Pathfinder 2nd edition Class Tier List


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Hbitte wrote:

One thing I don't see anyone talking about is putting weight according to level. a class that is strong at 3rd level is much more relevant than a class that is good at 18th level.

1-5 [4×] 6-10 [3x] 11-15[2×] 16-20[1x]

little played is of little importance.

It's actually not true, because we focus much more on the highest level our character will reach. For example, being super strong at level 1 is not considered at all despite the fact (nearly) everyone plays at level 1.

So, the actual values are closer to 1-3 [1x] 4-12 [3x] 13-20 [1x].

AlastarOG wrote:
I'd rate fighters at 1 on healing because they have the ability to synergies well with skill feats that give healing, having a lot of builds with free hands and a general impetus and freedom of use to go get wisdom (you'll rarely see a fighter build without wisdom) not enough to be good at it

200 games here, not a single point healed by a Fighter. Do we put the Cleric at 10000 in healing?

Everyone has Wisdom, hands and can raise Medicine. The Fighter class doesn't have anything for healing. If some Fighters have raised Medicine around you, I can assure you it's far from being common.

AlastarOG wrote:
Champion fighter and monk would have survivability 3

So, the Fighter has 6 damage, 3 survivability, 1 healing and 2 control, the non Paladin Champion has 3 damage, 3 survivability, 1 healing and 2 control, I assume, making it clearly worse than the Fighter? Last time I checked, Champions were fine, very fine, they are actually better than Fighters on average (I've never seen a tier list with Fighter over Champion but I've seen a few tier lists with Champion over Fighter).

Well, you can do as you want, but I don't think you'll get anything valid from this method. The game is far too complicated to be split in 4 values. And you'll need to rate your values on way bigger numbers. For example, the difference between an Alchemist and a Fighter in damage shouldn't be 4 as it means that even if the Alchemist was the best tank, healer and controller of the game it wouldn't be as good as a Fighter. I doubt it.


@superbidi: I'd rate control for champions higher, and there's definitely room for putting fighter at 0 healing, it's a debate. I'd probly put champion at 2 healing though. The liberator champion, for exemple, might come out with less points in combat than fighter, but with more points in exploration and downtime due to charisma synergy (not much though).

I am definitely ok with doubling the values for more nuance (damage 0 to 12 and others 0 to 6 or 0 to 10) if it is perceived to be of more value that way.


Another advantage of the point tally method is for party optimisation.

If you take all the points from your class and add them up after you've built your sorry, you can see where you are weak and therefore adjust what each player is building or buying.

Likewise GM's can tailor their campaigns and encounters to account for that one way or another.

Exemple: as a GM, you notice that your 5 player party is at a 5/15 in healing, a very low score, so you decide to make use of the stamina point system.

Exemple 2: players tally up their scores just to check out how their party is shaking and notice their survivability is at 3/12, so their Wizard becomes focused in conjuration and learns summon spells and their cleric switched to warpriest instead of cloistered.

Exemple 3: The party notices they're at 7/15 globally on their healing rating, so they decide to purchase lots of scrolls of healing and potions of healing.

Exemple 3.5: the party were about to buy a large stash of 12 high level healing potions, but upon reviewing the scale they notice that they're at 12/15 on healing, each of them having great healing potential, so they decide to stash the money to boost their damaging items sooner, their damage only being at 18/30.

I think it kinda works ?

Liberty's Edge

I'm very confused as to why "par damage" is rated as 2 points worse than "fair damage but can be finicky" or what the difference is between "par," "average," and "fair," given that all three words generally mean the same thing. What is the value of having a rating of "does absolutely no damage" when there won't ever be a class it would apply to? How is "great damage through class features" differentiated from the fighter or barbarian's "best damage in the system," given that those two classes' damage output comes directly from their class features?


I can definitely rework on that.

What would be an exemple of 0 damage rating, if we assume that fighter/barb is 6?

Grand Archive

AlastarOG wrote:
Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

I can't help but be curious if a wizard with champion dedication is a consideration in the analysis here?

If not, why not?

I would say no because everyone can multiclass champion or any other class really. If it's not unique to the class it shouldn't get weighted.

While everyone can multiclass or archetype, classes interact differently with different dedications. For example, wizards can interact very differently with spellcasting dedications.


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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

I can't help but be curious if a wizard with champion dedication is a consideration in the analysis here?

If not, why not?

Because complexity and scope. The variations aren't endless, but even the useful variations are still large.

If you wanted to go down that path, we should just put together maybe 5 optimised builds for each class and rank them.

I'll have a go at a transparent ranking system at some stage, but I'm thinking that avoiding archetypes is going to be a reasonable limitation of scope.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Healing at 1 for Fighter? There is not a single healing ability in the whole class. It's the most obvious error.

Like the thing that makes this potentially a pointless discussion is that any class can be good enough at "out of combat healing" to keep the party topped up if they spend a few feats on it. Invest in medicine and take continual recovery at level 2 and you will be good enough.

Now this is an easier choice for the cleric or the druid who already have a bunch of Wis, or the Rogue or the Investigator because they have skill feats coming out of their ears, but the fact that you can be good at a wide range of things through investments in skill feats or archetypes basically makes this sort of thing not useful to discuss.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Healing at 1 for Fighter? There is not a single healing ability in the whole class. It's the most obvious error.

Like the thing that makes this potentially a pointless discussion is that any class can be good enough at "out of combat healing" to keep the party topped up if they spend a few feats on it. Invest in medicine and take continual recovery at level 2 and you will be good enough.

Now this is an easier choice for the cleric or the druid who already have a bunch of Wis, or the Rogue or the Investigator because they have skill feats coming out of their ears, but the fact that you can be good at a wide range of things through investments in skill feats or archetypes basically makes this sort of thing not useful to discuss.

Well yes but no, classes with key abilities that synergize strongly with choices considered best in slot (like battle medicine/continual recovery/ward medic or battle cry/intimidating glare/scare to death) should be weighted a few points higher for this skills, since they are much better at these and the DC's are fairly high.

Grand Archive

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I understand the desire to limit complexity and scope. However, a lack of the full picture could mislead some people into thinking that they have less options than they do.

And while that seems innocuous enough, some of the louder, more vocal of them might very well plague these boards with ill-informed points of view.

That is something I feel that these boards have far too much of already.


