Disappointed in 4e

mmadsen

First Post
By attempting to balance this, they have created a world that feels fake.
I agree it feels fake; but balance isn't the problem. It's how game rules are divorced from any sense of what's actually happening in the game. It's too abstract.

It doesn't help that the power names and fluff can be very much more precise than the actual rules. If the names/fluff were as abstract as the actual power, and you were encouraged to "write your own fluff" every time (rather than be presented with an "official" version) I think you it would actually improve the game. Which is a bit odd, since that's purely a complaint about the presentation of the mechanics, not the mechanics.
I'd like to emphasize that the problem is not that the game is too abstract; it's that the game is is concretely "wrong" in so many ways. The various board-game abilities don't make sense outside of a board game.
 

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JoeGKushner

First Post
Sounds like the OP needs to go with Fantasy Hero.

D&D 3rd ed was a great level system hybrd with massive amounts of customization.

Sometimes it worked well. Sometimes it didn't work all all. The CR/ECL system? The latter. The massive amounts of potential utility? The former.

The game is more streamlinned but not for everyone. The OP, like an investor, made a bad decesion based on his own expectations and well, like an investor with a bad tip, was burned.

If he's looking for some 3e books, I have a few I'd be willing to sell 'em including the PHB, MM, and DMG. Chances of me going back to 3.5 are looking very slim.
 


Korgoth

First Post
The idea here isn't that a company is evil because it's striving to make money; it's that they're deliberately doing less than their best as an economic tactic.

Whether true or not, there's something of an ideal people have about businesses in the marketplace. This ideal is that companies that focus on doing the best that they can in providing a product/service will rise to success, and the money will follow as a natural consequence - in other words, that cream rises to the top.

When people seem to start getting upset is when they see companies deviating from that model, and embracing a different one. This alternate model eschews excellence, instead believing that greater money can be made by providing a flawed/incomplete product or service, because then this virtually guarantees sales of future goods in the name of "fixing" or "completing" the initial item. It's what people have been accusing Microsoft of for years - that they provide an OS that looks nice and performs well...or would if it wasn't bug-riddled and flawed, requiring that you purchase the next OS to get a cleaner, more stable version.

Whether true or not, this is how WotC looks to a lot of people right now. There's a strong impression that WotC didn't create the best game they could have with 4E - or rather, that things many people consider to be near-vital were deliberately held back from the Core Rulebooks to boost sales of later splatbooks. After all, we were told outright that several classic monsters wouldn't be in the MM simply so that they could be included in the MM2 to drive up sales. People simply feel that WotC is less concerned with releasing a great game, than they are concerned with releasing a flawed and incomplete game to better guarantee sales.

To summarize, people get upset when companies embrace the idea of non-excellence as a viable marketing tactic.

This is an excellent point.

I was following 4E with some interest. Not because I expect all of the sudden to convert from old school back to new school gaming, but because I have owned just about every edition of D&D produced and I was interested to understand what they were doing with the game and how it would turn out.

Then there was that fateful line in the podcast about the MM: we're holding back frost giants and some others so that people will want to buy MM2 (paraphrase). And then seeing that basic staples of D&D fantasy like the animate dead spell were removed from the PHB (that spell has been in every edition! it's a classic!).

I don't have a huge amount of money to waste on hobbies. And the money I do have faces stiff competition: not only role playing games, but historical miniatures as well (WW2 and ancient/medieval). And boardgames. So my entertainment budget is precious.

Now, when I look at the various contenders, I see some who are saying "We've made the best darn product possible, because we aim to totally blow your socks off!" And then I see WOTC saying "We made sure not to make our product too good, because we're hoping that you find our core books a good but ultimately inadequate taste and will be compelled to buy future products indefinitely in the hopes of ultimately finding our product line satisfactory." Gee... I wonder who's going to win that contest? :hmm:
 

Dragonwriter

First Post
Every character seems to be plotted out in advance.
No where close to what 3E required, with planning for Feats, PrCs, etc.

The planning in 3e was so that you had your own customized character that would be different from anyone else's. 4e (I'll be honest, I haven't played it, just read the articles and browsed WotC site) seems to eliminate lots of the choice for each class. What made the fighter special in 3e was his feats. He could use his feat choices to become the master of 1 or 2 weapons. The 4e Fighter (from what I've seen) has only a few options each level. So, while there were definite patterns in how Fighters were built in 3e, 4e seems more like cookie-cutter.

