For all the grumblers - Heroes of the Feywild explicitly supports PHB2 classes

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Some of the material in this chapter is for use with classes found in other books. The barbarian and the bard appear in Player's Handbook 2, the druid appears in Player's Handbook 2 and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, and the wizard material is for use with either the Player's Handbook or Heroes of the Fallen Lands.


Chapter 3 of Heroes of the Feywild includes the following material:



  • New powers for the barbarian, as well as alternate class features for the berserker subclass.

  • New powers for the bard, as well as alternate class features for the skald subclass.

  • New powers for the druid, as well as alternate class features for the protector subclass.

  • New powers for the wizard, as well as alternate class features for the witch subclass.


In today's preview, we look more closely at the witch subclass, initially revealed in our In the Works column:



Well!


-O

We've all already seen the barbarian power that boosts your Defender Aura.
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We've all already seen the barbarian power that boosts your Defender Aura.

And if your choice is Rageblood, Whirling, Thaneborn, or [New Feywild Option] isn't that support?

-O
We've all already seen the barbarian power that boosts your Defender Aura.

And if your choice is Rageblood, Whirling, Thaneborn, or [New Feywild Option] isn't that support?

-O



It's the same backhanded, incidental support that has been upsetting people since Essentials came out. It won't make anyone happy who was upset, even if it's good in and of itself. Let it be judged on its own merits instead of as "support."
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We've all already seen the barbarian power that boosts your Defender Aura.

And if your choice is Rageblood, Whirling, Thaneborn, or [New Feywild Option] isn't that support?

-O



Non-feywild option barbarians dont have defender aura, its not really support.

Its like if they printed an option they claimed was for the original warlock that grants a bonus to your Hexblade.

And while its similar to having different builds having powers that only benefit them, its still subtly different due to entirely different set of core features.
However faint and back-handed the support may be, if the blurb on the back of the book actually mentions it's "for use with Player's Handbook 2" as well as the usual littany of Essentials products, that'll be a small but telling change in the current policy of ignoring the existance of all things pre-Essentials.

 

 

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A fair point, Tony.

All told, I don't think we'll get a true view of where WotC is taking things until the Elemental book, since Feywild was in production while the Essentials books were still a current event.
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Why does the Barbarian boost Defender Aura?
Why does the Barbarian boost Defender Aura?



Same reason the cleric boosts Sneak Attack.
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Why does the Barbarian boost Defender Aura?



We don't know this, in all honesty.

Those who do know are the ones who have seen the book, and they should not be talking.

We DO know that the Berserker build will start each encounter as a Defender, and later in the combat can switch roles into a Striker. The assumption being made that prompted your question is that the "marking mechanic" would be Defender Aura because that is the "Essentials Mark."

The Berserker could have a Defender Aura, or it could have a different marking mechanic. We won't know until it hits the Premier store shelves on November 5th (or until WotC sends out a preview copy to one of the folks in the gaming press).

No, we know it has a defender aura. It has a power that increases the radius of the defender aura.

This is why the notion of support is comical - the only power we've seen is useless for existing barbarians.
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No, we know it has a defender aura. It has a power that increases the radius of the defender aura.

This is why the notion of support is comical - the only power we've seen is useless for existing barbarians.



Oddly enough, the reason why the folks who are crying fowl are comical is also contained within this very sentence.

The notion that there will be no "real" support for the PHB2 Barbarian is comical because the ONLY (singular) power we have seen for the new build happens to be one that (*GASP*) supports the new build.

Here's what I'm going to do. When the book comes out, I will check it out for myself (rather than letting a bunch of twits on the internet tell me what they want me to think). I will judge the new build based on its own merits (knowing that it is going to be doing something that other Barbarians usually don't). If it so happens that most of the powers don't support my Rageblood Barbarian, I'm not going to come here and complain about it because I expect the lion's share of powers in a new book to support the builds contained in the same book, just like the powers for Whirling and Thunderborn Barbarians from Primal Power didn't do much for my Rageblood Barbarian.

Your Mileage May Vary.

You might want to edit your insults out. Just saying.

As I said, the class should be judged on its own merit, not on any supposed support it lends to previous classes. If it happens to support previous builds in a meaningful way, hey, bonus.

But yeah. It uses some sort of Defender Aura: wizards.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/...

It of course isn't a rage daily, so cannot be burned for Rage Strike or used to trigger the wide range of powers and feats that utilize raging.
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The notion that there will be no "real" support for the PHB2 Barbarian is comical because the ONLY (singular) power we have seen for the new build happens to be one that (*GASP*) supports the new build.

It's comical that we went through this dance with each Essentials and post-Essentials release - even though it's turned out the same each time.  

