Rangers

Original Source: Rhynst’s Complete Guide to Rangers

Updates by AAWiki staff.

Learning Curve Low-Medium
Damage Dealing A
Damage Absorption C+
Soloing ability A
Bashing ability A+
Tanking prowess B

Famous Rangers: Spoo, Angrybeard, Rhynst, Chun

Contents

Introduction

The Ancient Anguish ranger has only recently started being recognised for the power that it is. With few exceptions, this has been a class for newer players who dwell in ‘fuzzy’ areas like Harkke, Star Caverns and Anasazi. In my previous guide, I noted that mages were largely absent from parties, and this is perhaps even more true for rangers.

Rangers are given a dizzying array of little abilities, most of which are unfortunately more ‘toys’ than useful in any real manner. The upside is that the ‘real’ abilities combine to make the ranger a jack-of-all-trades, a strange combination of necromancer, fighter and rogue.

This guide has 3 goals:

* Teach players that a ranger is much more than a furry slayer with a Tamagotchi wolf
/me Raise interest in rangers, and increase the playerbase
/me Save the poor packrats, elephant seals, harkke wolves and bisons of the world

Most of this guide should be accessible to both powerplayers and the casual player. Most of what I said about mages required a solid connection, a very good sense of direction, and constant typing. A ranger is slightly more chilled out than that, and can pull the same sort of experience solo, are about equal as bashers, and are easier to tank with than mages (though in the hands of a very good player, the mage is better).

I viewed the mage schools as virtually different classes. This isn’t so with rangers, they all play roughly similarly. Also, a ranger has no spells, so this guide will be much shorter.

A ranger is an excellent class to learn the game with, mostly self sufficient, and quite easy to get the imagination going on AA’s rich world.

My first character was a ranger (half elf), as was my first level 19 (a different half-elf). Since then I’ve had 2 dwarves and my current one, Rhynst the human. I currently occupy the top experience earned/hour alcove for rangers, without using any pelts except those from the monsters I slayed in the hour. I have 1350 skills and over 50 million experience, and it is from that background I put forward this guide.

The Structure

Most people probably see rangers as a mediocre class overall. I’ll show how a ranger makes excellent bashers and soloers, and reasonable tanks. More importantly, I’ll show you how to move out of Harkke and into the real kills of the mud.

I’ll give a run down on the ranger’s abilities, how to use the wolf, the bola, weapon skills and choices, a discussion of the races available, how to powerplay your ranger, a leveling guide, a discussion of good guilds, equipment choices and useful alias’. As with any jack-of-all-trades, it takes a bit of understanding of all the trades before a ranger emerges from mediocrity to become a force.

Advanced players who know how they work can ignore the discussion of the ‘woodcrafting’ abilities and preliminary notes on the wolves. The sections on ‘using a wolf’, ‘strike’, ‘the bola’ and ‘Soloing’ are the most important if you’re looking for a quick read.

Now it’s all good and well to read my guide and think that you know what’s going on now, but you really don’t know anything until you’re willing to go out there and try it and put it into practice. It’s really not much use only reading what I say and not using it.

Abilities

Where the mage guide was dominated by spells, this one is dominated by the abilities. First I’ll talk briefly about the various defences, then a ranger’s range of crafting skills (well, the useful ones), and then finally the one and only combat related one, strike.

Defences

A ranger has access to block, none or dodge.

Defend dodge is impractical – as discussed in the mage guide, how much you’re carrying affects how well you dodge. A ranger has less dexterity than a mage, and generally carries more stuff as well – making dodge pretty useless the vast majority of the case.

Defend none is in every way inferior to block (unless you’re wielding a two handed weapon, in which case they’re equally useless).

Defend block is the only practical one. Block has long been seen as inferior to parry, but when it comes to rangers we have no choice. A 2-3 weight shield certainly mitigates more damage than any other 2-3 weight piece of armour (say, a helmet). So unless you’re dual wielding or wielding a two handed weapon, always have some sort of shield.

Having the best shield possible isn’t quite as important for a ranger as it is for a paladin or cleric. Whereas the paladin’s turtle ability scales with the quality of the shield, and a cleric is permanently under attack, a ranger shares the tanking job with the wolf, so getting the heavy silver goblin shield is impractical most of the time.

As such, my favourite shields for a ranger are, in approximate order, flying shield, wigwog skin, black/green shield, hoplon shield, silver goblin. The rest is probably not worth the time.

Woodcrafting

Rangers get a mind-boggling array of abilities, a lot of which we don’t ever use in our lifetimes. Note that what follows is more of a faq-help file than any tips on how to play a ranger.

(Thanks Gyn) the actual woodcraft ability you have is: 2 * DEX + 2*(greater of) Int/Wis + (lesser of) Int/Wis.

Glance and Observe

These abilities are useful for newer players. For 2 spell points, glance gives you a pretty good idea of whether an NPC will destroy you without blinking an eye or meekly lie down and die. Observe, if you can be bothered, can give you an idea of the best place to aim on what you’re fighting, thereby theoretically increasing your damage output on them.

Observe is also intrinsically involved in raising a bonded wolf, to see its ‘stats’ – more on the wolves section later.

Skin / Pluck / Gut / Carve

These 4 abilities are perhaps what make a ranger the most famous of all – the pageful of spam you get every time a ranger ‘cleans up’ a corpse. This nets you a pelt (for NPCs with pelts), feathers (for birds), sinew (all creatures you can carve, you can gut) and a hunk of meat (almost all pelt-able NPCs can also be carved for meat).

Make sure you skin or pluck the corpse before doing the other 2, as otherwise you’ll ruin the pelt or feathers.

The size of the pelt ranges from damaged (0) to Large (8), based on a combination of the size of the critter you killed, and your woodcraft skill (which is based on a combination of your dexterity, wisdom and intelligence, and maybe level). You get some experience for just the very act of skinning a corpse, based on the size of the pelt you come away with. It’s about 115 experience for a large pelt.

(Thanks Gyn) the formula for pelt xp is: (size of pelt) * 15 +5. So a size 8 pelt is 8*15+5 = 125 xp.

The sinew and feathers you get ranges from a bloody mess (0) to 4 lengths per corpse, and 0 to about 25 feathers per corpse. It depends on the same factors as above. You get no experience for this.

The size of the meat is factored by the same things. You get some experience for the act of carving itself. It’s about 190 experience for a huge hunk of meat. Meat spoils after a while, becoming useless (though you can still sell it). Cook the meat, eat it, or salt it to prevent this.

Gyn also supplied me with some sort of meat formula but it looks too complex to bother with. Basically you get some xp for carving, which adds up over time :P

As you can see, this is part of the reason so many rangers stick around in fuzzy areas – they get pelt and sinew which make valuables, and meat to heal them, and on top of that they get extra experience just for skinning and carving.

It’s mostly pretty logical which kills can be skinned and which cannot. One that should be but isn’t is Zhammar’s chimera, campaign your local wizard to fix this!

Forage

Foraging in outdoors rooms generally gets you a list of what can be gathered from the surroundings, using your ranger powers. These include wood, flint, herbs, stones, flowers, food, yew and seashells. Forage only tells you that these things are there, to get them you’ll have to ‘cut’ the wood or yew, or ‘gather’ the rest.

