5.5E The future of edition changes and revisions


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  1. The player base is different - much larger, younger, and generally more casual.
  2. There are far few products in 5E than in previous editions at a similar point, at least going back to 2E.
So my question, or rather open-ended speculation, is how will WotC handle an edition change/revision differently from in the past, and how will the player base respond?

My guess is that they will err on keeping the product line as simple as possible. A big chunk of your audience are people who don't pay close attention to each release, keeping a running log of change in mechanics, or are widely read in lore. Keeping the old core books in print, or keeping Vgtm or mtof in print, is just confusing for casual consumers. In fact, a major edition change is confusing for casual consumers. Thus, the anniversary edition will be largely compatible with the current edition, unless they want to every adventure 5e to go out of print.
 

JEB

Legend
Who says it isn't...? But either way, there are dozens of us here, dozens!
If someone is suggesting that complainers are hypocrites because they only complain about some changes and not others, or that complainers are so few in number as to be irrelevant, or that even the complaints themselves are unimportant, that's an attempt to intimidate and shame complainers into silence. And it certainly isn't showing respect for their point of view, or seeking to understand that point of view.
 


Hussar

Legend
If someone is suggesting that complainers are hypocrites because they only complain about some changes and not others, or that complainers are so few in number as to be irrelevant, or that even the complaints themselves are unimportant, that's an attempt to intimidate and shame complainers into silence. And it certainly isn't showing respect for their point of view, or seeking to understand that point of view.
Well, it is a bit hypocritical no?

"I think that canon and lore is very important and that you should not change things in the game" is a VERY different stance from "I only think canon and lore are important when it affects me personally, otherwise, change whatever you like, I don't care".

Having had to listen to that second one for the past fifteen years or so, my tolerance is pretty close to zero. Having people come and take big steaming dumps in EVERY SINGLE DISCUSSION dealing with D&D, endlessly, without cease, tends to make me really, really salty. We've been hearing this song and dance now for DECADES. So, yeah, I'm not really seeking to understand the point of view anymore.

Someone doesn't like change X. Ok, fair enough. No problem. I totally get that. There are all sorts of things I don't like or would like to see in D&D. My three most favorite classes in D&D are paladins, binders and warlords. Paladins have been completely rewritten. Binders had their junk stolen by warlocks and warlords got completely thrown under the bus. Now, I could keep bitching and moaning about this. And, I'll be the first to admit, I did a fair bit of that about warlords in the early days of 5e. But, at some point, I just have to realize that nope, I'm not going to get what I want and move on.

I mean, good grief, it's never, EVER stopped. All through 3e I had to listen to people bitch and complain about how the game I liked was ruining D&D. Then 4e came along and LOTS MORE people, with a lot bigger axe to grind, endlessly bitched and complained about how 4e was ruining D&D. Now, every freaking announcement thread or discussion of the future is littered with the same thing - WOtC is destroying D&D and hates its fans.

But, no, I'm supposed to be the one to be understanding and respectful. I'm just so sick and tired of it. It never, ever stops. I get not liking something. Totally understand that. DO NOT UNDERSTAND the endless bitching about it over and over and over again.
 


JEB

Legend
"I think that canon and lore is very important and that you should not change things in the game" is a VERY different stance from "I only think canon and lore are important when it affects me personally, otherwise, change whatever you like, I don't care".
"Nothing should ever change" is a very rare and extreme point of view among folks who like canon. (I've seen it from maybe one person on these boards, not a regular.) Usually folks are tolerant to varying degrees of canon changes, as long as it's primarily additive and doesn't create a contradiction with past canon (or at least a contradiction that can be explained). The better the change can work with past canon, the less complaining; the less compatible, the more complaints you get. (This is why reboots tend to be poorly received, since they're fundamentally incompatible.)

Also worth noting that if someone had no strong feelings about a particular element of canon, it's likely less that they're giving permission to do whatever, and more like it's off their radar. If you didn't know that merrow used to be sea ogres and not corrupted merfolk, you aren't likely to even notice the change.

In short: people can like canon and still be fine with some changes. People are complicated, and it doesn't make them hypocrites.

I'm just so sick and tired of it. It never, ever stops. I get not liking something. Totally understand that. DO NOT UNDERSTAND the endless bitching about it over and over and over again.
Being irritated by complaints is understandable, but it doesn't make it fine to intimidate and shame those that do the complaining. Keep in mind that the ones who asked for changes to problematic lore were complaining as well, and their complaints absolutely irritated people... would it have been OK for those complainers to be bullied into silence by the ones they irritated?

