So I just finished watching the episode, and while i enjoyed it as usual, I am left feeling more and more that D&D 5e just has balance problems the higher level the party get, both in what the characters can do and what creatures they face can do. Please note that I am unfamiliar with 5e beyond what ive picked up watching this and West Marches and the one shots.
The slimes in this episode did like 2d8 physical +4d8 acid damage on a melee attack? WHAT THE FUCK? That's more dice than the characters have levels. Average rolls will drop a PC in two hits?
The vampire lord in the last arc got free actions whenever a character had a turn? I assume this was 'lair actions' or whatever, but it seemed like horseshit to me.
Characters don't have the kind of damage output to deal with 'trash mobs', such as the slimes, having effective hp pools of 50+ and they don't have the defences to take the punishing amounts of damage they can dole out.
I would much rather watch a show that held back on having fights like these for special occasions. I understand that the 'game contract' as it were was to have a difficult game where death was around every corner, but i would enjoy it if there was some kind of story going along with the difficulty, with fights that mean something to that story. One of the major problems seems to be that the CR system assumes that every character is at full hp, has all of their abilities available and so on, and we hardly ever see that in CoS.
D&D at higher levels was always very silly with 'save or die' or huge damage attacks, but i feel that didn't come into the game before level 10 or so. These characters are level 5, have very very poor gear and seem underpowered for the battles they are in.
As i said, i have very little experience with 5e, but played D&D for about 10 years from the red box to 2nd ed. 5e CoS edition just seems very disconnected with those games as i remember them.