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Theorycrafting : Ranger

#1 User is offline   Rylkan Icon

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 01:07 AM

Since I love to theory craft builds, and I am bored, I figured I would start some theory crafting for GW2. Obviously, these builds will need to undergo some changes as the real game comes out and they are put to the test. But this is supposed to just be fun. :)

Relentless Assault
This build is focused on continued heavy single person damage, with some AoE cover and crowd control thrown in. If done right, the fight can handle the varying flow of combat to address enemies near or far, and can prevent kiting. With its survivability, and AoE crowd control/DoT, plus single person damage, it is well suited to both places like WvW and PvE.

Weapon Sets
Long Range shot (No Recharge): The default attack of the longbow. Does more damage the farther away your opponent is.
Rapid Fire (10 second cooldown): Allows the user to fire arrows rapidly. A high damaging skill, it is the main damaging skill of a longbow, and works well to proc field effects.
Hunters Shot (15 second cooldown): Causes vulnerability on your opponent, and grants your pet swiftness. This is meant to be a fight opener, giving you higher damage from the start of battle, and letting your pet get in quickly.
Point Blank Shot (15 second cooldown): Pushes an opponent back. The closer they are to you, the farther back they are pushed. This can be used offensively, or defensively. If an enemy comes too close, you can gain room once more, or you can push them to traps or teammates if you position yourself right. It will also interrupt channeled skills. (Such as an enemy player trying to rez someone.)
Barrage (30 second cooldown): A ground targeted AoE that causes damage over time and Cripples opponents inside of it. Good to keep enemies bunched together for your teammates AoE attacks.

Crossfire (No recharge): The default attack of the shortbow. Causes bleeding if you are to the side or behind a target. This effect stacks.
Poison Volley (9 second recharge): Causes a cone like spray of arrows that cause poison to those hit. This effect stacks.
Evasive Shot (9 second recharge): Fire an arrow to perform an evasive retreat. If it lands, you gain swiftness. This can be used to escape, or if you can cut off an opponent, you can get even further ahead of them to stop them.
Crippling Shot (12 second recharge): Fire an arrow that causes cripple, and makes it so your pets next three attacks cause bleeding. This is a very powerful skill to stop kiting. Use it. Love it.
Concussion Shot (25 second recharge): Cause daze on hit. If you are behind or to the side of the opponent, you stun them. This, in conjunction with crippling shot, can be enough to keep people right where you want them.

Spiders. Spiders spider spiders. Projectile pets all the way. While ANet has mentioned they are trying to balance melee, I doubt that will extend to pets. Quite often your pet will just rush in and stay in the middle of a mob, and will die far too quickly. A spider, on the other hand, can cause poison (plus Poison fields, which cause Poison and Weakness), can bind a target for a few seconds, and keep its distance. Some of the species specific skills also allow you to cause immobilize. In general, they can survive much longer, and also provide strong crowd control and DoT.

Slot Skills
Healing Slot:
Healing Spring (3 skill points : 30 second recharge): There are a few reasons I recommend this skill. While you can get more healing from Heal as One, and all at once, this has a few additional benefits. While active, all allies in the area receive the healing effect, which is nice. But more importantly, is the field effect. Healing spring is a water type field, meaning every time you hit the target through the field with a projectile, you gain HP back. And in general, all the combos off of a water field heal your allies. So if you are using Rapid fire, lets say, you are getting back a lot more HP back than you could through Healing Spring alone. (And in general, Rapid fire is amazing for procs on different combo fields.) The only downside is if you use a pet that is a front line animal, it will not readily benefit from this skill. (Spiders ftw.)

Utility Slots:
Muddy Terrain (1 skill point : 30 second recharge) This is both a good fight starter and ender. Usually you can get it off at the beginning of the fight to immobilize the target and cripple them, allowing you to start your damage skills without them being able to close the gap. And since it lasts for 20 seconds, if the opponent draws near, a well aimed point blank shot will place them in the field again, causing cripple once more. At the end of the fight, or if you are trying to catch a pesky opponent (such as in WvW), this is a ground targeted skill and very easy to catch someone running away with it. This can give you the second to close the gap and finish them off. It is also a game changer if your enemies are bunched up. For example, if a trebuchet has been placed on a hill, you usually have only a limited space to attack or defend in. Place this in any bottleneck will ensure a maximum number of people caught, and can change the tide of combat. It also excels when you see a horde of monsters rushing you, and you need a moment for everyone to sort of get their skills up and running. A very versatile skill for being a first tier.

