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D&D 4E What I want from 4E DnD in 3 simple steps.

Aegeri

First Post
Looking over my posting since maybe about November or early December last year - I can't help but notice I really do come across as really bitter (for lack of a better word). Personally I really hate the current direction of the game for a multitude of reasons, but in reality there are only a few very specific things that vastly annoy me so much that I actually want to stop playing. So if Wizards wants me to continue buying their stuff, there is a simple 3 step plan to make me happier (probably not actually happy, but you know I just want a few things that will make me think continuing to support 4E is worth while).

1) I want a definitive 100% clear with utterly no bollocks answer if classes like the runepriest, seeker and artificer are ever going to see support again. It's been asked constantly and Wizards have constantly ignored giving a definitive answer. If everything in future is just going to be more bloody Wizard builds, I'd like to know so I can cease wasting my money buying and my time allowing further PC option books in my games.

2) I want some kind of epic tier support on the way. Either a DMG3, a monster vault that actually realizes epic needs more monsters than demons (they did so well with MM3 and then... I dunno..) or even just consistent dungeon articles. Just something. This is mandatory really and both my games have plenty of time before epic tier. There is lots of time for this!

3) A working monster builder. That's all. Just a working monster builder. I really am very angry about the fiasco with the original monster builder and then the joke of a "monster builder" they released recently.

Do those three things and I will be happy enough with things to just do my own thing like I was originally anyway. Am I truly being unreasonable with these?
 
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kaomera

Explorer
Am I truly being unreasonable with these?
I don't think that wanting any of those things is unreasonable. However, as you yourself have pointed out, you're coming across as very bitter about it. I don't know if you actually are that bitter, but when I've gotten that way in the past I've found it helpful to step away from aggravating factors, even if only for a very short while.

As for your "3 simple steps"...

1) IMO you aren't going to get a definitive answer. IIRC WotC has more or less stated that they want to throw every bit of "support"* that players could possibly want out there, and they also want to make it good. (And IMO bad material is just flat out wore than no new material.) However, even they do not have unlimited resources, and it really looks to me like their resources are a lot more limited right now than they where a year ago. I also do not believe that WotC is deliberately favoring the wizard or cleric or any other class right now; those just end up being the classes that the material they are putting out falls at the feet of.

Now, on the subject to the three specific classes you mentioned: I do not think we're going to see much "support" for the seeker, runepriest, or artificer any time soon unless someone out there writes it up and submits it to Dragon. Especially right now, WotC needs to focus on "bang for buck" (and it seems to me like there may be some business decisions regarding which products come out and which don't being made from "on high"), and I don't think any of those three are seeing tons of play. Of course, that's self-fulfilling, but I think that they're going to continue putting off building them up at least as long as their resources are limited.

Now, on the subject of someone writing something up for Dragon, I'll note that the artificer has been a round for quite a while now. And there are a few articles already published on them, but overall the feeling is that they are still under-supported. Well, I would tend to attribute that to a lack of submissions, in part because I myself have no idea how to "support" the artificer. I mean, an arcane leader is a pretty neat idea (I like the bard, minus the singing and dancing), but the artificer IMO belongs in Eberron. The fluff, IMO, is just a bit skewed compared to what I would feel comfortable calling "core D&D", and there's nothing about the class that is at once unique and mechanically satisfying to me.

So, personally, I feel like the lack of "support" for some classes comes down, at least in part, to the fact that a lot of players aren't really that impressed with them. IMO "support" would be someone coming to your house, holding your hand, and telling you it's OK that you like the seeker, that it doesn't automatically make you a bad person. I think what you mean is more along the line of more powers, feats, etc. I think WotC is more interested in supporting the game as a whole than any particular element(s) within it, because that way they can appeal to (almost) all players, and not just the ones that like that particular thing.

