D&D 5E What is Quality?

Oofta

Legend
It was absolutely NOT more reliable. In fact, this was noted a major departure. It was NOT more versatile -- there were contemporary automobiles much more versatile. The Model T was designed as one-size-fits-all. And it certainly wasn't better suited to the roads -- contemporary automobiles generally had more comfortable rides on all surfaces.

The Model T was simple, easy to work on, and had plenty of available parts. The engine was quite reliable. But that's not the comparison of quality -- quality is the measure of a thing against similar things. And, compared to the available automobiles of it's time, the Model T made some very specific choices to reduce quality in favor of simplicity, cost, and availability. It was these features of the Model T that made it popular -- it was the first automobile the average person might afford and use, and it worked well enough for that purpose. This is not a display of quality.
I have no idea where you're getting any of this. According to historical records that I used to double check...you know what. Never mind. This is a tangent and I suspect you would just reject any articles I point to.

More expensive does not necessarily mean higher quality. Have a good one.
 

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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I have no idea where you're getting any of this. According to historical records that I used to double check...you know what. Never mind. This is a tangent and I suspect you would just reject any articles I point to.

More expensive does not necessarily mean higher quality. Have a good one.
Of course it doesn't. Glad I didn't make that argument. If I had, it would have definitely deserve the thrashing you gave that strawman, though.
 

there are two... here is one someone else had both a few months ago but I don't seem to have saved it

what you will NEVER find is anything pre 2021 (last time i looked) where wotc said they were under selling

i (one of if not the biggest 4e stan) fully admit they came close and did pass D&D once D&D was not putting out product. Of course even the come close was when they were putting out more books... (its hard to say 4 books out sold 1 and take that to mean more people are buying the 4... and when it's 3 books came close to but didn't match the 1 out that month I find it VERY hard to say that is surpassing)
Okay. Thank you for this. That's certainly something. At some point around the second printing of the initial product release, it was outpacing both expectations and where 3e was at that same time. That's useful, informative, and helpful. It doesn't show the claim I asked about, so I am still without the context I would like to have, but I appreciate the effort.

FWIW, I am solidly in the camp of '4e was a perfectly good game,' or even '4e was a good game and didn't get a fair shake.' I'd play more of it, except that when I'm looking to scratch the itches 4e scratches, I tend to overshoot D&D altogether and play another TTRPG entirely (for my group, D&D is the minivan of games or something like that, I don't know how to fit that into the 'quality' debate). I am perfectly fine saying that 4e was shortchanged, needlessly vilified, victim of a smear campaign, hamstrung by marketing missteps rather than actual lack of game quality (there's that word again), or even just released at the wrong moment when people weren't really done with the 3e. Thing is, WotC still did cut the game lifecycle short, right (or is that a contentious statement too)? Eight year lifespan for 3e and 4 for 4e. If 4e made more money than 3e (or sold more units, or whatever metric they used -- which again I am genuinely trying to find) why do so (the one thing I think we can all agree with about WotC is that they wouldn't shut down a profitable revenue source that people only thought wasn't doing well*)? That's why I want context. What doesn't make sense to me is a game that is actually pretty good and so woefully mistreated in the court of public opinion and over before its' time and oh by the way secretly more profitable that then one before it (but they shut it down early anyway... for reasons). I think we all (most all?) in-thread have concluded that neither popularity or profitability directly equal quality. That just makes me all the more quizzical that, a page or two past this post, we're back to people talking about 4e as the second most profitable edition, and I don't see where that was shown.
*If you want an example of that, find some old 90s White Wolf employees talk about Hunter the Reckoning -- the collective wisdom seems to be that it was a misstep and that what gamers really wanted was and expansion an the Hunters Hunted VtM splatbook and that because it wasn't that, it tanked. The employees generally say, 'No idea why you think that, it sold great! The company was slowly dying, but not because of that product line.'

Every few months (quarterly?) Morrus posts some charts in the news section, each with an attached discussion thread that appears in the then-current variant of the "TTRPG General" forum. He's been posting these for years, as far back as into the 3e days I believe, and whle now they tend to use data gleaned from online/VTT play, in the past I'm pretty sure he used sales data gleaned from (a survey of FLGSes?).

