Dark Templar and Ranger

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I have been spending some of my spare time this weekend playing a few of the classes up to level 13 to get a feel for how each class develops in the lower levels. Considering that overall I can only disclose information about the classes from levels 1-13 and then at 20, take what I am going to say about any of these classes with a grain of salt.

Age of Conan was originally designed on an Archetypal progression system similar to what EQ2 used to run on.  You would start as a simple Soldier and at level 20 pick your class.  If I had to venture a guess I would say that Funcom changed the system for the same reasons SOE did – playing a basic class before the real thing blows!  Even though the system now lets you pick your class immediately, there are still maaaany signs of the old system lingering about.  Itemization, classes sharing many skills at low levels, and all classes “feeling” the same until level 10ish are just a few remnants that Funcom needs to polish out of the game.  Should be easy enough.

The first two classes I want to talk about are the Dark Templar and Ranger.

Dark Templar
The DT is in the Soldier Archetype which stereotypes him as a sturdier taunting class meant to tank and take more damage than he is capable of dealing. I’ve played this class quite extensively in the PvP Weekend (DT was my favorite class then) and in the beta (open and closed). The DT fits the stereotype quite well. So far, even with traits spent, I feel like I can take far more damage than I can deal. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  There are many situations in the early levels of AoC where you’ll have to fight 3 or more NPCs at once and having a shield to actively block and the HP to sustain a few hits really helps.

I love the “Shadow Knight” nature of this class with its life drains and unholy procs.  At lower levels the DT is left with much to be desired but still, ever so slowly, begins to transform into something more than just a tank with a sword and shield. From looking ahead at the feats, this class has A LOT of flashy skills and plenty to look forward to as either a damage dealer or tanker/healer — yes, even a very poor paladinesque healer.

In PvP the DT performed about as well as could be expected from a lowbie tank type class in poor gear.  The only players I was really feeling like I could damage well were the pure casters.   When I focused on those with low hp and cloth armor I felt really useful.  Additionally in CTF when I carried the flag we always got the cap.  The Dark Templar is without a doubt a late bloomer… and I truly feel everyone should fear this class at higher levels on the battlefield.  The DT is definitely my favorite melee class.

A true DPS class. In the PvP Weekend there was an itemization bug that was causing the ranger to deal more damage than it should. When the itemization problem was fixed I felt as though the ranger was having a lot of issues. I’m happy to say that in my opinion Funcom made a few tweaks to this class and now it’s 100% pure ranged dps fun. I leveled a ranger from 1-13 in OB yesterday and took him out for a spin in PvP. What a complete monster! I was obliterating people with ease because of the ranger’s pure raw dps capabilities.

I found myself struggling when going against 3 or more even level or greater mobs but that’s really to be expected.  At lower levels the class does feel a bit like a one trick pony because of a lack of different abilities.  Find your target, execute the bleed combo, snare combo, an extra combo if needed, then proceed to shoot it until it dies.  I rarely get hit on even level or lower mobs.   The traps were not useful because mobs died too quickly, however I expect that to change later on.  The ranger, for me, was the easiest class to level.

More specifically in PvP I find the Ranger at lower levels to be very solid.  People would rarely go for me because I guess they realized it would be tough to kill someone who can snare you and run.  In CTF I would laugh until my side was sore watching people grab the flag then try to get away.  Here’s a tip:  You can’t run from a ranger. ;)  FUN class, and if the DT doesn’t win me over soon I’ll quickly be switching to ranger full time.

That’s just a quick look at two of my favorite classes so far.  I have plans to talk about as many classes as possible this coming week.  If you have any questions about the 1-13 or level 20 play for either of these classes I would be happy to answer them to the best of my ability.

  • Specifically could you compare the conqueror to the Ranger as far as enjoyability, current/future PvP/PvE usefulness (both grouped and 1v1).

    I’m really at a loss as to which i want to roll. Don’t have much MMO experience, and i’m not sure which i’d enjoy more. The up close and personal or the rape you from afar playstyle.

