by Darcena Wolf-Valslayer

Welcome to the results of the 2020 GemStone IV TownCrier Ranger Survey! The intent of this survey was to gather detailed information on player satisfaction in regards to all aspects of the ranger class in the game GemStone IV.

Magical Skills

This section is intended to provide specifics on how players of rangers view their magical skills. Questions asked about: satisfaction with each spell in the 600s and 100s with relation to its design, mana cost, and spell slot; satisfaction with amount of mana available to cast spells; ranks of lores; factors influencing lore rank splits; benefits and costs of lore rank splits; and amount of and satisfaction with Arcane Symbols and Magic Item Use.

Ranger Base Spells

Table: Text of Above Rangers' Satisfaction with Ranger Base Spells
Natural Colors (601) Resist Elements (602) Foraging (603) Skinning (604) Whispering Willow (605) Phoen’s Strength (606) Sounds (607) Camouflage (608) Sun Burst (609) Tangle Weed (610) Mass Colors (611) Breeze (612) Self Control (613) Imbue (614) Call Swarm (615) Spike Thorn (616) Sneaking (617) Mobility (618) Mass Calm (619) Resist Nature (620) Nature’s Touch (625) Animal Companion (630] Nature’s Fury (635) Wall of Thorns (640) Assume Aspect (650)
Very satisfying or great 39 30 32 25 20 38 17 24 9 30 36 15 40 14 22 39 24 40 20 9 25 26 24 36 9
Somewhere in between 7 14 13 17 10 7 17 14 21 11 8 21 4 15 18 6 16 3 15 10 10 13 9 3 14
Very unsatisfying or poor 1 3 1 3 8 2 8 3 11 5 3 4 9 2 1 2 1 5 13 6 5 3 9
Too low level to say yet 1 2 2 3 4 3 3 4 5 8
Don’t cast the spell enough to say 1 2 9 5 6 5 1 1 7 1 8 4 1 3 1 4 10 2 1 6 3 7
Many people added comments in the explain section of the survey about how they felt about specific spells. Instead of sharing all those comments, I have chosen to only share comments in this section that provide suggestions of how to improve the spells or give targeted feedback along with the positive/negative comments. Comments have been split up into the relevant spell section below instead of been shared in their entirety. If a suggestion targets more than one spell in a single sentence, it has been copied into both sections.

I have also copied the suggestions on spells from Part 1 here to have them all in one place. Those that have been copied over from Part 1 will indicate that. If a suggestion targets more than one spell in a single sentence, it has been copied into both sections.

There is also a “general” section at the very beginning that highlights feedback that isn’t specific to a spell.

As a reminder, the Senior GameMaster of Development has access to all of the comments in their entirety.

General Feedback
An idea for implementation: “Perhaps an area effect spell similar to call swarm, where the animals of nature respond to your distress call and stampede through or some such.” [Meliot, 43, Part 1]
Very lastly I wanted to comment on one of my favorite hidden spell synergies, I love when Call Swarm is cast after Web has been used, and there is the messaging that the swarms of insects and spiders reinforce the webs. That is brilliant cross-spell synergy, the messaging is great, and I love that there is a little sort of hidden bonus using those two spells together. I’d love to see more spells cross-interact like these do!  [Aeith, 72]
Overall, I’m actually quite pleased with my ranger’s spells. I would have liked Tracking to have been implemented… but that’s just me. [Anarquendi Aldudil, 100]
I would also love it if you could consider the spell that I put forth at Simucon 2015 and won the spell design contest! It was called Ground Swell or something like it. It was a self-cast temporary conjuring of earth to become a platform. This would increase melee defense and ranged attack, while creating vulnerability to flying attacks. More spells are fun! Better spells/skills are even better. [Leifa, 100, Part 1]
Natural Colors (601)
We don’t need two color spells. [Nroth, 34]

Replace mass colors with something else. Make colors evokable for the mass version. [Nroth, 34, Part 1]