Cut

Cut is the next step from foraging. After figuring out there is wood or yew in your room, you can cut it into what you want. Note that you don’t have to forage before you cut, if you’re in a forest, it’s pretty obvious there’s going to be wood around.

‘Help Cut’ pretty much explains what everything is. You’ll need firewood to whittle pipes and whistles, you need a staff to make a spear, torches are useful too for obvious reasons.

Yew is rarer than wood, and you can only cut bowstaves from them.

You get no experience for cutting anything, at least not until you make something out of what you cut.

How ‘big’ something you cut is, depends both on your woodcraft and whether you’re wielding an axe or not. Great staves and great bowstaves are much easier to come by with when you’re wielding an axe.

Bigger staves and bowstaves also cost more spell points to cut – if you’re not getting many, try healing up to full spell points first. A great staff takes about 150 spell points.

Note that the weather and lighting are detriments to cutting. In driving rain and darkness, it can take a dozen tries before you successfully cut anything – quite annoying. Also note the natural AA law that when you do play your ranger, it will rain.

Strength may also affect what you can cut. If you can't wield what you're trying to cut, you might not be able to cut it (not confirmed). Basically what this means is, don't be a half elf or elf :P

Gather

Similarly to cut, gather is just to get the raw materials for your later processing.

Gather always costs 2 spell points, is similarly affected by the weather, and mostly we gather herbs and food.

If you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with a kill that’s nearly dead, think about gathering some food and herbs to quickly heal yourself back up. This tip is probably mostly useless for more experienced players – bought heals are much more efficient than raw fruits and rice and whatever.

Herbs gathered can net not only the stock standard forest herbs, but also pipeweed (useless), and mage components. Going price for nightshade is generally 1000 coins, whereas mandrake can fetch anywhere between 2000 and 10000, depending on your negotiation power.

Seashells and flowers are just ‘cutesy’ additions, with no real use.

Cook

So we’ve now gathered our raw materials with the previous abilities, now we process them into their final product.

Cooking is not exclusively a ranger ability, but it’s one used mostly by rangers. It prevents our meat and fish from spoiling – and more importantly, makes the food heal your more. Fruits, grains and eggs can also be cooked. You’ll need a fire of some sort – there are permanent campfires in the ranger camp, at the bear guild, at the scythe guild hall, where Carcera is camping, Tantallon fireplace, the one at the rodentid area down south, amongst others. You’ll also need a pan or other cooking instrument, usually from the tinker or the newbie manor. Some rooms have a spit or other arrangement where you can cook meat without needing a pan. These include the kitchen in Morin Farm, the campfire at Felgands training camp and a room in the living space of Iceforge Clan Forge.

You can also carry a packet of salt (forage for salt or buy it from Dermott, the tinker, or Rosemary) and "salt" meat as you go to keep it from spoiling and increase the amount it heals. And then if you happen across a place to do so, you can cook the salted meat to increase the healing more.

Distill

Forest herbs, various grains, fruits and flowers can be distilled into medicine, alcohol and perfume. This is also not an exclusive ranger ability.

You’ll need a piece of copper tubing from the wandering tinker – track him down with your abilities, and some empty bottles and jars.

‘Attach’ the bottle, then at a fire simply ‘distill x’, and when the bottle is full (usually 2 piles of herbs or whatever you’re distilling is needed), ‘detach y’.

Perfume has no practical use except spam creation, the alcohol you can make is vastly inferior in healing efficiency to alcohol you can buy, but medicine is brilliantly overpowered.

Medicine, similarly to tea, heals both spell points and hit points, without the potion ‘tolerance’ effect – that is, their abilities don’t diminish with increased use. You can drink it straight out of the bottle – for a 50/50 heal with a full bottle, or you could ‘use' or 'apply' medicine 6 times per bottle, for 8-10 hps/sps every time. Beware that when you drink it straight out, it may make you cross legged and thus prevent you from drinking anything else; most would 'use/apply' the medicine topically. Medicine can also be used/applied when it’s just on the ground, not necessarily in your inventory.

Of course, this involves bothering to go and gather yourself a heap of herbs, which sort of balances medicine.

Whittle

Whittle is the ability we process our firewood with (unless we burn the firewood straight away). Whittling stuff does in fact give experience, with pipes being the most given – 150 per pop. This is very useful when leveling to supplement the experience you’re earning.

The whistle is essential to summon your wolf when it gets lost. You can 'string' it with a length of sinew and wear it as a necklace to keep it away from thieving rogues.

The toy and flute are just ‘cutesy’ features.

Braid

Braid is evil. It uses sinew, which rangers need to repair broken bolas. If you have sinew left over after you’re done playing, you can sell the sinew to Decker or the Andeli shop so other rangers can use it, or sell directly to other players. Some high level rangers will pay you quite well for it, as it saves them spending time gutting animals when they could be killing more profitable bipeds.

That said, at the very end of the reboot, that sinew isn't doing anyone any good sitting there in the shop. You can buy it, braid ropes, and sell them back to the shop for a profit while also earning some experience from braiding.

Make

There sure is a lot of stuff a ranger can make. ‘Help make’ covers it all

Out of the fur items, pouches are the hardest to screw up – and they give 25 experience per scrap of pelt used. Collars and (leggings?) are the only things giving more – 26 per scrap, however those are a lot more likely to come out at lower quality. So to dispose of pelts at lower levels, make pouches, then make whatever you like later on.

The armour class of the ranger armours are rather pathetic, and they’re quite a bit worse than other armour.

In general, all these items are judged against solely your woodcrafting ability.

The strop in combination with a sharpened weapon, allows you to ‘hone’ it. This presumably either makes it more sharp or makes the sharpening last with you longer. Either way, a sharpened blade is pretty neat.

The wineskins rangers make eventually leak and burst, so don’t rely on those for your drinks, buy yourself a real one.

Our packs and sacks are also pretty bad quality compared to some other containers you can find by exploring; the quivers are average.

Our shields aren’t too bad, but move onto something better if you can.

Sharpen

With a fire, we can sharpen our staves into spears and beams into stakes. It’s not really that useful, they’re not that great as weapons. Also, failure can occur, which is rather annoying as you lose your staff or beam too.

Impale

‘Help impale’ explains it all, it’s not very useful. If ogres happen to be spawning right outside the ranger camp, an impaled ogre corpse can scare them away from that room for a while. It eventually decomposes entirely and needs to be replaced.

Build

We can build 5 things, our own fire, a tent, a shelter, a snare or a bridge.

You could build a fire of your own for fun, but it sure won’t be getting you any more experience for the time you spent.

Ditto for bridges – not to mention the huge effort involved – ‘help bridge’ explains how to do it all.

The snare has no use vs NPCS and only annoys players, so refrain from setting them.

Rangers without a guildhall that provides personal storage facilities may like to build a hidden shelter. Note that other rangers can see even your hidden shelters, and in our age of courtesy most people just loot your shelter. There’s also a bug where if you put too much stuff in your shelter, it just disappears, though note it requires a LOT of stuff to do this.

Note all these things except the snare need to be maintained, or they’ll eventually collapse by themselves.

Repair

This repairs what we built above.

