- 1 How to Become a Ranger
- 2 Ranger Studies
- 3 Duvin Costs and Family Bonuses
- 4 Ranger Abilities
- 5 Ranger Trainers
- 6 Atkus conservation and the Gossamer Blade
- 7 Ranger "builds"
- 8 Growing as a Ranger
- 9 Where to go from here
How to Become a Ranger
Rangers are a subclass of Fighters. To become a Ranger you must complete the following steps in order:
- Become a third circle Fighter
- Qualify for the Gossamer blade
- Become proficient with the Gossamer and learn about the earth
- Join the Ranger subclass
Qualifying for the Gossamer
In order to qualify for the Gossamer, you must practice getting the killing stroke on monsters. Any area (Rat Towers, Vermine Tree, Marshes, ect.) where you can kill monsters in one blow will work well for this.
Assuming everything is going correctly, you will occasionally see the following message:
• You experiment with a new fighting style.
Qualifying for any subclass weapon can take quite a while. When you actually qualify for a subclass weapon, you will receive this message:
• You discover an important combat technique.
Assuming you qualified for the Gossamer (and not one of the other subclass weapons), you will be able to purchase one from Smythus for 5,000 coins and move to the next step toward becoming a Ranger.
Smythus offers both the Fell Blade and the Gossamer. Make sure to buy the right wepaon. Smythus' message when he offers it to you is:
I hear from others that you slay many of your opponents with a single strike.
Becoming proficient with the Gossamer
Once you have qualified for and purchased a Gossamer, you can begin training by using the /use /practice command. You will gain ranks in it whether you have it equipped or not. See a Ranger for the exact amount of Gossamer training that is needed.
It is said that training more ranks than the absolute minimum actually helps towards becoming a Ranger, though nobody presented any proof of that yet.
Learning about the earth
This is typically the most arduous, time-consuming step. Below are most of the ways to learn about the earth, accompanied by examples of their respective progress messages.
- Having the killing stroke on a monster. (• Your blade flashes like a shooting star.)
- Traveling with other exiles. (• You learn from your traveling companions.)
- Wandering around the world. (• You learn from travelling across the land.)
- Recovering the furs of beasts. (• Your knowledge grows from working with the Island Panther.)
- Recovering the blood of creatures. (• You learn from working with the blood of the T'rool.)
- Receiving boosts from Mystics. (• You learn from the wisdom of your companions.)
All of the above methods provide a tiny amount of knowledge and can take several months to qualify for the Ranger subclass. In general, the best (and most boring) method is killing junk to maximize how quickly you can rack up killing blows.
Note: The frequency with which one can earn "blade flashing" progress messages appears to be tied to Gossamer training. With 0 ranks, it may not be possible to get them at all.
You can also learn about the earth by completing hunting challenges. This method provides a huge amount of knowledge. If you're lucky and haven't yet completed any of them, you can make quite a bit of progress by knocking them all out. So the final (and fastest albeit temporary) way to gain knowledge about the about the earth:
- Completing hunting challenges. (• You gain understanding from hunting Ferals.)
Your progress toward learning about the earth can only be checked by consulting Rangers. If you ask politely, they should be able to tell you how close you are to becoming a Ranger. Here are the progress messages:
- (Player) has barely begun to learn about the earth. (8 messages to go.)
- (Player) has begun to learn about the earth. (7 messages to go.)
- (Player) still has much to learn about the earth. (6 messages to go.)
- (Player) is making progress towards becoming a Ranger. (5 messages to go.)
- (Player) is making good progress towards becoming a Ranger. (4 messages to go.)
- (Player) is making excellent progress towards becoming a Ranger. (3 messages to go.)
- (Player) is knowledgeable about the earth. (2 messages to go.)
- (Player) is very knowledgeable about the earth. (1 message to go.)
- (Player) is nearly ready to become a Ranger. (Done learning about the earth.)
Joining the Ranger subclass
If you are a third circle (or higher) Fighter, have learned enough about the earth and acquired enough Gossamer training, you are able to become a Ranger. At this point, the scout in the South Forest will share the password to the secret Ranger training area with you. Another Ranger should be able to guide you there.
To fully utilize their Gossamer training, Rangers must study creatures. Almost every creature in the islands can be studied with very few exceptions. In order to study a creature, you must initiate your study with the Gossamer's /use /study command, followed by striking the creature you wish to study. You should receive the following message:
• You begin studying the movements of the <creature name>
In order to make progress on your study, you must strike the killing blow with your Gossamer, commonly referred to as a "lastie." For this reason, Rangers often share lasties with other Rangers that are actively studying the same creature, alternating lasts.
