Is the ranger less squishy than the thief

I main a guardian. I have a level 62 thief and 80 Mesmer. The Mesmer has lost its appeal and the thief is just too squishy. I love my guardian, but I want variety.
I am interested in ranger, but here are my questions:
1. What role does the ranger fulfill best for tPvP, WvW, fractals?
2. What advantage does the melee ranger have over the thief and Mesmer?
3. Is the ranger less squishy than the thief?
4. Has the community’s perspective of the ranger improved since the feature patch?
5. Has any of the new GM traits allowed for newer effective builds?
To be honest, I am mostly interested in a melee ranger that doesn’t rely on the pet too much that does decent dps and has plenty of condi removals. Any suggestions?

1. tPvP: Rangers are quite solid in all aspects of PvP, however it takes quite some practice to define your own here. Typically rangers can be built for point holding at home or far, or as support-roamers between home-mid or mid-far. Most of these builds are ideally condition damage based such as trapper, bunker survival, or spirits, it all depends on you and your preferred approach.

WvW: there are a few roles rangers can contribute to here. #1 most popular among players is ranged support, which works quite well in large zerg battles as you can pick + choose kills and not lose to DPS via piercing arrows, you can sit next to kill shot warriors, mark a target and initiate killing spree. Roaming is essentially where rangers are best suited, due to their wide range of abilities, but do expect it to be as challenging or even more challenging than PvP. Needless to say, in WvW you better know what you’re doing as a ranger.

Fractals: as a ranger I have not found them to be much of a problem. The best application rangers have is that they are typically the last person to go down. You can build like a bunker via healing shouts + spirit support and be a great boon for your group, while dealing strong damage via conditions. Remember the key is to know your fractals and play them well.

2. Melee is a bad way to approach thieves or mesmers, the best way to fight thieves and mesmers as a ranger is to build for mid range domination. The advantage is called survival + constant pressure via the combination two sources of damage (you and your pet). Needless to say, in order to be feared as a ranger by thieves and mesmers, your skill must be high, the combat mechanic of dodging, condition clearing, pet pressure, condition pressure, consistent regeneration and the rotation of all these elements is complex to say the least, but viable.

3. It all depends on the build, but I don’t think anything can get squishier than a full glass thief. Rangers however can be traited to be the toughest mid-armor profession in game. I can go 1 on 1 against guardians and warriors in terms of toughness, however our skills serve a different purpose so do not expect to feel immortal either, you will die if you’re careless… unlike a thief who will die regardless of how tough they build themselves as long as they do not use stealth mechanics.

4. I think it has, but not entirely, more so that it has changed. Rangers are widely more accepted but they are still regarded below all other professions. You will quite occasionally find people who do not want to know about rangers and those are the ones who have not adapted to the changes or do not trust them. I personally like to demonstrate ranger progress via my ranger actions rather than words, and I recommend you do the same.

5. Very much so, I can’t go into detail here since it would take up a lot of time to write about them, message me in game and we can go over them in pvp.

I highly recommend that you try out all the possibilities in pvp before settling into your current ‘idea’ of what you want your ranger to be. Rangers still have the highest skill cap in terms of mastering the profession, to some people it comes naturally but to most it does not. If you’re still thinking on that melee ranger look into builds involving ‘Survival of the Fittest’ and go from there.