Problems with Fighter 'Features'

Ok so looking through the packets I'm seeing that there are several problems with the Fighter 'features' that replace Maneuvers.

First going back to Fighter bonus feats is a horrible idea. Simply give them whatever are in the feats as class features so other classes can't emulate what a Fighter does in addition to doing their own thing for the cost of a few feats.

Slam is superior to Deep Wound in every way and only requires the use of a Shield. Maybe this is their attempt to balance the two handed Fighter with the Shield Fighter, but its a poor attempt at best.

Strike Command is redundant to the previous 3 as it does no more damage than they do and it doesn't change any of the dynamics. You are simply handing your damage to another character. Its pointless.

Wide Arc is very weak.

Overall all of the Death Dealer features are very weak, little more than flavor. For instance compare Deep Wound to Thunderwave. Extra damage from Deep Wound compared to lots of damage and pushing back as well as pushing objects. One is interesting the other is not.

Superior Defense fares a bit better with Block Missiles where you can increase an adjacent allies AC by 1d6 which has a varied effect based on how high or low the allies AC is or the chance of hitting. That's flavorful.

Nimble Dodge is also nice a chance to turn a hit into a miss and get some free movement. That's flavorful and can have a decent effect on a Fight. Mind you its no Thunderwave, but its nice.

Warning Shout is somewhat inferior to Block Missiles, but it has a place because of the fact that you don't need to be adjacent to them. Still it needs something to differentiate it. Perhaps Block Missiles should mitigate damage while Warning Shout increases AC. That would make them feel more different.

Unnerring Attacker is not as good as the others you see a lot of overlap and many of the features could be folded into one. For instance Attack Orders and Careful Attack are basically the same thing. If Block Missiles affects you or an ally why not just make Attack Orders and Careful Attack one feature and do the same?

Glancing Blow and Nick both are inferior to Attack Orders and Careful Attack, you are always better off using those than Glancing Blow or Nick.

Shield Swipe is ok, but not special compared to similar spells of that level (even just cantrips).

Whirlwind and Volley are extremely weak. Cantrips can target more and deal comparable damage since you can't increase damage on those. For instance Lance of Faith a Cleric cantrip deals 2d8 average 9 damage at the same level the Fighter gets Whirlwind or Volley on a failed save compared to the Fighters 1d12 + 5 average 11.5 and hits 2 targets. So the Fighter gets a couple extra damage but no big spell like effects like the Cleric? Doesn't seem too balanced to me, the Cleric would out DPR the Fighter at this point.

Unstoppable doesn't look much better. Bolster Allies is a small bonus to a save but because it uses a hard to recover Expertise Dice its really weak. Compare to the +1 you get from the Resistance cantrip that can be used every round with no cost. +1 every round compared to +3.5 once or maybe twice per encounter. Not a good trade off. The rest in this category could be rolled into one feature by simply listing the ability score saves that gain the bonus. Again not impressed.

Combat Surge is ok, but its a daily which really raises the bar on how powerful it should be. If it were an encounter power it would be balanced and work fine as a daily it is very underpowered and only makes Expertise Dice features work how they should work before hand (by doubling their dice).

So overall the Fighter will end up being weaker than the Cleric, Druid, and Wizard especially since the Cantrips of those three classes are more powerful than the Fighters features because the Fighter has to take a round to recover their ED.

Not to mention that the Fighter just looks boring at this point. I mean they are still granting tiny bonuses to AC and attack rolls while the Druid, Cleric, and Wizard are casting game changing spells every round of every encounter. Seriously WotC this is a C+ at best...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
The problem with Fighter features is that Fighters don't have features. They have bonus feats instead, an idea which didn't work in 3rd edition, didn't work in 3.5, didn't work in Pathfinder, and won't work here. 

But I suppose this is no surprise, considering that for the life of 3rd/3.5, the prevailing sentiment among the people who had actually designed the game was that the Fighter was one of the more powerful classes. 

One wonders if these people have ever looked at their own forums. 

 
The problem with Fighter features is that Fighters don't have features. They have bonus feats instead, an idea which didn't work in 3rd edition, didn't work in 3.5, didn't work in Pathfinder, and won't work here. 

But I suppose this is no surprise, considering that for the life of 3rd/3.5, the prevailing sentiment among the people who had actually designed the game was that the Fighter was one of the more powerful classes. 

One wonders if these people have ever looked at their own forums. 

 



What is the difference between:



A) Here is a fighter feature, "A".


B) Here is a free feat with which you can take "A".


Answer - B is more flexible.

Otherise, nothing.



The problem may be the number of features, the problem may be the usefulness of the features. 


But whether they are labeled "Feats" or "Features" isn't the problem.

Carl
"b)" on that case would also be quite weaker considering how feats work on 5e.

