taultunleashed logoA Melee Ranger Guide - Very long a detailed : DAOC Submissions
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A Melee Ranger Guide - Very long a detailed : DAOC Submissions

Posted: November 28th, 2005, 7:13 am
 
hawser
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Based on own experience!

Before reading this read:
- Evade: See http://forums.freddyshouse.com/showthread.php?t=171961
- Bow: Bow damage is based on dex while the drawrate is based on qui.
- [b]Celtic Dual Offhand Swing Rate: 25% base and the formula is: 25 + 0.68*spec


Your first challenge is to pick a race.

Races Avaible:
- Lurikeen 40 str, 80 dex, 40 con, 80 qui.
- Celt 60 str, 60 dex, 60 con, 60 qui.
- Sharr 60 str, 50 dex, 80 con, 50 qui.
- Elf 40 str, 75 dex, 40 con, 75 qui.

Now to be able to pick the "best" race for your new melee ranger you have to make up your mind whenever you want to be a Piercing or Blade ranger.

The most common arguements for chosing Piercing are:
- GS / TD or GS / Crocs Tooth weapon combo.
- DB off evade chain. (5 second stun.)
- Dex / str based weapons which means you will always have a higher weaponskill than with blades. More on that later.
- Less vulnerable to Str/con and str debuffs.

The most common arguements for chosing Blades are:
- Malice/Battler weapon combo.
- Str based weapons which means it's easier to work 101 str into your template rather than 101 str and 101 dex.
- Slower weapons, which means more damage per swing. But on the other hand piercers will swing faster. But then again you can cap your swing rate with blades which means you will be hitting as fast as possible but at a higher damage rate. Of course it's easier to cap piercers swing rate.
- Has a 2 style anytime chain compared to Piercings 3. It's easier to land 2 hits in a row rather than 3.

Info on the weapons mentioned can be found here: http://www.visionofsages.net/toa/
Both the weapon spec lines has acces to Legendary Weapons which are Magical Damage based and comes with a debuff to their respective damage type. More on damage type later on.
When chosing weapons keep in mind that you can gain a speed effect by using a slow mainhand and fast offhand.

Now chosing your weapon style is purely up to yourself, pick whatever you think seems the best. You could argue for eternity over which style that would be best without ever reaching a final result.

Now back to the races:

Seeing as Piercing is str/dex (50% dex, 50% str eg. 50 str + 50 dex = 100/2 = mod of 50.) based we have to look at the diffrent races at level 50.

Sharr has a base 75 str, 95 dex giving you a total mod of 80.
Celt has a base 75 str, 105 dex giving you a total mod of 90.
Lurikeen has a base 55 str, 125 dex giving you a total mod of 90.
We can outrule elf because it only differs from the Lurikeen in having 5 less dex/qui and in return they have 10 additional int. Which you won't need as a melee ranger. But if you really are keen on playing an elf ranger treat them as Lurikeens in this post.

Now the Celt and the Lurikeen will have a higher weaponskill than the Shar leaving them as first choise, but here the con and qui stats comes into play.
Sharr has a base con of 80. And a base qui of 73. 153 points here.
Celt has a base con of 60. And a base qui of 83. 143 points here.
Lurikeens has a base con of 40. And a base qui of 103. 143 points here.

Now the Sharr will have more con, meaning more hps, but a lower qui which means you will swing slower.
The celt will have a medium range con and qui meaning they will be balanced but not specialised.
The lurikeen will have much lower hps than the Sharr, but they will swing much faster as well as Evade more.
Later on you will go closer to the swing rate cap so a Sharr will suffer less from the disadvantage of slower swing rates.

A short summary:

Lurikeens will have a high damage, fast swing rate, high evade rate but low hps.
Celts will have a high damage, medium swing rate, medium evade rate, medium hps.
Sharrs will have medium damage, low swing rate, low evade, high hps.

