The Darkness Spell in 5e is Pointless
Here's a fun observation. The spell darkness, in 5e, has absolutely zero mechanical effect in 5th edition D&D.
- Darkness creates a heavily obscured area.
- Creatures within that area effectively suffer from the blinded condition.
- Blinded characters suffer disadvantage on attacks, and creatures attacking them have advantage.
- The spell negates darkvision.
- All characters within the sphere of magical darkness have disadvantage to attack, but advantage to attack other creatures in the darkness. This advantage and disadvantage cancel each other out.
All creatures within the space of a darkness spell battle as normal. The spell is, from a mechanical sense, pointless and negated.
Certainly this discounts a proper GM who looks past it and says, "no, that's stupid," but yeah, strictly BY THE BOOK it's a pretty gross oversight by the designers of the game from a mechanical standpoint. Also, I pointed this out to the Sage Advice people some time ago and they confirmed this reading is correct. Oddly, they didn't seem to think it problematic.
Sadly, I lost the link to that particular conversation ages ago so I can't back that up. But I did, actually, ask the question and get it confirmed.
The only time this matters is in the case of a warlock who has eyes of the fiend and the darkness spell. This enables them to see through magical darkness and thus get advantage on all attacks while others have disadvantage against them. But that's a VERY oddly specific single exception to the rule.