D&D 4th Edition D&D Next Chat Transcript (Mike Mearls & Jeremy Crawford) - Page 5





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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Goonalan View Post
    That's a little difficult to work around though isn't it?

    WOTC: We made a game that after a year of playtesting and feedback is as close to the publics wants and needs in every way...

    Lapsed D&D player: Yeah, well it's not what I wanted?

    The point being if you are connected to D&D in any way, I figure by now you've heard WOTC are up for a new edition- and they're looking for feedback. Chasing Pathfinder- the home for some of the lapsed D&D players, perhaps.

    So what's WOTC to do, second guess the people who are not bothered enough to provide feedback, or get involved, or else try and guess what they'd like in the new edition.

    I see what you're saying and all, and I don't want to come across as harsh but what are your suggestions- other than shouting it from every rooftop- D&D is getting a new edition, if you're interested then feedback is important, come one come all.

    I guess the thought is with the modular settings then any iteration can be replicated to some extent- but if you don't say anything, sit on the sidelines. Or worse still come along a year later and say I didn't vote for that when the truth is you didn't vote at all...

    WOTC are going to listen to the numbers (+ intuition, game desigher-fu etc).

    If there goal was just another edition, i would agree with you. But since their goal is to bring back lapsed D&D player (i think coming home is the language they have been using) it is on them to seek out and get feedback from the lapsed crowd. Personally I don't know if it is the case that they aren't doing that. It does appear they have reached out to the old school community for example. Where I think they may run into trouble is relying too much on their own forum for feedback (which is predominantly made up of 4e folks). Most news and playtest info (not to mention polls) hit there first and most frequently, so I suspect it is possible the playtest is weighted a bit in the 4e direction.

    Wizards is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of 5E. If they fail to get the broadest mix of players in their feedback pool and therefore end up not achieving their goal of uniting the base they have no one to blame but themselves. It is not our responsibility as players to make sure the next editon gets the feedback it needs. If they really want feedback from people who didn't like 4e, we are easy enough to find.

    But I will be the first to admit I am just not feeling "it" when it comes to participating in some of the feedback events they have set up. I hope 5e ends up good enough that I play and like it,it just isn't the focus of my life. I come here and therpgsite and happily share my toughts; I am not going to sign up for a account on the wizards forum because i dont currently buy their products.
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  • #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goonalan View Post
    That's a little difficult to work around though isn't it?

    WOTC: We made a game that after a year of playtesting and feedback is as close to the publics wants and needs in every way...

    Lapsed D&D player: Yeah, well it's not what I wanted?

    The point being if you are connected to D&D in any way, I figure by now you've heard WOTC are up for a new edition- and they're looking for feedback. Chasing Pathfinder- the home for some of the lapsed D&D players, perhaps.

    So what's WOTC to do, second guess the people who are not bothered enough to provide feedback, or get involved, or else try and guess what they'd like in the new edition.

    I see what you're saying and all, and I don't want to come across as harsh but what are your suggestions- other than shouting it from every rooftop- D&D is getting a new edition, if you're interested then feedback is important, come one come all.

    I guess the thought is with the modular settings then any iteration can be replicated to some extent- but if you don't say anything, sit on the sidelines. Or worse still come along a year later and say I didn't vote for that when the truth is you didn't vote at all...

    WOTC are going to listen to the numbers (+ intuition, game desigher-fu etc).

    Yup, as I said. You could argue that if there isn't a majority of opinion steering in a particular direction then WotC should go a different way. I see from your sig you play 4E and I assume you like what you see in the direction of the new edition. Let's assume you like what they eventually produce and, along with some portion of the current base as well as a minor portion of lapsed players, you buy into the new edition. Then, let's say WotC doesn't feel the turnout is enough to support that new edition after but a couple/few years. I don't think those folks, maybe including yourself, are going to be all that happy having spent a hundred or more dollars on the new edition.


    However, if they wish to recapture lapsed players and only a small percentage of the feedback is coming from lapsed players, do they ignore that small percentage in favor of a lot of feedback from current players? Do they abandon their plan to recapture the ones who are not giving feedback but WotC knows are out there and WotC wants if they are going to be as successful as they need to be to not just give up on this edition after a few years like the last one? I suppose the correlated question would be, how does a company unable to get feedback from some segment of the market manage to produce a game for that segment of the market if it really needs to reach them?


    It seems they have created a slippery slope for themselves. They say they want "everyone" on board, but the early feedback is driving them toward creating a game with many of the features that were rejected by the very fans they want to recapture. The more they show they are going in that direction the less likely those lapsed players are to follow along, playtest, and give feedback. As that progresses, WotC works with the feedback they have and continues further in the direction away from pleasing the lapsed fans. The cycle accelerates. It might become a self-fulfilling failure based on the inability to see beyond the early, current fan feedback.


    One way to adjust for the situation would be to make sure the feedback they do receive is weighted in such a way that sheer numbers from any one school of thought won't tilt the design process in a given direction. If they wish a design to ultimately please, let's say, five different editions' fans, then the feedback from each fan base would garner 20% of the design priority, regardless if any given edition had an overwhelming number of fans giving feedback. Wthout such an approach, they are bound to never have a chance to bring certain segments on board during the design phase and probably not once they reach the point when they plan to publish.
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  • #43
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    I think the problem in asking WotC to accommodate the opinions of people who refuse to contribute to the discussion is that you cannot always tell how they feel about an issue simply based on a binary yes/no kind of question.

