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As I've now played about a dozen characters up to 20th level, I have to say that the balance between them is not very good. I guess some of this is deliberate as it's a solo vs group play thing, but still...
Mostly it's a melee vs ranged thing. In virtually every other game I've played, a ranged DPS class can just about kill an enemy before it gets into melee range - or when it gets there, it's easily finished off. The catch being sometimes you needed to fight 2 or 3.
Here, in virtually every ranged class I've tried (be it blaster or corrupter or dominator) you're lucky to get an enemy even down to half before he hits into melee range.
It depends on the powerset - fire is pretty good, dark is okay, but ice and dual pistols are very weak, and electricity is downright pathetic.
Defenders are just plain pathetic.
And survivability is very, very low and all of them except dominators - since they can easily stop enemies in their tracks. But actually killing them takes ages.
By contrast, Brutes are amazingly lethal and incredibly sturdy. Most enemies take 2 hits to kill, and taking on 6 enemies at a time is a breeze. Yes, teleporting/fleeing enemies are a pain, but still, it's just so much easier to play.
Scrappers are almost as good as Brutes, don't seem to do much more damage, but die easier. Tankers are tougher but kill slower.
Stalkers on the other hand are remarkably weak - yes, they can basically one shot most enemies, but then they have to cope with 1-2 more and for whatever reason, they don't handle combat very well. They don't have many attacks and they don't handle taking damage very well.
I realize some of this is a solo vs group thing, but at the same time, characters are apparently expected to do a decent amount of soloing. On some charactrers, I really can't (like my electricty character or my defenders) while brutes are just so much more powerful.
R.I.P. City of Heroes and my 17 characters there