Sorry if this is something that has been brought up umpteen times already, my search-fu is weak.
Something that has always been a bit of an issue in the D&D (advanced, 2nd ed, 3, 3.5) games I have played in that have run for any length of time is “out of combat” balance. Different edditions have done better or worse at the combat balance, but the out of combat has always been a reel problem. What I mean is that initially thieves have plenty to do, but pretty soon a wiz can just pass the same challenges better. This lead to conversations like
Thief: “Awesome, at my new level I can climb walls with a 87% chance of success!”
Wizard: “That’s nice, I can cast levitate”
Thief: “I can pick loc…”
Fighter: “I can..”
Both: “Shut up fighter, we only bring you along in case a fight breaks out and we need a target dummy to keep monsters off us”
My concern as it stands is that combat balance seems from the most recent playpacket that combat balance is pretty good. But why does the fighter get nothing cool to do out of combat?
More specifically, fighters get the default background. 4 skills, one schtick.
Clerics get the same, and an additional trained knowledge. Not huge amount extra, but they get spells, which often allow you to do additional fun stuff/make a contribution out of combat.
Wizards get the same +1 trained knowledge. Again, not a game changer, but get utility spells (which are)
Rogues. Extra skills, skill tricks, skill mastery, Rogue schemes.
The problem as I see it is between fighters and rogues. Rogues are now on reasonable parity with fighters in combat, same MDD, same to hit bonus, same MDB. Slightly less able to stand and take it, but more ability to take advantage of position/advantage. As good as? Perhaps not, but the differences are in decimal places, not orders of magnitude.
Out of combat? Fighter gets to wait for combat, the rogue gets to shine.
So, if we are so keen on the rogue being comparable/balanced in combat (and we should be imo) why are we not seeing any evidence that the out of combat issue is being addressed. Seems like a bit of an elephant in the room atm.