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Author Topic: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?  (Read 23742 times)

aprogressivist

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #100 on: December 12, 2011, 04:00:09 AM »
In other words - don't be suprised if you will see only casters and sneakers, because that is what it leads to if the generaly weak classes have nothing to offer. It is no fun then.
The non casters, with good caster support will be more effective in the long run than the caster without the non casters

The problem with these discussions is the excluded middle that gets overlooked...
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Emomina

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #101 on: December 12, 2011, 04:50:57 AM »
Like I alluded to before Ranger suffers mainly due to being dexterity based without uncanny dodge. Or strength based without being as good as a fighter.
They don't suck, but because other classes' niche get brought to the fore more aptly in NWN, they appear to suck.

It won't happen but if a really ambitious dev wanted to convert the Ranger to 3.5 it would require at the most basic, the following:

-high reflex save progression
-class feature Evasion gained at level 9
-change their skill points to (6 + Int modifier per level, ◊4 at 1st level)
-drop their hit die to d8

add the following spells to their list

2:
Barkskin
Endurance

Since that requires nothing new, and just uses existing scripts

Because if you did that, at level 9, a Ranger would now have enough skill point to be good at hide/move silent, discipline/parry, some or all of the detection skills, and their animal empathy.  As well, they would have the +4 version of barkskin which goes a bit of a way toward making up for their lack of uncanny dodge, and endurance which somewhat mitigates their loss of 2hp/level. Their really high reflex would make them immune to most reflex based save attacks and as well, they still have their improved two weapon fighting and two favoured enemies. Now that would be a balanced Ranger able to stand up to all the other classes.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 05:23:19 AM by ∆momina »

Uranos

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #102 on: December 12, 2011, 07:09:01 AM »
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the 3.0 version of Rangers, that NWN uses, is a truly terrible incarnation of the ranger.

Agree. In 3.5 (as in nwn2) a ranger is starting to finally look like it should.

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Because if you did that, at level 9, a Ranger would now have enough skill point to be good at hide/move silent, discipline/parry, some or all of the detection skills, and their animal empathy.  As well, they would have the +4 version of barkskin which goes a bit of a way toward making up for their lack of uncanny dodge, and endurance which somewhat mitigates their loss of 2hp/level. Their really high reflex would make them immune to most reflex based save attacks and as well, they still have their improved two weapon fighting and two favoured enemies. Now that would be a balanced Ranger able to stand up to all the other classes.

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Since that requires nothing new, and just uses existing scripts

Here you go:

http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=Hakpaks.Detail&id=5646

Source: http://nwn.wikia.com/wiki/Ranger



Kagetora

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #103 on: December 12, 2011, 09:20:42 AM »
2:
 Now that would be a balanced Ranger able to stand up to all the other classes.

Would it?  Or would it just make them "not the worst," and cause someone else to start complaining about their class?  Thats the point of my post...in a system like AD&D, with the near-unbelieveable amount of choices and variables, someone will always be perceived as being at the bottom.  Even if it isn't true, or is only true situationally.  And you start this "arms race" to "balance" things.  Trust me...that never ends.  It certainly never ends well.  All that happens is you go through the process with another class, and the general power level goes up another notch, leading to having to change the world to match, and so on, ad nauseum.

I mean, look at how this has already gone from the change of one spell's duration (blade thirst) to you asking for more feats, skills, spells, coding changes, etc.

Seriously...someone will always be perceived as being at "the bottom."  Fewer people will always play these classes.  Those that do often find a rewarding experience at hand.  And the majority will still gravitate to the "power classes," as they perceive them.  All you are asking to do is shuffle the list, basically, so your class can be better.  

There is an endless list of shortcomings for a variety of classes that COULD be addressed.  It will never actually fix the problem that some classes will always be more popular than others.

KoopaFanatic

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #104 on: December 12, 2011, 01:36:19 PM »
I'm not really keen on focusing on the "balance" question, personally, and I regret even bringing up a cross-class comparison earlier.  That said, I don't think it's wrongheaded to take a serious look at whether the mechanics of a class really satisfy their intended RP and combat niche.

