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Barbarian vs. Dwarven Defender

elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,981
I actually joked about making a thread like this a month ago. I couldn't find one so I figured I'd make a thread for it.

So what does everyone think? (Ignoring the current axe bug with the Dwarven Defender and the dexterity bug with Dwarves in general) Which do people prefer and why?

Post edited by elminster on
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Comments

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,981
    Personally I favour the Dwarven defender. I just can't say no to Defensive Stance. Sure it slows you down to a crawl but that resistance bonus is really great.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,313
    Be it from a roleplaying viewpoint, play style, or their class/kit abilities: I prefer the barbarian hands down. There's something about playing a free-spirited, heavy hitter in lighter clothes.

    It's not that I hate the dwarven defender kit, or it being a racial dwarven kit... but being restricted to lawful (my most disliked part of the alignment axis) isn't exactly enjoyable for me. At all. Too many oaths to keep, traditions to pass, yadda yadda yadda.

    thespace
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    edited August 2013
    Do you mean for a dwarf character or in general? Because (in general) I'd prefer other races and thus the barbarian class. However, it seems on a dwarf the defender is objectively a superior class.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,981



    It's not that I hate the dwarven defender kit, or it being a racial dwarven kit... but being restricted to lawful (my most disliked part of the alignment axis) isn't exactly enjoyable for me. At all. Too many oaths to keep, traditions to pass, yadda yadda yadda.

    Neither Barbarian nor Dwarven Defender are restricted by alignment in BGEE.

  • ShinShin Member Posts: 2,338
    edited August 2013
    In order to make as good a tank as possible, definitely a dwarven defender. In vanilla where enemies won't move away to go for targets with worse AC they seem stronger across the board, but even when you have to adjust and chase some enemies down, defensive stance just seems too useful to pass up. From the very early game fresh out of Candlekeep to the end of ToB there will be encounters (albeit fewer and fewer) where it really helps.

    RP-wise I'd probably go with the defender as well. A tough, squat, heavily-armoured dwarf with a large shield just seems more appropriate (tanking-wise) than a large musclebound human with a loincloth and flesh that somehow absorbs damage.

    sarevok57
  • ChackChack Member Posts: 23
    I have been playing as a DD in my last game and i have come to love it. It has a ton of hp, with 20 con (19 + book) and using the +1 con buckler it regenerates at a good rate. Can use axes and hammers way better than a barb. With 4 pips in hammers and a good strength (not yet 19) it does almost as much damage (better minimum) than even Dorn with 19 strength and a 2 handed sword.
    With th speed boots, you wont miss the barb speed bonus.
    I like the concept and i think that it has been really implemented, not overpowered, but powerfull enough.

    So, better damage than a barbarian (when not enraged), better armour, damage reduction(passive) and same amount of hps, my vote goes to the DD

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,981

    Do you mean for a dwarf character or in general? Because (in general) I'd prefer other races and thus the barbarian class. However, it seems on a dwarf the defender is objectively a superior class.

    I mean for this to be a general Dwarven Defender (the kit) vs. Barbarian thread. One benefit of barbarians is they get more leeway with which races they can play as (like the ever powerful gnome barbarian :D ).

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,313
    elminster said:

    Neither Barbarian nor Dwarven Defender are restricted by alignment in BGEE.

    Yes, and I feel this to be either a oversight, or a bug. The dwarven defender 'prestige class' has always been lawful-only in both NWN games and in PnP D&D. It has been completely imprinted into my subconsciousness that dwarven defenders has to be of lawful alignment that I only play lawful neutral or lawful evil members of that kit in BG:EE. Being brainwashed sucks. :(

    KidCarnival
  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,680
    Hah, so it's made!

    "Vanila"

    Barbarian:

    *Hit Dice: D12
    *Fighter Thac0
    *Fighter Proficience Points
    *Passive Damage Reduction (10% dmg red at lvl 10, +5% at lvl 15, +5% at lvl 19. Max 20% at lvl 19)
    Total: 20% at lvl 19
    * Limit of ** stars in proficience
    *Immunity to Backstab
    *+2 movement speed bonus
    *Rage
    *No Romance limits (any race)

    Dwarven Defender:

    *Hit Dice: D12
    *Fighter Thac0
    *Fighter Proficience Points
    *Passive Damage Reduction (5% per each 5lvls. Max 20% at lvl 20)
    Total: 20% at lvl 20
    *Limit of ** starts in proficience, exception to Axes and War Hammers that reach **** stars.
    *Defensive Stance 50% resistance to damage, +2 saving throws, 1/2 mov speed temporary (1 Turn) per each 4 levels.



