WotC_PeterS talks about his "aggresive playtest" (with Le Rouse, SKR, & Noonan) - Page 9





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  1. #81
    First, many thanks to Scott for his willingness to discuss these things and allay people's fears.

    Second...

    Quote Originally Posted by mhensley
    Why on earth do you think he owes you an answer? You do realize this is a game we're talking about? You stress test bridges, computer programs, buildings - you know important stuff. This is a game. Nobody dies if it breaks. Calm down.
    Since he's bothered to post on this thread, presumably his goal was to answer the concerns of the other posters. If those posters don't feel that he has answered their concerns, there's nothing wrong with them trying to express more clearly what they're worried about.

    Also, chill with the hyperbole. Sure, nobody dies if 4E breaks. That doesn't mean we want it broken.

    While I was initially worried about this, I've reconsidered that position, mostly on the basis of stuff like the Tome of Battle, which is intimately tied in with 4E and came out quite well-balanced (setting aside the occasional glitch like White Raven Tactics, but there will always be those). Presumably the same method was used to playtest the ToB, which was a fairly substantial change to the existing system for melee warriors. If it worked there, it ought to work now.

    Moreover, the design of 4E appears to be much easier to balance overall. Less "stacking" (of classes, templates, et cetera) means a much more predictable and controllable system.

    Still, I don't think the initial worry was unwarranted. I've seen teams with stellar resumes screw things up on very basic levels--see for instance Master of Orion III, which was a horrible mess made by a bunch of very smart people who let groupthink blind them to the fundamental problems with their plan. Watching that game implode taught me that when someone outside the team sees what appears to be a serious problem, and people inside the team dismiss that concern out of hand, it isn't necessarily the case that the people inside are right and the person outside is wrong.
    Last edited by Dausuul; Wednesday, 19th December, 2007 at 10:04 PM.

 

  • #82
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    There are approximately 500 playtesters listed in the 3e PH.

    How many are going to be listed in the 4e PH?

  • #83
    Quote Originally Posted by seankreynolds
    There are approximately 500 playtesters listed in the 3e PH.

    How many are going to be listed in the 4e PH?
    Two.



  • #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraydak
    No he didn't. He didn't say *anything* about serious (WotC char-ops style) stress testing. The blog post suggests that there barely is any. This is a problem. Remember the 3e (not 3.5) druid companion? it slipped through because there wasn't heavy stress testing.
    Kraydak, for some reason your sense of humour is malfunctioning at the moment. As a result, with regret, I must ask you to not post any more in this thread.

    If you have any question about that, please feel free to email me.

    Thanks
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  • #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraydak
    Yes. Did you, mine?



    You know, a simple: "the blog was poorly written, we have done an order of magnitude more stress testing than the blog suggests" would have sufficed. It would not have been being a jerk.

    I note further that you have explicitly not made, and appear to be deliberately not making, such a statement.

    In fact, the blog post is the *only* hint that any form of stress testing has been done. It fairly explicitly suggests that the "aggressive playtest" is the only such playtest occurring. Such playtesting is so basic that I would not have worried had the blog not been posted. I wouldn't be as worried as I am had you not proceeded to respond to concerns with irrelevant (albeit amusing) humor.

    So, what *is* the answer to: "how much more stress testing has occurred than is implied in WotC_PeterS's blog post"?
    So to further prove that I actually do take this stuff seriously and to demonstrate that I want to be a valuable contributor to the conversation I called Mr. Schaefer to talk to him about his test.

    Peter had a particular mission that he wanted to accomplish with his playtest as he explained in his blog. So he went about setting up a test where he could run a lot of PCs through their paces against a variety of monsters to personally scratch the ' stress test itch".

    He is not the only one testing PC vs NPC combat as I eluded to in my post. I spoke with Dave Noonan, who is coordinating all the internal and external playtests, to get a little more granular detail. Many (but not all) of the internal playtests are focusing on combat encounters. The first round of external playtests included a "prison break" scenario where we asked testers to play this over and over and record results each turn (that stops being fun pretty fast). Personally weeks of my early playtests with Chris Thommason were encounter only (this is were Coup de Grace got a tweek). Combat is getting plenty of attention and scrutiny.

