I don't completely agree with you...I quite like the Longshot damage boost. With about 40/60 str/Dex and 3k damage, Longshot hits up to 8.1k (skill page), usual skill hits are at least 2 times my auto, if not more...especially if the boss is lured/shattered. I wouldn't really call that a "small damage boost".
As for support skills, I do partially agree there...though I would say that Entangle is a valid option as well. Light Heal is an amazing skill at early-midgame, but the gains start to drop once you get into late-endgame, as health starts jumping up a bit more. It's still a decent option, but harder to justify using it. Steady Aim is also a very good skill (a self support skill rather than a group support)...better than Sharpen Weapons. If you are looking at an overall view of the entire group's damage, then sharpen would win out if you can keep it up on everyone, otherwise steady is better imo.
Rangers also have other support skills that simply are either too weak or too niche to be of use, such as Defensive Spikes, Camouflage, Conceal, etc. I personally would rather see those be updated to be more useful.
All that being said, the game is slowly moving away from the group mentality. I personally am not a fan of it....I really like the idea of people picking a class for their primary role, then working as a group to play through the game. Unfortunately, due to the length of the game, class balancing, and base gameplay mechanics, that's not really possible. I see why it's being done, and I agree that it's necessary, but that doesn't mean I like it
Rabbit trail aside, in summary...I think that Rangers are actually one of the more balanced classes throughout the game (though Warrior is getting fairly close). Sure they could use some changes, but not as much as other classes (in my humble opinion).
i disagree. I posted my views on barbed shot in multiple threads both recently and some time ago about what i believe to be solid fixes to making this a viable skil so wont elaborate further here.
In regards to longshot, whilst it is true that it hits roughly 2x an auto on the high end, it also interupts autos meaning that it is not as simple as saying it hits hard so its a good skill - it doesnt hit hard anyway, of all classes it is the weakest big hitting skill. Storm touch, sneaky, assassinate, blast, storm all hit harder and direct damage gear adds higher boosts to all of those skills than longshot.
The dex scaling on longshot is basically exactly the same as sharpshot which is ludacrus in my eyes - an insta cast hit vs the classes “nuke” skill with 2x the cooldown having equal scalings. Longshot is effectively an auto+sharpshot in one hit. This skill needs a rework because as it stands it just isnt working.
Currently the only thing that longshot really has in its favour is the slightly higher hit rate than autoing alone thanks to the secret change from movement evasion into physical evasion.
At current end game, a ranger is behind mage, rogue and warrior in terms of dps. Not 100% about druids as that has a lot of variables that the other classes are not affected by but assuming its a solo druid without others lapping both dots then the druid is also superior to ranger at BT. Now as a primarily dps oriented class is it really fair to be the worst dps class in the game? The argument that a ranger is also a solid support class so its okay doesnt even stand up as every other class in the game is far better suited towards support aswell as a rangers support skills are incredibly lackluster. Entangle is unseen at end game because tanks are so heavily decked out in prot/bt/gele gear that entangle has literally zero use. Bolas is unseen outside of edl when there is no tanks(this isnt even end game), skewer isnt a bow skill, self buffs are dps skills and i dont classify them as support skills, sharpen weapons is not worth casting if you are looking at personal dps - use it if you are just looking at raid dps on group members - light heal because irrelivant when chests were released because who doesnt have restos nowadays? I had well over 50k till i started giving them away by the boat load to clannies and friends.
Since the CG offhands release where wars got a dps offy, rogues spite became the strongest thing in the game having 2 offhands with shorter duration, larger hits and more people spiting than ever before and it has only shown us how heavily dependant rangers have been on their edl quiver to pull us through. Now with CG quiver being as weak as it is in conparison to other classes a ranger isnt even the best dps class on proteus anymore. A rogue is.
With all due reapect, i whole heartedly disagree with you view that rangers are among the most balanced class and would almost go as far as to say that they are the least balanced class in the game. I mean even leveling they are aweful, save myself some restos sure but they are on par with druids as the slowest class in the game to level