Author Topic: Tier System For Classes (Repost)  (Read 452762 times)

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CrimsonDeath

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #800 on: April 08, 2011, 07:26:25 PM »
I pretty much agree with Sinfire Titan's analysis, but I want to add that the Wu Jen is a solid, maybe high T2 while Shugenja is probably a low one.

Wu Jen suffers for having a lot of spells that require a regular ranged attack rather than ranged touch, but they also have some nice unique spells and most of the solid workhorses of the core Sor/Wiz list.  The Spell Secrets are also a nice bonus.  Probably the biggest thing keeping them out of T1 territory is the lack of support outside CA.

Shugenja, on the other hand, only even have access to 3/4 of their spell list (since they lose their opposition school) and half their repertoire comes from their favored school (which comprises 1/4 of their spell list).  Without something that adds directly to spells known or some heavy PrCing, they're really good at one or two things, passable at between two and five other things, and useless at a couple more things.  That sounds basically like a T3-- the level 9 spells they do get are probably all that bumps them into T2 territory.

I also want to mention that Wild Surge, though awesome at level 1, really drags the Wilder down at higher levels-- not down out of mid-T2, but still down.  By 20, he's almost always better off not doing it.

X-Codes is probably right about the Lurk.  I wish it were better, but it just isn't.

Actually, it should be noted that nowhere in the class description for the Shugenja does it say you need to pick a school that's the same as your favored element (so long as you obey the opposition restriction), so you can use that to round up his selection a bit.
Strictly speaking, it's true that the class description does not say that you must choose a school that matches your element.  What it does say (in the Element Focus class feature) is that you may be required to choose an element that matches your school.  Under the Air, Earth, Fire, and Water entries, it lists the schools that specialize in those elements.  The Order of the Ineffable Mystery allows specialization in any element (the reason for the weak language in the second sentence of the class feature) and offers decent Order spells, many from the Earth list and a few from outside the general Shugenja list (including MDJ).  So, you could specialize in Air and be better at fighting other spellcasters than your typical Air Shugenja, even if you wouldn't be any better at fighting non-spellcasters.  Still, even if you could focus in an element different from your order's customary one, getting a set list of Order spells, half your other spells from your specialist Element, and the other half divided between your non-opposed Element still kills a lot of your flexibility.  Yes, the same flexibility argument could be applied to a Focused Specialist Wizard (a very optimized choice for some builds), but the wizard has the advantages of swapping his prepared spells every day and a vastly larger spell list.

Also, did you mean the Shugenja at the beginning of your post? It sounds like you were making a case for something else.
At the beginning, I said that Wu Jen are probably a high T2 and Shugenja are probably a low T2.  Aside from the bit at the end concerning Wilders, I thought everything I said pretty much contributed to one of those two points.

Kuroimaken

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #801 on: April 08, 2011, 08:01:27 PM »
I pretty much agree with Sinfire Titan's analysis, but I want to add that the Wu Jen is a solid, maybe high T2 while Shugenja is probably a low one.

Wu Jen suffers for having a lot of spells that require a regular ranged attack rather than ranged touch, but they also have some nice unique spells and most of the solid workhorses of the core Sor/Wiz list.  The Spell Secrets are also a nice bonus.  Probably the biggest thing keeping them out of T1 territory is the lack of support outside CA.

Shugenja, on the other hand, only even have access to 3/4 of their spell list (since they lose their opposition school) and half their repertoire comes from their favored school (which comprises 1/4 of their spell list).  Without something that adds directly to spells known or some heavy PrCing, they're really good at one or two things, passable at between two and five other things, and useless at a couple more things.  That sounds basically like a T3-- the level 9 spells they do get are probably all that bumps them into T2 territory.

I also want to mention that Wild Surge, though awesome at level 1, really drags the Wilder down at higher levels-- not down out of mid-T2, but still down.  By 20, he's almost always better off not doing it.

X-Codes is probably right about the Lurk.  I wish it were better, but it just isn't.