If you dig around long enough in here you might be able to find some of those reports from the 4e era. Going from memory, PF did end up outpacing 4e for a while; but in fairness 4e was in decline at that point anyway.

What I'm not sure of is whether 4e as a whole outsold 3e as a whole. 5e, of course, has crushed the lot of 'em.
I certainly will when I get the time (perhaps the long weekend). I'm still not the one making a claim about sales for any edition, though, so it will be at a leisurely pace.
however the problem is if the OP was going to base quality= sales he would have to lump 4e in as the 2nd best D&D and (assuming we grant PF DID pass it) the 3rd best TTRPG ever made... but he will go on and on about how it was poor for other reasons.
OP has mixed the general topic with both snips at 4e and a general defensiveness towards snips at 5e.
yeah but if stranger things big bang theory and the streaming gaming (I know I missed at least 1 pop culture reference) all hit between 1994 and 1998 and 1997 had a huge resurgence of table top games (normally board games) and 1999 had a world wide (or close) plague causing everyone to stay in and find entertainment they could do from home... would 2e have exploded the same?

no way to know... after all it might be that mixed with the system... or it could be none of that.
It's hard to say. We have to do a lot of 'would X have happened if Y hadn't?' kind of questions (particularly related to how modern entertainment experience has been shaped by always-on internet). Regarding the system of 2e in particular, I guess I'd say why not? For all our line-drawing between editions, they are all still relatively close together compared to the entire scope of possible RPGs out there. Put it in the 90s and it could have been WEG Star Wars might have been the game to go over the top... or not even an RPG proper at all (maybe some mod on Talisman or Mordheim where you gave your peices personality.

If the standard is such that literally absolutely all games meet it simply by being created, it is an objectively useless standard. A thing which fails to meet the standard of "can possibly be used under some circumstance" cannot possibly merit the term "game." A thing which literally prevents people from having fun while using it, I.e. something which literally makes it impossible for ANY user to have fun while using it, is not only not deserving of the title "game," but actively dangerous to human existence and possibly meriting research as a weapon of psychological warfare.
That's kind of the point. The divergence point where everyone agrees is a primary component of what makes a game Quality is so close to qualifying as a game at all, that discussions of quality almost inevitably will have some level of caveats to them, be highly subjective, or be arguments predicated on 'if you agree with a pre-premise that...'-type statements.
Your stated purpose for games is unacceptable. You have instead identified absolute minimum requirements for something to qualify as a game in the first place. What, then, is the purpose of something that (a) actually can be used at least some of the time and (b) permits its users to enjoy its use?
What do you mean by unacceptable? Who gets to decide what is acceptable or not? Your own personal standard? Okay, I guess, but then so be it. I'm really not clear the point you are trying to make. A game that actually can be used at least some of the time is probably a game. A game that permits its users to enjoy its use is probably subjectively a good game. Is that what you're going for?
I of course have my own answers, but I would like to hear your thoughts first.
Since I don't get your point, this might be heading off in a completely tangential direction. However, my thoughts, and central premise are this -- TTRPGs are closer to Jazz performance or horror movies than they are like burgers, much less automobiles or timepieces. The functional threshold for 'do they do a good job of performing their basic primary function?' is so close to automatic that discussions of their quality almost immediately scatter into either subjective criteria, or at times ordinally-measurable qualitative metrics that are not universally agreed to being primary measures of quality (or, even if agreed to within a group, what their relative importance is). Thus reviews of RPGs can often look closer to Siskel and Ebert movie reviews than to rocket engine performance tests or structural engineering reports of bridge health.
 

payn

Legend

There are four days in a week you can workout if you do it every other day.

FOUR DAYS.

....you knew it was coming.
four lights GIF
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I think we all (most all?) in-thread have concluded that neither popularity or profitability directly equal quality. That just makes me all the more quizzical that, a page or two past this post, we're back to people talking about 4e as the second most profitable edition, and I don't see where that was shown.

I've posted this previously, so I'll do it again. I didn't know much about the whole "Why does everyone get so hopping mad whenever 4e is brought up" issue when I came here, so I did a deep dive and my own research.

