Dragon 399 - Class Compendium: The Cleric (Templar)

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Dragon 399
Class Compendium: The Cleric (Templar)


Get the most up-to-date version of the cleric—the templar—right here, right now!

Talk about this article here.

Yay strength clerics now have some PP's from the PHB to choose from.

Except now you've been so nerfed that why aren't you just playing Warlord with the Ordained Priest theme?
Most disgraceful article ever. The Martial classes so far barely get touched, and the Cleric gets, well, utterly raped, to put it bluntly. It really makes me fearful for any non-Martial classes that would get the CC treatment in the future.
So the cleric got a major nerf.

Why?
They should probably come out and tell us why the cleric was nerfed so hard.  I suspect it was something like "Well, when the PHB came out we hadn't really thought out the combat roles very well, so the cleric wound up with what we now think of as controller daily powers."  Their mistake: their solution to this was, instead of making said powers leader daily powers, they turned them into controller encounter powers.  Derp, not okay guys.
Dragon 399
Class Compendium: The Cleric (Templar)


Get the most up-to-date version of the cleric—the templar—right here, right now!

Talk about this article here.


How did the fact that mechanically this was 90% about power reduction not come up as a severe presentation problem in the editing process?  I honestly don't recall seeing any threads complaining about how clerics were so massively overpowered.

Could you perhaps provide some pointers to the background logic which justifies doing so much damage to the archetypal leader class?  A thirty page article which will have the aggregate effect of discouraging people from playing a class seems rather ill-conceived to me.  The only up side here is in the PP's for strength clerics, you could have done that without putting everyone else on the rack of pain.
Normally, I try to be polite about things, but this time, I'm just going to say it bluntly:

WotC, you messed up. Badly.

These errata suck. A lot.

Seriously.

There was no reason to do most of these changes, which were excessive, uncalled for and completely pointless. Some explanation would be nice, but I expect some reversals and reverts to this article, and soon.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
Compel people to play martial leaders isn't really good design.

With these changes the cleric makes three steps back, becoming an healing focused "something" without even its former niche, control.

Strength cleric? The strength cleric is dead from 2008. Instead of putting a tombstone on it, you resurrected him like a badly-made runepriest.

The cleric didn't reserve this kind of treatment, ALONE in the class compendium (for now, we'll see what will remain of the wizard, since it's not a martial class).
Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/14.jpg)

What makes it worst is that Mearls and his R&D chimps are probably patting themselves on the back for this abomination. The day they get rid of every last member of the current R&D team will be one of the best events to happen in 4e design history. Professional designers my ass the only thing that could cheer me up now is camera footage of these bums standing dejectedly in an unemployment line whilst being heckled by a bunch of angry gamers. A salute to wotc for new lows in screwing the pooch.

What the...?
The biggest irony is the fact that they nerfet even turn undead while leaving the horrible divine fortune untouched.
Wow.
WotC was not subtle, huh?
And neither are most posts in this thread.
Will the errata be errata'd? Or rather Updated?
I would love to hear an explanation from WotC as well.
Viva La "what ever version of D&D you are playing right now!"
This was disgusting.

I really get the feeling, reading this errata, that the folks at Wizards play a different game than everyone else out there.

I guess there's a reason many games are banning Dragon materials, and now I'm starting to see what that is. 
We are suppose to endure a longer wait for articlle due to the fact they must pass through R&D first, if this is what we can expext to make it through than Dragon is a lost cause. Also if this is the best we can expect from those monkies in R&D game material wise well I hope 4e dies a quick and painlesss death before these incompetents ruin it even further.
This article is basically taking a non-overpowered class and nerfing the unique things the class does well into the ground while giving it nothing in return. This article is on par with item rarity among the worst things 4E has done.
...whatever
Not to be too picky, but I am amused that the article that makes a point of renaming one game element to avoid confusion with another game element also introduces a game element with the same name as another game element.  ("Templar" is already the name of a Dark Sun theme.)
Frankly, I'm stunned!

Was the cleric really that powerful?