Actually, it should be noted that nowhere in the class description for the Shugenja does it say you need to pick a school that's the same as your favored element (so long as you obey the opposition restriction), so you can use that to round up his selection a bit.
Strictly speaking, it's true that the class description does not say that you must choose a school that matches your element.  What it does say (in the Element Focus class feature) is that you may be required to choose an element that matches your school.  Under the Air, Earth, Fire, and Water entries, it lists the schools that specialize in those elements.  The Order of the Ineffable Mystery allows specialization in any element (the reason for the weak language in the second sentence of the class feature) and offers decent Order spells, many from the Earth list and a few from outside the general Shugenja list (including MDJ).  So, you could specialize in Air and be better at fighting other spellcasters than your typical Air Shugenja, even if you wouldn't be any better at fighting non-spellcasters.  Still, even if you could focus in an element different from your order's customary one, getting a set list of Order spells, half your other spells from your specialist Element, and the other half divided between your non-opposed Element still kills a lot of your flexibility.  Yes, the same flexibility argument could be applied to a Focused Specialist Wizard (a very optimized choice for some builds), but the wizard has the advantages of swapping his prepared spells every day and a vastly larger spell list.

Also, did you mean the Shugenja at the beginning of your post? It sounds like you were making a case for something else.
At the beginning, I said that Wu Jen are probably a high T2 and Shugenja are probably a low T2.  Aside from the bit at the end concerning Wilders, I thought everything I said pretty much contributed to one of those two points.

Bolding mine on the relevant part. Honest mistake, I'd guess.

And, again: it's not mandatory by any means. Pretty much fluff. You'll also notice that the Order of Ineffable Mystery school is the only one with mixed elements, but you're still required to pick a favorite.
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X-Codes

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #802 on: April 08, 2011, 08:19:50 PM »
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CD Spirit Shaman

Tier 2, sub Tier 1. Its just a Druid without Wildshape/Animal Companion, but still has all of the spells.
I disagree.  Tier 3.  The Druid spell list as a whole is good, but individual spells are really situational.  Also, the power level of Druid spells in the level 5-8 range is pretty low, even if you factor in all the splatting that's occurred since the class' release.  These problems are compounded by the Spirit Shaman's extremely limited access to the spells outside of "retrieving" them at the start of the day.
And how is that any different from a Druid's extremely limited access of preparing spells at the start of each day?  The only major difference I can see is the metamagic mechanic on Spirit Shamans.
concur.
if anything, I'd go so far as to say that Sp.Sh. casting is a little better than druid.  Sure, you can't get quite as many different spells, but you can cast all day long.
At any given level, a Spirit Shaman will have less than half as many different spells retrieved than a like-leveled Druid.  Sure he can cast them more often, but most Druid spells do not benefit from spamming.  Combined with the lost action economy from not having an Animal Companion and the need for 3-4 ability scores instead of just 1 means that a Spirit Shaman really is only Tier 3.

CrimsonDeath

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #803 on: April 08, 2011, 10:45:18 PM »
And, again: it's not mandatory by any means. Pretty much fluff. You'll also notice that the Order of Ineffable Mystery school is the only one with mixed elements, but you're still required to pick a favorite.
Looked to me like it was about half Earth spells and about half non-Shugenja spells.

I guess there's an argument for being possible to specialize in an out-of-school element, but it seems to run counter to intent.  In that case, Shugenja probably jumps up to about a mid-T2, probably still below a Sorcerer though.

And yeah, I guess I should try not to use "one" as a pronoun in an environment when it's being used as a number...

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #804 on: April 08, 2011, 10:56:21 PM »
Quote
CP Lurk

Tier 3 or Tier 4.
Tier 4.  It's weaker than a Rogue in all areas with the exception of it's limited Manifesting ability, which barely compensates.

I vote Tier 4.
If the Lurk restricted itself from using the Lurk Augments
that use powerpoints, then it's "casting" is still only in the range of Adept.
Clearly Lurk is stronger than Adept about 2/3rds of the way up.
To get all the juicy Adept expansions, Lurk has to use:
PsyRef + Dr#349 + Wizards College etc ...

Kuroimaken

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #805 on: April 09, 2011, 12:38:47 AM »
And, again: it's not mandatory by any means. Pretty much fluff. You'll also notice that the Order of Ineffable Mystery school is the only one with mixed elements, but you're still required to pick a favorite.
Looked to me like it was about half Earth spells and about half non-Shugenja spells.

I guess there's an argument for being possible to specialize in an out-of-school element, but it seems to run counter to intent.  In that case, Shugenja probably jumps up to about a mid-T2, probably still below a Sorcerer though.

And yeah, I guess I should try not to use "one" as a pronoun in an environment when it's being used as a number...
No harm done.

I believe there's a Shugenja handbook in the boards somewhere. I ran a fair analysis of the CD Shugenja there, feel free to check it out.  ;)
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CrimsonDeath

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #806 on: April 09, 2011, 03:07:35 AM »
I'm actually playing an OA Shugenja right now.  Aside from the smaller spell list, it doesn't look a lot different.

