Public D&D Playtests To Begin On May 24th

Vyvyan Basterd

Adventurer
I still think they should have made those as two separate announcements, maybe a week apart. By making them together it gives the appearance that they weren't really ready to announce the playtest yet but had decided that they had to throw something out there to distract us from the bad news.

I think if they weren't ready to announce the playtest yet, the news of Monte leaving forced their hand. The "Monte Leaves" thread was rampant with speculation that he left because they decided to skip the open playtest altogether, some even suggesting that 3E reprints coming out in Sep 2012 were covering up the actual release of 5E.
 

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Mike Mearls at the WotC website said:
No one voice can rise above the others, unless it is the voice of D&D fans as a whole. [...]If there are creative differences between the designers and gamers, then surely the needs and vision of D&D gamers will win out. D&D Next is your game.[...]In the end it is you, the audience, who will determine the future of D&D.

I recognize the importance of what Paizo did with playtesting.

Yet the final stamp on a creative work ought not be decided by referendum and democracy. "Democracy" is not an unqualified good.

"Design-by-polling" is the antithesis of the other polar extreme: "we hip game designers know what's best for you fanboy cretins" (an arrogant tone which sometimes manifest in the TSR era.)

The synthesis beyond these two poles is this:

"In the end, a creative work ought to bear the spirit of a single individual (or small team) who is receptive to all perspectives, yet who simultaneously maintains their own artistic integrity and vision."

If D&D falls to the "design-by-democracy" pole, it will become a "patchworked-together-by-polls", "people-pleasing", compromised game.
 
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Dausuul

Legend
How do you guys know that Monte didn't time this little announcement to coincide with the WotC announcement?
It's also possible that there was some sort of creative logjam, where Monte and someone else at Wizards were unable to agree on some core element of the design. This led to the playtest being pushed back (most of us expected it to start before now) while they tried to wrangle it out. Ultimately, Monte decided he couldn't live with whatever it was, and bailed. That broke the jam, allowing the design direction to be set and the open playtest to proceed.
 

hayek

Explorer
Seriously people, let's put our thinking caps on here... these announcements were obviously coordinated. whether you think that was the best way to do it or not is up to you, but it's not like Monte announced to WOTC he was leaving via his blog post... he obviously told them he was leaving, they had a rational discussion like adults, and naturally the topic of how to break the news came up, "oh man, the interwebs are gonna go nuts, they're gonna say the sky is falling... we were gonna make an announcement about the public playtest sometime in the next few weeks anyways. when's your last day? the last full week in April - OK sounds good, how about you announce that you're leaving, and then we'll make the announcement of the playtest so everyone has some good news to go with the bad. cool? alright, thanks for all your work"

the crazy conspiracy theories about strategically posting 'in response' to Monte to 'one-up' him are ludicrous... these people are adults, and Monte doesn't want to burn any bridges, he'd obviously coordinate the announcement with them...
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Mike Mearls said:
In either case, we’re absolutely dedicated to making D&D Next a modular game, one rooted in the traditions of tabletop RPG play while poised to blaze a trail toward a vibrant, exciting future.
Did anyone else wonder what this particular line meant? Is he alluding to digital/online versions of D&D or is it just marketing-speak?
 


Magesmiley

Explorer
I have to be honest, Monte leaving makes me incredibly dubious that D&D Next is going to work. He was the man behind 3/3.5E in the minds of the majority of the players out there (myself included). If he can't work with the project, it makes me think that the project isn't going to work for the 3/3.5E playerbase. Just my opinion, but I think that it's the opinion of a lot of the players out there who decided that 4E wasn't their game.

We'll know more when we see the preview, but this doesn't bolster my confidence that D&D Next is a game that I'm going to want to go out and buy.
 

john112364

First Post
I for one am exited that the play test is beginning soon. I can't wait. Personally I could care less whether Monte Cook goes or stays. I like his work especially his 3e work, but he is not the messiah of DnD. He is one designer, a good one, but still only one man. The designers left on the project are not exactly lightweight know nothing's. 5e is still in good hands. I still remain optimistic.

My 2cp. ;)
 

aurance

Explorer
Blah. Public playtests are good for finding game-breaking flaws in an already existing rule-set, not by any specific creativity or intellect of the community, but by virtue of volume. Public playtests are not good for coming up with an entirely new ruleset that will please the majority of the spectrum of D&D players. I have absolutely zero faith that the "gaming community" as a gestalt will produce anything resembling such a thing.
 

Dice4Hire

First Post
Blah. Public playtests are good for finding game-breaking flaws in an already existing rule-set, not by any specific creativity or intellect of the community, but by virtue of volume. Public playtests are not good for coming up with an entirely new ruleset that will please the majority of the spectrum of D&D players. I have absolutely zero faith that the "gaming community" as a gestalt will produce anything resembling such a thing.

If you think they will slavishly accept what the general public says, then you might be right. I think them being guided by public opinion is a far more realistic expectation.
 

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