Path of War has its flaws, namely that Broken Blade is horrendously overtuned (which DSP themselves admit). But as a whole I think it's a fantastic system that does a great job of letting people realize character concepts without being total garbage (yeah yeah yeah rollplay vs. roleplay, I've heard it all). It lets martials be more independent from the caster party members with access to healing, movement abilities, buffs, defensive abilities, see invisibility, etc. PoW:E is also shaping up to be fantastic, and I'm very excited to get my hands on the book.
Also I agree, it's hardly a rigid system. Just because prepared casters can be batman doesn't mean that's a reasonable approach.
Fried Goblin Surprise wrote:
All that quote really tells me is that it's okay if you don't get caught.
You can also stack Martial Master onto the archetype pyramid to bump the versatility up even more. Of course, at this point you literally aren't playing a fighter anymore since every single class ability has been swapped out, but its a great "fighter" nonetheless.
Eldritch Martial Mutation "fighter" definitely doesn't even remotely resemble the original class at that point. Which is fine really, since the fighter is a horrible class in my opinion.
It adds some much-needed versatility and variety to the "I FULL ATTACK" machine. Hell, I consider Eldritch guardian to be the bare minimum to play a fighter, since all you're trading out is a couple of bonus feats and one of the most useless class features in the game for a familiar, and a class feature that helps shore up a pretty important save.
Cerberus Seven wrote:
Wait, abundant ammunition changed? What happened there? There doesn't appear to be an FAQ entry for it.
Abundant ammunition was changed so that it no longer applies to alchemical cartridges and ammunition made out of special materials. So gunslingers get to choose the hell they live in: move action reloads or annoying and overpriced ammo management.
Presumably because some poor individuals were still playing gunslingers for some reason.
It'd be a novel opinion anywhere.
I prefer the term "hilariously incorrect" myself. Why can't we just let the Swashbuckler rest in peace rather than spitting on its grave?
Cerberus Seven wrote:
Simple: Pathfinder Society. See, the game masters of this organized play section of Pathfinder aren't allowed to house-rule or deviate from the established script in any given module. So, when players find an inventive and powerful combination of items or feats or whatever that Paizo has made perfectly usable and available, instead of tweaking things in the module to match the capability of any given group they nerf the entire set of 'problematic' spells and abilities into the ground. It's like how PvP ruined everything else in WoW "because muh balance!"
The problem with this approach is that it's done specifically for PFS, which is very much not the typical game you'd play with your buddies. I would not entirely disagree with this approach if it didn't seem like their choices in errata were so utterly sporadic, such as the adjustments to weapon cords and abundant ammunition, yet Simulacrum is still a thing that exists.
I'm not sure whether this is an argument about vancian casting or not!psionics any more, but I'll throw my hat in the ring anyway.
On the psychic: Very disappointing class overall. The flavor change doesn't really justify it either, since the sorcerer has a brand-spanking-new bloodline that accomplishes essentially the same thing. That being said I wasn't exactly expecting the second coming of psionics via first party.
On vancian casting: I dislike it, to say the least. I don't feel as though spells-per-day has ever really been a balancing factor for casters outside of the very early levels, and frankly the logistics behind vancian casting don't make much sense to me no matter how many times I try to justify it in my head. The kineticist is far closer in theory to my ideal form of spellcaster than any of the vancian casters, regardless of the fact that I could write a book on my problems with the class*. Lower powered at-will abilities, and having to make an investment to power up them up.
* No, really, don't ask me to expand on that, because that's only a slight exaggeration and I'm about as capable of forming a coherent thought as a 10PB barbarian.
My Self wrote:
The only problem I see is that feats are to martials as spells are to casters, yet feats are meant to be mostly permanent, while prepared casters are meant to be able to swap out spells whenever they want.
Every day the wizard can study the spells he feels he needs to get the job done, why can the fighter not practice his techniques before departing for adventure in the same way?
