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Clerics at T3

Decius
The balance in a multiplayer game is in making sure that a large group works better if they have more different types of character in it.

In pve it helps to have people of varied armor weight if everyone can manage aggro to take what they resist. Having lots of weapons allows better exploitation of synergies.

In pvp the same principles apply, but it's harder to control where the enemy attacks, so light and medium armor are useful as well.

Trying to make each pve character equal in solo or duo play is a red herring of balance.
Duffy Swiftshadow
It's the way it is because they didn't think it through, let a corner case slip, or straight up didn't finish the game. They've rejiggered a lot of numbers here and there, a system can be designed poorly or have mistakes in it. It is not sacrosanct just because they released it. Even the TT Pathfinder has revisions and updates because they realized stuff didn't work very well or was imbalanced.

Sanctified attacks are available to Clerics day 1, they are a defining aspect of their interaction with their Deities and the experience of being a cleric, you will eventually be limited to just your dieties' weapon or focus if your sticking pure cleric. This allows GW to balance Cleric melee damage differently than Fighter melee damage for the same weapons because they are geared for different stat gates. It's pretty clearly setup to distinguish them from one another, yet for a cleric to use Sanctified attacks they need to be just as good at Fighter attacks AND have wisdom. This especially bizarre as Clerics don't even have the option to equip another weapon based on the same stats that's still within their role, they only get 1 favored weapon for their deity. So they almost all run Focus because there isn't really an alternative anyways.

The mixing and matching aspects of PFO is where progression should change and become interesting or different. Or in the variance of possible side XP expenditures to break through stat gates. But when leveling pure versions of a base class is categorically more expensive than others? That's a problem.

Prestige classes cover dual leveling much better than base classes, but then you run into other potential balancing problems.

@Decius

No one is arguing for that to my knowledge.
Bringslite
Well I am not arguing specifically against what you have brought up Duffy. I simply don't know enough about all the roles. Not even if the basic 4 all have options similar to the cleric.

I feel like Clerics are stronger for both PVP and PVE than any of my characters, which are fighter types, one archer and one Lsword with mediocre archer skills and now one amateur Cleric (some day Pope of the server). That doesn't mean I feel that they should be nerfed or that these things shouldn't be looked at.

You could assume I was lying if I said that Cleric should be further empowered before any other roles are, though. smile
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Duffy Swiftshadow
The Cleric Sanctified weapon stuff is all pretty significantly weaker than the non-sanctified options, but if your rocking Crusdaer it has some energy resist and the harder to get defenses so you will see a bit of a survival uptick compared to fighter. But you can generally get more types of debuffs from sanctified weapons so there is a trade off for the damage decrease. Whereas most of the fighter/rogue stuff takes advantage of the debuffs or just does more damage or DoTs.
Jokken
I'm going to inject here. I've been playing a Crusader Cleric since launch. We've had four pages of discussion on progression balance for this class and no one has yet illustrated the differences in cleric types. As I see it, this is key to the debate.

We have 3 types of Cleric:

Evangelist: Wears Medium Armor (moderate physical and energy resist), May use a bow and raise Dex skills, but mostly focuses on damage dealing expendables and divine focus attacks with a variety of buff options.

Healer: Wears Medium Armor (moderate physical and energy resist), often equips two divine foci, using one for healing and buffs and the other for attacks.

Crusader: Wears Heavy Armor (strong physical resist, energy vulnerable), deals the majority of damage with a melee weapon and cleric expendables and raises Str skills along with Wis. Equips a divine focus in the second slot for healing, buffs, ranged attacks.