I would focus on party composition and synergy first, to be honest. I think it is the most important thing to get down. We all get that the Bard or the Champion are amazing, but why are they amazing? I would say because they usually make most parties they are in better by their sole presence. Going over when are they at their best and their worst will be fundamental when we eventually have to compare them to other classes.

Also, I'm pretty sure we all agree as a comunity that Bard is in the top 3 classes and Witch in the bottom 3. We can use those as reference (specially because they are easily comparable). Martial equivalents will be harder, though, as there is less consensus (I would say Champion and Inventor, but not all will agree).

AlastarOG wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Healing at 1 for Fighter? There is not a single healing ability in the whole class. It's the most obvious error.

Like the thing that makes this potentially a pointless discussion is that any class can be good enough at "out of combat healing" to keep the party topped up if they spend a few feats on it. Invest in medicine and take continual recovery at level 2 and you will be good enough.

Now this is an easier choice for the cleric or the druid who already have a bunch of Wis, or the Rogue or the Investigator because they have skill feats coming out of their ears, but the fact that you can be good at a wide range of things through investments in skill feats or archetypes basically makes this sort of thing not useful to discuss.

Well yes but no, classes with key abilities that synergize strongly with choices considered best in slot (like battle medicine/continual recovery/ward medic or battle cry/intimidating glare/scare to death) should be weighted a few points higher for this skills, since they are much better at these and the DC's are fairly high.

I can buy that for CHA skills, but not for WIS. The basic of all basics of optimization in this system is trying to get your class working with DEX (or heavy armor) + CON + WIS. So far only 2 classes have problems with that, and those are Swashbuckler and melee Investigator (I guess the bad Rogue Rackets count too). All the other classes have very little problem boosting WIS, so I don't think fighter is better at healing than anything else. In fact, with how busy the class tends to be action wise I would argue they are among the worst at doing it.

Extra mid-combat healing is definitely a boon, but medicine skill and out of combat healing as a whole should be a non factor when evaluating classes unless you can turbo it like a Rogue.

Gortle wrote:
avoiding archetypes is going to be a reasonable limitation of scope.

Definitely, covering archetypes (except fundamental ones like Sentinel) is a mistake without going over the base classes first.


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AlastarOG wrote:

@Deriven Narrative power would be to ability to quickly adapt and pivot to circumstances, where pivot time is essential.

A wizard can radically alter their approach to a situation in a day, substitution wizard in 30 minutes, rogues either have what it takes or don't, they tend to be great at most things though so that counts. But if it's one of their weak areas, pivoting would take them weeks.

Downtime certainly depends on campaign, but if you assume a general golarion campaign away from massive city centers, the ability to craft proficiently is certainly valuable. Yes every class can perform downtime activities, but which class, in its core kit, gives you better abilities to influence downtime in a meaningful manner. A wizard is certainly better at crafting magic items due to high intelligence over a cleric or fighter, and their ability to teleport the group to high level settlements is in an of itself a massive downtime ability (since this might be a several days trip) that can invalidate even the best crafters.

Compared to a barbarian who is trained in "squishy things" lore, that is a massive advantage not only to themselves but to the group in general.

Exploration includes exploration mode stuff like avoid notice and such, but also other abilities and synergies like face skills, synergy with RK skills and the ability to perform well at skill challenges such as infiltrations, heists, chases, public debates, magic duels, sports contests and such.

I haven't found these things to be that important. There's like 10 different ways to affect the narrative in PF2. Back when skills were tough to increase and spells were king, narrative altering power was real.

In PF2 there are like multiple ways to affect the narrative. Bluff check with Deception. Straight up talking your way through with Diplomacy. Trickery check to do some device manipulation. Athletics to break it in. You can affect the narrative in so many ways. Even the modules provide like 3 or 4 options. Spells don't do what they used to do and you have to have the right spell at the right time and a fairly kind DM to allow something clever with a spell.

It's not like it used to be.


I feel like you have a tier system for certain roles.

Healer: Cleric would be tier 1 due to Divine Font. Anyone with Divine or Primal list would rate higher than Arcane which would rate lowest for healing.

Tanking: You would probably rate Champion highest followed by maybe monk or fighter.

Damage caster: Maybe rate druid, sorerer, wizard highest.

Buffer: Bard, then cleric.

I honestly don't see the tier list working that well. It really isn't a thing in PF2. In PF1 a wizard really was a tier 1 class that could overshadow every other class at high level. That was a very real thing.

In PF2 wizard is a prepared caster who can do a few things, but isn't even the highest rated caster class.

Druid probably the most versatile class, but even they have to specialize somewhat.

Just not sure how accurate you could make a tier list. Seems like a whole lot of work that would lead to a whole lot of debate. My experience with the classes is you can build classes a lot of different ways to do a lot of different things fairly well. A few classes are very optimal for certain things like a Champion for AC or a cleric for healing, but even a Champion can't do many challenging solo fights and cleric healing becomes a whole lot less necessary as you get higher level.

That divine font seemed real cool up to level 5 or 7. After that the cleric often ended the day with plenty of healing left.

PF2 is just a very different game with a narrow power band and every class falls within that narrow power band with maybe some rare exceptions like the investigator.


Have you all heard of a Wicked Problem? I feel like it would be good for you to at least know the characteristics of a Wicked Problem.


Do you mean that this problem has no resolution or that there is opposition to finding a resolution to the problem ?


Nah, my guess is that Eoran point is that there is no unified direction for this discussion so we keep going in circles.


Meaning that the problem resists finding a solution. And that people will not agree that a potential solution is correct.

There is no way to tell if you have found a solution to the problem.
The problem is different to different people.
There is no right answer.
By changing the way you phrase the problem it drastically changes the solutions that are presented.

Grand Archive

If your rating system accounts for all options accurately, it should be fine.


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AlastarOG wrote:
Do you mean that this problem has no resolution or that there is opposition to finding a resolution to the problem ?

Why not just do a profile of each class using your scale. No reason to have a tier list which implies a "power scale." Just do a profile so a player can have an idea of what each class is good at. That would probably be more helpful for PF2.


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roquepo wrote:
Nah, my guess is that Eoran point is that there is no unified direction for this discussion so we keep going in circles.

Yep. We are about 90% agreed that there is no useful solution in the original tier framework.

What could be a new useful framework? Perhaps that is worth debating.


