D&D 5th Edition With Respect to the Door and Expectations....The REAL Reason 5e Can't Unite the Base - Page 3





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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Someone View Post
    Well, they're different enough.
    There are differences, of course. But not so much that make one "unrecognizable". The mechanics of, say, White Wolf's WoD games are more different from either 3e or 4e than the two forms of D&D are from each other. But WoD is still clearly a role playing game.

    Edition wars are, in large part, built on intolerance and overstatement, which is why I took exception to the statement.

    For a long time, I would not eat olives. I don't have an allergy, or a philosophical problem with olive farming practices. I just didn't like 'em. If you offered me a dish with olives in it, I'd politely pass. But, then I got married, and my wife really likes olives. Now, making completely separate dishes for me would be inefficient, a lot of extra work, so we never made anything with olives in it.

    And, I realized, that's not really fair. Do I dislike olives *that* much? Why don't I at least open myself up to a little bit of olive? And, after a little practice, I learned that good green olives in moderation do not ruin dishes for me. They still aren't my favorite thing of all, and I don't generally seek them out, but neither am I repulsed by them. In a few dishes, I find they can even be an enhancement. I've learned to accept a little olive in my life. By being open to things that aren't my absolute favorite, I enhanced my culinary life, and made someone I care about more happy.

    I find most of the absolutism and overstatement about game design and playstyle to be rather like my previous position on olives. Getting exactly and precisely what you want can sometimes actually limit your enjoyment, overall. It often pays to be a little more flexible.
    Last edited by Umbran; Saturday, 21st July, 2012 at 08:04 PM.

 

  • #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    Wait, monopolies are a good thing?
    That's not what monopoly means. A monopoly is where there is one and only one supplier, created either by economic realities (barriers to entry into the industry) or by arbitrary regulations/restrictions. The RPG market has never been a monopoly, though it tends to be an oligopoly (the market being dominated by a small number of suppliers), though even this is not necessarily true now.

  • #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Man in the Funny Hat View Post
    the catalyst that sped up the reaction was when the publishers of that lone version of D&D began to tell us that ONLY the current version was the correct choice for anybody, and in fact the previous version was specifically the stupid choice because, well, it was CLEARLY such a bad choice and the new version with the go-faster stripes was so obviously superior.

    I think the division in the fanbase was largely inevitable, but the speed of it, the form which it's taken and even the occasional vehemence of the reactions are all the result not of OUR natural choices as gamers, but of the choices that were forced upon us by game manufacturers and the ill-considered and intemperate opinions of DESIGNERS. The natural state of the hobby was initially one of openness, cooperation, and acceptance of different versions of the game, different play styles, and even different RPG's altogether. I really think that it is the publishers and designers who have created this bed of intolerance and divisiveness that they now find uncomfortable to lie in. We have come to accept and believe that X is (or can be) demonstrably superior to Y because we have been told so strenuously and repeatedly by the professionals with their names on the title page.
    This is the really sad part they have made thier goal so much harder than it needed to be time and time again. The split and the rancor on both sides of the edition war really reminds of the democrat vs. republican split where both sides are so uncompromising and inflexible we ended up with what might be the least effective congress in US history.

    Mod Note: Ladies and Gentlemen, please don't continue with the political analogy, please. Thanks. ~Umbran
    Last edited by Umbran; Saturday, 21st July, 2012 at 08:05 PM.
    I hope with strange eons even the edition war may die.

  • #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    I'll second this. Classic D&D in a non-D&D RPG group is about as well regarded as Windows at a Linux users convention. And for much the same mix of technical reasons and snobbery. (That said, it's still from what I can tell better regarded than e.g. Rifts).

    4e on the other hand goes down pretty well with players who play non-D&D RPGs as a whole (see either RPG.net or Something Awful's Traditional Games board). This is because as far as I know, no other game does what 4e does as well as 4e, and of the things 4e doesn't do there is almost always a system that will do the game better than classic versions of D&D.
    Heh. Obviously this is vulnerable to self-selection bias. In my experience 4e has a tepid reception anywhere outside of the 4e community. My source for the indie community's reaction is All Discussions - Story Games : Tabletop Roleplaying 2.0. They seem pretty intrigued by old school D&D, and not at all into 4e.

  • #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerWickett View Post
    I see no reason to be hostile to one game or another.

    3e & Pathfinder give you lots of options and made sure the rules parsed with a fictional reality.

    4e gives you a variety of interesting tricks so that combat is fun as a game as well as as a story.

    Take those two elements, make them compatible, and make them toggle-able, and you'll have a great game. Then write great adventures for it, and it can sell.
    I agree. I'm hoping that 5e's combat speed will hold as PCs get into mid and upper levels. If I can decide when and where I will have "Theater of the Mind" combat and tactical grid combat, and my game has the magic and variety that 3e/Pathfinder has, and the DMing ease of 4e (with more fluidity so that players can do more without powers), then I'll definitely buy the product and play it.

    I think there may be enough like-minded people out there to begin to unite, but bottom line, D&DNext has to play well, people need to rave about it, and WoTC has to suppport it like mad to make it successful. If it is successful, over time, more and more ex-D&D players/DMs may come back to it. (3e/Pathfinder and 4e players/DMS)

  • #26
    Neonchameleon's post (# 16) is as thorough a circumnavigation of the various adversities facing WotC's effort to capture each niche market that I have seen.

    Umbran's antithetical posts are also quite good.

    If you skimmed them, you may want to give them a second read. And while you're doing that, if you could XP them for me I would appreciate it.

  • #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinBahamut View Post
    This period of "we all got along" simply doesn't exist for many gamers, because the entire time we've been playing D&D has been marked by older fans dragging us into edition wars and telling us that our way of playing is bad for all kinds of reasons. I honestly can't even imagine a D&D culture where people got along and played the same game, because I've never seen it. I can't imagine getting along with people who have never once made any attempt to get along with me.