If you can't ignore the complaints, then just block the complainers and be done with it. You won't see them, they won't see you. Seems like that might be the best solution to your problem.
 
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I’m not saying they’re not, but do we have enough information outside the UA to make that determination?
The toning down of Kender (yeah yeah Kender) and changing the Tower of High Sorcery and how the 3 different robed mages works is a prime example.

I’m actually anxious to see if they mention that Orcs (this Half-Orcs) and Drow don’t exist in Krynn. Or that Draconians are strictly evil during the War of the Lance time period.
 


Echohawk

Shirokinukatsukami fan

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DLS4: Wild Elves has something to say about this claim.

Some things werent fleshed out for a while and "drow" and "dark elf" got intermingled. In DL, "Dark Elves" and "Drow" are "evil elves" and has nothing to do with black skinned elves that live underground.

And yes some publications do mentioned dark skinned drow elves because also again that stuff wasnt really fleshed out yet.

The closest you will get are some that come on Starjammers etc. But natively Krynn does not have black skinned underground evil elves. "Drow" and "Dark Elf" just mean "evil elves".
 

Staffan

Legend
And here’s the modern problem. No, not every setting is the same and they absolutely should not be.
I'm not saying there shouldn't be a difference. I'm saying that the difference between Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms is really, really small.

It's like quibbling over the taste difference between Pepsi and Coke, when there's also orange soda, lemonade, coffee, or beer on the menu.
 

According the lastest Drizzt books: In Faerun Lolth was good. The Drow acting evil corrupted her. Currently she's turned her back on it all and her demons secretly run things in her name. She still grants spells if a priestess asks but inst requiring prayers and sacrfices etc because she just doesnt care one way or the other.

This is what is about to cause the big civil war in Menzo as the head priestess now know the real history of the drow and her demons run things in her name since she cant be bothered to care, and if this info gets out well.... big changes for the Drow.
That's such a Forgotten Realms take, I don't mean that in a bad way! It's definitely more interesting than earlier approaches.
 

I'm not saying there shouldn't be a difference. I'm saying that the difference between Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms is really, really small.

It's like quibbling over the taste difference between Pepsi and Coke, when there's also orange soda, lemonade, coffee, or beer on the menu.

The difference are not very small unless you are simply grading it by "has heroes, magic, and monsters."
 

If someone is suggesting that complainers are hypocrites because they only complain about some changes and not others, or that complainers are so few in number as to be irrelevant, or that even the complaints themselves are unimportant, that's an attempt to intimidate and shame complainers into silence. And it certainly isn't showing respect for their point of view, or seeking to understand that point of view.
I mean, this doesn't really make sense. First off, let's not pretend "intimidate and shame" doesn't mean "bully". I hope you won't quibble with that.

The hypocrite point, yes, that's a rather weak argument, and yeah could be argued to be simply an attempt to get people to shut up. It's not really a rational position.

However, both the other points have some validity, whether you're comfortable with it or not, and claiming they're "bullying" (which you are) is itself pretty funny and arguably what you're complaining about - an attempt to shut people up by saying they're just being bullies - which some would see as an attempt to intimidate and shame lol (I laugh but it's absolutely a double-edged sword you're swinging here). Specifically:

1) "There are few complainers" - This is a fair point in many situations. It's not "bullying" to point it out. On the flipside, there being few complainers doesn't mean the complainers are wrong. You often see this with changes to the law - very often, a change might have no obvious impact to a layman, but a huge impact to a specialist who understands the consequences. However, that doesn't appear to apply here. Nonetheless, pointing it out is not bullying, but pointing it out doesn't mean you're automatically right. It does however mean that where things are simply a matter of taste/aesthetics, it's not likely to be a major problem.

2) "The complaints are unimportant" - This is no more "bullying" than suggesting the complaints are important. It's a discussion of opinions of the relative merits of things. The idea is to argue your case sufficiently persuasively that people are persuaded. People not being persuaded doesn't mean you're wrong, of course.

And I think the POV respect/understanding issue is just another double-edged sword. So that could be applied very widely.
 

The difference are not very small unless you are simply grading it by "has heroes, magic, and monsters."
That's not really true. That box would encompass all D&D settings and virtually all fantasy RPGs, science-fantasy RPGs, urban fantasy RPGs, and so on.

It's all about zoom.

Both settings fit in with the high-level "D&D settings" box.

