WotC Jeremy Crawford Interview: Playtests from experimental to focused. By Christian Hoffer at GenCon.

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Interesting.

I’m not sure I’d go that far. At least not historically. But I’m certain it’s a huge advantage now.
Yeah, I don't think it was an advantage ar all until the Next process when they began paying attention to data and collecting it. So now they have a head start. Hopefully stuff like Demiplane can help other companies get in the game a bit over time?
 

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Vaalingrade

Legend
If McDonalds started giving you half the fries they normally do for the same price, should customers just "take it"?
Yes!

The modern consumer consistently bends over and takes shrinkflation with a sad twitter post and little else routinely.

The 'free market economy' is a cruel illusion.
 


I agree. That said, as we saw in the TSR era, there can be a fair amount of changes that can be done while remaining interoperable (or, to use the preferred nomenclature, backwards compatible.

I guess I'm just a little dissatisfied with the nature and scope of the proposed changes. While I understand their desire, and appreciate that they have followed through, with their previously announced intentions to carry through with the whole, "Evergreen" idea and the "Not a new edition" (despite the calumnies heaped upon them by people, including here), I still find this as dissatisfying as going to the paint store and debating the difference between "eggshell" and "off-white."

I wonder if there were maybe some people that wanted to retain compatibility, but then another group that wanted significant changes to make a new edition. If a new edition made enough changes, but they didn't release a new SRD, it would make things complicated for 3rd party creators. Perhaps a new edition could be designed assuming VTT use, even assuming the use of a particular VTT. But then something happened and they pulled back on that. I wonder what that could be, that thing that happened that altered their approach to a new edition?
 

mamba

Legend
I wonder if there were maybe some people that wanted to retain compatibility, but then another group that wanted significant changes to make a new edition. If a new edition made enough changes, but they didn't release a new SRD, it would make things complicated for 3rd party creators. Perhaps a new edition could be designed assuming VTT use, even assuming the use of a particular VTT. But then something happened and they pulled back on that. I wonder what that could be, that thing that happened that altered their approach to a new edition?
no idea, to me it is pretty much the opposite of what you hint at…

If they could end the OGL, they would not need drastic changes, now that they could not, drastic changes and not releasing a new SRD would be the only way to accomplish something similar
 

Well hold on.

98% of rpg game design is for such a small group that it almost has to be very opinionated and therefore NOT take in user input. Sometimes there isn’t any to be taken in yet.

That’s a wholly different design prospect than designing the core systems of D&D.

Edit to add: “has to”? well, I dunno.
No absolutely not.

I said 98% of TTRPG and other games.

That includes videogames with millions of players. Tens of millions of players. And size doesn't matter because virtually all games and new editions are designed that way and none of them are designed the way 5E is, not even one to my knowledge.

Absolutely none of the big games use anything remotely like WotC's extremely idiosyncratic and bizarre 5E design process. Magic: The Gathering most assuredly does not, for example.

And absolutely no, it is NOT any different when designing D&D. That's special pleading nonsense. It was different with 5E because they genuinely didn't fully understand how they'd screwed up, and how to unscrew it. That they're continuing on the same path is almost certainly the result of Crawford being extremely conservative design-wise and not having an ideas of his own (I mean he genuinely doesn't seem to, when you watch interviews with him - genial as hell, I like the guy but an ideas man, he is not).

WotC want to use a wacky way to design their game? It's their game. Cool. Nobody should be pretending that is normal, standard, or sensible behaviour. It's wacky as hell. It's the wackiest thing about 5E!

The only things I've seen which are even slightly similar are some Early Access games, but they do feedback in a far more direct way than WotC, and they tend to have designers with far stronger visions. They actually interact with their communities and discuss stuff, they don't just put gigantic poorly-worded surveys which are filled in significantly less than 1% of players. WotC's post-survey commentary is a lot closer to that than the actual surveys and decision-making.
 
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darjr

I crit!
No absolutely not.

I said 98% of TTRPG and other games.

That includes videogames with millions of players. Tens of millions of players. And size doesn't matter because virtually all games and new editions are designed that way and none of them are designed the way 5E is, not even one to my knowledge.

Absolutely none of the big games use anything remotely like WotC's extremely idiosyncratic and bizarre 5E design process. Magic: The Gathering most assuredly does not, for example.

And absolutely no, it is NOT any different when designing D&D. That's special pleading nonsense. It was different with 5E because they genuinely didn't fully understand how they'd screwed up, and how to unscrew it. That they're continuing on the same path is almost certainly the result of Crawford being extremely conservative design-wise and not having an ideas of his own (I mean he genuinely doesn't seem to, when you watch interviews with him - genial as hell, I like the guy but an ideas man, he is not).

WotC want to use a wacky way to design their game? It's their game. Cool. Nobody should be pretending that is normal, standard, or sensible behaviour. It's wacky as hell. It's the wackiest thing about 5E!

The only things I've seen which are even slightly similar are some Early Access games, but they do feedback in a far more direct way than WotC, and they tend to have designers with far stronger visions. They actually interact with their communities and discuss stuff, they don't just put gigantic poorly-worded surveys which are filled in significantly less than 1% of players. WotC's post-survey commentary is a lot closer to that than the actual surveys and decision-making.
Well I’d rather computer game design influences stay at a minimum. They might be great for computer games but I think I’d rather they avoid assuming they’d be good for rpg design.

