D&D (2024) The Half-Casting Warlock is bad at combat

Sir Brennen

A Ranger will have access to the weapon Mastery system. They can use Push with their Longbow for a similar effect.
Fair enough, though "similar" doesn't support the warlock being inferior argument. I can still think of other combinations that add a lot more tactics to the Warlock (attacking using Devil's Sight with magical darkness) that the Ranger doesn't necessarily have access to.

Rangers are "experts", not "martials". So they won't get it.
I'd personally be surprised if we don't get another pass at the Ranger that includes some of the Mastery features. Same with Rogue. Both more limited than the Fighter, but still.

Only fighters can swap the effects around.

Well... rangers could spend 2 feats on crossbow expert and then weapon mastery, and push with heavy crossbows.
Longbow is Heavy, so it meets the Push prereqs. Again, a variety of "trick shots" that let Rangers apply other qualifying Masteries to their bows would not be surprising at all.
Still. That's limited to 2 attacks, where warlock can push up to 4 times.
At higher levels. The OP is focusing on the more frequently played lower levels.

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Well, if the intent is to indicate why the Warlock being a half-caster is a bad idea... comparing it to the supposed "best" damage dealer / survivalist in combat doesn't necessarily make for the greatest argument. Because a likely response from WotC would be "In truth the Archery Ranger should probably be debuffed in this case, not the Warlock brought up to match."
I'm not sure who exactly is saying that the Ranger is superior to the Paladin as either a damage dealer or survivalist in practice; if paladins go down more it's because they are on the front lines more. Paladins of course have the spike healing of Lay on Hands that they can use in combat, and have the Aura of Protection that gives them better saving throws. Divine Smite gives a lot of damage and, crucially, gives them a lot of damage precisely when and where they need it. It's up front burst damage to kill the thing.

And I don't think that the ranger is currently clearly superior in combat to the OneD&D ranged fighter; the reason I used the ranger is that someone would have complained that fighters didn't have the casting and didn't have the out of combat utility. (Fighters of course get good bonus action self heals in combat). The fighter of course gets bonus action self healing. They get either Vex, Push, or Slow on their ranged weapon to compete with Hunter's Mark (or in rare builds Topple from throwing tridents), and that's without looking at "golfbag throwers" that manage to get the Nick extra attack as well as throwing non-nick weapons at people (probably a light hammer for nick, a handaxe for vex, and finishing with a trident for topple in a turn). They get an extra feat at level 5 and extend their lead by a full stat threshold at level 8. Now you can talk about the fighter's out of combat performance - but their in combat performance is good (even if Champion is still a little meh).

Meanwhile every primary casting class can at least outdo the ranger after level 2 when they bring their top tier spells to bear. The ranger can and should outdo them without top tier spells.

So I reject the idea that the Ranger is this some sort of Uberclass that really needs to be nerfed when put up against ... just about every other class in this playtest. It's good but not OP in 5e and wasn't significantly tweaked in D&Done.

And the issue with Dexterity isn't Dex-primary classes. You can easily balance for that and the rogue is one of the weakest classes in the current game while the pre-Tasha's and especially the Beastmaster Rangers needed fixes. The problem with Dexterity is that it's everyone's second best stat and an entire party where everyone who wasn't a rogue or ranger had Dex 14 wouldn't be unusual.
Someone that puts all it's feats and magic items into damage...
Will do more damage than someone that doesn't?
Um... I'm not sure where this came from? They've both put exactly the same number of feats and exactly the same number of attuned items into damage. The Ranger is taking advantage of the fact that a +2 bow isn't attuned.
My current warlock forgoes Agonizing Blast in favor of Repelling Blast, and it's been... umm... a blast. I've killed a significant number of opponents just by pushing them off of stuff rather than direct HP damage. Plus it's come in handy tactically in other ways far more than just shooting someone with an arrow would.

How do you figure that kind of thing in your calculations?
That is very table-specific. I run a table where repelling blast would be great, and I've played at tables where it would be utterly pointless.

How do I figure that kind of thing into my calculations? Simple. Literally all the guides say Agonizing Blast first. I work on the basis that yours is an outlier.
A Ranger will have access to the weapon Mastery system. They can use Push with their Longbow for a similar effect.
Which sounds like a further buff beyond the current state of the ranger to me. Unless fighting style is (as most of me hopes) dropped entirely to give them and paladins this and fighters the ability to really switch things up.

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