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    Default Tier System Overhaul

    As per the suggestions in this. The purpose of this thread is to develop a system that can better accurately describe a class than tiers.

    It is suggested for a power-versatility graph. I suggest call the system the PV scale (with versatility rated as x and and the power rated on y).

    There a number of things to determine, namely:

    1. What are objective methods and tests of accurately assigning a power or versatility score?
      In a departure for the traditional tier system, where highly qualified and very knowledgeable people placed classes based on where they thought classes should be placed, this question is to suggest that there is a more objective method of rating classes other than informed opinion. For instance, a battery of tests is administered to the class and average rolls are used. The performance is then rated and translated into either a versatility or power, whichever was tested. However, this method does present a problem of how optimization fits into the picture.
    2. Can the PV scale accurately rate a class, or does it fail to account for some features? If so, are the features it cannot account for make the measurement inaccurate?
      Optimization, for instance, is something that is difficult to account in for, but special class features may also play a part.

    3. If the PV scale cannot accurately rate a class, then what sort of adaptions and alterations must be made to change it?
    Last edited by Sacrieur; 2013-01-15 at 05:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrieur View Post
    It is suggested for a power-versatility graph. I suggest call the system the PV scale (with versatility rated as x and and the power rated on y).
    As I said in that thread: this is a model I'm currently working on. Wasn't exactly something I was ready to start a thread on, but okay. I guess I'm cool with someone picking up something I said I'm working on and suddenly making it public...

    What are objective methods and tests of accurately assigning a power or versatility score?
    Sadly, we can't really have any. The Tier system is somewhat vague itself for this exact reason: it's hard to quantify things like "flexibility" and "power" in an objective sense.

    In a departure for the traditional tier system, where highly qualified and very knowledgeable people placed classes based on where they thought classes should be placed, this question is to suggest that there is a more objective method of rating classes other than informed opinion. For instance, a battery of tests is administered to the class and average rolls are used. The performance is then rated and translated into either a versatility or power, whichever was tested. However, this method does present a problem of how optimization fits into the picture.
    I don't think such a thing can get you accurate results, and part of the measure of versatility is how much a user can get out of a class. Wizards didn't achieve their currently legendary status of Solvers-of-Every-Problem-Yes-Even-That-One until a little while into 3rd edition, when people started figuring out how to use spells effectively. Creativity trumps dice rolls every time.

    Can the PV scale accurately rate a class, or does it fail to account for some features? If so, are the features it cannot account for make the measurement inaccurate?
    Optimization is easy to account for (classes probably have a range of power, and optimization is usually for power), but the PV scale isn't perfect by any means. In fact, I'm not sure my final iteration will even be using Power/Versatility. I think Power can best be represented with a color change of a point location, so that means that taking Power off the X/Y axis and making it representational might be easiest, which opens up more options for axis comparison.

    So stuff to think about. This is something I just started thinking about a few days ago, so my ideas on it when I suggested it were piecemeal at best.

    Hmm...Versatility (number of situations in which the class is useful) vs. Flexibility (number of ways a class can approach any given situation).

    With Power as a color-coded system for each class.

    Wizard, for example, is a high Versatility, high Flexibility class with a high natural power. Warblade is a lower-mid Versatility class (has multiple situations it can contribute, but it is mostly combat focused) with high Flexibility (it has TONS of in-combat options) and a moderate level of natural power.

    An optimized Charger build is a low Versatility, low Flexibility build with extremely high power: it's GREAT at what it does, but it doesn't do much at all.

    Thoughts?

    *goes off to work on refining this idea*
    Last edited by Djinn_in_Tonic; 2013-01-15 at 08:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_in_Tonic View Post
    As I said in that thread: this is a model I'm currently working on. Wasn't exactly something I was ready to start a thread on, but okay. I guess I'm cool with someone picking up something I said I'm working on and suddenly making it public...
    Oh I missed that part, sorry :P

    I figured it was already becoming a collaborative process so I should open a thread.


    I don't think such a thing can get you accurate results, and part of the measure of versatility is how much a user can get out of a class. Wizards didn't achieve their currently legendary status of Solvers-of-Every-Problem-Yes-Even-That-One until a little while into 3rd edition, when people started figuring out how to use spells effectively. Creativity trumps dice rolls every time.
    I'm not so sure. The battery of tests can be quite extensive and test most scenarios that players would run into in a D&D game (not every conceivable thing, though).



    Hmm...Versatility (number of situations in which the class is useful) vs. Flexibility (number of ways a class can approach any given situation).

