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Clerics at T3

Seraph
So I won't be getting tier 3 proficiencies for a few more months, but I'm trying to plan ahead and see exactly what it will take for me to fill my ability score requirements and make that transition. Clerics seem to be uniquely put in a rather vexing situation, and I'd like to determine if this is intended.

There are 3 big proficiencies for T3:
- Armor. Heavy Armor Prof 3 requirements are Strength 20 OR Wisdom 20. This is great, I can do that.
- Implement. Holy Symbol Prof 3 also requires Wisdom 20. Fantastic, works for me.
- Weapon. Heavy Blade Prof 3 requires… Strength 20. This is not so good.

Fighters get to pick dex or strength, their attacks and armor feat feeds it, their feature feat feeds it, it should be the first thing to 20 and they can use it to qualify for all 3 of these proficiencies. Rogues are in the same situation, dex is clearly their choice. Wizards get to do the same thing with intelligence. Sure, every class needs a second attribute determined by their armor feat, but only one of them needs to ever get to 20+.

But now if I want to be a cleric that uses a longsword to use my deity's attacks at T3, I need both 20 Wisdom and 20 Strength. I don't even need 20 strength to buy rank 6 of my cleric longsword attacks, only 18. Obviously level 6 attacks aren't much use without T3 proficiency.

If clerics are only intended to use the Focus, I think that "weapon" needs more support and the deity attacks need to be focused around it. Otherwise, here are my proposals:

1) You just let clerics qualify for everything with wisdom. Open T3 weapon proficiencies and attacks to be achievable with Wisdom 20 just like armor.
2) Open T3 weapon proficiencies to be achievable with 20 Wisdom, but only make cleric attacks gated with Wisdom (that is, weapon attacks you can buy from the Cleric trainer). This limits you somewhat as you can't mix in fighter attacks without building up your strength. Strike of Sacred Strength sets up distressed for Thousand Cuts, and you couldn't do that without strength. This seems fair, since fighters can't use things like Channel Smite.
3) Do some hybrid, where Clerics need a combination of wisdom and strength to get those proficiencies and cleric weapon attacks, forcing some investment but not as much as it is now. Requiring Strength to go to 20 basically doubles the amount of time it will take to get full T3 compared to everyone else.
4) Lower heavy blade proficiency 3 to 18 Strength – or (18 Strength and 20 Wisdom) or (20 Strength), so that clerics who qualify for level 6 cleric weapon attacks can buy the proficiency. 18 is still too high if you ask me, but this is better than nothing. 14 seems fairly reasonable, which is what the Crusader armor feat requires you to have by the time it asks you to have 20 Wisdom.

Sorry that got a bit wordy. It just seems like the system punishes clerics who used deity weapon attacks, and I feel like the attacks are balanced well enough that they don't need a huge XP sink in the form of a "strength tax".
Seraph
Cleric of Sarenrae
Brighthaven
Duffy Swiftshadow
Cleric has some weirdness, I'm a Norgorber Cleric so I'll be running into the same problems since I'm primarily Dex based. I tend to use the Rogue Swashbuckler Armor and Cleric Features/Expendables with a mix of Divine and Regular Short-sword attacks.
Takasi
This is why clerics felt OP in T2, even though the same scenario applied then. In some places it is still more difficult to gear out a T2+3 cleric than a fighter, wizard or rogue.

Rogues are the easiest to spec out in T3, but also the weakest all around. Their high dex does allow them to use grenades though. Clerics also benefit from powerful potions like Bloodblock at T3 from their high wisdom.

Personally, I loathe any attempt to homogenize and balance xp per value for every role in the game. Keep things quirky, please.
Duffy Swiftshadow
There's a difference between quirky and having to spend 3-6 months more XP than everyone else to get to the same point…
Takasi
Same point is the debate.

It could be argued that clerics are inherently better than, say, Rogues at any tier by level, but it's balanced by ease of access and gear availability.