Well, technically, I'm playing a Shugenja/Ordained Champion/Sacred Exorcist.  Definitely not playing to the strengths of any of the classes involved, but I'm having fun and being reasonably effective, so it's all good.  But it's probably why I have such a strong opinion on the class.

lans

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #807 on: April 09, 2011, 04:14:10 AM »
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MoI Incarnate

Tier 4, sub Tier 3. And fixed.
Easily Tier 3.  It has a very broad range of very effective tricks.  Even though a Totemist is more effective in straight-up combat, this class is certainly capable at combat and very effective outside of it
I don't think its quite up to easy tier 3. While it might be effective, I don't think its capable enough. Outside of low levels, its pretty much tier 5 in effectiveness/power, just that it can bring the right tier 5 abilities to the table at any one time.

Also, when discussing Divine Mind, don't forget the auras! Sure, most of the mantle auras are crap, but the non-mantle attack and AC auras are decent. They won't change its tier significantly, but they're probably one of the best things the Divine Mind brings to the table. Which.. is something I guess?
The auras pretty much put it on par with the samurai, before taking into account the party buffing aspects of them
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 04:16:26 AM by lans »
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X-Codes

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #808 on: April 09, 2011, 05:23:15 AM »
I don't think its quite up to easy tier 3. While it might be effective, I don't think its capable enough. Outside of low levels, its pretty much tier 5 in effectiveness/power, just that it can bring the right tier 5 abilities to the table at any one time.
The simple ability to shape soulmelds gives, basically, +4 to all skills when you need them.  Invest your point of essentia and it's +6.  That compares very well to a Rogue's ability to use skills.  Another soulmeld gives you a +1 weapon, which lets you compare decently to melee types at first level, especially with your Constitution focus.  As you gain binds, your soulmelds also give you at-will magical abilities.  All-in-all, an incarnate functions as a Warlock or DFA that can change their invocations every day.  That's pretty much the definition of T3.

The auras pretty much put it on par with the samurai, before taking into account the party buffing aspects of them
The party buffing aspects means it does something.  It's strictly inferior to what any other party support class can do, including the Dragon Shaman, but still way better than anything a Samurai is capable of.

lans

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #809 on: April 09, 2011, 06:11:32 AM »
I don't think its quite up to easy tier 3. While it might be effective, I don't think its capable enough. Outside of low levels, its pretty much tier 5 in effectiveness/power, just that it can bring the right tier 5 abilities to the table at any one time.
The simple ability to shape soulmelds gives, basically, +4 to all skills when you need them.  Invest your point of essentia and it's +6.  That compares very well to a Rogue's ability to use skills.  Another soulmeld gives you a +1 weapon, which lets you compare decently to melee types at first level, especially with your Constitution focus.  As you gain binds, your soulmelds also give you at-will magical abilities.  All-in-all, an incarnate functions as a Warlock or DFA that can change their invocations every day.  That's pretty much the definition of T3.
I think the Incarnate falls in line with being
Quote
capable of doing many things to a reasonable degree of competance without truly shining.
which is the definition of T4, outside of low levels, where their soulmelds are awesome.
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CrimsonDeath

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #810 on: April 09, 2011, 06:16:02 AM »
Never took a close look at the Divine Mind before, but the Guardian aura also looks decent, if not overwhelming.  I didn't really check to see how the mantle auras interact with mantle granted powers, but my gut feeling is that the Divine Mind has way too many ways to burn his psionic focus, to the point that Psionic Meditation is practically a mandatory feat.  Maybe the Marshal would be a better point of comparison than the Samurai?

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #811 on: April 09, 2011, 06:51:29 AM »
I think the Incarnate falls in line with being
Quote
capable of doing many things to a reasonable degree of competance without truly shining.
which is the definition of T4, outside of low levels, where their soulmelds are awesome.

It's more like "capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area", which is T3.

lans

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #812 on: April 09, 2011, 06:51:12 PM »
Never took a close look at the Divine Mind before,  Maybe the Marshal would be a better point of comparison than the Samurai?
Maybe, but  I used samurai as a pretty direct comparison.
At level 1 its Katana proficiency vs +1 damage, +2 will, talented,shield proficiency, mantle.
By 3rd the samurai gains smite 1/day and TWF, at 4th DM gets divine grace.
The DM hits just as well as the samurai at all levels except 9, 13,17,18,19 due to the attack aura, which also brings in a damage boost. He can use several powers or mantles to make this difference up.
  At 8th the samurai gets improved initiative that gives him a 4 higher initiative till 10th when the  DM gets the second aura and can keep the attack and perception auras active.  Pretty much down hill from hear for the samurai.