Consider this: Other classes get features that either work well and they specialise, or they get to pick and choose from a huge list (casters).

Fighters get to choose...How to specialize themselves. In a list of "powers" (in this case, feats) that are all purposely worse than full features.

So this is a case were "flexibility" only works in a vaccum, since it will end up with the fighter specializing ANYWAY. 
I disagree that the Fighter is less powerful than the Magic classes. The Fighter basic attacks are just as accurate and do more damage (due to ability mods) than the magic cantrips AND you can add XD to those results. On top of that you can select feats which add a Disarm or Trip attempt to every attack that hits.
I agree with the Death Dealer Features not appearing to be balanced choices, but Slam only works when you have a shield while Deep Wound works no matter what you weild, even your fists! 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

Glancing Blow and Nick both are inferior to Attack Orders and Careful Attack, you are always better off using those than Glancing Blow or Nick.


What basis do you have for this claim?  I can certainly think of a situation in which I'd rather have Glancing Blow over Careful Attack: if the fight is expected to last long enough that I can use all my expertise dice on attack rolls that were misses and could now potentially be hits.  It's quite reasonable to assume a player can gauge whether they are within 6 of a hit.  So, assuming you do x damage on a hit, and that hit probabilities lie within a middle ground to avoid narrowing the relevant intervals:

With Careful Attack you declare it before rolling.  The probability of the expertise die turning a miss into a hit is 1/20(1/6 + 2/6 + 3/6 + 4/6 + 5/6 + 6/6), so that ED is responsible for 7x/40 increased damage.

With Glancing Blow you declare it once you know it's a miss.  Assuming you know you are within 6 of a hit and use the ED, and that each point within that interval occurs with equal frequency, the probability of turning a miss into a glancing blow is 1/6(1/6 + 2/6 + 3/6 + 4/6 + 5/6 + 6/6).  You do x/2 damage if the new total would be a hit, resulting in 7x/24 increased damage.

Yes, you can argue that Careful Attack frontloads damage over Glancing Blow, or that fights will rarely go long enough for this situation to occur.  But to suggest that you are always better off with Careful Attack over Glancing Blow has no justification.
Slam isnt Superior the cost of a shield is absolutely massive, it means you give up your damage in that you cannot use 2 handers nor TWF

Strike Command isnt redundant, if your attack bonus are lower than your allies, then it will be much better to use Strike Command, which is important if your strength is low and you are focusing on defensive stats

Wide Arc is easily the strongest of the all, and easily my 1st choice

Deep Wound is lackluster but an important catch all, simple and to the point


Two changes I would recommend is making Strike Command deal 1d6+CHA, to make us feel like Warlords AND make Deep Wound deal 1d8 instead
Slam isnt Superior the cost of a shield is absolutely massive, it means you give up your damage in that you cannot use 2 handers nor TWF

Strike Command isnt redundant, if your attack bonus are lower than your allies, then it will be much better to use Strike Command, which is important if your strength is low and you are focusing on defensive stats

Wide Arc is easily the strongest of the all, and easily my 1st choice

Deep Wound is lackluster but an important catch all, simple and to the point


Two changes I would recommend is making Strike Command deal 1d6+CHA, to make us feel like Warlords AND make Deep Wound deal 1d8 instead



I'll concede your first point seeing as Shield AC should be +4 to compete with two handed weapons in the first place.

Strike Command is redundant because you can reword it as "you or an ally" and there is no other class in the game with a better 'hit' ratio than you (spell casters don't count because of the way its worded and they do saves).

Deep wound makes you choose between extra damage and an effect. For that reason alone it should be burned in a fire...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Slam isnt Superior the cost of a shield is absolutely massive, it means you give up your damage in that you cannot use 2 handers nor TWF

Strike Command isnt redundant, if your attack bonus are lower than your allies, then it will be much better to use Strike Command, which is important if your strength is low and you are focusing on defensive stats

Wide Arc is easily the strongest of the all, and easily my 1st choice

Deep Wound is lackluster but an important catch all, simple and to the point


Two changes I would recommend is making Strike Command deal 1d6+CHA, to make us feel like Warlords AND make Deep Wound deal 1d8 instead



While a sheild does proclude the use of a two hand weapon, the spiked shield (which explicitly counts as a shield) means that it can be used with dual wielding/two weapon fighting. The spiked shield has the same damage as any other light weapon and adds shield ac, and as such is the obvious choice for any TWF character with the required proficiency (such as a fighter) - so slam is very useful for a TWF fighter.
Slam isnt Superior the cost of a shield is absolutely massive, it means you give up your damage in that you cannot use 2 handers nor TWF

Strike Command isnt redundant, if your attack bonus are lower than your allies, then it will be much better to use Strike Command, which is important if your strength is low and you are focusing on defensive stats

Wide Arc is easily the strongest of the all, and easily my 1st choice

Deep Wound is lackluster but an important catch all, simple and to the point


Two changes I would recommend is making Strike Command deal 1d6+CHA, to make us feel like Warlords AND make Deep Wound deal 1d8 instead



While a sheild does proclude the use of a two hand weapon, the spiked shield (which explicitly counts as a shield) means that it can be used with dual wielding/two weapon fighting. The spiked shield has the same damage as any other light weapon and adds shield ac, and as such is the obvious choice for any TWF character with the required proficiency (such as a fighter) - so slam is very useful for a TWF fighter.




