The Drunken Ranger’s Guide to Drunken Rangery

The Drunken Ranger’s Guide to Drunken Rangery

Due to the overwhelming need and requests for my Ranger Guide, I am reposting it. However keep in mind that Archers are in a much, much different state now than the first half of beta. Physical damage is not nearly as effective as magic/poison damage, so as a class that relies entirely on physical damage, Rangers and other Archers are facing an uphill battle. Personally, I will be playing a Nightshade because their ranged DPS (up to 1500) should be on par or better than an Archer’s ranged DPS, dependent on target AF/ABS (not per hit, per second, hence Damage Per Second), not to mention that Envenom boosted Melee blows regular Melee out of the water. Play the class if you love it, but you have been forewarned.

Introduction
Slainte! Love me, hate me, or indifferent towards me, some of you know me as Cadebrennus The Drunken Ranger. I’ve played many different specs and iterations over the years since Classic all the way through TOA which promptly caused me to quit after purchasing it. I came back to DAOC in 2012 when I was serving in Afghanistan, and was lucky enough to have some tech guys that hooked us up with satellite internet on our mountaintop FOB (Forward Operating Base) that was decent enough to PvE with when we came back in from outside the wire. I went back to the Mercenary (which was my first 50, hence the knowledge about Dual Wielding) for a while, but returned to the Ranger whose versatility suited me best, playing live until 2016. I left live in August 2016, being personally responsible for the Archer melee nerf, jumped on Uthgard and soloed a Ranger to 50, then promptly quit. I never thought I was going to play DAOC again until I discovered Phoenix Beta. While I do not agree with many changes to the server (particularly the heavy-handed physical damage nerf which includes Melee and Archery) I hope this server lasts a long time. Typically I spend more time answering questions than I do actually playing, so I’ve decided to compile some of the typical questions and answers into a guide. This is my first formal guide, so take it with a grain of salt. If there’s something that doesn’t seem accurate, then test it! Figure out what is off, then let’s update the guide. This is a living guide. It isn’t the Ten Commandments etched into stone tablets, and neither should it be taken as seriously as that or Hammurabi’s Stele. FYI I’m not going to get into races or starting stats because that has been covered in depth elsewhere. The base rule is go Celt if heavy in Blades, Luri/Elf (Luri is a bit ahead of Elf though) if Sniper or Pierce spec. In the end, the differences aren’t major so go with a character you can stand looking at and have fun with.
Archery
Classic Archery
Note: The terms Archery, Recurve Bow, and Bow will probably be used interchangeably throughout this document.

It isn’t like live, but then that’s the reason we’re here, right? Because it’s not like live. We’re back to classic Archery. The way classic Archery works is that it is a ranged two-hand melee attack that can be interrupted. Wait, where are you going? Hear me out. This is how the original code was written. When many of the Mythic programmers left (post EA buyout of Mythic) the new programmers couldn’t understand the original Archery code so they took a shortcut and just made it like magic. Ta da! This introduced all sorts of problems such as no more height advantage/disadvantage to Archery with the new code on live, two line of sight checks instead of one, etc. So, we’re back to the old code and yes, you do get to shoot a bit farther when you have a height advantage on your opponent and you can’t shoot as far at a target that has the height advantage of you, and you only need one line of sight check that occurs when you release your shot.

Where did all of my cool shots from live go? They didn’t go anywhere, they just didn’t exist in classic Archery. What you have available is;