I think they could combine 601 and 611 just reduce the mana cost for colors for self casting. then implement another utility or defense spell at 601. [Rasson, 78]
601 is excellent up until you can cast 611. 1 mana for +10 DS and increased hiding ability is rather hard to beat. However, I literally haven’t cast the spell in 20+ years. Since the spell effect is the exact same spell effect as 611, there’s just no point. 601 does not cover my animal companion, and 611 does, so I’ll never cast it again whether I’m part of a group or not. [Lanzerik, 100]
Resist Elements (602)
A low level damage spell for druidical types. 602 evoke for Harm nature. Not an efficient spell but one a druid could use if they were determined on being a druid. [Name Withheld, 24, Part 1]
Foraging (603)
Foraging and Skinning bonuses should be tied to the survival skill with a large innate bonus to rangers, thus freeing up two spell slots. [Dhairn, 16]
A lower level attack spell would be nice to support a more varied approach to the “spikesorc”/druid build. Perhaps combine 603/604 and fill the void with something to provide some variety and a mana efficient alternative [Maodan, 86, Part 1]
609 is worthless as a CS spell. I’m tired of seeing 616 rangers call themselves “weedmages”. I get druid builds, but lets give them a single target CS spell like a, “druidic assault” either add 607 effect to 615 and throw it there (at 607) or maybe even combine 603 and 604 to some kind of survival spell to free up a slot. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100, Part 1]
Skinning (604)
Foraging and Skinning bonuses should be tied to the survival skill with a large innate bonus to rangers, thus freeing up two spell slots. [Dhairn, 16]
Skinning – please make this stackable. [Leafiara, 100]
A lower level attack spell would be nice to support a more varied approach to the “spikesorc”/druid build. Perhaps combine 603/604 and fill the void with something to provide some variety and a mana efficient alternative [Maodan, 86, Part 1]
609 is worthless as a CS spell. I’m tired of seeing 616 rangers call themselves “weedmages”. I get druid builds, but lets give them a single target CS spell like a, “druidic assault” either add 607 effect to 615 and throw it there (at 607) or maybe even combine 603 and 604 to some kind of survival spell to free up a slot. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100, Part 1]
Whispering Willow (605)
The only spells I wish could be re-worked are Whispering Willow, which I never use (it’s fun in concept, but why use it when there is the in-game amulet-net or the out-of-game Lnet?), and Imbue, which I feel is limited in usefulness and feels less like a spell on it’s own and more like a set-up step in someone else’s spell. Both of those spells I never use and never really see myself using ever and I wish they could both be reworked into something else entirely. [Aeith, 72]
I went a long time before realizing how much RP utility 605 has. Now I use it all the time and it’s a blast. [Rouste, 100]
Phoen’s Strength (606)
I would like to see some moderate changes made to Phoen’s Strength, as well as Sounds. I feel that the situation with ranger attack strength can be remedied by giving Phoen’s Strength an increasing boost to attack strength, based on ranger spell ranks, as well as making Sounds area of affect instead of single target. This would satisfy the issues with ranger attack strength lagging behind the other semis, as well as provide them with a beneficial group spell through the use of Sounds to reduce the defensive strength of all targets within the room, rather than just one. [Name Withheld, 100, Part 1]
A scaling AS benefit on 606. [Leafiara, 100, Part 1]
Sounds (607)
I never use Sounds while hunting because the time and mana requirement for casting just doesn’t match my play style. Now, when I was much lower level, I did use Sounds quite a bit, but at higher levels, the DS reduction is mainly inconsequential. [Erek, 75]
A spell list refresh with alternate effects for channeling or evoking things like Sunburst, Sounds and Breeze. I’d like to see some of those be updated to bring in a more yin/yang flavor in the same way that 1101 was updated to Heal/Harm. [Seomanthe, 39, Part 1]
Sounds and Tangle Weed – decent enough early game, but eventually there’s just little if any point to casting them. [Leafiara, 100]
I would like to see some moderate changes made to Phoen’s Strength, as well as Sounds. I feel that the situation with ranger attack strength can be remedied by giving Phoen’s Strength an increasing boost to attack strength, based on ranger spell ranks, as well as making Sounds area of affect instead of single target. This would satisfy the issues with ranger attack strength lagging behind the other semis, as well as provide them with a beneficial group spell through the use of Sounds to reduce the defensive strength of all targets within the room, rather than just one. [Name Withheld, 100, Part 1]
609 is worthless as a CS spell. I’m tired of seeing 616 rangers call themselves “weedmages”. I get druid builds, but lets give them a single target CS spell like a, “druidic assault” either add 607 effect to 615 and throw it there (at 607) or maybe even combine 603 and 604 to some kind of survival spell to free up a slot. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100, Part 1]

607 almost needs to be combined with something like 615 because we need it unless we get some kinda of AS boost, but it means at least 2 disabler casts, before the possible 2 buff casts just for an attack. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]

Camouflage (608)
Make Camo more useful with shadow mastery. [Amerek, 100, Part 1]
I was also wanting to see 608 stack like other spells and just take effect when hidden, so rangers could take advantage of reduced set-up time with things like shadow mastery. The autohide part of 608 should still remain for younger rangers or those who rely on it for that reason. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100, Part 1]
Sun Burst (609)
Sunburst seems overcost at 609 profession specific as compared to 109 (dispel invisible) minor generic. [Dhairn, 16]
A spell list refresh with alternate effects for channeling or evoking things like Sunburst, Sounds and Breeze. I’d like to see some of those be updated to bring in a more yin/yang flavor in the same way that 1101 was updated to Heal/Harm. [Seomanthe, 39, Part 1]
609 is worthless as a CS spell. I’m tired of seeing 616 rangers call themselves “weedmages”. I get druid builds, but lets give them a single target CS spell like a, “druidic assault” either add 607 effect to 615 and throw it there (at 607) or maybe even combine 603 and 604 to some kind of survival spell to free up a slot. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100, Part 1]

I think 609 has some utility for finding arrows, otherwise it’s a waste of a spell slot with it’s weak stun and no damage. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]

Tangle Weed (610)
Tangle Weed (610) “should be a vine that follows the ranger under the ground, and act more as a knockdown companion.” [Dhairn, 16]
I think 610 misses way too often for the mana cost, when compared with 410 which is guaranteed knockdowns, and 709 which seems to be extremely effective. Even against single targets, 1005 is a guaranteed sit or knockdown at like level. 5 extra mana and you MIGHT get 1 knockdown with a chance for damage with Tangleweed. [Seomanthe, 39]
Sounds and Tangle Weed – decent enough early game, but eventually there’s just little if any point to casting them. [Leafiara, 100]
Rangers have a lot of spells that have been surpassed by other spells that are close to effect (610 vs 709) for example. One is cheaper, and an AoE. To bring 610 in line I would like to see it go after multiple targets based on lore. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100, Part 1]
610 has extremely poor performance compared to modern mainstays like 410/909/709. [Name Withheld]
Mass Colors (611)
We don’t need two color spells. [Nroth, 34]

