It looks like D&D 4th Edition is coming soon

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  • #32582
    Brindisium
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    I’m still watching the youtube 4e presentation videos linked from here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/welcome and trying to work out what to make of it.

    Is this what you saw mule?

    #53534
    Lt. Tyler
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs:

    From all the looks of it, 4th edition will come out sometime in mid to late 2008 I think. Playtesting with outside groups has apparently begun.

    Some things seem sorta interesting (removing Vancian spellcasting, racial abilities that advance with levels, simplifying grappling stuff), but as most people have been saying, it’s not so obvious that a new edition is really needed (different than when 3rd edition came out). So the designers really have their work cut out for them. Still, I have a good impression of Mike Mearls, who is one of the lead designers.

    We’ll just have to see I guess.

    LT

    #53535
    mule
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    yeah the presentation video comes from GenCon I think. My friends saw that presentation, I hadn’t arrived yet. I however got the summary. Pretty much the change in rules seems alright. Them trying to push a whole new edition down everyone’s throats this soon after third is kind of bogus. Oh and their online engine subscription? Please, there’s freeware that does that and while not as polished will work. They concentrated way too much on their online user interface in the presentation instead of the rules changes and game changes and pissed a lot of DnD people off from what i’m told.

    – mule

    #53536
    Cayle
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    Of course, WoC posted videos to You Tube.

    Part 1
    Part 2

    #53537
    Corgano
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    Oh, and someone said they’re doing away with Warlocks in 4th Ed.? 😯 😕

    Now, as far as I can tell, Wizards are becomming the new Warlocks, as in: “They’ll never run out of spells and be forced to use a crossbow…”

    I am VERY wary of this new version of 4th Ed. And so is my whole PnP group. “We’ll see…” Is the best response we’re going to give it at this point in time. We’re still buying books for 3rd and will not get into 4th for quite a while I’m thinking.

    Peace,
    Cor

    #53538
    Lt. Tyler
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs:

    @Corgano wrote:

    Oh, and someone said they’re doing away with Warlocks in 4th Ed.? 😯 😕

    Now, as far as I can tell, Wizards are becomming the new Warlocks, as in: “They’ll never run out of spells and be forced to use a crossbow…”

    Well, I can’t say I’m really that surprised. Warlocks were essentially a mechanic to get around the Vancian spell casting rules. If they’re gonna get rid of those rules, then why not fold Warlocks into Wizards? There’s certainly an easy way to keep the fluff in the associated with Warlocks using the new rules, even if those rules govern wizzys as well.

    @Corgano wrote:

    I am VERY wary of this new version of 4th Ed. And so is my whole PnP group. “We’ll see…” Is the best response we’re going to give it at this point in time. We’re still buying books for 3rd and will not get into 4th for quite a while I’m thinking.

    The wait and see approach seems to be the predominant one from those on the boards. Overall, it isn’t clear that a full new edition really is needed, and so far WotC hasn’t made their case effectively for why a new one is needed (leading to the suspicion that the move is purely a corporate one).

    #53539
    Monty
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs:

    They sound like the voices are some sick digital creation…… Or, they’re just reading a script, REALLY badly.
    Of course, the whole reason they’re doing this is so that ALL the game manufacturers have new games they can release to “take advantage” of the new rules…..
    It’s two 300 lb. guys in a room, with the crayon drawings of the new book covers strewn around them. Empty Jolt cans litter the table and the floor, and there’s an empty pizza box or two leaning up against the wall.
    I can’t believe they actually made this, instead of going on a show to explain this, so the commentator could cut them off after the first two minutes. AND THEN, they end the “movie” after 8-1/2 minutes, and the second “movie” just picks right up with no intro or anything. The second half, even so, is the better half, because at least they have some lame shots of their “Utilities” that attempt to digitize the PnP version.
    It really looks like they needed something badly for GenCon, and they threw this together the night before the show opened.
    And of course this is the typical trade show promise that “We don’t have anything now, but wait until xxxxxx”.
    Man, they need to play on MS a bit, and see what REAL professionals can do…….

    M3C

    #53540
    Cayle
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    When they say “In first edition, you fought one troll. In second edition, you fought maybe one and a half trolls. Now, in fourth edition, you fight a range of monsters“, I hear “our players have become desensitized and we have had three decades of PC power inflation, so now we require an army of monsters, where a troll used to be an epic battle“.