As I see it, Healer is single classed cleric. It requires Wisodom as a Primary stat and Constitution as a secondary required stat. Crusaders and Evangelists, however, are firmly dual classed build. Trust me when I tell you there is very little advantage to wearing heavy armor over medium. Focusing on divine focus attacks in a crusader build really doesn't make any sense. Folks who roll Crusader are looking for superior self healing, melee damage bonuses, and the utility granted from cleric expendables. Crusader requires Strength as a secondary stat. Evangelist requires Personality as a secondary stat. (as an aside I'd like to hear from anyone out there who is an Evangelist and multi classing as Wizard to use a focus and wizard implement)

However, I'm going to argue now that Crusaders actually have two primary stats instead of a primary and secondary. Why? Because more than the other two builds it's a multi class setup. Once you take your armor feat, domain, melee weapon, and focus to T2 you have to choose. Do I keep my cleric stuff at T2 and advance my weapon to T3, or do I advance my domain and focus to T3 and leave my weapon T2 for awhile. The eventual goal is to get both, but it requires raising two stats to 20.

The OP debates that this is an unfair burden on Crusaders. I say that a Crusader with a T3 focus, domain, and armor feat, but a T2 weapon is on par for character effectiveness with a Warrior who has a T3 melee weapon, fighter feature, and armor feat, but T2 training in a 2nd slot longbow. I would also say that a Cleric who has a T3 melee weapon, and T2 domain, armor feature, and focus is still much more effective than it's T2 counterpart.

Outside of stat balance, there's another reason Crusaders should pay a higher entry cost into T3. Sanctified attacks, while previously stated as lower powered than their fighter counterparts, often deal energy damage. This allows Crusaders to be the only build in the game that allows dealing high physical and energy damage on the same weapon without having to sack 3 sec for swapping slots. Yes there's holy smite, but overall far fewer offensive melee options on a focus as compared to a sanctified weapon.

TLsmileR Cleric stat gates are fine the way they are. If want to fast track a cleric to T3, play a Healer.
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Takasi
You could also slot Crusader in Priest's Scale and you only lose one keyword (Heavy).

At T3 all cleric armor is the most difficult to craft and obtain. So do you make all armor equally easy to craft, or do you give the more difficult to craft armor feats a boost?

Rogues are a good example case. The easiest to gate and craft is Strapped Shadowskin. AFAIK it was the first item crafted and slotted in the game back in August. If you want the full benefit of it you need to slot Chameleon, which is a wimpier armor feat. However, because of ePow and the benefits of knowledge skills I'm using Guide which matches Masterwork, Organic and Agile.

Crusader's Plate is a level 19 uncommon, which requires an armorsmith who has crafted a T3+4 armor. Finding someone who will be able to make that is going to be extremely difficult, so the benefit of Crusader should take this into consideration. There also is no generic 'Masterwork' type advanced keyword at T3, so any benefit a cleric gets from T3 armor is more difficult to obtain than any other class.

This same type of balancing can be done for training progression. It's ok if some training, like sanctified attacks, require far more time and investment. They can scale the value to match the effort; they do not need to homogenize the effort.

As a complete offshoot to this conversation I would really like to see how ammunition will change all of the combat values. Will sanctified attacks require charges?
Galdraith
Jokken
Crusader: Wears Heavy Armor (strong physical resist, energy vulnerable), deals the majority of damage with a melee weapon and cleric expendables and raises Str skills along with Wis. Equips a divine focus in the second slot for healing, buffs, ranged attacks.

I think the only change I would make is to have the Crusader Feat require Wisdom and Strength OR Dexterity. As it is, it makes it much harder for Crusaders that want to use light weapons. This would also be consistent with the fact that Crusader provides bonuses to both Heavy and Light Melee attacks.
Baron Malthius
I will weigh in then myself, as I have an Evangelist on my DT.

@Jokken

To answer your question on focus and wizard, that was my initial build choice as sort of an experiment. At the time I was doing it before they altered the mastery feats, it didn't synergize at all. There was very little crossover as far as keywrods go for armor, expendables, and cantrips/orisons. Most of the features do not cross over either. Once they changed how masteries work, the Mastery Reactives are actually kind of handy and stack up well for both divine and arcane spellcasting. You could use staff for wizard for range and AoE, and then use the focus instead of a wand which will give you buffs and heals. Of course, then you also have the armor penalty issue and if you want to wear anything besides cloth then you may as well just forget about it. Also, if you are gonna go cloth the cleric becomes the secondary class and wizard the primary one. Plus, there isn't anything that cleric uses int for, and nothing that wizard can use wis for to my knowledge, so you are just tacking on an additional stat gate requirement as well. So in conclusion the only plus side of having wizardry skills was to get those arcane mastery reactives. That's about it.

