I'm a little disappointed with specialities.

I was a huge, huge fan of packet two and the direction they were taking specialities, and now that I see packet three, I'm disappointed.

Specialities and feats have taken a huge step backwards. They've gone from being really flavourful in-universe concepts to minor boosts to your character. In packet two, the idea of making a Rogue with the Magic-User speciality was exciting and created interesting story hooks. In packet three, the Arcane Magic speciality is pretty much useless to a Rogue, and all the exciting ideas that were possible before are gone.

In fact, that's another one of my complaints when it comes to specialities. Gone are evocative names like "Jack-of-all-trades" or "Survivor" or "Acolyte". Instead, we have "Skill Specialist", "Endurance Specialist", and "Divine Magic Specialist." No longer do I feel like I'm further defining my character's role in the world. Now I feel like I'm just making the "better" at something.

And the loss of this "flavour first" focus that the old specialities had makes me worried that now they've opened the gate to feat bloat again. Now you barely need any flavour justification to make a bunch of feats, so they can crank out more of them.
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Whole heatedly agreed. I sincerely hope this is "low power" test just for grins on wizards' part. Cuz from what I've read it is just awful...granted I haven't read it all and I'll revise if I see some interesting things.

Just sad cuz the last packet was just soooo awesome and this one is beyond poor (so far).
And the thing is, the specialties in packet two weren't even really powerful (with the glaring exception of Guardian and maybe Healer), but they were flexible and flavorful enough that they were interesting despite the fact that there was nary a damage bonus to be had.
 They got rid of defneder because it was broken.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

 They got rid of defneder because it was broken.



Broken and redundant when using protector expertise dice.


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I miss the flavor and the changes to Magic-User and Acolyte. I mean "Divine Magic Specialty" is cool and it grants more healing but they've changed them from light multiclass specialties too... kind of bland. The new magic-user is pretty much just for wizards and the new acolyte is only the healing side of divine magic.

That said most of the specialties are mechanically more usable for the most part.

Still they were my favorite part last packet and I am a little let down this go around. 
 They got rid of defneder because it was broken.



Broken and redundant when using protector expertise dice.





 It wasn't redundent though as it stacked with protector. My entire party took it except for the rogue. She would have taken it as well if he could have used shields.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

These "specialties" are a massive, massive disappointment, and nearly a complete divergence from the aspects of "Themes" that were actually exciting and interesting.
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The names are terrible. I imagine they wanted to make them less of something you added as an adjective to your character and more a pre-built package of feats. 

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These are one of the parts of this packet where I... just don't get the changes.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Yeah I miss the cool names too.

I do like that healer is no longer running an auto-maximize on every spell. 
I loved Magic-User in the second playtest. I could finally make that crotchety old Rogue who dabbled in magic I always wanted.

Now it's just lame. A character that I could make last time is now impossible this time. This is not, in my mind, the definition of "improvement."
In fact, that's another one of my complaints when it comes to specialities. Gone are evocative names like "Jack-of-all-trades" or "Survivor" or "Acolyte". Instead, we have "Skill Specialist", "Endurance Specialist", and "Divine Magic Specialist." No longer do I feel like I'm further defining my character's role in the world. Now I feel like I'm just making the "better" at something.

It was way, way too early in a mechanical playtest to use "evocative" names anyway.

However:


  • I'm more concerned that about half of them are just gone.  It's like they took the same number of feats and just smooshed several together.

  • Also, they still have those damn attribute minimums. 

  • And they somehow managed to make the 'dabbler' themes both less useful and more class-locked at the same time.  What the hell?

  • And the codification of "go ahead an a la carte and/or skip around and/or retrain" seems to have been done solely to not have to prevent "dead" specialties when any of the above makes that stack of feats useless or forbidden.  That's just sloppy.


Something has gone catastrophically wrong here.
I loved Magic-User in the second playtest. I could finally make that crotchety old Rogue who dabbled in magic I always wanted.

Now it's just lame. A character that I could make last time is now impossible this time. This is not, in my mind, the definition of "improvement."


With the name and content changes, they appear to be refining the role of the specialty in creating your character:  they apparently don't want it to substitute for a class.  I expect they're making conceptual room for the multiclassing rules.

