D&D Next (5E) Losing Interest in the D&D Next Playtest? - Page 8




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  1. #71
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    Magsman (Lvl 14)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nerfherder View Post
    Just as a runner doesn't need to be in front of the field for the whole race, only when they cross the finishing line, WotC doesn't need to be generating buzz continuously. I am sure that there will be much excitement when the next playtest material comes out. And the next, and the next. And then as we get closer to the release date WotC will ramp it up so that people who lost interest in the 2012 playtest will still be eager to buy the product in 2013.
    I agree - when the new material is there, people will want to test it. In the meantime they may complain they've already seen it all, and maybe do something else. That's okay. A few ma ynot come back, but a few may be added in because they think the new material looks better or is closer to the "real deal" and thus more worth checking out.
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  • #72
    I don't understand the problem here. Is WotC forcing everyone involved to cease all home roleplaying in favor of their playtest? Are they making everyone wait around sitting on their rears in between new material? 4 Weeks is really the attention span people have today? Honestly?

    You do mostly all have your own game running, I'm sure. So what's the problem? We all have something to do in between. Play that until the next info is released. Geez. We aren't being forced to stare at a blank wall in between packets. Relax.

    M is right. If pathfinder released stuff quicker, that is surely in large part because they were not building something from the ground up. They had a fully usable system of which they really only made modifications to. Of course they could move at a faster pace if they wanted.

    If WotC was rushing, just as many of us would be complaining that they obviously weren't taking feedback seriously and taking time to get it right.

    M also right that we don't all have plenty of freetime. My friends and I STILL have not been able to play it. Should they wait forever for me? Of course not. But they should not rush and lose the feedback of a huge section of gamers either.

  • #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGrandNuge View Post
    I don't understand the problem here. Is WotC forcing everyone involved to cease all home roleplaying in favor of their playtest? Are they making everyone wait around sitting on their rears in between new material? 4 Weeks is really the attention span people have today? Honestly?
    For various reasons, we get to play one session every two to three weeks. If we alternated with another standing game, we'd have 4-6 weeks between actual campaign episodes. After the four(?) 5e sessions we've had, we all feel like we've got enough information to appropriately critique the system (generally, we all feel it rocks). We're ready for the next step.

    I'd be okay with setting aside the playtest for a bit, but I don't want to be caught flat-footed by (grant advantage to?) the next round of play testing. Last time, we'd only gotten one session in before the survey. I could see getting one session of a Shadowrun (likely alternate) game in and having to decide whether to carry the story and miss the survey or skipping out of a campaign and participating in the play test. I'd rather not make that choice.

    I'm not sure how much time I expected between play test "patches", but I definitely am a bit bewildered by having one survey two weeks after release and then nothing for another month or more. I figured there'd be a second round of feedback, by now.

    I don't mind WotC taking some care with the materials. I rather appreciate it. I'd just like to have a hint about how to plan.

    Odds are that I'll be adding some meat onto the bare bones of the play test. We decided that we were going to dispense with any pretense of a story and just get right to testing the rules, so we didn't waste precious time. The local town doesn't even have a name (nor does anyone in it). I think I'm going to fix that and have the PCs get a side trek of some sort. That'll give me a chance to see how smoothly adventure creation goes with the new system.

    That'll keep us from any false starts with another system, when our real interest is in D&D Next. But, there's only so much I can do without the next layer of information.

  • #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagol View Post
    Making and using such conversions would be against the terms of use for the playtest package would it not? No derivative work, et cetera?
    In general I tend to be overly concerned with any NDAs I make as part of playtesting. I tend to take a conservative approach in part because I am thankful to the companies that give me their trust and allow me to influence a game's development and in part because I want to see them prosper.

    The conversions I will be providing as part of my series are at the high level, such as ideas and approaches, rather than specifics (such as room contents). For example, I might talk about ways to create character backgrounds for a classic adventure, or provide advice for changing rooms with 20 monsters into exciting tiered events where groups of monsters may slowly be added to the combat depending on PC action. I tend to avoid direct quotes from an adventure to avoid spoilers, but also because I believe you should own that adventure.

    I hope you like the series and please do let me know if anything I do seems to exceed what you believe should be done.

    All of that said, in general there is greater legal room than we may expect. Despite my conservative approach on rights, I like reading Frylock's series on Loremaster. Two in particular are relevant:

    For My Conversion of an Adventure, What May I Publish

    The D&D Next Online Playtest Agreement, though he doesn't specifically address the derivative section.

  • #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Consonant Dude View Post
    I completely agree with that. In fact, I had to drop cease playtesting 13th Age recently because the publisher's deadline for mandatory feedback was WAY too soon after the release. In roughly a month, I was supposed to absorb a 200-page document. Learn a new game, form a group and teach the game to them, create characters and play enough that I could send valuable feedback so they could throw at us the second version of the game.