Zoom down to the next level say, "Kitchen Sink D&D settings" box, and they're both still in it. Whereas stuff like Birthright and Dark Sun has been excluded, as, interestingly, has Dragonlance.

Next "World-specific medieval/renaissance-inspired Kitchen Sink D&D settings", they're still in it, but say, Spelljammer and Planescape are no longer in it.

We can probably zoom again to say "World-specific, primarily Western-style-culture focused medieval/renaissance-inspired Kitchen Sink D&D", and now we're probably down to GH, FR, and Mystara in terms of official settings.

I'm sure we could keep going, but hopefully you see the point.
 

JEB

Legend
1) "There are few complainers" - This is a fair point in many situations. It's not "bullying" to point it out. On the flipside, there being few complainers doesn't mean the complainers are wrong. You often see this with changes to the law - very often, a change might have no obvious impact to a layman, but a huge impact to a specialist who understands the consequences. However, that doesn't appear to apply here. Nonetheless, pointing it out is not bullying, but pointing it out doesn't mean you're automatically right. It does however mean that where things are simply a matter of taste/aesthetics, it's not likely to be a major problem.
Sure, it can be apparently true that "there are few complainers" - though plenty of folks could be complaining about any particular problem, out of sight of this particular forum - but how often is that point raised as a way to further discussion and understanding? I'm having trouble seeing that as anything but an attempt to make the complainers feel small and irrelevant.

2) "The complaints are unimportant" - This is no more "bullying" than suggesting the complaints are important. It's a discussion of opinions of the relative merits of things. The idea is to argue your case sufficiently persuasively that people are persuaded. People not being persuaded doesn't mean you're wrong, of course.
It's a very small step from "the complaints are unimportant" to "the complainers are unimportant." And if you want to debate the relative merits, then you'd engage with the relative merits, not refocus the discussion on the grand cosmic significance of the complaints themselves. I mean, is a family argument over finances less "important" than arguments about global warming? Sure, but suggesting that the family argument isn't "important" enough to be worthwhile is just rude at best.
 

Sure, it can be apparently true that "there are few complainers" - though plenty of folks could be complaining about any particular problem, out of sight of this particular forum - but how often is that point raised as a way to further discussion and understanding? I'm having trouble seeing that as anything but an attempt to make the complainers feel small and irrelevant.


It's a very small step from "the complaints are unimportant" to "the complainers are unimportant." And if you want to debate the relative merits, then you'd engage with the relative merits, not refocus the discussion on the grand cosmic significance of the complaints themselves. I mean, is a family argument over finances less "important" than arguments about global warming? Sure, but suggesting that the family argument isn't "important" enough to be worthwhile is just rude at best.
Re: "there are few complainers" being relevant, is that people often have exaggerated ideas about how widely-held their complaints are, and often to make arguments on the basis that their complaints are widely-held (for example, I saw someone trying to argue that "most people" disliked a movie in a series, when that movie was very successful financially and critically, quite recently - it was obvious that the "most people" existed solely in his mind). Pointing out that this is not the case is obviously valid, and trying to suggest it's merely an attempt to "hurt feelings" is, whilst kind of funny, not very valid.

This is particularly relevant when things like aesthetics are being argued, and most of what's argued about D&D is, in fact, aesthetics. I.e. artistic taste. If you are arguing that a specific artistic taste "should" be followed, whether that's a style of brushwork or having D&D not regain all HP on a rest by default, then it obviously matters whether that's a widely-held preference.

Of course you can make more interesting arguments by admitting that it is not perhaps a widely-held taste, but that if it were, perhaps would lead to the game having a more interesting aesthetic, but that requires being realistic and not feeling offended because someone (correctly) points out your opinion is not widely-held.

Re: "the complaints are unimportant" to "the complainers are unimportant", your own argument illustrates a serious problem with what you're saying, because context matters. It's not at all rude to say someone's argument over their family finances is small potatoes when the context is something wider. Thus your general point has no apparent weight to it here. Context is king. If the context of the argument is solely a small-scale thing, then, yes, obviously, saying "Well it doesn't matter on the larger scale" is something of a non-sequitur. I think reading it as "bullying" whenever it happens is a tad precious and self-pitying (which is not to say it never is!), but this is all about context.

And let's be real - we've all seen threads about a medium-context or broad-context topic derailed by someone's obsession with a very specific and essentially narrow-context/largely irrelevant point. In those cases it's absolutely appropriate to suggest the narrow-context issue "doesn't matter" in the broader context. But in a narrow-context-specific discussion, it would not be appropriate to barge in and dismiss it because of the larger context.
 

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