 

 

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You might want to edit your insults out. Just saying.



Nope. If the chicken littles who get bent out of shape and decry it as the end of D&D whenever the developers try something new or the folks who have an axe to grind and want everyone to join them on their crusade against things they haven't even tried for themselves want to take offense, let 'em. I'm sick of suffering fools "gladly." Fools should be taken out into the village square and mocked like they were in olden times, not treated as if their idiociy were sacrosanct.

As I said, the class should be judged on its own merit, not on any supposed support it lends to previous classes. If it happens to support previous builds in a meaningful way, hey, bonus.



All things should be judged on their own merits, and each of us should be in charge of our own judging. Whenever someone asks for my opinion of some new (or any) thing, I always reinforce that it is my opinion that is being given, and that if they truly want to know, they need to check out the object in question and decide for themselves if they like it or not.

The notion that there will be no "real" support for the PHB2 Barbarian is comical because the ONLY (singular) power we have seen for the new build happens to be one that (*GASP*) supports the new build.

It's comical that we went through this dance with each Essentials and post-Essentials release - even though it's turned out the same each time.  




D&D ain't dead yet, my friend. Neither is 4E, despite every idiot who predicted that Essentials would kill it.

My pre-E characters use material from the E(and post-E)-books all the time. I feel supported.

Your mileage may vary (and, from our many discussions, it does, greatly).

The amazing thing is that we both play D&D in the way that pleases us, and we have fun. I would like to think that the goal of having fun is more important to you than any prejudices you may have regarding characters others choose to play. Based on that assumption, despite our many disagreements regarding all things E, I would still be honored to have you at my table, and would do my best to make the experience as fun for you as it is for myself and everyone else at the table.

Can't we all just quit arguing about each new thing that comes out and just play D&D?

I would love it if a new product came out, and, for once. we all obsessed about what we liked about it instead of arguing about what we didn't like.

You might want to edit your insults out. Just saying.

Nope. If the chicken littles who get bent out of shape and decry it as the end of D&D whenever the developers try something new or the folks who have an axe to grind and want everyone to join them on their crusade against things they haven't even tried for themselves want to take offense, let 'em. I'm sick of suffering fools "gladly." Fools should be taken out into the village square and mocked like they were in olden times, not treated as if their idiociy were sacrosanct.

And the ravings and insults of uncritical apologists and mindless yes-men can be safely ignored, in any case.

 

 

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And the ravings and insults of uncritical apologists and mindless yes-men can be safely ignored, in any case.




Absolutely. Fabulous that neither of us is guilty of being either, isn't it?

My pre-E characters use material from the E(and post-E)-books all the time. I feel supported.

Can't argue with feel. 

Fact, OTOH...

Wizard support in Essentials:  sub-class with 3 builds (schools), new spells, spells errata'd to be more powerful.

Wizard support post-Essentials:  another sub-class, two more 'schools' worth of new spells, more on the way.

Warlord support in Essentials:  none.

Warlord support post-Essentials:  none.


Clearly, we're just playing different pre-E classes.

I would like to think that the goal of having fun is more important to you than any prejudices you may have regarding characters others choose to play.

Funny you bring up 'prejudices.'  It's the stereotypes brought back in HotFL and subsequent products that really annoy me the most.  I mean, there's /plenty/ that's bad about the new direction, and balance issues are probably the worst, but the hoops designers are jumping through to resurrect the big dumb fighter, do-anything godwizard, and healbot cleric... it's just sad.   Hey, at least they backed off on the cleric, a little, for now.

I would love it if a new product came out, and, for once. we all obsessed about what we liked about it instead of arguing about what we didn't like.

I do find that it's a good bit easier to re-introduce returning AD&Ders using Essentials.  That's all the positive I've got on the subject, and it doesn't go very far.  Though I /am/ going to run an Essentials version of the ancient Temple of the Frog at the next local Con... see if I get any 0D&Ders to give it a whirl.


 

 

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Can't argue with feel. 

Fact, OTOH...

Wizard support in Essentials:  sub-class with 3 builds (schools), new spells, spells errata'd to be more powerful.

Wizard support post-Essentials:  another sub-class, two more 'schools' worth of new spells, more on the way.

Warlord support in Essentials:  none.

Warlord support post-Essentials:  none.


Clearly, we're just playing different pre-E classes.



We most certainly are. I am playing Fighters and Paladins. I also dabble in new (sub)classes as they are released. My favorite classes have always and will probably ever be Rogue, Fighter, Paladin and now (with 4E) Warlord.

