D&D 5E So How Long Will 5E Last For?

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
There aren't any extreme balance issues in 5e. I don't know why people have this weird idea that balance is all over the place.

Personally, I think it's FANTASTIC that some people think that 5E's balance is all over the place. Because it means that those players have played enough of the game to come to that conclusion, and it bothers them enough to really delve into the game to the point where they feel not only that the need to "fix" the balance, but that they are going to go ahead and do it.

And when they do... they become better players and Dungeon Masters by actually working at the craft to make the game what they want it to be. They become more adept at "Rulings, Not Rules" because they are constantly looking at what they feel doesn't work, and then making their own rulings to correct the issues.

Then a little while later on... they become SO adept at fixing and changing things that don't work... a lot of times being able to do it on the fly as it comes up... that pretty soon they are experienced enough in the game to know that a lot of stuff that used to matter, doesn't really matter to them anymore.

The extreme balance of 4E accomplished two things... it made it such that new DMs could pick the game up and run it straight away with very little concern of things blowing up at the table... but also made it such that DMs had many fewer times where improvisation and learning how to "fix things" were necessary or important. Which is a skill that all DMs have to learn sooner or later, especially once you expand out from your starter game and start trying to run other ones (whether that be another edition of D&D or another RPG in its entirety.)

Once you learn to recognize that a game element isn't as balanced as you think it should be, *and* you know how to fix it so that it is... congratulations! You've leveled up your DMing skill. And you and your table are all going to benefit from that.
 

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Ragmon

Explorer
There aren't any extreme balance issues in 5e. I don't know why people have this weird idea that balance is all over the place.

Well:
1 - Some races get more racial traits then others in amount and function.
2 - Racial abilities that overlap with class features, making the race+class combos redundant, even if they were meant to synergies with a class. Hill Dwarf and the Goblin is a good example.
3 - Dex is the best stat in the game.
4 - Int being a dump stat unless your a wizard.
5 - The rapier being the choice for a melee fines character, cause numbers wise you are worse off with any other melee weapon.
6 - Abilities that push characters without saves or ability check, they are just pushed, regardless of size. Such as the warlocks Eldritch Blast + Repelling Blast, 10ft per blast push-back. So a low level Warlock with an Ancient Dragon and it pushes it back.
7 - Classes being locked into certain abilities due to one or 2 abilities. Such as the monk and rogue with the Martial Arts and Sneak attack. Again pushing the balance towards Dex.
8 - A good amount of spells are just out right better then others.

Stuff like this.
 

S'mon

Legend
One of the problems with 4E is that you couldn't use any of your old 3E material with it (without extensive conversion). It wasn't backwards-compatible. That's a lousy upgrade plan. One of the benefits of Pathfinder is that you CAN use your old 3E material with it, with minimal conversion. This was a strength of 3.5 as well. Granted, 3E couldn't use any older material (without extensive conversion) but at that point, the older material was so mechanically bass-ackwards that it didn't matter, and the 3E release schedule ensured that new material was plentiful.

One thing I like about 5e is that I can use most of my Pathfinder material with it. Magic items take almost no work; monsters and PC-side stuff takes a little bit.
 

Corwin

Explorer
I think the real issue is that different people have wildly different definitions of "balance". And, more importantly, what constitutes an acceptable window of variance, or range, within that perceived balance.
 

happyhermit

Adventurer
I can see where you are coming from, and you are right I wasn't here for 4E. If this is the case, which I believe you, it would seem to me that they are taking a step backwards since we are not only seeing D&D beyond, but a heavy use of unearthed arcana to introduce new rules, classes builds and so on.

While yes we do still see a lot of books being released over time, as a user of roll20 I have also noticed those books being given to use in digital format. Something that most all companies are trying to do as time goes on and technology takes a bigger grasp on our world is to jump onto this paperless trend. In fact many companies try to use it as a selling point. I don't see this happening over the next year or two, but I do believe WoTC will also tend to take this approach as they see money coming in from online sales. It also gives them an easy way to save money by not printing books, but also charging full price, or close to it, for a digital version.

I don't see them relying fully on an APP per say, but I think we will see a heavy shift towards online media and since that medium is so easy to use and change things at a whim, as well as release test material via Unearth Arcana, I just feel this edition will last longer then most think. However, I could be wrong, this is just an opinion of mine base on what I have seen so far :)

Mostly the point I was trying to make, since you are relatively new to the system and I hear a lot of comments otherwise, is that it's not like D&D hasn't tried these things in the past. A lot of people don't know that you could get digital copies of AD&D 20+ years ago and it came with character generator, die roller, etc. or that you could buy PDFs of books in the past. In a lot of ways, UA is a scaled back version of Dragon magazine that they don't get paid for, back in the day it did pretty much what UA is doing online these days (release a bunch of stuff to the public and eventually some of it will get incorporated into books). The biggest difference IMO is the surveys and the overall strategy of the way things are released, the huge "Next" open playtest being the obvious example. It's not like even these things didn't happen before, but those are the things that 5e has expanded upon rather than just carried forward in a different way. Tech isn't driving this, the surveys and open playtest were completely feasible decades ago. Mearls et. al. (even Hasbro) have mentioned one way that tech is having an impact, and that's live-plays, being able to go back and watch how people are actually playing is huge.

