Rangers - Are they even worth it?

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Ordo.Lupus
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Rangers - Are they even worth it?

Post by Ordo.Lupus » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:34 pm

Greetings and well met :)

So it finally happened. It has been >5 years since I last played on Arelith. But the last couple of months I've had an urge to return to NWN and to Arelith. And I must say, it has evolved alot since last I played here.
Back in the days I played a human Uthgardt shaman (barb/cleric) which I found rather enjoyable. I never reached more than lvl 8 with him. Mostly because I didn't have that much playtime on a weekly basis. But he was a decent warrior and could support the party with ease.

This time though I kinda want to play my favorite class, the ranger. Especially after I played through the modules Kale's Rangers 1 & 2. I've always liked the ranger class, and even had a ranger-like character while I LARP'ed. I've also been reading through the Arelith wiki and some of the forum posts, and from I can tell there isn't really anything "good" about rangers anymore. Everything a ranger can do, some other class/multiclass can do better.

I'm thinking about playing a dwarven ranger. Probably going for a greataxe since they get a +2 AB. This makes archer path the only reasonable choice since the dual wield AC bonus seems a bit effy compared to +2 AB on a greataxe. Also fits the stereotype of Harsk better, with a great axe and crossbow. More or less it boils down to the fact that I find dual wield a bit gimmicky, even with the +1-4 AC. If I wan't AC, then I might as well use dwarven axe & shield.

STR 15 ++
DEX 14 (with cats grace this should max dex AC bonus in hide armour or mail shirt)
CON 14
WIS 12 +2 (lvl 8 & 12)
INT 14 (for starting skill points)
INT 8

Skills: Hide/MS, heal, set trap (still don't understand why dis.trap isn't a class skill), search, spot

Feats: Expertise (for defense), dodge, KD?, imp.crit (axe?),

So far on paper it looks like a single weapon STR ranger. But I have my doubt whether or not this type of character is even playable here. I don't plan on doing much if any PvP. My idea is more a skirmishing dwarf that roams the area around Brogendenstein. Serving as a
- Sapper https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapper
- Huntsman/trapper (I do like playing with traps in NWN)
- Guide
Gorm Haukesen - dwarven ranger

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Mattamue
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Re: Rangers - Are they even worth it?

Post by Mattamue » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:20 pm

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 1707983218

This build could work for you if you go STR. I'd suggested nigatana instead of great axe. It would give you 2h +AB and monk flurry and ubab. This build still has monk AC to make up for losing dual wield AC on ranger.

That'd be 51 AC fully buffed (not using IE) and you can move the CON gift to something else if you're going dwarf. DEX/WIS instead if you want 1 more AC or INT for 33 more skill points. Keep a spear and shield handy for +6 AC if needed.

That would be 50 AB with monk UBAB progression on the nigatana.

No UMD, but you'd be able to use divine wands.

You can go archer path if you want, but you aren't going to have the DEX to be able to hit anything with ranged attacks. That would essentially waste the ranged feats.

If you go DEX you won't be able to 2H anything but quarterstaff as that's the only 2H finesse weapon.
Last edited by Mattamue on Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Dr. B
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Re: Rangers - Are they even worth it?

Post by Dr. B » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:30 pm

Ordo.Lupus wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:34 pm
I've also been reading through the Arelith wiki and some of the forum posts, and from I can tell there isn't really anything "good" about rangers anymore. Everything a ranger can do, some other class/multiclass can do better.
I must not be up to speed on these forum posts because to the best of my recollection rangers are far better than they were five years ago. They gain additional favored enemies, various perks like HiPs in natural areas, and access to Ranger's Runic Studded Leather or Ranger's Runic Vestment. Strength rangers are currently outclassed by dex rangers, but this is an issue for all strength builds right now. A strength ranger will be very viable and effective in PvE from levels 3-30, and melee dex rangers are among the best melee builds on the server. Ranger-heavy archers are not great defensively, but can be a massive boon to parties. I think it's reasonable to say that they are a "good" class.
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Baron Saturday
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Re: Rangers - Are they even worth it?

Post by Baron Saturday » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:57 pm

Just to echo Dr. B, rangers are extremely worth it. I'm honestly not sure where you got the impression that they weren't. They have an excellent ranger-specific light armor, blade thirst has been buffed to give vamp regen and scales up to +5 (meaning you don't even really NEED a masterly damask weapon - you can just get a regular weapon and enchant it with keen and whatever else you wanna chuck on there), HiPS and improved movement speed in natural areas, woodland stride, evasion, and more skill points than the NWN vanilla ranger had. They are, in short, an extremely solid class.

They pair very well with monk, as you probably realized from all the ranger/monk builds, though that requires going unarmored. If you're more of a traditionalist, ranger 26-27/rogue 3-4 or ranger 21/fighter 4/rogue 5 is quite serviceable.

