Author Topic: Tier System For Classes (Repost)  (Read 454965 times)

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veekie

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #860 on: June 21, 2011, 09:25:32 AM »
Agreed, each class has stupid and good use of the class. I think they are attempting to make it consistent with all of them as 'good use' of the class.

But I do agree with evilbob, about there being tiers for different levels. The problem is... where do you put the break? Each choice helps and hinders a vast number of classes because they each have levels where they gain nothing or a lot.

Put it a a certain level, then it benefits classes that gain an ability at that level, over ones that gain something the following level.

So, unless one wants to make an extremely complicated line graph with each class at each level, then a single table is the best.
Wouldn't need a lot. Just naive optimization(as done by someone trying to play true to the classs form), along with serious optimization(the baseline) and full drive(anything short of TO). We can rule out minimal performance since you can always make a Cha 18 Int 10 wizard.

For example:
Artificer:
Naive Opt - T5, unless given significant time to prepare, hes useless. Given time to craft, it just means the party has slightly better gear than normal. Assumptions are: Craft using Craft Reserve only, not knowing that XP is a River, Not knowing how to use expendables properly(boomstick with metamagic trigger, scrollcase of everydamnspellyoueverwant), Crafting +X stat items.
Moderate Opt - T2, simply knowing to use expendable items and craft using XP does that much, along with the wonders of metamagic'ed items.
Full Drive - T1, magical traps, obscure items etc.

ANd then you have the more moderate:
Druid:
Naive Opt - T3, Wild Shape and blast/heal/summon spells. Turn into a reasonably good combat form or utility form from the MM. Maybe mistakenly pick up the Shapeshift ACF and bone yourself out of the two best class features, you'd still be effective.
Moderate Opt - T2, Hello, Natural Spell. Not much use for exotic beasts, but discovered the miracle of Pounce. Druidic Battlefield control magic on.
Full Drive - T1, start digging through those monster manuals boys, theres nothing they don't have! Wild Shape expanding! Spells from obscure books!
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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #861 on: June 21, 2011, 10:25:09 AM »
Quote
The Goblins in your example were also idiots. Big time. They have an Int of 10, and think that going toe-to-toe with the Fighter is a better idea than gang-raping the guy in the robes with a spellbook (which, incidentally, sets up the Color Spray targets and Abrupt Jaunt).
See, I think that Int 10 goblins would rather gang-rape the fighter, you know, the guy who is looking more threatening, is armed and is actively trying to hurt them, instead of the weak looking dude who's cowardly avoiding contact. Not everyone, average inteligent goblins included, will see a person in robes and think "Oh, this guy is a caster, he the biggest threat! Everyone get him!" It strikes me as too metagame-y. But YMMV.

You see, I've been reading too many stories where the "evil wizard" and his henchmen are in control, and that the commoners know who the one in charge really is. The idea is the fighter is just hired help for the wizard, AKA the true villain attacking the goblins.


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evilbob

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #862 on: June 21, 2011, 02:13:29 PM »
Evilbob, what you just described is a textbook example of an IDIOT Wizard.
Thank you for such a warm welcome to these boards!  :)

The specifics of the example are not actually important; a color spray wizard would still take 2-3 rounds to kill a single goblin (spell, move to goblin, coup de grace goblin), and he's still down 1/3rd of his entire arsenal for the day.  (And it's not hard to come up with a situation where the MM wizard would do better than the color spray wizard - so how does the wizard prepare?)  But what I think is your larger point is still valid:  due to the potential power of a wizard, there is a wide range of optimization possibilities.  I think that just reinforces the OP's point about knowing your players.  Someone on these boards can probably make a tier 4-ish wizard at level 1.  Someone else might make a tier 6ish wizard at level 1.  It might be worth noting - as others have - that nearly anyone could make a tier 3ish fighter at level 1.

All of that is ok, of course - the OP is measuring power potential, and he's using the high end of the scale so that DMs are aware of what is possible, as opposed to what is likely (which is so situationally dependent as to be nearly impossible to measure).  But I still stand by the idea that an early fighter > an early wizard, and that's worth noting.

veekie

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #863 on: June 21, 2011, 04:38:10 PM »
Well, naively optimized wizard at 1st level might be in trouble, since low level blasting is horrible. T5
Moderately optimized wizard has Enlarge Person, by which he turns himself(if desperate) or the Fighter into a killing machine. He'll prepare one of those.
Against massed mobs, he has Sleep and Color Spray. He'd prepare one of those too.
As general utility, he'd then prepare a Silent Image(which'd buy a round of time or three)
Tactically, if the fight is against a mob, he'd move to lay down the Sleep in the opening salvo, remaining party members engage NON SLEEPING foes. Given that the likely mobs at level 1 are half or quarter HD, it'd most likely wipe out half the opposition. In subsequent rounds, depending on enemy AC, he may use his crossbow(he's only slightly less likely to hit than the rogue anyway) or Daze cantrip. Once all active does are down, proceed to CdG the sleepers.
Against a powerful individual, avoid risky gambits like the save or lose. Instead, Enlarge the fighter, and while he engages the opponent, fling Daze and Flares around to buy time. It wouldn't take much. Alternatively lay down the Silent Image as a backup.
The above set of moderately optimized core, level 1 spells(which note, most wizards will be able to have and to spare, as they get a lot of spells at level 1) allows it to perform as a T2-3
Fully optimized wizard would do much the same, except possibly doing tricks like selling the spellbook to buy stuff, which can get you to T1, but also smacked with a rulebook.

