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Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 06:55 PM #21
Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)
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.
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Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 07:04 PM #22
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 07:27 PM #23
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
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.
Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 08:02 PM #24
Guide (Lvl 11)
All Discussions - Story Games : Tabletop Roleplaying 2.0. They seem pretty intrigued by old school D&D, and not at all into 4e.
Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 09:49 PM #25
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
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)
Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 11:47 PM #26
Magsman (Lvl 14)
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.
Sunday, 22nd July, 2012, 06:50 AM #27
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
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.
Sunday, 22nd July, 2012, 08:25 AM #28
Magsman (Lvl 14)
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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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Monday, 23rd July, 2012, 09:42 PM #29
Magsman (Lvl 14)
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.
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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Monday, 23rd July, 2012, 11:56 PM #30
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
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.
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.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.
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.