Author Topic: Tier System For Classes (Repost)  (Read 451918 times)

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lans

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #200 on: December 31, 2009, 02:53:15 AM »
On the Wu Jen, I honestly haven't reviewed their list enough to say for sure whether they're T2 or 3.  They don't have enough options to be T1, so it's just a question of whether a DM would have to seriously alter a campaign (either in rules, agreements, or plot) to keep them from blowing things out a bit, or not.

JaronK
I'll make a list of important spells that Wu Jen have of each level, and a list of important spells that they seem to be missing off of a core wizards list, if I miss anything feel free to point out what I missed.

Level 1 Disquise self, Charm Person, Animate Rope, Protection from Good/Etc, Shield, Scales of the Lizard, Secret Signs, Comprehend Languages, Sleep, Summon Monster 1-IX, Ventrilquism, Silent Image.
Missing Spells Color Spray, Cause Fear, Ray of Enfeeblement.
Level 2 Alterself, Invisibility, Fog Cloud, Protection From Arrows, See Invisibility, Rope Trick, Detect Thoughts, Misdirection, Knock, Arcane Lock
Missing- Spells Glitter Dust, Summon Swarm, Web, Command Undead, Specteral Hand
Level 3 Greater Magic Weapon, Keen Edge, Water Breathing, Stinking Cloud, Gaseous Form, Dispel Magic, Haste, Remove Curse , Suggestion, Tongues
Missing -Spells Explosive Runes, Ray of Exhaustion, Vampiric Touch, Wind Wall, Clairvouyance.
Level 4 Solid Fog, Ice Storm, Scrying, Dimension Door, Polymorph, Greater Invisibility, Animate Dead, Dismissal, Charm Monster, Locate Creature, Minor Creation
Missing- Shadow Conjuration, Arcane Eye, Hallucinatory Terrain, Black Tentacles, Secure Shelter, Dimensional Anchor
Level 5- Fabricate, Dominate Person, Baleful Polymorph, Telekinesis, Summon  Wind, Passwall,  Wall of Force, Major Creation, Teleport
Missing- False Vision, Magic jar, contact other plane, Transmute Rock to Mud
Level 6 Flesh to Stone, Control Weather, Control Water, Speak with Dead ,Spirit Binding, Move Earth, True Seeing, Veil.
Missing -Guards and Wards, Analyze Dweomer, Legend lore, Mislead, Circle of Death.
Level 7 Scrying, Greater, Body Outside of Body, Energy Immunity, limited wish, Reanimation, Power Word Blind, Ethereal Jaunt.
Missing- Simulcrum, G Shad. Conjuration, Reverse Gravity, Project Image, Forcecage, Mage's Mansion
Level 8 MindBlank Polymorph any Object, Find the center, Whirlwind, Sympathy-This is a pretty dud spell level
Missing Dimensional, Maze, Trap the Soul, Moment of Prescience, Screen, Charm Monster Mass, Clone
Level 9- Astral Projection, Freedom, Dominate Monster, Shape Change, Gate, Timestop,
 Mssing-Missing Disjuction, Refuge, Foresight, Shades, Weird, Wail of the Banshee.


Wu Jen is Missing more than I want it to be, and while it can Scry and Die, it can't defend itself from it like the wizard can, its lacking in Necromancy, Divination, and area illusions outside of the silent-persistant image line, nightime base spells, and outsider removal.  Missing Explosive Runes on the broken spell front. I have to say tier 2, it can't play rocket tag like the wizard can. It still gets enough breadth of spells that it isn't going to fall much behind a core sorcerer.

As for adding spells to its spell list the Spell Compendium says "Add spells with element (except air), wood, and metal themes." pg 4.

