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Are rangers underpowered and lack definition?

124

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  • NoloirNoloir Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 310
    edited December 2018
    DJKajuru said:

    Noloir said:

    If base kit Rangers gained high innate elemental resistances up to a max of 65% and resistance to all types of combat damage up to a maximum of 30-35% (slashing, piercing, missle, and blunt) in spirit with this classes hardiness and constitution it'd have a niche. Even if the combat resistance is a bit much the elemental resistances give it a unique advantage and flavor other classes lack in combat. Granted, potions can make up for that which is why I suggest the combat damage resistances as well but with certain traps and spells like fireball prevalent in BGEE Ranger can serve a unique roll as an elemental damage tank. Justified by his/her years of experience in the rugged wild.

    Resisting hard weather is different from resisting elemental damage. By pnp rules creatures that can't die from extreme cold or drought (such as undead) can still be hurt by cold or fire damage.

    I see your point of making rangers greater survivors, but making class balanced class kits is more of add this/ nerf that logic than justifying a background with new skills. A ranger who can resist cold would have penalties in different climates , for instance.
    Resistances are a bit different than immunities. In the instance of the undead if they aren't completely immune to cold like shades or wailing virgins they have high resistances like vampires with a 50% resist to cold. They can still take damage from the elements but in the spirit of being "undead" not nearly as much as say an ordinary human.

    Environmentental Rangers like
    Arctic and Desert Rangers do exist for within the realm of AD&D 2nd edition but instead of breaking up attributes into a million different subkits it' makes more sense to just combine them and balance the acquisition of skill variables.

    If talking strictly pnp BG tends to deviate here and there. For instance, Cleric/Rangers in the 2nd edition Ranger manual are defined as ascetic "Seekers" who are capable of wielding light crossbows but when multiclassing or dual classing Ranger/Cleric no such option is available. There's room for experimentation.

    RAM021
  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 858
    Danacm said:

    DJKajuru said:

    Danacm said:

    Because ranger is not just not equal but inferior to fighter or paladin, i always say ir needs some buffing.

    Same armor and weapon proficiencies, free dual wield and skill in stealth. Why are they inferior?
    Cause the bad spell selection,the hide without backstab, charm animal is all nice but nothing more than just minor flavor, actually not enough useful. The weapon mastery-grandmastery and faster progression is better than the ranger tools. And in a game that mainly a battle game, the fight is where we need abilities not the charm animal.
    Maybe if they has a same xp progression it could be somewhat equal the two.
    @subtledoctor has a point about fighter/thief as ranger role.
    Oh right, forgot about the limit to specialization, since I throw that out.

    Personally, I use a "every class can backstab for double damage from stealth" mod, but even without that, stealth is amazingly useful in vanilla. You can use it to make mages waste spells by ducking out of range and hiding while they're casting which makes them lose targeting, you can use it to advance to melee range without being hit, you can use it to split groups by advancing in stealth to see all the enemies, then backing up so that you just "wake" the edge one(s).

    Spell selection isn't too terrible, but they're not meant to be major casters, it's meant to be a supplement.

    ThacoBellRAM021
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 667
    edited December 2018
    Hm, i like the idea of ranger barbarian. Or the whole woodsman thing become the indentity of ranger rather than barbarian, because its a rather out of fighter kit because of berserker.
    Ranger with 5% physical dr per 5 lvls, d12 hp, maximum chain armor, fastermovement and minor druid spells not a bad class on its own. Without rage ofc.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 983
    Danacm said:

    Hm, i like the idea of ranger barbarian. Or the whole woodsman thing become the indentity of ranger rather than barbarian, because its a rather out of fighter kit because of berserker.
    Ranger with 5% physical dr per 5 lvls, d12 hp, maximum chain armor, fastermovement and minor druid spells not a bad class on its own. Without rage ofc.

    From what I understand a barbarian's rage ability taps into the same primal energy as druidic magic, so lorewise I think there's enough of a connection there for the classes to bleed into eachother. You could have ranger-like barbarians or barbarian-like rangers.