If you want to unchain the master of weapons, let the master of weapons exhibit this by breaking the chains that are tying him down, namely the inflexible nature of being a martial. Just because that's how feats *are* doesn't mean that's how they have to be under all circumstances. If that logic were followed by spellcasters then we wouldn't have the sorcerer, who doesn't need to bury himself in dusty tomes every day just so he can chuck a few fireballs.
Bonus feats is about the laziest class feature for the fighter ever, were someone to design an "unchained" fighter it would do to break one of the biggest chains on any martial class.
Good saves across the board, make weapon focus and similar feats class features, automatic proficiency with one or two exotic weapons, and gut bonus feats entirely in favor of the ability to switch out its combat feats at the start of each day in the same manner a wizard would their spells. If you wanted to get REALLY crazy you could also give the fighter the ability to split up its movement between iterative attacks.
Do this and the fighter still comes up short, but at the very least they're good at their one job: using weapons and making things dead with them.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
I agree with you about the pointless prerequisites being a problem with martial classes. The gunslinger for instance, practically requires several feats such as rapid reload and point blank shot. I don't see the point in offering those things as potential customization options when pretty much everything that could take them is practically forced to in order to function, why are these things not just part of the class from the start?
Even more baffling is that when a martial gets nice things, those nice things are inevitably taken away with no further inspection as to why those things might be necessary to it. The gunslinger, again, helps illustrate this point beautifully. The adjustment to abundant ammunition for instance struck me as particularly unnecessary, as before it helped alleviate the horrible ammo management involved with it as well as help offset the exorbitant long-term costs of using guns. So one's choice now is to spend inordinate amounts of time and money crafting ammunition or live in the hell that is move-action reloads.
You pretty much named the problems with Spheres of Power as a solution. I've had more than my share of GMs adamantly ban 3rd party material on principle by virtue of it being third party, the irony of this being that they are playing a system by a publisher who was once third party itself.
In all fairness the archetype serves the specific niche in that it's the only way for an undead character to be a kineticist. That being said, it serves an extremely small niche. One would have to be insane to play an undead kineticist regardless as 99% of the classes usefulness revolves around taking burn, it's pretty much all give and no take.
The change you proposed is very reasonable, but I doubt we'll actually see a kineticist archetype that hoisted it up from the tar pits of nonlethal damage and pointless vancian bookkeeping as many people apparently thought the playtest kineticist was too strong (and amazingly, that it's still too strong in its current state).
Cerberus Seven wrote:
I've had a character that did archery with a composite longbow and one that used advanced firearms. Both were the same BAB and similar build, with accuracy boosting spells and a good Dex mod. The latter build was far more likely to hit on any attack roll. As in, natural 1s were pretty much all that would stop him. Oh, that character was ALSO doing Rapid Shot and Deadly Aim pretty much all the time whereas the former only did so when he was fairly sure it was a low AC enemy or he was getting a situation boost to accuracy of some kind. I base this view on experience, sir.
The composite longbow does not require nearly the same amount of investment as a gun does. It gets a flat bonus to damage by default, and with the adaptive weapon property makes an excellent ranged option even for characters who don't want to specialize in ranged. By default advanced firearms receive no bonus to damage, will break on a natural roll of 1, and require several feats and at least a 5 level dip in the gunslinger class to work well. Additionally, a rifle will run you 5000 gold before you factor in things like masterwork, enhancements, and special materials; and the ammunition for it costs another 26 gold base!
While it's true that advanced firearms are far more accurate, they also demand that you specialize in them in order to wield, which is more than fair as a trade-off. Being strong in the hands of a class whose usefulness begins and ends with pointing guns at things and killing them does not make them overpowered.
I'm inclined to agree that the current firearm rules are absolutely abysmal. Firearms cost an arm and a leg while also requiring a massive feat sink and a near-mandatory 5 level dip in a specific class; yet despite this they're just crossbows with the "fragile" weapon property and a pointless gimmick of targeting touch AC, which doesn't even make sense.
