WotC Wants your Feedback On The Revised Ranger

I'm a big fan of the concave Rangers. When they're out in nature they can collect rainwater during a storm... they're great!

*EDIT* Okaaaaaayyy... so the merging of the two threads pretty much made this joke superfluous. ;)
 
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WotC's wants to know what you thought about the revised ranger class they released in Mike Mearls' last Unearthed Arcana column. "The results of this new survey will be used to help us determine our next steps with the class. We don’t consider anything satisfactory until it achieves very high ratings, and having the approval even of a simple majority of players isn’t enough for us to move forward with something. If the class does have high ratings, we’ll dive into the feedback to determine what changes we still need to make to hit the level of quality we’re ultimately aiming for. We’ll then implement fixes as needed before finalizing how to add the revised ranger to the game, with an eye toward creating as little disruption as possible." Find the survey here!

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flametitan

Explorer
I went back a page to grab the UA document and accidentally broke the survey.

I think there's some nice add-ons, but as I haven't had a real opportunity to use it (as I've been using my group as an AL game), I don't know if it fixes the right problems.

In particular I'm still mixed on just how tough the beast is to kill, and whether that's a good thing. Yes, it sucks to have the beast die in 2 hits and lose it forever, but I still think having the chance for your beast to die and stay dead is important (though maybe not have it die in just two hits). I've never thought of D&D as a character arc heavy game, but the death of a pet has some interesting narrative hooks to grab on to, which this BM gets rid of entirely.

The action economy fix is useful to those who complained about it earlier, but all it currently does is simply makes the beast attacks come sooner. After 11th, you're still mostly on par with the old BM, you just have a whirlwind attack every once in a while. It's "better" technically, but it isn't really a "spike" in power so much as an increase in versatility. Mobs die faster, but there's no means of translating this to fewer, more durable foes (like how a fighter can spread their attacks around multiple targets or pile it onto one foe).

Not only that, but the 15th level ability also uses the beast's reaction, which means you have a reduction of dpr in order to increase survivability. Whether that's a meaningful choice to make or bad design is not something I have experience with.

Finally, my last question is: How will this affect the core +1 mantra? It's been one of the few unbending rules AL has had (With the exceptions of backgrounds), and I seem to recall in the few times Mearls has brought up the "major rules expansion" in the surveys that at one point he said that he wanted the book to encourage the idea that you shouldn't be mixing and matching content from multiple sources. With the new ranger, even as similar as they are, they're different enough that subclasses could try to take advantage of different core features; not to mention that they made the core level 5 feature into a subclass feature on the new Ranger. How will new subclasses be built? Will they all just conveniently have Extra attack at level 5; will they be built for one Ranger but not the other? Will they specifically ignore the idea that "one expansion book is all a single character ever needs" specifically for the Ranger?
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Filled it out. This is probably the most positive I've been on any of the surveys. Most of them seem to have something that I significantly disliked that tarnished any positives (so, you know, play-test-ish).

This time, the few things I marked low were split enough that I felt compelled to say "The first part of feature X is great, but I'd tweak the second part this way."

Well, except for calling the subclasses "Conclaves", which I called out as the worst part of the write-up in every single text box. Even that, though, would get an eye roll if it made it to the final version.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Key feedback points I made:

* come up with a basic rule for pets that would allow many more options as opposed to the tiny list (like d8 HD per ranger level, regardless of what size the beast is for example)
* don't make beast communication a core trait, as there are lots of ranger archetypes that don't have a BFF pet. That's what beast masters are for
* try to avoid class features that replicate another class's features.
 


Lord Twig

Adventurer
The only changes I suggested are as follows:

Replace the Coordinated Attack reaction attack with +1d8 damage when the animal companion hits a creature the Ranger attacked on his last round. This makes it similar to Colossus Slayer in power, doesn't use the animal companions reaction and keeps the Beast Conclave from getting the most attacks in the game when multiclassed to get Extra Attack. It will have the same number of attacks as the Hunter Conclave.

Hit Dice increase every level, regardless of class. ASIs are only received by the animal companion if the Ranger gets it from Ranger levels.
 