    I think I read that in 5th edition you can specialize your barbarian such that it gets access to very low level druidic magic, like the ability to see through the eyes of nearby animals and use them for scouting.

    In Starlight and Shadows some barbarians can shapeshift during their rages. The male lead turns into a bear. There's lots of stuff to work with here.

    DanacmRAM021
  • polymorphedsquirrelpolymorphedsquirrel Member Posts: 91
    Hmm,
    I kind of like the idea 'all pure warrior classes get grand mastery unless specifically gimped'. It would nicely differentiate rangers from fighter/thieves. Do you think this would make them clearly better than pure fighters, despite worse XP progression? What about paladins and barbarians? In light of the latter's d12 it would probably be too much...

    RAM021
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,282
    Hmm,
    I kind of like the idea 'all pure warrior classes get grand mastery unless specifically gimped'. It would nicely differentiate rangers from fighter/thieves. Do you think this would make them clearly better than pure fighters, despite worse XP progression? What about paladins and barbarians? In light of the latter's d12 it would probably be too much...

    Well, the main advantage of fighters is being able to get grand mastery. If one gives that to rangers, paladins, and/or barbarians, fighters would be almost completely inferior. Sure, they'd level up slightly quicker, but leveling up slightly quicker isn't a great defining ability for a class.

    Aerakar
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 667
    Grandmastery should be too much. If than, just delete rangers from classes. Weak and bad designed mostly rp value class without proper archetype. Even wotc cant desing it better in the later editions.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,732
    Giving gm to rangers would not make fighters obsolete as fighters can use their own kits, that are powerful and interesting, and can dual or multi into classes a ranger can not.
    As in EE GM is relevant i dont see reason to have combat oriented classes not able to attain it, this is true for rangers and paladins, and i dont see a reason for having it for dual and not for multi as usually is the multi that has more fighter levels at the end or rp wise the one who trains more with the weapon while the dual stop to train combat skills as he focuses lets say on magic or thieving.
    Someone can tell that there are balance issues, but there is not balance berween classes, some multi and dual are much more powerful then the average and even some single classes or kits are so. Like sorcerer or dwarven defender. The point is not balance as it is a player vs AI game and not a pvp, is to give the chance to play parties with different feeling, valigar, korgan and keldorn are all viable mlee helpers, but require different tactics to shine, giving GM to the ranger and the pally would not cause any balance problem and if power is the main goal a custom party of duals and multis is a much more effective choice.

    RAM021DreadKhanleeux
  • PsicoVicPsicoVic Member Posts: 358
    Pure ranger is bland, yes, but you have the kits: stalker, archer, beastmaster.

    Each one of them changes the way you play drastically and are very powerful in their respective roles. A pity you have the track skill as a HLA in bg, but in iwd, nwn2 you have it from the start. Very useful.

    Still, the rangers are better in 3.5 and above or pathfinder (terrain mastery, more racial enemies, combat styles, etc)

    RAM021DreadKhan
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,282
    edited June 29
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    Giving gm to rangers would not make fighters obsolete as fighters can use their own kits, that are powerful and interesting, and can dual or multi into classes a ranger can not.
    As in EE GM is relevant i dont see reason to have combat oriented classes not able to attain it, this is true for rangers and paladins, and i dont see a reason for having it for dual and not for multi as usually is the multi that has more fighter levels at the end or rp wise the one who trains more with the weapon while the dual stop to train combat skills as he focuses lets say on magic or thieving.
    Someone can tell that there are balance issues, but there is not balance berween classes, some multi and dual are much more powerful then the average and even some single classes or kits are so. Like sorcerer or dwarven defender. The point is not balance as it is a player vs AI game and not a pvp, is to give the chance to play parties with different feeling, valigar, korgan and keldorn are all viable mlee helpers, but require different tactics to shine, giving GM to the ranger and the pally would not cause any balance problem and if power is the main goal a custom party of duals and multis is a much more effective choice.