    Pelgrane Press is totally disconnected from casual gamers and the way they are collecting feedback only shows they don't really care about the process.
    13th Age's timeline is actually pretty typical. It is important to realize that behind the scenes is a very tight writing/development/publishing schedule. An RPG company really needs to get the feedback quickly so they can address major issues.

    Here's the reality: they don't need a specific person's feedback. They need aggregate feedback. While it is possible that a specific person (you, or me) may make a really insightful comment that leads to a change, in general what really helps is several people highlighting a broader issue (class x was not interesting, thing y was too strong, monsters were too xyz, etc.). These help them identify the major issues and work on them.

    Because of that, the success of a playtest isn't whether some people had the chance to read it. It is whether enough people provided useful feedback. By all accounts, 13th Age's playtest and D&D Next's playtest have each been runaway successes. Tons of people provided very useful feedback.

    To put 200 pages in a month in context, Organized Play adventures are usually 30-60 pages and require at least a few hours of read-through and preparation before the DM can run them for 4 hours... and yet often are given out on a Thursday and the playtest report back on Monday. Part of playtesting is being willing to do something that is hard. You have to learn something new, run it well, take notes well, write up the feedback well... this isn't something typically done because it is easy or convenient. Playtesting isn't supposed to be for everyone. Because of that, those of us in organized play treasure the few groups that can respond quickly and provide us with great useful constructive feedback. We don't need 20 groups for good adventures... we need 2-4. Those 2-4 are vital to our campaigns. (And almost everyone who is an admin for organized play has been a member of one of these groups before later becoming an admin).

    Could it be otherwise? Maybe, but it is hard to really make a great playtesting program for almost everyone without sacrificing your schedule and your progress. When there are enough people willing to work hard at playtesting it doesn't seem worthwhile to make those sacrifices.

  • #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by werecorpse View Post
    I am amazed that someone said they have played through keep on the borderlands, temple of elemental evil AND beneath the slavers stockade. really? even in my uni days of abundant free time temple would have taken a whole year to get through.
    That may have been me. I've run Caves of Chaos as a DM 3 times at D&DXP, plus once for my home group. At that point I was a bit tired of the Caves when the Open Playtest came out. Another DM decided to run Next with Temple of Elemental Evil, starting with T1, and getting as far as the first level of the moathouse.

    We then playtested 13th Age using the second level of the Moathouse. I then ran the rest of the Moathouse with Next and my friend ran our first foray into the Temple proper using the second playtest of 13th Age. I ran two more ToEE sessions using Next. We did the top/ground level, bypassed the 1st underground level, and had much fun on the 2nd level down.

    We then had a new friend that wanted to participate, and he's an excellent DM. He wanted to run Slavers, so we switched to that (and have played twice so far). Because his time was limited, I started thinking about converting Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh and will at some point run a session with that.

    Overall, for a gaming group that plays once a week, we have covered a lot of ground. We take playtesting seriously. We want to playtest a variety of adventure types as it exposes different good and bad aspects of the rules while keeping things interesting.

  • #77
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    Yeah, after seeing the Caves at convention, then running it for my playtest group... I'm all set on it. It's not really my style of adventure to start with, and I'd have rather done something more like Alphastream's group.

    Though I'll admit, Alphastream ran Caves much better than I did. Just interjected a lot more zany fun stuff than I managed. I'm a little envious of his group (all that 13th age and Next playtesting through various adventures)

  • #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by keterys View Post
    I'm a little envious of his group (all that 13th age and Next playtesting through various adventures)
    Thanks, Keterys, that is extremely nice of you to say. I have a long history of being envious of great DMs. I try to surround myself with as many as I can, absorb from them as much as I can, and steal from them every chance I get!

  • #79
    I find it superbly lame that they closed the survey in such a short time, left hardly any window, so by the time WotC "enabled" my account to download the package and do the survey, it was closed, so only the people who play-tested within the first 2 weeks and were able to "access" the survey got their input, well, marvellous...

    Not to mention I bet/know a lot of survey feedback was purely negative from people who didn't actually play-test (just trying to skew things).

  • #80
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    We've been playtesting for a while and I've run all of B1 In Search of Adventure, as well as a number of other adventures. The game runs quite quickly assuming you can schedule regular games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Consonant Dude View Post
    Pelgrane Press is totally disconnected from casual gamers and the way they are collecting feedback only shows they don't really care about the process.
    This is generally a business decision. I'm a Pelgrane author, and I get paid a set period after playtesting starts whether or not they're ready to publish my work. That's far better than how many companies handle things. So long as they get enough playtest feedback in aggregate to flag problems during the 2-3 months of playtesting, the playtest has served its purpose.
    - Piratecat, EN World Admin. Now Kickstarting TimeWatch, a time travel game - please go check it out!

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