Where’s My Game

My thoughts about what a MMORPG should be.

The Rangers Perpetual Problem

I love the ranger class.  The art of the bow, ranged combat, has always been something that I have loved about RPGs.  There has always been one fundamental problem that has plagued games when ranged combat is used.  Let me paint you a picture.  We will use Legolas from The Lord of the Rings.  I remember a scene where he was surrounded by orcs and was just pulling out arrows from his quiver and mowing down enemies left and right and it wasn’t until the battle got really crazy that he finally had to pull out his swords to start doing some melee.  Ranged combat has always been short sided by one common problem.  Enemies do not die in one shot.  If that was the case then everyone would be a ranger and there would be no use for any other class.  In any given ranged combat fight I would probably get in maybe two good shots with my bow, maybe three if I can get a slow or a root in on the mob.  It is inevitable that I will have to do melee as some games will give you a message that says you are too close to do ranged damage.  AoC let you shoot a bow at any range, though I think that when you got into a certain distance your damage output went down.  I think that is crap.  I should be able to be all ranged all the time no matter where the mob is distance wise.  The flip side problem to that is, if the mob never is able to reach me then I will never die.  Here in lies the problem with the ranged combat.  Make it too good and the class is over powered and people will complain and the class will get nerfed.  Make it not good enough and people will bitch and then the class will become overpowered and here we are caught in that perpetual death loop where no one is happy.  I stated in a different post that devs need to stick to their plan and not always cater to the masses.  There should always be player feedback and input, but not to the point of all the complaining that bogs down every single forum that I have ever read.  I do propose a few things to make ranged combat more fun.

Give rangers an innate ability to have every shot slow the mob.  Or have a bow that can do it, or a buff that can do it, or a potion that can do it, or an arrow that can do it, or anything that will give rangers the ability to slow a mob on every shot, or at least the first shot that pulls the mob.  That way it will give rangers a chance to kill a mob from ranged combat.  Maybe to offset this slow ability if a mob breaks the slow or the slow wears off the mob can be enraged to do more damage when it finally gets to the mob, or give it a regen bonus or something that makes the mob more powerful.  Now I know for anyone who might read this that this will unbalance a lot of things.  Rangers defense isn’t always that good so if a more powerful mob gets to the ranger the ranger will probably die.  The only reason for this particular post is to put my ideas out there about rangers.

AoC and some other games I’m sure have let a ranger use traps.  I think DDO did it too.  When I first thought about using any trap for anything I thought it was boring and just a hassle and I never would want or try to use a trap.  In AoC I played a ranger and I used the trap and let me tell you, it was a lot better than I ever would have thought.  The problem is that it was kind of buggy and I only got one trap.  It was cool to stealth up to a mob, lay a trap and then sneak away.  I’d fire a shot and the mob would come running only to get tangled by my trap while I lobbed arrows at the mob.  Rangers should get more traps, and different kinds of traps.  Some that might root them, burn them, poison them, and/or freeze them.  Traps I do not think have ever had a big role in any game.  I think now is as good a time as any to incorporate more of them.

Let me know what you think about the state of ranged combat in games and what you would want to see more of or less of, or any thoughts you have about the ranger class in general.


July 4, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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