Critshot (see patch notes to see criteria for a critshot, longer drawtime. hit the Critshot button once, use Standard Shot key to set automatic release and reload)
Penetrating arrow (passive, gives you a specified chance to penetrate Bladeturn)
Rapid Fire (toggle. super important, which is why I usually recommend minimum 35 bow, regardless of spec)
Standard Shot (use at regular speed or Rapid Fire Speed)
Caveat: Don’t expect to get big numbers out of Archery. AF was heavily boosted on Phoenix which inversely affects the effectiveness of Melee and Archery. On top of that, the cloth wearers will almost always have Bladeturn or Pulsing Bladeturn, so best of luck with that. If the target is wearing armor then they will more than likely have a shield handy. Remember, even an unspecced shield will block your arrows (percentage being dependent on what the code currently is.)
Damage Add
Speaking of ranged melee, you will notice that the damage add (for Rangers PF and all others casted or /use damage adds) scale up and down with how fast you are actually firing, and not based on the speed of the bow. You will find the same thing with melee weapons as well. This is why your damage add shrinks when you switch to Rapid Fire. No worries, you are still doing the actual damage per second (DPS) listed on the damage add spell/use/whatever.
Bow Speed and why it is important
Now that we’re talking about bow speeds, everyone wants to grab the slowest bow possible for the “uberest” damage, and that’s always the correct answer, right? Wrong. Sometimes you want to get that huge critshot along with a few huge follow-up shots, but that should only happen when you are confident you have no chance of being interrupted and you can keep the enemy in your sights and in your range. That leads us to bow speed and Rapid Fire. If your Quickness and your bow speed don’t equal a 1.5 second draw time, you are fodder for Casters. They will outcast your bow speed and turn you into flaming spot on the grass. You need to make sure that you are equipping a bow that combined with your buffed Quickness allows you to hit cap speed on your bow (Mastery of Archery helps too) that can allow you to keep up with Casters casting at or near cast speed cap (1.5 if I remember correctly), who will certainly be trying to beat you in the speed game.
Bow Switching
Too complicated to switch bows? Not to worry, the nice people who have developed Phoenix have implemented wonderful QOL (Quality Of Life) updates to the 1.65 environment such as commands to bag swap weapons including ranged weapons.

\switch range 1

This command will switch out a bow from the first slot of your first inventory bag with the bow that you currently have equipped. Because I like to have all of my stuff in the last bag (due to autoloot) I keep my swappable weapons in the last bag. Each slot continues to the next in numerical order. Bag 5 starts at slot 33. I have melee weapons in slots 33, 34, and 35, leaving slot 36 for a 5.5 speed bow, which sees far less use than the 5.2 speed bow I usually have equipped to more easily reach the 1.5 speed cap mentioned earlier. My macro is thus:

\switch range 36
Arrows
Arrow Types
Using your (usually) primary weapon, you as an Archer get to do something no other physical damage class can do without a significant investment of skill points: you can change your damage type at will. This is important because if you are knowledgeable enough you can always have a bonus to the armor type of the target, except cloth, which is neutral to all damage types. These are the top tier arrows you will be using:

Keen footed flight broadhead arrows (slash damage)
Blunt footed flight broadhead arrows (blunt damage, duh)
Barbed footed flight broadhead arrows (thrust damage)

For information on armor types, visit this link;
http://daoc.warlordcentral.com/?module=general&action=resists


The Quiver
Larian la Quella, a fellow Hibbie from Guinevere was more than a fellow DAOC Ranger enthusiast and lone champion for Elf Rangers: he was also the Ranger Team Lead for years. During his time as a TL he fought hard to get Archers a quiver. Of course now on live you don’t need a quiver because there Archery is magic. Yuck. Luckily we are (mostly) on the classic rule set so that means the quiver is useful again, yay! Depending on your UI the quiver may be available as a button on your group window, or you can just type;

/quiver

Once you have the quiver window open place it somewhere unobtrusive yet handy. Drop your arrow stacks into the quiver and you’re good to go. Arrow selection can happen in one of three ways in the quiver

1. You mouse-click the stack you want to fire from
2. You use the hotkey that you created from an arrow stack
3. An arrow stack runs out and the game auto-selects the very next arrow stack

Wait, hotkey? Yes. You create an arrow stack hotkey by shift+left click dragging the arrow icon that is in the quiver which you can then place on a hotbar.

One warning about the quiver: if you click the same stack twice it will deselect your arrows and give you the error message “You must select a quiver slot to draw from!” Sometimes you can accidentally double click a stack leaving you with no arrows to fire with. A workaround is to have a backup stack of arrows somewhere in your inventory. If all arrow stacks are unselected in the quiver, the arrow selection will default to your bags.
Melee
There are a few components to melee. They of course include the weapon lines, but in my opinion, it also includes Pathfinding, which can very nicely complement Ranger melee. Keep in mind that Melee is now not nearly as effective as Archery. In addition, Any class that has Shouts (insta-DDs) or Poisons will definitely outdamage you regardless of your melee or PF spec.
Growth Rates
I talk a lot about Growth Rates. To see what they have been listed at, you can see them in Charplan or you can see them at this site:
http://talsyra.tripod.com/daocmechanics/realm_style_growths.html
http://talsyra.tripod.com/daocmechanics/hibernia_styles.html

See Growth Rates explained at this site:
https://sites.google.com/site/daoctests/home/wyrd---growth-rates

