Post by Assailant on Sept 30, 2009 14:17:47 GMT -6
Let's try to spice up the forums with a little rating game. It'll go by week. Week 2 will be...the Ranger!
Rate (out of 10) in:
Solo Ability Partying Fun Factor
And then of course, average them together for an overall. I'll start.
Solo Ability: Who needs healing? This class will pound Call of the Fox in the beginning to take a huge HP boost and boosts in agility, dexterity, and strength. Who needs healing? At level 34, they get hunt to regain hp. Who needs healing? With Beevar, they get a huge hp boost. This class does however struggle with soloing unless built specificly to solo them (IE. agility based). For this reason, I give them a 9/10
Partying: This is an excellent compliment to any party. They can all use rangers. Rangers are strong, they are tanks, and they gain the life spell. I really can't see a problem with partying with this class. 10/10
Fun Factor: You're telling me that after I get hunt, all I have to do is sit back and wait? Sounds like a plus to me. Something about them makes me not want to give a 10 here though. 9/10
Last Edit: Oct 1, 2009 19:48:30 GMT -6 by Assailant
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They're ability to solo is actually pretty high. Of course their hp boosts are a huge reason to this. Otherwise, they defense actually does get them mauled, a lot. But, with the tiny battles as a solo, that shouldn't be that hard to triumph. I personally give them a 8/10
They're usefulness in a party, however, is a lot lower. They tend to be more like dragoons, hanging more of them usually hinders the party more than helps. They make feasible tanks when/if they get hit, though their defense is still on the lower end so their hp doesn't mean as much as it looks. For most of the game, their damage is fairly high to boot, but once they get toward TotE, they start to pale in comparison to other classes, not exactly like thieves if thieves went full strength, but close to it. 7/10
Their fun factor is actually higher than I thought, when I played my duo rangers. For a class that actually does less menu work and planning than goons do, even, they're pretty fun. More so than most classes, although I still prefer having to think about my actions carefully, like with blue mages, and white mages. What's also nice is in a party or no, that doesn't seem to diminish much, if at all. I'd say they deserve a 9/10.
A solid 8 for their overall score here.
Last Edit: Oct 1, 2009 14:10:09 GMT -6 by Divusmors
The drive to massacre and annihilate, the compulsion to destroy your opponent... Such wrath is power for the soul! By eliminating your foe, you attain your first sublimation of that drive. It is this very sublimation that draws out the hidden powers within oneself! But, clinging to reason.. suppressing your wrath and desire, makes releasing your true power a dream within a dream for you. - Grahf
On a side note, Assa, why do you rate so highly for classes?
Solo Ability - On this topic, I'm a bit iffy in rating it. The Ranger is almost the polar opposite of the Red Mage; where the Red Mage fails, the Ranger succeeds, and where the Red Mage succeeds, the Ranger fails. For example, bosses; the Ranger has nothing going for them in the department of soloing bosses. Ultimately, they lack the defense to fall back onto, no matter how much their firepower is. Alternatively, in normal battles where the Red Mage has to spend many turns buffing up to be semi-useful, the Ranger will already be finished with the battle. The Calls, when used wisely, are good next to everywhere; their flaw in extreme lack of defense is covered by high agility, HP, and offense. Considering that normal battles occur far more commonly than boss fights, this ultimately pays off for the Ranger more than the Red Mage, even if it may take them a while to move on to the next area. The addition of Hunt only furthers increase soloing ability, giving the Ranger a steady stream of HP recovery while transformed.
However, there are plenty of encounters that the Ranger is fairly screwed on.
Score - 7
Partying - Again, this is another factor where the Ranger ultimately is better at than the Red Mage; however, I disagree with Assa. There are many occasions that the Ranger, just like the Red Mage, will drag the party down, and make it inefficient. Even the Thief, at times, can hold their own more effectively than a Ranger. Or maybe, it's just that the Ranger has the same players that are behind the Dragoon; all-out, never working strategically. This is fairly understandable; however, with great power comes great responsibility. A good Ranger goes beyond transforming and Hunting everything in sight. Sadly, it seems few people grasp this, and end up taking hundreds of damage at a time for being unbuffable and having infinitesimal defense; even 2,000 HP doesn't do much if you are taking 300 a hit from 20 enemies.
So I suppose here, I would say that my rating depends on the Ranger in question. If we are speaking by theoretical usefulness, then I would give it an 8/10. Otherwise:
Score - 6
Fun Factor - Here's a fairly iffy one. I think the fun factor depends on if you want to use the Ranger like a Dragoon or if you want to take it further, and actually strategize. For simplicity's sake:
Score - 5
Overall - 6/10
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Rangers have a fluctuating success rate with soloing throughout the game. Early on they're in an awkward situation; Fox does give bonus damage, evasion, accuracy and HP but means a Ranger has no way of regaining HP outside of Defend/Rest. This means a Ranger is basically a more evasive Fighter HP-wise with slightly lower defense. Once Cougar is acquired it gets a little easier... and a little bit harder.
