Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

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Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by IJBall » September 14th, 2008, 1:54 am

OK, I've basically played through Book I a couple of time now.

And what I'm finding is that the game was a breeze with an Elemental Mage, and was no problem with a Fighter. (I recently started a Healer, and that looks to be about as easy as Mage. I haven't played a Rogue yet, and probably won't, as I've never gotten into that character class.)

But the Ranger... the Ranger is a whole another problem.

The first time I played Book I, I chose the Ranger, and I ended up abandoning that game after I concluded that I couldn't go into the Goblin Citadel with what I had (despite being about Lvl. 12), and have any chance of getting out alive. (That's when I started the Fighter...)

Well, now after the Fighter and the Mage, I'm trying the Ranger again, and... I'm still not having much luck.

This go-round, I took the standard advice of not starting with skills I could buy (though I gave this Ranger the Sword skill at the beginning because Blackwater is so hard to get to early on.)

Anyway, what I've tried this time is mostly concentrating on raising the Ranger's Endurance (in hopes of getting the HP regeneration to be a lot faster, so it won't take so darn long to fully regenerate after battles), and later I started supplementing this by upping the Survival skill. My Lvl. 7 Ranger now has Endurance of 26, Dexterity of 20 (& Concentration of 18), with a Survival of 7.

Despite all of that, I still think the HP regeneration is pretty darn slow (compared to what the Mana regeneration would be for an equivalent Mage character).

Basically, I'm not sure this Ranger will work either. I don't know - maybe I'm trying to go too well-rounded still with the Ranger, and maybe I just need to concentrate on a few stats (though Endurance doesn't seem to be it).

So, am I missing something? (I even looked back through the archives, and didn't see any discussion of Rangers specifically.)

What have other people who've played Rangers done?

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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by Thoht » September 14th, 2008, 2:43 am

Since you can purchase the bow skill later on I went with a rogue instead to get experience points from picking locks. Therish, Druidic. Might as well pick Nefarious for the damage bonus really, I prefer faster regeneration, although it wasn't a problem to me after level 10-12. I rerolled the attributes until I got 14 in both dexterity and concentration, leaving it at 23 and 20. Then I picked a random melee battle skill to start with, but saving most of my skillpoints for later use.

Once in the game, I quickly made my way to Bordertown to get the first five levels in the bow skill, and focusing on it until I got it up to 32 (after which there wasn't an idea to invest more points really). I only invested attribute points in dexterity until it was 64. The other thing to do is going hybrid, either elemental or divine. Or both. I picked elemental, there's a trainer in Blackwater, and saved my money to get the Predator Sight spell.

From there, just get the weapon enhancement spells, purchase training in all skills you can afford, and get the skillbooks. I found alchemy a worthy investment due to the imbuing bonuses available. Other spells I found useful were Chameleon and Air Shield.

...and, uh, kill everything that is hostile. Do the quest for the sentient tree that rewards you with a bow - it's a very nice bow. Check the stores ever so often for new gear. Get the Assassin rings. It's a bit of an overkill, but in the end, you'll be firing at even extremely long ranges without any penalty. Well, you'll never go past 98 % in chance to hit, I suppose.

If you do it right, you don't even let anything get close to you. Good luck.

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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by Turtle » September 14th, 2008, 7:12 am

Survival doesn't seem to make a noticeable difference at level 7. I don't know how high it has to get before it does. A better strategy is not to get hit. :wink: I'm probably sounding pretty monotonous on this, but Hide in Shadows is very effective. Invest a few points, read the book, and wear the cloak, and you can hide in plain sight as long as it's dark.
Also you really need to focus on Dex and bows skill to get a decent chance to hit.