The fact that rangers got a fairly strong improvement from some relatively minor changes between 3.0 and 3.5 is worth considering.  Adding barkskin, endurance, and expeditious retreat (to emulate the longstrider spell) would help rangers with their "swift, stealthy hunter" shtick, and give them a small but worthwhile boost to survivability in combat.  Sure, these are all things you can get through potions, but it goes a long way toward setting rangers apart mechanically and RP-wise to give them same "natural magic" that doesn't come in a bottle.

What I think would be almost as much, if not more fun would be to give rangers some small advantages in some of the custom scripts to reflect their "I spend a lot of time outside" nature.  Just a couple that come to mind:
  • A (small) bonus to exhaustion checks.  Not so much they can run all day, but enough that they can outdo another character of like Con for a minute or two
  • A bonus to (or less frequent) extreme cold and heat checks.  Not enough that they can stand naked on Mt. Ghakis in January, but enough that they'll stay standing a bit longer than another character of like Con in the same conditions
  • Automatic identification of their favored enemies in the new(ish) "examine object" system
  • Less effect from the "pitch blackness" system -- not darkvision, but something less extreme than total blindness
  • Automatic revealing of the entire minimap when entering an (outdoor) area -- rangers just intuitively know their way around

Won't lie -- in my ideal world, there'd be a way to replace the NWN ranger whole cloth with the 3.5 ranger, complete with fighting styles, HIPS at level 17, improved spell list, d8 hit die, everything.  I don't mind the fact that my ranger gets her butt kicked by most anything she tries to fight -- sure, it's frustrating, but I wasn't going for an uber-optimal character anyway.  It would just be more fun if she could do some of the things that it seems to me she should be able to do.

And for what it's worth, my thoughts on blade thirst are the same as last time this came up:  I don't think it should be as completely good as greater magic weapon, I'd just like having a spell that's actually worth putting in a level-3 spell slot.

Emomina

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #105 on: December 12, 2011, 11:21:21 PM »
Would it?  Or would it just make them "not the worst,"

IMHO I think Ranger is the only class that is not attractive as a single class currently. Sure its playable especially with good parties, but unless you are fighting your favored enemy you don't shine and can not offer much to a party.  You imply other classes would then need work, sure other would benefit a bit of work on them because any aspect of the game could be improved  The other classes are all good to great in current incarnation and it really should be compared only to Paladin, Fighter, and Barbarian anyway.   

-Barbs have uncanny dodge, Fighters and Pallys wear heavy armor.  Ranger light armor and no dex retained.
-Paladin have smite, divine might etc that can be used anywhere against everything. Barbarian rage, same thing. Fighter specialization same.  Ranger has specific use favored enemy. This is one of the reasons I think adding barkskin would help so much. Druids are sparse, parties rarely get natural armor boosts, Rangers could offer that.
-But the major thing Rangers offer as a choice is high skill points and maximum AB progression if their skill points were adjusted. That would be their niche. Their is no other option for max AB skillful class.

The Ranger argument is larger than NWN anyway, its suckage was one of the big reasons for a 3.5 revision in the first place.

Badelaire

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #106 on: December 13, 2011, 07:25:18 AM »
Each class has a niche. For me, ranger was an excellent support melee class because you had fighter ab and HP progression, stealth and detection skills, limited spell use, a companion and what I considered their biggest advantage: divine wand useage. Sadly that option isn't available here and it did make a huge  difference for the class' role in a party.

LackofCertainty

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #107 on: December 13, 2011, 03:49:57 PM »
It kinda bugs me how most of the naysayers seem to dismiss favored enemy, by saying "well yeah it adds damage but that only helps against a few enemy types."    Isn't that the point of the ranger? They specialize in hunting a few specific types of enemies?  Granted the fighter (for example) gets perma +2 damage to a weapon of their choice, but at level 5 the ranger has +2 damage (and some other skills) vs two types of enenmies with all weapons.  Meaning that, unlike a fighter, they can swap between ranged and melee without an issue, and, if they dual wield they can optimize slightly by using different weapons in the main and off hand without losing the bonus damage.  Granted a fighter can quickly spare the extra feats on another weapon type, but then that argument goes out the window at lvl 10.  

