Forums » The Ranger

Expanding Ranger Specializations

    • 79 posts
    June 10, 2016 12:44 PM PDT

    I see a lot of range vs melee debate which ends up as possible specializations. While Archery and Melee could be two specializations I’d rather specializations be more than what weapon you wield. I am of the belief that a specialization shouldn’t be defined by what weapons you use, but rather be defined by a theme or considered identity with regards to the magic and lore of the overarching game world. So let’s move past the Ranged vs Melee debate and focus on specializations that expand the horizons and redefine the future of the Ranger. 

    I am going to post my ideas on one possible specializtion that is in the realm of reasonable. Feel free to comment on my contribution, but also feel free to contribute your own specialization idea(s). 

    I have always liked contrasting class themes in video games for some reason, such as the Paladin and the Dread Knight, the Cleric and the Bloodmage, the Druid and the Necromancer. For the most part they have always been completely different classes. What if for the ranger was not contrasted by another class per se’ but by a specialization within the class? What if at some point the Ranger met himself at a crossroads and had to make the determination to take a darker path.


    Dark Ranger:

    I would like to introduce the Dark Ranger Specialization. For reference:

    In the D&D version much like the Ranger takes its heritages from the Druid the Dark Ranger takes it heritages from the Necromancer. Since we already have the Dire Lord and at some point in time after launch will have the Necromancer lets adjust the Dark Ranger specialization away from necromancy and a little more towards the demonic and the occult.

    Here are some examples of abilities that may theme and make the Dark Ranger quite different than that of your archetypical Woodland Nature Loving Tree hugger of a Ranger found in most MMO’s.   


    Pet Companions:

    Flying: Bat, Imp, Raven, possibly some Owls or other demonic occult related flying creatures.

    Ground: Hell Hound, Worg, Direwolf, or other demonesque evil associated creatures.  



    Track Evil – sense and identify evil aligned tracks and markings. The demonic, occult, and the undead can be tracked either by physical print or other markings such as a spectral trail across vast distances and varying terrain.  


    Ebon Tar: A black pitch like ooze that not only slows the movement speed of the opponent, but also the attack/cast speed. Increases condition effectiveness the more the opponent moves.   

    Black Thorn Field: Snares opponents and reduces their movement speed, pulses a 2 second duration root every 3 seconds that does significant necrotic damage.

    Bone Cage: Traps the opponent in a cage of bones. Friendly Damage can weaken and eventually break the cage. **Damage doesn’t simply break CC, it depletes the duration of the timer.


    Abilities Examples:

    Black Arrow: Dark Magic/Necrotic Damage. Does a significant amount of initial damage and infects the wound causing the opponent to suffer over time.

    Dark Heart: Sacrifices a portion of their pets life to rejuvenate their own health pool.

    Shadowed Flurry: Unleashes a volley of precision strikes against their opponent. The action is so rapid the Dark Ranger appears as a shadowed blur and gains increased evasion for the duration.

    Black Rain: The Dark Ranger fires a volley of arrows to a target location, poisoning and corrupting the area of impact. AoE effect, opponents in the area take initial arrow strike damage and will take continued poison and corruption damage should they choose to stay in the affected area. (plausible combo effect Black Rain/Black Thorn Field)

    Twilight Walker: Takes on a shadowed aura increasing movement speed and evasion. Movement speed is increased in dark lowlight conditions. (in combat lasts 20 seconds, reuse 60 seconds | out of combat indefinite)

    Shadowy Veil:  The Dark Ranger conceals themselves from sight. (not a true invisibility more so an extreme agro range reduction)

    Demon Strike: Inflicts massive damage onto the opponent. (damage type dependent on arrow type, blunt, piercing, or edged)

    Demonic Furry: Increases damage of both the Dark Hunter and their companion. (short duration damage modifier buff)

    Aphotic Ward: Shields the Dark Ranger from damage temporarily.


    Utility & other useful abilities

    Dusk till Dawn: The Dark Ranger releases a magic orb that lights the surrounding area and emits a ‘minor’ protection ward from evil.

    Blackfyre: cauterizes wounds and removes negative effects. (field expedient medicine) Can be used on other players.

