So earlier this week they released v2 of the new base classes that will be found in the Advanced Class Guide. Here are my thoughts:
Arcanist: It is still a full arcane caster so its going to be insanely powerful. The new arcane exploit mechanic is a fun tool to play with and there are some interesting ideas there. I like the idea of counter-spelling but never actually find a use for it in game. Hard to say "no" to boosted caster level and save DCs as well.
Bloodrager: Only minor tweaks here. Some of the bloodlines are still way better than others. This one just needs a bit of polishing.
Brawler: Lots of people seem to like this class but its just not for me. It seems to do what its meant to do ok but its just not a concept I care for.
Hunter: I like the tweaks to this class. The Hunter can now buff his pet and himself. I just feel this class is still weaker than its two parents - the ranger and druid.
Investigator: Ugh. Super nerf. The new Studied Combat/Strike mechanic is great conceptually but is piss poor in execution. It has way too many limitations. You need an 18 int for it to do anything, duration is ok but it ends as soon as you make a single Studied Strike (which does less than a sneak attack would). AND you can't use it against the same opponent for another 24 hours.As a skill monkey this class is still great with its variety of skills, inspirations, and extracts. It just sucks even worse in combat than before. The crappiness that is the Rogue class is dragging it down.
Shaman: Now with Druid casting with some sweet Cleric spells thrown in. This is a class with some awesome potential. Not a great healer however.
Skald: They made it more martial oriented with more weapon proficiencies and medium armor casting but I'm still not sure I like it. The Rage song is much better now but this class still doesn't appeal to me. There are better ways to make a Gish.
Slayer: Last version was way better than a Rogue but still worse than a ranger. The gap between ranger and Slayer has closed and the slayer is now the ultimate combat rogue since it gained more skills, access to ranger combat styles, trapfinding and poison use through Slayer Talents (which are improved). The ranger's spells give it more flexibility and but these too are pretty close in terms is goodness now.
Swashbuckler: I still have mixed feelings here. I strongly disagree with the design team not giving this class dex to damage. Precision damage is lame even it the bonus is higher since it doesn't work against all creatures and isn't multiplied on a crit. The Swashbuckler has rogue saves (terrible) but lots of neat tricks. I'm still hoping they change their mind on Dex to damage but with more polishing this class will be decent. Seems to be ok defensively (especially with Crane Style) but has only moderate damage capabilties.
Warpriest: A few small changes have made this class much better. Ferver is a cool new mechanic but this class still suffers from MAD. I haven't played around this the revised class to much but it seems pretty good now.
Witch: Day 19
4 hours ago