    My Thoughts on this:

    Barbarian:

    Immunity on Backstab - isn't usable in BG:EE, in BG2 exist few places where it become useful (main moment that comes in mind is Yoshi betrayal) and the chosen of Cyric in ToB. The first isn't problematic as the enemies are low level thiefs, and the later one we are so powerful that isn't a real issue their backstabs.

    +2 Mov bonus - is cool for some tactics (run with barb and shot to death with ranged attacks some enemies), so it's not important but it's good enough to be labeled as an advantage.

    Rage - The real reason why barbarians are superior to Dwarven Defender in the first levels, but even with the +4 str, +4 con, this isn't so important after lvl 4. With D12 to hitpoints per level, at lvl 4 the con bonus isn't so important anymore. The str bonus will be always cool until BG2 when we have access to girdles of Giant Streng (or Crom Faeyr).

    Dwarven Defender:

    Defensive stance - This shit is... Awesome. 50% bonus to damage resistance, plus the 20% the class achieve, make 70% base bonus damage resistance without a single item. In late levels on BG2, with proper items, everything can start to heal this character instead of damage him, just think that any tipe of damage will heal this dwarf... this... is...insane.



    Conclusion:

    At first levels Barbarian have some advantage, until lvl 4 more or less. From 4 to 10 is a balanced fight between both classes, from 10 foward, specially in BG2, Dwarven Defender totally owns, no place for barbarians anymore.

    elminsteralish74lunarsarevok57
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,981

    elminster said:

    Neither Barbarian nor Dwarven Defender are restricted by alignment in BGEE.

    Yes, and I feel this to be either a oversight, or a bug. The dwarven defender 'prestige class' has always been lawful-only in both NWN games and in PnP D&D. It has been completely imprinted into my subconsciousness that dwarven defenders has to be of lawful alignment that I only play lawful neutral or lawful evil members of that kit in BG:EE. Being brainwashed sucks. :(
    I'm not sure what you mean about the brainwashed comment but I mean technically if you want to get all P&P I'm pretty sure dwarven defenders aren't supposed to be able to move from their spot while using defensive stance. The alignment is probably more of an oversight than anything.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,981
    kamuizin said:

    Hah, so it's made!

    "Vanila"

    Barbarian:

    *Hit Dice: D12
    *Fighter Thac0
    *Fighter Proficience Points
    *Passive Damage Reduction (10% dmg red at lvl 10, +5% at lvl 15, +5% at lvl 19. Max 20% at lvl 19)
    Total: 20% at lvl 19
    * Limit of ** stars in proficience
    *Immunity to Backstab
    *+2 movement speed bonus
    *Rage
    *No Romance limits (any race)

    Dwarven Defender:

    *Hit Dice: D12
    *Fighter Thac0
    *Fighter Proficience Points
    *Passive Damage Reduction (5% per each 5lvls. Max 20% at lvl 20)
    Total: 20% at lvl 20
    *Limit of ** starts in proficience, exception to Axes and War Hammers that reach **** stars.
    *Defensive Stance 50% resistance to damage, +2 saving throws, 1/2 mov speed temporary (1 Turn) per each 4 levels.

    Thank you for doing the comparison that I was, far, far too lazy to write up :D

    Moomintroll
  • SindyanSindyan Member Posts: 140
    I think dwaven defender hands down. The barb has little pros.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    I've removed the off-topic comments, because come on. :)

    elminster
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,981
    edited August 2013
    Dee said:

    I've removed the off-topic comments, because come on. :)

    Thank you :)
    Sindyan said:

    I think dwaven defender hands down. The barb has little pros.