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Just randomly chiming in with my unsolicited opinion:

To me, I rate classes based on how good they are at successfully realizing multiple concepts, the breadth of their options and if they offer mechanically impactful and distinct options. They also need to be good at what the player wants out of it, given reasonable expectations, of course, I'm not saying that Barbs should be amazing skill-monkeys and Investigator masters of single target damage.

That's why to me the best classes are Fighters and Rogues because of their terrible game-wise niches of "best combatant" and "best skill-monkey", which gives them stacked base chassis and a wide variety of options with more options than the average class (Rogues being one of the very few to get actual new class options).

That criteria is the reason why I consider Alchemists and Witches the bottom. They have bad chassis and their options are often limited that do not allow for meaningful customization and they also happen to have few choices to make that have little to no impact on how the character plays. They also don't have something unique as their core identity like other classes, which cements them as easily the worst, even though they aren't mechanically broken. In the case of Witches, they at least are spellcasters, which means that the scale quite well into the late game, while Alchemists' flavor remain the same but their proficiency starts to lag.


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I think the main issue we face here is the Nirvana Fallacy not the wicked problem.

It's not gonna be perfect, no objective attempt at measuring a multi-subjective perceptoral concept is, but we've made some decent headway from the Original Post, that should be called ''the draft'' from now on.

A Pf2e class tier compilation should have 2 stated goals

1 - To accurately represent the ability of each class to affect meaningful change to multiple areas of the narrative at broad, through only their core class kit, discounting archetypes, skill feats, general feats, items and ancestries as non-pertinent to the matter.

2 - In a broader sense, to accurately determine how these classes intermesh with each other in a party, so as to determine where a party, based on only their classes, might be weak or strong, and thus tailor further build options around that, if so desired.

To which, we have a multi-field rating system that at the end will aggregate into a single ranking on a tier ladder, under the assumption that classes that can enact change in multiple fields in a competent matter should be, on a blank canvas and without further information, considered first, if one discounts other factors such as ease of use or fun.

The rating system takes the class as a whole from level 1 to level 20.

The rating system is based on:

15 points for the combat rating:
Damage: 6 points
Survivability: 3 points
Healing: 3 points
Control 3 points

10 Points for the out-of-combat rating system
Exploration: 5 points
Downtime: 5 points

These premises stipulate a ratio of roughly 60% combat to 40% exploration in most campaigns.

These premises stipulate that damage is double the value of any other aspect of combat.

Damage takes into consideration the ability to inflict damage, either to single targets or to multiple targets, in a roughly 50/50 split if pertinent.
Damage shall be rated as follow:
1: Low to non-existent damage
2: Average damage (think basic strike without class features)
3: Slightly above average Damage
4: Clearly above average damage, but conditional
5: Very High above average damage, but conditional, or clearly above average damage
6: Overwhelming damage

Survivability takes into account saving throws, HP pool and AC
Survivability shall be rated as follow:
0: Below average survivability
1: Average survivability (one save at Master+ only, 8 or 6 hp per level, unarmored or light armor)
2: Above average survivability (two saves at Master, 10+hp per level, access to medium + armor)
3: Great survivability (Anything above 2)

Healing takes into account ease of access to the medicine skill, as well as spells, features and items that come from the class.
Healing shall be rated as follow:
0: No healing ability
1: Some healing ability, or good medicine skill synergy
2: Repeatable, high healing ability or Great medicine skill synergy
3: Repeatable AND high healing ability.

Control takes into account the ability to inflict penalties to opposing parties, either to one or to several opponents. ''The basics'' shall be composed of the demoralize action as well as the athletics suite of skill, synergy with these skills through key ability or spellcasting ability shall be considered.
Control shall be rated as follows:
0: No ability to inflict penalties other than the basics, low synergy with the basics.
1: No or little ability to inflict penalties other than the basics, but good synergy with the basics (think basics+ critical specialisation)
2: Good ability to inflict penalties outside of the basics and good synergy with the basics
3: Great ability to inflict penalties outside of the basics as well as ability to inflict multiple penalties with one action/turn efficiently or the ability to inflict the same penalty to multiple opponents reliably.

Exploration is the ability to enact change on the narrative in roleplay/exploration mode. Key ability synergy with charisma skills, high proficiency in perception, narrative changing abilities, the ability to generate items spontaneously, and the ability to pivot quickly from one configuration to another are rated here. Quickly means a day or under.
Exploration shall be rated as follows:
0: No or little ability or synergy to influence the narrative through class features.
1: Little ability to impose change on the narrative (ex: Master Perception but not much else)
2: Moderate ability to impose change on the narrative (ex: flex abilities, ability to quickly buff skills, access to utility spells)
3: Moderate ability to impose change on the narrative, but with ease of pivot between those abilities, or great ability to change the narrative.
4: Great ability to impose change on the narrative, but with ease of pivot between those abilities, or scenario changing ability to affect the narrative
5: Scenario changing ability to affect the narrative, with great pivot time.

Downtime is the ability to generate economical gain and growth during allotted downtime days during campaigns, as well as perform special campaign specific actions that have the downtime trait. Takes into consideration class features but also key ability synergy with the 3 main downtime skills (crafting, lore, performance)
Downtime shall be rated as follows:
0: No class ability to downtime, no key ability synergy with a downtime skill.
1: No class ability to downtime, low ability synergy with a downtime skill (Ex: Champion is incentivized for charisma, but not for performance)
2: Class ability to downtime, key ability synergy with a downtime skill, access to features that are best performed in downtime (things that are best done when not adventuring, trapping, reinforcing, locking, moving fast, etc.) ''Must have any of 1''
3: Class ability to downtime, key ability synergy with a downtime skill, EASY access to features that are best performed in downtime (things that are best done when not adventuring, trapping, reinforcing, locking, moving fast, etc.) ''Must have 2''
4: Class ability to downtime, key ability synergy with a downtime skill, EASY access to features that are best performed in downtime (things that are best done when not adventuring, trapping, reinforcing, locking, moving fast, etc.) ''Must have 3''
5: 4, but with extra features like auto scaling skills or special downtime powers.

Overall I believe this to be a fairly reasonable rating system, not perfect, but not irrelevant as well.

I'll leave it to take in comments and tweaks before I repost another thread and start to take a crack at another tier list.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Do you mean that this problem has no resolution or that there is opposition to finding a resolution to the problem ?
Why not just do a profile of each class using your scale. No reason to have a tier list which implies a "power scale." Just do a profile so a player can have an idea of what each class is good at. That would probably be more helpful for PF2.

yah that sounds fair actually, I'll still put the aggregate for reference but I won't tier.


