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Author Topic: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?  (Read 24054 times)

Telkar

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Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« on: July 29, 2011, 08:31:07 PM »
I've been looking at the ranger class some, pondering a build, and came across this. I see this has been mentioned before here too. Essentially, compared to Greater Magic Weapon that is of the same spell level, Blade Thirst lasts for 2 rounds / lvl, and never gets better than +3 and only works on slashing weapons, while Greater Magic Weapon lasts 1 turn + 1 turn / lvl 'and' has potential to become +5 and works on all weapons.

Could you give rangers some luv there?  <3

It'd be great if it'd at least last as long as Greater Magic Weapon.

WildPirate13

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 11:57:39 PM »
Agreed.. rangers have it rough sometimes. You can always buy a +5 varnish! *chuckles*

Budly

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2011, 05:55:03 AM »
Rangers are Rangers, not casters. I say they do not need spells since they can be built as pretty good warriors no? :)

respawnaholic

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2011, 07:14:41 AM »
Rangers are Rangers, not casters. I say they do not need spells since they can be built as pretty good warriors no? :)

They can be built as warriors with poor AC since their limited to light armors and need to get the bulk of their AC bonus from Dex. They trade dual wielding for -2 to AB, but since their using finesse based weapons their crits tend to do about the same ammount of damage as a a tank firgter using a halberd rolling average damage, and their weapons tend to bounce off anything with any form of damage resistance or immunity. Also dual wielding tends to use things like varnishes at twice the normal rate. Their animal companions die quickly since they have saves in the low single digits and AC in the teens, and the spell selection they have access to has one marginally useful spell per level up to level 4.

In truth its much easier to make a good ranger by making a fighter with a few thief levels.

Springer

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2011, 07:25:16 AM »
Ranger is the weakist class in here in my opinion. It has no roles in the game whatsoever. Rogues can stealth slightly worse but they have sneak attacks which make stealth more deadly, they can also open locks, also due to sneak attacks they are better with dual wielding. Druids have stronger nature spells and animal companions, fighters and barbarians are more powerfull in frontline and better tanks and even damage dealers.
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HellsPanda

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2011, 07:42:34 AM »
you really dont take into account favoured enemy either....

Telkar

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2011, 08:48:27 AM »
Aside from whether the ranger class itself is underpowered....this certain spell obviously is, in light of my above comparison.

And Budly, in this game rangers happen to be casters in a small way, just like paladins, that's just a fact.

Winter83

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2011, 09:07:55 AM »
One of the most powerful feat that makes a ranger a powerhouse is the Bane of enemies that comes in the epic level, which is taken away here. So favored enemy bonus is maxed out at +4 AB, which only applies to a handful of foes, while weap specialization of a fighter gives the same.

Do not forget one important thing about rangers: They are strikers. They are not intended to be in the fray of battle. Equally skilled with bows and dual weapons, they can devastate foes before they reach them. Guerillas. Strike and run. (Useful to get the spring attack feat here!!! ) They can also apply traps, and skilled spotting lurkers. Though there are so many skills and so few skill points hard to find a good balance.
An often neglected skill is animal emphaty which I find very useful. My lone ranger won a battle against three grizzlies at lvl 5 by turning them against each other  :twisted:

Playing a ranger needs a lot of planning. Make every single encounter a hunt. Evolve the surroundings, find good ambush spots, spy the weaknesses of your foes, strike and run to plan a new ambush every time. If played well they can be quite effective. Their creed: Survival and hunt. Make a ranger you enemy and you'll never sleep well at nights, as they can find you and slowly hunt you down, much like an assasin would.

What I really-really miss is only some mechanic to track down people, mobs. This would give them a serious boon and would emphasize their hunting role more.