Please remember that people have very strong opinions about the transitions in D&D that occurred from 3e to 4e to 5e, and you are unlikely to change those opinions. You are, however, likely to anger the blood of other people on all sides. No matter how good or clever your point is, it has definitely been said before and it will not change any opinions. But what you choose to write is up to you, your God(s) (or lack thereof), and the forum rules and the moderators that enforce those rules.

A not-very-brief history of 4e's issues and why it wasn't a success:

A. At GenCon in August 2007, WoTC botched the rollout of 4e, causing many in the audience to (incorrectly) believe that a computer was required to play the game. This was the start of misconceptions about this edition that the powers that be never really addressed.

B. June 6, 2008- the release of 4e. Do you know what else happened between the announcement of the product and the release? The Great Recession. Not the best time to release a new product (especially when you were hoping for sweet recurring subscriber revenue).

C. It was hoped that 4e would have MMO licensing, computer games, and more. But the timeframe was not favorable. Moreover, we can forget how ambitious this was for the time; the idea of "always on" internet was still novel, and services such as Roll20, twitch, and so on weren't around yet. Heck, the original (very slow!) iPhone had just been released. Yes, the D&D audience was more tech-savvy than regular consumers, but the rosy projections did not match the reality.

D. Building on (C), there exist players who view D&D as a mostly tech-free time. A respite from screens and technology. Sure, they might be luddites, and they might be a very small part of the market now, but they exist. Which also goes back to B, and the botched rollout- computers weren't required, but WoTC chose to emphasize it.

E. Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln? Yeah, sure, the announcement was botched, and the timing was horrible, but they also had terrible, terrible luck! The 4e designers acknowledged that the final push was rushed by directives from the top, which caused them to make the classes too "samey" and left further differentiation on the cutting-room floor. So many parts that could go wrong, did go wrong- key parts of the computer component that was supposed to be rolled out were entrusted to a developer, and that person was unstable and it ended in a horrific tragedy (and also meant no product). The projections for the product, which were too optimistic, combined with the lack of immediate success, resulted in Hasbro immediately slashing funding. But the time Essentials was rolled out in 2010, 4e was already dead internally and they were debating what to do.

F. Within the 4e community, there has been some debate about whether Essentials was a necessary correction that would have appealed to the mass market, or a betrayal of the essential ethos of 4e.

G. Going back to (B), the concept of subscription services and "Everything is Core" (repeated releases of core books each year) is an idea that was, at best, ahead of its time- we are all about subscriptions now, but it wasn't that common then. At that time, it came off as more of a cash grab, especially given the economy.

H. The design team was too insular and wasn't aware that the reception wouldn't be great, and therefore didn't do enough to "sell" the product. When they had 3PP come and playtest 4e, Jason Buhlman of Paizo saw what was going on and that provided Paizo the confidence to continue on with Pathfinder. In other words, outside playtesters realized it would be divisive to some of the core consumers.

I. One more thing- while the internet wasn't "always on" enough for the ambitions of some aspects of 4e, this was the first edition launch that had many D&D players (I assume, I don't have stats for this) have easy access to some form of the internet, which enabled extreme and intense opinions to both form, spread, and become much more noticeable and toxic.

J. Finally, this history has to be measured in terms of what is a "flagship" product. It's not enough for a D&D product to be "good" or "better" than other editions or other products, it's not sufficient that it has great design. It has to be broadly and widely popular so that it continues to dominate the TTRPG marketplace. That is the raison d'être for D&D. People can, and do, argue endlessly about what makes D&D better or worse or good or not, but in terms of a product, D&D must always be #1. Starbucks coffee might not taste the best, but they have to careful changing it ... if you know what I mean.


Now, why write this history? Certainly not to rubbish 4e. I think it's an interesting, but essentially unanswerable, question as to whether or not it would have succeeded if the stars had not been aligned against it. The product was already essentially dead internally two years after the launch, yet aspects of the system itself were incorporated into 5e, and it was never as unpopular as its detractors say - just not popular enough given expectations and the brand.