    The four typical roles in MMOs have their origins in D&D; but D&D did not quite match the version that had evolved in typical MMOs, so they changed D&D to match the way it was in MMOs. Classes are now designed to be able to fully fulfill one of the four roles. The rules have been simplified yet again. Oh and PCs can now go to 30th level. I’m an old school 1E + custom rules Grognard. This dumbing down and turning D&D into WoW with dice is appalling.

    Yet as a business, I think WOTC was right to do it…

    Take a look at the dying tabletop wargaming hobby. It appeals only to the hard core, the people who call themselves Grognards, after Napoleon’s grenadiers. But tabletop wargaming went through years of self selecting, with new games becoming more arcane and appealing only to the vocal hard core. The industry went into decline. (interesting article on that decline here)

    WOTC is trying to avoid a condition known in the gaming industry as Grognard capture. They don’t want to appeal to a small, hard core. Those people play White Wolf games anyway. That want to have as broad an appeal as possible. This also helps others as it keeps an engine running that can bring countless casual players into contact with the hobby. Some of those people will stay and eventually become Grognards who look down on D&D. But if D&D was not accessible, they never would have gotten into it.

    #53541
    mule
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    Cayle is 100% correct. It is a business move and for those motivations. I also think they saw the MMO’s growing in popularity and wanted to get in on some of that action. Hence the subscription based online game engine they’ve “designed”. I use the quotes because I bet they took a look at the freeware stuff and borrowed ideas from there. There was no need for a new edition from the gamers end but they decided that they needed a new edition to change things up in the rule and to refresh their market share.

    – mule

    #53542
    Brindisium
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    I agree with you all.

    This dumbing down and turning D&D into WoW with dice is appalling.

    Sadly it does now seems that D&D = Dumbed Down but can you really blame them? Harsh economics dictate that Games Houses have to design for the mass market and “it just is not possible to overestimate the stupidity of the mass market”.

    #53543
    Lt. Tyler
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs:

    God, I can’t believe I’m really defending this, which I don’t really think I should, since I agree that 4th edition is coming a bit too early, but what the hel, I’m feeling ornery today. So here goes.

    MMOs and D&D: I actually don’t quite understand exactly what the complaint is. Seriously, I’m not trolling here, but I haven’t really yet seen what it means to say that D&D is becoming more MMO like. Can someone spell it out more definitively for me? I don’t play MMOs, so it could be that I am missing it because of that.

    I’m waiting to see what the web based tabletop recreator really looks like and how it plays out. Sure you can do it with freeware or other software now. Sure they took ideas from it, but those are pretty obvious ideas. You need a map to show where your characters are. You need a way to communicate between players. You need something to have your character info on it. I think being attempting to be too original here is the danger. Really, just something clean, easy to use (say muddy level 😉 ) and in some way customizable would be ideal.

    @Cayle wrote:

    …The four typical roles in MMOs have their origins in D&D; but D&D did not quite match the version that had evolved in typical MMOs, so they changed D&D to match the way it was in MMOs. Classes are now designed to be able to fully fulfill one of the four roles.

    I’d argue that classes were always designed to fulfill the different roles, and that 1E and 2E enforced this distinction even more strongly than 3E. In 1 and 2, multiclassing options were not as straightfoward as in 3, there were no feats, and there were no class specific abilities available as skills. In fact, I see it argued more among the pro1E/2E folks on Dragonsfoot that 3E diluted the class distinctions and ruined the archetypal character roles.

    Now there’s some talk in 4E about “character roles” as being something that will be enshrined in rule mechanics, but I don’t know enough about what they’re thinking to comment on it.

    @Cayle wrote:

    The rules have been simplified yet again. Oh and PCs can now go to 30th level. I’m an old school 1E + custom rules Grognard.

    I for one have no problems in principle with simplifying rules. It’s always a balance between simplicity/ease of play and the ability of the rules to cover many conceivable situations that might arise (how simulationist they should be). And I for one don’t consider the switch from 1E to 2E to be a pure simplification of the rules. Do you think combat is simpler in 3E compared to 1/2E?

    At first glance the 3E rules felt simpler, likely due to the unifying d20 mechanic, but there are rules to cover many situations in a way that I feel is pretty satisfactory. It’s not clear at all how much these will or might change in 4E, though it appears it will still be d20, and still OGL to some extent.