2) This would be nice, and in particular I'd like to see an actual book (doesn't have to be DMG3, could be smaller) devoted to epic play. But I think that, again, this runs into a limit of available resources and perceived value. I think that ideally, WotC should be working on convincing more players that epic tier (and maybe even paragon tier - although I'd argue that paragon paths are much better selling points than EDs) is actually worth the time and effort, or at least worth as much as a concept like "shadow / Shadowfell" or "Feywild". And I think that may be an uphill battle because (IME) it becomes a harder and harder sell even as you get up in levels in paragon tier just because of complexity issues. And nevermind that 10 levels of "capstone" is IMO far too much, and maybe even a bit messed up - I do not want to end up with an "endgame" ala MMOs...

3) Yeah, unfortunately the DDI has proved to a huge thorn in the side of 4e from day 1. I love what they where trying to do, but any actual ability to do it I really can't much support the effort they've put in. I would much rather be wrangling characters by hand and not have to deal with all of the baggage that has come along with the project, myself... I mean I'm sure they will get it done, eventually, but IMO they actually went past the point that anything they accomplish with the online tools, etc. is anything better than damage control. There was a time when I really wanted the VTT, now I just expect it to be disappointing, and I think it would take quite a while for me to actually be able to just enjoy it and not worry about what's going to go wrong next.
 

1) No. Not, 'no they will never be supported' (though that's likely), but 'no, they will never give you a definitive answer.' They probably just don't know what they're going to do. They probably couldn't tell you 100% for certain they'll still be working for Hasbro next year, let alone what they might be working on.

2) That'd be nice, but WotC seems stuck in this analysis-feedback loop, in which they look at what people are playing (or building in CB), note that it's not Epic, so don't make any epic stuff, but check back later to see - surprise, still not much 'interest' in Epic.

3) This really isn't too much to ask. All you have to do is find an old copy of the client version, it works fine.
 

Colmarr

First Post
3) This really isn't too much to ask. All you have to do is find an old copy of the client version, it works fine.

Except for frequently dropping the recharge scores of powers, you mean? ;)

Of course, having said that, I'm still not jumping to the online builder any time soon.
 

Derulbaskul

Explorer
My list is down to one item.

1. I want a working monster builder. That's all.

Of course, I would love to see Dungeon and Dragon with content again but I doubt that will happen. For me it's simply about having the tool that saves me some time and I will just play the game that I have grown to like. I have enough 1E, 2E and 3.xE products to muck around with until the day I give up D&D entirely (or go to Swords & Wizardry: White Box- I'm starting to understand diaglo after all these years...).
 


Aegeri

First Post
3) This really isn't too much to ask. All you have to do is find an old copy of the client version, it works fine.
No it doesn't. When I was building monsters for a thread on this forum, I would routinely need to make many versions of them. Not because of the fact that comments made me change it, because every single time the MB screwed something up and broke it. So I would need to edit it, breaking a new thing, requiring me to edit it AGAIN to break something new. Some of my monsters I had to post upwards of 7 times before I finally got one that didn't break something on the stat block somewhere. That is the distinct "opposite" of fine.

Additionally the original builder still cannot get the correct maths for monsters damage right. Plus it's still confused on simple things like attack bonuses in some cases, requiring me to manually edit things when I shouldn't have to.

Essentially, it is the complete and utter opposite of fine. I can't help but notice all these bugs were added to it just before they dropped support.
I don't think that wanting any of those things is unreasonable. However, as you yourself have pointed out, you're coming across as very bitter about it. I don't know if you actually are that bitter, but when I've gotten that way in the past I've found it helpful to step away from aggravating factors, even if only for a very short while.
Oh I am and I am more than willing to admit that. I've invested a lot of time, effort and money into running DnD, something that I have really enjoyed immensely. But since the farcical online fiascos of last year following into the various essentials nonsense, I've been enjoying myself less and less. I've disliked having nothing to look forward to and that what I do want, is actually not going to leave me satisfied anyway (the lack of epic monsters in Threats to Nentir vale is just going to put major disappointment onto a product that should be pure excitement for me from all other indications). I'm sick of the lack of direct answers with regards to support for older classes and if they are going to bother publishing anything in epic tier. In reality 1 and 2 people do try to excuse, but they are ultimately Wizards doing and self-fulfilling prophecies. If you ignore it and don't support it, then it's no surprise that everyone else is going to as well. Any DM for epic tier is still looking at making - I estimate - 50%+ of their own monsters unless they use demons. Demons are the only adequate race of antagonists represented in the epic tier in 4E. The variety simply sucks and isn't there, unlike the heroic and paragon tiers (where there is plenty).

