Ranger Veteran WoM (cata)

This is a follow up from my other thread, since @Frostysir suggested I write one. These are my opinions based on Cataclysm gameplay.

Firstly, I’ll talk about what’s good:

The Shotgun build is probably his best build as it offers a good amount of damage outside of his support mechanics. I play it with the 15 second Ult Talent, and Firing Fury. His Shotgun build has always been one of the more satisfying builds in the game. It now feels even better against Specials.

The feeling of being a support style Career is great. Buffing your teammates at the right time, feeding them Ammo and being able to dupe most items is good.

The Throwing Axe builds with 25% Power when out of Ammo feels ok, but there’s a clunkiness to it that I’ll talk about later.

Both Throwing Axes and Shotgun feel awesome to use.

The Exuberance Talent (30% damage reduction 5 Seconds on headshots) feels extremely necessary for any of the harder content, and I’m glad it’s been added to melee headshots.

Using 1H Mace/2H Mace/Dual Maces, feels safest because of the Stamina and Stagger they all have. The problem comes with how slow they are with a lack of killing power. I’m not sure if this is based around using Potions all of the time, but then you run in to another problem. *

On his playstyle:
The playstyle you choose depends on your ranged weapon of choice. Playing behind the frontline and taking out Elites or killing the Hordes, pretty much bog-standard ranged gameplay. Outside of that, you’re looking to use good item management to maximize their usefulness.

The problem with his playstyle is that it can feel very clunky and slow. Other than Shotgun with the Firing Fury Talent, most of his ranged weapons feel slow. That Talent isn’t really worth taking on anything else. A lot of his melee weapons, especially 2h, feel almost unusabe without heavily building for speed.

His Ultimate usage also feels slow, and takes some time to perfect getting it off in front of enemies. Using it with Ranger’s Parting Gift (free bomb Ult), can also be frustrating. This is because of the time it takes to get the Ultimate off, switch to your Bomb, look for the highest density, and finally make sure the Bomb won’t get blocked by the ceiling, wall, or by a random enemy split off from the group. This leads to 1-2 wasted Ults a match. Another problem is that because it takes so long, by the time you’re ready to finally throw the bomb, another player may have used their Ult, and wiped out half of the enemies.

*The next problem with his playstyle is that it requires heavy attention on Items. Constantly watching your teammates inventories, and looking at what drops, and then figuring out in seconds what may be worth switching, and who should get it. You must also have good communication with willing party members to make it work. In most Quickplay games, even if you ask for items or tell people you’re the best person to be carrying Bandages, they just ignore you, forget or just don’t notice. It forces others to manage inventory more heavily too. Without their participation in your playstyle and Career mechanics, you may be left feeling useless and Bombless. :saddwarf:

This can be remedied with VOIP or in-game chat, but still becomes frustrating as people often forget or get carried away etc.

Even if you’re constantly traded Bombs and Potions, you can sometimes still feel a little useless because of his mediocre weapons/kit.

As mentioned before most of his weapons feel slow with the exception of Shotgun (Firing Fury Talent), and Throwing Axes. The lack of speed isn’t rewarded with higher damage either, you’re kind of left with the lowest melee killing power/survival of any of the ranged classes.

His melee weapons all feel too slow, and like they’re designed around IB (being able to take damage between slow attacks/animations), and Slayer (being able to speed up attacks and benefit from passive power/movement speed). This is why changes to his melee weapons may be difficult.

This is why Exuberance (30% damage reduction on headshot 5 sec), feels so necessary. You don’t have the Stamina, Attack Speed, Power, or any other damage mitigation to avoid a lot of Horde damage, so you often get caught between pushes, or when you’re trying to do a slow swing at an enemy.

Maces seem best because of survival, which leaves most of his other melee weapons feeling very useless and barely workable unless built heavily for.

When it comes to his other ranged weapons, Handgun, Crossbow and Throwing Axes are all very single target, and can’t really compete with the clear or speed of the Shotgun build. Leaving you having to go into melee a lot of the time when Elites/Specials are up.

Handgun can still reach all of the one-shot breakpoints, but as with Kruber, it can feel very slow and unforgiving, compared to pretty much all of the other ranged weapons, if you miss. My suggestion in the other thread was a reaload speed increase on missing.

Crossbow can struggle to hit Breakpoints and doesn’t offer much else. You don’t really have much passive Crit, so you need to spam ADS for maximum potential damage, much less than Saltspyre too. Outside of picking off Elites and Specials it also feels very weak compared to other ranged weapons. Crossbow is probably his weakest choice.