Classes to be evaluated are:

Alchemist
Bard
Cleric (cloistered)
Cleric (Warpriest)
Barbarian (not Fury and Superstition because they are just bad)
Champion (Good)
Champion (Evil)
Druid
Fighter
Magus
Investigator
Monk
Ranger (Flurry and Precision)
Ranger (Outwit)
Rogue (not Eldritch Trickster because it is bad)
Witch
Sorcerer
Swashbuckler
Wizard
Gunslinger
Inventor
Summoner
Oracle
Thaumaturge
Psychic.


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Gortle wrote:
roquepo wrote:
Nah, my guess is that Eoran point is that there is no unified direction for this discussion so we keep going in circles.

Yep. We are about 90% agreed that there is no useful solution in the original tier framework.

What could be a new useful framework? Perhaps that is worth debating.

Since direct, individual power seems to be too samey and hard to compare between classes, I would go for how valuable a class is for any given party of other 3 classes.

Tier 1: The class usually fits in most parties, being a valuable asset for the group. It has many party compositions where it is the best option and even in their worse case composition they can still perform well. Examples: Bard, Champion

Tier 2: The class fits in most parties. It has party compositions where it is the best option and can still function to a satisfactory degree in its worst party composition. Examples: Barbarian, Sorcerer

Tier 3: The class is average. There are a few party compositions where it is the best option, but it is subpar when the party composition is not adequate for it. Examples: Monk, Ranger

Tier 4: The class is below average. There are no party compositions where it is the best option, but it can be really close to other better options when they fit in. The class feels weak when it does not fit the rest of the party. Examples: Warpriest, Alchemist

Tier 5: The class is bad. There are no party compositions where it feels like a strong option and it will drag the party when it fits particularly badly with the composition. Examples: None so far, but I can see specific builds being here

Class placement is just my opinion and the tiering is just a preliminary framework of something that could work. For making this for real there is a need for discussion about the individual classes and how good or bad and why they are good or bad in several party compositions. Lots of work, but definitely something doable.

If this is the best option for a PF2 class tier list, I don't know. But it is an option.


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roquepo wrote:
Gortle wrote:
roquepo wrote:
Nah, my guess is that Eoran point is that there is no unified direction for this discussion so we keep going in circles.

Yep. We are about 90% agreed that there is no useful solution in the original tier framework.

What could be a new useful framework? Perhaps that is worth debating.

Since direct, individual power seems to be to samey and hard to compare between classes, I would go for how valuable a class is for any given party of other 3 classes.

Tier 1: The class usually fits in most parties, being a valuable asset for the group. It has many party compositions where it is the best option and even in their worse case composition they can still perform well. Examples: Bard, Champion

Tier 2: The class fits in most parties. It has party compositions where it is the best option and can still function to a satisfactory degree in its worst party composition. Examples: Barbarian, Sorcerer

Tier 3: The class is average. There are a few party compositions where it is the best option, but it is subpar when the party composition is not adequate for it. Examples: Monk, Ranger

Tier 4: The class is below average. There are no party compositions where it is the best option, but it can be really close to other better options when they fit in. The class feels weak when it does not fit the rest of the party. Examples: Warpriest, Alchemist

Tier 5: The class is bad. There are no party compositions where it feels like a strong option and it will drag the party when it fits particularly badly with the composition. Examples: None so far, but I can see specific builds being here

Class placement is just my opinion and the tiering is just a preliminary framework of something that could work. For making this for real there is a need for discussion about the individual classes and how good or bad and why they are good or bad in several party compositions. Lots of work, but definitely something doable.

If this is the best option for a PF2 class tier list, I...

I kinda like that, its elegant


Tier list for group compatibility could be helpful. PF2 definitely a group game. You don't survive PF2 alone. Alone you would die in some lonely place and get eaten. Gotta bring a party to surive.


If you like the concept, I think a good start would be to discuss general pros and cons of every class, particularly good or bad combinations with specific classes and best and worst general composition.

For example, let's pick Barbarian

Pros: Good damage on hit (benefits a lot from numerical bonuses to hit), can take a lot of damage at once, some specs are great at control, some specs can deal really well with adverse situations for a melee martial (can fly or attack at range, has good AoE), can keep its ground and provide flanking for another martial (not the best at doing it, though)
Cons: Critted more often, harder to heal (less AC and big HP pool), lower flexibility while raging as they cannot concentrate, low amount of skills

Best class pairs: Rogue (provides and benefits a lot from flanking, covers skills, faster medicine progression), Champion (mitigates and heals damage, provides and benefits from flanking), Bard (Best buffer, can heal, has a good amount of skills)
Good class pairs: Other occult casters, divine casters, any CC oriented martial, Investigator (good amount of skills, can be slighly better than Rogue at medicine)
Bad class pairs: Alchemist (Barbarians usually use both hands in combat)

Best party comp: Rogue, Champion (good), Barbarian, Bard
Worst Party Composition: Barbarian, Arcane caster, Alchemist, Fighter

Again, this is just an example, don't think the opinion of a single individual amounts to much.


AlastarOG wrote:

I think the main issue we face here is the Nirvana Fallacy not the wicked problem.

It's not gonna be perfect, no objective attempt at measuring a multi-subjective perceptoral concept is, but we've made some decent headway from the Original Post, that should be called ''the draft'' from now on.

A Pf2e class tier compilation should have 2 stated goals

1 - To accurately represent the ability of each class to affect meaningful change to multiple areas of the narrative at broad, through only their core class kit, discounting archetypes, skill feats, general feats, items and ancestries as non-pertinent to the matter.

2 - In a broader sense, to accurately determine how these classes intermesh with each other in a party, so as to determine where a party, based on only their classes, might be weak or strong, and thus tailor further build options around that, if so desired.

To which, we have a multi-field rating system that at the end will aggregate into a single ranking on a tier ladder, under the assumption that classes that can enact change in multiple fields in a competent matter should be, on a blank canvas and without further information, considered first, if one discounts other factors such as ease of use or fun.

The rating system takes the class as a whole from level 1 to level 20.

The rating system is based on:

...

Those categories seem like they need a lot more work. The bare minimum should be 0. The average should be half-way give or take. The best should be the highest number.

