Ranger Veteran: F-ability rework to be more Team-Oriented

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NOTE:
This thread is to discuss how Bardins Ranger Veteran “Ult” can be changed to be or seem to be more impactful to their teammates. This can range from actually changing a functional part of the “Ult” (ie: 30% slow in the smoke cloud) to a visual part of the “Ult” (ie: see outlines of pingable targets through the cloud) to how talents/traits can affect the “Ult” (ie: allowing it to be transfered to another player or “thrown”).
This is not a place to discuss other aspects of Bardins Ranger Veterans class such as weapons available to him, his ammo count,etc.
Thankyou!

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This post is lengthy, so if you’re just interested in the change proposed, look for “Proposal”

Credentials

tl;dr: I’ve played a 4 maxed characters, not Kerillian, and think I might have enough of an understanding of at least 2 classes per character to talk about how Ranger Veteran “Ultimate” isn’t as satisfying or helpful as the others and why.

As a preface I’d like to fill out what I’ve come to know about the game so far to justify why I think Bardins Ranger Veteran “Ultimate” or F-abililty should be reworked to make the class more appealing/competitive for player choice.

If you’re not interested in my credentials, skip to tl;dr

So far, the games first couple weeks have been great! The levels are probably the best collection of good levels I’ve seen in a video game yet and the character classes are just different enough to encourage to play all of them. I’ve so far leveled Sienna to 25, Kruber to 30, Saltzpyre to 30, and Bardin to 25, with Kerillian on the way. Of those characters, I’ve played these classes the most: Siennas Pyromancer and Battle Wizard, Krubers Huntsman and Mercenary, Saltzpyres Bounty Hunter and Zealot, and Bardins Ranger Veteran and Ironbreaker. Each Character I’ve put in at a minimum ~25 hours and the more ranged of the classes were the ones I put the most time in (Pyromancer, Huntsman, Bounty Hunter, Ranger Veteran).

Why “Ult” for Ranger Veteran is Counter-intuitive to Teamwork

tl;dr: Ranger Veteran is fun, but his Ult makes him a stingy goblin that looks for “least damage taken” per game and makes the Ironbreaker, Slayer, Shade, and Huntsman much more likable and effective at everything else.

So simply put, Bardin’s Ranger Veteran “Ult”, though thematically cool and handy in tight situations, doesn’t offer enough of an appealing reason for players to keep playing the class over his other two or Huntsman or Shade. This is due to it being “selfish”. This is because of a couple problems with the “Ult”; namely, it only affecting Bardin and its limited range.

By not allowing teammates to also be affected or feel the effects that it has in any given situation, other than to feel betrayed, Bardin essentially “leaves” the fight for a time being while his teammates deal with the horde/patrol. During this time, Bardin can attempt to help combat by stealthily taking out enemies from behind or as they pass by. The problem with this is that the “Ult” is ineffective due to the incredibly effective team tactic of “tactical retreat”(1)*. Throwing down a smoke bomb just to find your enemy is already nearly out of range of its radius doesn’t make it that effective unless you’re right next to another teammate. In that case, you’ve just let them take all the blows instead of half.

In my opinion, even with the item and ammo drops, you’d contribute much more as either an Ironbreaker or a Slayer.

Now compared to the Huntsmans and Shades “Ults”, the Ranger Veteran also falls short. Huntsmans “Ult”, though he receives one stealth attack, still gains a damage boost. It’s great at taking at hordes from behind or performing a powerful ranged shot on important targets. Shade has both a bonus to backstab damage and a talent to perform ranged shots without unveiling herself. This allows her to take on patrols from behind very easily and is great especially when armored shield rats are around (2)*. Ranger Veteran provides neither damage boost or synergy with his other traits and takes longer to deploy his “Ult” than the other two.

In my opinion, there is no reason to choose to Ranger Veteran over Shade and Huntsman if you’re looking to play a stealthy character that is both satisfying and contributes a lot to the team.

Though I find Ranger Veteran fun to play for the fact that he drops useful items and is more ranged than the other two classes, his Ultimate is by far the most counter-intuitive to teamwork I’ve seen so far.

Proposal to change Ranger Veterans “Ult” to work with the Team

So now we reach the actual change.