    As for 30 levels, I’m waiting to see what the rules actually say. My sense from what I’ve read and heard from the devs that what they really want to do is expand the ‘feel’ of what currently constitutes ~3-12 or 15th level (the sweet spot as it were. You’re not so fragile where you end up having to fight boring 1/4 CR crap, and you’re not so overloaded with power that a single combat takes more than a single session). So sure, it might be called 30 levels, but by the end you might be similar to a 20th level 3E character in power. That means more frequent leveling (maybe this is part of the MMO critique), but that doesn’t bother me one whit. Leveling is fun, and it’s one of the reasons I like D&D over pure skill based systems.

    So like I’m said I’m at least interested in what they will produce, but I don’t have strong negative or positive opinions really. I am wary of the idea that errata and such will be subscriber only, since I think that is a bad idea, and a bad way to treat your customers. But we’ll have to see how exactly things turn out in the end.

    LT

    #53544
    Monty
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs:

    My complaint had nothing at all to do with the announcement, per se. I noted that one of the reasons they want to change the rules is so that game makers have a new reason to release another version of their games, but that’s a given. My real bitch was that it was pathetic. You’re telling me that creative guys that can redesign D&D can’t make a 16 minute video interesting? *Shakes head* THIS is the reason they’re losing PnP players. That and with online worlds out there, why have to imagine a world, you can build a virtual world and all you have to imagine is the RP part.

    M3C

    #53545
    Brindisium
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    I like being challenged to think when I’m playing games, finding innovative solutions to the problems the game (and the DM’s 😉 ) throw at me is where a large part of the fun lies. Knowing that bad choices can have serious consequences just makes it all the more rewarding when you get it right.

    The feeling I get from D&D 4E (and WoW is this way from what I know of it) is that it isn’t just the rules that are being simplified but the situational complexity, the game itself.

    I’ve only just discovered the term but I think I probably am a Grognard. For me Baldurs Gate, Fallout, NWN & Morrowind (to name a few) far surpass the current generation of RPG’s.

    I agree that we should wait and see but I don’t think there is much doubt what they are doing to the game: making so you don’t have to think so hard to be able to play it.

    #53546
    Lt. Tyler
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs:

    Situational complexity really comes from the plot/encounter design, which ultimately comes from the DM. So although the rule mechanics certainly inform other aspects of the campaign/encounter design, I think that there’s no reason to assume that 4E will make DMs tend to produce easy to overcome situations.

    Just my thoughts. *shrugs*

    #53547
    Brindisium
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    *shrug too* I know what you mean LT …. its just … well, how DARE they mess with my game again!

    #53548
    Lt. Tyler
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs:

    I hear ya B. And that’s a totally valid feeling. Playing D&D is not fun to me just for the rules, etc. It’s also fun for the feeling it evokes, a good deal of which is due to the nostalgia factor, which reminds me so much of playing old basic, and 1E and 2E D&D when I was younger (hence the old timewarrp I sucked people into). Messing with that is worrisome. Will it still be D&D when it’s 4E?

    Was it still D&D for you when they switched to 3E? Still feels like it to me. Which is good.

    #53549
    Thrym
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs: Grottle, Gruzk, Ashimar

    Reactionary thinking is the only option available to the community at this point.

    NEW GAME??!! How dare they!!!

    But as a part of that community from nearly day 1 I have to say what I always say … Patience.

    1st Edition – Great Game. Fired the imagination. Convoluted rules.

    2nd Edition – Even Greater Game. Still fired the imagination. Resolved all the issues of 1st Edition.

    3rd Edition – Best incarnation as yet. Regardless of how people reacted to this edition the concepts involved solved a lot of the game mechanics issues that still existed in 2. Wizards took over a flagging system and rejuvenated it.

    3.5 Edition – Again fixed some issues but might have been better served to just be an appendix instead of a “new” edition.

    In the end though, each edition has cut away at the marble that represents the work of art D&D is. In the course of these changes the game mechanics have managed to get out of the way of RP more then hinder. Which is all that matters really.

    The move to computer/rpg game from board/rpg game in NWN and even other online RPGs allows the game mechanics to be hidden one step further. Combat is automated. Stealth, searching, spell effects, resting, and more have all been automated to allow a much more immersive atmosphere to arise.