I have a T3 cleric. He has a T3+2 focus and his Destructive Smite and Touch of Darkness are some of the best attacks in the game. Being able to do very high energy damage with no stationary restrictions while healing yourself is amazing. (Devourer's Caress is arguably better, and was not nerfed during the last round in terms of healing.)

I do not want T3 armor for my cleric either, as the ePow with T3 healing on T2 armor gives him a better bang for his buck. In fact most characters I have with healing weigh the benefits of using T2+0 vs T2+x armor.

I like that some classes do take more xp to achieve slightly better builds. The versatility in build variety in this game is one of the best things it has going for it.

I don't want to see a PFO NGE. I don't want to see everything watered down to the point where choice is meaningless and anyone can climb any ladder and reach the same point in any given period of time.
Duffy Swiftshadow
You just advocated for imbalanced mechanics, in a system where an end state can be reached in a pretty short period of finite time and is filled with new player traps. That is very bad for a healthy and competitive game.
Edam
Pretty sure cleric heavy weapon attacks are meant to be used by multi-class fighter clerics and it stands to reason it takes twice as long to get there compared to a straight cleric using a focus weapon as his/her main weapon or straight fighter using normal heavy weapon attacks.

Whether the combined fighter/cleric that eventually results is overpowered is another question altogether.
Duffy Swiftshadow
According to Tabletop traditions Clerics can always wield their deity's weapon without cross classing, it's the whole point of favored weapons and different types of clerics. While cross classing may make you better at some aspects (and that's fine if that's your goal) they can still work by themselves with such weapons. Most of the Favored Weapon attacks have significantly lower damage than their base weapon equivalents.
Takasi
T3 crafting info has been available since ALPHA and it hasn't been touched since. The amount of time it takes to get your gear is not a new player trap, and anyone who has spent $150 to get to this point should have done a little homework in 2015. Don't paint yourself into a corner and then ask to have the walls torn down around you. Nothing in this game is a trap. Given time we'll all have 30 in every stat and any build we want with the right gear.

Yes, I think some builds should be more effective at certain tasks than others. I also don't think all xp should be balanced. Look at the math and consider the time vs value for what you're interested in. Fighters and rogues with strength, dex and con builds also don't gate knowledge skills as easily.

Having to wait longer for both the training and the availability of gear is not a punishment if the time invested pays off in the final builds. I'd rather they play with the combat side of the math than the crafting, which is what they've been doing.
Duffy Swiftshadow
I think your very confused about the things I'm saying….my builds are a goddam mess and that's cause I'm in the first wave, I'm okay with that on a personal level. I know I'm here today with far more knowledge than the average prospective future player will probably ever have. That doesn't make it a 'good' thing just because I understand it, if anything having that knowledge makes us better at pointing out flaws or potential issues. I am not arguing for myself, my characters at this point are just gonna be the way they are that's the trade off for getting in early and I'm fine with that.

However, on a conceptual level an imbalanced system is a poor decision for a multiplayer game that has a strong competitive edge. For XP costs to reach Tier milestones for things like armor feats, attacks, role features, stuff like that? Yea they should be the pretty dam close to the same for each role if your staying on a 'standard' path. They all follow the same pattern, breaking that pattern for one 'standard' role and not the others is a 'new player trap'. Doubly so if there is significant power differentials once you get there.

Don't confuse balanced with equal, sometimes it's the same thing but when talking about something like a Role's capabilities using equals is a lazy way to balance things; it is not the best or preferred method of doing such things. For example Knowledge skill access is balanced, the roles that have easier access to those Knowledge skills are also physically weaker, that's part of the balanced trade off. On a flip side Rogues are better when they can position to use sneak attacks, they aren't as good head to head, that's part of their balance. That doesn't mean their the 'same'.

If in TT it took clerics 2x the XP to level as every other class would you consider that good and balanced? To me that shows a huge imbalance in their capabilities and should be re-balanced to bring them inline to the same XP progression as the other classes.
 
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