Kineticist Playtest Analysis

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Hello, all! I’m Logan Bonner, Pathfinder Lead Designer and the primary designer of the kineticist. Now that we’ve finished up the class playtest, I want to cover where we’re planning to go with the class. Many of these changes are based on your survey feedback, as well as common comments we witnessed monitoring the forums and social media. This took a while, because the playtest had a big turnout. We don’t usually share these numbers, but the kineticist got exactly 1,000 survey responses, and that was too fun to keep to ourselves! (There were fewer for the open response, as is typical.)

I want to hit the main changes we’re planning to make. These aren’t necessarily the final changes, as our internal testing and number-crunching might nix some of them. Also, there are many other small changes I won’t be covering here to keep things brief(ish)—some of you dropped fun little ideas that we’ll just implement, but aren’t massively important to the bigger picture of the class.



Yoon, the iconic kineticist. Sketch by Wayne Reynolds
Yoon, the iconic kineticist. Sketch by Wayne Reynolds

Main Takeaways: Overall, the class had good ratings, but not top tier. If it went in the book as-is, it would be pretty effective and fun, but we think there’s clear room for improvement to make it a standout. Respondents vastly preferred the impulses of the playtest over expressing elemental powers as spellcasting of any kind. One common refrain though, was that damage was too low, especially on many of the overflow abilities. We were pretty conservative on the playtest, and we’ll be carefully turning some of the damage up. We’re also planning to reduce the overall number of overflow impulses while dialing up their effects, keeping the trait just for those impulses that have a major effect on the battle and feel worth spending a lot of actions to do.

Though the class is intended to be pretty focused on combat, we do have some concerns about the lack of options for kineticists during exploration, downtime, and the like. We’ll be seeing what we can do to make feel less narrow in those situations. It’s yet to be determined whether that comes in the form of more skills, some specific abilities, or a mix.

Complexity vs. Simplicity: The big challenge of this class is making it simple enough that it’s accessible and fun for a new player or a player who wants to play a character with a more straightforward playstyle. Many of the classes after the Advanced Player’s Guide have needed to be more complex to convey their concept. With the kineticist, we wanted to pull this back! Attaining the variety the class needs while not adding even more rules to remember is tricky, but rest assured we want the final class to make sense for its target audience. We did have a small number of respondents who wanted many different mechanics in the class at once (like having impulses, focus spells, cantrips, AND burn), but we’re not looking to go in that direction so that we can keep things streamlined.

Our ultimate goal is to have a class that feels extremely adept with their elements or elements. They will resemble a non-spellcaster in that they have a small set of tools they’ve very strong with, but also will resemble a spellcaster in their ability to create magical effects and straightforward focus on their impulses. It’s worth noting that, because kineticists have fewer tools, some impulses will just be stronger than comparable spells. Wings of Air from the playtest was often noted as being stronger than fly, but it’s intentional that the kineticist who is fully dedicated to mastering air is better at flying than a wizard who knows many spells and simply prepares one spell slot with a fly spell.

Lack of Clarity: One of the major problems we saw frequently was confusion over the intended role of certain parts of the class. What was meant to be important? What’s more of a side benefit? We saw this in attack rolls vs. class DC, the specialty of each element, the difference between overflow impulses and other impulses, and so on. We’re looking to streamline these for the final, to introduce bigger differences and clearer paths. For one example, multiple elements having healing abilities made it a bit muddy about what “belonged” to each element. So, for the final, expect each element to have a clearer identity while still allowing enough variety to not feel too stale.

Elemental Blast: The contrast between Elemental Blasts and other impulses touches on the lack of clarity too. After seeing feedback, we’re looking at switching it to function similarly to other impulses and act more like an attack cantrip. This will likely require something similar to a spell attack roll, letting you use your Constitution for it. This has several benefits: it should let us simplify how it works, make Con clearly the best choice for your top ability score, free up kineticist characters’ ability boosts for a wider variety of characters, and still allow upgrades to the blast. This does leave some challenges, especially around a kineticist’s item loadout.

We intend to move any “use your element as a weapon” options into the Elemental Weapon feat so that still remains as an option—especially for melee kineticists. The final form of the Elemental Blast is still to be decided, since it relies on a lot of other moving parts, but we intend to keep it as a versatile option with some variety between the elements.

There was plenty of disagreement among playtesters about whether the class should be primarily a single-target damage dealer or be built around more varied effects. Much of this had to do with whether the player believed the Elemental Blast or the other impulses were the core mechanic of the class. Going all-in on single-target blasts can lead to extremely stagnant, repetitive play, so we aren’t planning to make that the sole focus. However, we will be exploring what room we have for boosting single-target damage as an option for those who want it, without making that the only role the class can fill.

Constitution?: The survey asked whether people preferred Constitution or a mental score for class DC. Though the responses wanting a mental score were quite low, there were a significant number of write-in responses that liked Con but also wanted it to be more important to the class. Looking at the issue and the target audience of the class, we’re planning to make Constitution matter a bit more so it’s the clear choice for your top ability score. This should allow more flexibility in other scores and open up a broader array of character concepts.

The change to Elemental Blast noted above is linked to this. We might also use Constitution for damage on some impulses or in certain circumstances.