    If WotC manages to take the board/rpg and streamline the game mechanics or further the automation of the game then great. More time to RP instead of rolling round after round of combat.

    I find PnP is great until we get into a fight and I get mildly bored. The only upside is the ability to tease those who roll poorly. Irregardless of Iathouz’s assertions, I still think more 1s come up on a 20 sided die then in NWN.

    I’m sure that I’ll have more to say on it as information becomes more available.

    #53550
    mule
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    I hate it at work because it always logs me out when I’m reading a long thread.

    Anyway, the problem with MMO’s in general is when they simplify the game and make the mechanics easier they also tend to simplify the reactions you can have to situations. Taking some of this complexity out of the rules system and limiting the player’s responses to situations inherently makes the game less imaginative, less dynamic, and less fun in my book. Their primary example is grapple, and yes grapple sucks in 3.0-3.5, in fact my group avoids it and my DM likes to use creatures with good grapple to piss us off from time to time. But if their solution is merely to remove grapple altogether then I have a problem with this. A real response to something trying to cast a spell or maybe even punch you might be to grapple with it and wrestle it to the ground. Also, giant squid is going to grapple you not just attack. My point is that by streamlining you can also take content out of the game. In order to have rules that cover every response a player could try to make you need complex rules sometimes. Now if they keep grapple but just make it an attack roll i’d have to see exactly how that works out before I pass judgement.

    Further thinking is needed. Oh and yes, people are just being reactionary because they released sooo little detail on the actual game. And somehow they’re not releasing all the books at the same time. I think the DMG and PHB are being released then two months later the Monster Manual is. Have fun for those two months.

    Also, yeah yeah i’m getting long winded, I have have a problem with making people buy the books & making them pay a monthly subscription to use their little online program. It should be one or the other. They either pay to play and get the ALL the rules for free, or buy at least one book (PHB) and get to use the online widget for free.

    – mule

    #53551
    Cayle
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    @Thrym wrote:

    1st Edition – Great Game. Fired the imagination. Convoluted rules.

    Best version so far! 😛

    Sure, we’ve not seen a 4E book yet, but watching 20 minutes of one of its designers talk should give you a pretty good feel for what they are aiming at.

    Seriously, there is no single “MMO” playstyle. Eve Online is a very different animal from Shadowbane, is a very different animal from Ultima Online is a very different animal from WoW. NWN persistent worlds fall well within the spectrum of MMO mehanics*; differing mostly in that the roleplayer subculture is the dominant one. Actually, the old text MUDs (many of which are still downloadable – or more fun – downloadable so you can pick them apart) had a greater degree of variability than modern graphical games seem to.

    WoW, which managed to get NINE MILLION players in a market where 1-200k was considered a blockbuster. They did this by appealing to a more casual player than any other game; one who likes his gameplay laid out and not too complex or “hard”. Eve Online occupies the opposite extreme and has 150,000 or so. WotC read the tea leaves and aims to appeal to a more casual gamer.

    I expect that 4E may be the most successful version of D&D ever. That won’t stop people from saying it sucks. Virtually every Eve player badmouths WoW as a childrens’ game.

    * In fact, they are closer to WoW in many ways than any of the other four mentioned.

    #53552
    Lt. Tyler
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs:

    @Cayle wrote:

    @Thrym wrote:

    1st Edition – Great Game. Fired the imagination. Convoluted rules.

    Best version so far! 😛

    We’ll have to agree to disagree here. I loved AD&D, played it for a long time, but I don’t think it’s the best. I’m with T on this I think, with third being my favorite due to the underlying logic that ties together the mechanics.

    @Cayle wrote:

    Sure, we’ve not seen a 4E book yet, but watching 20 minutes of one of its designers talk should give you a pretty good feel for what they are aiming at.

    Seems like you’re missing the sarcasm tags around that. Because you can’t really be serious about that.

    @Cayle wrote:

    Seriously, there is no single “MMO” playstyle.

    Ok, then what does it mean to say that they are making D&D into an MMO?

    @Cayle wrote:

    …had a greater degree of variability than modern graphical games seem to.

    Well, in some ways this is a function of the graphical nature of it. Somebody has to model all those things that go into the graphical game (tiles, items, critters, players, etc). Of course that means that there will be less variability than something that is text based, which requires just a single medium to convey an infinite number of situations. Since 4E will still be primarily a friends around the table experience, and thus not limited in the way MMOs are, it’s not clear this is relevant.