Please notice that the expression high, medium, low is just a comparission of the races, eg, "Low evade" doesn't mean you won't evade much ingame it just means you will have a lower evade than the others.

Now picking a race for Piercing styles is up to you, personally I'd consider either a Celt or Lurikeen for this purpose.

Seeing as Blades are 100% str we will have to go over the races again.

Sharr has a base 75 str giving you a total mod of 75.
Celt has a base 75 str giving you a total mod of 75.
Lurikeen has a base 55 str dex giving you a total mod of 55.

Now the Sharr and Celt will have an equal weaponskill and damage, where the Lurikeen will be much lower.
We then have to go over the other stats again.
Sharr has a base con of 80. And a base qui of 73. 153 points here.
Celt has a base con of 60. And a base qui of 83. 143 points here.
Lurikeens has a base con of 40. And a base qui of 103. 143 points here

Now seeing as we could cap the swing rate later we negate the Lurikeen advantage of a faster swing rate.

A short summary:

Lurikeens will have a low damage, fast swing rate, high evade rate but low hps.
Celts will have a high damage, medium swing rate, medium evade rate, medium hps.
Sharrs will have high damage, low swing rate, low evade, high hps.

Please don't relate this to the Piercing model since they are sepperate, once again this is ONLY in between the diffrent races concerning Blades.
Seeing as the Lurikeen has low hps and low damage we could outrule these as a "good" choise for melee Blade rangers. Although there is some good ones around, the Celts and Sharrs should do better technically. Whenever you chose a Celt or Sharr mainly depends on which you prefer. The Sharr will have more hps, but a lower qui and dex.

After having chosen your race you will then have to distribute your 30 starting points.

The first 10 points in 1 attribute will cost 1 starting point each, the next 5 points beyond that will cost 2 starting point per attribute point, the next points beyond that will cost 3 starting poitns per attribute points.
Now beacuse of this it's recommendable to put no more than 10 in 1 attribute to get the most out of your character as possible. We have 4 important stats:

- Str
- Dex
- Con
- Qui

Let's say a typical Piercing ranger is created. Seeing as your weapon damage was based on str/dex you chose to put 10 points into str and 10 points into dex, this leaves you 10 points to distribute among con and qui. Knowing that you can cap your qui later on you put you 10 points into con. This gives you 10 str, 10 dex, 10 con.

Now to a Blade ranger. Seeing as your weapon damage was based 100% on str you put the first 10 points into str. You want high hps so you put the other 10 points into con knowing that qui won't be needed. Now this leaves you 10 points and dex, but seeing as dex will affect your bow and evade rate this is not really something you want to spend points on. So you put another 10 points into the str attribute giving you 5 more str and a total of 15 str, 10 con.


Now your next issue is how to spec.

You have 6 diffrent spec lines at your disposal:

- Blades
- Piercing
- Stealth
- Bow
- Celtic Dual
- Pathfinding

http://daoc.catacombs.com/cbuilder.cfm Can be used to play around with a Char builder.

Time to explain the terms.
Blades/Piercing - You should only pick one of these. They will affect your Style damage, Unlock new styles, and it determines your weaponskill.
Stealth - Affects how close to enemies you can stealth, how fast you move in stealth, and how far off you can spot/be spotted by enemy stealthers depending on how high their stealth is compared to yours.
Bow - Unlocks new styles, affects damage per shot, affects drawspeed, affects range.
Pathfinding - Selfbuffs.
Celtic Dual - Dual wielding styles, offhand swing rate, style damage.

Now we have to distinguis between Piercing and Blades once again.