I understand one of the basic truths of class bloat, however, and that is that with every single new class released, the amount of available developer time to expand all classes is reduced. As soon as the Barbarian was released in PHB2, Warlord support was reduced. As soon as the Monk was released, Warlord support was reduced further. Trying to lay blame for reduced Warlord support on Essentials is taking an extremely narrow view and trying to make the facts fit that view. By virtue of being the only source with a Power 2 book, pre-E Martial classes are still some of the best supported classes in the game, e-build or not, and that includes the Warlord.

Funny you bring up 'prejudices.'  It's the stereotypes brought back in HotFL and subsequent products that really annoy me the most.  I mean, there's /plenty/ that's bad about the new direction, and balance issues are probably the worst, but the hoops designers are jumping through to resurrect the big dumb fighter, do-anything godwizard, and healbot cleric... it's just sad.   Hey, at least they backed off on the cleric, a little, for now.



I DMed up to high Paragon, and expect to get back into Epic soon (DM burnout right as we finished Paragon), with a Knight in the party. These "balance issues" you are always talking about simply don't exist. The Knight has not turned into a big, dumb fighter, and our Wizard still isn't trivializing the rest of the party. As soon as one of these events happens, I'll admit that you might have a case. They may have resurrected the AD&D 2E feel for those who had trouble grokking the concept of Martial Daily Powers, but the e-Martial classes still function perfectly in the 4E paradigm, staying completely relevant and functional (at least into Epic Tier, by direct experience, I am not willing to argue theorycraft for things I have not experienced). Since they accomplished this Herculean task, I applaud them for jumping through those hoops instead of cutting corners.

Play the game instead of theorycrafting corner cases, and you might come out with different results.

Can't argue with feel. 

Fact, OTOH...

Wizard support in Essentials:  sub-class with 3 builds (schools), new spells, spells errata'd to be more powerful.

Wizard support post-Essentials:  another sub-class, two more 'schools' worth of new spells, more on the way.

Warlord support in Essentials:  none.

Warlord support post-Essentials:  none.


Clearly, we're just playing different pre-E classes.



We most certainly are. I am playing Fighters and Paladins.

Mmm-hm.  So really /just/ a feeling.  I won't try to talk you out of your subjective opinion.  If you can enjoy a Slayer for more than an hour or two, great.  No accounting for taste.

I understand one of the basic truths of class bloat, however, and that is that with every single new class released, the amount of available developer time to expand all classes is reduced. As soon as the Barbarian was released in PHB2, Warlord support was reduced.

PH2 2009.  MP2 2010. Nope, support kept coming post-Barbarian.  The 'old direction' model didn't create second-class classes. 

Trying to lay blame for reduced Warlord support on Essentials is taking an extremely narrow view and trying to make the facts fit that view. By virtue of being the only source with a Power 2 book, pre-E Martial classes are still some of the best supported classes in the game, e-build or not, and that includes the Warlord.

An accident of when the Essentials axe fell, I suppose, but look at how it's trending.  The Fighter was one of the best-supported classes, and it had 5 builds including PH1, MP1&2.  The Wizard had 6 just counting PH1 & AP1.   Essentials+, has added 2 largely incompatible (they can share only utility powers) fighter sub-classes, and, if you count Dragon, a second build for one of 'em.  Essentials has added (including the imminent HotFw) 3 wizard sub-classes, two of them compatible, and 5 additional builds (schools), 6 including Dragon.   The Cleric, one semi-compatible subclass (with quite a few Domains stacking up), and the whip-saw nerf/less-nerf Templar and overdone Battle Cleric upgrade.  The Rogue, 1 incompatible sub-class, the Ranger, 2.  The Paladin, two quasi-compatible sub-classes, about the same for the Warlock.  The Barbarian & Bard, 1 semi-compatible sub-class on the way for each.  The Avenger, Invoker, Shaman, Warden, Monk, Psion, Battlemind, Ardent, Seeker, RunePriest  - like the Warlord, nothing.



Funny you bring up 'prejudices.'  It's the stereotypes brought back in HotFL and subsequent products that really annoy me the most.  I mean, there's /plenty/ that's bad about the new direction, and balance issues are probably the worst, but the hoops designers are jumping through to resurrect the big dumb fighter, do-anything godwizard, and healbot cleric... it's just sad.   Hey, at least they backed off on the cleric, a little, for now.

I DMed up to high Paragon, and expect to get back into Epic soon (DM burnout right as we finished Paragon), with a Knight in the party. These "balance issues" you are always talking about simply don't exist. The Knight has not turned into a big, dumb fighter, and our Wizard still isn't trivializing the rest of the party.

It is certainly true that one can compensate for or willfully ignore - or revel in - even egregious imbalances.   Just because a mechanic can keep a trabant running doesn't mean it's a good car.  

(at least into Epic Tier, by direct experience, I am not willing to argue theorycraft for things I have not experienced).