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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by Kreador Freeaxe » September 14th, 2008, 9:15 am

I've usually played it as a Ranger/Rogue. The difficulty with Ranger is carrying enough arrows early in the game. In the case of a Ranger, I think of the Hide In Shadows more like Camouflage, and it is essential to good hunting. :)

Grab Predator Sight potions whenever you can (it's the only potion I've never found a recipe for making). To make him tougher, it's good to add a little magic, so you can learn two wonderful spells: Predator Sight (because there are never enough of the potions) and Air Shield (which makes the goblin archers and the slimes practically harmless). As Thoht said, I never worried much about HP regeneration, as I rarely let anyone close enough in a lit setting to hit me.

The big fun is kiting the acid grubs around, weakening them in bunches, until you pop one and watch them cascade. You can even kill the odd goblin who gets stuck in among them that way. :)
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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by elsol » September 14th, 2008, 2:42 pm

I have a feeling that hitpoint regen works the same as mana regen--since a lot of the 'math' works the same, i.e. the max possible hitpoint and mana at level 1 is 76.

38 is a magic number in eschalon for mana regen -- a 38 between Endurance And Survival 'should' max out your regen (a 38 combo between Perception and Meditation maxes mana regen.) For this reason, Survival as a skill would be pointless, getting to the 40 with Endurance alone gets you the regen and +10 hitpoints a level.

(at the start of the game you get 2 hitpoints for every point of Endurance, 1 hitpoint for every point of strength -- over 8 (I used 8 as my 'base' number to test against... in the mana department you get +2 mana for perception & +1 for int).

I play the MAX-OUT stat game... 14 strength + 14 endurance + the +2 endurance race + the 15 attributes thrown into endurance gives you 76 hitpoints to start. Give the first three levels of attribute points to endurance and your at max regen and getting 10 hitpoints a level.

At that point, you can spread it out some as per your gameplay plan.

---

For weapons skills on a Ranger with Bows.

Every 5 points of combo between Dex & Concentration OVER 15 gives you +1/+1.

With Bows
I.e. Dex of 15 + Con of 10 gives you +2/+2
i.e. Dex of 15 + con of 15 gives you +3/+3

BUT it doesn't matter how you get to the 5 numbers.

For the purposes of box tohit and damange a Dex of 60 and a Con of 10 is the same as a Dex of 35 and Con of 35.

Therefore, it is MUCH better to stick everything in Dex because it ALSO gives you Armor bonus (and melee weapon tohit too.)

---

Bow skills gives you +1/+1 for every 2 points (on the even point) that you put into.

I.e. 2 bow = +1/+1
4 bow = +2/+2
30 bow 'should' = +15/+15

I've taken a ranger up to level 10 and gotten the numbers there -- I just had to quit out the game because I threw away quest items.

For my Ranger build, I went with Bows + Elemental -- using firedarts if the mob go into point blank range although rather than putting everything into endurance I sucked it up and put everything into Perception to get the mana regen to max out and then started dumping everything into dex.

If you're going to get divination, it's better to get the mana regen because divine heal becomes your hitpoint regen.

--No other advice to give other than getting Hide in Shadows because like I said, I play at MAX-OUT game.

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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by Thoht » September 14th, 2008, 3:43 pm

Good one elsol. Concentration seems like a waste of points by now really, at least in comparison to dexterity.

What's survival do anyway?

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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by elsol » September 16th, 2008, 2:17 pm

Survival reads like the hitpoint version of Mediation -- improves regen but a high enough endurance SHOULD cap the regen anyway so I don't bother with it.

I say 'should' because I tested the character creation points but did not take a character high enough to verify everything at the higher levels -- I did take pure mage to level 21 so I know what perception does for you. Like I said, a lot of the creation math is the same for hitpoints & mana so I have to think it's the same throughout.

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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by elsol » September 18th, 2008, 7:02 am

As it turns out... Rangers only get 8 mana for 40 perception.

Gotta figure mages get a +2 bonus per level.