In Paizo's defense however, "firearms" is the worst f-word you can say to some roleplayers, who insist black powder technology has no place in systems like Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder. It seems like a great deal of care was taken to make sure this crowd didn't get offended, considering the above reasons combined with the baffling errata the gunslinger has received (in the case of abundant ammunition, indirectly received).
A much more reasonable ruleset for firearms would be that they basically function like exotic crossbows, with higher price points and automatic dex-to-damage, and no misfire because it's an awful mechanic.
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
A lot of the non-core races get some nasty labels due to their deviation from "standard" fantasy races. It seems to be entirely arbitrary too, as the same types don't seem to take umbrage to people firing lightning from their fingertips, teleporting, farting glitter, and suplexing chromatic dragons through the power of karate magic. Toss in red humans with a tail and some cute horns though, and that's when it just becomes a little too weird for said individuals.
It's true that the more races you have, the harder it is to fully flesh all of them out. However, just like how playing a non-standard race could be seen as a crutch for roleplaying, one could just as easily say that needing a pile of world building to carry you along is just as much of one.
I've made several kineticists. Since I regularly had a higher Constitution score than anyone else in the party, retrained my hit points to max, and also invested in the Toughness feat and extra hit point favored class bonuses, I can honestly say that something like you describe is not necessary. I can damn near max out my burn for the day and STILL have more leftover hit points than other members of my party have at the start of the day.
A 5th level kineticist with a +5 constitution modifier, toughness, and the +1 HP favored class bonus per level will have 75 max HP. Hitting your burn limit at that point would leave you with 35 maximum health, which is a decent amount higher than a D6 hit die class who did nothing more than roll median and didn't dump Constitution. At 10th level, under the same conditions and with a +9 constitution modifier will be left with 30 HP if he hits his burn limit. Again, this is with maximum rolls, where the same sorcerer with a +1 con modifier and median rolls with have 40 health total. A 12 burn limit is extremely easy to hit given that you don't even get to use "free" composite blasts until level 11, and a ton of your actually useful abilities require you to spend burn to get anything out of them.
The kineticist requires a mind-boggling level of bookkeeping, has very limited utility, and is more prone to being hard-walled than any class should be. Given those conditions already, the nonlethal damage just strikes me as overkill.
Remove elemental overflow entirely, give the class full BAB, remove the nonlethal damage aspect of burn, change gather power to a way to reduce overall burn as a minimum full-round action, and re-adjust certain talents to accomodate this change in dynamic. Doing this would still prevent the kineticist from spamming abilities with no thought, but also allow it to actually function as an "all day class"; and on top of this stops the player from having to constantly recalculate all of their stats, bonuses, nonlethal damage, etc.
Sarcasm Dragon wrote:
Wow, it's been awhile since I've seen that one. Obviously, it is utterly impossible to fix C/M disparity. Thus, any published fixes clearly never happened. Yep, Path of War, Strange Magic, Ultimate Antipodism, Spheres of Power, Nice Things for Fighters...nope, none of those were ever written, let alone published.
Clearly living up to your namesake; Of course I'm glad that all of those things have ceased to be third-party material since the last time I checked, it was always so frustrating getting into a campaign and hearing "no third party allowed because third party is overpowered".
Because Summoners were even better than other casters. They were a 9th-level caster pretending to be ⅔, getting wizard spells even earlier than wizards did, and because they came prepackaged with a free and fully customizable fighter, many of the obstacles that a solo caster might find challenging didn't even phase them.
Even if summoners were better than 1-9 casters, so what? Like you said, some classes are just meant to be better than others. If casters are supposed to be better than martials, than isn't it natural that a caster + a martial should be better than casters?
You can't have it both ways, either classes are supposed to be balanced against each other or some classes are just supposed to be objectively better.
Edit: But no, in all seriousness, the summoner is not better than the Wizard. If Pathfinder was a wargame then that argument would hold merit, but the Summoner is inherently weaker than the wizard in that it actually has to make *choices*. A wizard can afford to pick up spells that might only come in handy once in a while, a summoner has to pick spells that will always be useful. The wizard can do everything well, the summoner is gob-smackingly powerful in combat and has a decent amount of utility outside of it; unless you consider combat to be the only thing that matters, then the wizard is just better.
