On the note of ACG:Is Hunter really effective enough to be on par with the other tier 3’s? It’s the poor mans druid in a lot of peoples eyes but that’s comparing it to a tier 1 class; of course it’s going to be a bit behind! How does it compare to the likes of bard or inquisitor? It strikes me as at least red in that area, or even a Blue tier 4.
I will freely admit I’m more of a dabbler when it comes to pathfinder optimizing. Knowing enough to get by so I pose the question to you guys along with my thoughts.
Sure:It gets 0-6 casting which is the all season pass into the tier 3 bracket but do its actual class abilities compare?
Animal focus looks good at a glance, twice so when you consider it boosts its animal companion as well… but at the end of the day all it does is save you Gold; Gold that you were already short on since you’re shopping for two. As an enchantment bonus it’s just a replacement for the stat boosting belts, gloves, and fezs you’d normally buy allowing that money to go elsewhere. Assuming you’re in a game with any amount of downtime, a simple craft-wondrous-item feat will probably give you a comparable rebate wouldn’t it?
I mean really inspire courage will out do it at most levels fairly easily, and that -does- stack with enchantments, boosting the entire party on top of that. Though I will admit animal focus’s flexibility has a certain draw to it.
Then there’s the animal companion. We’ve all seen the complaints about those:Splits your magic item funds, stronger ones get in the way in cramped dungeons, scale poorly becoming fragile/weak at higher levels. Charge builds can be nasty but even the most basic issues with environment ruin them along with the above issues
Not to say it’s a -weak- class ability, quite handy in fact, particularly at low levels or low attribute games; but it’s always been more of a secondary thing… not one of the major draws of your class. Is the money you’re saving on animal focus as well as the bonus teamwork feats enough to keep it competitive?
Comparing it to another class again:Paladins, a (high)tier 4 class, arguably have comparable mounts. Sure those don’t get the money saving animal focus but they DO eventually get the celestial template which translates into damage reduction, elemental resistances, and a free smite. Not to mention the convenience of being able to summon it; a partial solution to the cramped dungeon issues. They’re still a little behind thanks to the lack of freebee teamwork feats but when you consider everything -else- a paladin gets… yeah it’s just not as impressive. Are the two additional spell levels alone enough to put them a tier above?
But what do I know? I haven’t gotten a chance to see hunter in an actual game after all so this is all guess work. What do you lot think?