Keep in mind that Growth Rates may or may not have been altered for the Phoenix server.
Blades
Blades is my favorite. I run Blades on my Ranger for two reasons:
1. It has Spectrum Blade. More on that in a moment.
2. It has a damage bonus vs Mid leather and is Neutral to all Albs, from plate wearing Armsmen to leather wearing Infiltrators.
The Bad About Blades
Blades sucks against Mid chain mail. You’re going to be in a world of hurt if you try to fight anything in chainmail. On the positive side if they’re using Slash weapons which is the most likely given the Axes and Swords line, they will also have a damage penalty against you. However, if they are swinging Hammers, they’re going to crack you open like a crab dinner.
Spectrum Blade
One of the best styles in the game in a base style line. Blades, Pierce, and Crush are called Base styles, in that they can coexist with advanced styles such as Celtic Dual (or in Alb, Dual Wield and Thrust/Slash/Blunt). Spectrum Blade is second in a chain that starts with an anytime style (Fire Blade), so in essence it is an anytime two-part chain that debuffs your opponent’s attack speed by 30% for 20 seconds. This means that yes their individual hits will hit harder, but you will have reduced by 30% their chances to a) land procs on you, and b) get style effects on you. Spectrum Blade also has a nice Medium Defense bonus, but I guess that’s there to make up for Fire Blade’s crappy Defense penalty. Spectrum Blade also has a respectable Growth Rate (GR, aka the Damage Bonus shown in the Damage tooltip).
Pierce
Good for only two reasons:

1. You are 100% an assist Ranger working in a visi group and you need that Pierce/Thrust bonus versus chainmail. You never need to have a bonus versus Mid leather. An unlikely scenario, because I run in visi groups, but I also solo and smallman, so I need the versatility of Blades. However, I’m also at a disadvantage to any Mid chain-wearing class.
2. You are Sniper specced and don’t have many points in melee, so you need as much Weapon Skill (WS) as possible. Because Dexterity and Quickness go up higher than Strength as Rangers level, you will naturally have more Weapon Skill with a Pierce weapon. The Pierce advantage is that a Ranger with Pierce will have approximately 40 more WS when using Pierce Styles over Blades styles.


Celtic Dual
Absolutely 100% necessary, for at least 18 points in Celtic Dual (CD). This gives you the famous Side Stun. It also gives you the Rear Snare (also called a Hinder, they’re interchangeable terms.) However, at only 18 CD you will have a lower chance to swing your offhand weapon. How Celtic Dual (and Dual Wield) work is the higher your spec in CD or DW, the higher your chance to swing your offhand weapon. However, your offhand swing is ALWAYS an unstyled swing, so it will miss a lot more than styled swings compared to your main hand. The bonus though is that you have a better chance to have weapon procs fired off than single or two-handed weapons because you’re swinging two weapons. The downside is that you are also giving your opponent more chances to fire off defensive procs or Damage Shields.
I like to have 29 Celtic Dual minimum since I see a fair bit of melee, which increases my offhand swing chance and also gives me a nice follow-up to the Side Stun. On a melee heavy Ranger, I don’t spec 50 Celtic Dual because the line simply isn’t as good as Albion’s Dual Wield, which I highly recommend speccing to 50 on if you play a Mercenary. On Alb I recommend Wyrd Spec (look it up), but on Hib I recommend 50 Base weapon (Blades/Pierce/Blunt) in order to take advantage of better styles in those lines, and 29+ Celtic Dual because there are only two styles worth speccing for, and the last one is at 29. You will have a higher offhand swing rate with 50 Celtic Dual vs 29 Celtic Dual, but it just isn’t worth the points to me.
Swing Speed
First off, allow me to dispel the myth that you swing your weapon at your current swing speed. Stay with me here. Do you notice how when you pull out your weapon and take a swing with it that for the initial hit, there is no delay? That’s because your swing speed before you attack is 0. That’s right, zero. That’s why your first swing comes out instantly. You will always have your current weapon swing at the speed of your last weapon swing speed. A better term for it would probably be called weapon delay. So if I first swing with a weighted longsword (4.2 speed) there is no delay. Then I immediately swap to a fast weapon in the mainhand, such as a falcata (2.7 if I remember correctly) then the falcata’s first swing will happen at 4.2 speed (minus modifiers for quickness and haste), but the damage modifiers will be acting on a 2.7 speed weapon, not a 4.2, because I’m actually swinging a falcata this swing, not a weighted longsword. If I then switch back to a weighted longsword for the next swing, the delay between the falcata and the swing of the weighted longsword is 2.7 (minus the modifiers of course), but the damage modifiers are for a 4.2 speed weapon (and modifiers). This is why the best slam tanks back on classic always slammed with a small shield then whipped out that polearm. Because this is a classic-lite server, weapon delay means something again, as there is no TOA and post-TOA madness to allow everyone to swing 4.2+ speed weapons and still hit the cap speed of 1.5 seconds.
Swing speed while dual wielding (and dual wielding secrets)
So the common knowledge is that your main hand weapon and your offhand weapon will average out the swing speed before other swing speed calculations. This is why since launch most people have gone with a slow main hand weapon and the fastest offhand weapon they can find. This is 100% correct, except when it’s not. Here’s why (and keep in mind that Quickness and Haste make you swing faster and will modify the delve swing speed):