But then again no one even plays pure fighters, so that makes this whole argument moot.  When is that last time anyone saw a non-multiclassed fighter?  Hell, I'd say there are waaaay more pure rangers than pure fighters on this server. Whelp, that means that fighters suck. Better give them a bunch of new feat support from 3.5.  Kagetora has a point with the balance wheel.



This topic is getting waaay off topic.  So to bring it back, what's the community consensus on Blade Thirst being buffed to include slashing -and- piercing weapons?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 03:53:14 PM by LackofCertainty »

Springer

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #108 on: December 13, 2011, 04:49:28 PM »
I am playing a pure fighter (lvl 13) and a pure ranger (lvl 8 ) right now. And fighter is much more easier to play and more useful in the party from my experience.
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HellsPanda

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #109 on: December 13, 2011, 04:52:43 PM »
In a party a specialist, will always shine more than someone less specialised

Kagetora

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #110 on: December 13, 2011, 08:23:20 PM »
But then again no one even plays pure fighters, so that makes this whole argument moot.  When is that last time anyone saw a non-multiclassed fighter?  Hell, I'd say there are waaaay more pure rangers than pure fighters on this server. Whelp, that means that fighters suck. Better give them a bunch of new feat support from 3.5.  Kagetora has a point with the balance wheel.

Kagetora also has 6 pure-class toons, including a L9 fighter.  As well as a Wizard, Druid, 2 Clerics, and a Rogue.  And only one multi-class...a fighter/wizard.  None of which is relevant to the argument, other than to say that, of all of those, Rogue and Druid are by far the hardest to play.  If we are going to start a bunch of threads detailing how certain classes suck, and how they need to be improved, I'll spin off the Druid discussion.  We can start with absurdly stupid spell lists missing a variety of very basic abilities (such as the ability to enchant a weapon, or modify a stat other than STR or WIS, or improve your movement speed, improve your AB, etc.), a general lack of spells to begin with (1-2 less per level than any other caster class at any level), generally useless special abilties (Woodland Stride?  Venom Immunity?  Trackless Step, with Hide and Move Silently cross-class skills?  Really?), etc., etc., etc.  All traded off for the ability to take animal forms and have a companion half as useful as a Familiar.

Perhaps super-high level Druids are uber or something, but trust me, Rangers aren't the only class getting the shaft.  Which is the point.  This is a never-ending process or complaining, getting a power-level increase, then a new round of complaining about a new class from other people, another increase, and so on ad nauseum.  The game ends up in the toilet.  And the bottom line is this:

This is SUPPOSED to be an RP server, not a competition to create uber-toons.  If you want to actually play and RP a Ranger, the fact that they are more of a challenge or  aren't as "good" as other classes will not stop you.  If it does, you are not interesting in RPing a Ranger.

And as for favored enemy?  Pick Undead, Humans, and Constructs.  Add Outsiders at high level.  Boom.  Done on this server.

Emomina

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #111 on: December 13, 2011, 10:11:14 PM »
That's a personal opinion. I happen to think Druids rock, and offer tons to parties.  Aura of Vitality alone at level 13 and their +5 natural armor buff at the same level make Druids amazing companions in a dungeon. They also debuff as good or better than any class.

The conversation started about Blade Thirst, which may actually be underpowered, but its not the reason that pure Rangers suck.

Kagetora

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #112 on: December 13, 2011, 10:41:24 PM »
That's a personal opinion. I happen to think Druids rock, and offer tons to parties.  Aura of Vitality alone at level 13 and their +5 natural armor buff at the same level make Druids amazing companions in a dungeon. They also debuff as good or better than any class.

The conversation started about Blade Thirst, which may actually be underpowered, but its not the reason that pure Rangers suck.

Some of it is opinion, some is not.  It is a glaring oversight that Druids don't get the other stat-altering spells, or any way to enchant a weapon.  Facts.  Shall we start a thread about how that should be changed?  How the only thing a Druid offers to a party actually doesn't show up until level 7 (Stoneskin)?  How you can duplicate Barkskin with a 76gp potion from Deg?  Remember...until level 13, Barkskin is either the same as the potion or only +1 AC better (level 7-12).

All of which deftly avoids the points, as you seem to be attempting to.  PotM is an RP server, and will presumeably remain so, making the entire power/balance discussion moot in the first place.  Rangers DO NOT suck, they just aren't as uber as some other classes in the environment.  And if everything that supposedly sucks needs to be fixed, its going to be a very, very long (neverending, in fact) list.

