Playtest Feedback: I didn't like it

Here goes Feedback for the first playtest as a player character, playing the wizard.

Its a big post, I will try to write in topics and to the point.

I first liked the fact that we started out simply roleplaying for about one hour, not much use of the rules besides a few checks, just getting in to the story. Anything special, anything that any other system would allow me to do.

At some point the group starts traveling to caves of chaos, the whole area is wilderness, so without a proper ranger the fighter that was skilled in survival took the reins and started looking for tracks and stuff like that.

After entering the caves, naturally some encounters took place, essentially very traditional D&D structure, anything new at all.  A few Goblins, an Ogre. DM used a battle grid to help visualization, the lack of opportunity attacks made movement very abusive by every body. Combat is faster than 4E, because of the lack of options and less HPs for monsters.

Wizard felt week in combat, Burning hands did some damage, and Sleep took care of a few goblins, after it was gone, magic missile was a waste option because I couldn't even kill a goblin with one attack. best option was to do Ray of Frost 4 rounds in a row to allow the other players to kill the ogre. I didn´t get any damage being protected by the knight. That felt good, but I wasn't very use full during combat, which was half the playing time.

Monsters are HP bags. There was nothing unique about the Ogre, or the Goblins, just the DMs description and noises, but mechanically the main difference was that it took more time to bring down the Ogre. It was really powerful, 88 HPs. just like AD&D again.

My final feeling about the playtest:

It was more fun during the first half when we where just roleplaying. No merits on the system whatsoever, because I can role play in any edition of D&D and other RPGs as well. It was much not fun during the second half when combat started. Clearly the fighter had a lot of fun doing high damage despite the lack of options (powers). The system makes it clear that fighters and rogues rule in combat.

I felt it´s very unbalanced and it reminded me of AD&D 2e. During the combat period other players even make fun of the wizard when I was unable to kill a goblin with the magic missile. This player-mocking-player attitude reminds me of AD&D days as well. I disliked this part the most. It was a long time it didn't happen playing 4E where everybody was equally useful all the time and playing as a team.  

The system is not DM proof. It relies a lot on DMs calls and his interpretation of things, just like the old design. This is great if your DM is great. It sucks real bad if the DM is regular. The game doesn't do the work by itself, the DM has to improvise a lot of rules along the way, just like old school D&D.

The system is full of roles right now, and the core is broken in my opinion. Classes aren't balanced, what seems to be a big problem. Lack of options might be fixed latter, but core is broken right now.

Role playing was the best part, but you don't roleplay more because the system is broken, or because your class is unbalanced. You roleplay despite the fact that the system is broken. I could role play in 4E as well as I do in old editions, even better. The thing is we used to play the game for it´s flavor, we didn't realize it´s bad mechanics back then, but we evolved, now we have better mechanics. And in no sense better mechanics goes agaisnt flavour or RP. We don´t RP more because of bad mechanics.

IMO you are abandoning the evolution in 4E design to give place to old mechanics, to bring back old players. That is a bad decision, you could repack the thing and redesign 4E to old players and your current fan base as well. It would be perfectly possible in about one year and a half, but starting from scratch like you are doing you will find so many problems along the way (problems that where already solved in the first place) it´s going to be Herculean to put the hole thing together.

I started the playtest with an open mind, I used to like old school D&D in the past, but playing just made me remember how 4E plays much better in my tables. The only thing that is better than 4E IMO in that monster have less HPs, leading to faster combat. That´s all. I´m hopefull for the themes and backgrounds, but still don´t see reasons to really love it.

At this moment I dislike the playtet a lot. Wiling to see what improvements are going to happen in the next packet. And don´t get me wrong but It´s very superficial to thing 4E players will be pleased with a grid and a few "modules" the core rules have problems right now, no module on top of it is going to fix it. D&D should move forward aware of it´s past instead of moving backwards.
During the combat period other players even make fun of the wizard when I was unable to kill a goblin with the magic missile. This player-mocking-player attitude reminds me of AD&D days as well. I disliked this part the most. It was a long time it didn't happen playing 4E where everybody was equally useful all the time and playing as a team.



I am only going to comment on this part for now. This is not a problem with the system, it is a problem with playing with immature people. Their bad attitude was what seemed to ruin it for you there, not the system itself.