    @Cayle wrote:

    …aims to appeal to a more casual gamer.

    Well, it’s not obvious to me that 4E is necessarily going to be aimed at a more casual gamer. Sure some of the rule changes that make things easier (not necessarily more simplistic, but easier) might broaden the appeal to more casual gamers. That’s ok in my opinion. As long as the rules are robust and adequately support a nice range of complexity of possible actions (without being overcomplex) then easier and more obvious mechanics are a good design goal. If more people are attracted to the game because of that, good. That’s more people to share it with.

    @Cayle wrote:

    I expect that 4E may be the most successful version of D&D ever. That won’t stop people from saying it sucks. Virtually every Eve player badmouths WoW as a childrens’ game.

    Well, that’s already happened with the change to 3E. Lots of 1E/2E people say it sucks. Lots of people are wrong in my opinion.

    Still, like I said, I have yet to really get a good feel for why 4E is needed now. Needing 3E was obvious. Needing 4E? Not so obvious.

    As for book availability, I think the presentation said PHB in May 08, MM in June, DMG in July. That seems ok, given that most people won’t switch their 3E campaigns immediately.

    Lt. “Devil’s Advocate” Tyler

    #53553
    Cayle
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    @Lt. Tyler wrote:

    @Cayle wrote:

    Sure, we’ve not seen a 4E book yet, but watching 20 minutes of one of its designers talk should give you a pretty good feel for what they are aiming at.

    Seems like you’re missing the sarcasm tags around that. Because you can’t really be serious about that.

    Nope. I’m serious. I take people at face value when they talk design. But first I have to choose another quote…

    @Lt. Tyler wrote:

    Still, like I said, I have yet to really get a good feel for why 4E is needed now. Needing 3E was obvious. Needing 4E? Not so obvious.

    When I say they mean that they sound like they are making it more MMO’like, I really mean WoW’like. Perhaps a better term is Diku’like , because that is the style of MUD that gave rise to the MMO. Take a moment to not think about it from a player perspective, but trather from the perspective of WotC. There are a lot of people who have never played D&D, but have played WoW. WoW has a certain way of doing things. One of those is the four archetypes found in most MMOs: tank, nuker, healer and rogue. They correspond roughly to fighter, wizard, cleric and rogue in D&D, but not quite and not always. Tanks go draw aggro and absorb damage. Healers heal them. Rogues and nukers hit them from the sides and deal damage. In the video, they talk a lot about filling these roles. They cite the specific example of the 3E druid as a class that does nto fit into this schema. Now if you are playing a 3E druid, chances are that you are not doing it because you want to play a healer, but rather that you want to be a druid. These roles were always there in a way in D&D, but never so codified.

    I’m going off on a tangent… back on track. If you make the D&D classes fit neatly into these four archtypes, a new D&D player who has played WoW knows how to play his character right away. That new player is already comfortable with the ruleset in a way. In that case, you have just lowered the barrier to trying out D&D; which is what WotC is after.

    As a player, I still treasure my old 1E books; but I see the business case for 4E plain as day.

    @Lt. Tyler wrote:

    @Cayle wrote:

    …had a greater degree of variability than modern graphical games seem to.

    Well, in some ways this is a function of the graphical nature of it. Somebody has to model all those things that go into the graphical game (tiles, items, critters, players, etc). Of course that means that there will be less variability than something that is text based, which requires just a single medium to convey an infinite number of situations.

    Another alternative might be that modern graphical games, following the original Everquest’s lead, inherit their style from Diku. Even NWN owes a lot to EQ. The NWN team was obsessively playing EQ while creating NWN and the former influenced the latter. The faction system in NWN is a straight up reverse engineering of EQ’s.

    #53554
    Lt. Tyler
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs:

    Ok then, if a 20 minute presentation (a chunk of which was really a little demo of the software stuff), which was largely detail free, is enough for you to say that D&D 4E will be an MMO (or WoW specifically), and overly simplistic then that’s fine. It’s not clear to me how you reach those connections.

    So really, here’s what I see as the main objections (correct me if I’m wrong):

    It’s too soon after 3E. Agreed. A couple more years, or maybe had 3.5 been just errata and not full blown new core rulebooks, then this would not be an objection.

