I sometimes evaluate things according to how useful a toon is in lots of types of quests. Not just maximum DPS. Like my Sorc delivers a barrage of spell that can clear out anything. It’s quite useful. Or my Arti – my arti excels in okay DPS through draconic and rune arm and the whole array of buffs and trap skills. And on the fringe we have my 2 fighters – one half tank but good 2 weapon fighting (while blitzing) and then the pure g-axe swinging half orc. He’s shelved right now because there’s no point dragging him into groups where he’ll require so much healing. Great DPS, just no self sufficient enough.
And then there’s my ranger (sure I got other toons too, but I’m trying to illustrate the bandwidth from specialization to massive DPS). He’s not superb DPS but good – using Fury of the Wild for those fury hits. Be it through multi arrow or just single hits. He sports a black dragon set, helmet and armor – 2 shadow weapons, a scimmi that will eventually become a mortal fear weapon and a khopesh that adds paralyze for tier 3 I will get it crippling flames. So Mortal Fear and a chance for negative levels. He also got a bow – and I’m thinking I want something more DPS for tier 3. Sure, mortal fear is nice, but a lot of the ranged bursts are aimed against bosses and mortal fear won’t really do much against them. True, there’s the force damage, but I’m thinking something a little more.
What makes my ranger so good is that it adds survivability – through a good reflex save, excellent dodge and other features like self healing. I still use a pair of con op goggles for that added SP, so I never run out while self healing. It’s great – and I proved it to myself by doing haunted halls and doing really well.
Not that my Arti or Sorc struggles, other then against Miior – both of them puts out lots of DPS, but it’s hairy against the white dragon and Miior is like 1 hit, run in circles until the stack goes away, then a few hits etc.
Now with my Ranger. Multi arrow will take care of whisper without worrying about the helmet horrors. The Mummy is a little bit hairier because of how the skellies keep spawning eventually overwhelming hirelings. But here’s where a good thing comes in – that meteor augment. 2% to fire off a meteor, doing fire and untyped damage. With a chance to knock down. I put it on my khopesh and it works.
Miior is actually a cake walk; other then the statues hits my Ranger won’t take electric damage (evades most of it) and with boots, ring and cloak, all adding electric absorb it’ll take a lot of stacks for that to ever count. So I just stand there, smack like crazy and add as much fury hits as possible. With a cocoon now and then followed by cure serious I’m good. Or you put the hireling healer away, tell him to stay and stand close enough to be healed but not to fry the healer and that part is even covered.
The giant skellie is just a matter of beating it up and then profit.
Even the white dragon is easy enough. The jumps and such will knock my Ranger over, but by circling and looking for the signs it’s easy enough to rotate. Most of the ice won’t hit him and I even have a cloak with some cold absorb. A few fury shots later and it’s done. To put it simply – he might not be the best DPS and most of it is burst, but through well rounded survivability and gear he’ll do most different quests without issue.
I’ve always liked him – from the many solo runs in Shavarath, slowly adding green steel items that provided survivability all the way to 28, where the different destinies have sharpened the edge a little. It might take him a little longer to clear a room, but he’ll do it without taking excessive damage. And that’s important too.