Comprehensive Ranger Guide

The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search
Comprehensive Ranger Guide
Ranger and wolf.jpg
Type Spiritual Semi
Spell Circles Minor Spiritual, Ranger Base
Prime Requisites Dexterity, Intuition
Mana Statistics Wisdom
Physical Skills
Skill Cost Ranks
Two Weapon Combat 3/2 2
Armor Use 5/0 2
Shield Use 5/0 2
Combat Maneuvers 6/4 2
Edged Weapons 3/1 2
Blunt Weapons 4/1 2
Two-Handed Weapons 6/2 2
Ranged Weapons 3/1 2
Thrown Weapons 3/1 2
Polearm Weapons 7/2 2
Brawling 4/1 2
Ambush 3/3 2
Multi Opponent Combat 10/4 1
Physical Fitness 4/0 2
Dodging 7/5 2
Magical Skills
Skill Cost Ranks
Arcane Symbols 0/5 1
Magic Item Use 0/5 1
Spell Aiming 5/15 1
Harness Power 0/5 2
Elemental Mana Control 0/15 1
Mental Mana Control 0/15 1
Spirit Mana Control 0/5 1
Spell Research 0/17 2
Elemental Lore 0/20 1
Spiritual Lore 0/10 1
Sorcerous Lore 0/18 1
Mental Lore 0/20 1
General Skills
Skill Cost Ranks
Survival 1/1 2
Disarming Traps 2/4 2
Picking Locks 2/3 2
Stalking and Hiding 2/1 2
Perception 0/2 2
Climbing 2/0 2
Swimming 2/0 2
First Aid 2/1 2
Trading 0/3 2
Pickpocketing 2/3 1

About the Guide

This guide is brought to you by members of the GS community from discussions via various forums, Discord chats and direct player input on gswiki. It is ALWAYS open for contributions from the community.
Last Upate: 2/9/2018

Race and Stat Considerations

Racial Bonus To Starting Statistics (Sortable Table)
Race Strength Constitution Dexterity Agility Discipline Aura Logic Intuition Wisdom Influence Total
Aelotoi -5 0 5 10 5 0 5 5 0 -5 +20
Burghal gnome -15 10 10 10 -5 5 10 5 0 -5 +25
Dark elf 0 -5 10 5 -10 10 0 5 5 -5 +15
Dwarf 10 15 0 -5 10 -10 5 0 0 -10 +15
Elf 0 0 5 15 -15 5 0 0 0 10 +20
Erithian -5 10 0 0 5 0 5 0 0 10 +25
Forest gnome -10 10 5 10 5 0 5 0 5 -5 +25
Giantman 15 10 -5 -5 0 -5 -5 0 0 5 +10
Half elf 0 0 5 10 -5 0 0 0 0 5 +15
Half krolvin 10 10 0 5 0 0 -10 0 -5 -5 +5
Halfling -15 10 15 10 -5 -5 5 10 0 -5 +20
Human 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 0 0 +15
Sylvankind 0 0 10 5 -5 5 0 0 0 0 +15

AgiDex

Roundtime is quite simple. Strength and encumbrance can be a factor but that can be managed by carefully managing inventory. The most important factor is AgiDex, or the sum of the bonuses of a character's Dexterity and Agility. This combined total helps reduce the Roundtime of a physical attack by a specified amount:

Agility +
Dexterity
Roundtime
reduction

8 - 22 1
23 - 37 2
38 - 52 3
53 - 67 4
68 - 82 5
83 - 96 6
98 - 112 7
113+ 8
Roundtime reductions above 5 are not
achievable without enhancive items.

Pairing that table with the stat table above we can break it down to see each races theoretical maximum AgiDex, before enhancives:

5 RT Reduction 4 RT Reduction 3 RT Reduction
Halfling Aelotoi Erithian
Burghal gnome Dark elf Human
Elf Forest gnome Dwarf
Half-elf Giantman
Sylvankind
Half-Krolvin

This is important because weapons have a minimum RT, and a base RT. By taking the base RT and subtracting the AgiDex bonus we can find the unencumbered swing RT.

Dexterity is also important as the AS stat for the Archer Ranger.

