Poison scaling for ranger is too binary


Hey, I noticed that Ranger’s poison passive is, uh, scaled cubic. It takes about 7 or 8 levels to get a 10% DPS increase, but below that, it’s negligible.

Chance * Duration * DPS = average poison DPS. (This could be lessened if the duration exceeds the time to reach the end, but smart targeting can easily avoid this)

Cubic scaling that’s balanced at the high end ends up being a pitiful one-point skill. Compare with the dragon’s poison - a single skill gets ~50% damage for investing a single point, and an additional 6% base damage per skill point. This is completely linear, but fairly balanced.

The ranger should maybe start with one or two poison stats maxed at skill level 1, and the others should stay in the current state or start somewhere in the middle. The question is whether it should be a strong effect that doesn’t happen often, or a weaker effect that’s more consistent. I’d rather start with the chance higher, like 5 or 10%, keep the duration at 10, and maybe let just the damage per second scale up. I’m not sure that it needs a buff at higher levels, but it is basically a trap if you give it anything less than 100% at the moment.

(Bleeding is more complicated because in theory you could max Bleeding and make that character play a support role. Similar principles may apply, but the case for buffing lower levels of Poison appears stronger to me.)

(Also, I’m not sure if critical strikes affect the poison damage for that strike in the event where both effects trigger)


Yeah, ranger poison is roughly 12x as good at level 9 as at level 1, so unless it’s leveled pretty much all the way, it’s a bit useless. But, that fact is tempered by another fact: ranger poison is still mostly useless fully leveled even when using the poison buff weapon!

Personally, I don’t have a problem with the strong scaling of ranger poison - it forces you into a poison build if you want to use poison. What fun is being able to be a jack-of-all-trades? You can have up to six rangers, so having one poison specialist (after all, there’s just one poison buff weapon) is entirely feasible. From this perspective, poison scaling being “binary” as you call it is actually good design. But, I think it should be significantly more powerful.


Having that 1 ranger with a poison spec, set to target strong (both to spread the poison love, and to ensure that she’s targetting enemies that have the time to take poison damage, feels pretty effective. I am fairly sure that her DPS is significantly higher than a “standard” damage-built archer at any level that you can be by the time you can even GET the poison spec weapon.