It's a lot more fragile and tends to fold up and die against anything that gets in melee, because none of its abilities work in melee. It looks like maybe they intended for you to kite with it -- a lot of its attacks give you bonuses to your run speed? But that's not actually viable because:
(1) The bonuses are tiny -- 5%? Any pause and the enemies would be on you in a second even if... I'll get to that later.
(2) All the marksman abilities HAVE A CAST TIME. You have to STAND STILL while using them. So the runspeed is really, really, REALLY useless because you can't actually attempt to use it.
(3) Enemies that chase you get a speed bonus equal to your speed, as a global game mechanic. It is *literally impossible* to run away from enemies in RIFT no matter what you do. Many of them also snare you, but it really doesn't matter because of the 'ha ha you're fucked' code that lets them catch you even if you aren't snared and have all kinds of speed boosts from bard songs and marksman powers and even a mount.
Oh, and you also get 'pedestals' that require you stand still to use them as part of the MM tree, so WTF trion?
OTOH going /ranger gives you a pet that effectively taunts one enemy off you at a time, and you can step back 3 feet and use your attacks while they focus on your pet. So that's what makes MM sort of work -- mandatory ranger subclass.
Bards on the other hand just kill things and if they run up to melee? You keep killing them. With your channeled abilities that are immune to pushback and heal you for 100% of the damage you do. Yeah.
But let's go back to the 'it's impossible to run away' thing, because that fucks over more than just marksmen. It fucks over EVERYONE, especially if you want to help out with the rifts. Why? Because you have to travel to get to the rifts, and you can't travel. Because every gray trash mob will latch onto you like a limpet until you stop and kill it, and most of them will snare you and dismount you so that even if you can ignore their damage, you can't get anywhere until they're dead.
What's that? Use the roads? HA HA so sorry the roads are full of invasion mobs that just kill you in three seconds. So sorry, try again.
Rifts and invasions come in two flavors:
(1) overpopulated; you'll struggle to get a shot off at an enemy because each enemy has a full raid group worth of players on it.
(2) underpopulated, and you die (remember, it's impossible to run away), and have to run back from the other side of the zone at walking speed because dead people don't get mounts. At least there aren't any spiritual trash mobs to attack you and snare you while you're doing your corpse run... oh crap, I hope no one from Trion reads this and gets ideas. o.o;
... somehow, I still like the game though. I don't think I could tell you why. v.v It seriously needs some quality of life improvements, though.