The Hunter Ranger in the Neverwinter MMORPG is a character class focused on taking out enemies from a distance, finishing them off quickly. Hunter Rangers focus on ranged damage, to engage enemies before they can get close to the Hunter Ranger. They cannot withstand much punishment from enemies, so strategy and tactics play a large role in a Hunter Ranger. Play a Hunter Ranger if you like characters that attack from a distance using strategy versus brawn.
Hunter Ranger Class Role Specifics
The Dungeons and Dragons 4e role that Hunter Rangers fit into is the Striker, a DPS (Damage Per Second) class. Hunter Rangers specifically focus on concentrating their efforts on a doing lots of damage to many enemies. Many of their powers focus on doing damage to an area rather than a single powerful enemy. They favor offense over defense, using powers that attack a group of enemies with deadly force.
Their primary method of defeating enemies is by doing a lot of damage, fast. This has the advantage of taking out many weaker enemies quickly. For more powerful enemies, the Hunter Ranger can root, or hold monsters in place, for a short duration, allowing a little more time to finish them off. Hunter Rangers should focus on as many weaker enemies as possible so they can take them out quickly. Then the Hunter Ranger can use close in powers to battle whatever is left.
Hunter Rangers have the ability to switch between two completely different sets of powers. The first set of powers is all range focused and the second is melee focused. Hunter Rangers change between these two fighting styles by using the Tab key. Though this is a fun strategy, the Hunter Ranger tends to be much more effective and survivable using the ranged mode as their primary way to defeat enemies.
Creating a Hunter Ranger
When you create a Hunter Ranger in Neverwinter, keep in mind the primary abilities that make a good Hunter Ranger:
- Dexterity– Dexterity is a must for a Hunter Ranger. Your skill and ability with ranged combat is primarily determined by it. This should be a Hunter Ranger’s main purpose.
- Strength – Strength is the best second option for a Hunter Ranger. This helps the melee side of a Hunter Ranger perform a little better.
Picking a Race for your Hunter Ranger
Next, you will need to select the race of the character you want to play. A couple of good choices for Hunter Ranger in Neverwinter are Elves and Half-Orcs. These races may give you a slight advantage just starting out with their stat boosts. However, as you level, you can easily mitigate any advantage you may have had through assigning leveling points, feat points, and magic items. So don’t worry too much about what stats the race gives you.
Instead, choose a race that makes you happy, then look at the racial abilities they may offer as secondary, and lastly look to the ability bonuses the race may offer.
Rolling Dice for Ability Scores
You will roll virtual dice to determine starting ability scores. When you roll up your character you can roll all you want. So make sure you keep rolling until you get the best stats possible for your Hunter Ranger. Dexterity should be maxed out, and Strength should also be very high. If you can, try to get your character’s Constitution at an OK score. Your other ability points will affect your character some, but not much, and not as importantly as your two primary abilities.
When you level up these abilities throughout your career as a Hunter Ranger, you should put 1 point in Dexterity and 1 in Strength every time, unless you plan to raid heavily. If that is the case, you may want to put a few points into Constitution.
Items and Gear for a Hunter Ranger
The items and gear in the game definitely help fine tune your Hunter Ranger in Neverwinter. As a Hunter Ranger your main purpose is to deal damage so make sure to keep all your weapons upgraded including all of the offensive item enhancements. The more damage a Hunter Ranger can do, the better, so make dealing damage your main focus. Power and Critical work great for Hunter Rangers when it’s time to decide on enchantments. If a Hunter Ranger keeps these up to date, they should be able to handle most solo content that is appropriate for their level.
Armor and other protective items should not be neglected on a Hunter Ranger. Hunter Rangers should avoid duking it out with enemies but there will be times that the Hunter Ranger will be getting hit. When these occasions arise it is important to have decent defensive gear.
Playing a Hunter Ranger
When you are playing a Hunter Ranger in Neverwinter you will want to keep your eye out for enemies. The advantage of Hunter Rangers comes from surprising enemies, not the other way around. When a group of enemies is found, find the best place to stage your battle, preferably as far as possible from the group of enemies you are about to engage. Then open up with your most powerful Area of Effect (AOE) attacks. Follow that up with your less powerful or single target attacks. With decent gear and a good plan the Hunter Ranger should be able to dominate just about any encounter they begin.
If the tables turn and the Hunter Ranger is ambushed, it can be a different story altogether. Make sure to have a backup plan in case this happens, because it will on occasion. In this case Hunter Rangers can tackle the problem by either jumping right into melee mode or by using some of the evasion powers to skip away from the ambush and unload their ranged powers. Be ready with whatever tactic and powers suit your particular gaming style.
Daily Powers for Hunter Rangers are best used when they are ambushed or get stuck into melee combat. Unlike other classes that rely on frequent use of Daily Powers, it is much better to wait to use them until they are needed. When things go bad, Hunter Rangers can quickly get overwhelmed so it is important to have these Daily Powers ready to use.
