By Regina Buenaobra July 21st, 2010 Last week’s big reveal of the ranger profession made a lot of folks really happy. There’s nothing like taking on the world with a trusty pet at your side! You had lots of questions about the ranger’s pets and abilities, and as usual, we had answers. We hunted down the most frequently asked questions around the web and shot them to Lead Designer Eric Flannum. Read on for Eric’s answers to your ranger questions! Rangers Q: What is the difference between the shortbow and longbow? Is it just a matter of range, or is there a bigger difference between bow types? Eric: Each bow is completely different, not only in terms of range but also skills, damage, and function. Q: Can you use shortbows on the move? How about longbows? Eric: Shortbows are lightweight and mobile, so you can use them and skills like Spread Shot on the move. Longbows are more static, but they have a longer range and are more powerful, so you can use skills like Barrage with them. Q: Is Hunter’s Call activated by the warhorn? Eric: Yes. Hunter’s Call is a warhorn skill that summons a trio of hawks to attack the targeted enemy. Q: Was the torch used during the creation of Sun Spirit in the Spread Shot skill video, and is it necessary for activating this skill? Eric: The skill seen in the Spread Shot video is not Sun Spirit; it’s actually a torch skill called Bonfire. The Bonfire skill creates a persistent fiery location at the targeted location, whereas Sun Spirit summons a spirit that buffs all allies in a certain radius. Q: I want to play a ranger without a pet. Are pets mandatory for the profession to be effective? Can you have a non-pet ranger like in GW1 and not sacrifice a lot of your effectiveness? Eric: Rangers must use their pets to achieve maximum effectiveness. A ranger could choose to mostly ignore his pet and leave it on “auto-pilot” so to speak and still be very effective, but a ranger who doesn’t even have a pet out will be a good deal less effective than one who does. There are many other professions in Guild Wars 2 that have effective ranged damage or ranged utility like the ranger for players who don’t want to use a pet. Q: Do pets become “downed” or do they go straight to “defeated?” Do pets have “downed” skills or finishing moves? Eric: Pets go to a defeated state and don’t have any finishing moves or downed skills. Once downed, you can revive a pet. Pet revives are generally done at melee range, but there are skills you can slot to revive your pet at range. If you are defeated, your pet will pop back to the waypoint with you when you revive. Q: Are ranger preparations from Guild Wars returning in Guild Wars 2? Eric: Yes. Preparations are utility skills. Q: Why aren’t two-handed weapons exclusive to the warrior? Eric: When deciding which professions could use which weapons we looked at the lore and feel that we were trying to achieve with that profession. We then evaluated each potential weapon/profession combination on a case-by-case basis. It simply didn’t make sense to restrict two-handed weapon usage to warriors when many two-handed weapons fit well within the other professions. Game Mechanics Q: Do arrows in Guild Wars 2 work similar to how they do in Guild Wars, where they can be dodged, because they follow a straight trajectory? Eric: There are some projectiles in the game which cannot be dodged because they auto track to their target. Auto tracking projectiles are a minority case, however, so it’s true that most projectiles can be dodged as they were in Guild Wars. Q: Can several rangers deploy the same trap or spirit at the same time, and if so, are their effects cumulative? Eric: Yes, they can. Whether or not the effect stacks depends entirely upon the effect in question. For example, multiple traps that apply bleeding would stack (up to the bleed stack limit), whereas multiple traps that cause blindness (a condition that causes the target’s next attack to miss) would not really stack. Q: How is large the area of effect for a ranger’s spirits and traps? Do they affect allies only or enemies as well? Eric: We’re still balancing the numbers, so I can’t really give exact ranges for spirits or traps. Whether a trap or spirit affects allies, enemies, or both is based upon the individual spirit or trap in question. For example, Sun Spirit only buffs allies. Q: In the Whirling Defense skill video, what is deflected? Projectile spells or ranged attacks? And is Whiling Defense a stance or more of a channeled ability? Eric: Anything that is designated as a blockable projectile can be deflected with Whirling Defense, which is a channeled ability. This includes things such as arrows, bullets, and fireballs. Q: Are there traps that affect allies, or that can be triggered by allies? Eric: Currently, no. Traps are only ever triggered by enemies and only affect enemies. That being said, we’re constantly trying out new skills and abilities, so who knows what the future may bring? Q: Can a spirit or trap be maintained by having my pet stay near it? Eric: No, the ranger needs to stay in the required radius to keep a trap or spirit active. Q: Do rangers have access to different kind of arrows, e.g. faster or more powerful ones? Eric: Rangers don’t have access to different arrows, but they do have access to preparations, which are utility skills that can cause their arrows to have additional effects. Pets Q: Will we be able to add armors to pets, dress them up, add decorative items, or even dye them? Eric: No. Pets do not have armor slots and cannot be dyed. If you want a different variety of pet, you can always go find and capture one. For example, if I want a black bear instead of a polar bear, I can always go tame a black bear. Q: If a pet dies, can it be resurrected and, if so, who can resurrect it? Eric: Anyone can revive a fallen pet, although the ranger can bring skills that may do it more efficiently or at range. Q: How does a pet’s level cap work? Could you explain what you mean by “20 levels of evolution” in more detail? Eric: Pets have two things that determine their power. First they have a pet level; this determines base statistics such as health, armor, and damage. Pet level always adjusts itself to the rangers’ level to ensure that the pet is always basically effective. Next, the pet has an evolution level. While a ranger uses their pet, it gains evolution levels, which gives it additional skills and abilities. A pet can have a maximum evolution level of 20. Q: Can the player activate her pet skills herself? Eric: No, the player cannot activate individual pet skills, which are managed by our AI. However, the player can send commands to his pet. The combination of the commands and the pet modes, which the player can also set, define the pet’s behavior. Q: Can you respec pets? Eric: Pets do not need to be respecced. A player is free to change any skills the pet uses, as long as they are outside of combat. Q: Can terrestrial animals go underwater? If so, do their skill change? Eric: Terrestrial pets cannot go underwater. Q: Do you get to feed your pet? Eric: You do not need to feed your pets. General Q: I thought I heard a naughty word in the Barrage video after the female ranger asks her party if they heard something. Is this a voice-over slip? Eric: No, that’s a moa sound you hear in the video. As you can see and hear below, the sound is actually a cross between leopard, walrus, and bird. It’s 100% profanity free! Q: Is this a fellblade we saw in one of the skill videos??? Eric: You will probably see many old favorite weapons make a return in Guild Wars 2. Thanks, Eric, for answering all the ranger questions! Reading this makes me want to play a ranger so I can have a pet shark named Bruce. Until next time, everybody!