Survey

This neat little ability lets you see into all 4 of your surrounding rooms to determine whether there’s anything in them to kill. It only costs 2 sps and I use it all the time just to know where to go right after what I’m currently killing dies.

Scan

Scan costs 20 without an argument. It lets you see further than the immediate room – in fact as far as I can tell you see in that direction until there’s a mountain or ocean or similar. With a direction argument, you scan in that specific direction to see what’s to kill in that direction. It’s useful in the same way as survey.

Memorize and Bearings

Rangers have 2 locations automatically memorized – Tantallon and the ranger camp. Using ‘bearings’ allows you to figure out which direction these places are from your current location, and how far away it is. This is very useful for newer players or anyone a bit lost.

Memorize allows up to 6 more locations to show up when you use ‘bearings’. This can be used for people who frequent areas where they can’t remember the directions of, or a general aide to getting one’s sense of direction again.

Also, it’s useful to mark down where you find random treasure hunts, so you that you can go and get some heals and come back to kill it.

Track

One of a ranger’s most famous abilities, track is extremely useful when hunting bounties – it’ll take you to the area your quarry’s hiding in, if they’re inside an area, or to their very room, if they’re outside in the open.

Track costs 10 spell points, and 3 spell points for every room travelled, and it often adds up when hunting a person.

Wolves don’t seem to actually make track more effective, but I have no conclusive evidence.

Track is also useful for finding Shanni, Marika, Charky, the tinker, Carcera and a few other NPCs.

When you’ve actively tracked a rogue, you don’t need a silver amulet to ‘see’ them, so you can just go straight ahead and attack them if they’re in the same room, unlike other classes.

Elude

Elude is a convenient skill with a few practical uses. It makes the last monster that is hunting you not get free hits in when you return to the room, and it usually takes several rounds before it recognises you as an enemy and starts attacking you again.

This makes it excellent for archery (discussed later), and also to avoid the painful entry hits on certain monsters – if you have no other use for your spell points, why not prevent upwards of 50 damage with elude?

It is also essential for rangers who don’t use a bonded wolf. As they can’t rescue you, the only way you can get one to ‘rescue’ you is to ask your wolf to stay in the room with the monster you’re in combat with, leave, elude, come back, and resume combat.

Note there is a bug with elude, which is that it’ll only elude the last monster you were being hunted by. As we can have 2 monsters hunting us at a time, the second last monster will not be affected. This means that if, on the way you run somewhere to elude, you get hit by some random aggro (an orc, skunk or something), then you’ll elude the skunk, not what you really wanted to elude. Once this happens, you’re stuck being hunted by that original monster.

Though it all looks like a lot, most rangers only use a few of the above abilities, and they’re not too hard to remember.

Strike

Strike is the only use a ranger has for his spell points while in combat.

Strike costs 6 spell points for a successful attempt, or 1 for a failed one. Whether a strike is successful depends on your opponent’s dexterity and intelligence, and your own woodcraft ability, along with whether you’re aiming at their weak spot or not.

When you successfully strike but miss anyway, it still costs 6 spell points.

Thus it’s very important to always have a boomerang as a ranger, so more strikes hit as well – and when a strike is successful, there is also an increased chance it’ll actually hit. In this sense, similarly to a mage, there is an exponential benefit to every point of dexterity the opponent loses.

Otherwise, smart switching of where you’re aiming also helps – many kills are wearing heavy body armour but nothing covering their hands or legs.

You can attempt a strike every 2 rounds. This rate of spell point consumption is slightly higher than the rate of healing you’d get from just smokes and medicinals – note that Tabaq and Hobbitat Gold heals spell points faster than parkraz, and so when bashing, you’d need to pick up other heals every so often to supplement your spell points to constantly strike. However, most tanks don’t move this quickly.

Also of note is that when you use dotimes 100 strike, because of a bug or inconsistency in the coding, it will only let you strike once every 3 rounds. If you want to maximise performance you should manually strike.

In this way, strike is like a miniature pseudo-haste, about 40% as effective (due to the failed strikes you often get). But this also means that a ranger using strike is about 40% better than one not. It’s this ability that makes up the fighter component of the strange necromancer-fighter-rogue mix.

The Wolf

With Paldin’s recent additions to wolves, the vast majority of rangers are now using a bonded wolf (including me). I’ll go through some basics of how these new bonded wolves work, and how to use them, and also talk about how to play around with the non bonded wolves if you can’t be bothered idling days on end for one that is only marginally better.

The wolf makes up the necromancer part of the mix.

Bonded wolves:

  • Will stay with you through logouts, reboots, and may even come back after they die.
  • Can learn to dodge really well and eventually learn to rescue you in combat.
  • Come in many interesting colours.
  • But start out pretty small, take days of gameplay to reach full size, and require constant feeding!

Non-bonded wolves:

Growing a Wolf

To grow a wolf, you’ll need to bond with it first. Only smallish canines (wolves, dogs, jackals, foxes, coyotes, hounds, and dingoes) can be bonded, I hear the threshold is ones you can tame with 4 wisdom. Either way, if you ask Graddam to train a wolf that can’t bond to carry something, he’ll say something that’ll make the case obvious. For one that will bond later on, he’ll just say it’s too small yet.

A wolf takes about 20 minutes to bond to you if you just idle with it, sometimes longer. If you kill stuff with it, it can bond as quickly as within 5 minutes.

After that, make sure you keep it well fed and happy, for if it ferals, it’s gone forever.

After a certain size (large trained)?, when a bonded wolf dies, about 15 minutes later, Lars will return it one size smaller. This is usually equivalent to at least 24 hours of growth wasted, so don’t do it too often.

The wolf requires time to grow – a LOT of time. In general, it’ll take about 12 hours for every ‘mini level’ – I’ll explain that later. Also, it needs to gain some experience too – though not that much. If you’ve idled for 20 hours without it growing, go kill something, that’s probably why.

If you’re going to grow a wolf, make sure you’re willing to put in at least 3 days of playtime for it to grow to enormous or further. General time charts can be found on many player websites, as well as here.

The maximum size a wolf will grow to depends on your wisdom, and as far as anybody can tell, being permanently on greenleaf or crosier does not change this – only your base wisdom matters. Only half elves will get the ‘gigantic’ wolves. The "exceptional wisdom" trait also will not impact final wolf size; this is specifically mentioned in the help file for that trait.

Your wolf will be able to learn to carry about 8 hours after bonding (provided you started with a reasonably large pup), it’ll learn to dodge about the same time if not earlier. It can then learn to guard items at very large and rescue at huge.

A Wolf’s Stats

The wolf has stats like our characters, and to get a general feeling of what they’re at, you have to ‘observe’ them. This gives you a general description of how its stats compare with its current level – a weak enormous wolf would still be much stronger than a well toned small one.

Confirmed are the str, dex and con stats. Some think the eye description when you look at the wolf is an indication of its intelligence. I’ll just talk about the 3 main stats.

Strength determines how large the items your wolf carries can be. I’m not too sure if the strength actually has any effect on its combat damage. To raise strength, just idle with it carrying the heaviest item it can. You can usually tell from the messages how strong your wolf is, well-toned is the best message.

