With the first iteration of rift problems finally being addressed.
(Belphegor Physical Immunity)
It's becoming clear rifts are most easily farmed by arcane casters.
(Flesh Golem Aura Elemental Immunity Reduction 75 to 0 and -20 Dodge AC)
(Sorc/Paladin HP, Saves and Epic Warding)
Arcane casters can easily achieve reasonable flood insurance AC (~120) through Spells, gear, ICE and PRCs. They are free to allocate stat points towards Constitution instead of AC. Topping at around 1800 to 2000 hit points on an arcane Caster dwarfs most other classes that struggle to reach 1k. On top of this a fully powered Epic Warding represents a 2750 Hitpoint barrier with 60 regen and near 40% reduction on incoming damage.
I understand for accessibility reasons it's okay to have a class that can be played with a more reasonable pace and still navigate challenges. It's a tough game fraught with frustrating bugs and quirks. Sometimes you just want to stand in the fire and watch things burn around you.
(Immunity to Sorcerer persistent AoE)
(Exploiting bad hardcoded Martial Auto attack AI to create death traps)
The subjective outlook in encounter and class design like those demonstrated here recently and most egregiously institutionalized in the form of Beholder's Anti-Magic Cone represent the lack of a robust toolset for players and encounter designers.
The aversion to nerfs is most clearly demonstrated by the difference in level design between the Beholder's Crucible in Harrad's Workshop and the introduction to Beholder's in the Guild of Shadows.
(Small room ambush)
(Barriers make the end boss exploitable by characters with arcane teleport and range attacks)
In both situations casters still have no options. Yet unnecessary development time has been spent to create wards as a warning for players when they are about to encounter a beholder despite acknowledging that limiting player choices to 1 or less viable options is not an effective way to create interesting monsters or encounters. Covering up design mistakes with Barriers(Epic Warding) in order to justify these mistakes serves no purpose in trying to solve the root problems of design creep between casters and non casters.
On the other side inflating the power of an entire class whose toolset has this capability speaks to either a profound lack of creativity or lack of options in creating more interesting tools for players and encounter designers can use to make for more interesting fights.
(Solo Bossified Ex 8 Belphegor Rift Kill by Unequipped Sorc/Pal)
Having zero risk of failure in an encounter is just as boring as having 100% risk of failure in an encounter and design philosophy where these are the only two tools available is fundamentally uninteresting.
we often seek challenges at the edge of our competence—not so hard that we are discouraged, but not so easy that we get bored.
In that same vein until the development of Impale and Shield Bash, Auto attacks were the only outlet and gauge for martial power so tight control over them was and is still necessary and should be normalized at baseline. Trying to solve the problem of class balance between casters and noncasters with only AC, AB or Absurdly high defenses (Epic Warding) is fundamentally uninteresting and creates the same situation where the character is either invulnerable or incapable.
Noncasters do not need the level of efficacy or power to autoattack through everything. Whats needed are feats and abilities that represent the tools already available to casters in the form of spells. Feats players and encounter designers can use that give them the time to assess and react to an encounter.
Recent development of patchwork feats like Caster’s Bane represent a far more nuanced approach to creating an interesting challenge for casters than Anti-Magic Cone if used in encounter design.