Is Berserker Barbarian (Arid Desert) too good?

31 posts / 0 new
Last post
It's very easy to have a Berserker at level 1 with a 21 AC (Half-Orc, unarmored agility).

This seems pretty steep to me--anyone else?

I think it would have been better to make Arid Desert feature a +2 AC bonus instead of +3.

Do you guys think they went over-the-top with this class feature?  I think the Temperate and Frozen class features are great (maybe Frozen one is a little "meh").

 
No, it's not.

It's solid, it's among the highest ACs it's possible to get at level 1, even.  But it's not the best thing ever, because it comes at the expense of some to-hit bonus, and the other NADs.

The other two are a bit meh, however.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
No.

The AC bonus is exactly the amount that brings you up to Hide (+3), which all the other ones are going to be wearing.  Which means Arid Desert gives you +2 to Reflex, removal of the -1 armor check penalty for Hide, and fire resistance.

Compare that to Frozen, which gives +1 Fort and +1 Will and cold resistance.  Or to Temperate, which gives you back most of the damage you lose from using a shield, so it's sortof like +1 to AC and Reflex (note that zerkers only have light shield proficiency).

Is it a good bonus?  Sure.  Is it overpowered in the grand scheme of things?  Not really, no.  If anything, the problem is more in Unarmored Agility than it is in the Berserker.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Also, while spending your feats on defense is a justifiable choice (and in fact I think Unarmored Agility is at least sky blue and possibly gold for berserkers), there are lots of other feats competing for those heroic slots. 

That is, 21 AC at first level is impressive, but the opportunity cost is pretty high.  By late heroic, when the feat cost is a bit lower, your AC has balanced out with a lot of other classes (and you really do need it to be +3 instead of +2).
Sort of.  By itself a starting 19 AC for a defender is fine.  Its what a fighter with a shield starts out with.  The problem is all the ways to boost AC that stack and that the berserkers bonus is untyped. 

A halfling beserker with a starting dex of 18 could do unarmored defense mc fighter and get small warriors defense.  At level 4 that is 26 AC while wielding a heavy war pick.  While the paladin in plate and heavy shield is only at 23 with no easy way to boost it till paragon.
That is, 21 AC at first level is impressive, but the opportunity cost is pretty high.


Indeed.  It's hard to argue for Unarmored Agility over a superior weapon feat and an expertise feat for the first two that you get. 
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
For a PC I would actually play I think I would always go for a superior weapon for my first feat.  Unarmored agility would taken by level 6 at the latest probably.
To be fair, you're limited to a set of armor enchantments that aren't particularly acclimated to Defenders (Cloth armors).
To be fair, you're limited to a set of armor enchantments that aren't particularly acclimated to Defenders (Cloth armors).



But the tradeoff is there also is that you have good Athletics and Acrobatics, no speed penalty and high initiative. All good things for a defender to have.
To be fair, you're limited to a set of armor enchantments that aren't particularly acclimated to Defenders (Cloth armors).



But the tradeoff is there also is that you have good Athletics and Acrobatics, no speed penalty and high initiative. All good things for a defender to have.

Oh, definitely.  
To be fair, you're limited to a set of armor enchantments that aren't particularly acclimated to Defenders (Cloth armors).



But the tradeoff is there also is that you have good Athletics and Acrobatics, no speed penalty and high initiative. All good things for a defender to have.



But other berserkers are going to do most of that as well.  Hide gives you no speed penalty and you'll have high dex also for good initiative.  The only difference between Cloth plus Arid's bonus and Hide is that Hide has the -1 armor check penalty (which isn't that much) and the availability of magic armor enchantments.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
To be fair, you're limited to a set of armor enchantments that aren't particularly acclimated to Defenders (Cloth armors).


Bloodthread is competitive with any of the other Defender Hide Armors.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
To be fair, you're limited to a set of armor enchantments that aren't particularly acclimated to Defenders (Cloth armors).

There are some interesting choices there, though:
* Stoneskin Armor - 5/tier temporary hps as a minor, every encounter. Not a lot of thp, but I won't say no on a defender.
* Armor of Sudden Recovery - 1/day, end ongoing damage and gain regeneration equal to the damage until the end of the encounter.
* Battle Harness - never bad to have, and available in cloth.
* Flowform Armor - Triggered no-action saving throw 1/encounter.
* Bloodthread Armor - +2 to AC and saving throws when you need them most.  (Also a nice combo with Berserk Vitality, since you can safely stay bloodied longer.)
* Temporal Armor - Convert a minor to a standard 1/day? Don't mind if I do.


Sort of.  By itself a starting 19 AC for a defender is fine.  Its what a fighter with a shield starts out with.  The problem is all the ways to boost AC that stack and that the berserkers bonus is untyped. 

A halfling beserker with a starting dex of 18 could do unarmored defense mc fighter and get small warriors defense.  At level 4 that is 26 AC while wielding a heavy war pick.  While the paladin in plate and heavy shield is only at 23 with no easy way to boost it till paragon.


You can also get to a 26 AC as a medium Str/Dex race with MC Cleric's BCL (assuming no DM contravention) and a Rhythm Dagger.
Show
[10 + 4(Dex) + 2(Half level) + 3(Arid Desert) +2(Enhancement) + 2(BCL) + 1(Rhythm) + 2(Unarmored Agility)]
Not to mention Hybrid Cleric/Swordmage for Battle Cleric's Lore and Hybrid Talent for Swordmage Warding- AC 22 at level 1, and it just gets more insane from there.
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
It's very easy to have a Berserker at level 1 with a 21 AC (Half-Orc, unarmored agility).