Replace mass colors with something else. Make colors evokable for the mass version. [Nroth, 34, Part 1]

I think they could combine 601 and 611 just reduce the mana cost for colors for self casting. then implement another utility or defense spell at 601. [Rasson, 78]
601 is excellent up until you can cast 611. 1 mana for +10 DS and increased hiding ability is rather hard to beat. However, I literally haven’t cast the spell in 20+ years. Since the spell effect is the exact same spell effect as 611, there’s just no point. 601 does not cover my animal companion, and 611 does, so I’ll never cast it again whether I’m part of a group or not. [Lanzerik, 100]
Breeze (612)
Breeze does too little for 12 mana compared to 1602 with similar effect, or 912 with far greater effect. [Dhairn, 16]
A spell list refresh with alternate effects for channeling or evoking things like Sunburst, Sounds and Breeze. I’d like to see some of those be updated to bring in a more yin/yang flavor in the same way that 1101 was updated to Heal/Harm. [Seomanthe, 39, Part 1]
Tweaks to spells like call swarm being usable with breeze. [Puptilian, 100, Part 1]
Imbue (614)
The only spells I wish could be re-worked are Whispering Willow, which I never use (it’s fun in concept, but why use it when there is the in-game amulet-net or the out-of-game Lnet?), and Imbue, which I feel is limited in usefulness and feels less like a spell on it’s own and more like a set-up step in someone else’s spell. Both of those spells I never use and never really see myself using ever and I wish they could both be reworked into something else entirely. [Aeith, 72]
I’m satisfied with the design and mana cost of all the Ranger spells with one exception: I’d like to see Imbue become a more significant spell (and therefore a higher mana cost). Ideally, I’d like to see Imbue used in some way to enhance the magical capabilities of runestaves. [Name Withheld, 92]
Imbue – great, but not a replacement for a real profession service that does something permanent. [Leafiara, 100]
Imbue is, meh. It’s not like we can imbue anything in them ourselves, which is lame. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]
Call Swarm (615)
Call Swarm and Spikethorn are both amazing spells that simply cost too much mana to use in most encounters, and access to them doesn’t happen early enough in the rangers career. [Dhairn, 16]
Tweaks to spells like call swarm being usable with breeze. [Puptilian, 100, Part 1]
Spike Thorn (616)
Call Swarm and Spikethorn are both amazing spells that simply cost too much mana to use in most encounters, and access to them doesn’t happen early enough in the rangers career. [Dhairn, 16]
Mass Calm (619)
Mass Calm is amazing in all ways aside from the speed in which creatures and undead can snap it. [Dhairn, 16]
Mass calm is like useful, but like a super inferior sanct…it could use some love with lore maybe? [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]
Resist Nature (620)
Resist Nature does too little, is temporary, and is a waste of a spell for anything other than the ranger setting his armor against his current hunting ground. [Dhairn, 16]
I also wish something more could be added to Resist Nature. It just feels lacking when compared to other 20th level service spells like Enchant or Ensorcel. I’d love to be able to add more depth to it’s options or utility somehow. I very much enjoy the indigo mushroom aspect that was added recently, maybe there can be other types of rare forgeables along those lines that can be added to the armor over time to enhance other areas of it’s boost or usefulness? [Aeith, 72]
I wish there were more uses for 620 – for instance, against acid would be particularly helpful in the Sanctum. [Name Withheld, 100]
Resist Nature, in my opinion, borders on the realm of useless, both in terms of the supposed benefit it provides to armor, as well as a means of generating income. On top of that, to actually achieve a level that would provide a benefit, a ranger would have to dump all of their lores into blessings, which most rangers are either unwilling to do, or would require a fixskill both ways. [Name Withheld, 100]
I hate resist nature because rather than give it a much reduced perm version they made it work on metal, which I though was great…for warriors. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]
620 is good but it has great opportunity to be turned into a service for rangers via permanent resists. The resist types should also be looked at – lightning, and other elemental resists should be standard, not as part of the ascension system. [Name Withheld]
Nature’s Touch (625)
625 should not be a spell.. the ability to cast indoors should be lore based as a generic ranger threshold. [Dhairn, 16]
625 feels a bit wasted, similar in argument to Forest armor it doesn’t feel good to just be non-functional in certain environments. I understand thematically, but I feel that it’s an unnecessary bandage. IMO, remove environment restrictions and re-purpose this. Something proportionally comparable to 1130 would be nice 🙂 [Maodan, 86]
Nature’s Touch – feels like it should just be an innate ability at level 25. I guess there are some effects to it being a spell, such as the mixed pro/con that it can be dispelled and the pro that it decreases the lore requirements for indoor Call Lightning, but still. [Leafiara, 100]
625 is a wasted spell. Being able to cast indoors should be based on levels, not some arbitrary spell slot. [Alisaire]
625 is incredibly outdated and almost insulting as a level 25 title spell – it pretty much does nothing of worth. No other class has a mechanic that impedes their spells in a way to justify wasting a level 25 slot on it. [Name Withheld]
Animal Companion (630)
Animal Companion is wasted after the initial cast, and should be removed… the companion mechanics instead being a quest and/or roleplay experience. [Dhairn, 16]
Companions need some buffs; even if they’re just better ambient scrips. [Nroth, 34]
As said in first part of survey, I think 630 should be an innate ability to Rangers, and not a spell slot. However, for the slot it’s in, it’s pretty decent. [T. Aelo’tyn, 35]

