4E Why do we have this class? Answer Flavor(source) , Role (and Role Flex), Range and Approach.

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
In 4e the reasons for a particular class often seems well somewhat obvious this perhaps due to explicit Power Sources, Explicit Roles. Range focus and well something I am thinking of as approach. Approach is the frosting it's the little details like the Fighters damned if you do damned if you don't or the Sword mages kiting technique.

Source is a flavor arrangement provided by the game designers not everyone wants to do that form of lifting even if they can. I could reflavor a Fighter have his donning armor be performing a ritual that creates a runic sphere of protection which defends him and which inhibits movement analogously to heavy armor and which is incompatible with large amounts of metal of other armors etc.

In spite of the Developers saying we do not want to do slot filling. Roles really do define a direction for capability what function does the class take. So yes I do see a need for Martial Controller options

The Martial Artist with its flurries bringing on melee controller to martial even if we accept the hunter as a valid chassis for ranged controller for martial.

Note while I do not include distinct mechanics in my list they may sneak in with other elements but they are not the point.

Edit: thought to be continued... posted before its done.
 
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EzekielRaiden

Explorer
I think the designers were quite serious about not doing slot-filling, which is the very reason they never made a totally distinct Martial Controller class. That is, the team really did only make classes when they had an idea or a story that wanted telling. And I think the class that best represents this (though there are others that are more or less similar) is the Avenger. It's a neat thematic idea--"divine internal investigations," one might say, or "legbreakers of the gods"--that wasn't represented very well by the existing classes (at best it resembles a Rogue with significant Divine MC investment), but which had growing cultural cachet. People made comparisons to Ezio Auditore from Assassin's Creed, and I think they were absolutely right to do so, the timing is almost perfect (AC1 released Nov 2007; PHB2 released March 2009) and the idea was interesting both mechanically and thematically.

Swordmages, Shamans, and Wardens are similar, though the first two already had some representation in D&D mechanics previously.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I think the designers were quite serious about not doing slot-filling, which is the very reason they never made a totally distinct Martial Controller class. That is, the team really did only make classes when they had an idea or a story that wanted telling.
I think story is or needs to be well inclusive its not an either or thing .. ie combat role is part of the story.
For example a flash from the past.
The original thief yes had very little battlefield role it was a class without a role in the primary conflict arena and that has always been a significant part of the D&D story. So it lacked a combat story aside from a rather singular spike of damage and then stay out of the way. That could have called for a battle role that allowed it to rarely do a spike of damage but generally do something else, for instance it could generate a lot of battlefield control with caltrops to create dangerous terrains (there are some interesting ways to make those work that make them not so passive @Tony Vargas came up with actually) and impairing hamstrings or blinding barrages. Basically up the rogues current control elements all around to be the norm plus effects like enemies you move past get impaired (tripped and slowed etc) and change the damage boost elements from being the class feature to a feat supported element ... Could have made the 4e Thief a controller role that was hearkening to the original 1e thief. Without the battlefield role you don't have enough story.

There were people already using the fighter for serious battlefield control in 3e and polearm gambits kicking in way too late and being very tricky to implement sort of deprived that feel from a fighter and in that regards we get to the argument is the defender also a variant of controller and a regular rabbit hole about what is a controller oy vey.
 

EzekielRaiden

Explorer
There were people already using the fighter for serious battlefield control in 3e and polearm gambits kicking in way too late and being very tricky to implement sort of deprived that feel from a fighter and in that regards we get to the argument is the defender also a variant of controller and a regular rabbit hole about what is a controller oy vey.
I don't deny that. That's why I posted what I did. Your post comes across as saying that Power Source + Role[/Flex] + [Melee or Ranged] + Approach = Everything about why a class exists. I'm saying that the designers genuinely chose not to make a class, even if they could explicitly identify all of those things, unless there was a story that interested them that they could tell through that class's mechanics. Honestly, I feel like many of the "expected" classes specifically suffered because they got "grandfathered out" of meeting this requirement. The wonky stuff with the Paladin, the initially unclear goal of the Wizard (the only controller in PHB1), the initial flaws with the Fey Pact, hell even the over-powered nature of Twin Strike, all strikes me as happening because they "already had" a story to tell, so they didn't scrutinize those concepts as much as they would have if they were inventing a brand-new class.

Of course, one can argue that some of the very-late additions, like the Runepriest, Binder, and Seeker, poke some holes in this theory. But I have other reasons for why I think those were...not in keeping with 4e's design patterns up to that point.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I don't deny that. That's why I posted what I did. Your post comes across as saying that Power Source + Role[/Flex] + [Melee or Ranged] + Approach = Everything about why a class exists.
Call it a very required element... People going do they need a psion class for 5e sort of inspired me thinking. I am able to make what may well be a better psion in 4e by reflavoring a Wizard. Possibly because all they have is a raw story as a distinction and I can do that part.... ie yeh if reflavoring will do the trick well.

