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Female Ranger Hand Cannon PVE Build

Discussion in 'Gunner' started by Thuvian, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Thuvian Member

    Female Ranger PVE Hand Cannon Build
    Rangers are known for their Revolver bullet spam. They are also a critical hit based class with both more powerful critical hits and more frequent critical hits. This is what leads to their reputation for being powerful in both PVE and PVP, as long as they have a +12 weapon. Piercing damage with a large number of rapid, percentage based attacks (with a large critical spike damage potential) leads to impressive amounts of damage.

    However, this isn't all the Ranger offers. The Ranger also has a decent selection of hard hitting percentage based attacks. These attacks are typically not the focus of Ranger builds because the Ranger's class weapon is the revolver. As a gun, the revolver is middle ground weapon. It has a decent clip size, decent range, decent damage, and a decent firing rate. Additionally, Rangers have a selection of passive abilities that increase the effectiveness of the revolver. In contrast to the revolver, there is the hand cannon. The hand cannon is a beast of a weapon. It has the highest damage of all of the guns, it has 100% piercing attack (it always hit everything in its attack zone), but it also has a clip size of 2, a tiny range, and is very slow. The relevant point is that hand cannons have 25% more physical attack than revolvers which means that their already impressive percentage attack skills could be used with a hand cannon to do 25% more damage. That's worth looking into and that is what I am doing here.

    Now, hand cannons aren't all puppies and sunshine. They come with a hefty 25% increase in physical weapon attack mana costs, horrible range, slow rate of fire, and tiny clip size. However, there are some things that can be done to eliminate these weaknesses.

    The first hand cannon flaw to address is the mana cost penalty. Interestingly enough, only skills that are purely percentage based are affected by this modifier. Skills that are Fixed or Fixed and Percentage based do not have mana costs that are modified by weapon mana modifiers. This means that Percentage skills will be roughly equal when it comes to mana efficiency (25% more damage, but 25% more cost). However, any Percentage and Fixed skills would NOT have increased mana costs, so their gains from using a hand cannon would be essentially cost free.

    This leads us to the following division of Female Ranger Skills.
    • Headshot, Western Fire, Revenger, Rising Shot, Marilyn Rose, Moving Shot, Gun Dance, Death Hawk, Spriggan, and Aerial Fire are all percentage only skills, and thus will be equally efficient for Hand Cannons and Revolvers.
    • Triple Clutch, Topspin Kick, Needle Sobat, and Sonic Spike are Percentage and Fixed skills and will directly benefit from the lack of the penalty to physical damage skill mana costs from Hand Cannons. Maximizing these skills would be the best way to take advantage of the damage bonus from Hand Cannons.

    The second flaws of the hand cannon to address are clip size and firing speed. First off, clip size is an arguable flaw. It does limit the number of shots before reloading, however, it also allows the gunner to get to the final shot faster. Female gunners shots are 100% damage for all shots, except for the last shot, which is 300%. (Male gunners are a little better with 115% and 315% respectively.) Firing speed, however, is an obvious problem. The faster a gunner can fire his weapon, the better off he is. It keeps enemies in hit stun, it increases damage rate, it allows for juggles and combos. Two gunners working together with bow guns can juggle most monsters using their X attack alone. Hand Cannons on the other hand are too slow to do much of anything. The solution to both of these problems is to use skills and never, ever use an X attack. With that statement, this is starting to sound like a Launcher guide. The parallel isn't mistaken, this potential build would be very similar to launcher builds. Avoid X attacks, use skills with a massive damage bonus. The difference would be that Launchers can remain off screen of their targets, whereas Rangers have to be close enough to hug their targets.

    The third hand cannon flaw to address is the range limitations of the weapon. Hand Cannons have a tiny range. To avoid this problem, we can focus on skills that have their own ranges, ignoring or limiting the effect of weapon range limitations. There are several variations to this solution. First skills like rising shot, do not use the equipped weapons range. Second, skills like the kicks, don't use the weapons physics at all. Third, skills like Moving Shot allow the Ranger to move around while firing, avoiding the necessity of remaining stationary to attack.

