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2017 D&D 5E Class Satisfaction Survey Results

Thank you for doing this. This is actually really good feedback.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Now that the most recent poll has been out for a few days and had time to acquire votes, here are the total results of the satisfaction survey. I suspect the data from this survey may be of some value in future conversations down the road, so you may want to remember it so you can search for it later. Of course there is the caveat that this poll is from EN World posters only. And there are always outliers (like someone voting very dissatisfied on every class because they hate 5e). So acknowledge those factors that may impact the results.

That all being said, I think there are some takeaways we can get from this. None of them are a big shocker, except possibly just how badly the sorcerer rated.

Personally, I think any time you can get a 70% or higher overall satisfaction rating for a class, you did a good job. So kudos to the design team and the approach of WotC to do playtests and get the feedback from the players. With no further ado:





Survey locations:

 

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Xeviat

Adventurer
Supporter
So you're saying that we should keep talking about Fighters, Rangers, and Sorcerers, eh?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Running a few more against your vote tallies. Here's one that's interesting.

Weighted net
VS or VDS is +/-3, while MS or DS is +/-2.
Barb 1.73
Bard 2.03
Cleric 1.70
Druid 1.21
Ftr 1.11
Monk 1.18
Pal 2.19
Ranger 0.35
Rogue 2.17
Sorc 0.11
Warlock 1.22
Wiz 2.13

With this the Rogue actually slightly edges out the Wizard for second place. It means that while the wizard had more % of any satisfied, rogue had more in the very satisfied department.

This rating is from +3 (all VS) to -3 (all VDS). None are actually negative, so all have at least a bit mroe satisfaction then dissatisfaction.

Paladin, Rogue, Wizard and Bard have the cutoff that the average scoring this way was higher then Mostly Satisfied.

The other end is the Sorc and Ranger, both under 0.4 but still slightly positive.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
So you're saying that we should keep talking about Fighters, Rangers, and Sorcerers, eh?

Ya, those are the ones that need the most loving. Fighter is head and shoulders rated higher than Sorc and Ranger but still third lowest. Though we should remember that low rating does not equate to low powered. For instance, I gave Revised Ranger a dissatisfied rating for a number of reasons, but one was that it's first level power is overpowered.

We should also talk about what is right with Paladin, Wizard, Rogue and Bard looking for useful design patterns to apply to the classes that need help.
 

pukunui

Legend
I can't help but wonder how much better the sorcerer, and to a lesser extent the warlock, would be if WotC had included them in the public playtest. (I know they were in at the very beginning, but they only shared the versions that would make it into the PHB to the alpha testers.)

The ranger, too, could've benefited from more open playtesting. I can't remember how different the playtest version was to the PHB one, but I do know that the beastmaster wasn't openly tested.
 



Sacrosanct

Legend
Fighter is head and shoulders rated higher than Sorc and Ranger but still third lowest. .

The fighter has the odds stacked against him right out of the gate for two reasons:

1. It's the class that has to cover the most archetypes, ergo, has to be the most generic. Having a dozen subclasses just isn't feasible.
2. A lot of people wanted a basic fighter with very little fiddly bits, which directly opposes what a lot of other people want. And judging by the responses of people dissatisfied with the fighter (not the just survey thread, but all of the threads on fighters), most of them don't want a basic fighter and every subclass has to be appealing to them or the whole class is dissatisfied. So you've got two directly opposing desires that had to fit under the same class. Before someone quotes me with "no, we just want a fighter who can do things out of combat baked into the class", I will reply with "You do. You have TWO extra feats no one else gets that can be used however you want, including out of combat ability without sacrificing your combat ability, baked right into the class."

So really, the fact that the class got 70% overall satisfaction is pretty darn good.
 

ArchfiendBobbie

First Post
I contrast this poll (great job btw! Come one everyone, give this poster some XP - not me, the OP!) With this one:

http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?521614-The-classes-that-nobody-wants-to-play

And it's fascinating. In your poll, Fighter and Monk have similar levels of satisfaction - not great, but not horrid either. However in the "nobody wants to play" the fighter did quite OK, while the Monk is the *worst* by far!

Monk 532 100.00%

Voters: 244

Um... There's something a little hinky about that poll...
 

