Many people are eager to get to get to Cool Ranch A.S.A.P, little do they realize it's a very difficult world to beat. I have notice many complaints on how CR is difficult , irritating and annoying. However, CR would be a lot easier if you just follow these few simple tips on this guide I wrote on: "A Guide On How To Survive Cool Ranch"
1) Side Quests: Side Quests aren't some quests that are meant to be annoying, they're meant to help you. Before you go to Cool Ranch finish each side quest in Skull Island, Monquista and Valencia. All the side quests you do in Skull Island and Monquista will be vaguely easy, due to you being a higher level. You should finish them in no time. Also by finishing all the side quests you should be able to receive, companion training points. By finishing all the side quest you should be able to get to CR at about level 19.
2) Nautical Level: Once you go into Cool Ranch you would see, that Nautical plays a big role. One point or another you'll have to encounter ship battling which may be annoying. As you go into CR the ship battles will be hard and irritating. In order to zip past these battles in no time, you may want to go back to a world where you're about there nautical level. If you fight these ships and are using a CR ship it would be easier. If you fight ships that are around your nautical level you could at least get a good amount of nautical XP. By the time you get back to CR battling these ships would be as easy as pie.
3) Companions: Companions are helpful during battles. You should always keep your companions within 2-5 levels away from you. In order to keep them within your level range target you should look for side quests that give you a good amount of companion training points. The most training points you could easily gain from a side quest would be about 3. By the time you reach CR you should have Bonnie Anne, Subodai, Kobe Yojimbo, Egg Shen, Wing Chun, Kan Po, Ensign Emmett, Sarah Steele, Barabus, Louis Le Bisque and Mormo promoted.
I hope this guide helps you survive Cool Ranch, this took me a really long time to write.
Another reason why Cool Ranch seems more difficult is because 80% of everything you fight seem to be shooters.
Shooters in this game, even regular non-boss mobs have very high accuracy, and rarely miss. There is a good chance that perhaps classes other than witchdoctor don't have resistance to counter these attacks.
So, in other words, you get hit harder, more often, and you block/dodge much less, and resist much less.
For those that are having a harder time fighting all them shooters, it might be a good idea to buy resistance equipment, that give you a lot of resistance.
And yes, most importantly, it would be a very wise idea to keep your companions trained, although unless they are all privateer classes, or have them trained in resistance, they will get hit harder as well, more often, and would block/dodge much less. That just means that an extra level or so definitely won't hurt.