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Category: Professions
Topic: Ranger
Message #: 293
Author: GS4-MESTYS
Date: 12/29/2020
Subject: Ranger Spell Review Release.


Introduction

After reviewing some of the results of the player survey about Rangers, one of the goals that we wanted to achieve was encouraging archetypes, specifically centered on ranged/melee combat vs. the more spell-heavy "druid" style of Ranger. When we started thinking about Ascension ideas along this vein, we realized that it would require a review over the Ranger spell circle itself before we could continue.

A lot of this is based around the expansion of "Nature" damage that was introduced years ago with Resist Nature (620), and creating synergies between spells and physical combat to encourage a more dynamic attack style that takes advantage of both. Other changes are more for quality of life and the modernization of mechanics.


Spell Updates

Natural Colors (601) - The spell may now be cast on others. At 11 Ranger spell ranks, Natural Colors may be EVOKEd to affect the Ranger’s group.

Resist Elements (602) - The spell will provide DS against Minor Steam (1707) in addition to the existing elemental bolt spells.

Wild Entropy (603) - New CS-based attack spell. Deals initial disintegration-based Nature damage followed by 4 additional cycles of minor damage spaced 2 seconds apart. Each instance of damage inflicts a negative Nature resistance effect with a magnitude of 10 + 1 per Summoning lore seed 1. This debuff stacks with diminishing returns equal to half of the previous magnitude (10 + 5 + 2 + 1 + 0 ...). The duration of the debuff is a refreshable 30 seconds. On a successful cast of the spell at a target that is already affected by Wild Entropy, any remaining damage cycles will immediately fire.

Nature's Bounty (604) - A combination of the previous spells Foraging (603) and Skinning (604). Duration to be updated to a standard 1200 + 60s per Ranger spell rank. At 30 ranks of Blessings lore, the Ranger unlocks the ability to EVOKE the spell once an hour to fully restore forage slots in a room.

Barkskin (605) - New short-duration utility spell that allows the Ranger to surround themselves with a thick layer of bark, which will absorb the next instance of a physical attack, SMRv2 maneuver, bolt spell, or warding spell that would have otherwise successfully struck them. On attacks that would have only moderately been successful, the bark has a 50 + (Blessings lore ranks / 2) % chance of enduring. Moderate success is defined as a successful endroll threshold of no more than 20 + (Ranger’s Survival skill / 10). The duration of the spell is a flat 60 seconds, and may be cast on others.

No target of the spell may receive the benefits of Barkskin more than once per 5 minutes. At 15 Blessings lore ranks, the Ranger may COMMUNE with nature to cast the spell while incapacitated (but not while in roundtime) once per hour. At 50 Blessings lore ranks, the spell may be EVOKEd to affect the Ranger’s entire group for 15 mana.

The existing benefits of Whispering Willow will become an inherent Ranger ability, and will allow the Ranger to always be able to reach their recipient, regardless of whether or not the target is visible, indoors, in the same realm, locateable, or Unpresenced. Additionally, recipients of remote whispers will receive the ability to respond to the Ranger for up to 3 minutes after being contacted.

Sounds (607) - The spell will additionally inflict a SMRv2 defense penalty equal to half the DS modifier.

Camouflage (608) - Will additionally bestow +30 bolt spell AS/+18 CS when an offensive spell is cast out of Camouflage (PREPARE will be updated for everyone to be usable while in hiding). At 20 Blessings lore ranks, Camouflage will also apply to the Ranger’s active companion when it is in the same room, providing a SMRv2 bonus of +30 to its next attack when it is able to attack from hiding in that room. At ranks 4 and 5 of Shadow Mastery, the casting roundtime of Camouflage is reduced by 1 second each (minimum 1).

Sunburst (609) - The current single-target debuff is to be implemented as a mass spell when Sunburst is open cast. A new single-target version will do moderate fire damage in addition to existing debuff effects, and is considered Nature damage. When the target is affected by Moonbeam, Sunburst consumes the lucent energy (ending the immobilization effect) and inflicts moderate plasma damage to the target.

Tangle Weed (610) - Converted to SMRv2, with success modified by Summoning lore. The spell’s firing rate will be increased from every 10 seconds to every 8 seconds. The strength drain debuff will always apply on a successful hit, with a magnitude that scales with the result of the maneuver roll (up to -25 AS). At 10 ranks of Blessings lore, the strength drained from the target is granted to the Ranger in the form of a general AS boost equal in magnitude to the debuff, and a spiritual CS boost equal to 60% of the debuff. The duration of the effect is a flat 2 minutes, refreshable (highest magnitude applies).