Gates: We had a mixed bag of feedback about the gate options (dedicated gate, dual gate, and universal gate). Taking it as a whole, we’re currently leaning toward having a dedicated gate or dual gate option at 1st level, with class feature later on that let a kineticist either further specialize in an element they can channel or to expand to a new element. Universal gate had issues at low levels because it felt like the best option in some ways, but was also limited too severely by a small number of impulses. We think the new version will enable a story of a kineticist developing their elemental breadth over time in a more organic way, rather than locking them in tightly at level 1 with nowhere to grow.

Gathering your Element: Many playtesters noted that Gathering an Element felt like an action tax. Lots of folks equated it with drawing a weapon, which was the intended equivalent, but many people really wanted it to be more exciting, like the actions a swashbuckler can use to gain panache. There were also some mentions that it could be too much bookkeeping to track multiple elements for dual gate and universal gate—easy to forget which one you currently have gathered. The current plan for this part of kineticist play is to replace gathering an element with a process that serves a similar rules function, but has a theme that’s a bit more fun and fits the kineticist’s presentation a bit better.

Our current thinking is to have the kineticist surrounded with their kinetic aura at all times, letting their elements swirl around them. The aura doesn’t have any effect on its own—it’s just for show—though dedicated gate kineticists might get a minor benefit. To use an impulse, the kineticist directs the flowing elements with a free hand. Overflow impulses exhaust the aura, similar to expending a gathered element in the playtest. It would then take a single action to cause a resurgence from your inner gate, also granting an added benefit. This might be using a kinetic aura impulse to alter the effect of the aura, making an Elemental Blast, or a specific benefit related to an element. The final form will depend on the complexity of the other options in the class. We think this will be easier to understand, link better to other abilities within the class, and better tell the class’s story.

Manipulate Trait: There was a lot of conversation about the manipulate trait triggering Attacks of Opportunity and putting the melee kineticist in danger. This isn’t a factor in most combats, but in combats against many monsters with Attack of Opportunity, it’ll get you dead in a hurry! The discussions about this reinforced that the inclusion of concentrate and manipulate on all impulses was carried forward from how spells work... and these aren’t supposed to be just like spells! So, it’s likely the final impulses will still include concentrate, but manipulate will only appear on impulses where it’s essential to the action taking place in the story.

Burn: Burn was a hot topic, as expected! Survey feedback found that using impulses and gathering elements came out ahead, even when we combined burn and the “other” survey choice. There were plenty of votes for burn and for “other,” though, so it was far from a blowout. Fundamentally, we’re aiming at the “nonstop magic” fantasy for this class—the kineticist isn’t meant to be about long-term resource management. That means burn has to clear a pretty high bar to be included, since it pulls the class into relying more on resource management and limited-use abilities. Most suggestions we’ve seen so far for including a burn-type mechanic lead to the class feeling either too heavy on long-term planning, or too repetitive or exploitable. We’ll continue looking at possibilities as we work on the final version. It’s possible there might be a niche for implementing burn as an option for those interested, provided we find a way to make it dynamic.

More Stuff... and Less Stuff: The kineticist is a very big class, as we want each element to feel fun and distinct, and keeping it within the book’s page count is pretty difficult. As we add more elements to the class for the final version, there’s a high likelihood we’ll have to condense and trim back some other options. We’re aiming to condense down some of the overly complex bits rather than chopping whole impulses, but we might end up between a rock and a hard place, so be forewarned!


Initial Playtest and Design

We did a bit of a different process for the kineticist class design, as mentioned when I talked about James Case’s prototype kineticist character. That was part of an early playtest with the design team, Solomon St. John, and Shay Snow. Each designer made a single kineticist character. Not a list of feats, proficiencies, and all that—just the most basic playable character possible. Jason Bulmahn GMed a short adventure, and we tried out many different takes on the class! This hearkens back to the very first days of 2nd edition design, when we did something similar with a cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard based on some basic benchmarks.

How about another peek behind the curtain? Here are the elemental webs showing the strengths of the various elements. This was for the playtest version, so you’ll see some big alterations for the final as we differentiate the elements more, as mentioned above. Metal and wood were purely speculative! We didn’t write any impulses for those before the playtest.

Category Air Earth Fire Metal Water Wood Sum
Creation 2 3 3 3 3 4 18
Healing 2 2 1 1 2 3 11
Defense 1 4 2 3 2 3 15
Mobility 4 1 2 2 3 1 13
Destruction 2 3 4 3 2 2 16
Trickery 3 1 2 2 2 1 11
14 14 14 14 14 14

Kineticist Element Webs showing off the different strengths of the elements  An infographic consisting of a traditional table and several web diagrams indicating the different strengths of the elements to a kineticist


Not a Wish, Merely a Request

We’ve mentioned the inclusion of the elemental Plane of Metal and Plane of Wood. In sympathy for all this time you’ve had to spend with air, earth, fire, and water, how about a preview item from one of these elements? Enjoy a look at the damaj’s gloves, and see what you can suss out about the element, plane, and book from the multiple references in this stat block!

Damaj’s Gloves — Item 13

Evocation, Invested, Magical, Metal
Price 3,000 gp
Usage worn gloves; Bulk

This elaborate metallic webbing feels soft when wrapped around your hands and forearms. It constantly shifts its strands and connections. The name of a zuhra damaj is etched in Talican on the only part of the item that is unchanging. You gain a +3 item bonus to your Reflex DC against attempts to Disarm an item you’re holding in your hands.