For example right now you have survivability as 0 being below average and 1 is Wizard or Bard level defenses. But there is literally no class with lower defensive stats than Wizards. Then you have impossible to reach things like "Scenario changing power that can be switched easily" that no class in PF2 can ever do.

Finally downtime is literally just "can use skills" as most classes lack anything useful in downtime. Those that kind of have it (Alchemist and Inventor) don't really have anything special to it besides wanting to use Craft in the first place.


Eoran wrote:
Have you all heard of a Wicked Problem? I feel like it would be good for you to at least know the characteristics of a Wicked Problem.

If it's a wicked problem, then we can tackle it like a wicked problem.

One solution offered (called competitive solution) is to bring multiple tier lists and then compare them to each other (which one is good, which one is bad, and so on) to find the best ones.
Once we have a few good tier lists, we can try to find their commonalities and get to what would be a good view of what people think.


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To follow my idea, I'll publish my tier list. In PF2, you don't have so much differences in efficiency than in previous systems, so a low tier class can be built in a very efficient way. As such, I'll mostly focus on expectations. The question around my tier list is: Does a class fulfill its expectations?

The result is:

Tier 1: Bard
Tier 2: Fighter, Champion (Good), Rogue (Thief and Ruffian), Druid, Sorcerer
Tier 3: Cleric (Cloistered), Champion (Evil), Magus, Rogue (other), Wizard, Inventor, Gunslinger, Monk, Barbarian, Oracle
Tier 4: Swashbuckler, Summoner, Ranger
Tier 5: Witch, Alchemist, Investigator, Cleric (Warpriest)

Tier 1 classes fulfill more expectations than they should. Only the Bard deserves this position as on top of being an excellent buffer, it's also an excellent debuffer and a character who can heal and damage and... well, that's too much for one class.
Tier 2 classes fulfill their expectations greatly. Their mechanics click properly, their role is well defined and they excel at it.
Tier 3 classes exactly do what they are supposed to do. You shouldn't be disappointed by playing a tier 3 class as long as you only expect it to do what is advertised.
Tier 4 classes tend to be somewhat misleading in their expectations. They are not necessarily bad per se, but you will in general have to review your expectations or add a little bit of system mastery to compensate.
Tier 5 classes don't fulfill their expectations. You should avoid them unless you have a great deal of system mastery and you know exactly what you do.


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Heres a quick pass at a class rating system.

Looking at assigning points based on the various features the classes have. I'll total them up to get a number somewhere under ten in each category. Which would be useful to see. Then weight each category and get a number for each class/subclass if you must really rank the classes in one number.

Focused Damage
Single target melee damage and accuracy modifiers
+2/+4/+6 basic attack at level of caster, martial, fighter
-1 not striking with primary attribute
+1 gets True Strike
+1 Devise Stratagem
+1/+2 damage buff class feature - rage, precision damage, flurry
+1 better than d8 weapons available
+1 damaging focus spell
Wild shape is +0 to +2 depending on how your GM plays it.

Mass Damage
+2 class abilities which multitarget
+1/+2 mass damage focus spell
+2 Divine or Occult spell list
+4 Primal or Arcane spell list

Ranged Damage
+2/+4/+6 basic attack at level of caster, martial, fighter
-1 not striking with primary attribute
+1 gets True Strike
+1 Devise Stratagem
+1/+2 damage buff class feature
+1 better than d8 weapons available
-1 reload action cost
+1 damaging ranged focus spell
+2 Divine Magic
+4 Occult, Primal or Arcane Magic

Mobility
+1 extra base speed
+2 movement actions and powers built into feats
+1 alternative movement type available
-1 heavy armour

Defence
+1/2/3/4 for hit dice
+2 typical martial AC
+3 typical fighter AC
+4 champion or monk AC
+1 shield block
+1 more shield features
+2 two good saves
+1 can use heavy armour

Healing
+1 ability to take medicine
+1 easy to have free hands
+1 extra skills
+2 healing focus spell
+2 occult spell list
+4 Divine or Primal spell list
+1 class bonuses to healing
+2 healing alchemy
+2 extra heal spells

Efficiency
Important class features that costs actions that other classes don’t have to pay
-2 reload required
-1 hunt prey
-2 spellstrike
-½ rage
Extra actions
+2 free attack eg flurry of blows
+1/+2 useful/strong reactions
+1 action efficiency in powers
+2 additional reactions
+1 little need to move
+½ uses agile weapons
Multiple Attribute Dependency
+0 requires investment in 5-6 attributes
+1 requires investment in 4 attributes, Dex, Con, Wis and one other
+2 requires investment in 3 attributes, Dex, Con, Wis and one of these is your primary.

Buff
+3 Bard
+2 Primal Magic
+3 Arcane or Occult Magic
+4 Divine Magic
+1 extra support for Aid
+1 Witch Cantrips

Control and Mass Debuff
+2 Divine Magic
+3 Primal or Divine Magic
+4 Arcane or Occult Magic

Focused Debuff
+2 Primal Magic
+3 Arcane or Divine Magic
+4 Occult Magic
+1 Witch Cantrips
+2 debuff focus spell

Skills
+2 legendary Perception
+1 flexibility in your 4th attribute
+4 double skills
+1 Wis Primary
+2 Int Primary, more skills
+2 Dex/Str primary, better skills
+3 Cha primary, best skills

Endurance
+3 daily spells 3 per level
+4 more daily spells 4 per level
+2 extra heal spells
+1/+2 good focus spells
+1 witch cantrips
+3 bard cantrips
+8 main powers available every round

Team Work
+0 to +4 ability to be point in combat
+1 to +2 useful skills
+1 to +2 stealthy
up to +4 ability to heal
up to +4 primary buffer
-2 antisocial anathema

Ignoring animals companions, familiars and mounts as everyone can get them.
Only considering single class characters for simplicity.
Halve the spell list point if is for a wave caster. Haven't really thought about alchemist and inventors yet.
But obviously no one character can do everything their class is capable of all at once.


roquepo wrote:
Gortle wrote:
roquepo wrote:
Nah, my guess is that Eoran point is that there is no unified direction for this discussion so we keep going in circles.

Yep. We are about 90% agreed that there is no useful solution in the original tier framework.

What could be a new useful framework? Perhaps that is worth debating.

Since direct, individual power seems to be too samey and hard to compare between classes, I would go for how valuable a class is for any given party of other 3 classes.

