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Author Topic: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?  (Read 24200 times)

Kagetora

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #125 on: December 18, 2011, 02:15:51 PM »
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.

See...you are just wrong.  In so many ways.  Its not their BEST Feat.  And it doesn't require "that much work" to get your two-handed fighting skills up.  It requires ONE (1) Feat.  Improved Parry.  At that point you do more damage than the two-weapon fighting, and only have slightly less AC IF you have TWD and/or Imp TWD...and that is made up for by the fact you can wear heavier armor while using the two-handed weapon.

But, show me a Fighter, OR Weapon Master, who can summon an Animal Companion, cast Cure Light/Moderate/Serious Wounds, Ultravision, Blade Thirst (even with its short duration), Aid, Polymorph himself, Summon creatures, Charm a Dire Bear to follow him around (with a SKILL, nonetheless), or has massive Stealth.  Oh, and gets up to +5 damage against up to 5 different creature phenotypes.

And for ALL of that you give up, what?  Specialization and a few extra Feats?  PLEASE.

If I didn't already have 8 neglected characters, INCLUDING a pure Fighter and a pure Rogue, I'd make a Ranger and show you how to do it.   ;)  Needless to say, I am not crying a river over the state of Rangers.

Honestly?  I have never even seen the attraction of Weapon Master.   Especially on this server where 75% of everything you fight ignores half their special abilities because its Immune to Crits.  Besides...with a 13 DEX and 13 INT requirement, and free Feats as a server bonus, a Ranger makes as good a WM anyway.  Again, you'd miss out on +2 damage for Specialization.  So what.

Badelaire

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #126 on: December 18, 2011, 02:27:12 PM »
Let's try and keep the nerd rages down and maintain a healthy debate on the ifiner details of varying classes eh? mechanics is a moot point when you have to survive the low levels to get the benefits of it first. Developing rapport with other players and their characters and focusing more on RP and less worry on who's class is better than who's does wonders.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 02:32:01 PM by Badelaire »

Kagetora

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #127 on: December 18, 2011, 02:35:16 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

ABOUT as much.  And the AC is the same unless you pick up the extra Feats.  Shield is still a better AC, due to the fact that you can use an extra Vestment/Varnish on it.  At the cost of damage, of course.

As far as "greatly gets skewed," arguable.  The Varnishes do d8 or d12, IIRC, so, lets add that into the equations.

Two-handed:  2d6+d8+1.5 STR+D8(D12) times the number of attacks.  Lets go big and say 5...L16 + Haste.  Max: 34/38 per attack at 18 STR. x5 = 170/190  With minimum of 50, and average of 110/120.

Two-Weapon:  d8+d4+STR+d8(d12) per attack.  7 attacks per round now, since you get 2 offhand (1/2 STR bonus).  Max  24/28 per attack, 22/26 for offhand.  x5 = 120/140 + 44/52 = 164/192.  Minimum of 45, average 104.5/118.5.

Show me now how that is greatly skewed in favor of two-weapon fighting?  Still looks the same to me.  Basically, the two-hander does up to 10 extra points of damage every swing.  That 50 points more than compensates for the 2 off-hand attacks, who do a maximum of 52 points of damage, even WITH the best varnishes out there.

And remember, the two-weapon fighter hits 10% less often, and you better be sure you are fighting something that the varnish damage actually hurts, as opposed to using, say, a +3 or +5 varnish on the weapon to make it hit better (which the spell-less Fighter will be doing).  Oh, and the two-weapon fighter uses twice as many varnishes to get the same effect.

Math is awesome.   :lol:

Kagetora

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #128 on: December 18, 2011, 02:37:03 PM »
Let's try and keep the nerd rages down and maintain a healthy debate on the ifiner details of varying classes eh? mechanics is a moot point when you have to survive the low levels to get the benefits of it first. Developing rapport with other players and their characters and focusing more on RP and less worry on who's class is better than who's does wonders.

YES.  Play what you WANT TO PLAY, and stop whining about it.  Rangers are FINE.