Note: Study initiation and progression requires the use of your Gossamer. No other weapons will work.
Learning a creature's movements is the first level of Ranger studies. Based on your Gossamer training, you will, once accomplished, receive a substantial Atkus and Darkus bonus against the studied creature. With each new study, your Family-Bonus towards monsters of the same type, will also increase.
10-12 killing blows are required to learn the movements, after which the following message will be displayed:
• You learn to fight the <creature name> more effectively.
It can be helpful to enlist the help of a Mystic to provide Akea boosts when trying to learn the movements of creatures that cannot normally be hit with your Atkus training.
Learning to befriend a creature is the second level of studies. Unlike the first step, this one is considered a major challenge, as it requires a relatively huge amount of "lasties". It's estimated to be around 1,000 kills to learn the Ways of a specific creature (reports show that it varies from 800-1200).
The message you get, upon completion, is the following:
• You learn to befriend the <creature name>.
Befriending opens up many new tactical combat options for the Ranger; you will be able to turn hostile creatures into temporarily allies, which will fight on their own, but can also be controlled in order to adjust their movements and attacks. If no hostiles are present, the befriended creature will simply circle around its master. In order to befriend, the Ranger actually has to see the targeted monster.
There are however several limitations and downsides (possibly even bugs) that affect it:
- Energy cost
- Depending on the creature’s strength (mostly measured in total ranks), befriending requires a lot of energy - it is by far the most energy-demanding ability of a Ranger (excluding the Shieldstone). In addition to the initial cost, like the use of the Heartwood Charm and Morphing, there is an energy-per-second cost which will gradually increase over time, making all 3 actions impossible to keep up forever (DC-ing will immediately reset the timer though).
- Befriended monsters will do their best to follow their masters, there are times however where this is not always possible. As long as the Ranger is on the same snell, the creature will try to reach him/her by walking in a straight line - obstacles like walls will be ignored and thus bumped into, until the Ranger walks close by again. Another issue is frequently seen during a snell-change. A creature will only follow its master to the next snell (or through a PF) if both are visibly close to each other at the time of crossing. If the monster is still engaged in a fight, it might loose sight of the Ranger, and thus stay in the previous area.
- Coin loss
- For some reason, fallen befriended creatures cannot be skinned or in any other way used to recover precious elements (like blood or mandibles) - even if they have be previously tagged.
- Tag loss
- Similar to the Coin-loss issue, all tags (but the last one) will be lost, once the creature gets befriended and slain during a fight. This means that if Exile A and Exile B both tag Creature C (in that order), only Exile B will receive the experience - and since it’s the only counted tag, it will appear as if it was a solo-kill.
Being able to assume the shape of a creature really represents the culmination of a Ranger’s studies. To reach this final level, he/she will have to manage hunting down another 1,000 lasties of a monster they are already able to befriend (again, the actual numbers vary from 800-1200).
The message you get, upon completion, is the following:
• You learn to assume the form of the <creature name>.
(to be completed)
Needless to say, learning to befriend or even morph into a creature requires a lot of time, during which you will progressively get messages about your current studies, which will update and tell you, how close you are to complete them. The closer you are, the more frequent the messages will appear.
The ranger community has created, over time, a list of these updates, including the exact amount of "lasties" left corresponding to the right message.
