Table of Contents
V. Play Style
VI. Equipment Choice
VII. Excerpts and Closing Comments
VIII. Special Thanks
Hello everyone! I'm here with another general overview of the Ranger class! If you have not viewed my Wizard guide already and are planning to roll one, please do so!
The focus of this guide is going to be around PvE. I will also give an overview of PvP as well, but not much in detail. To be able to effectively utilize the Ranger class, you must first learn and understand it inside and out. This will only be an overview guide of the Ranger, as well as recommendations based on my own experiences playing one. I will not be listing any skill or stat builds. The end build is up to you to decide, not me.
As a Ranger, you will focus on 2 things:
1) Hardline DPS: That's fairly simple, as Rangers are often seen at the very top of the damage charts, and considering how most of their skills are geared towards the maximum amount of damage possible. Dishing out as much damage as possible is the name of the game.
2) Survival via Utility: You have traps, Wind Walk and a nifty skill called Acrobat; these will be your life-saving methods to get out of the most difficult situations. You have almost zero form of actual HP regeneration, and sub-average defense. Even though your HP is considerably decent, dying as a Ranger is costly not only to yourself, but to your party as well. You dying means a huge chunk of potential DPS that is lost.
II. Pros and Cons
I will point this out now: If you live overseas, you are going to lose out on DPS. This is because skills will often be longer than usual on the animation the further you are away from the server location (former NA players who have played on SEA server can attest to this).
+ Very high DPS (arguably one of the highest, if not the highest).
+ All damaging skills (exception of Arrow Shower and Charge Arrow) are instant cast.
+ High utility (Traps, Escapes).
+ Able to kite most mobs (without ping lag).
+ Will win most 1v1 PvP battles.
+ Master of KS in Colosseum.
- Very reliant on ping (worse ping = less DPS, plus Acrobat delay is noticeable with high ping).
- Cannot do heavy support on mass mob killing (AoE skills are terrible, most skills are single-target only).
- The immediate Kill on Sight target for most Colosseum players.
Not too much to discuss here. Stats are mainly the same as discussed through other guides found on the forum here.
STR - Increases physical attack power (2 Attack Power, 2 Parry for every 1 point in STR).
AGI - Increase critical rate (4 Critical, 2 Dodge for every 1 point in AGI).
INT - Increase magic attack power (2 Magic Power, 2 Parry for every 1 point in INT).
WIS - Increase maximum SP (10 SP increase for every 1 point in WIS).
VIT - Increase maximum HP (6 Max HP for every 1 point in VIT).
Your main stats you will be focusing on are: STR and AGI. INT and WIS are completely useless to you, do not bother investing points into these two stats. VIT is a personal choice; it is not necessarily required, but if you think you'll need a bit of HP, no harm in investing at least 8 points into it. Though it is recommended to only invest points into STR and AGI, as VIT will mainly be made up through your gears and cards.
I will be listing my opinion of the skill and the recommendations underneath it. It is not solid advice that you should take, but maybe something you should consider. After all, the end build is ultimately up to you to decide.
Opinions labelled in Green (Lime) means a good overview of the skill. It means you should consider trying to incorporate/investing this skill into your build.
Opinions labelled in Blue means a situational overview of the skill. It means you may or may not consider incorporating/investing this skill into your build, depending on what you are building.
Opinions labelled in Red means a poor overview of the skill. It means you should review this skill before considering incorporating/investing this skill into your build.
Impact Arrow (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: Dependent on Skill Level || Range: 20 meters)
Fire arrows at the enemy to inflict x% damage and decrease their Movement Speed by 40% for 5 sec.
[Level 1] 26% damage and recast after 20 seconds.
[Level 2] 28% damage and recast after 16 seconds.
[Level 3] 30% damage and recast after 12 seconds.
[Level 4] 32% damage and recast after 8 seconds.
[Level 5] 35% damage and recast after 4 seconds.
For PvE, this is pretty useless, unless you are kiting. For PvP, this is something you should consider maxing out due to the movement speed slows. You can endlessly kite melee classes who don't have gap closers or have already used them. For the sake of PvE, it is recommended this should be left at Level 1.