Slots 2 & 3: Optional. You can take whatever you want. I personally like the signets. Since you can get some amazing versatility with your weapon skills, and the other skills have rather low cooldown, I like to increase my base stats. Usually I will use Signet of Stone and Signet of the Wild. These grant increased toughness (Armor) and Health regenerations respectively. Since toughness is the one stat you will not be raising all that much, it can make a big difference to use the Signet of Stone. Additionally, it can grant your pet invulnerability for a few seconds, if you see that it is in mortal danger. If I'm not using these, though, I usually will mix it up between Signet of the Hunt (increased movement speed) or Frost trap (Causes Chilled on opponents within it. And your projectiles fired through it will cause Chilled on opponents. Chilled is nice due to the 66% speed and skill recharge debuff. Its also one of only two skills in the game which can cause an Ice field.)

Rampage as One (120 second Recharge): At first this seems like a lack luster skill, but its actually an amazing battle steroid. For twenty seconds, you gain Stability, Fury, and Swiftness. So crowd control doesn't work on you, you have a +20% Critical hit chance, and you move 33% faster. Oh, and did I mention that each hit by you and your pet gives you a stack of Might? So each time you hit while under this, you get stronger and stronger. And if you are using Rapid fire or the like, well, suddenly things get interesting. Since this is a critical hit based build, that makes a huge difference in the end. You can chase, you can hit criticals more readily, and you hit harder overall.

Marksmanship (Adept/Master/Grandmaster : +300 power +30 Condition Duration)
This is important, because this grants you the Opening Strike skill. Your first attack as you enter combat causes Vulnerability. Then your pet gains Opening strike with Master level, and finally at Grandmaster, you always critical hit with Opening Strike. This will proc off a skill I'll describe below, Remorseless, which recharges Opening strike on a kill.

Skirmishing (Adept/Master/Grandmaster : +300 precision +30% Critical Hit Damage
Oh, sweet sweet critical hits. With this, you will be hitting critical hits much much more readily. And when you do, you will hit like a freaking ten ton truck. Add that on to your Elite, and you will do massive damage. And the special boons it provides are nice. Since this build relies on weapon switching to handle kiting or crowd control, it should prove useful. You gain swiftness and fury when weapon swapping. Which means you move faster and have an even GREATER chance for critical hits. And finally, the nice thing is that if you are flanking your opponent, you do +10% more damage. And flanking is easy in this game. Very very easy. We'll talk about how the skills here work with the Marksmanship line as well.

Nature Magic (Adept : +100 Vitality +10% Boon Duration)
So this is what makes the build into something beyond a glass cannon. So far, GW2 has really shown that you don't want to take many hits. They have designed the game to be positional. You get hit, you get out of there. So surviving a single hit is often more important than armor, and health stacking is good. Not only does this trait line give you more HP, but it improves boon duration, and as the special abilities, will grant you HP regen when you go below 75%. (NOTE: Not sure if this stacks with Signet of the Wild. If it doesn't, then you now have a free Skill slot to bring something else. Whoo! If it does, you now can gain back your HP like a boss. Whoo!)And finally, remember that Elite skill of ours? The one that gives a Might boon? Yes, yes, it IS an evil thing to increase that duration. There is also a rather evil skill we'll discuss below. (It is too bad you cannot reach Grandmaster in this line as well, as it would provide an extra 5% damage when you have a boon) Also, Signet of Stone makes up for the lack of Toughness.

Trait Skills:
Remorseless (Grandmaster): This is truly an evil skill. It recharges opening strike on a kill. My understanding is you do not need to be the one to get the last hit here. So long as you get XP on the kill, meaning you took part. So you can start doing massive damage to people, and as each one falls to your allies, you get Opening Strike back each time. With how fast enemies die, you'll be guaranteed to cause lots of Vulnerability and Critical strikes. While we have boosted our Critical hit chance a great deal, its nice to be assured a critical hit, and especially when we have increased our base damage and critical hit multiplier so much. And since Vulnerability means we do even more damage, you just get absurdly strong.
Piercing Arrows (Master): Congratulations. Your attacks are now semi-aoe. Your arrows now pierce, meaning they hit any target in a line up to the maximum range of the projectile. While we could eek out more damage here, being able to hit multiple targets means that you can do many times the damage to enemies. And proc your Remorseless even easier. Rail gun power, baby.
Steady Focus (Adept): For an adept skill, this is surprisingly powerful. Deal an extra 10% damage if you have all of your endurance. Ouch. Dodging is needed at times, so it won't always be there, but if you are good at positioning and your crowd control, it shouldn't be too hard to keep this up.