    All of these ideas culminate in a Female Range Build that uses a Hand Cannon exclusively, avoids all of the revolver passives, and attempts to make the Ranger as "gun" free as possible. Previously I noted that this build is very similar to a Launcher build, and again this parallel is reasonable. Both Rangers and Launchers are pure physical damage classes. Additionally, while the hand cannon is typically associated with the Launcher (especially given Hand Cannon Mastery which adds 10% weapon strength when using hand cannons). However, Rangers are almost as well equiped to use them. Rangers lack the passive hand cannon abilities, but still retain the strength focus in level gains (both Rangers and Launchers gain 4 Strength per level). Rangers also feature many percentage based skills to take advantage of the high hand cannon damage. Lastly, there are sufficient skills that ignore the equipped weapons stats to use the base damage of the hand cannon, but not all of its annoying features.

    The largest question, and the reason I started this post is: What skills should this build have? (Yeah, that's right, you just say an 18 page introduction to a "Hey, help me with a build" post). Now, given the information available in the Wikis, from the Forums, and from Archer's guide, I have some ideas about this.

    First, we want to look at maximizing damage, both Damage per second (DPS), Damage per mana (DPM), and Damage per SP (. As every Launcher knows, mana is always a limiting factor. And since this is the Range equivalent, I'm guessing that mana is going to be a huge issue here too.

    In the following, I present a information that examines these issues. I provide information for all relevant Female Ranger skills. I also provide the base case of a maximum leveled BBQ. BBQ is well known for its excellent single target damage. If a skill can approach BBQ's level of performance it is definitely worthwhile. The following stats were calculated assuming the use of a 45 Purple hand cannon (425 Physical Damage). Skill ranks were chosen to reflect those available to a level 53 character (what would be required to obtain a level 20 BBQ). Strength calculations were avoided because Launchers and Rangers should have the same strength. Launcher do have Heavy Armor Mastery, however Rangers have a higher critical hit chance from their Leather Armor Mastery. I considered these two abilities to cancel each other out, so they were both dropped from the analysis. Defense Percentage Reductions were ignored because they are consistent across all types of attacks, thus by modifying everything equally they can be discounted. Fixed Damage Reductions were also ignored due to the problems in easily modeling its effects and the general lack of understanding about the underlying mechanics.

    Ability	Level	%	Fixed	Mana	Damage	DPM	SP Cost	D/SP	DPS/SP	Notes
    BBQ	20+1	902	5050	52	8884	171	500	18	17.8	Includes the 10% bonus for Hand Cannon Mastery
    Headshot	15	868		38	4078	107	450	9	9.1	Includes 21.1% increased critical hit damage
    Western Fire	1	1041.6		38	4427	116	480	9	9.2	20% bonus to Headshot
    Revenger	15	521		3	2214	738	375	6	5.9	Shoots both left & right, damage may be doubled
    Triple Clutch	20	1280	3894	73	9334	128	1425	7	6.6	Topspin Kick +0%, Needle Sobat +50%, Rising Shot + 75%
    Topspin Kick	20	400	2180	23	3880	169	400	10	9.7	AOE
    Needle Sobat	20	280	1714	31	2904	94	500	6	5.8	
    Rising Shot	20	600		19	2550	134	475	5	5.4	
    Marilyn Rose	10	210		9	893	99	180	5	5.0	
    Sonic Spike	12		2956	15	2956	197	240	12	12.3	0 hit from Topspin Kick
    Sonic Spike	12	200	4046	38	4896	129	640	8	7.7	1 hit from Topspin Kick
    Sonic Spike	12	400	5136	38	6836	180	640	11	10.7	2 hits from Topspin Kick
    Multi HeadShot										Can't use with Hand Cannon, need 5 for Death Hawk, cube skill
    Moving Shot	7	187		97	16690	172	245	68	68.1	21 Shots, cube skill
    Gun Dance	7	66		87	5610	64	245	23	22.9	AOE, 20 Shots, there is also a melee attack, cube skill
    Death Hawk	5	458		193	1947	10	175	11	11.1	AOE
    Spriggan	20	800		23	3400	148	500	7	6.8	Target damage
    Spriggan	20	0	2616	23	2616	114	500	5	5.2	Target thrown damage, AOE
    Spriggan	20	800	2616	23	6016	262	500	12	12.0	Target + AOE
    Ariel Fire	10	900		29	3825	132	250	15	15.3	6 shots with Hand Cannon
    Steep Slide										Doesn't seem to do anything useful
    Death by Revolver										Revolver Only
    Gun Guard										1 level maybe
    Pan Revolver										Revolver Only
    Fastest Gun										5 if getting Gun Dance
    Rising Topspin Kick										
    Regular X Attack		400	0	0	1700					Basic Attack Damage for 2 hit Hand Cannon Combo, doesn't include knockback when drawing gun

