Weapon use is not worthwhile for clerics in current playtest packet

I made a comparison between clerics that use lance of faith and others that rely on weapon use to hit enemies at will, what brought me to the conclusion that attacking with a weapon is not viable for clerics in current playtest packet. With lance of faith, you've got a better bonus to hit, don't need to invest much in STR or DEX and you inflict more damage on most of the time, since its damage scales when your level increases. If you choose another cleric's cantrip instead and rely on weapon use, you are just making your character subpar and that's not fair. I enjoy playing the archetypical cleric and as the current rules stand, that kind of character is strictly worse than laser cleric builds.

I think they should increase the Weapon Attack bonus to make weapon using worthwhile to clerics. The cleric would have the same bonus to hit as a fighter or a monk, and that fix won't make the class overpowered since a cleric would remain with less Martial Damage Dices (MDD) and Martial Damage Bonus (MDB) than her non-casters buddies.

I know that change would turn Weapon Attack bonus the same for all classes, but with the introduction of MDD and MDB in the game, different attack bonus progressions are not necessary anymore. We could just have the same attack progression for everyone, like we had in D&D 4th, and use MDD and MDB to discern combat expertise between the classes.

Or they should just nerf lance of faith and the like, but I think the other solution is better, since no one likes to play with inaccurate characters anyway.

Regardless of which direction will be taken, something must be done for solve this balance issue within the cleric class.
I agree with you, at least for the Warbringer, Stormbringer and Reaper domains.   Either give "to hit" bonus, or let Clerics use their wisdom bonus as a modifier for their proficient weapons.  Actually, I like that idea.  Let all clerics use their wisdom bonus "to hit" using weapons.  Their blows are inspired by their faith in their gods.  It makes sense, and it won't overpower them and make them like fighters.   They could gain damage bonus the same way, or they can gain damage bonus through strength for melee and dexterity for ranged and finesse as per regular rules.  In any event, I do believe they need to be more capable in a fight using weapons.

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I know that change would turn Weapon Attack bonus the same for all classes, but with the introduction of MDD and MDB in the game, different attack bonus progressions are not necessary anymore. We could just have the same attack progression for everyone, like we had in D&D 4th, and use MDD and MDB to discern combat expertise between the classes.



Yes. 1000 times Yes.


I agree, with the caveat that only clerics from domains who focus on weapon-using should get this (but they're also really the only ones that need it).
i'm sorry but saying "a cleric that chooses any other cantrip and attacks with a weapon is sub par and that's not fair" is stupid reasoning. it's like saying "a wizard that chooses anything but fireball has it unfair because they cant cast fireball" perhaps there is a reason the person didnt choose lance of faith

i'm sorry but saying "a cleric that chooses any other cantrip and attacks with a weapon is sub par and that's not fair" is stupid reasoning. it's like saying "a wizard that chooses anything but fireball has it unfair because they cant cast fireball" perhaps there is a reason the person didnt choose lance of faith



I will try to be more clear this time. English is not my native language, so I’ve got a little trouble to make my point here.

With the current rules you cannot build an optimal combat oriented cleric without choosing lance of faith. This cantrip increases your accuracy about 5-15%; allows you to use wisdom for all of your attacks rolls, which is good since it makes a high investment on strength or dexterity no longer necessary; and can be used to hit foes from close quarters or from long distances.


Of course, someone who takes a cantrip must have some sort of an advantage against someone who doesn’t, but in this case the benefit seems too great. Somebody who wants a cleric more oriented for exploration or interaction parts of the game should take other cantrips instead (Guidance and Light are good for those purposes), but if you want a combat-focused character, Lance of Faith is a must have.  Since the spell per se is not overpowered (you will come to this conclusion when comparing it with wizards' cantrips), it’s the cleric’s low weapon attack bonus which created this situation.


That annoys me because I enjoy playing the archetypical cleric, who casts divine magic to bolster her allies or weaken her foes and uses a weapon –usually a mace– to smash her enemies. With the current rules, this kind of character is worse than one built as a laser cleric.


I have nothing against the laser cleric concept; the problem here is making the classic archetype a trap choice. For me, it’s not fair to the player and I would be equally dissatisfied if I were penalized for playing a dwarf axe fighter.


If one of the main spots of D&D Next is maintaining the game's identity, designers should do everything they can so problems like that do not remain in the final product.

Even clerics who have Lance of Faith, should be able to use weapons in melee nearly as well so that they have another choice when in combat or they will just spam Lance of Faith all the time.  In my last game session, the cleric player used Lance of Faith about 90% of the time (the other times he used 4 spells and one melee attack).  Eventually, (because he was rolling badly), he decided to attack an Ogre Skeleton with his hammer (a +1 "to hit" option vs. his usual +6 Lance of Faith).  He knew it was a suboptimal choice, but he did it anyway just for fun and to roleplay his character more.  He actually hit and shattered the Ogre Skeleton.  lol   I think Lance of Faith should be nerfed and melee should be made a more viable option.

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Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

I think Lance of Faith should be nerfed and melee should be made a more viable option.



I don't know if Lance of Faith really needs a nerf. It doesn't seem so powerful by the spell description...

Guess I need to test the game more in order to be sure about it. Rhenny, do you think your group's cleric was spreading too much damage with that spell when measured with the other characters?

Anyway, I agree with you that melee should be made a more viable option. 
I think Lance of Faith should be nerfed and melee should be made a more viable option.