    I think the immunities granted to Barb through rage make this a discussion worth having. Along with the boost of strength and constitution (effectively up to 18 health) you get from the rage. I wouldn't say they have little pros. I just personally prefer the Dwarven Defender benefits.

  • SindyanSindyan Member Posts: 140
    True the immunities are helpful. The ate and con bonus are a little helpful at first. The strength boosting equipment are a lot which takes away from the barbarian rage ability for that part

  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,740
    They are both pretty good. This is hard...

  • zur312zur312 Member Posts: 1,358
    i think dwarven defender is stupid overpowered barbarian
    he's purpose is the same as barbarian (damage reduction) but he is so much better that it is not funny

    Ardul
  • Morte50Morte50 Member Posts: 161
    @zur312
    How is he so much more powerful than the Barbarian? Main benefits of the defender are the possible 4 pips in axes and hammers, possibility of wearing heavy armor, and defensive stance. General damage resistances are initially better for the defender, but effectively the same later on. For the Barbarian we have mainly the greater movement speed and the rage ability, as well as the fact that he doesn't have to pick a Dwarf. In general melee capability I'd say that gives the Defender the advantage, but it is hardly the massive difference you make it out to be. Nor is the Defence stance obviously better than Rage. The abilities serve different functions and are useful in different situations, with the Rage benefits arguably much more difficult to replicate through other means.

    vladpen
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,981
    I don't think its overpowered. Remember defensive stance slows down Dwarven Defenders to a crawl. Comparatively Barbarians actually get faster speeds than normal. So while its true Barbarians don't get nearly as good in the way of damage reduction they have more versatility in that (at higher levels) they can both tank and (prior to that) do hit and run attacks.

    RedViiper
  • Morte50Morte50 Member Posts: 161
    Also, they leasurely pound some annoying mage or cleric to a pulp as their usual bag of annoying spells does nothing, while the Defender is running (well... crawling) around in circles in panic because he happened to fail his save vs spells.

    SharGuidesMyHand
  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,680
    You made me remember about heavy armor capacity of DDs, Thx @Morte50, this only make them better.

    About being slow, nothing stop them in use throwing axe/hammer in ranged attacks if the enemy run. Ppl can run from them but try to use distance to fight is easly bypassed. The +50% resistance from defensive stance isn't to be taken light (and let's not forget the +2 bonus in saving throws).

    Sum Def. Stance (50%) + Passive res (20%) + Hardiness HLA (40%) and without items a Dwarven Defender reach 110% dmg resistance in everything, making possible to focus his armor and items to prevent magic and elemental damage.

    DD is a monster class, in BG2:EE we're going to see the pinacle of the little monsters.

    Barbarians at the moment are a weaker class than Dwarven Defender, but that's not right in my view and i would feel better if Beamdog start some work to give more benefits to Barbarians. Isn't hard in fact, just open dual class to barbarians and they become one of the best classes in the game.

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,471
    Neither one is "better" than the other, just like neither the barbarian or the berserker are "better" than each other. They both serve different purposes.

    If you want a pure tank who masters a single melee weapon, then the berserker is probably for you.

    If your only concern is thwarting physical damage, then the defender is probably for you.

    I still prefer to play as a barbarian over a defender because:
    1. I don't like playing as dwarves due to their racial disadvantages (I much prefer elves and half-orcs),
    2. I find it useful to have at least one party member with a higher-than-normal movement rate, and
    3. the barbarian's rage ability gives outright immunity to some of the most frustrating spells in both games.

    Like Morte said, the barbarian's stock-in-trade is as a shield against mind-control spells.

  • blackchimesblackchimes Member Posts: 323
    Sindyan said:

    I think dwaven defender hands down. The barb has little pros.

    By far the biggest danger to any Fighter is disabling magic - damage magic can be tanked, but disabling magic relies on save vs. Spell, and for a Fighter this is the worst save. This is doubly important if it's the protagonist who is the Fighter, because maze, charm, etc. simply end the game.

    So having a "make me immune to almost all insta-disable spells" button is a very, very handy thing for a Fighter to have. In fact it almost looks overpowered - take the one weakness of a class and let them completely negate it once/4 levels/day...