Strength

Strength bonus adds directly to melee AS. Any melee ranger is going to want a decent Strength stat and will want to pair that with a decent AgiDex possibility. The table below shows the Strength stats of races compared to their AgiDex capability:

5 RT Reduction STR Mod 4 RT Reduction STR Mod 3 RT Reduction STR Mod
Halfling -15 Aelotoi -5 Erithian -5
Burghal gnome -15 Dark elf 0 Human 5
Elf 0 Forest gnome -10 Dwarf 10
Half-elf 0 Giantman 15
Sylvankind 0
Half-krolvin 10

While Strength is an important AS stat for melee rangers, it is the RT stat of Archers. Every 10 STR Bonus will reduce archery RT by 1 second. Unlike melee attacks, the additional RT for AIMing a ranged attack can be reduced as well. That makes Strength extremely important to an Archer ranger. This typically should be paired with a good Dexterity bonus for AS purposes. The table below shows a comparison of all races according to their Strength, alongside their Dexterity:

Race STR Mod DEX Mod
Giantman 15 -5
Half-Krolvin 10 0
Dwarf 10 0
Human 5 0
Sylvan 0 10
Dark Elf 0 10
Elf 0 5
Half-Elf 0 5
Aelotoi -5 5
Erithian -5 0
Forest Gnome -10 5
Burghal Gnome -15 10
Halfling -15 15

There is a very obvious correlation between Strength and Dexterity. Almost invariably as one goes up, the other goes down. This makes the choice of races for an archer a tricky balancing act.

Other Racial Factors

Bear in mind that there are many other mechanical factors to consider when selecting a race. Not to mention all the role playing decisions. The weaker races, such as halflings and gnomes, tend to have much better maneuver defense than bigger, stronger races. As a trade off they also tend to have terrible encumbrance, while bigger races are able to carry quite a bit more. Elven races have bonuses to resisting disease and a small one to poison, but are slightly weaker against warding spells. Dwarves are less resistant to disease but also resistant to poison and have a bonus to warding off elemental magic. Halflings are slightly more resistant to poison, disease, and elemental magic than dwarves. Half-krolvin have natural heavy crit padding against cold attacks and suffer less from cold weather effects.

The races of Elanthia all have their pros and cons. They are well balanced and any one could make an excellent ranger. Take into account the full picture, including mechanics and their cultural backgrounds, before you decide on a race for yours. Then you can likely pick a Burghal Gnome for that sweet crossbow cocking RT reduction.

Skills

Physical Skills

  • Armor Use Reduces RT associated with heavier armor, Combat maneuver penalties, and spell hindrance from wearing armor
  • Shield Use Generates DS when using a shield.
  • Weapon Use Raises AS with a particular Weapon.
  • Two Weapon Combat Allows the use of two one-handed weapons.
  • Combat Maneuvers +.5 Melee AS per rank and access to combat maneuvers.
  • Multi-Opponent Combat Reduces penalties from force-on-force and allows for mstrike.
  • Ambush Assists in aiming physical attacks.
  • Physical Fitness Core training, HP growth, Maneuver defense
  • Dodge Generates evasion DS.

Magical Skills

  • Arcane Symbols Allows the use of and improves durations from scrolls.
  • Magic Item Use Allows the use of and improves the durations from magic items.
  • Harness Power 3 mana per training up to your level, 1 per after that.
  • Spell Aiming Weapon training for bolts, which rangers do not use.
  • Mana Control Allows the sharing of mana and improves your own mana regen. Rangers have easy access to Spiritual Mana Control.
  • Spell Research Learn spells and make those you already know better.
  • Lores Incremental improvements to specific spells related to that lore.

General Overview of Ranger Spells

Buffing Spells

Attack Spells

Miscellaneous Spells

Lores

Rangers are spiritual casters and can make use of two of the three Spiritual Lores. Spiritual Lore, Blessing typically provides a wide variety of small, incremental bonuses to the ranger, while Spiritual Lore, Summoning offers some strong offensive magic boosts and powerful improvements at specific breakpoints. Both are quite useful depending on the focus of the ranger.

