And have access to the cheapest form of healing this side of a good cleric, just as soon as you step off the boat from Korthos.

I'll hold off there.


But I mentioned evasion. Which even though you do not get till lvl 9, is the best feat in the game IMO, so it's worth mentioning.

Evasion is a strong power that all Rangers get.

Anyway, enough for now.

TWF
Shields
Archery
Spells
Cure Wands
Evasion
Stealth
Other skills

So many great and powerful abilities is what makes the Ranger one of the best classes in the game.

Just learn how to switch between them and use them all to their greatest potential.
:cool:

blitzschlag
02-03-2010, 07:15 AM
great post but a bit of fancy layout would make it outstanding :)

Crann
02-03-2010, 07:33 AM
I don't think it can be emphasized enough to know when to, and more importantly, when not to use a bow. The ranger is my favorite class to play, but even I cringe when I see one join a pug. I've come to a point where my personal policy regarding a ranger who kites when he's not supposed to is that he is on his own. If I'm on a melee.....I'm not leaving the other members of the party unprotected to chase the monsters that are chasing him. Same for when I'm healing. I know how powerful the bow attacks can be......but they are still nowhere near as powerful as the melee atttacks a ranger can bring to bear.

Mellifera
02-03-2010, 09:14 AM
Nice guide! +1

I have a question for you. I remember a few of my old guildies saying that the benefit of Jump caps out at 10 ranks. Is that still true and why is that?

Faelyndel
02-03-2010, 09:35 AM
Helpful and informative, thank you muchly. Some I knew already but I still learned a bit from your post, as I'm sure other, newer, players will as well.

DrizztBaenre
02-03-2010, 09:38 AM
Very nice guide, I've been looking for something that went more in depth into skills/feats

Okay, so spot, hide, MS, and jump are important, but there are skills and then enchantments, which one are we using to improve those skills and how many skill/action points do we need to devote to them
And what about balance and UMD? Aren't those important too?
Should we put one point into heal for incapacitated allies?

If you make a formal guide I think it's important to also mention the skills, feats, and enchantments that shouldn't be touched since as a new player (eg empathy, summon and other skills that look cool/useful), thats the one thing I'm afraid of doing when I reroll for what I hope is the final time and I'm sure most new players feel that way once they decided to customize instead of following a path.
And probably divide parts about skills, feats, spells, and enchantment into sections because of the overlap between things like spot, hide, MS, jump etc.
And some info on the differences between different swords and bows would help when choosing certain enchantments or the weapons themselves.

This is all very useful and I hope you do decide to make a comprehensive guide that does go through all the skills, feats, enchantments, spells, and stats (especially how much should be invested into them at the start and which to focus on as you level)
Such guides seem lacking on there forums (although I guess it's a lot of trouble to go through when you could simply tell the newbs to follow the path)

Potvin
02-03-2010, 11:34 AM
This original post is awesome. Thanks!

Pedsdmd
02-03-2010, 01:20 PM
Hey Talon, did you play in a Never WInters Night game on a PW named Avlis?

Orratti
02-03-2010, 02:16 PM
Talon has always been one of the most respected rangers in the game though I don't believe I have ever played with him I have read his forums and agree with them all. In addition he and a very few other range builders are the only ones that support by example any good reason to create an increase in bow ROF or possibly Elven or other improved crit ranging enhancements that would make ranging more powerful.

The only disagreement I have and this is strictly a matter of opinion is that taking imp crit ranging is anywhere near useful to a bow using ranger and is only useful to a crossbow or repeater user as on a bow the feat only makes it crit on a 19-20 instead of just on a 20 unless you are using a silver bow in that case making it a 17-20 roll. I don't really keep up with all the updates and for fighter enhancement this may have changed so that crit range can be much improved if it is your weapon specialization. I haven't built a fighter in quite a while. However if you alternate between bows and crossbows it would indeed be useful as crossbow crit ranges become 17-20 with this feat.