    With Power as a color-coded system for each class.

    Wizard, for example, is a high Versatility, high Flexibility class with a high natural power. Warblade is a lower-mid Versatility class (has multiple situations it can contribute, but it is mostly combat focused) with high Flexibility (it has TONS of in-combat options) and a moderate level of natural power.
    That is an excellent point.

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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    As I said in the other thread, I think that you are going to have a tough time agreeing on a good method or ranking for rating versatility (or flexibility), and how it differs from power. The way that D&D is set up, many of the spells and abilities that are powerful are also versatile or increase the player's options.

    Also, as T.G. Oskar points out, classes also have variable ranges for what tier they can fall into depending on which build you choose.

    I think that a better approach would be to stick mostly with the current system and instead rate each class in 3 seperate categories: Highest power level (maximum-ly optimized), Lowest power level (the sort of thing a new player would build), and Difficulty.

    Difficulty is basically a combination of how much optimization is required to reach the highest tier, how restrictive the options are, and how easy it is to screw up the character (or how much leeway the DM needs to give you to achieve a high rating)

    {table=head]Class|Max Tier|New Tier|Difficulty

    Wizard|1+|4|Moderate

    Monk|4|6|Hard

    Fighter|4|5-|Moderate

    Swordsage|3+|4+|Easy

    Druid|1|3-|Easy[/table]
    + means "high in this tier"
    - means "low in this tier"


    Those are just some approximate examples for clarification. I don't plan on trying to defend any of the ratings if some one disagrees.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2013-01-15 at 11:08 PM.
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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    I feel the idea of a scale that measures power and versatility is somewhat misguided, and also somewhat misleading.

    I don't believe the two things can be separated so easily, or that they are in fact very separate at all. Having more options in how to deal with a situation makes you more powerful. Conversely, bunches of options that don't have much power aren't really options at all (this would be the monk's problem).

    While the Tier system is rather ambiguous, I feel the ambiguity in its system is a better way of handling such complexity. There are a lot of variables in determining how a class will fare, how often it will be viable and will contribute. Better to give a general overview (this class is horrid, this class is crazy powerful), than to try and untangle all the complexities in a broadly applicable manner.

    If you really think the Tier system needs an overhaul, my suggestion is to abandon a system entirely. Rather than recreating the Alignment system, simply make a big compendium of all the classes that gives a summary of each class, details its pitfalls, high notes, and what you can expect from it. That would be a much better method- it could give precise examinations of the classes and what they're capable of, without reducing things to ambiguous ratings.
    Last edited by AmberVael; 2013-01-15 at 11:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_in_Tonic View Post
    Optimization is easy to account for (classes probably have a range of power, and optimization is usually for power), but the PV scale isn't perfect by any means. In fact, I'm not sure my final iteration will even be using Power/Versatility. I think Power can best be represented with a color change of a point location, so that means that taking Power off the X/Y axis and making it representational might be easiest, which opens up more options for axis comparison.

    So stuff to think about. This is something I just started thinking about a few days ago, so my ideas on it when I suggested it were piecemeal at best.

    Hmm...Versatility (number of situations in which the class is useful) vs. Flexibility (number of ways a class can approach any given situation).

    With Power as a color-coded system for each class.

    Wizard, for example, is a high Versatility, high Flexibility class with a high natural power. Warblade is a lower-mid Versatility class (has multiple situations it can contribute, but it is mostly combat focused) with high Flexibility (it has TONS of in-combat options) and a moderate level of natural power.

    An optimized Charger build is a low Versatility, low Flexibility build with extremely high power: it's GREAT at what it does, but it doesn't do much at all.

    Thoughts?

    *goes off to work on refining this idea*
    I dont actually think that you need a broad scale for measuring versatility, expecially with power just being right there.

    actually, i say it should be changed to Versatility/Combat/Potential

    Basically, here is how i always thought of it:

    Versatility
    V1: There is no actual encounter that you can not solve. (Wizard)
    V2: You can participate in most encounters. (Bard)
    V3: You can participate in a Field of encounters (Rogue)
    V4: You can participate in encounters you are built for. (Barbarian, Fighter)
    V5: You can not participate in most encounters. (CW Samurai)

    Combat Capacity:
    C1: You have tools with which to solve combat consistently in single rounds. (Wizard)
    C2: The DM has to build combat specifically against you in order to not be finished in a handful of your rounds. (Barbarian, Warblade)
    C3: You can contribute in combat. (Rogue)
    C4: You have difficulty in combat. (Soulknife, Marshal)
    C5: You are incapable of contributing in combat that does not cater to your needs, or worse. (CW Samurai)

    Potential:
    P1: There is significant potential in this class. (Wizard, Paladin)
    P2: The class has a few tricks which can be exploited. (Ranger)
    P3: The class has options, but nothing that pushes the box. (Warblade)
    P4: The class has a few traps. (Monk)
    P5: The class contains very little potential. (Healer)
    Last edited by toapat; 2013-01-15 at 11:24 PM.