I play one!
A cleric is (was) the leader with good healing. I admit: one of the best healers in the game.
But, WOTC, healing is only a little part of what a leader should do. And frankly, the other leader abilities like enabling or buffing are running low on the cleric. That would be a bad thing but hey, the cleric has some nice controllery powers. Since that is my secondary function, I'm fine with that.
And hey, when I see an group of undead, which happens occasionally, I can for one round actually do some significant damage to them and curse those horrible abominations to oblivion.
Now you decided to take away all that: no control anymore; if the undead are near enough to me I can tickle their skeletal feet a bit.
No worries: maybe I have some more leader abilities...but no.
So I basicly sit around doing pitiful damage and wait until my team is bruised to come into action to heal them a bit.

I was never the most flashy or effective character on the board but once in a while I had a chance to shine (literally)
You took the fun out of my character!

Thanks
I can and can't see the point to some of these changes. I can see nerfing powers like turn undead and astral storm, because they could get quite abusable in certain circumstances (especially with the feat making turn undead a minor action). The problem is that if wizards were going to nerf out the secondary controller functions fo the cleric this much, shouldn't they have changed the powers to be more leadery instead? That is at least the logic I would have employed, but it makes life rather confusing as to why Wizards didn't do this. Instead they've made a whole bunch of these powers generally mediocre and not worth taking, while giving the cleric nothing back to compensate.

It's especially striking because of how little the arguably far more powerful Warlord was touched in comparison.

It's especially striking because of how little the arguably far more powerful Warlord was touched in comparison.



This is actually what had made me really "angry". Fighters got only a couple of good though changes to Kensei and Come and Get it. Warlords got a lot of clarifications and some minor changes.
These two classes are considered, arguably, the best in their role.
The cleric instead was a good leader, a good thought out class with a niche strong role. You destroyed the niche role, unfortunately.
Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/14.jpg)

That's what upsetting me too.

I could see the logic in the tweaks of the warlord and fighter article.
They both shine in their role, primary and secundary.

This is a complete surprise!
What is the secundary role of a the cleric now? XP drain?

Yeah. This definitely wasn't tightening the Leader role as some fools tried to claim. It was gutting the Controller sub-role that the Cleric had to be good at by design. Meanwhile, Warlords just lay everything to waste, Bards control every bit as well as the Cleric used to (and a helluva lot better than the Cleric does now) while still being solid enablers, and Shamans are just very well rounded. Daresay even the Ardent is in better shape right now.

I'm not suggesting give Clerics tons of enabling powers all of a sudden, but, wow, give their newly-trashed powers something Leader-related. Like Fire Storm, the poster boy for this disgrace of an article, would be a lot better if it gave all allies in the AoE, say, 2d6 extra fire damage with all their attacks for the rest of the encounter (and bring back its party-friendliness).

Several of the nerfs are things I've expected for a while. 90% of them, though, are nerfs to powers I've never seen abused and will now likey never see used. Clerics weren't all that high-powered when it came to their leader role, and were not a particularly popular leader as a result. These updates will see to it that even fewer players will select the class. Everyone in my group was shocked at the sheer number of nerfs to a class that barely met expectations.

These changes are (mostly) pointless, and will only anger the community that wizards expects to pay for new content. If changes like this continue, my group will be playing more Pathfinder and Exalted.
great job wizards, you ruined it. if that was your goal you succeeded. its the fiorst time i think ive seen you flat out ruin a class with errata, but congrats. you have ruined the phb cleric
please save the rest of the cc articles. i see now why you didnt release it as a book. make some more broken essentials pcs but for christs sake dont touch the phb anymore. 
Sad and inexplicable.

Is this part of the 'new direction,' and if so, what the heck is that direction?  I thought it was trying to wring every drop of retro-feel out of the game, even at the cost of game balance, but this extensive update is entirely at odds with that.  The Clerics most iconic power, Turn Undead, is emasculated?  How is /that/ going to bring back returning players with fond memories of 'D' results in the Turn Undead matrix?

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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I'm wondering if they're doing this stuff because 5th edition is around the corner and they don't want people playing 4th anymore.
The clerics area attacks were, potentially, overpowered. Compaired to PHB1 the cleric in some ways competes with the wizard for area blasting potential.

PHB1 was 2 years ago, wizards have gotten everything they need and more since then.