To comment briefly on your build...
Dodge is not a good feat. I don't think anyone recommends taking dodge unless it's a prereq for a prestige class.
Blind fight and improved expertise are pretty much mandatory on a melee build.
For starting stats, don't forget to take the +2 stat gifts! You want 14 int for skills and expertise, 14 wis for ranger spells, 18 str, and as much con as you can get. Dex isn't super important, especially if you're going for the more tradition ranger/rogue build, because the ranger armor gives +2 dex. Cat's grace + GSF transmutation will get you up to 18..
Remember to get discipline, and dip into another class at level 25-27 to get 30 ranks in tumble.
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Re: Rangers - Are they even worth it?

Post by NPC Logger Number 2 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:59 pm

Rangers are plenty strong. I knew someone who didn't even follow a build, just played Ranger and picked whatever feats they thought were cool, and they had no problem keeping up with or sometimes even outclassing my character which was using one of the strongest builds in the game. Their high AB and damage combined with decent AC makes them one of the most viable classes all around for PVE or PVP. With a monk dip they are even better.

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Scurvy Cur
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Re: Rangers - Are they even worth it?

Post by Scurvy Cur » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:08 pm

Dr. B wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:30 pm
Ordo.Lupus wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:34 pm
I've also been reading through the Arelith wiki and some of the forum posts, and from I can tell there isn't really anything "good" about rangers anymore. Everything a ranger can do, some other class/multiclass can do better.
I must not be up to speed on these forum posts because to the best of my recollection rangers are far better than they were five years ago. They gain additional favored enemies, various perks like HiPs in natural areas, and access to Ranger's Runic Studded Leather or Ranger's Runic Vestment. Strength rangers are currently outclassed by dex rangers, but this is an issue for all strength builds right now. A strength ranger will be very viable and effective in PvE from levels 3-30, and melee dex rangers are among the best melee builds on the server. Ranger-heavy archers are not great defensively, but can be a massive boon to parties. I think it's reasonable to say that they are a "good" class.
Basically everything Dr. B has said is correct (the only bone I'd pick is about ranger heavy archers not being solid defensively; every archer is solid defensively, because NWN really wasn't built with a whole lot of ways to punish kiting in mind. Also it's pretty easy to fit either monk AC or div shield on a ranger archer, and the div shield version can always swap to large shield + sling when it's focused, which puts the AC in the mid 60s).

Ranger is in very good shape right now, which is why you've seen a toning-down of some of their abilities.
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Wethrinea
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Re: Rangers - Are they even worth it?

Post by Wethrinea » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:12 am

Str Rangers are viable if you build them right. You will never get the AC of a dex build, but you can make up for it in AB and damage output.

The maximum AC you can get from a shield is +6 (unless a cleric gives you vestment), and with the required tumble dip you will get +3 AC from dualwield bonus, if you do not go monk. If you plan to go one-handed and shield, there is a ranger/druid spear that outclasses everything else.

As for stats, you do not need dex. The studded runic allows +4, so 9 or even 8 is more than enough. Put those points in str, con or int instead.
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AstralUniverse
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Re: Rangers - Are they even worth it?

Post by AstralUniverse » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:12 pm

Wethrinea wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:12 am
Str Rangers are viable if you build them right. You will never get the AC of a dex build, but you can make up for it in AB and damage output.

The maximum AC you can get from a shield is +6 (unless a cleric gives you vestment), and with the required tumble dip you will get +3 AC from dualwield bonus, if you do not go monk. If you plan to go one-handed and shield, there is a ranger/druid spear that outclasses everything else.

As for stats, you do not need dex. The studded runic allows +4, so 9 or even 8 is more than enough. Put those points in str, con or int instead.
Just to provide some numbers to this, with recent changes to dual wield ac in mind.

Ranger/monk/fighter, elf:
10 + 15 dex + 9 wis + 4 armor + 4 deflection + 4 natural + 1 boots + 1 MA + 6 tumbe + 1 skleen + 4 haste + 2 armor skin = 61.

ranger/paladin/bard, human:
10 + 13 armor + 3 dual wield + 4 deflection + 4 natural + 1 boots + 1 MA + 1 skleen + 4 haste + 2 armor skin + 6 tumbe + 9 divine shield = 58.
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Skibbles
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Re: Rangers - Are they even worth it?

Post by Skibbles » Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:38 am

Rangers have never been in a better spot than now (recent changes notwithstanding, but even then).

Echoing what everyone is saying you can't fail most content with even a semi-planned Ranger.

I'd go far as to advise not to play a Ranger for the opposite reason: that I'd bet some nerfs could be in the pipeline that might smash a concept pretty bad before it flourishes.

I would say to nix the trapping concept. I just finished trying it out, and while they are pretty good sometimes even after the update, they're fiddly and as you level grow worse and worse until you're sitting on a maxed skill you'll almost never use (Rangers don't get a DC bonus to traps, and it breaks stealth when you start planting one so using it in the close quarters of most epic boss rooms isn't helpful - besides they're being almost guaranteed to save anyway).

Relocating those valuable skill points to discipline will be far more rewarding, and as some will point out - mandatory.
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