D&D 5E Is DnD next chasing a pipedream?

D&D Next has its problems. Some of this is marketing as WotC is not spreading the word too far out of the community. They're hitting people already in the loop. WotC's marketing department is terrible at spreading the word. But I doubt D&D is their priority.

I am not sure if D&D next should be too much advertised already. I believe, they did right, only trying to reach for the core of gamers until the core is finished.

You already see in the forum, that not even all forum users get the point of this stage of the playtest: trying out things until they can make the core from all previously testet packets... taking the best of them.

I guess many gamers just want a stable, polished sytem that they can play. Best if it is good.

When the core rules are set in stone (maybe some edges could be cut off later) then it will be time sharing the word. Then the whole playtest starts beeing a great marketing thing. Those players who started testing in 2012 are really drawn to the game, as they were part of the most early process.
They can possibly tell their fellow gamers:
"If I hadn´t constantly remining wotc to not mess around with the rogue, we would have the crappy thing from playtest 3... I am so glad I complained so loudly, that wizards returned more to the 2nd playtest version in their final version."
 

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JustinAlexander

First Post
I think focusing the game on player-crunch is an alluring trap but ultimately a dead end. Lisa Stevens describes here how she saw TSR had fallen into that trap in the late 2e era, and was determined to avoid it with Pathfinder.

She gets it. In the three and a half years that Pathfinder has been in print, they've released only 5 player-oriented splats.

Even a conservative count of player-oriented splats for 3.5 gives me a count of 23 books. If we further round that down and assume 20 is actually the limit for how many player-oriented splats a game can support before it collapses under diminishing returns, it'll still take Paizo another 9 years at their current pace.

Paizo appears to have found a business model that's very sustainable. The big question is whether or not WotC can find one, having spent the past decade floundering through the same burn-out supplement treadmill strategy that proved itself to be a purely short-term solution in the '90s.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Paizo appears to have found a business model that's very sustainable. The big question is whether or not WotC can find one, having spent the past decade floundering through the same burn-out supplement treadmill strategy that proved itself to be a purely short-term solution in the '90s.

Let's not forget though... yes, Paizo has found a business model that's very sustainable... for THEIR business.

But Paizo's business is not WotC's business. They have different needs, different monthly income requirements, different profit margins. What is sustainable for Paizo is not necessarily sustainable for Wizards of the Coast.

So you can't just copy 'n paste Paizo's business model over to Wizards, no questions asked. And while the short edition cycle of D&D might not be preferable for the player base... if the asles of new core rules every five years more than makes up the money WotC requires, then they'll continue to do until it no longer does.

Is it a "long-term" solution? Probably not. But then again... perhaps Wizards and Hasbro doesn't see RPGs as a long-term investment.
 

Evenglare

Adventurer
Is it a "long-term" solution? Probably not. But then again... perhaps Wizards and Hasbro doesn't see RPGs as a long-term investment.

If that is the truth, then I hope they go under quickly. There's no room in RPG's for half hearted companies not willing to commit to customers.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
A number of people have said that Paizo provides great support (adventures and paths, etc) and that's hard to argue with. For many, if WoTC could support Next with as much quality and quantity, that would be great.

Interestingly, so far, from playtesting, I've found that creating my own adventures using D&DNext has been quite easy, easier than 4e and easier than 3.5/pathfinder. If this fact holds true when the game is launched, that would be another way for Next to compete and win over DMs everywhere. If it becomes easier to find a D&DNext game to play in, the battle will be won (at least for a little while).
 

S'mon

Legend
So you can't just copy 'n paste Paizo's business model over to Wizards, no questions asked. And while the short edition cycle of D&D might not be preferable for the player base... if the asles of new core rules every five years more than makes up the money WotC requires, then they'll continue to do until it no longer does.

I don't think it's so much that the Paizo model does not make enough money; it does not make $50 million p.a. but at this point it is doing pretty darn well for Paizo in what is inherently a limited market (leaving aside the MMORPG venture, which may be a pipe dream). It's more that making the Paizo model work requires a degree of skill and forethought that is pretty well unique in the RPG industry, that has consistently eluded WoTC, and that they are very unlikely ever to develop due to the limitations of being part of a large corporation.

But the 'pump & dump' new-customers-every-5-years model that has been successful for Games Workshop (over 25 years now!) seems unlikely to work for WoTC either. This leaves WoTC without a viable business model.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
...but at this point it is doing pretty darn well for Paizo in what is inherently a limited market (leaving aside the MMORPG venture, which may be a pipe dream).

Well, I think part of what adds to WotC's successes with D&D are the parts that are outside the "limited market" of the RPG. IE the novel line, the miniatures lines, the board games, and the other D&D branded material.

The RPG might actually be a rather smaller part of the overall worth of the D&D brand than we realize. So one possible advantage of releasing a new edition every five years is that it will always get press, thus keeping the brand name out in the market. Which then can get leveraged into the other markets that WotC tries to serve. The RPG might actually be "advertising" to a certain extent. And if the game itself doesn't generate a lot of revenue (either on the whole or as a percentage of the D&D brand in its entirety)... then as much as it might pain us to accept... that might be all the game is at this point.

Which again says that we cannot take Paizo's business model and transfer it over to WotC because their foci might be completely different. Who's really to say?
 

RedShirtNo5.1

Explorer
I feel that there was a real falloff between Kublai Khan and its sequels Kublai Khan 2: Electric Bugaloo, KK3: Beyond Pleasure-Dome, and of course the disaster of his later project Why Am I Covered In Invisible Spiders?
Don't be ridiculous. There are Internet rumors of a sequel poem in which Kublai Khan returns from the dead and is revealed to be a space alien. But the premise is so absurd, we all know no such poem could have been written.

Anyhow, I don't agree with the OP premise that D&DN looks particularly like 3e (as opposed other editions), or the implicit premise that all Pathfinder players are locked into Paizo. That said, I think there is some market share that isn't recoverable. I just don't think anyone really knows how much.
 

DaveMage

Slumbering in Tsar
Interestingly, so far, from playtesting, I've found that creating my own adventures using D&DNext has been quite easy, easier than 4e and easier than 3.5/pathfinder. If this fact holds true when the game is launched, that would be another way for Next to compete and win over DMs everywhere.

Absolutely. That is the one area where I think 3.x/Pathfinder fails. It's very task-heavy/time-consuming (with a lot of un-fun [to me] stat block building) for the homebrewer.

The best editions for home-brewing/telling one's own story are probably OD&D, BECMI, 1E, or 2E (or similar retro-clone, such as Swords & Wizardry).
 

pemerton

Legend
4th was not more "accessible" to your average person, but what they did do was develop the game into combat system that allowed for a more rewarding tactical experience.
The problem with 4th is that its excessive crunch and "gamey"-ness alienated people who were more open to roleplaying than tactical combat
There is a false dichotomy in these posts, and it is relevant to the design of D&Dnext.

The false dichotomy is this: "tactical combat" vs "free roleplaying". There are many many RPGs that support action resolution other than via combat without resorting to free roleplaying: HeroWars/Quest, The Dying Earth, The Burning Wheel, Maelstrom Storytelling and 4e D&D are the ones I'm familiar with, but by no means exhaust the list.

Given that D&Dnext is ostensibly going to support the "three pillars", the designers need to decide soon whether or not they intend to have action resolution mechanics outside combat (at the moment, they don't).
 

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