Monday, July 6, 2009

Hybrid Experience, a little more

Had a good gaming session on Saturday night so I can add a few thoughts on the Hybrid rules.

For starters I can honestly say that my hybrid fighter/wizard is very close to the actual concept I had for my character. That is, a proud Dragonborn warrior with a talent for magic. The bookish aspect of the wizard class is the only thing that still doesn't fit, and it irks me because the class otherwise fits nicely. At least in terms of the powers it gives me access to.

Speaking of which, I've abandoned the Controller role that the wizard is supposed to fill. I suppose my Thunderwave power can still be used to push enemies around but otherwise I don't have anything that affects a mob. This could come back to haunt the party. Or it might be something I can correct as I get to pick new powers at future levels. Assuming that the new controlling power still fits with my storm concept.

The figher's combat challenge, when I remembered to use it, was nice in that I managed to keep a hobgoblin from attacking our rogue who was in a tough spot. Being able to "mark" an enemy wasn't the reason behind creating a fighter hybrid but it did come in handy.

I got a kick out of the Brute Strike daily that the fighter side gave me. The fact that it's "reliable" means that at some point in the day, I am going to hit someone for triple damage. I missed twice on Saturday night, but because it was never expended I'll get to keep trying until I roll something higher than a 5.

I am wondering if the wizard powers (and I suppose any others that target anything other than AC) are going to fall behind the curve, so to speak. In 3.5 I always hated how at the upper levels (15 plus) my spells were always saved against simply because the monster's save bonuses were way higher than my DC could ever be. It seems like 4E hasn't fixed that as my hybrid enjoys a +10 with his bastard sword but a mere +6 with his spells. Throw in some flanking or combat advantage and the discrepency widens.

While I understand that most enemies will have higher AC than the other defences, I'm worried that Reflex/Will/Fortitude defenses will outpace my Int+1/2 char level bonus.

As for the rest of the hybrid mechanics, I haven't seen any flaw in terms of HP etc... I can take a fair bit of abuse but no more than anyone else in the party. Seems like WotC hit a nice balance with their numbers.

Over all, I'm pretty happy with the hybrid character I have. Happy enough to keep him until 8th level, assuming I can keep him alive that long. At that point I'll probably switch back to a pure class like a swordmage and do another comparison.


Crwth said...

While I haven't memorized all of the stats of every monster out there, I can say with some confidence that the defense scores scale pretty well as we advance. While it might seem that AC is going to outpace the others, remember that monsters get magic armor no more often than players, and for some monsters, their other defenses are their strong suit, especially if they're artillery types who are meant to stay back, and thus are perhaps more likely to be attacked with different means.

The one thing that I've always liked about the four-defense system versus the older AC-plus-saves is that players (that don't memorize the Monster Manual) have to pay attention and learn which defense is the weakest for different monsters -- or perhaps use their appropriate knowledge skill check -- and decide if a creature is tough-but-clumsy, or strongwilled-but-frail.

The Deist Angle said...

I think that while many of the roles (defender, leader, striker) are pretty fun to play, that WoTc kind of gimped the Controller role, it just feels bland to be the guy pushing people back and forth. I think that controllers should be dropping save or take damage every round, save or not be able to move, save or lose your mind and attack your ally type spells, When i read "controller role" for the first time, i imagined a mindbending mindmage controlling a legion of willing followers. Then i got my phb and realised "oh, he pushes people from far away... that's kinda lame." Now, as the game has progressed, Controllers have gotten ever so slightly cooler (Invoker summons are pretty tasty), the poor wizard is still sitting there thinking back to days of yore when enemes trembled at the sound of "meteor swarm" I feel arcane power should have expanded the wizard in ways that allowed him more powerful, lasting effects, instead it just gives him two new fluff builds although the summoning thing DOES make him more potent.

But really, summoning isnt the answer. its much more fun to say "I'm here to save you!" than "I'm going to call up some guy who can save you!"

In short, i think Wotc should spend some time re-thinking the controller's role. No one ever wants to play a controller, because "i can push him from 10 squares away" is kinda lame.

Crwth said...

Having not played a Controller myself, I can't agree about their gimpiness except from what I see as the DM. I, too, used to picture the controller as the mindbending mage, but have come to realize the "control" is meant to be "of the battlefield", more than of specific targets. That is, by pushing a bunch of opponents away, I'm adjusting the layout of the battle, and thus (I hope) aiding my party. Also, by dealing damage to a swath of enemies, I'm "controlling" the overall battle by making everyone a little easier to dispatch -- for my companions.