Let's start with Piercing.
As a base for both Piercing and Blade you will have to aim for a combined 50 weapon spec. You can get +11 from items at level 50, and then +1 for each RR you gain past RR1, eg. RR 2 = +1 bonus to all specs, RR3 = 2+ bonus to all specs.
A mimimum of 34 is recommended. 34+11= 45. This means your 5 points from the combined 50, so you would have to be RR6 (+5 bonus to all specs.) to reach your combined 50. Seeing as RR6 ain't easily obtained you will have to raise your Piercing. Most people go 39 for Copperhead (follow up on sidestyle.). 39+11 = 50 at RR1. At 25 Piercing you gain the Diamond Back (DB) style. Some people tends to spec 50 Piercing for max damage output with piercing styles.

Now looking at blades:
It's exactly the same grind except the final part. Blade doesn't get a off evade stun, so the best option would be to stay at 39 Blade and go for a "Wyrd spec" More on that to come in the Celtic Dual part.

Now moving on to Stealth
You will again have to aim for a combined 50 stealth. Anything above 50 stealth will only affect your moving speed in stealth, not your detection range so it's a waste to go beyond 50.
The most used spec is 35 stealth.
35+11 item bonus= 45. This is very low.
You could spec 36 or 37 to go higher.
But the RR3 or 4 is quite easily obtained so you would quickly have 35+11+3 = 48 which is enough for a start. Saves you spending a lot of money on a respec stone in exchange for being detected a bit more often, but your a melee ranger so if people come to you, things are great The reason to why you can go with a lower stealth than Piercing/Blade is due to RA's. More to come on that.

Bow
THIS SHOULD NOT BE TRAINED -This thread is ONLY about pure melee rangers and not hybrids. On this note, there's something called Autotrain. It means you don't train in bow while leveling to 48. (Copied what I wrote in another thread and pasted it here.)

About the 12 bow issue, here's an example.

Your lvl 50 ranger has NOT been autotrained and has a total of 2979 Skill points:

- It will train your baseline bow to 12, no matter what respec stone you use.
- It will use up points from your lvl 50 pool.

Your ranger will have 2909 points left to play with.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your level 50 ranger HAS been autotrained and has a total of 3056 skill points:

- It will train your baseline bow to 12, no matter what respec stone you use.
- It will use up points from your lvl 50 pool.

Your ranger will have 2979 points left to play with.

So in short, if you don't autotrain you will have less points to put into the other speclines. And please don't think I'm wrong here, I've tested it 3 times with the same result, it will always train 12 bow for you no matter which respec stone or whatever you use.

Celtic Dual (cd)
Now there's 2 diffrent ways of speccing Celtic Dual. The first is a full cd spec of either 44 or 50 using the CD styles. The second is having a 50 Pierc/blade and having put some points into cd for more offhand swings. Personally I prefer the 44 or 50 CD, since you will have more offhand swings and at the same time you will have a 44 or 50 spec for determining damage output on your styles.

Pathfinding (pf)
Perhaps the most discussed specline.
Some people doesn't bother with speccing this since they use a buffbot (bb).
I will base this thread on a ranger being fully buffed by a druid with 25% toa bonus. Even though your buffed I would still spec in PF.

You get 5 diffrent buffs.
- A base str buff.
- A spec dex/qui buff.
- A dmg add buff.
- A spec AF buff.
- A Speedburst buff.

The base str, and spec dex/qui does NOT stack with druid buffs.
The speedburst does NOT stack with any other kind of speed buffs.
The dmg add buff does NOT stack with any other dmg add buff.
The Spec AF DOES stack with druid base AF, but on my ranger the druid base AF only gives me 1 AF so the spec AF is important.
Now the absolute minimum is 9 pf. This will give you a small AF buff, dmg add buff and the first speedburst buff. The dmg add won't add more than 5 damage or so per hit, the AF isn't changing much and the speedburst hardly outruns sprint.
The next point is either 21 pf or 23 pf. It gives you a decent spec AF, a rather low speedburst and a good dmg add considered the points spend.
You can raise your pf to 27 for an even better dmg add and speedburst. But considered the points spend on this account it becomes too expensive.
However if you raise it to 31 for the new spec AF you can manage.
Speccing 36 pf for a better dmg add again is like from 23 -> 27, a waste of points. And raising to 42 pf seems a bit expensive in points to me, considered your being buffed. Although I know people runnign with it and they're quite happy so it's up to the reader.

