Pathfinder RPG Pathfinder outselling D&D - Page 34




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  1. #331
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAuldGrump View Post
    Frankly, at this point I wouldn't say that 4e was a mistake - they did listen to a portion of their audience, and that portion is happy with 4e.

    Perhaps not the game for either you or me, but it does have its fans.

    It is not 'failing and sliding into oblivion', though I think that it may be stagnating at the moment.
    I think one issue is it keeps getting put into these "huge success" or "sliding into oblivion" buckets.

    Neither is accurate.

    I have consitently been in the camp that DDI *IS* a big success. I agree it is making a ton of money, is a great model, and is a step on the path to the future of the marketplace.

    And DDI may very well be making a lot more profit per unit of market share. I don't know, but it seems reasonable and I'm more than willing to assume that for sake of discussion.

    But there is also no way to reasonably not take notice of the difference between the market domination of 3E and the current position of 4E. During 3E there were complaints about it actually stiffling innovation because it was so firmly dominant in the industry.

    That isn't happening now.

    I agree that 4E was clearly a bigger seller than 3E. At first. Hell, I bought 4E. There are TONS of people that bought 4E who are no longer interested in playing. That is not to make any point remotely claiming that there are not still many people still playing 4E and loving it. But comparing the out of the gate snapshots of two editions and ignoring the life cycle overall is a really big mistake.

    DDI is huge and a great model. And there is no telling how massive D&D and that model would now be if 4E had the overall market appeal that 3E demonstrated.
    Still running a great game

 

  • #332
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAuldGrump
    I had thought that Essentials, in particular the Red Box would do better, locally, than it did. I don't know why it didn't do better, aside from the apparently lackluster Red Box. It has an attractive price point, it is in a format that book stores would much rather deal with, and from the few folks that I know who looked at it Essentials is not a bad version of the game. Maybe closer to D&D 4.25 than 4.5.
    I know anecdotal evidence isn't, but I play in two 4e games (and no Pathfinder games), and have used Essentials material in both of them. In one, all the characters except one use an Essentials build. In the other, one character occasionally uses an Essentials build.

    It's probably achieved a deeper penetration with my groups than, say, Martial Power II has. And the players have bought books! And not DDI accounts!

    I'm pretty on-record as being an Essentials fan, however. I think the problem came in when some vocal 4e fans decided things like the ADEU power structure was sacrosanct across all classes in all cases (except psionics?), for reasons I still don't clearly understand. Essentials wasn't going to sell to current 4e Trufans very much. And then it was followed with months of little to no product, and people started freaking out...

    And, of course, now Mearls's articles aren't putting anyone's fears at ease.
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  • #333
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  • #334
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryonD View Post
    I agree that 4E was clearly a bigger seller than 3E. At first. Hell, I bought 4E. There are TONS of people that bought 4E who are no longer interested in playing. That is not to make any point remotely claiming that there are not still many people still playing 4E and loving it. But comparing the out of the gate snapshots of two editions and ignoring the life cycle overall is a really big mistake.
    Jumping in in the middle here, so I may be saying something others have already said. In terms of data analysis, there's an important point here.

    As always, I'll note that we don't have real numbers for our analysis.

    It is my understanding (and I expect most will agree) that the traditional big moneymaker in the RPG business is core rulebooks. Supplements are good, but the real money's in the PHBs and DMGs (or a game's equivalent of those).

    As BryonD said, 4e sold big, and sold fast. Pathfinder's been a slower rise. What we currently see is consistent with the idea that, in terms of sales, 4e peaked earlier, with an expected decline as the game saturates the market. Pathfinder then peaks later.

    But, market penetration isn't defined by who is at the peak at a given time - it is defined more (but perhaps not completely) by the area under the curve - total sales. Which, of course, we don't know. Who is currently on top this quarter doesn't really speak to the health of either system as a whole - because judging that requires the additional context of history.

    And, as several have noted, DDI sort of changes the model - hopefully extending the revenue from 4e in a way that we don't see if we only look at book sales.
    Last edited by Umbran; Thursday, 7th July, 2011 at 03:19 PM.

  • #335
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    I know anecdotal evidence isn't, but I play in two 4e games (and no Pathfinder games), and have used Essentials material in both of them. In one, all the characters except one use an Essentials build. In the other, one character occasionally uses an Essentials build.

    It's probably achieved a deeper penetration with my groups than, say, Martial Power II has. And the players have bought books! And not DDI accounts!

    I'm pretty on-record as being an Essentials fan, however. I think the problem came in when some vocal 4e fans decided things like the ADEU power structure was sacrosanct across all classes in all cases (except psionics?), for reasons I still don't clearly understand. Essentials wasn't going to sell to current 4e Trufans very much. And then it was followed with months of little to no product, and people started freaking out...