Contrast
Level 1 fighter
Naive optimization: Get a sword, shield, weapon focus and probably power attack or quick draw. Probably medium armor, since he can't really afford good heavies. T5. He won't do much damage, and his AC isn't that much better that he can count on not being meatpaste in the opening round.
Moderate optimization: 2H reach weapon, best affordable armor, power attack, combat reflexes. T4.
Full bore: Maybe a lance, a horse and power attack. Still T4.
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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #864 on: June 21, 2011, 07:06:29 PM »
@High and Low Optimization for the Same Class

It's fine to think of the tiers as measuring potential, so what a solid, but perhaps not highly esoteric or TO optimizer would do.  My concern, though, is that I don't know if the non-spellcasting classes are given the same courtesy.  I would contend that the god wizard, or the opposite of what Sinfire Titan refers to Idiot Wizards, is a pretty high end of optimization -- especially as you go up in levels and have culled the spell and ACF lists down to distilled awesomeness.  The equivalent to that, it seems to me, is more along the lines of Jack B Quick and Bloodstorm Blade Dungeoncrasher "mundane" characters rather than the rather obvious Spiked Chain Tripper.  Well-designed Hoods might be another good candidate for a reasonably high level of optimization that doesn't necessarily rely on spellcasting.

Now, you might still say that even the most awesome lockdown + murder your enemies character lacks the flexibility of the relevant Tier 1 and Tier 2 comparisons.  And, you'd probably be right.  This might again be more my issues w/ the tiers than anything else.  The vast majority of my time that I spend being concerned about D&D's rules are in combat.  So, excelling in combat is probably more mechanically significant to me than the ability to wreck D&D's absurd economy rules.  But, that might just be a value judgment on my part, and one any DM, player, or gaming group can make for themselves based on these rankings.

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #865 on: June 21, 2011, 08:25:20 PM »
At levels 1-2, unless it's a particularly specialized build, my wizard is probably going to be doing one of three things:

1.  Using Acid Splash + Cloudy Conjuration to be a serious menace on the battlefield.
2.  Casting Enlarge Person on that fighter that evilbob correctly identified as a goblin-killing machine.
3.  Hiding behind minor defensive buffs, clouds of sickening smoke, or said fighter, and sniping with my crossbow, which deals enough damage to drop the average goblin.

I find that those tactics are surprisingly effective for pretty much anything the early levels can throw at you, and don't put too much of a burden on the wizard's limited low-level resources.  It's not going to make the other party members take up a side-game of pinochle while I destroy the world, but it'll let me remain a productive member of the party.

Of course, things start to change pretty soon.  By level 3, I might start getting better use out of some more directly offensive spells like Grease.  Meanwhile, Glitterdust has the chance to end an entire encounter on round 1, and Alter Self or Mirror Image will give me better defenses than anyone in the party.  And by level 5, I'm casting spells that can completely lock down opponents or bypass encounters entirely (Fly alone has made countless unprepared DMs cry, as they hastily try to sneak ranged attacks onto their monster's stats).

So yeah, there's some truth to the whole "at low levels, wizards suck and fighters are king!" arguments, in that wizards are less flexible at low levels because their resources are fewer.  But it's overall exaggerated...

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #866 on: June 21, 2011, 10:22:21 PM »
Evilbob, what you just described is a textbook example of an IDIOT Wizard.
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evilbob

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #867 on: June 21, 2011, 11:31:11 PM »
So yeah, there's some truth to the whole "at low levels, wizards suck and fighters are king!" arguments, in that wizards are less flexible at low levels because their resources are fewer.  But it's overall exaggerated...
Fair enough.  And to be honest, it may be that highly optimized low-level characters all end up around tier ~4ish level anyway - thus practically negating the need to worry about tiers for the early game.  I think it'd still be worth mentioning, especially re: DMs whose games will probably never make it past level 6 (effectively:  ignore all this).

