D&D (2024) Developer Video on Druid/Paladin/Expert Feedback

WotC has posted a video discussing initial feedback on the One D&D Druid/Paladin playtest, along with survey results from the Expert playtest. Some highlights for discussion: Druid: The developers recognize that the template version of wild shape is contentious. If they retain this approach, they would plan to add flexibility to those templates. If they revert to monster stat blocks, they...



WotC has posted a video discussing initial feedback on the One D&D Druid/Paladin playtest, along with survey results from the Expert playtest. Some highlights for discussion:

Druid: The developers recognize that the template version of wild shape is contentious. If they retain this approach, they would plan to add flexibility to those templates. If they revert to monster stat blocks, they might allow Druids to choose a limited number of options, with a default selection provided.

Paladin: The new version of smite is still intended to work with critical hits. If ranged smite persists, its damage may be adjusted through the internal balance/playtesting process.

Ranger: The updated Ranger scored very well in the playtest. Some players did miss the choice of options in the Hunter subclass.

Bard: All of the Lore Bard's features scored welll, but the overall subclass rating was mediocre. They attribute this to the loss of Additional Magical Secrets, which many saw as the key attraction of this subclass.

Rogue: The change to limit sneak attack to the Rogue's own turn scored poorly. The developers generally like moving actions to a player's own turn to keep the game moving quickly, but in this case, the change doesn't seem to be worth the loss of tactical flexibility.

Feats: With the exception of epic boons, all the feats in the Expert packet scored well. The developers are still loking at written feedback for fine tuning.

Conspicuously not mentioned were the Arcane/Divine/Primal spell lists, which were the focus of a lot of discussion during the Bard playtest.
 

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Vael

Legend
As a side note, I've never seen a Beastmaster Ranger at my table take Tasha's version over the PHB. The players I've played with want to have an actual animal as a companion (even if that means they are less effective in combat and risk losing the companion), not a vague animal like statblock spirit.

OTOH, the only time I've seen anyone roll up a Beastmaster Ranger was someone using Tasha's version.
 

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FitzTheRuke

Legend
Yeah, templates should exist so your stats can keep up with your level, but should still allow you to customize your form with the unique powers of various animals as optional add-ons you pick from. The idea is that you can feel like the animal without having to just copy the MM animal.

And their Land, Sea, Air templates were poorly conceived, IMO. It failed to address the different purposes a druid would have for their wildshape, hence why I separated mine on what they DO rather than the specific kind of animal.

This is feedback I gave as well. There is no need to divide them among terrain types. Style and purpose (and even SIZE) is a better division.
 


care to provide a link? From what I saw they had maybe 100k subscribers, enough to be profitable with it, not enough to keep going and trying to find a new audience. I did not say it was not profitable, but sales did drop off a cliff very fast and the essentials line could not save it either.
Not after all this time. But 100k subscribers at $70/year (the cheapest package as of 2009) is $7 million income per year with pretty low overheads - and that was the sort of numbers that they were pulling in 2014. So your own estimates make 4e pretty profitable (for comparison Paizo's total revenue in 2021 was $12 million).

Meanwhile I note you have nothing to say about how 3.5 was selling in 2006 or 2007 or the profitability of the equally short-lived 3.5.

The big difference of course is that 3.5 made most of its money off glossy dead trees - and those are expensive. 4e managed a digital subscription. And then 5e was daft enough to let D&D Beyond eat its lunch before they bought them out for $146 million.
That is why eg the planned 4e DL never materialized.

There is a reason why they revamped 4e 2 years into it and the whole edition lasted 4 years only, and it is not its overwhelming success
You mean that there's a reason that they replaced 3.0 two years into its lifetime? But didn't make the old books redundant in 4e's case I didn't declare overwhelming success - just profitability compared to the 3.5 that lasted about five years or the 3.0 that lasted two and a half.

And like I said 4e was making millions in 2014. That's after the launch of 5e and with no new material having come out for over a year.
and gave up 4 years into it (again faster than for any other edition), scrapping planned settings like DL altogether. None of this points to a successful edition that just did not meet outsized expectations
So 3.0 was a failure, completely replaced after two and a half years and then 3.5 only lasted another 5 years. That's a comparable lifespan.

The biggest financial failure, of course, was 2e - which brought TSR down.
yeah, I have seen what they said, it is entirely unconvincing to me (eg that 4e outsold 3e, but that statement was made maybe 2 months into the edition, so tells us nothing except for the initial sales). So unless you have something new I haven’t seen, I stick to my conclusions based on what I do have seen (and the fact that it was killed off so fast).

I said I am not interested in discussing this because it is futile, and not because I am not interested in relevant information. I just doubt you have any I have not heard before
I am however interested in debunking your nonsense. Even by your own figures 4e was profitable - and didn't have to shovelware hardbacks. If you're not interested in discussing things then you can always keep quiet about them rather than spread urban legends.
 

mamba

Legend
Not after all this time. But 100k subscribers at $70/year (the cheapest package as of 2009) is $7 million income per year with pretty low overheads - and that was the sort of numbers that they were pulling in 2014. So your own estimates make 4e pretty profitable (for comparison Paizo's total revenue in 2021 was $12 million).
I did not say it was not profitable, I doubted it outsold 3e (for the record that is 3e and 3.5 vs 4e and essentials, we already do not have reliable numbers for that, no need to break it down further)

Meanwhile I note you have nothing to say about how 3.5 was selling in 2006 or 2007 or the profitability of the equally short-lived 3.5.
I have no numbers for 3e or 4e or we would not have this discussion ;)

So 3.0 was a failure, completely replaced after two and a half years and then 3.5 only lasted another 5 years. That's a comparable lifespan.
not really, 4e and essentials were about 2 years each, so 3e and 4e works maybe, but the 3e refresh lasted as long as all of 4e

The biggest financial failure, of course, was 2e - which brought TSR down.
no disagreement there

I am however interested in debunking your nonsense. Even by your own figures 4e was profitable - and didn't have to shovelware hardbacks.
I never said it was not profitable, I said I have no reason to believe it outsold 3e

As to debunking, that would require you to have some data, so no luck there unfortunately

If you're not interested in discussing things then you can always keep quiet about them rather than spread urban legends
funny, I feel this way about what you write
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Ill respond to these posts in tandem. So Im of the opinion that the 5E Ranger as presented in 2014 was the most Rangery Ranger ever made.