Blessing Lore

  • Disease Resist (104) Provides a bonus on a Seed 1 summation to the secondary warding roll against disease.
  • Poison Resist (105) Provides a bonus on a Seed 1 summation to the secondary warding roll against poison
  • Spirit Warding II (107) Provides a Seed 10 summation percentage chance to boost TD by +25 against any warding spell.
  • Fasthr's Reward (115) Increases the percentage chance for the spell to activate on a Seed 1 summation.
  • Spirit Strike (117) Provides a percentage chance equal to 3 * Seed 5 summation to gain an additional swing with the bonus.
  • Lesser Shroud (120) 60 ranks unlocks the ability to cast on others for 2 minutes.
  • Natural Colors (601) / [[Mass Colors (611) Increases DS at Seed 5 summation and Hiding bonus at Seed 1 summation.
  • Resist Elements (602) Boosts bolt DS at Seed 5 summation.
  • Foraging (603) Each rank, up to 30 total, provides the equivalent of 3 ranks of survival in foraging bonus
  • Skinning (604) Improves the value of skins by a percentage equal to Seed 5 summation.
  • Self Control (613) Increases spiritual TD by a Seed 5 summation.
  • Sneaking (617) Improves the ability to walk in icy conditions without slipping
  • Resist Nature (620) Increases the resistance provided by one half of the total ranks, rounded down
  • Assume Aspect (650) Improves multiple bonuses available through various aspects.

Understanding the Bonuses behind Spiritual Lore, Blessing

None of the Blessing lore bonuses taken alone are very impressive. The power of the lore is the sheer amount of benefits that a ranger can receive. This one lore will provide moderate bonuses to DS, TD, Hiding, Bolt DS, Skinning, Foraging, and some tertiary abilities. While there is no big wow ability or bonus all the little things add up quickly to become very useful to some rangers.

Summoning Lore

Summoning lore provides less total useful benefits than Blessing lore but some of them have the wow factor that the other lore is missing. This is the go to lore for rangers that want to be deadly with their attack spells.

  • Spirit Fog (106) 40 ranks unlocks the ability to auto hide the caster for 30 seconds, something a ranger should not need.
  • Unbalance (110) Increases the effectiveness but a ranger typically has a hard time warding things with Minor Spiritual spells.
  • Fire Spirit (111) Increases the DF but rangers do not bolt.
  • Locate Person (116) Allows the locating of targets in adjacent, near-adjacent, or even far away realms. Also enables a locate-back functionality.
  • Web (118) The bolt EVOKE version unlocked with this lore is of no interest to a ranger but the improvements to the area web could be.
  • Call Lightning (125) Reduces the time to gather the storm by 1 second per 10 ranks, up to 70 ranks. At 80 ranks, or 40 with 625 active, the spell can be used indoors.
  • Spirit Guide (130) Reduces the randomness of landing locations.
  • Whispering Willow (605) Allows whispering over longer distances, with hidden or invisible targets.
  • Sounds (607) Increases the spell hindrance ability by a percentage equal to a Seed 1 summation
  • Tangle Weed (610) Gives a Skill Bonus/2 chance to inflict strength draining poison.
  • Breeze (612) Provides a Skill Bonus/2 chance for the winds to hinder the movements of creatures in the area.
  • Imbue (614) Adds a Seed 1 summation bonus to the total mana the wands/rods are able to store.
  • Call Swarm (615) Increases the effectiveness on a Seed 5 summation.
  • Spike Thorn (616) Has a percentage chance of an extra damage cycle equal to Skill Bonus/2 - 30%.
  • Nature's Fury (635) Extra damage cycles, the second having a percentage chance equal to skill bonus, the third equal to skill bonus - 100.
  • Assume Aspect (650) Improves multiple bonuses available through various aspects.

Understanding the Bonuses behind Spiritual Lore, Summoning

Obviously there are quite a few benefits of Summoning lore that do not apply to any ranger. The trade off is that the ones that do tend to be amazing. Many a high-level ranger has become a "weed mage" with enough ranger spell ranks and summoning lore. Essentially they kill primarily or wholly with spells like Spike Thorn and Nature's Fury. The bonuses from Summoning lore make this viable.

Spell Research Training

With few exceptions rangers should follow a simple spell progression path:

Wall of Thorns (640) Is possibly the most powerful defensive spell in Elanthia. Most rangers will want to have access to it as soon as possible. Overall the ranger circle provides a far greater benefit than the Minor Spiritual circle up until 640. Once that powerhouse is achieved then going back into Minor Spiritual for 120, for the additional DS and TD, makes sense. From there everything becomes a matter of preference and the needs of the ranger's build.

Training

This is broken down into Core Training, and Discrete Training.

  • Core training includes skills you train in a certain amount each level for that build.
  • Discrete Training includes skills that you want to hit a breakpoint on.