Activate [two-actions] command, Interact; Frequency once per day; Requirements You’re wielding a weapon made primarily of metal; Effect You extend the weapon and call out the zuhra’s name. It channels its magic through the gloves to assist you with its choice of offense or defense (as determined by the GM). The zuhra makes any choices for the spell, and any save DC is 30.

Offense The metal of the gloves wraps around your weapon and channels the zuhra’s magic to cast a 6th-level weapon storm spell, replicating the metal weapon.

Defense The metal flows off your arms, creating a blade barrier. The blades have the appearance of your weapon. You lose the damaj’s gloves’ item bonus until the barrier ends, at which point the metal returns to your hands and forearms. You can Dismiss the activation.

The Elements of Style

As I close up this article, I’d like to throw a fond salute to our incredible corps of authors!

Rage of Elements was written by Logan Bonner, James Case, Jessica Catalan, Andrew D. Geels, Sen H.H.S., Patrick Hurley, Jason Keeley, Luis Loza, Mark Moreland, Jonathan Morgantini, AJ Neuro, Jessica Redekop, Solomon St. John, Mark Seifter, Shahreena Shahrani, Shay Snow, Levi Steadman, Mari Tokuda, Ruvaid Virk, Andrew White, and Linda Zayas-Palmer!


As I pop into a portal to transport myself to some plane beyond human ken, I want to tell you all how much we appreciate your playtesting and element slinging! There will be plenty more to explore in Rage of Elements!

Logan Bonner
Pathfinder Lead Designer

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With everything being con based, I hope elemental weapon doesn't get sidelined. With gather element not interacting with handedness, we could have 2 handed weapons. That'd be cool.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Personally I don't like the choice of Concentrate over Manipulate. I'm fine being in the minority on this opinion, but it's already quite impossible to create a Bloodrager that can do anything other than self-buff or can only use spells in exploration.

Class looks great and the analysis looks very in-depth. Just a bummer it's another caster-ish class that can't mix with Barbarian because of slapping the concentrate tag on everything.

I'm very, very curious to see what the Kineticist multiclass looks like.

Marketing & Media Manager

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
wyrmhaven wrote:
So maybe i missed it somewhere but WHEN and WHERE will we see the finished class? i am supper pumped to see this class. very much makes me think of the dark sun elemental cleric type.
In the Rage of Elements book,which is the first "rulebook" line release of 2023 (as opposed to the Lost Omens and Adventure Path lines). I don't think we have a release date yet, but we'll get one closer to release.

The first Pathfinder rulebook release of 2023 in Treasure Vault in February. Rage of Elements was announced at Gen Con. It will be solicited and the product pages will go up in late November. It is a late July 2023/Gen Con release.

Paizo Gen Con 2022 Keynote Address with Erik Mona, queued at the Rage of Elements timestamp 56:30.


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Sounds promising. Like others I hope for blast accuracy better than a cantrip but other than that I like everything I read


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I'm not sure what to make of blasts being closer to cantrips than strikes.

I really hope they are referring to the scaling of damage and not action cost or accuracy.

I would be bummed tf out if blasts became 2ap baseline. Would love a 1-3 variable economy though.

Overall a great read. Most of my concerns were addressed. Rather or not that means they will be fixed, only time will tell.

I hope the weapon feats are gonna be better and more interesting and that we can customize elemental blast more


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I didn’t get the time to dive into this playtest. But I would love is burn returned as a class arctype the dark elemetalist from 1e might be a good place to fit that. Build burn off of the oracle curse system where as you spend burn you get some negative effect and some positive effect.

Also Please please please please fit lightning/electricity into air someplace. Charged Water was my favorite composite blast from 1e and I don't think the class will feel like a Kineticist without it in 2e.


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Not much to add, but I think the description of the kinetic aura always being active sounds pretty cool.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Only a thousand responses???


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One utility thing I'm hoping for is more permanence. A wizard or druid spending one slot a day can make a permanent wall of stone every day, but a kineticist is hard-capped on total permanent stone. If that were a daily cap, I could take some downtime and make a nice cave or statue or mansion.

Well, it's certainly something I can discuss with GMs if it's not addressed directly.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
keftiu wrote:
What is making folks think Elemental Blasts are 2 actions now? I don't see that in the blog, and it would break my heart.

This is the wording that has me worried they will go to 2-action:

Quote:
The contrast between Elemental Blasts and other impulses touches on the lack of clarity too. After seeing feedback, we’re looking at switching it to function similarly to other impulses and act more like an attack cantrip.

All attack cantrips are two-action, and for that matter all impulses are at least two-action, hence my concern.


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Aaron Shanks wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
which is the first "rulebook" line release of 2023 (as opposed to the Lost Omens and Adventure Path lines).
The first Pathfinder rulebook release of 2023 in Treasure Vault in February. Rage of Elements was announced at Gen Con. It will be solicited and the product pages will go up in late November. It is a late July 2023/Gen Con release.