    Berserker has practically no downsides. You can't go past proficient with ranged weapons - but nothing stops you from being a Master in axes, daggers or hammers and using thrown daggers, axes or hammers(BG2) respectively.

    Barbarian has downsides, but they also have much better rage and d12 hit die. A simple 18/01STR 18CON Human Barbarian goes from +1 To Hit, +2 damage to +4 to hit, +10 damage, extra 2HP per level and gains all the immunities.


    Dwarven Defender gets amazing defensive melee bonuses, but that's the problem - they're melee bonuses. If you have 18DEX and put on a Full Plate, your AC is -3. Add a shield, some magical items, and -5 or less is not a problem. And with AC of -5 you're almost untouchable for all melee enemies in the game, save for dedicated skullbashers like Flesh Golems or high level pure Fighters(who are surprisingly rare... and can be disabled by your mages!).

    Meanwhile, a single level 1 Mage can cast Charm and your level 8 Dwarven Defender has ~50% chance of succumbing(too lazy to add everything, but it will be something in that range).

    Dwarven Defenders can't Master weapons. That 1/2 extra attack is the only thing that makes Fighters and their kits viable. If you can't Master, you might as well be a Paladin or a Ranger. It's that important. The few points of to hit and damage are not important. So there's little practical difference between a Dwarven Defender and a Barbarian in proficiencies.

    tl;dr: Barbarians have bonuses that greatly help the class, while Dwarven Defender's bonuses are mostly obsolete, otherwise both classes are very similar, so Barbarian is better but Berserker is still the best.

    RAM021
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,981
    edited August 2013

    Sindyan said:

    I think dwaven defender hands down. The barb has little pros.

    Meanwhile, a single level 1 Mage can cast Charm and your level 8 Dwarven Defender has ~50% chance of succumbing(too lazy to add everything, but it will be something in that range).
    Well level 1 charm person gives a +3 to saving throws. A level 8 Dwarven Defender with 18 constitution has 8 as its save vs spells (if you don't include any ring/cloak of protection or the improved saving throws you get under defensive stance). In your example its at worst a 25% chance of succumbing.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,977
    do you know whats awesome? as @kamuizin said, the DD can reach 110% in ToB for damage resistance, so what you do is have 4 of your characters smack your DD all silly like with greater whirlwinds to heal him, while your mage kills all the baddies ( plus the DD I guess) in ToB it would actually be more useful to have as crappy AC as possible, so then when baddies are damaging you, they are healing you, kind of ass backwards aye?

    elminsterCaptRorykamuizinAlderic
  • zur312zur312 Member Posts: 1,358
    edited August 2013
    well if 110% damage reduction _without items_ is too low for you and not OP than we can close this thread

  • Morte50Morte50 Member Posts: 161
    Indeed. Because the abilities you have when reaching ToB is the only reasonable point of comparison when comparing the classes...

    elminster
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,471
    Morte50 said:

    Indeed. Because the abilities you have when reaching ToB is the only reasonable point of comparison when comparing the classes...

    Especially since TOB EE doesn't even exist yet, and possibly never will.

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,680
    edited August 2013
    @SharGuidesMyHand, i understand the precaution of being neutral in comparison of classes, but Barbarians are harmed in terms of advantages atm.

    Pure tank by the way is a work better made by Dwarven Defenders, followed by Barbarians (in reason of damage reduction). Remember that DDs have 12Hit dice also, just as Barbarians. Speed you get from boots of speed and the immunities from Barb Rage aren't as good as the ones from Berserker rage, the +4 str and con is the main benefit from their rage and even that disappear after a while (when you start to find girdles of giant strengh).

    @blackchimes, if you have party members, Maze and charm doesn't end the game for you (unless the entire party is mazed or charmed).

    Ps: Defensive stance give a +2 bonus to saving throws.

    Obs: Don't take it bad that DDs are better in what Barbarians and them do atm, in fact i believe this discussion is a good motivation for alterations in Barbarian class, as allow dual class for example.

    What you say about this @Dee, a good argument to give a call on the devs to include some advantages to Barbarians in the next patch (when it comes out)?

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,981
    Barbarians can certainly still hold their own here. I don't see a need to add anything to them in the next patch.

    SharGuidesMyHand
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