Emomina

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #113 on: December 13, 2011, 10:57:05 PM »
That's silly, PotM is much different than even when I showed up 3 years ago.  Gates locked at night, mist travel at all, the whole domain list we have other than Barovia, raise and resurrection requiring spell components, enemies chasing through transitions,  Magic vestment changing from 1/3 to 1/4,  spell effects being removed that should not have been visible, the whole varnish system, alchemy fire being removed, varnishes and other effects stacking being removed, the enemies detecting invisible magic casting, the OCR system being added back in,  the list goes on and on.

Its gone on for like 6+ years with Ranger being the way it is, so no one is saying its a dire need. But, ask any player that has played many different classes, the Ranger is under par. Its all relative. Oh and one more AC increases margin of error by 5%, its important. If its wasn't, all the cries about Cleric AC advantage would not have become the Magic Vestment nerf. Things happen for a reason. You are thinking it would spiral into other things, but as I was attempting to convey with the paragraph above, the spiraling into other things left the station a looooong time ago. All that stuff is after the server was already up 3 years and more and I could not even make a list complete enough, there is tons more. If there is one constant on PotM is change, many of what gets proposed never makes it in, everyone knows that, but some of it does.

LackofCertainty

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #114 on: December 13, 2011, 11:30:43 PM »
Also, if peeps are still stuck on the "Pure rangers don't do enough damage, because they're dex based" then make a str based ranger.  You can't argue to me that a pure str based fighter is going to be stronger than a pure str based ranger.  Fighters get a lot of feats, but so do ranger, and feats only take you so far.

Kagetora

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #115 on: December 14, 2011, 12:56:10 AM »
That's silly, PotM is much different than even when I showed up 3 years ago.  Gates locked at night, mist travel at all, the whole domain list we have other than Barovia, raise and resurrection requiring spell components, enemies chasing through transitions,  Magic vestment changing from 1/3 to 1/4,  spell effects being removed that should not have been visible, the whole varnish system, alchemy fire being removed, varnishes and other effects stacking being removed, the enemies detecting invisible magic casting, the OCR system being added back in,  the list goes on and on.
 

Server change, server change, server change, minor nerf to a class (diamonds are ridiculously easy to get), server change, nerf to a class, server change, server change, server change, server change, server change, server change.  Anything else?  The point being, except for the two nerfs you mentioned to Clerics, all of these affect EVERYONE.  Not just one class.

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Its gone on for like 6+ years with Ranger being the way it is, so no one is saying its a dire need. But, ask any player that has played many different classes, the Ranger is under par. Its all relative. Oh and one more AC increases margin of error by 5%, its important. If its wasn't, all the cries about Cleric AC advantage would not have become the Magic Vestment nerf. Things happen for a reason. You are thinking it would spiral into other things, but as I was attempting to convey with the paragraph above, the spiraling into other things left the station a looooong time ago. All that stuff is after the server was already up 3 years and more and I could not even make a list complete enough, there is tons more. If there is one constant on PotM is change, many of what gets proposed never makes it in, everyone knows that, but some of it does.

Again, see above.  Server changes and rule changes and the like affect EVERYONE.  Nerfing a class because its overpowered in an environment does not, and I don't necessarily agree with that any more than I do increasing the power of another.  There is a world of difference between the slippery slope of "balancing classes" and the server-wide changes you speak of.  A WORLD of difference.  One changes the environment EVERYONE plays in.  One just gives a specific subset of players an advantage, leading to others demanding similar advantages.  See the difference?