Dexterity obviously determines how much it hits and gets hit. You raise it by having it fight. It raises faster if the wolf is doing the tanking. Moving with practiced ease is the best message for a player controlled wolf.

Constitution is the third part of the message, and it presumably determines how many hit points it has and how much meat it can eat. It’s raised by keeping it as full as possible all the time. Sturdy is the best message.

It’d appear that if you neglect your wolf’s stats earlier on, it takes longer to raise it later on.

If you notice that all the stats of your wolf suddenly went down a level at the same time – it’s not your fault, your wolf simply grew a mini-level. As far as I can tell, there’s 19 mini-levels, like players. Level 19 is a gigantic, 16-18 enormous, etc. Of course, I’m just guessing, but there’s definitely 3 mini-levels within enormous wolves, and only 1 mini-level for gigantic.

In this way, the level of your wolf also limits the stats it can get.

The Wolf's Skills

Dodge is, I think, the most important feature. It’s pretty obvious how this is raised. To have it dodge better faster, try fighting rooms with many NPCs which are pretty easy – easy treasure hunts, the room full of guards at Kazarov’s area, various wandering bands around the mud.

You know your wolf is ready to carry stuff when instead of looking at you funny when you tell it to pick something up, it tries to lift it but fails. Ability to carry is determined purely by how long it’s carrying something – so by idling with a wolf with something in its mouth, it raises both strength and carrying. This is rather silly, as your wolf can theoretically get to 100% skill at obeying carrying orders by only ever successfully picking one item up. Graddam acts like Zhou for your wolf when it comes to the carry ability, though it’s not really essential.

Guard doesn’t seem to have any practical use. Norrick teaches it.

Rescue is taught by Marika at huge size. At the start the success rate is pretty bad, and you really want to have it at 100% to be able to rely on your wolf. Just fight easy things and continuously rescue the wolf/ask for it to re-rescue you and rinse-repeating to raise it.

It’s also rumoured there’s other ‘skills’ in a wolf, but those are the obvious ones.

Using a Wolf

Now I’m not very good at growing my wolf, mainly because I don’t care much further than its dex, con, rescue ability and dodge ability – the only ones you really need to kill stuff with it. Here I’ll give general tips on how to maximise the use of your wolf.

A wolf is like a second stomach for you – it eats meat, you eat meat, so it’s like you have double the normal heals consuming ability. Also, both stomachs digest simultaneously. This allows you to go longer without needing to resort to healing potions to get your hit points back. As is common sense, make sure both you and your wolf are digesting something or other at all times, or else it’s wasted.

The other main way to heal your wolf is through medicinals – make sure it’s bound at all opportunities (and yourself too).

Graddam has been a brilliant addition for rangers. He heals your wolf completely, free of charge (the first time), then costs increase, and he wants herbs too. The second healing takes 1k coins and 2 herbs, the third about 2k and 4 herbs. It stops being ‘worth it’ around the third healing – if you kill him, once he resets, he’ll reset back to free healing.

Use Graddam when you’re both completely filled up, and the wolf is quite seriously injured.

The wolf gets increased armour class from 2 primary sources – the collar and the armour spell. A good collar makes quite a difference – the best one in the game (now that dwarvish collars have been downgraded) are fine leather collars from Zubin. Following that are golden collar and the spiked metal collar. If you can, get your collar blessed by a cleric, for that makes it much better.

If you can’t take down both Marika and Zubin, try this trick. Throw a throwing weapon at Zubin specifically, and he’ll get angry and fight you by himself. You should be able to take down Zubin, I should hope.

The armour spell is also greatly beneficial. Any necromancers who use or used to use revenants would attest that armour spell on something that is completely unarmoured is godly.

Dodge works better against little kills, and not so good versus bigger things. The equivalent effect for block (what you’re using) isn’t quite as large. Therefore, it’s best that you tank the larger kills, and the wolf tanks the littler ones. For example, it’s best if you tank hermit, but the wolf can do general, fairy dragon and bulette fine.

Having the wolf share the tanking on multiple-NPC rooms is brilliant. Orcish captain and lieutenant are much easier to tank or solo when the wolf tanks one and you the other.

The wolf doesn’t take magical attacks very well. It gets destroyed by most of asvyan’s, wigwog, and almost anything that casts spells. It’s best that you’re the one who tanks those kills.

Try not to let the wolf down past the ‘hurt’ condition. A little burst of lag will get it killed. Another reason is that if it goes down to seriously wounded, and you rescue it, then you accidentally go down to dangerous hit points, the wolf will rescue you, despite being nearly dead itself. This is how I’ve lost my wolf several times.

When bashing, the wolf is a very nice addition to the party damage, just blow your whistle and get it to attack at every kill, it’ll soon become a habit.

Also when bashing, if you start being beaten on by some NPC, your wolf is a lot more reliable at rescuing you than the tank usually.

When you can’t carry that one last item, let your wolf do it.

In short, dress your wolf up well, let it tank the easier things, don’t let it get too hurt, and tank the harder things yourself.

Non Bonded Wolves

Now there are many people out there without the time to idle themselves a wolf. Don’t worry, non bonded wolves really aren’t that much worse in terms of pure combat ability. Sure they can’t rescue, or carry anything, or dodge, but in purely fighting terms, they’re only about 10-20% worse than an equivalent bonded wolf.

The main advantage of a non bonded one is that you can kill it off whenever. Every time you get a new wolf, the Graddam healing counter resets to ‘free’ again as well. This means that you don’t have that bothersome obligation to keep your bonded wolf alive, and swapping wolves really speeds up experience gain without needing to waste potions.

This is a way of playing that is most recommended for the higher wisdom races – half elf and dwarf. Orcs’ can only tame very large wolves with any decent degree of success – and those are much worse than the enormous bonded ones that they can get. Humans and elves’ wisdom is a bit low to consistently get successful tames – if you can live with this, then go ahead.

Generally, the non bonded wolves won’t last out fights quite as well as the bonded ones, but so what? You can just get another one. For half elves and dwarves, I’d recommend the 5 star caverns wolves, the Ebonbane winter wolf…and if you go through those 6 wolves faster than they respawn, I tip my hat to you. Before letting it die, make sure you use Graddam to heal it once or twice as well – no need to waste resources.

The Crosier of Pain would be of course a good item to have, the +2 wis bonus really helps to cut down failures.

Since you don’t really care if the wolf dies or not, it’s fine to let it tank big kills, especially since it won’t be trying to dodge them anyway.

Sometimes when my bonded wolf is down to seriously wonded, Graddam is asking for 10 herbs or something ridiculous, and I’m extremely stuffed and drunk, I wish I could just get another wolf. Both styles should work just as well as each other (provided you’re dwarf or half elf).

The Bola

This is the main reason I created the Rhynst character and have played him for so long *worship Mickie*. It’s the one thing that makes a ranger properly good at killing ‘normal kills’ as well now.

‘A leather bola’ is an item you get from an NPC called Venletta, in the same area the Drowgar spells come from. If you don’t know your way there, then you’d probably be slaughtered by her alive.

The bola trips monsters up. Only monsters that can be tripped by a rogue can be tripped up by a bola, plus a few more. Smarter NPCs with bladed weapons can also ‘cut’ a bola, and stand right back up.