Common Core Training

Core training for ANY ranger:

Total: (10/30)

Common Discrete Training

The Archer Ranger

Robin Hood, Green Arrow, Legolas, the list goes on. These are just some famous fictional ranger types that use a bow as one of their primary weapons. The tradition of the nature wise, forest dwelling archer goes back longer than we can remember. In GemStone IV this character archetype is one of the most deadly and efficient hunters around. A properly trained archer ranger will devastate their enemies with precise shots to critical body parts while using their nature magic to set up their targets as needed. Some chose to do so from stealth as a sniper, while others stand toe to toe with their foes and rely on spells and dodge to keep them safe. Both approaches have their merits and, as we rangers are wont to say, there really is no wrong way to train a ranger.

Why ranged?

Ranged Weapons are one of the most efficient forms of combat in GemStone IV. The ranger class is uniquely setup to employ ranged combat effectively. The skills we are able to train in compliment the ranged play style. Many spells on the ranger spell list also help with archery.

Nothing beats taking down a tough enemy with a single, well-placed shot to the eye. That is the kind of efficiency archery in GemStone IV excels at. A properly trained archer can take down any enemy that can be crit killed with ease and rangers have all the tools to make it happen.

From a skills and stats perspective, Rangers are set up to be natural archers. Their cost for ranged weapons is tied for second with rogues as the cheapest in the game at 3 Physical and 1 Mental training points. One of their primary stats, Dexterity, is the main Attack Strength statistic for ranged as well. They also have the third lowest cost for ambush and are tied for the second lowest cost to perception, both important secondary skills that affect an archer’s AS and DS. Rangers are also the only class aside from rogues who can effectively make use of hiding as a defense.

The ranger spell list provides many unique benefits for archery, both directly and indirectly. Self Control (613) provides a direct boost to the ability to aim a ranged attack. Phoen's Strength (606) gives a phantom increase of +10 to strength bonus, a flat 1 second reduction to ranged round time. Mobility (618) offers a large bonus to Dodge, an archer’s primary defense. Sniper builds benefit from hiding bonuses from Natural Colors (601) and Sneaking (617), as well as being able to retain the +30 AS bonus from Camouflage (608) for multiple attacks, as long as the archer remains hidden. Rangers also benefit from a plethora of set up spells that can complement any weapon style, such as Sounds (607), Tangle Weed (610) and Call Swarm (615).

With so many benefits built in to the ranger class for archery, it is not hard to see why this is one of our preferred training paths.

Archer Ranger Core Training

# Cost Skill
2x 9/3 Ranged Weapons
2x 0/6 Perception
1x 3/3 Ambush
1x 7/5 Dodging
1x 4/0 Physical Fitness
1x 0/5 Harness Power
1x 0/17 Spell Research
23/39 Total

Archer Ranger Discreet Training

These values are plateaus you should strive to reach at some point in your career.

# Ranks Cost Skill Notes
30, 60, or 70 5/0 Armor Use For Brigandine, Double Chain, or Augmented Chain respectively. Try to train up to your desired armor ASAP as points allow.
50 2/0 Climbing By level 100, train this as needed to make climb checks prior to that.
50 2/0 Swimming By level 100, train this as needed to make swim checks prior to that.

Optional Additional Training

A list of the most common skills to use your additional training points on.

# Cost Skill Notes
2x 6/4 Stalking and Hiding If you plan to snipe then you will want to 2x this, if you are an open archer then skip it entirely.
1x-2x 1/1 Survival This will aid in skinning and foraging.
1x-2x 2/1 First Aid This will aid in skinning and reduce herb eating RT
2x 6/6 Ambush Additional AS for a steep cost.
0/17 Spell Research For spells beyond 640 and 120
0/10 Spiritual Lore, Blessings For additional benefits from certain spells.
0/10 Spiritual Lore, Summoning For additional benefits from certain spells.
0/5 Magic Item Use For more effective use of magic items.
0/5 Arcane Symbols For scroll reading.
0/5 Spiritual Mana Control 25 ranks for perfect sharing and 2x multicast

Post Cap Goals

Combat Maneuvers

Archer rangers typically do not train in Combat Maneuvers until at or near cap. Few maneuvers benefit an archer and ranged combat does not benefit from the AS/DS benefit of the Combat Maneuvers skill. What follows are the most useful maneuvers for an archer ranger:

Disarm Weapon - This maneuver is typically the first an archer will take it will be almost exclusively for defensive use. Getting disarmed can be crippling due to the loss a large chunk of DS.