And while talking about rpg design D&D is absolutely in a special place, regardless if you think that shouldn’t be taken consideration of in design or not.

It might be bad overall that it’s the case but hopefully that changes.
 

Clint_L

Hero
I wonder if there were maybe some people that wanted to retain compatibility, but then another group that wanted significant changes to make a new edition. If a new edition made enough changes, but they didn't release a new SRD, it would make things complicated for 3rd party creators. Perhaps a new edition could be designed assuming VTT use, even assuming the use of a particular VTT. But then something happened and they pulled back on that. I wonder what that could be, that thing that happened that altered their approach to a new edition?
Not releasing a new edition has been the whole point of OneD&D from the very start, and they have been extremely forthright about their reasoning: new editions have historically divided the player base and created a jumping off point. Nothing "altered their approach;" they are emphatically trying to replace the old "editions" paradigm with a "D&D" paradigm, so that the question of "what edition (meaning version) of the game are we playing?" doesn't ever come up, at least for new players.

I am very happy with the overall process thus far, even though I have been very unhappy with a few of the specific proposals (i.e. they haven't done enough for monks). I'm Canadian: I like moderation and incremental change. I am not looking for bold changes to fundamental game structures, and I definitely don't want to have to repurchase everything, especially on DnDBeyond. I also think a lot of folks on this forum, who skew older, strongly underestimate the importance of DDB in determining what changes can happen: WotC won't do anything that breaks 5e on DDB (defining "breaks" as mandating users to replace whole texts).

WotC looked at the big picture and saw that the whole "editions" paradigm was always reactionary and driven by weaknesses. Now that D&D has a very wide and, thus far, stable player base, they are putting forth a proactive strategy of building on strengths. The current process, with an emphasis on collaboration and consensus, makes all the sense in the world to me.
 

I meant 98% of the design of other games.

Not 98% of all games.

Maybe I misunderstood the comment I was responding too.

Most games are so small in user base, or generally will be, that it might actually be an asset they are wholly designed behind a curtain.

Also many just dint have a big enough audience anyway, especially vs D&D.

So the concern between designing behind a curtain vs showing and asking the user base some if it is different when you are talking about D&D.
Does audience size dictate this in every medium?

Do famous musicians have to consult with their fans before making an album? Does Beyonce need to hit up the Beehive, or does she just make what she wants with strong vision behind it?

You can apply this to comics, animanga, movies, visual arts, etc etc. At the end of the day, game design is more of an art than a science. Even video games, which have far more mechanics and numbers behind them, are pieces of art. And when creating art, what matters most is the vision of the creator and how well they achieve that vision.

Letting the competing visions of the entire player base dictate the art is, to me, a fallacy. It doesn't actually improve the art, at least, not to the degree where it should be entirely relied upon. In reality, Crawford needs to have a vision in mind. If this is his vision, then I find it insufficient. What good is a vision that believes mechanical innovation will 100% always lead to overcomplexity? So many people want to point to complexity as a problem, or to the giant fanbase as something that will rage over every change, but at the end of the day, these problems are indicative of a narrow-minded view.

In game design, there's always another solution. In any art, actually. If Crawford doesn't want to spend the time and money given to him to innovate D&D and to take it to the next level, and if their only way of improving the game is strictly through player surveys, then I just don't think D&D will ever be the innovative giant it was at its creation. It's a game with a charming about of funk to it, it is the most popular RPG x10 over, but these things don't excuse you from having to improve. Perfection isn't real, but that doesn't mean we stop striving for it.

Always remember too that D&D at its origin is a game of innovation. Arneson had a vision — characters from a war game going on fantasy adventures in the wilderness and in dungeons to get strong and build armies and create dynasties. There was nothing like it before. THere was roleplaying and acting etc, but it was Arneson's unique vision that synthesized the elements of his day into a brilliant game.

Since its creation, D&D has never shied away from trying to innovate itself. The original games, BECMI, AD&D, 3rd and 3.5, 4E — never in the history of D&D has any team stirring it sat on their laurels and said "Yes, this is good enough, we do not need to change our game further." It's always "Ok so, how can we do this but better?"

And sometimes that "but better" hasn't actually been better. But the attempts at innovation, the design visions of the past, all of these things feel absent in 5th Edition now. Using surveys is a good strategy. Relying on them entirely is not. Surveys should be used to adjust a vision, not to dictate the future course of the game. The audience doesn't truly know if something innovative will be something that they want until they have it. An audiences total rejection of something is valuable, and knowing what parts of a thing they like is valuable, but the audience should never, ever, ever set the course for the future, because the audience does not have vision. It has millions of visions competing against each other. And the job of D&D's lead designer is to have a vision that appeals to many people while being THEIR vision, and not everyone elses.

People always want to say that D&D is a big game, it HAS to suit every audience, but that isn't true. D&D only has to make a good game. If the game is good, many different audiences will use it for their own purposes. Then the adventures and supplementary materials should be exploring and innovating on the base game, giving us new ways to use that game, to tell stories with it, etc etc. You want some adventures and options that cater to niche interests, but that doesn't mean bending over backwards for your audience. There is no obligation for WotC to create the perfect product that every single person can use, no matter their tastes or gaming background. To try and do so is to sabotage your product.
 

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