When a bola naturally breaks, or is cut, it becomes a ruined bola. This can be repaired, for 3 sinew every attempt. Presumably success depends on your woodcraft.

When a bola naturally breaks when you throw it, it is left on the ground instead of the NPC’s inventory. NPCs who can usually cut a bola, can’t cut it if it breaks when it hits them. This is great when you get lucky. Beware that when this happens with Venletta and you, you’re in real danger of death.

Sometimes a failure to fix a bola fails so spectacularly that it turns into a ball of leather – then it’s gone for good. There’s a direct correlation between how well you’re doing on the day and how often your bolas ball up, I call it Paldin’s law.

You can usually tell how close a bola is close to dying by how much more often than usual you are failing at fixing it up, and how much more often than usual it’s breaking.

It’s a good idea when low on sinew to only throw a bola when the NPC is seriously wounded (if it’s using a bladed weapon), because if it dies before it tries to cut the bola, then no sinew is wasted.

Multiple bolas can easily keep down an NPC for the entire duration of a fight. As long as you hit the NPC it’ll 100% trip. This makes it more reliable than a rogue’s trip.

Try to throw a bola right before you use a strike. The worst time to throw a bola is right after you just struck – reasons obvious.

Hawkeye is bugged. He won’t stand up after you throw a bola at him.

Several monsters get pissed off at you when you throw a bola at them, while some you expect will won’t. Annoyed monsters include huge dragon, overlord, evil wizard, proud knight, Glock, Jarl’s wife, most of Drakhyra’s NPCs (but only after 3 ‘annoying’ pieces of conduct). Monsters you’d expect to get annoyed but don’t include Zarkan, Zhephani and Jalen.

If you get a bola, PLEASE finish Venletta off as well. If you can’t kill Venletta, don’t get the bola.

If you’re really scared of Venletta throwing the bola at you, let your wolf tank until she throws it. The wolf won’t be tripped up, then you can rescue it. Then, use Graddam to remove the bola, and then buy it back from him. If you use this technique to get a bola but not kill her, I will hunt you down and find a way to skin, gut and carve you.

Be careful of Venletta, she can easily do 60 points of damage in one round or kill your wolf.

Otherwise, try to always have a bola or two on you, and throw it on any humanoids. It will make things die quicker, you take less damage, lets you hit more so skill faster, amongst other things. This is the thing that completes the 3-class-hybrid, the rogue part.

It takes about 40 sinew per hour to upkeep a bola (if you’re careful with it) or over 100 (if you have multiple and are throwing them all the time).

Have fun with this little toy. The bola, the wolf and strike all added together makes a character that is a very powerful hybrid.

Weapon Skills

‘Help Combat’ states that ‘Rangers are specialists in Marksmanship. While also being very adept at Knives, Spears, Axes and Shortswords, they can use most weapons with a fair degree of ability.’

A ranger is in fact pretty good with all weapons, my character’s lowest skill being 68 (two weapon). However a lot of newer players would undoubtedly be too impatient to work some of the slower ones. I’ll go through each of the skills and their place for a ranger.

Axe is, as stated, a primary ranger skill. We get skills with it very quickly. The downside with axe is that it has no uniques nor are any ‘big bad weapons’ in the axe category. If you use axe as your primary, you might find yourself at level 15-17 with a very healthy skill level, but that all the top axes are lacking punch., only really able to dispatch of fuzzies – which is what we’re trying to avoid in this guide As such, I see its use more as a back-up skill.

Club goes up reasonably fast for a ranger. The unique war hammer Krakadoom is the mother of all weapons, and is possibly the most damaging out of all of them for my character. However the skills don’t fly up, and if you only kill furries it certainly won’t go up fast at all. But if you’re willing to embrace my teachings, smacking big kills raises this skill reasonably well – you could easily get it into the 70s. Most clubs are one handed too, allowing you to use a shield.

Curved Blade is in the same category as axe, with the additional problem of it not going up that fast either. Only raise it if you’re raising all the skills.

Exotic used to be not worth a bother. However, with Pris coding her godly elemental orbs *worship*, exotic has surprisingly turned out to be perhaps a ranger’s best one handed weapon. An elemental orb ignores the opponent’s armour class – so you’ll hardly ever miss. It doesn’t hit quite as hard as most other weapons, but the sheer fact that it virtually never miss makes it average out to be equal or higher damage. Also, it makes a brilliant off-hand weapon if you’re raising two weapon too – I’ll discuss this more under that skill. It goes up about as quickly as club, so you might want to think carefully before deciding to raise exotic.

Flail is in the same category as Curved Blade.

Knife is fast… which is why you’d raise it I suppose, just for fun. It simply flies up, and has no practical use whatsoever. It’d be rather useless as a primary skill, you’d struggle to kill anything decent.

Longsword is what I’d recommend all rangers level up using as their primary weapon. It goes up reasonably fast – a bit faster than club, is always one handed, has great uniques in Starblade and Pendragon (for humans like me), and also a very hard hitting non unique (outstanding sword), and finally another non unique that is as good as the best that most other weapon classes have to offer (exquisite rune sword), virtually everything you can want.

Marksmanship goes up amazingly fast on a ranger, much faster than even fighters or rogues. You can easily get 100 in this skill just throwing boomerangs and bolas. I’d recommend getting a catty from the smithy when low level, Zhou-ing marksmanship up to 20 with the catty, then using boomerangs all the time when leveling. There’s really no need to go out of your way to raise this skill as it’ll just inevitably climb to 100 as you raise the other skills, throwing boomerangs. For a discussion of archery, look in the soloing and leveling parts later on.

Polearm is similar to club, with slightly less damaging choices.

Rapier is like flail and curved blade, except even slower (possibly the ranger’s slowest skill).

Shortsword is like axe.

Spear is like axe, with one high end choice (golden trident) which is a bother to get most of the time.

Staff is similar to polearm.

Two handed axe is the other main recommendation for a primary weapon. It hits harder than longsword, goes up about as quickly, but misses a lot in the earlier levels and also precludes the use of a shield. The bonus’ are that the weaker races – I’m talking half elf, cannot wield outstanding sword or a Starblade with gems, but they can wield 2 of the big two handed axes – the great mithril axe and Crescent. Thus two handed axe is a better primary choice for half elves, but to save hassle, start with longsword for the other races. The starting two handed axe is the bronze axe from Ilderia. It is much easier to hit with an early longsword than the bronze axe, and two handed axe is easier to raise later on than early.

Two handed sword is like club, except it also precludes the shield. It’s a bit better than polearm and staff, and goes up about the same speed as those 2.

Unarmed is like knife.

Two Weapon is something to play with when you’re really sure you want to spend hours and hours on your ranger. Like for everybody else, it’s bloody slow, especially the first 20-40 skills. To start, use a weapon you’re good with in the off hand, and hit things until you get your first skill. Then, try to have two weapon enhanced skill’ed for you – it helps a lot. I’d recommend using an elemental orb once you get it running, as its ability to almost never miss makes it excellent for getting skills. Don’t expect to skill any faster than one skill every 1-2 hours (slower for the dumber races).