No longer do I feel like I'm further defining my character's role in the world. Now I feel like I'm just making the "better" at something.


This seems to be what they want.  "Role in the world" is a class thing.
Ok yeah the whole bit where the magic user themes got turned from a mechanism any character could use, into something only mages can really put to work is really lame.
really lame.


I think that sums up the entire direction they've gone with "specialties" in this packet.

This isn't an exciting concept anymore.  It's just preselected feats.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
It's just preselected feats.

It's not even that.  It's categorized feats now.

 They got rid of defneder because it was broken.


I don't actually think it's broken at all. It's extremely easy to deal with that tactic if you're a good DM. Magic and ranged attacks do not get affected by the disadvantage and that means that AOE attacks destroy your "wall."

In regards to the specialties, I absolutely do not like this playtest packet's take on them. The names no longer have good flavor, and the addition of feats (and the ability to just choose the ones from other specialties) really destroys my love of the flavor they added with specialties.

This playtest packet makes me wonder why they even have specialties at all if they're just going to make them overcomplicated feat systems.
This playtest packet makes me wonder why they even have specialties at all if they're just going to make them overcomplicated feat systems.

Especially when it's so bleeding obvious how to make Specialties great - and I've never been a big fan of the concept anyway.

I'm bummed about the specialties change too.

Danny

 They got rid of defneder because it was broken.


I don't actually think it's broken at all. It's extremely easy to deal with that tactic if you're a good DM. Magic and ranged attacks do not get affected by the disadvantage and that means that AOE attacks destroy your "wall."

"Does not trivialize every encounter" is not a particularly good standard for whether something is problematic.

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Some of the specialities are nice, like the skill and stealth ones...and by that I mean the feats in them.

I don't understand why the specialites are just feat trees. I simply wouldn't play the game if you had to pick one and advance the feats it said to take. Either I'd want to pick a feat from whatever like 3.5 if the DM let me or i'd play something else where I can make a character instead of being given crap I don't want/need/like.
 They got rid of defneder because it was broken.


I don't actually think it's broken at all. It's extremely easy to deal with that tactic if you're a good DM. Magic and ranged attacks do not get affected by the disadvantage and that means that AOE attacks destroy your "wall."

"Does not trivialize every encounter" is not a particularly good standard for whether something is problematic.



If you're going to put quotations it usually means that's something the person you're quoting said.

Different characters are good at different encounters and if you make every character in your party the same you're going to have troubles with some encounters and an easy time with others. Saying defender is broken because you can have everyone in your party take it and stand as a wall is like saying cleric is broken because you can have everyone in your party be a cleric and heal constantly.

If you make everyone in your party the same thing you're going to have problems with specific types of encounters as long as your DM knows how to deal with it.

Saying "does not trivialize every encounter" is true for every single tactic used ever. So I'm not quite sure where you're getting the idea that it's not a good standard.
I don't understand why the specialites are just feat trees.

Because they should be.
Or rather, any prereqs should be covered within the specialty, which is why the ability score minimums are extra obnoxious.

What seems to have happened, is that the idea of "theme" has been abandoned in favor of just a straight feat category.  Even as someone who craps all over pushed flavor all the damn time, I can see this is a bad idea, and isn't really helping anybody.

So sad to see what has happened to themes. I haven't really liked feats since they first came out. 
Feat tree's are beyond a bad idea. You are forced into a list of feats, whether you want them all or not. I used to be able to pick the feat I wanted as long as I was skilled enough to use it. Now I have to pick a feat deck and take what I'm doled out.

The only real solid reason for this is to balance the game and keep people from "picking the best feats." There's an easy solution to that...stop making bad feats! Every feat should be desirable, the playtest should be about finding what feats players WANT to take and reworking the ones people DO NOT want to take...am I wrong in thinking that? After years of games with options that, after players have had time to look at and disect, are obviously rated as great/good/bad/terrible shouldn't game designers of today take this into account a little? They don't have good track records on finding balanced ideas themselves to be honest with all love of course
I agree with you Bitharne, I'd rather they get rid of feats altogether, but realise that I am in the minority, so if they're there, I'd like them to be balanced.
Oh, wow, I'm a little surprised to see so many people agree with me. It's nice, just surprising.

