OGL news scoop: insider account of how the statement was drafted, and the fear-based culture in Wizards offices

Heh, I am Norwegian. I definitely can say "socialism". The only way socialism can work, is if it is voluntary, and people understand the costs and benefits, and willingly choose to pay the costs. Any kind of socialism can only succeed if it is truly democratic and comes from free will.

But, here in the context of Hasbro-WotC, I am talking about a corporation that itself would function as a healthy employee-empowering structure in a way that is also profitable to the success of the corporation.
LOL Ah. Okay. That makes sense, then. It sounded like you were talking about Democratic Socialism because you were. :LOL:
 

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Back to the Original Topic:

Several D&D personas have just weighed in on the claims of youtuber DnD_Shorts.

Ben Riggs (one of the leading D&D historians). Also chiming in on that thread:
-Morrus (our own)
-Alex Kammer (one of the foremost D&D collectors in the world)

Ray Winninger (former WOTC) "This is simply false."
Taymoor (former WOTC) "this just feels like muckraking."

All of these voices are dubious about either DnD_Shorts or his source (perhaps unwittingly for DnD_Shorts), or both.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I once went to a "Mongolian BBQ" restaurant with a bunch of people from the Asian Studies department of my university. The anthropologist who had just returned from field work in Mongolia took a look at the menu and then found that there was nothing Mongolian about it. But in the back of the menu there was a single page written only in Chinese, incomprehensible to most of us but not to the Chinese language professor, who told us that this was where all the really good stuff was listed. He ordered a bunch of dishes from that menu and we got the most marvelous authentically Chinese meal I've ever had.
That’s awesome! Although, I still wouldn’t exactly call it a secret menu. It’s public information, as long as you know the language, and it’s not as if Mandarin and Cantonese are secret languages.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Something like that, but the business license needs to be more "agile", and able to take on unrelated products, and compete with big business.

Ultimately, the goal is "democratic capitalism", in the sense of democratic control of financial capital.

It sucks that the employees of Hasbro-WotC megacorp are at the mercy of its almost-feudal executives.

I wish there was a better kind of business license, where the employees can have a say in the decisions of the megacorp.




No. The business model would need to succeed in its own right in a consensual environment.

Maybe start off as a small local experiment and study how it behaves, competes, adapts, and prospers.

If it proves viable, nationalize and internationalize the business license.

Such a "democratic capitalist" business license is fraught with difficulties, such as employees ruining the business for shortterm liquidation of assets. A business license that works as intended would need a system of checks and balances, much like a democratic government does.
🤷‍♀️ It just sounds like you’re describing syndicalism to me. Which is not a bad thing by any means, I’m very much in support of syndicalism!
 



Back to the Original Topic:

Several D&D personas have just weighed in on the claims of youtuber DnD_Shorts.

Ben Riggs (one of the leading D&D historians). Also chiming in on that thread:
-Morrus (our own)
-Alex Kammer (one of the foremost D&D collectors in the world)

Ray Winninger (former WOTC) "This is simply false."
Taymoor (former WOTC) "this just feels like muckraking."

All of these voices are dubious about either DnD_Shorts or his source (perhaps unwittingly for DnD_Shorts), or both.
DnD Shorts is addressing this now:

 




Yaarel

Mind Mage
I am only now coming across this. Here is the claimed leak by D&D Shorts on his Twitter account:

1674084676346.png


Quick Thoughts

• The surveys are "just a temperature test" on whether people like something.

Is that so difficult to believe?

Regarding the playtest back for 2014 to create the 5e version of the game, we hear from the 5e designers themselves, they cared deeply about the unprecedentedly massive playtest and its feedback. We know, the D&D staff read every single comment on every single survey. 5e is the result.

But even then, the designers described the survey process. They would make a proposal in a playtest. If it gained sufficient approval in surveys (varied from 80% to 60%), they would stick with the proposal. If the approval was insufficient, they would read the commentary and work on a revision in a future playtest.

In other words, the surveys also functioned as a "temperature test" even back then in 2014.