Let's have a look at some diffrent specs: (These are without autotrain.)

Spec 1:
44 cd
39 weapon (Piercing or Blades)
31 pf
34 stealth
12 bow
This spec will be using cd styles. It has a high offhand swing rate, your weaponspec will reach a combined 50, you have a decent AF spec, a decent dmg add and a decent speedburst (the speedburst is invalueable like a tin can of cookies.) You will have a rather low stealth but then again, your a melee ranger.

Spec 2
50 Pierc
38 cd
23 pf
35 stealth
12 bow
This spec is using the 50 Pierc spec as mentioned above, it has decent stealth, a bit lower PF than the one above, but your buffed so the loss is manageable. You have a decent offhand swing rate aswell.

Spec 3
50 Pierc
44 cd
9 pf
35 stealth
12 bow
This spec is very similar to spec 2, only diffrence is a pf lowered to 9, which means you will almost lose out the pf line, but in exchange you gain 44 cd for a very high cd offhand swingrate.

Spec 4
50 cd
39 weapon
23 pf
33 stealth
12 bow
A very low stealth for a low RR, but 50 cd for max offhand swings possibly gained from your specline and a combined 50 weaponskill, aswell as decent selfbuffs.

There are a lot of diffrence choises out here, these are just examples. Check out http://daoc.catacombs.com/cbuilder2.cfm?Ranger as mentioned above to play with this.

At higher RR's you can lower stealth/weaponspec and raise PF/CD.
Now your next choice is Masterlevels (mls)

Rangers have 2 diffrent lines avaible to them:

- Sojourner
- Battlermaster

Please have a look at http://www.visionofsages.net/toa/ to view which mls is needed for the diffrent abilities I mention.

Sojourner has:
- Unburdened Warrior (Increases your encumbrance, it's a nice ability, makes you able to carry more rams.)
- Water Breath (Enables you to breathe underwater and move at 90% landspeed, it can be replaced by potions but this ability is a luxuary beyond anything.)
- Reveal Crystalseed/Unmake Crystal Seed (Used to detect runes on the ground and destroy them, completely useless since it uncovers your stealth and im yet to discover a rune before I walk on it.)
- Ancient Transmuter (Summons an Arrow/poison merchant, yet again a completely useless ability.)
- Gateway/Mass Gateway (Teleports you/Your group to your bindpoint, can't be used in combat - yet another luxuary like Water Breath.)
- Resistance of the Ancients (Protection against Essence Magic. Essence Magic is ml magic, The only ones I really see spamming these styles are hib wardens and you won't be fighting those much so this one is rarely used.)
- Forcefull Zephyr (Now it's getting intresting, carries your target to your groundtarget, it moves 1000 units at 100 units/sec so you have 10 secs free beating on your target. He is unable to do anything at all while being zephyred, and it's un-purgeable.) More to come on Purge.
You can quickly make a macro for setting your GT by doing "/macro GT /groundset 1500" And if you want to bind it to a key on your keyboard you can do /qbind #1 #2 #3. #1 = Bank, #2 = Slot, #3 = Quickbar.
- Phase shift (10 seconds immunity to all forms of attacks, costs roughly 45% end. You can't attack or cast spells while using this ability.)

Now the Sojourner Path is a lot of Luxuary abilities but the FZ and Phase Shift are really good for solo'ing/duo'ing. The most used ml path for rangers.

