Ranger Veteran has been in an odd place for some time now, he’s had his glaring issues:
- Severely lacking in the melee department.
- Little to no synergy with Handgun or Throwing Axes.
- Scaling issues largely to do with specials.
- Fundamental flaws regarding Survivalist.
- No clear direction, is he a support, a ranged career, a melee hybrid or something else?
With the release of the latest BBB a couple of these problems have been alleviated, primarily his melee choices have been improved thanks to the buffs and tweaks from Fatshark and the modding community.
- Ranger’s Ambush - (Reworked)
Allies inside of Bardin’s smoke gains 8% increased attack speed.
The new Ranger’s Ambush offers a supportive option that boosts Bardin’s and allies melee potential.
Throwing Axes also benefit tremendously from attack speed; an added layer of synergy.
However, considering Bardin gains ranged attack power during Disengage there’s not much synergy with his kit outside of Throwing Axes.
This talent is incredibly outclassed by the following talent.
Ranger’s Parting Gift - (Reworked)
Allies inside of Bardin’s smoke regenerate 3 temporary health every second.
Again, this talent elevates Ranger Veteran’s supportive capabilities offering up to 30thp to the entire party under the condition they remain in the smoke cloud. Previously Ranger Veteran could enter stealth and potentially be a liability to his team; all aggro switches to allies. Now he still supports the team while in stealth.
One problem arises, allies will huddle around Ranger Veteran’s smoke, potentially leading incoming attacks such as overheads into him.
I would like to see old Ranger’s Parting Gift return, it was incredibly fun, strong and unique. He was the only career in the game to consistently dupe bombs, meaning he could consistently apply shrapnel; supporting by debuffing enemies by 20% for the team.
Returning Ranger’s Parting gift, replacing duration with party thp and combining duration/allowing Bardin to phase through enemies with “Surprise Guest” will offer 3 competitive ult talents
Exuberance - (Modified)
Bardin takes 30% less damage from the back. Headshots reduce damage taken by 30% for 7 seconds.
This talent was already solid, it’s even better now. Duration increase of 2 has made this talent more forgiving. Backstab damage reduction is a nice safety net.
Backstab damage reduction and headshot damage reduction do not stack; It would most likely be over-tuned if it did.
Ranger’s Fundamental problem
Specials drop ammunition pickups on death that restore 10% of maximum ammo when picked up.
Ranger Veteran is the only career in the game that can supply ammunition to allies, however Survivalist has some flaws.
Ranger has little control over Survivalist:
Special spawns vary level to level, on average it’s about 3 - 4 specials per minute (cata) but a variety of things can impact that such as: Map, deed, twitch mode, difficulty, mods, ingame events/lord fights e.g The Pit hideout burn event or Enchanters Lair Nurgloth fight. You could go entire lord fights without ammo sustain as RV.
Survivalist caches can drop out of bounds; dropping on special corpses can result in unreachable caches.
Unlike other careers with supportive capabilities, Ranger doesn’t always reap the benefits of his own passive. Players have to decide or potentially fight over who takes the Survivalist cache, it happens. Where as careers like Footknight, Handmaiden, Huntsman, Mercenary or Witch Hunter all put themselves first with their supportive tools, allies have to play around them. A Ranger Veteran could go AFK and allies will still benefit from him.
Throwing Axes lack synergy with Survivalist, caches can’t be picked up. Slayer performs better with Throwing Axes despite being a melee career and having 2 less ammo. Slayer covers their weaknesses, Ranger does not.
Survivalist ammo sustain is poor in comparison to other ranged careers like Bounty Hunter, Huntsman and Waystalker yet is shared among multiple players and considered “supportive”.
I’ll use crossbow/Empire Longbow/Elf Longbow and the average 4 specials per minute as a basis.
Bounty Hunter recovers roughly 12 - 20 ammunition per min purely from blessed shots + scrounger.
Huntsman recovers 1 ammunition per headshot, 3 ammunition per special kill + 0 ammo consumption during Hunter’s Prowl.
Waystalker can recover 0 - 12 - 24 - 36 - 40+ ammunition per ult or conservative shooter + ult.