  • I am more then likely going to end up going Guardian for my guild but I’d really like to know how frenzy is going to affect the soldier archetypes. I’m willing to risk it as I have low expectations out of being able to PVP on a guardian (I can’t really at 13). But even so, it would be nice to know speccing tempest would make me more like an MS warrior or something in WoW, and by that I purely mean capable of PVP.

  • What i really like to know more about would be the armor types and how it truly differentiates a Barb from a Conqueror from a PvE point of view.

    Going from a heavy armor to a loin cloth scares me,
    but maybe the Barbarian`s journey will be more challenging, thus more fun ?

    Cant wait to read more of your class analysis.

  • @ I Have No Legs, though Ive had an Archer as a main in all past games I’m really interested AGain in the Archer class /sigh. When I first purchased the CE I told myself “Conqueror” and I’m fighting every bone in my body not to roll an archer… having purchased the preorder from Amazon this is not helping matters any. My only defence to the “Archer Syndrome” is now to devise the best archer killing Conqueror class in the game. wish me luck lol

    Hopefully the Amazon Bow will be sellable in game..or at least the code for it 🙂 maybe I’ll be stuck rolling an Archer alt down the road /sigh

  • I know most of nobody will jump in with me on this one but !!!@#$% there will be RP servers @#$%!!! naming policies! and no dude chat on these servers! /relief 🙂 ok I had to scream this some where lol

    Just found this info on WarCry FC asking for input from players on RP policies and Rp servers. So all you Kohnan,Con@ns out there think again 😛

  • I played both classes to 13 and a barbarian as well. I found the rangers so far is my favorit (even if there is a ranger bug that will let you kill 5+ mobs easy even if they are higher level then you…..)

    Wont go in to that anyways… I think the DT needs a two handed weapon option. polearm or two handed sword and they would make a greate Tank / DPS class… but once i found out i was limited to sword and shield i deleted my DT for something else of the same name.

    Though on ranger i never used the combos you do. I find a mob or two of level 14. Hit it with my highest hitting combo or my three arrow combo, by the time they get to me there at half health or dead if i got a crit… then i just melee them down and do a killer move (i love those) and thats that… Im not much in for the snear, slow, slow, run, shoot slow type of fighting that is sometimes tossed at rangers

  • The Ranger is interesting as you actually get to go first person and aim with them.

  • Thanks for the write-up on rangers. I always play one as my first character.

  • first person or third person? i have only been able to shoot with my bow in third person and over the sholder. never First person….

    Plus in third person i find even with the extra range its not worth it. witch is sad i wanted it to be like oblivion archery

  • Well first person as you actually aim and fire. You do more damage in “first person” mode also but of course you don´t get the same overview of the battlefield.

    For the first person view you zoom the camera in towards your toon. For those in open beta who did not notice. Took me several hours before I noticed it myself back in the day 😉

  • ok see how do you get in to “first person” then? I zoom the camera in to its max and it pouts me in to “over the sholder”, but not first… When i switch to melee in “over the sholder” it pouts me in to “first person” but then if i reequiped bow i go back in to “over hte sholder” mode.

    So am i doing something wrong or is there a miss understand of what the difference is between “first person” and “over the sholder” ?

  • Interesting about the Ranger, thank you for posting this. I’m curious, though, are there counters to the Ranger “root and kite” thing? If not, expect to see PvP turn into Ranger vs. Ranger.

  • @Elspath: Once you have a crosshair up that’s considered “first person”. You get a damage increase but I have yet to really notice a difference. Perhaps at higher levels it’s a biggeri ncrease.

    @Cedia: I have no idea. I’ve only played 1-13 and then 20. I have not found any counter so far except for stuns from a Demonologist. That seems to work pretty well.

  • Nah, as I said in my ranger description it feels like the class has evened out. Right now it feels like all DPS oriented characters feel at low levels, which is very powerful against tank types and casters. In PvE it’s easily the fastest leveler (imo) but that’s a problem in every mmorpg when all solo pve ever comes down to is how fast you can kill a mob.