    Although some fighter kits are interesting, as are multi-classed fighters, I'm more worried that a single-classed, unkitted fighter would be mostly inferior to a ranger, paladin or barbarian. Sure, they can dual-class with more options than a ranger or paladin, but that only matters if A. one is playing a human and B. the fighter has good enough stats to dual-class, which they might not if they aren't a min-maxed character.

    It's not just an issue of balance, it's also an issue of - going back to the subject of this thread - fighters lacking definition. Normally, fighters' ability to get grand mastery in weapons represents their decision to specialize in learning how to wield weapons as skillfully as possible, rather than working to obtain divine powers like the ones paladins and rangers have. And barbarians are not supposed to be as skilled at weapons as a fighter.

    If we want to let rangers, paladins, and barbarians get grandmastery, it would be good to give fighters some other feature, like getting a proficiency point every level rather than every 3 levels.

    Post edited by OlvynChuru on
    gorgonzolaRAM021
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 667
    OlvynChuru wrote: »
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    Giving gm to rangers would not make fighters obsolete as fighters can use their own kits, that are powerful and interesting, and can dual or multi into classes a ranger can not.
    As in EE GM is relevant i dont see reason to have combat oriented classes not able to attain it, this is true for rangers and paladins, and i dont see a reason for having it for dual and not for multi as usually is the multi that has more fighter levels at the end or rp wise the one who trains more with the weapon while the dual stop to train combat skills as he focuses lets say on magic or thieving.
    Someone can tell that there are balance issues, but there is not balance berween classes, some multi and dual are much more powerful then the average and even some single classes or kits are so. Like sorcerer or dwarven defender. The point is not balance as it is a player vs AI game and not a pvp, is to give the chance to play parties with different feeling, valigar, korgan and keldorn are all viable mlee helpers, but require different tactics to shine, giving GM to the ranger and the pally would not cause any balance problem and if power is the main goal a custom party of duals and multis is a much more effective choice.

    Although some fighter kits are interesting, as are multi-classed fighters, I'm more worried that a single-classed, unkitted fighter would be mostly inferior to a ranger, paladin or barbarian. Sure, they can dual-class with more options than a ranger or paladin, but that only matters if A. one is playing a human and B. the fighter has good enough stats to dual-class, which they might not if they aren't a min-maxed character.

    It's not just an issue of balance, it's also an issue of - going back to the subject of this thread - fighters lacking definition. Normally, fighters' ability to get grand mastery in weapons represents their decision to specialize in learning how to wield weapons as skillfully as possible, rather than working to obtain divine powers like the ones paladins and rangers have. And barbarians are not supposed to be as skilled at weapons as a fighter.

    If we want to let rangers, paladins, and barbarians get grandmastery, it would be good to give fighters some other feature, like getting a proficiency point every level rather than every 3 levels.

    Absolut doable to gain more prof points to fighters.
    Never forgot, rangers get stealth, charm animal and minor drukdic spell in the trade of slower xp progressing and give up grandmastery. Faar weaker than a plain fighter but advancing slower. So yes if we saw rangers as advanced warrior type class maybe fine to reach grandmastery, but fighters get more pips, like every 3 levels and starts 6 not 4.

    byrne20gorgonzolaRAM021StummvonBordwehr
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,282
    Danacm wrote: »
    Absolut doable to gain more prof points to fighters.
    Never forgot, rangers get stealth, charm animal and minor drukdic spell in the trade of slower xp progressing and give up grandmastery. Faar weaker than a plain fighter but advancing slower. So yes if we saw rangers as advanced warrior type class maybe fine to reach grandmastery, but fighters get more pips, like every 3 levels and starts 6 not 4.

    Rangers also get a favored enemy and start with two extra points in two-weapon style. Whether having these things (in addition to stealth, charm animal, and some druidic spells) makes up for not getting grandmastery and leveling up slightly slower is another debate. One could still make a good case that rangers are weaker than fighters, but I wouldn't call them far weaker.

    If we wish to make rangers less underpowered, it would be better to improve their existing abilities rather than give them the main abilities of another class (a fighter). That would be like giving a single-classed mage the ability to cast Cure Wounds spells.

