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Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 07:18 PM #61
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
Personally I am not surprised that in many respects DDN more closely resembles the older editions of the game before adding modules. Given the stated desgin goal it would have been surprising to me if it had looked like 4.75 at first glimpse.
In order to create a game that appeals to fans of all editions they had to start from a distilled or stripped down rule set and then provide add ons allowing people to customize the game to resemble the edition which more closely resembles the playstyle they prefer. So seeing a game that in some respects echos 1E shouldn't be a surprise. I'm sure the 4E playstyle modules will comes as well as the 3E ones and the 2E ones plus whatever innovations that come up with to make DDN an E unto itself.
In some regards the panic from 4E fans is not unlike what we saw here when WotC told us 3E wasn't fun or cool and announced 4E was coming except in theory this time no one needs to be left behind. In my mind thats a beautiful thing.I hope with strange eons even the edition war may die.
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Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 07:41 PM #62
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
If you want to create a roleplaying game in which character choice matters and you make all character creation choices effectively equal, you've failed.
If you want to create a game that allows players to create whatever character they want and you only have one mechanical framework for building a character, you've failed.
If you want to create a game in which people become involved in the characters and story but you make it difficult to do that because of the artificiality of so-called game balance, you've failed.
If you want to create a game with heroic characters but success is effectively assured regardless of what they do, you've failed.
I'm not going to use the word "objective" for these examples though.
Actually, it needs to be the Lord of the Rings, where Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and Sam all matter, despite Sam being a three-foot tall gardener who is not remotely "balanced" with the former three. Oh, and where Gandalf matters, but doesn't dominate, because his divine powers come with great responsibility. And where Frodo matters, not because he was talented or competent or even successful in the end, but because he made a choice to do something adventurous.D&D needs to be Lord of the Rings, where Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas all matter. Not Xena, where everybody knows that in terms of screen time doing cool things, Xena > Gabriella > ... .. .. .. .. > Joxter.
The presumption that everyone must be mechanically equal to be dramatically interesting or fun to play is a tremendous disservice to everyone in reality and in fiction who is not exactly equal to everyone else.
In other words, you definitely don't want all the characters to be "balanced".
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Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 07:49 PM #63
Defender (Lvl 8)
I'm really getting rather tired of hearing "Oh, it's a playtest/alpha/beta. I'm sure there will be an add-on module in the future that will address all your concerns!" The very point this topic is making is that regardless of that we still haven't seen anything and in fact what we have seen in many ways hints that such a thing will never be.
Also, it is now July. They announced this in January. When is this "Well it's still so early in development" argument going to expire? When the product is released and it still doesn't have all these promised things in it?
At very best WotC is simply bungling the entire thing when it comes to creating a game that a very large set of players want to play. At worst it's written them off entirely and all this "big tent" talk of inclusion is deceptive hogwash.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 07:55 PM #64
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
I disagree with the premise, it seems. Ease of play? Balance in flexibility? I found those not to be the case in our group. I never DM'd 4e because it was the first D&D system I didn't have any desire to DM because it was so wonky. I never read the Monster Manual either, because I wanted to approach the new system as strictly a player. So, I can only comment on the bits I have heard from our DM and the few tactics I read.
I can speak to balance of characters, however. It was virtually homogenous. And because everyone was special, no one was. I really hated that different classes united under a common title (striker, defender, etc.) had the exact same powers mechanically merely with different fluff in the descriptors. We went from many unique classes to basically four.
Despite giving up on 4e, I am still a part of their current customer base as well. I consume their products all the time. I am reading their website, participating on their boards, and now even trying to get a playtest group together. I also think the fact that this has turned into a public playtest says something about where current sales are as compared to the past that isn't just related to the hobby having a shrinking customer base. I feel WotC knows they can do something to make D&D a popular and mainstream game again and that they are going to try with this edition.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 07:56 PM #65
Magsman (Lvl 14)
(1) Use the word "objectively" properly,
(2) Design a game that I'll enjoy (if I was a playtester), and
(3) Speaking as a fellow amateur game designer, I wouldn't trust you to help design a game that involved a playtest, either.
You're basically saying I'm having badwrongfun if I had fun with the game that was presented to me, just because you don't like that type of game. That about says it all right there.
Again, that's not to say that the design goal is first and foremost Fun (but it probably is). And, it's not to say that the game you described it more fun than being able to make a comeback (it probably isn't to most people, but is for some [depending on the degree of crippling and the comeback breaking their verisimilitude and suspension of disbelief]). But, saying "you're having Fun wrong, and I know better than you" when it comes to everyone? Good luck with that. All you need is one person disagreeing with you to make you wrong. You're wrong. Objectively. As always, play what you like
As always, play what you like
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 08:02 PM #66
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
Look, we all want the game to be what we want it to be. To accuse WotC of bungling or deceptiveness is itself hogwash unless you have seen the full game.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 08:12 PM #67
Superhero (Lvl 15)
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You wrote: "I mean "objectively" worse in the literal sense. It isn't a matter of perspective. Games have design goals, and how well they accomplish them can be objectively evaluated."
But you make it sound like you just hate the idea of a game that doesn't have the design goal of game A, because you're trying to prove that the design goal of game B can never succeed (your point 2. that in your own words is "virtually impossible to accomplish"). That to me did not sound at all like you were proving that game B failed its design goal, but rather that you believe that it is such design goal which is "objectively" inferior. That's the message that I received from your post at least...
Maybe I'm getting this wrong again, but you seem very worried that if a game doesn't have the design goal of game A, then it inevitably ends with people having nothing to do for hours at the gaming table...
Well, if you have a game the combats of which last hours, then you're right that this is what would probably happen to some players if the game did not have such concept of balance as "everybody useful all the time".
But that is not what happens if the design goal is different, because the game (obviously if the design work is good, of course!) will tend to avoid focusing too long on one situation.
Also I am, on the other hand, worried that if you choose such design goal as game A (like 4e did), then the game will probably focus too much on combat, because it will be the phase that will be easier to balance.
There is also another, more subtle concern of mine. That if you choose such design goal of "everybody good all the time", this may actually highlight differences in players' abilities too much. (It may also highlight differences in luck at character generation, but this is easily solved by using a point-buy system) What I mean is that, an excellent player may even overshadow the others all the time... I know it sounds like a paradox, but if each character shines at a different time, there will be times when each player will be encouraged to take the spotlight, but if everyone takes the same share of spotlight all the time, some players may actually become frustrated in the presence of someone who plays better than the others all the time.
I would understand if you consider such event actually a good thing. On one hand it can be interpreted as rewarding a better player. But personally I wouldn't like to be on either end of this case.
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Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 08:14 PM #68
Defender (Lvl 8)
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 08:40 PM #69
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 08:44 PM #70
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)