D&D (2024) New Survey Results | Druid & Paladin | Unearthed Arcana | D&D

WotC has shared a new video going over the survey results following the drud and paladin playtests for One D&D.



For those who don't have time to watch the video, here are some general notes.

Paladin
  • Did extremely well in terms of satisfaction
  • All class and subclass features scored 70% or higher - lowest was Divine Smite at 72%
  • Got some pushback in written feedback on being able to smite on ranged attacks - class identity concerns, Paladin viewed as melee-centric class, ranged smites might eat into Cleric/Ranger identity too much
  • Positive feedback on redesigned smite spells - may become paladin exclusive spells down the road
Druid
  • Wild Shape feedback seems to be split - slight majority saying "never want this Wild Shape in print", slight minority saying "this is their favorite version of Wild Shape they've ever seen"
  • People love the texture and differences in beast options in '14 Wild Shape, but are open to feature being easier to use (i.e. don't want players to have to weigh the merits of 100+ stat blocks every time they want to use Wild Shape)
  • Will have another take on Wild Shape next time Druid appears in Playtest UA
  • General concept of Channel Nature seems to have gone over well, but want to see more done with it
  • Expected feedback for restoring elemental forms for Moon Druids, but instead found people wanted to lean more into Lunar themes
  • Want Moon Druid forms to be more resilient, but still want to reign in power at high levels (frequent/unlimited uses of Wild Shape constantly refreshing HP total)
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
Well that subclasses. Subclasses muddy the waters. Battlemaster and Arcane Archer both let the fighter outburst the Ranger with any other its subclasses.

This is a problem.

Counter-point. No it isn't. It has literally never once been mentioned as a problem anywhere that I have seen. And it isn't just a subclass thing. Again, I mentioned Action Surge. That is a burst move. And they can do it at range.

You did the math on the Fighter not the Paladin.
If you are saying the 5e ranger has no niche, what niche should the Ranger have in your opinion and is it good at it?

Um... no? I did the math for the paladin at the very beginning.

An archer Paladin before level 11 is going to be dealing 2d8+modx2, with the option to burst an extra 2d8 to 4d8 damage on a hit.

An archer Ranger in the same level range is going to be dealing 3d8+modx2 with the option to make that 3d8+2d6+modx2 for every turn. A paladin would have to be burning a LOT of smites to make their attacks more damaging, more consistently.

Now, post level 11, it changes up, because the ranger doesn't change, but the paladin ends up dealing 4d8+modx2 with the option to burst, but the ranger needs something at level 11 as well. So, I don't think we are really looking at paladins potentially out-damaging rangers at range. Sure, they have slightly better defense, but it ends up being a single point between half-plate and full plate. The bigger difference is usually due to having a shield.

And this doesn't account for the melee ranger. Again, if we are talking sustained damage potential, the melee ranger who decides to go PAM (because they can) does 2d10+1d8+1d4+3d6+modx3. Which is REALLY impressive damage that the Paladin only really starts beating post level 11.

I even did it twice

Ranger, hunter's mark, level 6: 3d8+2d6+8 = 28.5 x 0.7 = 19.95. Repeats every turn

Paladin, Divine Smite, level 6: 5d8+8 = 30.5 x 0.7 = 21.35... uses their most powerful spell slot.

This is barely a single point of difference in the Paladin's favor. And they can only do this TWICE per day. Meanwhile the ranger can do this for 4 hours? And that is just burning 1st level slots. Is this really cutting the ranger out of their niche? To lose to the paladin on two attacks out of the day? Sure, it increases the more the paladin smites, but we are talking this only being an issue for 2nd level, 3rd level and up smites. Before we reach level 11, where I admit there is a problem.

And, no, I'm not saying the Ranger doesn't have a niche. I'm saying Ranged Burst damage isn't their niche.

The problem is the Fighter, Barbarian, and Paladin all out damage the Ranger AND out Tank it AND matching it in skills is just a feat away.

The OD&D ranger is still Bad. You did the math.

So you can't really buff or expand the Paladin, Barbarian, and Fighter until you determine what the Ranger is good at.
Balance. Some game Balance, please.