I think this just means that we need to make a stink in all the surveys from now on about how much we hate the new specialities and that we want packet two style specialities back.

Come on guys! Let's give them a piece of our mind!
D&D Experience Level: Relatively new First Edition: 4th Known Editions: 4th, 3.5 --- Magic Experience Level: Fairly skilled First Expansion: 7th Edition Play Style: Very Casual
I don't mind feats. But I liked the utility of the last packets' feats...this packet looks almost like 3.75e instead of D&DN. In fact, the rogue looks exactly like 3.5 rogues I remember penciling in when I was bored except the damage they do now is just as bad as a wizard after he casted all his spells...and rogues get no spells or anything at all.
this packet looks almost like 3.75e instead of D&DN.

Seems more like 2.997e to me.
It's as if we're seeing the (il)logical process from Skills & Powers to 3rd Edition, but with all sorts of different mistakes this time.

I am still trying to decide what kind of character concept I can support with these Specialties.  Everything is pointing to not using them at all.

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I am still trying to decide what kind of character concept I can support with these Specialties.  Everything is pointing to not using them at all.



I don't see the point of using specialties with this set-up. They should have just put a list of feats up if that's the direction they wanted to go.
I am still trying to decide what kind of character concept I can support with these Specialties.

Can't help you.
Someone in the office seems to have forgotten that it was the whole damn point of specialties.  That and saving the time of needing to comb through a thousand feats just to get a character workable, which this iteration of specialties also utterly fails at doing.

Specialties are even worse since they don't hold up any lore/backstory pillar either. Everyone who wants to RP will make up their own or ignore the section and just call it "feats" like 3.5e i'll bet.

At least in the last packet you had thematic ones that you could relate too. Now "Arcane Specilization" is just a feat tree to buff wizards. I wanted to to take the arcane dabbler tree at level 3 on my rogue last packet to pick up some cool at-will powers...now I'd rather shoot myself in the head with my crappy handcrossbow (another crappy crappy thing in the current D&DN heh)
Specialties are even worse since they don't hold up any lore/backstory pillar either. Everyone who wants to RP will make up their own or ignore the section and just call it "feats" like 3.5e i'll bet.

At least in the last packet you had thematic ones that you could relate too. Now "Arcane Specilization" is just a feat tree to buff wizards. I wanted to to take the arcane dabbler tree at level 3 on my rogue last packet to pick up some cool at-will powers...now I'd rather shoot myself in the head with my crappy handcrossbow (another crappy crappy thing in the current D&DN heh)



The potential for making mixed/interesting characters with specialties was one my favorite things about D&D next. A fighter who dabbles in the arcane with the magic-user specialty (lvl1 Arcane Dabbler) is kind of interesting, and even kind of old school if that fighter is an Elf. I don't like that they changed it to Arcane initiate with fixed 0 level spells.
I don't like that they changed it to Arcane initiate with fixed 0 level spells.

I don't like how they changed it from interesting things mostly anyone could do, to obvious things obvious classes should do.

I don't like that they changed it to Arcane initiate with fixed 0 level spells.

I don't like how they changed it from interesting things mostly anyone could do, to obvious things obvious classes should do.

That about sums my opinion as well.

Danny

Build freedom is the most important thing to me. "You have to be completely stupid to not do this" is not build freedom.
also note that this can just be a playtest thing,

we want players to test these specialties so we remove the ones already tested in a earlyer package.
to for people to pick the new ones we want to test in this package instead of using ones we already tested.

this is a playtest not ment for continues gamplay we are only given the features they want to test in this package
 
I do not agree about the new names.

Old names felt like having another class.

An example.
Before, we had a Priest Cleric Healer, now it's reduced to Priest Cleric.

Maybe we will get totally rid of the multiclassed names in the next packet.
These "specialties" are a massive, massive disappointment, and nearly a complete divergence from the aspects of "Themes" that were actually exciting and interesting.



For support, I want to make sure I am added to this opinion, that this was a step backwards.  My 12 year old daughter said the same thing when she had to remake her Wizard..

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