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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    I'm just letting some basic thoughts roll, but this is how I look at classes.

    Power/Versatility.

    Power ranked Numerically from 1-6 with 1 being the most powerful.

    Versatility ranked Alphabetically from A-F with A being the most versatile.

    Power: The amount of Combat Impact a class is capable of inflicting. This includes Damage output, battlefield control, Hit Dice, Saves, combat options, etc.

    Versatility: the Flexibility of the class to handle out of combat scenarios and non standard combat scenarios. Skills, powers, utility, etc.

    For Instance a Fighter would be a 4E, a Barbarian a 2/3D, a Warblade a 3C, a Sorcerer a 2C, and a Wizard a 1A.

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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    I dont actually think that you need a broad scale for measuring versatility, expecially with power just being right there.

    Basically, here is how i always thought of it:

    Versatility
    V1: There is no actual encounter that you can not solve. (Wizard)
    V2: You can participate in most encounters. (Bard)
    V3: You can participate in a Field of encounters (Rogue)
    V4: You can participate in encounters you are built for. (Barbarian, Fighter)
    V5: You can not participate in most encounters. (CW Samurai)

    Opportunity:
    O1: There is significant potential in this class. (Wizard, Paladin)
    O2: The class has a few tricks which can be exploited. (Ranger)
    O3: The class has options, but nothing that pushes the box. (Warblade)
    O4: The class has a few traps. (Monk)
    O5: The class contains very little potential. (Healer)

    Power:
    P1: You have tools with which to solve combat consistently in single rounds. (Wizard)
    P2: The DM has to build combat specifically against you in order to not be finished in a handful of your rounds. (Barbarian, Warblade)
    P3: You can contribute in combat. (Rogue)
    P4: You have difficulty in combat. (Soulknife, Marshal)
    P5: You are incapable of contributing in combat that does not cater to your needs, or worse. (CW Samurai)
    I like this Toapat.

    May I ask why the Paladin is O1?

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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    I like this Toapat.

    May I ask why the Paladin is O1?
    the Paladin has the highest actual upwards mobility class in 3.5, and they have a large number of splatbook supports that alone raise their tier, where as the second highest mobility class, Ranger, requires a specific set of books to move up on the ladder, specifically, Dragon 336 + UA + Champions of Valor. Mystic SotAO Wildshape Ranger may reach in T1 for 5 levels, but they drop down to T3 afterwards.

    I also changed the names from VOP to VPC
    Last edited by toapat; 2013-01-15 at 11:33 PM.


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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    As many people have pointed out, power is hard to separate from versatility. While there are certain examples where the difference seems relevant (uberchargers and hulking hurlers are quite powerful but aren't versatile), there generally is a positive correlation.

    One alternative way to refer to power, however, might be in terms of efficiency or speed. Unless you're using your power to take on things above your level, the place where it seems most noticeable is in how fast you resolve encounters, which seems to have already been noticed in the different descriptions of power.

    Also, you may want to reconsider "VOP" considering as Vow of Poverty has held the abbreviation of VoP for quite a while already.
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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Also, you may want to reconsider "VOP" considering as Vow of Poverty has held the abbreviation of VoP for quite a while already.
    Already dealt with, its now VCP.

    as for Versatility/Power being intrinsic: Power, which is now Combat Capacity, is simply a measure of the ability of a Class to participate in combat encounters.

    Versatility, on the other hand, is a measure of how many different ways a class can participate in a game in general.

    Potential, is a measure of how much potential there is in the class overal. the Comparison would probably be best explained with a comparison of Crusader and Paladin. Crusader doesnt have any real vertical movement. Paladins, on the other hand, can specialize in a number of ways that drastically increases their Combat capacity or Versatility.