So to make this short a DM with the Conflict and Time mantles should be a better  'body' than the Sam at nearly every level. Getting into abilities a samurai 20 has +15 damage and charisma mod -1 to hit over the DM 4 times per day, can demoralize multiple people as a move action, and scare small children.

Add in the physical power mantle and adrenaline boost, and the smites drop to +11 damage and Chr mod -5 to hit. Which is about even.  Leaving the samurai with intimidation tricks.

I think the Incarnate falls in line with being
Quote
capable of doing many things to a reasonable degree of competance without truly shining.
which is the definition of T4, outside of low levels, where their soulmelds are awesome.

It's more like "capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area", which is T3.
I think its a small line between the two
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 06:52:51 PM by lans »
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Sinfire Titan

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #813 on: April 10, 2011, 01:46:09 AM »
I think its a small line between the two

Like I said. Tier 4, subbing Tier 3. It's the dividing line between those tiers. If you are better than an Incarnate, you are Tier 3 or higher. If you are worse than an Incarnate, you are Tier 4 or under.


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lans

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #814 on: April 11, 2011, 02:45:58 PM »
I think its a small line between the two

Like I said. Tier 4, subbing Tier 3. It's the dividing line between those tiers. If you are better than an Incarnate, you are Tier 3 or higher. If you are worse than an Incarnate, you are Tier 4 or under.
Maybe if Jaron could weigh in. The incarnate is sub rogue on skills, and I consider Factotum to be the skill specialist, which puts him too tiers down in skills.
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JaronK

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #815 on: April 11, 2011, 03:39:22 PM »
I have no experience with the MoI classes, so not gonna weigh in on this one.

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #816 on: April 11, 2011, 06:54:04 PM »
I think its a small line between the two

Like I said. Tier 4, subbing Tier 3. It's the dividing line between those tiers. If you are better than an Incarnate, you are Tier 3 or higher. If you are worse than an Incarnate, you are Tier 4 or under.
Maybe if Jaron could weigh in. The incarnate is sub rogue on skills, and I consider Factotum to be the skill specialist, which puts him too tiers down in skills.

As a skill user the Incarnate is sub rogue but because of the soulmelds coving a lot of otherwise necessary and expensive items you end up with more WBL to spend on otherwise bypassed things.

that and being just about the most SAD class in existence should help some, especially compared to rogues.

lans

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #817 on: April 11, 2011, 07:05:08 PM »
I have no experience with the MoI classes, so not gonna weigh in on this one.

JaronK
I wanted your thoughts on the difference between "capable of doing many things to a reasonable degree of competance without truly shining" and "capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area", rather than anything in regards to the MoI classes in particular.
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JaronK

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #818 on: April 12, 2011, 05:25:24 AM »
The most obvious difference between T4 and T3 is that T4s are either A) liable to be unable to contribute, due to class, to relatively common encounters (such as most Barbarians in social or stealth encounters, and oftentimes in encounters where they can't charge) or B) liable to be useful, but not hugely so, in a sort of "oh yeah, and he did something too" sort of way.  Consider a normal Warlock blasting away for a respectable amount of damage through a fight... nothing amazing, but he was there and did his thing.

T3s, generally, have their areas where they really shine that come up rather frequently, and are almost never useless (maybe a Crusader will have trouble with stealth, but for most cases he's quite solid to have on the team, and even in cases where his main stuff doesn't work he can still do awesome stuff like giving extra actions to the team). 

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #819 on: April 12, 2011, 06:57:32 AM »
With that definition, I'm going to chime in agreement with Sunfire Titan.  An Incarnate that knows roughly what abilities he will need is never going to find himself unable to contribute, because the sheer variety of soulmelds available to the class allows him to contribute to just about every possible challenge.  At the same time, he's never going to truly shine at any of the roles, and short of focusing all soulmelds into one specific competency, you aren't going to overshadow a specialist.  If you do try a strong focus on one role, the Incarnate suddenly becomes incompetent at other party functions--pretty much this is a Tier 4 character writ large.

The difference is that the Incarnate can seriously cover every single party role from a fairly low level.  He doesn't quite manage it as well as an equally-optimized generalist Bard, and not as well as a Factotum, but it's close.  That the class has absolutely no item reliance is another strength.

I'd put him in Tier 3, but he's the absolute lowest in the tier.