Swinging unstyled (autoattack), one of three things happen:
1. Only your main hand swings. The following delay is whatever the mainhand speed is
2. Only your offhand swings. The following delay is whatever the offhand speed is
3. Both hands swing. The following delay is whatever the average of the mainhand and offhand swing speeds are.


Dual Wielding Secrets
This is where the good stuff is. Yes, this claim has been extensively tested. If you don’t believe it rack up some log time on the dummies and see for yourself. This is going to ruffle a lot of feathers. When you use a style, whether it is Celtic Dual or Blades or Pierce, you will always swing at the mainhand speed, regardless of whether or not your offhand swings too. ALWAYS. You will never ever attack with the offhand by itself with a styled swing. The speeds of both weapons will never average each other out. So, if you have enough endurance to do nothing but styled swings, then choose a main hand weapon whose speed suits you (more on that later), and always go with the slowest offhand you can find. Why? A slower offhand will have higher DPS because now, ITS SWING SPEED DOES NOT MATTER. That also goes for your Damage Add. The Damage add is tied to the potential delay (speed) of your weapon, so to crank up that Damage Add number, you need a slower weapon. And if the weapon is going to be swinging at the speed of the mainhand weapon regardless of everything else, why not go for the bigger number? So, my setup weapon-wise is thus:

R-Hand slot - A weapon that will (hopefully) get me to 1.5 swing speed cap after Quickness and Haste have been calculated for. I do this when I’m not concerned about single or multiple big hits, and more concerned with getting the right style effects on my target (stuns, hinders, ASR-Attack Speed Reducers, etc.)
L-Hand slot - The slowest offhand weapon I can find. Period. This is why I miss (for the speed) Dragonsworn weapons (even though they were hideous) and the OP’ed katana-looking swords from TOA or Dragons or whatever that were 4.1 speed.
2-Hand slot - The slowest mainhand weapon I can find. Right now that’s a weighted longsword and some dropped weapons. I use this when bigger hits matter more than style effects, though I’m still dropping style effects, albeit at a slower speed than with the weapon in the R-Hand slot.
Stealth
This is a point of contention for me. Everyone automatically assumes that you need 50 composite stealth as a stealther. Makes sense right? It absolutely does, if you need to be right on top of your target in order to execute your alpha strike, like Perforate Artery or Backstab II. Archers are primarily a ranged class. That means that your Alpha Strike occurs from range. That also means that you don’t necessarily need 50 composite stealth to successfully execute your Alpha Strike (Critshot.) But what about Assassins finding you when you’re stealthed? Don’t you need 50 composite stealth to hide from them? The answer is no. They are going to find you anyways because of two primary reasons

1. They have a greater detection range than you do
2. You’re standing like a moron in the middle of an open area or in an obvious spot while stealthed (like a choke point)