Sorry about the nerdrage.  When people start posting completely unsupported arguments like "X is better than Y," I like to show them how its not true.  My apologies.

HellsPanda

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #129 on: December 18, 2011, 02:40:47 PM »
Actually in the ideal situation, you use exactly as many varnishes dual fighting as great weapon fighting. Since double swords only use 1 varnish to coat both sides
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 02:44:33 PM by HellsPanda »

LackofCertainty

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #130 on: December 18, 2011, 03:43:25 PM »
I heart you Kagetora. ^.^


The point of this whole massive tangent is that people are building a dex based, dual wielding ranger, and then complaining that it's such a weak class and needs to be buffed.  Well, on this server I consider that about the same as if I build a Cha based wizard, and then complain that I need buffs because I can't cast anything.  With the amount of dr on this server you need to recognise that dex based classes don't work, unless you have a large source of free damage. (sneak attack, etc)  If you want to talk about the issue of dex based characters that lack sneak attack, i think that's a whole 'nother thread.  (Why can't my dex based fighter do anything? because he's dex based.)

And for emphasis, I want to bring it up one more time. The only advantage a fighter gets over a ranger is +2 damage to a weapon, and some extra feats, which are nice, but we get plenty of feats on this server to grab pretty much every combat oriented feat and still have room for rp feats.     So, in exchange for that 2 damage, a ranger gets +1-5 damage and a few skill boost against 1-5 different enemy types, an animal companion, 2 extra skill points per level, a broader selection of class skills, and a limited set of spells.  Poor, poor ranger. : P



One last sidenote.  Barbarians start with the exact same weapon and armor proficiencies as rangers.  A 2-handed axe ranger is just as fitting as a 2-handed axe barbarian, imo, and you don't see anyone complaining about how rough barbarians have it, because you can snag all the feats required to setup a 2-handed heavy armor user from character creation. (aka level 1 feat is heavy armor prof, level 2 feat is imp parry or if you're that feat starved, then just use a halberd or be a human)

HellsPanda

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #131 on: December 18, 2011, 03:52:14 PM »
I actually like the ranger class. But I still feel if your going to do math, you need to do every aspect to reflect the proper difference between the two builds being compared. Including AC and AB. Might even do the math opposed to each other.

Telkar

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #132 on: December 18, 2011, 04:26:36 PM »
I sort of don't care about the whole issue with class balance which is a much broader topic. I know the Blade Thirst spell affects that though so can't help the thread moving in that direction. But looking at 'just' the spell system itself (which I did to begin with) and the spell's place in it, it seems a bit off. I thought spell levels were supposed to represent the usefulness/power of a spell in the overall game, but here I just saw these two similar spells of the same level, GMW and Blade Thirst and thought...imbalance? How come BT is not a level 2 spell if it's so inferior? Or why isn't it better for its level?

Kagetora

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #133 on: December 18, 2011, 07:33:54 PM »
I actually like the ranger class. But I still feel if your going to do math, you need to do every aspect to reflect the proper difference between the two builds being compared. Including AC and AB. Might even do the math opposed to each other.

 :roll:  Feel free, I guess, but...is there a point?  You're just going to find out dual-wielding still isn't as good due to the -2 AB penalty.  Of course, I'd love to see your spreadsheet of every AB vs every AC with STR, DEX, Varnishes, etc. all incorporated into the mix.  Should be about twenty pages.   :lol:

Actually, scratch that...if you DO waste your time working it up, I'd rather not waste mine poring over it.   ;)

Springer

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #134 on: December 19, 2011, 02:58:21 AM »
Quote
See...you are just wrong.  In so many ways.  Its not their BEST Feat.  And it doesn't require "that much work" to get your two-handed fighting skills up.  It requires ONE (1) Feat.  Improved Parry.  At that point you do more damage than the two-weapon fighting, and only have slightly less AC IF you have TWD and/or Imp TWD...and that is made up for by the fact you can wear heavier armor while using the two-handed weapon.

