Small wall of text incoming, so here's a TL;DR up front:
(1) The game is balanced, for the most part; it's monsters that are not balanced. The 20 turn model is fine, but monsters don't force players to play out 20 turns.
(2) The 'uniqueness' concerns are not really GBI's -- they're suggestions.
(3) As usual, the 'warrior vs. mage' discussion leaves out FD builds.
(1) The general theory behind the warrior/mage divide is that mages trade worse sustained damage (weaker attacks) for better up-front burst (spells). In practice, though, the min/maxing of up-front burst has reached a point where sustained damage almost never comes into play. Compounding that issue is the fact that the defensive drawbacks of nuking and using hp-costing items are averted by celerity/stuns.
It's certainly true that mages are better at abusing this 'meta' than warriors. Mages have an extra resource for up-front burst (MP + SP vs. just SP) and access to more min-maxed gear suited to that purpose (bloodmage armors, burst spells, boosting miscs, etc.). However, none of that rises to the level of a GBI -- unless, of course, every monster in the game is susceptible to the same stun/celerity/nuke strat. Warriors do still have better sustained damage than mages, so against monsters that require you to play a more drawn-out fight, they should have the advantage.
Unfortunately, though, pretty much every monster in the game is susceptible to the same stun/celerity/nuke strat. There are a few monsters here and there that can't be nuked out of existence in a few turns; wind essence is a prime example. Wind essence, though, is an exceedingly unpopular monster. The feedback after its release was so harsh that no other Essences have been updated in the 3+ years since wind essence was, and very few monsters in that vein have been released since. As a result, almost every monster (bosses included) is susceptible to the same stun/celerity/nuke strategy.
The only real solution to this problem, then, is to release more monsters that resist the stun/celerity/nuke strategy. That's probably not going to be a popular solution; most people seem to prefer playing an up-front bursty playstyle and don't like monsters that force them into drawn-out fights. No -- people don't want monsters that can't be nuked; they just want warriors to be able to nuke as well as mages. That makes no sense from a build theory standpoint, and it would be a massive GBI in and of itself, but the people want what they want.
(2) I haven't counted and sorted the gear released by type, but it's certainly possible that there's been more mage-oriented gear released than warrior-oriented gear. The staff has responded well to these kinds of concerns in the past; I made a thread 3 years ago or so in which I *did* count and sort gear by type (weapon/armor/pet/etc), and the staff seemed to try to correct that imbalance going forward. So if this is a concern, someone could count and sort equipment released over the past year or so and make a suggestion based on the results.
(3) Full disclosure: I've always preferred the FD BMR playstyle, personally. I've played extensively on a L150 poe mage, a L150 Beast Ranger, and a L150 FD BMR. In my experience, both against regular monsters and bosses, and both in terms of speed and reliability, Poe Mage > FO BR > FD BMR. That's due to a combination of the issues discussed above related to monster releases, and to relative availability of MC'd, min/maxed gear for these builds. (I haven't played much on an FD Mage, so I can't say for sure where they'd fit in, but I would guess that they'd be either on par with or a bit worse than a FO BR (non-booster) but stronger than a FD BMR.)
Having said that, I'm struck once again by the fact that in this 'balancing the builds' discussion, FD builds are being ignored despite the fact that they're clearly the weakest in the current meta. Having said *that*, though, FD builds are in a much better state now than they were a couple of years ago; the Neko class armors, the fact that the Awe armors are finally on the new .8 lean, and the fact that beast rangers finally have access to some compression weapons are huge improvements to FD builds. All of the currently accessible bosses can be beaten by FD builds without potions or ally assists (including challenge mode sylith and wicked king).
So for all of those reasons, I don't feel particularly inclined to complain about the state of FD builds in the current meta. I do, however, feel compelled to point out the irony of dual dun warriors complaining that their build can't burst as well as poe mages despite the fact that mages are literally designed to trade sustained damage for burst, while also complaining when monsters that favor a sustained-damage playstyle are released, all while completely ignoring the builds that actually have the least access to burst damage and the least variety of MC'd equipment -- FD's.
Edit: Caecus' post went up while I was writing mine. +1 to his suggestion that we move away from the 'guaranteed heal every two fights' model. I still think that in order to fully resolve this issue, more monsters like wind essence would need to be released, but moving away from the 'guaranteed heal every two fights' model would definitely help as well.
< Message edited by Jdilla -- 8/28/2018 15:53:01 >