Since Treasure Vault didn't have class playtest, this is the first "rulebook containing new class" line release of 2023


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Laclale♪ wrote:
Aaron Shanks wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
which is the first "rulebook" line release of 2023 (as opposed to the Lost Omens and Adventure Path lines).
The first Pathfinder rulebook release of 2023 in Treasure Vault in February. Rage of Elements was announced at Gen Con. It will be solicited and the product pages will go up in late November. It is a late July 2023/Gen Con release.
Since Treasure Vault didn't have class playtest, this is the first "rulebook containing new class" line release of 2023

There’s no such line. Rulebooks, Adventures, Adventure Paths, Lost Omens, and Society stuff. Book of the Dead and Treasure Vault don’t stop being Rulebooks despite not having classes.


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I do usually consider the July release to be the first of a particular season, so if that's what PossibleCabbage meant I can see it. But I'll concede that was not what he said, and Aaron's correction is more accurate.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:
keftiu wrote:
What is making folks think Elemental Blasts are 2 actions now? I don't see that in the blog, and it would break my heart.

This is the wording that has me worried they will go to 2-action:

Quote:
The contrast between Elemental Blasts and other impulses touches on the lack of clarity too. After seeing feedback, we’re looking at switching it to function similarly to other impulses and act more like an attack cantrip.
All attack cantrips are two-action, and for that matter all impulses are at least two-action, hence my concern.

That's a good point. I mean if blast does become a two action cantrip, elemental weapon will remain so it won't be so different? And it's likely we'll get feats like chain blast, blast barrage, etc, to make regular blasts more fun.


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I had mistakenly thought the Treasure Vault was coming late 2022 and not early 2023, my bad.


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Gaulin wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
keftiu wrote:
What is making folks think Elemental Blasts are 2 actions now? I don't see that in the blog, and it would break my heart.

This is the wording that has me worried they will go to 2-action:

Quote:
The contrast between Elemental Blasts and other impulses touches on the lack of clarity too. After seeing feedback, we’re looking at switching it to function similarly to other impulses and act more like an attack cantrip.
All attack cantrips are two-action, and for that matter all impulses are at least two-action, hence my concern.
That's a good point. I mean if blast does become a two action cantrip, elemental weapon will remain so it won't be so different? And it's likely we'll get feats like chain blast, blast barrage, etc, to make regular blasts more fun.

That would make the most sense if elemental weapon is to be relevant. Otherwise, if blasts are single action and work off of constitution, they'll just be a better option.


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Although, if blasts aren't getting item bonuses, elemental weapons will end up being more accurate. It's gonna be interesting to see what's gonna happen.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The chart is kind of interesting to look at. Some stuff I wouldn't have expected conceptually, like air being worse defensively than fire, or water and metal being kind of all-rounders who can do a bit of everything (except healing for metal). Water being a mobility element is something I'm going to have to get used to (it was generally the worst at mobility in Pf1 becaues water-associated things were always just conditional swim speeds).

Regarding alternative damage types, assuming a fantasy world where Paizo lets you pick between two blasts or something, what damage sources would you like to see and where? Ideally you'd want two choices for every element for parity, and where certain options go could also be up in the air.

Like a few people mentioned electricity. In PF1 that was an air-element blast, but lightning is also traditionally associated with fire, or metal (via magnetism)... in some traditions there's even an association with Wood (although that goes into some specific cultural things that might be beyond the scope of what PF2 is doing).

So where would people ideally like to see these various damage types show up?


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Personally I don't like the choice of Concentrate over Manipulate. I'm fine being in the minority on this opinion, but it's already quite impossible to create a Bloodrager that can do anything other than self-buff or can only use spells in exploration.

They aren't making a choice of concentrate over manipulate, they're making a choice of concentrate over both. In the playtest they had both.


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Squiggit wrote:

Regarding alternative damage types, assuming a fantasy world where Paizo lets you pick between two blasts or something, what damage sources would you like to see and where? Ideally you'd want two choices for every element for parity, and where certain options go could also be up in the air.

Like a few people mentioned electricity. In PF1 that was an air-element blast, but lightning is also traditionally associated with fire, or metal (via magnetism)... in some traditions there's even an association with Wood (although that goes into some specific cultural things that might be beyond the scope of what PF2 is doing).

So where would people ideally like to see these various damage types show up?

I'm holding off on what I'd like to see wood and metal have as alternate picks given that I don't know the exact flavor of the planes, and that would influence what I thought would be a good thematic fit, but as it stands I'd like seeing,

Water gaining cold,
Air gaining electricity,
Earth gaining ... acid, I suppose? This isn't a terribly comfortable fit but it was the best alternate I could think of,
Fire gaining some way of dealing physical damage, again probably bludgeoning. Then you aren't entirely hosed if you face enemies immune to fire.

Poison is a damage type that I think would be fun to do something with in this context, too. I can see places for other damages, like sonic, or possibly even negative/positive, but I'd rather they didn't become picks because they're either a bit exotic and don't have to worry about the resistances other damage types might, which could make them creep closer to being auto-picks, like sonic, or conversely may be a bit too limiting in their application and not be as compelling a choice, like positive.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Little disappointed I didn't hear anything about kinetic defense. Kinetic defense really helped define you as an embodiment and avatar of that element.


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Perpdepog wrote:

Earth gaining ... acid, I suppose? This isn't a terribly comfortable fit but it was the best alternate I could think of,

Fire gaining some way of dealing physical damage, again probably bludgeoning. Then you aren't entirely hosed if you face enemies immune to fire.