With both problems of it being non-inclusive to teammates and limited range being explained, I propose that Ranger Veterans Ultimate be mostly unchanged, except for two crucial details:

 1. That it includes any teammates within its radius
 2. That it be throwable to a short distance

Now in terms of balance, tweaking its uptime, radius, throw distance, effective time on teammates, effective time on self, etc. are entirely up in the air and this would take time to figure out what makes it attractive but not too attractive to play. Though if this change is made I believe a lot more people would be playing the Ranger Veteran seeing as it most likely one of the least used classes right now. The general mindset of having a Ranger Veteran on the team would also make other teammates happy to have them rather than loathe his sudden but inevitable betrayals.

Overall, I think these changes to Bardins Ranger Veterans “Ultimate”, or F-ability, would make the class much more satisfying and much more helpful to the team.

Closing

Thank you for your time and consideration. If you have any suggestions to the proposed changes or entirely different changes that contribute toward Ranger Veterans “Ult” being more team-oriented, then throw them up and let them be heard.

Cheers,
Rituals

Notes:

(1)* “Tactical Retreat”: In this context, it allows you and your mates to avoid being surrounded and effectively damage the hordes/patrol by backing up, taking a few jabs, and repeating. This can be exploited by trying to find terrain “loops” where you can forever kite them, but not many maps have these and the AI can sometimes figure out shortcuts to you if you get one enemy out of sync.

(2)* “Knowledge of Shade”: Though my knowledge of Shade is still second-hand, I play with an elf nearly every night. We talk about how effective our classes are and what combinations of talents, weapons, etc are the most fun or the most effective way to play certain classes. This knowledge is solely from him and I’d trust his understanding of Shade since he’s played it frequently enough to effectively use the “Ultimate” and take out entire patrols with it.

Addendum:

  • Allowing the effect of the bomb to be transferred to another player by being able to aim it would also be a fantastic way to minimally change the “ult” without needing to change much for balance.

  • A proposed effect, by BizarreSalp, of giving teammates damage reduction or stamina reduction cost aura would be viable to make the Ranger Veterans “ult” more team-oriented.

  • A proposed effect, by birdman, of causing enemies to be slowed who are in or pass through the cloud would be a viable way to making Ranger Veterans “ult” more team-oriented.

  • A proposed effect, by Licious-D, of having multiple bomb types that can be determined either by on-the-fly choice (ie: another button to swap types of the ult) or by the state of the character (ie: how long F is held, if other keys are pressed, etc) would be a viable way to making Ranger Veterans “ult” more team-oriented, though more complex.

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It is a lackluster ult, but far from useless. If a boss is stuck in place, you can use it to utterly dumpster them from behind and never get aggro. Same for any difficult enemy. You can also stealth revive downed team mates.

It would be really nice if it gave some kind of buff to allies; a big damage reduction or something, at least.

Not really, the ult is stupidly easy to interrupt. for instance, if you have to suddenly drop off from boss then that will not work. just fyi

Just pointing out that the Ranger Veteran’s active is the only one that, by itself, allows more or less free attacks for about 10s.
It is more situational and you aren’t invulnerable, but it has it’s moments.

I think the worst of the Ranger is his weapon loadout. No access to Drake’s, no access to repeater/volley crossbows, his crossbow is worse than longbows. His only thing is the Grudge-raker which is great btw, but that’s it.
His melee isn’t as versatile as BH, Huntsman, WW.

The active overall really feels somewhat underwhelming as it just isn’t neither too strong at anything nor versatile.
I think that instead of sharing invisibility, which would be gamebreaking, we could have the smoke to apply a strong debuff to enemies in the area. Something like:

  • ~30% slow. So he can actually kill stuff. Currenly enemies will often leave the smoke as the aggro will switch into someone else.

  • ~75-100% enemy miss chance for the duration. AOE attacks, special abilities and bosses unaffected.

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Just make him throw a small grenade, “blasting charge”

It does work, I’ve done it repeatedly. Works best against Stormfriend, because he tends not to move as much. But it also works against any boss who has cornered a team mate, or if the Chaos Spawn grabs an ally.

tl;dr: I like the slow aura, miss-chance isn’t and shouldn’t be supported by Vermintide, and shared invis is another way to stop enemies which Kruber, Saltz, and Bardin already have and isn’t game breaking.

I like the change you proposed about “slowing” enemies. It adds something already supported by the game, ie: the vermins “walking while choaking” speed and animation, and applies it to a character which can take advantage of that. Almost like a Hagsbane “Ult”, except without the damage.