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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    Okay, then, now for the hard question. Dealing with VCP, can I add up the values of the 3 scores and get any meaningful data or is the idea that a DM would set an ideal range for each score (having all classes used by each player fit within 2 points of each other on each score, for example) when determining if classes can party together?
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2013-01-16 at 12:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Okay, then, now for the hard question. Dealing with VCP, can I add up the values of the 3 scores and get any meaningful data or is the idea that a DM would set an ideal range for each score (having all classes used by each player fit within 2 points of each other on each score, for example) when determining if classes can party together?
    Versatility and Combat could be used in such a way, as they are both measures of a class's mechanical functionality. Potential though serves a different purpose, it tells you whether the class has more then just its source class table and original spell list.

    In rough Corelation to the Tier System:

    V1: Correlates almost directly to tier 1, although i suspect actually Cleric and Druid fall to V2 on the list, because of more interesting spell lists, while some T2s show up here because they do have extreme utility.

    V2: Correlates moreso to any class who gets significant out of combat support. Bard and Factotum are the classes i can easily place in here, In general classes will be floating around T2-3 for here.

    V3: Is any solid Skillmonkey, as well as paladins and ranger. Basically you have some combat and some utility.

    V4: Correlates to T4, as it is the same thing, what specifically lands classes here is they can be great at a few things, but not necessarily at the same time. the Warblade and Crusader are down here too, because, while they dont specialize, their mechanics fall almost entirely into combat.

    V5: Correlates to classes in T5+6. Classes who are one dimensional without immense optimization.


    C1: again correlates to T1s.

    C2: Relates to T2+4. Classes who can break combat in half in a number of ways.

    C3: This relates to classes who have solid combat but do not inherently bring the tools to shatter it. Rogue and Factotum fall here, as they cant really fold combat in half, but have solid combat mechanics.

    C4: Classes here typically dont have alot of combat support in class, or their support doesnt bring any tools with it like the Soulknife. Classes here range from T3 to T5.

    C5: Classes here typically dont provide anything for combat in class, if they can access tricks, those tricks are strictly from feats. T6 is here.


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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Okay, then, now for the hard question. Dealing with VCP, can I add up the values of the 3 scores and get any meaningful data or is the idea that a DM would set an ideal range for each score (having all classes used by each player fit within 2 points of each other on each score, for example) when determining if classes can party together?
    I'd be worried about adding things together. Say we evaluate on a scale of 1-6 (with high being better). The "ideal" score then would be a 9 (3 in each). But... I make the anecdotal "+1000 attack/damage" character. V=1, C=6, P=1 gives us 8. If you look only at the 8...

    On the other hand, the nice thing about the Tiers is that it's fast-- one number gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect.

    Hmm... maybe a dual scale: one for versatility, one for combat power. So a wizard would be 1a, a sorcerer 1b, a factotum 3a, a healer 5d, whatever.

    1= god mode; can end encounters in a turn
    2= mighty mortal; can crush you enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the women
    3= You can contribute effectively
    4= You don't really do much for the party
    5= You're an active drain on party resources-- your contribution is actually negative.

    a=I can do it all today, and can do it all differently tomorrow
    b=I can do a plenty of different things well, but I can't change it around
    c=I can do one thing right, but it a lot of different ways
    d=I can do one thing in one way
    e=I can't even do one thing right

    So the "ideal" here would probably be a 3b or 3c.
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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    Ok, let me give a better explaination for Potential:

    Potential is a measure of the room the class has to grow. Some classes have alot, some nearly none.

    The given Potential Score is essentially the size of the grain of salt you are looking at when you look at a class. Since a Healer is basically a 4/4/5, You can look at them, and that is all you really need to know. There isnt alot you can do with one.

    Honestly, i actually think of all classes, the healer ends up being the absolute worst, because at least Commoner has the potential that at level 2, they may take 5 levels of Survivor to become one of the most survivable, lowest BAB characters there is.
    Last edited by toapat; 2013-01-16 at 01:37 AM.


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    Default Re: Tier System Overhaul

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    {table=head]Class|Max Tier|New Tier|Difficulty

    Wizard|1+|4|Moderate

    Monk|4|6|Hard

    Fighter|4|5-|Moderate

    Swordsage|3+|4+|Easy

    Druid|1|3-|Easy[/table]
    + means "high in this tier"
    - means "low in this tier"
    This format looks pretty good, though I'd make a few adjustments:

    {table=head]Class|Optimised|Unoptimised|Difficulty
    Wizard|1|4|Moderate
    Monk|4|6|Hard
    Fighter|4|5|Moderate
    Swordsage|3|4|Easy
    Druid|1|3|Easy[/table]
    Blue means "high in this tier"
    Red means "low in this tier"
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