Bear in mind that these are not hard rules to follow, but rather a more general thing to be conscious of while getting a feel for which combat style – melee vs. ranged – you prefer the most. Rangers are also capable of providing plenty of group support through traps and spirits, and excel in World vs. World, PvE, and structured PvP equally unlike many other professions.
Before moving on to other aspects of the ranger profession, I would also note that they tend to be one of the less complex professions to play and eventually master. As such, they can be an excellent choice for both traditional MMO gamers, as well as those a bit newer to MMO combat mechanics.
Unlike the necromancer which deviates from its traditional RPG archetype in some significant ways, the ranger in Guild Wars 2 neatly incorporates many of the hallmarks of a more traditional ranger. More so than any other profession, the ranger is in tune with nature, and able to summon temporary Spirits that augment their allies’ combat effectiveness, a variety of animal companions, and even set a variety of traps to hinder and damage their foes. We’ll take a closer look at each of these core aspects of the ranger below.
In terms of combat roles, the ranger excels in two important areas: direct damage output, and group support.
For damage output, the ranger uses a fair amount of direct damage skills that can be further augmented by plenty of Condition based attacks. Your choice of focusing on melee or ranged combat will largely help decide which Attributes will be the most vital for your overall build. For example, the necro benefits most from increasing Condition Damage, while the mesmer tends to focus a bit more on increasing the Power attribute. For the ranger, the choice isn’t quite so cut and dried.