They fit in very well into the setting as the wilderness is huge! (Would be awesome if the mountains are tagged as wilderness areas too, yet rangers lose their trackless step bonus)


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Indriya

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2011, 09:28:11 AM »
I believe Ranger get's a lot of class skills that make them adept at sneaking about and spotting things, along with some spells to help this (camouflage, mass camouflage, One with the Land) - add that to Trackless Step and they should be the best sneakers on the server to go with that sweet AB and melee ability, especially if they are Shadowdancers. They also get the spell Aid for a bonus to AB and can cast Greater Magic Fang on the pet. Dual wield with parry - isn't that any good? I heard good things about it on this server, and with the high attack tables like Fighters, they should be pretty good with it By the way, they also get elemental protection, freedom and invisibility purge. Ever tried using grease, or entangle to slow down things chasing you? It's pretty effective if they aren't immune.

I guess my point is, they get access to a number of decent spells (unlike other melee classes) can sneak and spot/listen very well (unlike other melee classes) while still keeping a high AB and free dual wield (which for others, costs about 3 feats). If your that concerned about losing a few DEX points when your flatfooted, cross class to a class that has uncanny dodge, or go sword and board. I used to play rangers a lot on my old server and they were one of the more powerful melee types, especially when they had access to items they could buff themselves with. If AC was an issue, they just wouldn't dual wield, as dual wielding in its very nature means no shield - lower AC, so you can't expect to play frontliner while dual wielding.
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Telkar

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2011, 09:45:20 AM »
Well, I don't think rangers are useless as is, they have their pluses just like other classes and it needn't be pointed out, and I would still play the class if this spell weren't changed.

It just strikes me as odd that this spell of theirs is so useless compared to Greater Magic Weapon, since they're on the same spell level and have a similar purpose. As the spell is now, it would make more sense being a level 2 spell.

One other thing. I know the Greater Magic Weapon spell is being planned on also giving enchantment to ranged weapons. It somehow feels right, since the route of a ranger should be able to produce a skilled archer (they're like one of the most archery type classes out there), that they could use this spell on their bows. Doesn't fit with the name of the spell, I know, but it's my opinion they should get that ability if a paladin does.

Ercvadasz

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2011, 10:10:24 AM »
I believe Ranger get's a lot of class skills that make them adept at sneaking about and spotting things, along with some spells to help this (camouflage, mass camouflage, One with the Land) - add that to Trackless Step and they should be the best sneakers on the server to go with that sweet AB and melee ability, especially if they are Shadowdancers. They also get the spell Aid for a bonus to AB and can cast Greater Magic Fang on the pet. Dual wield with parry - isn't that any good? I heard good things about it on this server, and with the high attack tables like Fighters, they should be pretty good with it By the way, they also get elemental protection, freedom and invisibility purge. Ever tried using grease, or entangle to slow down things chasing you? It's pretty effective if they aren't immune.

I guess my point is, they get access to a number of decent spells (unlike other melee classes) can sneak and spot/listen very well (unlike other melee classes) while still keeping a high AB and free dual wield (which for others, costs about 3 feats). If your that concerned about losing a few DEX points when your flatfooted, cross class to a class that has uncanny dodge, or go sword and board. I used to play rangers a lot on my old server and they were one of the more powerful melee types, especially when they had access to items they could buff themselves with. If AC was an issue, they just wouldn't dual wield, as dual wielding in its very nature means no shield - lower AC, so you can't expect to play frontliner while dual wielding.

first of all.
Grease and engtangle are useless spells since the DC is somewhere like 12 or 13 maybe fourteen. Not to mention that ranger caster level is only half of the actual caster level.
(so even your buffs wont last long! cats grace on level 10 is considered a level 5 lasting cats grace.)
Grease and entangle are awesome for a druid, since they can easily get it up to 20+dc. But a rangers grease or even entangle hell even a zombie can save it with 50% chance! unless you take transmu focuses which than wil give you like +4 to dc, still very limited effect, and you wasted two feats you could have used better ( you can know entangle and knockoff skeletons and juju zombies, congrats!).
I doubt any ranger will take the Aid spell up since they get blade thirst on the same level, which is a bit more effective(+3 enchantment vs +2 ab and 8 hp?:). Greater magic fang to use on the animal companion, well no sense. Since the animal companion is weak. VERY weak. You cannot buff it up beside wasting a shitload of potions or items on it, and even than not even half as good as any familiar, nor a druids companion. GMF is useless, MF is sometimes okay but that is all.
Secondly that few dex points really hurt, because it lowers a lot of your skills and beside your ac your reflex saves. And your only save focuse is fort. You get your reflex from the startup dex bonus and addon dex points, and the cats grace spell.

