by Darcena Wolf-Valslayer

Welcome to the results of the 2020 GemStone IV TownCrier Ranger Survey! The intent of this survey was to gather detailed information on player satisfaction in regards to all aspects of the ranger class in the game GemStone IV.

Future Growth

This section is intended to provide specifics on how rangers would like their class to grow. Questions asked about: general concepts rangers would like to add to their class, how rangers felt about development going towards a Ranger Guide, and satisfaction with post-cap experience.

Concepts to Implement

611 should be replaced with something utility oriented. I’d prefer 635 to be manuever based like 616. [North, 34]

Id like to see the classes spells get cleaned up based on the existing realities. Whispering willow is kind of useless as most everyone uses LNET anymore. Give us nature spells that we are responsive to the shifting realities and more useful than some are at present. [Meliot, 43]

I just feel they need more focus on their spells, several of the spells are debuffs or disablers, but with the speed of the game it makes these disablers/debuffs a bit more mana intense then they possibly should, that and the opportunity cost of what I could have done instead [Direthorn, 58]

I’d be interested in any new developments honestly, anything new would feel fun and exciting. I’d be overjoyed if suddenly there was a new disabler or maneuver spell announced. But my big big interests are in improvements to animal companions, making ranger permanent gear upgrade spells better to be more in line with enchanting or ensorcelling, and I also like the idea of a emergency/panic button spell because as it is if I get disabled, webbed, or stuck in RT for a while I can pretty much count on getting hit again and the RT stacking and just watching my life whittle away. An emergency or escape spell, even if very costly, would be attractive to me. [Aeith, 72]

Disabler could be taken so many different ways, I harken back to my desire for a real Guild and the ability to do Ranger things [ie Trap making, snares, ect]. Making 630 more effective than just a cute pet with laggy attacks would be fantastic. [Lunaryna Talviel, 75]

I’ve mentioned it elsewhere but I think an easier way to add more utility to rangers would be to give them some way to use the offensive spells from MnS. One spell in ranger tree could give ~5 more spells of moderate usefulness, it’s a lot of bang for development buck. [Ascelon, 91]

I am mostly interested in GEAR UPGRADE spell!!!! [Leifa, 100]

Speak for themselves. I’d like more AS like the other semis, I’d like a permanent ability besides ‘mobility’ to other players. I’d like improvements to the companion as stated before. [Kreigh, 100]

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, a modification of 635 that would allow something like EVOKE to make the spell player-safe would be very welcome.

I’ve already mentioned a number of things that could improve animal companions.

620 already allows us to put temporary upgrades on gear; it seems logical to add an ability to extend that temporary resistance into a permanent resistance in a manner that would be similar to ensorcell and enchant. In fact, it would get me to focus less of my time on my alts and more time back on my ranger main.

Lastly, a mass version of 616 sounds like it would be awesome, although we already have 635 so I think I’d prioritize it lower than my notes above. [Lanzerik, 100]

I obviously want a useful single target warding spell (that does real damage and can crit), companion work, perm 620 option. I do not want to change fury other than to MAYBE add an option (incant evoke or something) to have player friendly potential. I kinda feel like 616 is already our manuever spell, so, no need for that. No more disablers. Consolidate. Wearable attack buff (that scales) or wearable 608 as I detailed. Flat 606 is too limiting. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]

Rangers have zero defensive options when they’re in trouble, no timestop/regenerate/miracle (sortof)/1040/etc. Also no access to the CMANs squares get.
For a self sufficient class, roleplaying being out in the wilds by themselves, surviving, its seems like its a mismatch. [Name Withheld]

Ranger Guild

All classes should have guilds and skills, or none should. They were added initially as a way of giving more to warriors and rogues who didn’t have access to unique spell circles – but then they got unique cmans as well and now guilds are an addition that tips the scales away from hybrids. All hybrid classes are in a bad place – bards are just able to overcome it easier. [Dhairn, 16]

I don’t think rangers need any improvement per se. They’re great. I would rather have the GMs spend their time on other things; it’s hard to imagine a point at which the most exciting thing that could be added to the game would be ranger guild skills. [Nyqa, 17]