This seems pretty steep to me--anyone else?

I think it would have been better to make Arid Desert feature a +2 AC bonus instead of +3.

Do you guys think they went over-the-top with this class feature?  I think the Temperate and Frozen class features are great (maybe Frozen one is a little "meh").

 


It's actually remarkably comparable to temperate.  Arid will have Dex+3 (feature)+2 (feat - Unarmored Agility) and a +2 Reflex.  Temperate will have Dex+3(Hide)+1(lt shield)+1(feat - heavy shield) and +2 Reflex from the shield.  Both will have spent a single feat.  Without the feat expenditure, Temperate is ahead by 1 point of AC and behind by 1 point of Reflex. 

Damage-wise, we'll assume Arid wields a Fullblade and Temperate a Bastard Sword (+3 proficiency is usually the way to go; Berserkers may not charge enough to make a gouge worthwhile).  Temperate gets 1D10+2 (bonus from class feature) + standard mods, whereas Arid gets 1D12 + standard mods (and high crit).  With 1[W] powers, which is what will see the most use, Temperate is actually ahead of Arid in damage.  Arid will come ahead with 3+[W] powers, but that's not how Barbarians deal most of their damage.  Arid will also have a little more oomph on his crits, and won't get a check penalty (compared to the Temperate's -2 or -3, depending on whether he upgraded to a heavy shield). 

Frozen is by and large going to sacrifice damage by going sword and board, but will have the best overall defenses (W and F bumped by class feature, R and AC bumped by shield).  Alternatively, they could grab a 2 hander like an Arid Berserker, but the moderate increase in damage probably won't be worth losing 1 or 2 AC and Reflex.  Having better Will is also going to make him less likely to be shut down by the nastiest status effects, which could translate into a round of attacking that an Arid or Temperate Berserker didn't get.  Still, Frozen is admittedly the most "niche" heartland feature, since most won't want to give up any damage.  
Robe of Eyes is very Defender-friendly.  Being immune to Blind is something most Defenders would kill for.  ;)
Robe of Eyes is very Defender-friendly.  Being immune to Blind is something most Defenders would kill for.  ;)



Yeah, but 15xp is also something most defenders would kill for. And do. On a regular basis. Unless the striker gets there first. Sealed
Robe of Eyes is very Defender-friendly.  Being immune to Blind is something most Defenders would kill for.  ;)



Yeah, but 15xp is also something most defenders would kill for. And do. On a regular basis. Unless the striker gets there first.




LOL

At topic, if anything thr Arid is a little underpowered. At Paragon the other 2 have access to another+1 from their shield. Giving them greater AC/Reflex.

On the whole, Wizard's did a good job with the Berserker, he isn't overpowered (and he very well could have been. Fighter level defending WITH Ranger level striking anyone..... @.@ ) he acts and functions like a Berserker, and he looks like a lot of fun to play. Hopefully we get more support for him to make him even better at his jobs (specially his Defender role. I'm putting mine through it's paces as a Primary Defender, we will see how it does.)

 
Wizards pretty much did a good job with this book in general.  The Berserker is well built (not to mention the other classes certainly not succumbing to the level of the Binder), the races are unique, it's a book that actually gives some support to PHB1+ races, and overall it gives a bit of neat flavor to the Feywild plane.  Schweet.

If your standard for passing is "not as bad as the Binder", uhm...

Not like that.  I mean avoiding the method of making obsolete classes (i.e. the Binder) by giving each of the classes fully-fledged unique characteristics.

Why would any temperate berserker pay a feat for a heavy shield and take an ACP?  Just buy a rhythm blade spiked shield and laugh.
The Witch isn't awful, it's just strictly worse than the Wizard.
The Wizard class is bloated enough at this point that the only class features you can design are either "obsolete" or "broken..." or, I guess, "directly poaching another controller's limited schtick."  I don't mind obsolete for the witch... I can't imagine actually playing one, but I might use some of its powers on another Wizard.  Not like the class needed more power variety, but meh.  At least some of the Witch options are interesting.

Also, thanks everyone for defender cloth enchant ideas.  I'm much too lazy to flip through my AV and MME...
Witch should have been a theme, not a class. If they wanted to add Wizard support, Transmuter Mage was still open and would have dovetailed nicely.



Okay, I can't argue with that.  A Transmuter Mage option alongside a Witch theme would have been better execution.
None of its powers even make the good list, I'm afraid.

Witch should have been a theme, not a class. If they wanted to add Wizard support, Transmuter Mage was still open and would have dovetailed nicely.


Off the top of my head Mass Transformation and Beast Switch are both quality powers.  I admittedly still haven't looked over most of the Witch powers in much detail, but I do remember others being at least worth a look.

Back to the Berserker, yes Temperate and Frozen will almost certainly take Shield Spec. in Paragon.  Arid Berserkers with top-notch AC will be Polearm wielders, however (and will thus pick up Hafted Defense).  So they can maintain good AC and get reach for a slight decrease in damage (Greatspear vs Fullblade). 

I still think they're pretty well balanced against each other, and I like that each caters to a different type of build (Temperate = damaging Sword and board, Frozen = high defense Sword and Board, and Arid = 2 hander, including Polearms).
Sign In to post comments