View Poll Results: What is your confidence level in WotC's ability to successfully manage the D&D brand?
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Thread: Confidence in WotC
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
WOTC? I have a lot of confidence in WOTC and D&D.
Hasbro and D&D, pretty much zilch.
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
I say no confidence. The release of 5e this soon only a few years after 4e and how bumpy things were with 4e do not leave me with a lot of confidence. It's possible I'm being too pessimistic though, and I haven't been really following the brand much lately.
Guide (Lvl 11)
I think it is time for another company to handle the D&D brand.
Then again, a number of 3pp are already sort of doing that, such as Paizo and the companies out there producing retroclones. I know WotC is trying to make amends with re-releasing AD&D and 3.5e, and having open playtests for 5e. But I just don't care anymore. There's better products out there now, alternatives that are inline with my gaming philosophy.
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
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Enchanter (Lvl 12)
I see this a lot (most recently on my FLGS facebook page) where gamers seem to think there are 20 guys in suits from Hasbro breathing down the necks of every D&D developer. Hasbro has little to do with the success/failure of D&D.
Last edited by Holy Bovine; Thursday, 12th July, 2012 at 05:34 PM.
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
Paizo is doing things with the 3e rules. They aren't doing anything with the D&D brand. They can't. They don't own the D&D brand. The "brand" is the name, and by extension the things under the name. If you are doing something with the brand, you are doing something with the identity of D&D, not just the previously published rules.
Lama (Lvl 13)
I surprised myself and decided on a vote of no confidence. I was going to put fairly, and make some post about the barrenness of 4e's twilight and the uncertainty of 5e, but I've had doubts since Essentials, which have grown over the mismanagement of the digital tools, the diminishing Dungeon and Dragon, and the changes in product and content direction, objectives, and audiences to the point I've chosen to stick with my tweaked 4e as a community supporter and investigate 13th Age as my living alternative.
I was a pretty big advocate of Mike Mearls for a long time, and while I understand his position as a businessman and lover of all D&D, I just find myself looking back at the decisions made under his watch and wishing they'd been different. A lot different. I don't feel compelled to stick around out of any kind of loyalty in part because of them. D&D is kind of an experience for me that encapsulates playing fantasy rpgs in general. I'll always be playing 'D&D' in the non-trademarked way, and the rich history is there for me whenever I need it. I don't need to stay with WotC or force myself to love Pathfinder in order to play it. 5e will do fine without its non-targeted audience, anyway.
Loving Magic right now, though, so WotC has half my support.
In terms of brand management, not particularly confident. I haven't got to this poll in time to vote, alas.
In terms of game design, my feeling is that they'll nail it with 5th Ed, and will screw it with the deployment.
They are indeed cranking up communication with the fan base to make sure they bring something as many people as possible will like. And I think they'll achieve a great percentage of that goal.
Considering their history of not supporting players with tons of printed adventures and producing mostly fluff in print, I don't have any reason to believe they'll change that. Actually, let me rephrase that. I think they'll change for a bit until someone from high up in HASBRO says "we have to produce more fluff because it sells more units" and then we'll be back to square 1.
In terms of production I think they'll go for good production values and average art direction (like 4th Ed.) and will barely tackle the racism/sexism in their artwork.
I agree with what's been said that concentrating on the products the understand and getting rid of some electronic media is a good move. I am sorry for the people who no longer work on those projects, and I am sorry they didn't work out because they looked fun, but I think it's the right decision in the long run.
In terms of advertising (part of brand management) they will do what they are still doing. Sweet F.A. If anything, they will do a liiiiitle bit to start with. It'll work and then they'll be told "right, you have your players back now. You don't need so much marketing any-more" and that'll be the end of it. Oh, and I'm not expecting to see anything marketing wise outside the USA and, maybe, Canada. We'll see.
So I have great deal of confidence in them coming up with a great game that will be poorly managed.
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Every time I think WotC is beginning to change, I soon come to the realization that they are just using PR to try to get lapsed customers back, all the while the reasons they lost customers sails right over their heads.
Due to recent customer service problems I've stopped posting on their forums. If anyone asks me about 5E I'm going to say the following.
"Its a 1e/2e retro-clone that isn't done very well, mainly they are banking on the D&D brand name and hoping to make a quick profit before slapping together 6E and selling it the same way in 4-5 years. There are basically no redeeming qualities, what little progress they made, is lost to their questionable business practices."
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
I have a lot of respect and trust in the people making the game. The designers and developers are great. The art director is mostly solid. The community team is trying their best.
The marketing team... not so much. The legal team continues its overreactions. And the digital team... do they even exist any more? The last couple tools seem to have been made by someone else.
The management worries me. The CEO doesn't seem to have any love for the game and seems to be really pushing the rest of the employees into silence and focusing them on worn talking points and bland hype.
The company seems to have a bad case of ADHD, likely due to the continual staff changes. Projects are started, seem halfway through, and then abandoned. As they're continually hyping the next new thing, there's very little follow-through or back support; promised supporting content is seldom released as a result.
They've made some pretty silly mistakes as a result.
The biggest I can think of was the miniature line. They cancelled the fully randomized figures for non-random PC figures and semi-visible monsters but used molds and minis from a cancelled miniature set. So they had monsters you didn't need multiples of as the visible minis while the PC figures were frequently non-archetypal and had some pretty terrible repaints.
4e went from hardbound books, to Essentials, to boxed sets then useless boxed sets with thin cardboard, to cardboard covers.
They went from separating DM and PC content for the planes and campaign settings to releasing fewer books and mixing the two.
So I worry.
5e is built on modules. So they need to publish books with these optional rules. But, with their mindset, it would be really easy to publish half of the must-have really cool modules and then move on to something else and accessories rather than continue with the other half of the must-have really cool modules.Read my webcomic & blog at:
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