Tier 1: The class usually fits in most parties, being a valuable asset for the group. It has many party compositions where it is the best option and even in their worse case composition they can still perform well. Examples: Bard, Champion

Tier 2: The class fits in most parties. It has party compositions where it is the best option and can still function to a satisfactory degree in its worst party composition. Examples: Barbarian, Sorcerer

Tier 3: The class is average. There are a few party compositions where it is the best option, but it is subpar when the party composition is not adequate for it. Examples: Monk, Ranger

Tier 4: The class is below average. There are no party compositions where it is the best option, but it can be really close to other better options when they fit in. The class feels weak when it does not fit the rest of the party. Examples: Warpriest, Alchemist

Tier 5: The class is bad. There are no party compositions where it feels like a strong option and it will drag the party when it fits particularly badly with the composition. Examples: None so far, but I can see specific builds being here

Class placement is just my opinion and the tiering is just a preliminary framework of something that could work. For making this for real there is a need for discussion about the individual classes and how good or bad and why they are good or bad in several party compositions. Lots of work, but definitely something doable.

If this is the best option for a PF2 class tier list, I...

I really like this one. Its simple and elegant.

I think tier lists are an interesting exercise and while I, as many others, think that pf2 is really well balanced I think there are some classes that are better than others and some that are worse. Someone in this thread said we all know that bard is better than witch, which is kinda what I'm aiming at.

I think one could probably get away with 4 Tiers, being "best", "better" "average" and "worse/subpar". Thinking about it I thought 3 would be enough but I think there are so classes I consider borderline between best and average.

The "best" classes: Bard, Druid, Fighter, Champion, Rogue

"Better": Barbarian, Cleric, Magus

"Average" classes: Monk, Sorcerer, Ranger, wizard, Gunslinger, Summoner, Inventor(?)

"Subpar" classes: Witch, Oracle, Swashbuckler, Alchemist, Investigator

You could probably also put Cleric and Barbarian into the best tier and Magus into average if you wanna boil it down to 3. Barbarian in best tier might be a more out there pick but I might be biased because I dm for a party where the dragon Barbarian is honestly one of the less experienced or tactical players but this class f$&+ing decimates enemies. The crits are absolutely insane. And the -1 AC does make them squishier but they still have loads of HP. Might be a tainted opinion because they have a Champion protecting them.


With the tiering system I posted, and with no previous analysis, I would say the list would look like:

Tier 1: Bard, Champion (good), Fighter, Rogue
Tier 2: Barbarian, Druid, Sorcerer (Occult and Arcane), Cloistered Cleric
Tier 3: Monk, Ranger (Flurry and Precision), Champion (evil), Wizard, Sorcerer (Primal and Divine), Oracle, Gunslinger, Witch (Divine), Magus
Tier 4: Investigator, Inventor, Warpriest, Witch (non-Divine), Alchemist, Summoner, Ranger (Outwit, don't think there is a spot where you would take it over a Thaum)

More sure about some classes (whole tiers 1 and 2) than others (Magus, Summoner, Gunslinger and Oracle mostly).

I also predict Thaum to be Tier 2 and Psychic between tier 2 and 3, but it is definitely too early to tell.


roquepo wrote:

With the tiering system I posted, and with no previous analysis, I would say the list would look like:

Tier 1: Bard, Champion (good), Fighter, Rogue
Tier 2: Barbarian, Druid, Sorcerer (Occult and Arcane), Cloistered Cleric
Tier 3: Monk, Ranger, Champion (evil), Wizard, Sorcerer (Primal and Divine), Oracle, Gunslinger, Witch (Divine), Magus
Tier 4: Investigator, Inventor, Warpriest, Witch (non-Divine), Alchemist, Summoner

More sure about some classes (whole tiers 1 and 2) than others (Magus, Summoner, Gunslinger and Oracle mostly).

You haven't followed your tiering system to make your list.

For example, Fighter overshadows Barbarian, so Barbarian can never be the best pick and as such should be relegated to tier 4 (same for Rangers, Evil Champions and every offense oriented martial). Bard is the best occult casters, all the others need to go to tier 4 as they can never be the best pick.
The Inventor is the only AoE able martial, so it must be tier 1 as it fits a lot of party compositions and is always the best pick in that case because of the lack of competition.

So, in the end, you have just 2 tiers: The best classes at doing one (important) thing (your tier 1) and the others (your tier 4).

As a side note, I don't think your tier list is bad, just that it doesn't follow your guidelines.


SuperBidi wrote:
roquepo wrote:

With the tiering system I posted, and with no previous analysis, I would say the list would look like:

Tier 1: Bard, Champion (good), Fighter, Rogue
Tier 2: Barbarian, Druid, Sorcerer (Occult and Arcane), Cloistered Cleric
Tier 3: Monk, Ranger, Champion (evil), Wizard, Sorcerer (Primal and Divine), Oracle, Gunslinger, Witch (Divine), Magus
Tier 4: Investigator, Inventor, Warpriest, Witch (non-Divine), Alchemist, Summoner

More sure about some classes (whole tiers 1 and 2) than others (Magus, Summoner, Gunslinger and Oracle mostly).

You haven't followed your tiering system to make your list.

For example, Fighter overshadows Barbarian, so Barbarian can never be the best pick and as such should be relegated to tier 3 or 4. Bard is the best occult casters, all the others need to go to tier 3 or 4.
The Inventor is the only AoE able martial, so it must be tier 1 as it fits a lot of party compositions and is always the best pick in that case because of the lack of competition.

So, in the end, you have just 2 tiers: The best classes at doing one (important) thing and the others.

As a side note, I don't think your tier list is bad, just that it doesn't follow your guidelines.

Barbarian outshines Fighter on buff/debuff heavy comps. Some specs can also help with AoE or with CC way more than a Fighter. Also, you can have both a Fighter and a Barbarian in the same party (I think I should have mentioned that in my head I was thinking about not repeating classes for any party too, don't think it changes much, though).

In a double or triple caster scenario, an Arcane or Occult Sorcerer can be better than a Bard (specially later on in the level spectrum) if the martials are not very good offensively (if I already have a Monk, a Champion and a Cleric, I think Sorcerer fits better than Bard).

Regarding Inventor, if the group is missing AoE that badly to want an Inventor, what they really need is a caster.


roquepo wrote:
Barbarian outshines Fighter on buff/debuff heavy comps.

