A lot of posts here assume that str classes have more survivability. IMO this is simply false, at least if you compare with 2h, which seems to be the main argument. It's true that str armor has higher ratings, however it does not make a huge difference, at least early on. At the same time, dex improves your defence rating which helps against the same attacks that are affected by armor. Weather the Storm seems to be nerfed in the latest patch, but even before the nerf it was mostly only good up to the point where you can start to abuse crafting. Afterwards its superficial. Picture of health is also superficial unless you're playing a non LW glass cannon. Dex classes also have access to one of the best survivability/cc tools in the game - charm. With charming touch and rapture you can create your own small army which will absorb most of the damage for you and this is available quite early and doesn't require good gear. In terms of direct shielding skills, both dex and str classes have zero.
As for damage per ap should be easy enough to do with lvl 20 common gear as a reference (since bonuses are percentage based it will scale accorgingly. I'm listing only physical damage):
lvl 20 Tenebrium scythe: 154-307 -> 230.5 avg / 4 ap -> 57.625 damage per ap
lvl 20 Tenebrium dagger: 74-124 -> 99 avg / 2 ap -> 49.5 damage per ap
lvl 20 Tenebrium bow: 95-164 -> 129.5 avg / 3 ap (quickdraw) -> 43.166 damage per ap
lvl 20 Tenebrium axe(1h): 101-202 -> 151.5 average / 3 ap -> 50.5 damage per ap
As you can see 2h indeed has the most damage (and ranged the least), however the difference is not that huge and with backstab daggers will easily outperform 2h. 1h str axe that I added here just for reference is also not that much weaker than 2h, so 1h is very viable. I think a big part of the damage discrepancy comes form the fact that most rogue builds do not have rage, which gives 50% extra damage. But rage is very easy to get with any char, as you easily can get 10 STR without spending a single attribute point. Rangers get the short end of the stick here, since rage only works with melee weapon equipped. You might get away with equipment swaps, but that costs AP. Guerilla is much easier to abuse on a ranged char though and rangers tend to have high crit chances due to high perception. You would also want soulsap and nullify to improve your damage if that's your goal, but you can get that on the other chars. A rogue would be able to actually get nullify or soulsap himself since he doesn't need perception and thus has more stat points to spend elsewhere.
Personally I finished the game with a ranger + battlemage party and it went like this:
-Early on the mage pretty much carried all the fights solo due to horrible piercing damage vs undead.
-Then I figured out charm abilitties (touch first, then rapture), making my ranger better at cc than my mage.
-In the midgame ranger damage started to actually get desent-ish, when I lined up Guerilla + Glass Cannon + Bully + Quickdraw combo and an ok bow.
-In the endgame my mage was pretty much maxed out both for melee and magic damage (usually able to kill everything with earthquake + meteor storm), however in terms of single target damage the two were actually pretty close. Guerilla is much easier to use on an archer and my ranger also had ~50% crit chance, the only major drawback was not having rage. Silver arrows are also a great way of improving weapon damage since in the lategame on most mobs at least half of it is absorbed by armor. Rangers do lack good aoe though.
Last edited by MadDemiurg; 19/08/14 12:52 AM.