I’d like to see Animal Companions (currently 630) be an innate ability, not a spell slot. Perhaps, at level 20, a ranger can start calling upon nature to have a animal friend who does very little, and as the ranger progesses, the animal friend also progress, getting more powerful (and doing more things). For example, at level 20, the animal friend is just that, a friend… it doesn’t have any commands, but can be fed, played with, etc. At level 30, the friend turns into a companion, and starts to actively work with it’s ranger friend… at this point it starts to become more like current companions are, with certain commands. At level 40-50, the companion will start actively hunting with and protecting it’s ranger mate. At later levels, maybe they could have even more commands than they currently do, possibly becoming a bit wiz. familiar-like. [T. Aelo’tyn, 35, Part 1]

Animal Companion – great RP tool, but not super impressive in battle. [Leafiara, 100]
The only real complaint I have is with Animal Companion and Assume Aspect. While I enjoy the DS bonus from having my companion guard me, and I appreciate the lack of AS penalty when using a ranged weapon, I find the penalty to melee AS to be rather steep. [Anarquendi Aldudil, 100]
ACs are generally not useful in combat. They are too slow/ineffective to use to hunt, even for a “druid”/casting ranger route, and their responsiveness is similarly too slow or ineffectively to truly impact an individual fight one way or another. About their only purpose is to provide nominal DS when guarding or roleplay. [Alisaire]
Nature’s Fury (635)
Nature’s Fury needs to be player friendly. [Dhairn, 16]
I’d like to see 635 have a focused version tied to MOC, with multiple waves on one creature. [Ascelon, 91]
Wall of Thorns (640)
I also love wall of thorns, not just because of the DS bonus, but because of the creative flavoring in how it blocks attacks sometimes and can even poison attackers. Those are great touches above and beyond a plain DS boost. [Aeith, 72]
Assume Aspect (650)
Multiple people talked about the short duration of Assume Aspect being a hindrance. Not all comments related to that topic are below.
Assume Aspect does far too little for it’s 50 mana cost and short duration. [Dhairn, 16]
And from a design and utility and fun aspect I’m really impressed with Assume Aspect. It’s very fun and creative and I love having the ability to choose from a dozen different sub-spells within the core spell, it is a fantastically designed and deep spell that feels very rangerly on top of it all. [Aeith, 72]
The duration of individual aspects from 650 are so short and so mana intensive, I really only ever use this spell for Aspect of the Yierka while I’m foraging for herbs. [Anarquendi Aldudil, 100]
650 is too expensive to use and not very powerful even if Silvynn were not an Archdruid (weed mage). I seldom used it and could not tell it made much difference when it was activated. Cannot remember the last time I bothered to cast it. [Silvynn, 100]
650 is a really cool spell, and I used it quite a bit when I first learned it. However, the novelty wore off rather quickly because the spell duration is so short. It seems like an entirely unnecessary double-whammy that each of the different aspects is of super short duration, and on top of that the ability to use them at all is both mana-intense and of short duration. For 50 mana per cast, at least give me a minute per spell rank and let me stack it. Keep the short durations on the individual aspects, that makes sense. The aspect effects aren’t game-changers like Wall of Force or Wizard Shield, and only one aspect can be maintained at a time, so honestly what’s keeping us from having a normal duration on the spell? It depletes my mana reserves too quickly to use while hunting, so I haven’t cast the spell in months. [Lanzerik, 100]
650 could do with some small lore improvements to make it more usable (i.e. longer duration) [Name Withheld, 100]
650 has a lot of fun and utility but could use just a bit of a bump via lores or something else to improve it – examples such as reduction of mana cost for transforming between aspects, lores to lengthen aspects so you can keep it up without having to constantly rotate. That should be base options – currently rangers have very poor lore training builds so this can help with that. [Name Withheld]

Minor Spiritual Spells

It isn’t going to change, but I believe we should have the 400s, and Bards the 100s. [Nroth, 34]
As for the Minor Spiritual circle “tying in with our identity” as rangers, I’d rather see more concentration on tying deity attunement to a ranger’s identity, and providing some sort of benefit based on the deity chosen. [Name Withheld, 92]
The ‘original sin’ of the ranger is that they were meant to have minor elemental to correspond with their more elemental/natural base. Minor elemental is the better of the two minor circles. As most rangers will not have enough minor spiritual spells, they will never be able to use the circle as a CS option, and because they cannot double spell aim, nor can they use it as a bolting option. It is not unreasonable to skip the entire spell circle and just overtrain ranger-base past 100. [Stormfleet, 100]
If you were to ask me whether or not I would trade access to minor spirit for access to one of the other minor circles, I would probably say no. There’s a fair bit of utility in minor spirit, and I certainly wouldn’t trade away access to the TD buffs. [Name Withheld, 100]
Makes more sense for rangers to be elementally ties, but it is what it is. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]
General Feedback
I’m not sure how much minor circles can be tailored to fit the classes casting them. I don’t have Web yet, but I love how it interacts with Call Swarm and would love to see more combos like that added. Water walking + foraging = phantom survival ranks when in places like Nelemar? I don’t know if that would even be useful but you see what I mean 🙂 [Seomanthe, 39]
I don’t have a lot to say about the minor spiritual circle. I don’t find it very interesting or exciting. It’s there, I appreciate having access to it, I appreciate the defensive buffs and utilities, but I don’t think there is anything there I’m particularly looking forward to getting, unlike the Ranger circle where almost everything was exciting to gain or exciting to look forward to. I do enjoy web (even though I’m terrible at casting it), and Spirit Strike is very helpful as a melee user. [Aeith, 72]
It would be hard to overstate how much I dislike the design of the Minor Spiritual circle for any profession, because it just has so much fluff and filler. For rangers it’s even more egregious than usual, though. On sheer technicality I had to answer that I don’t cast any of these spells with my ranger, who has no ranks of Minor Spiritual, but I’ll explain why that is…