You Learn Something New Every Day!
The style of wizards actually reminded me of 3.5 ed a lot, though plus the at will powers. Underwheming at first, but later on, though the actions are few, the earth shattering power they can involke at level's 7/11 is truely earth shattering and a huge aid to the party dispite the fact he can't do it that often.

Main issue is, the wizard doesn't have much in the damaging abilities, though Ray of Frost is quite possibly the most powerful ability at his disposal, being able to pin down a creature endlessly.

I am about to give proper testing with a new group though, my current group struggles immensely with remaining organised, hence making it a unfair test.
During the combat period other players even make fun of the wizard when I was unable to kill a goblin with the magic missile. This player-mocking-player attitude reminds me of AD&D days as well. I disliked this part the most. It was a long time it didn't happen playing 4E where everybody was equally useful all the time and playing as a team.



I am only going to comment on this part for now. This is not a problem with the system, it is a problem with playing with immature people. Their bad attitude was what seemed to ruin it for you there, not the system itself.




Yes, the group wasn´t really mature, for sure. But somehow I got the impression that the lack of balance fuelled that attitude. I haven´t seen such behavior very often in D&D 4E. That´s the reason I got a bit disappointed with the system.

I remember it used to happen a lot back in 2E. But, in that time everybody I was playing was immature enough, leading to this types of situations as well. So absolutely, lack of maturity plays a role in this for sure.

The style of wizards actually reminded me of 3.5 ed a lot, though plus the at will powers. Underwheming at first, but later on, though the actions are few, the earth shattering power they can involke at level's 7/11 is truely earth shattering and a huge aid to the party dispite the fact he can't do it that often.

Main issue is, the wizard doesn't have much in the damaging abilities, though Ray of Frost is quite possibly the most powerful ability at his disposal, being able to pin down a creature endlessly.

I am about to give proper testing with a new group though, my current group struggles immensely with remaining organised, hence making it a unfair test.


I didn´t play 3E, so it reminds me of 2E because that’s the reference I have. The wizard used to be extremely fragile in the first levels, to became extraordinary powerful somewhere around 7th to 11th level. I admit I was bored to death to keep doing Ray of Frost for four rounds so the fighter could go there and bring down the ogre. The system simply lead to this because it was the most simple way to defeat the ogre, and there wasn´t much tactical options.

I think the sustaining system used in 4E was really amazing because of this. You can sustain one spell using a minor action, and actually perform other stuff using your standard action. When I saw it a was very happy. the spell casters in our group used it a lot, it was extremely helpful and flavorful as well. They could bring this mechanic back to 5E
During the combat period other players even make fun of the wizard when I was unable to kill a goblin with the magic missile. This player-mocking-player attitude reminds me of AD&D days as well. I disliked this part the most. It was a long time it didn't happen playing 4E where everybody was equally useful all the time and playing as a team.



I am only going to comment on this part for now. This is not a problem with the system, it is a problem with playing with immature people. Their bad attitude was what seemed to ruin it for you there, not the system itself.



i think you are missing his point.

you can blame the kids for teasing a boy named sally; but honestly, who is really to blame?
It looks to me that the wizard will outclass the fighter and other classes by lvl 7-10. This is a backwards idea that has been in D&D since 1st edition. Only 4th ed did not have this and if I see nothing new I will not be investing in 5th ed or whatever they are going to call it.

A post like this reminds me of how difficult WotC has it right now.  Personally, I found the classes were extremely well-balanced; but then again, I was not trying to balance them by damage-per-round of combat.  However, this poster - and his group - were obviously very concerned with damage-per-round, and are used to the 4.0 style of having DPR finely tuned for all classes.  Personally, I enjoyed the fact that the fighter was king when it came to simple hack-and-slash but all the other classes shined equally as well (or better) when it came to their respective roles.  If the wizard had been able to drop a goblin each round - like the fighter - but also had daily spells that do good AOE damage - and the fighter did not - that would have been imbalanced to me.


I'm honestly not sure how WotC could possibly make a system that had unique, interesting roles for classes but also satisfy the "flattening" of all class DPR to make it relatively equal.  They certainly have their work cut out for them, and I do not believe they will be able to please everyone all the time.