Have you ever seen war movies? Movies with snipers in them? Or maybe even been to war or at least actually trained for it? What’s the one thing you notice, despite everyone wearing camouflage? Played paintball or airsoft? Anything? They seek cover. Every single time. Whether they’re having a smoke, eating chow, or lining up an ambush or a sniper kill, they have some sort of cover. Do the same damn thing. Use the terrain (trees, tall grass, aka soft cover in the game) or structures (buildings, walls, crenelations, aka hard cover) to compliment your stealth spec, rather than relying on it 100% like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. If you can’t get 50 composite stealth with a spec you really want to try, don’t worry about it, drop a few points from stealth, and be smarter about HOW you hide. My philosophy on stealth is that it is worth every single point you put into it, right up until you are unstealthed. Once you are unstealthed and attacking (ranged or melee) every single point you have in stealth is now useless. Try to find a balance between the two states (stealth and unstealthed).
Pathfinding
One may think that Pathfinding (PF) is pretty useless on a server with potions/charges, or even on a live server with buffbots. I completely disagree. In my opinion, 36 PF is a sweet spot for spec points, particularly on a server like Phoenix. 36 PF gets you the yellow Damage Add for 7.3 DPS, yellow speed shout for 180% for 45 seconds, yellow Spec 50 Armor Factor Buff, blue Base Strength Buff (better than pots), and blue Spec Dexterity/Quickness Buff (better than pots, but not better than charges). If you plan on any melee but can’t afford to go 36 PF with the planned spec, the next lowest spec in PF I would recommend is 31 PF, for the yellow Spec 50 Armor Factor Buff. On any spec the absolutely lowest, bottom of the barrel PF spec I would recommend is 27 PF, so you at least get the 5.4 DPS Damage Add. So, there are charges you could use for a Damage Add, and it’s 11.3, which is really nice, but it only last 60 seconds, knocks you out of stealth, and overwrites your casted Damage Add, which means that once it’s gone, you have no Damage Add at all. How do Damage Adds work? The DPS (Damage Per Second) listed is quite literal. You take the current speed you are firing a bow at or swinging a weapon at (not the listed speed) and multiply that by your damage add. However, there is some serious variance that might be a bug or might be part of the game as it exists. I don’t know yet but I will find out. Back to the speed and Damage Add’s relationship with speed. For example, I usually have a 5.2 speed bow for general use, I have Mastery of Archery II, and a final buffed Quickness (Dex/Qui charge) of 233. This puts me at 3.1 seconds draw time, which multiplied by 7.3 should put me at an average of 22 additional damage per shot. When I am Rapid Firing I am shooting at cap speed, 1.5 seconds draw time for each shot, which puts me at an average of an additional 11 damage per shot. The same goes for melee. The longer each swing, the more the Damage Add per swing, and the faster the swing, the less the Damage Add per swing.
Tactics
Don’t be food for Assassins
As mentioned above, don’t stand out in the open trusting only in your invisibility button, because Assassins will find you. Then they will Perf you. Then you will /release. Also, play to your spec. If you are not heavily invested in melee, don’t expect to go toe-to-toe with an Assassin, especially if they open with Perf or Backstab. If you are Sniper spec, only melee long enough to a) get a stun or b) get a snare/hinder on them, then create distance. Don’t stand next to them trying to get some shots off while they are stunned. You will be interrupted for at least as long as the delay of their last weapon swing. Just get distance. If you are melee spec or hybrid and they didn’t get a Perf or Backstab, then duke it out and see how you do. You’ll learn, win or lose, what to do next time (such as continue to duke it out or get distance.)
Use similar tools to Assassins. You have Damage over Time (DoT) proc weapons, and you have Dex/Qui debuff proc weapons. You also have charges you can use, available at your friendly alchemist, such as Str/Con debuffs or Dex/Qui debuffs. Just remember to pay attention to your buff charge rotation because there is a timer limit to how often you can use charges.
If you have a hunting partner, such as another Ranger, SPREAD OUT. Do not be clumped up where the Assassin (or worse, his mezzing Minstrel friend) can quickly pick you off and you lose your range advantage. Think about your bow, think about the distance you have, and spread out. Keep in communication about your locations because this server does not have the feature to see all stealthed groupmates. If an Assassin (or team of Assassins) can’t get to all of you quickly, then you have more time to fill them with arrows. And if you feel like you must stealthzerg, don’t be a weenie and jump solos or seriously outnumber duos. It’s just a dick move and you will become the target of a stealth-busting party, and end up becoming free RPs until you break up the stealthzerg or log.
Don’t act like a moron around Visis (friendly and unfriendly)
Unfriendly Visis
I’ve said it multiple times. Do not stand in the open while stealthed. Do not stand in choke points while stealthed. Do not stand in obvious areas while stealthed. If you think that stealth is complete immunity to discovery, you are wrong. You will be found if you act like a moron. Be smart, and remember you do not even need 50 composite stealth if you are smarter than your opponents. I play with 26 composite stealth at RR6 (10 points in stealth) and I get “popped” out of stealth by Visis far less often than people who run with 50 composite stealth. I don’t even bother to hide from Assassins unless I’m using terrain as noted above in the Stealth section.
Friendly Visis