    It enforces the MMO style character roles too strongly. Well, first, we don’t know the design specifics, so I argue we can’t conclude that. Even if it does, then I argue that this has always been part of D&D. And then I’d argue that the customization options introduced in 3E, and in an unclear status vis-a-vis 4E, make 3E better in this regard. My gut feeling is that the role mechanic, whatever it is, it’s very unclear to me now, will make this even easier, and allow more and different character options. No longer will people be forced to be the heal bot when there’s no cleric and everyone else already has their character rolled up. Sure it might be easier for a new player to get into the action, making it more obvious for him. But as long as experienced players still have sufficient interesting approaches and tactics, then it is a good thing.

    It’s too simplistic. Again, without the design details, we can’t say this. As in grapple. Mule admits an easier mechanic would be great. But will it be in there? We just don’t know. I’m inclined to think they’ll do a decent job balancing “ease of use” vs “simulating every situation.”

    I for one am optimistic, but realistic too.

    LT

    #53555
    Cayle
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    @Lt. Tyler wrote:

    Ok then, if a 20 minute presentation (a chunk of which was really a little demo of the software stuff), which was largely detail free, is enough for you to say that D&D 4E will be an MMO (or WoW specifically), and overly simplistic then that’s fine. It’s not clear to me how you reach those connections.

    If they come right out and say that they are making it more like online games and give a specific example in strengthening the archetypes, I kind of have to take them at their word. I think it is safe to presume that they are not turning 4E into a numberless LARP ruleset.

    The timing is not “too soon” after 3.5 if they see a busineess case.

    Other than that, what are we actually arguing about? (note that I never said “enforces MMO style too strongly” or anything like that)

    #53556
    Brak
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    You know Iathouz is gonna come in here with a boxed set smackdown you keep this up.

    #53557
    mule
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    DID IT TOO ME AGAIN! I hate when it logs me out at work. T, fix these stupid government computers.

    Virtually every Eve player badmouths WoW as a childrens’ game

    It is a kids game. There are no consequences, they hold your hand. Moving in that direction does not appeal to me. Making the “roles” more clear and more concrete sucks too. I can’t stand pidgeon-holing.

    – mule

    #53558
    s-m-r
    Moderator
    • Markshire PCs:

    As many of you know, I don’t give a damn about business. Finances rarely influence me in making any decisions, with the exception of “oh, I can’t afford to do that.” I move on fairly quickly.

    Let me also preface the following with the statement that I prefer lower level (12th and below) games, with a customized, low-level magic original campaign.

    My version of the game? 2nd Edition, noticeably house-ruled.

    My first impression of 3rd edition was that DMs have their hands full; much more so than in 2nd Ed. To me, it seems much simpler to deal with ability checks to solve problems, do special things, and so on. Even saving throws aren’t so bad, although if I had the opportunity to DM again in a paper and pencil game, I’d adopt the current saving throw system. But that’s about it. Feats would all be turned into Ability checks, and then if a player persisted at the action then they would be turned into skills.

    In version 3 and 3.5, the emphasis was in giving the PCs super powers. You can’t even use the term “munchkin” any more, since the practice is standard. The result is that the role of a DM has transformed into high-maintenance, book-sifting exercises in referencing. There’s really nothing that makes D&D unique any more, in my opinion, and all comparisons to WoW are totally merited.

    I picked up version 3.5, but became bored, as my cleric could eventually do nearly everything, like cast Wind Walk on the entire party and its henchmen and familiars, to instantly go from one adventure locale to the next. Once there, I could summon a pair of huge earth elementals to pound nearly anything into mush. Then turn myself into an avatar and crush more stuff. Then fly home for tea.

    I was bored with being able to do anything and everything, and the only challenges were facing otherworldly monsters like demons and stuff. It’s not fun being spoiled; the other games were more engaging for me simply because I had to determine other (creative, non-combat) solutions, much like how others have described here previously about earlier games.

    ***EDIT***Oh, to sum up…I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t need it. 🙄

    #53559
    Corgano
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    Aside from the link here to that one video, there are about a dozen more videos to watch and gleam info from out there.

    They are releasing the 3 core books one month apart, so in 3 months you’ll have the PhB, MM, and DMG. How stupid is that? I mean, really? 🙄

    Also, all the current skills are going to take the back burner it seems and feats are going to be it’s bread and butter. I see some feats having, “Cool down timers” and other things associated with MMO games.

