I complain about controllers pretty constantly.
Strikers and defenders have gotten pretty easy, and leaders are getting there, but controllers are just a pain in the butt. I’m sure after I’ve created a hundred classes, I’ll look back and say, “well, it isn’t as hard now as it was when I started.” Seriously.
There are just so many ways in which a controller can fail that other combat roles just don’t have to put up with — a striker has to deal high, reliable damage. You can screw that up pretty easily but it isn’t like you’re trying to do anything else with a striker. A defender just wants high hit points and defenses!
Admittedly, building an effective leader can be tough because you have to kind of figure out what they should be doing aside from healing — healing being the primary means a leader has for “enabling” his allies. “I enable you to stay on your feet and keep fighting.” There are nuances of course, but that’s the gist of it.
Most recently, working through the Wizard attack powers has given me some ideas about what to do with conjurations. Since a conjuration can be “sustained,” and “persists” from round to round, I’ve had ideas for rider effects when either occurs.
Stuff like, “when you sustain a conjuration, move it,” or “while your conjuration X persists, you have concealment.” That kind of stuff. It’s cool, but hard to codify. It’s a lot like “exploding” the leader powers to help substantiate the classes.
One of the big problems I’ve always had with the 4e conjurations is how complicated they are — not to mention how they’re usually locked away behind encounter/daily usage. You might save them because they’re “too good.”
Oh, and you have a wall of text waiting for you when you finally do want to whip out that conjuration — then you’re all like, “never mind. I use magic missile instead.”
Actually, that’s at the core of why I want to make conjurations more commonplace — throw some at-wills in there and try to come up with consistent effects for them. The D&D Compendium says that conjurations don’t move, don’t occupy a space, don’t attack, and can’t be attacked — normally. Every conjuration is exceptional.
Anyway. What I might end up doing is creating a dearth of unique effect types for each major type of controller — pertaining to that particular controller type. Conjurations for Wizards. Auras for Bards. Zones for a controller that uses zones. What I’m talking about are area effect types, mostly. Mostly.