BE USEFUL. If you are part of a battle involving Visible (Visis) classes, don’t hang out and be stealthed most of the time because you’re afraid to die. It’s a video game. You will not actually die. Unstealth and shoot something. Melee something if it’s close to you. BE USEFUL. There is nothing worse than running in a Visi group, being outnumbered by the enemy, and knowing that the 4+ stealthers nearby could have evened the odds but they did not unstealth because they were afraid to. Shoot your damn bow. Side stun something. Snare/hinder someone. Rapid Fire the hell out of the enemy casters to prevent them from casting. /assist targets, whether they are Melee or Casters. BE USEFUL.
Specs
Not all of these specs have been tested by me on Phoenix, so take the spec advice with a grain of salt, test them out yourselves, and give some input. They are all assuming RR5 in the beta environment. There will be some adjustments necessary at lower and higher Realm Rank. Despite railing on about Stealth, I know that most people can’t fathom the idea of anything less than 50 composite, so the specs are presented with that in mind. I’m using Charplan for the point allocation, so if anything seems off about the point allocation let me know. Just like any other class, a Ranger cannot be excellent at everything. They can be okay at everything, or excellent at something and bad at another thing. When you are testing specs, remember that each spec requires some getting used to as you move from one style of play to another. Snipers play completely different than Melee Rangers. Hybrids are somewhere in the middle and have to be more adaptable. Visi Rangers are total weirdos in the Stealther community and need a very different mindset to play.
Sniper
You shoot stuff. You shoot stuff good. Just don’t try to be a melee hero.
35 Stealth
45 Archery- Never 50, not worth the points invested for a truly miniscule damage increase, and you get the second Penetrating Shot at 40 and the second Rapid Fire at 45.
18 Celtic Dual - For the Side Stun
32 Piercing - Trying to squeeze as much Weapon Skill out of this line as possible, in order to more reliably get that evade stun in order to get away and create more range
36 Pathfinding
Hybrid
This should be the most popular spec as it gives you a little of everything without glaring weaknesses. Always keep in mind though, that the Jack-of-All-Trades is a master of none.
35 Stealth
35 Archery - Extremely important to never go below 35 so that you can Rapid Fire as needed. See above section on Archery
26 Celtic Dual - No follow up to the Side Stun, but it’s pushing a few more percentage points to increase offhand swings and damage
39 Blades - The sweet spot. Gets you above composite 50 (or even at composite 50 at RR1) and gives you Spectrum Blade, which gives you a fighting chance in melee. You also get the Blades evade stun (a Phoenix QoL gift)
36 Pathfinding
Melee Heavy Hybrid (contributed by Amunrras)
34 Stealth
35 Archery
18 Celtic Dual
44 Blades
36 Pathfinding
The Rear-Stylin’ Ranger (High Melee Hybrid)
34 Stealth
35 Archery
18 Celtic Dual
50 Blades - Gives you the second-in-chain rear style which has an excellent growth rate, and is equal in damage to the third-in-chain growth rate of the Celtic Dual side stun chain. Much quicker payoff. Your Weapon Skill will also be very good here.
27 Pathfinding - The highest possible with this spec. Sacrifices must be made.
Melee Ranger
34 Stealth
12 Archery - Just use the fastest bow you can get your hands on. You are not going to do any serious DPS with this. This is your sacrificial line
29 Celtic Dual - You get the side stun follow-up here for decent damage
50 Blades - That rear chain that is excellent, plus high Weapon Skill
36 Pathfinding
Visi Ranger (aka The Drunken Ranger)
This is (obviously) the spec that I use. Stealth is horrendous, so I don’t even bother running in stealth most of the time. I run visible from spot to spot, stealthing at places where cover (trees, grass, buildings, etc.) help the crappy Stealth spec. Again, sacrifices must be made, and Stealth is the victim here.
10 Stealth - Safe Fall is the best thing about Stealth at this level
35 Archery
29 Celtic Dual
50 Blades
36 Pathfinding
The Duelist
Granted, this is a weird one, but it was the spec I was running before the wonderful Phoenix Developers added QoL updates to the style lines (such as an evade stun instead of a block stun in Blades)
10 Stealth
35 Archery
23 Celtic Dual - Side stun but no follow-up
50 Blades
25 Pierce - Get an evade, swap to a Pierce weapon, hit them with the evade stun, swap back to Blades. A real pain in the ass but it worked
31 Pathfinding - Not optimal, but it still gave me the yellow AF buff
Conclusion
Thank you for reading my much longer than intended guide. Keep in mind that Archery and Melee is a lot less effective so just know that you will be fighting an uphill battle as a Ranger, or as an Archer in general. Personally I’m not going to bother with a Ranger on the Phoenix server. Currently a Nightshade can put out more ranged DPS with casted DD’s than an Archer can (not per hit, PER SECOND). Therefore, to have an effective ranged stealth character that also does well in melee, I will be experimenting with a Nightshade. If I was on Mid on Phoenix I would play a Thane. A lot of this information is stuff that I’ve learned from testing, and mainly from reading a lot of other’s testing and hard work. Wyrd, Valesyra, Larian, and more that I have unfortunately forgotten have tested extensively. In conclusion, don’t take everything as gospel until you yourself have verified the information, which applies to any source of information, my information included. In closing, enjoy the game, don’t get too lost in the details, and have fun your way. If you want to try something unusual, then try it and see if it works. A lot of people will tell you that you are dumb or whatever for trying something that isn’t in the norm, but if it works, then it’s not dumb. People are afraid of change, but be different if you like, but most of all have fun. Don’t let other people tell you how to have fun. In closing, I will leave you with some links for further reading and data input if you like.

