The purpose of this topic is to underline to the Celtic Heroes community as well as the OneThumbMobile team the blatant imbalance that exists between the Rogue and Ranger class. While it's true that caster classes have problems of their own, this post concentrates specifically on these two classes because I have played them extensively and I hope to provide the insight necessary to "see" this problem so that we can all work on solutions to solve and or mitigate them.
This discussion will first define the boundaries of each class, explicitly exposing their roles. The skill repertoire of the two classes will then be compared and their usefulness will be tested according to three categories: PvE, PvP, and Raid Effectiveness. Finally, solutions will be proposed to solve this class imbalance.
Rangers are usually associated with the wisdom of nature, yet can be as deadly as the most skilled assassins if need be. They are the jack of all trades, harnessing the power of nature to cloak themselves and blend with their environment, slow down and ensnare the enemy's hands and feet, sharpen their weapons to a deadly pierce and preserve life through the art of healing. Rangers tend to be extremely dexterous, making them able to wield a repertoire of weapons. While most skilled with the bow through which they shoot arrows with deadly precision, they tend to be well versed in other forms of combat such as melee (i.e spear wielding and knuckle blade combat) although they pale in comparison to their warrior counterpart.
Rogues are stealthy and dexterous characters, able to sneak up on foes and backstab them from hiding. They focus on dodging attacks rather than withstanding damage and tend to eliminate their foes in the least amount of moves possible. They are extremely skilled with daggers, often dual-wielding them and rely on their speed and rapid strikes rather than sheer damage output. As with rangers, they can use their stealth abilities to disappear from sight and restrict the enemy when he is least aware.
This is the "utopian" class role. However in Celtic Heroes, things tend to be a tad bit different, yet the spirit of it does not change.
- A ranger sacrifices speed and burst damage with relatively slow bow auto damage, range, and more powerful, slower skills. His auto damage far exceeds that of a dagger wielding individual.
- A rogue sacrifices range and power for wicked fast auto damage through the use of quick daggers and burst damage skills.
With that in mind, let us delve into the skill repertoire of each class to compare their usefulness in the CH environment.
N.B: Bandage Wounds, Recuperate and Meditate are excluded form the list. Also, dexterity based and strength based skills are coded by color. Non-stat affected skills are black. Lastly, support skills encapsulate support skills as well as non-direct damage skills.
1. Raw Comparison
At a first level comparison, rogues clearly have more damage based skills than rangers, and an almost equal amount of support based skills. However, rangers have 1 indirect strength based skills, while rogues have 5 direct and 1 indirect strength based skills. Let's look at this visually:
This "raw" comparison of skills clearly shows that rangers are at a disadvantage compared to rogues skills-wise because if they choose a strength-based build, they literally have no skills to choose from and must rely on their auto as sole means of damage.
2. Usefulness Comparison
Let us now compare these skills according to their usefulness. A 0-5 scale will be used to quantify this (0 being utterly useless and 5 being perfect) and it will be applied at high-end status. This means that the degree of exactitude is only relevant to high-end rogues because at lower levels, things tend to be different.
Let me explain why I judged certain skills the way I did.
- Riposte takes a 1 or a 5 because if you are leveling or farming, then it is a very very useful skill, dealing massive damage to multiple enemies on a strength build. However, at 190+, where a rogue's attention shifts from leveling to raiding, the skill is abandoned for other more strategic skills.
- Rapid Shot can be considered useless at high-end game status due to the extensive use of heroic elixirs of haste, however, on Killain or full not-so-important bosses, it can be a very useful cost-effective skill to have. Therefore it can range from 1 to 5.
- Double Shot, unlike double attack does not receive a 5 because it takes longer to cast, and wastes two autos which are the only thing rangers rely upon at end game.
- The rest is pretty self-explanatory and a consensus among the rogue/ranger community.
Again, let's visualize this since pictures are worth a thousand words :
Clearly, rogues are the overwhelming winner in this comparison. Not only do they have a high number of very useful skills, they have a low number of useless skills as compared to rangers who only have 4 useful skills and a heck-load of relatively useless skills.
3. Comparison in the 3 Domains
Celtic Heroes gameplay currently revolves around three things: PvP (arena and castle), PvE (leveling, farming), and Raiding (killing raid bosses). Let's look at the usefulness of these skills applied in each category/gameplay style.
In PvP, a rogue and a ranger are pitted against each other, and the goal is to drop the enemy's health to 0 first. This means dishing out the most damage in the shortest amount of time, but also surviving damage, evading it in order to survive and kill the opponent.