I would be comfortable with Earth simply getting a choice among all three physical damage types, and Fire getting slashing rather than bludgeoning - it makes more sense to me.


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Squiggit wrote:
The chart is kind of interesting to look at. Some stuff I wouldn't have expected conceptually, like air being worse defensively than fire, or water and metal being kind of all-rounders who can do a bit of everything (except healing for metal).

Yeah, I did a double take about fire not being a 1 on defense. Since if we look at the defensive talents for PF1 the top tier ones were Earth and Aether, the middle tier was Water and Air, and the low tier was Wood, Fire, and Void. As in you would always take the "expanded defense" wild talent with the first tier if they were not your primary element, you would consider it with the second tier, and you would punt on it with the third.


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It is nice to see them picking up most of what we were laying down (other than the elemental damage types thing). Like, their conclusions may or may not be what any individual person would particularly prefer, but it's pretty clear that they at least were paying attention and noticed.

Okay, I admit that I personally am stoked about basically everything that they have said here, with the only bits of even marginal concern that I have left being wishing them the best of luck on that "exploring what room we have for boosting single-target damage as an option for those who want it" thing.

...and yeah, if they do manage to fit in some sort of burn for the burn aficionados, that would be great too.

But yeah, we're in good hands.


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There's a long time till release so hopefully they can go back to the drawing board and do something great.

The line about the class being pretty good if it was released as it were concerns me a bit. That was not my impression whatsoever. Had it been released in its playtest version it would've been close to unplayable for me personally. But hey it is what it is.

I'm still very curious about the defensive aspects of the class. Even if elemental weapon becomes a strong feature the class can't stay in close quarters as is.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
wyrmhaven wrote:
So maybe i missed it somewhere but WHEN and WHERE will we see the finished class? i am supper pumped to see this class. very much makes me think of the dark sun elemental cleric type.
In the Rage of Elements book,which is the first "rulebook" line release of 2023 (as opposed to the Lost Omens and Adventure Path lines). I don't think we have a release date yet, but we'll get one closer to release.

Thanks!

Sczarni

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If kineticist is going to be a 1 action cantrip for their elemental blast any way to get an intrinsic +1 to hit bonus at 4 and a +3 to hit bonus by level 20? That way it keeps up with normal damage.

A 1 action attack cantrip that scales up with the same to hit bonus would be a very unique ability for kineticists to have.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Squiggit wrote:
Regarding alternative damage types, assuming a fantasy world where Paizo lets you pick between two blasts or something, what damage sources would you like to see and where? Ideally you'd want two choices for every element for parity, and where certain options go could also be up in the air.

My preferences:

Air: slashing, Sonic
Earth: all 3 physical
Fire: Lightning, Fire
Water: Cold, Bludgeoning
Metal: Slashing, Acid
Wood: piercing, poison


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Air: slashing
Earth: bludgeoning
Water: bludgeoning
Metal: slashing
Wood: piercing
Fire: piercing but it's spicy


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I'm thrilled with most of this blog but as a fan of the current aesthetic fantasy of wielding a handful of elemental power, I'm just a little lukewarm on the idea of giving the kineticist an 'always on' kinetic aura. I mean, fair, I love the idea of a kineticist cutting loose having an aura around them, but also feel like at minimum it would need to be able to shut off between fights, which kind of betrays the intent for it to become a way to avoid needing to gather power at the start of the next fight.

Good ideas in there for sure, though.

In other news, once again sign me up for concern about being able to create a lightning storm dude at level 1 without wind (or fire) powers automatically packaged in. I think the implications of similarity with attack cantrips suggest a wider elemental spread... Ior at least I want to read into that.

Sczarni

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Lollerabe wrote:
The line about the class being pretty good if it was released as it were concerns me a bit. That was not my impression whatsoever. Had it been released in its playtest version it would've been close to unplayable for me personally.

Same. I did not enjoy the class as presented, and I said as much in my feedback, plus the vast majority of Forum comments gave it bad reviews.

I'm curious about what ranges of specific feedback they received from the surveys.


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Nefreet wrote:
Lollerabe wrote:
The line about the class being pretty good if it was released as it were concerns me a bit. That was not my impression whatsoever. Had it been released in its playtest version it would've been close to unplayable for me personally.

Same. I did not enjoy the class as presented, and I said as much in my feedback, plus the vast majority of Forum comments gave it bad reviews.

I'm curious about what ranges of specific feedback they received from the surveys.

Probably more intended towards the fact that most of the negative feedback was on damage. Which was deserved.

That said, Logan has decent history. Investigator, Magus, Monk, and Sorcerer turned out mostly well. I'm open to seeing what happens...


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Nefreet wrote:
Lollerabe wrote:
The line about the class being pretty good if it was released as it were concerns me a bit. That was not my impression whatsoever. Had it been released in its playtest version it would've been close to unplayable for me personally.

Same. I did not enjoy the class as presented, and I said as much in my feedback, plus the vast majority of Forum comments gave it bad reviews.

I'm curious about what ranges of specific feedback they received from the surveys.

You can only take forum comments as a datapoint so far. The number of people posting on the forums is relatively small, definitely less than the thousand-ot responses they got for the playtest, and when you factor in the fact that A, people are about three times more likely to complain about something to others than to praise it, and B, a lot of those comments are actually about a handful of issues that were discussed, debated, and repeated over and over, it wouldn't surprise me to find out the response to the kineticist was overall more positive than we on this forum might have assumed from the chatter.