Charge Arrow (Cast Time: 1.6 seconds || Cooldown: 0.9 seconds || Range: 20 meters)
Charge an arrow to inflict x% damage and obtain 15 points of Concentration.
[Level 1] 33% damage.
[Level 2] 39% damage.
[Level 3] 45% damage.
Standard Bread and Butter skill. You'll be using this quite frequently to build up your Concentration points, and to get free Double Strafes from the Ranger Mastery procs. Recommended to max it out.
Ankle Snare (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: Dependent on Skill Level || Range: Self)
Drop an Ankle Snare that remains active for 30 sec. If a hostile target steps on the trap, they become immobilized for 10 sec.
[Level 1] Recast after 60 seconds.
[Level 2] Recast after 45 seconds.
[Level 3] Recast after 30 seconds.
This trap is the only trap that affects one target. Useful for soloing in PvE, but not something that should be considered maxing. PvP, it works wonders, as a 10 second immobilize may be all that you need to dish out <insert phreak voice here> tons of damage. Consider maxing it out for PvP if you feel that your battles will take more than 30 seconds. Otherwise, leave at Level 1 to advance to Falcon Assault, if you plan on going that route.
Charge Arrow Mastery (Cast Time: Passive || Cooldown: Passive || Range: Passive)
Decreases the casting time of Charge Arrow by 0.x sec.
[Level 1] Cast time reduction of 0.2 seconds.
[Level 2] Cast time reduction of 0.4 seconds.
[Level 3] Cast time reduction of 0.6 seconds.
A must-have skill, this will lower your Charge Arrow time to 1 second when maxed. This, of course, means more Charge Arrows can be thrown out and therefore more potential DPS. Max this skill out.
Acrobatic (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: Dependent on Skill Level || Range: 13 meters)
Jump backwards to create space between you and your enemy.
[Level 1] Recast after 40 seconds.
[Level 2] Recast after 30 seconds.
[Level 3] Recast after 20 seconds.
Your main escape skill. This skill will launch you backwards 13 meters, and have a minor delay (bigger delay the further you are from the server). Maxing this skill is completely up to you, Level 1 usually suffices however.
Double Strafe (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: Instant || Range: 20 meters)
Fires 2 arrows at the enemy to inflict x% damage total. Requires 30 Concentration.
[Level 1] 34% damage.
[Level 2] 36% damage.
[Level 3] 38% damage.
[Level 4] 40% damage.
[Level 5] 43% damage.
Your other Bread and Butter skill. This skill should be spammed when you either have 30 Concentration or have 2 free Double Strafes from the Ranger Mastery proc. This skill is also used to get your stacks of Fear Breeze and then build up into Arrow Vulcan. This skill should be maxed out.
Claymore Trap (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: 30 seconds || Range: 12 meters AoE)
Lay down a Claymore that remains active for 30 sec.
When a hostile target steps on the bomb, x% damage is immediately inflicted to all enemies nearby and additional damage is caused every 2 sec. for 10 sec. to those affected.
[Level 1] 8% initial damage and burning damage over time..
[Level 2] 9% initial damage and burning damage over time..
[Level 3] 10% initial damage and burning damage over time..
[Level 4] 11% initial damage and burning damage over time..
[Level 5] 12% initial damage and burning damage.
As much as I tried to find a use for this, there really isn't a situation which calls for it. Although it places a AoE DoT, it doesn't last long. 5 ticks in total with a 20 second wait period in between is not really much damage coming out, even at max level. You're better off just doing Arrow Shower in this case. Leave at Level 1 if you are taking the Falcon Assault route.
Owl's Eye (Cast Time: Passive || Cooldown: Passive || Range: Passive)
Use Charge Arrow twice in a row to increase your Attack by x% for 10 sec.
[Level 1] 3% increase.
[Level 2] 6% increase.
[Level 3] 9% increase.
Another essential skill to have. This one increases your attack whenever you land 2 successful Charge Arrows back-to-back. Max this skill out.