I'd advise strongly to anyone making a ranger to listen to any advise Talon is willing to impart for if there is ever to be a chance for any power to be adding to range combat it can only be achieved by garnering support from the playerbase in general and the only way that will happen is if a majority of ranging players prove that their abilities are useful and effective in party tactics and deserving of improvement. There are a few of those kind of players out there already and many, many more are needed before a person can whip out a bow in a quest without the rest of the group seeing it and mentally groaning.

Mockduck
02-03-2010, 03:27 PM
Great writeup and good advice.

johnnyputrid
02-03-2010, 03:59 PM
+1 rep, great post.

While I'm no expert or vet, I play a ranger as my main and there are a few things I've found to be important and useful in game. If you don't mind, I'd like to share these additional tips.

Role:
A lot of people probably see the word "ranger" and equate it with "ranged combat". Rangers can be very effective at ranged combat, but that is not what defines a ranger. Generally a ranger is someone who is trained in guerrilla warfare and small unit tactics. Don't think "bow user", think "Army Ranger". Rangers are wilderness and tactical combat experts. Unlike the PnP version of a ranger, the DDO version gets both TWF and ranged combat abilities for free without having to specialize in one or the other. Take advantage of those freebies, grab two weapons and slug it out with the frontline melee characters. Have a bow handy for plinking monsters out of reach. Switch back and forth as needed, but don't think that just because the word "range" is part of your class title that ranged combat is your only schtick.

Abilities:
Don't gimp your Strength score. I'll say it again. Don't gimp your Strength score. High Strength gives you more damage. More damage helps you kill monsters faster. Killing monsters faster gives them less time to kill you or your party members. Put some points in Strength and keep putting them there as you level. The benefit of high Strength is two-fold: your melee weapons hit more often and harder, and your bow attacks do more damage due to the free Bow Strength feat.

Also, don't gimp your Constitution score. More hit points will allow you to stay on the front lines swinging two weapons for a longer period of time. Low hit points means you will probably die more often and the clerics will have to sink spell points into you at a greater rate. Help your clerics out by having more than 80 hit points at level 8.

Items:
Rangers get Cure and Resist Energy spells at higher levels. But they can use Cure and Resist Wands lbefore they ever get a single spell. At level 3 a ranger can use Cure Moderate Wounds and Resist Energy 10 wands, both of which are readily available and fairly cheap from the marketplace vendors. Keep your Wavecrasher Cargo Manifest collectibles and turn them in for free CMW wands. They might only be half-charged, but a bunch of half-charged Cure wands is better than zero fully-charged wands. At level 7 you can buy Resist Energy 20 wands from the auction house or find them in quests. These wands will save you spell points that you can use to cast other useful spells like Ram's Might more often. It might be a while before you can fit Resist Energy into your hotbar due to the limited amount of spell slots you get.

Spells:
Rangers don't get many spells. But they do get a couple of spells that will be used pretty much constantly from level 4 on up.

Ram's Might - adds +2 to your Strength score and +2 damage. This bonus stacks with items, so you can have a constant +1 to hit, +3 to damage spell going all the time. Ram's Might should be the first spell you prepare and it should never get replaced.

Jump - sometimes you need to Jump higher and further. You can learn this spell at level 4 and gain a +10 bonus on Jump checks. At level 5 it increases to +20. At level 9 you cap out at +30. Put some points into Jump at each level and you can easily reach a Jump score of +40, which is the maximum effective level of Jump (if I'm not mistaken). This is a good choice for your second 1st level spell slot when you reach ranger level 6.

Barkskin - acquired at ranger level 8, it adds a +3 natural armor bonus to your AC when you first get it. More AC is good. A high AC score is usually difficult to attain without specialized gear and primo items, but a couple of extra points can sometimes make the difference. The bonus caps out at +5 when you reach ranger level 12. I find that people will always thank you for 'Barking' them up during a quest, so the benefit of this spell is not just personal - it can help out the entire party for just 10 spell points a person. If the entire party is a little harder to hit, the quest stands a chance of being more successful.