This list and might not be 100% accurate - use it as a general guide to measure progress:
|Message #||Message||Kills to Next Message||Kills Left|
|"almost nothing" (1–12)|
|1||You have almost nothing left to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||2||2|
|2||You have almost nothing left to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||2||4|
|3||You have almost nothing left to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||2||6|
|4||You have almost nothing left to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||2||8|
|5||You have almost nothing left to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||4||12|
|"a few" (13–27)|
|6||You have a few things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||3||15|
|7||You have a few things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||3||18|
|8||You have a few things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||3||21|
|9||You have a few things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||3||24|
|10||You have a few things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||3||27|
|"more than a few" (28–63)|
|11||You have more than a few things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||8||35|
|12||You have more than a few things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||7||42|
|13||You have more than a few things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||7||49|
|14||You have more than a few things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||7||56|
|15||You have more than a few things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||7||63|
|"some things" (64–144)|
|16||You have some things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||9||72|
|17||You have some things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||12||84|
|18||You have some things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||12||96|
|19||You have some things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||12||108|
|20||You have some things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||12||120|
|21||You have some things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||12||132|
|23||You have some things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||12||144|
|"many things" (145–280)|
|24||You have many things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||16||160|
|25||You have many things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||20||180|
|26||You have many things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||20||200|
|27||You have many things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||20||220|
|28||You have many things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||20||240|
|29||You have many things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||20||260|
|30||You have many things to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||20||280|
|"much to learn" (281–480)|
|31||You have much to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||20||300|
|32||You have much to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||30||330|
|33||You have much to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||30||360|
|34||You have much to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||30||390|
|35||You have much to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||30||420|
|36||You have much to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||30||450|
|37||You have much to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||30||480|
|"a lot to learn" (481–700)|
|38||You have a lot to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||30||510|
|39||You have a lot to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||30||540|
|40||You have a lot to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||30||570|
|41||You have a lot to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||30||600|
|42||You have a lot to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||100||700|
|"a vast amount to learn" (701–1300)|
|43||You have a vast amount to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||100||800|
|44||You have a vast amount to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||100||900|
|45||You have a vast amount to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||100||1000|
|46||You have a vast amount to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||100||1100|
|47||You have a vast amount to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||100||1200|
|48||You have a vast amount to learn about the <function> of the <creature>.||100||1300|
* NOTE: <function> is "movements," or "ways," or "essence." * You learn to fight the <creature> more effectively. 0 0 * You learn to befriend the <creature>. 0 0 * You learn to assume the form of the <creature>. 0 0 * Many thanks to Grog & Mac. 99% thier work
Moreover, a ranger will have to invest a considerable amount of ranks in this operation, including training with Duvin, Splash and Respin. Every monster is quite unique, so choosing the right monster to befriend can sometimes be quite difficult. To begin studying the ways of a certain creature, just use again the command /use /study. If you have already learned the movements, you will automatically start the next level - creature befriend. You cannot begin studying a befriend until you first have learned a creature's movements.
Once done studying the ways of a monster, you will be able to befriend it (/useitem beltofthewild /befriend (creature name)), which will basically turn the closest example of that specific creature, into a friendly ally, fighting on your side against all hostiles. Note: You can only befriend a monster if you can actually see it; it's not enough to know it's somewhere in the same snell.
Befriending monsters can be used on the battlefield as a very valuable resource, especially during escapes or quick exits, but also while normally fighting a large amount of hostiles. A downside of this action is that it takes up a huge amount of energy to perform it, varying, depending on the monster's level (ie a strong monster requires a lot more energy to befriend, than a weaker one).
Note: You may befriend as many monsters as you like, as long as you have enough energy reserves to do so.
How to move "it":
Your "friend" will always try stick to you, circling around, protecting it's master, but a ranger may also choose to directly control the beast with the command: /useitem beltofthewild /control.
Note: The controlled monster will follow your cursor's movement, so watch out where you point it, as you still have control over your own character, and he/she will move along too! Re-use the same command to toggle this ability off.
Should you no longer want to keep your "friend", you may simply release it back into the wild: /useitem beltofthewild /release
Studying the ways of a monster is the second step, required to begin learning how to shapeshift into one (also commonly referred as "morphing").
Morphing is the final level of studies. It involves killing another 1.000 monsters of the same kind, learning everything there is to know about it. When done with your training, you will have killed so many creatures, that you can even assume the shape of one, with all its stats - strengths and weaknesses, by using the command: /useitem beltofthewild /shape (creature name) Note: Recent tests and studies about morphs showed that a ranger may only assume the maximum amount of a monsters's ranks/stats equal to 1.8x his own ones. Means if you have 100 atkus, and the monster has a natural atkus of 200, when morphed you will only receive an 80 atkus bonus, for a total of 180. This applies to all other stats too, except Troilus; his cap is at 6x. This last technique is especially useful in combat, as you can gain temporarily abilities you normally don't possess - even running speed.
Management of Studies
When you first become a Ranger, you can only study one creature at a time. In order to initiate a new study, you must first abandon your old one with the /use /study /abandon <creature name> command. By completing the following tasks, you can earn three additional study slots:
- 2nd slot - Train with the 4 hidden Ranger trainers, 1 rank each.
- 3rd slot - Comple 1 of 3 difficult hunting challenges.
- 4th slot - Comple the remaining 2 out of 3 difficult hunting challenges.