    Now as people have also pointed out combat does not make D&D and with that in mind other types of tests are happening. Chris Perkins has kicked off one of his legendary campaigns as part of his test and I am playing through H1.

    All in all I feel like we are mixing it up and getting it right.

    I hope this answers your questions.
    Last edited by Scott_Rouse; Wednesday, 19th December, 2007 at 11:04 PM.
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  • #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott_Rouse
    So to further prove that I actually do take this stuff seriously and to demonstrate that I want to be a valuable contributor to the conversation I called Mr. Schaefer
    I'm dying to know what you called him!

  • #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott_Rouse
    This has been play tested in parts for years (Bo9S, SWSE, DMG II, etc) and in whole since early 2007 so I am sure your statement is inaccurate. I played my first 4e game in May 2007 but saw an early build in February 2006.
    Funny. After they told us for years "There is no 4E" and similar crap, now we learn they *would* have been playtesting it from 2006?

    Your company would do well to quit spreading bs and other undemonstrable statements; one reason why people have serious doubts about new products while you are repeating "it is all perfect!" over and over again is that you lied too much, too many times.

    No need for a genius when you say "We have no plans for 4E" and "We was playtesting 4E from 2006" to see you are not trustworthy.
    "Nasty times are coming, I reckon'"- Nameless halfling, Baldur's Gate

  • #88
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    But without Kraydak, how are we going to inject more funnies into this thread?

    I appreciate Scott popping by as a designer, developer, sales manager...whatever...but more importantly for dropping by as a player and 'person' with an interest and a sense of humour.

    What number of play testers would satisfy people? Do they have to give a number? How hard would that be given stuff has been playtested for years and involved several 3.5 products? Try reading MANY other blogs and threads...you will get some idea how much is going on internally. We don't know external, but we know it is happening...Sheesh! I am pretty happy knowing MANY people that can write, GM, edit, design and heck, PLAY are involved in this process. This is not a small bunch of people - this is a major operation (but one based upon the research and testing of many before it)...man I am just stating what has been said many times elsewhere. Read around.

    Only being serious, Connors
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  • #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer20
    Funny. After they told us for years "There is no 4E" and similar crap, now we learn they *would* have been playtesting it from 2006?

    Your company would do well to quit spreading bs and other undemonstrable statements; one reason why people have serious doubts about new products while you are repeating "it is all perfect!" over and over again is that you lied too much, too many times.

    No need for a genius when you say "We have no plans for 4E" and "We was playtesting 4E from 2006" to see you are not trustworthy.
    I'm inclined to report this, but I'll try to be polite first.

    WotC never said "We have no plans for 4e." What they said (in early 2006!) was: "We have no plans to release 4e anytime soon." That was misrepresented by many people outside of the company as "no plans for 4e," but if you go back to the source, that's far different from what was actually said. Since then, when cornered, the designers have said things like "I'm not working on 4e, and even if I was, I couldn't tell you."

    Now, you can claim that two and a half years off meets your definition of "soon," but that's your issue. Personally, I think it's unfair to accuse WotC of lying because you think of "within 3 years" as "soon." Two and a half years from that statement meets my criteria of the game not being released "soon."

    I'm frankly getting sick of people levelling these kinds of nasty accusations at WotC and I don't even work there. I guess those who do are just thicker-skinned than I am. And I respect their ability to be civil in light of comments like these.

  • #90
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott_Rouse
    The jump from 2nd to 3e was massive. This jump is big but not that big.
    <spit-take>
    ADVANCED DUNGEONS &DRAGONS is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek to use imagination and creativity. This is not to say that where it does not interfere with the flow of the game that the highest degree of realism hasnt been attempted, but neither is a serious approach to play discouraged. (1E DMG p. 9)

    Dan's Diminutive d20 (v1.1): http://www.superdan.net/dimd20/
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