They only have 4 skills points per level, not 6 like in 3.5
Whereas they have at least 7 or more skills they would require, and are all class skills.  Discipline, parry, ms, hide, spot, search, listen, concentration, heal, animal empathy, not to mention set traps rocks for them. Of course they cannot remove their own traps thereafter.  i made my ranger with 14 int and i still have to sacrifice 2-3 skills per level as of not putting any point in it. Animal empathy is one of them. It is better to SNEAK around as a ranger than to fight most of the stuff you meet. Their high attack table is not as good as fighters, since they require more abilities, than fighters or barbs, and receive less feats than ftgs. In 3.0 they do not receive extra AB against Favoured enemies, just damage 1 point /5 levels. So you get +3 damage on level 10, which is not even magical, or bypassing and is easily reduced or soaked. (At bow you dont need mighty for this to apply, that is a good thing though.) They cant enhance their str, their will, nor their endurance with spells. (which they should but that is nwns fault.)
They are skill(int) and spell(wis) dependant. Dex, str, con, wis, int these are all their main abilities...The decent spells, laughable.
The usefull spells on the server :
level 1: camouflage, cure light wounds, magic fang(actually lasts for at best 2 battle turns when your animal comp dies...), ultravision(limited useage), resist elements
level 2: cats grace, one with the land, and prot from elements
level 3: blade thirst and maybe cmw
level 4: polymorph self, csw and fom.
That is it. Not to mention as a ranger you get a lot less spell slots, even with the caliban bracers, which is good that it gives 1/1 spell slots, but the reflex save reduction is a damn hit.
(compare it with justaurocorps, or whatever that armors name is.)
You only get favoured enemy as bonus feat, dual wield while wearing light armor(for medium you have to take the feats up, waste 2 feats...), you get itwf for free, no armor or any restriction.

Usefull is the tempest rebuttal, i strongly discourage anyone to make a dex based ranger, starting with more dex than 15(!) at start since it is not worth it. Tempest rebuttal is how you can max out your damage dealing capabilities in melee. (Or any double blade you find and can keep:P) finesse is a bad road for a ranger to take. The rapier rule that got applied in 3.5 does not work here, that if you wield two rapiers one is considered medium and the other one a small one.

On the traps, yes they are usefull, but here is a little something, setting them up breaks stealth, breaks invisibility, and the best buyable traps are average traps. Crafting traps require skillpoints again which you lack.

I am talking about pure rangers, i dont cross class. You can make every class good with cross classing. Because than it is not a class, but x-classed.
SD is prestige, and i dont think that for any good alligned ranger SD is a good idea, or assasin for the matter.

On winters post, about stalking, hunting and such. Try it, half the monsters have such SERIOUS listen and spot skills, that you best go with invisibility and sneak, and even than they notice you. The sneak nerf really hits the rangers badly, not to mention all those listen and spot bonus items. I especially loved when i picked up a body that slightly encumbered me (with bulls potion 20 str i had 266 carry weight with corpse i got to 278 ) i got -50 to ms and hide. Setting up traps applies, if you have room to fallback, set your traps up, and than lure them in. Enter a cave, and most times this is not an option.
As i was told once by someone who plays a ranger longer than i have: If you have sneak, you cannot sneak past the things you should avoid, but you can sneak past the things you can defeat with ease. I aggree with this sentence in 60%...there are exceptions, but most times, everyone notices you, even if you dont slam a door, dont go close, are not glowing, and have maxed out your sneaking skills.

about their ranging capabilities, a druid is the best archer. seriously:(
Zen archery and high wisdom and best wisdom bonus giving spell that stacks with owls....(30 wisdom means +10 ab with bow.)
« Last Edit: July 30, 2011, 12:44:21 PM by Ercvadasz »
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Indriya

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2011, 10:29:16 AM »
I'm not sure if you understand this, or not - but Grease and Entangle still slow people down, even if they make the save. The DC is great and all if they fall the save, but it still serves an important purpose and I used to use it to great effect on things pursuing my ranger. Just as speeding yourself up via things like haste and expeditious retreat, so is slowing others down valuable.