Multi Shot (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: 3 seconds || Range: 7 meters cone AoE)
Shoot multiple arrows at the enemy to inflict x% Attack Power damage to a max. 3 enemies within a 7m radius.
[Level 1] 15% damage.
[Level 2] 17% damage.
[Level 3] 20% damage.
I really cannot recommend the usage of this skill. Sure it may be instant cast, but the damage coming out of it is just garbage. Arrow Shower at Level 1 already beats out this skill, despite its long cast time, but at least it hits more than 3 enemies. Leave this at Level 1.
Improve Concentration(Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: 3 seconds || Range: Buff)
Increase AGI for all Party and Attack Squad members by x% for 30 min.
[Level 1] 2% increase.
[Level 2] 4% increase.
[Level 3] 6% increase.
[Level 4] 8% increase.
[Level 5] 10% increase.
Who doesn't love more AGI? This is one of the essential buffs you will need for both yourself and your party/raid. After all, having more Crit Rate doesn't hurt.
Freezing Trap (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: Dependent on Skill Level || Range: 12 meters AoE)
Install a Freezing Trap that remains active for 30 sec.
When a hostile target steps on the trap, the Movement Speed of all surrounding enemies decreases 40% for 10 sec.
[Level 1] Recast after 70 seconds.
[Level 2] Recast after 60 seconds.
[Level 3] Recast after 50 seconds.
[Level 4] Recast after 40 seconds.
[Level 5] Recast after 30 seconds.
This skill does have its uses. In PvE, it can mass slow a pack of mobs, allowing you to kite them efficiently. In PvP, I don't even know if you want to use this, considering Impact Arrow should do the job. Only real reason to use it is if you have everyone chasing you. In both PvE and PvP, it's not something that should be maxed out. Level 1 in this skill if you are taking the Falcon Assault route.
True Sight (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: Dependent on Skill Level || Range: Self)
Resets cooldown for all skills.
[Level 1] Recast after 240 seconds.
[Level 2] Recast after 210 seconds.
[Level 3] Recast after 180 seconds.
[Level 4] Recast after 150 seconds.
[Level 5] Recast after 120 seconds.
Considering how most skills have zero cooldown, the only use for this skill is when you either need Wind Walk or Falcon Assault back up. Falcon Assault is the more ideal use for this skill, because you can immediately throw out two falcons by using this skill. Leave at Level 1 or consider maxing this skill if you are taking the Falcon Assault route.
Ranger Mastery (Cast Time: Passive || Cooldown: Passive || Range: Passive)
Every time Concentration is obtained, you have a x% probability that the next two Double Strafing skills do not consume Concentration.
[Level 1] 3% probability.
[Level 2] 6% probability.
[Level 3] 9% probability.
[Level 4] 12% probability.
[Level 5] 15% probability.
This is where your free Double Strafe procs come from. If you are taking the Falcon Assault route, Level 1 in this skill will suffice. Otherwise, max this skill.
Camouflage (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: 3 seconds || Range: Self)
Unavailable during battle.
Hide yourself by assimilating with your surroundings.
Movement speed decreases x% while in Camouflage state. The first attack skill used during Camouflage state inflicts twice the damage.
[Level 1] 40% movement speed reduction.
[Level 2] 20% movement speed reduction.
[Level 3] No movement speed reduction and monster detection range reduced by half.
Although this skill can only be used outside of battle (meaning you can effectively only use it once), it's still a great starter skill, both in PvE and PvP. The double damage is quite useful and gives you the element of surprise in PvP, which can be to your advantage. I don't really recommend maxing this skill, as you are only needing it for the Hide and 2x damage aspect. Level 1 or 3, that's personal preference.
Sharpshooting (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: 10 seconds || Range: 20 meters)
Obtain 10 Concentration.
Shoot arrows at the enemy to inflict x% damage. Penetrate the targets weak points for 10 sec. to inflict an additional x.x% damage when using an attack skill.
[Level 1] 18% initial damage and 0.5% additional damage.
[Level 2] 22% initial damage and 1.0% additional damage.
[Level 3] 25% initial damage and 1.5% additional damage.