    At-will magic is a great example.

    Person A feels that low-level magic-users feel too mundane and would like their wizards to have at-will spells. From previous editions, it's easy to assume that Person B exists who feels low-level magic-users being tied to their crossbows is fine and doesn't need wizards to have at-will spells. But it's tougher to realize (until you read the thread on ENWorld) that there is a vocal bunch of People C who find at-will magic to be anathema and not only don't want it for their wizards, but also want to make sure Person A can't use it.

    There's also two VERY distinct types of "lapsed users" and they're very difficult to cater for because they already have something else they play. There are lapsed users who still play AD&D (or a similarly built retro-clone) and there are lapsed users to play Pathfinder. Then we can add in people who still play 3.5, but not Pathfinder. They're a little easier because they don't have a currently supported game. Then there's lapsed users who don't play any D&D at all, and I can't imagine that they're any more unified in their views on RPGs than the D&D community itself is.

    Now, as I've said elsewhere, I don't think 5e will get anywhere trying to be everyone's favorite game. But if instead they can make a game that Person A, B and C can sit down and play together. . .

    The most important way they've addressed the fractured fan-base is to go back to the old editions and try to create a game that can play like any of them. But if people want to make sure that their individual vision is supported right out of the box, that really requires everyone (yes, WotC too) to work REALLY, really hard to make sure that their voices are being heard.
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  • #44
    One of the little things I liked - when talking about cantrips, they said that they were utility abilities, some of which could also be used in combat. The example of the torch lighting cantrip to light up a goblins butt. So no magic missile or fire spear that you throw all day long - just utility stuff that can be used in combat.

    The flavor of at wills being that way works very well for me - they aren't mini combat spells. Changes the whole at will magic issue tone.

    I just home the spells choices are limited by type no X utility spells, X combat spells etc.
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  • #45
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    Just a comment on the "lots of feedback from 4E players..." from a 4E player.

    I've played every version of D&D from the start, and people who know me will say I'm currently a 4E fan. I'm going to be very vocal from my experiences with my group on the playtest, since I want to shape D&D to continue to be a game that I play. I currently play D&D a lot, so it's in my best interest to do so.

    For those who are more a fan of earlier editions, I'd say "make your voices heard loud and often!" Even if I don't like the same sort of things you do in a game, I want you to be heard and taken into consideration... we're all out to make the next Edition a great one.

    I liken this to voting (hopefully not stepping on the no politics rule here...): I have voted in every election I could since I've been 18. I think that if you want to complain about how things are going in the country, the state, the city ... or in D&D, you have to step up and get involved. Then you totally have a right to complain to your heart's content.
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  • #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    Mearls: ... My feeling on tanks is that it's best if a player wants to do that, rather than saying an entire swatch of characters are assigned that when a player might want to be a fighter to be good in combat.
    That bolded bit worries me just a bit, because in my experience this could lead to trap options. I mean, in 4e, if you want a mundane warrior but /don't/ want to be a defender, you don't choose a fighter - you choose a rogue or a barbarian or a ranger or a warlord or some other class that /is/ built for the role you want. If what you want is a round hole, it's /possible/ the fighter is a square peg, y'know.

    Depending on how this is structured, though, it could work. I just think that the very clear design goals associated with 4e's combat roles were a good thing for the game.
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  • #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siberys View Post
    ...I just think that the very clear design goals associated with 4e's combat roles were a good thing for the game.
    Roles were really good for those that liked the effect they had on the game.

    Roles were very bad for those that disliked the effect they had on the game.

    I'm assuming they are going to try and find a middle ground, or have the ability to play either way. It's a very polarizing aspect of 4E, most either love or hate it, with very few being just "meh" about it. That's something that needs to be dealt with, which means likely not having roles hard coded into the core rules (it's much easier to overlay a concept of roles through a module or options, than it is to remove the concept of roles from the core rules).


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    At-will magic for fighters and rogues? What a crock! Fighters should fight, rogues should steal and backstab. Leave the 4E homogenization in 4E where it belongs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveC View Post
    I liken this to voting

    We've passed that point in the discussion. What you suggest doesn't help WotC make sure they build an edition that draws back lapsed players and likely leads to fewer players than those using the current edition. That's the danger.


    Quote Originally Posted by SteveC View Post
    I have voted in every election I could since I've been 18. I think that if you want to complain about how things are going in the country, the state, the city ... or in D&D, you have to step up and get involved. Then you totally have a right to complain to your heart's content.

    I've heard that false analogy before. Paying taxes gives people the right to complain. Voting is just one of the ways in which they voice their complaints.
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  • #50
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    "Here's another thing - with stuff like paralyzed, we're dealing more in describing what happens rather than trying to make everything mechanical. So paralyzed says that you can' t move your limbs. Spellcasting specifies that you need to move your arms to cast a spell. Thus, a paralyzed creature can't cast spells."

    Um, but if it is only the limbs, it can move its head and speak. Not to mention cast, at least potentially if using 3X magic system, spells with the Still Spell feat. I hope that was just a general description, and not the exact description, because if it is the former that is going to raise lots of questions thoughout the game.

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