One issue I have is that soulborns may have a good level of versitility, so they might be tier 4. I just discount them heavily due to the other incarnum classes.
Um what? I love the totemist... but I feel no love for the soulborns. It's like a wimpy pally
The other incarnum classes blow soulborn out of the water. If your going to test out a new system your not going to play a class that barely touches that system is what I meant. But I'm going to take a close look at soulborn and see what it can do.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 02:56:20 AM by lans »
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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #201 on: December 31, 2009, 04:01:14 AM »
There are some good soulborn soulmelds, but they don't have enough soulmeld or essentia progression to really do anything with it

deuxhero

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #202 on: December 31, 2009, 04:23:48 AM »
So for WSMR tier 1 for 2-10 (you are a druid with wizard spells and one less fighter, though your remaining one is better) and low tier 2 for 10-20 with SoTAA (You can still play god, just a less powerful god) and higher tier 3 without SoTAA?

High Tier 2/Low Tier 1 with Touchstone tech, as if you're willing to devote the feats to it, you can get 9th level slots and fill them with Wizard spells.  You won't be an Incantatrix by any means, but you can hide in plain sight while dropping 9th level arcanes.

Touchstone tech?

KellKheraptis

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #203 on: December 31, 2009, 04:55:03 AM »
So for WSMR tier 1 for 2-10 (you are a druid with wizard spells and one less fighter, though your remaining one is better) and low tier 2 for 10-20 with SoTAA (You can still play god, just a less powerful god) and higher tier 3 without SoTAA?

High Tier 2/Low Tier 1 with Touchstone tech, as if you're willing to devote the feats to it, you can get 9th level slots and fill them with Wizard spells.  You won't be an Incantatrix by any means, but you can hide in plain sight while dropping 9th level arcanes.

Touchstone tech?

Feat : Planar Touchstone (Catalogues of Enlightenment).  Pick up a miracle from Luck domain.  Sanctum Spell allows this to count as a 10th level spell, meaning you then take Extra Slot 4 more times to fill in the gaps.  You'll be filling those with Wizard spells, as the ranger, even the mystic ranger, list only goes up to 5th.  This is the same trick DavidWL uses on his Chameleons.  This is also one of the few 20 BAB/20 CL gishes that gets 9th level arcane spells (arcane and divine converted to arcane with ToAL abuse).
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deuxhero

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #204 on: December 31, 2009, 07:31:17 AM »
Any place with more detail?

lans

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #205 on: December 31, 2009, 08:11:36 AM »
There are some good soulborn soulmelds, but they don't have enough soulmeld or essentia progression to really do anything with it
With an Azurin, I was thinking at third level the pick up Shape Soulmeld: Incarnate Avatar, which goes a good way power wise due to the Soulborn's alignment. LE gets +1/+2 attack and damage per point of essentia invested. At fourth grab lucky dice, at this level you should have two essentia. One from Race, and another from your bonus feat. So one into Incarnate avatar, and one into lucky dice.  This should leave it with +2/+3 and +1 to all saves. So it should run pretty close to a barbarian.
Level 6 the bonus should increase to +3/+5, at level 7 he can get a +1 dodge bonus to AC, next level he gets levelx10 in dimension door usage a day and water walking. Or immunity to charm effects,  punch people with a +6 to damage and +6 to strength checks, or animate a zombie. Which is apparently its analog to the paladins mount feature now that I think about it. So its going to pick up the zombie to keep up. Which is horribly limited by having a half meldshaper level.
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JaronK

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #206 on: December 31, 2009, 08:48:54 AM »
I'm not sure Wu Jen hits Tier 2.  It's not about comparing to a Core Sorcerer, btw, but rather to equal books (since in any given game the PCs will almost always have the same books available, and this system is more about comparative power than anything else).  So, it should really be a Wu Jen with at least Core and some Completes vs a Sorcerer with the same.