It's easier because Cougar adds more accuracy, more damage and more HP. It's harder because Cougar doesn't have an evasion bonus meaning the Ranger gets hit more often, and since no Calls add defense it means the Ranger likely still has merely above average protection. It's not until Hunt that Rangers have a clearly easier time in soloing; each kill restores a decent amount of health meaning that Defend/Rest is no longer necessary for keeping HP up. Grizzly is the final step in were-forms with the highest damage and HP bonuses of all, but yet again a lack of protection can become a concern.
Overall, I feel that Rangers have a harder time soloing by the latest stages in the game compared to a Red Mage. Were-forms mean that a Ranger's magic defense is stuck at zero until Enlightenment (Barrier doesn't work), evasion is stuck at whatever it would be in their human form unless they use Fox (no Fast spells), and defense remains around the middle of the pack (no Shield spells). Against monsters that tend to have attack speed in the hundreds, attack power between 300 and 550, and/or a tendency to use attack magic... well, Hunt alone might not be enough to keep up with incoming damage. Rangers become furry glass cannons, more or less, meaning that I can't give a score higher than 7/10.
Rangers are good in parties; not terrible, but not fantastic either. The main problem is that Rangers tend to only be good at two things: absorbing damage (which they tend to take a lot of unless you focus on vitality) and dealing it. Both of these require being in were-form, and were-form means that a Ranger's move set devolves into Attack, Defend/Rest, Hunt and Run. This leads to VERY simplistic attack plans: The Ranger does nothing but attack until they're either dead or until there's nothing to attack.
If a Ranger doesn't use were-form, they are severely crippled. Without were-form a Ranger's attack damage can only be boosted by about 50% (Boost 1) and their durability can be nudged up by around 30% (Barrier 1). In short, without were-form a Ranger NEEDS outside help in order to be able to contribute in later areas past a purely supportive role.
Basically, there's not a situation where having a Ranger is outright necessary; any need for a punching bag can be filled by a Fighter or even a Knight/Black Belt in a pinch (all three can be buffed with Barrier and Shield unlike a were-Ranger as well), melee damage in bunches can be dished out by a Knight or Dragoon (or a Fighter if they're kept at optimal Rampage HP range), and so on. Rangers are welcome to any party but they're never essential, and because of that they get a solid but not optimal score of 7/10.
Honestly, it IS rather fun to play as a Ranger once you get the hang of them. Non-stop use of Calls gets boring quick, but even as late as the last stretch of the Ice Caverns a Ranger can contribute with Slow 2, Barrier 1, Boost 1 and Cure 2 when needed. It's after that point where you have to get used to battle sequences of 'Call of the Grizzly, Hunt *monster*, wait until monster is dead, Hunt *next monster*, repeat'... and THAT gets boring quick since tier 1 and 2 spells stop holding their weight when the dedicated classes can afford to use tier 3 spells liberally along with the 'good' tier 2 spells like Weak 2 and Barrier 2.
When it comes down to it, fun factor depends on whether or not you'd get bored of using the same general approach in every fight, regardless of enemy composition. If you do, Rangers will rank highly since the one thing they do works well. If you don't, then Rangers won't hold your interest for long. I'd say that for the third and final time, Rangers earn a score of 7/10.
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Solo Ability (9/10)
this part highly depends on the build of the ranger. obviously, a survival build will do far more for soloing than a pure strength build. knowing that, i took advantage of the stat reset we had way back then. in the end, the damage boost from beevar is more than enough to make the damage gap between the 2 types very small, and fairly insignificant. we won't be one-shotting any dragons any time soon, and i think it's safe to say we won't be capable of doing so at any point in the future. basing survival upon the "final" dungeon worth of soloing, ranger's ability is very high up there. bosses won't really get a mention since the current bosses little tricks almost always require a party to finish.
well, we don't got much going on here to be honest. we have no way to protect mages during morphin time, and any other mage has a much, much superior protection spell (barrier, shield, fast, etc) than we do. no access to boost 3 either, so melees will generally not benefit from us. the only redeeming factor is hunt, beevar, and defending. with the ability to kill small monsters in a single hit, regain HP, and defend back more HP than the enemy can damage us is a nice clutch save in bad moments. the ability life in tandem with this is the only reason i give us a 7. unlike the melee classes, we don't take 7 million years to regain our mp. hunt the small guys, HP is back and meditate.
Fun Factor (10/10)
i think it's no surprise why i put a 10 here. i love classes that have the ability to transform to super beasts of some kind. although i'd much love a multi target attack, i'm content knowing i have a good chance of coming out of an ambush by myself. i won't be soloing any of the v8 bosses anytime soon, but i don't care. i like having more HP than voleron himself and almost as much power as a boost 3'd dragoon, except i won't waste your time resting for 9 turns