I could probably add a lot more, but I think that was enough for this post. :D

DrizztBaenre
02-03-2010, 06:10 PM
Whats the min wisdom an AA should start with?

Kaervas
02-03-2010, 06:29 PM
Nice guide! +1

I have a question for you. I remember a few of my old guildies saying that the benefit of Jump caps out at 10 ranks. Is that still true and why is that?

A Jump spell of caster level 9 or higher provides +30 to Jump, and currently having a Jump skill higher than 40 doesn't make you go higher *. Rangers have access to this spell.
Unless you want to Jump very high without any magical aid whatsoever, you don't need more than 10 Jump without counting the Jump spell (this is including stat modifiers, miscellaneous items, and other non-Jump-spell buffs so it is very possible that you can get away with no skill ranks invested).
For rangers and arcanes alike, the Jump spell is a paltry 10 spell points. Anyone of sufficient level who has access to Amrath can obtain a Morah's Belt as well, which is an Exclusive belt with 3/day Jump (caster level 15) clicks on it.

Taking all that into account I'd rather put my precious skill points elsewhere.

I'll just have to take a gamble on Turbine not adding a quest where you have to perform a Mario jumping puzzle in the middle of a swarm of beholders and Mordenkainen's Disjunction traps.


* I strongly wish it did though, I hate it when a skill is rendered useless/not worth taking.

Talon_Moonshadow
02-03-2010, 06:39 PM
Nice guide! +1

I have a question for you. I remember a few of my old guildies saying that the benefit of Jump caps out at 10 ranks. Is that still true and why is that?

Jump caps at 40. But you can get 30 from a 9th lvl Jump spell.

So most people think having more than 10 ranks is a waste. And even then Str modifyer adds to it, so even 10 ranks might be too much.



IF You expect to always have the Jump spell on.

Personally I like having the ability to jump over monsters heads without it.

Not really sure how many ranks that requires.

Lagin
02-03-2010, 07:02 PM
Whats the min wisdom an AA should start with?

I play rangers exclusively. this will draw criticism, but...
I start all my rangers at 11 wisdom. From there you only need Kneezers bauble, and/or putting just enough points in wis to get it to 12, And + 1 tomes are available at Walmart nowadays, so thats a no-brainer.


TALON! Nice post brother!
+ 1 ;);););)

Talon_Moonshadow
02-03-2010, 07:09 PM
Very nice guide, I've been looking for something that went more in depth into skills/feats

Okay, so spot, hide, MS, and jump are important, but there are skills and then enchantments, which one are we using to improve those skills and how many skill/action points do we need to devote to them
And what about balance and UMD? Aren't those important too?
Should we put one point into heal for incapacitated allies?

If you make a formal guide I think it's important to also mention the skills, feats, and enchantments that shouldn't be touched since as a new player (eg empathy, summon and other skills that look cool/useful), thats the one thing I'm afraid of doing when I reroll for what I hope is the final time and I'm sure most new players feel that way once they decided to customize instead of following a path.
And probably divide parts about skills, feats, spells, and enchantment into sections because of the overlap between things like spot, hide, MS, jump etc.
And some info on the differences between different swords and bows would help when choosing certain enchantments or the weapons themselves.

This is all very useful and I hope you do decide to make a comprehensive guide that does go through all the skills, feats, enchantments, spells, and stats (especially how much should be invested into them at the start and which to focus on as you level)
Such guides seem lacking on there forums (although I guess it's a lot of trouble to go through when you could simply tell the newbs to follow the path)

I didn't ention Balance and UMD because they are not class skills for Rgrs.

