Personally I'm of the idea that shields simply need to get dented only when actively parrying damages twice their hardness or more, more value for the user and more realism to the fact that many small attacks don't damage the shield itself but can severely start to bruise the wielder, while shield breakage remains delegated to particularly heavy hits or bad luck (criticals, magical weapons, important opponents and the like)
I've got a clear impression that the developers severely undervalued the benefits of a shield, with damages around like what has been discussed so far, shields should stop hardness damage from reaching the user on the reaction, but be dented only if the damage is double their hardness.
Why? The shield itself helps intercepting the attacks, but the arm of the wielder underneath gets beaten progressively to a pulp, historical shields were quite strudy but couldn't prevent trauma perfectly.
Honestly so far this incarnation of the ranger has done a lot to make me hate this playtest more, if possible:
- removed all iconic abilities of the class favoured enemy and terrain
Essentially everything I liked from PF1 of the class has been utterly dismantled to be replaced with all the most mediocre alternatives awailable in the archetipes... not the class I want...
My first impression after studying bith bestiary and playtest manual is that they were done by two different staffs, one hellbent on overcharging every monster on the assumption that all players were powerplayers of the worse kind, the other intent on nerfing to the ground any interesting option and or ability in order to force player characters inside their predetermined cardstock cutouts... that feel more like wet paper.
really this section of the rules is confusing as hell, also if this is the kind of changes they are gunning for at Paizo, I really don't understand what they are aiming for... they made pretty much impossible for a party or a scout to sneak on sentries and silence them or to succeed at any form of ambush...
Tried to create a pair of characters with my remaining playtesters and this aspect of extreme dilution of ancestry benefits proved to be a dealbreaker for them... they immediately compared what their character had at 1st level, elf and half orc respectively, in PF1 to what they'd currently get and, well, didn't go over well, at all.
Honestly those sections of the classes descriptions are the worse pieces of stereotypical trash I've ever read.
Honestly at this point i don't see the use of the ranger class anymore, it's only a bastardized fighter with a single trick based on studying the target and forgoing one attack each round...
So far I feel ancestries have gutted what the PF1 races were...
While the basic idea is interesting and a different way to codify what were before the variant race traits, the bastardization and assimilation to what were in PF1 racial feats meant to expand on the base racial traits of the character,result in races so damn bland and uninteresting as being simply generic mechanical traits for the character class, not at all what I and my players were awaiting from the blog previews.
Completing a character race at level 17 is an utter b@é#(=it aberration, especially considering the apparent spontaneous manifestation of what are the typical phisical traits of the race, and not sudden divinely granted or inflicted "mutations", this idiocy is further aggravated by the fact that often campaigns don't even last that far, with the end resultaping what was done with the book of advanced races, only with no rationale to the arbitrary and absolutely eccessive delay in accessing signature traits of the various species.
I resent the change in nomenclature as well, as the current term of ancestry pretends to roll race/species, culture and upbringing all in an a single term for no reason.
What I feels should have been done is:
The only races I've ever seen needing the kind of traits dilution we got in this playtest, were those in the book of advanced races and some other sources having innate acces to problematic abilities in their kit like permanet flight ability, multiple resistences, multiple spellike abilties and at will powers, on top of their full set of starting signature traits and innate abilities!
Take for example the drows evolving from run of the mill "generic darkskinned sociopathic elf with a propension for murder" to drow matriarch, with all the inerent power of the role: multiple resistances, a pletora of innate x/day spells, a consistent number of at will spellike abilities, de facto a complete racial class! - that's what my group was expecting from the ancestry system when we heard of unlocks as far as 17th level and that's what the system whoefully fails to deliver while gutting the feel and abilities inherent to the various races...
@ Secret Wizard
In fact all the criticisms presented have been discussed estensively in other venues and need answers.
As far as the "linear martials vs quadratic spellcasters" argument goes, I've personally felt that, in many campaigns since D&D 3,5 and then their porting to Pathfinder, casters could do too much more compared to non casters just because each spell they obtain is an extra narrative option opposed to the fighter/barbarian/monk of "I hit it harder" progression level after level.
Wizards could outrigth buy or learn from captured grimoires MORE than their class given spells, clerics automatically knew all divine spells not against their alignment and so on, the ones screwed over were clearly all martial classes as they couldn't by RAW get in any way extra feats, proficencies or benefits than what was in their classes.
If anything martials should get more skill and class feats than casters just for the reason that casters need to dedicate most of their time to the study of magic to the detriment of more mundane studies (otherwise the pretty hefty stat investment that the multiclassing to cleric or wizard requires feels wholly unjustified)
Natural Ambition and General Training are out of scale compared to all other ancestries, already I disliked how much the extra talent humans had in 1st edition made them significantly better at most builds, but in 2nd edition the imbalance is enormous, as no other race has something as strong or versatile to rely on, while many choiches are downright mediocre