But, show me a Fighter, OR Weapon Master, who can summon an Animal Companion, cast Cure Light/Moderate/Serious Wounds, Ultravision, Blade Thirst (even with its short duration), Aid, Polymorph himself, Summon creatures, Charm a Dire Bear to follow him around (with a SKILL, nonetheless), or has massive Stealth.  Oh, and gets up to +5 damage against up to 5 different creature phenotypes.

And for ALL of that you give up, what?  Specialization and a few extra Feats?  PLEASE.

Its my opinion, but favoured enemy is actually better on this server then weapon specialisation. Because by picking undead, shapechangers, constructs and outsiders you have bonuses against most of the mobs and better then mundane +2. In 3.5 fighters continue their specialisation, but its not 3.5.

As for why people make dex rangers, its because when people want to play tank with 2h claymore and heavy armour they pick fighter (in nwn also barb cause he wears  heavy armour without penalties here). When people play ranger they want to play stealthy woodsman with a bow and shortswords. (trackless step, extra two weapon feats also reinforce that). Besides they have Cats grace so starting with 16 dex, giving it 2 more points on lvls you can wear sstudded leather just fine.
Even with advantages you described rangers with sword and door or claymores make no sense to me lorewise (yes I know its a cliche), I guess thats the reason they were reworked in 3.5 aswell.

Oh and dont bring animal companion as an advatage, the only use they have is for RP, they also bugged in that buffs may dissapear from them during transitions.

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LackofCertainty

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #135 on: December 19, 2011, 03:05:44 AM »
I sort of don't care about the whole issue with class balance which is a much broader topic. I know the Blade Thirst spell affects that though so can't help the thread moving in that direction. But looking at 'just' the spell system itself (which I did to begin with) and the spell's place in it, it seems a bit off. I thought spell levels were supposed to represent the usefulness/power of a spell in the overall game, but here I just saw these two similar spells of the same level, GMW and Blade Thirst and thought...imbalance? How come BT is not a level 2 spell if it's so inferior? Or why isn't it better for its level?

Different classes are better at casting than others.  A prime example of this exact thing is that Clerics get hold person as a level 2 spell, whereas wizards/sorcs get it as a level 3.  Paladins/clerics/wizards etc are all better at casting weapon buffage spells, which is why they get gmw at lower/equal levels, whereas the ranger only gets blade thirst.  Rangers are supposed to be mediocre casters, imo.  They get a tiny dabbling of magic in addition to all their other kits.


Animal companions are a instant sack of hp.  Infact I just went through a low level dungeon where we only lived because we had 2x animal companions soaking up damage.  Sure they died, but if those fat sacks of hp weren't there we'd have lost some people.

Telkar

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #136 on: December 19, 2011, 06:51:49 AM »
Meh, makes sense I guess. A lot of spells seem to be strewn about 1-3 different levels. By the way, I didn't know Favored Enemy was so effective. Seriously, + 4 dmg against 4 different types of creatures on lvl 15, that's awesome.

Knas

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #137 on: December 20, 2011, 11:34:49 PM »
A lot of people seem to be forgetting that rangers are a high AB character with a HP to match a fighter and a HIGH AB progression matched only by fighter, monk, paladin and barbarian.

With the right build and gear it's quite possible to get a very strong AB, AC and skill bonuses on a ranger. The only real area I feel is lacking on my ranger is saving throws with the only bonus from the class are the spells aid (+1 saves) and the freedom of movement which makes you immune to hold, slow etc.

At first sight the ranger might look very expensive to play statwise - when I made mine I had the following reasoning:

Str: Medium to high Going for pure ranger I had already decided I'd rely on STR for my attack bonus because I wanted to use slashing weapons to be able to use the blade thirst spell. (Sure weapons finesse allows you to use handaxe, sickle or kukri. But the first two are generally weak and the kukri is exotic very limited on our server, besides it relies on crits and with so many constructs and undead I simply don't like that!)

dex: Medium to high To take advantage of the free two weapon fighting feats I decided to go with light armor, the heaviest one requiring a dex score of 18 in order to get full bonus from it. Rangers however do get cats grace giving you 1+1d4 dex. It's a powerful bonus that saves you some stat points better spent elsewhere since I had already decided not to be using DEX for attack bonus. Anyway with the cats grace bonus 14-17 in dex is enough, the higher if you're hoping to take advantage of the imp./two weapon defense feats. requiring 15/17 dex.