I've made a couple Rgrs recently with maxed UMD. But as a pure Rgr it seems I cannot get it high enough to matter. At least not until almost lvl 20.
It's a Cha based skill which is usually my last priority on a Rgr.
While Cha does affect Wild Empathy, most Rgrs will want Str, Dex, Con, and maybe Wis high. Doesn't leave much room for Cha.

Balance. I just haven't decided yet about balance.
I don't know how much makes what kind of difference.
Some people say max it. Some think it doesn't do much.

Rgrs tend to have a decent Dex so they will have a few points in Balance by default.

Many people have done guids on skills.
But since I disagree with many others on skill usefullness, I decided just to mention the class skills that I think offer a great benefit to Rgrs.

Not meant to be all inclusive.

Talon_Moonshadow
02-03-2010, 07:13 PM
Hey Talon, did you play in a Never WInters Night game on a PW named Avlis?

No.
I didn't play NWN online much.

But my NWN name (and Balder's Gate)
Was actually Talon Moonshadow. :)

Used that name for Jedi Academy as well.

Sad that Talon was taken on all servers. (even the new ones minutes after they opened. :( )

Just made some Talonage clones named Ptalon. Kinda like that one, and reserved it on all the servers already. :cool:

Talon_Moonshadow
02-03-2010, 07:22 PM
Talon has always been one of the most respected rangers in the game though I don't believe I have ever played with him I have read his forums and agree with them all. In addition he and a very few other range builders are the only ones that support by example any good reason to create an increase in bow ROF or possibly Elven or other improved crit ranging enhancements that would make ranging more powerful.

The only disagreement I have and this is strictly a matter of opinion is that taking imp crit ranging is anywhere near useful to a bow using ranger and is only useful to a crossbow or repeater user as on a bow the feat only makes it crit on a 19-20 instead of just on a 20 unless you are using a silver bow in that case making it a 17-20 roll. I don't really keep up with all the updates and for fighter enhancement this may have changed so that crit range can be much improved if it is your weapon specialization. I haven't built a fighter in quite a while. However if you alternate between bows and crossbows it would indeed be useful as crossbow crit ranges become 17-20 with this feat.

I'd advise strongly to anyone making a ranger to listen to any advise Talon is willing to impart for if there is ever to be a chance for any power to be adding to range combat it can only be achieved by garnering support from the playerbase in general and the only way that will happen is if a majority of ranging players prove that their abilities are useful and effective in party tactics and deserving of improvement. There are a few of those kind of players out there already and many, many more are needed before a person can whip out a bow in a quest without the rest of the group seeing it and mentally groaning.

I have many chars. All are in the Knights of the Shadows guild (accept no imitations ;) )

I have high lvls on Thelanis and Argo.

I am certainly not the best Rgr out there. But I am experianced. And use bows a lot.

Improved Crit for any weapon you are using makes a noticable difference.
It's a great feat.

But it was the Silver long bow, on my archer build that I noticed how much it made a difference. This was a Ftr archer with lots of ranged feats.
And when he took Improved Crit ranged I noticed a big jump in his DPS. (but yes, that was using the Silver Long Bow)

Anyway, it was that char that I base my Ranged feat info off of.

Talon_Moonshadow
02-03-2010, 07:32 PM
Whats the min wisdom an AA should start with?

You can get by with an 8. And wear a Wis item to cast spells.
But I need more experiance with the new AA enhancements to make a good recomendation.

I still make my Rgrs with 14 Wis if I can. But many people think that is way too much.

But SP are important to the new AA. I just haven't decided how important yet.

I do recommend Power/Wizardy items for Rgrs though.

At higher lvls, you spells are better for buffing others than yourself. And to buff a whole party takes a lot of SP.

Talon_Moonshadow
02-03-2010, 07:42 PM
I'll mention a couple more things about skills.

Heal: not really that useful. It is a Wisdom based skills, so many Rgrs will have a couple point in it without spending skill points on it.

I have stopped putting ranks into Heal.
(I do sometimes carry a heal item and put it on at shrines, if I remember to anyway)

Swim: only one quest in the game really rewards having a high Swim skill.

it does help you hold your breath longer. and Swim faster.

