Though, I think I draw a line and make an exception at the Arcanist (and possibly the wizard archetype that copies it). That class seems to have decidedly replaced any need for a wizard. The addition of exploits every two levels more than makes up for the loss of metamagic feats and arcane bond while the spells per day are initially higher than a normal wizards are anyway, without having to make yourself worse in an entire area or two of magic. The arcane reservoir puts them well ahead of the arcane bond feature and the school abilities of the wizard, while useful, don't seem to make up for the difference in added value that every single other arcanist class feature has over whatever that weaker class um, oh right, wizard, can do. Wizards strike me as a niche class for very specific things while the arcanist is just the wizard, plus the Sorceror, plus more than it should have ever been. Sorceror, oddly enough, don't seem to lose as much to the arcanist as the wizard and even remain viable as a strong alternative to the class as their bloodline powers are numerous, potent, defining, and in many cases not readily duplicated or easy to acquire or scale to similar power. But wizards strike me as relics, the kind of item that used to be powerful and useful for its time and then was later replaced by a fundamentally superior device with all of the same capabilities, none of the drawbacks, additional features, and new (and better) options for use outside of the scope that the previous device was even designed for doing...and ways to refine 'those' as well.
Well, there are a few downsides to the Arcanist.
- Delayed spell progression - this is a big one. At every odd level, a wizard will have access to a whole level of spells the Arcanist lacks.
- MAD - most of the Arcanist's exploits are Charisma-based, making the Arcanist dependent on two stats of which NEITHER improves saves, AC, or HP. This makes him even more ill-suited to combat than the wizard, who can dump charisma in exchange for increased Con, Dex, or Str.
- Reduced range of spells - While the Arcanist's ability to prepare a few spells and cast any of them spontaneously does allow him a lot of flexibility in certain respects (i.e. spamming one good spell), it DOES come with a sacrifice. A wizard can prepare a wide variety of spells; a 4th level Wizard with 18 Int and a school can prepare up to 5 different 1st level spells and 4 different 2nd level spells, compared to an Arcanist who can prep only 3 and 1 respectively (and cast 5 and 3). Granted, the Quicky Study exploit helps with this, but it still constitutes a full round action, the use of a limited resource, and an exploit choice.
- Through schools, Wizards still have access to unique abilities. An arcanist can borrow some, but not all, of these for just a few rounds with the School Study exploit and the use of arcane reservoir.
That said, I'm super excited to play an Arcanist. I really, really love versatility in casters, and the Arcanist definitely has that in spades. The ability to combine Bloodlines and School Abilities for short durations has a lot of potential waiting to be unlocked, I'm sure.