I literally have two posts above you showing that the Fighter, Barbarian and Paladin DON'T outdamage the ranger. But okay, let's just get comprehensive with this. I'm not going to bother with accuracy numbers. Let's just throw this down. All mods will be +4, just to make my life and the math easier. All level 5-ish. I'm also not going to use Weapon Masteries, all of them should get them, so it would all be identical.

Sword and Board
Hunter Ranger: 3d8+2d6+8= 28.5, used a single non-concentration 1st level spell. Can repeat every turn*
(Theoritical) Battlemaster Fighter: 4d8+8= 26, used half of short rest dice, can only do so once more.
Berserker Barbarian: 2d8+2d6+4+8= 28 used a single rage (1/3 of total daily) can repeat every turn*.
Paladin (subclass shouldn't matter here, and I don't have a good example): 2d8+3d8+8 = 30.5, used a second level slot. Can only do this once more. Downgrades to 26 damage with the four 1st level slots.

Ranking: Paladin (for two attacks per day), Ranger, Barbarian, Fighter

Polearm Master

Hunter Ranger: 2d10+1d8+1d4+3d6+12= 40.5 used a single non-concentration 1st level spell. Can repeat every turn*
(Theoritical) Battlemaster Fighter: 2d10+1d4+3d8+12 = 39 used 3/4's of short rest dice, cannot be repeated without rest
Berserker Barbarian: 2d10+1d4+2d6+6+12= 38.5 used a single rage (1/3 of total daily) can repeat every turn*.
Paladin: 2d10+1d4+3d8+12 = 39 used a second level slot. Can only do this once more. Downgrades to 34.5 damage with the four 1st level slots.

Ranking: Ranger, Paladin (for two attacks per day)/Fighter (once per rest), Barbarian

Longbow

Hunter Ranger: 3d8+2d6+8 = 28.5, used a single non-concentration 1st level spell. Can repeat every turn*
(Theoritical) Battlemaster Fighter: 4d8+8 = 26, used half of short rest dice, can only do so once more.
Berserker Barbarian: 2d8+8= 17, cannot be improved with class abilities. If using a thrown weapon, like a handaxe, then we can get 2d6+2d6+4+8= 26 with the use of Rage (1/3 of daily total) and repeat every turn*
Paladin: 2d8+3d8+8 = 30.5, used a second level slot. Can only do this once more. Downgrades to 26 damage with the four 1st level slots.

Ranking: Paladin (for two attacks per day), Ranger, Fighter/Barbarian (handaxes)

Dual-Wielding

Hunter Ranger: 3d6+1d8+3d6+12 = 37.5 used a single non-concentration 1st level spell. Can repeat every turn*
(Theoritical) Battlemaster Fighter: 3d6+3d8+12 = 36 used 3/4's of short rest dice, cannot be repeated without rest
Berserker Barbarian: 3d6+2d6+6+12 = 35.5 used a single rage (1/3 of total daily) can repeat every turn*.
Paladin: 3d6+3d8+12= 36 used a second level slot. Can only do this once more. Downgrades to 31.5 damage with the four 1st level slots.

Ranking: Ranger, Paladin (for two attacks per day)/Fighter (once per rest), Barbarian

* Ranger has a 1 hour, nonconcentration limit. Barbarian has 10 minutes with bonus actions


So, there we go. Now, are there some assumptions in all of this? Yes. There are also ways for the Ranger damage to IMPROVE, which would be much harder for the other classes.

Now, again, I will admit. This changes at level 11. I know that. You know that. We all know that level 11 is poorly designed for the Ranger and the poor barbarian. But you want to know what the ranger is good at? Consistent, turn by turn, damage. Look at the rankings. They are either in second place, behind the paladin using their biggest spell slot (which they can only do twice), or in first place with the paladin in the same boat and the fighter burning SIGNIFICANT resources.

But, for balance, game balance people, the ranger is slightly less tanky and naturally better at skills.... which seems like the fighter and barbairna need a buff. The paladin is fine, because they got some non-damage buffs that are very good.
 