    Stygian Water: Internal divining rod can sense stygian water locations and fill up flasks with its restorative properties (pool regeneration consumables).

    Weapon Enchant/Embue:

    Necrotic Sting – a miner dot that has a chance on tic to stun the opponent for 1 second.

    Corrupting Toxin - a poison and corruption based DoT that has the ability to spread by proximity.

    Demons Blood – adds damage to each strike


    Obviously this would have to be expanded upon and tailored to Pantheons systems, mechanics, and dynamics, but more importantly this specialization concept could actually be realized in Pantheon. 


    Please share your ideas!

    • 251 posts
    June 17, 2016 6:36 PM PDT

    This sounds pretty cool.  I'm not sure how it would work with what's been shared so far about how specializations are going to work.  Mainly, the speciallizations sould like they're intended to give a little flexibility in playstyle, and they're not designed to represent permanent class changes--meaning as long as you have the equipment on-hand for the different colored-mana (sounds like the colored mana will be dependent on the armor type you choose) you can switch between one spec and the other.  What you're describing sounds much more like a permanent change in the character (I can't see jumping back and forth between a 'normal' and a 'dark ranger').  That said, rangers are generally very flexible characters and there are a lot of avenues that speciallization's could follow that would make sense for the class:


    - Ranged vs melee: As you stated above, this comes up often.  This one makes sense in so much as the two versions of combat represent the largest distinction in how the class is usually played.  Giving players the ability to focus on one over the other through the colored mana system would be an easy way to keep a lot of people happy.

    - defense vs steath: It's too early to say, but it seems reasonable to guess that the ranger usable armors will likely be chain and leather.  It would make a lot of sense to enhance certain abilities if a ranger was wearing the lighter of whatever their options are.  For example, improved stealth as a bonus to abilities like sneak and hide (assuming they are in the game and available to rangers).  Enhanced tracking ability.  Perhaps a bonus to spell-casting of some sort.  This distinction would fall in line with the types of advantages pen-and-paper rangers received for choosing lighter armor.

    - dps vs utility:  One path could focus on enhancing offensive abilities for increased dps output while the other could focus on increasing the ranger's utility, like stronger roots/snares and the like.


    At this point I'm guessing the devs have a pretty good idea about where they're going with the class, so I've mostly been waiting for the class reveal to see what Pantheon's ranger is going to look like.

    • 79 posts
    June 18, 2016 3:45 AM PDT

    Like I said I wanted to stay away from conversation about melee vs ranged. I very well know the developers have creatively planned a theme for each class and will design classes with a little bit of old school flavor familar to players who have played those type of classes over the years yet develope the class so that it properly functions in its given role within the confines of the game worlds systems. I also know that what we write here may have little to no impact on the continued design process of the class. That said the premis of this thread still stands, which is not to discuss the stereotypical rogue/druid melee/ranged hybrid, but to engage the community and challenge them to think beyond the stereotypical theme and idenity of the specific class. It is the purpose of this thread to discuss creative alternate class designs that give familar play style feel, but the themed identity design redefines the class.  In otherwords come up with your own ideas for class design that are not stereotypical of a class from older mmos, but rather expand the considerd identity of a class in order to broaden player class considerations. 

    I am fully aware there are players out there that desire the stereotyipical rogue/druid melee/ranged hybrid. However, for those of you who have always wanted to to reshape the considered identity of a class and mold it to your vision of the class here is your chance to discuss your thoughts and ideas on class theme, mechanics, aesthetic, dynamics, and abilities. 

    I have already given an example. If I were to play a ranger class I would rather it have more of a subtle theme of the druidic over shadowed by a stronger theme of the occult. Such as the huntsman of a druidic covenent of witches. A darker version of the ranger one of which draws on the magical powers of the occult and diabolism. This is my considered identity of the type of ranger I would prefer to play. 

    Now, please by all means, contribute your own non steroetypical considered class identity that you would prefer to play and expand the posibilities of a classes themed idenity. 

