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.

  • 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
  • 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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For ranged Paladins, my mental image is of a Paladin that's someone in a fancy military uniform the armed with a rapier or sabre and a pistol. Could be something like an Overseer from Dishonored, or could simply be a Military Officer with divine powers, or maybe I just want there to be something like that scene with Jules in Pulp Fiction.

Though Some others definitely have this idea of mystical archers that exist in a few different cultures like: Arjuna, Arash (name stands out to me because I know someone with that name), Chiron, or Hou Yi not to mention some deities like Apollo, Eros/Cupid or Rama.

A six-gun paladin is an AWESOME image

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To your specific point, the paladin does have several other features. Lay on Hands, Aura of Courage, Aura of protection (THE defining paladin feature to me), their subclasses are quite a bit different than cleric ones. That is a decent amount of difference, smite is not so defining to a paladin that they suddenly stop being one if they don't use it.
Indeed. Smite might be considered iconic for 5e Paladins, but prior to 3e, D&D Paladins didn't have Smite at all. And even in 3e, it was not as big a deal (+Cha bonus to attack, +1 dmg/level; usable between 1 and 5 times a day, depending on level; you had to use it before rolling to hit rather than on hit, and if the creature wasn't actually evil it was wasted). But Lay on Hands and Aura of Protection date back to 1e (and I think even to the original version of the class in OD&D's Greyhawk Supplement), as do Divine Sense (though back then it was Detect Evil), Immunity to disease, ability to cure disease, partial spellcasting, and Turning Undead.

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