D&D 5E Unearthed Arcana: Giants survey is up

darjr

I crit!

The UA content and a thread about it can be found here
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
I gave them good marks, called for Giant Sorcerers and Rune Artificers, praised the Feats and advocated for the Background bonus Feat system, and called for Large PC Races, like Ogres.
 

kapars

Explorer
I praised the Barbarian and begged that it not be nerfed to irrelevance, said that the Druid sub-class needed a gooder dinosaur, flagged the Rune Wizard as not being all that Runic. The feats are OK but shouldn’t have level requirements if Fey Touched doesn’t. The Rune one and the Mighty one should be background feats. The latter Rune feat scales too strong. I asked (this is pitiful) that they put a green box sidebar saying Four Elements Monks get Elemental touched instead of Elemental Affinity in whatever the setting is. I concluded by asking for a feat / variant feature for turning hit dice into Ki and asked on a whim for a Swordmaster feat that allows half-swording, pommel strikes and doing that fast draw and strike samurai thing (maybe not in the same feat)
 


Kurotowa

Legend
That was fast. I can’t imagine many people have done more than a couple sessions of testing with those options since the article came out.
At this point it's rather clear that UA is primarily a marketing survey, not an open source playtest. The real playtests are done under far closer supervision so they can weed out the junk data better. That's why the survey asks "Do you want to play this?" and not "Do you think this is balanced?"
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
That was fast. I can’t imagine many people have done more than a couple sessions of testing with those options since the article came out.
It's always about 1-2 weeks to allow people to form a basic inpression.
At this point it's rather clear that UA is primarily a marketing survey, not an open source playtest. The real playtests are done under far closer supervision so they can weed out the junk data better. That's why the survey asks "Do you want to play this?" and not "Do you think this is balanced?"
They've been pretty clear about stating this for years, yup. UA was never about hard numbers playtesting, but about avoiding options that nobody really wanted (like happened with 3E and 4E supplements pretty frequently).
Makes you wonder if they actually want / think anyone’s playtesting this stuff.
These are impressions tests, not hard playtests. They have an internal utesting network to run the hard numbers.
 

JEB

Legend
Sidenote: It occurs to me that Wizards probably has a pretty strong idea by now of what editions their current players started with, and how those demographics have changed over time. They ask about it in pretty much every survey. Would be neat if they shared that information with us.
 


...because everyone always tells the truth all the time in surveys?...or something.
With this logic, you could say the entire survey is pointless. Not sure what the end game is here.

Anyway, I'm worried the Rune WIzard won't make it out of playtesting. Not only is it a better artificer class, but its 6th level feature makes use of its precious little resource, and it doesn't seem all that popular online. That's a shame to me, because I found the idea of scribing runes onto your spellbook to edit oyur spells to be an interesting idea. But this is basically wizard stealing metamagic so...

It seems in UA, wizards often have metamagic-esque effects that they lose upon being published. This makes sense. Wizards wants the wizard to manipulate its spells through science and study, but gave that to the sorcerer already.
 

I suggested removing the unnecessary dinosaur fluff from the druid subclass and objected strongly to "level 8" feat prerequisite as setting an unwelcome precedent.

I welcomed the hulk barbarian and suggested the rune wizard was boring.
 


Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
Giant barbarian - Awesome and perfect.
Dino druid - Janky mess. The companion is disappointing both powerwise, and due to being one generic statblock without much in the way of options. Maybe this would suit ranger more?
Runecrafter - Why is this not an artificer?
Feats - Coolest feats for 5e yet! I like the level requirement as it allows more to be done with feats which are too much for a level 1 character.
 

Kurotowa

Legend
They've been pretty clear about stating this for years, yup. UA was never about hard numbers playtesting, but about avoiding options that nobody really wanted (like happened with 3E and 4E supplements pretty frequently).
Part of that is thanks to the lighter release schedule. That's how we avoid books like Sandstorm. Really, who asked for that? The UA tests tend to be on a more micro level, for elements of books they're already committed to.

If I had to make a guess? UA is part of an ongoing effort to shepherd the D&D product identity. Remember those surveys they put out while working on 5e asking about what "feels like D&D"? That's not a one and done process. They need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the community so they don't go off track from what the players want D&D to be. And surveys like this are far better than trying to sift through message boards like here or reddit.

Market surveys like UA help prevent the WotC offices from becoming disconnected from the general audience. They probably also help signal for when a majority of players do want a change in direction. The recent changes in presentation to certain elements have been highly contentious here, but I bet you WotC has some hard data backing them up.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Part of that is thanks to the lighter release schedule. That's how we avoid books like Sandstorm. Really, who asked that? The UA tests tend to be on a more micro level, for elements of books they're already committed to.

If I had to make a guess? UA is part of an ongoing effort to shepherd the D&D product identity. Remember those surveys they put out while working on 5e asking about what "feels like D&D"? That's not a one and done process. They need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the community so they don't go off track from what the players want D&D to be. And surveys like this are far better than trying to sift through message boards like here or reddit.

Market surveys like UA help prevent the WotC offices from becoming disconnected from the general audience. They probably also help signal for when a majority of players do want a change in direction. The recent changes in presentation to certain elements have been highly contentious here, but I bet you WotC has some hard data backing them up.
I think the best example from 3.x for this is Magic of Incarnum. Very interesting in a lot of ways, good development work...but who ever used that, or even bought the book??

And ij 5E terms, the Mystic was ready to go by the time of the last UA testing it for Xanathar's. It was completely functional. But people didn't want it, so WotC didn't publish it.
 

Weiley31

Legend
Time to start asking why your Primeval Dinosaur/Bird lacks the ability to fly. Make WoTC regret coming up with the idea and not realizing what they were gonna have to put themselves through. I also hope the Rune Carver feats make it. An Artificer with both of em sounds hella great!
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think the best example from 3.x for this is Magic of Incarnum. Very interesting in a lot of ways, good development work...but who ever used that, or even bought the book??

And ij 5E terms, the Mystic was ready to go by the time of the last UA testing it for Xanathar's. It was completely functional. But people didn't want it, so WotC didn't publish it.
I wish they had tried one more time, with two classes representing a psionic warrior and a psionic “mage”. IMO the mystic was just vastly too much in one class.

But then I also wish they’d just rename ki to focus and make the monk into the “mystic”, and use that to make paionics more fantasy and less sci-fi in feel, but oh well.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I wish they had tried one more time, with two classes representing a psionic warrior and a psionic “mage”. IMO the mystic was just vastly too much in one class.

But then I also wish they’d just rename ki to focus and make the monk into the “mystic”, and use that to make paionics more fantasy and less sci-fi in feel, but oh well.
They started playing with an idea of a Psion using the Concentration mechanic that I thought was at least more interesting, bit I doubt it will go anywhere at this point.
 

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