Anyway, I'm noticing a lack of a lot of the big power spells.  The lack of Grease, Nerveskitter, and Colorspray at level one really hurt.  Glitterdust and Web at two hurt as well.  This continues through the levels.  I'd say a Sorcerer could easily have much more powerful spells at any level, but less overall flexibility (especially since the Wu Jen does get Alter Self and the like).  The Wu Jen feels like a more balanced class generally.  Again, access to SpC spells would seriously change this, but less raw power and a bit more flexibility is more of a T3 thing than a T2.  When looking for game changing power, I'm seeing the Polymorph line, Gate, Fabricate, and little else.  Compared to Sorcerers that can raise armies of the dead, Planar Bind for all kinds of flexibility in their power, and so on... it just doesn't feel the same.

Remember of course that T3 means versitile, powerful, but not game shattering.  That seems to be what's going on here (unless you go into SCM or something, but that's the PrC talking).

JaronK

KellKheraptis

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #207 on: December 31, 2009, 09:44:09 AM »
JaronK, am I close with my Mystic Ranger guess then, assuming Touchstone technology?
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JaronK

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #208 on: December 31, 2009, 12:19:17 PM »
JaronK, am I close with my Mystic Ranger guess then, assuming Touchstone technology?

Probably, but I'm not sure I like relying on touchstones.  After all, IIRC the touchstone has to exist in the campaign world to use it, and in many games it may not be available, so I probably won't rank any classes under the assumption that you could use one.  Meanwhile, the 10th level Miracle trick just doesn't sound like something that's going to fly most of the time.  I think that would come in as heavy optimization at the very least.

JaronK

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #209 on: December 31, 2009, 12:23:28 PM »
JaronK, am I close with my Mystic Ranger guess then, assuming Touchstone technology?

Probably, but I'm not sure I like relying on touchstones.  After all, IIRC the touchstone has to exist in the campaign world to use it, and in many games it may not be available, so I probably won't rank any classes under the assumption that you could use one.  Meanwhile, the 10th level Miracle trick just doesn't sound like something that's going to fly most of the time.  I think that would come in as heavy optimization at the very least.

JaronK

Duly noted and fully acceptable.  Hell, if you're going that far, might as well PsyRef away the freebie weapon profs as an elf and pick up Otherworldly to get more back for one feat and 4 freebies :P
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lans

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #210 on: December 31, 2009, 03:28:34 PM »
I'm not sure Wu Jen hits Tier 2.  It's not about comparing to a Core Sorcerer, btw, but rather to equal books (since in any given game the PCs will almost always have the same books available, and this system is more about comparative power than anything else).  So, it should really be a Wu Jen with at least Core and some Completes vs a Sorcerer with the same.
I am aware that an actual Sorcerer would have what ever sources available. but from my understanding a hypothetical class that is amounts to a  Sorcerer who's  spell list has never been expanded outside of core, is still going to be tier 2 even if every book is available.
Quote
Anyway, I'm noticing a lack of a lot of the big power spells.  The lack of Grease, Nerveskitter, and Colorspray at level one really hurt. Glitterdust and Web at two hurt as well.  This continues through the levels.

It can do two way communication with a creature with an unknown language at level 1, which is something that can cause a DM headaches more than Nerveskitter or Grease ever could.
Quote
  I'd say a Sorcerer could easily have much more powerful spells at any level, but less overall flexibility (especially since the Wu Jen does get Alter Self and the like).  The Wu Jen feels like a more balanced class generally.  Again, access to SpC spells would seriously change this, but less raw power and a bit more flexibility is more of a T3 thing than a T2. 
I feel the Wujen had powerful spells on every level that the sorcerer is going to have 1 or two more per level at best.
Quote

 When looking for game changing power, I'm seeing the Polymorph line, Gate, Fabricate, and little else.  Compared to Sorcerers that can raise armies of the dead, Planar Bind for all kinds of flexibility in their power, and so on... it just doesn't feel the same.
Wu Jen has Animate Dead and Spirit Binding(Like Planar Binding but with incorporeal undead, Fey, and Elementals, and people in Astral Form).

Quote
Remember of course that T3 means versitile, powerful, but not game shattering.  That seems to be what's going on here (unless you go into SCM or something, but that's the PrC talking).