Good starter skill in PvE and PvP. Grants you 10 concentration, and amplifies your next attacks within 10 seconds. Most people will pick up Level 1 only in this skill, regardless of the build type, due to the small increase in additional damage. My personal preference is either Level 2 or 3 due to the additional damage percentages adding up overtime. Any level of this skill will suffice.
Arrow Shower (Cast Time: 1.5 seconds || Cooldown: Instant || Range: 12 meters AoE)
Shoot multiple arrows to a targeted area to inflict x% damage to a max. 10 enemies within the area.
This skill is most effective when used on more than 3 enemies, however, the effect is reduced when used on more than 6 enemies.
[Level 1] 35% damage.
[Level 2] 41% damage.
[Level 3] 47% damage.
The highest damaging AoE skill in the game, this skill is used to damage a group of mobs. However, you will often not use this skill, because your main job is single-target DPS. You are wasting your own DPS potential by using this skill, as most of your skills are single-target and do high amounts of damage. Leave the task of mob killing to classes who are meant for it (ie: Knight, Warrior, Wizard). Use only when you have no good AoE damaging classes, or when you absolutely need to wipe the adds first. Leave this at Level 1.
Poison Arrow (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: 3 seconds || Range: 20 meters)
Obtain 10 Concentration.
Shoot poisonous arrows at the enemy to inflict x% damage. While poisoned the enemy will receive an additional x% damage every 2 sec. for 30 sec.
[Level 1] 17% initial damage and 14% poison damage over time.
[Level 2] 19% initial damage and 16% poison damage over time.
[Level 3] 21% initial damage and 18% poison damage over time.
[Level 4] 23% initial damage and 19% poison damage over time.
[Level 5] 25% initial damage and 21% poison damage over time.
This skill needs to be kept up 24/7, as the poison DoT damage is absolutely brutal because of a Ranger's high attack (even more so with Owl's Eye proc). If you are taking the Falcon Assault route, Level 1 should be fine. Otherwise, max out this skill.
Camouflage Mastery (Cast Time: Passive || Cooldown: Passive || Range: Passive)
Increase Movement speed by x% during Camouflage state.
[Level 1] 10% increase.
[Level 2] 20% increase.
[Level 3] 30% increase.
Well, other than making yourself move faster in Camouflage, there's really no point to this skill. I guess if you don't like moving slow this could be an investment, but probably not a good investment at that. Leave at Level 1 if you are taking the Falcon Assault route.
Fear Breeze (Cast Time: Passive || Cooldown: Passive || Range: Passive)
Obtain a Fear Breeze stack every time Double Stafing is used and increase your Haste Rate x.x% for each stack. This effect may be stacked up to a maximum 5 times.
This effect continues for 30 seconds, but the duration does not increase for each stack.
[Level 1] 0.4% Haste rate increase per stack.
[Level 2] 0.8% Haste rate increase per stack.
[Level 3] 1.2% Haste rate increase per stack.
[Level 4] 1.6% Haste rate increase per stack.
[Level 5] 2% Haste rate increase per stack.
Pretty good skill if you want to get those Charge Arrows out faster. At 5 stacks, however, Arrow Vulcan becomes available and is the most powerful single-target damaging skill. If you plan on maxing this, I would advise you make use of the near instant Charge Arrows you'll be throwing out at maximum stacks along with Wind Walk before you use Arrow Vulcan. Leave at Level 1 if you are taking the Falcon Assault route.
Wind Walk (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: 120 seconds || Range: Self)
Increase Movement Speed by x%, Increase Haste Rate by x% and Increase Vigor Rate by x%.
Each buff will last 30 sec.
[Level 1] Increase movement speed by 10%, and Haste Rate + Vigor by 2%.
[Level 2] Increase movement speed by 20%, and Haste Rate + Vigor by 4%.
[Level 3] Increase movement speed by 30%, and Haste Rate + Vigor by 6%.
[Level 4] Increase movement speed by 40%, and Haste Rate + Vigor by 8%.
[Level 5] Increase movement speed by 50%, and Haste Rate + Vigor by 10%.
