Sep 162015

Update 28 Preview: Tempest Ranger Enhancements

Update 28 information continues to leak out. Obviously this is not really a “leak”, in that Turbine employees are posting this information on purpose just so that we can see it. Nonetheless, the slow drip-drip-drip of screenshot previews and enhancement tree reworks seems more analogous to faulty plumbing than anything else.

But I digress. This is not about Turbine building excitement for the new release. This is about the newly announced Tempest Ranger enhancements. We already know from yesterday’s post that Tempest enhancements are intended to let us build awesome two-weapon-fighting melee characters.

Do the changes really do that? Let’s take a detailed look and see what we find. I took the liberty of color-coding each change by change type: defense improvements are red, offense improvements are yellow, those that are both offensive and defensive are orange, while those that are purely to bring the tree into compliance with other enhancement standards (like AP cost standardization) are grey. Changes are in bold italics. Note that unchanged entries are not listed at all; you may check the existing Tempest Ranger enhancement tree if you want to compare.

Core Abilities
PRR/MRR Shield of Whirling Steel: While dual wielding, 2 Shield bonus to Armor Class, Physical Resistance Rating, and Magical Resistance Rating. This increases by +1 for each additional Tempest Core Ability you acquire. If you are a level 1 character, you gain the Two Weapon Fighting feat until you reach character level 2. (Two Weapon Fighting is granted permanently if you take a second Ranger level).
Melee Power Graceful Death: While you are dual wielding, you can use your Dexterity modifier for damage with light melee weapons, +5 Melee Power.
Melee Power Whirlwind: +5% melee doublestrike chance when dual wielding, +5 Melee Power.
PRR/MRR Dervish: Passive: +4 Dexterity. +25% chance to doublestrike with your off-hand when dual wielding. +10 Melee Power, Physical Resist Rating, and Magical Resist Rating while wearing light armor or cloth.
Tier One
PRR/MRR Improved Defense: (2/2/2 AP) Shield of Whirling Steel grants +1/2/3 Armor Class, Physical Resist, and Magical Resistance. If you possess Deflect Arrows it can trigger once every 4/3/2 seconds.
New Defense Acrobatic: +1/+2/+3 Balance, Jump and Tumble. Rank 3: You gain +1 Reflex Saving Throws.
Tier Two
Compliance Action Boosts: Cost lowered to 1/1/1 AP
Tier Three
Compliance Critical Accuracy: Removed from tree, functionality combined into Critical Mastery.
Compliance Critical Mastery: (1/1/1 AP) +1/2/3 bonus to critical damage and to confirm critical hits.
New Defense, New Attack Storm Dancer: (2 AP) Stance: Absorb 15% of Electrical damage. Your melee attacks deal +1d6 Electrical damage. This damage scales 100% with Melee Power.
Tier Four
New Defense Elaborate Parry: For the next 6/12/18 seconds, you gain Dodge, Maximum Dodge and maximum dexterity bonus to light armor, equal to your Dexterity Modifier. Cooldown: 90 seconds
Compliance Critical Damage: Removed from tree, functionality combined into Critical Mastery.
New Attack Storm Tempest: (2 AP) Passive. Upgrades Storm Dancer Electrical damage absorption to 30% (instead of 15%). Upgrades melee attacks to deal +2d6 Electrical damage (instead of 1d6).
Tier Five
Melee Power A Thousand Cuts: Melee Dual Wielding Attack. Deals +1/+3/+5(W) damage. You gain +15/+30/+45 doublestrike, +15/30/45 Melee Power, 15 seconds. Cooldown: 90 seconds.
New Attack Dual Perfection: (2 AP) Your off hand weapon now adds your full attribute damage modifier. (For instance, if you have 30 Strength, you’ll gain +10 damage with your offhand weapon, like your main hand weapon.)
New Attack Whirling Blades: (2 AP) +3 to hit and damage when dual wielding.

Several things jump out to me all at once:

  • Most of the changes to core abilities are defensive; the longer you stay a ranger, the better your defenses get
  • Most of the changes to the high cost tiers are offensive; the more AP you invest in Tempest, the harder you hit
  • The change to A Thousand Cuts is actually a nerf; one can earn up to +90 doublestrike now
  • There is a total of 18 new MRR/PRR available
  • There is a total of 10 20 new Melee Power [Edit: Thanks Jammond!] plus another 45 in an action boost

Seems to me that the overall changes ought to bring this in line with the other meleers, especially if they fix the bugs that allow the Tier 5 abilities to be used by people who are not two-weapon-fighting.

One possible downside: self-healing did not get the boost that Barbarians got on their pass. On the other hand, Rangers can already cast (very limited) cures so maybe they didn’t really need more self-healing.

Or you could, I dunno, maybe … bring a cleric?

Nah, what am I thinking, no one does that anymore.

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  6 Responses to “Update 28 Preview – Analyzing the Tempest Ranger Enhancement Changes”

Comments (6)
  1. Doesn’t look close to what Barbs and pallys have, not to mention how stupid warlocks are

  2. Hmmm… confession: interest level is low to moderate.

    On the other hand, I like how it’s a revision, without the screamingly over-powered tilt that passes have had in the past (cough, cough, bard).

  3. I see a total of 20 melee power in the cores. Graceful death and whirlwind each add +5, but dervish has a +10, which is also new. Makes that capstone pretty tasty compared to a 2 level splash… If only it was a more interesting class…

    The biggest thing lacking in this, is the expanded critical abilities the “best” melee classes get. (Holy sword and skirmisher in particular stand out). Keeps this from being something I can take seriously.

  4. I’m using Tempest right now on a Bladeforged TWF Paladin. I was kind of hoping I could shave a few AP off what I spend in the tree with the changes, but I don’t think that’s happening. Looks like even more soul searching when it comes to Enhancement allocation. Mixed feelings about ‘A Thousand Cuts.’ 30 sec is shaved off the cooldown, so plus. It lasts 2.5x longer. Plus. I would choose the original double strike over the MP. I don’t think of Tempests as huge crits. Tempests hit more, not harder, and that’s where it adds up.

    But I guess the elephant in this post comment is that Ranger’s still coming out best used as a splash class.

  5. I got a tempest stuck at lvl17 and this might be the thing to bring me back into playing him. My completionist is grinding back up the levels and I get easily distracted. First lifer so he may get a second life to see how this plays out. And more defence never goes amiss.

What do you think?

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