My objective here is to give, without questioning anyone's competence or sanity, feedback on enhancements. I'm going to start with artificer, then work my way through the classes in alphabetical order. I'm not going to list all of the enhancements, just the ones that are either very interesting or very much in need of a change, then make a few comments. If anyone feels that they disagree, or have alternate suggestions, please feel free to post them. That's what the forums are for, after all. All comments and opinions made by the OP are talking from the standpoint of a single-classed character.
Note: If you see [enh. a]------->[enh. b] anywhere, that signifies an enhancement line, and that any comments made after that are talking about the entire line. [enh. a] is a prerequisite for [enh. b].
Note 2: I'm not going to list the descriptions of the enhancements, just the names, where they are found, and my comments concerning them. Again, not all enhancement will be listed, just the ones that deserve attention, one way or another.
Barbarians. They get AC penalties and can't cast spells or use most items when raging, but in return they get greatly increased strength and constitution. An ideal frontline melee class. Theoretically, anyways. While they have a lot of interesting offensive and debuffing options, their damage mitigation options are a bit lacking. Also, this class is going to be chugging potions ALOT, since they can't use wands or scrolls when raging, yet there are no enhancements that make their potions more efficient, despite almost every other class having an enhancement that increases the effectiveness of wands and scrolls.
Comments: To gain access to every ability in this tree, the player needs to take Two-Handed Fighting, Improved Two-Handed Fighting, Power Attack, Slicing Blow, Combat Expertise and Improved Trip. That's 7 feat slots.
1) Frenzy ----> Death Frenzy
Comments: Note that, while these two enhancements cause the user to damage himself when attacking, he is doing at least three times as much damage to the enemy than he is to himself. Bane damage, at that. Unlike "Storm's Eye".
2) Storm's Eye
Comments: This is the FB capstone. Sadly, it's not worth taking at all.Not only does it damage the user, it debuffs AC and to-hit rolls. The cost is ultimately greater than the benefit. This should be replaced by an ability that *lowers* HP costs from barbarian abilities, gives the user healing amplification, or heals the user over time.
1) Cracking Attack ----> Body Blow ----> Crazy Strike
Comments: Taking full ranks in C.A. and B.B. turns this ability into a less effective, but higher DC version of Improved Sunder. Crazy Strike, like Storm's Eye debuffs the user more than it buffs him. Also, I don't think PRR penalties are a good idea for barbarians. A barbarian is going to get hit, and anything that reduces his ability to reduce incoming damage is a bad idea.
2) Die Harder
Comments: This could save the user's life. Good idea.
Comments: I especially like the tier 3 ability.
1) Angry Arms ----> Mad Munitions
Comments: It's hard to find abilities that increase glancing blow damage. Nice.
2) Blood Tribute
Comments: Interesting. Also probably necessary for anyone crazy enough to use Storm's Eye.
1) Supreme Cleave ----> Blood Trail
Comments: S.C. is a very popular ability. I don't understand why Blood Trail is capped at 10 temporary hit points, though. They only last up to 6 seconds, and how often does one get surrounded by 10 enemies?
1) Wade In
Comments: Eh, I suppose this is useful, up to a point. Considering that barbarians tend to have very high strength and full BAB, do they even *need* the extra to-hit?
2) Exhausting Blow
Comments: Not a bad debuffing ability.
1) Focused Wrath
Comments: Crit multiplier! Yum~
2) Lash Out
Comments: I like the ability, although I don't understand why it requires Slicing Blow. Slicing Blow isn't very useful when the barbarian already has a much better enhancement in the Ravager Tree; "Cruel Cut".
Comments: This is very powerful, certainly, but I don't think I want to use up two feat slots for it when one of those feat slots is Combat Expertise, which dispels rage effects.
Comments: I like this tree, since it gives the user lots of defensive bonuses, which barbarins really need. However, the "Weapon Bond" mechanic can put the user in a difficult position if they run content with lots of enemies that have DR, or have very little gear to choose from.
1) Weapon Bond
Comments: This is okay. Still, it's one of the many to-hit bonuses in the game, and not really that useful. Very cheap cost, though.
