So, this has been a long time coming but I’m really not happy with Wildewood on a thematic level and I have time now to actually write this all out. I don't feel that these are really all issues that an envoy can deal with and while I could send an email to support, I'd prefer to have open discussion.
We're told that the Wildewood are meant to be one with the forest, in turn becoming a reflection of the forest itself and yet, I find that we don't really fit that description
The most blatant aspect of this in the overuse of flowers, perhaps it is just me but this has never really felt like a overly visible aspect of Serenwilde. For some reason, the concept of flower users actually strikes me as more relevant to Ackleberry. Perhaps from that map Estarra showed us, the connection to bees, or perhaps because I expect a "cutesy but going to destroy you" vibe from there.
We actually have eight flowers mentioned as part of being a Wildewood, the four that we have in our abilities and another four specifically mentioned as being part of our garlands. Three of these are brand new ones that appear to have been created for the skill, four are ordinary flowers, and the last is well... Bluebells, a flower that requires a quest in the gardens of Maeve to earn and in turn has a special connection to the Moondancers.
Certainly we do have Maylea in the pantheon, however, I don't feel that we are meant to reflect the gods of the time, being honest one of the concerns I have is that I can look at the Wildewood and consider them the offspring of Hoaracle and Maylea.
Physical as opposed to Mystical
For me Serenwilde is very much a place that is outside of the normal world of Lusternia. The laws of nature are observed, however they are also protected by the countless beings that call the forest home. Serenwilde is the plants, it is the animals, it is all of the varied spirits, it is all of the adventurers and denizens.
Serenwilde is a place that you look after forever regardless of how long your body actually lasts.
It is very odd, but at times the messages for Wildewood are often at odds with their effects. I think the messages for Horned Lily are still "Meae's horned lily flowers sway in her eaves, releasing a trickle of orange pollen down upon you. You groan, your strength leaving your body." while the effect is your limbs breaking. It seems magical in the line, but the effect is ultimately... very physical. Ultimately feeling a bit disconnected or disjointed.
This isn't all too terrible, I would point to at Garland spray and the spores, except for flower power, as examples of where this skill captures the mystical nature of the forest and I wish that more of the skill worked with this sort of a feeling.
Sometimes, it feels like a joke
I'm just going to say flowerpower and treehug here.
Treehug itself feeds back into the issue of physical over mystical and kind of violates the standard that the skill has where the Wildewood very rarely, if ever, move. The image I have of the Wildewood is that, as much as possible, they just kinda stand there and things happen around them. So that rather impressive sight in my imagination, is kinda less cool when I realise... "hey, one of the better things I could spam is treehug" so I end up with the mental image of trees running around trying desperately to hug people to death... It's funny at first, but then the joke wears off.
So... what would I like to see?
Firstly... please make the "flowers" something else. There are some options, one that could be fitting is to make the sap a summoning reagent. There are a few spiritual elements that could be invoked such as Ancestors, Animals, the Hartstone or perhaps Serenwilde as an entity(though these last two may not make sense in context sadly).
While the tribal theme is present throughout Serenwilde, the Hartstone are one of the places where it tends to be concentrated. Exploring that more, could work quite nicely.
I'd like the afflictions and damage to be reconsidered, though these can be envoyed over time, I suppose I have to question why it is that Serenwilde is the forest of bone breaking and blunt damage? Given the damage layouts it it feels that concluding that we might have this primarily because the damage typing puts us in thematic opposition to Glomdoring (blunt vs cutting) isn't entirely out of the question. Their cutting perhaps due to how common bleeding is in their forest, and our bone breaking being a result of it matching up with blunt damage typing.
I'm not much with the combat effectiveness so I couldn't suggest what sort of afflictions would work, but I just feel that the current set with their lines don't sync up that much with Serenwilde and the Hartstone.
Rethinking flowerpower and treehug, it's really hard to get away from the stereotypes of snugglewilde, it's even harder when such beings that are so deeply representative of the forest have jokes about this stereotype in their abilities.
Oh and I suppose a few nice small things such as making Wildewood/Wyrdenwood count for family honour for Serenwilde/glomdoring families as there is no way you can get the racial bonus while having these skills. Also, something to compensate for the low charisma would be nice for village influencing such as a bonus to org specific influencing abilities.