Not really. Unless you design specifically a team for the Barbarian to shine, you'll always have a better team with a Fighter. Fighter is not only better at dealing damage, but it has also a lot of versatility that the Barbarian lacks.

roquepo wrote:
Also, you can have both a Fighter and a Barbarian in the same party

Duplicates are a bad choice always. There's no real reason to point it out.

roquepo wrote:
In a double or triple caster scenario, an Arcane or Occult Sorcerer can be better than a Bard (specially later on in the level spectrum) if the martials are not very good offensively (if I already have a Monk, a Champion and a Cleric, I think Sorcerer fits better than Bard).

Not really. You'll need an extremely convoluted team for an Occult Sorcerer to be a better pick than a Bard. Bard is really a step ahead the competition.

roquepo wrote:
Regarding Inventor, if the group is missing AoE that badly to want an Inventor, what they really need is a caster.

If you have a caster heavy party, you don't want to replace your Inventor by a caster. There are a few parties where the Inventor is definitely a must have: AoE-based parties and martial-based parties. AoE-based parties tend to lack martials, so it's very important to add an Inventor. Martial-based parties tend to lack AoE damage, so putting an Inventor is very important (if you want to keep the martial focus, it's true that maybe in that case a caster is better but that would change the party focus a lot).

Anyway, what I want to point out is that your tier system is relative. If Paizo releases a very good class in one domain all the other classes in the same domain will drop in tier. And I think it's not fair, as they are still able to fill the same role with the same efficiency. Also, a tier system must rate all classes between each other. For example, Bard is super strong and overshadows all other Occult casters, still you want to know if a Witch is better or worse than a Sorcerer. But with your relative system, neither Witch nor Sorcerer are the best pick ever and they are roughly as bad as each other as worst pick, making the comparison between both impossible.
A tier system should objectively rate classes, not relatively.
And in my opinion you are very well aware of it as you don't really follow your guidelines. Your tiers 2 and 3 should be nearly empty as most classes will either be the best at what they do or not the best at what they do.


SuperBidi wrote:
Barbarian and Sorcerer stuff

I disagree, but even if I were to agree with you, having niche composition where they are BIS would put them in tier 3, not 4.

Again, the tiering is just a first attempt and the tiers themselves should probably be worked on, but I still think this approach will lead to a useful tier list.

Quote:
Inventor

If you already have casters, then you want another martial, not an Inventor. This is a hill I will die on. Inventor is a perfect example of a tier 4 class.

Quote:
Relative system

Well, yes, of course it is relative. That does not mean it is a bad system. Most tier list for online games are relative too. When a new character in a fighting game releases, if it has an impact of the meta, it will change the rating of other characters that functionally are the exact same as before.


roquepo wrote:
Quote:
Inventor
If you already have casters, then you want another martial, not an Inventor. This is a hill I will die on. Inventor is a perfect example of a tier 4 class.

AoE-based parties don't want single target martials at all. Especially at high level, you take an Inventor above every other martial if you have already a strong AoE dominance. It's a niche, but the Barbarian on the other hand has no niche where it's the best.

roquepo wrote:
Quote:
Relative system
Well, yes, of course it is relative. That does not mean it is a bad system. Most tier list for online games are relative too. When a new character in a fighting game releases, if it has an impact of the meta, it will change the rating of other characters that functionally are the exact same as before.

The meta evolves because the game environment evolves. If for example Paizo releases a ton of classes with a lot of hit points, healing will drop and the healing based classes, too. But if Paizo releases a strictly better Bard, for example a Bard with 2 extra hit points over the normal Bard, then you create a tier 0 for this character. You don't put the old Bard at tier 4 because suddenly there is no reason to take it over the new Bard.


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Here is my tier list:
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3 Bard, Druid, Cleric, Wizard, Sorcerer, Oracle, Champion, Fighter, Witch, Rogue, Barbarian, Monk, Investigator, Magus, Summoner, Inventor, Gunslinger, Swashbuckler, Thaumaturge, Psychic, Alchemist
Tier 4
Tier 5.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It is kind of a completely different approach, but it seems like it might be more useful, when assessing how effectively classes live up to the stated expectation of the class, to look at the descriptions of "roleplaying the X" and evaluate according to those sections.

For example:
The Alchemist:

Quote:
During Combat Encounters...
Quote:
You lob bombs at your foes, harry your enemies, and support the rest of your party with potent elixirs. At higher levels, your mutagens warp your body into a resilient and powerful weapon.

Does the alchemist live up to this stated expectation for the class?

Then do the same for social encounters, while exploring, and downtime.

Evaluating each class in these sections allows potential players to decide which aspects of the game will mater the most to them, and then your overall guide can talk about general expectations of APs, although that will get pretty debatable too as I think different APs play with these 4 modes of the game differently.

Such evaluations might actually help the developers more as well, as if the class was written to have certain combat expectations (for example), and players are consistently giving it low marks on that evaluation, then it is possible that the class is undertuned, or it is possible that the expectations established in that section of text are presenting an unachievable high mark. Adjusting either might better help establish fair expectations.


The Alchemist is a bit of an odd one. One of his advantages is his damage doesn't count as magical as far as I know, so works against golems and will-o-wisps and creatures that are magic immune. Which is an interesting and useful advantage here and there.


if you were going to do it, I would keep it relatively simple

first you make two divisions. combat vs non-combat

you break down combat into damage, control, tanking debuffing, buffing

non-combat gets broken down into utility

you can then rate classes how well they do each, by assigning 5 to be best

and go from there.

5 the best
4 not the best but more than adequate
3 avg = doable under the right circumstances
2 poor
1 fighting the system


How do you tank in a game without an aggro mechanic?


Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
How do you tank in a game without an aggro mechanic?

How much HP you have, how much damage reduction you have, how good are your saves and AC, any ability that makes people think of you as a threat (Ex: Champion reactions), etc.

Things that are bad for tanking: Getting punished for using your abilities in melee, low HP, low saves and AC, no damage reduction, nothing to make you seem as a threat, etc.


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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
How do you tank in a game without an aggro mechanic?

The Good aligned champion reactions kind of accomplish this, setting up "if you attack someone who's not me, you're going to suffer undesired consequences, but if you attack me it's fine."


