I really don't like the Ready Action. Smart (and/or tactical) players might be able to use readied actions to great effect and without problems, but my players and I find this game mechanic to be unnecessarily convoluted and not intuitive.
In my opinion, having a high Initiative should lead to an advantageous position throughout the combat encounter. Most of the time, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Sure, if you can defeat the enemy before it is even their turn, that’s awesome. But usually, combat encounters take longer and devolve to a simple back and forth between the parties.
The Ready Action should give characters with higher Initiative the possibility to wait and respond to the actions of their enemies. But that seems cumbersome. Readying a spell consumes a spell slot AND requires concentration. Plus, you have to use your reaction in order to take the readied action, which is bad for anybody who likes for example the Shield spell. This also screws with characters who have Multiattack.
That’s why I would like to make some changes to my home game and replace the Ready Action with Delay Action.
When it is your turn, you could just delay your turn. In order to do so, you would still have to define what you are waiting for. For example, you could wait for somebody to move, cast a spell, drop their weapon, etc. . Your turn could then happen immediately before or after the event that triggered your delayed action, but not during the event.
I think I read somewhere that the designers of DND 5e didn’t like delaying actions, because this could screw with the duration of effects that last “until your next turn”. I don’t think that’s a problem. Effects like that would just last until your original place in the initiative order, not until your delayed turn.
I am not a game designer and I don’t possess the foresight to predict all the consequences such a change could have on my game. That’s why I came here ^^. My question is:
What are potential problems or drawbacks this change could cause? Are there major balancing issues with delaying actions instead of readying actions?