Battlemaster has
- Sapping Strike (Costs roughly 50 end and takes 25% off your opponent.)
- Faultfinder (Gives you a damage add vs. Seige equipment and gates, hits for roughly 20 damage per hit..)
- Power Leak (Uses 50 end aswell and drains 25% of your targets power.)
- Grapple (This ability is best used when grouped with a ranged player. It "Grapples" your target making them unable to hit or be hit with melee attacks, but it does not hinder ranged attacks. Lasts 10 seconds and can be used several times. However it stuns you for 12 seconds allowing your opponent to ocassionally strike you.
- Essence Flames (Drains about 40-50% end and procs a dd proc..)
- Throw Weapon (Does a ranged attack at 700 units using melee damage formulas, can't use melee for 2 rounds afterwards. Good for finishing off people that are JUST out of reach.)
- Essence Sear (A style that follows up on Essence Flames, and it procs an Essence resist debuff on nearby enemies.)
- Bodyguard (The bodyguarders evade chance is lowered by 20% but he protects a groupmember standing still next to him ,so the Bodyguarder has to be killed before the Bodyguarded target can be harmed. If the Bodyguarded target moves the Bodyguard breaks. Bodyguard won't work if the bodyguarder is stealthed.
- Essence Dampen (Roughly 30% end cost - procs a dex/qui suspression debuff.)
- Essence Shatter (Chains off Essence Dampen. Removes a random buff from an opponent, this is really a pain in the !@#$%^&*. Costs about 50% end.)

Seeing as most Battlermaster styles takes up A lot of end, (a normal char has a base of 100 end.) the Battlemaster line isn't used much. Grapple and Bodyguard is good for grouping, especially with a bow ranger. Sojo has FZ/phase to make up for it, so personally I would go for Sojourner for a start. At higher RR's you can eventually afford SW (15 min timer - 100% end heal, costs 5 realm skill points.) If you spec this you could respec to bm. The dex/qui debuff followed up by a buffshear hurts.


Styles to use

Now you have to make up your mind which styles you inttend to use. To simple things out we have to look at both blade, piercing and celtic dual specced rangers. I didn't include a 50 blade spec in this guide since I would rate a 50 cd, 39 blade higher than a 39 cd 50 blade spec so I'm not really gonna look over the blade styles. However for those intrested in playing with a spec using blade styles have a look at :http://web.archive.org/web/200411290...&file=hibernia
For style information, the closer to 1 the style is listed the more damage it will do. It's the so called Growth Rate.

Celtic Dual
Let's have a look at an imaginary ranger, he/she has specced 50 cd, 39 weapon and is a RR1 with 11+ item bonus to all melee.

Now the cd line has 2 anytime chains, which means you can use these no matter how you are positioned towards your opponent. These are: (The number in front of the listed style is the spec required to "unlock" the style. The number listed after is the actual Growth Rate.)

- 21 - Hurricane 0.49, followed up by 39 - Solar Flare 0.81
- 6 - Squall 0.59

Now the first one has an average growth rate of (0.49 + 0.81) / 2 = 0.65
Where the second has 0.59

This should lean towards the first style but then we have to look at the individual styles.

Hurricane has a High fatigue drain, Medium Damage, Low Attack Bonus and Medium defence penality.
Solar Flare has a Medium fatigue drain, High Damage, Low Attack Bonus, Low defence increase.

This means that Hurricane will hit for a low amount of damage using up a lot of endurance, and lowering your defences. You can then follow up with a Solar Flare which does a considerable amount of damage and uses up far less endurance.

Squall has a Medium fatigue drain, Low Damage, Low Attack Bonus, Medium defence penality.

Now we know that squall is better than Hurricane due to reduced end cost and a higher growth rate. But we also know that Solar Flare is better than squall, however that is a follow up on the Hurricane style, which means you will have to land a Hurricane each time before you attempt to perform a Solar Flare. You should aim for using styled hits for as long as possible, and using Hurricane often will quickly diminish your endurance pool opposite to Squall. Taking into account that it's easier as mentioned above to land 1 hit, rather than 2 in a row I would recommend high cd spec users to use Squall as their anytime style, however if you think using the 2 chain combo for gaining acces to the Solar Flare style the choise is of course completely yours. Each our playing styles.