Good point.  In games we've played so far, using sword and shield/spiked shield for two weapon and gaining AC bonus for shield does seem like too much benefit.   As you'll notice, they took out the Shield Block maneuver, which would have made this combination even more powerful.   Some tinkering still necessary.    

A Brave Knight of WTF

 

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

 

 

Stupid question, does the fighter gain access to ALL the benefits of Death Dealer etc? Or do they pick one upon gaining the feature and they stick with it for the rest of the game?

i like the idea of access to all. Sure, many will rarely if ever come into play, but I like the idea of fighter as master of battle.  
Finally! Something to read! RPG Treehouse
Death dealer, superior defense and unerring attacker are basically just better chances to hit, better ac or better damage. That's all fine. That's kind of the point, I suppose. However, I want my fighter to be better at fighting.  I'm talking about charging, tripping, pushing monsters around, feigning and knocking guys down. Actual manuevers. They have all been turned into feats. I believe that those feats should be there and let the other classes have fighter feats. I like the flexibility classes can have with feats. However, I agree with Iokiare. I want my fighter to be better at fighting without having to take the feats. I want my fighter to be better at charging or tripping than other classes that took those feats. At the very least, I would like my fighter to have some extra benefit from having to take the feat just so I can still be the fighter. Right now, better chances to hit or damage are good but not flashy.
Baz, here is how I see it. At level one you gain the class features death dealer & superior defense. The benefit is "you gain one death dealer option of your choice." Same for superior defense and unerring attacker at level 4. I read that to mean you pick one and only one of the options under each feature. I guess you could retrain later. I say play test both ways; see how it works.  
Slam is superior to Deep Wound in every way and only requires the use of a Shield. Maybe this is their attempt to balance the two handed Fighter with the Shield Fighter, but its a poor attempt at best.


Wrong. DW works on melee and ranged attacks, slam is only melee. Also, requiring a shield is very significant depending on if the DM randomly rolls loot or not. Locking your character into a shield is pretty rough when a +3 Two-handed Vorpal Weapon drops and you have to keep using your +1 battleaxe.

Strike Command is redundant to the previous 3 as it does no more damage than they do and it doesn't change any of the dynamics. You are simply handing your damage to another character. Its pointless.


Okay, yes, this is true. It also uses up your reaction. It's awful.

Whirlwind and Volley are extremely weak. Cantrips can target more and deal comparable damage since you can't increase damage on those. For instance Lance of Faith a Cleric cantrip deals 2d8 average 9 damage at the same level the Fighter gets Whirlwind or Volley on a failed save compared to the Fighters 1d12 + 5 average 11.5 and hits 2 targets. So the Fighter gets a couple extra damage but no big spell like effects like the Cleric? Doesn't seem too balanced to me, the Cleric would out DPR the Fighter at this point.


Huh? How is doing 11.5 to 2 targets for a total of 23 damage somehow worse than doing 9 damage to one target? And Lance of Faith has no spell effect. It's just damage.

The problem with Fighter features is that Fighters don't 
have features. They have bonus feats instead, an idea which didn't work in 3rd edition, didn't work in 3.5, didn't work in Pathfinder, and won't work here.  

In 3rd you got feats every 3 levels and fighters got feats every two. It was not that fighters were bad, it was that no one ever needed that many feats.

In Next, you stop getting feats at level 9. On top of that many options that used to be rulebook, are now only available with feats (bullrush, charge, etc.) The bonus feats are much more powerful when without them you would only get 2 or 3 more after taking the mandatory charge.
Strike Command is not awful; it's just not sexy. Yes, it consumes a reaction and deep wounds does not. However, deep wound has a higher chance to miss, because only one attack roll can trigger it. Strike Command can be triggered from multiple attack rolls, which increases the chance of application. Let me explain:

There are four members in the party, and each has a base 60% chance to hit. Each deals an average of 10 damage (to make things simple). The party deals an average of 24 DPR = (10 * 4) * 60%.

If the party fighter takes Deep Wound, his damage contribution improves by +1d6 (3.5 dmg). The DPR improves by 2.1 (= 3.5 * 60%). The party now deals an average of 26.1 DPR = 24 + 2.1.

