Playtest feedback - Archer/Fighter

Some feedback as a player being a Wood Elf Fighter played as an archer.

1. Feels like the older 2nd and 3rd editions - things feel genuinely lethal at level 1.
2. Combat is much faster, and very "swingy". 1 solid hit can bring down your enemy or you essentially. Very different from 4e.
3. Humans feel like a valid race to select for the first time. Only race capable of a 18 stat at level 1
4. Fighters gaining Parry as a class ability is amazing. Rolling your martial dice + skill dice to reduce incoming damage allows them to stay in combat longer.
5. Advantage/Disadvantage is a bit ambiguous - which could be good/bad. Good in that well thought out house rules could make it work well. Bad in that 1st level rogues who need advantage are sort of hurt by it.
6. Having Disadvantage is REALLY painful. Not sure the math it applies, but I personally failed every roll having disadvantage applied. Only one player in the group was unaffected by it with his rolls. Saw so many natural 20's being reduced to misses because of it. In older editions, even if you rolled a natural 20 with some penalties, it was usually still a hit.
7. Rogues need a way to flank for advantage to apply their "schemes" for damage. The rogue yesterday felt like a nerfed Fighter, and was generally useless in combat. 
8. Healing is a bit of an issue (6 player group, 1 cleric). It did give the feel of "oh god, this is dangerous to my character". I'm not sure I would change this factor as we looked back and found it was fun having that tension.
9. Having a balanced group is CRITICAL - our wizard didn't show up for the game, and we definitely noticed what it was like to not have some magical damage flying around when needed.
10. Skills - they detached skills from the statistics. Instead, you pick the relevant stat with some DM recommendations and roll with a +1d4 dice which scales based on level. I liked this as it encouraged people to try thing they weren't even skilled in.

We haven't leveled, or tested higher characters to see how things scale up. But for a first go at it,  I had some good fun and look forward to seeing how it progresses.

Specific feedback as playing a Fighter with the marksman path.

1. Parry is 80% of the time useless to me. Maybe we're in some close quarters combat, and I pull my sword, so it helps then, but majority of the time - I'm in back out of danger letting lose arrows. Maybe an option here for that path to select from?
Examples:
spending a dice to fire without triggering an opportunity attack
a dice to disengage 5ft, and spends your entire move action to do (a bit like above, but now you can't flee after shooting)
bow defense - use your bow like a staff to defend with only the dice and not adding the skill dice (a lessor form of parry)

2. My damage feels right at level one - 9 times out of 10, when I hit, I'm going to add the damage dice. With this edition, as an elf - doing 1d10 with the longbow + 1d6 MDD was pretty sweet. 
Side bar:  I felt like I was dishing out more damage than the rogues consistantly. That felt wierd - an archer is a damage dealer, I would think I would be on par or a little behind what a stealthy stabber could do.

3. Trying to get advantage basically took a full round set up. Duck away and hide then shoot, or spend a whole round aiming, or etc etc. Maybe this is a 1st level issue.  

4. No opportunities came up where I could try to use Rapid Shot, or Precise Shot, or any of the other ranged maneuvers. Probably a case of the adventure and how it played out, but so far the maneuvers haven't proven to be worth the dice usage when I could just stack up the damage against 1 target. As a player, I would likely want to drop having any maneuvers and take something what would help me survive.


You might find this interesting: in all of the playtest packets so far, firing a ranged weapon in combat doesn't provoke opportunity attacks. The only penalties to using a bow in melee is that a real melee weapon lets you parry and does more damage from having a bigger damage die. That and targets on the other side of an adjacent enemy gets 3/4 cover. Archers still like a little space, but they can live without if they must.
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