I'm saying that the designers genuinely chose not to make a class, even if they could explicitly identify all of those things, unless there was a story that interested them that they could tell through that class's mechanics.
Source is only part of the flavor and that "interested them" is highly subjective I suppose like the battlefield control that was in the 3e fighter build (does it ruin the general story of the classic hero fight if its too good too soon?) ie its the over all story too not just the individual elements.

Honestly, I feel like many of the "expected" classes specifically suffered because they got "grandfathered out" of meeting this requirement. The wonky stuff with the Paladin, the initially unclear goal of the Wizard (the only controller in PHB1),
That grandfathering is why the wizard is unclear seems well clear the original wizard was mighty role versatile and how acceptable is role versatility anyway is perhaps the unanswered question? That role of controller just was not sufficiently defined either.

The druid as healer life bringer took a long time for us to see it was pretty obviously part of the Druid story early on and heck versatility was part of what made Druidzilla so extreme so they were actively being cautious?

the initial flaws with the Fey Pact, hell even the over-powered nature of Twin Strike, all strikes me as happening because they "already had" a story to tell, so they didn't scrutinize those concepts as much as they would have if they were inventing a brand-new class.
Does seem weird saying if they had payed more attention to identifiable distinctions and so on they might not have given us flaws X Y and Z. So maybe they didnt pay as much attention to them ummm ok... flaws do paint a picture where they weren't totally consistent.

However it also paints paying attention to those distinctions as something you might really want to do.

Of course, one can argue that some of the very-late additions, like the Runepriest, Binder, and Seeker, poke some holes in this theory. But I have other reasons for why I think those were...not in keeping with 4e's design patterns up to that point.
I think at a certain point they were also experimenting the Berserker is a successful one where they experimented in explicitly versatile role. The fighter already had a lot of the implicit versatile role towards striking going on though.
 
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I think the designers were quite serious about not doing slot-filling, which is the very reason they never made a totally distinct Martial Controller class. That is, the team really did only make classes when they had an idea or a story that wanted telling. And I think the class that best represents this (though there are others that are more or less similar) is the Avenger. It's a neat thematic idea--"divine internal investigations," one might say, or "legbreakers of the gods"--that wasn't represented very well by the existing classes
Well, except for two minor details:

1) The Avenging Paladin build was already the baddass leg-breaker of the gods, conceptually, just not a fully fledged striker.
2) "Legbreakers of the gods" is a cute way of saying "Divine Striker." It is not an a priori concept, and is as virtually absent from myth/legend/genre a the D&D-style Cleric, itself.

No small number of other classes were more clearly cases of "grid-filling" than a putative Martial Controller would have been. The Invoker, for instance. In prior eds, the Cleric had been as much a controller (more debuffing leaning) as the Wizard. IN 4e it couldn't be both, so the Invoker was split off.

There were also a few cases of reverse-grid-filling, where a spot in the grid was poached by a pre-existing concept that just barely fit. The PH2 primal-spirit Barbarian and the PH3 Psionic Monk are the clear examples.

Then there was the Druid, another traditional class that traditionally covered two or three roles all by itself, and got split up - once Essentials gave up on the one role to a class assumption, the Druid got a Leader sub-class, then a summoner sub-class. (In 5e, all that's back in one class again.)

The difference between the treatment of the Cleric and the Fighter was that the controller functionality of the Cleric got split off into a separate class in the same source, the Invoker, while the battlefield control functionality of the Fighter in 3e instead got pushed to fairly obscure/marginal paragon paths & feats, and that of the Warlord was just left under-developed.

In 4e the reasons for a particular class often seems well somewhat obvious this perhaps due to explicit Power Sources, Explicit Roles.
Roles really do define a direction for capability what function does the class take. So yes I do see a need for Martial Controller options
The Martial Artist with its flurries bringing on melee controller to martial even if we accept the hunter as a valid chassis for ranged controller for martial.
Yeah, the Monk could have as easily been re-imagined (perhaps in a less orientalist way, as simply a 'Martial Artist,' to include fencing masters and the like from a broader range of cultural and genre inspiration) and re-jiggered to be a martial controller as pounded into the Psionic Striker hole.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The investigator for the divine I have seen is more like a LazyLord with intimidation and smarts.
Well, except for two minor details:

1) The Avenging Paladin build was already the baddass leg-breaker of the gods, conceptually, just not a fully fledged striker.
And if it had a simple feat which allowed it to have armor of faith (or class feature to swap) and more divine guidance tricks for accuracy not thinking there would be anything lost at all.
 

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