The Races

Rangers don’t really have a ‘best’ race, it’s all preferences. However, if you’re not interested in maxxing wolves, and like to kill stuff and wield big things, I’d recommend against half elves and especially elves.

A few questions are relevant when choosing a race. Do you plan on just getting the character to level 19 and not playing again? Do you want to get hundreds of skills? Do you like wielding big smashy smashy weapons? Do you want to tank or bash or solo more?

In general, if you’re going to get to level 19 or a maxxed wolf and forget it about it, half elf and orc is the way to go. A long term player who is patient with waiting for skills should use dwarf or orc, whereas a long term player who wants to see skills come up as quickly as possible should use human. Here’s a better explanation:

Half elf is probably the most popular race amongst rangers. A half elf finishes up with the highest wisdom, the highest wisdom/intelligence combination, and the biggest wolves. This means your ‘finished’ half elf will have high skills, a big scary wolf…but can only wield 3 weapons of any worth – Elvenheart, greath mithril axe and Crescent. That, and bows. If you’re happy with only getting to such a limited range of good weapons, and like big wolves, then this is the race for you. Lazy half elves also have a viable option in not bonding a wolf. Thorn is probably the most famous half elf.

Orc gets up to an enormous wolf – though it’s at the lowest ‘mini-level’, elves and humans have level 2 enormous’, and dwarves get a level 3 one. In my opinion a level 1 enormous is good enough, my own wolf dies so much most of the time I use it at huge, and it’s adequate to get me all I need. The orc has a dismal int+wis, so if you’re impatient and you want to raise some of the slower skills like club and exotic, this isn’t the class for you. However, if you are patient, this is the best class for pure damage at the end – 2 more dex than a dwarf, 1 more than a human, the orc can wield everything in the game (except the Sword of Gilian) and destroy anything with it. See Chun.

Dwarf gets the biggest enormous wolf. They also get the most strength, which means flexibility with equipment. Its dismal dexterity (14) and mediocre int+wis means it takes a very patient player to raise skills with this character. Once a skill gets high however, the dwarf will hit just as hard as the orc, or very close to it. Lazy dwarves can also just go with non bonded wolves. Dwarves and orcs are fairly similar – a question of whether you like dexterity or strength, similar to the choice facing most fighters. Famous dwarves are Harp, Thorn (sometimes), and Ebot. Their popularity has diminished since these bonded wolves.

Humans are a nice halfway point between the orcs, dwarves and half elves. They have reasonable int+wis, so they skill pretty quickly, have solidly sized wolves, and can wield anything worth wielding. Mine’s of course human, and I recommend this for long term players who just like to see skills and bonecrushes pop up as much as possible. Naturally, an orc or dwarf ranger with 100 in some skill would hit harder than a human with 100 in that skill who’d hit harder than a half elf, but sometimes it’s a question of getting to that 100 skill, or being able to wield that big weapon. Famous humans are Clemeth and Zwr.

Elves I see as simply inferior to humans and orcs. They have similar skilling rates to humans, have the same sized wolves, yet can’t wield anything decent (not even exquisite rune sword). They have the best dexterity (for archery), but orcs only have 1 less dex and a lot more strength and constitution. 13 strength for a fighter-based class is just painful to play. There are no famous elf rangers, and I think there’s a good reason for that.

The Guilds

The guild a ranger has doesn’t have quite as much an impact upon the experience he’s able to make as a mage. Because a ranger doesn’t have quite so much use for spell points, salves and tea aren’t quite so useful. A ranger can make his own medicine anyway. It then becomes more of a question of convenience and preference.

Scythe has private rooms, which are extremely useful – like having a permanently hidden shelter in a convenient spot. Their bar also sells knuggets, which qualifies as meat. With both you and the wolf consuming meat all the time, you need a steady source, and the bar doesn’t ‘cut’ you, combining with its central position to make it extremely useful.

Eldar has its own little supply of meat, lockers are roughly equivalent to rooms, and tea is still not bad to supplement your hit points.

Monks are potentially the best guild for this, due to their mpray command. A ranger’s leftover spell points can all be converted into hit points – a very worthy use. The salve isn’t quite as useful for the same reason as the tea is.

Chaos is annoying and have no benefits.

Bear has a hall selling meat (roasts) at least.

The Knights don’t have any real benefits for a ranger, but at least they’re not as annoying as the 2 above guilds.

Bashing as a Ranger

A ranger makes an excellent basher. A fighter and ranger as bashers is much better than a pair of fighters. It simply requires that YOU as the ranger pay attention and know what you’re doing.

First you need a good solid alias system that you’re comfortable with, especially for handling boomerangs, bolas, binding the tank, etc. Check out my alias list later on.

A good knowledge of the game is always useful – which kills cut your bolas, which ones get annoyed when the wolf joins the fray, etc are good to know.

In general, kills wielding a bladed weapon worth more than about 3k experience will cut your bola, though some worth less do too. Zarkan, Zhephani, Jalen and a few others will revert to their scripts if you let your wolf attack *cough* bug *cough*.

When bashing, always use two containers. I find a pair of soft sacks is easy to come by and lets a ranger with his low strength (depending on race) to carry about as much as they can.

Always keep yourself smoking and bound – which means your tank probably wants you to bind them too, so have good alias’ for all that.

Wield a good solid weapon, and strike every 2 rounds manually. If you know your way around, try to use ‘kill’ to start fights, just to show the tank you’re paying attention. If you don’t, dotimes 100 assist is fine.

Throw bolas whenever appropriate, and boomerangs on all kills that don’t ‘turn’. Demand that the basher doing the looting has an alias for passing bolas to you, or be the looting basher yourself.

Before selling, hit your ‘keep all boomerang’ and ‘keep all bola’ alias’, very important.

If any other party members lose a bola, make sure you bag them about it for the rest of the party.

Make it a habit to summon your wolf and get it to join the fights every time.

If your tank forgets you’re getting hit, ask your wolf to rescue you, then ask the tank to rescue the wolf.

If there’s something you can’t get, let the wolf get it.

The lizard queen and king auto-attack the wolf, and treasure hunt things randomly turn on wolves, so be careful if you’re only growing a little one.

Don’t carve corpses if another party member is using the Armour of Ichor – they can’t drain carved corpses.

Carry around an extra hunk or two of meat in case the wolf gets hungry.

So in short, your value is in hitting almost as hard as a fighter, carrying half as much as him, but being able to trip anything up.

Tanking as a Ranger

Though not as fragile as a mage, a ranger is certainly not built to tank. You don’t need uniques to succeed, unlike the mage, but you do need to get as much help as you can.

Make sure you have stuff blessed and yourself and your wolf armoured up if possible. Try to have bolas.

Follow the rules for who tanks what from the wolf section before.

You will notice a huge excess of spell points. I like to cut staves and pass them onto bashers for extra cash. If someone has a more constructive use for spell points, drop a mail.

You will certainly need potions to get by. It won’t be long before both you and your wolf are totally filled up. Just follow the general tanking rules, don’t take anything you know you can’t, and keep yourself and your wolf’s wounds bound all the time.

With that being said, a ranger could still easily make 150-250k experience per person for the party, in the right hands.