But just get an Underwater Action item and don't bother with Swim IMO.

Someday they may add more quests where it matters. But right now one quest is not enough incentive to warrent the investment IMO.

I used to put 5 ranks in it. I've stopped doing that.

Concentration: Most rgr spells are buffs. Or can be cast from a distance while ranging. I no longer put points into Concentration on a Rgr.


I think that covers the class skills.

Mackem
02-03-2010, 08:04 PM
Awesome post :)

I've been reading a lot here on the forums while I was trying to build my newb tempest ranger and did not "really" considered using ranged attacks at all...

Not until I've found a disrupter bow and been bored enough to try it it undead area at Desert. So yeah, ranged "can" be situationally useful and sometimes very much so. :)

olBillDoor
02-03-2010, 08:52 PM
A Ranger gets all of the best ranged combat feats in the game for free!
Except one...Improved Critical Ranged Weapons.

...

There are other good ranged feats but that one combined with what you get for free is all you need to be just about as good as an archer as DDO will alllow.


OK so I have seen this phrase and phrases like it a number of times when talking about rangers and well "ranging." BUT as far as I can tell from the compendium NONE of the free ranged feats are usable unless you take the feat "Point Blank Shot." So to be a "good" archer you need to take up two feat spots, other wise you are not much better than any other toon in the game picking up a decent bow.

Now I'm not really complaining; one feat to get 3-4 other really good ones is not a bad deal, just saying they are not totally free.

Unless I am wrong.... (if I am wrong please correct me, I have a Fred to talk to... I really wish I was wrong...)

johnnyputrid
02-04-2010, 04:30 AM
OK so I have seen this phrase and phrases like it a number of times when talking about rangers and well "ranging." BUT as far as I can tell from the compendium NONE of the free ranged feats are usable unless you take the feat "Point Blank Shot." So to be a "good" archer you need to take up two feat spots, other wise you are not much better than any other toon in the game picking up a decent bow.

Now I'm not really complaining; one feat to get 3-4 other really good ones is not a bad deal, just saying they are not totally free.

Unless I am wrong.... (if I am wrong please correct me, I have a Fred to talk to... I really wish I was wrong...)

All of the free bow feats that rangers get (Bow Strength, Manyshot, Precise Shot, Improved Precise Shot) are fully usable without having to take Point Blank Shot. The feat descriptions will still list what the normal prerequisites are, but rangers bypass those requirements as a class feature. Same thing with the TWF feats. Rangers can still use all of the TWF feats they get for free even if they have a Dex less than 15 (the normal requirment for TWF).

Tyger22
02-04-2010, 03:07 PM
Greetings Talon,
Thank you kindly for your information on Rangers. I played dnd 1st Ed and friends have gotten me here so we can play together even though we live far apart. I always played rangers and druids and usually multiclassed characters. I also could roll a heckl of a lot better than 14's and 16's on ability scores...wow they seem really low. So, I am a bit confused on all the choices: feats, skills, granted abilities and feats, UMD etc...I understand what they are but not what my best choices would be. This will be my first DDO character and I like to have a plan before I start so I haven't started yet...just reading a bunch on section 36 of pdf manual currently and decided forums might be a great source since yall have already done this for years. :)

I am considering customizing a character rather than a path what do you think? My initial choice for paths would be Tempest or the AA--can one start off with a path then customize it or does the customizing have to be from the very beginning? If choose the TWF I can still use a bow, right? With ranged attacks not doing much I tend to now want to stay away from AA. Can I be a TWF without choosing the path Tempest? I was thinking Elf as my race. I'm used to Giants being my fav enemy--is there a better one for DDO? So if I do customize should I use the tempest path as a guide and only change a few things or just start from nothing except yalls advise? I'll be back w more questions shortly. Thank you again so very much for sharing your experience and knowledge.