If you wish to know which challenges are key to adding study slots please ask a Ranger.
You can check the status of current (as well as completed) studies with the /useitem beltofthewild /reflect command.
Which Creatures to Study
Choosing good creatures to study is important as the decision is permanent. How to choose the right ones to study is a matter of personal preference mainly but there are a few guidelines. First, stick to creatures that are challenging to you. As you'll see below it's not "free" to study creature's movements, so make every rank count by studying creatures you vanquish or have trouble killing solo. Second, study to morph creatures that give you abilities you would like, such as very fast troilus or faster than normal movement speed.
Duvin Costs and Family Bonuses
Duvin Beastlore is a special ranger trainer that gives Rangers the ability to study creatures. Duvin ranks are "spent" with each completed study. If you have 20 ranks in Duvin, and spend 15 ranks on studies, you have 5 remaining ranks to spend. When you run out, new studies cannot be completed until more Duvin is trained.
Under normal circumstances, the following Duvin costs apply:
- 5 ranks for Movements
- 10 ranks for Befriend
- 5 ranks for Morph
All of the creatures in the world are divided into a handful of different families. Becoming familiar with these families is important for two reasons.
- You gain a 10% Gossamer bonus against all members of a family for each set of Movements learned, up to a maximum of 50%. If you have studied the movements of Grey Arachnoids, you will receive a 10% Gossamer bonus against all Arachnoids.
- You receive a 1 rank discount for each study within the same family, down to a minimum cost of 1 Duvin. For example, learning movements for Jade Arachnoids after already learning them for Grey and Striped 'noids will only cost 3 ranks instead of the original 5. This discount applies to Befriends and Morphs as well -- learning a 3rd Arachnoid Befriend costs 8 Duvin ranks rather than 10.
(documentation needed on how to tell creatures are in what family)
Although the Gossamer can be equipped by any class, Fighters that have qualified for its use can train in its use for the following benefits:
- Balance conservation on killing blows
- "Trample" kills
Balance conservation means the Fighter doesn't use 100% of his normal swing's worth of balance to deliver a killing blow. Sometimes a small amount of balance is saved, other times a massive amount is saved, often depending on how many ranks are invested. This feature makes the Gossamer exceptionally useful to high Darkus Fighters, as well as any situations where a Fighter is killing lots of junk.
Trample kills are when, upon delivering the killing blow to a creature, the Fighter is able to recover from his swing much more quickly. Normally there is a ~1 second pause when attacking a monster, but this time can be greatly shortened with trample kills. With enough training, Fighters will often recover so quickly that they appear to simply walk through an enemy.
Rangers get additional benefits depending on which "tier" of study their enemy falls into. For every rank of Gossamer trained...
- Movements bonus: +2 Atkus & Darkus
- 50% family bonus: +1 Atkus & Darkus
- 40% family bonus: +0.8 Atkus & Darkus
- 30% family bonus: +0.6 Atkus & Darkus
- 20% family bonus: +0.4 Atkus & Darkus
- 10% family bonus: +0.2 Atkus & Darkus
There's one more bonus to Rangers that makes the Gossamer particularly powerful to them. Any unnecessary Atkus that the Gossamer would have provided gets conserved. For example, say Ranger Bob has 250 Atkus and 100 Gossamer. He is attacking an Orga Rage, and has studied its movements. His natural Atkus is plenty to hit the Rage, so instead of the Gossamer providing 200 Atkus and Darkus, it only gives him 200 Darkus. This in turn makes the balance cost of his attacks a lot lower than it would be otherwise.
While shape-shifted the ranger takes on most, but not all characteristics, of the creature the ranger morphed into. As of storm v481 the characteristics (stats) of the creature the ranger morphed into are based on the basic abilities of the ranger (sans morph). Stats such as Atkus are limited to 1.8 times the rangers natural Atkus. For example: if a ranger naturally has 200 lessons of Atkus, but the monster he/she learned has 600 Atkus, when morphed, he/she will only get 200*1.8 which translates to 360 Atkus. This cap is to prevent rangers from learning creatures way beyond their natural abilities and alway using that form when fighting creatures well above their level.
The cap applies to other stats such as Darkus, Regia and Balthus. Troilus also has a capped multiplier, but it is much higher than the other cap. Histia works differently though. With Histia, the creatures maximum health is the cap, but any additional health the ranger gets as part of the morph is added to the ranger's maximum capacity, not the current health of the ranger. For instance, if a ranger has 100 natural Histia and Morphs into a creature with 200 Histia, the ranger would appear as that creature down to half of its health. The ranger could then be healed or troilus to the 200 Histia limit, but when the ranger reverts back to his or her natural form that extra health is discarded.
