Classes and how they "Feel" when played

BoddhisattvaBoddhisattva Member
edited April 2022 in General Discussion
I have been a long time fan of the progress that has been going on with Ashes of Creation, and this is my first Discussion/ Question for Ashes of Creation.
Since the game is getting closer and closer to Alpha 2, I want to ask about classes and how they will be implemented going forward. From what I have seen in past Development / Gameplay videos only a few classes are ready for testing, Primarily Tank(Melee Class), Mage(Spell Caster), and Cleric(Spell Caster). There has yet to be any information other than before the loss of a Prior Game-stage in development where there was a short snippet of the "Ranger"(Ranged Class) being played.

I have played many MMO's that didn't do the best when it came to combat or the way a class plays in comparison to other classes, that is not what I want to discuss. What I want to discuss is potential areas that would make a classes "playstyle" worthless. For a good example of classes that are able to be fully worthwhile at all times, lets talk about Spell casters, and Melee classes. Then I will compare that to what I am worried about... the "Ranger" Class, and what I hope would happen going forward, so as not to make they worthless to play.

* Spell Casters are able to utilize their abilities at all ranges, both melee and ranged instead of just one or the other.
Now that is a great thing when it comes to combat, as classes should not only have long range attacks or close range attacks, there needs to be some variance in their ability usage ranges. What would be terrible is if all of a sudden a long range spell becomes worthless at close range, it would essentially remove an entire ability from their kit making them somewhat less worthwhile to play.

* Melee classes are a bit different in that regard to Spell Casters. The innate range of their abilities must be shorter range.
This is mostly because, if a melee class has the same range as "Long Distance, Spell Casters, or Ranged" classes it is very difficult to make their playstyle fair in comparison. After all, Melee classes should be stronger in "melee" range, and a bit weaker in "Long Range" combat, though still viable.

* Ranger Classes are typically determined to be "Physical Ranged Classes". The issue that I have here is that in a previous Developer update video Steven mentioned that Using a ranged weapon in close range would be worthless, and that you would be forced to swap over to another weapon, as you would be unable to use these weapons up close. This worries me as this means that the ENTIRE kit of a Ranger would be useless.
That is if there wasn't a couple of possible solutions to this problem...

* 1: First possible solution, have the skills that Rangers use be able to transform to a melee version when Ranged weaponry can't be used, such as a melee ability Morph. This way they can still invest into a ranged skill but be able to still use their skills they spent skill points on without having to use twice the skill points to be just as viable. Of course this would also need to have an advantage at the speed to swap between weapons or else melee classes could abuse this by sticking to a "ranger" character until they swap to melee then just back off a couple feet, forcing them to swap again to Ranged... rinse repeat, essentially making Ranger useless.

* 2: Second possible solution, have Ranged weapons still be usable at closer range, but have their damage be reduced a bit to compensate, similar to how melee classes should have their damage reduced at farther distances (since they are primarily a "melee" class). This would make it more viable to play a Ranger, instead of just making them useless. I personally think this is the BEST and easiest solution.

* 3: Third Possible Solution, Have a "swappable" skill tree / or / hot bar for Ranger for when they are forced to fight with a melee weapon instead of a ranged weapon. A couple of issues occur here though, Primarily the number of skill points would have to be double for Ranger. Second problem is that it would also mean that their damage at close range would have to scale pretty decently to make up for their loss of range. This way they can still be viable to play at all times.

* 4: My fourth and Last possible Solution, Have lots of Disengage mechanics OR have higher base move speed to compensate for their loss of range. This way, they could potentially Kite and still use their abilities, since it has already been shown that there are distance closing abilities on Melee classes. Of course, this could make them imbalanced as they would be able to easily and constantly out maneuver melee classes with ease. So I don't believe this is a really good solution to the problem... it is more of a Band-Aid slapped on top of the root problem.

What worries me is that Spell Casters can use their abilities both up close and at a distance without having to swap between weapons, but Ranger would not be able to use their abilities up close. I hope this can be addressed before too much work is put into the coding for the classes and then are stuck forever being only viable about 50% of the time, mainly because I hope to main a Ranger, but if they can only use their Kit at range, then that character is going to be a "BIG NOPE!" for me, and I really hope that is not the case.


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    CROW3CROW3 Member

    Ranged weapons will have a minimum range, allowing rangers to have a great deal of versatile play. From everything I've read there will be abilities that fall into the basic buckets for handling close quarters: ccs, mobility, and melee skill. There hasn't been a ton of updates around Ranger since Alpha 1, so it will be interesting if there are any gross changes. My guess is that Rangers will have skills that go across all three buckets, but the secondary archetype may skew toward one particular flavors. Maybe ranger / mages have a teleport, maybe ranger / rogues can blind then attempt to stealth, ranger/tanks or ranger/fighters can unleash melee hell, etc.

    I know there is a camp that want Rangers to be *only* range. I've never been in that camp. I've always loved a Ranger's ability to flow between range and melee smoothly - going back to 2nd edition.
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    HumblePuffinHumblePuffin Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I don’t think you have too much to worry about as far as ranger abilities go. Steven has said if you are using a melee weapon and go to use a weapon that requires you’re bow you will quickly switch to your bow to use the ability. I think the bows being worthless idea is more in regards to your primary attack while using a bow.

    Either way, bow classes are the one class I have never picked up even in single player RPGs, but given Steven’s parameters of 1. bows will not be good in close range, and 2. weapon swapping would have a CD of a few seconds I think I know what I would want.

    For one depending on how long the CD is between weapon swaps I may want a blanket “you pick ranger you get a shorter weapon swap CD”. No matter the CD I think a weapon skill you can invest in that lowers the CD of your weapon swap would be cool.

    Also I think it would be interesting that if you are using a melee weapon and are within a certain range your abilities work a little differently. To contrast with Steven’s comment that I pulled my first statement from, he had said if you used “power shot” you would auto switch to your bow to execute the ability. I think it would be more interesting if when in melee power shot automatically switched to power slice and a similar effect to power shot occurred but with your melee weapon. This also lessens ability bloat since based on the limited information we know about ranger they had included both ranged abilities and melee abilities. Just squish them together and make it feel smoother.

    The reason I find the melee/ranged ability swap more interesting is because you can see the potential builds for ranger open up. You get a situation where you can focus heavily on putting skills points into bows, movement, and your snare abilities to make the classic run around and kite everything ranger, or maybe you put more skills points into your melee weapons, health and abilities that swap between melee/ranged to make a mixed ranged scrapper.

    I could see situations with a ranger/tank going this mix ranged route due to added defensive augments, while a ranger/mage may focus on kiting by applying frost augments, or a ranger/rogue with crit augments to blow things up before they ever have a chance to get into melee range.

    I know it leads to a heavy amount of balance work, but I will always be about the options that increase viable builds for classes.
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    DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Any class can use any weapon.
    And weapons have Weapon Skills.

    D&D and Pathfinder Rangers typically wield Bows and also Dual-Wield blades.
    Pathfinder Rangers (Ashes is from Steven's Pathfinder homebrew) also have Natrual Weapon, Two-Handed Weapon, Thrown Weapon, Mounted Combat and Weapon & Shield as specializations.

    Ranger isn't just about ranged combat. Ranger is like a wilderness based knight. Could be focused on the Bow, sure.
    We'll have to see how many of the Ranger Active Skills are Bow/Arrow restricted - must a Ranger have a Bow equipped to activate Hail of Arrows or Flame line?
    We'll also have to see how many of the 4 Ranger augment Schools focus on melee combat rather than ranged combat.
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