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Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 05:15 PM #51
Hydra (Lvl 25)
Watch your language.
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Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 05:16 PM #52
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 05:25 PM #53
1. The game was awesome.
2. Their nephew Timmy was crippled early in the game and never had a chance to win.
3. In fact, as a result of his early game problems, he spent the whole evening making rote movements and uninteresting decisions, and only stayed in the game because having one player drop would have ruined the game for everyone else.
4. But in spite of this, nothing is wrong with the game.
I'm not going to believe 1 and 4. If my playtesters think these things, then I literally know better than them, and I'm going to improve my game whether they know to ask me to or not. The game would have been better if Timmy had a chance to make a comeback, or if the game had a meaningful ranking system so that fighting for second to last instead of last was fun for Timmy, or if the game were shorter so that the low time for Timmy was shorter, or probably any number of other changes I haven't even thought of.
If my playtesters tell me that it was totally ok for Timmy to sit there pointlessly for hours, they're wrong.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 05:27 PM #54
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Subjectively, that doesn't mean everyone will actually LIKE it more. "Citizen Kane" is objectively a better movie than "Clash of the Titans" (the new one especially) but many who like the latter won't even watch the former or get through maybe 5 minutes. Subjectivity is very important in entertainment.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 05:37 PM #55
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Someone is always trying to balance the game in order for people to have fun. The difference being that DMs have had to spend a lot of needless time balancing things, things that could be taken care of by the system. Personally, I very much enjoy just coming up with the story and going and when the game is properly balanced, the game can go in any direction without marginalizing anyone. So if the social skill monkey starts diverting the adventure his way there's two paths:
1. The fighter player can start playing on his phone or go home because the system isn't balanced.
2. If the system is balanced the fighter's player has things to do and you don't have to try and railroad the story back to combat unless you want to hear him snore.
It's easier to have a flexible, breathing game when you don't have to have specific things happen in a certain order. One session, it may be all combat, another it may be none and nobody can feel skipping the session is a good idea.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 05:43 PM #56
Defender (Lvl 8)
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 05:56 PM #57
Superhero (Lvl 15)
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 05:57 PM #58
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
I also posted this over at RPGNet:
Great post Neonchameleon!
So far (and I know its early days yet) I have seen nothing from 5E to suggest its as good as 4E...let alone better.
4E has (or has had) a few problems but most were easily resolvable:
1. Rules Bloat: I think in particular the individual classes REALLY take up far too much space.
2. Lack of Identity for the higher Tiers: The higher tiers are just more of the same with more math, when they needed to add elements like mass combat, running a stronghold, gigantic monsters, politics, running a country, becoming a religion/immortal.
Solution: Use these ideas as the backbone for new books instead of "Fighter Book 4".
3. The Game System License: Slightly improved now, but the initial GSL for 4E really isolated the third party companies and caused the schism that is Pathfinder.
Solution: To be honest I'm not sure. Maybe the damage is already done. Maybe they just need to rebrand/repackage 4E (4.5E?) to remove the stigmatism. I suspect that no matter how good 5E is, that a large chunk of people will still be playing Pathfinder and 4E respectively.
4. Too Combat Centric: Don’t get me wrong, I love RPG combat/tactical play and 4E is the best system for that. But after reading Revenge of the Iron Lich it was clear that other 4E products (adventures in particular) really ignored the exploration and puzzle side of the game.
Solution: I think WotC have already made strides in this area with adventures/products like the Madness at Gardmore Abbey. Although I don't think every adventure needs to be a mega-adventure.
5. Underwhelming Products: While 4E had its share of gems (Dungeon Delves, Open Grave, Draconomicon, Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting among others) too many of the books were all too familiar and pretty lacklustre efforts. I can’t remember the last time I really got excited by a 4E release.
Solution: Come up with some new ideas for books rather than a schedule dominated by either a) retreads of books I already have for every past edition, or b) rules bloating class books.
Obviously WotC sees 5E as the solution. But maybe they should have had a bit more of a think about how they could improve upon 4E first...?
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 06:02 PM #59
Superhero (Lvl 15)
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 06:05 PM #60
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
It really comes down to how you want the game.
4E was very DM Neutral. The DM had to do little to make sure every player's character had something meaning ful to do and thus the DM could play anything kind of game with with any proportion of the 3 Plillars or Number of Encounters.
D&D Next current cureently plays like older editions where the DM had to mandate certain types of characters or retool his or her game to ensure everyone was doing something meaningful... eventually.
It's a preference but the current form of 5E and the plans attributed to it seem to leave 4E player behind.
My beard is hairy.