In the category of “class features that Syp likes,” you can make sure to include being a ranged damage-dealer. While I’ve done the magical variant, I’ve grown to prefer classes that use straight-up ranged weapons: bows, crossbows, guns, rifles, bee cannons, etc.
In part it’s because I like to have a full view of the action instead of jamming my screen up against mobs and particle effects. In part it’s because there’s a certain joy in being able to whittle down — or kill — a mob before it can reach me. And certainly in part it’s because most of these skills tend to be instant use instead of requiring a cast bar.
Probably the fact that these classes tend to be somewhat popular is the only thing that keeps me from playing them more regularly than I already do. I barely touched the Hunter in LOTRO because Hunters were carpeting the land with their Elfin corpses. But perhaps it depends on the game: In FFXIV, I find myself continuing to drift back to the Bard.
Sure, like others I’m a little let down that this game’s Bard doesn’t have as useful songs that require a lot of use than in other games, but at least there’s a little utility on top of doing some fun DPS from afar. I’ve actually got my sights set on the Mechanist, but that’s not going to happen for a while since the studio decided to lock it behind a quest that’s far in my future.
In Neverwinter I’ve been flirting with a Hunter Ranger — she has neat animations and so far can put out some serious hurt on mobs without getting touched. Maybe it’s a lazy thing? I like making the mobs run up to me instead of the other way around. In real life my characters would have horrible cardio.
I loved my Hunter in WoW, especially in the Wrath era when she had a big ol’ gun that poured out the heat. In WildStar, I enjoyed my Engineer’s range, although like most shotgun-type classes, it wasn’t as far out as I would’ve preferred. And in SWTOR I definitely thought that my Agent’s blaster rifle was much preferred to beating things to death with rave sticks.
It’s just a shame that it has to be “bow and arrow” most of the time, especially in fantasy games. Bows aren’t bad… I guess, but almost every other option is far more cool.