    This is exactly why it is incredibly hard for me to buy into WotC's dream of creating an edition to unify fans.
    But you know, this is in fact why I'm optimistic about D&DN. Because as has been noted, we never were really united back in the day. People preferring story vs. sandbox, power-gamers vs. character players, all that stuff, all the different playstyles were there before the 90s, before White Wolf, before 3e and WotC. Disunity of playstyles goes back to Gygax and Arneson!

    The key back then was that D&D was malleable, it was adjustable. It could handle different playstyles. WotC-era D&D has tended to cater to certain playstyles, leading to a lot more division in the fan base. If the D&DN team can use the lessons they've learned from 3e and 4e to create a malleable game, that's still cleaner and more elegant mechanically than the older game, I think they have a good chance to draw a lot disparate people in.

  • #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iosue View Post
    But you know, this is in fact why I'm optimistic about D&DN. Because as has been noted, we never were really united back in the day. People preferring story vs. sandbox, power-gamers vs. character players, all that stuff, all the different playstyles were there before the 90s, before White Wolf, before 3e and WotC. Disunity of playstyles goes back to Gygax and Arneson!

    The key back then was that D&D was malleable, it was adjustable. It could handle different playstyles. WotC-era D&D has tended to cater to certain playstyles, leading to a lot more division in the fan base. If the D&DN team can use the lessons they've learned from 3e and 4e to create a malleable game, that's still cleaner and more elegant mechanically than the older game, I think they have a good chance to draw a lot disparate people in.
    It was malleable or as it was sometimes called "incoherent". That gave it a big fanbase because it could satisfy different play styles, even if required some house-ruling or ignoring some oddities. But at the same time, there were always people looking for a system that does what they like better. And I think 3E/Pathfinder and 4E were D&D games that did certain things better than previous games, or each other. Add in OSR games that appeal to yet other preferences, and suddenly you have people that have found something that's "their D&D" - it's still prefectly recognizable as D&D to them (even if others disagree) - and why should they now worry with a game that may not be such a good match for them?

    Maybe WotC has an answer for that question. Or maybe they can create a D&D edition that can be a good match for everyone again? The latter I have strong doubts, coming from my 4E f4nboy perspective. But the game is still in the works, and we haven't really seen any actual modules yet.
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  • #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustrum_Ridcully View Post
    Why should they now worry with a game that may not be such a good match for them?
    This a very salient point, and goes back to another mistake I think WotC has made with both late-era 3.x and 4e, namely that they continued to hold to the belief that to reach the kind of "mass appeal" they were craving, that D&D needed to be more of a cultural ecosystem than a stand-alone product, and that they could control that culture.

    In the old days, this was probably true. Direct word-of-mouth and physical access to materials were limiting factors. The average game player's "reach" in terms of participation in the hobby were much, much more limited.

    Now?

    We don't need our FLGS's to find gaming groups anymore. Oh sure, we can still use them for that purpose.....but is that really any harder than doing it online? We don't need the constant stream of "corporate approved supplements" to extend the usability of our games. All those old house rules, and maps, and characters we used to keep in folders that we had no way of distributing to other people, other than snail mail? We can download thousands of those things for free from various Web sources.

    As players and groups, we've discovered that we can literally create our own "micro-system" for ourselves, that is infinitely tailored to our needs, and we all have ready access to materials to do so. The whole "This is the game we have handed down to you, now you will go forth and play it" attitude is long, long dead. To WotC's credit, 5e seems to be addressing this issue, but it may be too little, too late.
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  • #30
    Quote Originally Posted by innerdude View Post
    D&D Next will not be a "commercial" failure by any stretch. It will certainly be as profitable as 4e. But I have a hard time seeing it really uniting the fanbase into this wonderful "Stepford Dungeon" community.
    I agree with much of what you've said but don't think this fully captures the situation. The gaming community was badly splintered before 3e came along, as well -- probably at least as splintered as it is today because there was no single Pathfinder-like alternative behind which disaffected people were able to coalesce. Most (though certainly not all) members of the gaming community concluded that 3e was better than what they were currently playing, even if it wasn't the perfect system everyone would have liked to see. And as a result, D&D sales spiked and remained high for the next five years, beginning its descent around the time 3.5 was released.

    There's too much competition--strong competition--from outside vendors now. We've all tasted what it's like to find a system tailored to us---and not the other way around.
    Certainly my own gaming groups played a huge number of systems in the waning days of 3e and continue to do the same today. So I'm not at all convinced that "more competition" in a general sense has created the situation in which we find ourselves today. What I do think, though, is that a very large chunk of the gaming community has found a particular system -- Pathfinder -- that it regards as better than the current incarnation of D&D.

    The funny thing is, though: not a single person in my Pathfinder group says Pathfinder is better-balanced than 4e. Rather, the complaint is that 4e's method of balance -- such as a rigid standardization of power acquisition and of the powers themselves -- bleached the system of flavor and removed many of the traditional 'hooks' that had drawn people into the game.

    So the idea that 4e fans are the only ones who favor balance -- as rpgnet would have one believe -- is a real red herring. And that being the case, there is hope, in my view at least, that the Next team can bridge many of the gaps that have emerged between elements of the gaming community.

    It won't be easy, it won't be quick -- and it will require that people with deeply held views stop stereotyping opposing factions instead of listening to them. Everybody wants a rich, flavorful, and well-balanced system that's better than all of the currently available alternatives. The either-or choice between "good game design" and "nostalgia" is a false dichotomy, because both of these things can potentially be accommodated at the same time. That's the way for Next to be an instrument of unity rather than division, in my view at least.

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