On specific points:

1) On Dragon, a lot of people I know have submitted articles on artificer/runepriest/seeker and had them rejected. It isn't that people are not submitting these, because I know they are - but Wizards aren't taking them. So IMO this is something that Wizards has to do themselves, because I know players who have wanted to play a runepriest or artificer, but didn't because they simply didn't have enough appealing options to them. I think that's a damn shame.

2) Given how often I've gave advice to people running epic games and how often this is requested in general, I find it hard to believe. A DMG3 can justify its existence with updated rules for monsters, traps and hazards in one place alone.
 
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My list?

1. House rules in the CB. Something as simple as "grant bonus feat," "add blank power - edit the text yourself," and "add blank item."

2. Monster builder. If it had an 'Export to Word' function, I'd love you.

3. Smart phone character sheet apps that track HP and power usage.
 


ppaladin123

Adventurer
There some pieces of errata I'd add to the list that I've mentioned in other threads (e.g. give the battlemind his darn MBA option already, fix the racial power hit bonus scaling, etc.) but otherwise I agree completely.

Incidentally, Mike Mearls promised to look into the battlemind thing for me a few months ago when he responded to a thread of mine. He doesn't seem to post here anymore though. I have no idea what is going on at WotC.
 

And resistances. And the trigger conditions for powers. And other stuff I can't remember that makes it completely unusable because it winds up erasing half your monster.

Hit points and damage values when you save your custom monsters. I've seen damage ranges from -3 to 110d6. :eek:

If you can somehow get the Monster Builder with the May 2010 patch, you'll be fine. It lacks the MM3 format and lots of newer monsters, though.
 

kaomera

Explorer
I think there's a fairly wide distance in our points of view. I like new books and stuff, I like reading through them, finding neat stuff, etc. But they aren't in any way central to my enjoyment of the game. They're just something to do while I'm not actually DMing or playing (or doing other stuff). What's bothered me in the past is what I have seen as an over-abundance of negativity and fear-mongering (and it could even be totally reasonable and warranted but it bugs me), and I've just stayed away from D&D sites for a while when it gets too bad, and when I get back I'm in a much better frame of mind to deal with it.

If you really need new products to be happy with D&D, then I'm afraid you're likely in a bad spot, at least through the end of the year. And I don't think WotC can actually give a yes or no answer to some of these questions without running a really bad risk that what they say won't be turned into a lie by future developments. Or, actually, I can totally see WotC not coming out and saying "Sorry, option X was a neat idea that didn't pan out, and we've just flat out moved on to other things", because they're afraid it would piss off too many people.
1) On Dragon, a lot of people I know have submitted articles on artificer/runepriest/seeker and had them rejected. It isn't that people are not submitting these, because I know they are - but Wizards aren't taking them. So IMO this is something that Wizards has to do themselves, because I know players who have wanted to play a runepriest or artificer, but didn't because they simply didn't have enough appealing options to them. I think that's a damn shame.
See, if they didn't play the class because they didn't like the options available, then they didn't really want to play that class as currently written, IMO. If someone says "I don't like the vampire because it doesn't have enough options", don't they actually just mean that they don't like the options that are presented? The problem with submissions is that, yeah, it still pretty much has to be something that WotC would do themselves if they had someone who was directed to do that thing...
2) Given how often I've gave advice to people running epic games and how often this is requested in general, I find it hard to believe. A DMG3 can justify its existence with updated rules for monsters, traps and hazards in one place alone.
But the DMG3 has to justify the existence of the DMG2 first - and a lot of people gave that book a pass because of the DM advice content, and a lot of people gripe about all of the errata and re-printing of rules... WotC is kind of in a lose-lose situation here... Unfortunately for WotC D&D players & DMs are a fandom, and you just can't please them folks. (Of course, it could be argued that maybe WotC should have had some idea that this was true at the beginning of the 4e design cycle, and taken it into account... Or just in general had more of a plan and stuck to it. For a product with a slogan of "Never split the party", they sure have gone off in a lot of contradictory directions in the last few years...)
 

