An Overview Of Class Deficiencies
What this guide is:
A lot of posters as of late have come to the boards wondering why Vampires suck, why we hate hexblades so much, and why single class Swordmages fell out of favor back in PHB3. This will attempt to outline simply and effectively where each class fails at its job.
What this guide isn't:
A class comparison, an in-depth overview of strengths and weakness, a build guide, a class guide, etc. This isn't going to help you make some uber build, but it will hopefully help elucidate where class fall off the rails.
Just because a class has weakness in particular areas doesn't mean the class is bad. For example Swordmages don't have great class features for defending, but their powers and PPs make up for this.
Can't Fulfill Its Role
This is the most grevious of failures, it describes a class whose combinations of class features and powers result in a class which as a whole struggles to adaquetely meet baselines for its role.
Fairly self explanatory, this describes a class where for the most part its powers just don't get the job done.
Lackluster Class Features
The opposite side of the above, this describes a class whose class features just simply aren't that good.
Non-Existant Feat Support
Feat taxes suck, but some classes have an incredible amount of flexibility and power from their feats. Others don't have feats and so are noticeably weaker. This describes the latter.
In their eternal wisdom WoTC made a few classes that are pretty much worse on every level compared to other classes (often their parent class).
Poor Class Design
The whole package just doesn't fit well together.
Hybrids Too Well
Some classes leave you wondering when you should ever really play the pure class: they're just better in almost every way as a Hybrid.
Some classes really badly need feats and/or powers from other classes, and thus have their multiclass generally already deteremined for them in a lot of cases.
Lack of Innate PPs
A number of classes have PPs that just don't get the job done in one manner or another, and are thus forced to look elsewhere (usually through multiclassing) for Paragon Paths
Weaker at Certain Tiers
Most classes are fully playable in an optimized sense across all levels, but some classes just don't function that well at particular tiers, either because they lose steam later on, or because they take a considerable time to get going.
Some classes have entire builds, often based around "multiple choice" class features that are absolutely terrible, and probably shouldn't exist.
One True Path
A few classes have so little support that they really only have one acceptable power choice at each level, and frequently have little to no in class feat support.
Some classes have poorly written features/powers that cause disagreement over their true implementation. Certain classes rely heavily on interpretations, and can be severely weakened depending on the side of the fence the DM rules.
Weapon and Implement
In theory because NADs are in general 2 lower this shouldn't be a big problem, but because the optimization avenues are often mutually exclusive, this can be a bit detrimental.
Let's be honest, Psionics was horribly implemented in 4e. The current way to succeed at the Psion, Battlemind, and Ardent to take a few of the best powers and spam them. This leads something similar to the One True Path and No Flexibility arguements. All the failings and issues with Psionics and Psionic power selections fall under this umbrella.