D&D 4th Edition Playtest Update - Page 3





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Thread: Playtest Update

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by am181d View Post
    This sort of calls into question why you bought 2e, since it wasn't that different than 1e.
    This sort of calls into question why you bother to post, as this comment, other then being obnoxious, is totally irrelevant to the thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by am181d View Post
    This sort of calls into question why you bought 2e, since it wasn't that different than 1e.


    ...because I was 15 years old and that's what you did?

    This may be shocking, so I invite you to sit down, brace yourself, and take a deep breath before reading this. But now in my late 30's as a professional, a husband, and a father with over 20 more years' experience gaming, I think somewhat differently about the world and RPGs than I did as a teenager.

    -O

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    Yes robot Obryn! Why have you gone off programming?!?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CasvalRemDeikun View Post
    So, if the majority of respondents prefer 4E, it must be bias, and there is this phantom fanbase that is apparently too good to participate in the playtest and tell WotC their opinion, but should be pursued ahead of the 4E crowd? They can only cater to the people that tell them what they want. Everyone else either doesn't understand the purpose of a playtest, or doesn't care enough to participate in it.

    If they just give the finger to 90% of otheir respondents in hopes of capturing this phantom fanbase that may or may not be accessible, they would be making one hell of a gamble. If it pays off, good for them, but if it doesn't, they probably should freshen up their resumes.
    Yes, there would be a bias. The phantom fanbase is, in fact, potentially larger than the 4E crowd, and plays Pathfinder. They want to attract those people. The open playtest has been widely marketed and I hope many of them are taking part, but if the numbers don't reflect the distribution of the potential market, you'll only be catering to your existing market. They shouldn't give the finger to the 90%, but they should consider their views at 50% strength, if they genuinely want to attract the other crowd.

    I don't know what the numbers are on the feedback on overnight healing, for instance, bu consider: if all the people who loved 1-2E wanted almost none, all those who loved 3E wanted some and all those who loved 4E wanted everything, with the respondents who loved each of those editions in the proportions 1%, 9%, 90% respectively, you could give the 90% of respondents what they want, or decide that it's an even split based on what you think the *actual* market distribution looks like, and offer all three.
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  • #25
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    From the sounds of things... right now WotC's running into an issue with regards to the naming conventions and story aspects of the wizard / sorcerer / warlock.

    Traditionally, the wizard was Vancian and a studious sort that researched magic from old tomes and such. In 3E the sorcerer was created NOT to change the wizard's story... but to change the wizard's Vancian mechanics. Which annoyed some people in the 3# era... as there wasn't enough differentiation between the wizard and sorcerer OTHER than the casting mechanics. The story of the two classes were pretty much the same, as were the spell lists. It was fine for some folks... but unwelcomed for others.

    So in 4E... they introduced a stronger story for the sorcerer, separating it out from the wizard. And they carried that story change into D&DN... taking it even FURTHER apart by taking the 4E Dragon Sorcerer build and turning it into almost a shifter-esque class.

    The problem that has created though is two-fold. First, is just the number of people who didn't like the transformative story aspects, but that part can be highlighted or downplayed as much as they need over the course of the beta test. But the second issue is those people who WANT the sorcerer to be nothing more than a wizard with no Vancian mechanics. Enough folks don't want Vancian mechanics to the point where NOT having the sorcerer be able to take the wizard's place in this current playtest has probably lessened BOTH class's popularity.

    Which means Mearls and company have talked about two different solutions-- an "Arcane Origin" wizard-ized Sorcerer origin... and/or a "non-Vancian" wizard tradition. Basically... either a Sorcerer with Wizard story, or a Wizard with Sorcerer mechanics. And until EITHER one gets presented as an option in the playtest... I suspect that both classes will continue to get downgraded because neither class will be giving a segment of the population what it is they truly want.

    They're finding out that completely separate mechanics AND completed separated story elements for their different classes are not really what a good part of the population wants. Many players seem to actually want a game that hews closer to the Skills & Powers / GURPS type of paradigm... where you can really make the classes in whatever format you want-- provided you aren't asked to take another class and refluff it.

    It seems like having multiple formats / choices for every class is preferable to having one format per class and then being asked to just refluff if you like another class's story.
    Last edited by DEFCON 1; Monday, 24th September, 2012 at 05:24 PM.