Shadow Mastery - Snipers can benefit from the hiding bonus and RT reduction from this skill. It can also allow some movement with 608 active.

Combat Focus - Additional TD is always a benefit.

Cunning Defense - At rank 5 this is the equivalent to having 1 rank in every offensive maneuver for defensive purposes.

Sweep - Rangers typically use spells to set up a foe but sweep can be useful in cases where the foe is magic immune, casting is impeded or spells are ineffective for whatever reason.


Sniper vs Open

There are two widely accepted ways to play an archer ranger. The first is to try to remain in hiding and avoid being attacked while picking off foes. The other is to stand out in the open and use spells to help disable opponents or simply rely on the overwhelming efficiency of archery to stay safe. Both have advantages and disadvantages and neither is inherently wrong.

Sniper rangers train diligently in Stalking and Hiding to allow them to stay in the shadows. They benefit from Natural Colors (601) and Sneaking (617) helping them remain hidden and the +30 AS bonus from Camouflage (608) remaining active as long as they remain in hiding and do not move. Provided they can remain hidden nothing can attack them. Firing a bow from hiding adds a +1 RT penalty to each shot but this penalty can be offset with enough Strength Bonus. Very experienced snipers will often forgo hiding against weaker enemies because it adds unnecessary time to their hunts.

Archer rangers who fire from the open get to save training points by not investing in hiding. These saved points can be put towards things like Armor training, Magic Item Use, additional Spells or Combat Maneuvers in order to make the ranger a harder target. They tend to make more use of the ranger’s setup spells to disable their opponents. They essentially trade some of the safety of hiding for the hunting speed gained by not having to hide.

The Two Weapon Combat Ranger

The whirling scimitars of Drizzt Do'Urden, The 'mountain charge to rescue using hatchet and knife' in Last of the Mohicans, Lancelot's dual short swords in King Arthur, all bring the vision of our champion, the Two Weapon Combat Ranger. A challenging training path, with strong reliance on attack and speed. Very few rangers take this path. It is uphill both ways, in the snow, at night, crossing a frigid streams, without boots. It is very costly in training points, it delays most other skills/spells and offers little bolt defense.

Why Two Weapons?

Most ambushing rangers and archers can kill with one well placed strike. So too can the two-weapon ambushing ranger, but the world has creatures that cannot be critical struck and only massive raw damage will suffice. The style is about using ranger magics and blades together. This is really not a stand in the open and get beat on type of style. It requires good timing, and a rather large variety of spells to maneuver opponents into situations favorable to the ranger. From the skills and stats a Ranger can be a very good two weapon user. Great spirit warding, good variety of spells, low costs to train a variety of skills, some of the best attack spells for a semi, great defensive spells all make for a really versatile and easily adjustable character. While not recommended to try from early on, this style when combined with ambushing and Multi Opponent Combat is absolutely devastating.

Two Weapon Combat Ranger Core Training

# Cost Skill
1x 6/4 Combat Maneuvers
2x 9/6 Two Weapon Combat
2x 9/3 Edged Weapons
1x 7/5 Dodging
1x 4/0 Physical Fitness
1x-1 0/5 Harness Power
1x 0/2 Perception
1x 0/17 Spell Research
35/42 Total

TWC Ranger Discreet Training

These values are plateaus you should strive to reach at some point in your career.

# Ranks Cost Skill Notes
70 5/0 Armor Use Augmented Chain is the heaviest armor a Ranger can reliably cast in. This should be the first discreet goal.
50 2/0 Climbing By level 100, train this as needed to make climb checks prior to that.
50 2/0 Swimming By level 100, train this as needed to make swim checks prior to that.

Optional Additional Training

A list of the most common skills to use your additional training points on.

# Cost Skill Notes
2x 6/4 Stalking and Hiding If you want to ambush from hiding then you will want to 2x this, otherwise skip it entirely.
1x-2x 1/1 Survival This will aid in skinning and foraging.
1x-2x 2/1 First Aid This will aid in skinning and reduce herb eating RT
6/6 Ambush Aids in aiming your strikes.
0/17 Spell Research For spells beyond 640 and 120
0/10 Spiritual Lore, Blessings For additional benefits from certain spells.
0/10 Spiritual Lore, Summoning For additional benefits from certain spells.
0/5 Magic Item Use For more effective use of magic items.
0/5 Arcane Symbols For scroll reading.
0/5 Spiritual Mana Control 25 ranks for perfect sharing and 2x multicast


Post Cap Goals

Combat Maneuvers

Two Weapon Rangers can make good use of several Combat Maneuver skills:

Hamstring - Is the go to maneuver two dual weapon users. Using two weapons provides a major bonus and flaring weapons can flare when this hits.

