Follower of the Way
Being perfectly frank, I find the "slot-filling" complaint to be rather flawed. The only classes most folks can point to which even remotely meet that definition are, as far as I can tell:and many do not feel truly iconic just being slot-filling, which is not bad but could be better.
And of those, only the Battlemind is even remotely lacking, because both Avenger and Invoker have some solid lore and clear mechanical niches.
I will, however, grant that Battlemind is a stupid name. But still, 1-2 rough fit classes out of 25 is not even slightly deserving of the hand-wringing and accusations 4e received on this front.
Okay so...how would one fix that?The problem with 4e wasn't that the classes weren't good. It's that they were all good for the same definition of good. If you liked one 4e class (especially pre-Essentials) you'd probably like almost all of them. And if you didn't you wouldn't. The advantage of having a class system is that if you have entirely different tastes you can still each have some classes.
Because I am never going to accept a game design that leaves characters with nothing constructive to do. The game needs to provide a solid starting foundation, a core that consistently works. The 5e Fighter fails on the "works" part, while the Wizard fails on the "consistently" part (that is, as mentioned up thread, a poorly-built Wizard is actually kind of weak, while a well-built one is one of the most powerful characters you can play in 5e.)
So... where's the fix? What can we do that actually delivers consistently functional, effective characters while giving people this mysterious je ne said quoi that will appeal to more people?