An escape skill and a buff skill all-in-one. This is extremely handy in being able to throw out near-instantaneous Charge Arrows at max level as well as reducing the cooldown time on both Falcon Assault and True Sight. If you are taking the Falcon Assault route, maybe do consider having this at least at Level 4 or 5. If you are taking the Arrow Vulcan route, it is recommended that this skill be maxed.
Arrow Vulcan (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: 10 seconds || Range: 20 meters)
5 Fear Breeze stacks required.
Shoot 3 arrows at the enemy to inflict a total of x% damage. This skill also resets the duration of Poison Arrow.
[Level 1] 64% damage.
[Level 2] 71% damage.
[Level 3] 78% damage.
[Level 4] 86% damage.
[Level 5] 93% damage.
Your hardest hitting, single-target skill as a Ranger. It does require you to have a max stack of Fear Breeze to use, but the damage output is considerably high (and of course, even higher with Owl's Eye proc up as well as Sharpshooting). Recommended Level 1 or 3 if you are taking the Falcon Assault route and max level if you are taking Arrow Vulcan route.
Falcon Assault (Cast Time: Instant || Cooldown: 120 seconds || Range: 20 meters)
Summon a trained falcon that attacks enemies for 30 sec. The summoned falcon cannot be attacked by the enemy and uses the Blitz Beat skill to inflict x% Magic damage every 2 sec.
[Level 1] 20% damage.
[Level 2] 23% damage.
[Level 3] 25% damage.
[Level 4] 28% damage.
[Level 5] 30% damage.
This skill is pretty useful to increase your burst DPS against a target. It lasts for 30 seconds and does a considerable amount of damage within that time period. What's more is that this skill can be combined with True Sight to summon a second falcon in order to do more burst DPS. If you are on the Falcon Assault route, it is recommended to max this skill out. If you are using a variant form of Falcon Assault, recommended Level 1 should suffice.
V. Play Style (Tips and Advice)
Before attempting to adventure out into the world as a Ranger, you should first consider how you want to play. This can affect your future build and stat allocation should you decide to take on a specific role.
The 2 most common types of builds are:
1) Arrow Vulcan
2) Falcon Assault
The play style of each build is very similar, but ultimately they are different. To illustrate, let us look at 2 example skill rotations that one might use for each build. These rotations are very commonplace in what you will see Rangers doing.
True Sight (use if Wind Walk is down) > Wind Walk > Sharpshooting > Charge Arrow x2 (to build Concentration or Owl's Eye buff) > Poison Arrow > Double Strafe > repeat > Arrow Vulcan when stacks about to expire.
[skip a section if the buff or debuff is still up, or skill is on cooldown]
Wind Walk > Sharpshooting > Charge Shot x2 (for Owl's Eye) > Falcon Assault > True Sight > Falcon Assault > Poison Arrow > repeat
(If Wind Walk, Falcon Assault and True Sight are on cooldown, use the Arrow Vulcan rotation [ignore the True Sight and Wind Walk at the beginning].)
If you look at the Falcon Assault rotation, you can clearly see that you need to keep track of more cooldowns and buffs/debuffs, as opposed to Arrow Vulcan. It does not mean that one is more difficult than the other, it just means you need to memorize more things.
* I've been asked through whispers what my rotation set is. I've only ever played using Arrow Vulcan, so I've listed it below:
True Sight (if Wind Walk is down) > Wind Walk > Sharpshooting > Charge Arrow x2 (to build Concentration or Owl's Eye buff) > Poison Arrow > Double Strafe > Arrow Vulcan (usually when Concentration is nearing max  or if Ranger Mastery procs when Arrow Vulcan is up).
Explaining this rotation: The rotation is pretty standard, up until Arrow Vulcan is reached. Most people at this point would wait out the stacks of Fear Breeze to maximize the Haste potential coming from it. But in reality, Ranger Mastery procs way too frequently for this to be any beneficial use to retain those 5 stacks. Not to mention saving your AV until you're near max Concentration before using it means 2 things:
1) You get to fire off 3 shots of Double Strafe, therefore you can instantly be at 3 stacks out of 5 again.