Emomina

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #116 on: December 14, 2011, 02:49:26 AM »
I am not taking this conversation nearly as serious as it appears you are. Anyway, we are beating a dead horse to life! ~jumps back in game~

I leave the thread with a final thought though; compare the changes to all the classes before and after third editions revision. No class was altered more than Ranger and there was a reason for that.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2011, 03:14:23 AM by ∆momina »

Ercvadasz

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #117 on: December 15, 2011, 04:49:07 PM »
Also, if peeps are still stuck on the "Pure rangers don't do enough damage, because they're dex based" then make a str based ranger.  You can't argue to me that a pure str based fighter is going to be stronger than a pure str based ranger.  Fighters get a lot of feats, but so do ranger, and feats only take you so far.

if you make an str based ranger one thing to remember, you will need the medium armor and therefore 2 feats to take up the twf feats, which will likely result in the situation where you cannot pick up a second favoured enemy for quite a while!
I play a balanced ranger, slightly str favoured, and i put so far all points in str.
I have not been able to pick up a second favoured enemy, and i will not be likely till level 12?
I had to take up ambidex, twf feat manually, because since i use medium armor i loose the feats. I needed to take up spring attack, since rangers dont get tumble, that is
+3 feats again. Mechanics wise rangers are best to wield a two bladed sword, you need exotic weapon feat. Cleave is yet to be achieved, as is thoughness. If all goes well on level 11 i might be able to take up an FE feat again.(If i receive any that is.)

Favoured enemy gives some bonuses yes...That is why my ranger spends more times in crypts than in the nature(joke) because i took up FE undead. It can really help, but
only if you have weapons to hut them.

I like Koopas idea about the slight scripting help for rangers.

I have suggested in a different post once as well, that they could get a slight bonus to their exhau treshold, or to their bleeding treshold rolls(stabilize)
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LackofCertainty

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #118 on: December 16, 2011, 03:48:55 PM »
Also, if peeps are still stuck on the "Pure rangers don't do enough damage, because they're dex based" then make a str based ranger.  You can't argue to me that a pure str based fighter is going to be stronger than a pure str based ranger.  Fighters get a lot of feats, but so do ranger, and feats only take you so far.

if you make an str based ranger one thing to remember, you will need the medium armor and therefore 2 feats to take up the twf feats, which will likely result in the situation where you cannot pick up a second favoured enemy for quite a while!
I play a balanced ranger, slightly str favoured, and i put so far all points in str.
I have not been able to pick up a second favoured enemy, and i will not be likely till level 12?
I had to take up ambidex, twf feat manually, because since i use medium armor i loose the feats. I needed to take up spring attack, since rangers dont get tumble, that is
+3 feats again. Mechanics wise rangers are best to wield a two bladed sword, you need exotic weapon feat. Cleave is yet to be achieved, as is thoughness. If all goes well on level 11 i might be able to take up an FE feat again.(If i receive any that is.)

Favoured enemy gives some bonuses yes...That is why my ranger spends more times in crypts than in the nature(joke) because i took up FE undead. It can really help, but
only if you have weapons to hut them.

I like Koopas idea about the slight scripting help for rangers.

I have suggested in a different post once as well, that they could get a slight bonus to their exhau treshold, or to their bleeding treshold rolls(stabilize)

Or you could just play a low dex str based two hander/sword and board.   Then the only feat you'd need to snag would be Heavy armor prof. : P

Not every ranger needs to dual wield.  They do get medium armor prof and shield prof for a reason. So yeah, to everyone complaining about the superiority of a 2h fighter.... play a 2h ranger. 


I like your idea about exhaustion, that fits.  I do feel a bit leery about stabilize checks, because well... it'd either be too small to be noticeable, or you end up with 20 con dwarf/gnome rangers who are unkillable because they have such a high chance to stand back up.  (I'm exaggerating for effect, but it is a possibility)

respawnaholic

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #119 on: December 17, 2011, 09:27:26 PM »
I simple tweak for rangers would be to give them tumble as a class feat. That and maybe sneak attack every 5 levels or so instead of favored enemy. Theres a reason they synergy so well with rougue levels. The way their designed their really more of a rougue type class instead of a stand up fighter. A big problem of the class (not just here but in NWN in general) is their a fighter class designed to use low damage output weapons wearing below average armor. if you decide to go 2-hander or sword and board your cheating yourself of the one advantage they have: 2 weapon fighting.

LackofCertainty

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #120 on: December 18, 2011, 12:21:35 AM »
I simple tweak for rangers would be to give them tumble as a class feat. That and maybe sneak attack every 5 levels or so instead of favored enemy. Theres a reason they synergy so well with rougue levels. The way their designed their really more of a rougue type class instead of a stand up fighter. A big problem of the class (not just here but in NWN in general) is their a fighter class designed to use low damage output weapons wearing below average armor. if you decide to go 2-hander or sword and board your cheating yourself of the one advantage they have: 2 weapon fighting.