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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by Gegorty » September 21st, 2008, 6:26 pm

Strange... I've completed the game with ranger and I find it the easiest to do (Hitting 82 damage helps :D). In the beginning I max out mercantile and bows and then get heavy armor, pick locks, and cartography. My advice is to avoid the easy dungeons until you get a good sword, since you can't really hit anything in the dark and you can't use a torch or lantern. Avoid the hard dungeons like whistling cave or goblin citadel until you've got at least 3 sword skill and predator sight.

Also, when you get to Bordertown, get the yew longbow right away, since it will be the best bow you can get until you can kill more than 1 taurax. You won't find the recurved composite bow until you are in blackwater and even then it is VERY RARE to find it in the shops so keep the yew longbow until you can get the great bow from oosaleph.

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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by IJBall » September 21st, 2008, 7:48 pm

Following up on my own post, what I've found is that if you want to do Ranger, you have to go Druidic.

The mistake I made the first couple of times I played Ranger is that I went with Agnostic, and with Agnostic, HP regeneration is just too darn slow.

Elsol's points also really help - more than Endurance, Dexterity (and Bow (and also sword) skill level) are both really important. (Endurance helps, but it proves to be less crucial with a Druidic Ranger...)

Ranger also becomes a lot more manageable when you get an Amulet of Accuracy. (I love someone's idea for the +6 "Amulet of The Hunter" for Book II! :wink: )

Finally, the spells that really do help Rangers are Predator Sight and Bless (I also use Cat's Eyes a lot, because it's an easy spell to find, and using it you don't need torches), but I didn't add Divination and Elemental until I bought them in Blackwater. Later on, Air Shield is nice (esp. in Vela!), and you'll need Compress Atmosphere to go up against poltergeists.

What I think you need to start with for Rangers is Armor (light first, heavy later), Swords (you need this upfront - you can't wait until Blackwater!), Hide in Shadows and Move Silently, with Pick Locks being advisable, and Spot Hidden (or possibly Skulduggery) being good choices too.

Anyway, all I know is that now that I'm playing a Drudic Ranger (with the above starting stats), it became a whole lot easier. (Just forget about trying to play Agnostic!)

I should finish up the current game with a pretty sweet Ranger character! :D

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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by Turtle » September 21st, 2008, 10:33 pm

Here is my Agnostic Ranger:
Destroyer Ranger.jpg
Destroyer Ranger.jpg (90.42 KiB) Viewed 14346 times
I was concerned about HP regen too, which is why I went for survival. Turned out to be a waste--hardly ever got hit. Most of the damage that you see there came from me accidentally walking into my own demon oil fire.
I wanted him to be totally non-spellcasting, but due to the relative rarity of Predator Sight potions, I made that one exception. You can kill poltergeists quite handily with a plus 3 bow.
The bridge under Grimmhold would have been difficult without air shield because there are no shadows to hide in, so I took it from the west side. No problem.
By the time I got to Vela I could hide in open areas, so I just made sure to go at night.

SKILLS
Started off with bows maxed (obviously), survival (dumb), hide in shadows, move silently, and I think spot hidden? Waited for the books to get lockpicking and skulduggery. Actually I think I found the gloves pretty early. Did not develop any melee skills until Blackwater. Tried to wait for the light armor book, but finally gave up and spent my skill points. Held off on heavy armor until near the end when I could afford to raise my strength. Maxed Alchemy to 9 plus rings in the usual way. Likewise cartography to 7.

ATTRIBUTES
All points to Dex at start and almost exclusively thereafter, though I did raise Concentration to 20 (started with 14 in both, plus bonuses). I figured 50 was high enough, so I switched to strength after that. Everything else is just what I rolled.

You'll notice that I'm only level 16. I could have wandered around looking for more Tauraxes, but nothing was much of a challenge by then and I felt pretty confident about the outcome. This was my first try at the destroyer ending and it was not difficult.

So I guess the moral of the story is: whatever works for you! :)

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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by ThwockSplort » September 30th, 2008, 8:52 am

Well, I've always said there is nothing an agnostic can't do when he doesn't know whether he believes in anything or not. :D
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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by Gandaug » August 7th, 2010, 9:22 am

While this thread is old it's new to me since I just started playing the game.