101/103/104/107/112 – can just get them other-cast
102 – wouldn’t want it since it lowers AS
113/114 – very niche filler
106 – redundant since I have 608
108 – good
109 – redundant since I have 609
110/135 – would never have the CS, plus I have better disablers in Ranger Base
111 – would never have the bolt AS; nice for fireworks, though
115 – never felt lacking for TD
116 – good, but to some extent I can just use 605
117 – good, admittedly probably the best draw to Minor Spiritual for a ranger
118 – usable due to TD pushdown, but Ranger Base still has better disablers
119 – can’t think of much that I’d want to dispel that doesn’t die hard to 616
120 – good
125 – good
130 – I can just Symbol of Return
140 – never felt lacking for DS

In a roleplay sense, I couldn’t say I’m fully unsatisfied with how Minor Spiritual ties into ranger identity, since a few spells like Web, Call Lightning, Water Walking, Disease Resistance, and Poison Resistance do seem in-character to me for rangers. I certainly don’t think they should switch to another circle or anything like that, but Minor Spiritual does come across as a very generic set of spells and could use some love. [Leafiara, 100]

Spirit Barrier (102)
The only thing that bugs me from a numbers standpoint is needing 22 ranks of MnS to mitigate 102’s AS penalty, but that’s just from a TP/consistency standpoint. [Kedsie, 61]
Disease Resistance (104)
Poison and Disease should become more prevalent, player applicable, or removed from the MnS list freeing up 4 spell slots. [Dhairn, 16]
The general buffs are a great compliment, but the MS circle has some opportunity for consolidation (combine poison/disease spells to open up slots). [Maodan, 86]
104 and 105 don’t seem to do enough in my opinion. In addition to a second warding attempt, it would be nice if they resulted in partial mitigation of the disease or poison based on lores. [Lanzerik, 100]
It’s either feast or famine for rangers as they tend not to be too good at the CS spells unless they want to go full spell ranks eventually. I do think disease and poison resist need to be combined into the undisease/unpoison or discarded entirely. I am not a fan of lesser versions of spells as opposed to something new. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]
Poison Resistance (105)
Poison and Disease should become more prevalent, player applicable, or removed from the MnS list freeing up 4 spell slots. [Dhairn, 16]
The general buffs are a great compliment, but the MS circle has some opportunity for consolidation (combine poison/disease spells to open up slots). [Maodan, 86]
104 and 105 don’t seem to do enough in my opinion. In addition to a second warding attempt, it would be nice if they resulted in partial mitigation of the disease or poison based on lores. [Lanzerik, 100]
It’s either feast or famine for rangers as they tend not to be too good at the CS spells unless they want to go full spell ranks eventually. I do think disease and poison resist need to be combined into the undisease/unpoison or discarded entirely. I am not a fan of lesser versions of spells as opposed to something new. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]
Dispel Invisibility (109)
109 seems pointless because it’s only ever other players that are invisible, and dispelling invisibility on another player is often considered rude. If there were combat applications, it wouldn’t be pointless. [Lanzerik, 100]
Unbalance (110)
Spells are hard enough to keep at level, and so most people are undertrained in minor spiritual. Therefore, our CS is terrible, so the CS based ones are kind of wasted. [Goldtree, 76]
Also, the attack spells are quite wasted on a ranger because we can’t sufficiently train in spell aiming and CS is too low. [Maodan, 86]
I’d like to see MnS CS spells be usable by rangers through some mechanic (perhaps 650). It doesn’t have to be overwhelming but it would add some utility. I feel like web especially is a shame that it doesn’t work. [Ascelon, 91]
Fire Spirit (111)
Also, the attack spells are quite wasted on a ranger because we can’t sufficiently train in spell aiming and CS is too low. [Maodan, 86]
111 seems pointless for a ranger outside of fluffy fireworks, because I’m not likely to ever train in spell aiming. [Lanzerik, 100]
Undisease (113)
Poison and Disease should become more prevalent, player applicable, or removed from the MnS list freeing up 4 spell slots. [Dhairn, 16]
The general buffs are a great compliment, but the MS circle has some opportunity for consolidation (combine poison/disease spells to open up slots). [Maodan, 86]
113 and 114 are entirely useful within the spell circle, but I’m almost never the one to cast it. It’s usually an empath that beats me to it. [Lanzerik, 100]
Unpoison (114)
Poison and Disease should become more prevalent, player applicable, or removed from the MnS list freeing up 4 spell slots. [Dhairn, 16]
The general buffs are a great compliment, but the MS circle has some opportunity for consolidation (combine poison/disease spells to open up slots). [Maodan, 86]
113 and 114 are entirely useful within the spell circle, but I’m almost never the one to cast it. It’s usually an empath that beats me to it. [Lanzerik, 100]
Fasthr’s Reward (115)
Fasthr’s Reward is a horrible spell name and should be changed! Who needs that guy! Stupid Voln propaganda machines hard at work. [Alisaire]

(Editor’s note: I had to include this because I was laughing too hard not to do so.) 