Calling unverifiable anecdotal evidence 'direct experience,' and irrefutable logic 'theorycraft,' doesn't make the former proof or the latter invalid. 

 

 

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Calling unverifiable anecdotal evidence 'direct experience,' and irrefutable logic 'theorycraft,' doesn't make the former proof or the latter invalid. 



This is, of course, assuming that you have irrefutable logic.  Which, by him having an experience counter to your logic, is in fact refuting it.
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the Warlord, nothing. 


 
I think I read the term Marshall under Warlord somewhere (Essentialised Warlord), can someone verify?
the Warlord, nothing. 


 
I think I read the term Marshall under Warlord somewhere (Essentialised Warlord), can someone verify?

Marshal is just like Weaponmaster or Arcanist, just the retro-applied subclass name for the PHB1 version of the class.

Personally I think Maka is pretty much right, all the bitching and hand-wringing and whatnot is vastly overblown. HotF* and etc are just more splat-books. 4e has a LOT of classes and sub-classes and builds. Not every new thing they add will work with all of them, and that's really nothing new. It is pointless to complain about it, either you have the material you need in order to support your character concept, or you don't. It is irrelevant whether or not some new thing will work with build X or not, all that matters is you can create the character you want to play. If you can then you've got nothing to complain about, if you can't, well, then send WotC a note and tell them you'd like to see them support your idea. At this point though there's not much you can't do.

And for those who somehow feel entitled to have the game only focus on things THEY like and nothing else, well, sure it would be just peachy, but remember that what YOU like ain't the whole world. There are bound to be things you won't personally care to use in the game. Such has it always been and such will it always be, get used to it.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
the Warlord, nothing. 


 
I think I read the term Marshall under Warlord somewhere (Essentialised Warlord), can someone verify?

Marshal is just like Weaponmaster or Arcanist, just the retro-applied subclass name for the PHB1 version of the class.

Personally I think Maka is pretty much right, all the bitching and hand-wringing and whatnot is vastly overblown. HotF* and etc are just more splat-books. 4e has a LOT of classes and sub-classes and builds. Not every new thing they add will work with all of them, and that's really nothing new. It is pointless to complain about it, either you have the material you need in order to support your character concept, or you don't. It is irrelevant whether or not some new thing will work with build X or not, all that matters is you can create the character you want to play. If you can then you've got nothing to complain about, if you can't, well, then send WotC a note and tell them you'd like to see them support your idea. At this point though there's not much you can't do.

And for those who somehow feel entitled to have the game only focus on things THEY like and nothing else, well, sure it would be just peachy, but remember that what YOU like ain't the whole world. There are bound to be things you won't personally care to use in the game. Such has it always been and such will it always be, get used to it.



TL;DR - If you don't like what's on the school lunch menu you can just go hungry for the day or bring your own lunch.

And while it's wholely my opinion, I still find most of the new stuff to be lazy design. There is no harm in expressing that opinion.
the Warlord, nothing. 


 
I think I read the term Marshall under Warlord somewhere (Essentialised Warlord), can someone verify?

Marshal is just like Weaponmaster or Arcanist, just the retro-applied subclass name for the PHB1 version of the class.

Personally I think Maka is pretty much right, all the bitching and hand-wringing and whatnot is vastly overblown. HotF* and etc are just more splat-books. 4e has a LOT of classes and sub-classes and builds. Not every new thing they add will work with all of them, and that's really nothing new. It is pointless to complain about it, either you have the material you need in order to support your character concept, or you don't. It is irrelevant whether or not some new thing will work with build X or not, all that matters is you can create the character you want to play. If you can then you've got nothing to complain about, if you can't, well, then send WotC a note and tell them you'd like to see them support your idea. At this point though there's not much you can't do.

And for those who somehow feel entitled to have the game only focus on things THEY like and nothing else, well, sure it would be just peachy, but remember that what YOU like ain't the whole world. There are bound to be things you won't personally care to use in the game. Such has it always been and such will it always be, get used to it.



TL;DR - If you don't like what's on the school lunch menu you can just go hungry for the day or bring your own lunch.

And while it's wholely my opinion, I still find most of the new stuff to be lazy design. There is no harm in expressing that opinion.

Yeah, it's the "I don't like this, it isn't interesting to me, therefor it is BAD!" nonsense that is annoying. Truthfully though, if you think this or that is 'lazy design', do some design work! lol.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
 Yeah, it's the "I don't like this, it isn't interesting to me, therefor it is BAD!" nonsense that is annoying. Truthfully though, if you think this or that is 'lazy design', do some design work! lol.


Funny thing about that is that the gate keepers to the White Tower of WotC is WotC itself. So if your design doesn't fit their philosphy you're SoL... I know, I've tried.

