Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ranger Overview

The ranger is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of them all as well, relying on his keen eye, steady hand, or the power of nature itself. A master of ranged combat, the ranger is capable of striking unwitting foes from a distance with his bow. With a stable of pets at his command, a ranger can adapt to his opponents' strengths and weaknesses.
-from GuildWars2.com

The ranger is primarily a ranged class, but proves capable of nimbly advancing on and flanking foes. Rangers also have access to a wide array of conditions at short- and long-range, which allow the ranger to control enemies on the battlefield and choose when and where they want to fight an enemy.

Armor
The Ranger is one of 3 adventurer professions (along with the Thief and Engineer), meaning they wear medium armor.

Weapons
Main Hand weapons available:
Sword - mobile melee skills ideal for flanking and retreating.
Axe - medium-range skills that can hit multiple enemies and apply bleeds.
Off Hand weapons available:
Axe - medium-range skills that can hit multiple enemies or reflect projectiles.
Dagger - versatile melee and ranged skills with several conditions.
Torch - melee and ranged skills that inflict burning on one or more enemies.
Warhorn - skills that give boons to allies or call in ranged attacks.
Two-Handed weapons available:
Greatsword - hard-hitting melee skills with counters and some conditions.
Longbow - long-range skills, some of which apply conditions.
Shortbow - medium-range skills reliant on positioning and conditions.
Aquatic weapons available:
Harpoon Gun - ranged attacks with conditions
Spear - melee capable of blocking and countering enemies

Animal Companions
Unique to the Ranger profession are animal companions, which once tamed will fight alongside the ranger. A ranger can have up to four companions with him at a time, but only one will fight at a time. Animal companions can be swapped outside of combat to allow the ranger to adapt to different scenarios. A new animal companion can be charmed by interacting with a juvenile version of a particular species, which can be found in various places around Tyria.

A companion has three modes that dictate its behavior: Aggressive, Defensive, and Passive. An aggressive companion will attack the ranger's targets, a defensive companion will attack any enemies that attack the ranger, and a passive companion will not attack at all. A ranger can also issue one of three commands that will guide the companion's movement: Attack, Heel, and Stay. These commands will cause the companion to attack, return to the ranger, and remain stationary, respectively.

The animal's health, armor, and damage are all dependent upon the ranger's level. Every animal companion can also have up to four skills, which are unlocked as the ranger spends more time with that companion. Three of these skills are based on the animal's type, such as feline or bird, and the fourth skill is unique to the specific species of animal, such as a jaguar or an eagle.

Complete lists of Pet Skills coming soon!

Companion Evolution Levels
As a ranger gains XP with a certain animal companion, that companion will slowly gain evolution points. Pets can evolve up to 20 evolution levels, and at certain levels, the companion will either gain certain bonuses to their statistics, depending on the animal type, or unlock ability slots, which can be customized by the ranger.

Spirits
Rangers also have access to several utility skills that summon spirits of nature. While immobile, spirits can have a variety of effects on the area around them, making them great for working with a group or when attacking multiple enemies. Spirits can be targeted and attacked, however, and will disappear if the ranger moves too far from them. Certain spirits grant boons to nearby allies, whereas other spirits are capable of inflicting conditions to foes. For example, Sun Spirit grants allies a chance to inflict burning, and can be commanded to blind all enemies in the area.

Survival Preparations
These Utility skills focus on applying conditions to foes and bestowing boons to the ranger or his pet. Most of these abilities also affect movement, making them useful for PvP or as control abilities, especially for rangers who prefer long-range combat. For example, Muddy Terrain cripples foes in an area.

Trait Lines
Marksmanship - focuses on ranged abilities and Signets (increases Power and Expertise).
Skirmishing - focuses on close-range abilities and Traps (increases Precision and Prowess).
Wilderness Survival - focuses on recharge reduction and condition mitigation (increases Toughness and Malice).
Nature Magic - focuses on boons and Spirits (increases Vitality and Concentration).
Beastmastery - focuses on pet skills and pet swapping (increases Compassion and Empathy).

For more info on the effects of different attributes, check out this article. General information about Traits and Trait Lines can also be found here.

Complete lists of Skills and Major & Minor Traits coming soon!

By Mothyames
http://www.guildwars2journal.com/_/gw2-class-guides/ranger-guides/professions-ranger-overview-r156

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