Not every ranger was meant to dual wield.  If that were the case, they wouldn't get shield prof or medium armor, and they'd get ranger specific weapon profs for only dual wield-able weapons instead of all simple and martial.   If you go with a pure str based, full-plate wearing ranger I maintain that you'll be more effective than a pure str based fighter of equal level. (unless you are exactly level 4. :P)  Spells, especially on a low magic server like this one, more than compensate for the few fighter specific feats.  Not to mention the addition of the animal companion, or the extra skill points.  I also don't get how you can say they're not a "stand up and fight" class when they get equal hp per level to a fighter.

Taking away Favored enemy and replacing it with sneak attack would be stupid, in my opinion.  If you're going to do that you might as well rename the class "Rogue Jr."  Hell, while we're at it, why don't we give them barbarian rage, and defensive stance from the dwarven defender.

Kagetora

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #121 on: December 18, 2011, 01:37:14 AM »
I tend to agree that dual-wielding is not the end-all and be-all, particularly on this server.  Considering how many extra feats characters get, ANYONE can end up dual-wielding if they want to.  In addition to that, it really doesn't give you much over another style of fighting, if anything, damage-wise.  Consider a character with, say, an 18 STR who either dual-wields a steel longsword/shortsword combo, or has a steel two-handed sword.  With the dual-wielding, they will get, essentially, an extra attack at -2 to hit that does D6 (short sword) + 2 (steel) +2 (half-strength for off-hand).  This is NEVER going to make up for the extra base damage of a steel two-handed sword (2d6+d8+1.5 STR bonus), even considering the longsword does d8+d4.  Lets play with some numbers.  Assume 3 base attacks per round (level 11 fighter or ranger).  Assume all hit.  We'll even give the two-weapon fighter Improved Two Weapon Fighting for an EXTRA off-hand attack.  We'll ignore Specialization, Favored Enemy, etc...this is just pure base damage output.

Two-handed sword = 6d6+3d8+18 = 27 (min) to 78 (max), avg = 51.5
Two-weapons = 3d8+3d4+12 (longsword) + 2d6+8 (shortsword) = 28 (min) to 68 (max), avg = 48

Even with Exotic Weapon Proficiency and a two-bladed sword (offhand damage goes to d8+d4) you STILL BARELY beat the two-handed damage. 5d8+5d4+20 is 30 (min), 80 (max), 55 (avg).  Almost no difference in damage, and, in fact, the two-bladed sword will do LESS damage, as we are considering every swing a hit, when, in actuality, the two-bladed sword will be at -2 to hit compared to the two-handed sword (-10%).

So, is dual-wielding better?  Perhaps, for AC purposes...the character would have to take Improved Parry to get their full Parry Bonus with the two-handed sword, and they wouldn't benefit from Two-Weapon Defense or Imp. TWD.  Theoretically, the dual-wielder could get nearly the same damage output AND a +2 AC bonus, but has to spend 3 extra Feats to do it (Exotic, TWD, Imp TWD, and Imp TWF vs just buying Improved Parry).

But the real meat of it comes when you consider armor...unless you wear Padded and have a 28+ DEX (i.e. no one on THIS server), you are limited to a combined Armor + DEX bonus AC of 9.  Doesn't matter if it is Studded Leather (AC3 with max DEX bonus of 6) or Full Plate (AC8 with max +1), you top out at 9 points, period.  So, in order to use the "free" dual-wield Rangers get, and still get your 9 AC, you'd have to wear Studded and have a 22 DEX (either naturally or with Cat's Grace).  At that point, your AC would equal a Fighter or Clerics, for the most part.  Obviously no one is going to do this...your other stats would suffer so much you would be screwwed.