2) It gives you a chance to proc Ranger Mastery. If you can get this to proc, you'll be sure to get 5 out of 5 stacks with little to no effort.
The #1 most common way to get killed is through poor positioning. You should be planting yourself with the ranged group of the party (Priests, Sorcerors, Wizards, other Rangers) in order to maximize survivability. Use Acrobatic or Wind Walk (Acrobatic first) to get yourself away from incoming wide AoE's or to return to your group. Always pay attention to your surroundings, it isn't always button spamming 24/7 and standing still.
Knowing the duration of your buffs/debuffs
This is extremely important. If you want to maximize your DPS efficiency, you must know the duration of your buffs and debuffs that you have. A summarized list below:
Concentration Stacks: 30 seconds
Owl's Eye: 10 seconds
Sharpshooting: 10 seconds
Poison Arrow: 30 seconds (duration CAN BE RESET through Arrow Vulcan)
Fear Breeze stacks: 30 seconds
Wind Walk: 30 seconds, 120 second cooldown
Falcon Assault: 30 seconds, 120 second cooldown
True Sight: Level Dependent for cooldown (240 at Level 1, 120 at Level 5)
If you see that there is still a debuff or buff that is up, skip to a skill that you know will either expire or is not up. Also make sure to know when to use which skill and at what time. For example, breaking down the Arrow Vulcan rotation:
True Sight > Wind Walk > Sharpshooting > Charge Arrow x2 > Poison Arrow > Double Strafe > Arrow Vulcan (if up).
I will use True Sight ONLY if Wind Walk is down. If it is not, then I will immediately use Wind Walk. I then use Sharpshooting so I can get the damage bonus for my other incoming skills. Charge Arrow x2 for the Owl's Eye buff and then Poison Arrow for the amplified DoT from both Sharpshooting and Owl's Eye. At this point, I have enough Concentration for at least 1 Double Strafe (or 3, if Ranger Mastery activated). Since I do not have max Fear Breeze stacks yet, I return to the beginning of the cycle. I use True Sight to reset Wind Walk and then proceed to repeat the cycle. However, I then check to see if I have Sharpshooting, Owl's Eye or Poison Arrow still up. If one, two or all of them are not up, I will use the corresponding skill to get that buff/debuff up and continue down the rotation. For Poison Arrow, I will also check before hand if there is any other Rangers in the party with a higher level of Poison Arrow or Attack.
This is where most people also fall flat within their party. Communication is absolutely vital. If you can't do this, then you will fall flat on your face, guaranteed. I bring this specific point up because in far too many parties and raids, I see people not listening to each other and would rather do it their own way or the way they feel is the most comfortable to them. This might be fine if it was just one person with this mindset, but imagine half or all of the party/raid with this mindset. That's a recipe for disaster.
On another note, you also need to communicate with other Rangers for one thing: Poison Arrow. Since Poison Arrow overwrites any existing Poison Arrow, regardless of the level/damage, you or another Ranger might be overriding a more powerful Poison Arrow already on the target. Discuss beforehand which one of you will be using Poison Arrow.
VI. Equipment Choice
Pretty straight forward here. Levels 1-49 just equip the better stat giving gear, don't even worry about the stats until you get to Level 50. Once you get to Level 50, you'll then need to gear up through the following (a HUGE amount of thanks to StryfeK and Klyde for this very useful chart):
This awesome chart made by StryfeK and Klyde is pretty universal for all classes. Follow that, and you'll definitely be set.
VII. Excerpts and Closing Comments
Well, not really much I can say in terms of Excerpts. I'll consider pulling the calculations made by synesthetic and verxified from my Wizard guide in the future, but for now nothing of the sort.
As a final reiteration (I stress this a lot), this guide is meant only as that; a guide. It's not something you should follow concretely, but rather something you can refer to as a different outlook compared to yours. You may or may not decide to incorporate some, all or even none of the tips/recommendations here.
And as always, the end build is completely up to you, the user.
VII. Special Thanks
General Guide Formatting (Layouts)
Awesome Gear Progression Chart
Edited by frostsense, 29 April 2013 - 08:57 PM.