Edition Fatigue


log in or register to remove this ad

the Jester

Legend
I think part of the problem is that WotC has a good-sized staff. If they aren't constantly bringing in revenue, they all lose their jobs. That gives them a lot of motivation to do SOMETHING to pull in more money.
 


Korgoth

First Post
I don't think there's anything about D&D that requires it to be a hobby for the whole gaming group. I mean, there is if each player has to read a 200 page hardback manual just to play. But if the rules are simple enough (like in Old School play), the player doesn't even have to read anything, or at most something like 5 pages or less.

To go in the "Dungeons and Dragons Family Game" direction, gamers would have to give up their "player character as CAD engineering feat" fetish. Personally I think that the whole milieu of CharOp is the deadest of all dead ends in the world commerce and marketing. But I suppose that's another thread.

Anyway, D&D has to be a bit of a hobby for the DM, since he has to at least read the module, but not for anybody else. I'm playing in a Classic Traveller campaign right now (Yay! I get to play for once!) and there's virtually no reason that any of the players would have to read a single word of rules text. You have your character and you chuck 2d6 when the Ref tells you to. The end.

Is Essentials the game that could transcend the niche? What I'm saying in this thread is "Go with it." It might not be optimal (I'm rather sure it isn't), but it's there. Have you ever been in a situation where people want to go out for food because they're all hungry but nobody can agree on where to go... and this conversation can go on for like an hour if you're not careful? At some point you just have to pick an option that's not perfect and go with it.

Now, as much as I have "Edition Fatigue", if they did come out with something along the lines of "The Dungeons and Dragons Family Game", where you get a big box at WalMart or Target and that's the whole game (tokens, tiles/maps, screen, dice, etc.) with one "module" (and I'm not talking some "Kobold Hall" POS either) and were committed to go with that for at least a decade then I'd accept it (obviously there'd be more modules coming out for it... it is accepted that games have expansions). Otherwise, in the absence of something specifically designed to gain traction with Middle America (or whatever exists nowadays, if that has been destroyed), then I say let Essentials gain whatever traction it is capable of gaining.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Like I have been thinking, if they took the Ravenloft board game and tweaked it a bit more, it would be a great intro into 4E gaming that would be appealing to the board game crowd and possibly pull them into playing RPG's as well. Then RPG companies need to develop a $30 set that gets you started, and to steal them from the video game crowd give them access to an online interactive video environment in which they can play fully digital modules. Give them 30 to 60 days of free access in which to hook them, and then charge a $10/month fee.

To a degree, this has already been done/is being done, and it hasn't proven to be as successful. There's been Heroquest/Warhammer Quest, Dungeon, Descent, Runebound, Dragonstrike, The D&D boxed sets (Dragon's Den, Goblin's Lair, etc.) and many others.

RPGs need to be themselves and stop trying to be something else they're not. I wouldn't be against breaking the system in two for the casual/hardcore crowd because they have completely different wants and buying habits.
 

Treebore

First Post
To a degree, this has already been done/is being done, and it hasn't proven to be as successful. There's been Heroquest/Warhammer Quest, Dungeon, Descent, Runebound, Dragonstrike, The D&D boxed sets (Dragon's Den, Goblin's Lair, etc.) and many others.

RPGs need to be themselves and stop trying to be something else they're not. I wouldn't be against breaking the system in two for the casual/hardcore crowd because they have completely different wants and buying habits.


The fact that this has only been done to a "degree" is exactly why it has failed. Design it to be marketed from the beginning with the specific aim of pulling people over into the RPG niche market and it will be successful.

Marketing is about perception, so to grow beyond the RPG niche they will have to very intentionally change the perception of RPG's to grow beyond their current market.

The current perception is it requires hundreds of pages and many books to even begin to play. They need to change the perception to where it is quick and easy to play and even relatively cheap. That ill draw more people in. Include "messages" within this easy game that an even bigger world is out there, but not necessary for a great experience with this small easy product, z certain percentage will be drawn in further.

No RPG company has ever made a long concerted effort to market like that, and until they do, nothing will change.

Lets not forget, TSR and AD&D didn't take off until 60 Minutes exposed how you can use the books to summon devils and demons. So unless a similar incident occurs the RPG companies are only going to effect change from a concerted marketing effort to expand.
 

ancientvaults

Explorer
To shut us all up WotC should make D&D like this:
Core rules: Very barebones, like OD&D/BD&D, very small. This is your skeleton.
Secondary rules: These add new classes and monsters.
Third round: Detail. This level breaks down into a simplified array of supplements, including feats, skills and more combat and magic options.

Each level of this is color coded so there is no question about where you are at.

I am going to be showing my age here, but when I was in 2nd grade we had these different levels tiny booklets (that actually quite resembled oldschool modules) that ran from basic to intermediate to advanced levels of readership.