I have played every edition thus far and it was a problem in every edition other than 4th. I am not saying 4th was better but had that part right. Will they please everyone I doubt it but what they got so far is not very good compared to other games on the market right now.
I think the sustaining system used in 4E was really amazing because of this. You can sustain one spell using a minor action, and actually perform other stuff using your standard action. When I saw it a was very happy. the spell casters in our group used it a lot, it was extremely helpful and flavorful as well. They could bring this mechanic back to 5E

They have this.  Spritual hammer will sustain and leave you your action free.  I could easily imagine more spells like it.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

During the combat period other players even make fun of the wizard when I was unable to kill a goblin with the magic missile. This player-mocking-player attitude reminds me of AD&D days as well. I disliked this part the most. It was a long time it didn't happen playing 4E where everybody was equally useful all the time and playing as a team.



I am only going to comment on this part for now. This is not a problem with the system, it is a problem with playing with immature people. Their bad attitude was what seemed to ruin it for you there, not the system itself.


i think you are missing his point.

you can blame the kids for teasing a boy named sally; but honestly, who is really to blame?

The wizard who didn't run up, use shocking grasp, and then run back?

Or the kid for not going by "sal".

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

@ balance.
So far, everything seems fairly balanced.  Icy Ray's is hardly a bad power to keep spamming, and it's not like anyone else got a larger variety of attacks.

I assume magic missile won't be the only thing to scale.  It's just the only thing we've seen.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I agree with not liking this much.  This reminds me of 2/3/3.5 and the brokenness that ensued.  HP feals off for the players, damage feals a bit off as well.  I know we have not seen fireball so far but if it works like the old one as many of the spells appear to do then it will be an encounter killer unless you feed in the monsters a bit at a time or run big Solos.  As you level up HP climbs slowly and randomly so if you get a series of bad rolls you are hosed , just like the old days, I prefer the current HP is non random gain on HP.  I am trying to keep an open mind but it is hard when so much of the new is the old.
This is another one of those difficult design decisions, because while many players strongly dislike the feeling of having random die rolls effect characters, other groups (like ours) strongly disliked the fixed hp, etc. of 4th edition for producing far too much sameness. Rolling for HP and healing instead of having fixed amounts of both are favored by our group.  The randomness can work to your disadvantage, but thems the breaks, because other times you get that max roll just when you need it. 

We also haven't had an issue with our wizard being too weak in the playtest -- not really able to be a direct melee combatant, but that is not what wizards are supposed to do.  Hit point and armor class have been effective in keeping him to his role. So far, the wizard has held on to his area damage spells until just the right time to tip the battle, leaving it to the fighter, cleric and rogue to handle the heavy lifting for the smaller battles.  Interestingly, the wizard was very effective at finishing off beasties with his magic missile that had been wounded, but not killed by a melee combatant.

We also like seeing more of the old feel in the new rules -- there is room for 4e improvements to how the game was designed. Among other things, we like the way atttributes are more important, skills are based on attributes, and the flattening of the HP/Hit/dam.

A post like this reminds me of how difficult WotC has it right now.  Personally, I found the classes were extremely well-balanced; but then again, I was not trying to balance them by damage-per-round of combat.  However, this poster - and his group - were obviously very concerned with damage-per-round, and are used to the 4.0 style of having DPR finely tuned for all classes.  Personally, I enjoyed the fact that the fighter was king when it came to simple hack-and-slash but all the other classes shined equally as well (or better) when it came to their respective roles.  If the wizard had been able to drop a goblin each round - like the fighter - but also had daily spells that do good AOE damage - and the fighter did not - that would have been imbalanced to me.


I'm honestly not sure how WotC could possibly make a system that had unique, interesting roles for classes but also satisfy the "flattening" of all class DPR to make it relatively equal.  They certainly have their work cut out for them, and I do not believe they will be able to please everyone all the time.




Whole-heartedly agreed. The focus of the fighter is to deal as much damage as possible, while being able to take damage as well. The other classes focus on other aspects of combat, such as supporting the party through healing and providing magical effects to make the fight easier. If you want to roll lots of dice worth of damage, by all means play the fighter, that's what it's there for. If you want to play an arcane caster that fulfills the same role, I'm sure eventually there will be rules for a more damage specialized "glass cannon" evoker type class.