TLDR; a big part of the issue regarding the metrics of success is that 4e was oversold within Hasbro, and given the resources devoted to it (and the expectations), the failure to live up to expectations was what led to the immediate retrenchment. And the failure to live up to expectations had a number of causes, including ... the expectations.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
the truth of 5x5=25 is 100% true... but if you give that true information to answer the question "what color is this crayon" it is still wrong.

and was useless or missleading
There is nothing misleading or inherently useless in telling someone the temperature, even if they feel like it's hotter due to humidity.
it is like someone came in and said "is it warm or cold" and you think "this device measures the number 60" is an accurate answer... it is not, and without more context it is just plane not useful.
52 years of life and I've never had someone ask me if it's warm or cold in an area that they could feel the temperature at. It's not a question people ask. Now, if someone asks if it's going to be warm this weekend and I tell them that it's going to be 60, they KNOW that it's not going to be warm. If I tell them that it will be 80. They KNOW that it will be warm. The number conveys that information. 60 may not be cold to someone on an individual level, but they will still know from being told that number whether or not they will be cold.
 


I am perfectly fine saying that 4e was shortchanged, needlessly vilified, victim of a smear campaign, hamstrung by marketing missteps rather than actual lack of game quality (there's that word again), or even just released at the wrong moment when people weren't really done with the 3e.
That and a handful of other things--a really REALLY bad economic situation (remember, a year before release, we went into a major recession, and less than a year before release, a major bookstore failed), internal development problems, almost certainly pushing 4e out the door about six months too early, and the horrible murder-suicide that took out their DDI programming lead.

This is not to say that 4e did not err. It did, in several ways. But the fact that it did as well as it did is impressive, given how thoroughly the deck was stacked against it.

Thing is, WotC still did cut the game lifecycle short, right (or is that a contentious statement too)? Eight year lifespan for 3e and 4 for 4e.
It is contentious, mostly because of 3.5e. While it wasn't a full edition change, it absolutely was a "you shouldn't use books from before 3.5e" change (unlike 4e's Essentials line, which was 100% compatible, albeit often lower in power/more biased towards traditional "caster" classes.)

If you count 3.5e as a breakpoint--which, to be clear, many people did so, and often complained bitterly about it, even before 4e was a twinkling on the horizon--then the numbers look rather different. 4e ran from June 2008 to December 2013 (when the final Dragon Magazine article was published), five and half years. Even compared to all of 3e, that was still a pretty good run; the 3.0 PHB was July 2000, 3.5 PHB was July 2003, and (as far as I can tell) the final book published was March 2008, which actually came after the final 3.5e Dragon articles. So that's a bit shy of 8 years but a bit more than 7.5 years. (split into almost exactly 3 years and not-quite-5 years). By that standard, 4e did just as well as 3.5e did, if not slightly better.

If 4e made more money than 3e (or sold more units, or whatever metric they used -- which again I am genuinely trying to find) why do so (the one thing I think we can all agree with about WotC is that they wouldn't shut down a profitable revenue source that people only thought wasn't doing well*)?
Well, in a certain sense, they didn't. One of the things that the "4e failed" narrative always ignores is DDI. You know, the digital subscription. For a long while, it was actually possible to get solid numbers on subscriber counts, because there was a forum group thing on the website--if you were a subscriber you would be added to it, if you weren't, you would be removed from it. It wasn't a perfect 1:1 match, but it gave us numbers to work with. DDI, even though it failed to realize its potential, was still a major source of steady income.

That, more than anything else, is likely why they chose to switch to 5e. They knew they could rely on the core of DDI subscribers. And, keep in mind, it was still possible (albeit progressively more and more difficult) to use the DDI subscription for years after 4e "ended." I want to say it was only like three or four years ago that the tools were shuttered entirely.