So why not actually play a ranger INTELLIGENTLY?  Take a good DEX (say, a 16) and a good STR (ditto) as oppose to just maxxing out STR like the fighter would?  At creation, you could spend points to get a 15 DEX and 15 STR (Ranger, 16 points spent) and have both be 16 by level 8, or you could buy a 16 STR and 12 DEX and have an 18 STR at level 8 (Fighter, 14 points spent).  The Ranger could wear Banded Mail and use a two-handed sword when fighting (AC6 +3 DEX =9) and carry a spare set of darkened leathers in a bag, along with his dual-wielding weapons, for when he wanted to go stealthy.  And probably still only be carrying as much as the Fighter in full plate.  With the Studded Leather, you would still end up at a net -1 AC over the banded mail if you had the Feats.  And you get versatility, Stealth, Animal Companion, Spells...I really fail to see the problem.  Yes...the pure Fighter will always do slightly more damage (1 extra from the STR difference, another couple from Specialization).  Yes, they don't have to manage their inventory as much (one set of armor, one good weapon).

But in the end, the differences are SO minor that I don't really understand the complaints.

L20 Fighter.  Full Plate (AC9 with DEX), + 3 or 5 (Varnish or Vestment), +4 (Brooch) +3 (Barkskin) +4 (Parry) +2 (Tumble) +2 (Boots) +4 (Potion of Speed) = AC 41-43
L20 Ranger.  Banded (AC9 with DEX), + all the same stuff.  = The same.
L20 Ranger.  Studded (AC 6 with DEX), + all the same stuff, +TWD and Imp. TWD, = The same.  One less, actually.  With Cat's Grace, probably one MORE.

Either can give up a huge chunk of their damage potential and pick up a shield, so thats a wash.

Yes.  The fighter has 2 points more STR, and Specialization.  At level 20, he should be churning out a whopping 20 or so more points of damage than you per round, with any given weapon combo and 4-7 attacks (depends on weapon type, Haste, etc....and might vanish entirely vs. a Favored Enemy, against which the Ranger should do MORE).  If thats REALLY that important, then go play a fighter instead, and give up entirely on your Spells, Animal Companion, Stealth, Favored Enemies, and RP.

Ranger.  Medium-Heavy armor, good DEX and STR, two-handed sword.  Stealth armor and weapons in a bag.  Improved Parry, TWD, Imp. TWD, Imp TWF.  Undead, Humans, Shapeshifters, Constructs, Outsiders as Favored Enemies.  As good as a fighter any day, and more fun to play.

Kagetora

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #122 on: December 18, 2011, 11:41:00 AM »
Oops.  My bad.  The two-bladed sword math is off...it should have been 5d8+5d4+16, giving 26/76/51...and also giving even LESS reason to dual-wield.  Another advantage of the two-hander?  Goes through DR better, should you find yourself in a situation where you can't normally hurt your opponent, or they have some form of protection you aren't ignoring.

The gap widens even further the more attacks you have, since every +1 attack (5 more levels, Haste, whatever) makes the two-handed sword swing again (more damage than the one-hander) and the off-hand weapon never gets any more swings...

So, to recap briefly, lets look at the three fighting styles, the AC you could expect (ignoring the stuff all three can have, i.e. Barkskin, Brooch, etc.), and your damage output:

Weapon and Shield:  AC 9 (armor+DEX), AC 3 (shield), +two Vestments/Varnishes = up to +22;  Lowest damage output (#of Att times D8+D4+STR bonus)
Two-handed:  AC 9 (armor+DEX), AC 4 (Parry + Imp. Parry Feat), + Vest/Varnish = up to +18;  Highest damage output (# of Att times 2d6+d8+1.5 STR bonus)
Two-weapon:  AC 9 (armor+DEX), AC 4 (Parry), AC 2 (TWD, Imp TWD), + Vest/Varnish = up to +20;  With even more Feats (Exotic, Two-Weapon, Ambi, Imp. Two-Weapon) can almost equal the damage output of the two-handed weapon, roughly (less per strike, more strikes, all at -10% to hit)

So, for any melee class (Fighter, Ranger, Barb, Pally, Cleric), Weapon and Shield requires zero extra feats.  Two-handed requires one (Imp. Parry).  Two-weapon requires SIX.  SIX.  Rangers essentially get three of them for free if limiting themselves to light armor...