    Now, if possible all skills would be maxed. However, SP limitations prevent this. Using previous guidelines, the following unuseable build can be derived.

    ASPS Version: http://oldmanclub.co.cc/asps/f_ranger.html?GRf030ywllFjjjjjjjHFllKmlQdtllllllllllll!l1l1!l!illSlllllllllINliIGGDiNiiLlCllll

    Text Version:

    Skills to Max
    • Rising Shot
    • Marilyn Rose
    • Aerial Fire
    • Spriggan
    • Topsin Kick
    • Rising Topspin Kick
    • Needle Sobat
    • Headhost
    • Western Fire
    • Moving Shot
    • Gun Dance
    • Death Hawk
    • Revenger
    • Triple Clutch
    • Sonic Spike
    • Veiled Cut

    Other Skills
    • Fastest Gun - 5 need for Gun Dance
    • Gun Guard - 1 seems to be useful
    • Multi Headshot - 5 is needed for Death Hawk, can't be used with Hand Cannon.

    Other Skills that I don't think are necessary
    • Passive Revolver Skills - No revolver, no passive revolver skills
    • Physical Critical Hit - The damage increases are bad 0.5% per 20 SP. Additionally, without revolvers and passives our critical hit is going to be low anyway
    • Backstep + Cancel - No X, no need to backstep
    • Cancels - No X, no need to backstep. Triple Clutch should provide only cancels necessary
    • Quick Rebound - Rising Topspin Kick should cover this
    • Twin Gun Blade - Hasn't been implemented yet, but I've read it is more gun oriented. It may be awesome, it may not be. I don't know.
    • Steep Slide - Seems rather useless. Although a maxed steep slide might let you juggle enemies using slide. I haven't been able to find any information on how it works when maxed.
    • Non-Ranger Skills - The build is already -1044 SP in the hole. There is no need to look into more expensive, less potent skills.
    • BBQ - Tempting, but in the end, probably better to leave it to the Launchers and PVP gunners

    This brings our SP expenditure, at level 50, up to a nice 4170, 1044 more SP than we have available. So, which skills do we dump. This is where my inexperience comes into play. I'm not really sure. My Ranger experience is limited to a level 4 Female Ranger. I do have some ideas.

    • Aerial Fire - Drop it entirely. This build is going to be almost a melee build, hand cannons range is bad, and the damage isn't that good. 250 SP
    • Marilyn Rose - Drop it entirely. It doesn't really synergize with other skills. 180 SP

    After that, I don't know. Ideas? Thoughts?
  2. Ring "...that's my role."

    tl;dr ... well I'l lread it later I just scrolled to it, is this a guide?


    "# Gun Guard - 1 seems to be useful"

    seems? SEEMS?!?!?!?! o:< it IS
  3. VariousGuy Dead Guy

    According to the Arad Wiki, Twin Gun Blade is 100% fixed damage. Hand Cannon builds can benefit from the awakening.
  4. Revelus New Member


    - Why is your Rising Shot so high? It should be left at 5 for PvE. I have a Level 43 Perma-Gunner built for PvP, and he has Rising Shot maxed. It launches enemies off of the screen. Not good.
    - Spriggan 1 for Revenger, 5 for Active Awakening. Shouldn't be leveled above pre-reqs.
    - Gun Dance 3. Not nearly as good as Wild Shot for PvE.
    - Why do you have max Revenger? It is used very infrequently in PvE. Should be at 1 or even 0.
    - Aerial Fire and Marylin Rose were good choices to drop.
    - Not using X attacks at all is very unrealistic, especially at lower levels. Cannons are slow on Launchers with Heavy Armor, they aren't slow at all with the Leather Armor bonuses.
  5. Thuvian Member