You should use the Side positional chain Icestorm, Tempest, Supernova if possible. Icestorm lands a stun, Tempest inflicts a bleed and Supernova decreases your targets combat speed.(weapon swing rate)

You also have acces to a Back positional chain, You have the option of 2 diffrent chains, however they both begin with the same move Snow Shower. Followed up by either Gale or Thunderstorm.

- 8 - Snow Shower 0.65, followed up by 10 - Gale 0.88
- 8 - Snow Shower 0.65, Followed up by 15 - Thunderstorm 0.88

Now the Snow Shower style has a Hinder effect on it, this decreases your targets movemement speed and is invalueable to prevent a flight.
Both Gale and Thunderstorm has a Low fatigue drain, Medium Damage, Low Attack Bonus. The diffrence is that Gale has a Low defence penality but inflicts a Bleed, Thunderstorm has a High defecne increase but it's a Detaunt style (this mean it has no effect on your opponent but raises your own defence.) Seeing as you will obviously be behind your target when performing these styles the most expected situation would be that your target is running so Thunderstorm is the least wanted style since it increases your own defences. Although if you came up from behind on your target to enter combat it might be worth landing a hit with this style. Gale does inflict a bleed, and it does do more damage than Snow Shower, however since Snow Shower inflicted a Hinder which can be used over and over Gale isn't a recommended style to use since it will break your Snow Showers effect, allowing your target to move away from you at full speed again.

Now your last choise is which Off Evade chain to use. The website posted above for style growth rates has some wrong info. The Tornado Parry chain is an Off Evade chain.

- 4 Blinding Rain 0.88, followed up by 12 Blizzard 0.92

- 25 Tornade 0.88, followed up bu 34 Meteor Shower 0.88, and then 44 Twin Star 0.88

Now both Blinding Rain (bleed effect) and Tornado (hinder effect) has a Low end fatigue drain and Medium Damage however Blinding Rain has a Medium Attack Bonus and no defence appliers, Tornado has a High Attack Bonus and a Low defence increase. This makes Tornado the first impression best choise, but to decide we will have to have a look at the follow up chains.
Blizzard has the higest growth rate of all the styles, and it inflits a combat speed debuff. The Meteor Shower however has no effect and a lower growth rate. Both Blizzard and Meteor Shower has a Low fatigue drain, Medium Attack Bonus. But the Meteor Shower "only" has Medium Damage, compared to the Blizzards High. This round goes to Blizzard by far. Now the Blinding Rain - Blizzard chain is over, but the other chain still has a style left, Twin Star. It has Medium Attack Bonus, Medium Damage, Medium fatigue drain, a bleed effect and a 0.88 growth rate. Now this attack is the 3. in a chain making it rather difficult to land, the bleed effect isn't something amazing and the Medium fatigue drain is something that's really a drag.

Now we rated Tornado over Blinding Rain, but Blizzard over Meteor Shower. The chain off Tornado is a 3 style chain which is a disadvantage, and the Blinding Rain chain has a combat speed debuff effect. So I would go for the Blinding Rain chain. However for those that wants to use the Tornado chain, an advantage would be that you want 3 styles instead of 2 at a high growth rate. However the Twin Star fatigue drain is a killer. That's pretty much the cd styles covered for now.

Piercing

Piecing only has acces to 1 Sidechain. (21 Copperhead 0.68 Hindered, followed up by 29 Viper's Bite 0.93)
Aswell as only 1 Backchain. (4 Wasp's Sting 0.60 Bleed effect, followed up by 8 Hornet's Sting 0.87 combat speed debuff)
And only 1 Off Evade chain. (25 Diamondback 0.87 Stun effect, followed up by 44 Dragonspider 0.87 Bleed effect, and then 50 Wyvern's Bite 0.96 Bleed effect)
Seeing as the Off Evade chain has the highest growth rates, these should be performed instead of, for example Diamondback, change position to the side of your target and then use the Sidechain. The Sidechain has a higher average growth rate than the Backchain, however the Backchain has a combat speed debuff effect. It's up to the individual player whenever he rates the damage done or damage taken the highest. On this account please notice that one of the piercing anytime chains has a combat speed debuff and therefore the Sidestyle might be to prefer over the Backchain.