I'm confused as to why we're getting a 3rd Druid build. Hopefully it won't be as lackluster as the Sentinel. 
 Yeah, it's the "I don't like this, it isn't interesting to me, therefor it is BAD!" nonsense that is annoying. Truthfully though, if you think this or that is 'lazy design', do some design work! lol.


Funny thing about that is that the gate keepers to the White Tower of WotC is WotC itself. So if your design doesn't fit their philosphy you're SoL... I know, I've tried.

I'm confused as to why we're getting a 3rd Druid build. Hopefully it won't be as lackluster as the Sentinel. 

Well, what sort of build is it? I doubt heavily it is an entire new subclass. It is either a variation of sentinel or of the PHB2 druid. I'm betting PHB2 druid myself since the sentinel is rather less flexible. I don't really know though. My guess is that in general they're not going to do entire new subclasses very often. The barbarian for instance sounds like a build of the PHB2 barbarian, not an entirely new subclass. The Witch is a significant variation on the Arcanist but still appears to be effectively an Arcanist build. Really the boundaries there are pretty fuzzy and WotC hasn't exactly formalized any of that terminology anyhow.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Marshal is just like Weaponmaster or Arcanist, just the retro-applied subclass name for the PHB1 version of the class.



What have they re-named the other O-classes (druid, paladin, ranger, warlock)?
Marshal is just like Weaponmaster or Arcanist, just the retro-applied subclass name for the PHB1 version of the class.



What have they re-named the other O-classes (druid, paladin, ranger, warlock)?

Not all of the PHB1 classes have 'retro names' and presumably some of them never will, like the Warlock. There is Arcanist (Wizard), Marshal (Warlord), Weaponmaster (Fighter), Templar (Cleric), and something or other for Rogue IIRC. Really 'subclass' is not a well-defined concept or term in 4e, so really they just create names when they need to distinguish things mechanically from other things. The names don't mean a whole lot, though they do show up in CB and Compendium.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
 Yeah, it's the "I don't like this, it isn't interesting to me, therefor it is BAD!" nonsense that is annoying. Truthfully though, if you think this or that is 'lazy design', do some design work! lol.


Funny thing about that is that the gate keepers to the White Tower of WotC is WotC itself. So if your design doesn't fit their philosphy you're SoL... I know, I've tried.

I'm confused as to why we're getting a 3rd Druid build. Hopefully it won't be as lackluster as the Sentinel. 

Well, what sort of build is it? I doubt heavily it is an entire new subclass. It is either a variation of sentinel or of the PHB2 druid. I'm betting PHB2 druid myself since the sentinel is rather less flexible. I don't really know though. My guess is that in general they're not going to do entire new subclasses very often. The barbarian for instance sounds like a build of the PHB2 barbarian, not an entirely new subclass. The Witch is a significant variation on the Arcanist but still appears to be effectively an Arcanist build. Really the boundaries there are pretty fuzzy and WotC hasn't exactly formalized any of that terminology anyhow.


The new Druid type/build/subclass/whatever is called the Protector Druid. No idea what it does except that it has a different name than any of the prior builds. Funny because we already have a Guardian and Sentinel so we know that we're at least repeating ground we've already covered. I would hope for a PHB 2 version as well but that would mean WotC has to reprint Wild Shape which would likely mean some sort of nerf/dumbing down is coming. So my guess it'll be some 3rd (or 5th depending on how you count them) build that covers more of the caster role, maybe even tightens up summoning. Considering how WotC has treated E-reboots of classes I'm not exactly looking forward to it but I'll wait and see.

As for the barbarian we already know if gets a defender mechanic, likely an aura, so that won't be shareable. Also it's new Rage like ability doesn't seem compatible with rage strike, but we've seen too little to know for sure. Hopefully it'll have real at-wills, encounters, and dailies that can be used by real barbarians. Also didn't WotC already remake the Barbarian with the Slayer? Just some dude who charges all the time?

The Witch somehow thinks that a familiar is somehow a trade of for implement master or school specialization. So unless features gained at later levels improve it it'll just be an excuse to give Wizards even more Powers to choose from. Because you know, that's what Wizards and Mages really needed, more power.
The new Druid type/build/subclass/whatever is called the Protector Druid. No idea what it does except that it has a different name than any of the prior builds. Funny because we already have a Guardian and Sentinel so we know that we're at least repeating ground we've already covered. I would hope for a PHB 2 version as well but that would mean WotC has to reprint Wild Shape which would likely mean some sort of nerf/dumbing down is coming. So my guess it'll be some 3rd (or 5th depending on how you count them) build that covers more of the caster role, maybe even tightens up summoning. Considering how WotC has treated E-reboots of classes I'm not exactly looking forward to it but I'll wait and see.