    One thing we could do, for example, is give rangers the ability to use stealth while wearing heavy armor (there are ways of doing this). This would do several good things:

    * It would make rangers more different from fighter/thieves: fighter/thieves can use a larger variety of skills, but rangers can use skills while wearing heavy armor.
    * Since most ranger kits can't wear heavy armor, this would give an unkitted ranger an advantage over kits like the Archer and Stalker.

    We could also make the ranger's Charm Animal ability better by making the saving throw much harder to resist and having it last much longer (since it's a class ability it shouldn't be overshadowed by items like the Ring of Animal Friendship which any character can use), and by letting it also charm some of the more animalistic monsters, such as wyverns, basilisks, and giant spiders (i.e. monsters that aren't humanoid, sentient, or extremely otherwordly).

    gorgonzolaRAM021AerakarThacoBell
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,732
    I like the concept of rangers and paladins better casters, but with a bard like spell progression table would be really op, both single class so progressing much faster then a dual, but the ranger with insect spells, ironskin and wonderous recall to mute mages and tank like a FM or FD, the pally with cleric buffs, so 25 str, a great hp boost and a long lasting kay.
    Both are much more powerful then with GM and vanilla spell table.

    Further problem the dual and multi FC and FD would become less interesting if not for the very high level divine spells.

    RAM021
  • RAM021RAM021 Member Posts: 393
    Rangers are underpowered. Later Editions & IWD both addressed this by increasing their casting abilities & spellpower. Starting at rank 6 and progressing to a single casting of 6th power spells at rank 29. Presumably this could continue to 7th power spells at rank 39.

    They certainly should also get their Tracking for free at level 1 (as in IWD).

    (Bards & Paladins are likewise improved in IWD and under later Editions.)

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 590
    edited June 30
    Underpowered compared to what? I'd say rangers and paladins are roughly on a par with the vanilla fighter, with spells and other abilities roughly offsetting the five pips fighters can put in weapons. However all singleclass melee characters in IE games are underpowered compared to their multiclass counterparts, with the possible exception of the inquisitor.

    The problem with rangers isn't so much their lack of power but the situational nature of the power they do have. I don't mean to say that every class should be equally useful in all situations, but it doesn't make much sense to bestow class features like favored enemy and tracking that won't apply in most situations. What's mind-boggling is that players have been complaining about this since 2nd edition AD&D and the devs have never managed to fully correct it.

    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 667
    edited June 30
    I like the idea of giving more spellcasting power. I tried before the 5e progression for rangers and paladins in iwdee and worked well. Only downside is that ranger spells in low levels are underwhelming, and useless just rp value. Later levels is fine, and reach 5. Circle so gain iron skins and thats a huge boost.
    I never fan of heavy armor on rangers conceptually, i like the stalkers maximum leather or barbarians maximum chain armors. Ranger is a woodsman, a bear grylls, not a man at arms in plate mail. Its better to give them d12 hp,poison resistance and only leather or chaim armor.
    I dont like traps, and hard but doable to gain more thieving skills to rangers but i dont like it.
    Oh and favored enemy is bad feature, so idiot who do this in every dnd game. Animal companion would be faaar better feature.

    OlvynChuruRAM021
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 667
    I tried it with grandmastery without plate armor. It feels like a specops soldier. Stealth, gm low level spells. One man army :d

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,853
    Danacm wrote: »
    I tried it with grandmastery without plate armor. It feels like a specops soldier. Stealth, gm low level spells. One man army :d

    I find Stalkers already feel a bit like this, being able to hit fast and hard with their buffs.

    Hmmm... GM is def too much IMHO, but Mastery would be hella fine, for +3 +3.

    RAM021Skatanbyrne20
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 1,601
    Now that I think about it, this is a great mod idea. Upon hitting Ranger level 10 maybe i'll just put a few magical beasts in the wilds that can be tamed by a ranger. It would require some tweaking, we wouldn't want them to take up a party slot or anything, but I might work on this eventually.