That's why I want context. What doesn't make sense to me is a game that is actually pretty good and so woefully mistreated in the court of public opinion and over before its' time and oh by the way secretly more profitable that then one before it (but they shut it down early anyway... for reasons). I think we all (most all?) in-thread have concluded that neither popularity or profitability directly equal quality. That just makes me all the more quizzical that, a page or two past this post, we're back to people talking about 4e as the second most profitable edition, and I don't see where that was shown.
*If you want an example of that, find some old 90s White Wolf employees talk about Hunter the Reckoning -- the collective wisdom seems to be that it was a misstep and that what gamers really wanted was and expansion an the Hunters Hunted VtM splatbook and that because it wasn't that, it tanked. The employees generally say, 'No idea why you think that, it sold great! The company was slowly dying, but not because of that product line.'
See, there's some missing context here. 4e wasn't just trying to be a new and successful edition. Obviously, we have little to no insider information, but we have relatively solid evidence and circumstantial corroboration that Wizards of the Coast tried to position D&D as a Hasbro "core brand," alongside Magic: the Gathering and other such things. Their model was threefold: pitch a new edition that fixed the (many, widely-known and oft-criticized) problems with the current game, corner the VTT and digital-tools market that was just beginning to really take off (e.g. this was around the time tablet PCs were starting to become a Thing), and create a valuable and valued subscription model that could achieve broad and sustained income. (Though many make disparaging comparisons to World of Warcraft, the fact that WoW had become SUCH a big deal was absolutely on everyone's mind and the idea that D&D could become a competitor in the subscription market genuinely had legs.)

So, from one perspective, 4e did extremely well, outperforming time-equivalent periods of previous editions and generally receiving praise. The problem, of course, is that it was incredibly ambitious, and those ambitions didn't pan out, for many, many reasons. Some were to do with unfair disparagement from people who wanted 3.5e to keep going forever (because yes, there still are some of these folks today--PF1e remains more popular than PF2e, for instance.) Others were to do with mistakes on the designers' parts, excessively lofty expectations, mismanagement, awful marketing, etc. Still more were due to the terrible economic context of the time. And, as noted, a few were unforeseen tragedies.

From the standard of "did it perform well as a published game compared to TTRPGs generally?" the answer is unequivocally "yes," because even if it fell to 2nd place around the time it stopped publishing new books, being just behind 1st place in the TTRPG market is a Big Deal. From the standard of, "did it perform well, at least in the first 2-3 years, compared to other editions of D&D?" the answer is again yes. But from the standard that its corporate overlords used--"did it meet or beat the revenue expectations set out for it?"--the answer is, unfortunately, no. That, more than anything else, is what killed 4e.

That's kind of the point. The divergence point where everyone agrees is a primary component of what makes a game Quality is so close to qualifying as a game at all, that discussions of quality almost inevitably will have some level of caveats to them, be highly subjective, or be arguments predicated on 'if you agree with a pre-premise that...'-type statements.
I disagree. I think we can get much more specific, while still remaining 100% objective. For example, D&D is a cooperative game. (You can choose to play it competitively, but that's never been what it was designed for.) Being a cooperative multiplayer roleplaying game induces a variety of expectations and limitations that are significantly more specific than "is it literally at all possible for someone to use it" and "is it literally at all possible for someone to enjoy it."

What do you mean by unacceptable? Who gets to decide what is acceptable or not? Your own personal standard? Okay, I guess, but then so be it. I'm really not clear the point you are trying to make. A game that actually can be used at least some of the time is probably a game. A game that permits its users to enjoy its use is probably subjectively a good game. Is that what you're going for?
When we make the only standard of quality something that is literally impossible to fail, the conversation becomes completely pointless. That's why it's unacceptable. You have reduced the conversation about "quality" to a triviality; this not only accomplishes nothing, it is actively caustic to actually productive, interesting discussion.

Since I don't get your point, this might be heading off in a completely tangential direction. However, my thoughts, and central premise are this -- TTRPGs are closer to Jazz performance or horror movies than they are like burgers, much less automobiles or timepieces. The functional threshold for 'do they do a good job of performing their basic primary function?' is so close to automatic that discussions of their quality almost immediately scatter into either subjective criteria, or at times ordinally-measurable qualitative metrics that are not universally agreed to being primary measures of quality (or, even if agreed to within a group, what their relative importance is). Thus reviews of RPGs can often look closer to Siskel and Ebert movie reviews than to rocket engine performance tests or structural engineering reports of bridge health.
Again, I completely disagree. There are several functions beyond the "cooperative TTRPG" example I gave above that are useful for honing in on the design purpose of D&D specifically. Among them: "roleplaying" is clearly a factor, and that tells us things about what the rules are supposed to do; the "three pillars" (combat, exploration, socialization) are explicit design purposes, literally the designers saying what D&D is about (whether or not players use them is their prerogative, but the designers have been very clear that that's what they made 5e "for," and I have no reason to think this is not true of any other WotC edition); the need to be open to homebrewing, and yet also somewhat standardized so people can do things like "organized play" and "discuss the game on forums"; the overall thematic focus of the game being fantasy as opposed to sci-fi, horror, romance, or other themes; etc.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
If brand name recognition, hype and advertising were all that was needed to make a product popular we'd all be sipping new Cokes while getting directions from our Google Glass while riding our Segway to the local Borders. Maybe the Oldsmobile is in the shop and we should check our Apple Newton for when it's going to be fixed or call on our Google Phone.