The idea of miss-chance however, I don’t think would be supported by the game. The melee and collision contact is very one-to-one and not chance based. This was even set from Vermintide 1 and is pretty core in teaching players their engines responsive melee combat.

I’d also like to understand your reasoning behind shared invisibility being game-breaking. Since there is already Mercenary’s knockback + temp health, Witch Hunter Captain’s knockback + crit aura, and Ironbreaker’s knockback + taunt, and that none of them are considered game-breaking, then it follows that stopping enemy attacks for a short period in a limited area is not game-breaking. The distinction this would have beyond the other three mentioned would be, it can be aimed at a targeted area/player and wouldn’t knock down enemies. It’s also worth mentioning that balance changes were mentioned as a requirement for both shared stealth and being able to aim the “Ult” in the original post. So things like uptime, time on teammates, time on self, are entirely up in the air and can be adjusted to make it more appropriate.

I’ll add the “slow” proposal to the addendum since it offers a more team-oriented change to the “Ult”.
Thanks!

I think your ideas are very nice and you put it very succeedly why Ranger-Vet Bardin is lackluster. His passive is a nice thing for the team, but it doesn’t change the way he is played at all. He has no real “role” he fills during play, like boss killer, crowd controller, special killer. This game is all about having a party that has very distinct roles, and Ranger-Vet Bardin has no part where he truly excels. My suggestion would go into a similar direction as yours, but something the other folks here said would also be very nice: make his special a real bomb, or more precisely: give him the option to choose between his smoke bomb and a special offensive bomb. You could make it that just pressing the special key throws out the smoke as usual, holding and then pressing LMB throws the offensive version that could work like the “shrapnel” trait: all enemies hit take a bit of damage and get a debuff (e.g. they take more damage for a certain period of time, or deal less damage, or bleeding damage, something like that).

Just have it detonate on you if you press F, and target on the ground within ~8 meters or so if you hold it longer.

Pathing. When going invisible some pretty crazy stuff might happen.
If you are in a duo and one goes invisible sometimes the entire horde sprints to the other person, that’s more or less expected.
If you are solo sometimes enemies will go into stasis until they have targets. Sometimes they will ignore and just bash you anyway.

I think the stasis possibility would be the optimal for the proposed buff, but if it gets the full ~10sec it would be very, very strong. Boss/patrol nuking strong. It would be near the disabling effect of 2 FootMan charges + another knockdown (pyro, bh) in a wide aoe.

A direct damage skill would be completely OP (like a molotov every 10-15s) since the Ranger lacks so much.

Ranger Veteran is fine and going for least damage taken is what everyone should be trying to compete for, it’s the only important thing to look at on the scoreboard. Ranger Veteran would probably be kind of poop if it weren’t for the fact that he’s a dwarf and all the dwarf weapons are amazing.

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I think this would help the ult but the Ranger’s problem still isn’t his ult, it’s his kits. The IB and Slayer are just better classes. I like that ranged was nerfed because Kerillian’s were spamming arrows into hordes, but it neutered Bardin’s ranger build because he had very little ammo to begin with. His passive is also kind of lame because if you get the kill someone else may steal the arrows. It needs to automatically give the arrows to the person who gets the kill.

Again though these make him better, but not as good as his other classes.

His weapon kits are good, FS has probably already ideas what to replace F with, if they want to. I really liked the original talent that specials drop heals, but it got removed -.-
If I was in charge I would let specials drop scrap - everyone can take it - no effect for others, but ranger gets 1 ammo. At 5 / 10 / x scraps F can be used and he crafts a healing pot over 1.5seconds standing still, something like that.
Not very useful, but makes the class very interesting, good for beginners, useless for higher difficulties… well… basically like ranger is now atm anyways.

Having the ult change its functionality entirely based on state/choice may be a bit too complex for newer players to understand especially since Ranger Veteran is one of the first classes available.

It seems like a pretty cool idea though, especially with how you can react to different situations with intelligently chosen ult but it may also be that adding multiple ults to a single ult is overpowered in a way that couldn’t be balanced. I’m not entirely sure though, it could definitely work.

I’ll add your idea of “multiple bomb types” to the addendum.
Thanks!

As stated before.

Ok, mad props to you for going through the trouble and compiling all the ideas (inlcuding mine) in a very accurate fashion while also listing possible drawbacks. Very nice work!

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