    • Rising Shot is maxed because it offers 600% Percentage Damage and is the end of the Triple Clutch combo. That seemed a good reason to max it. The build is focused around avoiding X attacks, which also means comboing isn't going to be important. Hence less need for Rising Shot for a combo starter.
    • Spriggan actually does decent damage and the knock back is an AOE. For utility I can understand the limitations, but I'm thinking about using it for damage.
    • After 47 levels with my Launcher I've realized I really dislike Hand Cannons. Don't tell anyone.
    • I'm torn on Revenger. It requires you to be hit (generally a bad strategy), but then does AOE damage. 521% to your left and right. That's 121% more than the damage of a regular XX Combo, but also stuns. Lastly, a 3 mana per use it is essentially free. Unfortunately, it still requires you to be attacked.
  6. ArtSlay _________________________

    It's very doable, my F ranger used hand cannon all the way to 47 before they gave me the reset. But at the end revolver is still the way to go for best performance.

    Your build looks very impractical though. It's rather hard to avoid using normal attack at all, let alone a good one. Basic combo I used was sonic spike grouping, x x cancel rising, xx cancel head shot, x x cancel backstep xx rising. Low mp cost high damage output.

    Skills like marilyn, aerial fire, sprrigan, gun dance, revenger aren't worth leveling past pre req level at all.

    Main damage dealers are your kicks, rising, headshot, moving shot, multi headshot and death hawk. Sonic spike shouldn't be maxed since it's purely fix, active awakening is said to be one of the best transform awakening in the game, though it's purely fixed too.
  7. conewicci I dun goofed.

    If it's purely fixed, then leveling it matters much more than with percent skills... o.o
  8. Thuvian Member

    • Hand cannons can't be used with Multi Headshot, so that's out.
    • Fixed damage skills don't scale which requires maxing them for relatively good damage (i.e., what conewicci just said). It isn't just that they never go up, but relatively speaking they go down in damage when compared to Percentage damage skills. A Fixed damage skill does X damage. A Percentage damage skill does PercentageDamage*WeaponDamage. Percentage damage skills then increase in two ways, whereas Fixed Damage only increases in one way. Even if you don't level up a Percentage Damage skill, WeaponDamage still increases so your damage will increase. In contrast, Fixed Damage never changes. (Side note: I'm ignoring the effect of Intelligence/Strength because they both scale roughly the same way so they can be dropped from the analysis. Because Strength/Intelligence increase with level, Fixed damage skills will also increase in level, but the increase will proportional to both types of skills. Hence why I'm not including it.)
    • One of the reasons I instigated these discussions is to see WHY skills are recommended, used, or endorsed rather than a simple recommendation. Hence if posters could provide more details behind their logic, it would be appreciated.
  9. ゴド Atomyk Ebonpyre

    come again?

    anyway, I do not believe in a handcannon build. in a game that has no limitation on the rate of critical hits, not making use of that is just silly to me. especially since rangers have a skill that actually amplifies critical damage. your handcannon build might seem better than revolver build at first, but as DBR increases your build will soon be outdamaged by revolver build. but do whatever you want. just find it odd how people are trying to come up with nontraditional builds, even though revolvers are getting cheaper every day.
  10. Archie Mexocan

    ... I think you should double check on this.
  11. Thuvian Member

    Critical Hits increase damage by 50%. The probability of a critical hit increases 1% per point of Critical Hit. The short version of calculating average damage is just to add the benefit of Critical Hit to your average damage. Average damage is 100% damage (ignoring misses). Critical Hit adds 50% damage to each triggered Critical Hit. The probability of causing a critical hit increases by 1% per level. So in this case, 50% * 1% = .5 * .01 = .005. Hence each point of Critical Hit increases average damage by 0.5% per level of Critical Hit.