Disarm Weapon - TWC Rangers can make use of this maneuver both offensive and defensively, making it a great all around choice.

Shadow Mastery - Ambushers can benefit from the hiding bonus and RT reduction from this skill. It can also allow some movement with 608 active.

Combat Focus - Additional TD is always a benefit.

Cunning Defense - At rank 5 this is the equivalent to having 1 rank in every offensive maneuver for defensive purposes.

Sweep - Rangers typically use spells to set up a foe but sweep can be useful in cases where the foe is magic immune, casting is impeded or spells are ineffective for whatever reason.

Sword and Board Ambusher

Using a one-handed sword and shield is an iconic fantasy style. Heroes wielding a blade while deflecting attacks with a sturdy shield could live to fight another day. Prior to the advent of Dodge it was really the only way to have a decent defense in Gemstone. While it is possible to be a non-ambushing Sword and Board ranger, it tends to have a slow kill speed, making hide and ambush a great place to spend those extra points.

Why Sword and Board?

What does a Sword and Board ranger have that a TWC ranger does not? The ability to survive a bolt attack. The use of a shield provides a great defensive benefit, even if rangers do not have access to shield maneuvers. With a ranger's ability to hide and ambush for aimed attacks, with a greater chance to critically hit, the trade-off of using a shield for defense is minimized.

Sword and Board Ambusher Core Training

# Cost Skill
1x 6/4 Combat Maneuvers
1x 5/0 Shield Use
2x 9/3 Edged Weapons
1x 7/5 Dodging
1x 4/0 Physical Fitness
2x 6/3 Stalking and Hiding
1x 3/3 Ambush
1x-1 0/5 Harness Power
1x 0/2 Perception
1x 0/17 Spell Research
40/42 Total

It might be necessary, depending on available training points, to reduce total Dodge from 1x to .75x.

Sword and Board Ambusher Discreet Training

These values are plateaus you should strive to reach at some point in your career.

# Ranks Cost Skill Notes
30, 60, or 70 5/0 Armor Use For Brigandine, Double Chain, or Augmented Chain respectively. Try to train up to your desired armor ASAP as points allow.
50 2/0 Climbing By level 100, train this as needed to make climb checks prior to that.
50 2/0 Swimming By level 100, train this as needed to make swim checks prior to that.

Optional Additional Training

A list of the most common skills to use your additional training points on.

# Cost Skill Notes
1x-2x 1/1 Survival This will aid in skinning and foraging.
1x-2x 2/1 First Aid This will aid in skinning and reduce herb eating RT
0/17 Spell Research For spells beyond 640 and 120
0/10 Spiritual Lore, Blessings For additional benefits from certain spells.
0/10 Spiritual Lore, Summoning For additional benefits from certain spells.
0/5 Magic Item Use For more effective use of magic items.
0/5 Arcane Symbols For scroll reading.
0/5 Spiritual Mana Control 25 ranks for perfect sharing and 2x multicast

Post Cap Goals

Combat Maneuvers

Shield using rangers have access to one of the best offensive CMANs available in Shield Bash. They can also make use of other offensive and defensive maneuvers.

Shield Bash - This is an excellent opener for any shield user, giving a chance to stun, knock down, stance up, and inflict RT.

Disarm Weapon - Getting disarmed is less of a DS problem for Sword and Board rangers due to their shield but the RT is still a pain.

Shadow Mastery - Ambushing rangers can benefit from the hiding bonus and RT reduction from this skill. It can also allow some movement with 608 active.

Combat Focus - Additional TD is always a benefit.

Cunning Defense - At rank 5 this is the equivalent to having 1 rank in every offensive maneuver for defensive purposes.

Druid

At the highest levels rangers can almost take on a druid-like attack style that focuses on using their nature magic to kill. These rangers are commonly referred to as Weed Mages. While this is usually done in combination with another combat style it is not entirely necessary to do so. This build relies almost entirely on the power of Spike Thorn (616).