JaronK
I consider Alterself, Animate Dead and Polymorph Any Object, Gate( You said that at 17th+ a Healer functions at tier 2  because of this spell),  to be pretty game breaking. Its also getting its spells a level before the sorcerer.
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juton

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #211 on: December 31, 2009, 10:26:29 PM »
Regarding the Wu Jen the SpC has to say:

Quote
...
The advice below should help you decide how to adopt spells for your character.
...
Wu Jen (Complete Arcane): Add spells with element (except air), wood, and metal themes.

Since the advice is pretty unequivocal, I'd say you could automatically expect to be able to add any spells in the SpC with an Element, Wood or Metal descriptor to the Wu Jen's spell list. Is Wood a descriptor, I know Plant is. If a certain spell lacks that descriptor it becomes a matter of judgement, which falls outside the purview of RAW.

Even if we give the Wu Jen every spell with an element, excepting air, wood and metal descriptor is their enough 'OOMPH' there for Tier 1, since most of those spells, excepting Plant/Wood sound like direct damage to me.

JaronK

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #212 on: January 01, 2010, 12:03:13 AM »
I am aware that an actual Sorcerer would have what ever sources available. but from my understanding a hypothetical class that is amounts to a  Sorcerer who's  spell list has never been expanded outside of core, is still going to be tier 2 even if every book is available.

True enough.  But this is mostly because the strongest Sorcerer spells are generally in core anyway (with a few exceptions like Wings of Flurry and Celerity).  Anyway, the point I was making is I'd like to shy away from saying "let's look at the core Sorcerer" and move more towards "let's just assume everyone has the same books."

Quote
I feel the Wujen had powerful spells on every level that the sorcerer is going to have 1 or two more per level at best.

But the spells the Sorcerer has will be more powerful, and potentially far more so.  After all, by the time the Wu Jen came out the designers were starting to understand balance a lot more and were dropping more powerful spells (of course, they missed a few like Polymorph, so the Wu Jen is definitely in the running).

Quote
Wu Jen has Animate Dead and Spirit Binding(Like Planar Binding but with incorporeal undead, Fey, and Elementals, and people in Astral Form).

I somehow missed Animate Dead on the list.  I haven't reviewed the fey and incorporeal undead enough to see if Spirit Binding will match up to what Planar Binding can do (stuff like Efrettis and Midguard Dwarfs and all that really change games).

Quote
I consider Alterself, Animate Dead and Polymorph Any Object, Gate( You said that at 17th+ a Healer functions at tier 2  because of this spell),  to be pretty game breaking. Its also getting its spells a level before the sorcerer.

And the Wu Jen is definitely T2 when it hits level 17.  The question is whether it's there through the majority of play... remember that play at level 17+ is the rarest kind.  I weight the mid levels (6-15) a lot more than the highest levels, because those are played a lot more.  Now I have to say, the presence of Animate Dead, the entire Polymorph line, and a series of strong utility spells (like Fabricate and the like) definitely means they're in that region.  I think for most given levels it's likely that the Sorcerer will have a better spell, but on further review the Wu Jen definitely has some of the top contenders.  After all, a third level Wu Jen has Alter Self, and a Sorcerer likely won't have that till 5th (taking Glitterdust at 4). 

I need to think about this more.

JaronK

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #213 on: January 01, 2010, 02:27:10 AM »
Wu Jen also gets a bit of support in Complete Mage with the "Heart of" spells. They also get a somewhat unique spell in Transcend Mortality (mainly to combine with Spellguard of Silverymoon's Spellguard attack to KO anything), though that's mostly the Prestige class.

lans

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #214 on: January 01, 2010, 07:29:09 AM »
I am aware that an actual Sorcerer would have what ever sources available. but from my understanding a hypothetical class that is amounts to a  Sorcerer who's  spell list has never been expanded outside of core, is still going to be tier 2 even if every book is available.