I'm not saying the class hasn't got issues or that I'm glad they're roping it in for another round or so of polishing, just that there is almost definitely a discrepancy in our experience and that of the developers.

Sczarni

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Perpdepog wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Lollerabe wrote:
The line about the class being pretty good if it was released as it were concerns me a bit. That was not my impression whatsoever. Had it been released in its playtest version it would've been close to unplayable for me personally.

Same. I did not enjoy the class as presented, and I said as much in my feedback, plus the vast majority of Forum comments gave it bad reviews.

I'm curious about what ranges of specific feedback they received from the surveys.

You can only take forum comments as a datapoint so far. The number of people posting on the forums is relatively small, definitely less than the thousand-ot responses they got for the playtest, and when you factor in the fact that A, people are about three times more likely to complain about something to others than to praise it, and B, a lot of those comments are actually about a handful of issues that were discussed, debated, and repeated over and over, it wouldn't surprise me to find out the response to the kineticist was overall more positive than we on this forum might have assumed from the chatter.

I'm not saying the class hasn't got issues or that I'm glad they're roping it in for another round or so of polishing, just that there is almost definitely a discrepancy in our experience and that of the developers.

A lot of people who do the playtests though are also yes men and their votes are noise. They aren't hyper critical, so a lot of those responses probably praised paizo, since whatever paizo does is treated as gold rather than realizing paizo might make a mistake. That's another thing to look out for. Personally, I'd pay 70% of attention to the minority that criticizes to see what those criticisms are and the other 30% the praise who loved it.


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There are some interesting things in this analysis.

I am glad that that universal is no longer warping the entire class around it.

I am also glad that we don't have to gather to do anything, but gather to recuperate after overflow.

I understand the concern with burn. But I really do hope that it returns as to me that was one the kingpins of the class.

I am concerned about them focusing too much on the cantrip side and thus underdeliver, but hopefully that is not the case. I also really do think that them getting item bonuses from diadem would be really good.

Glad to see less manipulate trait. It was way too prevalent in the playtest for everything.

Its weird that Air had healing and Fire defense, that doesn't make much sense to me. Water having mobility makes some sense, but I think it was too focused on swim speed and lacked walk on air using ice (yes this was a thing water could previously do).

Regarding complexity vs simplicity I have always felt that a class should have enough complexity that its mechanics work as intended and no simpler. If this means adding new rules then so be it, I would rather more rules that ensure something works that not enough and the whole thing just feeling off.


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Verzen wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Lollerabe wrote:
The line about the class being pretty good if it was released as it were concerns me a bit. That was not my impression whatsoever. Had it been released in its playtest version it would've been close to unplayable for me personally.

Same. I did not enjoy the class as presented, and I said as much in my feedback, plus the vast majority of Forum comments gave it bad reviews.

I'm curious about what ranges of specific feedback they received from the surveys.

You can only take forum comments as a datapoint so far. The number of people posting on the forums is relatively small, definitely less than the thousand-ot responses they got for the playtest, and when you factor in the fact that A, people are about three times more likely to complain about something to others than to praise it, and B, a lot of those comments are actually about a handful of issues that were discussed, debated, and repeated over and over, it wouldn't surprise me to find out the response to the kineticist was overall more positive than we on this forum might have assumed from the chatter.

I'm not saying the class hasn't got issues or that I'm glad they're roping it in for another round or so of polishing, just that there is almost definitely a discrepancy in our experience and that of the developers.

A lot of people who do the playtests though are also yes men and their votes are noise. They aren't hyper critical, so a lot of those responses probably praised paizo, since whatever paizo does is treated as gold rather than realizing paizo might make a mistake. That's another thing to look out for. Personally, I'd pay 70% of attention to the minority that criticizes to see what those criticisms are and the other 30% the praise who loved it.

Source?


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Verzen wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Lollerabe wrote:
The line about the class being pretty good if it was released as it were concerns me a bit. That was not my impression whatsoever. Had it been released in its playtest version it would've been close to unplayable for me personally.

Same. I did not enjoy the class as presented, and I said as much in my feedback, plus the vast majority of Forum comments gave it bad reviews.

I'm curious about what ranges of specific feedback they received from the surveys.

You can only take forum comments as a datapoint so far. The number of people posting on the forums is relatively small, definitely less than the thousand-ot responses they got for the playtest, and when you factor in the fact that A, people are about three times more likely to complain about something to others than to praise it, and B, a lot of those comments are actually about a handful of issues that were discussed, debated, and repeated over and over, it wouldn't surprise me to find out the response to the kineticist was overall more positive than we on this forum might have assumed from the chatter.

I'm not saying the class hasn't got issues or that I'm glad they're roping it in for another round or so of polishing, just that there is almost definitely a discrepancy in our experience and that of the developers.

A lot of people who do the playtests though are also yes men and their votes are noise. They aren't hyper critical, so a lot of those responses probably praised paizo, since whatever paizo does is treated as gold rather than realizing paizo might make a mistake. That's another thing to look out for. Personally, I'd pay 70% of attention to the minority that criticizes to see what those criticisms are and the other 30% the praise who loved it.

