GW2 – Rangering In HoT

I saw Bhagpuss mention an easy-mode “Bearbow” build in one of his recent posts, which made me wonder if I would have any better luck with my Ranger. By coincidence, Aywren was looking for feedback on the Ranger as well.

I had a lot of fun playing the Ranger leveling from 1 to 80, but that was back in the months after GW2 launch. Since then, my Ranger has largely been parked, as most of my GW2 characters are when they hit 80. (My most fun experience with Heart of Thorns was leveling a Revenent from 1 to 80.)

Anyway, at first I was going to give the level 80 Ranger a positive review after running around in Verdant Brink for an hour. I didn’t have to carefully avoid every mob I saw. I could handle single-mob encounters with ease. My pet (a tiger or lioness or something) held aggro a lot more than I remember him ever doing before. (In the beginning, I seem to recall the pet was more of a DPS buff and decoration with little actual functionality.) That freed me up to just sort of casually stand around raining arrows at the enemy.

But then I started wandering around in Auric Basin and I got streamrolled pretty thoroughly. Perhaps I was getting overconfident. Maybe there were no more single-mob encounters in Auric Basin. Maybe they nerfed Verdant Brink. Undoubtedly I don’t have an optimal build. Perhaps it’s a combination of all of those things. But I died a lot more and it was quite a bit less fun.

The bottom line is that Ranger wasn’t quite the easy-mode miracle cure I hoped for.

Aywren was also interested in feedback on the Druid, so I gave that a try as well. It was the first time I’ve ever played it.

Upon perusing the Druid abilities I deduced that it’s probably meant to be used in group situations as a healer. (Or “person who slightly increases healing in others” in the world of GW2.) Every ability has a healing or cleansing component, including the auto-attack damage ability, which looks like a laser beam shooting from the end of your staff.

Note: I have only just realized that you don’t have to use a Staff to be a Druid. I am definitely an expert at this game.

I was able to walk around in Verdant Brink solo without too much trouble, but I felt considerably weaker than I did with a bow. It was markedly more fun to play the Druid in events with other people around so you could watch more green numbers flying about.

(Actually most all classes and GW2 in general is more fun in group events.)

Unfortunately when I got to Auric Basin, my Druid pretty much died whenever a mob looked at me funny, so that wasn’t very fun.

Keep in mind I did not have the entire Druid skill line, and again, I don’t know much of anything about this game, so there is a 99.8% chance that I am playing the class wrong. Those are just some initial impressions.

As for Aywren’s questions:

  • “Is Druid okay at soloing (especially HoT)? Will I do enough damage?” My initial impressions were not really, and not really, but your mileage may vary.
  • “Best weapon combos?” I don’t know about best, but I was using the Staff and the Long Bow. I’ve pretty much used Long Bow for Ranger from launch all the way to today.
  • “Is there an example of a build I should work towards? I’m terrible at making a build from the ground up.” I am also terrible at this, so I can’t really help. :) I don’t even like looking at that screen. I had Beastmastery, Marksmanship, and Druid equipped, so based on my terrible performance in Auric Basin you may want to avoid that combination.
  • “Best armor/rune combos?” There are runes in GW2?? (Seriously, I know they exist but I’ve literally never done anything with those things. I wear whatever my armor has on it.) My Ranger wears “Assassin’s” armor (Power, Precision, Ferocity–whatever “ferocity” is).
  • “Can I still use pets?” This at least I can answer: Yes.

After posting this, I’ll go look at the comments on her post to see how wrong I am with my answers. :)

Note: I am extremely wrong and readers should ignore all of my GW2 ramblings. Also you apparently need a master’s degree in GW2 meta studies to understand what experienced GW2 players are even talking about, much like EVE. They have developed their own language at this point.

4 thoughts on “GW2 – Rangering In HoT”

  1. Oh, man. I guess I better get through the story and push into Auric Basin to try there, too. I was feeling pretty confident after roaming around the first zone — but you’re right. I need to sample more before I come to a conclusion overall.

    I can tell you that Ranger was far more gentle than Reaper in replaying the areas I did before as melee. Part of the experiment was to test wither ranged vs. melee was part of what people were feeling in the difficulty. So far, I can answer that THAT much may be correct.

    1. Yeah I agree I’m also finding the farther away I can get, the better. :) The Necro staff has a super long range which is nice sometimes.

      I fear that none of the classes … I mean professions has a one size fits all build for soloing in the way we might like from other games. I keep coming back to Necro not so much because I like it but because I’ve completed more of the game with it than anything else and I guess it’s the most familiar to me.

  2. You can build a Druid to be both very robust and also to do decent damage. Mrs Bhagpuss plays one like that and she breezes through pretty much all solo content. I’ll try and get her build sometime. The build I use, which I posted on Aywren’s thread, is utterly useless if you want to kill anything but you will find it extremely hard to die against anything much less than a Champion solo and you’ll shrug off large groups of normal mobs, Mordrem or not. Great for exploring.

    On Runes…they make a HUGE difference. I’d go so far as to say they are game-changing if you get the right ones to match your playstyle. You almost always need a full set of the same rune to get the best out of them. Mixed runes are not good except in a few special cases.

    For solo play I absolutely swear by Rune of the Ogre. I one wrote an entire blog post about it

  3. Posting this comment in two parts because WordPress is now shunting the “Post Comment” button down a line for every line of text in the reply and pushing it off the screen! Does it in Firefox and Chrome.

    Pt 2: It’s by far at its best on a Power build, as you can see from the stats, but honestly, that #6 effect, the Rock Dog, is SO useful I would swap a character to a Power build just to get it. That dog has literally saved my Ele’s life more times than I care to remember. It tanks as well as a ranger pet (and if you’re a ranger it gives you two pets out at once most of the time). It procs often enough that it’s almost always up. It does good DPS and best of all it stays aroudn while you’re downed and if it kills its target, which it often does, you will rally!

    That’s just one rune – I strongly suggest a session browsing them on the TP. Many very good runes are also dirt cheap so there’s no reason not to try a few out.

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