    This post was edited by xaices at June 18, 2016 3:49 AM PDT
    • 251 posts
    June 18, 2016 8:48 AM PDT

    My bad.  The title of your thread is "Expanding Ranger Specializations," but what you're actually asking for is a class re-definition.  The Pantheon classes are going to be lore/race restricted, so a 'dark ranger' would almost certainly deny certain races (elves, for instance) from being able to roll one.  I think what you're asking for would probably be better implemented as a potential expansion class discussion rather than a 'class specialization' of an already existing and fairly well-defined class.


    I just wanted to add that I'm in no way criticizing your idea.  In EQ I always thought that the dark elves should have had some sort of 'ranger equivalent.'  But the term ranger in a game with a D&D theme has some very specific implications.  Among them are the fact that like Paladin's they have a mandatory 'good' alignment.  The addition of a class like the dark ranger you present makes sense, but like the shadowknight was to the paladin, I feel a dark ranger like what you describe would need to be its' own class and probably have a very different set of races that it was available to.

    This post was edited by Elrandir at June 19, 2016 11:31 PM PDT
  • Wig
    • 219 posts
    June 27, 2016 5:25 PM PDT

    You think ranger traps will be in game?

    • 251 posts
    June 30, 2016 8:47 AM PDT

    Wig said:

    You think ranger traps will be in game?


    I'm guessing that there will be traps of some sort.  But I'm trying to recall any official dev input on them and my memory is failing me.  So I'm not certain.


    I think traps are a good idea but they are of limited use, so I would hope that the class doesn't have to rely too heavily on them.  The main issue with them is that a mob actually has to be moving for a trap to function, so that leaves their use limited to the initial pull, or trying to prevent mobs from running away.  They might also be useful for cc--agro a mob in a large pull and drag it away over a root trap, or something.


    If the class relies too heavily on them it would make grouping with rangers pretty annoying:  "oh, we're not getting the best dps out of Stryder575, we need to utilize his traps more!"  No tank is going to want to continually guide mobs over traps the ranger has set.


    There's a lot of potential for expanding the pulling/cc potential of traps though.  Imagine teaming up with a rogue to get a powerful but short-lasting poison that slows attack rate.  You could set up a poison dart trap on a large pull and have the mobs come into camp slowed just long enough to let the enchanter get things under control before the group gets wiped.


    This post was edited by Elrandir at June 30, 2016 3:01 PM PDT
  • Wig
    • 219 posts
    July 1, 2016 3:15 AM PDT
    I wouldn't mind seeing traps in game and maybe even making them a big part of a ranger gameplay. I played a survival hunter in WoW BC expansion. I went survival spec, which hardly anyone did, and I was able to trap 2 and sometimes 3 mobs with my ice trap all at once. It took some crazy skill and it was so much fun. I remember group members were extremely impressed by it. It was like an artform.
    • 113 posts
    July 7, 2016 9:19 AM PDT

    Oh boy ! I cannot wait to roll a dark ranger!!!

    • 79 posts
    July 7, 2016 12:11 PM PDT

    Shayken said:

    Oh boy ! I cannot wait to roll a dark ranger!!!


    Here is to hoping that the Dark Ranger becomes realized in Pantheon, either as an entirely new class, an alternate specialization, or master class. 

    • 270 posts
    September 13, 2016 7:30 PM PDT
    Best thing I've read on here. I dig it. Would be refreshing to roll a "new" style ranger
    • 79 posts
    January 16, 2017 9:24 PM PST

    Ashvaild said: Best thing I've read on here. I dig it. Would be refreshing to roll a "new" style ranger

    Entirely agree with you! The "new" style ranger thing that is. 

    Even better would be to just add this as an entirely new class - so you would have the Nature Ranger 'and' the Dark Hunter or something to that effect. 

    This post was edited by xaices at January 16, 2017 9:34 PM PST
    • 474 posts
    January 23, 2017 11:29 AM PST

    Uhg, I hope beyond hope this is not a thing. Specializations are terrible and limiting. I would hate to see them in Pantheon. I would rather a plan skill system like they have in EQ. Allowing you to use any weapon you choose at any time. I would just hate to see the waters muddied by some gimicky "new" Ranger. I don't like the idea at all. This would devide the class and the more offensive "spec" would be overpowered from the slightly defensive (priest heals).