D&D (2024) New Wild Shape

It's a way better use of a spell slot than to heal hit points though.

Also, the fact that Druids can do do things like summon and then wild shape into a beefy combat form is part of the reason a balance patch is on the table, innit?
A couple counterpoints. First, healing a Moon Druid is a terrible idea in base 5e (I think I actually stated that early in this thread, it's one of the strengths of other tanking styles), so it being more effective than that isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. If someone has terrible armor, they either need a very large and efficient hit point buffer (which Moon Druids gave) or to stay out of the way of the monsters. Spamming heals into someone who shouldn't be in the front but insists on being there anyway is... I mean, can't you see how that's just a bad idea?

Second, there's a risk-reward aspect. When you enter melee as a bear and have summons out, you are going to get hit and you can't refresh the spell if you drop concentration, so there is risk and reward aspect. You are giving up almost your entire class, doing mediocre damage, putting your concentration at risk, and all you're getting in exchange is the temporary hit points granted by the form. After the first few levels, the hit points ARE what Wild Shape gives you, at least in combat. The damage isn't shameful or anything, but it's not as useful as actually being in Druid form and casting spells.
 

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The only correct part of that post is the first half sentence of your second paragraph.

Paladins use a 2nd level spell slot to deal an additional 3d8 damage, which averages to 13.5 extra damage. Even on a crit, that barely tops 20 extra hp. And that as a half caster with more precious spell slots. And noone evercomplained about that. Why? Because it has no action cost. A way to enhance your attack without the cost of an action or concentration.
So as a moon druid, you summon a beast which costs 1 action and concentration, and then on top of that, you turn into an animal with extra 20 THP and extra movespeed as a bonus action, and a decent melee attack. I call that a very efficent way of spending two second level spell slots and your available actions.

Agree to disagree. I'm not interested in comparing such wildly different features as smite and wild shape in value, to be honest. They're different classes and have very different priorities, so I see this as an apples and oranges situation.

Though I'm also very disappointed with how Paladin was changed. No longer being able to crit on smites is pretty unfortunate, and even after 8 years WotC ignores the existence of dex Paladins.
 

Olrox17

Hero
The problem with that is that it's just a wildly inefficient use of a spell. Let's say you use a level 2 slot at level 4. You give yourself 20 temporary hp. Not a bad deal, right? Wrong, sadly. That second level spell slot could also have been a summoned beast, which would have 30 hit points, pack tactics, allow you to stay at a safe range and do your own thing, and you comboed with the summon are going to way out damage you as a beast in melee. I'm talking about a Tasha summon, the ones people tend to agree are pretty well-balanced.

I suppose I'll grant they aren't mutually exclusive, you could do both, for extra chonk on the field, but I think even adding this, the current iteration of Wild Shape is absolute garbage.
Let’s not focus on the exact number of thp right now, that can be adjusted. Let us focus on the proposed concept instead: the Moon Druid can spend a spell slot to gain a substantial, scaling amount of thp. The intent is to give the moon Druid plenty of toughness, if they pay a spellcasting price. Good idea/bad idea?
 

Let’s not focus on the exact number of thp right now, that can be adjusted. Let us focus on the proposed concept instead: the Moon Druid can spend a spell slot to gain a substantial, scaling amount of thp. The intent is to give the moon Druid plenty of toughness, if they pay a spellcasting price. Good idea/bad idea?
Honestly, I'm not sure. I think it depends on the numbers too much to give an answer. It also depends on if they massacre the Druid spell list as badly as Wild Shape (which, and maybe I'm just growing pessimistic, I think is highly likely).

Part of the fun of a Moon Druid is having a large pile of cheap meat you can use to soak hits. It goes quickly, but that is currently THE reason to Wild Shape at most levels. That reason is gone. The damage has been left the same or nerfed, depending on the level. There is no reason to bother Wild Shaping at all, now. Unless the amount of temps given by spell slots was extremely generous, which I doubt it would be, a Druid is just better served sticking to the back. Or sticking to 5th edition.
 

mellored

Legend
So as a moon druid, you summon a beast which costs 1 action and concentration, and then on top of that, you turn into an animal with extra 20 THP and extra movespeed as a bonus action, and a decent melee attack. I call that a very efficent way of spending two second level spell slots and your available actions.
Until you get easily hit in melee and lose concentration, and then your action, slot, and summon was a waste.

You're better off summoning, standing in the back casting cantrips, and then summoning again when the first dies.
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
Rational minds can differ, but I view most of the other releases as solidly "meh" bordering on bad. This is just the first one that made me think that One D&D is going to be trash, instead of just a boring lateral move. I don't know how this ever made it into live testing.

I can easily see how this made it to live testing.

1) They were told to plan this for the Moon Druid. This obscures how bad an action wildshape is for combat, as even many of the discussions we have had on this thread have slipped easily into just assuming moon druid

2) They were told to test Wildshape, so they did not consider the non-wildshape options. This is an obvious problem, but not one that defies understanding. They were given a focus of "druids are all about wildshape" and that is what they created. It is only through us, who were not given that mandate, that this is so glaringly a problem.