    This game does limit critical hits. The maximum critical hit rate is 100%, every hit is a critical hit. This would increase your damage to 150% of normal damage. That's a hard limit. Except for Rangers who have Death By Revolver who gain additional critical hit damage (I think there might be a couple other skills that increase critical hit damage, but they aren't pseudo-passives like DBR). Let's use Death by Revolver Rank 10, which comes with level 57 (which is not something you are going to have access to for much of your character's career). This increases your critical hit damage to 200%. So each point of Critical Hit Increase would add 1% critical hit damage. Also if you max out the chance of your critical hit (which isn't trivial and requires lots of Eagle Eye Potions), your damage would be 200% of normal. That would indeed increase revolver damage past hand cannon damage (which is 25% better).

    However, Revolvers still lack the AOE, 100% pierce, and require continuous mana upkeep for DBR and gold for the potions.

    Weapon Mana Modifiers
  12. geenareeno Not gReenareeno

    So end game what do you think is better? A revolver build with crit gear, phys crit hit, and dbr; or the set up you have posted?
  13. ゴド Atomyk Ebonpyre

    I'll agree that revolvers do lack AOE and pierce. Your other points, not so much.
    First of all, critical hit rate is not limited to 100%. Updated status screens in other versions of DNF show that percentages such as hit rate, crit rate can exceed 100%. Not that it matters, as we agree that revolvers outdamage handcannons.
    Secondly, I beg to differ on DBR mana upkeep. You know what the biggest advantage of revolvers over cannons is? The ability to OTG. As you all know, other than APCs, mobs do not have combo protection. If you're fast enough, you can pretty much OTG a mob to death, like Whimsical Sielle of Vilmark. Handcannons on the other hand, do not have that ability. Sure, you can do a cannon loop with a wall(BBQ->Normal Shot X2->Marilyn Rose cancel->Fastest gun X2->Rising shot cancel->Normal Shot X2->Marilyn Rose cancel->BBQ), but that obviously is far more mana upkeep than say, adding DBR and shooting a mob on the ground for 30 seconds. And even then, if there's one miss in combo, it's over. OTGing with revolvers is far easier, and requires less mana. I don't even have to mention that meleeing will cost more mana than OTGing.
  14. geenareeno Not gReenareeno

    And if you got that +12 it would be rediculous damage.
  15. Thuvian Member

    Revolvers versus Hand Cannons
    The setup I have posted is incomplete and illegal (it has 700 SP extra at level 50, and lots more at level 60). If you would make comparison between hand cannons and revolver without any additional information, I would guess you'd have to compare it to a similar critical hit setup. However, it is making many assumptions that I'm not sure are optimal. Regardless, let's do some theory crafting. Let's assume end game is level 60 and that both sets have 100% critical hit rate and infinite mana. A hand cannon build would lack DBR and Pan Revolver which would give the it an extra ~500 SP to do something with. The Revolver Build gets an additional 50% critical hit damage, increasing its critical hit damage to 200%, and hence average damage is 200% of base. The hand cannon only does 150% damage with critical hit damage, but is also 25% stronger than a revolver. This puts hand cannon damage at 187.5% of base, a 12.5% difference. Hand Cannons also have a ~5 Strength advantage, which is 2% more of base damage. At this point, the Revolver Build is slightly ahead.

    However there are a few more things to consider.
    • Upgrading - Both weapons could be upgraded, the end result wouldn't change the relative proportion of damage between the two weapons, so we can discount this.
    • Fixed Damage Reduction - This makes a difference.

    Consider this:
    A revolver attack does 1000. A hand cannon attack does 1250 damage. Let's assume our target has 50% Percentage damage reduction. That drops damage down to 500 & 625 respectively. Let's further assume that our target has 50 points of Fixed Damage reduction. This ends up with a final damage of 450 and 575 respectively. Now we apply the critical hit bonus. The revolver's end damage is 450*2 = 900, the hand cannon's end damage is 862.5. The difference is now only 4.2%.

    Why did it drop? It dropped because critical hit damage bonuses occur AFTER the reduction of Fixed Damage. Because Fixed Damage Reductions penalize small damage attacks more than fixed damage attacks.

