I know they’ve sacrified the grapple action because the animations would be too difficult – but I’d be perfectly happy if they just used one of the existing animations (like the weakened one) for the victim and have the grappler move into their space.
agreed. Anything to improve action economy. This is going to be a big problem for Larian. They had the AP system in DOS where you could budget out multiple effects per turn. 5e is designed so that you have one action every 6 seconds, and they give you enough options that you always have a decent choice for that one action.
Larian's fix for action economy going from multiple choices to 5e's 1 action:
Cunning action for all!
Shieldmaster for all!
Items are bonus action too!
Its unfortunate, but most of the content that really started to hand out moroe bonus action options, really did come from Xanthar's. So I understand the sentiment to just completely wonk out the SRD system with a custom bonus action setup... I just think they need to reevaluate these choices. My take is this: Homebrew it harder!. The weapon short rest abilities are a great addition. Do more stuff like that, maybe have a system where boots/pants give out some kinda bonus action maneuver kinda like battle master battle die... Or simply just have the item type itself provide a function like "shields allow their wielder to use shove as a bonus action". Would be VERY easy to get shove as a bonus action... any shield would let you do it but it would at least have a rule to it and not be there for every person under the sun (badguys included). There already is a magic pair of boots that gives bonus action dash, maybe they remove bonus action stealth for all.. but tie it into a boot type, "leather boots allow you to use stealth as a bonus action". Boom, you regulated the stealth in combat without removing it (although it really probably should be a rogue only thing or magic item thing, that one is strong). The character will need the proficiency for the effect, there's your balance system. You'd still leave it open for lots of players to tweak out their action economy without letting everyone under the sun one shot kill as a bonus action when a monster is in the wrong place at the wrong time. FIRST they need to add in some new commands like ready action/ help as a method of providing advantage on a next attack. then they can tie the bonus action economy to gear, rather than the overpowered crap that it is now
TLDR: Homebrew in more item interaction with action economy.