Aegeri

First Post
But they aren't in any way central to my enjoyment of the game.
For me, I've always liked 4E because of its structure and how easy it was to expand on that structure in a balanced manner. Additionally the steady improvement in nearly every book - with Dark Sun and Psionic Power being two of my favourites (coincidentally, released right before Wizards clear decline IMO).
What's bothered me in the past is what I have seen as an over-abundance of negativity and fear-mongering
To be frank, it's because I have nothing to look forward to anymore. There is no Dark Sun this year. There is no Eberron (from the previous year). There was no "Just about everything" like in the first year (albeit in fairness that would be hard to reproduce, as the system was new and I was excited to see where it went!). I should be endlessly excited about Threats to the Nentir vale. I mean the preview they showed absolutely 100% knocked it out of the park.

Yet I'm not and it's because I know they are going to screw epic tier again - the tier that desperately needs the most new monsters. At this point I'm sick of Wizards not communicating. If they aren't going to support epic tier, just damn well admit it already so I can cease bothering with trying to run epic tier games anymore. 20 levels of play is a long and satisfying campaign - I plan for epic now because I hope they WILL support it. If they have no intention of doing it anymore, I'm really not going to put in the huge amount of work required for it (which is a shame, because I really want to do it).

This just really annoys me, because the sudden complete removal of epic tier monster support was sudden and without warning. MV just had nothing and Threats to the Nentir Vale is doing the same thing. MM3 and Dark Sun: Creature Catalog gave me utterly no warning they had suddenly decided epic tier was unimportant. In fact MM3 seemed the opposite: Epic tier was finally getting support it needed in the form of rank and file monsters, new antagonists.

Then the change of direction came in and babies were thrown out with bathwater. Some people saw this coming a mile away and I argued with them quite a bit they were just being paranoid. I feel pretty stupid now they have been utterly vindicated and I was utterly wrong I can assure you.

To the other point you made after this: They're in a lose/lose either way. At least one way is the manly way to lose by being honest.
See, if they didn't play the class because they didn't like the options available
You have misinterpreted me: They didn't play it because the options are limited and they aren't going to be fixed any time soon. I've bought up this point before, why play a runepriest that will never see any support and is viciously short on options, instead of that "Publish everything new for them!" cleric?

There is no reason.
But the DMG3 has to justify the existence of the DMG2 first - and a lot of people gave that book a pass because of the DM advice content, and a lot of people gripe about all of the errata and re-printing of rules...
I think you'll find that there is a widespread agreement for the new monster design guidelines - many of the ones they haven't collated in any errata anywhere but on personal blogs etc - in one book. Also I'm not sure if you're confusing the DMG2 with the recent DM's Kit. The DMG2 to my memory was widely praised actually, but the recent DM's kit was written off as a bunch of rubbish reprinted from the DMG/DMG2 and largely worthless. I've never read anything majorly negative about the DMG2 and so this is entirely surprising to me. I mean it's the DMG, it has a lot of DM advice in it and it's widely considered very good advice. What on earth were people expecting?
 

Incenjucar

Adventurer
DMG2 was a fantastic book, even as someone who has been involved in DMing since the mid-90s. DMG1 was actually a great book too, if not especially novel for someone with a lot of experience who already knows the basics of running a game.
 

No it doesn't. When I was building monsters for a thread on this forum, I would routinely need to make many versions of them. Not because of the fact that comments made me change it, because every single time the MB screwed something up and broke it.
As I understand it, the last update to MB screwed it up. Older versions - like the one my DM uses - seem to be reasonably OK. Not whoa-awesome, but useable. I do recall chasing a problem something like the ones that have been mentioned, a modified power or resistance not working right. It seemed to be a problem with the original power/trait, only. If you deleted and re-created the offending power, you could edit the result all you wanted with no issues.
 
