Elliot in aion, A BLog

I am so in Aion.

Continued Half-Assed Ranger Patching, Rangers are Angry

Shaking Fundamentals, What is it with the Rangers?

The Ranger that Aion describes is hard to find in game.

Strong damage dealer, strategic gameplay using traps, hit and run, all of which are described in Aion homepage, could not be found in game. Instead, rangers are called useless hybrids not excelling in any area. Today, they are finding themselves on top in most ‘unwanted’ list.

NCsoft advertises Rangers as a class that demands skilled hands, yet even when one masters the class, he still finds himself behind other classes. A class that’s hard to play, but offers no greater rewards. A patch was applied today, silencing all arguments.

That’s right. The new patched added auto-attack feature to skills for rangers, making jumpshot even more difficult to perform.


[The new patch was met with strong criticism]

When their last resort for dps was removed, Rangers were outraged. Let’s look at exactly why they are so upset, and how it could have been fixed.

Damage Lottery + Low Damage

The heart of the problem lies in Ranger’s ability to dps. In an overall dps chart, Rangers can do about 50% of what Assassins and Sorcerers can do.

This was supposed to be covered by ‘Powershot’ and ‘Exploding Arrow’. While these are the Rangers’ main skills, their damage ranges from 200~2000.


[sigh..]

‘Powershot’, learned at lvl 41, does a single damage ranging from 520~524 and has a 20m range. It also instantly stuns the target.

We are clueless what this skill is basing its ‘random’ damage on. Also the “lottery damage” for 1500+ damage happens less than 10% of them time.

Because their damage output is mostly based on luck, most rangers can’t do much other than crossing their fingers for each fight.

Many rangers are asking for something consistant, not something based purely on the dice system, along with general attack power increase.

We don’t need jumpshot.

NCsoft stated that jumpshot is a part of game design that will allow players to use 2~6 skills at once.

Therefore jumpshot was perceived by the competitive ranger community as a “must-learn” technique. Practicing and honing their uses of it and coming up with new techniques.

Jumpshot became more difficult to perform after 12/3/08 patch, which increased skill animation speed. Stunts like 1Jump 6Shot were no longer possible, but 1Jump 3Shot was still do-able.

[see original post for video demonstrating 1Jump 6Shot]

This leaves many wondering why skill animation speed patch was needed, if jumpshot was a part of game design?

On Dec 10th, NCsoft performed an update making Ranger skills automatically start auto-attack. Although it took out the hassle of pressing normal attack key again after each skill, it made jumpshot even more difficult to perform.

Today, even 1Jump 2Shot is difficult to perform and sometimes even 1Jump 1Shot doesn’t go out properly if auto-attack gets in between. Some players argued that jumpshotting isn’t worth it anymore. (effort vs efficiency)

Many argued that if jumpshotting(to shoot without animation) was an intended game design, it would mean the skill animations were added just for the show. However, players did not perceive jumpshotting as an intended game design. It was quite clear that it was a bug, so most wanted ‘legit’ attack skills rather than jumpshot.

Rangers are not outraged because jumpshot was taken out, but because while they got their way of dpsing taken away, they have received nothing in turn.

‘Cut escape’ was patched to be usable with a bow equipped, but that wasn’t that Rangers needed. They needed an attack power boost.

Inefficient Reagents

Rangers have to carry a lot of reagents compared to other classes. In order to grind for 3 hours, around 4000~5000 arrows are used. If you were to use the traps, you’d find yourself not having enough inventory space.

The arrows only stack up to 1000. While arrows and traps cost a lot of money and take up space, their uses aren’t that great.

While they consume reagents, the skills still do lame damage. Despite their lame damage, Rangers still have to pay for the reagents because they can’t lvl without them.

Traps that require seeds are not just expensive, but they also have low land rate and have long cooldown. How many rangers do you think use any traps other than

[I’d rather buy seal stones or mana regen powders]

Put on a Kro-me-dae weapon, Everyone is ranged

One of the Ranger’s described key points is ‘weak up close but strong in distance’ They have the same range as sorcerers; 25m. Some skills are actually even shorter; 20m, 15m

This where we have to look at the Kro-me-dae series. Almost all of them are extendeable weapons, meaning their range is greater than regular melee weapons. This is an amazing option almost enough to shake the balance between melees and ranged classes.


[About 5m]

On the other hand, Rangers are just holding bows with slightly higher ranged attack power. Their damage output is so lame that even with an Unique bow, their lame damage stays lame – something that really makes people question why Rangers were even created.

Solution? A Ranger speaks out

In Aion, role and existance of Rangers in parties are almost non-existent. It’s rare to find parties willing to take a ranger. If you look at the new server population charts, you’ll see that Rangers are starting to fade away.

Class balancing was and always be a never-ending homework for developers. A nerf or buff in one class could result in a buff or a nerf in another class.

The people who know about Rangers better than anyone are the Rangers themselves. If you look at a few events or a couple fights and say ‘rangers are fine why are you complaining’, that would be a hasty, unfair judgement.

The voice of the Rangers has passed the point of mere complaints. They are the people who played the class themselves, and they are telling you their stories. Hoping that other classes will come to understand Rangers’ problems better, and waiting for answer from NCsoft, I hereby finish my article.

_____________________________________________________________________________

OP – This article was written based on opinions from Ranger forums. I want to thank all the Ranger players who provided information and feedback (I read them all)

Original Post

Written by elliot

December 10, 2008 at 12:00 pm

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