Newbie gun/ranged weapon questions

So the ranged weapons are fine for end game builds and leveling?

Thank you for the link. I completely forgot about the game guide.

Well, no.
In general, melee and caster builds have better performance than ranged ones. This doesnt mean ranged are not viable, and there are some decent ranged builds, that can beat endgame.

Depends on build, really. If you use Primal Strike or Fire Strike and max them early - then yes, those are really awesome for leveling. If you dont - well, your rangedleveling wont have spectacular performance.

Ranged and melee weapons mostly work in the same way.

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Can someone explain/elaborate on why ranged builds have lower performance? Can someone explain/described the gap between melee/caster builds and ranged builds?

If melee and ranged weapons are the same with exception of the attacks counting as projectiles with ranged weapons, it seems odd for ranged weapons/builds to under perform.

I believe it’s about design intent compared to actual gameplay. Logically, ranged gameplay should be easier than melee because you’re further away from the enemies, so it makes sense for ranged items to be weaker than melee which has to be in the monster’s face.
However, enemies rush you and so if you want to stay ranged you have to move away. But time spent moving is time not attacking and so you’re losing out compared to a melee build that doesn’t have to run or a caster that can move between casts while skills are on cooldown.

This isn’t to say that there’s no ranged options out there. But most of them end up being essentially casters or melee anyway. If you’re firing your guns 1cm from the enemies face, you’re a melee class.

Assuming a naked char at level 100 in Ultimate, no points spent/allocated (skills, devotions, attributes) is auto-attacking the target dummies in the starting town. Would a 2h rifle and a 2h sword/axe/mace with the same DPS and attack speed yield same DPS and damage numbers, would the differ but be close, or would there be a large gap in performance? I’m going to assume that the weapons are white or yellow and only have physical damage on them. Would the same apply for DW melee weapons vs. DW pistols? Would the same apply for single wield melee weapons and single wield pistols?

Your reply hits the nail-head of my confusion. In almost every ARPG, RPG, MMO game there are ranged projectile like attacks of some kind (ex: spell projectile with travel time/velocity, or physical object projectile). However, the games typically include gap closing abilities and other mobility spells. This bring some semblance of balance between melee and ranged opponents, and presents challenges for both parties. However, if gap closing negates range positioning, thus putting ranged attacks at melee range then shouldn’t range be close or equal to melee attacks? It seems like there should not be a huge disparity between melee and ranged weapons/builds.

They are mechanically the same, apart from their attacks counting as projectile attack afaik

Stat wise they can change of course. In particular, range weapons are often faster, but hit less hard. The situation is the same in almost all RPG

Is this actually the case? Because I look at the values in GrimTools and if the numbers are compared ranged weapons aren’t faster but they certainly hit less hard.
The below is a comparison of all the white level 94 2H ranged weapons. Ranged Legendaries seem, if anything, to be even worse compared to their melee counterparts.

Type Damage min Damage max Average (mean) Fire rate DPS
2H Ranged 106 419 262.5 1.52 399
2H Ranged 161 337 249 1.5 373.5
2H Mace 111 797 454 1.45 658.3
2H Axe 209 638 423.5 1.48 626.78
2H Sword 255 475 365 1.5 547.5

2H ranged 1.5 to 1.52
2H melee 1.45 to 1.5

ranged faster than melee

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That’s…true, yes. But to have equivalent damage DPS they’d need fire rates of 2.2 - 2.5

I did not claim that they have similar dps in the first place…

For sure, I’m certainly not saying that.

But if they were equally balanced by a faster fire rate and less damage, that would be the case.
So if I purely look at those numbers and ignore everything else, then ranged is weaker than melee.

Yes, but mechanically they are the same apart from stats and that attacks from guns counts as projectiles.

When I did my first reply in this thread, I was answering Q3:

You’re right. A comparison of sheet numbers doesn’t answer that.

But ghoultek also wanted to know (I assume) why the build meta doesn’t currently favour ranged. And I think this is at least partly why. The benefits ranged builds give you over casters and melee don’t outweigh the losses in most cases.

This isn’t to say that ranged builds are bad!
There are plenty of ranged builds that will complete anything except super high shards. If that’s the playstyle you want @ghoultek there are a ton of options out there.

I was trying to understand why the game is slanted in favor of melee/caster and understand the performance gap between ranged vs. melee/caster weapons/builds. Beyond the damage output difference, what advantages do melee and caster builds have over ranged builds?

Also, the game seems to have loads of monster attacks that are AoE and location based, forcing melee to face tank for some amount of time and then run or reposition. Even with Inquisitor seal there are AoE/location attacks that can make abandoning the seal necessary. This makes having a large disparity between melee/caster and ranged seem odd. All 3 build types are forced into repositioning at times. Pure melee I think has the hardest challenge since it would do no damage without being up close. While range has auto-attack and casters will have some spell(s) that can be cast from a distance.

