Guild Wars 2 Ranger Profession | WoW Hunter Rip-Off

A Strong Sense of Deja-Vu

Guild Wars 2, which is not only not out at the time of writing, but doesn't even have a release date, is drip feeding the gaming public information about their new classes in the hopes of stirring up anticipation. Because Guild Wars 2 is going to be awesome and innovative. It's going to blow the socks off all the MMORPGs gone before. We will be singing the praises of Guild Wars 2 to the heavens for eternity. Or maybe we won't.

Prior to the Ranger class, the Guild Wars 2 team released details about the Elementalist and the Warrior, and because I'm not planning on playing either of those classes, I didn't pay much attention. However, when I played WoW (World of Warcraft) I played a Hunter, so the Ranger class is of some interest to me. I was looking forward to seeing what Guild Wars 2 was going to do to advance the class.

Imagine my disappointment when the Guild Wars team put on their best straight faces and released the 'exciting' news that the Ranger class in Guild Wars 2 would be a straight WoW Hunter rip off. Of course, they didn't say that, they left that to their potential player base to figure out, which didn't take long.

Let's compare the WoW Hunter class to this exciting, innovative Guild Wars 2 Ranger class.

In WoW, hunters use pets, which they tame at a low level and which gain experience points as they accompany the hunter on his or her quests. As the pet continues to level, you are able to teach it abilities from its pet tree.

In Guild Wars 2, rangers will charm juvenile animals, which will gain experience points as they accompany the ranger on his or her quests. As the pet continues to gain experience, you are able to teach it abilities from its pet tree.

In WoW, hunters are a primarily ranged class that use their pets for inflicting damage or drawing the ire of mobs whilst the hunter kills them.Pets can be set to Aggressive, Defensive or Passive, and can also be commanded to Attack, Heel, or Stay.

In Guild Wars 2, rangers are primarily a ranged class that will use their pets for inflicting damage or drawing the ire of mobs whilst the ranger kills them. Pets can be set to Aggressive, Defensive or Passive, and can also be commanded to Attack, Heel, or Stay.

In WoW, hunters use traps to inflict damage, slow down enemies, and allow themselves to get into ranged distance.

In Guild Wars 2, rangers use traps to inflict damage, slow down enemies, and allow themselves to get into ranged distance.

Seeing a pattern yet?

The only two noticeable differences between a GW2 ranger and a WoW hunter is that the GW2 ranger will be able to have shark pets (in aquatic regions) and summon 'spirits'.

When, oh when are MMORPGs going to stop blatantly ripping off WoW in an attempt to be successful? If I want to play a WoW hunter, I can play WoW. The whole draw of Guild Wars 2 was the alleged idea that it would be somehow different, somehow new. But it would seem that all they're really planning on doing is rehashing tired old mechanics, fancying them up with pretty graphics and hoping that gets people to pick the game up off the shelf. What a boring and cynical approach to game development.

Ironically, the video released along with the Ranger class seems strangely, well, off. The graphics have the polish that we've come to expect from Guild Wars, but seeing a bunch of rangers stand in line, rapidly firing arrows without apparently even needing to reach back and nock a new arrow every time shows the downside of having improved graphics if you can't be bothered to make them make sense. In Guild Wars 2, rangers literally just yank at the bow string over and over again, firing invisible, never ending arrows as if they're firing a gun. This may seem like a pedantic gripe, but as the point of improved graphics is theoretically to increase realism and game immersion, it makes little sense if you can't be bothered making your shiny animations coherent.

The sad thing about this is that it will no doubt be defended by people who are looking forward to Guild Wars 2 and disillusioned with WoW in a sort of that-hot-ex-I-can't-forget-about way. Guild Wars 2 could pretty much clone WoW and they'd still buy it. But gamers deserve better. Do we really want to spend the rest of our lives playing ever shinier versions of the same hunter class we could play in the 90's? I don't.

Guild Wars 2 use the world 'evolve' a great deal in their description of the ranger class, providing a rich source of bitter irony for those of us who note that evolve is the one thing they've utterly failed to do.

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Comments 5 comments

My SciFi Life profile image

My SciFi Life 6 years ago from London, UK

hmmm ... while i have to agree with your analysis about the difference between the hunter class from wow and the guild wars ranger ... i'm not too sure if that is necessarily the main appeal to guild wars. i think the fact that you pay a one-time fee to purchase the software/licence and then do not have to pay any monthly fee is the main draw for this game and if they maintain this model it will continue to do well.

Jim 6 years ago

Did you not play guild wars? Don't you think it is also similar to that...? I sure do :)

Hope Alexander profile image

Hope Alexander 6 years ago Author

My SciFi Life, I agree that a big draw of Guild Wars, and Guild Wars 2 is the fact that there is no monthly fee. However I think Guild Wars 2 could do better in creating a unique game rather than blatantly ripping off an existing one.

Jim, yes, you are quite right, Guild Wars is similar, (it's a common gripe amongst gamers that MMORPGS are all similar) but there is a difference between similar and precisely the same :)

ratchet 6 years ago

I would have to disagree with this article.

Guild Wars, the game Guild Wars 2 is based on, had rangers in it. Arenanet are not trying to pawn this fact off as fresh or original; there have been rangers in the Guild Wars universe for 6 years and they look a lot like this one. it would be a sad sad day when a development team boasted "original classes" as a selling point. additionally, i think you'll find the concept of a 'ranger' predates video games, let alone WoW.

for a game which hasn't been released yet, you really are quick to judge what is and isn't an "utter failure", especially considering your comparison between the two classes isnt a very good one. the bottom line is, both the original Guild Wars and World of Warcraft were created in the same time frame and, while it would be great fun to pretend that WoW is the J.R.R Tolkien of MMORPG's, i think you'll find that the disillusionment is yours to lose.

food for thought...

Hope Alexander profile image

Hope Alexander 6 years ago Author

Ratchet, I didn't say WoW was the Tolkein of MMORPGS and I am well aware that Rangers existed in Guild Wars prior to WoW. (I own Guild Wars and have played WoW as well.) All these fantasy MMORPGS work with the same basic archetypes, which is fine. What is not fine, is outright lifting a class almost point for point from another game.

If you read the article, what I said is that the proposed Ranger in GW2 is a rip-off of the WoW Hunter.

Ranged classes are not unique to Guild Wars or WoW, but at the very least, the WoW implementation had some unique aspects, all of which were shamelessly copied in the release for GW2.

That's the point here. It's the sole point of the article, the point, which has sadly quite obviously been missed.

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