There's no particular reason to assume criticism is inherently more value than praise. If the majority of people liked something it means there was something that the majority of people liked about it. Critical responses show what people felt about the class, but very few of even those responses understand all the considerations that go into a class' design.

There's no call to insist the only reason why other respondents wouldn't agree with your criticism is if they lacked critical analysis or else were mere sycophants. This is needlessly insulting.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
WWHsmackdown wrote:
Verzen wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Lollerabe wrote:
The line about the class being pretty good if it was released as it were concerns me a bit. That was not my impression whatsoever. Had it been released in its playtest version it would've been close to unplayable for me personally.

Same. I did not enjoy the class as presented, and I said as much in my feedback, plus the vast majority of Forum comments gave it bad reviews.

I'm curious about what ranges of specific feedback they received from the surveys.

You can only take forum comments as a datapoint so far. The number of people posting on the forums is relatively small, definitely less than the thousand-ot responses they got for the playtest, and when you factor in the fact that A, people are about three times more likely to complain about something to others than to praise it, and B, a lot of those comments are actually about a handful of issues that were discussed, debated, and repeated over and over, it wouldn't surprise me to find out the response to the kineticist was overall more positive than we on this forum might have assumed from the chatter.

I'm not saying the class hasn't got issues or that I'm glad they're roping it in for another round or so of polishing, just that there is almost definitely a discrepancy in our experience and that of the developers.

A lot of people who do the playtests though are also yes men and their votes are noise. They aren't hyper critical, so a lot of those responses probably praised paizo, since whatever paizo does is treated as gold rather than realizing paizo might make a mistake. That's another thing to look out for. Personally, I'd pay 70% of attention to the minority that criticizes to see what those criticisms are and the other 30% the praise who loved it.
Source?

Basic psychology.

People tend to gravitate toward conformity and acceptance rather than criticism, as criticism is contrary to group coordination and success.

It's part of evolutionary theory as there can only be a limited number of leaders and many, many followers for any specific group, we are evolutionarily programmed to fall in the mold in order to associate with said group and thrive in a social/group like setting.

In any organization that has fans and followers, like D&D for example, they are far more likely to find what they like about what the leaders of D&D are creating than to find flaws in the system seeing as they are falling in line with group think.

People are far far less likely to be a fan of a series and yet still criticize the same developers that they are a fan of.
This psychology drifts off a bit if the series they are a fan of drifts apart from the source material. Those criticizing are still fans, but fans of the old rather than the new. (I.E. Sonic the Hedgehog movie where fans criticized how he looked simply because they want Sonic to be how he looked originally or like the new mario movie with marios voice change)

Essentially - to put it simply,

Fans of a series are less likely to criticize the series they are a fan of
Fans of a series that do criticize are more likely to criticize based on a failure to maintain series cannon.
Rarely do fans of a series criticize the developers direction of a series when it comes to new ideas/concepts/or creations. They are much more likely to side with the developers than to not side with the developers.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
Verzen wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Lollerabe wrote:
The line about the class being pretty good if it was released as it were concerns me a bit. That was not my impression whatsoever. Had it been released in its playtest version it would've been close to unplayable for me personally.

Same. I did not enjoy the class as presented, and I said as much in my feedback, plus the vast majority of Forum comments gave it bad reviews.

I'm curious about what ranges of specific feedback they received from the surveys.

You can only take forum comments as a datapoint so far. The number of people posting on the forums is relatively small, definitely less than the thousand-ot responses they got for the playtest, and when you factor in the fact that A, people are about three times more likely to complain about something to others than to praise it, and B, a lot of those comments are actually about a handful of issues that were discussed, debated, and repeated over and over, it wouldn't surprise me to find out the response to the kineticist was overall more positive than we on this forum might have assumed from the chatter.

I'm not saying the class hasn't got issues or that I'm glad they're roping it in for another round or so of polishing, just that there is almost definitely a discrepancy in our experience and that of the developers.

A lot of people who do the playtests though are also yes men and their votes are noise. They aren't hyper critical, so a lot of those responses probably praised paizo, since whatever paizo does is treated as gold rather than realizing paizo might make a mistake. That's another thing to look out for. Personally, I'd pay 70% of attention to the minority that criticizes to see what those criticisms are and the other 30% the praise who loved it.
There's no particular reason to assume criticism is inherently more value than praise. If the majority of people liked something it means there was something that the majority of people...

Criticism is always more valuable than praise.

If I write a book, and someone just praises it, I've learned nothing in how to improve it. If someone criticizes it and I see how it could improve, then I've learned how to do things better.

A good example is my personal life. I make chainmail necklaces. I've had a lot of people say how gorgeous my necklaces are. Do I learn anything from that? No. Of course not. However, someone who was judging my necklace in a competition pointed out where a lot of the rings weren't closed all the way and showed me examples and what they'd like to see. I can then take that data in order to improve my craft for when I create more necklaces in the future.

Furthermore, a lot of times when people criticize a product, it's because they've critically analyzed parts of the product and it's up to the developer to figure out if their analysis is valuable or not.

But just saying, "Yeah. I like it." doesn't really offer much data to determine if the class is actually good or not.

I'm not meaning to come across as insulting, but this is all stuff basic psychology and statistical understanding would show you, especially when taking polls.

It's the same reason why "phone polls" are useless. It's also why asking people to show up to take a poll is also useless in terms of data.

