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Class Balance #01: Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Priest, Chanter (BB v257)


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One of the "High-Priority Feedback" requests from Obsidian is:

  • Classes - 1.Do all classes feel distinct and useful? 2. Does the progression of their abilities seem consistent? 3. Do any classes feel too high-maintenance? 4. Do any classes feel too uninvolved?

So I thought it'd be smart to create some format for us to answer/discuss/debate in. 


This thread basically encompasses the starting party. The 4 core+Chanter. Feel free to re-use title for other classes ("#2, #3, #4..." etc.) or feel free to discuss another Class in this thread. I'll try to summarize this thread every now and then and link to my signature.


1. I feel all classes are distinct between each other in this party and they each have important impact. One wrong step, or if I just lose a single character, and everything instantly becomes much more difficult. Every character is important.

2. I don't know about progression yet, as I have not leveled up a character yet (except the starting character). I will return to this point many more times later most likely.

3. I spend about equal amount of time on each character, with Wizard, Priest, Rogue tend to be in the backline. Chanter is my most passive class at the moment. Draws no aggro even when attacking, just stands and pumps the party with powerful buffs.

4. Not what I can feel from this stage, having only played 10-15 encounters (Steam says 10 hours played, though).


First impressions (Level 5):

General Tactic/Playing/Combat Thoughts:
1) First play, everything was very chaotic. I didn't know exactly what was what, didn't know how to engage, prepare, positioning etc. etc. I'm rusty and used to StarCraft II, League of Legends, martial memory. I haven't played the old games in maybe 6-7 months. Plus, a lot of bugs.

2) Now I'm starting to get a hang of the game a bit more, albeit I haven't much played just for the sake of playing, mostly for beta. I'm playing on Hard, and my first real wipe without any some spiders (except "Game over screen", which is a coming feature) happened in the Ogre cave in a reckless engage (My BB Wizard thought it'd be fun to get up all close and personal with a Fireball in his hand, and I let it happen). Pathfinding issues, and difficulty to recognize corners, elevation.

3) This deserves a point in itself. Elevation and corners. I often feel my ranged characters move stupid in combat, but really, it might just be me not having learned the elevation/isometric view entirely.

Example: I can see enemies straight ahead, and I click my Wizard and aim a Fireball at their area, but the Wizard thinks there is a corner, I just don't perceive this until my Wizard starts to move straight ahead (when the Wizard could move a little to the right or left). Either an AI-script in pathfinding, or a GUI. Instead of honing in on the X-axis and Y-axis of the corner (going into potential melee range), the ranged character could simple take a step to the left or right to get into "line of sight".

Perhaps something like League of Legends, "straight line into AoE radius". If there's a wall in front of the enemy, and your mouse-pointer is on top of the enemy, the GUI should stop in front of the wall. This also applies to ranged characters, they go into melee range because they have "no line of sight" and goes closer to cut a corner.

4) Regardless, up til that reckless assault, I have mastered the game a bit. A turn-based Auto-Pausing helps the flow of combat and immersion into it at the moment (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND AUTO-PAUSING). Needless to say, the beta runs much more smooth out of combat than in combat, Turn-Based Psuedo-Mode helps. Without it I feel exploration is free flowing, then combat becomes choppy. However, Auto-Pausing features might also make the game more stable (less code running, and the code runs much more passively) and might make bugs hide in real time.

5) The combat log is a wee bit cluttered and it is difficult to read along. Like a Twitch Stream Chat can be when it is a little bit too fast and you can't quite catch along. This feedback is also important to get for the Player, as it tells much of what is going on.


Fighter Balance: (Based on Character Creation & BB Fighter)
The first Fighter I made was cannon fodder. The second as well. I haven't quite got around to understand the Fighter entirely. I haven't made any calculations or math regarding this, I have just tried out different combinations and realized what governed what on a basic level of understanding. I now have a pretty powerful Human Fighter, Rose of the Meadows.

I can't quite feel the impact she does in the combat, but I feel I know that she impacts the combat statistically because she hardly takes any damage, and neither does anyone else. She's built to be a shield. I quite like the balance on the Fighter thus far (I only want some more visual feedback), and I think it is one of the easiest Classes to create as well. Yet, I feel it can be the most complex.

In my opinion, no class can be balanced properly if the Fighter is not balanced. It serves a bit of a "pillar". Fighter is the only character I have yet made Character Creation for.

Rogue Balance: (Based on BB Rogue)
Again, I can't quite feel or see the impact, but I know statistically that she's helping. Escape is great, cool and feels nice to use when it's working just as it should, positioning the Rogue to backstab and similar. Picking locks. I still scout with her a little bit, but seems traps aren't working as intended just yet. The Rogue feels nice overall though.

