OneDnD If the surveys are not read (+)

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Regarding the original post, if there is no consideration of the "qualitative" survey comments, at least not for the high approval items, then:

We already have a good idea of what 5.5 will look like. All changes are cosmetic, involving relocations of mechanics, but no substantive changes.
 

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clearstream

(He, Him)
Lets say that for the sake of this thread, WotC doesn't read the surveys and only look at the argot numbers to justify things they already want to change. (again premises is that they are NOT honest with us about this)

Okay, so we say that.... what does the current design of the playtest tell you about what 1D&D is shapeing up?

Edit: I don't want to be a pain, but I spelled out this is a + and a what if... not a debate on if they do.
I'll copy here something I just posted in another thread. I have read several comments making the appeal to reason that game designers don't have time to read the comments (and so it is reasonable to imagine that they ignore them.) I think it is important to keep in mind the personnel and machine-learning tools that any sizeable company has available to parse and present responses for designers to use. Outputs of common machine-learning, natural language processing and data visualisation tools include topic and sentiment analysis, word clouds and graphs of themes. Larger companies - like Hasbro - typically have data and customer insights teams, who provide analysis to their design teams... making the number of game designers doubly moot.

Lines of reasoning like "thousands of people complete those surveys" and "the design team consists of a small number of individuals" might have once been true, but today seem naive. I believe it is justified to point this out in a + thread, as this isn't a discussion of something abstract like a game mechanic, but of the besmirching of real people. I don't think that shaky premises should be protected in this case.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
For the sake of the argument as is the premise of this thread:

If all survey results are ignored... then I believe the design team would be doing everything to clean up those bits they know folks have had problems with based upon 8 years of caterwauling by players to them in tweets and emails and videos and board threads and such.

The designers are not stupid and do not have their heads in the sand. They know folks have had issues with the Great Weapon Master feat, Rangers, the idea that you might want a Cleric of War to not actually be a melee cleric, the armor and weapons tables being not greatly thought out, the Stealth rules, and any number of the myriad of problems select members of the community have had. But as was always the case... they really did not want to do in 5E what they did in 4E-- which was to create a continuously updated "Errata document" PDF that just changed rule after rule after rule for balance reasons and forced players to just print all the updates on copy paper. Because that resulted in a massive document that no one could remember all changes on unless they only used the D&D Insider Character Builder.

Which means they've been saving all of these adjustments for a project like this-- a new book that tries to fully "correct" those aspects of the game that people have been complaining about these past 8 years. I'm sure they have quite the list... and in many cases those corrections are contradictory to other requests so they have to figure out which methods work better. Without survey data to figure out the true preferences on either side of these kinds of issues... they would have to just do internal playtesting to see which rules seem to work better.

As far as adding Warlords, Psions and Swordmages to this new book... without survey data to quantify feelings, they would have no choice but to go combing through message boards such as EN World to find out how the select few who really care about them actually want to see them incorporated. And the designers would then see that in all three cases there's not a single one that has any consistent design. Every single person who posts about what they want believes these three classes should be done in completely different ways, with some things desperately important to some people, with the exact opposite desperately important to other people. And they will come to the same conclusion the rest of us do when we see these threads pop up... which is these people will never be happy with anything that would get designed, so it is pointless to bother. Those players' ONLY option is to make these gosh-darned classes themselves exactly the way they want them so that they can be possibly happy.

Other than that? There's probably a bunch of other small things that could do with a buff and a shine now that people have played with them for 8+ years that they could throw in. Not necessary to do per se, but probably just stuff the designers think might be more fun to see added or changed. And because there's no way to check for interest in them, they just make those changes unilaterally. And what ends up happening is that 99% of the playerbase won't care that a bunch of these small things were changed, and 1% will consider it the absolute deathknell of the D&D game-- shouting with displeasure at the same level of vitriol everyone's giving to the OGL fiasco. Which kind of lessens the impact of the complaints when two complete separate levels of issue result in the exact same level of anger.
 

ines of reasoning like "thousands of people complete those surveys" and "the design team consists of a small number of individuals" might have once been true, but today seem naive. I believe it is justified to point this out in a + thread, as this isn't a discussion of something abstract like a game mechanic, but of the besmirching of real people. I don't think that shaky premises should be protected in this case.
then report it... you are all not going with the concept of a + thread.
 

For the sake of the argument as is the premise of this thread:
THank you so much....
If all survey results are ignored... then I believe the design team would be doing everything to clean up those bits they know folks have had problems with based upon 8 years of caterwauling by players to them in tweets and emails and videos and board threads and such.

The designers are not stupid and do not have their heads in the sand. They know folks have had issues with the Great Weapon Master feat, Rangers, the idea that you might want a Cleric of War to not actually be a melee cleric, the armor and weapons tables being not greatly thought out, the Stealth rules, and any number of the myriad of problems select members of the community have had.
yeah I assume that is all low hanging fruit... stuff they know comes up. Remember they play too I;m sure this stuff comes up sometimes for them too
As far as adding Warlords, Psions and Swordmages to this new book... without survey data to quantify feelings, they would have no choice but to go combing through message boards such as EN World to find out how the select few who really care about them actually want to see them incorporated.
IF they aren't reading the surveys my hope for those are close to 0
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
then report it... you are all not going with the concept of a + thread.
Fair enough, sorry. Would it be too sneaky to turn it on its head and say that if the surveys are not read, then what the designers will do is ask their company customer insights team to parse and present the responses so that they can easily understand the strongest sentiments and themes?
 

mellored

Adventurer
Even if they only look at the numbers, they still get a good idea weather their changes are positive or not.