Spirit Strike (117)
On Spirit strike, I’d love to see an alternative cast type that lets you split the benefit over multiple attacks, vs. one big one, so maybe split the AS over the next 3 attacks instead of one hit. [Erek, 75]
Minor spiritual has a lot of utility, but outside of some TD buffs and general usage, some are just not necessary and could be better suited for improvements with certain lores. I.E. spirit strike to bridge the gap a bit with ranger spells or whatnot to get a longer usage. maybe instead of one with a possibility of two charges, it’s two charges with possibility of three. [Kreigh, 100]
Web (118)
Also, the attack spells are quite wasted on a ranger because we can’t sufficiently train in spell aiming and CS is too low. [Maodan, 86]
I’d like to see MnS CS spells be usable by rangers through some mechanic (perhaps 650). It doesn’t have to be overwhelming but it would add some utility. I feel like web especially is a shame that it doesn’t work. [Ascelon, 91]
Spirit Dispel (119)
My only complain in the Minor Spirit circle is that Spirit Dispel is a bit too costly in my opinion. [Name Withheld, 92]
Spirit Guide (130)
130 needs to be looked at a bit to reduce the nausea. While empaths may eventually train parts of it off, rangers just can’t do the same and it becomes extremely annoying to use it. [Name Withheld]
Searing Light (135)
Spells are hard enough to keep at level, and so most people are undertrained in minor spiritual. Therefore, our CS is terrible, so the CS based ones are kind of wasted. [Goldtree, 76]
Also, the attack spells are quite wasted on a ranger because we can’t sufficiently train in spell aiming and CS is too low. [Maodan, 86]
I’d like to see MnS CS spells be usable by rangers through some mechanic (perhaps 650). It doesn’t have to be overwhelming but it would add some utility. I feel like web especially is a shame that it doesn’t work. [Ascelon, 91]

Mana and Other

All 48 respondents in the second half of the survey answered the question which asked, “How satisfied are you with the amount of mana you have available to cast spells? (I.e., do you struggle to have enough mana available or is there always enough?)”

Interestingly, the data ran counter to what I would have expected. Level 50-99 had the highest ratio of satisfaction in comparison to the other brackets:

 

  • Level 100: 9 satisfied, 6 middle, 4 unsatisfied
  • Level 50-99: 8 satisfied, 7 middle, 0 unsatisfied
  • Level 0-49: 6 satisfied, 1 middle, 5 unsatisfied
Rangers were then asked to provide further comments about ranger magical abilities, including how they feel about the balance of set-up, utility, offensive, and defensive spells available to rangers.
Attack spells cost too much for a ranger, although they are powerful. Utility spells are rather lackluster or single dimension. [Dhairn, 16]
We would struggle without society abilities. [Nroth, 34]
I think we are well balanced. I do use a lot of mana as I go along so hunting solo I use spells as an equalizer and to clear rooms as needed. [Morofinwe, 35]
I think rangers are pretty underpowered magically in an offensive sense. [Seomanthe, 39]
if get a swarm going you have to leave because you run out of mana. [Redpaw, 43]
Overall, rangers are solid with maybe the exception of some mutant builds, as archetypal builds will always be more consistently reliable until well post-cap. [Kedsie, 61]
I was torn between 3 and 4 on the mana question. In the lower levels I was often frustrated with not having enough mana, but now that I’m in the 70’s I feel I’m in a great place where I can use a combination of spells and melee while hunting and in general I have a good supply of both to last. I imagine that gets even better nearer to cap.

In general I feel the ranger spell circle is largely wonderful. I love the creativity and flavor of the spells. And I think it provides a good blend of combat, defense and utility. I like that we have setup/knock down spells. And I honestly truly love having an army of ‘things’ when I go hunting. Between my animal companion, vines, swarms, it all feels great when all of those things are going at once. I also love spells that boost my foraging and skinning ability. Overall, with the exception of the couple of spells I mentioned above, I feel pretty satisfied with the ranger’s magical abilities. [Aeith, 72]

it is nice that we don’t have to go 100% weed mage or 100% to ambush. We can go in the middle and still succeed. [Shern, 91]
I’m satisfied with the amount of mana I have available, which is a good thing because I designed my character with that goal in mind. I’d like to see rangers have more of a role in the enchantment/magical manipulation of wooden objects like runestaves. [Name Withheld, 92]
Inability to 2x MIU/AS/SMC/Lores and lack of offensive CS spells, squeezes rangers into a slot where they cannot be effective spell users outside of the standard weedmage/616 build. [Stormfleet, 100]
Mana was tricky in the 30s-40s and spellups can take a long time because higher level spells are mandatory for going hunting. At cap, though, I have enough. [Rouste, 100]
A usable attack spell that costs less than 16 mana would be welcome since rangers are supposed to be more magical than paladins, whose cheapest attack spell is 15 mana. [Leafiara, 100]
We definitely need more mana if the only viable path is going to be weed mage. [Silverthorne, 100]
I’m not quite certain how a weed-mage build can be viable until quite a ways into post-cap, since I don’t see how a capped character’s mana pool can possibly be big enough to support exclusive 616 and 635 casting until fried. My mana pool is just a bit over 300, and I find that it’s almost always plenty of mana; while hunting, I primarily cast 610, 616, and 635 where applicable and when I’m not hiding and swinging. Spells I use situationally and occasionally are 607, 608, 609, and 615.

