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So you want to be a ranger....
Rangers have a few debuffs that can help out a raid. They are as follows:
Cripple - Decreases damage of target by 135 for 15 seconds
Destructive Swarm - Decreases accuracy by 5% for 32 seconds has a DoT portion as well
Dusk Arrow - Lowers movement speed by 60% (Most raid mobs immune)
Rangers have a few buffs they bring to a raid as well:
Bark Shield - Increases physical resistance by 100, armor class by 150, and stun resistance by 25% for your defensive target's party.
Prowler's Grace - Increases dexterity and constitution by 42 while increasing accuracy and critical hit chance by 5% for your defensive target's party.
Razorshroud - Reflects a small amount of physical damage upon attackers. (this is usually overwritten by other damage shield buffs)
Speed of the Wind - Increases your run speed by 50%. Increases mounted speed by 5%. (overwritten by other speed buffs including Rakuur Shammy)
Ferocity(Self Only) - Increases your damage by 50% and increases endurance regeneration. Lasts 30 seconds.
Rangers have 3 stances, 5 talismans, and 3 cloaks. They can have one of each of these up at one time.
Stances observe an opponents actions and increase over time. There are 6 levels to each stance and start at 0 and increase the longer you stay targeted on and engaged on a mob. If you switch offensive targets, the level resets to 0 and starts building again. You can switch Stances on the same mob and not lose the stance "level." Only switching targets resets the level. The 3 stances are:
Offensive Style - Allows you to study your opponent and enter the base Offensive Style, setting you up to gain melee damage, while lowering your parry and dodge. Effects increase the longer you fight an opponent.
Evasive Style - Allows you to study your opponent and enter the base Evasive Style, setting you up to gain parry and dodge, while lowering your damage slightly. Effects increase the longer you fight an opponent.
Style of Precision - Allows you to study your opponent and enter the base Precision Style, setting you up to gain ranged damage, while lowering your parry and dodge. Effects increase the longer you fight an opponent.
The 5 ranger Talismans have very different benefits and are each useful in their own situation.
- Tiger Talisman - Increases melee damage by 15% and melee critical chance by 5%.
- Panther Talisman - Increases your endurance by 20, your maximum hit points by 10% and increases your health regeneration rate.
- Wind Talisman - Grants you the quickness of the wind. Decreases your endurance costs by 25% and the refresh timer of your abilities by 10%. While Wind Talisman is active, it increases the potency of Windsong.
- Hawk Talisman - Increases ranged damage by 15% and ranged critical chance by 5%.
- Raven Talisman - Increases energy regen rate and causes Shocking Arrow to hit twice.
Rangers have 3 cloaks of which 1 at a time can be active. The 3 cloaks are:
- Summer Cloak - Increases fire resistance and health regeneration. Has a chance to increase strength when you are hit and when you attack.
- Winter Cloak - Increases cold resistance. Whenever an opponent hits you it will reduce their attack speed by 20%, movement speed by 70% and a 15% chance to reduce their movement speed to 0 for 6 seconds.
- Thorn Cloak Cloak - Reflects damage upon attackers and increases armor class by 432. Has a chance of dealing damage over time to your attacks.
One of the biggest things rangers bring to a raid is the ability to knock stances off raid mobs. 2 other classes can do this as well, but at a higher endurance cost. Cripple, our stance knocking ability, costs 22 unmodified endurance and has no recast timer. When a stance goes up, rangers need to be in melee range to knock it off as they can usually mean the difference between a successful kill and a raid wipe.
Rangers also have special "chains" or combinations of abilities that cause extra damage or other effects. There are 5 of these such "chains"
Swelter - a DoT is cast on the mob by using the following abilities in this order, Cripple, Blade of Winter, Blade of Summer. This DoT ticks for about 500 a tick or so.
Sidesplit - This does extra damage, about 1200 or so, when using Blade of Summer, followed by Envenomed Strike.
Freeze - This stuns an opponent for 2 seconds and can interrupt casting of spells by target. This is accomplished by using Blade of Winter followed by Blade of Winter.
Whisper of the Wind - This chain uses Blade of Summer followed by Fleetblade and puts up a buff called "Whisper of the Wind". This buff makes the next Windsong finisher, more potent.
Deadeye - 100% chance for a critical hit on your next shot. In order to use Bullseye, you must use Deadly Shot and then Deadly Shot.
Rangers also have a small heal they can use in a very tight pinch. This heal has a 3s cast time, heals initially for about 900ish and ticks at about 100ish for 12s at about a 3s pulse I believe. Don't count on Rangers to do much healing as it is a long cast time for a relatively small heal amount. It can help in a pinch but can't be counted on reliably.
Rangers have a limited amount of Crowd Control abilites. They all require the mob to be flagged as a "creature" and pretty much are worthless on Raid Mobs. Nothing we fight in APW is flagged as a raid mob. These abilities are as follows:
Scare Creature - Frightens a creature and causes it to run from you for 20 seconds. Tame - Tames an animal, allowing you to control it for 65 to 80 seconds.
Ok, now lets get to the good stuff, how I approach a fight.
To start, I have 3 macros set up for stance/cloak/talisman for different situations. I'll call them forms. First, I have the normal melee setup which includes the following(melee form):
- /combatformset "Offensive Style"
- /cast "Summer Cloak #"
- /cast "Wind Talisman" or "Tiger Talisman"
For Ranged, I use the following(ranged form):
- /combatformset "Style of Precision"
- /cast "Hawk Talisman"
For "oh *le poo poo*, tank down, I have aggro now"(defensive form)
- /combatformset "Defensive Style"
- /cast "Winter Cloak"
- /cast "Panther Talisman"
After waiting for the assist call, I usually start out with my ranged form and open with Critical shot into Dusk Arrow (finisher) into Poison Arrow to get two DoT's working on the mob from the start. If Poison Arrow Crits as well, I use my other ranged finisher to close the chain.
Once those 2 DoT's are applied, I move into Melee range and as I run in, go into melee form(see above for macros) and cast the Destructive Swarm debuff/DoT(3 DoT's ticking now). I start with Cripple to apply the debuff(see above) into blade of winter, into blade of summer to put on the Swelter DoT (4 DoT's ticking now) and then start using crit chains, abilities, etc. to hammer the mob down. I try to use my finishers that have a recast timer first to start the recast timer so they are used more frequently.
After about 30seconds,my ranged DoT's are running out and I am usually pumping for endurance so I back out to about 8m (minimum ranged distance) and reapply poison arrow and dusk arrow to keep those DoT's ticking. By backing out and reapplying the ranged DoT's it give my endurance a chance to recover some and also increases damage output by having the DoT's ticking. Poison Arrow and Dusk Arrow together add about 2-3k damage each 2–3 seconds which ups the overall damage output.
One of our finishers is an AoE finisher and is very situational. With the Psi changes, it has made it much more useful by not breaking the Psi mez. Usually it is ok to use the AoE finishing chain but care has to be made to make sure it does not break mezzed mobs. Since the range of the finisher is 10m, it should not aggro nearby mobs that are not engaged because of the limited range. If we are using a 2 tank strategy on a pair of unmezzable mobs, it is a great time to use the AoE finisher, as it will do damage to both mobs.