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Thursday, 26th April, 2012, 12:53 AM #101
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
In January it was announced that they had been working on a new design and had been hinting at it for almost a year in various articles like L&L and Rule of 3.
The initial follow on articles suggested that they were far less clear on their mechanics and decisions on what they wanted for the new edition. They started to pose questions on "What should be a Fighter" and "What should be a Cleric".
The first playtest at DDXP of the Caves of Chaos seemed to be the high water mark of the initial set of ideas.
Some time after that the articles started to change and seemed to discuss less content in what I would consider absolute terms.
It now seems that they are re-visiting topics that they did articles on before like Bruce discussing HP today or earlier this week the topic of "Clerics vs Paladins".
It seems the original plan and material has gone into the can and they are now doing a major re-design of their announced game plan at the start of January.
It has made me more worried on what is going on inside the design process that PaxE did not offer a new version of rules to playtest or even a new set of classes and play environment. Ideally they should have shown some progress in design and what maybe 3rd level is going to look like after showing off 1st level at DDXP.
I remember the design process for 4e when the initial announced design seemed to go through a radical change from what was promised with Playtests offered and initial class designs suggested.
It will be interesting if they leave just 2 desingers on the DnD 5e project or scramble to bring in a 3rd or 4th person to help share up some of the design load.
Bruce's blog on HP today and mention of Healing Surges suggests that they may be trying to push for a more 4e friendly design/similar design.
It will be interesting to compare answers to questions on things like how many classes and which classes will be part of 5e from the answers given at DDXP. The same will go for ideas of Themes and Backgrounds which seems to now be coming out that did not seem part of the original idea in January.
I'm also surprised that WotC did not make the announcement first. If they've known of this possibility for a week or more then they should have had a prepared statement with the usual 'regrets' and 'best wishes' and assurances that 'everything is going ahead'. It is interesting that it is not a Friday before a holiday which seems the normal popular date for Hasbro to release people they do not want.
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Thursday, 26th April, 2012, 12:55 AM #102
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Actually, my post that I began this thread in was a bullet point list of the stuff that I had questions or lacked clarity on -after- that line by line thing.
And we actually have spent a few posts just exploring one detail that I was unclear about, that has had about a dozen perfectly viable explanations.
Thursday, 26th April, 2012, 12:59 AM #103
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Thursday, 26th April, 2012, 01:00 AM #104
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
I'm inclined to use a grandma-unfriendly expletive, like excrement.
I like Monte, and like his design. Not having him on 5E gives me a very sad face.
"The Soul of D&D? It's rolling a natural 20 when you're down to 3 hit points and the cleric's on the floor and you're staring that sunnavabitch bugbear right in his bloodshot eye and holding the line just long enough to let the wizard unleash a fireball at the guards who are on their way, because they're all that stands between you, the Foozle and Glory." - WizarDru
Thursday, 26th April, 2012, 01:06 AM #105
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
And . . . open playtests on May 24th! That's double the big news in one day!
Thursday, 26th April, 2012, 01:10 AM #106
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
Thursday, 26th April, 2012, 01:14 AM #107
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
4e was not OGL and if some one was to hire me to such a position then I doubt that I would count on OGL being a deal breaker.
I would drop out as it was suggested if the WotC/Hasbro were going to try and touch my IP (like Monte's Ptolus) and claim it for their own without paying for the Goodwill.
In sales, companies often try to acquire smaller companies just to get their hands on a client list and then dump the rest of the personnel.
In design, IP is the only real capital and Monte has developed a fair amount of it with a good following. Many people, myself included, paid attention to WotC DnD again because Monte was hired for the project.
IF you are proposing a big new project that you have to get investors attracted to then it helps to hire a big name to put on the project. The person is often only retained long enough to satisfy the investors and then they are discarded to save costs (and avoid their influence).
Plenty of deeper reasons than OGL for this situation to occur but as some people have pointed out that it could be something totally unrelated.
I nearly walked on a contract because my employer suddenly wanted to be rigid on the work hours of a Friday (I was not big on the work environment anyways so the loss of a call centre job was not a priority). A year later, I left the position because they would not allow me to flex my lunch time and work schedule to attend a course 3xweek for an hour.
Thursday, 26th April, 2012, 01:23 AM #108
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
I am disappointed that Monte is leaving, but if the silver lining is that if he was unhappy it is good for everyone that he chose to leave early in the process.
Thursday, 26th April, 2012, 01:24 AM #109
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
I think that a lot of us are just not compatible with the modern corporate environment. They demand loyalty of the employees, often expecting great personal sacrifices (such as working unpaid overtime), showing none in return as evidenced by the now-standard cycle of going on a hiring spree when ramping up for a new project followed by rounds of layoffs as the project winds down. Perhaps some of us are just too good at detecting BS to fall for the motivational speakers, customer service seminars, and lip service to "respecting work-life balance."
Navigating corporate office politics is a skill that not everyone possesses, and it doesn't take much to get on someone's bad side, particularly when they seem to value a "can-do" attitude more than a "can-do" performance. Often, all it seems to take is giving an honest and realistic answer when asked if you can accomplish something on an unreasonable deadline to be labeled as having a bad attitude. Meanwhile, the guy who says "yes" to everything and delivers it both severely reduced in scope and six months behind schedule gets praised and promoted. You'd think that some of us would learn after observing this time and again.
And of course, once someone in senior management has a negative impression of you, it's very difficult to change and odds are good that you'll be a part of the next "downsizing" when they don't need any justification beyond that.
I imagine that working for WotC would have a fair bit in common with working in the video games industry. It's a "cool" and "fun" job that a lot of us do for free as a hobby, so there are always far more job-seekers than there are jobs. This can often lead to the situation where employees tolerate low pay, poor working conditions, and ridiculous hours simply because they love what they are doing -- and the executives know that for every employee who burns out and leaves, there are a dozen more applicants who see it as their dream job.
Ahem, back on topic... so yeah, it is quite possible than Monte's decision to leave had nothing to do with the design of the game and everything to do with the corporate working environment. Judging by the regularity of layoffs and the high turnover, I'd say that the working conditions may not be too far off what they are in the video games industry. I've gone from working in corporate environments, to freelancing, back to corporate environments (pursuing my "dream job" of making video games), and back to freelancing. It's extremely difficult to go back to dealing with the typical corporate BS after being your own boss for a while. Even if you love what you're doing, there's always a point at which it is no longer worth it.
Thursday, 26th April, 2012, 01:29 AM #110
Mod Note: And the award for "Most Reported Post in Several Weeks" goes to....
Ladies and gents, upthread, Piratecat asked for people to hold off on cheap shots. Please allow me to reiterate that. Nobody insists that you have to like a particular designer's work, but they are people, fellow gamers, and we ask you show the persons a modicum of respect. In general, we expect to see people doing their best to remain thoughtful and mature for the remainder of the thread.
If there's any question about this, please take it to e-mail or PM with one of the mods or admins. Thanks, all! ~Umbran
Last edited by Piratecat; Friday, 27th April, 2012 at 10:21 PM.