The Ranger can also do more damage at 9th level, if they bother to cast Elemental Weapon. They might lose it after 1 round, but that adds some damage on top of Hunter Mark.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I literally have two posts above you showing that the Fighter, Barbarian and Paladin DON'T outdamage the ranger. But okay, let's just get comprehensive with this. I'm not going to bother with accuracy numbers. Let's just throw this down. All mods will be +4, just to make my life and the math easier. All level 5-ish. I'm also not going to use Weapon Masteries, all of them should get them, so it would all be identical.
Weapon mastery is very important as the Fighter can switch masteries attached to weapons at level 7. With 60-65% accuracy Vex bumps damage by 20%. Topple is another damage increase. And with feedback this will likely go down to lower levels as players say its too high up in surveys. Although Vex likely will be nerfed.

The Vengeance paladin has hunter's mark.
The Eldritch Knight and any Paladin can cast Hunter's Mark with its slots with OD&D Magic Initiate that you get for free at level 1.

That's my point. If the ranger is just a half caster with hunter's mark and Expertise but Hunter's Mark and Expertise are handed out like Halloween candy in feats and subclasses, other classes will be able to do the ranger's gimmick while piling their own features on top of it.

Now, again, I will admit. This changes at level 11. I know that. You know that. We all know that level 11 is poorly designed for the Ranger and the poor barbarian. But you want to know what the ranger is good at? Consistent, turn by turn, damage. Look at the rankings. They are either in second place, behind the paladin using their biggest spell slot (which they can only do twice), or in first place with the paladin in the same boat and the fighter burning SIGNIFICANT resources.

Tier 3 Ranger and Barbarian are still bad. But the free first level feat wrecks the ranger's uniqueness if all it gets is Hunter's Mark and Expertise.

The Paladin will have the option of Hunter's mark or Smite along with Lay on Hands and Channel Divinity to top all the damage categories. The eldritch knight right behind him with their extra feat and weapon swaps. Ranger will drop back into the trash and 2 years lately people will go back to saying "The Ranger is weak".
 

Gorck

Prince of Dorkness
If ranged smite becomes a thing, then doesn't every single ranger take a dip into paladin?
I don’t usually get involved with multiclassing, but the Druid & Paladin UA says you need to have a 13 in both STR & CHA to multiclass into a Paladin. And if you want to utilize ranged smites, you’ll need a decent DEX as well. And if you want to be affective at spellcasting, you’ll also need a modest WIS. That’s extremely MAD.
 

Valetudo

Explorer
I don’t usually get involved with multiclassing, but the Druid & Paladin UA says you need to have a 13 in both STR & CHA to multiclass into a Paladin. And if you want to utilize ranged smites, you’ll need a decent DEX as well. And if you want to be affective at spellcasting, you’ll also need a modest WIS. That’s extremely MAD.
Pallys use cha for spellcasting.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Weapon mastery is very important as the Fighter can switch masteries attached to weapons at level 7. With 60-65% accuracy Vex bumps damage by 20%. Topple is another damage increase. And with feedback this will likely go down to lower levels as players say its too high up in surveys. Although Vex likely will be nerfed.

The Vengeance paladin has hunter's mark.
The Eldritch Knight and any Paladin can cast Hunter's Mark with its slots with OD&D Magic Initiate that you get for free at level 1.

That's my point. If the ranger is just a half caster with hunter's mark and Expertise but Hunter's Mark and Expertise are handed out like Halloween candy in feats and subclasses, other classes will be able to do the ranger's gimmick while piling their own features on top of it.



Tier 3 Ranger and Barbarian are still bad. But the free first level feat wrecks the ranger's uniqueness if all it gets is Hunter's Mark and Expertise.

The Paladin will have the option of Hunter's mark or Smite along with Lay on Hands and Channel Divinity to top all the damage categories. The eldritch knight right behind him with their extra feat and weapon swaps. Ranger will drop back into the trash and 2 years lately people will go back to saying "The Ranger is weak".
Why would you think, after the most recent playtest, that Hunters Mark will not be Ranger exclusive?
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Why would you think, after the most recent playtest, that Hunters Mark will not be Ranger exclusive?
One, Because Hunter's Mark being nonconcentration Just for Rangers is the whole OD&D Ranger gimmick.

Two, WOTC would have to design new Ranger spells and they don't have a clear idea what a ranger is nor what the community wants in one.
I mean they thought downcasting Conjure Barrage was a good idea.
 

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