con: Optional / dump stat like in most cases. More important early on than later to me since rangers get a high fort save progression and with the d10 HP die they already get a very good hp pool. 

int: Optional, on my ranger I wanted to get parry & tumble (even though it's cross class I think the AC and combat mobility it offers is well worth it for a melee character, since light armor will allow me to take advantage of it w/o just getting a bunch of failed tumble rolls) However rangers also get a lot of good class skills, animal empathy, discipline, hide, listen, move silently, search, set trap, spot - giving them a lot of potential roles in a party if you're willing to sacrifice the int points to pay the price. Also int gives you access to imp./experise which can be very valuable for a melee fighter when getting a lot of focus.

wis: 13+ The ranger spell casting is goodness. Especially important for a stealther ranger who with a few spells can save themselves the trouble of getting skill focuses in hide / ms, especially since they already get a +4 bonus to stealth while in the outdoors. But the extra healing, blade thirst, aid and freedom of movement offer spells on each level that are useful for most rangers, especially pure fighters.

cha: Optional / dump stat like in most cases, only really a valuable stat for clerics/paladins/sorcerers. Sure it effects animal empathy but with no other social skills at their disposal the ranger isn't very likely to become a known speaker anyway.


In the end ranger is one of those classes where you'd like to get all the stats boosted, it's not as easy to build as the more arch-typical classes like fighter / wizard where you can max out one stat and be just fine whatever you spent the rest of the points on, but with a thoughtful build the ranger is a very rewarding class with a lot of broadth. A very useful tip is to start off well rounded and then use the points recieved on every 4 levels to buy those otherwise expensive final stat boosts, because the ranger is a class that really shines when you open all doors. (fighting, spellcasting & skills)

My ranger wasn't much on lower levels, having to rely on using ranged weapons / shield and medium armor, but now (level 16) he has 6 attacks per round and can when needed dishing out good extra dmg with his blade thirst especially against his favorites enemies (+4), an AC equal to a fighter with a towershield (+3 from parry & +2 from imp. 2 weapon defense) and with imp expertise at his disposal. I could also afford getting him some points into hide / ms making him a capable stealther. Another nice bonus is the combination of a good STR & Dex score makes him a very capable archer whos able to get good AB and take advantage of the mighty bonus on bows.

Last but not least he has his animal companion which can be very nice extra damage. I would recommend against the normal "use them as tanks" talk and rather have them for flanking, the strong hp may hint to something else but animal companions have such sucky AC they aren't fit for tanking. They do usually get a pretty good STR / AB score though making them capable dmg dealers.

Hopefully this will have been a useful read for some.

Kagetora

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #138 on: December 21, 2011, 12:40:34 AM »
Even with advantages you described rangers with sword and door or claymores make no sense to me lorewise (yes I know its a cliche), I guess thats the reason they were reworked in 3.5 aswell.

Oh and dont bring animal companion as an advatage, the only use they have is for RP, they also bugged in that buffs may dissapear from them during transitions.

You are right...your version/vision of a ranger IS a cliche.  And you are wrong about Animal Companions.  There is a very, VERY good reason that the AC is not as good as a Familiar...because Wizards can't fight.  My druid, OTOH, stands up front in heavy chitin armor with a nice shield and some buffs on, takes the hit, and her panther averages 24 damage on a sneak attack, twice a round right now.  Yes, its only good against living targets (hers, anyway...a bear is good against anything), and, yes, a Ranger's panther would be a few levels lower (IIRC), but its still useful.  Very much so, in fact.  Its just not a tank.  The RANGER has to play tank.  You know...with some good armor, DEX, Parry, Tumble, and a choice of weapons.