    Will the rules from 3.5 (Which I currently play) be simplified? Probably.

    Will the four base classes be the main focus of the game just adding various feats to seperate them out?
    Probably.

    Will feats take over the system and the old skills be just an automated memory from the past?
    Probably.

    Will this new digitized desktop approach catch on and take over with that subscription based add-on system?
    Probably.

    Will any of this be any good?
    Probably.

    Am I still going to bitch about it and complain and keep playing PnP 3.5 for a long while?
    Probably.

    For what it’s worth the: Tank, Nuker, Healer, and Rogue types in the Guild Wars setting worked very well. They’ve built in new classes with new, “Skills” (AKA Feats) that seem to work well for an MMO. All skills are timer based. Would this translate well to a PnP type game?
    Meh, I have no idea.

    Again, I will simply adopt the, “We’ll see..” attitude and leave it at that.

    Peace,
    Cor

    #53560
    Lt. Tyler
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs:

    Yeah, after all these posts I agree we seem to be talking past each other. So going back, you said this:

    @Cayle wrote:

    …The four typical roles in MMOs have their origins in D&D; but D&D did not quite match the version that had evolved in typical MMOs, so they changed D&D to match the way it was in MMOs. Classes are now designed to be able to fully fulfill one of the four roles. The rules have been simplified yet again. Oh and PCs can now go to 30th level. I’m an old school 1E + custom rules Grognard. This dumbing down and turning D&D into WoW with dice is appalling.

    (emphasis added).

    I said that I don’t know what it really means to say D&D is becoming more like a MMO (WoW specifically as you say). I honestly still don’t. I still maintain that these four roles were always part of a D&D party, so they cannot be said to have been added in the process of making D&D an MMO. Especially when 3E made the roles that much blurrier, via the multiclassing, feats, and skills rules. Now 4E seems to take that even a step further, given their example of the druid. But I still say that it is not clear how the rule details will handle this, and thus what the end effect (in terms of feel and mechanics) will be.

    @Cayle wrote:

    If they come right out and say that they are making it more like online games and give a specific example in strengthening the archetypes, I kind of have to take them at their word…

    Since I’m lazy, is that in the first or second part of the uploaded presentation? Maybe approx min? I listened to teh presentations but didn’t quite take that away from it.

    As for it being too soon or not, I mean too soon from a consumer’s point of view. I have no doubt that they as a corporation have plenty of market research to back them up that it’ll be successful, and is not too soon. I don’t care about that. It feels to soon (though as I said, it might not feel to soon to me had 3.5 been handled differently). I also don’t care whether it is a good business decision to add MMO derived features to D&D. I’m trying to understand why people are saying that this is what is actually being done.

    s-m-r,

    In many ways I’m with you in this. The sweet spot for me in 3E is maybe up to 10th level. Beyond that just starts to get wacky.

    But I actually really like the feat mechanic. It helps to give cool special abilities to non casters, which is sorely lacking in 1E/2E, and which I just frankly find fun. As you say though, you prefer low magic level, and in that case, coupled with lower level games, the disparity between casters and non-casters is not as extreme. My guess is that you won’t like 4E then, since as a way of addressing the lower power level of non-casters, they will likely have new class abilities added which will in some way compensate for that. It will likely be even more ‘super powers’ feeling than 3E.

    LT

    #53561
    Thrym
    Keymaster
    • Markshire PCs: Grottle, Gruzk, Ashimar

    And because I enjoy this too much, here I go again …

    Let me preface the following statements and tell you that I don’t care what they actually DO with 4E. I play 3E because it’s what I own and I have no intention of buying into another version of D&D at this time.

    I look at the game (any edition) as a means to convey a story. If I am the DM I am telling a story that affects many individuals. If I am a Player then my story is simply about my current persona.

    The medium of the game is only as good as it allows me to tell the story.

    Quick Pros & Cons (PnP vs. Electronic) from my DM perspective

      PnP Pros:

    • I can do ANYTHING I want to accomplish the storyline as I need it.
    • Visuals are limited only by your imagination.

      Electronic Pros:

    • Game mechanics disappear and the situation is looked upon in the context of the story not the mechanics.
    • Ability to convey precise visual information increases (i.e. you see what I want you to see and not what you imagine I want you to see).