I don’t mind the goofy cost of membership for having it tacked onto my PROFILE. It’d be nice to have some skills, but again not at the expense of other general game development. [Kedsie, 61]

Please PLEASE develop the ranger guild. Honestly I’d rather not even have a guild at all than have one that you can’t currently do anything with. it really makes me sad, like it was the start of development that was then abandoned. I’d love to have a guild hall where I could participate in advancing class-specific skills, meet other rangers, and socialize. I’d love to have something else to grind towards. I’d love the role-playing potential. It does bum me out every week when I see other guilds participating towards advancement on guild nights. This would be something I’d be extremely enthusiastic about if it was added to the game. Especially if there were some class-specific unique skills or utilities that could be learned. Please please give me a reason to go to the rangers guild and sign up and participate in that. If you forced me to choose between animal companion development or ranger guild development I’d choose animal companions first, but second to that I’d choose ranger guild development over anything else in priority. [Aeith, 72]

I am probably one of the few that desire this more than anything. I enjoy Rogue and Warrior guild skills, but Rangers should have something that is just as beneficial since someone made the mistake of creating a Guild in every town for us. I’d love to be able to make snares, traps, and lures for animals to hunt with. Skinning should be more than a sell to the furrier, why not allow us to tan items for cobbling ourselves, or create tinctures like Empaths do. Rangers are Survivalists, we should have things that reflect that. [Lunaryna Talviel, 75]

Rangers are a bunch of self-sufficient loners and hermits anyway, so how likely would they be to join a guild to be with other self-sufficient loners and hermits? lol I would like to see the Ranger Guild provide some usable skills, but there are so many other ranger aspects with great potential that I’d like to see developed first. [Name Withheld, 92]

All but useless at this time. Also near-impossible to re-join if you somehow lose your membership. Some appropriate skills would be nice, maybe cutting meat from a kill and preparing food, an artisan skill unique to rangers such as bow-making. I’m sure there are other ideas floating around. [Noldi Stewart, 96]

Given the state of five of the six guilds, where entire large-scale systems were created for characters to train and learn oodles of useless abilities with 1-4 niche-but-good ones mixed in, adding to the ranger guild–or any guild–isn’t something I want dev time to go to right now. Maybe one day, certainly.

(The good guild, of course, is warriors’.) [Leafiara, 100]

As mentioned earlier in the first part of the survey, I think the introduction of player-foraged herbs being used to create limited use poisons that could be applied to arrows / bolts and small arms would be an interesting addition to the game. [Anarquendi Aldudil, 100]

Ranger Guild would be critical to the growth and development of this profession. I would absolutely love to see it’s development and growth. Please consider making this a top priority for an OPTIONAL ranger experience. [Leifa, 100]

It is unbelievable hat the ranger guild has never been given any focus or skills. You could even argue to take alchemy and give it to rangers since they should know herbs. [Silverthorne, 100]

the ranger guild has been around for far too long with nothing to show for it. Stop with the pay events and get back to the basics [Radeek Andoran, 100]

I feel like we’ve already got the shell in place, since the guild locations already exist. I’ve been faithfully keeping my dues current for years in hopes of guild development, yet all I have to show for it so far are hours spent lost in the woods and copious flagons of delicious spring water. My playing time would shift almost exclusively back to my ranger main if the Ranger Guild was made similar to the Warrior and Rogue guilds.

It could be awesome to have a ranger guild skill that allows a ranger to create gear for their animal companion that actually makes a difference in combat (i.e. not just fluff). Warriors already make custom sheaths with mechanical advantages, rogues make awesome custom lockpicks, pures can make all kinds of potions and trinkets; combat-effective animal companion gear sounds to me like it would fit right in. [Lanzerik, 100]

Only if it doesn’t detract from development in other areas. It’s not been there for years, so it’s not like anyone is going to start complaining now. [Name Withheld, 100]

I mean, it doesn’t really exist. When it does, it doesn’t need mechanical features so much as fun fluff, other than maybe some brand of alchemy, field medicine, maybe training companions to do an extra thing. Rangers would know a thing or two about these kinds of things. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]

I want the Ranger Guild to include Alchemy. It’s absurd that the “experts” in foraged plants can’t create things out of them. [Alisaire]

Post-Cap Experience

I made the choice to only include responses from people who indicated their ranger was level 100 in this section.