So that was when I decided to cut my losses and go more fighter cleric but still keep the Evangelist spec (since I didn't want it to go to waste). I went elemental for damage spells and somewhat better heals but I chose a light mace for Azmodeus and pretty much use the cleric weapon feats exclusively since it is primarily for utility purposes. If/when I get to T3 with this it will be spells that I level up not the mace.

So while Evangelist is a tad easier than crusader if you do just mono divine focus build, the best bet is still the fighter/cleric to some degree anyway. The main difference is emphasis, which is on spells rather than melee. With Strength Domain you can also get some of the close combat stuff back with heavy melee as well if you like. I chose Light Mace cause of the utility stuff it had but other weapons would probably stack better if you wanna crank out more damage, much like the crusader build (although your melee prowess will still be inferior to a full on crusader). Cleric spells alone aren't really gonna do much for ya in the long run if you are doing anything besides healing. Fighter/Cleric is where it's at. The primary difference in my mind is emphasis.

Also, when those nerfs to healing hit, being primarily a healer was changed quite a bit. It also is by far not the best path to go on anymore. If there was more variety in the types of healing stuff you could do I would say otherwise. Healer and Evangelist builds really aren't as different as you think. Again, the difference is in emphasis. Overall, focusing on non-healing offensive cleric spells alone (primarily what Evangelist is for) will basically make you a somewhat weaker wand using wizard but with armor. If you go buffing for ranged or melee combat it depends, if you want to buff yourself up you will need to multiclass, if it is just for others you can get by. You can still build a mostly pure protection and healing cleric but healing isn't anywhere near the power it once was so it will be a lot more tricky to play that. In the right hands it can be quite handy though.
Duffy Swiftshadow
Swashbuckler armor is far later than other Rogue armors, Unbreakable is later than the other two warrior armors. Wizards only have one armor option right now period. Crafting progression has nothing to do with combat balance, it's not the least bit related.

The crafting progressions is not setup for any sort of real logic to how the roles are setup, it's purely done because they needed to break crafting up into different levels and they used recipe complexity as the basis for crafting progression. The later armors or items aren't any 'better' than the earlier ones, and the way the feats and items work they shouldn't be.
Takasi
A wizard breaking the Int gate has the option of slotting Guide, Mage, Outfitter, Scholar (#1 reason for an Int/Wis build IMO) and Binder. By rank 14 you'll unlock Sage, Eldritch and/or Empowered which matches for T3 with Robes of the Magi, Robes of the Master, Noble Clothes or Shimmering Truesilver Shirt.

Combat balance has to take item availability into consideration. Training is meaningless without gear to activate keywords. Rogue maneuvers need a level 17 engineer to craft a T3 implement, whereas (strangely) a fighter can get one from a level 13 jeweler. Black is extremely difficult to obtain, so in my opinion T3 wizard spells should absolutely be statted with this in mind.

Swashbuckler is a superior combat armor feat to Chameleon. Shark is a role feature that costs more xp to obtain but is, supposedly, better if you invest in it. The same goes for class specific attacks.

What I'm saying is that they can and do tweak the effectiveness of an ability based on how difficult it is to obtain that ability, rather than set a baseline for all abilities and make the progression to the ability identical. They can introduce options, especially if they're considering settlement related bonsues, that are of varying degrees of power BECAUSE they are more difficult to achieve. And vice versa. Sanctified weapons require both Str and Wis so we could be asking if those attacks can be made worth it rather than asking to change the requirements.
 
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