Moonbeam (611) - New SMRv2 attack spell, primary success based on Ranger spell ranks. The Ranger calls down a pale beam of light to encase their target in a lucent beam, binding the target’s movements for up to 60 seconds based on success.

The Ranger may also focus the beam into bolt spell attack via EVOKE, chilling the target with cold Nature damage. Upon a successful hit, the bolt has a (30 + (Summoning ranks / 2) +/- (level differential)^2)) % chance to flare with an SMRv2 roll (same factors as the standard CAST version) to immobilize the target for up to 6 seconds. If the target is disoriented by Sunburst, the flare chance is increased by 50%. On a successful flare, another instance of immobilization will automatically be applied 6 seconds later for a flat 4-second duration. Training in Blessings lore will cause this effect to recur every 6 seconds at a rate of 1 bonus cycle per 30 ranks of lore.

Moonbeam Bolt DF: .515 .410 .315 .280 .185
Moonbeam Bolt AvD: 68,68,68,68 58,57,56,55 49,47,45,43 41,38,35,32 34,30,26,22

Summoning lore dictates DF increase, per standard bolt spell mechanics.

Breeze (612) - No longer scatters the caster's or caster allies' summoned events (swarms, clouds, etc.). Gale force effect to be converted to SMRv2, with success modified by Summoning lore. Roundtime inflicted upon targets scales based on the maneuver roll, ranging from 3-6 seconds. The spell no longer blows objects around unless EVOKEd.

New self-cast version of the spell bestows the Ranger’s physical attacks with a standard flare chance to inflict roundtime on the target (random 2-4 seconds). When the flare triggers for a ranged weapon attack, it additionally reduces the roundtime of ranged weapon combat by 1 second, for a duration of 10 + 1 second per 12 Blessings lore ranks. The latter effect may not occur more than once per minute, and will not reduce roundtime to lower than 3 seconds.

Imbue (614) - At 5 Blessings lore ranks, the Ranger may cast the spell at an imbued wand or rod that they created to imbed it with Wild Entropy, for the full cost of the charges added. The wand/rod will only be usable by its creator. At 40 Blessings lore ranks, the Ranger receives double the Magic Item Use benefits for any magic item that they create via Imbue.

Spike Thorn (616) - Converted to SMRv2.

Mass Calm (619) - Update to skip targets that are already calmed.

Nature's Touch (625) - Additionally bestows a standard flare chance that applies a maximized Wild Entropy debuff (based on training) on all physical and magical attacks. When the flare originates from a physical attack, the next offensive Ranger spell cast after the flare (within 30 seconds) will incur only 1 second of cast roundtime. When the flare originates from a magical attack, the next physical attack made after the flare (within 30 seconds) will be made with an AS boost of 10 + 1 per Blessings lore seed 1.

Animal Companion (630) - The level cap on animal companions will be increased to equal the Ranger’s level (up from Ranger level - 2). Attacks made by companions are considered Nature damage. GUARD rescaled to no longer reduce AS, and rescaled DS to cap at +25. Removed Broken Lands/Shadow Valley/Rift realm restrictions. ATTACK, GUARD, RETURN, and CEASE may now be used in roundtime. Greatly reduced summoning time. ATTACK and GUARD are now performed immediately when the companion has not recently taken a combat action.

Assume Aspect (650) - May be EVOKEd with a single aspect for the full duration of the spell, at half magnitude. ASSUMEing while in this form will be equivalent to EVOKEing the new aspect, at the full mana cost.


Fluff Updates

Druid Titles - Total combined Blessings and Summoning skill will allow Rangers to unlock the Druid (180 skill) and Archdruid (280 skill) titles, without the existing deity or Mana Control requirement.

Credits

Design Estild, Oscuro, Ixix, Naijin, Viduus, Zissu, Contemplar, Gyres, Ivry, Meraki, Yusri
QC Naijin, Zissu, Ixix, Isten
Spell/Memento Messaging Gyres
Storyline Xayle, Xynwen, Naionna, Annanasi

Thanks to the entire Dev team for their insights and design direction for the review.

A special shout out to the storyline group, who were wonderful collaborators in tying our updates together.

-M.