Do you feel like the ranger could be much more? That his mechanics don't do his theme justice? Maybe his elite specializations have a weak design? Or do you just want to post some crazy ideas? Well, then this thread is for you.
So, just for fun, how would you redesign the ranger?
Few personal ideas to start the thread:
Ranger - Pet system simplification
There's way too many pets, and those of the same family do pretty much the same thing.
The idea is simple: One pet per family. So, only one bear, only one moa, etc. The rest of the pets become aesthetic skins you can select from a secondary panel inside the Pet Management panel.
Next, take all the animals from these families that weren't previously available as pets, and make them skins too, taking ranger customization even further, with no gameplay implications and balance to worry about.
What about the special skill? In most cases, nothing of value would be lost, so we could just merge them, but then there could be problems with some magical pets, like drakes, whose abilities cannot be merged properly. A possible solution is to let players choose from a list of special skills for their pets, instead of having the skills locked to the pet skin.
So now, you choose a pet archetype, then a pet skin, and finally an enhancement, determining the special skills.
I would redesign pet skills a bit too, making them more useful. Skills 1, 2, and 3 would be tied to the archetype, and skills 4 and 5 would be tied to the enhancement. Players would be able to manually control two of those skills, one from the archetype and another from the enhancement.
This new system is more flexible, and would allow us to add new pets with multiple skins, with far less work than as of now. Note that archetypes have a racial foundation, but not a racial restriction. They merely define skills 1, 2, and 3.
The final list would be something like this, including new pet archetypes (some of them used by NPCs ingame), and a few ideas for the future:
There would be a total of eight enhancements. You'd need to unlock an appropriate skin to unlock an enhancement for that pet. For example, the ice drake would unlock the ice enhancement for the drake. Not all enhancements are available for every pet, but their effects would be similar across the ones they're available for.
The enhancements would be as follows:
Pet collecting could be spiced up a bit too. I wouldn't mind if some skins required more than just walking and interacting with them. Some could be tied to achievements, dynamic events, etc. Would be nice if other professions got their own collectibles as well (engineer could get kit and turret skins, necromancers minion skins, etc).
Finally, I would rename pets to beasts, which sounds like a better name, and makes them distinct enough from minipets.
Druid - Partial redesign
I don't like the Celestial Avatar transformation too much, and instead of trying to improve it, I prefer to leave the transformation mechanic for something cooler. The ranger would welcome a pet-less elite specialization too, and by pet-less I mean no pet whatsoever.
With that in mind, I'll give druid a few mechanic skills and a temporary dual mode.
Let's begin with the modes. Located in F4 and F5, they would work similar to elementalist attunements, and represent the sun/day and the moon/night, changing your physical aspect much like the Celestial Avatar. Both would be about support, sun focusing on damage, and moon in healing. They would use a new resource, called the cycle. The energy would be obtained by spending time on the opposing mode, so, to get sun energy, you need to spend some time on moon, and viceversa. This forces you to cycle between the two modes often.
Like attunements, they would change your weapon skills, but said changes wouldn't be completely new skills, only an additional layer of effects on top of the originals, keeping the core mechanics and stats, and taking them to the next level.
The other three mechanic skills, F1, F2, and F3, would include various flower seeds. You would throw them into the ground, and then they would bloom and apply a different effect when you switch to either sun or moon mode. Glyphs would keep their variation for moon mode, and get an additional one for sun mode.
With no pet, the druid would now focus on mode management and seed positioning.
Soulbeast - Beast transformations
It saddens me that soulbeast isn't a real fusion between pet and ranger. You just get some green swirl and a few mechanic skills, far from what merging should be.
This idea turns soulbeast into a real shapeshifter, using beast transformations. Since we can't have a transformation for each pet, we would stick to the archetypes already used for the F3 soulbeast skill, or make a new archetype system.
The transformations themselves would turn you into spirit beasts, combining elements from different animals. Each transformation would have some unique model details linked to the race of the ranger as well. For example, charr ones would have horns, sylvari ones leafs, norn tattoos, etc. All of them would be green/yellowish by default, with a ghostly appearance, inspired by the original soulbeast artwork.
Like Beastmode, these transformations would boost your base stats, and not be limited by a timer, so you can stay in them as long as you want. Like other transformations, they would replace your weapon skills with new skills, unique to each transformation. Slot skills would still be available, and being downed would cancel the transformation.
Also, I would move off-hand dagger skills to sword off-hand, and give soulbeast new off-hand dagger skills.
Just some random ideas to begin the thread. Waiting for yours!
CANTHAN ELITE SPECIALIZATIONS ⇒ Skyfire - Trickster - Apothecary - Dreadnought - Bulwark - Shadowblade - Spiritcaller - Windwalker - Thunderlord