If the party fighter instead takes Strike Command, then once per round he adds +1d6 to any attack that hits. The chance that at least one of his three party members hits is 93.6%. The party DPR improves to 27.276 = 24 + (3.5 * 93.6%). Strike Command can be added to the rogue's sneak attack, a cleric's lance of faith, or a wizard's spell.

So the DPR improves slightly at the cost of a reaction. It's debateable whether the reaction could be better spent elsewhere. (It probably could.)

I am not certain how it interacts with critical hits and area effects, but my guess is that the expertise die is not considered part of the original damage dice, so it's not maximized and applied to one target only.
So has anyone actually playtested the fighter to see how it turns out?
So has anyone actually playtested the fighter to see how it turns out?
My group has ran one combat with two of the new fighters (along with two Rogues and a Wizard). It's worked pretty well. One fighter mostly used his Superior Defense to avoid dying (he scouted ahead only to be attacked by two Ettins), while the other used her Death Dealer ability to hit for extra damage in a ride-by attack. The damage felt about right and both enjoyed the degree of options they had in combat.
Ok so looking through the packets I'm seeing that there are several problems with the Fighter 'features' that replace Maneuvers.

First going back to Fighter bonus feats is a horrible idea. Simply give them whatever are in the feats as class features so other classes can't emulate what a Fighter does in addition to doing their own thing for the cost of a few feats.

Slam is superior to Deep Wound in every way and only requires the use of a Shield. Maybe this is their attempt to balance the two handed Fighter with the Shield Fighter, but its a poor attempt at best.



1. Yes.
2. It's more balancing two-weapon vs. shield, since two-handers get mini-cleave.


Strike Command is redundant to the previous 3 as it does no more damage than they do and it doesn't change any of the dynamics. You are simply handing your damage to another character. Its pointless.

Wide Arc is very weak.

Overall all of the Death Dealer features are very weak, little more than flavor. For instance compare Deep Wound to Thunderwave. Extra damage from Deep Wound compared to lots of damage and pushing back as well as pushing objects. One is interesting the other is not.


1. Strike Command is hamstrung by the Reaction Bottleneck of 1/round. Way too much of the Fighter works on Reactions.
2. Wide Arc at least does more than just "Roll And Add."
3. The lack of dice-stacking/scaling is really noticeable throughout the system, but honestly, at level 20, who's going to care about 1d6 damage?


Shield Swipe is ok, but not special compared to similar spells of that level (even just cantrips).


Shield Swipe is useless because of the Reaction Bottleneck.


Unstoppable doesn't look much better. Bolster Allies is a small bonus to a save but because it uses a hard to recover Expertise Dice its really weak. Compare to the +1 you get from the Resistance cantrip that can be used every round with no cost. +1 every round compared to +3.5 once or maybe twice per encounter. Not a good trade off. The rest in this category could be rolled into one feature by simply listing the ability score saves that gain the bonus. Again not impressed.


At least you can use them in OOC?


Combat Surge is ok, but its a daily which really raises the bar on how powerful it should be. If it were an encounter power it would be balanced and work fine as a daily it is very underpowered and only makes Expertise Dice features work how they should work before hand (by doubling their dice).


Major problem is that you have an encounter power, so an extra action is just a way to burn out faster. The way to make this one work is to have it refresh the dice pool instead of doubling results.  

Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.


What is the difference between:


A) Here is a fighter feature, "A".

B) Here is a free feat with which you can take "A".

Carl



1. Fighter Feature A might actually be designed to work with the Fighter class mechanic?
2. It's unique to Fighters.
3. The power level is balanced vs. other class features of the same level as opposed to balance the other feats. 
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
Death dealer, superior defense and unerring attacker are basically just better chances to hit, better ac or better damage. That's all fine. That's kind of the point, I suppose. However, I want my fighter to be better at fighting.  I'm talking about charging, tripping, pushing monsters around, feigning and knocking guys down. Actual manuevers. 



This. A thousand times this. 
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
I'm under the impression that you get to choose one of the of options at the indicated level, not that you can use any of them at a whim, which is wrong. What this does is lock specific features that are situational depending on weapon choice. What if the Fighter is carrying a greatsword and a longbow wants to use Ricochet because the enemies have taken to the sky, but cant because he chose Deep Wound instead?

What it should be is that he can choose any of the options when they're necessary. This allows for far more versatility and doesnt pigeonhole the Fighter into one specific weapon style.
Strike Command is not awful; it's just not sexy. Yes, it consumes a reaction and deep wounds does not. However, deep wound has a higher chance to miss, because only one attack roll can trigger it. Strike Command can be triggered from multiple attack rolls, which increases the chance of application.


Since expertise dice are now encounter powers, it really doesn't need to trigger each round. Just wait till you hit and you'll be fine.

Granted, at higher levels when you have 6 dice and encounters are probably less than 6 rounds, this point has more value, but I think losing your reaction is severe.