Soloing

The normal way

This is the more interesting part of a ranger. A ranger is about the only class that I can still go for hours soloing with, without getting bored. This is probably due to its good solid skilling rate, nice damage dealt, and also ability to go at good speed and kill almost anything. Hopefully after reading this, you can all get 100k experience every hour with mediocre equipment rather easily.

Being a fighter based character, the ranger is going to be equipment dependent, unlike the conjuration mage from the last guide. The 2 most important bits of equipment are your weapon, and your wolf’s collar when soloing, the latter more so if you’re a half elf.

If you have pretty good armour (ie you have uniques or blessed stuff with a blessed golden amulet), then feel free to use a big two handed weapon (especially for half elves, this might be the only choice if you want to take big kills). Otherwise, you’ll need a good light shield – flying, wigwog, black/green, hoplon.

Pick a big hitting weapon. A ranger was designed to kill meek fuzzies, so to move up to real kills, you’re going to need all the firepower you can get. Get armour cast on yoursel fand the wolf if possible, and the weapon sharpened if you can.

Next, pick what you’re going to kill carefully, If you have a bola, this opens up possible kills much wider. Go for things that don’t do much damage – wyvern, general, fairy dragon/queen, hermit, asvyan’s, etc. Avoid anything that hits hard and has large amounts of hit points. Also, take as many humanoids as you can, they fall very easily to a ranger.

Make sure that neither you nor the wolf is ever hungry, and that you’re never sober. Don’t get too drunk to bind wounds though. A good way to control your drinking is to only drink when you’re at slightly drunk.

Use spare spell points to carve staves to supplement your income (though you shouldn’t really have any problems with this).

Always have boomerangs, and if you can, bolas. These have huge effects upon how well you do.

Don’t be afraid to use potions, they make soloing much smoother, and you should be making plenty of money (the only heals you’re using are smokes, medicinals, drinks and a lot of knuggets after all).

Several big kills also provide sinew – Unicorn, wyvern, huge dragon, baby dragons (you can see that area is my first stop every time), bulette, fairy dragon. It’s a good supplement to your sinew supplies. Several big kills also don’t cut bolas – Delair NPCs, hawkeye and pals, harness, most Drakh Guards and imam, Hester, Lihnne, Chief, Evil cleric, Iannis, Crot, Archpriest, a lot of treasure hunt monsters, golems.

Tracking down giant ogres is also nice experience supplementing, especially as they’re so easy. Fire orbs in steading is very nice as well, and you can trip the whole lot.

So get out there, and let’s see some higher scores on that hall of heroes alcove for rangers – no pelts.

Archery

The other main way to solo is with a bow. As anybody who’s tried this knows, it does a lot more damage than the other style, gives you more flexibility on what you can kill, but is a bit of a hassle.

A ranger’s advantage over the other classes with bows is the fact he raises the marksmanship skill extremely quickly, and that he has elude and a wolf to help him avoid damage.

It is only in this style of play that a ranger has any real use for his spell points other than strike.

It’s pretty important to have some marksmanship skills to start when using a bow – about 20 at least, or else all the missing will get pretty annoying.

To raise archery from zero, just simply shoot a bunch of things you usually kill, it’ll go up to 100 pretty easily.

The best bow is the unique silver longbow. As a bow’s damage is determined by 2 things – how good the bow is and how much your archery ability is, this thing gives you 20 archery ability and isn’t a bad bow by itself anyway. To tell the difference between a unique silver longbow and a normal one, you could just wield it (and see whether it gives +20 archery), or look at it to see whether it has runes on it.

Next best, Carcera’s perennial favourite dark bow, closely followed by Drakhyra gate guard’s great bow, then Brannon’s readily sold fine long bow. A ranger-made great bow also figures in there somewhere.

You’ll need a few quivers of arrows too. The most conveniently obtained quivers which are also reasonably large are from the quest area of Listhalia. The 3 wandering elf guards are all very easy, and once you kill them you’ll have 3 large quiver-fulls of arrows (minus broken ones). Carcera’s quiver is also rather large, and our own hand made ones aren't bad either. Generally all you'll need is the 3 from the Listhalia guards.

Alias’ for using a bow and arrow aren’t actually too hard. My setup involves having one alias for dotimes 100 nock arrow. Then I have another for ‘shoot prey’, and I nick prey to whatever I happen to be killing. So all I need to do is hit the dotimes alias, and then do the shoot prey alias once every round.

Carrying all those arrows necessarily precludes you from carrying good armour. Thus to minimise damage, a ranger uses elude. To start combat, you just shoot arrows at it. It’ll usually take about 5 rounds for the NPC to get annoyed and actually attack you. Stay 2 or 3 rounds, then run out, elude, come back in and repeat. Note that as the fight goes on, the elude will become less and less effective

Do keep using food and drink heals, and smokes and medicinals. The same old rules about never being sober or hungry still apply. When elude on a particular kill starts being rather useless, let your wolf take a few hits. At least this way you can smack them with your bow as well, and use strike to supplement your damage somewhat.

Steel tipped arrows seem to do the same damage as flint ones, but break less. Get arrows from Marika and Brannon (track down Marika with your amazing ranger powers).

Archery allows you to not take any damage if you choose not to, so kills like sage, zarkan, etc suddenly become practical. It’s also very nice for getting equipment – after reboot or just logging in, when there’s no equipment around, using a bow to get your gear together is easy and quite fun I find.

If you’re willing to put up with the hassle (and the fact it only raises 2 skills – marksmanship and staff), then archery should net you more experience than normal weapons.

Levelling Guide

Levels 1-10

There isn’t much to this. If you’re going to bond a wolf, just get the biggest one you’re allowed (sylvanthic pups are very popular). Some advocate getting a smaller wolf or dog because their abilities are more advanced at any given stage than the larger dogs. That is, if you started with a little doggy instead of a medium sized pup, despite the fact it’ll be one size smaller than the other at any stage, it’ll be just as good at carrying, dodging etc. While this may or may not be true, the bottom line is idling is boring, and the two wolves will end up exactly the same anyway.

Since wolves are so dependent on time taken, just chill out, kill stuff slowly, watch that it doesn’t feral (it’s very frustrating). Since you’ll have so much time to burn, some things you could do to keep interested is – watch television while doing it, just leave a big pile of meat for the wolf to eat for itself from the ground, idle while at work (if you’re that lucky) or when doing other more important stuff, raise all your skills with Zhou to 16+, Geoclaim. Anybody should be able to get up to level 10, but there’s no rush as you’ll need a very large sized one for the mid levels.

When at levels 1-5, try to get a catty from the smithy (you get 3 shots at it every reset), and train that marksmanship skill up to 15+. It’s a lot easier than waiting for a boomerang to get those initial skills. After that, just throw boomerangs all the time. It’ll also allow archery to be easier to use when at midlevels, should you choose to go that path.

If you’re not going to bond a wolf, just get a reasonably sized doggy, wield your primary weapon, and power your way to level 10. Don’t neglect intelligence, and you should be able to hit level 10 with about 30 in longsword or two handed axe, more for the easier weapons, less for the others.

Levels 11–16

Hopefully now you’ve got a healthy amount of skills (30ish in your primary, and about 20 in several other backup ones, especially marksmanship). If you choose to use marksmanship (archery) to get yourself to level 19, then the wolf won’t be so important – just don’t let it feral. For those choosing this path, just follow the general directions in the archery section.