Springer

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #139 on: December 21, 2011, 01:39:21 AM »
Thats asuming they you picked bear, dire wolf or panther, which I didnt. But even these dont have spring attack and AI isnt helping either. They stop working at mid levels ( and I am, even talking about a druid panther for example). Not to mention they are an annoyance in the parties screwing the pathing of a fighters and other frontline warriors.
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Telkar

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #140 on: December 21, 2011, 08:02:04 AM »
Yep...I think I suggested somewhere to make it possible to toggle stealth on animal companions, that way they could attack to begin with at least, without invoking all those AoOs.

Ercvadasz

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #141 on: January 17, 2013, 07:12:39 PM »
Blade thirst is not a bad spell...but the duration of it...is FAR TOO low.
It would be nice if it would be doubled or trippled. If i am remembering right, at level 12 the GMW is allready giving +3 bonus as well, but lasts 3 IC hours (that is 18 minutes)
whereas the blade thirst remains for 4-5 minutes? (less than an ingame hour!)
Even if the bonus stays, and everything at least its duration should be lengthened. Is it possible? Or is it hard-coded again, and no chance? Asking cuz i really do not know.
If it is hard coded, then some gear that would grant rangers a bonus spell slot, in which they can only memorise this spell would be just as good.
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BahamutZ3RO

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #142 on: January 18, 2013, 03:51:32 PM »
Concerning Rangers, though not necessarily Blade Thirst... give them more feats. They're the dual-wield class, but they don't have the extra feats to support everything that they'll need to do it effectively. Either that or give them things like Two-Weapon Defense and ITWD automatically as they level.
: )


Ercvadasz

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #143 on: January 18, 2013, 04:41:02 PM »
Concerning Rangers, though not necessarily Blade Thirst... give them more feats. They're the dual-wield class, but they don't have the extra feats to support everything that they'll need to do it effectively. Either that or give them things like Two-Weapon Defense and ITWD automatically as they level.

I think this would require a lot of codeing, and likely a hak update. Not sure though.

The thing is that you would need to find the balance with these two bonus feats. On which level do they gain it? Since ranger is allready one of the classes, that  most folks x-class. (Rogues mostly like them since a lot of free feats, i think at least 6 on first level, and the skill point loss is not that great, like when choosing a fighter.)
(Pure rangers are VERY rare, i think there are less than 10 pure ranger characters.)
Not to mention i have seen not one ranger use a double handed weapon, because it is easier and much more worth it to use.
Dual wielding if you walk along the path and reach the level of 9, will still be -2/-2 or -2/-4 and sadly that 10/20% miss chance is huge, on and above that level.
It is why most rangers use thw-s.(Not to mention that the damage output may equal or be higher than with dual wielding. More chances to hit with thd weapons *1.5 str bonus. And depending what weapon you use)

TWD and ITWD are those feats that are actualy the feats, you will most likely not want to waste a feat on.
As a ranger your saves will be fairly low. You will need to take all the feats that boost saves. The parry feats (both twd, thd and single weapon). Then thougness, since your constitution will be around 14 at best. That is allready at least 7 feats, and you were not even able to focus, or take up other favoured enemies.(You can switch out favoured enemy for other feats.)

Considering feats. A ranger gets if i made my math right 19-20 feats. A wizard gains 24. A fighter even more. Yes many say a fighter does not need that many feats, and i do not wish to debate about it, since i am not very well familiar with fighter builds. (But most cross class it usually.)

A ranger is supposed to be someone who can use stealth, can notice enemies and even know a few things about them, shoudl be able to calm animals, ask their aid, be a fairly decent "fighter" himself.
Sadly this is not the case here. They lack equipment, skill points, and feats to do so.

One thing though, an item for which i am really glad that was added to the loot table is the Axes of Hurling. They are meant for rangers, who have a semidecent str.
Blade thirst works on it, and you can rapidly throw the axes at your enemies dealing 2d6+3+str bonus+varnish. So if you play a ranger, take some str, and leave finesse alone, unless you can hoard up a serious amount of varnish, or can get a permanent cleric/caster friend to cast GMW on your weapons.
However...they weigh you down. Majorly. 50 of these axes is fifty pounds. Which will let you carry on your best days just that much.
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