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #868 on: June 22, 2011, 12:06:22 AM »
So yeah, there's some truth to the whole "at low levels, wizards suck and fighters are king!" arguments, in that wizards are less flexible at low levels because their resources are fewer.  But it's overall exaggerated...
Fair enough.  And to be honest, it may be that highly optimized low-level characters all end up around tier ~4ish level anyway - thus practically negating the need to worry about tiers for the early game.  I think it'd still be worth mentioning, especially re: DMs whose games will probably never make it past level 6 (effectively:  ignore all this).

If it helps any, JaronK has stated that the tiers are pretty much for levels 5-15 IIRC.
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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #869 on: June 22, 2011, 12:08:40 AM »
And if you really want unstoppable power at low levels, your goal should be to die just as you reach 1000xp.
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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #870 on: June 25, 2011, 08:37:16 PM »
If it helps any, JaronK has stated that the tiers are pretty much for levels 5-15 IIRC.
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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #871 on: July 18, 2011, 10:36:01 PM »
After going through the Expert vs Monk and Adept vs Monk threads I'm seriously starting to wonder if the monk is even a tier 5 class. The monk was getting completely outclassed by the expert (tier 5) and adept (tier 4) to the point to where it was completely embarassing.

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #872 on: July 18, 2011, 10:44:12 PM »
After going through the Expert vs Monk and Adept vs Monk threads I'm seriously starting to wonder if the monk is even a tier 5 class. The monk was getting completely outclassed by the expert (tier 5) and adept (tier 4) to the point to where it was completely embarassing.

That's mostly because Giacomo, for all his rambling, is so used to playing with extremely permissive DMs that help him out all the time that he doesn't actually know how to make a Monk work without such support.  Plus, he was trying to beat the Expert at his own game, which just didn't work.  If you look at the Monks made by other folks, they end up looking a lot more reasonable.  At the base level, the Monk is a somewhat weak melee class who also has reasonable stealth and social skills to help out.  That's enough to be at least somewhat useful in most situations, but not strong enough to actually be good (stealth without trap detection, combat without sufficient combat abilities, etc).  Diplomacy and Sense Motive mean they can work well enough socially, though Cha is of course a dump stat for them.

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #873 on: July 19, 2011, 02:16:14 AM »
Monks can be pretty darned decent with a bit of op-fu, but it does take some work.

Granted, they're almost assuredly best as a dip, but the same can be said of any melee class.
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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #874 on: July 19, 2011, 05:05:54 AM »
This summarizes a little bit of my issues w/ the Tiers system.  You can naturally build pretty powerful Paladins and what have you -- that's part of charopp's job.
The Paladin is another special case: a class that is awesome in some campaigns and useless in others.  If you're crusading against the forces of Evil, and are decent at statting out Paladins, then a Paladin could out-shine a lot of other characters in a Tier 3 game.

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #875 on: July 19, 2011, 12:13:13 PM »
Well, without some seriously tweaking you won't have enough smites for that. Without Sword of the Arcane Order, I'd say Paladins are pretty much only good for supermounting.
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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #876 on: July 19, 2011, 05:06:00 PM »
Yeah, Sword of the Arcane Order is pretty much the only way that's happening.  Pure Paladins won't be outshining Crusaders any time soon, even if the game is full of evil and undeath.

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #877 on: July 19, 2011, 07:01:28 PM »
i agree about the supermounting part ;)

it gets even uglier when using the Dragon Magazine for that

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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #878 on: July 20, 2011, 03:28:39 PM »
<snip>

The specifics of the example are not actually important; a color spray wizard would still take 2-3 rounds to kill a single goblin (spell, move to goblin, coup de grace goblin), and he's still down 1/3rd of his entire arsenal for the day.  (And it's not hard to come up with a situation where the MM wizard would do better than the color spray wizard - so how does the wizard prepare?)  But what I think is your larger point is still valid:  due to the potential power of a wizard, there is a wide range of optimization possibilities.  I think that just reinforces the OP's point about knowing your players.  Someone on these boards can probably make a tier 4-ish wizard at level 1.  Someone else might make a tier 6ish wizard at level 1.  It might be worth noting - as others have - that nearly anyone could make a tier 3ish fighter at level 1.

All of that is ok, of course - the OP is measuring power potential, and he's using the high end of the scale so that DMs are aware of what is possible, as opposed to what is likely (which is so situationally dependent as to be nearly impossible to measure).  But I still stand by the idea that an early fighter > an early wizard, and that's worth noting.
The color spray wizard does not need to KILL the goblin if the goblin is incapacitated, unless 1. It's a reasonable certainty the goblin will be encountered again, with reinforcements or having alerted someone higher up the food chain and 2. There's nobody else in the party to do the job; Bob the Fighter wants to feel useful in the group too, and hacking at an unconscious goblin is a role at which Bob is reasonably competent.
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Re: Tier System For Classes (Repost)
« Reply #879 on: July 20, 2011, 05:37:33 PM »
<snip>hacking at an unconscious goblin is a role at which Bob is reasonably competent.
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