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Rangers: Animal Companions

Rangers: Animal companions  

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  1. 1. Should Rangers have a specialization to tame animals?



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I think one of the rangers specializations should have an animal companion to fight for the archetype. Nothing would be more awesome to tame wild animals in Crowfall and have them slaughter enemies for you! Another cool feature i think to have would be seeing your tame pet to grow larger and badass looking maybe have battle armor as your ranger progress in levels.

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The worlds are infected by the hunger and everything in them will continue to become more insane and hostile as the disease spreads.  What chance do us mere Rangers have of reversing the effects of the hunger if the gods themselves cannot?

 

I say no permanent pets please.  I would rather see the ranger be the master tricks and traps.  

Edited by Belaz

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Pets in MMO's usually end up in some unbalanced, clunky state. I really hope we could have pets to fight along side us more than just ranger pets (e.g summoned arcane  monsters) but controlling them is always an issue and usually hinders the game play of the character you're supposed to be playing. I'm not holding my breath but I'm still keeping hope!

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I don't really like the idea of having any of my potential damage out put tied to a pet I can't really control.  In a big world that can be changed constantly I feel like pet pathing will also be a nightmare.  

 

If you must have taming then I guess you could do it for mounts or castle guards.  I mean it would be cool to have a wolf pack on patrol in your territory. 

Edited by Belaz

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As much as I enjoyed playing a hunter in WoW back in the day, I'm not sure pets are a good idea for Crowfall. Maybe instead of taming, Rangers should have a charm ability that enables Rangers to use animals as scouts, to see through their eyes, but any damage against the animal breaks the charm.

Edited by Arkade

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No. I don't want my damage or utility reduced because of pets. I prefer the old school approach to rangers and having an AFFINITY to animals, not having animals as combat pets. IE, animals regard rangers as neutral or higher as opposed to fighting for them.

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I could see it if it were something like the beastmaster movies.  You can look through the eyes of your eagle or hawk for a few seconds every so often.  I just don't want anything permanent cause i'm pretty sure pathing is going to be horrible as the world gets mangled. 

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I'm completely against traditional combat pets. They're messy and create an arbitrary set of limitations on their users and the people fighting against them that screws up the design of combat.

 

For instance, you balance a CC as single target that can't be cast if there are enemies within X range. This balance works fine in a general sense, its weak to melee and strong against ranged. Then you bring in your standard 'ranged guy with AI pet' and the ability falls apart. So what do you do? You start tossing band aids on the problem. Now you get a tagline that says "this ability doesn't count pets"

 

The reverse is also true, say you design a root designed as a gap opener against melee. If the function of a player's AI pet is to provide a buffer and allow him to keep range, this root effectiely nullfies the pet, and thus invalidates that design. Sure, it works as intended against melee players, and is weak agaunst pure ranged, but the duality of player+pet means that in only that instance it's completely unbalanced as it allows you to easily nullify the pet, and thus its implicit functionality for the pet class. So what do you do? Band aid! This ability can not root pets.

 

Then you find out pets suck in AoE heavy fights. Band-aid, you give them AoE resistance. Then you find out people are deploying nothing but pets in AoE fights, and so on and so on.

 

On top of all that, Pet classes are designed in a fundamentally flawed manner. They're given a tool that takes a role that should be filled by a player. The pet exists as a stand in for a tank, or as a DPS element. This interferes with player inter-reliance. If my ranged or support class design can't prop itself up without an ai companion, I SHOULD be looking for another player to help me.

 

That's not to say pets and animal companions should be off the design table, just that their classical implementation is flawed.

 

You can use them for a lot of noncombat purposes that don't have the same problems. They could be stand ins or just visual additions to any number of mechanics. I made a big post about these uses already:

 

 


Tracking:

Shadowbane style scout tracking was fun, but not necessarily immersive. What if your scouts and trackers didn't rely on lists and arrows, but rather took tracking cues from an animal in the world with physical presence. Lets say your tracker has a hunting hound, with visual cues when someone is in range (a growl or bark) and is capable of sniffing out and tracking down targets over long distance by leading its master, similar to the way the lizard-dog works in Evolve. you could compound this mechanic with specialists and world interactions made to obfuscate this tracking mechanic. This would make that animal companion an integral part of the tracker's character without being an easy DPS faucet. Lets say it can be targeted and take damage, but when hit it simply whimpers and retreats, effectively disabling your tracking for a limited time. This could also be used for more generalized or specific warnings in a rather immersive manner. Take a piece of deer hide, for instance, use on dog, dog now tracks deer. Dog has simple controls for track/heel. This could be a useful class feature for survival elements like hunting for food.

 

Theft:

Those ferrets in beastmaster were the coolest. If your game includes a theft mechanic, animal companions could perhaps be used as a ranged theft mechanic.

 

Delivery:

Similar to the ferrets, but in reverse. Birds and other animals could perhaps be trained to deliver small or limited amounts of inventory or messages over a distance. Bonus points if these animals are persistant objects in the world. For instance, if you could use carriers to send a small package of items or messages, but had to wait for them to physcally return before they could be used again. This would necessitate the taming and training of these helpers and the upkeep of a small rookery if you wanted to set up a delivery network. In addition, they could be employed as siege devices, trained to deliver explosives, drop heavy objects on target locations, etc. This would be a less accurate way to deliver ordinance (animals aren't as accurate as trebuchets) with completely different counterplay. A treb is a central assaultable location, wheras a  similarly effective squad of giant bats with rocks would need to be defended against at the point of impact, by killing the incoming animals before they could deliver their payloads.

 

As physical objects, using them incurs an intelligence risk. Sending emergency supplies or ammunition via carrier might be instrumental in saving the lives of a forward scouting party, but it may also lead enemies directly to that party.

 

 

Companionship:

Details are sketchy, but we know that some survival mechanics in the form of warmth or food are present in crowfall. What if you had a big fuzzy pet whos mechanical function was just to keep you warm while you slept, and keep your morale up? Having such a companion would allow you to reduce your down times, and potentially save you on food, potions, and other consumables.

 

NPC Defenses:

AI companions as PvP are problematic, but I think they're absolutely fine as PvE augments to a player's combat prowess. If combat pets are limited to PvE they could be quite useful in defending against the hunger as campaigns pass time, and environments become harsher. They could be an equalizer if you're jumped when fighting NPCs, allowing the pet to tank mobs to free the player to deal with agressive players.

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The moment a class gets a pet as a major source of DPS it  instantly becomes less in my eyes.  I don't want an auto dps beast that distracts from player skill.  Cosmetic pets are fine or a utility but not as a primary source of damage, it's too easy to click attack and do nothing else.

Edited by mandalore

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