Vanillia area damage powers are (mostly) not broken for an off-controller. There's one or two here where the nerf is fine, astral storm was pretty crazy. Fire storm too. But simply droping one or two aspects of one or two these powers (area or damage or friendly-targeting, not all three) would have been fine. Dropping all three on a huge assortment of cleric powers is completly uncalled for. The class wasn't overpowered and the popular, powerful options are things out of Divine Power that actually work like leader powers.

I know why you made turn undead suck, but perhaps it's time to start considering banning/breaking the feats that are actually the problem, rather than the core powers that they break (this goes double for Versitile Master, i.e. the real issue with Twin Strike). The huge area and massive damage is sort of crazy, but again this is too much. A target limit would be a much better way to control it than making the area tiny. And the damage didn't need to come down that much. This just makes healer's lore a pretty-much non-choice, and I hate that power/build (and someone at WotC must, too, since they went out of their way to break it).

I like the solution for Strength clerics, having key powers that are Str or Wis was really what I was hoping for. Good job there. But they still need a better a class feature like Healer's Lore.

Smacking the paragon paths around a bit was good, honestly. But you missed divine oracle somehow, and it would be nice if warpriest has a better solution that allowed it to function for a Cleric (rather than someone other class multied into cleric) as intended.

And would it hurt so bad to look into Priest's Shield? I know thoes few strength cleric holdouts take healer's strike instead, but it's generally always been collectivly at the bottom of the list of 'worst at wills in the game.'
This is really something. I am outraged like everyone else at this garbage. If next month's article is like this (not sure what class it is) I will probably stop playing. I understand trying to balance things but part of the lure of playing a game like this is to be a hero with great power that can do really cool things. This just makes me feel like I am now playing a game like "Hello Kitty" or "Barbie's Playhouse" or something. "Oh look at those guys playing D&D, isn't that cute?"

What the hells? No, really. What?


Cleric was already the class I stopped playing despite loving the fluff behind it because it was just plain terrible at its role compared to pretty much everything else(Seriously I think Runepriest may be a better leader, even as terrible as it is to play one due to complete lack of choices).  And now they nerfbat it into oblivion entirely? What the hells, WotC? Seriously, what are you even doing anymore?


I am confuse. I have no idea what the hell direction they're even trying to go in, but whatever it is, it's not one I like at all.


I mean, the only thing I can even think of is that they really, REALLY want people to play the Warpriest.


This is absolutely the worst thing I've read for D&D since Complete Champion and Complete Psionic.

It's spelled Corellon Larethian, not Correlon, Correllon, Correlllon, Corellion, Correlian or any other way of getting it wrong. I'm a total grognard and I still play 4E.
the forums beg for support for years, and this is the response
Just want to echo how excessive I feel this package of changes is as a whole. There's certainly sense to pieces of it.

I support pretty much everything Litigation has been championing on the matter both here and in other forums (CharOp specificially).

I encourage anybody with any influence upon game mechanics/policy/errata to read all these topics carefully. I hope it changes your mind!

Cheers

Blinkey ;)
The text explaining gaining the Ritual Casting class feature makes no sense.

"As you gain levels, you automatically gain access to new rituals, but you can also
buy new rituals or acquire them during your adventures"

This sounds like the class will be receiving rituals for free, but this is simply not the case.
I have been playing a Cleric since the start of 4E.  I really do not see the point of these nerfs.  The secondary controller aspect of Clerics has taken a serious hit.  Many PHB Clerics have hoped for positive support since the earliest days of 4E.  We were hoping to become more effective, not less.  Being proactive in combat is far better than reactive by simple heals. 

Turn Undead did not need changing.  Divine Fortune is still so bad I have never used it.  The gutting of burst powers is to what end exactly?  Clerics have not been 'mighty' in 4E.  I want to play something other than a healbot.  Monsters are only getting tougher and hitting harder, why should Clerics become under powered? 

The changes to Warpriest PP boggle the mind.  A level 16 class feature you can use 1/encounter?  Not even the dignity of being made Cleric/PP only?  The Battle Favor nerf? 

Please reconsider these changes.  Not enough players are interested in Cleric to begin with.  If there are issues the answer is not to slash the class up. 
Hey WotC, great job nerfing a class which was already kind of weak. Are you trying to force people to play the boring Warpriest?

