3.5e, 3e imbalance? Can somebody explain?

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Im very new to this, im playing a 3.5 campaign right now, as a dwarven defender, and Ive made it to the 9th level.

People have said there is imbalances between fighters and spell casters, but I dont really see it.
How exactly is there an imbalance?
Short answer - do a google search. Also, the previous editions (or maybe the 5e playtest) board.
Longer answer - the disparity hinges on how much the party optimizes and the way the DM runs the game. Basically, at 9th level a spellcaster can conceivably cast devastating attack spells whilst invisibly flying for every encounter (especially when scrolls and wands are factored in). And those are class features.
Comparatively, a 9th-level warrior type could temporarily fly, go invisible, and see invisible things within short range with magic items, and can conceivably do stupid things like manipulate the crazy damage multiplication with other bits of the rules like using Power Attack on a touch attack (it's possible....). But that requires a fair bit of optimization, finding combo exploits across multiple books,  and generally reeks of disgusting cheese.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
Check out TV tropes.com "Linier fighter, quadratic wizard."

a low level fighter hits a guy with a sword
a low level wizard zaps a guy for a bit of damage

a higher level fighter hits a guy 3 times with a sword
a higher level wizard insta kills a small villiage.

What dose a lv 9 fighter or thief do that a wizard can't do better with a spell.
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
As the 2nd poster said, it largely depends on a group.

For example, the druid seemed perfectly balanced with our party of rogues....until we realized the player didnt like shapeshifting cause it caused too much math, and often forgot his animal companion even existed.  
A low level fighter hits a guy with a sword.
A low level wizard casts one spell that renders multiple opponents unconscious immediately.

A high level fighter hits a guy with a sword multiple times.
A high level wizard destroys an entire city without being anywhere near it.
People have said there is imbalances between fighters and spell casters, but I dont really see it.
How exactly is there an imbalance?

A strict, determined DM, or a restrained group, or just a lot of luck, can keep a campaign 'balanced' even at mid levels.  I was in two long-running 3.x campaigns that covered 14 levels each, and they did not suffer from serious imbalances until the very end.  But, the non-casters were optimized, the casters really /not/ optimized (each campaign featured a blasting sorcerer and a couple of multi-classed clerics, for example - never a PC wizard or "CoDzilla" in either campaign), and the DMs tried to make adventures challenging ('long' adventuring days) and very uncertain, both of which dis-favor vancian casters.  



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Im very new to this, im playing a 3.5 campaign right now, as a dwarven defender, and Ive made it to the 9th level.

People have said there is imbalances between fighters and spell casters, but I dont really see it.
How exactly is there an imbalance?

It is VERY easy as a caster, disgustingly so in 3.x but not hard in AD&D either, to optimize your way clean out of the realm of noncasting classes entirely. Casters, especially wizard-type casters, also have MANY ways by mid-level to alter the course of an adventure, or even a game. You can charm people, enter areas invisibly and/or flying, hold person to totally debilitate a major enemy, not to mention read pretty much anything, find objects, detect most any magic, and make potent magical items that can change the game in significant ways (wands of CLW are a trivial example).

Put it this way, imagine a party of all fighters and rogues and such. How far would they get in level-appropriate play at same 9th level? Now imagine a party of full casters without the fighter types. Yes, all types of characters can contribute and non-casters can be quite useful, but even in 1e AD&D by 9th level you are virtually always better off replacing non-casters with casters or at least MC casters. In 3.x it is much more distinct. That's the imbalance people are talking about. A DM who is willing to spend a lot of effort putting every brake possible on casters can keep it interesting for everyone, up to a point, but once level 13 or 15 rolls around things just get too lopsided, the non-casters at that point are pretty much second-stringers, interesting as characters but mostly not super significant to party capabilities.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Whenever this topic comes up, I always like to post this video - pretty much explains how it feels to play a non-caster around 9th or 10th level in earlier editions of D&D as opposed to godlike caster.

I present ... Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit!

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Nice! That video is dead-on.

What happened to my post count? It seems the more I post, the more it drops. Is that how it's supposed to work?

Then factor in that mages can target multiple defenses while in any edition except 4e the warriors all have to beat through AC just about every time (and even in 4e it's their most common target). This is especially problematic in 3e where the wizard has basically no chance of misisng with a touch or ranged touch spell at higher levels sicnce higher level monsters were almost invariably big on surface area and short on agility.
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