True enough.  But this is mostly because the strongest Sorcerer spells are generally in core anyway (with a few exceptions like Wings of Flurry and Celerity).  Anyway, the point I was making is I'd like to shy away from saying "let's look at the core Sorcerer" and move more towards "let's just assume everyone has the same books."
Is there any spells in Complete Arcane, or the first 4 completes, that really matter in terms of power?

Quote
Quote
I feel the Wujen had powerful spells on every level that the sorcerer is going to have 1 or two more per level at best.

But the spells the Sorcerer has will be more powerful, and potentially far more so.  After all, by the time the Wu Jen came out the designers were starting to understand balance a lot more and were dropping more powerful spells (of course, they missed a few like Polymorph, so the Wu Jen is definitely in the running).


I don't think they had a better sense of balance, it seems like they were just half assed the spell list, or had a page limit that had certain spells cut from the list. Four out of Five of its subgroups lack a 9th level spell.


Quote
Quote
Wu Jen has Animate Dead and Spirit Binding(Like Planar Binding but with incorporeal undead, Fey, and Elementals, and people in Astral Form).

I somehow missed Animate Dead on the list.  I haven't reviewed the fey and incorporeal undead enough to see if Spirit Binding will match up to what Planar Binding can do (stuff like Efrettis and Midguard Dwarfs and all that really change games).


I don't think its going to be as powerful, but I think it is still going to be a decent option.

Quote
Quote
I consider Alterself, Animate Dead and Polymorph Any Object, Gate( You said that at 17th+ a Healer functions at tier 2  because of this spell),  to be pretty game breaking. Its also getting its spells a level before the sorcerer.

And the Wu Jen is definitely T2 when it hits level 17.  The question is whether it's there through the majority of play... remember that play at level 17+ is the rarest kind.  I weight the mid levels (6-15) a lot more than the highest levels, because those are played a lot more.


I understand that. I was more referring to the presence of one highly powerful and versatile spell, and pretty much eff all else,  gained at the appropriate level,  being enough to bump a class to tier 2.
Quote
Now I have to say, the presence of Animate Dead, the entire Polymorph line, and a series of strong utility spells (like Fabricate and the like) definitely means they're in that region.  I think for most given levels it's likely that the Sorcerer will have a better spell, but on further review the Wu Jen definitely has some of the top contenders.  After all, a third level Wu Jen has Alter Self, and a Sorcerer likely won't have that till 5th (taking Glitterdust at 4).  
I'm thinking the Wu Jen  is going to have the advantage on the odd levels power wise. Alterself at third, Stinking Cloud at fifth, Animate Dead at seventh.

Do you consider the Battle Sorcerer to still be tier 2?
Quote
I need to think about this more.

JaronK
Understandable, there are a lot of things to consider.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 09:18:16 AM by lans »
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JaronK

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #215 on: January 01, 2010, 11:47:21 AM »
Is there any spells in Complete Arcane, or the first 4 completes, that really matter in terms of power?

Not really, but there's lots of PrCs, and while I don't count any specific PrC as being inhearent to the power of a class, I do consider what options are generally available to them.  Stuff like the fact that a Sorcerer could theoretically take Mage of the Arcane Order for more flexibility.  It's not a big factor though.

Quote
I don't think they had a better sense of balance, it seems like they were just half assed the spell list, or had a page limit that had certain spells cut from the list. Four out of Five of its subgroups lack a 9th level spell.

Balance through laziness!  Hey, if it works it works.

Quote
I understand that. I was more referring to the presence of one highly powerful and versatile spell, and pretty much eff all else,  gained at the appropriate level,  being enough to bump a class to tier 2.

It has to be very strong, but "I can get a Cleric whenever I want to by gating in a Solar" pretty much does it.  Spend some Exp when you need to have a 20th level Cleric is a pretty awesome ability that applies to everything, because you just got a Tier 1 class.

Quote
Do you consider the Battle Sorcerer to still be tier 2?