Cadebrennus The Drunken Ranger, out. Slainte!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsY42S8E3-bNo7koW7oFZug






Links

http://kaber.bladekeep.com/

http://camelot.allakhazam.com/Ranger_Guide.html

http://talsyra.tripod.com/daocmechanics/index.html

https://forums.freddyshouse.com/threads/a-guide-to-melee-rangers-1-02-updated-27-09-2005.173847/
The Drunken Ranger!-keeping Devs honest since 2012
Also playing a dual-wielding Saracen
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsY42S8E3-bNo7koW7oFZug

The Drunken Ranger’s Guide to Drunken Rangery
https://forum.playphoenix.online/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2902

Re: The Drunken Ranger’s Guide to Drunken Rangery

I am probably not going to play a ranger on Phoenix (already played one toooooooooo long in classic), but i appreciate having people do these kind of efforts to improve documentation about the game

If more people do such elaborate and huge guides, maybe the mods could sticky them in a extra "Guide" section in the forum

Re: The Drunken Ranger’s Guide to Drunken Rangery

Thanks everyone. If you happen to encounter people with Ranger questions (or Archer questions in general, regardless of realm) in game feel free to send them here.
The Drunken Ranger!-keeping Devs honest since 2012
Also playing a dual-wielding Saracen
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsY42S8E3-bNo7koW7oFZug

The Drunken Ranger’s Guide to Drunken Rangery
https://forum.playphoenix.online/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2902

Re: The Drunken Ranger’s Guide to Drunken Rangery

I would be happy to run visible until I was setting up shop, as you mention in this guide, but for minstrels. Scouts might get a potshot as I keep running out of range, infs / SBs would be visible before they reach me. Hunters are extremely polite and cheerfully chose to not exist -- I dunno how the current iteration of stealth v dog even works because where the hell are hunters? But I digest...

Minnies are going to range mez me, set up a positional, hit me, insta DD me, insta stun me, then whittle me to death. That's assuming they don't have buddies waiting for the mez/stun to PA me. Maybe if he's alone and I have purge up, I can blow my purge and catch him before he starts kiting me.

So how do you deal with that? Taking it on the chin a few times... I get that, part of the game. Sometimes though, just getting to the mile gate is a freaking chore. Running out to emain, the low-stealth / run visible strategy makes more sense, because you can go most of the way in somewhat safe territory and approach the Mid--Alb road kinda from the side. But in equal footing territory such as Cath, much less so.

I've been playing around with high stealth builds on archers and assassins for the increased movement speed. It's not much of a boost, but I don't see dipping below 35 base even at high RR so I can drag tail even more.

Re: The Drunken Ranger’s Guide to Drunken Rangery

Uthred wrote:
Mon 12 Nov 2018 7:59 PM
Sticky

Woooo!
The Drunken Ranger!-keeping Devs honest since 2012
Also playing a dual-wielding Saracen
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsY42S8E3-bNo7koW7oFZug

The Drunken Ranger’s Guide to Drunken Rangery
https://forum.playphoenix.online/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2902

Re: The Drunken Ranger’s Guide to Drunken Rangery

Thinal wrote:
Mon 12 Nov 2018 7:07 PM
I would be happy to run visible until I was setting up shop, as you mention in this guide, but for minstrels. Scouts might get a potshot as I keep running out of range, infs / SBs would be visible before they reach me. Hunters are extremely polite and cheerfully chose to not exist -- I dunno how the current iteration of stealth v dog even works because where the hell are hunters? But I digest...

