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One thing you hear from people is an expectation to reach a certain level of usefulness in a party. I'm not really sure where and when this started. Sometimes ia gets so extreme that you would think the game should only contain class AB and C because of their supposed usefulness. We don't encounter this in our groups. We don't have a criteria that all characters must meet in order to be considered useful. There are many options to choose from that enable you to come up with all sorts of combinations. Now before you say it runs the risk of getting other PC's killed, the designers felt this wasn't an issue because we have plenty of options that are not optimal in any way, but they do contain flavour.
Certain classes are tougher than others, but if that's all that mattered, then that's all would show up to games which we all know doesn't happen. People give out about the Fighter, Monk, and Rogue and claim these classes aren't useful when compared to certain other classes but I think this is a bit unfair. How do these classes stand up to the monsters in the Beastiary is really where some of these criticisms need to be bases around. Now I can tell you we sometimes pick optimized builds, or builds based around teamwork, and sometimes around pure concept.
As far as I can tell, all classes when working together can end encounters so why the need to indulge in overkill? How hard do you need to kill something, dead is dead? What's the point in having abilities that way more than exceed the needed DC?