Trap Potency (Grandmaster): Admittedly, the pickings are slim for grandmaster in this trait line. But this is a nice ability, especially if you choose to take traps as one of your optional skills. This skill doubles their duration. And since things like Chilled is such a powerful effect, you can now get it to last longer, which is nice. It can be mixed with the Master level skill Trapper's Expertise to ground target traps, so you can remotely set the traps off.
Quick Draw -or- Trappers Expertise (Master): Its up to you. Quick draw doesn't give the best refund on Shortbow recharge time, just 15%, but its still useful. Where as Trappers Expertise is quite nice, and can be ground targeted. But traps are slow recharges. This really depends on the upcoming fight, and whether I want some stronger AoE (traps) for an all at once burst, or some long fight sustain (recharge times.)
Companions Might (Adept): Another nice Adept skill. Everytime you critical hit, your pet gains a stack of might. Since we are using spiders, who are not the strongest hitters, but have survivability and crowd control, this really works out for them. They now can hit hard, and will live long enough to make use of the skill.

Nature Magic:
Strength of Spirit (Adept): An amazing adept level skill. Convert 10% of your Vitality to power. Oh wow. So at level 80, you get 916 Vitality as your base. Now add in the +100 here, and then any Jewelry or items you might have, which we can round to another 100, if we're feeling generous. So you just got an extra 110 power right there. All at the expense of making yourself survive a few hits. Enjoy. (As a side note, I am not sure on just how much the Skirmishing will improve from 25 in the trait line, to the full 30. It may be you can get away with 25, and then throw an extra 5 into this line, allowing for some extra Vitality).

Upgrade Components:
6x Superior Runes of Divinity (+60 to all stars, +18% Critical Damage): These runes, in my opinion, are the best runes possible. You may get some unique effects with some other rune sets, but the maximum bonus they can give to any single trait line is +90. This way you get +60 to all of them (Which adds to our damage and makes you less into a glass cannon). Also, you have enough skills and abilities to control the battlefield. The pure critical hit damage is nice on top of everything else. That being said, these runes are no doubt quite rare. So I might go for something along the lines of Rune of the Wurm until you can get six of these badboys. Rune of the Wurm will give you Vitality, and some extra Crit Damage and Pure damage percent. Which is basically all you need to start out with. And since Vitality improves your Power indirectly, 6 Runes of the Wurm will net you 9 extra power, which is nice.

Optional: Its too hard at this point to say what will be best. Personally, since this build is set up for Critical hits, your best option is to invest in the 'On Critical hit' abilities, since they can be quite powerful. But the Power or Precision stacking are also very useful. The only downside is you lose stacks on a weapon swap, which goes against the flow of the build slightly. I happen to like using the Longbow the most, so it might work well for you if you stay primarily in one weapon set, but you don't want to form the habit of not using the other weapon set skills just to keep your stacks.

ANet has not released information on all the jewels, but the Knights Jewel adds Power, precision, and Vitality, making it the ideal choice. This may be a PvP only item, though. If not, I think Amethyst might be a good second choice. It gives power and vitality. The build has enough build in Crit chance and damage (I think. This will require actually seeing the numbers, since the formula isn't released yet), so now you are just increasing the base damage and your survivability. Masterwork jewelry with Amethyst can provide roughly 30 power and 20 Vit for each piece. So you can easily get an extra 150 power and 100 Vitality (+10 Power given our Strength of Spirit).

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/God> rm *

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#2 User is offline   Goto Icon

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:02 AM

Looks like a pretty damaging build, I don't really have the specific knowledge of ranger playstyle to critique it but I don't think I'd want to be up against it.

I might try to craft an Engineer build at some point. Just doesn't seem to be too much point in doing so right at the moment since we know the class is being reworked.

#3 User is offline   Rylkan Icon

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 04:00 AM


And yeah, its a bit early to craft, but I've been bored while waiting for release. No doubt this build will evolve in time.

I'm curious to see what you come up with for Engineer. You seem to be the only real Engineer player in the guild for the beta.
#: ssh
Password: CurvedSpace
/God> rm *

The BEST error message ever: "Cowardly refusing to create an empty archive."

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