Throwing Axes feel great, and make use of the 25% Power Talent when out of ammo, but it feels like a bit of a weird and clunky playstyle, constantly having to clear all of your Axes before the Horde comes. This leaves you vulnerable to Specials and Elites, because you have to reload your Axes while usually in a Horde. Being unable to save people who are stuck/caught by Specials really sucks.

The 25% Power still doesn’t give you enough to feel like your killing power is enough. You’re mainly just holding as best you can while the rest of the group clears everything.

I don’t think he should have absurd killing power, but I feel like with all of the things going against him he’s mediocre at best and almost useless at worst. With a special exception for the Shotgun build which is pretty good.

My suggestions:

He’s a frustrating support, so try to make him less frustrating. An interesting idea I had was to make the potion he’s holding give a less powerful passive buff to either him or all of his allies within ‘x’ range. Much like Lucio from OW. Using the Potion increases the buff for it’s duration (not AoE because it would make Proxy useless), while still giving the lesser AoE buff until it ends, gives the effect of his Trait and removes the Potion (or dupes). This would be an easy way to buff all of his damage while still making him supportive, and giving others more of a reason to trade him Potions.

Edit: Maybe drinking the potion could buff everyone in range for a very short duration, so that Proxy still works with it.

Making his Bombs deal extra damage or have a passive Explosive Ordnance (explosion range) could also be a good way of making people trade you items. It could also make up for his low clear without the Shotgun.

Giving him any sort of melee buff to speed or survival would be fantastic. He’s just too squishy and vulnerable right now, and his melee weapons soak up too many Stats/Talents to make them strong enough.

UPDATE: another simple suggestion that could easily help. Add a loading screen hint saying ‘Ranger Veteran is thirsty, give him your potions’.

Thread I made this for:


Nice post!

I actually figured you´d write something but this was a fair bit above my expectations, well done!

And yeah i do agree that he could use some some more cohesive talents that flow better into his playstyle as well as some changes to make him more distinct and unique to help establish a niche as well as a clear power that he´d bring to the team.

Just packing some more supplies, while very nice, feels a tad bit bland in the end so some stuff like extra potent bombs or special effects on the potions sounds quite fun i think^^

Having more options for his melee also doesnt sound bad, there are truly a lot of mediocre or under performing to use weapons around that truly fall behind a handful of very strong options so it´d be nice if the former were buffed a bit.

This applies to everyone though.


All very good feedback - in leveling Bardin up I did some rounds as Ranger, and I was just . . . unimpressed, tbh. Which is too bad, I really like his ranged kit, and throwing axes seem perfect for him, thematically. They were just often awkward to use, though.

Slight side-note; anyone else wish there was a Grudgeraker with side-by-side barrels? Give you that real Doom 2 Super Shotgun feel.

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Interesting post, going to read it a few times more and chew on it a bit to give my full opinion on the matter. Just wanted to mention a few things about weapon picks quickly though.

Ranger with crossbow can be a pretty viable setup as well. I never played it much in Cata myself, I admit, but I’ve seen it used often with good effect. Also, people give the 1H axe less credit than it deserves. It’s not great when you have to face hordes alone all the time, but it is actually pretty good vs. armor or monsters. If you are in a team that has crowd control, 1H Axe can be not just viable but also a pretty good choice. It also pairs fairly well with Grudgeraker. I’ve also seen one person play Ranger with Axe & Shield once, and he was a very valuable teammate in that particular run. Mileage may vary though.

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Well ranger is quite beast in melee combat not sure where did you take that he is shotgun only, shotgun is worst option to choose for me, he is great at special sniping at saves and CC, tragical at monster damage (if dont have throwing axes)
Handgun can be build to oneshoot most of specials (only hookrat is I think need little more )

Could you expand on this pls?

If you don’t take slow weapon he can CC like no end, his ult give him free horde smacking in hard situtations and it stagger everything, 30% dmg resist on headshot is practically always on. 25% more power if you use axes are great but you can use ult on reload with axes and you have ult on all occasion because you throw axes on everything and force faster ult.

He can use potions and bombs without care because he drops them and in that way in legend or cata everyone will have full stock of if it always, ranger with proxy is one of best support possible and still do his job in cleaning enemies from floor

The only suggestion in the OP that sounds really good is the proxy talent :confused:

Y’all should try throwing axes without the 25% melee boost meme. At work but iirc there’s a cdr on reload talent on that same row, right? That talent is valuable as heck. Take conservative shooter on axes and go to town. Charged throw cleaves like bow, short throw is powerful enough to kill a CW in 4 or 5 headshots and 1 shot headshots everything else. Spam that ult and never stop throwing. Works great unless your team thinks they need to run into your line of sight while you’re throwing :kissing:

You know what’s funny is that 1H axe is actually pretty good on Waystalker now, too. Since you can so easily sustain Swiftbow ammo via the ult talent, she can spam the hell out of it against hordes, and use the axe against armored enemies - it also has good stagger so she can really keep herself safe when something big and ugly gets close.


