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