The maximum speed at which a shapeshifted ranger moves is either increased or decreased based on the speed of the creature's shape the ranger assumes. So, a ranger morphed into stinging beetle would move faster than his or her natural form: while one morphed into a scavenger bird would move much slower.
However, swing rate is unaffected by shapeshifting. So, even though a giant carnivorous plankton (GCP) swings much faster than an exile can swing, a ranger who obtains this shapeshift would still only be able to swing at his or her natural rate.
Trakning allows rangers to track creatures he or she has studied and tells them the direction on the snell they are. Most rangers train the minimum amount to detect creatures they have studied.
Chmee reports Trakning is capped at 25 ranks.
Spirit energy is used for almost all ranger abilities, so it is very important to understand how and when it is used. With training, Rangers can increase both their spirit pool and the rate at which spirit energy is replenished.
When a ranger hits a studied creature with the Gossamer, a little bit of energy (the third bar) is used and converted into the Atkus and Darkus bonuses. The more Gossamer training one has the more spirit is used up in each hit.
The use of the Heartwood Charm drains spirit energy as well, but after an initial cost the ranger's energy trickles down slowly while the ranger is running faster. The longer the ranger uses the charm the faster energy is used up.
Morphing using the Belt of the Wild works much the same way as the Heartwood Charm in terms of spirit costs, except instead of using energy faster as the ranger is morphed the spirit drain is a constant trickle.
The Belt of the Wild can also be used to activate the befriend ability which allows the ranger to control one or more creatures he or she has learned to befriend. The tougher the creature the faster energy is used to control it. Also, the more creatures controlled the faster energy is drained as well.
The last ability of the Belt that uses energy is tracking learned creatures, which expends a set amount of spirit energy. (The belt can also be used to check what creatures are being studied, what have been studied, and can also evaluate the progress of a would-be ranger's progress for no energy costs.)
Use of the Shieldstone drains energy the fastest, with most ranger only able to use it a few seconds. Some rangers have trained up this ability to seem to last much longer however.
"I can teach you to study the ways of various creatures."
• Your study of creatures is progressing.
Duvin is necessary to study creatures. Every four Gossamer ranks provide a Duvin rank.
Heen Slostid says, "I can teach you how to use your shieldstone."
Heen prolongs the duration of use for a Shieldstone by using spirit more efficiently.
"I can teach you to channel energy from the world more efficiently."
• You learn to channel energy from the world more efficiently.
Respin is like Respia for Rangers. He controls the rate at which you regain Spirit.
"I can teach you to store energy channeled from the world around you."
• Your ability to store energy from the world improves.
Splash is like Sespus for Rangers. He increases your spirit pool.
• Your understanding of tracking grows.
Tra'Kning teaches Rangers how to track creatures they have studied. A minimum of 7 ranks is required to track. Many rangers do not train beyond the minimum.
At minimum (7) training the cost to track once is approximately 20 splash lessons. You can have multiple creatures tracked at a time. Tracking points you to the closest creature on the snell of the type you designate.
Tra'Kning is a capped trainer with 25 ranks being the maximum. Confirmed (Again) 2016-04-05*
"I can teach you a balanced combat approach which kills monsters quickly."
• Your combat ability improves.
Bangus is a combo trainer like Evus. He is about 31% more rank efficient than training all of his components individually. Here's a rough breakdown of his components:
- Darkus (a lot)
- Balthus (a lot)
- Regia (a lot)
- Troilus (some)
- Atkus (some)
- Histia (a tiny amount)
"I can toughen you up so you can survive being chewed on."
• You seem tougher.
Farly Buff is a combo trainer like Evus. He is about 20% more rank efficient than training all of his components individually. Here's a rough breakdown of his components:
- Troilus (mostly)
- Histia (a lot)
- Detha (some)
Atkus conservation and the Gossamer Blade
As of version 618, there will be some changes ot the gossamer blades Atkus bonus. Currently, the blade conserves atkus by only expending enough to hit a creature, and charging the ranger for that balance. However it will be changed to a 3 times charge on balance when you use the extra Atkus a goss gives you, with a slight exception (see below). The following post is from Eldon, a CL GM:
"You should have a /use /nerf command on your goss (it will be undocumented) next update. It turns on a proposed nerf. /use /nerf again will turn it off. The nerf is really pretty simple, and is rather severe, but it feels about "right" to me from limited testing.