Hunter Rangers should be able to look out for themselves in a battle, with a few powers they can use to heal and buff themselves. Try to have at least one available to use. As a Hunter Ranger in Neverwinter, you definitely need healing potions. Make sure to have a good supply of these as you head into dungeons. Also be sure to pick up the newest, most powerful healing potions as soon as they are available to you. You want to have the best healing available, and plenty of it!
You can also get short term buffs through collectibles you will gather in each of the public areas. Make sure to use these collectibles and turn them into the Bounty Boards to get items to use for short term bonuses. These will always relate to the area you are in so use them while you are in the area.
Companions of your Hunter Ranger
As you learn to play your Hunter Ranger in Neverwinter you will learn what you like and what you don’t. You will get a feel for your character and what may be a good complement to your style. This is where your companion choices will come into play in Neverwinter.
Companions are the last thing these basic or Heroic guides will talk about. Heroic is level 1-20 and somewhere in your mid to late teens you will be able to afford a companion. There are many different ones to choose from but only a few real roles that they will serve.
I found that the best companion for my Hunter Ranger in Neverwinter was a Guardian. They worked well to pull the enemies together making them easy pickings for a Hunter Ranger. Though if you really push the speed of running into encounters, the guardian companion can get worn down.
The other choice would be a leader (healer) companion. This often is the default companion for players. I found, though, that if encounters with enemies were managed right, the healer companion didn’t get much work except during a boss fight. Most observant players should be able to tell when a boss fight is coming and switch to a healing companion if they feel they might need it. This technique worked really well for me.
Grouping as a Hunter Ranger
When you are playing a Hunter Ranger in Neverwinter, you will want to group with others. If you play your Hunter Ranger well, you’ll be vital to the group’s success. All classes can be played poorly but a well-played Hunter Ranger will really help to make a group dominate a quest.
When a Hunter Ranger is in a group, they should take out the groups of weaker creatures quickly, then help with the more powerful enemies:
- With the Hunter Ranger’s range and skill at AOE Powers, they can easily handle the weaker groups of enemies.
- Hunter Rangers can do a lot of damage quickly, but it is important to let others engage powerful enemies first because they cannot take the attention like other classes.
It’s important to know that a well-played Hunter Ranger in Neverwinter should always keep the attention of the party’s enemies off themselves. This can be hard to do at times because of the Hunter Ranger’s abilities but by checking targets and having a little patience, the Hunter Ranger should be able to play a key role and help keep the group alive.
Remember to keep an eye on your other party members, especially the healers or controllers. If needed, a Hunter Ranger can help out as an off tank or melee fighter in a pinch. Hunter Rangers do have a few abilities they can use to slow and debuff enemies, which can really help out on tougher fights.
The main thing to keep in mind when playing a Hunter Ranger is to clear out the weak enemies with AOE powers and avoid getting the attention of the more powerful enemies while still utilizing your abilities. If you find that your Hunter Ranger is getting too much attention, try cycling through enemies to spread out the hate generated between the enemies.
Player Versus Player as a Hunter Ranger
Disclaimer of Bias: First off let me say that Dungeons and Dragons has never been, nor ever should be, a game based on single player versus player battles. The whole point of Dungeons and Dragons is to bring players together in a group, not have them fight each other. To this end, each role in Dungeons and Dragons is meant to be part of a whole cohesive unit. Each piece cannot be balanced on its own, due to the unique role each fills. Being able to kill something is a very narrow view of what makes a character. That is just one thing in a long list of things that makes any Dungeons and Dragons game and group successful. Player versus player is a bit blasphemous, in my opinion, and goes against the true spirit of Dungeons and Dragons. However, group versus group battles are more reasonable and have a better chance of succeeding in balance. I will talk a little about both below.
Hunter Rangers in solo player versus player combat can be pretty powerful as long as they can avoid face to face battles. Hunter Rangers can deal a good amount of damage quickly but they will not be able to take much damage. If you are caught or cornered in PVP most classes can handle a Hunter Ranger. So the trick is to keep moving and to not let yourself be cornered.
In group based player versus player combat, a Hunter Ranger can be a boon. With their ability to fight at great range they can quickly switch between battles in PVP to help players in need. The biggest thing is that the Hunter Ranger is dependent on the party communicating so they know where they can be of most aid.
In a group, the Hunter Ranger can rain devastation down on an opposing group. This makes them a prime target, so make sure to keep moving and watch for those that will be trying to take you out. It is a good idea to have at least one power ready in PVP just to escape those that track you down.
Overview of a Hunter Ranger
Hunter Rangers can take a little patience to play correctly. With their ability to switch between range and melee, there are a couple of different approaches that can be taken when playing a Hunter Ranger. They seem to work best at range as their primary mode of fighting, with melee as their second, but they are feasible either way.
Through the use of feats and Paragon abilities, you will be able to tune your Hunter Ranger into the specific kind of character you want for Neverwinter.