Saturday, April 28, 2012

Evening Guild Wars 2 Beta Update: Ranger

Normally when I play open betas, I try character types I normally don't play, or I go random. The guardian was my random pick, so this time I decided a human ranger. I'm not normally DPS, but I do have a soft spot for archer types. I did like the feel of the ranger, and once I get weapon swapping, I think it'll feel much more fluid.

Specifically, the distancing abilities of a main hand sword felt limiting when my only paired ranged option was a throwing axe. It just didn't feel very smooth, but if I could fast swap to a short bow, I think I'd find it a lot more appealing. After trying different weapons, I have a bit more respect for the ranger's versatility.

I started with dual throwing axes, once I picked up a second one. This felt very comfortable for me. I could roll in and throw my cone attack, then roll away to catch things with the boomerang. The whirling defense was useful, but I never felt the wow factor I thought I would. It's nice and defensive, something rangers need. But, it doesn't really sell me on the dual axe set up like I thought it would.

The main hand sword, like I said above, just felt incomplete without a good ranged option to weapon swap out to. I think rangers, thieves and warriors get a much bigger benefit than the other classes when their weapon slots open up.

The long bow has a good, solid set of skills: standard shoot, snare, gap creating tool, cone attack that poisons and concussive shot. It is functional and does exactly what you want a ranger with a long bow to do. Nothing fancy, but there's a reason that some archetypes exist: people like them. Even long bow rangers feel mobile, a nice change from stand-and-shoot type snipers. They feel like Shadow Warriors from Warhammer Online were supposed to feel like.

My only real gripe was that figuring out the pet stuff was unintuitive, something that will be solved with a game manual (I hope!) You can name (and rename) your pet, and you get to pick your starting buddy at character creation. Random ranger had a juvenile stalker, who was pretty squishy, but that's a problem pets in most games have in the early levels. I was relying on Heal as One much more than I relied on healing with other characters.

That makes sense, though the guardian has good passive healing and regen, and the warrior's much more defensive than the ranger. The Mesmer I also was defensive and cautious with, which pets aren't. So, it did feel right, even if reviving my pet takes a bit longer out of combat than I would like (though I did learn you can just summon a new one and the old one gets all better.)

Not sure what I'll try next, but I'm open to suggestions.

Yes. Random ranger accidentally looked like Aragorn.



Really, though, the choices are between engineer, necromancer, thief and elementalist.

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