Consistently from a 40 - 80 second cooldown without taking into account cooldown from hitting enemies. Keep in mind 30% to WS longbow is 12 ammunition compared to BH/RV/HS 9 ammunition with crossbow/empire longbow
Ranger Veteran recovers 40% ammunition per min (12 ammunition), but caches can potentially drop out of bounds and allies can also pick up pouches, splitting that 40% across multiple players.
Point is Ranger Veteran is also a ranged career with a strong synergy between Master of Improvisation + Firing Fury which relies on expending ammunition to reload yet has lowest/least control ammo sustain out of the ranged careers + openly shares it with allies.
Share and Share Alike - (Reworked)
Killing a special has a 50% chance to drop an Ale that increases attack speed by 3% and movement speed by 4% for 300 seconds.
The old Share and Share Alike was just a bandaid fix for the teamplay problems mentioned above.
Ale drops provide up to 9% attack speed and 12% movement speed which is nothing to scoff at.
It has some synergy with throwing axes and supports allies but cuts Ranger Veterans already poor ammo sustain by half.
Killing a special has a 20% chance to drop a potion or bomb instead of a Survivalist cache.
Scavenger suffers the same problem but to a far lesser degree. Potions and bombs are useful if players properly utilize them, a talent that improves the effectiveness of these drops or provides other bonus’s could open up new synergies and builds.
Increases ammunition restored by Survivalist caches to 30%.
Grungni’s Cunning is a solid talent, restoring 30% ammunition per cache.
Crossbow: 9 ammo
Handgun: 7 ammo
Grudge: 7 ammo
This solves all of Ranger Veteran’s ammo problems but it reaches a point of having more ammo than you know what to do with. Caches can still drop out of bounds and allies can steal every pouch they see but it’s less punishing.
Using any Healing Supplies, Potions or Grenades has a 10% chance to not consume the item.
Unlike weapon swings and critical hits, items are limited. 9 out of 10 times it wont proc, once the item is gone it’s gone. Too much is left to chance, Ingenious Improvisation is negligible and not very impactful.
Conclusion: Ranger Veteran is an interesting character but severely lacks consistency, synergy and has very little control over his passive, too much is left to chance and what is considered a “supportive” passive can feel like a pain with uncoordinated/greedy allies.
He is portrayed as a Ranged career but as of right now, it feels like he is being pushed in the melee hybrid/support direction.
While Grungni’s Cunning/Firing Fury/Master of Improvisation + Grudge (DoomRanger) is extremely powerful; I personally think Survivalist has to go in favor of something with more control, such as a trigger or a timer for a new gameplay loop or just for the sake of consistency.
Lore wise, Dwarf Rangers are a walking arsenal with expertise in both melee and ranged combat. They’re extremely cunning and make use of anything and everything at their disposal for example traps, bombs, potions, intoxicating enemies. etc Specializing in stealth and surprisingly agile despite carrying around their entire kitchen…
Survivalist - (Rework)
Melee critical strikes recover 1 ammunition.
Survivalist now offers a more consistent, reliable way of recovering ammunition without being dependent on a specific enemy type an and interesting game-play loop. Ranger Veteran actually has to do something for his ammunition. This will also improve the fluidity of Throwing Axe game-play, dipping in and out of melee combat instead of scrambling for dropped Axes or slowly recalling Axes.
Ingenious Improvisation - (Rework)
Critical strike chance increases by 4% per 16.6% of missing ammunition.
Replaces the unreliable and barely noticeable chance to dupe items.
Offers another new game-play loop, the lower Ranger’s ammunition the easier ammo sustain becomes, teeter tottering his ammo. The increase of crits as his ammo drops will also increase his melee and ranged damage potential as well as consistently proccing traits such as: SS, RC, RS, Scrounger and Hunter. Handgun, Crossbow and Throwing Axe builds should feel a little stronger and much more fluid as well as pushing doomranger into melee more instead of ranging everything.
Crossbow would gain 4% crit chance for every 5 ammo missing.
Grudge/Handgun would gain 4% crit chance for 4 ammo missing.
Throwing Axe would gain 4% crit chance for every 1 ammo missing.
(Throwing axe: Assuming base ammo is bumped by 1)
Numbers can be tweaked for balance reasons.
If you want to see the rest of his rework or my envision of Ranger Veteran here:
Ranger Veteran Rework.txt (4.8 KB)