      PnP Cons:

    • The game mechanics break into the story. Rolling dice (while an amusing past time) detracts from the immediacy of the combat and the story. The need to calculate the jumping distance of a halfling in reference to a single event disrupts the game.

      Electronic Cons:

    • I am limited by the ability of the medium (and its programmers, builders and graphic artists) in what I can do to tell the story.

    Why do I point these things out you might ask? We’re all familiar with these, right. What if …

    People do this all the time. And by people I mean businesses. They look at the market that supports them and they look at the markets of similar businesses and they wonder. What if …

    Ooooo. A metaphor. Simple but effective. Sidebar!!

    Milton Bradley just released something that parallels our favored game's dilemma.   Electronic Monopoly.

    You still roll dice. You still circle the board. You still lord your properties over your opponents and you still collect $200 when you pass GO!

    But you no longer manage the money. A calculator does.

    Wow. A simple upgrade.

    You'd think that they'd have thought of this eons ago.

    But now we don't have to worry about tracking our money. We don't have to worry if the Banker is cheating. We know what 10% of our total value is. It had better. I hate figuring that out even if it saves me money. Oh, and you don't open the box to find the money strewn corner to corner because a rubber band dried out.

    BUT you still get to play Monopoly and without one of its more tedious components.

    So why not apply some of this concept to a game that is a 100x more complex?

    Automate the combat. Pull up rules and what not in seconds. Generate 30 bandits in seconds.

    We’ve been doing it for years on our own. There are terabytes of programs and Excel sheets out there that do this for us already. Hel, I made some of them myself.

    I for one hate tracking my character’s progress by hand these days. I stopped using the books for character progression as soon as 3E came out.

    Onwards.

    Making it more archetypal. Who cares?

    Let me put it this way.

    You have four base archetypes. TANK, NUKER, HEALER, HANDLER

    From these you use the feat system to add on the properties of the old style classes.

    You are a TANK but you are from a tribe of animal totem worshipers and you suddenly have the ability to assume animal form, or you are a HEALER and you have learned through patience and time to handle Eldrich forces.

    If I am not mistaken character progression and customization options INCREASE.

    Sure the side effect is that the game appeals to those people who play online games. Sounds like more people I can teach not to be stupid powergamers.

    Wait! Take it a step further and you are simply a person who slowly learns to do new and strange things. You develop in any direction you want and aren’t pidgeon-holed by predefined concepts.

    Seems to me that boiling the game down to its few basic components and allowing ala carte building from there is a good thing.

    Wrapping this up, I think the fears of change have gripped people and until a fully realized system is laid before us we’ll have to live with our fears. I think a combination of automation and imagination will increase the potential of the game. If you let it.

    #53562
    Cayle
    Participant
    • Markshire PCs:

    @Lt. Tyler wrote:

    @Cayle wrote:

    …The four typical roles in MMOs have their origins in D&D; but D&D did not quite match the version that had evolved in typical MMOs, so they changed D&D to match the way it was in MMOs. Classes are now designed to be able to fully fulfill one of the four roles. The rules have been simplified yet again. Oh and PCs can now go to 30th level. I’m an old school 1E + custom rules Grognard. This dumbing down and turning D&D into WoW with dice is appalling.

    (emphasis added).

    I said that I don’t know what it really means to say D&D is becoming more like a MMO (WoW specifically as you say). I honestly still don’t. I still maintain that these four roles were always part of a D&D party, so they cannot be said to have been added in the process of making D&D an MMO. Especially when 3E made the roles that much blurrier, via the multiclassing, feats, and skills rules.

    3E did blurr roles, which was its best feature beyond getting rid of THACO. IMHO, skill based systems are superior to class based ones because they allow flexibility and don’t force me into a role. So for me… strengthing roles is dumbing down. Objectively, this is not the case as many people like having predefined roles.

    @Lt. Tyler wrote:

    @Cayle wrote:

    If they come right out and say that they are making it more like online games and give a specific example in strengthening the archetypes, I kind of have to take them at their word…

    Since I’m lazy, is that in the first or second part of the uploaded presentation? Maybe approx min? I listened to teh presentations but didn’t quite take that away from it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAw490qUAjs&mode=related&search=

    They talk about the druid at approx 3.5 minutes. I watched about a dozen of those YouTube videos put out by WotC around GenCon time and I’m not going to bother going back through all of them again. I have better things to do with my time.

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