Why a Weed Mage?

Unfortunately Gemstone IV does not have a Druid class. While it would be preferable to have this oversight fixed, in the mean time we have the Druid ranger. Spike Thorn is a powerhouse spell and Nature's Fury is one of the strongest AOE warding spells. With proper training a Druid ranger could even make good use of Unbalance and Searing Light.

Societies

Elanthia currently has 3 Societies to choose from; The Council of Light (CoL), Voln, and Guardians of Sunfist (GoS). Each offers unique bonuses and role play opportunities.

CoL

COL is the society for people who love big numbers. The society offers very little outside of the core AS/DS benefits, but those additional benefits are pretty nice mechanically.
Sign of Staunching stops all bleeding for 1 mana.
Sign of Healing is full Health for 2 spirit.
Sign of Wracking is full mana for 5 spirit.
Sign of Darkness is a teleport back to town for 6 spirit.
The other signs offer an overall gain of 35 AS, 35 DS, 20 Ranged/Spell DS, and 15 TD.

Keeping some of these signs up costs spirit. Fortunately, CoL sign duration is 10 seconds per level. At cap that is a duration of 16 minutes, 40 seconds. Even a dark elf could stagger signs enough to regen the 3 spirit required for the AS/DS/TD signs, and still remain barely static. Although, a dark elf cannot reasonably do that before level 90, they could always just leave off one of the 3 spirit using signs. Of course, a Dark Elf could not make the same use out of Sign of Wracking, due to the slow spirit regen.

Overall CoL offers decent abilities and low upkeep costs, but spirit can be burdensome for some races.

GoS

Sunfist is an attractive option, depending on your playstyle. It provies less overall AS/DS than CoL, at only +30 max but more TD at +20. The Sigil of Major Bane also offers heavy crit weighting to all AS/DS attacks against Hated Enemites. On the defensive side, they receive -5 DS relative to CoL, but they also get Heavy Crit padding with Sigil of Major Protection.

Sigil of Power converts 50 stamina to 25 mana, which can be great for Archer rangers who have little use for stamina, leaving stamina free
Sigil of Escape provides protection against Stun/web/binds/etc, once per day. This is definitely going to save your life at times and is a nice alternative to 1040.
Sigil of Mending provides a +10 boost to health recovery and allows you to eat any herb in 3 seconds.<br. Sigil of Concentration provides a +10 boost to mana recovery per pulse.
The other major attraction of GoS is the ability to Warcamp. These self contained hunting grounds generate Grimswarm creatures of a specific race; Troll, Orc, or Giant. They can be one of many professions and have the abilities to match. Camps can be more dangerous than regular hunting grounds but they are also a place you can fry very quickly.

The downside to Sunfist is that the duration and costs of their sigils are static. You are going to be spending a large amount of mana/stamina to keep sigils up throughout a hunt and it takes some effort to keep them running. For the base AS/DS boosts, you are only looking at 10 mana/10 Stamina every 5 minutes. If you want the Sigil of Major Bane and Sigil of Major Protection for the additional +10 AS/DS and heavy weighting/padding it will cost an additional 20 mana and 25 stamina per minute. Compare that to the 6 mana and 3 spirit CoL members pay for 15 minutes of all of their AS/DS/TD signs. The sigils are a much higher mana cost but at the same time, they do not cost spirit.

Voln

Voln was recently redone. It now offers +26 AS to all critters, +39 against undead, +26 DS, and +13 TD.

Symbol of blessing allows easy hunting of undead. The ability to UAC without needing a bless can be helpful to the new subset of UAC rangers. The Symbol of mana is attractive at 50 mana every 5 minutes. It is not as powerful at the top end as others but there is no downside to usage.

Symbol of dreams is nice, health/mana/spirit/stats recovery. Good to use post-death along with Symbol of Recall, which restores your spells after you die.

Additionally, Voln has a societal teleportation system where the back of their society has pocket portals to everywhere. One of which is the Rift. It is a godsend for Rift hunters.

Voln's symbols work off favor, which you accumulate through hunting undead. This is a non-issue if you are hunting undead regularly. Once the Symbol of Blessing is acquired it should not be a problem to hunt them. Undead are typically pretty easy targets to hunt relative to other critters at like levels, so a lot of time is typically spent hunting them.

Useful Links