I am not interested in melee buffs e.g. CLW, there have been many discussions about that, but about offensive ranged touch spells. Let's say that using the Reach Spell metamagic, you increase the range of Scorching Ray from close to medium, are you still required to make a ranged touch attack?
Reach Spell (Metamagic)
Your spells go farther than normal.
Benefit: You can alter a spell with a range of touch, close, or medium to increase its range to a higher range category, using the following order: touch, close, medium, and long.
Level Increase: Special. A reach spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell’s actual level for each increase in range category. For example, a spell with a range of touch increased to long range uses up a spell slot three levels higher.
Spells modified by this feat that require melee touch attacks instead require ranged touch attacks.
Spells that do not have a range of touch, close, or medium do not benefit from this feat.
School evocation [fire]; Level adept 2, arcanist 2, bloodrager 2, magus 2, sorcerer 2, wizard 2
Casting: Casting Time 1 standard action
Components: V, S
Range: close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: one or more rays
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance: yes
You blast your enemies with a searing beam of fire. You may fire one ray, plus one additional ray for every four levels beyond 3rd (to a maximum of three rays at 11th level). Each ray requires a ranged touch attack to hit and deals 4d6 points of fire damage. The rays may be fired at the same or different targets, but all rays must be aimed at targets within 30 feet of each other and fired simultaneously.
The feat says that you increase the range to a higher category, scorching ray is close so it becomes medium, but it never says that you don't need to make a touch attack anymore. On the other hand it explicitly spells out that the order is touch, close, medium, and long which could imply that you don't need to make a touch attach anymore if you increase the range, but scorching ray range is already "close" (as all ranged touch spells afaik). The fact that it specifically calls out that a melee touch becomes a range touch seems to support that you don't need an attack anymore if I go from range touch to medium.
So if I cast scorching ray with reach metamagic feat as a +1 spell slot, does
1. it becomes a medium range spell but range touch attacks are still required for each ray as per the spell description?
2. it becomes a medium range spell which does not require a range touch attack anymore, each ray hits automatically?
Sorry if that's obvious, many people seem to assume #2 from what I read, but I can't really find anything that support that when I read the feat and the spell descriptions.
Sure, but what I'm interested at is if you still need to do an attack roll or not.
Being a ranged touch spell is part of the description, not the range. The description didn’t change, just the range, so the spell is still a ranged touch attack.
Being a “melee” touch spell is from having a range of touch and not because of the description. That’s why the “melee” touch spells needed special text to become ranged touch spells, but the ranged spells didn’t need to change.
The intent should also be obvious, as removing the attack roll, by itself, should be more expensive than one spell level. That would be a very powerful option, worth at least +2 if not +3.