First: I have written this post because I read in Xelgad's interview that he reads the forums each morning as research for his job, and specifically focuses on the class folders. Thank you, Xelgad. If that is true, I would be very pleased to believe you will hopefully read my words. A little background - if you find this tedious or boring, please skip to the suggestions at the bottom? I don't want to lose you to my story. I am desperate for help and I do think there are easy fixes. I am newly arrived at the forums, and daunted in some ways by how long many people have been playing EQ and their rangers. I decided this can't hold be back, and I needed to go ahead and post to the forums anyway. I arrived because I eagerly approached several sites all abuzz with the idea that I could actually find clues how to catch my Ranger up to the crowd of DPS disappearing into the distance. I figured there were other Rangers who knew how to use their arts differently, pick their AA differently, time their battles better, or stand in a better place. Instead I find myself choking on the dust of the rest of the DPS leaving me behind, realizing I am already doing everything right, and no matter how hard I try or what gear I luck into, without changes to the game I am never going to be able to get out of their cloud. They're so far ahead of me I couldn't hit them with a 50m bow with extended range through AA. AND I find out, by talking to them, that they haven't bothered to do more than minimal research, many of them don't have much of a plan or sequence during battle, sometimes they kick back and take a drink while randomly mashing buttons... I was stunned to hear one of them often leaves in the middle of battles to take care of kids causing a disturbance and still manages to outparse me (though I close the gap when he's actually not at his computer). The painstaking care I take with even trash mobs makes me want to break down and sob to hear other classes don't have to focus to produce better results. I already stand at the right range to light up all my combat arts, though I cannot do this for certain mobs because (being stuck in groups with no useful buffs for me as I can't reciprocate anyway) I am too easily killed by AoEs. And as the number of those mobs increases, my options (and my DPS) decrease. I already time my arts to maximize the use of my auto-attacks. I have Expert everything, and I nearly harrass my local research assitant with my very specific list of requested Masters. I bid carefully on gear that will benefit me, though I end up with fewer points due to being left out of raids because my Ranger simply can't help the raid as much as others (and I don't blame the raid for choosing someone more useful, though dark and gloomy are my thoughts when I'm left behind). What did I find when I got here? Other Rangers as despondant as I, and discussion of which competing games have better options for Rangers. My balloon was punctured. My shock spread around me in waves. For a few panicked moments I refused to believe it. I checked other class boards, other non-official forums, other fan sites, and was flabbergasted to see that (for the most part) other boards are upbeat and excited about their class, with great ideas how to improve, and universally the Ranger thread in any forum showed parse-based proof to back up their claims that they were not producing and were being continually excluded (for sadly good reasons) from high-end content. I mean, I expected some complaining and some whiners - I remember asking one friend who plays an Assassin what he hoped for with the new expansion and he said "I'd like to see Assassins get a little more DPS". I was dumbstruck, because he effortlessly outparsed me (and huge). But the disparity between the class forums is glaring. And I am also proud of my fellow Rangers who love their class, play it anyway, and are thoughtful and vocal enough to try to present a case. I even have sympathy for those who have a quick (and "colorful") reaction though that is not my style and I hope to get further with a more reasoned response. The question was - what was to be done? It seems that many people have more technical and math oriented fixes than I do, and perhaps those are better for the developers, but I had two main suggestions (there are many also valid suggestions, and for all I know they're easier to impliment and would have a greater effect). == TWO SUGGESTIONS == Xelgad, I hope you made it to this part of the post. It was not my intent to alienate anyone (least of all the guy who can help us the most) but merely to paint enough of a picture so that, though I have only been playing for two years, I hope I lend some creedance to my claims and thoughtful background to my suggestions. My specific suggestions are: 1) Make Primal Reflexes a threat transfer (hopefully that will stack with tank reductions/transfer) instead of a reduction. This will give us a chance of being put into those groups where, as was mentioned in your interview, buffs can make a difference. I don't believe this will supplant or automatically unseat other DPS classes, but will at least make it possible for us to join "the big boys" once in a while. Right now there are significant anti-incentives for putting us in any group that will give us a boost. It was my hope that this would be simple to code and would not affect other classes. 2) Reduce the reuse timers of some of our key combat arts (ranged). I have maxed out Hastened Reusability, and while the 10% helps, it does not keep me remotely competative. My specific suggestion (now that I have done some research with a warlock) is to reduce reuse for our AOEs. This would not take away from the tremendous DPS that single-target Scouts can pump out, but in those battles with groups or adds (yeah, we'll suffer if a mezzer grabs them first, but I can live with that) we'll have a chance to shine for a change. I suggest reuse timers (and I wouldn't mind reduction in other arts like crippling arrow or triple shot) because as a coder myself I have to imagine those are easier fixes - that don't involve changing other classes - than some of the other suggestions I've seen. I don't need to smoke other classes (though topping the parse against my counterpart assassin at least occasionally would not hurt) but I would like to be competative. I look at Rangers/Assassins as similar to Warlocks/Wizards. With the new AA lines, we can have (I think) five AoE/Group ranged attacks. Unfortunately, they take so long to recharge, that I have lived up to my full potential very early on in the battle and then have nothing to offer for a long, long time. I have watched the parse window and for the first 18 seconds or so of a battle I can totally keep pace with the assassin (even though they're hitting only single targets) but then there is no contest and the gap widens and widens and widens until they're doing double or more of my DPS. I checked with a Warlock and they have seven group/AOE attacks. Two of them (Rift and Acid Storm) are on similar timers to our group/AOE attacks. However, the other five are significantly shorter. I mean, three of their multi-target attacks are on 11 seconds or faster reuse compared to our three fastest being 45 seconds, 60 seconds and two minutes for the Ranger. I know you're busy - I have a job too and wow it takes away from my game time, don't it? And I know you can't promise us anything on the forums. I would love to at least know that you have at least read some of these posts. Would you be able to reply just quickly with a "read it, thanks" even if it doesn't say or promise anything? I am going to head back into conversation now, so if this part gets annoying, you can skip it too. Mostly I really just want you to get the suggestions bit. What really got me down was that there was enough talk in these forums (and other non-official forums) about game systems that are treating archers better. In my discouragement, I have actually signed up for the beta on one game, and tried the free trials for two others. I really don't want to leave EQ. I am a guild leader and have invested a great deal of time in my little community of friends. But if the joy has really left the game for me, considering that's really what the entertainment industry is about, I will have to go where the joy is. Please, please, please, let the joy be here in EQ2.