Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The Way of the Ranger: Early Stages
Here is a general overview of the Ranger specialty in Aion. Most subject is covering early stages in the game and basics. If you want to get some idea of what to expect from the Ranger class, this may help.
What is a Ranger?
Rangers are the ranged specialty that branches from the Scout class (the other option being Assassin which is purely melee). As a ranger, you are all about hit and run tactics. Being a pest with traps and kiting is your main defense with the less than desirable DPS in endgame.
Initial reports on already live servers have revealed that Rangers are in many cases generally the worst DPS of the DPS specialties but let's discuss why this isn't the end of the world (hold the QQ's). Sorcerers may out DPS us Rangers but we excel in other areas that they do not. Survivability and utility is the trade off.
Although leather is not the most protective armor in the game, it trumps cloth. Sorcerers are meant to be glass cannons, meaning while they may blow stuff up, when things get heavy, they go down faster than the dexterous Ranger that is built to run around and wear their opponents down. We are built to be mobile and shine in those situations. Lazy players need not apply to the Ranger class.
Where's teh bow?
One sad truth that every aspiring ranger realizes upon making a Scout is that we Rangers must earn our bow privileges by reaching level 10. We are purely melee until ascending and choosing our specialty. That's ok though because dual wielding is actually pretty fun and you need to get accustomed to some basic techniques for later levels when kiting may not be an option.
Rangers strength obviously is in their ranged attacks but ignoring melee all together is not a smart thing to do. Sometimes switching to melee to finish a mob off is completely viable. When mobs or other players manage to close the gap, using some melee skills can help you get away or boost DPS when ranged abilities are on cool down.
Rangers can dual wield daggers and swords. Swords are slower than daggers but swords do more damage generally per hit. I typically defer to daggers for faster attacks and procs, but at least place a dagger in your main hand.
When it comes to the bow, a Ranger should never skimp. Upgrading your bow is the most important thing to focus on while leveling up. Stats are important but the base DPS of a bow is a huge factor in how much damage we can put out. Keep that bow current.
Some things to note about bows: they work at melee range and auto attack continues firing while running away (circle strafing or backwards). Certain range abilities require you to be still while casting but when you are waiting for cool downs, keep moving backwards. Every little bit counts so while you are just auto attacking be moving away from target (unless it it ranged of coarse).
Although 1-15 is slightly limited when it comes to ranged abilities, basic tactics remain. Increase distance, slow/stun the enemy when possible, stay mobile. At level 13, Rangers receive the Spike Trap which temporarily immobilizes the target that walks over it, while temporarily decreasing evasion. The price of traps may make using this often a pricey method but just know that the tool is there. Rangers also get Entangling Shot early on which immobilizes the target temporarily.
If you use Spike Trap, Entangling shot, get a couple stun procs on your bow, and stay mobile in-between skills most mobs should be dead before they ever hit you. That is of coarse in a perfect situation. Many times other factors come into play like surrounding mob agro. When kiting enemies, be aware of your surroundings. Grab agro of an additional mob, you should be ok. Grab two more mobs, you are probably in trouble and should run for your life.
People who play Rangers need to embrace the play style or will hate it. It is not for everyone. The gameplay of a Ranger should never be dull if you are doing it right.
Send your comments, suggestions, corrections to RangerWeekly@gmail.com!
Posted by Sihn