As for magic being stronger, that's a feature, not a bug - magic takes more system mastery to use effectively in a game (and is harder for characters to learn in-universe too) so it's supposed to be.
Magic is stupid easy to use in and out of combat, I don't know where this system mastery stuff is coming. Most people have to make skill checks with a chance of failure and conditions on when they can use them, the wizard says "I cast X"; no muss, no fuss, it just works. The only time system mastery comes into play is when you're going out of your way to be a total clod and start exploiting the system.
It's also ironic that you're claiming spellcasters should be stronger than martials when you were just saying the summoner needed a rebalance. If certain classes should just be objectively stronger than everything else, why would classes like the summoner need a rebalance?
Perception is extremely powerful, yes. On more than one occasion I've had my players balk at the barbarian ripping apart encounters like a hate-powered blender, but were seemingly unimpressed by the wizard shutting enemies down by farting glitter at them. Both basically accomplish the same thing in the end, but the barbarian's impact is immediately obvious and is getting big numbers in addition.
The Eidolon is incredibly powerful to be sure, but it's only a small part of the package that made the summoner so powerful. Having them play as a synthesist solves 90% of the issues the class causes in my games, as the stat dumping thing isn't a concern when summoners do that anyway.
Yeah seriously. I like the idea of Dex-based accuracy and damage with certain types of weapons, but as an option and not a requirement.
Rogar Valertis wrote:
Again: T1 and T2 casters are a subjective classification some people use and some others don't even know it exists. If you ever played D&D you know about alignment. There's no T1 - T2 official caster classification, and different people have different ideas about what is T1 and T2 (just in this thread we have people debating if druids should be considered T1 or T2 for example).
The Druid, merely by having access to 1-9 prepared casting, an amazing spell list, and a powerful animal companion (even if it's not Fighter strong) qualifies it as T1; it can do anything and everything. Similarly, while the Summoner is incredibly versatile, it can't do it all and it simply does not have the room for situational spells like prepared casters do.
I don't see how anyone could think the wizard is easier to police than the summoner just by virtue of the near limitless amount of shenanigans it can get up to both on-purpose and completely by accident. The summoner can break combat encounters over its knee with raw damage and buffs, but out of combat its utility is far more in line with T3 than anything else.
Rogar Valertis wrote:
That's simply untrue. T2 caster can do anything, T1 caster can do everything. I mean sure, all you have to do to fix the summoner is adjust a couple of evolution costs, introduce logical limits on things like the number of arms you can have, and slightly revise the action economy, but that's a lot of work than say... the wizard's entire spell list.
If you honestly think the wizard isn't more potentially disruptive than the Summoner then there isn't much to argue about here. It's more than just a "couple" of broken spells that need "tweaks". Multiple save-or-die spells, save-or-suck spells, some that don't allow saves period, spells that obviate class features and overall entire classes, spells that remove the need for skill checks, battlefield control, mind control, mind reading, divination, amazing buffs, amazing debuffs, the ability to grant wishes, the ability to raise the dead, dispelling, lichdom, immortality, inter-dimensional travel, teleportation, half-price magical items, metamagic, flight, the list goes on and on.
Rogar Valertis wrote:
The summoner is as much of a problem as any other T2 caster, the only difference is that its impact is more immediately obvious. The wizard's spell list is as much a part of the wizard as the eidolon is to the summoner, so saying the Wizard isn't overpowered in and of itself is a bit silly.
Unlike the wizard, however, you can actually limit a summoner's power without making it a logistical nightmare or cutting your player off at the knees. The Wizard is so absolutely stupid in so many ways that it's easier and overall better just to say "no T1 casters" and call it a day.
I'm sure a lot of other people love alignment restrictions, that doesn't make it good. If you can't see a problem with permanently tying the summoner's main class feature to something that's incredibly subjective then I don't see any point in arguing that case further.