For the rest of us, this is unfortunately a period of time where you’re going to have to live in harkke, star caverns etc, as the bonded wolves at those levels are a bit crappy and fragile. Good areas to patrol are burnham woods (the animals), star caverns, harkke, Anasazi, the tundra and the area around ranger camp. I’m sure everybody knows how to pelt things.

Be sure to mix in the occasional bison or unicorn or elephant seal when clearing out those areas, or else you’ll end up with a rather bad skills, and have trouble killing real stuff.

For those using non-bonded wolves, just use those wandering timber wolves near ranger camp and snow wolves once you have the wisdom for it. Use Graddam before killing them off, and take bigger things like moose and polar bears. These levels should be a lot easier for you than someone using bonded wolves.

Level 17+

It is around this time that your bonded wolf is finally huge – enough for it not to be massacred by real kills. Your longsword or two handed axe skill should be around 60 now, and if you didn’t listen to me and used the easier weapons, you’ll start noticing they’re pretty crappy about now.

Start off with slightly easier ‘real kills’, fairy dragon, wyvern, general, unicorn, baby dragons and whatever should all be reasonably easy. Just take it slowly at first as you get accustomed to killing normal things with a *gasp*.

By level 19 and a maxxed wolf, all but the hardest kills (things of the Razar, Illarin, holocaust spirit ilk) should be fairly easy for you.

For those who used a non bonded wolf, because you killed slightly better stuff in the earlier levels, you’ll have a higher skill than the bonded wolf equivalents. Taking whatever you like with your disposable wolves should be simple.

Equipment

A ranger has pretty low strength, and considering you need to always use an extra space for a whistle, and also a shield most of the time, and lots of meat, there really isn’t that much space. The wolf also does half the tanking. What this means is that protection level of the armour isn’t quite as important, and the weight of the equipment is pretty important.

For perfect unique armour, star armour, flying shield, a blessed golden amulet, magic surcoat, and your favourite weapon would be the choice – all light and good protection. This is one class where star armour might be better than the armour of gaius.

With non unique armour, you absolutely must use radiant or cuirbouilli armour if you plan on carrying anything other than your equipment. As mentioned before, blesses and permed ar’s help immensely.

The difference between a good and bad collar on the wolf is huge too – always try to get zubin’s collar, blessed if possible. Zubin can easily be tracked down with your ranger abilities.

If you don’t have unique armour, you’d more than likely need a shield. Green and black shields are my favourites.

Gloves, helmets, robes and boots are the same as for anybody else. If you can’t get your hands on a golden amulet, try to just use a normal gold amulet blessed by a cleric. Wear a sheath for free leg protection, and whatever else that’s weightless and gives armour class.

Once you get good at putting what I’ve said into practice, you should have no trouble getting yourself a bola every time you play. Generally speaking, with a good weapon and an enormous wolf, venletta will only take a full complement of meat for you and your wolf and some alcohol for yourself to take down (do bring a potion or two for when things go wrong, through).

Boomerangs help rangers greatly, always swing by and see if you can get your hands on one. If you don’t like losing dexterity – hit and run Sanal with strike like me. That is, nw, strike, se, wait 2 seconds, rinse and repeat.

With a container, you’ll find that you absolutely need a container that you can wear (thus increasing its compression rate) – which means unworn knapsacks really suck. Belt of the Giant also has a higher base weight than most other containers – which means that when soloing, the higher base weight actually makes it less useful than for most other characters. I find the best balance between carrying capacity for rangers to be worn knapsacks, soft sacks and charky’s pack.

If you’re just using archery, the best bow you can reasonably get, along with 3-4 quiver fulls of arrows. Get your wolf a good collar, and yourself whatever you can bear to carry – an emphasis on light things which protect large areas, golden amulet and good Zarkan rings, and cuirbouilli leathers.

Alias

This is the alias system I use on Rhynst.

0 = detach medicine
1 = throw throwing knife at prey
2 = skin corpse
3 = gut corpse
4 = carve corpse
5 = give meat to wolfie
6 = get staff
7 = attach bottle
8 = distill herbs
9 = detach medicine
X = touch X
` = get knife from pack
a = assist v
am = apply medicine
bc = buy chicker
bd = breakdo
ber = pick berry
bg = buy gold
blw = blow whistle
bm = buy medicinals
bo = throw boomerang at prey
bone = do get all from walnut drawer, give bone to dog
br = bind wounds of v
bu = buy knugget
bw = bind wounds
bww = bind wounds of wolfie
c = carve corpse
cc = climb cliff
cda = say drop it, wombat boy
cga = say get it, wombat boy
chain = pull chain
check = tell sanal oi
cl = climb
cs = climb slope
ct = climb tree
cu = climb up
cv = climb vine
da = drop all
dc = drink chicker
dn = drop all knigget
dp = drink potion
dt = drink tea
eb = eat bottle
ec = enter coffin
en = eat knigget
ep = extinguish pipe
f = dear
fume = do fill pipe, smoke pipe
g = gclaim
ga = get all from corpse
gac = get all from cabinet
gc = get chicker from pack
gct = get coins from toilet
gd = get all from pack
gg = dotimes 100 search
gh = get all knife
gm = get medicinals from pack
gme = get medicine from pack
gn = get knigget from pack
gp = get packet from pack
gpo = get potion from pack
gs = get seed from cup
gt = get tea from pack
h = shoot prey
hay = do light torch, light hay with torch
hh = dotimes 100 nock arrow
k = kill prey
ka = kill guard
kb = keep all bola
kc = kill giant
kd = kill drow
ke = kill elf
kg = kill goblin
kh = kill human
km = kill man
ko = kill orc
kr = kill rat
ks = kill spider
ku = kill undead
kw = kill dwarf
lm = look at man
lo = exa prey
lp = look in pack
lw = exa wolfie
ma = read map
ml = meditate long
o = forage
oc = eat corpse
op = enter opening
p = peer
pa = pick apple
pb = push black eye
pd = put all in pack
pi = pt FIX ME
pl = plant seed
pn = point
pp = put all in sack
pr = push rock
pu = point undead
q = forage
r = repair bola
rw = rescue wolfie
sa = sell all
sap = get sapphire from mouth
sc = scalp corpse
sea = search
sf = sip from fountain
sh = say heel, wolfie
sip = sip nectar
sk = say sic 'em, Wombat Boy
ss = say sit wolfie
st = strike
su = survey
sv = say visit
sword = insert pommel in slot
t = give staff to v
ta = take all
th = tie rope to hook
tm = throw bola at man
to = throw bola at prey
tp = pt
tr = tie rope to hook
tw = tame wolf
wd = wield weapon
wh = wave warhammer at prey
y = cut staff
z = skin corpse

Conclusion

I hope this guide has given you the basic knowledge to get out of fuzzyville and into the real stuff. I want to see at least one of you become proficient with bashing as a ranger and bash for my characters, since Chun has now virtually retired. Perhaps another one of you can come race me for skills too, now that I’ve lost my main competitor.

So go out there, stare that 9k in the eye, and tear through it like the way you used to tear through Harkke unicorns.





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