Maybe it will have a "bear form" and when it's in that form it acts as a defender , marking and tanking.  Then I'll finally throw in my hat at the "4e is WoW"   

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Maybe it will have a "bear form" and when it's in that form it acts as a defender , marking and tanking.  Then I'll finally throw in my hat at the "4e is WoW"   




You mean 4E isn't WoW?  Tongue out 


We most certainly are. I am playing Fighters and Paladins.

Mmm-hm.  So really /just/ a feeling.  I won't try to talk you out of your subjective opinion.  If you can enjoy a Slayer for more than an hour or two, great.  No accounting for taste.



I can enjoy a Slayer for more than a few hours, but I really need to have handle on the character (RP). Fargrim, the pregen for the last three seasons of Encounters, would bore the crud out of me. Memnon, the Minotaur Slayer with a perverse sense of humour is a gas to play. The difference, of course being that I created the latter and I didn't create the former. If I create a character, I am going to give it the personality and background required to engage me and invest me in the game, whether I am creating a Slayer, a Warpriest, a Warden or an Invoker.

The Fighter and Paladin I was referencing above were a Brawler and a Chaladin. I seriously consider the powers from HotFL and HotFK when leveling these guys up, and have taken several of them for each build.

I understand one of the basic truths of class bloat, however, and that is that with every single new class released, the amount of available developer time to expand all classes is reduced. As soon as the Barbarian was released in PHB2, Warlord support was reduced.

PH2 2009.  MP2 2010. Nope, support kept coming post-Barbarian.  The 'old direction' model didn't create second-class classes. 

Trying to lay blame for reduced Warlord support on Essentials is taking an extremely narrow view and trying to make the facts fit that view. By virtue of being the only source with a Power 2 book, pre-E Martial classes are still some of the best supported classes in the game, e-build or not, and that includes the Warlord.

An accident of when the Essentials axe fell, I suppose, but look at how it's trending.  The Fighter was one of the best-supported classes, and it had 5 builds including PH1, MP1&2.  The Wizard had 6 just counting PH1 & AP1.   Essentials+, has added 2 largely incompatible (they can share only utility powers) fighter sub-classes, and, if you count Dragon, a second build for one of 'em.  Essentials has added (including the imminent HotFw) 3 wizard sub-classes, two of them compatible, and 5 additional builds (schools), 6 including Dragon.   The Cleric, one semi-compatible subclass (with quite a few Domains stacking up), and the whip-saw nerf/less-nerf Templar and overdone Battle Cleric upgrade.  The Rogue, 1 incompatible sub-class, the Ranger, 2.  The Paladin, two quasi-compatible sub-classes, about the same for the Warlock.  The Barbarian & Bard, 1 semi-compatible sub-class on the way for each.  The Avenger, Invoker, Shaman, Warden, Monk, Psion, Battlemind, Ardent, Seeker, RunePriest  - like the Warlord, nothing.



Reduced support does not mean non-existant support. Warlords, by virtue of being in a Power 2 book, and one of the more popular Dragon Magazine entrants, are already one of the most supported classes in the game. I share your disappointment at the lack of support for the Seeker, Runepriest (new build coming, but that doesn't help your argument, so you fail to mention it), Artificer, Shaman, etc. Since the developers are not being forced to create such material without Power 2 books on the schedule, it needs to be fit into other products or the magazine. This is where "reduced support" due to class bloat comes into play.



Funny you bring up 'prejudices.'  It's the stereotypes brought back in HotFL and subsequent products that really annoy me the most.  I mean, there's /plenty/ that's bad about the new direction, and balance issues are probably the worst, but the hoops designers are jumping through to resurrect the big dumb fighter, do-anything godwizard, and healbot cleric... it's just sad.   Hey, at least they backed off on the cleric, a little, for now.

I DMed up to high Paragon, and expect to get back into Epic soon (DM burnout right as we finished Paragon), with a Knight in the party. These "balance issues" you are always talking about simply don't exist. The Knight has not turned into a big, dumb fighter, and our Wizard still isn't trivializing the rest of the party.

It is certainly true that one can compensate for or willfully ignore - or revel in - even egregious imbalances.   Just because a mechanic can keep a trabant running doesn't mean it's a good car.



And to this, again, I say that you need to play the darned game. We aren't ignoring anything. The Knight is well-designed, and does not become trivialized by AEDU classes. It is simple in appearance, but tactically complex in play. If you were doing more than theorycraft (yet somehow still ignoring the Char Op boards and all their theorycraft) you would know this. BTW, Char Op, and all their number crunching agrees with me, and they are masters of theorycraft, while you are proving yourself to be an armchair theoritician, at best

(at least into Epic Tier, by direct experience, I am not willing to argue theorycraft for things I have not experienced).