A lot of people (myself included) couldn't give an Azata's scaled derrier about its ever-so-slightly reduced combat effectiveness; the eidolon is still a powerhouse and can easily push fighters into the mud and laugh at them.
The biggest issue to me is the thematic and alignment restrictions of the eidolon. Yeah dragon outsider doesn't strictly make sense, though one could excuse as "outsider that looks and acts like dragon", on that same not Protean or Archon dragon make even less sense since those describe very specific beings.
And alignment restrictions are almost entirely a universal no-no, I probably don't have to explain this one.
Cerberus Seven wrote:
I've always liked the "build-a-bear" style class customization, as more options is always a good thing. I agree that on the Ki side the unchained monk is almost strictly inferior due to their (equally) small pool and frequency of use. On the other hand some (definitely not all) of the monk's biggest flaws have been addressed.
Full BAB and D10 hit die are just what the doctor ordered, especially for human monks who before couldn't grab certain feats with a "BAB +1" prerequisite at first level. On top of that, flying kick at 5th level gives the monk the ability to move before making a full attack, which solves the greatest flaw of any martial class. I don't think it's fair anymore to say the monk has a damage problem or a maneuver problem, so at the very least it's brought up to par with what people expect out of martials: killing things.
It still has issues though. Still probably the nastiest MAD class, getting DEX or WIS to damage would have done wonders to help fix this. There's the tiny ki pool, really, it's puny, and the UnMonk has to spend ki very often unless they take "Extra Ki" feats. Amulet of Mighty Fists is still disgustingly expensive and takes up an amulet slot, and will probably chew up all of the Monk's gold at several points when he wants to upgrade it. Monk melee weapons do not receive unarmed damage progression: this one seemed like a no-brainer.
Yeah you're right actually. That's a change I don't quite understand, especially considering that the Unchained Monk usually has to spend ki a bit more often.
Still I don't think it's entirely fair to call it strictly worse than archetyped monks.
Edit: wait a second I've been bamboozled! Both the monk and unchained monk receive 1/2 class level + wisdom as a ki pool. Still, it's true that the UnMonk is probably going to be spending ki a bit more often. 1* class level + Wis would probably have been more appropriate.
The only archetype I can think of that was actually good for a "punch things" monk is Qinggong Monk thanks to its increased versatility, and the Unchained Monk can basically be a Qinggong Monk with full BAB and D10 hit die.
I feel like Unchained was a mixed bag, but the Unchained Rogue and Monk more than made up for it in my opinion. The unchained monk especially keeps me hopeful for further improvements to otherwise "underpowered" (read: absolutely abysmal) classes.
I'm personally hoping for a Gunslinger Unchained, where someone finally realizes guns are a huge pain in the keister to use and that mandatory feat taxes are the devil.
I don't necessarily disagree with you, if you're working with a low PB then a synthesist basically has to sacrifice nothing. That being said if you're working with such a restrictive point buy then there's a solid chance your GM might just hate martials (namely the monk).
On the other hand, neither STR nor DEX are particularly important to even a regular summoner since the eidolon is supposed to handle most of the grunt-work, that is unless you wanted to get into flanking buddy antics. So really even a normal summoner can get away with ignoring those stats to a certain degree. Probably could have been handled better, but replacing the summoner's physical stats isn't as big of a problem as it would be for a druid.
Agreed, I generally don't like the idea of tying objective things like class features to subjective things like alignment; the "orc baby what do?" dilemma comes to mind. Restricting it to specific forms on top of that is just salting the wound.
I think I mentioned this earlier, but the synthesist does a better job of "balancing" the summoner than the unchained summoner, because you lose the two things that made summoners ridiculous: namely it cuts out their stupidly good action economy and somewhat limits the use of its summon monster ability, only problem is that nobody can build the synthesist without making at least 10 mistakes since it's rather poorly explained in its entry.