How it works: once atkus is conserved, we multiply the amount of atkus bonus you get by three, or set it to the maximum bonus, whichever is lower. (Numbers are subject to change.)
The result of this is things you can already hit without the gossamer will cost the same amount of balance. Things you can barely hit will cost more (and training atkus will actually make those monsters cost less to swing at, since you're spending 3x as much atkus as you actually needed). And things you have trouble hitting will always cost the max bonus of the goss
This is where you're really going to feel it. On things that say, take 200 atkus more than you have, instead of just costing 200 it will end up costing you 600.
By the way, some people felt that they whiffed a little more on creatures they needed the goss bonus to hit. Some theorized atkus conservation might have been taking away a little too much atkus, leaving you with a slightly higher chance to miss. I've never tested if that was true, but if it was the case, this change should stop that entirely."
discussion on this topic is currently here: http://www.vagilemind.com/clanlord/viewtopic.php?p=127204#p127204
As some first hints how to proceed from here it might be a good advise that you don't rush with your decisions what to study first but try to find out which Ranger Type you are or want to become.
There are 3 basic types of Rangers, but of course there are also mixtures of them.
This Ranger is probably the easiest to notice as you will see them in their morphed shapes often when hunting with them. They pull their strength out of the Bonus of the creatures they can shapeshift into - but maybe not with their complete strength which is limited to 1.8x of the rangers stats rank wise.
When Morphed the Ranger also gets the weaknesses of the morphed creep. For example the most taging morphs are weak in their defense and/or Histia.
Pure Morphing Rangers do not need insane amounts of Duvin to study every creature family, but they will need a fair amount of the Spirit trainers Splash (total spirit pool) and Respin (spirit recovery) to keep morphed long enough. As the Duvin costs per learned morph decrease with every study within the same family you might see some exiles sticking to morphs in one or two families even if there might be another suitable morph.
Hard study Ranger
These Rangers focus on studying only the most difficult monsters in any family in an attempt to maximize the benefits of their studies.
You might see this type of Ranger asking for lasties on hunts when there's a good brick or rod within the group and then having a hard time getting the last hit on ~10 creatures for their Bonus. This process can be very tedious while the Ranger "lucky" hits monsters to death, but can be made much easier with the aid of a Mystic's Akea boost. Once they get their 10th killing blow, you'll immediately see them slicing through the same creatures ;-)
The studies help this type of Ranger to hit the harder creatures within the same family as well as being able to hit the studied creature itself much more easily. This type of Ranger is probably the most common and often supported with a tagging or "lasty-supporting" morph such as Giant Carnivorous Plankton or Cave Cobra.
This Ranger Type can get by with minimal Splash and Respin training unless needed for aiding morphs. They typically specialize in particular areas -- once set up appropriate studies, they and will do great damage on dangerous creatures which will minimize the chances of a hunting group falling.
Easy study Ranger
This type of Ranger studies weaker monsters in a family and uses the 50% family bonus against the strongest monsters. A lot of Gossamer ranks are required to support his fighting style. One advantage of studying weaker creatures is how easily the studies are completed -- depending on the studies, they can often be completed alone. For example: a Ranger with lots of Gossamer training could study very weak Meshras in the Meshra Lair, then instantly be ready to hunt the very strong Meshras of the Estuary.
Basically this Type of Ranger does not need too much Splash but moderate Respin training might be needed to compensate for the Gossamer's spirit drain.
If this Ranger type decides to add a morph you might be warned that he probably can 1-2 hit his study (unless it's a very high study).
Growing as a Ranger
Be aware that Rangers decide in the now and live with their decisions the rest of their life. You can't undo studies (yet ^^) and thus many studies that seems reasonable now might be not in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years...
But also take into account that every decision you made might have accelerated you with what you was aiming for. Spending 15-20 ranks of Duvin to learn a morph that you'll later outgrow can feel wasteful, but if it helps you earn hundreds (and have fun along the way), it might be well worth it. So make your own decisions and don't be too shy to ask other Rangers what they think about your plans.
Where to go from here
Rangers, particularly those new to the class, can request access to the Clan Lord Rangers yahoogroup for much more information by contacting Ogant.
See the Ranger Macros page for handy macros.