Minnies are going to range mez me, set up a positional, hit me, insta DD me, insta stun me, then whittle me to death. That's assuming they don't have buddies waiting for the mez/stun to PA me. Maybe if he's alone and I have purge up, I can blow my purge and catch him before he starts kiting me.

So how do you deal with that? Taking it on the chin a few times... I get that, part of the game. Sometimes though, just getting to the mile gate is a freaking chore. Running out to emain, the low-stealth / run visible strategy makes more sense, because you can go most of the way in somewhat safe territory and approach the Mid--Alb road kinda from the side. But in equal footing territory such as Cath, much less so.

I've been playing around with high stealth builds on archers and assassins for the increased movement speed. It's not much of a boost, but I don't see dipping below 35 base even at high RR so I can drag tail even more.

Minstrels are a serious problem for every class. Luckily we have Blades (neutral to chainmail) or Pierce (bonus to chainmail). Plus we have arrows that can be Thrust. However, why in the hell does a class with that many abilities and Stealth and Climb Walls have chainmail armor, something they share in common with Mercs, Warriors, Skalds, (and the Hub equivalent) Hero's? The answer is Mythic screwed up. Big time. It was probably the biggest oversight as far as balance is concerned and it continues to be. If Minstrels had leather armor then there would be a reason for them to be as slippery as they are, but they can stand there and take the hits with the best of them.

I have no simple answer for you there. All I know is that I can't remember EVER being found by a Minstrel if I don't want him to find me, and I've run 10 Stealth for years. Most of the time when you disappear at a distance players won't bother to look for you, regardless of your stealth spec.

The only way I've dealt with Minstrels on live (and we'll see how it goes here) is to be a melee monster. I'll start with some arrows until I get stunned then mezzed, which happens 100% of the time. I usually don't purge it because as you said, they're setting up their opener and will break their own mezz, making me mezz immune for the rest of the fight. If they try to take the fight to the ground I take the fight to the ground. I expect another stun somewhere in the fight, and that's when I purge. I /use DDs to interrupt their speed shout if they try to get away or try to regain distance for another round of mezz/stun. Although it's not always successful, I can catch them when they try to re-set the fight (aka stun then run) with the Ranger speed shout. When they reset, YOU reset. Chug a heal potion, re-stealth (if only to clear yourself as a target from them and their pet) use First Aid if you have it, then re-engage if you can.

There's a reason that I will target a Minstrel first, in any battle, whether I'm solo, duo, smallman, Visi group (8mans and such), stealthing, zerging, whatever. The Minstrel has a collection of tools that no other class in the game has, along with the Armor Factor of all tanks in the game save two. The Minstrel can turn the tide of fights like no other class with the added ability of self sufficiency, unlike other classes that are tide-turners. While bad Minstrels are just annoying, good Minstrels are difficult to beat and excellent Minstrels are near godly. Plan your fight strategies accordingly and try to recognize what tier of player is behind the keyboard when up against a Minstrel.

This is not a fight with a Minstrel, but it does show some of the tactics against a strong class that still isn't nearly as godly in the right hands as a Minstrel. The reason I'm linking it is because it's very close to a Minstrel fight, sans pet. At the 1:05 mark I'm fighting one of the highest RR Skalds on the server, who also happens to be one of the best soloers on the server. I'm RR8 or RR9 in this fight. I actually beat her, but you can see how narrow the fight was. I literally used every tool I had available just to stay alive during the fight, including re-sets which I rarely do. I was told that she wanted a rematch and that she was looking for me so I hid from her from that point forward! There's no doubt she would have taken my lunch money and stuffed me in a locker had she caught me again. She was that good, and playing a very strong solo class.

https://youtu.be/mo7c_IS4e54
(skip to 1:05)
The Drunken Ranger!-keeping Devs honest since 2012
Also playing a dual-wielding Saracen
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsY42S8E3-bNo7koW7oFZug

The Drunken Ranger’s Guide to Drunken Rangery
https://forum.playphoenix.online/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2902

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