Waterbizkit

Explorer
I contrast this poll (great job btw! Come one everyone, give this poster some XP - not me, the OP!) With this one:

http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?521614-The-classes-that-nobody-wants-to-play

And it's fascinating. In your poll, Fighter and Monk have similar levels of satisfaction - not great, but not horrid either. However in the "nobody wants to play" the fighter did quite OK, while the Monk is the *worst* by far!

That poll is a load of bollocks. As another poster already pointed out the monk has more than twice the number of votes than there were voters making it absolutely useless in gauging how few people want to play a monk.

To the topic at hand, I voted mostly satisfied in every poll, but never had the time to make any comment with regards to explaining my vote. I still don't. :p If I can stir up the time to come back and say more I will, but it suffices to say, for now, that I do think there are tweaks here & there that could be made in every class, but not so much that I've done so in my games, all classes are run RAW.

Anyway, thank you for all the effort in making these and the work put in to collating the results. And thanks to all the other voters who provided the data.
 




Jay Verkuilen

Grand Master of Artificial Flowers
I can't help but wonder how much better the sorcerer, and to a lesser extent the warlock, would be if WotC had included them in the public playtest. (I know they were in at the very beginning, but they only shared the versions that would make it into the PHB to the alpha testers.)

The ranger, too, could've benefited from more open playtesting. I can't remember how different the playtest version was to the PHB one, but I do know that the beastmaster wasn't openly tested.
I very much agree. The warlock and sorcerer both illustrate the problems that better playtesting would have found. The warlock's way too tied to the short rest mechanic and has a lot of "feat tax" issues vis a vis invocations as well as a dominant strategy (spamming Eldritch Blast) that makes doing other things as a warlock not very cost-effective. Warlock is one of those classes a lot of people take a few levels in just to get EB and then leave. I can think of many ways to make it better, but they didn't support any of them and I think with more playtesting these issues and potential solutions would be more apparent. On the flip side, the sorcerer basically doesn't benefit from short rests and runs out of sorcery points quickly.

The archery based ranger seems OK, but the beastmaster was problematic (never played one, though, so I can't say from experience). WotC just absolutely out of their minds hates pets. So of course they made sure that familiars in the Pact of the Chain weren't that great. At high levels they're not particularly useful.
 


TrippyHippy

Adventurer
I don't think the bottom three are any great surprise.

The Sorcerer fails in a narrative sense to really capture any niche, and mechanically has been compromised by spontaneous casting becoming a universal thing for all Classes. To be honest, the entire Class could actually be handled by feats (meta-magic; wild magic) and Background (sorcerous origins) and be incorporated generally into the Wizard Class for everything else. The Warlock has provided an archetypal alternative to Wizards now, making the Sorcerer Class increasingly redundant. They also don't really mesh with Dragonborn, if you were hoping to do a Dragon Sorcerer combo.

The Ranger remains a classic archetype, but the execution was a bit off especially regarding the Beastmaster. I actually think that the companion beast should be a feature of all Rangers, while they could possibly be better differentiated by terrain and quarry if you want to make different sub-classes. In short though, it's all a bit of a mess.

Fighters are still just a bit boring for many, particularly the Champion. The Battle Master is possibly better, but I think that the various manoeuvres could have possibly been done better as Feats again. The Knight - done in the same way as the Purple Knights - would have been a better general archetype. In all though, how often do people actually prefer to play Fighters over Paladins, say, these days? That's the real issue.

There could be some work done on other Classes, of course, but in general I'm happy with them.
 

guachi

Explorer
I think the fighter is the most interesting class going forward with all of the possible design space for a non-spellcaster. I've found all the fighter UA archetypes interesting except arcane archer.

I had a player just last week describe what she was looking for in a character (her PC's son). I made a fighter using the Scout UA for her and it was exactly what she wanted. She liked it enough she got rid of the PC she made.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Now that the most recent poll has been out for a few days and had time to acquire votes, here are the total results of the satisfaction survey. I suspect the data from this survey may be of some value in future conversations down the road, so you may want to remember it so you can search for it later. Of course there is the caveat that this poll is from EN World posters only. And there are always outliers (like someone voting very dissatisfied on every class because they hate 5e). So acknowledge those factors that may impact the results.

That all being said, I think there are some takeaways we can get from this. None of them are a big shocker, except possibly just how badly the sorcerer rated.