Wanna play a ranger with a greatsword? Wanna play a fighter (not a ranger, because that is inevitably nature-themed) who specializes in archery?
I don't think you "get" what the Classes "are" in 4E. A Fighter IS a Defender. This is non-optional. Defenders don't do archery. That's what Strikers do. If you want to play a Striker, play a Striker.

This just points out one of the OP's points. 4e has eradicated lots of the choice of 3e. A 3e fighter could do archery just as well as a ranger. Now, they can't do it at all.

Wizards are boring and uninteresting.
Only relative to previous editions (when the were often "too good"). I think they're pretty fairly balanced vs. the other 4E classes.

I can understand making wizards more balanced relative to other classes. What I don't understand is taking away so many of their options and releasing them in different books (upon which you'll have to spend more of that super-important thing called "money", a hard thing to come by these days). The 3e wizard was a super-powerhouse. But the 4e wizard is tiresome, having only a handful of options (again, from what I've seen) compared to the 3e wizard.
 

JoeGKushner

First Post
I love how people who've never played the game talk about the various merits and flaws.

Love it.

Please Dragonwrite, do go on.

The planning in 3e was so that you had your own customized character that would be different from anyone else's. 4e (I'll be honest, I haven't played it, just read the articles and browsed WotC site) seems to eliminate lots of the choice for each class. What made the fighter special in 3e was his feats. He could use his feat choices to become the master of 1 or 2 weapons. The 4e Fighter (from what I've seen) has only a few options each level. So, while there were definite patterns in how Fighters were built in 3e, 4e seems more like cookie-cutter.



This just points out one of the OP's points. 4e has eradicated lots of the choice of 3e. A 3e fighter could do archery just as well as a ranger. Now, they can't do it at all.



I can understand making wizards more balanced relative to other classes. What I don't understand is taking away so many of their options and releasing them in different books (upon which you'll have to spend more of that super-important thing called "money", a hard thing to come by these days). The 3e wizard was a super-powerhouse. But the 4e wizard is tiresome, having only a handful of options (again, from what I've seen) compared to the 3e wizard.
 

xechnao

First Post
I love how people who've never played the game talk about the various merits and flaws.

Love it.

Please Dragonwrite, do go on.

If you have ever played D&D or similar -moreso 3ed D&D you do not need that lots of imagination to figure out more or less some things IMO :)
 

AllisterH

First Post
The planning in 3e was so that you had your own customized character that would be different from anyone else's. 4e (I'll be honest, I haven't played it, just read the articles and browsed WotC site) seems to eliminate lots of the choice for each class. What made the fighter special in 3e was his feats. He could use his feat choices to become the master of 1 or 2 weapons. .

Er, more than anything, the 4E system has allowed the fighter to customize his weapon.

There is now a valid choice between sword and board versus two handed wielder

There is valid reasons why you might want to use a flail versus a greatsword versus a hammer.

This is the one thing that kind of jumped out at me in your post that 4E does better than any edition (be it 1E or 3E)

re: Why cut out options.
Because options is power. At the tail end of 3E, the Dread Necromancer and the Beguiler were released. Both of these classes were very fun, balanced and interesting classes.

They just suck compared to the core 3E wizard.

My hunch is that WOTC wants to present these options as FULL classes yet not being overshadowed by the core wizard. This means that the core wizard needed the nerf bat taken to it.

Basically, it needed to more resemble the 1e/2e wizard (remember, pre 3E, only specialists got 1 spell per character level of their choice whereas the generalist mage got 1 spell every 2 character levels plus whatever they found. In 1e, in fact, there were illusionist-only spells )
 

Quantarum

First Post
Selling your 3E books might not have been a bad idea, perhaps you will find the final version of Pathfinder, C&C, True 20 or some other game more to your liking. If not, I'm sure you'll find the books cheap somewhere, hang in there.

-Q.
 

Edgewood

First Post
I love how people who've never played the game talk about the various merits and flaws.

I agree what you say here. Now I have never bought 4e,and I have never read it. Anything I know about 4E I have gathered from these and other boards. But I will never deride or praise 4E because I don't know it. I'm not an authority and will not comment on it. My choice for not going with 4E was practical one. I recently moved to a small town that has limited gamer connections and no FLGS. I had heavily invested in 3.5 and I no longer wish to spend money on yet another edition. I feel fine with my choice.
 

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