• We dont want to know what armchair gamers think would be better rules.

Now for the upcoming 2024, the designers are seeking "backward compatibility". In other words, they arent seeking significantly new mechanics. The surveys are mostly a "temperature test". They dont want "better rules" for a new version. They seek to polish up the old 5e version. This mood suggests 5.5 rather than 6e.

The source of D&D Shorts sounds plausible on this point.

(Personally, I suspect the shift into a digital experience is inherently a gamechanger, and it will be 6e after all. But I can believe the designers are finetuning the mechanical engine for a 5.5.)


• You ever fill out those surveys. Nobody reads anything you type in those. Nobody.

I would have expected the following process. Playtest → Survey → High Approval → Ignore comments in Survey. But otherwise: Playtest → Survey → Low Approval → Read comments in Survey.

The claim is surprising that nobody is on staff to read the survey comments for playtests that received low approval.

But if the goal is backward compatible with what already exists in 5e, is it implausible that there is no staff dedicated to read the survey comments? I would still think the designers themselves would peruse the commentary for any significant disapproval. So there is some eyebrow raising.


• A senior designer said ... : Were making the next version of the rules, not our customers.
• Surveys have a written component ... because ... we channel them to not be disruptive.

Such a stance is disappointing − aggressive and disregarding. But is it implausible that at least one of the senior designers feels this way?

Generally, the designers want backward compatibility. They dont want a new variation of D&D. They have a clear view of what they themselves feel needs to be fixed in 5e.

Maybe the 5e designers dont want feedback on ideas?

But they do want to doublecheck if their new fixes meet a sufficient approval.



[Edit]: D&D Shorts himself is aware of conflicting accounts about this source, suggesting the source is incorrect on certain points. He now tweets:

"Others can confirm the sources I'm in contact with. But, it seems that these insiders were incorrect on this unless more information comes to light. I'm still at a loss how two such conflicting accounts came to be. I'll keep you updated on this story, and the whole story."


If the designers actually do have staff to check comments for items that received low approvals (a low temperature), I can believe that.

But if they ignore comments for items that receive high approval, I can also believe that.

In the future, time and money permitting, I suspect staff will eventually go thru all of the comments to hunt for any gems. But this wont be for 2024, it would be for supplements or other products.


D&D Shorts notes, "everyone" speaks well of Winninger the president during 2014 and Crawford a lead designer during it.
 
Last edited:

Yaarel

Mind Mage
🤷‍♀️ It just sounds like you’re describing syndicalism to me. Which is not a bad thing by any means, I’m very much in support of syndicalism!
These are useful comparisons.

At the same time, more specifically, the "democratic capitalist" business license would only relate to the population of a specific corporation. It doesnt relate to a national population, nor the international global population. The workers of one corporation would be competing with the workers of an other corporation.
 

I am only now coming across this. Here is the claimed leak by D&D Shorts on his Twitter account:

View attachment 273024

Quick Thoughts

• The surveys are "just a temperature test" on whether people like something.

Is that so difficult to believe?

Regarding the playtest back for 2014 to create the 5e version of the game, we hear from the 5e designers themselves, they cared deeply about the unprecedentedly massive playtest and its feedback. We know, the D&D staff read every single comment on every single survey. 5e is the result.

But even then, the designers described the survey process. They would make a proposal in a playtest. If it gained sufficient approval in surveys (varied from 80% to 60%), they would stick with the proposal. If the approval was insufficient, they would read the commentary and work on a revision in a future playtest.

In other words, the surveys also functioned as a "temperature test" even back then in 2014.


• We dont want to know what armchair gamers think would be better rules.

Now for the upcoming 2024, the designers are seeking "backward compatibility". In other words, they arent seeking significantly new mechanics. The surveys are mostly a "temperature test". They dont want "better rules" for a new version. They seek to polish up the old 5e version. This mood suggests 5.5 rather than 6e.

The source of D&D Shorts sounds plausible on this point.

(Personally, I suspect the shift into a digital experience is inherently a gamechanger, and it will be 6e after all. But I can believe the designers are finetuning the mechanical engine for a 5.5.)