Yeah.  Weaker than a Sorcerer, but it can do all the same stuff.  A nation with 9 nukes has less power than one with 10, but who cares?

JaronK

lans

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #216 on: January 01, 2010, 04:24:11 PM »
Is there any spells in Complete Arcane, or the first 4 completes, that really matter in terms of power?

Not really, but there's lots of PrCs, and while I don't count any specific PrC as being inhearent to the power of a class, I do consider what options are generally available to them.  Stuff like the fact that a Sorcerer could theoretically take Mage of the Arcane Order for more flexibility.  It's not a big factor though.
Didn't consider the prestige classes to be a factor. I suppose sorcerer specific ones and ones like MageotAO do put the advanage slightly to sorcerer in this regard.
Quote
Quote
I don't think they had a better sense of balance, it seems like they were just half assed the spell list, or had a page limit that had certain spells cut from the list. Four out of Five of its subgroups lack a 9th level spell.

Balance through laziness!  Hey, if it works it works.
It explains the Truenamer, and Shadow Caster
Quote
Quote
I understand that. I was more referring to the presence of one highly powerful and versatile spell, and pretty much eff all else,  gained at the appropriate level,  being enough to bump a class to tier 2.

It has to be very strong, but "I can get a Cleric whenever I want to by gating in a Solar" pretty much does it.  Spend some Exp when you need to have a 20th level Cleric is a pretty awesome ability that applies to everything, because you just got a Tier 1 class.
I was thinking Alterself when it had a duration above 60 minutes was on the same relative level of power, due to its access of spells that it gives.
Quote
Quote
Do you consider the Battle Sorcerer to still be tier 2?

Yeah.  Weaker than a Sorcerer, but it can do all the same stuff.  A nation with 9 nukes has less power than one with 10, but who cares?
The Wu Jen looks better compared to a B. Sorcerer than it does a normal one. It wouldn't pick up Alterself until the Wu Jen had 4th level spells.


« Last Edit: January 02, 2010, 04:31:24 PM by lans »
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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #217 on: January 28, 2010, 03:27:35 AM »
Over the past couple days I've been thinking about the concept of team play. I don't know how much this directly relates to tiers, but, whatever.

Does anyone else feel a lack of teamwork in there games? I tend to play at the Tier 2 or 3 level, depending on the DM, and I never feel like I'm a part of a team. I don't feel like a part of the puzzle that completes it. My fellow players have noticed this too. It's like, we're all optimized to be able to handle situations by ourselves, so in gameplay, that's what we do. We all roll initiative together, maybe throw someone a flank or a ressurection, but other then that we just ignore each other in combat. Because it's stronger!

As a player, it is easier to make a tier 2/3 character then ignore everyone else. Working as a team isn't worth it.

Do you think lower tier play would fix that? If we're all tier 4/5 would we feel the need to depend on each other?

(this is giving me ideas for houserules though. Has anyone ever seen a rework of 'Team Benefits'? I'd love to see those expanded on and made much stronger.)

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #218 on: January 28, 2010, 04:13:56 AM »
Over the past couple days I've been thinking about the concept of team play. I don't know how much this directly relates to tiers, but, whatever.

Does anyone else feel a lack of teamwork in there games?
It depends on the group.  I've seen groups that were pretty much a bunch of individuals, often competing for glory and bragging rights. 

I've played in a two person group running a wizard with the other guy as a hexblade.  At low levels, it worked really well.  I tried not to overshadow him, and he'd debuff guys and then I'd take them out of the fight.  He'd clean up the rest with a bit of help from me.  As I got to higher levels, it became pretty much impossible not to run the entire fight myself.
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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #219 on: January 28, 2010, 04:26:27 AM »
Even tier 1's and tier 2's can be great team players and make things fun for everyone. For example a wizard or cleric can buff his teammates and let them get the kills, even a simple haste or enlarge person will make the party fighter feel more powerful and not a waste of space.