Calling unverifiable anecdotal evidence 'direct experience,' and irrefutable logic 'theorycraft,' doesn't make the former proof or the latter invalid. 



My "unverifiable anecdotal evidence" has been matched by DMs and players around the country who have had similar experience and come here to post about it in the several hundred E-war threads. You participated in most of threads, as did I. If anyone is "willfully ignoring" anything, I'd say that it is you, and not us, because you have blinders on that your "logic" will not allow you to remove.

I refute your logic because it does not match my experience (or the experience of the five players around my table, or the experience of other players and DMs who have posted, refuting your irrefutable logic in the past). Maybe some experience of your own would be beneficial.

Inigo sez

"Irrefutable" and "logic." You keep using those words. Somehow, I don't think they mean quite what you think they mean.



 ;)

Tony, you and I have done this dance. Your logic simply cannot counter my experience, and until you have some experience, nothing I say will counter your logic. On virtually every other topic related to D&D, I think we either agree or almost agree. When it comes to all things E, however, we just aren't going to see eye to eye. I'll agree to disagree if you do.

There has been a definite shift since Heroes of Shadow to acknowledge and make reference to pre-essentials material.

The Neverwinter campaign book makes many references to pre-essentials books including the PHB, DMG and monster manuals. I especially liked how it used monsters from all sources to flesh out the various factions. The Gardmore Abbey superadventure did the same. This is a nice nod to those DM's who have the older books.

In general, the DDI support for Pre-E material is steadily improving since bottoming out after the release of Essentials. Options for strength clerics, o-assassins, and the upcoming articles for Runepriest and Bladeling represent a real attempt by WotC to meet everyones demand for support for those options.

The real clincher for me would be more support for the Seeker. Any bets on when/if we'll see it?
The Fighter was one of the best-supported classes, and it had 5 builds including PH1, MP1&2.  The Wizard had 6 just counting PH1 & AP1.   Essentials+, has added 2 largely incompatible (they can share only utility powers) fighter sub-classes, and, if you count Dragon, a second build for one of 'em.  Essentials has added (including the imminent HotFw) 3 wizard sub-classes, two of them compatible, and 5 additional builds (schools), 6 including Dragon.   ...  The Avenger, Invoker, Shaman, Warden, Monk, Psion, Battlemind, Ardent, Seeker, RunePriest  - like the Warlord, nothing.

Reduced support does not mean non-existant support.

I don't see how /nothing/ constitutes 'reduced' rather than non-existant support.  Perhaps there's some vaporware on the horizon? 


Funny you bring up 'prejudices.'  It's the stereotypes brought back in HotFL and subsequent products that really annoy me the most.  I mean, there's /plenty/ that's bad about the new direction, and balance issues are probably the worst, but the hoops designers are jumping through to resurrect the big dumb fighter, do-anything godwizard, and healbot cleric... it's just sad.   Hey, at least they backed off on the cleric, a little, for now..... It is certainly true that one can compensate for or willfully ignore - or revel in - even egregious imbalances.   Just because a mechanic can keep a trabant running doesn't mean it's a good car.

And to this, again, I say that you need to play the darned game. We aren't ignoring anything. The Knight is well-designed, and does not become trivialized by AEDU classes.

I'm not saying it always will be - in theory, it could even do the overshadowing in the right campaign.   The Knight (or Slayer ) is not badly designed for what it is - a class that resurects an old stereotype - but whether by design or accident, it doesn't balance /well/ or consistently with pre-existing or other Essentials classes. 

The reason is simple and obvious enough, if you care to look at it objectively.  If you assume that the daily-less class's other abilities balance with those of other classe, which include dailies - at the expected average 4-5 encounter day, then if you have fewer encounters, the classes with dailies will tend to overshadow those without, and, conversely, if you have /very/ long/unpredictable days, the reverse will be true.  In a campaign that sticks tightly to that 4-5 average - rarely ever having only 3 or as many as 6, say - no extreme class balance problem is aparent (you /might/ notice that the contributions of the daily-less class are less dramatic, but overall they're contributing in a balanced fashion).   In a campaign that has greater variation from the norm, the players may still feel their characters are balanced in the long run - some 'shining' on some days, some on others - but the DM will notice that encounter balance becomes trickier when he has very 'short' or 'long' days (balancing an encounter to challenge some characters who can 'go nova' while others can't has never been easy - though Essentials doesn't come close to making it as problematic as it was in 3.x).    In a campaign that deviates consistently, so it's average is lower or higher than the balance point, class imbalances will become quite difficult for the DM to compensate for or the players to ignore (though, of course, some may revel in them).