    And, of course, now Mearls's articles aren't putting anyone's fears at ease.
    Anecdotal it may be, but I am willing to believe it. As I said, I was surprised that it didn't do better - there were a couple of times when I had a good coupon (40% off or the like) that I was tempted. Didn't happen, but the temptation was there.

    And, yeah, I also heard folks muttering that they had been betrayed, that Essentials was 4.5. I do not understand those complaints, but then I had no problem with 3.5 either.

    Locally Pathfinder is doing better, but 4e doing better other places is no surprise. Plus the folks at the local game store are the kind of folks that still play D6 Star Wars... they might be a trifle slow to change....

    Heck, I am amazed that WotC has not offered an epub version - it is just about the right dimensions to be useful on an e-reader or tablet.

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  • #336
    Quote Originally Posted by Dunnagin View Post
    Some folks seem to be enjoying Pathfinder
    Some folks seem to be enjoying 4th
    Some folks seem to be enjoying (insert edition/version name here)

    I totally understand that people can be excited enough about their choice to evangelize it, but citing the percieved merits of your own taste does not require anyone to downplay or degrade the tastes of another.

    We are all gamers, we all enjoy our forays into fantasy... I'd prefer less civil war between us.

    My personal belief is... if there is a "way of the future", it will likely be a game which will entertain as many of us as possible... right now RPG's are blessed with the gift enormous variety... enjoy it.

    No body "wins" this arguement... but it certainly can make necomers to the hobby, and those who are returning, feel much less welcome.
    One of the ironies of Pathfinder doing so well in the book trade - as I loosen up and become less antagonistic about 4e it seems that others are getting more combative about it. I notice the 4e folks more, but that may well be them rubbing me the wrong way. (Saying that I prefer Pathfinder because I 'don't understand 4e' is a good way to ruffle my fur. Logical fallacies following after do not help in the least.)

    But yes, it is more important that the hobby grow than which edition is doing better.

    I am tickled pink that Pathfinder is doing well. It is not necessary that 4e fail.

    Ideally, I would like to see Pathfinder doing as well as 3.5 at its peak, with 4e coming up just behind. (Okay, maybe it matters a little.... ) It would mean that the market was thriving beyond any reasonable expectation. (Yeah, I am being unreasonable.)

    Anyway, welcome to the madhouse, thank you for bringing your own straitjacket, the concierge will be with you in a moment.

    The Auld Grump, have a mint, they're free.
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    And the crew of the captain's gig...

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  • #337
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    As someone that runs a mixed core + essentials 4e game, I see no difference, essentials isn't even a 4.25. It's as much 4e as the psionic classes of PHB3.

    As for encounters, I didn't play the early seasons, but in the previous season and the current, there is a pretty good story. I attribute some of that to my DM. There are branching paths in the story, it's engaging, and the encounters are tied to each other. It's no home campaign, but it's pretty enjoyable. We usually roleplay for an hour or so before we get to the combat, which takes 30 minutes to an hour, but feels much shorter due to zaniness of the action. (We were in a house boarded up Night of the Living Dead style, and were surrounded by zombies/skeletons. Rather than moving across the whole house to go out the front door where the other players were bunched up, my female dwarf in platemail got a running start, jumped on a table, and jumped through the nearest window, bursting through the boards, to land on the back side of the undead horde. Which was great as a defender, I took the pressure off the players in the doorway. Two athletics checks for the action, one to jump on the table, another to smash through the boarded window at a higher DC)

    We're playing with ppl that had never played 4e 6 months ago, and run their turns in under 30 seconds now.

  • #338
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    Sustainability is an important point in all of this. The double peak that @Umbran discusses hits right on this problem. How much does DDI improve sustainability?

    As someone who rarely buys D&D material, I'll keep a DDI account for the foreseeable future. Roughly speaking, DDI costs the equivalent of two books a year. That is about 1.5 more books a year than I usually bought and I'm probably paying 3-5 times more margin that way. Seems pretty effective way to keep things sustainable.

  • #339
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    And, of course, now Mearls's articles aren't putting anyone's fears at ease.
    Yeah, but if someone at WotC sneezes, someone on the internet will claim that the entire company has been infected with Bird Flu and are about to die, and the rights to D&D will revert to Gary Gygax's cat.

    Which is to say, there is nothing Mearls can say that will allay fears. His silence will similarly be read as meaningful. No matter what happens, someone will be able to read meaning into it.

    In aggregate, the internet uses the shotgun method of prognostication - if you claim the world is ending for every event, eventually you'll be right once.

  • #340
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    the rights to D&D will revert to Gary Gygax's cat.
    Ack! And I bet Gary Gygax's cat is a seriously old school cat. How many commoners and sacred cows will it slay in creating 5e?
    . . o 0 O O 0 o . .

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