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Aegeri

First Post
As I understand it, the last update to MB screwed it up. Older versions - like the one my DM uses - seem to be reasonably OK. Not whoa-awesome, but useable.
I unfortunately have the broken version of it :( So it is a real nightmare to work with and I make some pretty complicated monsters. Also I am aware the RC ruling on grab (which no longer breaks if you can't make OAs) now makes clasping jaws pretty useless. Also the MV purple worm is a pretty cool dood and was published after-wards. In any event, at the time that creature was a nightmare to make. It would delete triggers, move speeds, delete my attack bonuses and all manner or bugs. The version immediately before the linked worm there has a telling file name of "I swear to god this is the last one I am editing". Albeit it wasn't quite the last one.

Point is I made the mistake of updating and thinking "Oh well, they'll fix it soon". Haha, sucks to be me doesn't it?
 

delericho

Legend
1) I want a definitive 100% clear with utterly no bollocks answer if classes like the runepriest, seeker and artificer are ever going to see support again.

You're very unlikely to ever get a definitive answer either way.

More than likely, you'll never see much support for these 'niche' classes. You might see some, most likely in the form of the occasional Dragon article.

Put simply: most people play the "big four" classes, so these will always see the lion's share of support. WotC simply have to tailor their offering towards the broadest possible base.

(Now, ideally, they'd have a license in place allowing third parties to provide support for niche topics...)

2) I want some kind of epic tier support on the way. Either a DMG3, a monster vault that actually realizes epic needs more monsters than demons (they did so well with MM3 and then... I dunno..) or even just consistent dungeon articles. Just something. This is mandatory really and both my games have plenty of time before epic tier. There is lots of time for this!

As above, you're unlikely to ever see much support, for much the same reason. As you go up the tiers, the number of people playing inevitably decreases. Therefore, if there's a choice between "yet another Heroic book" or "the first Epic book", the Heroic book will always win - there's just a bigger market (and there always will be, even when Heroic support is really saturated).

The unfortunate irony is that Epic play probably needs more support than the lower levels (especially for DMs), and so if WotC don't provide the support then it will always be relatively underused.

3) A working monster builder. That's all. Just a working monster builder. I really am very angry about the fiasco with the original monster builder and then the joke of a "monster builder" they released recently.

You can be pretty sure this is coming, and soon. I would expect it to be (mostly) functional by the end of this year.

Do those three things and I will be happy enough with things to just do my own thing like I was originally anyway. Am I truly being unreasonable with these?

No. But at the same time, I think it's extremely unlikely that two of the three will ever be resolved to your satisfaction.
 

Aegeri

First Post
Which is extremely sad, because pre-essentials Wizards were succeeding at all three. Especially because you knew support would come eventually under the old model, just a matter of time. Now? Who knows.
 

Re Dragon submission for the seeker, etc...

Now you need to write an article that:
- is well written and engaging
- fits with the theme of the class
- doesn't create an imbalance of power
AND... can be coded into the character builder....

I bet that last requirement has killed some very good articles. :(

Sent from my SPH-M900 using Tapatalk
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Which is extremely sad, because pre-essentials Wizards were succeeding at all three. Especially because you knew support would come eventually under the old model, just a matter of time. Now? Who knows.

Exactly. The lack of obvious direction from WotC is severely bruising my love of 4e. And it's worse because you can almost feel it's not from lack of care or concern, it's from lack of manpower. Getting angry at WotC almost feels like kicking a hurt puppy.

What also kills me is that, product-wise, they were on a roll. DMG2, PHB3, Primal Power, Psionic Power, Planes Above, Underdark, and especially MM3 and DS were such fantastic products. It just feels like at the end of 2009, numbers came in that weren't good, and there was a decision to change the direction of the game, and the Essentials line became the focus.

It's doubly depressing because I actually really like the Essentials concepts, but I think the timing was all wrong. I'd rather see HotFK and HotFL released back in 2008, with later books like a Martial Power adding the AEDU structure to new builds. I know hindsight is 20/20. But I think 4e would have been more successful overall if the changes had been presented gradually, with complexity rolled out via supplement, and thus having DDi online tools as a great way to organize yourself with the burgeoning complexity.
 

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