That's the facts - /assuming/ the classes balance at all, but I'm content to stipulate that they do, at some point, even if it may not be 4.5 encounters/day at every table.   You can claim contrary experiences or call facts 'theorycrafting' or falsely accuse me of not playing the game (I play Encounters, a campaign that's currently in Paragon, and I run Lair Assault - and I've been an avid gamer since 1980) all you like, the facts won't change to suit you.


Tony, you and I have done this dance. Your logic simply cannot counter my experience, and until you have some experience, nothing I say will counter your logic.

1) I do have experience - an excess of it, in fact.  So you can stop making that snide insinuation anytime you care to begin being intellectually honest.  2) you absolutely can attempt to counter my logic.  If you have any of your own to offer.  You'd have to aproach the questions raised objectively and with an open mind...  You might even find that not only am I 'right,' but what I'm actually claiming isn't quite as damning nor nearly as at odds with your own experience as you seem to think. 

 

 

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The real clincher for me would be more support for the Seeker. Any bets on when/if we'll see it?



Heroes of the Feywild would be the place for it.

Really, they could just take the Seeker's handful of decent powers, rework inevitable shot and bonds into at-wills with some kind of powerup mechanism (like stances), and slap an Essentials label on it and that would be enough for me. Hmm perhaps something for me to spend my evening on now that my game has been cancelled.

Wizard support in Essentials:  sub-class with 3 builds (schools), new spells, spells errata'd to be more powerful.

Wizard support post-Essentials:  another sub-class, two more 'schools' worth of new spells, more on the way.

Warlord support in Essentials:  none.

Warlord support post-Essentials:  none.



Wizard support in Martial Power: None.

Warlord support in Arcane Power: None.

Warlord support in Martial Power: Loads.

Wizard support in Arcane Power: Loads.

It's almost as if a class not having support in some books doesn't mean that it will never have support ever again.

But who am I to talk? I'm obviously an "apologist", because it's impossible that someone can disagree with Tony due to personal taste, since he has already fortold the future, not to mention how he already decreed that his tastes were superior to all others! Wink
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
They likely aren't going to do that though.  They made the Hunter as an essentials subclass to replace the Seeker it seems.  I was holding out hope that there would be something in the Feywild book because it seemed the only likely place for it, short of a Primal Power 2.  Now that we know that there is no Seeker support my hope is pretty much gone.  WoTC just needs to shock us all and continue where Marital Power 2 left off. 

Wizard support in Martial Power: None.

Warlord support in Arcane Power: None.

Warlord support in Martial Power: Loads.

Wizard support in Arcane Power: Loads.

It's almost as if a class not having support in some books doesn't mean that it will never have support ever again.



This argument is so dishonest. Essentials books were not merely new splat books for existing classes, the builds that were included in Essentials were not the equivalent of builds released in the Powers books, and the shift in philosophy that accompanied the Essentials line was not the same as the incremental shifts in design that predecessed it.

If there is a shift in design philosophy, release plan, branding, and class format and certain classes seem to fall off the table without ever being mentioned again, it's not unreasonable to have some concern that they have gotten lost in the shuffle. That's a little different from complaining that a book called Arcane Power doesn't have support for martial characters.

On the other hand, it's very similar to pointing out that a book called Heroes of the Feywild has options for an arcane class that has by far the broadest post-Essentials support, but no options for the damn seeker! I mean, if Martial Power had shipped with new wizard options and no warlord options, you would find concern about that at least a bit reasonable, no? What do they have to do, release a book called "The Warlord Book" that has nothing but wizard options before you will concede that the balance of class coverage is pretty clearly deliberately favoring some over others?

Wizard support in Essentials:  sub-class with 3 builds (schools), new spells, spells errata'd to be more powerful.

Wizard support post-Essentials:  another sub-class, two more 'schools' worth of new spells, more on the way.

Warlord support in Essentials:  none.

Warlord support post-Essentials:  none.



It's almost as if a class not having support in some books doesn't mean that it will never have support ever again.

I'm making no definitive claim about the future, just the current trend.  The current trend has been to build upon the 'evergreen' Essentials products, not on earlier dead-tree materials.  It makes marketing sense, but it's meant vanishing little to no ongoing support of pre-E.  Really, it gives the impression that the devs wish they could just sweep it all under the rug and honestly roll a rev - but the nerdrage over a formal 4.5 would have been epic.

Anyway if you go all the way back to my first post, you'll notice that I pointed out that HotFw actually referencing PH2 as well as Essentials as resources you'd use it with /would/ be a non-trivial development in that regard.  I was my usual cynical self, but by my standards, it was positively hopeful. ;P 


 

 

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