Yay, less choices for everyone! 
It's pretty bad when I know I am going to be asked by a player if he can change his class as his Cleric is going to really come-off like a wimp compared to the Warlord in the group.
WotC:

I'll leave it to others to explain in detail how the cleric's off-role abilities were essential to how they performed their role, and how if you were to remove them you also needed to add more on-role effectivemess to compensate.  Likewise, I'll leave it to others to explain how healing marginally more effectively then other classes simply isn't a strong gimmick, certainly not enough to be the sole gimmick of an entire class, given the MM3 monster paradigm which makes a war of attrition with monsters a losing strategy.  And I'll let the stupidity of publishing such a significant cavalcade of nerfs to a class that nobody thought was overpowered to begin with, only a couple weeks after wondering how to get more people to play the class, speak for itself.

I'll just say how this affects my game.

I don't know a lot of people who play D&D, just enough to get a functional group together.  But one of the more enthusiastic players I do know is a cleric fiend.  Just loves clerics.  Has since he started playing in 3e.  The only thing he plays.

I have to hide this errata from him.  Because if he sees such a parade of unjustified nerfs to his favorite class with absolutely nothing offered to compensate, he will quit the game.  Losing the most enthusiastic player will kill our campaign, and that would means that every other player I play with would also effectively be quitting the game.

So yeah, that's what this errata would mean for us.  Our entire group quitting your game and ceasing the purchase of your products.  Some of us were already boarderline here - between being dissapointed with recent magazine content, unimpressed with essentials, me personally being pretty bitter at heroes of shadow - but all of that we could play through.  This, though?  This would close the book on D&D for us.  Our cleric player will not put up with this BS, and the rest of us wouldn't be able to continue without him even if we wanted to.
Necromancy: Friendship is Magic
The changes to Warpriest PP boggle the mind.  A level 16 class feature you can use 1/encounter?  Not even the dignity of being made Cleric/PP only?  The Battle Favor nerf?



I was alarmed by this particular change as well, but then I saw that the mark now lasts until the end of the encounter. That really isn't that bad and changes the marking capability added from near-defender level to that of an off-defender. It isn't that bad a change... (do you really want your leader playing full defender anyway?)

I won't try to justify the nerfs to the Cleric's burst powers, though I'm not sure that they were being selected all that often anyway. From the point of view of a strength cleric, and particularly the strength/charisma cleric, though, there is a lot to love about the paragon path changes.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.


I was alarmed by this particular change as well, but then I saw that the mark now lasts until the end of the encounter. That really isn't that bad and changes the marking capability added from near-defender level to that of an off-defender. It isn't that bad a change... (do you really want your leader playing full defender anyway?)




Warpriest Challenge has always been till end of encounter.  As it was at-will melee only having your cleric play the primary defender is not a particularly strong choice.  Especially since it used to fade if you marked something else.

You can play a secondary/tertiary defender and even that is feat intense.
Changing paths to be more Str-Cleric friendly?  Yes.

Everything else?  No.  Nonono.  NO.  no. 
Necromancy: Friendship is Magic
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I was alarmed by this particular change as well, but then I saw that the mark now lasts until the end of the encounter. That really isn't that bad and changes the marking capability added from near-defender level to that of an off-defender. It isn't that bad a change... (do you really want your leader playing full defender anyway?)




Warpriest Challenge has always been till end of encounter.  As it was at-will melee only having your cleric play the primary defender is not a particularly strong choice.  Especially since it used to fade if you marked something else.

You can play a secondary/tertiary defender and even that is feat intense.



Huh...I never noticed that the previous mark lasted until the end of the encounter (or, likely, I didn't remember). Still, now a Tactical Warpriest can apply that mark with a charge or an encounter melee attack rather than an at-will, meaning that you don't have to deploy a low-power at-will attack early in a combat just to get your mark going. I still don't see it as an awful change.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
Y'know, if they wanted to make a strength cleric, they could have made the following "all attacks are Str/Wis vs.  Also, if the attack is made using strength, the attack becomes a weapon attack and the damage is 1[W] per damage die"