5.5E Monsters of the Multiverse: the death of eldritch blast?

Remathilis

Legend
So I noticed something when browsing a copy of MMoM and the new NPC stat blocks: WotC has gone out of it's way to NOT give warlocks eldritch blast.

I cross checked a few monsters built in being warlock-based (the three npc warlocks, deathloks and xvart warlock) all of them had EB in their cantrip list. Yet none of them do now. Nor has EB moved to the actions list, they just don't have it. Further, they don't have a ranged spell attack at all: they have melee attacks (rapier, scimitar, dagger or claw) and an AoE effect (sometimes) but no ranged spell attack akin to EB, fire bolt, or chill touch. If they didn't want to use EB specifically, they could have given them a close substitute (evil beam or something) but none of them have anything close.

That's got me thinking about how they may look at warlocks in AE.

Granted, it's a stretch to assume anything based on NPC stats, especially when NPCs are drifting further away from PCs in design, but it struck me as odd that warlocks are you quintessential blaster class, with a melee/hexblade build being the minority. Due to how invocations interact with EB, the cantrip is a must have and all other ones are suboptimal. It's a good guess EB would be revisited in AE, but is it possible they might get rid of it entirely? To free up more builds than EB sniper and hexblade melee builds, they might just remove EB and work on giving them more spell options? As I said, it's wild speculation, but would people be interested in seeing a warlock not married so much to EB as a defining feature?
 

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Jer

Legend
Supporter
This suggests to me that this is part of their focusing more on communicating the intent of the creature so that it fights at its challenge level. If a creature was built to be a melee monster but it has a ranged spell listed as one of its attacks that adds to confusion leading to a trap choice for the DM.

Do you notice it with other spellcasting monsters or specifically just the warlock (though I guess that doesn't mean a whole lot because if I'm thinking of spellcasters who are tuned for melee the warlock is the only one I'd really think of). Also does the Deathlock Mastermind still have their Grave Bolt or did they remove that as well?
 

HammerMan

Legend
that is BOTH cool and freighting.

Eldritch blast does not need to be the only cantrip to build around... I made a warlock with toll the dead and green flame blade, then took Magic adept druid (I was a fey lock so it made sense) to pick up shielighly and guidance (and cure wounds). the DM was supper nice and gave me a mystic gift early on that let me learn more druid spells... but really I never needed eldritch blast. However that is building AROUND not going the obvious rote.

Eldritch blast IS the easies spam "just do this" attack
 

Remathilis

Legend
This suggests to me that this is part of their focusing more on communicating the intent of the creature so that it fights at its challenge level. If a creature was built to be a melee monster but it has a ranged spell listed as one of its attacks that adds to confusion leading to a trap choice for the DM.

Do you notice it with other spellcasting monsters or specifically just the warlock (though I guess that doesn't mean a whole lot because if I'm thinking of spellcasters who are tuned for melee the warlock is the only one I'd really think of). Also does the Deathlock Mastermind still have their Grave Bolt or did they remove that as well?
I looked again and Deathloks still have grave bolt, so I guess there is the one that did.

The wizard NPCs all have Arcane burst, which is a d10 based ranged or melee attack that does damage type based on the wizard (force, necrotic, psychic) I expected something like that for warlocks. The changes certainly seem to make warlocks more of a melee caster rather than a ranged one. I can't help but feel that's intentional.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Maybe force damage associates more with psionic telekinesis?

Maybe the Hexblade melee focus is more characteristic of the whole Warlock class, making the Warlock moreso a gish?

Among the NPC Warlocks, they are missing the Eldritch Blast cantrip. But what do all monster statblocks share in common?
 





Jer

Legend
Supporter
The wizard NPCs all have Arcane burst, which is a d10 based ranged or melee attack that does damage type based on the wizard (force, necrotic, psychic) I expected something like that for warlocks. The changes certainly seem to make warlocks more of a melee caster rather than a ranged one. I can't help but feel that's intentional.
I suspect it is intentional but it's hard to tell if its intentional because they're thinking of the warlock in general as a melee class or if it's because when they're building monsters if you're building a ranged spellcaster you have a choice of character classes to model off of but if you are building a melee spellcaster your choices are more restrictive.