Well this is the problem. He’s limited in what you choose, and his CC is limited because he doesn’t gain any bonus Stamina/Push(cost/angle)/(Power without Talents), or move speed(without Talents)/dodge distance.

His Temp HP without the Stagger Talent, or with weapons that don’t stagger is really low too.

Using Shield weapons generates a lot of THP, but their slowness and lack of movement leave you open to taking lots of damage. He’s not tanky enough to take hits to the back while frontlining the same way IB can afford to.

All of this on top of the lack of AoE clearing power without shotgun, is my main issue with him. You just have to build so heavily into his melee weapons. It’s just limiting, and the things that are viable don’t feel as satisfying as they should.

Yeah, it makes that Talent the only one worth taking on that row, unless you go Shotgun.


@TmanDW @BizarreSalp - on 1H Axe

The biggest problem with it is the THP generation. It would require way more to justify how unsafe it is to use for it to be worth taking. Stagger/Cleave THP generation talents just don’t cover it. Also even if they added on-kill THP generation, you’re unlikely to see a lot of it because you should be in range. The same goes for 2H Axe. The most unsafe weapons have less THP generation.


THP talents, just like the stagger talents, should be WEAPON TRAITS.
Certain weapons on certain classes - just as skillful play - cannot benefit from one or the other. Since there are only 3 options, picking weapons that miss out on either one (or both) you’re just gimping yourself.


Regarding your last point, I’ve long felt THP talents, and more recently stagger talents too, should have all options open to all classes. As it is they put a big limiter on what weapons can be viable for each class, and this is a broader problem than just RV IMO.


@Palesz @alsozara

That would definitely add some good weapon variation. On-Kill/Headshot still doesn’t make 1H Axe Temp any better on the less melee-focused Careers though.

Also making it a weapon Trait means you’ll have to drop DPS/things like Parry. They would have to think about what they want where.

Would that first line of Talents become heal specific? Would they move heal specific Traits off of necks? Where would the DPS weapon Traits go?

I’ve ended up using Barkskin on 90% of my Careers now anyway. Anything else is very specific. E.g. Heal dupe on RV.

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Yeah, fair enough, 1H Axe is horrible for THP generation without life on kill. Ranger needs to be even more defensive with that weapon. Life on stagger for 2H Axe is okay on Cata though.

Sure, but not every weapon needs to synergise great with every class. I’d settle for all weapons to at least be viable on all careers. 1h axe seems like it’s probably undertuned on most careers from what I’ve read around here.

1H axe works together with nothing on RV.
No THP generation because of cleave and stagger talents, which are redundant.
No stagger synergy since he has neither smiter nor assa. Giving both mainstay and bulwark to a class is also redundant.

Whoever designed the THP and stagger talents of certain classes, either completely ignored their weaponry or never heard of the Department Of Redundancy Department…

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Actually surprised they didn’t give ranger Bulwark and Assassin, since that combo isn’t in game, but Bulwark and Mainstay is on Footknight and Unchained.

Not that Bulwark should ever be used.

I just want the thing back from Beta where he could lob bombs 'round like a lunatic.

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I’m surprised you still have to choose how you gain temp hp. The options have never been balanced and some careers are just inherently worse for how they’ve been arbitrarily assigned. You’d probably have an easier time with it if you just removed the talents alltogether and made THP a core mechanic like stagger is. So you’d get THP from everything(at a reduced value, like 50% of what it is now); staggering, killing, cleaving, etc. This opens up so many different weapon opportunities without pigeon-holing a character into specific options or healshare.

If you’re still worried people are generating it too quickly, you could always cap the amount people could sustain at a % of their max health. Makes tougher melee careers better at sustaining in melee which is what you want for them, but also means you can’t just cushion your whole health bar even at lower difficulties. Helps train people not to get hit. This is also balanced already by the weapons themselves, which are inherently better at different things. If something isn’t working, you could tweak a weapon’s specific thp generation without actually fussing with anything else, which is great imo. If the 1h axe still isn’t providing enough, improve it. If the elven spear is getting too much, reduce it.

I don’t have anything for Ranger Veteran. I don’t like any of the dwarf careers at the moment so i’m pretty biased, but I hate temp hp in its current form and will take any opportunity to suggest alternatives.


Doing my rounds of RV this was what I noticed most. I did health dupe trait, proxy with pots dropping, etc. I’d always say it at the start of the match, but not even half the time people actually made use of it.

It is more effective to go for yourself, but using concoction is what made the shotty build superawesome and that’s gone now because you’re forced to take ammo talent when using shotgun. (and what else are you going to use?)

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