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ikarinokami wrote:

if you were going to do it, I would keep it relatively simple

first you make two divisions. combat vs non-combat

you break down combat into damage, control, tanking debuffing, buffing

non-combat gets broken down into utility

you can then rate classes how well they do each, by assigning 5 to be best

and go from there.

5 the best
4 not the best but more than adequate
3 avg = doable under the right circumstances
2 poor
1 fighting the system

I think it is a mistake to divide the game into combat/non-combat for this analysis.

Part of what is going to skew all of this is if the developers created the classes to be balanced around 4 distinct phases of the game, intending a character to participate in all four (as established in the roleplaying the X), and yet players are lumping 3 of them together and not really comparing what the class is stated to do but against general expectations that are being imported largely from other games.

As for the alchemist, I think that it is interesting that the class is apparently stated to be able to throw bombs and provide support to allies in the form of elixirs from level one apparently, but that mutagens are not really designed to considered until higher levels. Having not played a higher level alchemist, but having a fair bit of experience as a player and GM with level 1 alchemists, it doesn't seem feasible to trying to bomb and do much with Elixirs until level 5ish, or at least, even being a bomber through multiple combats a day seems to require hitting level 4 or 5, much less having anything left in the tank for other abilities. Thus a lot of alchemists I see that people have fun with, end up focusing entirely on elixirs and a crossbow for most of lower levels.

Also, intending Mutagens not really to be effective until higher levels seems counter to the design of having a class path that focuses on it from level 1. These 2 things together seems likely to result in a fair bit of player frustration and unmet expectations. 2 of 3 class paths don't lead where the book itself tells you to go, at least not right away, and I think that results in a lot of disappointment in the class. That said, only one of the three paths is really, really misleading so I would probably give the class 5 out of 10 for it's in combat ability to do what it says it does. But the "During social encounters" gets even weirder.

How many social encounters require a character who can provide knowledge and experience about alchemical items and related secrets about poisons and diseases? Talk about making a social event uncomfortable! And this is the stated expectation for how the character provides support to social encounters? That is actually unfair to the class, because alchemists can actually provide a lot of support to the other characters through social encounters, even from level 1, but doing so usually requires knowing in advance that social encounters are the focus of the adventuring day and sinking some limited formulae resources into often under picked mutagens and elixirs. So I would probably give the alchemist a 4 out of 10 for social encounters, but with better guidance, the class could easily be a 6 or 7 without changing anything about the mechanics.

The exploring advice section is something relatively new to PF2 and so I am going to give the writers a little bit of a pass across the board for not knowing what to stick here, but Alchemists are not very good at keeping an eye out for trouble by default, although they can easily have a bomb at the ready without having to have their weapons drawn and focus entirely of combat ready exploration activities. They are good at advising about things alchemical, although that feels a little niche for the game generally, and "all things mysterious" might be a bit of a stretch, unless they mean that Alchemists make knowledge recallers on things occult, arcane and social, which can definitely be true (from being INT based to have a fair bit of skills, and having some items to provide boosts instead of having to wait for magic skill items). Alchemists really should be above average here, but it is kind of hard to parse out what they are supposed to do from this description so again I feel like they are floating in the 5 or 6 range that could probably jump to a 7 or 8 with better direction.

Lastly, downtime, This one feels fairly on the money as far as description to in play experience. Although general ability to craft and repair is bigger than just alchemical experimentation, and the games expectations for how much time players have to do downtime crafting tends to disappoint in APs, even as it is pretty good in PFS play. In games where characters don't level up 3 or 4 times every couple of days separated by months stuck at one level with little new cash coming in during that time, AND in worlds where level restrictions for purchases are heavy and consistent, the alchemist can absolutely dominate downtime...Unfortunately, this is not the situation encounter most frequently in current APs. Overall this drops what should be a 9 or a 10 class down to a 6 or 7 class very often.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
How do you tank in a game without an aggro mechanic?
The Good aligned champion reactions kind of accomplish this, setting up "if you attack someone who's not me, you're going to suffer undesired consequences, but if you attack me it's fine."

Not only that. There's a bunch of taunt like effects in the game like antagonize or duelists challenge.


aobst128 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
How do you tank in a game without an aggro mechanic?
The Good aligned champion reactions kind of accomplish this, setting up "if you attack someone who's not me, you're going to suffer undesired consequences, but if you attack me it's fine."
Not only that. There's a bunch of taunt like effects in the game like antagonize or duelists challenge.

They're careful to avoid simulation breaking stuff like "you have to attack me even when it makes no sense to do so" by setting it up like "it probably makes more sense to attack me and not anybody else."


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Unicore wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:

if you were going to do it, I would keep it relatively simple

first you make two divisions. combat vs non-combat

you break down combat into damage, control, tanking debuffing, buffing

non-combat gets broken down into utility

you can then rate classes how well they do each, by assigning 5 to be best

and go from there.

5 the best
4 not the best but more than adequate
3 avg = doable under the right circumstances
2 poor
1 fighting the system

I think it is a mistake to divide the game into combat/non-combat for this analysis.

Part of what is going to skew all of this is if the developers created the classes to be balanced around 4 distinct phases of the game, intending a character to participate in all four (as established in the roleplaying the X), and yet players are lumping 3 of them together and not really comparing what the class is stated to do but against general expectations that are being imported largely from other games.

As for the alchemist, I think that it is interesting that the class is apparently stated to be able to throw bombs and provide support to allies in the form of elixirs from level one apparently, but that mutagens are not really designed to considered until higher levels. Having not played a higher level alchemist, but having a fair bit of experience as a player and GM with level 1 alchemists, it doesn't seem feasible to trying to bomb and do much with Elixirs until level 5ish, or at least, even being a bomber through multiple combats a day seems to require hitting level 4 or 5, much less having anything left in the tank for other abilities. Thus a lot of alchemists I see that people have fun with, end up focusing entirely on elixirs and a crossbow for most of lower levels.

Also, intending Mutagens not really to be effective until higher levels seems counter to the design of having a class path that focuses on it from level 1. These 2 things together seems likely to result in a fair bit of player frustration...

I would like to add that usually when people talk about how good alchemist they talk about how you can hand out elixirs before the encounter. But the number of times that a person can reasonably predict when they will have an encounter, much less predict what mutagen will be needed for that encounter is incredibly difficult. That is even before the fact that usually a bard can give a bonus that is just as high to everyone, with no penalty, and without costing everyone receiving said bonus an action.

So point should also be taken down for how hard to use the class is.

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