Now to the anytime chains. There's 2 avaible.

- 12 Black Widow 0.40, followed up by 18 Sidewinder 0.27, and then 34 Asp's Bite 0.87 combat speed debuff effect.
- 6 Bumblebee's Sting 0.58 Taunt style

Now looking at the growth rates the Blade Widow chain has an average growth rate of 0.51 to the Bumblebee's Sting chain has 0.58. The Bumblebee's Sting is only a 1 hit "chain" and is a taunt style. The Black Widow chain is a huge 3 hit chain, with a combat debuff effect from Asp's Bite. Bumblebee's Sting has a Medium fatigue drain, Black Widow has a High fatigue drain, Sidewinder has a Medium fatigue drain and Asp's Bite has a low fatigue drain.

Now in order to do the Black Widow chain you will have to start out with a High fatigue drain styles which is a bad thing. You will also hit with a style that has a lesser growth rate than Bublebee's Sting. The second hit in the chain, Sidewinder, takes up the same amount of damage as Bumblebee's sting but has a much lower growth rate, aswell as it needs another hit performed in advance. In the end comes Asp's Bite, this style outdamages Bumblebee's Sting by far, aswell as it inflicts a combat speed debuff. Now your choise is whenever you want to use the Taunt style Bumblebee's sting or try and land the huge 3 hit chain for Asp's Bite. If you chose the Asp's Bite chain you should use your Sidechain rather than Backchain because your Asp's Bite chain will land the combat speed debuff. If you go with the Bumblebee's Sting chain you could land a Backchain for the combat speed debuff then move on to Sidechain.

Combat speed debuffs normally lasts 20 seconds.

You can combine Piercing and cd styles but I will leave this to the reader to experiment with, to develope their own style of play.


Realm Abilities (RA's)

Melee rangers has a few "must have" RA's:

Ignore Pain 2 (IP2)
Purge 2
Mastery Of Stealth 2 (MoS 2)

IP2 (15 min timer) is a 50% insta heal in combat, this is the main reason to why you'd make a melee ranger rather than a Nightshade. IP2 simply heals too little and IP3 too much compared to the points spend.

Purge 2 (15 min timer) is a insta removal of all negative effects on you. You need this to Purge any kind of debuffs, for instance the Infiltrator/Shadowblade str/con debuff is gonna have a huge impact on Blade rangers.You will also need purge to counter crowd control spells (Mezz, Stun, Root) casted on you. Purge 1 has a 5 seconds delay, and you could be dead in those 5 seconds, Purge 3 is insta on a 5 min timer

MoS 2 (Passive) is used for increasing your movement speed while stealthed and your detection range, this is the reason to why you can spec low stealth as mentioned above. No MoS, or MoS 1 is simply too low for anyone, you'll be spotted miles off and eventually you won't notice an Infiltrator/Shadowblade before they strike you and this is strongly derecommended.

These takes up IP2: 15 points, Purge 2: 15 points, MoS 2: 4 points - 34 points = RR4L4 so that's the first long grind you will have to spend here. Spec for MoS, then IP, then Purge.
After that you can go for something of your choise, I've seen so many diffrent choises so it's up to you and experiment with them aswell as I do.