I don't know if Lance of Faith really needs a nerf. It doesn't seem so powerful by the spell description...

Guess I need to test the game more in order to be sure about it. Rhenny, do you think your group's cleric was spreading too much damage with that spell when measured with the other characters?

Anyway, I agree with you that melee should be made a more viable option. 



It's not so much that his damage was less or more than the others (by the way, it is much less considering he can't use combat expertise).  It is more the idea that he has few other options in a round so it just gets a little boring..."what does your cleric do?"...."I draw upon the power of my God to smite my foe - Lance of Faith."    At 4th level (the last game we played), he has only his cantrips and 4 spells and his 2/day Channel Divinity.   Maybe what they should do is give some clerics a cantrip that allows them to power up their melee attack so that it compares favorably with Lance of Faith.   That way, there would be an alternative (basically a Divine Favor type cantrip - Divine Favor does not seem like such a good 1st level spell anyway).

A Brave Knight of WTF

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

  Maybe what they should do is give some clerics a cantrip that allows them to power up their melee attack so that it compares favorably with Lance of Faith.   That way, there would be an alternative (basically a Divine Favor type cantrip - Divine Favor does not seem like such a good 1st level spell anyway).



Good idea! It's a alternative to make clerics good in melee without pushing every kind of cleric into it. If giving all clerics a better weapon attack bonus proves itself unbalanced, bring on a cantrip for melee clerics, so it would be a nice solution to fix the problem.

I think this playtest tries too much to make everyone deal an eqaul amount of damage...

and I believe, spells like radiant lance do too much damage. A melee weapon should be the cleric´s best option... or the spell should not be at will, but somerthing different... i liked the playtest version before, where the 0 level spells were not generally at will.
A melee weapon should be the cleric´s best option...


why?
Brother Bayl and his greatsword are doing just fine, thanks. And as a Warbringer, his Channel Strength and Channel Wrath are only good with melee attacks anyway. Advantage on any Strength-based check or attack or +2d10 damage on a melee attack... those are both pretty useful ways to use a melee weapon.
Clerics were the Lords of the Buff, and I kinda miss that...

My group long toyed with doing an "All Cleric" campaign.

I do tend to agree that Lance of Faith is a little too good... It's the quivalent of a ranged greatsword.

-KW
 
They screwed up in the latest packet and forgot to include the rules for Words of Power, but Mike Mearls himself said the rules are supposed to still be in the game.

For those who don't know, Words of Power are spells you can cast quickly and then also attack. You cannot, however, use Lance of Faith in the same turn as a Word of Power. Many iconic spells, including all the healing spells, are Words of Power.

That is the value of weapon attacks.
A solution that creates the fewer ripples would be to modify Radiant Lance (or create a new cantrip). The divine energy charges a melee weapon the cleric is wielding; they make a magical attack and deal the same 2d8 damage (or 4d8, etc) but change the damage type to match the weapon. Greater flexibility (especially when one encounters a creature vulnerable or immune to a particular damage type) and virtually no impact on the rest of the core system.
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They screwed up in the latest packet and forgot to include the rules for Words of Power, but Mike Mearls himself said the rules are supposed to still be in the game.

For those who don't know, Words of Power are spells you can cast quickly and then also attack. You cannot, however, use Lance of Faith in the same turn as a Word of Power. Many iconic spells, including all the healing spells, are Words of Power.

That is the value of weapon attacks.



I liked Words of Power and was sad to not see it in the current packet.  But if it was an oversight, then I'm happy that it is still in there =).

Seems that this is the best argument for using weapons over Lance of Faith, as long as the rules don't allow for a normal spell and a Word of Power being cast in the "same breath", so to speak.  To be honest, I'm not intimately familiar with those rules, just the basics.
This is a big problem. It was there in the last packet also. Statistically, it was always better to use Lance of Faith as your basic attack, and only make a weapon attack if you were casting a word of power spell. Now, that's ridiculous. I'm highly in favor of allowing clerics to fulfil a variety of archetypes.

A "priest" type of cleric who is lightly armored works well with Lance of Faith. He stands back and blasts with divine power.

But another type of highly iconic cleric is the mace and shield wielding guy. His basic attack is swinging his mace. He should be able to do as much or more damage on a round by round basis as the laser cleric does.

The warrior-god cleric who uses martial weapons isn't the same as the second type. He is a third type. It's important that all 3 of these basic cleric types are fully supported.

And then you can have a variety of more "specialty" clerical styles beyond those.

If Lance of Faith is left as it is (doing more damage than a weapon attack), it's probably best to include an at-will word of power that enhances the damage of a cleric's weapon attack.

Alternatively, Lance of Faith could be drastically reduced in effectiveness so that an iconic cleric with a Str 14 and a mace will do as much or more damage.
And they called it smite.
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Lance of faith would make a great first level cleric spell.  However, unlike wizards who need an at-will magical attack, the majority of clerics do not need it, being able to actually swing a mace and do some damage.  Either seriously reduce the damage, or make it a first level spell.  It should not be a cantrip with 2D6 damage.
Lance of faith would make a great first level cleric spell.  However, unlike wizards who need an at-will magical attack, the majority of clerics do not need it, being able to actually swing a mace and do some damage.  Either seriously reduce the damage, or make it a first level spell.  It should not be a cantrip with 2D6 damage.



I agree that it should probably deal less damage, but it should still be a cantrip.  There's no reason to remove the ability for people to play primarily ranged spellslinger clerics if that's what they're into.