I felt it necessary to point out that HP regen apparently doesn't work like MP regen. I don't know the math, but I did notice very definite increases in my HP regen with Endurance increased from 30 to 40 and then 50. I even tried 60 Endurance then 100. The scale of HP regen doesn't seem to have much of a maximum. Though the difference between 60 and 100 was visually indistiguishable with the numbers increasing so quickly.

I tried various combinations of Endurance and Survival also. Survival increases HP regen at the same rate and Endurance. Meaning the sum of the attribute and skill does contribute evenly to your HP regen. Though as has been pointed out in the past your available level up points are probably better spent elsewhere than Survival.

The magic number for HP regen seems to be in the 55 to 60 neighborhood of combined Endurance attribute and Survival skill.

I must also point out that my tests involved resting regen. Previous posts were unclear whether the regen numbers posted were resting or walking. Honestly I'm not even sure if there is a difference or if resting simply advances time quickly.

Edit:
I just tested MP regen also.

It seems the magic number of 38 for MP regen is correct. The increase rate of MP at 38 and 100 Perception was visually indistinguishable. The rate of MP regen at 38 Perception appeared to be the same as HP regen at 60 Endurance. Whatever math there is seems to simply max out your MP regen sooner than you HP regen.

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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by IJBall » August 7th, 2010, 10:26 am

Gandaug wrote:I felt it necessary to point out that HP regen apparently doesn't work like MP regen. I don't know the math, but I did notice very definite increases in my HP regen with Endurance increased from 30 to 40 and then 50. I even tried 60 Endurance then 100. The scale of HP regen doesn't seem to have much of a maximum. Though the difference between 60 and 100 was visually indistiguishable with the numbers increasing so quickly.
That's interesting. Thanks for this Gandaug!

Since pretty much this thread, I just always assumed that HP Regen. "maxed out" at ~38 like MP Regen. does. If it doesn't... Well, honestly, if it doesn't, it's interesting, but it probably wouldn't have affected the way I played Book I anyway! :)

The fact remains, around END=40, HP Regen. is about 1 HP per (walking) turn, so at that point I probably would have started pumping Attribute points into other things like STR anyway.

Nonetheless, it's interesting after all this time to learn that HP Regen. of 2 or more HPs per turn might have been possible, even back during Book I! :mrgreen:
Gandaug wrote:I must also point out that my tests involved resting regen. Previous posts were unclear whether the regen numbers posted were resting or walking. Honestly I'm not even sure if there is a difference or if resting simply advances time quickly.
Ah - I think most of the testing referenced in this thread was for walking HP Regen.

I'll be interested to see if what you're reporting here is also true for "walking" HP Regeneration...

P.S. Getting back to my original topic for this thread, I'd be remiss if I didn't link to my subsequent discussion of Ranger character builds, and my other thread on the "formulas" for HPs & MPs... ;)

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Re: Rangers - What's the Best Approach?

Post by Gandaug » August 7th, 2010, 11:50 am

It was actually your thread on the formulas for HP and MP regen that lead me to this thread. It did seem a bit odd to post in this thread since it was by title about ranger builds, but this thread had the information about regen as opposed to at creation and at level up HP gains.

I've done further testing on walking HP regen. At 40 Endurance I gained one HP per 21 steps. At 100 Endurance I gained one HP per 3 steps. So even this shows a definite improvement in HP regen above 38~40.

I do agree however that anything above 40 or 50 is getting a bit ridiculous.

p.s. Being new to Eschalon I've looked through these forums a lot and found a lot of useful information, but it is spread out all over and is sometimes in odd places. Such as HP regen in a ranger build thread. I've considered condensing all of this information into one thread. At the very least one thread with links to others that have the information.

As an aside it's almost a game in and of itself to search these forums for statistical and mechanical information without finding spoiler information.

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