The crawl to Civic Policy 4 continues with 5250 of 10000 points needed. On the plus side, only one last box after that.
Happiness in the Galaxy is hunting and finding good resources. We’ve harvesters on Lok, Corellia and Naboo this week, and I would have gotten more down if I had more lots. My spouse got the Corellia Fiberplast, and when I commented that it’s crowded and sometimes hard to find a spot on Corellia, he declared “I could drop harvesters in hell! I’m that good!” It’s true.
Corellia also has some nice Carnivore Meat, so we were out hunting that. There are a variety of animals with Carnivore Meat, but Sharnaffs and War Grondas have the best amounts. Even there, the amount harvested ranged from 407 units per creature to 1200. You just have get the fat, healthy guys.
In the spirit of the Hunt, here’s a guide from Phe’Nix called Big Game Hunting, with tips for hunting alone and in groups as a Ranger.
Big Game Hunting by Phe’nix
So you want to be a Ranger? Perhaps you want to think of yourself of as a Big Bad Hunter. It could be that you want to add some new badges to your profile. Maybe you want to bring down those Krayts with the greatest of ease, eh? Well slow down Sam and Sally Scout, you’ve got some learning to do first!
Picking a Profession
Before you do anything else, you have to pick a profession to go with your Ranger. This is actually quite easy as any combat profession will work rather well with Ranger, as long as you know to use it effectively. However, as a Ranger, you’ll have very few points left over after taking a combat profession. The most you can get is with Creature Handler with 47 points left over, the second most is with Bounty Hunter or Squad Leader with 18 left over. However, because Ranger itself only gives the same defenses that a Master Dancer gets, it’s usually a lot more efficient to hunt as a Ranged profession. That way, you can avoid getting hurt due to your low defenses
As far as Ranged professions go, it’s usually most effective to master a particular combat class. You can do it by dablling, but you lose a lot of speed, accuracy and defense in the process. The two most popular combinations with Ranger are Rifleman and Bounty Hunter. Each has some advantages and disadvantages. A Rifleman will hit very hard, and has a couple of high-damage attacks, but lacks defense. A Bounty Hunter will likely not hit as hard, but has access to Improved Duelist Stance (+250 to defense), a ranged KD shot and a bleeding shot which help to reduce an enemies ability to regenerate health.
Note that simply because your profession isn’t necessarily one of the most popular doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Pistoleers and Carbineers also have access to many useful specials that keep a target away from them, including roots, snares and KD shots (carbineers’ charge shot). And every melee class has an advantage too. TKM has Improved Center of Being which gives you +500 to defense, Swordsman gives you armor break and pikes tend to be very useful when fighting multiple critters. Fencers have advanced bleeds which take a target down faster, and pikemen can reduce the ability for their target to deal damage, greatly improving their chance to survive. So pick a profession that you’ll enjoy playing, rather that one that you think is the most powerful. Any profession works well with Ranger so long as you know how to maximize it’s potential.
Ranger Tactics: Brain over Brawn
Now that you’ve chosen your combat profession, it’s time to learn some tactics. See, being a Ranger means that you won’t be as powerful as other hunters. You’re going to have to out-think your prey, rather than out-power it. See Rangers have very few offensive combat options in their trees so you’re going to have to use the tools you have in very specific ways if you want them to work. The majority of ranger skill comes from time out in the wild. You’ll have to practice over and over again. But a few simple tricks of the trade are to use terrain to your advantage when you can’t root or snare a creature and to always be willing to disengage with burst run, and come back when you’re ready. The important thing to realize is that Ranger only augments your combat profession, giving you different tools to use in different situations. And the tools you’ll need to use depend greatly on whether you’re ranged or melee and whether you plan on hunting in a group or plan on going out and trying to kill big creatures by yourself.
When picking out your weapon, it is important to make a few good decisions. First of all, range is a very important factor. Even when you’re more skilled with a pistol, it is often usefull to carry around a rifle, as you’ll have a little more room to manuever with if you’re using a rifle. Remember that every class has at least one weapon which has a CL 54 cert, so you’ll have access to decent weapons even if you’re not trained in that type of weapon. Another very important thing to remember is that damage is based on several factors, but with creatures high above your creature level (such as Ancient Krayts) you’ll always hit for the minimum damage of your weapon (plus any multipliers from specails. What that means is that when hunting krayts, a rifle that has a damage of 560-840 is actually much better than a weapon that does 430-1100, if both are the same speed. Since you’ll usually hit for min damage on tough opponants, buy weaponry with high min damage values and speed. If you’re having a gun custom built, have them put tissues in it for max damage, but put all the experimentation points into min damage and speed. As a Ranger, your speed will be pretty low and this will help out a lot.