  • I think your really missunderstanding the terms of “first person” and “over the sholder” if you can see your chars head, sholders and the screens slightly off place to one side. thats “over the sholder” like in gears of war and other stuff 😛

    Plus the “over the sholder” i have noticed no damage incress. there is a LARGE range incress though. i can hit enemys very far away with “over the sholder” view that are out of range when in “third person” still no “first person” arrow shooting that i can find

  • No, I know the terms. But Funcom’s design is thus: Over the shoulder = the “first person mode” they talk about.

  • Then there wrong becose over the sholder is no first person mode…. and theres no weapons of mass distruction 😛

  • Hello,
    I just recently found your site and appreciate the extensive information you have on various games especially Age of Conan. Last week I was searching YouTube for various Age of Conan videos and found the ones you put up on the various classes. This week I am unable to view the same videos. Why is that? How can I get access to watch them once again? Thanks!
    Bill H.

  • I privatized them because much of the information in them is now outdated. If you want access to them feel free to add keenandgraev to your friends list on Youtube and then email me with your youtube name and I’ll add you to the list of people who can view them.

    Email: keenandgraev (at) gmail (dot) com

  • I know this was asked up above, but has anyone played both the Barbarian and the Conqueror who could give me a rundown of each? I just can’t decide which to play… Thanks 🙂

    Also, to Keen and Graev, this website is amazing. I found it a few days ago and I now seem to check it multiple times a day. Thank you for all the great information and I will definitely be looking here for more reliable information on other mmo’s.

  • I’ll write on the Conq, Barb, and Bear Shaman tonight or tomowow. Glad we can be of help David. 🙂

  • in Short the Conq is just like the Ranger Class but without bow skills, Lower armor, more health and the ability to use two handed swords (preaty nice)

    I found myself wondering witch i should play seeing as the barb could pull with the bow with nice damage but really shines with the melee.

    But i think i will stick with duel wilding archer so i can get a horsy and have some fun shooting a bow on horse back (witch from what i have read still is the only class that can use a bow when mounted)

  • that sounds really fun i enjoy the ranger alot not the first person shooting tho arrows seem to lagg from where the cursor is shooting off in which way seems the target needs to be standing still or lead them very well which with small fast motions is not a easy task. i find the conq at this lvl range not sure if it me but mine doesnt have hide which is a bid downfall when it comes to the barbs being able to break off sneak attacks an own ur face without even knowing anything is around u. /sigh saw today u dont need to be a sub to fileplanet anymore to get the OB kinda pissd me off after having to pay but it was a fun time an worth the money

  • All classes can sneak/hide but they get the ability at different level. So earlier for an assasin and later for a warrior type class such as the conqueror (at 15 I believe for them).

    The ability to hide is also determined by how much sunlight there is where you are standing, how much noice your armor makes (making it harder for a warrior type class) and also it depends on where the npc is looking (used to be an indicator for this in closed beta similiar to thief, hopefully back later).

    As for ranger I would classify it as first person as you aim yourself and have larger range/more damage in this mode. Can´t see how it matters if you see the weapon to the left as you do in many fps games also.

  • Woops i Said Conq… Yeah i ment Barbrain and Ranger are Very much the same (both being rogues) and suuch low level. I havent played a Conq… was thinking about it sometime to but i think there was a reason i havent yet…

    Anyways yes only Rogue Arch type classes i beleave have TRAINABLE Hiding skill. But suposedly acording to old videos all classes have hiding.

  • eh, I got owned by a couple rangers today. I’m not mad about it it’s nice to know they arn’t as jacked as they were after the “Fix” during PvP Weekend. As an assassian i’m hoping to be a formidable foe for Rangers higher up the level chain.

  • Hey Hey. Im having some trouble making my mind up about what class I want to play and was hoping you could help me. My first char has been a HoX (lvl 9) and imo it dies to often.. What are your oppinons about that? Does it get better? Im thinking about either a Bear Shaman, Ranger or Dark Tempelar otherwise. I would much appriceat if you could tell me some about the classes, pros and cons. Also what is your favorite class atm?

    Thanks in advance!