Still yet, this post is a few weeks late from when it's events actually occurred...getting close to being current. B^]
As I noted in my first 4e D&D experience (a bunch of folks probably already know this but I am just now learning), the theory of "to hit" (or "Attack Bonus") being a focus point in 4e is something that other players (vets, included) have advised me of. It was something that I could see a lack of with that 1st level Dwarf Fighter, but I blame that more on the sucky dice rolls. I wonder if I mistakenly grabbed one of my old 0-9 (twice) d20s. I really don't seem to recall rolling anything above a 9. Hhmmnn.... Sadly, that was not the case. I guess my forgot to keep my pimp-hand... err... dice-hand strong that night.
Regardless, I also noticed the new weakened "to-hit", bonus-wise, when making a higher level character. I mean look at the Weapon Focus feat, for example. I was used to it enhancing my + to hit (limited 3.5 experience, mainly via D&D Online), but in 4e it enhances your + to damage. Same with some other gear, and such. I could be wrong, but that's how it looks to me, and that's how others who play a few times per week for the past 6 months see it.
his basic ranged Attack Bonus ("to-hit"): 1/2 level = 4 ability (20dex) = +5 no + for Ranger as a class Prof (a GreatBow is a +2 prof weap) = +2 no + for any feats Enhancment (magical weapon: +2 Vicious Greatbow) = +2 no Misc +
So hit Basic Ranged Attack bonus at 8th level = +13
Honestly, that's not as high as I (a 4e newb) was expecting. Obviously one should try not be too quick to judge these things vs previous versions without looking at the other aspects of the characters abilities and the game features/rules. So, I will hold some judgment here on trying to directly compare this to OD&D or 3.5 D&D or anything in between. It's just weird when you are used to a certain named feature doing one thing, and then a new rev changes that feature, yet keeps the same name. /shrug
The cool thing, however, is the potential damage on some of these attacks that this Ranger has. Some cool attacks/powers that he (hopefully) will use are 2 attacks (2 arrows) per use (Two-Fanged Strike, Twin Strike, Split the Tree, etc).
This GreatBow, although it took a proficiency feat to use (Exotic weapons are now called "Superior"), is a 1d12 bow. Yikes! Plus it's Vicious. Double yikes!!
Anyway, I would love to go on and on, cuz this stuff gets me all giddy, but I am such a newb still with 4e, that I need the books in front of me to reference in order to not totally hose up anything else I'm blabbering about.
I will say that the "Adventurer's Vault" and the "Martial Power" books are very cool, and I highly recommend them. Again, this is with a whopping one whole play session and one whole planning session under my belt....hahah...so take it as you wish.
Still, real play experience aside: I like books. Books are cool. These two books are neat. I buy books. I am a book dork. ;>]