Rangers have their niche, trading some things for other things. I just don't think Ranger is suffering for want of a GMW type spell they can apparently get via other means (like other melee do).
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Winter83

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2011, 10:29:48 AM »
Very very very discouraging  what you say Ercvadasz. I am fond of playing rangers, and I did on the previous server, where they were quite strong when played well. Here since I'm fairly new I am yet to pass lvl 6. The class offered great rp options so far, and was expecting it to grow in combat provess too, but if half what you said is true that's pretty discouraging.

'Nuff said, I will hang onto my toon anyway since I invested much time in him already and see where it goes.


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Ercvadasz

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2011, 11:29:03 AM »
I'm not sure if you understand this, or not - but Grease and Entangle still slow people down, even if they make the save. The DC is great and all if they fall the save, but it still serves an important purpose and I used to use it to great effect on things pursuing my ranger. Just as speeding yourself up via things like haste and expeditious retreat, so is slowing others down valuable.

Rangers have their niche, trading some things for other things. I just don't think Ranger is suffering for want of a GMW type spell they can apparently get via other means (like other melee do).

I understand what you mean, but it keeps them halved only till they stay inside the spells effect territory. Which sadly is quite small. Only the druid spell spike growth has that permanent effect.
All i can encourage you to do, is than play a ranger on this server, and go out there and see for yourself. 
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Telkar

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2011, 11:35:11 AM »
Very very very discouraging  what you say Ercvadasz. I am fond of playing rangers, and I did on the previous server, where they were quite strong when played well. Here since I'm fairly new I am yet to pass lvl 6. The class offered great rp options so far, and was expecting it to grow in combat provess too, but if half what you said is true that's pretty discouraging.

'Nuff said, I will hang onto my toon anyway since I invested much time in him already and see where it goes.

I wouldn't worry about it. If there's anything to blame for serious lack of effectiveness, then it's the build(skills, feats, abilities) rather than the class, trust me. =) I've also seen a lvl 18 ranger here. You have to possess some form of effectiveness to get there.

Ercvadasz

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2011, 11:40:04 AM »
Very very very discouraging  what you say Ercvadasz. I am fond of playing rangers, and I did on the previous server, where they were quite strong when played well. Here since I'm fairly new I am yet to pass lvl 6. The class offered great rp options so far, and was expecting it to grow in combat provess too, but if half what you said is true that's pretty discouraging.

'Nuff said, I will hang onto my toon anyway since I invested much time in him already and see where it goes.

I wouldn't worry about it. If there's anything to blame for serious lack of effectiveness, then it's the build(skills, feats, abilities) rather than the class, trust me. =) I've also seen a lvl 18 ranger here. You have to possess some form of effectiveness to get there.

companions. i would say companions:P A ranger is a very companion dependant class.

and your referring to Mariska right?:)
« Last Edit: July 30, 2011, 11:48:02 AM by Ercvadasz »
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Winter83

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2011, 11:45:21 AM »
Very very very discouraging  what you say Ercvadasz. I am fond of playing rangers, and I did on the previous server, where they were quite strong when played well. Here since I'm fairly new I am yet to pass lvl 6. The class offered great rp options so far, and was expecting it to grow in combat provess too, but if half what you said is true that's pretty discouraging.

'Nuff said, I will hang onto my toon anyway since I invested much time in him already and see where it goes.

I wouldn't worry about it. If there's anything to blame for serious lack of effectiveness, then it's the build(skills, feats, abilities) rather than the class, trust me. =) I've also seen a lvl 18 ranger here. You have to possess some form of effectiveness to get there.

You are right. Thought I don't really like the idea myself, that i need to focus on powerbuilding to have get an acceptable ranger. Not only because I'm not so good in that, but emphasizing the build too much to gain combat effectiveness, will make me lose many other rp options. (like animal empathy, favored animals like vermin, some skills in trapping etc).
Not so good that a mundane class not powerbuilded is lacking normal effectiveness. Especially that we are talking about an old and favored D&D class.