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Uchawi

First Post
There appears to be a tug of war in reference to the ranger being a combination of a fighter, monk and rogue. The abilities have to match what niche the ranger is trying to fill starting with favored terrain and/or enemies. As written general abilities to hide, dash, 1d10 hit dice, or automatic abilities like natural explorer start to step on the other classes toes. Because if the other classes are suppose to be the toughest\generalist (fighter), stealthiest\striker (rogue), or defensive\movement (monk), then I am not sure what is left.

I believe having a disengage action makes more sense than dash, and any hide/stealth ability should be tried to terrain if is surpasses the rogue, and 1d8 hit points, etc.
 

pdegan2814

First Post
There were the things that stuck with me when filling out the Ranger survey:

* The Initiative & First Round bonuses this Ranger gets in combat seem a bit much, and make the Ranger feel too much like an Assassin Rogue, not to mention they eventually get Dash & Hide as bonus actions like the Rogue does.
* The Beast Conclave runs into trouble at higher levels when facing more and more monsters that resist or ignore non-magical BPS damage. Since the Beast Conclave doesn't get Extra Attack, the Companion needs something akin to the Moon Druid's Primal Strike or the Monk's Ki-Empowered Strikes. Attribute it to the deepening mystical bond between Ranger & Companion, and voila. This is one of the biggest gaps still needing to be filled, imho.
* The Favored Enemy damage boosts are nice, but in my mind that enhanced knowledge about an enemy type would translate as an accuracy boost more than a damage boost. Perhaps instead of +2/+4 to damage, they get +1/+2 to hit? Or maybe some combination of both?
* Hunter's Mark still interferes with so many of the Ranger's other spells, the long duration might as well not exist. I would love for them to find a way to allow Hunter's Mark to stay up alongside spells like Hail Of Thorns, Pass Without Trace, etc.
* I would very much like to see some sort of boost to coordination in combat between Beast Ranger and Companion. Whether it's like what Lord Twig suggested, a damage boost for the Companion against a target the Ranger just attacked, some variation on Pack Tactics(though you'd have to create something that worked with archers too), or something else.

Something else I'd like to see clarified, if the Companion can take ASI's, does that mean they can take feats? Sure, there are many that wouldn't be of help, but an Ape or Bear w/ Sentinel in the middle of the battlefield would be FUN. :)
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
This feedback was the most positive of the UA ones. I like the new ranger, I have some qualms.

Less multiclass cherry-picking.
Don't call them "Conclaves". Maybe "Paths"?
More range of animals, including mounts for medium creatures. Lists expanding as you level okay.
Clarify if beast advancement as class or character level.
Clarify is a riden beast is a "Controlled mount" or an "Intelligent Mount".
Deep Stalker needs more personality and is rather late-blooming.
Deep stalker invis from darkvision feature needs a rewrite for clarity.

But in general I like it a lot. I'd play one and I'd DM for one.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
I told them they needed to clear up the confusing rules regarding invisibility and Darkvision.
And Clean up some of the range issues on the 5' abilities.
Also, that they need more Birds and Horses.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
I don't know how useful my feedback was, but given that this included a lot of "standard ranger options," this gave me a lot of opportunity to comment on how dull and blah so many of the standard ranger options are.

On the beastmaster, I said that it was a step in the right direction, but (a) most of it's abilities were dedicated to making the best suck less rather than making the beastmaster/beast awesome, and (b) the list still feels like it leaves out a lot of archetypes. I talked about maybe using a Conclave for each beast (or at least, like, category of beast, such as "cat/panther/saber-tooth-tiger" or "dog/wolf/dire wolf"), rather than trying to cram them all into one conclave, and maybe using unique stats for the beast that you can call so that I don't have to make that tough DM call of going "Your horse-archer sounds like a cool character, but you can't have a horse as a beast companion, so....why?"

On the Hunter, I was like, "This is yawn town, wake me when we get to Interestingvania." The Hunter is so crammed full of fiatan skillz it doesn't have room for much of an identity beyond them.

On the Deep Stalker, there were a few abilities where my reaction was also, "yawn," but it fared better. It's probably currently my favorite conclave.
 

Other than some clarification stuff, my biggest issue is that rangers no longer get pseudo-expertise with Natural Explorer. It's just wrong for rogues and bards to be better at Survival checks. But my reaction was generally very positive.
 

I worry that the first level of this new ranger is pure power creep. It has one of the best first levels of any class. It's really appealing for dipping.