Cure minor wounds doesn't exist in pathfinder, and as I recall it healed one HP per casting. If you wanted to give an example of overpowered at-will abilities you didn't do a very good job of it, since unlimited out-of-combat healing is neither rare nor particularly overpowered. Consider that an encounter's CR is, I believe, calculated based on a party of 4 that is considered to be at full power.
It seems as though you've ignored a large part of the arguments in favor of at-will abilities, which is fine I guess, it's a lot to read through. But I'm not sure what your post was trying to convince me of other than you went out of your way to sabotage your GM's game, in which case there are far more efficient ways of doing so than spamming at-will abilities (like being a wizard for instance).
The "nerfed" summoner didn't actually address the problem with the class, it just made eidolons more restrictive and alignment-dependent (because we *really* needed more of that). The Summon Monster SLA is way too good though, it'd be much better if the unchained summoner traded that ability out for better non-offense evolution options and a slightly adjusted action economy.
There's a sad irony in the fact that the Unchained Summoner accomplished the exact opposite of its namesake though.
Well yes, I don't think anybody wants to hand the wizard unlimited uses of all the slots available to him. Limited uses may do a horrible job of balancing out the obscene power level of casters, but it at least limits certain types of shenanigans.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Kineticist has a much more restricting resource pool on a limited and relatively low-powered selection of abilities. It creates a strange situation where it feels like limitations are created almost arbitrarily.
Pretty much. The spell list is by far the biggest issue, with multiple spells invalidating some or all of other classes usefulness altogether. The problem I see with making an "unchained" wizard is that it would fall into the same pitfall trap the unchained summoner did.
The issue with the summoner wasn't really the eidolon itself in my experience. It was the absolutely bananas action economy and the Summon Monster ability. I feel like the Synthesist archetype does a better job of alleviating this than the unsummoner, save for that the Synthesist was somewhat poorly worded and left a couple of confusing gaps.
There would no need to delay the Kineticist at all, is the point. Her being farther ahead than the rest of the party does her no good. Either she waits around for them to catch up, or she keeps advancing until something smacks her down like The Rock suplexing a toddler. If she's running ahead of the party and grabbing the loot and leaving a mess, you run across the table and smack the player for ruining people's fun, but other than that it would absolutely be in her best interest to stick with everyone else.
At best this would be useful for scouting as it would allow her to quickly escape if trouble rears its ugly head, and even that can be stopped cold by a locked door.
And you must admit...sometimes, it serves VERY similar purposes to at will dimensional door- If you REALLY wanted to, you could rocket through an entire dungeon, straight to the boss, while ignoring practically everything. What is going to stop your movement based on the GIANT BOLT OF LIGHTNING? Who is honestly going to stop you more more than the split second needed to move out of the way before you use your superior speed to get away? From the looks of it, a wind user could have a snake blast that allows them to go 270' in a round (240+30 base speed, maybe 300 with their haste)
So you can move really really fast. Unlike dimension door, you are still more-or-less beholden to the laws of physics, and also unlike dimension door, this ability only applies to you. So let's say this Kineticist bolts through the entire dungeon, bypassing every trick/trap/treasure/encounter along the way. She's now alone at the big bad boss at the end of the dungeon, now what does she do? Well, nothing really. She tosses some kinetic blasts at the boss, it shrugs them off because it was designed for a whole party to fight and the Kineticist's damage alone is less than impressive, and the hast Kineticist promptly gets the wind beaten out of her.
Ride the Blast is no doubt a very handy ability, but to compare its utility to something on the level of Dimension Door is silly. Just because the Kineticist can do it whenever and how often she wants does not necessarily mean that she's going to actually NEED to use it that often.
This is a horrible solution. It's "fixing" something that wasn't broken in the first place by making it a nuisance, a lesson I would hope people learned from the Kineticist.
Cantrips are fine as they are, and even a less-than-creative GM can work around them with minimal thought. The real problem isn't with the cantrips, it's with the entire spellbook; and it's an issue that can't be solved by introducing mechanical punishments for utilizing basic class features.