    Too bad you can't take advantage of flying mechanics though. I had a hippogriff riding archery ranger once and had a great time with it. Still, we can bring them closer to PnP, throw in a little extra content, and beef up the ranger all at once.

    DreadKhanStummvonBordwehr
  • PsicoVicPsicoVic Member Posts: 358
    edited July 6
    More favored enemies on levelup (every 3 or 5 lvl or so) would be welcome. In later D&D editions the class signature is more enemies and more feats to be deadly against them. A companion animal would be nice.

    Also a HLA for BG2/ToB similar to summon deva but with some magical beast...(non-canon)

    DreadKhanRAM021
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 1,601
    Werebears are specifically mentioned in the handbook as a good idea for a Ranger follower starting at level 10, along with treants and some other nice things, which is where in PnP they definitely start to outshine fighters for at least a few levels. Werebears are immune to normal weapons and can summon 1-6 brown bears on their own. Since Werebears are essentially immune to all the fighters followers at this time except 1 the Ranger vs Fighter at this point in time is no contest imho, even if you go for other options, all provide superior firepower than what the fighter has, and superior versatility. The treant can, of course, summon more, has AC 0, and can act as siege weapons by destroying buildings and fortifications. Or why not take a pixie? If your DM wants to be really unfair, 1 in 10 pixies has the 8th level spell Otto's Irresistable Dance alone with it's other magical abilities. And how would we translate their arrows which cause memory loss? Confusion maybe?

    The Ranger's primary benefit is versatility.

    AerakarThacoBellStummvonBordwehrRAM021
  • polymorphedsquirrelpolymorphedsquirrel Member Posts: 91
    Ok,
    I am convinced about GM. Although all worrior single-classes could use mastery (maybe not paladins, they are good as they are, but barbarians could get a boost, too). I use a mod which boosts charm animals and animal companions, which makes them more unique, although not a reason in itself to pick the class.

    A slightly OT idea: how about giving pure fighters/single-class warriors a free single pip (unless one already exists) in similar weapons (roughly in the same BG1 weapon category) upon gaining mastery? That always bugged me, there are mods which enforce wider weapon usage, but they are about imposing artificial restrictions or reverting to BG1-style or IWD-style proficiences and I like them even less. This would be more realistic and not that OP if it's a single pip: as other weapons in the category will deal the same damage, they would rarely be picked by the player, so they don't translate into much power gain. One problem I see is that bug which prevents from leaving the level-up screen without assigning all pips even if no more slots are available.

    IWD spell tables would be a good compromise for casting - some useful spells. I don't like however that much the ranger ability to cast spells thematically though. They do it how? And Minsc casting anything seems just wrong. And unless you play with spell revisions, Armour of Faith is veeery good on a ranger, arguably more so than a cleric.

    RAM021
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,853
    I'd like it if Barbs and Rangers could take Mastery at about lvl 9. Probably too good though.

  • PsicoVicPsicoVic Member Posts: 358
    Albeit I like the idea of the mastery in rangers, paladins and barbarians, I think that fighters in the iwd/bg games need some loving. In a game with no "feats" mechanic the only thing pure fighters have that the others do not is the mastery.

    RAM021
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 667
    Rangers and paladins advancing slower, so maybe they need to be stronger than fighters in 2e.
    I never saw Minsc as ranger, rather than spell less ranger berserker or berserker.
    Funny but in the recent versions Minsc should be a whole stronger as vanilla fighter rather than a ranger.

    Okay if not grandmastery or mastery, than what ? Traps is thief class feature, i dont like giving them the good doers.
    Favourite enemy is a very bad mechanic, so restrictive and dull.
    Animal companion would be the best yes, as werebear, as wolf or whatever.

  • byrne20byrne20 Member Posts: 308
    I think possibly giving Ranger mastery over weapons but not high master or grand mastery might be a good idea. I don’t really know how 5th edition works though. Do we still have 5 points to put to get to grand master in 5th edition? Or is it weapon focus?

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