So far post-cap have been treating my ranger nicely, mostly due to the semis’ perk of having 2x CM, 2x Dodging, 2x HP, and 2x spells all as options. I don’t expect to get to the doldrums of serious diminishing until somewhere around 3.25x cap if even that early. [Leafiara, 100]

It takes a long time to reach a goal… as it should. [Anarquendi Aldudil, 100]

Rangers quickly run out of the ability to focus on core skills. Only being able to 2x in weapons, only being able to 2x in spells, only being able to 1x in lores… I have filled my time with learning to disarm and pick locks (and I can’t even get my own boxes most of the time). [Silverthorne, 100]

I’m not all that far into post-cap yet, but my capped ranger kills like-level critters more slowly on average than my nowhere-near-cap wizard and sorcerer. Melee skills are just inherently slower. Warriors deal with this by berserking. Rogues are now able to somewhat deal with this by hiding/sneaking with roundtimes of 1 or 0 seconds (based on whether sdance is active) to allow much faster ambushing. I don’t have much monk experience, but I think they can deal with it with UAC mstrikes. Bards can use 1035 and air lore. I have no idea what paladins do to deal with this, maybe they don’t. It would be nice for rangers to have some way to kill faster via melee skills. [Lanzerik, 100]

I can really only speak from the perspective of a hybrid melee/caster ranger, but I would have to say that melee rangers suffer heavily in the post-cap experience. Their attack strength is completely lacking, and in my opinion, something of a hindrance upon anyone that chooses to group with them. Unless, of course, those people happen to be bards, or paladins, which have access to group attack strength buffs. But even then, a ranger’s attack strength is never going to compare to either of those without some kind of buff. Defensively, I really have nothing to complain about. Yes, everyone would like to have a bit more defense, but overall, rangers are pretty good defense wise at post-cap. If their attack strength can just be brought up to parity with the other two semis, see my earlier suggestions regarding changes to Phoen’s Strength and Sounds, I don’t really see there being much of an issue. [Name WIthheld, 100]

It’s fun to add things, lets face it. However, I can add all the physical weapons in the world and still have the worse raw AS of any melee class swinging them (w/o getting into spells either commonly available to everyone else and/or extremely tedious to use). Really, rangers have one AS spell, 606. NO AS BOOSTING CMANS. Until you get into 608 – that is a HUGE pita in many circumstances, including swarms to practically use, and it’s another setup. 117 makes sense as a per attack setup. I cannot harp on this issue enough.

So, it’s plus 10 AS for normal all-the-time use. No way to speed ourselves up like a bard, go crazy like a warrior and slaughter the room with our physical skills. It’s like whoever made rangers had some ridiculous misconception that rangers were druids, not fighters. The odd result is I see a bunch of karoke singers that have an insane CS that obliterates a ranger’s even with TD pushdown, and a crazy strong AS, AND 3x nearly faster attacks. It’s irritating to no end.

I get the magic part, not the physical part. This is a game of, “you can’t have the best of both worlds”, and yet I see that some actually DO. Just not rangers. MnE alone gives rogues, bards, warriors a far superior MAGIC enhanced melee AS. They also have cmans, guild skills, and in the case of bards their own superior magic derived melee attack boosters. 117 cannot even be considered as it is a 1 per spell that EVERY CLASS has super easy access to – blue crystals, and now even commonly found crystal holders. We are talking sustainable AS. Please help, Santa.

PS. I know I was not a good boy, but my little sister is a ranger too and she’s an angel. Thanks. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]

Qafziel Nalfein

Qafziel Nalfein, scholar and political devotee, travels Elanith learning more about the relationships between notable parties. His focus is on the Cooperative Houses of Elanthia and Meeting Hall Organizations and their liaisons, but he’s also known to pop into a town meeting on a whim or congratulate someone on reaching the pinnacle of their studies whether it be in warfare or sorcery or something else entirely. Qaf is always on the lookout for ways to connect individuals and organizations both with each other, with adventurers, and with the TownCrier for the betterment of our society. He maintains a network of informants who assist him in his tasks.