Usually (great emphasis on usually):
- A PvP rogue will have a dexterity build because it provides great survivability through the evasion of autos, while still providing a ton of damage through the repertoire of skills available. Also, auto damage is not that greatly reduced because the offhand is usually an axe which provides a decent amount of elemental damage as well as strength points.
- A PvP ranger (saying the word makes me giggle, i've not heard of one ) who has no dexterity based skills will usually be a strength build, relying on his auto to quickly annihilate his opponent. He may use his skills such as light heal to heal himself, or bolas to slow down the enemy while attacking at a distance. However, in the current game mechanics, light heal is interrupted by the wicked fast rogue autos and the burst damage skills. Therefore 1. light heal is rendered useless and 2. bolas is rendered useless because shadow strike enables the rogue to spawn at the ranger and continue dishing damage. Not to mention that bolas' length time is reduced in PvP.
Both classes will have allocated enough points into vitality, or used to right gear to have HP above 4k.
Let's look at each class turn by turn. We shall compare a level 190 rogue and ranger, with maxed abilities. Forgetting gear bonuses other than offhand, the rogue will have 155 strength, 555 dexterity, and 400 vitality. The ranger will have 555 strength, 400 vitality, and 150 dexterity.
- Damage Skills: Shadowstrike, Quick Strike, Riposte, Sneaky Attack, Life Steal
- Support Skills: Fast Reflexes, Poison Weapon.
- Damage Skills: Double Shot
- Support Skills: Sharpen Weapons, Steady Aim.
Let's look at the effectiveness of these skills by dividing Damage (level 50 skills) by Cast Time and Reload Time. Using Swan's Index of Skills and Formulas we get:
N.B: Let's exclude fluctuation from auto damage. Also, keep in mind that sharpen weapons and steady aim add about 400-500 points to attack.
The next step is to find the cast time and cool-down of these skills.
- Fast Reflexes, Sharpen Weapons, Steady Aim and Poison Weapon are cast before the fight therefore their damage-effectivness = damage dealt.
- Shadowstrike and Quick Strike are instantaneous and therefore their their damage-effectivness = damage dealt.
(Note that sneaky attack cannot be recast therefore has a recast time of 30 which I think is the longest recast time.)
Taking this into account, here is the final result for damage-effectiveness:
Finally, let's visualize the total:
Clearly and yet again, rogues have the upper hand with around 1.8 more damage effectiveness in PvP.
Too lazy to do this as some rogues may prefer dex builds or strenght builds in normal gameplay other than PvP and raiding.
c. Raid Bosses
On raid bosses, a ranger deals damage from a distance while a rogue is at melee distance from the boss and can get hit by AOE skills.
Usually (great emphasis on usually):
- A raid rogue will have a strength build because it provides decent, less avoided damage and can still deal a ton of damage through the repertoire of skills available. Auto damage is increased because of the strength build as well.
- A raid ranger who has no dexterity based skills will usually be a strength build, relying on his auto to quickly annihilate his opponent. He may use his skills such as light heal to heal himself, or bolas to slow down and kite the enemy while attacking at a distance. However, in the current game mechanics, bolas is highly evaded.
Both classes will run a 2.5 k health build. I will consider a stat based one and not one gained through gear (i.e. garanak).
Let's look at each class turn by turn. We shall compare a level 190 rogue and ranger, with maxed abilities. Forgetting gear bonuses other than offhand, the rogue will have 710 strength, 5 dexterity, and 400 vitality. The ranger will have 555 strength, 400 vitality, and 150 dexterity.
- Damage Skills: Quick Strike, Sneaky Attack, Assassinate, Rend, Double Attack
- Support Skills: Poison Weapon, Expose Weakness, Smoke Bomb.
- Damage Skills: Double Shot
- Support Skills: Sharpen Weapons, Steady Aim, Bolas, Light Heal.
Doing exactly as before, and for the sake of brevity, this is the end result:
N.B: I am not taking into account pierce resistance, and no haste elixirs are being used.
Rogue rules again, with around 1.3 more damage-effectiveness.
- Make double shot instant cast, however it should have the downside of being able to miss.
- Make sharp shot strength based and/or give it poison damage
- Reduce barbed shot cast time, make it strength-based, and/or make it damage based.
As clearly demonstrated, albeit some errors, rogues and rangers, although theoretically supposed to deal the same amount of damage over time each having advantages and disadvantages, rangers are left behind because of a solely dex-based repertoire and broken skills that are not even used by the ranger population. On three categories, PvP, PvE and Raid Bossing, rogues have the upper hand.
Please excuse any errors that could have been made, and thanks for taking the time to read.
- Swan's Auto Attack and Skill Formulas: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=56130