3) They were told that the Druid had too much hp, and that they had to not only keep the druid simple, but reduce their effective hp from wildshape. They did both of those things.

Is any of this good execution? Nope. This is terrible, but I can see how something this terrible made it to us, because I can see where you could get blinders on if you were working towards specific goals.

As a Druid main, it feels to me a lot like it might feel to a Warlock main if they just removed all the invocations involving Eldritch Blast, and removed Hexblade armor proficiencies entirely. Imagine if then you had a bunch of people on the forums defending these changes as "the right direction" because there are all sorts of "busted" builds that use both of these things. I suspect most Warlock players would be pretty pissed that as a correction to real but easily corrected problems their class got kneecapped and, as one of the less popular classes (it's not, but imagine it was), most people seemed fine with leaving the class in a broken and crippled form.

One could make a pretty good case that a Warlock can technically function without those features. You still have lots of great spells, you still get level nine spells, and really you get more spells than everyone else and here let me show you some white room math to project the absolute maximum amount of spell slots you're going to ever get in an adventuring day as a reason to justify shanking a core feature.
And Hexblade? Casters shouldn't get armor, you aren't a martial!

If this seems a bit like a straw man and hyperbole, it's actually not. That's exactly the sort of responses Druids have been getting. People are acting like downgrading your armor for a barely functional melee attack and using your own hit points is an "alright" direction, and the examples above are all things that have actually been said to me (with Warlock stuff subbed in). The only difference is that the great minds at WotC haven't put Warlocks on the chopping block. At least not yet.

I hear and agree with your frustrations, I'm just seeing a different tact. I'm seeing a lot of people saying that templates are a good idea. The idea of having two or three generic statblocks for wildshape makes a lot of sense to me. The numbers on those statblocks and the levels you get those statblocks, that needs to be changed. But the core idea makes a lot of sense.

To give a counter-theory of warlock, we all kind of agree that we want Eldritch Blast to just be a class feature instead of a cantrip. That just makes sense for Warlocks. But, if they release it and it is a class feature that has half the range, only does 1d6 + mod damage, and requires spell slots for special effects... well, we are all going to agree that that specific version sucks, but many people are still going to say "we want Eldritch Blast to be a class feature, not a cantrip" because the specific implementation of the idea doesn't have to mean the idea gets canned entirely.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Let’s not focus on the exact number of thp right now, that can be adjusted. Let us focus on the proposed concept instead: the Moon Druid can spend a spell slot to gain a substantial, scaling amount of thp. The intent is to give the moon Druid plenty of toughness, if they pay a spellcasting price. Good idea/bad idea?

It is a workable idea, but not in isolation, I think.

I keep harping on the seperation, but it is important. We need Wildshape to be useful, but not gamebreaking, for regular druids, and a combat option for Moon Druids. So things like the Multi-attack need to be moved to the Moon Druid.

But, your proposal focuses entirely on the Moon Druid, so I will do the same for right now.

Druids don't have enough good uses for their spell slots, so I'm fine giving the Moon Druid a way to spend those extra slots. It doesn't take any additional actions, so that is good.

Where I think the specific rubber needs to hit the hypothetical road though is that I think it needs dual-scaling. Barbarian is an over-used example, but useful. Reckless Attack + Rage is close to having a lot of hp but being trivially easy to hit. And the Moon Druid currently has awful AC. But, notably, the Barbarian doubles their effective HP, and can be healed, while Temp hp can't. At low levels a 2nd level spell slot for 20 thp is VERY good... but at higher levels it isn't. However, the trade off gets worse and worse the higher you get.

Even if it was 180 temp hp, I'm not sure I'd consider it in exchange for my one and only 9th level slot. But enemy damage has increased. So, I think there needs to be a way to scale how effective it is to spend the slot, not just making each slot more temp hp, because I don't think they will ever really drop 6th thru 9th spells on this.


Also, here is a thought, and it does get into a noodly and complicated mechanic but I LIKE it. What if the spell slot spending raised your maximum hp, or created a weird third type. Something like "you gain X temp hp, these temp hp act and are treated as normal hp in all ways except they disappear when you revert back to your normal form" This would allow for temp hp abilities to keep working, healing spells to be cast, and other great things while also not having the moment of the transformation ending and you immediately dying.
 

Stalker0

Legend
The problem with that is that it's just a wildly inefficient use of a spell. Let's say you use a level 2 slot at level 4. You give yourself 20 temporary hp. Not a bad deal, right? Wrong, sadly. That second level spell slot could also have been a summoned beast, which would have 30 hit points, pack tactics, allow you to stay at a safe range and do your own thing, and you comboed with the summon are going to way out damage you as a beast in melee. I'm talking about a Tasha summon, the ones people tend to agree are pretty well-balanced.

I suppose I'll grant they aren't mutually exclusive, you could do both, for extra chonk on the field, but I think even adding this, the current iteration of Wild Shape is absolute garbage.
Except:

1)!sunmoning is an action, instead of a bonus action. Completely changes the cost element.

2) a summon doesn’t prevent me from getting hit, it’s often possible to ignore summons.

3) concentration, again completely different cost element
 


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