Personally, I think any time you can get a 70% or higher overall satisfaction rating for a class, you did a good job. So kudos to the design team and the approach of WotC to do playtests and get the feedback from the players. With no further ado:



What draws my attention are the classes with a confluence of very high satisfaction AND very low dissatisfaction – Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Paladin, Rogue, and Wizard. IMO that should be the sort of reception all classes are designed towards.

I don't see, for example, the rogue or wizard class being "allowed" a different metric than the fighter or sorcerer class. For example, you mention fighter design being more contentious among D&D players and therefor conclude that "it's OK and even impressive" that the designers were able to get as much satisfaction from ENWorlders as they did. I disagree. I'd hold ALL classes to the same bar as Barbarians, Bards, Clerics, Paladins, Rogues, and Wizards.
 

doctorhook

Adventurer
The Sorcerer fails in a narrative sense to really capture any niche, and mechanically has been compromised by spontaneous casting becoming a universal thing for all Classes. To be honest, the entire Class could actually be handled by feats (meta-magic; wild magic) and Background (sorcerous origins) and be incorporated generally into the Wizard Class for everything else. The Warlock has provided an archetypal alternative to Wizards now, making the Sorcerer Class increasingly redundant. They also don't really mesh with Dragonborn, if you were hoping to do a Dragon Sorcerer combo.
I agree with most of your assessment, although you left out that Sorcerers particularly suffer due to a relative dearth of spells in 5E. In particular, if you're a Dragon Sorcerer who specializes in anything other than fire, you don't have enough spells of your chosen element to choose from.

One tangential point: I think the Warlock deserves harsher criticism than you've given it. It is both flavourful and mechanically interesting, which makes its failure especially jarring: it's totally lousy with "taxes" and disappointing trap options. In particular, the invocations presented are both too few and too poorly designed, which is almost unforgivable considering how important they are to the class.

The Ranger remains a classic archetype, but the execution was a bit off especially regarding the Beastmaster. I actually think that the companion beast should be a feature of all Rangers, while they could possibly be better differentiated by terrain and quarry if you want to make different sub-classes. In short though, it's all a bit of a mess.
TBH, the Ranger is the class with by far the most confused history in D&D.
  • In 1st Ed. AD&D, it was a mystical warrior who eventually gained Magic-User (a.k.a.: Wizard) spells;
  • In 2nd Ed. AD&D, it was a nature warrior--almost a druidic analogue to the Paladin class, complete with druidic spells;
  • In 3E D&D, it was a nature warrior with a beast companion and nature spells again. However, it had some major problems, so the Ranger class was heavily revised for 3.5E;
  • In 4E D&D, the Ranger was now completely martial-oriented--no spells at all. At the time, it was said that 4E's Ranger "killed [3E's Scout class] and took its stuff," the Scout having been a totally non-magical wilderness-themed skirmisher class from Complete Adventurer. Meanwhile, the Warden (magical nature warrior) and Seeker (nature archer with magical bow powers) classes were also introduced, as well as the Slayer (big monster hunter) subclass for Fighters.
In 5E, Rangers are once again vacillating across the many roles ascribed to them: hunters, beastmasters, trackers, monster slayers, nature warriors, archers, guides, mystical knights, defenders of travellers and/or the wilderness, two-weapon fighters, expert "commandos", and leaders of men (think Aragorn). Is it a wonder that the Ranger design is unsatisfying? It cannot fulfill all the roles expected of it.

In one of the UA Ranger revisions, Mearls offered us, as a solution, Rangers gaining the ability to make "poultices"--nonmagical healing concoctions of herbs that for some reason only Rangers could make. I shake my head.

Fighters are still just a bit boring for many, particularly the Champion. The Battle Master is possibly better, but I think that the various manoeuvres could have possibly been done better as Feats again. The Knight - done in the same way as the Purple Knights - would have been a better general archetype. In all though, how often do people actually prefer to play Fighters over Paladins, say, these days? That's the real issue.
I honestly don't have any complaints whatsoever about the Fighter builds--I like all of them. I think they suffer because of the same reason Fighters always have: their ultimate nature is to be the most basic class. Some people will always find them boring. I think the only satisfying solution is to offer more Fighter subclasses, and more options that fit the ones already available.
 

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