Wizard: (Based on BB Wizard)
The Wizard is super powerful, and a difficult class to discuss regarding balance as it is riddled with bugs and visual feedback needs to become better. It feels nice to play, to cast spells. Some spells are extremely OP at the moment, but they are cool, this deserves its own topic.

Priest: (Based on BB Priest)
The revelation, my Rogue got hit by the Wizards life siphoning spell that destroys anything it touches. I paused and thought "Sh*t". I went through all of the Priests spells and found the "warding" spell, threw it on the Rogue. She survived. Won the battle and the status effect disappeared. The Priest buffs are key to a flawless victory. When I tackle the ice spider again, I'll utilize the Priests full functionality.

Chanter: (Based on Adventurer's Hall)
OP! Okay, so where to begin (it's one of those, lotsoftextw/alist)...

A) First of all, I didn't quite know what I was doing when I built the Chanter. I didn't understand the chants, and quite didn't spend time to read through everything at this point. I do understand them now and they are amazing, and gathering resources progressively during combat is great. Chanter can be an extremely versatile long-encounter Class. Currently it is just overpowered.

B) My Chanter is a Male Aumaua, name's Sholio, Level 4. The Chanter has "Come Wind" and another one, and the... Verse(?) summons 3 skeletons. Yeah, yeah, I haven't quite paid attention (I wanted to "guess" how to play most tactically). The chant editor was odd at first, but when I understood the resources of the Chanter I thought it was really cool. A very good mechanic.

C) I need to read up on the Chanter description, but something about "Skeletons" made me wonder if its a fit with the Chanter. I can see some sort of Chanter build being a Bone Puppet Master (which, should totally be a thing in the world if it isn't already). Traditional Necromancers in essence, but singing tunes to the dead to rattle their bones. Should require corpses to be able to cast (for balancing purposes).

D) The Chanter is overall a cool class, and I need to invest more time into understanding the mechanic and abilities related to this class.

I'm thinking this thread and this "series" of threads (like ex. "Armor Plea Part 3" or ex. "Romance Part 5") could become a bit of a workshop for those interested, to discuss class abilities and class balance, what fits, what's underpowered and what's overpowered currently. What could help? What makes sense and what is reasonable? What's tactical, strategical? Statistics? Abilities? Etc. etc.

Edited by Osvir
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Interesting read. I feel you about the wizard line-of-sight issues. Their auto attack range also seems to be much shorter than other ranged characters so I often thought they were just running to get "in range" 

Edited by Bazy
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Priests have too many AoE buffs to be called "balanced". More single-target buff spells (with same effects) would add another layer of tactic. Some AoE buffs could be similar to "Chants", can only have one activated at a time, even (If you do Armor of Faith on top of Concentrated Ground, Armor of Faith buff could remove Concentrated Ground and add Armor of Faith).

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  • 5 months later...

I'm still on my first playthrough of the beta (just realized the other day that I could do an add-on of the backer beta!) and I've been playing a Cipher. I think a melee Cipher could work, especially if you took the various close range damage powers and so forth, but I've been playing a ranged Cipher with blunderbuss and crowd control and it's very fun. He's a little squishy but his crowd control really matters and swings fights. Overall he feels very balanced.


Otherwise I've been playing all the BB classes plus a hireling Chanter. Honestly they all feel pretty solid except the rogue seems a little underwhelming, but I suspect that's because I haven't really learned to play her well yet. 

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Priests have too many AoE buffs to be called "balanced". More single-target buff spells (with same effects) would add another layer of tactic. Some AoE buffs could be similar to "Chants", can only have one activated at a time, even (If you do Armor of Faith on top of Concentrated Ground, Armor of Faith buff could remove Concentrated Ground and add Armor of Faith).

I wish priests had spells in a shape of cone like druids instead single-target. I'm sometimes tired of seeing those circles again. And some modal abilities would be nice (paladin-like or chanter-like).

Edited by White Phoenix
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I have only played through the beta content once so far.  I created a Druid and hired a Monk.  Looking at the stats, the monk did the most total damage by a fairly large margin.  This is notable if for no other reason than the Monk was lower level than everyone.  Was level 3 when I hired at the Inn, compared to the party being level 5.  Finished level 7, with the rest of the party being 8.  


Monk total damage was 7300.  Next highest was BB Fighter at 5900, BB Wizard at 4900, BB Rogue at 4300.  My Druid at 2600 and BB Priest bringing up the rear at 1500.  Obviously total damage done does not tell the complete story of party effectiveness but the Monk having a massive edge on the rest of the party despite being lower level is interesting.


Total damage taken?  BB Rogue lead with 2500 and change.  Monk next at 2500 rounded up.  3rd place was BB Fighter at 2300.  Druid next at 2100.  BB Priest next at 1500 and BB Wizard last at 1000.  


I expect melee classes to take the most damage of course.  But looking at my stats, again based just on one play through, the Monk class looks very strong.

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