I.e. moving stat boosts to backgrounds received a lot of positive replies. So they will keep that. No need to read the comments if everyone voted yes.

Comments are only important when you get mixed results.

And even then, doing a quick word count could give you the main highlights. All the replies about dragon born probably said "breath" and "fizban", which would quickly give you a good idea of what the complaint was.
 

Alright, I've put the unwieldy task of making any solid predictions aside and will take up a different part of this, it seems increasingly unlikely "what if": what it says about the process.

If WotC ignore the survey feedback that would be bad... but it wouldn't be the worst thing. Fundamentally I think the problem with WotC products is too many cooks in the kitchen. They are just too big, under too much scrutiny, and would rather hedge their bets than take risks. So they have large design teams, who are then also taking on board notes from a legal department, a marketing department, (sometimes) cultural sensitivity readers, and probably several other sources I'm not thinking of. They also have tight deadlines from wanting a full and carefully spaced release calendar, and for OneD&D, from wanting to maximize the publicity potential of a meaningless anniversary. This results in unwieldy adventures with unfinished plot threads and vestigial elements no longer serving whatever purpose they originally were intended for, and rules material where after a long period of playtesting one draft, some quickfix, untested rewrite gets enshrined in the rules last minute.

So in this milieu, is inviting feedback from thousands of additional people actually a good thing? Yes, in as much as it vetoes the ideas fans hate the very most. But I don't consider survey feedback as a whole to be a wholly positive influence. The best games are not designed by committee. If they are not paying as much attention to feedback as they pretend to, on the whole that enables a stronger, more cohearant vision for OneD&D (something I have accused it of lacking in the past).
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Alright, I've put the unwieldy task of making any solid predictions aside and will take up a different part of this, it seems increasingly unlikely "what if": what it says about the process.

If WotC ignore the survey feedback that would be bad... but it wouldn't be the worst thing. Fundamentally I think the problem with WotC products is too many cooks in the kitchen. They are just too big, under too much scrutiny, and would rather hedge their bets than take risks. So they have large design teams, who are then also taking on board notes from a legal department, a marketing department, (sometimes) cultural sensitivity readers, and probably several other sources I'm not thinking of. They also have tight deadlines from wanting a full and carefully spaced release calendar, and for OneD&D, from wanting to maximize the publicity potential of a meaningless anniversary. This results in unwieldy adventures with unfinished plot threads and vestigial elements no longer serving whatever purpose they originally were intended for, and rules material where after a long period of playtesting one draft, some quickfix, untested rewrite gets enshrined in the rules last minute.

So in this milieu, is inviting feedback from thousands of additional people actually a good thing? Yes, in as much as it vetoes the ideas fans hate the very most. But I don't consider survey feedback as a whole to be a wholly positive influence. The best games are not designed by committee. If they are not paying as much attention to feedback as they pretend to, on the whole that enables a stronger, more cohearant vision for OneD&D (something I have accused it of lacking in the past).
Very much in agreement. 5e goes too far in trying to avoid endorsing any particular style & it just results in setting the GM up to be drawn & quartered if the players have differing ideas on what the style should be. 6e seems to be at least putting back in some of the hooks needed to hang particular styles onbut still holding back on using those hooks for substantive change
 

Lets say that for the sake of this thread, WotC doesn't read the surveys and only look at the argot numbers to justify things they already want to change. (again premises is that they are NOT honest with us about this)

Okay, so we say that.... what does the current design of the playtest tell you about what 1D&D is shapeing up?

Edit: I don't want to be a pain, but I spelled out this is a + and a what if... not a debate on if they do.
What would likely happen is that the stuff that people were generally satisfied by probably would not change much, just as we've seen.

However rather than the more directed changes that we've seen in things like Dragonborn and Ardlings, where the changes were informed by the written survey responses, we would be more likely to see a more scattergun approach and more detailed feedback requested. Instead of focusing more on the "Beast" aspect of the Ardlings, or making the Dragonborn breath weapon more similar to that of the Fizban's one, we would likely see a couple of different versions of each, and WotC using the quantitative feedback to decide which they would go forward with.

Another difference we would probably see is that in instances where people gave low scores because they didn't like how something was implemented, WotC would be unable to distinguish between that, and people unhappy at the fact it was implemented at all. So they might completely remove aspects that people might want, but would actually just like to see implemented differently.

It is a little hard to tell how this might inform the future shape of 1D&D, since I don't know what the actual aggregate numbers of the most recent survey were. So unsure of what stuff they would keep and enhance, and what they would change or throw. Jeremy Crawford had an interview with Todd Kenrick in which he talked about some of the numbers in the earlier surveys.
If you take the attitude that Jeremy was truthful about how the numerical scores in those surveys were used, and was lying through his teeth for everything else, that might provide some insight.
 

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