I believe most of the time unlimited use abilities are vastly overvalued. In the average campaign you're going to be having about six combat encounters at maximum, and very rarely do they extend past ten rounds per encounter unless the party is built poorly. A good example of this is the "3 + X per day, for Y minutes" format for certain abilities, such as the Iron Weapon Oracle revelation. At 1st level this ability will last for 10 rounds of combat, or 1 minute, and will be usable 6-8 times a day provided your oracle player actually invested in Charisma. Under the impression that the campaign is following the standard combat format laid out above, at 1st level this ability will more than likely be in effect for as long as the Oracle is in combat. At 2nd level and beyond, this fact is unquestionable.
So then in this case there is mechanically zero difference between said revelation being unlimited use and having the daily limitation. Even if you are running a campaign where those numbers aren't sufficient, the rest of the party is probably going to be running low on their various abilities as well and will more than likely try to find a way to rest rather than risk running into an encounter with their strongest abilities exhausted. In these cases I usually tell my players that for all intents and purposes abilities like that can be considered unlimited use. I find that a lot of usage limitations on abilities are incredibly arbitrary, as they're either too generous to actually matter, or completely unnecessary compared to the abilities' relative power.
Also in regards to the poster who mentioned the Kineticist's healing ability: it's not actually unlimited use, as it inflicts a burn point on use which counts against their total burn limitation. And honestly I don't think someone would appreciate that kind of healing since at higher levels there's a nonzero chance the Kineticist might deal more damage non-lethally than they heal, and by then they've probably already found a way to get unlimited out-of-combat healing anyway.
N. Jolly wrote:
Yeah, it's not great, but really a level 20 capstone shouldn't stop you from playing a class. Everything else is aces, and at worst blood kineticist and elemental annihilator both have an alternative 20th level capstone.
"Aces" is a strong word, and if you asked me an incorrect word. In concept it's definitely my favorite class, but Burn is really *really* awful as-is. I'm not sure why a class as relatively underpowered as the kineticist needed to be balanced out by one of the worst class mechanics I've seen yet.
I'm not sure how the kineticist managed to make it out of the playtest in such a sad state. The burn mechanic seems to contradict itself at every turn. Burn tells you it makes you a little stronger, but also makes you much weaker, there are several class abilities that revolve around mitigating burn, and several class abilities that don't activate without higher burn.
At every point up until level 11 or 16 the kineticist has to make the decision on whether they want to be useful, or not consume burn. They don't get to do both until very high level, and even at level 16 they're extremely underwhelming.
They're a blaster that for at least half of its lifespan can't hope to outdamage an NPC class with a bow, with terribly unimpressive and burn-intensive AoE. A lot of their infusions are either bad, expensive, or not available until much higher levels; sometimes it's a combination of the three. The nonlethal damage is nothing to sneeze at either, taking 10 points of NL every single time you take burn at level 10 is a heavy price to pay on a class with a D8 hit die. You can help offset this a bit by pumping constitution and taking toughness, but the former still requires you not to utilize your maximum potential for fear of killing yourself, and the latter is more because the kineticist has a useful feat selection more sparse than said NPC classes.
Another thing people like to bring up is their ability to fly and utilize their high range to avoid enemies, but I feel like this ability is less of a cool feature and more of an absolute necessity since utilizing your maximum burn potential involves taking what is likely the vast majority of your health in semi-permanent nonlethal damage; despite being very capable of having a constitution score of 28 at level 10, poor rolls on your hit die means you can still possibly knock yourself unconscious by using your own class features. On top of that you can't gather power while maintaining flight, so unless you're a fan of suddenly falling unconscious and plummeting 480 feet to the earth you're going to be doing plink damage the entire time while gutting every ounce of your already poor utility since you need to spend your free burn points on range.
I don't know what paizo has against at-will abilities, but I also find it strange that someone felt the weakest class in the book (and one could argue, one of the weakest first-party classes in the game) is the one that has to punch itself in the face to do anything when in the same book they introduce YET ANOTHER disgustingly overpowered Tier 1 caster.