Because each one provides intrinsic biasness that provides what the poll taker wants to hear rather than what's at the heart of the matter.

Double blind studies are the best form of data consistency in which biasness is left out. In these studies, people are chosen at random rather than asking them to fill out a form, which tends to reduce, but not eliminate, a lot of the bias in the system.

We must also analyze players experience, educational background, and a bit about their psychology to understand where they are coming from in their criticism or praise as well.

But I'd bet money, due to psychology, most fans praise developers of a new product of what they are fans of over criticizing that product when it comes to polls.

I'd also bet money, due to psychology, that the minority (critics) will voice their displeasure the loudest on the forums over the majority who fills out the polls which will be the quietest.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Everyones feedback is valuable, I don't think this conversation should be continued any further.


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It should probably go without saying that figuring out "what makes a class fun to play?" is every bit as valuable a thing to get out of playtesting as "Where are the pain points?". Since you want to double down on what's fun and reduce what's unfun.

Also "X is very powerful" is both praise and criticism from two different perspectives. We saw this during the Kineticist playtest where the power of the geokineticist's wall ability was alternatively viewed as "the single most fun thing I did" and "probably overtuned."


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"The majority of players are know-nothings who only know how to praise things" and "only people who can offer reasoned forum opinions know enough to provide valuable feedback" is certainly a take.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Gaulin wrote:
Everyones feedback is valuable, I don't think this conversation should be continued any further.

You literally ignored everything I said and ironically told me my feedback isn't valuable.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Verzen, it is really cool that you have started playing PF2 and getting a feel for how the game is like in actual play.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Regarding alternative damage types, assuming a fantasy world where Paizo lets you pick between two blasts or something, what damage sources would you like to see and where? Ideally you'd want two choices for every element for parity, and where certain options go could also be up in the air.

My preferences:

Air: slashing, Sonic
Earth: all 3 physical
Fire: Lightning, Fire
Water: Cold, Bludgeoning
Metal: Slashing, Acid
Wood: piercing, poison

This is a list I'd be very happy with.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If blasts essentially become impulse cantrips instead of martial attacks, I think it will be more likely that we see feat based options for attack impulses that do different damage types than it is “blasts” themselves will have a lot of variable damage types. Extremely flexible cantrips with a lot of moving parts seem like a direction that has been actively avoided up to this point and 1st level feats are something the kineticist seems like they will have in abundance.I could be wrong, but that seems like a pretty big mechanic to develop without being able to playtest it


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After some deliberation I have decided that it seems I should clarify a minor point: I said criticism is not inherently more valuable than praise. I should have said that negative criticism is not inherently more valuable than positive criticism. I took it for granted that, considering the topic of discussion was a critical response that 'praise' would not be mistaken for 'unthinking praise' any more than 'criticism' mistaken for 'indiscriminate censure'. In reflecting upon my understanding of basic psychology, I see that I should have known better, but alas my time was short.

Regardless, in more relevant concerns:

...

keftiu wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Regarding alternative damage types, assuming a fantasy world where Paizo lets you pick between two blasts or something, what damage sources would you like to see and where? Ideally you'd want two choices for every element for parity, and where certain options go could also be up in the air.

My preferences:

Air: slashing, Sonic
Earth: all 3 physical
Fire: Lightning, Fire
Water: Cold, Bludgeoning
Metal: Slashing, Acid
Wood: piercing, poison
This is a list I'd be very happy with.

Personally, I feel like it would be strange for Air not to have access to lightning. I don't mind fire having it (indeed, I can't think of anything else for fire to get that makes half as much sense...) but wind and lightning feel like they would happily go hand-in-hand.

Meanwhile, I feel like I could almost as easily accept acid damage under Wood, though I acknowledge that this is probably more because of the poison=acid trope being applied to poisonous flora mouthfeel than for any thematic or logical rationale.

Actually, on that note, I suppose smoke 'poison' damage wouldn't be a terrible option for fire... at the expense of taking one of Wood's most obvious energy types.


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Electricity for Air is good and right.

Poison is not really an energy its just a damage type for the sake of clarity and game mechanics. It makes it much easier to write resistances that cover specific effects without creating weird scenarios.

Fire is a difficult element because it is a matter of pure energy and heat, as opposed to Earth (and I guess now metal) which are pure physical and matter. I do not think that fire should get a physical blast, and I do not think earth should get an energy blast.

Wood traditionally is wood and positive energy, I don't see why that would be chaged. Before that was tied to the first world as a reasoning, but the logic still stands that wood by its very nature is full of life.

Metal I think is odd one out since its so close to earth and doesn't have any associated energy outside of magnetism. I guess sharing electricity but that would be weird.

Liberty's Edge

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I think Poison Damage could suit Metal and Wood both inappropriate measures given that both of these elements do often quite contain toxic components/aspects that is quite hazardous/deadly to living creatures.

As for Earth, I think this one above and beyond all other elements is probably fine NOT getting Acid because it never really made too much sense to me in the first place.

Air and Metal could also have options for Sonic damage too IMO.


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I don't think sonic fits. That one is too general and literally any element could can create sound. It would be like saying that only earth should do bludgeoning because its earth.

I have an easier time seeing wood and metal have acid. But honestly it might be better to keep them both as universal and then just let the player determine how their element is creating the acid/poison. I guess the same could be said for sonic.

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