And you are still telling me two-weapon fighting is a major advantage of the Ranger class?  As far as I can tell, its a major advantage for NO ONE.  Especially considering the AC you have to give up as a Ranger to do it without spending as many Feats as the Fighter.  This is why you almost never see a Fighter, Cleric, Paladin, or Barbarian with anything except sword-and-board or a greatsword (max AC vs max DMG).  Its just not worth the effort, unless you are doing it for RP purposes, or get it almost for free (i.e. Rangers).  Its not really an advantage.

Play your Ranger SMART.  Remember...every so often even Aragorn strapped on the heavy armor or brought out the two-handed stance.  Make a Ranger, bring two suits of armor and two weapons.  Spend the three Feats on Exotic, TWD, and Imp. TWD.  Pick up Imp. Parry.  Rangers get plenty of extra Feats on this server too.  18 total, plus one extra if you are Human.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 12:08:19 PM by Kagetora »

respawnaholic

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #123 on: December 18, 2011, 01:14:30 PM »
Oops.  My bad.  The two-bladed sword math is off...it should have been 5d8+5d4+16, giving 26/76/51...and also giving even LESS reason to dual-wield.  Another advantage of the two-hander?  Goes through DR better, should you find yourself in a situation where you can't normally hurt your opponent, or they have some form of protection you aren't ignoring.

The gap widens even further the more attacks you have, since every +1 attack (5 more levels, Haste, whatever) makes the two-handed sword swing again (more damage than the one-hander) and the off-hand weapon never gets any more swings...

So, to recap briefly, lets look at the three fighting styles, the AC you could expect (ignoring the stuff all three can have, i.e. Barkskin, Brooch, etc.), and your damage output:

Weapon and Shield:  AC 9 (armor+DEX), AC 3 (shield), +two Vestments/Varnishes = up to +22;  Lowest damage output (#of Att times D8+D4+STR bonus)
Two-handed:  AC 9 (armor+DEX), AC 4 (Parry + Imp. Parry Feat), + Vest/Varnish = up to +18;  Highest damage output (# of Att times 2d6+d8+1.5 STR bonus)
Two-weapon:  AC 9 (armor+DEX), AC 4 (Parry), AC 2 (TWD, Imp TWD), + Vest/Varnish = up to +20;  With even more Feats (Exotic, Two-Weapon, Ambi, Imp. Two-Weapon) can almost equal the damage output of the two-handed weapon, roughly (less per strike, more strikes, all at -10% to hit)

So, for any melee class (Fighter, Ranger, Barb, Pally, Cleric), Weapon and Shield requires zero extra feats.  Two-handed requires one (Imp. Parry).  Two-weapon requires SIX.  SIX.  Rangers essentially get three of them for free if limiting themselves to light armor...

And you are still telling me two-weapon fighting is a major advantage of the Ranger class?  As far as I can tell, its a major advantage for NO ONE.  Especially considering the AC you have to give up as a Ranger to do it without spending as many Feats as the Fighter.  This is why you almost never see a Fighter, Cleric, Paladin, or Barbarian with anything except sword-and-board or a greatsword (max AC vs max DMG).  Its just not worth the effort, unless you are doing it for RP purposes, or get it almost for free (i.e. Rangers).  Its not really an advantage.

Play your Ranger SMART.  Remember...every so often even Aragorn strapped on the heavy armor or brought out the two-handed stance.  Make a Ranger, bring two suits of armor and two weapons.  Spend the three Feats on Exotic, TWD, and Imp. TWD.  Pick up Imp. Parry.  Rangers get plenty of extra Feats on this server too.  18 total, plus one extra if you are Human.

Im actually not saying two weapon fighting is better. im saying that its the only feat rangers get that is marginally useful. Your kinda helping us nay sayers prove our point by pointing out that their BEST feat is of dubious value. If your going to put that much work into getting his two handed fighting skills up or giving them the benefit of heavier armor you might as well make a fighter anyway and do what every one else with a fighter does. Make a WM. Its not like theres any such thing as a pure fighter anyway anymore with WM available.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 01:19:29 PM by respawnaholic »

HellsPanda

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #124 on: December 18, 2011, 01:27:48 PM »
Two weapon fighting chars have about as much damage as a great weapon user, only its DR penetration is lesser
It has the best AC of any class except cleric/paladin.


Also when you bring in Varnishes, the math greatly gets skewed in favour of the Two weapon fighter
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 02:05:25 PM by HellsPanda »