After Greg and Shelly welcome you to the show, D&D Game Designer Dan Dillon joins us for another edition of Meet Your Monsters. This week, we discuss Helmed Horrors. Our special interview this week is with award...
The launch of fifth edition D&D has been a resounding success, due in no small part to the feedback and insight we gained from nearly 200,000 playtesters. With our continuing commitment to keeping Dungeon Masters and players involved in the game’s ongoing evolution, welcome to the second in a series of D&D feedback surveys.
Last time, we asked you to compare the game’s twelve classes in terms of power, give us feedback on six of those classes, and rate the feats in the Player’s Handbook. You also gave us an overall assessment of the game.
For our second survey, we’re focused on the final six classes in the game and the Eberron material that we rolled out in last month’s Unearthed Arcana. If you haven’t looked at that article and want to provide feedback, read it over and come back to the survey later. Even if you don’t have a chance to use the Eberron material in your game, your reactions to it are helpful. You can also skip over the Eberron questions if you don’t want to give feedback on that material.
So, what did we learn from our last survey? Let’s take a look at some trends:
- To start with, there are a lot of you. We had more people respond to this survey than any of our playtest surveys. A lot of people are into D&D these days!
- There are a lot of new players and DMs out there. Welcome to D&D!
- You are playing the game in droves. Only about 10 percent of you have read the books without yet playing.
- Your campaigns are just getting started. Most of you are playing at 6th level and below.
- You love the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, and we’re overjoyed to be able to write that. The overall assessment was incredibly positive, surpassing our results from the playtest by a significant margin.
In terms of classes, we have our eye on the ranger, who some of you thought could use a bit of improvement. So what does this mean?
To start with, a majority of players and Dungeon Masters are happy with the ranger overall. The game as a whole is grading well, so we don’t want to make a huge, sudden change to that class. But taking a deeper dive into the ranger, we can see that favored enemy and the beast master archetype received the lowest ratings. Our next step is to take a closer look at why that is.
We’ll start with an internal assessment mixed with feedback from our closed circle of testers. From there, we’ll work up some options and present them to you, most likely in the Unearthed Arcana column. That process allows us to determine if the track we’re on answers your concerns with the class.
The critical step is making sure that any changes we make genuinely improve the class. Remember, plenty of people are happy with the ranger, so any changes need to cover a number of options:
- People who like the ranger as it is can simply keep playing their current characters.
- People who don’t like the ranger should feel as though the new options allow them to play the ranger they want to create.
- The new options are exactly that—new choices for ranger players to select from, as opposed to a rewrite of the Player’s Handbook.
- DMs should always feel that they can take or leave the new options, just like any other material in the game beyond the Basic Rules.
You can think of this approach as one of directed expansion. Though we like to come up with new concepts for the game, we also know that some players might be unhappy with how the game handles a classic D&D archetype. This process gives us a chance to expand outward while also making sure the game fits your needs for classic fantasy gaming.
Thanks for giving us feedback and helping us improve the game.