I also have a mid 40’s Sorceress (DW Pistol Fire Strike) that I’m not sure if I want to try to salvage her or start fresh with a different class combination such as Purifier. 2H ranged Fire Strike might be an attractive option as well.

Also, is there a comparison/analysis between Fire Strike, Primal Strike, Savagery, Bursting Round, Chilling Rounds, and Storm Spread for single pistol, DW pistols, and 2h ranged weapons. From a visual perspective skills like Fire Strike, Primal Strike, and Savagery have a higher damage potential given the amount of modifiers.

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The trick is to make that period of time longer than the enemy can survive for. This is done by increasing defense (Defensive Ability. Armor, Resistances, Damage Absorption, Shields) and healing (Health Regen, Health Restore, Attack Damage Converted to Health) to the point you can overcome incoming damage.
It’s easier to reach this target with melee than ranged. And it should be.
The less time you spend moving the more time you can spend attacking, and once you hit the point you no longer need to re-position you then have 100% damage uptime.

This guide I think:

The end paragraphs are the most important though.

"DAR (default attack replacers) and WPS (weapon proc skills) stack with each other when a WPS procs from a DAR, possibly leading to really heavy hits. Flat damage are added and %Weapon Damage are multiplied.

For instance : Execution does 265% Weapon Damage on 8/8. Belgothian Strikes as indicated above does 155% Weapon Damage at 100% charge and can go to 115% charge. If Execution procs from Belgothian Strikes while it’s fully charged it will deal 2.65 1.55 1.15 = 4.72 or 472% Weapon Damage, almost 5 times a basic attack and that’s without any added %Weapon Damage from gear. Some builds can go as high as 842% Weapon Damage when the correct WPS procs from Savagery. Imagine a critical strike on top of this and we’re looking at stupidly high damage output."

the reason why ranged weapon are below melee/caster in performance might be caused by their overall slightly lower base weapon damage compared to melees (while caster damage depend on spells mostly).

also, ranged weapon generally has high pierce conversion (swords have high pierce conversion too, but with better base weapon damage), which makes it hard to optimise pure physical/pierce/magical damage ranged build. unless you got enough rare items that has fully pure stat bonus toward what damage you want. that’s why i think ranged damage is worse in early and middle part of the game, since it greatly depends on your weapon damage and need many +damage bonus to boost it. ranged damage on end tier can compete with melee and caster though.

another part to take into the equation, is that ranged projectiles need time to fly and hit the target (this can also miss frequently if the target is small and fast). while melees can just run to target and hit it with few misses. and casters just point and click at target (projectile spells suffer the same penalty with ranged weapon though) or hover their aoe and place it on enemies.

Good stuff. I’m doing more reading than playing.


Melee weapons have much higher variety of skills they can be used with. Many of those have AoE, nice damage, etc.
Obviously, if you cant use some strong skill with ranged weapon, you’ll be weaker.

Ranged weapons also have lower base damage, but it doesnt make much difference, especially for 1-h weapons.

When I posted…

…I was wondering if there was a performance analysis/comparison between the skills listed above and the ranged weapon types, like if:

  • a given class combo using one of the skills will produce a higher damage performance for a specific element (ex: Sorcerer with pistol + caster off-hand and/or dw pistols equals highest fire based Fire Strike ranged build)
  • a given class combo will have a stronger 2h ranged damage output given a specific element than another class combo (ex: Elementalist with 2h rifle using Primal Strike equals stronger lightning based build vs. a Druid based lightning Primal Strike build)
  • given a specific damage element and class combo damage performance compared between 2 skills (ex: Elementalist lightning Primal Strike vs. lightning Fire Strike)
  • skill X has good performance while leveling but lower damage output at the end game than skill Y given available equipment in the game (ex: drops, crafts, rep. gear) and current game mechanics/devotions
  • certain build options such as damage element X can only be done with class combo A (ex: cold based 1h and/or DW pistol ranged build with Chilling Rounds)
  • certain ranged builds can only be done with very specific equipment (ex: items and/or a set that provides element conversion such as all lightning to aether given specific skills such as Primal Strike and Storm Spread)

Any ranged weapon works just as melee… with range.

That being said, USUALY they are weaker, given the range “advantage”. Now, due to the game mechanic of attacking standing instead of a proper running shots, that so called “advantage” disappear, becasue melee mobs will charge at you while you stand, and ranged monsters will hit you anyways.

There is an exception to this tho: Summoner builds. If you are able to summon strong(aka, durable) melee minions on your own, then you can make a very effective use of ranged attacks, because your minions will get the aggro and keep monsters at bay while you keep shooting.

The true effectiveness of ranged combat woulded been seen in multiplayer if the game were balanced around it, were heavy melee/retaliation builds would keep aggroing, while you would be doing the dps. Thats, for better or for worse, not the case.

If Crate adds the function to move and attack at the same time, then the difference would be much easier to appreaciate, and ranged would have a proper mechanic on its own to compete with melee. As it is right now, is not that as good as melee.