IIRC the original purpose of the warlock in 3e was to have a simpler spellcaster with an at-will attack they could use without expending. They don't really fill that role anymore and haven't for a while because all of the spellcasters have at-will attacks - if you're looking for an arcane melee class warlock has always been the one they've dabbled with.
 

Remathilis

Legend
The NPClock is just going to exist for about 4-5 rounds. Better to resist the temptation for the DM to do like PC warlocks and just EB forever and instead fire the big guns to maximize excitement in the fight.
I'm just surprised that their primary attacks clearly went to melee attacks (with riders like extra poison damage) rather than clearly simulate EB which is a signature ability for locks. They went from artillery/snipers to skirmisher roles in combat with PCs. I have to imagine that is intentional, as none of the Strixhaven warlocks had it either.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
One of the things designers have complained about is, the Warlock has too many moving parts.

There might be a fusion making the choice of Patron and Boon the same choice.

Here, perhaps the Eldritch Blast relocates to a specific patron?
 


Remathilis

Legend
I suspect it is intentional but it's hard to tell if its intentional because they're thinking of the warlock in general as a melee class or if it's because when they're building monsters if you're building a ranged spellcaster you have a choice of character classes to model off of but if you are building a melee spellcaster your choices are more restrictive.

IIRC the original purpose of the warlock in 3e was to have a simpler spellcaster with an at-will attack they could use without expending. They don't really fill that role anymore and haven't for a while because all of the spellcasters have at-will attacks - if you're looking for an arcane melee class warlock has always been the one they've dabbled with.
Which leads to my broader speculation: could warlocks be repositioned into the melee/gish role as a PC class as well? Or even just having the EB focused invocations changed to affect other spells and melee attacks?
 



Laurefindel

Legend
So I noticed something when browsing a copy of MMoM and the new NPC stat blocks: WotC has gone out of it's way to NOT give warlocks eldritch blast.

I cross checked a few monsters built in being warlock-based (the three npc warlocks, deathloks and xvart warlock) all of them had EB in their cantrip list. Yet none of them do now. Nor has EB moved to the actions list, they just don't have it. Further, they don't have a ranged spell attack at all: they have melee attacks (rapier, scimitar, dagger or claw) and an AoE effect (sometimes) but no ranged spell attack akin to EB, fire bolt, or chill touch. If they didn't want to use EB specifically, they could have given them a close substitute (evil beam or something) but none of them have anything close.

That's got me thinking about how they may look at warlocks in AE.

Granted, it's a stretch to assume anything based on NPC stats, especially when NPCs are drifting further away from PCs in design, but it struck me as odd that warlocks are you quintessential blaster class, with a melee/hexblade build being the minority. Due to how invocations interact with EB, the cantrip is a must have and all other ones are suboptimal. It's a good guess EB would be revisited in AE, but is it possible they might get rid of it entirely? To free up more builds than EB sniper and hexblade melee builds, they might just remove EB and work on giving them more spell options? As I said, it's wild speculation, but would people be interested in seeing a warlock not married so much to EB as a defining feature?
intriguing indeed... Unlikely to be an unintentional omission.
 


Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
One of the things designers have complained about is, the Warlock has too many moving parts.

There might be a fusion making the choice of Patron and Boon the same choice.

Here, perhaps the Eldritch Blast relocates to a specific patron?
pain

The warlock is the one class which I consider to have enough customisation and uniqueness. The fact that subclass, pacts, and invocations are all different means that you can build warlocks in all sorts of crazy ways, rather than as the cookiecutter characters encouraged by certain other classes.

Just something which makes me even more convinced that 5.5e will be DnD: Babies Edition.
 

Remathilis

Legend

They explore the rationale for this in this recent video. The point is to make the monster stat blocks fun and easier to run for the DM. It's not to say Eldritch Blast is going away.
I don't find a Xd10 force attack at 120 ft range to be complicated. Certainly, it's not for wizard analogs. Add it to the actions list and be done.
 

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