I agree with this to a degree, but right now the degree of separation is too far. We have guidelines of how long an adventuring day is supposed to last, and that adventuring day has a 5th level wizard casting dailies in more than half the rounds of combat for an average day.So really it seems that the issue is not that the CS thing sucks, or that you dislike it in general, it's that you feel the powers don't go far enough. Fair enough, and I can get behind that and in fact plan on having that be some of the feedback I send back as well. The big trick is balancing the system out. At will powers by definition should be weakish because you can use them repetitively, and making them too powerful runs a high chance of making them broken.
As it is, even the options the Fighter gets at 5th level are weaker/less versatile than 1st level spells. I don't think wanting power levels to be on par with a spell a couple levels lower is too out of line. I'd like it if Cleave was more comparable to burning hands, or if a 5th level Fighter could grant cover to himself or an ally by expending dice.
I'd prefer low powered but more flexible. Like my suggested 'a single ability that lets you use the basic CS maneuvers for more potent effects', but yes.What would you think of the following:
In addition to a few more status inducing powers, and fixing the stupidity that is glancing blow and a few of the others, leave most of the powers relatively low powered as they are.
I like the idea of burning up CS dice for more potent effects. Personally I'd go with a slightly different implementation, but the general concept is one I agree with.In exchange, increase the number of dice available with a chart sort of like the wizard spell chart, but instead of spell levels, dice sizes (d4, d6, d8 etc), with a progression of maybe adding 1 die per level, and one size per 3-5 levels. Additionally, each ability has a "powered up" version of the ability that can be used, but such usage burns any CS dice you use until a long rest a la the vancian spells.
Personally, the way I'd do it is give Fighters 1 bonus CS die every odd level, at the same time that Wizards gain new spell levels. Higher level combat maneuvers take up more CS dice to use (like an ability you get at level 19-20 takes all 10 dice to use, an ability you get at level 5 takes 3 dice to use), and you gain one maneuver each level. And then some abilities that are more powerful burn a CS die (either for the encounter or daily, depending on designer intents or the power level of the abilities).
I'm addressing these together because it's a solution I can get behind. I suggested something similar on the wotc forums yesterday. The only real problem I see with this is that Fighters are the only one with a lot of reaction capability. The question is if that's seen as a good or bad thing.And while it would be nice to see more than one reaction, to a degree, it makes sense you can only have one both for game speed and also because a round is only 6 seconds. How much reaction do you plan on doing in 6 seconds?
Additionally, allow fighters to spend their CS dice to take additional reactions at the cost of one die per additional reaction (in addition to the die spent on the ability).
Either way, as it is, I rolled up a defender Fighter, and the best option I found was to take the Hold the Line feat, and avoid anything else at all that went based off reactions because other options just weren't quite as good and you don't get quite enough options to be able to waste some.