• You ever fill out those surveys. Nobody reads anything you type in those. Nobody.

I would have expected the following process. Playtest → Survey → High Approval → Ignore comments in Survey. But otherwise: Playtest → Survey → Low Approval → Read comments in Survey.

The claim is surprising that nobody is on staff to read the survey comments for playtests that received low approval.

But if the goal is backward compatible with what already exists in 5e, is it implausible that there is no staff dedicated to read the survey comments? I would still think the designers themselves would peruse the commentary for any significant disapproval. So there is some eyebrow raising.


• A senior designer said ... : Were making the next version of the rules, not our customers.
• Surveys have a written component ... because ... we channel them to not be disruptive.

Such a stance is disappointing − aggressive and disregarding. But is it implausible that at least one of the senior designers feels this way?

Generally, the designers want backward compatibility. They dont want a new variation of D&D. They have a clear view of what they themselves feel needs to be fixed in 5e.

Maybe the 5e designers dont want feedback on ideas?

But they do want to doublecheck if their new fixes meet a sufficient approval.



[Edit]: D&D Shorts himself is aware of conflicting accounts about this source, suggesting the source is incorrect on certain points. He now tweets:

"Others can confirm the sources I'm in contact with. But, it seems that these insiders were incorrect on this unless more information comes to light. I'm still at a loss how two such conflicting accounts came to be. I'll keep you updated on this story, and the whole story."


If the designers actually do have staff to check comments for items that received low approvals (a low temperature), I can believe that.

But if they ignore comments for items that receive high approval, I can also believe that.

In the future, time and money permitting, I suspect staff will eventually go thru all of the comments to hunt for any gems. But this wont be for 2024, it would be for supplements or other products.


D&D Shorts notes, "everyone" speaks well of Winninger the president during 2014 and Crawford a lead designer during it.

A possible explanation of this:

 



Yaarel

Mind Mage
A possible explanation of this:

Note, I cannot read the Twitter link, I have to go there directly to Twitter.

There in a series of eight tweets, Jeremy Forbing describes the same process that I describe above, and that the 2014 design team themselves describe.

I want to point out: what happened for 2014 to create a new version is not necessarily what is happening now for 2024 to polish up a backward compatibility. It can be true Winninger insists all comments were read for 2014, but maybe now this isnt true for 2024.

In any case, both Jeremy Forbing and I − and the 5e designers themselves − agree that: when a survey feedback shows low approval they would read the commentary for that item. Whether it is staff who peruses the commentary, or the designers themselves, they have a vested interest in reading the commentary for items that receive low approval.

Jeremy Forbing describes a hypothetical example. A playtest for the Kender receives low approval in the survey. Someone, whether a staff ("intern") or the designers themselves will want to read the comments about the Kender. All of the information would sit in a database that anyone can read to spotcheck something if necessary. But it would be cost-ineffective to read one-by-one everything at this time.
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
Here is Will Earl (D&D Shorts?) conferring with the source of the leak.

In sum, they did read the survey comments for 2014. But they arent reading the survey comments for 2024. More specifically, the presentations to the employees about the survey results only summarize the approval ratings − the numbers. These presentations dont summarize any of the comments. Because the staff is small, it is impracticable to sift thru the comments.

My note − but the designers can still go thru the comments themselves when wanting to resolve a low approval item.

Fmy6ltoXoAI-wqP.jpg
 

That’s awesome! Although, I still wouldn’t exactly call it a secret menu. It’s public information, as long as you know the language, and it’s not as if Mandarin and Cantonese are secret languages.
It was secret unless someone in the party had the requisite language proficiency. Most DM advice will tell you that gating content behind proficiency requrements is bad design, but sometimes it happens anyway ;)
 

It was secret unless someone in the party had the requisite language proficiency. Most DM advice will tell you that gating content behind proficiency requrements is bad design, but sometimes it happens anyway ;)
It's only bad design if it's intended to be a vital clue. If it's missable Easter Egg content, it adds value to those who take the obscure language!
 

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