I'm not longer so sure about the cantrips surfaces one .. I dont like the barrels but about the cantrips i changed opinion after more than 20 hours of playing.
In the start i thought .. why are we changing the rules?, firebolt is 1d10 thats it ... then i thought well .. it could be that in p&p they cant implement that as is too much dice to keep track for a cantrip and in the game is ok. Then i saw ice with prone in the ice cantrip, and acid surface with -2 ac in acid splash
Now I'm liking it, why? - Firebolt does the same damage, but can do damage if fails, now its 1d6 attack +1d4 saving throw, and can combo with other spells like it did in dragon age origin for example, (but please dont set 800 explosive barrels) - Frostbolt 1d8 with slow, + prone if save fail, it also combo with fire, so if you frost+fire with 2 mages you make wet (more on this later) - Acid splash, 1d8 + (-2) ac, but also affect your melee chars, usefull vs bosses - Shocking grasp, does extra damage vs wet (combo there)
Do you reallize the options it gives you? you could combo 2-3 casters and do cool combos, and you no longer have a "firebolt is the best always! (unless inmunity)" because lets be real, in 5E i never pick anything other than firebolt. Sometimes if you have prior campain knowledge you can pick other think like the one that cuts healing, but really? you never pick anything other than firebolt . (lets forget booming blade here, thats for melee)
Now i just made a new campaing with a wizard, and first spell was acid splash
Awesome yeah I had first thought that would be good too.
But then, what about martial classes? Might as well get rid of them cause wizards will be ruling it from 1 to 20....