Taking this idea, WotC could quite easily make one version of D&D in which the consumers decided what level they were playing at. Wouldn't it be an easier way to sell the game to start with a basic structure and add complexity as the group saw fit? We would ALL be playing D&D, some of us would be playing in an older style and some of us would be playing v.5.58999, but at its core it would be exactly the same, there would be no confusion, some of us would get by with smaller "editions" while other groups would add their own level of complexity. Adventures and other accessories could be color coded to match the levels (basic, intermediate, advanced) of the game or the DM/players could just ignore the stats/add-ons that they do not use.

To me, this is where D&D/AD&D back in the day confused everyone. Over some disagreement two games were made when one core product could have easily opened up the advanced game to those who wanted another level of complexity.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
To a degree, this has already been done/is being done, and it hasn't proven to be as successful. There's been Heroquest/Warhammer Quest, Dungeon, Descent, Runebound, Dragonstrike, The D&D boxed sets (Dragon's Den, Goblin's Lair, etc.) and many others.

RPGs need to be themselves and stop trying to be something else they're not. I wouldn't be against breaking the system in two for the casual/hardcore crowd because they have completely different wants and buying habits.

Of that list, I have only played Runebound but Runebound takes too long to play. I have spent 8 hours on a session of Runebound. However, in my opinion I htink that Munchkin is a better intro to rpgs than the likes of Runebound. The Ravenloft game is not bad, both as a pretty good game and one that does not take to long.

The key thing is that no boardgame has the DM/GM role. I think that any product that will act as an intorduction to roleplay has to include the DM role from the get go. This will limit the appeal of the game also, not everyone wants to be the DM or enjoys that kind of role.
 

SoulsFury

Explorer
What is the annual cash flow of Settlers of Catan?

Probably next to nothing. Actually, after a bit of googling, the guy who created it couldn't afford to retire from his day job until 1999 to officially create board games full time.

For some reason, despite all the intelligence on this forum, some people cannot seem to understand that if all WotC did was reprint the rules and sell them, all of the staff of D&D would be laid off. We would get no new supplements. The only updates would be from D&Di. Without new products, WotC would quit publishing D&D and it would quietly slip off the shelves, only to found at garage sales and on ebay.

The fact is, no bookstore is going to keep the same amount of stock of a 15 year old book/game on the shelf as a brand new book. A new edition means more money.

So what if WOTC decided to just stick with 4E Essentials, regardless of whether or not it's the Platonic Form of role playing game systems? What if they just decided to go with it for a while (like, a decade) and see if it could gain traction? Is there a possible business model that could support that in this industry, or do we have to face the fact that, at heart, Dungeons and Dragons is so weak of a product that the only way it can last is by making the same few thousand people buy it over and over again every couple years?

This is why this quote won't happen. There is no money with sticking with essentials, 4th edition, 3.5, or any other edition for long periods of time because eventually, no one is gonna buy it. It is, however, comical that you would call D&D a weak product, but for some reason brag about a game that I have never heard of, and has sold so poorly, the game designer still had to work as a dental assistant for several years, and only after he had other games to sell as well. Why? Because that one game wasn't enough. And according to Amazon and the products there, there has been revisions to Settlers. I hate to tell you, but D&D gained "traction" thirty years ago when it became a household name. The fact that it is such a strong game is the reason they can make new editions. Do you think the only people playing D&D are the ones around in the late 70s or early 80s? There are new D&D players born everyday and they want a modern version of the rules, not some old, crappy system that wasn't that great in the first place. D&D has done an excellent job with changing with the times, and it is sad that some people can't see that. My kids will probably look at 4th edition and laugh at how silly it was, just like I laugh every time I pull out an old character sheet and see ThacO written on it that I used in middle school.

WotC is here to make money. If some how essentials last for a long time, it is because it is making money. The only way I see that happening is a good box set coming out every 3-4 months that contains rules variants. Within the next 10 years we will see 5th edition, or a major revision of the rules. A new "essentials" type line that will redo the base classes, redo the monsters but still be compatible with 4th edition just like essentials is, is a possibility. A lot of people like when they put out new editions of the game, and I guarantee, every naysayer of 4th edition is probably above the age of 35 and still very set in their old edition's ways. Most, if not all of the rules changes I have enjoyed. The ones I don't, I change back to the rule I did enjoy.
 

shadzar

Banned
Banned
To a degree, this has already been done/is being done, and it hasn't proven to be as successful. There's been Heroquest/Warhammer Quest, Dungeon, Descent, Runebound, Dragonstrike, The D&D boxed sets (Dragon's Den, Goblin's Lair, etc.) and many others.

RPGs need to be themselves and stop trying to be something else they're not. I wouldn't be against breaking the system in two for the casual/hardcore crowd because they have completely different wants and buying habits.
HeroQuest was quite successful, just hard to find where places didnt always carry the limited supply expansions, and the game itself was switched to Advanced and the dispute between MB and GW, and now HASBRO cannot make it as HeroQuest.

The D&D version, I don't think was quite as much a success, likewise many other of the D&D board games were as you said, not very successfull.

In actuallity board games like that that have miniature expansions of the sort HeroQuest did are great introductory items to get people into RPGs as they have all you need, and you can use the minis to play a RPG with. Also a good bridge between board games and RPGs if done right.

Just saying...
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top