I almost enjoy building the characters more than playing the game.
Originally Posted by inexorabletruth
HA! Same here.
By balance, I mean that all* character classes are equal.
For example, the power difference in 3.5 between spellcasters and I-hit-it-with-my-sword types was astounding, so much that they made a whole system to help you compare power levels. Here's an exert that gives you a good idea of what tiers mean:
Teir 1: Capable of doing absolutely everything, often better than classes that specialize in that thing.
Tier 2: Has as much raw power as the Tier 1 classes, but can't pull off nearly as many tricks, and while the class itself is capable of anything, no one build can actually do nearly as much as the Tier 1 classes.
Tier 3: Capable of doing one thing quite well, while still being useful when that one thing is inappropriate, or capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area.
Tier 4: Capable of doing one thing quite well, but often useless when encounters require other areas of expertise, or capable of doing many things to a reasonable degree of competance without truly shining.
Tier 5: Capable of doing only one thing, and not necessarily all that well, or so unfocused that they have trouble mastering anything, and in many types of encounters the character cannot contribute.
In 4e, everyone has about the same power level. Sure, there are some classes who can deal more damage, and some who can heal better, but those who lack in one area make up for it in another.
*there are exceptions. The binder sub-class of the warlock is strictly worse than the normal warlock, and the vampire class has less versatility. The Seeker and the Runepriest were not given many options outside the ones in the 3rd Players Handbook.