I think if 5e does last it will be because they made a conscious effort while still in the design stage to make a system that will last. By taking a hard line against bloat while still coming up with a profitable business model that meets other "brand" goals they shouldn't feel much pressure to change course barring outside forces (ie; the new Wotc CEO).

Nobody knows really, but at least we are doing better, a couple weeks and it will be 3 yrs with no sweeping changes (almost no changes really). 4e was only 2 years before Essentials brought in huge changes, then it was only 2 more until they were doing the Next playtest.
 

I think the real issue is that different people have wildly different definitions of "balance". And, more importantly, what constitutes an acceptable window of variance, or range, within that perceived balance.
There aren't any extreme balance issues in 5e. I don't know why people have this weird idea that balance is all over the place.

It's often a sampling bias.
When compared to 4e, then 5e seems unbalanced with wild spikes of different power levels.
When compared to 1-3e/PF then balance in 5e seems reasonable.

There are some design quirks in 5e. Small flaws like the fighter subclasses, the ranger, a couple spells, a couple feats, etc.
But no game is ever perfect. 3e was heavily, heavily revised twice and it still had warts and hiccups. They could revise the edition in a 5.5 and there'd still be some issues. Perfect balance is impossible...
 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
I think the real issue is that different people have wildly different definitions of "balance". And, more importantly, what constitutes an acceptable window of variance, or range, within that perceived balance.

Pretty much. I mean, obviously Ragmon thinks the game is broken pretty badly. But that's why it's important to look at it from a macro perspective, and not really focus on outlier opinions. So when you look at the general commentary made about 5e since it's been out, there are really no major balance issues. Just a few things here and there, like the sharpshooter or GWM feat. And even then, for the majority of players, is either a non issue or a fairly minor one. I haven't seen any balance issues that impact half of the gaming base or more as being major issues.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Pretty much. I mean, obviously Ragmon thinks the game is broken pretty badly. But that's why it's important to look at it from a macro perspective, and not really focus on outlier opinions. So when you look at the general commentary made about 5e since it's been out, there are really no major balance issues. Just a few things here and there, like the sharpshooter or GWM feat. And even then, for the majority of players, is either a non issue or a fairly minor one. I haven't seen any balance issues that impact half of the gaming base or more as being major issues.
Yup. Whereas, having done some really crazy stuff in AD&D, I occasionally get frustrated at the amount of straightjacketing in 5E. Overall, I'm happy with the trade-off, but every now and then I wonder how we ended up with a situation where DMs were afraid to tell their players, "That's stupid. No."

Maybe I'm just a bit gun shy. I house ruled 1E and 2E all over the place, just to add some setting flavor. It seemed like 3E was wound so tight that seemingly minor tweaks ended up having repercussions in completely different subsystems. I think 5E is somewhere between, but I haven't really poked at it much.
 

Torgaard

Explorer
I think the real issue is that different people have wildly different definitions of "balance". And, more importantly, what constitutes an acceptable window of variance, or range, within that perceived balance.

This.

Neither I as a DM, nor any of my players really care too much for "balance".

Balance is two-dimensional and boring. It's a real buzzkill for any party. Balance is always all, "Nyahh - you can't do that. Nobody can be better than anyone else, or do anything exceptionally well!" Balance in my 5E campaign was almost immediately handed its hat, and shown the door. I'm a little sorry it had to go home sad and alone, but my table is just not the right crowd - sorry. It'll be happier down the street with the rules lawyers.

My players wanna feel like heroes. And that's what they get. Don't get me wrong; it's not anarchy over here or anything. It's just tons of homebrew classes, specialties, feats, spells, items, etc. If something jumps out as completely-omg-durp-broken, then we tweak it. Everything else; relax, roll with it, have fun.

So for us; 5E has alotta mileage left on 'er. No complaints.
 

Soul Stigma

First Post
Mostly the point I was trying to make, since you are relatively new to the system and I hear a lot of comments otherwise, is that it's not like D&D hasn't tried these things in the past. A lot of people don't know that you could get digital copies of AD&D 20+ years ago and it came with character generator, die roller, etc. or that you could buy PDFs of books in the past. In a lot of ways, UA is a scaled back version of Dragon magazine that they don't get paid for, back in the day it did pretty much what UA is doing online these days (release a bunch of stuff to the public and eventually some of it will get incorporated into books). The biggest difference IMO is the surveys and the overall strategy of the way things are released, the huge "Next" open playtest being the obvious example. It's not like even these things didn't happen before, but those are the things that 5e has expanded upon rather than just carried forward in a different way. Tech isn't driving this, the surveys and open playtest were completely feasible decades ago. Mearls et. al. (even Hasbro) have mentioned one way that tech is having an impact, and that's live-plays, being able to go back and watch how people are actually playing is huge.

I think if 5e does last it will be because they made a conscious effort while still in the design stage to make a system that will last. By taking a hard line against bloat while still coming up with a profitable business model that meets other "brand" goals they shouldn't feel much pressure to change course barring outside forces (ie; the new Wotc CEO).

Nobody knows really, but at least we are doing better, a couple weeks and it will be 3 yrs with no sweeping changes (almost no changes really). 4e was only 2 years before Essentials brought in huge changes, then it was only 2 more until they were doing the Next playtest.

Core Rules 2.0 - still have a copy. Had the character generator, the books, two mappers, a dice roller and (I think) an encounter builder in that software package. Used it a ton!


Sent from my iPhone using EN World mobile app
 

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