Hi everybody, sorry if you thought I was dragging my feet or something — it’s just that despite having gotten tons of work done on the classes over the weekend, I was surprised with a project (it’s a secret for now) on Monday that absorbed all of my time from then until, well, this morning. So, back to our regular scheduled programming!

Since I have added or changed much to the classes since I mentioned them earlier this week, I still don’t have anything to show for them. Yet. Operative word. But I can tell you a few things about what I’m working on, why, and/or how.

I already gave you the names of the classes I was working on, which is cool unto itself, but now I feel the need to quantify somehow, the sorts of things I’m doing and how. For starters, there’s a greater emphasis placed on ranged attacks.

People in the future have firearms. Energy weapons, to be precise. And that makes melee-oriented characters feel a little inadequate when they stand to be vaporized where they uh, where they stand. (Charge attacks are pretty much mandatory.)

What this means is that melee-oriented characters need something they can do that doesn’t necessarily require them to charge into the fray to be effective. In the case of the Enforcer, this is by shielding his teammates until the fire dies down enough for him to close the distance. The Scoundrel uh, well, “improvises.”

I realized belatedly while plowing through the basic class features and powers that utilities make almost no sense in the grand perspective of the class to which they’re assigned. I’ve joked in the past about how utility powers vary from “worse than useless” to “game breaking,” and I’m starting to see why.

Fourth Edition utility powers are assembly-line class features. They usually make as much sense as your typical class features, and are just as powerful. Everything from the cleric’s situational “turn undead” powers to the ranger’s “Spitting Cobra Stance” that gives them ranged Opportunity Attacks (technically uses an immediate action).

Why would anyone choose these powers? I mean, especially when they’re all over the board like what I’ve described. I have to wonder if their limited usefulness is part of the reason why WotC is so content to give the player as many as they want without worrying about changing them out the same way they swap encounter/daily attacks.

So, I might need another 4e project to study utility powers before I really knuckle down on the Star Wars classes. I need to figure out where and how class features really qualify, and find some way to better distribute them across tiers of play.