2) Elemental Defense
Comments: Seeing as it can only occur once every 12 seconds, is it necessary to have the "25% chance"?
3) Blank Thoughts
Comments: I like it~
4) Force Ward
Comments: Only a 5% chance to ignore force damage? And only force damage? Kind of meager for a high level core ability.
5) Mind Over Magic
Comments: Very nice, but it's missing something... like a saves bonus, or an improvement to Force Ward or Elemental Defense.
1) Ear Smash ----> Knockout
Comments: Good anti-caster abilities.
1) Anti-Magic Boost
Comments: This is a lot less effective than a Saves Boost.
2) Lessons of Travel ----> Kinetic Bond
Comments: Why does kinetic bond have LoT as a prerequisite? Otherwise I have no complaints about these.
1) Arcane Encumbrance
Comments: Too bad it doesn't work more often, or have a component that does.
1) Viscous Strike
Comments: I haven't tried this one. Does it work on bosses?
1) Vampiric Bond
Comments: I read the name and thought "like a vampirism weapon?", but was disappointed when I read that it was only temporary HP. Oh well.
2) Metalline Bond
Comments: Yet another enhancement with a misleading name. The problem with this enhancement is that if you need it, you might not have it, and if you don't have it, then it's hard to get it since the Weapon Bond charges up only when the user *damages* an enemy. Sometimes you don't damage an enemy if they have DR, due to a low damage roll. This one needs to be changed a bit.
Comments: This is a first-tier enhancement in at least 3 other trees that I can think of.
Comments: This tree was an attempt, I think, at a debuffing and crowd-control barbarian. Some it is useful, but the fixed DCs of some of the abilities pretty much killed the idea. It's not unusable, though.
1) Furious Rage
Comments: "Fury" is a competence bonus. The "Deadly" and "Accuracy" items that show up in randomly-generated loot are both competence bonuses. "Fury" stacks up to 10 times. "Deadly" and "Accuracy" both appear as a +10 bonus. "Fury" lasts six seconds. "Deadly" and "Accuracy" are permanent. Which one of these are actually going to be used? Not to mention "Fury" only happens when you miss, which is increasingly unlikely as one gets better gear and buffs.
2) Pain Touch
Comments: This is untyped damaged. For some reason, it can only happen once per second, which prevents it from happening on doublestrikes. Very strange, especially when druids, rangers and rogues get similar enhancements which do not have the same restriction.
3) Demoralizing Success
Comments: I like the idea, but I don't like the fixed DC.
4) Visage of Terror
Comments: An instakill? Great. It uses up a use of Rage? Alright, that's fair. However, the capstone doesn't have an interesting passive ability that would make me want to take two more barbarian levels. The strongest capstones are, generally, the ones that have a passive ability.
1) Ritual Scarring
Comments: Interesting. However, 3 PRR really isn't much...
2) Hate ----> Mutilate
Comments: The best part about this ability is the charisma damage. Evil damage is not going to affect most enemies, who are mostly evil, and extra threat is not very useful for a barbarian, which is a class that has intimidate as a class skill.
3) Do You Like Pain? ----> I Like Pain ----> I Hit Back! ----> Bully
Comments: No-save debuffs are always welcome. As is temporary HP. However, "I Hit Back!" is chaotic damage, and there are more than a few chaotic enemies in this game. It might be best if it were changed to force damage. "Bully", however, shouldn't have all of these prerequisites. After all, it's a fifth-tier ability, and I don't think any of the other enhancements that do the exact same thing in other classes have so many prereqs.
1) Fear Me! ----> Aura of Fear
Comments: This would be useful if the DC scaled at all, or was somehow linked to the user's intimidate skill. The Aura of Fear seems worthwhile, though.
2) Cruel Cut ----> Festering Wound ----> Dismember
Comments: Cruel Cut by itself is very good to have. Not sure about Festering Wound, but I can think of a few self-healing mobs it would be good against. Dismember though, is way too random. It would be perfect if the chance of chaotic damage was removed, though.
1) Slaughter ----> Laughter
Comments: If it worked, Slaughter would be useful, especially with Adrenaline. Laughter however is only as useful as Fury.