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Telkar

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2011, 12:08:16 PM »
Note that when I talk about effectiveness, it's not powerbuilding or how effective a character is in combat specifically. What one finds effective is subjective, and it really just depends on your goal. You want the ranger to be good at this and bad at that, you build him accordingly so he's an effective representation of the concept you're trying to embody.

In the end, this is a server that holds RP above everything, so you needn't really worry about being powerful that much. I don't think powerful characters get any better RP than others. In my experience weaker characters usually get better RP here. :p

But that's going too off topic. This topic is about spell balance. If you want to discuss powerbuilding, here is the place.

KoopaFanatic

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2011, 02:57:26 PM »
I wouldn't worry about it. If there's anything to blame for serious lack of effectiveness, then it's the build(skills, feats, abilities) rather than the class, trust me. =) I've also seen a lvl 18 ranger here. You have to possess some form of effectiveness to get there.

companions. i would say companions:P A ranger is a very companion dependant class.

and your referring to Mariska right?:)

I imagine he is, and I actually got Mariska to level 19 before taking advantage of enchanting ;)
That's a bad example, though -- Mariska was the first ranger I ever made, and I designed her mostly with an eye toward the lower levels.  I got her to that level largely through interesting RP, partying up with more effective PCs, and a lot of luck.  Unfortunately except in certain unusual situations she's usually more of a liability than an asset in combat.  There's a reason why high-level single-class rangers are so rare.

Winter83

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2011, 03:28:11 PM »
Aww.... so sad that a class that fits into the setting so well and more then many others is this ineffective. :( :cry:


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Dhark

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2011, 03:33:34 PM »
The ranger class is a jack of all trades , master of none .  They get decent sneak skills , good AB , dual wield for free , spells & a companion.

 As Telkar has said, focus on one aspect of this superb choice & you will have a very effective toon.

respawnaholic

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2011, 06:49:47 PM »
you really dont take into account favoured enemy either....

Mostly useless. +1 AB and damage against things like undead tends to be worthless since most times these enemies have serious damage resistances and reductions you have to bypass before the damage can find a home. Ditto anything worth taking the feat for or against. I suppose if you made vermin a favored enemy youd rule up until you hit level 4 or so.

Best build for a ranger is a finessed based fighter with some rouge levels. Heap the obligatory WM on it on the tail end like everyone else. Sad but true.

Be that as it may I keep playing my ranger because I like the character, and hes fun. I dont kid myself tho that he brings anything useful to a party.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2011, 06:52:52 PM by respawnaholic »

Emomina

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2011, 07:04:30 PM »
Rangers are the very best stealthers, and they get just enough skillpoints to be a detect build too. Its the strength of the class (if there is any) because you maintain the max AB and fighter like hps.

In the 3.5 revision they realized the Ranger sucked and took it even more toward the skillful fighter with even more skill points and dropped them to d8 hit die, and gave them bonus feats that had two paths that you had to choose. (archery and dual wiedling)

In NWN you can make a good ranger, at the end of the day they have the best AB and the same HPS as fighters. On PotM you get enough feats to really make a decent ranger by boosting their skills, saves or taking a higher armor proficiency etc. Is it the strongest? no, it may even be the weakest base class on our server, but it doesn't mean a full Ranger is not a viable character. I maintain that if a Rogue with crap (bare minimum) saves and the minimum hit points is a viable character then the Ranger is doable and has a leg up on both stealth and survivability.

Telkar

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2011, 07:07:44 PM »
Lol, none of you guys comment on the spell alteration proposal.  :sob:

respawnaholic

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Re: Ranger's Blade Thirst spell - seriously underpowered?
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2011, 11:05:33 PM »
Lol, none of you guys comment on the spell alteration proposal.  :sob:

Id like to see it more powerful but it opens a door best left closed. If rangers start getting better spells their not normally allowed then whose to say that druids shouldnt get PFE for example, or wizards with access to healing spells. Theres a difference between nerfing spells and outright giving spells to classes that shouldnt be allowed.