  • #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Nightwing View Post
    Yes, there would be a bias. The phantom fanbase is, in fact, potentially larger than the 4E crowd, and plays Pathfinder. They want to attract those people. The open playtest has been widely marketed and I hope many of them are taking part, but if the numbers don't reflect the distribution of the potential market, you'll only be catering to your existing market. They shouldn't give the finger to the 90%, but they should consider their views at 50% strength, if they genuinely want to attract the other crowd.
    There are several problems here.

    The first is the possibility of an edition actually flopping rather than merely not performing to expectations. Losing the 4e fan base could be catastrophic.

    The second is brand loyalty. Pathfinder players already have a game they are happy with, that is in print, and that is smart and agile enough to countermove whenever WotC looks ready to put out a new edition. Right now, saying "There are a lot of Pathfinder players out there - we should go after them" is like Pepsi's marketing division saying "There are a lot of coke drinkers out there. We should go after them."

    The third is a mature vs an immature game. When 4e was first published it had limited options. More than it appeared but still very limited. Pathfinder is drowning in options even before you break out books like the Book of Nine Swords from 3.5 and throw them onto the pile.

    The third is brand disloyalty. Every person with Pathfinder has already seen WotC's work. It's going to be hard work.

    Pathfinder players are not an untapped market. And WotC are not as good as Paizo at what Paizo do. They especially aren't as good at it with a new product as Paizo with years of experience, foreknowledge of the playtest, and who are already talking about a Pathfinder 2 (and they will have a vision unlike WotC who seem to be producing D&D as designed by the world's largest committee).

    Going after Pathfinder players is hard work. And pissing off 4e players leaves WotC potentially ending up with no one. I've been playtesting 5e but the more I see, the more I'm looking at other systems. Taking Paizo on on the territory they've claimed is a Hail Mary pass, pure and simple. And one WotC need to telegraph hard, giving Paizo literally years to prepare a response.

  • #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Nightwing View Post
    Yes, there would be a bias. The phantom fanbase is, in fact, potentially larger than the 4E crowd, and plays Pathfinder. They want to attract those people. The open playtest has been widely marketed and I hope many of them are taking part, but if the numbers don't reflect the distribution of the potential market, you'll only be catering to your existing market. They shouldn't give the finger to the 90%, but they should consider their views at 50% strength, if they genuinely want to attract the other crowd.
    So you would trade the lesser bias, selection bias, for a greater one, confirmation bias. That is... interesting. Selection bias can be overcome by a greater sample, which WotC can overcome by such things as advertising and other forms of outreach. Confirmation bias can only be overcome by the designers not holding their own opinions over what the data shows. So not only would confirmation bias be giving the finger to the 4E crowd (if the data favors them), but also the other fanbases because their voices likewise would be ignored.

  • #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by CasvalRemDeikun View Post
    So you would trade the lesser bias, selection bias, for a greater one, confirmation bias. That is... interesting. Selection bias can be overcome by a greater sample, which WotC can overcome by such things as advertising and other forms of outreach. Confirmation bias can only be overcome by the designers not holding their own opinions over what the data shows. So not only would confirmation bias be giving the finger to the 4E crowd (if the data favors them), but also the other fanbases because their voices likewise would be ignored.
    Right now, on the WotC boards especially, there is a huge pro-4E confirmation bias. So I really don't know what you're talking about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    There are several problems here.

    *snip*
    Right, so, why are they making a new edition? They may as well make 4.5 right, if there's no hope of attracting back 3.5 and Pathfinder fans?
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  • #30
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    I've posted about the problem with tying recharge rates to archetypes in other places.

    Honestly, this is something that I think I've learned along with WotC. I was all for "If you want non-vancian, play a non-wizard arcane spellcaster" a little while ago, but I realized that this isn't exactly fair. What folks like about a given recharge mechanic and what folks like about a given archetype aren't necessarily linked.

    I'm a little nervous that the "traditions" are going to fall into the same trap of ensconcing a given archetype with a particular recharge rate, and making them inseparable. They should be separable. There's no reason to make a Blood Mage play with daily-only powers, or a Wild Mage play with an ADEU structure, or whatever. They're all just different ways to cast Magic Missile.

    So my first idea was: Why not make Magic Missile a thing that can be cast in three different ways?

    As for healing and resting, I think I kind of have a preferred solution for this, and it's easy peasy. You don't need to raise the spectre of Healing Surges again. Just say "short rest heals you up to 1/2 your hp" and leave it up to DMs if a short rest is a night or 5 minutes or three weeks or whatever.
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