No example of it prior or since compares, and what it got right has everything to do with the Terrain system that, despite its shortcomings, actually delivered an identity for the Ranger.

Now, that system of course wasn't perfect, and I can tell you that my personal rewrite of it (that I used in my 5E games and will be carrying forward into my own RPG) basically only resembles the original in name and concept. But the sheer potential of that system is what made it so appealing, and I had hoped in time that they would have expanded on it and developed it more.

But they didn't. Instead, they soft scrapped it with Tashas, giving it a rather boring set of static passives, and in OneDND, they not only stuck with that same design, but also proceeded to butcher Hunter and emphasize the Ranger even more as basically a cruddy Druid with some martial stuff.

While I'm not a fan of Rangers being spellcasters period, I could have at least lived with it if the rest of the class had improved from what we got in 2014. Not so much when all of that potential was wasted and actual abilities are getting swapped out not just for spells, but weaker spells than what they had originally. (Conjure Barrage = Trash)

And ultimately, the memes that 2014 Rangers were bad were just that. It suffered because the Exploration procedures got butchered in the transition out of Next (the games literally still designed around Exploration Turns to this day), but even the 2014 Beastmaster wasn't as bad as the memes would have you believe, and Hunter was always solid throughout 5Es existence, even as the more high powered subs came into play.
I agree with the part about exploration. We really could use better exploration rules in 5e, and the Ranger should shine even more in that role. I also agree it was entirely possible to make a decent Beastmaster and the Hunter always worked decently. And yet, there were parts of the Ranger which simply never worked as intended. Natural Explorer never did enough of what it was supposed to do, because the Wilderness Travel rules never did what they were supposed to do. Same with Primeval Awareness. Both should have done a lot more than they currently do, mostly because the Wilderness Exploration and Travel system for 5e never really came together they way it should have and did in some other game systems.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
So basically you liked the 5e PHB Ranger as it was, and that's why you hate the new Ranger. You'd at least better acknowledge that you are in the very small minority on this.
I don't think that's a fair representation of his position. He likes the Ranger CONCEPTS from the original, but the system for exploration and travel never really realized the potential of those concepts. He wanted fixes to that approach, not an entirely new approach.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I am however interested in debunking your nonsense. Even by your own figures 4e was profitable - and didn't have to shovelware hardbacks. If you're not interested in discussing things then you can always keep quiet about them rather than spread urban legends.

Mod Note:
Your interest in debunking errors does not mean you can treat people poorly. Be kind and respectful, please and thanks.
 

People for some reason tend to kneejerk react whenever I say anything positive about Natural Explorer.

And in some places ( coughRedditcough) even asserting that its the concept thats valuable doesn't get through to them.

Its strange. As though some people think WOTCs one bad interpretation and implementation means the concept was bad, but there again from what Ive gathered researching Psionics this isn't all that uncommon or specific to one community.

My personal take on the ability pretty much corrects the issues people have with how Natural Explorer worked, but also goes farther. The terrain selections are more flavorful, and their benefits more interesting, and you still get a situational bonus to those benefits if you actually occupy the associated terrain.

And I also opted to take all of the "general" buffs and dissociated them from the terrains, so in essence, Call of the Wild (as I call it) gives you bonuses that work everywhere just as a default. And then, depending on what terrain you specialize in, you get more specific benefits that also work everywhere, but become more powerful in those terrains.

And then I took this basic design and extended out into unique versions that serve as the Core Ability for all 4 of my Nature classes. So Druids, Beastmasters, and Hedge Mages all get their own version that still operate on a shared set of terrains, but confer different general bonuses and abilities, which all are going to be tailored towards the core playstyle of each class.
 

nevin

Hero
Not after all this time. But 100k subscribers at $70/year (the cheapest package as of 2009) is $7 million income per year with pretty low overheads - and that was the sort of numbers that they were pulling in 2014. So your own estimates make 4e pretty profitable (for comparison Paizo's total revenue in 2021 was $12 million).

Meanwhile I note you have nothing to say about how 3.5 was selling in 2006 or 2007 or the profitability of the equally short-lived 3.5.

The big difference of course is that 3.5 made most of its money off glossy dead trees - and those are expensive. 4e managed a digital subscription. And then 5e was daft enough to let D&D Beyond eat its lunch before they bought them out for $146 million.

You mean that there's a reason that they replaced 3.0 two years into its lifetime? But didn't make the old books redundant in 4e's case I didn't declare overwhelming success - just profitability compared to the 3.5 that lasted about five years or the 3.0 that lasted two and a half.

And like I said 4e was making millions in 2014. That's after the launch of 5e and with no new material having come out for over a year.

So 3.0 was a failure, completely replaced after two and a half years and then 3.5 only lasted another 5 years. That's a comparable lifespan.

The biggest financial failure, of course, was 2e - which brought TSR down.

I am however interested in debunking your nonsense. Even by your own figures 4e was profitable - and didn't have to shovel ware hardbacks. If you're not interested in discussing things then you can always keep quiet about them rather than spread urban legends.
2e didn't bring TSR down. Bad Managment with a lack of focus brought them down.
 

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