We have reached a point that we need to put into writing an issue that is disrupting the class balance in the game. All classes have their strengths and weaknesses, some will argue that some classes need their strengths bolstered and their flaws eroded, but all can agree that the ranger has no weak points, and that is a problem. Here is an examination on why the ranger is a powerhouse class that needs to be examined.
The price to pay
Every class in the game pays a price to deal out the damage they inflict. A soldier needs to enter frenzy mode, leaving themselves vulnerable to damage and devastating aoe. A priest must forego supporting their team in order to do damage, they may run into issues with mana, or their light armor makes them vulnerable to focus fire. Barbs, sins, and hoxs’ must wade into the fray while wearing light armor making them the first targets in any kind of bout. The casters wear cloth armor leaving them unable to withstand punishment for long. All these classes pay a price to dish out damage. The ranger does not.
The ranger has medium armor, high enough constitution to withstand enough punishment to get away, a bubble, potentially the highest passive movement speed of all the classes in the game, and potentially every cc in the game. This is further complemented with their running shot AA giving them limited cc immunity. And to top it all off they are able to do significant damage from safety possessing the longest range in the game. This gives the ranger a tremendous amount of defensive capability at no cost while having a devastating amount of damage output.
What does this mean?
It means that they are able to do a lot of damage with none of the same amount of risk that all the other classes take. In the hands of a skilled player, the class is near untouchable unless significant attention is given by the team. And that is the other problem. With so much defensive capability no one will or want to focus the ranger.
Lessons from competitive games
It is easy to simply ask for a nerf to the ranger, listing a number of suggested changes that may essentially leave the class broken, and call that a day. That is not the goal of this post. It is to bring to greater attention the issues surrounding the class in pvp. While true, the class could use a nerf, it is not always the desirable outcome you want as a community. It has been learned from watching other competitive games that players do not like nerfs, preferring instead that other classes in a game to be buffed instead. Not only will this change the meta, but it will add ways for classes to respond giving them more validity in pvp, potentially creating a counter play while still keeping the ranger a desirable class worth playing. We only need to look at AOCs own history to see the ying yang balance tweaks that has left some classes undesirable for months while other classes reigned supreme.
This is my suggestion:
Group wide cc resistance buffs/breaks
Several classes have access to this in a limited capacity. The bear shaman’s grace of nature breaking roots, tempest of set’s rousing shock breaking stuns, priest of mitra’s exorcism getting rid of fears and silences, and the guardians stand your ground ability giving 100% resistance to knockback. Adding more of these at a low cooldown as a class feature instead of a feat will add a new element to the game, give certain classes some new support functionalities promoting more team play, and gives a way to check the rangers cc dominance over other classes.
Give the Ranger a price to pay
All other classes makes themselves vulnerable in some way. Why not the Ranger? It is for the devs to decide what they wish to take. Don’t be too harsh though. The goal is to balance the class not break it in the opposite direction.
We are now clear of the issues surrounding the class. The goal of all this is to bring to attention to the greater community of AOC that there are still problems with the classes and their balance in the game. We should always strive to improve this game. The devs may be silent, but they are not blind. If civil discussion is brought forward than a civil outcome that will be beneficial to the majority of the community will be reached. I know there are a lot of ranger mains who don’t want any changes to their class, they like their place in the greater peking order of the game, but it’s time to be honest with ourselves that the class needs a change or something that will challenge them.
Leave your comments below. Let’s keep it civil everybody.