I need some advice or tips relating to primarily close combat vs ranged classes as every time i have tried i feel melee just simply cant do the damage output compared to a ranged class due to it cant hit as many targets.
There are advantages and disadvantages for both. If AoE is what you are looking for then you should look at magic types esp Wiz, namely Pyromancer/Elementalist/Taoist. But in this game, both physical melee and ranged all have decent AoE capabilities plus bossing power.
The top builds for example.
Cleric - inqui/zealot/krivis
Scout - BM/assassin/clown
Swordie - Fencer/barb/matador
Archer - arbalester/wugushi/ranger or quarrel shooter
All of them have decent AoE