    • A skill that deals 10 attacks that deal 50 each versus a skill with 1 attack that does 500.
    • The damage dealt by each skill is equivalent (500) before reductions.
    • Percentage damage reductions reduce each skills damage the same amount.
    • However, Fixed Damage reductions reduce the smaller skill by a larger amount. Let's say that the Fixed Damage Reduction is 50. Now the two skills deal 0 damage and 450 damage respectively.
    • Now this is an exaggerated example, but the end result WILL still matter.

    My conclusion is:
    I don't know which is better. That's why I started this. However there is sufficient merit in what I have read and calculated to suggest that hand cannons are not the obvious bad choice that many posters are claiming. With just the straightforward critical hit analysis, the difference is only 12%. However, as demonstrated even a seemingly small effect like fixed damage reductions can easily place either build type ahead.

    Critical hit rates over 100%.
    • What exactly does this mean?
    • Does this mean more than 100% of your hits are critical hits? This is obviously impossible.
    • Does it means that if your critical hit rate drops due to debuffs, you can still have 100% critical hit rate? Maybe?
    • Does it mean that your critical hit damage increases? Doubtful.
    • Does it mean that you'll miss less and hit more? Maybe?
    • Until someone can clarify this, I can't address your point.
    • I can address the claim that hand cannons do less damage than revolvers. As described above, that isn't a solid case in either weapons favor.

    OTG Combos in Vilmark and later dungeons.
    I don't have experience with this, so I'm not really qualified to comment. However, a Ranger spending 30 seconds to kill something... Unless your fighting a boss it seems that something is seriously wrong with that occurance. Are you making the claim that you need to OTG something to make the Revolver Build work? Or was that just an example to demonstrate mana efficiency? Also, you couldn't use a combo like you stated with the suggested build idea, because it has no cancels, no BBQ, and tries to avoid normal shots. Hence your counter example is an invalid comparison. I won't disagree with your point that it doesn't OTG very well, I actually have no idea if would or would not work. However, you can just give a nonpossible combo and use it as evidence that your argument is correct.

    My Interests
    I'm various curious how hand cannons interact with the Gun/Kick abilities of the Ranger. If the 100% pierce and large AOE effect of hand cannons transfers, even to only a few skills, that effectively makes those skills impressive AOEs. Hence instead of single target damage, you would be doing AOE damage. That's interesting in my view.

    +12 reinforcement.
    As previously described, it seems that skill based damage between hand cannons and revolvers is NOT that different. That being said I'm not sure what the claim is.

    In regards to X attacks.
    I've played with autoguns and bowguns, I understand they are awesome. However, I am not interested in a build wherein I attempt to cause carpal tunnel syndrome. I'm interested in a build philosophy that is Non-x based.
  16. Gloomy dicks

    Pretty sure you can cycle XX, Mach Kick, Rising Shot, and Spriggan and keep anything you want pinned indefinitely. So I don't understand why revolvers being able to xxx xxx xxx forever is even an advantage.
  17. ArtSlay _________________________

    Getting too much paper work here, you are not gonna find out which is better by calculating stuffs, cause they are used completely differently. Only thing hand cannons excels at is when facing a group of mobs that are knockdownable, which it will provide excellent crowd control and potent damage, plus higher damage for kicks since DbR doesn't affect it(not including sonic, few str won't make a noticeable difference, which is why I don't recommend max it for pve, unless you really have that much free SP). Where as revolver excels at single target damage by a large margin, while still being able to take out mobs fairly easily with the right skills.

    And the disability to use multi headshot is a big draw back to hand cannon, it's your highest single target DPS skill that can be fired off Y axis with infinity Z axis.
  18. ゴド Atomyk Ebonpyre

    I was just saying that handcannons are vastly inferior to revolvers in terms of continuing combos. I was not referring to your build, I was just commenting on the lack of OTG from handcannons. You can choose not to continue OTGing, and run around trying to not get grabbed by Sielle once he goes into super armor. I think I'd prefer shooting him on the ground. Keeping him in hitstun would be far easier than trying to melee him.

    Lower mana upkeep? Works even if you miss once? I don't even want to comment on the miserable hit rate of ranger grabs.

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