Another thing to remember is to keep well-stocked in things that help you stay alive. Use stims and ruby biel(which allows you to heal again much faster) when necessary. Remember to eat foods which give you better action regeneration and health regeneration. Mandalorian Wine, Breath of Heaven and Vasarian Brandy are all good things to have on you. Investing in some food that adds defense is also good for those with low defense, and accuracy food will help counter the fact that Ranger is the only combat profession without general accuracy mods. I also keep some Muon Gold or Nuetron Pixie at hand at all times. It gives you 20% extra health right when applied, which is excellent when running low on health, and they both also help with regenerating your health.
Also prepare based on who you’re hunting with. Hunting solo can be very fun. Anything you gather from a corpse is yours and yours alone. If you manage to kill a difficult creature, you have the honor of beating it by yourself. However, you won’t kill as quickly and you’re more susceptible to dying. Hunting in a group can also be great. You get a bonus to harvesting for being in a group and you’ll kill stuff a lot quicker. However, you’ll often find that some people only group to help themselves, and do not share loot. When you finally decide who you’re going to hunt with, there are tactics for each style of play.
Hunting Dangerous Creatures Alone
When hunting solo, the hardest part is dealing with damage. Being a CH, BH or SL will let you pick up some medic skills, which does help. The problem with damage is especially hard when you’re a melee profession, as to deal damage, you’ll have to be in the range where you can be hurt as well. Ranged professions will also need to be careful as they have lower defenses and as such if they do get hit, they’ll take damage much more quickly. However, Ranger professions are much less likely to get hit that Melee professions. As such, to hunt big creatures by yourself, you’re going to want to be a Ranged profession. It is possible to solo big creatures as a melee profession, however doing so rarely depends upon using Ranger skills, except as an escape tactic.
So, when solo hunting the trick is to not get hit. This is the primary task of big game hunting. High level creatures will hit you very hard, very fast, so you’ll want to keep them away. The first key is to use all the tools at your disposal to damage them first. If you’re a rifleman, get some damage done by opening up with conceal shot and putting some hurt on a creature before they know you’re there. As a BH, use your ranged KD to knock the creature down and use your most damaging special to start the damage. Pistoleers and Carbineers should snare or root a creature and use their most damaging special after that. Alternatively, you can open up with a Phecnacine dart to pull a creature towards you slowly, and use damaging shots to hurt them while running away, staying out of range. Another effective way to increase your damage throughout the fight is to buy a probot droid filled with combat modules.
The second most important part is using Ranger tools effectively. You’ll want to use Phecnacine Darts as your main snare. These are very efficient snares, reducing the targets speed by a very large degree, and they last for 30 seconds, which gives you plenty of time to do damage. It is important to note that at present time this is the ONLY trap you should use. Adhesive Mesh doesn’t work right now, and the other traps which debuff a creature’s defense don’t add enough damage to counter the negative aspects of it. Throwing a trap halts you in your tracks, making you an easy target, and you’ll get more net damage if you shoot rather than using the defense reducing trap. DO NOT use any trap other than Phecnacine dart as anything more that a tool to pull a creature if you want to maximize your efficiency.
Now, after using Phecnacine traps, use the other skill rangers have- terrain negotiation. Use any and all hills to your advantage. Since Rangers have better TN than most creatures, running up a hill is akin to using another snare, as you’ll get further and further away from them. On top of that, you should cycle Phecnacine darts with other snares from your combat profession. As you seen the icon for Phecnacine darts starting to wane, use another snare or root. Riflemen should use kneecap shot, pistoleers can use stopping shot, carbineers can use crippling shot and BHs, who do not have a snare, can use the ranged KD. Since KDs and Phecnacine darts both have 30 second timers, you can alternate them very effectively.
In between using roots and snares, you should be moving at all times. When you’re not moving, they’ll get into melee range and start biting you. You want to avoid this. But remember not to run in a straight line– you’ll want to run in a circular pattern around the creature. This is for two reasons. First of all, due to new code, after a creature gets a certain distance away from it’s spawn point it will retreat. This causes it to regenerate health very fast and be impervious to all attacks. Second of all, you’ll want to avoid accidentally running into more enemies. Running helps to keep a Ranged profession out of danger (biting range).
But remember Sam and Sally Scout , you aren’t perfectly safe using this method. Sometimes a trap will fail or you’ll get into a tough situation with more than one enemy. It’s important here that you keep your head. If a creature gets too close to you, use your knockdown attack (all ranged professions have a melee-range KD) and run away. Don’t be afraid to use Burst Run to get out a hairy situation. Bounty Hunters can afford to stop for a second and use Improved Duelist Stance which greatly improves their defense and allows them to take a lot less damage per hit, but most professions should make for the hills and use traps and snares to get back out to a safe distance where the creature cannot attack you. Another usefull tactic when in trouble is to find spawns around you and drag your target through them. Most large creatures such as the Gorax and Krayts tend to use area attacks. Use this knowledge to get them to attack a lair and you’ll instantly have a bunch of allies that will help you on your journey.