Talon_Moonshadow
02-04-2010, 07:37 PM
Greetings Talon,
Thank you kindly for your information on Rangers. I played dnd 1st Ed and friends have gotten me here so we can play together even though we live far apart. I always played rangers and druids and usually multiclassed characters. I also could roll a heckl of a lot better than 14's and 16's on ability scores...wow they seem really low. So, I am a bit confused on all the choices: feats, skills, granted abilities and feats, UMD etc...I understand what they are but not what my best choices would be. This will be my first DDO character and I like to have a plan before I start so I haven't started yet...just reading a bunch on section 36 of pdf manual currently and decided forums might be a great source since yall have already done this for years. :)

I am considering customizing a character rather than a path what do you think? My initial choice for paths would be Tempest or the AA--can one start off with a path then customize it or does the customizing have to be from the very beginning? If choose the TWF I can still use a bow, right? With ranged attacks not doing much I tend to now want to stay away from AA. Can I be a TWF without choosing the path Tempest? I was thinking Elf as my race. I'm used to Giants being my fav enemy--is there a better one for DDO? So if I do customize should I use the tempest path as a guide and only change a few things or just start from nothing except yalls advise? I'll be back w more questions shortly. Thank you again so very much for sharing your experience and knowledge.

Ok,
In DDO, you do not have to choose TWF or Ranged. You get both for free. Unlike regular D&D.

The paths. I have yet to use them. They are new to the game and I was customising before they were added and have yet to use them. So I know litle about them.

But once you choose to customise or deviate from the paths, you cannot go baco to th paths.

The paths are there for your convienance. They preselect many things while leveling up, so you do not have to.

From what I know the Ranger paths are not bad. If you choose one of them, your char will be fine IMO.

Customising takes more knowledge.

Also, Tempest, Arcane Archer, and Deepwoods Sniper are enhancments that you can take. Reguardless of the paths. So if you customise a char, you can still take the Tempest enhancement.

The enhancments have prereqs.. Feats or other enhancements. So if you are customing and want one of those enhancements, you have to look at what the prereqs are and make sure you have them.

Feats can be changed in game after creation. But it takes gold and a special item (dragonshard) to change them.


Now with the new mod, we also have lesser reincarnations.

So there is very little that you cannot undo, if you decide you have made a mistake along the way.

if you are really unsure what you should do, then picking one of the paths and staying on it for awhile is not a bad idea IMO.

Tempest is widely considered to be the best path for a Rgr.

Arcane Archer got a boost in the last mod, and many people are excited to try it out.

Deepwoods Sniper is not considered very good yet. But might get a boost sometime soon in a future mod.

Favored enemy Giant is a good choice. Ogres and Trools are giants too, and very common monsters in this game.

Undead is a very good choice, and is usually my first chioce.
Giants is my second.

Evil Outsiders is my third. Above lvl 12 you will fight a lot of Evil Outsiders.

Favored enemy choice can also be changed later....again with money and dragonshards.

I am not really a build expert. I do not min/max most of my chars, and mine also tend to be a little squishy. I make mine much more versitile than most people recommend. But less DPS and stamina is my draw back.

My self proclaimed expertise :cool: is tactics and not getting beat up all the time.

I like Rangers because they have so many tactical options. And are self sufficient.

Tyger22
02-05-2010, 01:47 PM
Thank you so much!!! I have sent you a pm with my toon from the planner thing--even though planner seems to have some majors bugs. It did seem to help and only confuse a bit. I hope you can please look at her and my message and get back with me. Again, Thank you for your time and help. You have been a blessing to me. May you get three fold back on all the goodness you spread!!!

olBillDoor
02-05-2010, 08:37 PM
So I am happy to report that I was wrong about needing "Point Blank Shot." I saw Fred, swapped it out and happily I'm still manyshooting (SP?) away! Thanks to johnnyputrid (above) for helping me to see the error of my ways!