I have alts in every character class, and in my opinion the ranger spell circle is one of the best. Rangers have some of the best class-defining buffs (606, 613, 618, 640), two very hard-hitting attack spells (616 and 635), some excellent offensive utility spells (607, 608, 615), class-defining general utility spells (603, 604, 605, 620, 650), and one of the only three “massies” in the game (611). While of course there’s room for tweaks and improvements, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy with our spell circle overall. [Lanzerik, 100]

Rangers have good defensive setup, in some ways too good – combination of 640/618 (at 1 dodge per rank), 102 (for ranged and weed mage), animal companion guard (for ranged and weed mage), it really surpasses other classes defensive capabilities. Offensively, its a bit lacking in versatility, basically its only 616 and sometimes 635. Something more spice and fun would be nice. Disablers need to be improved – rangers have so many disablers but most of them are lame (609, 610, 612, 619, 110, etc). All of those spells combined will pale compared to just one spell (410, 709), its not even a contest. Actually web is better than most of those spells even. [Name Withheld]

Lores

This question was one that was requested by one of the rangers consulted in the creation of the survey: “How impactful do you feel it is to the ranger class that they are able to 1x in spiritual lores versus the amount of lores other classes have in relation to the training availability of other skills?”
Ranger training costs need looked at to allow for at least 1x lore training, and lore training should be the primary determination in whether or not a spell can be cast indoors. [Dhairn, 16]
This is all theoretical based on research and reading, as training points are too tight for me to delve into lores yet on my character, they are more of a capped goal. But in general I have to say I really really love how lores synergize with spells and provide added depth and functionality. It’s really neat in general to have systems which provide X on the surface but +Y/Z underneath too.

I know for rangers the recommendation is for more summoning lore for offensive power, but for me as an open TWC build I’m more concerned with survivability, and would probably focus more of my lores at the start into blessings for defense reasons before investing heavily in summoning. But both sets of lores offer a nearly equal split of interest for me, they both offer great utility for a wide range of spells. Of course I’d always love to see more (and have more to invest in later on down the line), as I mentioned above, spells which grant new niches of ability or deeper layers of functionality in how they synergies with lores is something about the current magic system I find really neat. Even though I’m not a wizard, I do love reading the forums and discord discussions between wizards about what kinds of lores to specialize in and how torn some people are between which are best for their character. I kind of love being torn between two equally good options in blessings and summoning, and I’d love even more to have more options to be torn between in a good way too 🙂

The main thing for me is scarcity of training points and trying to decide what to sacrifice for what. As much as I wanted lores, I didn’t want to sacrifice Mana Sharing, MIU, Arcane Symbols or some of the more expensive physical training options like Multi-Opponent Combat. I like being a flexible generalist (one of the reasons I chose a ranger to begin with!) So lores have been pushed to a post-cap goal for me. But I eagerly await getting to use them and having something else to rank up in and build up over time and agonize over decision-making with 🙂 [Aeith, 72] 

The point breaks are too high, so most people wait till cap [Goldtree, 76]
Upsides: I enjoy the power gained in our attack spells from summoning lore, and the benefits to 607 are amazing. Balanced with some extra defense from blessing, it feels like a good split.

Downsides: The benefits are a bit bland, generally just “make spell XYZ better.” It would be neat to see some “unlock” type benefits at certain breakpoints that enable entirely different abilities.

[Maodan, 86, 60 Summoning/40 Blessing]

Upsides: Only cause I am a Weedmage so the spike and Fury extra cycles is the only reason

Downsides: Would like the cap to be 2x

[Maygog, 87, 67 Summoning/18 Blessing]

I think of all the training decisions I’ve made over the life of my ranger, figuring out lore splits has been the most difficult (and most frequent to change). I want to be able to do it all, but if that were possible you would dilute the number of unique builds/training paths that are currently available to rangers, and I don’t want that. The diversity of opportunities for rangers is great! Such a dilemma! [Name Withheld, 92]
Lores simply are not appropriately beneficial yet. Make the benefits better and I might train in them. [Amerek, 100, 1 Summoning, 1 Blessing]
Upsides: Summoning lore buffs 605, 612, 614, 615, 616, and 635, which is practically a “greatest hits” list of ranger spells.

Downsides: None. This is the easiest lore decision I’ve ever made for any profession.

Other: I could maybe be talked into 91 Summoning/10 Blessings (and finding a +1 Blessings enhancive) if the Sanctum had enemies to skin, or if a Landing capped hunting ground with skinnable enemies was made.

 

[Leafiara, 100, 101 Summoning/0 Blessing]

Upsides: Without a doubt, the ability to whisper to anyone anywhere is a lot of fun for me. While my primary concern was to increase the effect of 635, I find myself missing the effect of summoning lore with 605 more whenever I have tried out blessing lore.

Downsides: Having to give up the added DS and TD that blessing lore grants.

[Anarquendi, 100, 101 Summoning/0 Blessing]

It makes my Resist Nature less effective and therefore, and therefore less lucrative. I am not able to completely focus as a magical Druid with these limitations. I think we should be able to 2x lores and increase magical abilities with less restriction.