As long as you keep the fight at a distance that is good for you, and you keep your wits about you, you should be on your way to hunting big game by yourself as a Ranger. Remember though that half the battle is in preparation. Use mask scent to avoid drawing additional agro. Use camouflage around NPCs and to get close to your mark without it detecting you. Use foods/drinks/spice at the proper time. And remember, you’re not going to solo large creatures without some practice. Take some missions and try them solo. Practice the techniques which will maximize your effectiveness. Soloing Krayts and other large creatures can be tough, but with the right tactics and a lot of practice you should be fine.
Hunting Dangerous Creatures in a Group
When hunting in groups it is important that you hunt with a knowledgeable group. Hunting with people who don’t understand their job is very frustrating, and often results in the death of one or more group mates. If any member of your team dies, you are more likely to die as well, since you’ve been focusing on operating as a group. So picking up a crew at the local spaceport probably isn’t your best bet when hunting big game. You’ll find loot grabbers, bad players and respec’d hunters that don’t know a whole lot about their profession. Your best bet is hunt with people you know, and use a group that has skills that complement one another.
Your role, as the Ranger, is twofold. Firstly will be the role that your primary combat profession dictates. If you’re a melee Ranger, you’ll be the Tank. Depending on your profession, you’ll have certain specials that you’ll want to use. Every melee profession can use Center of Being, with TKMs being best at it. You’ll want that up at all times. Pikemen can use intimidate and warcry to reduce their targets ability to do damage. This is very effective in a group. Also effective in a group is the armor break found in swordsman. This reduces your targets armor a great deal, making the creature die much faster. Fencers can and should bleed the target, ensuring their regen rates are low. You’ll also want to use /taunt a lot to make sure that you hold the agro, so you can be an effective tank.
If you’re a Ranged Ranger in a group, your job is to lay down a lot of damage or keep the target from doing much damage. If you have a tank, riflemen should use sniper shot and head shot to do a lot of damage. Be careful about that as generating too much damage can make creatures come right for you. Be ready to use kneecap shot if you draw agro. Carbineers can use rapid fire and scatter shot to do damage and pistoleers can use body shot to do damage and disarming shot to stop their target from attacking. Bounty Hunters and Carbineers can both keep their target knocked down and Bounty Hunters will also want to bleed their target to slow their regen. If you don’t have a tank, you’ll need to use specials to root and snare, and move as a group in a coordinated fashion to stay out of damage range. Pistoleers can use stopping shot, rifleman can use kneecap shot and carbineers can use crippling shot.
Your second task in a group is to use your Ranger skills to maximize the power and efficiency of the group. You’ll need to camouflage your group to avoid unnecessary agro and to allow you to kite without having to worry about things spawning around your group. You’ll have to areatrack to find creatures, when there aren’t static spawns (example: the gorax on Endor). You’ll want to use your TN to draw the creature to a spot where the whole group can kill it. The other part of your job is directly combat-related. You’ll want to be using many traps during the fight, because part of your secondary role is to land state attacks. In a group, these state effects actually can have an impact on the combat. Also, traps are able to “pull” a creature out of a group, as long as you have your auto-attack turned off. Simply throw a trap and if it hits, the creature will come by itself, as long as you keep it 15m away from other creatures. That ensures your group only takes on one creature at a time, greatly improving your survival chances.
Traps in groups are actually a great tactic to use. Whereas solo, your non-snare traps (blind/dizzy/stun/defense reducing traps) are useless, in a group, the combined damage that gets added against very tough enemies such as Ancient Krayts is actually worth the time. By making you the person who applies the states, you can let the rest of your group focus on their most damaging attacks, which will make the creature die a lot faster. The best traps to use are going to be the glow wire trap (reduces melee and ranged defense), the bone spur (reduces the damage a creature can do and also slightly reduces their defense) and the Lecapine dart (reduces their defense, slightly reduces their damage output). Also, remember to use Phecnacine darts to help somebody out if they need to get away, or if you don’t have a tank.
Remember, practice makes perfect. Even groups that hunt together all the time make mistakes when hunting mid-level critters. You’ll want to practice together or by yourself for a while before you take on anything that’s going to be a challenge. Just slapping together a group will work on level 80 or below creature, but it won’t work against the big baddies. Hunt smart and hunt often, alone or in a group, and eventually you’ll be able to take down creatures that other groups or other people cannot. That is what it means to be a Ranger- to use tactics and intelligence to outwit a creature.