However, the ranger still gets very little in the way of power and offence after level 11. For level 11 onward, you might as well switch to fighter or rogue.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
I worry that the first level of this new ranger is pure power creep. It has one of the best first levels of any class. It's really appealing for dipping.
Definitely this. They went too far with Natural Explorer (and Primeval Awareness). And let's not forget, all classes have highly situational and/or lackluster abilities. If the Ranger abilities were all super-useful and amazing, then we would have a new problem: All the other classes would look bad by comparison. And that's even worse. So, frankly, when I go down the list of Ranger abilities, I want to see a few clunkers that make me say, "Meh," because that's what I do with every class.

On the bright side, they have said that they over-tune new material on purpose, in order to generate interest among play-testers. Hopefully that's the case here, and the final-revised Ranger is toned down in power.
 

Lord Twig

Adventurer
I worry that the first level of this new ranger is pure power creep. It has one of the best first levels of any class. It's really appealing for dipping.

However, the ranger still gets very little in the way of power and offence after level 11. For level 11 onward, you might as well switch to fighter or rogue.

The first level of the Revised Ranger increases his chance to go first and and his chance to hit on the first round of combat. The actual benefit can range from good to none at all. The panic of getting advantage on initiative checks is overblown.

They get higher level spells, and more of them. You could say the same about the Paladin, but no one does...
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
The first level of the Revised Ranger increases his chance to go first and and his chance to hit on the first round of combat. The actual benefit can range from good to none at all. The panic of getting advantage on initiative checks is overblown.
Jester specifically mentioned dipping, i.e. multiclassing.

Edit: Woops. The Rogue and Ranger abilities overlap, rather than interact. I was mistaken. Disregard.
 
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Staccat0

First Post
As someone who is playing this version of the class it kinda disheartens me to think that people who haven't seen it in action get an equal voice as people who have, but I'm not losing any sleep.
 

Just a reminder for everyone talking about level dips and multi-classing with this Ranger, Jeremy (or was it Mike?) have clearly stated that this version has not been optimized yet with multi-classing in mind. This is only a single-class playtest version. When the revised Ranger gets to a final version, it will have been adjusted so that a level dip or two will not seem the same OP that is does now. They have said this is true for all new classes still in the playtest stage.
 

The first level of the Revised Ranger increases his chance to go first and and his chance to hit on the first round of combat. The actual benefit can range from good to none at all. The panic of getting advantage on initiative checks is overblown.
I didn't participate in any previous "panic" so I wouldn't know.

But giving people a bonus for going first and making it easier to go first synergies really well. And at 1st level, going first can win fights: dropping an enemy and negating damage before it even gets a turn. That's strong in and of itself, but adding the ability to just outright ignore any and all difficult terrain is really good on top of that.

I'd replace advantage with adding proficiency to initiative. The end game bonus is higher, but that comes into play far later, when the alpha strike is less devastating. The low levels it is weaker, thus making it more in line with other first level features.

I'd also move the difficult terrain avoidance back up to higher level. Just too good.
Give the ranger a small skill bonus instead. An expertise variant, perhaps limited to survival or perception. Something that doesn't directly help kill things...

They get higher level spells, and more of them. You could say the same about the Paladin, but no one does...
The paladin's spells directly translate to higher personal damage, due to the smite. New spells mean more damage when needed. And each level has a smite spell for extra utility.

The ranger doesn't have that. They can just cast hunter's mark for longer (and lose it when they get hit, since they're not proficient with Con saves). Their damage stays constant.
At the very best, this is true until 17th level when they can cast swift quiver, which is useful for archers and useless for two-weapon fighters. And comes at the cost of hunter's mark.
However, two weapon ranger has the same DPR at level 20 as at level 12. Even the archetype features are defensive.


Ranger spells are already pretty problematic.
First, the archetypal rangers (Robin Hood, Drizzt, Strider, Tanis Half-elven, Belkar Bitterleaf) are not spellcasters. Spells should be optional. Spells should be a secondary decision point. Like how warlocks pick a patron and a pact bond.
Second, nothing draws attention to the "class feature" spell (hunter's mark). You need to read far deeper than a casual glance at the class (the back of the book) to find that. All rangers should just get that for free, drawing eyes to the spell. If it could be buffed in the class, that would also be cool.
 

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