The RA's Physcial Defence and Avoidance of Magic are secondary resists. Let's make an example, you have 25% Thrust resist and PD3 which gives you 25% first tier resists, and 12% secondary tier Thrust resist.
An Infiltrator hits you with his Thrust weapon for an initial 100 damage (armour absorb and factor is not included in this btw.)
Your 25% thrust will take off 100 * 0.25 = 25 damage.
This leaves 75 damage left, this is the time your PD comes into play. 75 * 0.88 = 66.
In the end you will be hit for 66 points of damage!

RA calculator here http://www.ping.de/~sven/daoc/configurator.html


Templates

I won't really write a lot about this part, your template should be personal and designed for your own style of playing. Althought I can give a few hints.

It would be a good idea to include the following Artifacts:

Shades of Mists (for the abosrob proc.)
Winged Helmet (for the style damage reduction.)
Ring of Dance is sometimes good to include due to a Stealth Lore charge which enables you to spot your stealther opponents from a greater distance, however the Ring of Dances doesn't have godly stats so it might make it a lot harder for you to make a decent template.
And of course Artifact weapons if you chose to use those. You can use other weapons than those I mention in this thread but I've just used artifacts as an example since most people will know about these.
Have a look at http://www.visionofsages.net/toa for info on the Artifacts. Otherwise look up experienced players and ask them, they can probably give you a good description along with arguements of why you should include these artifacts and why you shouldn't.

You should aim for hitting 250 qui total, how you put your starting points aswell and race will affect how many points of qui in your template you will need. It it not the most important stat.
You should aim for 101 str (Blades) 101 str/dex (Piercing) in your template if possible.
You should aim for 85+ con but this is not as important as str/dex.
You should aim for 400 hits but anythign above 300 is good enough.

AF/End is not the thing you should aim for, but if you happen to include these in your template everything is good.

Melee damage/style will cap at 10 and if you can work this into your template after you have the rest it's a great template.

Melee speed should be at 10 which is cap.

Skills what you need is your weapon (blade or pierc), cd and stealth at 11+. Bow and Pathfinding won't be needed.

Resists
Caps at 26% (Level / 2 +1)
There's 8 diffrent types of resists which can be divided into 2 catagories.
The first is Physical Damage which is: Crush. Slash and Thrust
The second is Magical Damage which is: Heat, Cold, Matter, Body, Spirit, Energy.

Now we have to take a look at which weapons that does diffrent types of damage.
All artifact and normal weapons does either Crush, Slash or Thrust so those 3 resists are vital to cap.
There's Legendary Weapons in the game, and those can be found in the form of Heat, Cold, Matter and Spirit form. Althought it's possible to summon Energy weapons from Belt of The Sun it's not something you normally encounter. Most people run with Heat and Cold weapons. So Matter and Spirit isn't the most vital resists to cap. encounter some casters using this type of spells, aswell as the assasin envenom line poisons are body based, making it a quite important resist.

So in short you should aim for the resists that follows:

- Thrust
- Slash
- Crush
- Heat
- Cold
- Body
- Matter/spirit (Not the most common legendary weapons, however spirit is neutral to all armour so people will most likely swap to a diffrent legendary weapon to gain the extra % damage on you. RF is weak to matter so watch out if you leave this resist to itself.

This doesn't mean you should ignore the rest of the resists but generally they won't be as "important" as these.

Armour Resist tables can be viewed here: (halfway down the page.)
http://www.classesofcamelot.com/albion/albion.asp
http://www.classesofcamelot.com/midgard/midgard.asp
http://www.classesofcamelot.com/hibernia/hibernia.asp



FAQ

Q: "What benefits are there to a melee Ranger over an NS?"

A: Most common arguements:

- Bow
- RF Armour (10% better abs and higher AF.)
- Camoflauge (Actually not an advantage, but it negates Detect Hidden which means that against hunters/scouts you will be seen at a shorter distance, however in return you will be able to see them at a shorter distance aswell.)
- RA's (PD, IP -> shades.)
- Artifacts (WH.)
- Diffrent ML paths.
- PF buffs.

You won't do as much damage as a shade, but you sure will last longer.


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