[Leifa, 100, 66 Summoning/35 Blessing]

Well, you have to make choices in GS. It’s part of what defines each character. If we could 2x lore when we only USE 2 lores then we would have no choices to make, now would we? I could see 2x lores only if we become required to use a third lore.

a 40 Summoning/61 Blessing split is a min/maxing split that leans slightly one way or the other. I chose a little DS over offense since I am less inclined than some rangers to lean heavily on thorns or fury, as well as other even psuedo-offensive spells. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]

Ranger lores are extremely lacking. The only real noticeable benefit is if you want to do resists, or if you want to do weed mage. Otherwise, you can get away without any and quite easily. Lot of wasted potential in some spells because of lack of lore paths. Cheaper and easier to decide build – just skip lores all together [Name Withheld]

Arcane Symbols and Magic Item Use

I am told they add to defense and help fight spellburst eventually. Since I don’t use scrolls or wands, they aren’t worth much to me beyond something that I have to train in for some reason. [Sreka, 17]
I trained in Arcane symbols in order to read scrolls and for the Broken Lands [Morofinwe, 35]
I mainly picked up AS as an RP choice and seldom use or stockpile scrolls. I like the increased duration afforded by MIU [Seomanthe, 39]
The changes to SK Scrolls is a fantastic boon, allowing me to further diversify and strengthen an already strong build with solid positives. [Kedsie, 61]
I wanted to have good general skills and utilities across the board, so I made sure to reach basic thresholds of 20 ranks in both MIU and AS. And in general I’m happy I have both. The MIU comes in handy a lot, I love the added duration to magic items. Sadly I don’t use AS as much.

As happy as I am being able to read scrolls at last, I still find myself rarely using them ever, even though I want to. I can’t use them effectively in combat because of how they need to be held to be used, and many spells I get in the treasure system just aren’t useful enough to be bothered with. But every once in a while I get to play with another classes spells or cast a nice defensive buff spell which I appreciate and I’m glad I kept my 20 ranks for now.

But I feel scrolls in Gemstone could maybe use a rework in general (but maybe this is different for pure magic classes than semis, I don’t know) [Aeith, 72]

This is somewhat dependent upon the archetype you want to play. I’d like to be able to play that “magical arch-druid type Hern the Hunter” type and there’s just not quite enough TP available at my level to get there. I can do this post cap but it’d be nice to actually play this way while leveling. [Erek, 75]
Can’t have everything. Most things you train, that covers what you need, with these 2 you have to train and then be lucky enough to find the perishable to make it work. That made it the weakest link. [Shern, 91]
Have some x/day items so I train MIU for that. [Ascelon, 91]
Don’t see the need for AS. MIU is nice for statue rubs and the premium spell item, but not much else. [Rouste, 100]
I only have this to prevent spellburst. [Erykk, 100]
Again, rangers should have the ability to more intently focus on magic and arcane usage and not be limited to just physical strengths. [Leifa, 100]
I find MIU to be incredibly useful. I figure out what spells I want, create imbeddibles, then find someone to put the spells I want in those imbeddibles. Alternatively, I buy imbedded spell items (and analogous things, like spell crystals from Gamac’s Goods) for exactly the spells I want to have. It allows me to keep and use exactly what I want and not waste carrying capacity/encumbrance on the things I don’t want. The combination of wearable imbeddibles and crystal holding jewelry means that I can use most MIU items quickly, easily, and safely during combat if/when needed.

Scrolls have the same potential to be useful, but ultimately I find them annoying. Once I finally find a spell on a scroll from the treasure system that I’ve been hoping for, the scroll is almost guaranteed to also have other spells that I think are pointless. I don’t have an easy way to sort them or quickly pick out the scroll with the spell I’m looking for, and having a scroll unlocked or charged is tedious/difficult enough that I’m unlikely to ever care about trying until my sorcerer alt is near cap. Spell scrolls aren’t usually purchasable from merchants, and outside of the sigil staves which most rangers wouldn’t consider using, there’s no truly safe way to use a scroll during combat. Other than for things like having access to the Broken Lands and figuring out what to keep or sell, I really don’t see a reason for a ranger to train in arcane symbols. [Lanzerik, 100]

A ranger can 1x either, I really only have them because I am post-cap. That being the case, I find MIU more useful to me because I prefer mage rechargeable and x-day items. Still, I can see scrolls being useful too. Both are really just skills to supplement a ranger. Unless There is a lower level CS spell released, I doubt we will be seeing any need for runestaff defense. [Arshwikk Aralock Ardenai, 100]
Trained to utilize imbues and etc, but in the end, its just too much item maintenance. Yeah you can make your own rods but you can’t put anything in it yourself, you gotta wait or buy it from others. Besides, empty imbeds are not exactly rare anymore either. It’s good spell 15 years ago but outdated a bit now. [Name Withheld]
Qafziel Nalfein

Qafziel Nalfein

Qafziel Nalfein, scholar and political devotee, travels Elanith learning more about the relationships between notable parties. His focus is on the Cooperative Houses of Elanthia and Meeting Hall Organizations and their liaisons, but he’s also known to pop into a town meeting on a whim or congratulate someone on reaching the pinnacle of their studies whether it be in warfare or sorcery or something else entirely. Qaf is always on the lookout for ways to connect individuals and organizations both with each other, with adventurers, and with the TownCrier for the betterment of our society. He maintains a network of informants who assist him in his tasks.