Branding and advertising doesn't automatically mean success, many products have been pushed by big names with plenty of backing but failed because they failed to meet the needs of the target audience. Whether they were technically sound did not matter, I don't think they were quality products.

That's all I was trying to say. Past performance does not guarantee future performance. If 5E were low quality it would not be successful, since it is successful it follows that it is a quality product.
But the thread is not a manifesto of why I think 5E is a quality product, it's a question. What is quality? I can judge whether 5E is a quality product for me. I believe it is because I have no problem finding players or joining games that people enjoy and have a minimum of complaints about the system. How do you define it? I have a premise, a way of measuring the collective subjective experience that I think works. Do you have a better way of judging quality? Something other than saying it's impossible because you compare two products that target completely unrelated markets?

I don’t think you can speak to quality without comparison.

When I compare 5e to other games, I don’t know if there’s any component of it that I’d say it is best at.

I’d say that says something about the quality of the game.

I don’t think 5e is low quality, really. It’s just not high quality. Especially given the budget and resources available to the designers.

I think they deliberately chose to go with mass appeal over any other metric we could apply.

Is the result a successful game? Yes, undoubtedly. Is it a quality game? Obviously subjective, but I think it falls short of praise from a design standpoint.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
So ... what you are saying is that to that person, that art is superior, because it has more emotional value.

Or are you saying that we cannot value art for its power to evoke emotion, but only for its technical merit? That a Dutch Master (for example) will always and forever be "better" and "more quality" than folk art, no matter how powerfully that art moves you?
Technical merit defines quality. Evokation of emotion - good or bad - defines something else.

There are, for example, some bands I very much dislike the sound of. At the same time, however, I willingly concede that much of their music is of excellent technical quality and is both written and played at a high degree of musical skill and mastery.

Quality does not equate to emotional response, or enjoyment, or pleasure given/received.
Wouldn't this always and forever privilege the canon of western-style art that has been taught?
Technical quality is technical quality regardless of the style.
Or are you saying that we cannot value the expertise in someone who understands how to make great art, but is deliberately breaking the rules?
Deliberately breaking the rules can sometimes result in examples of high technical quality, where someone in effect expands the techniques of something or even invents a new one.
If today's temperature is 98 degrees, and yesterday it was 80 degrees, then today it is HOTTER than yesterday. The temperature is, quite literally, a fact that is dictated to you. You can't argue with it.
Indeed. The same is true of the technical merit of a piece of art or a song, or the quality of parts and construction used in a car: whether you like the end result or not, you can't argue with the fact that merit - that quality - exists.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
but do you understand the objective info you got is a number on a scale we made up right...
Without those made-up scales how are we supposed to make useful and objective comparisons between things we can't conveniently line up next to each other and eyeball, or between things where memory might have faded regarding one or more of the comparitors? Examples of such might be:

--- whether the highest point in Oregon is higher or lower than the highest point in Alberta (feet and meters are made-up scales, remember)
--- whether the temperature today in Victoria BC is (not "feels", "is") warmer, cooler, or the same as it was on this date last year
--- whether I'm getting the same gas mileage from my car now vs 5 years ago (assuming I keep good records, which I do)

We need ways of measuring and-or quantifying that which is objective, and that's why we've made up all these scales.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
and the entire argument is about ALL of this is the difference between subjective and objective... at no point did I say "90 is lower then 80, or 5 is less then 10" what I said is how hot or cold it is isn't something that can be measured universally by a scale we made up
Not is, feels.

That's the difference. You can universally measure what the temperature is but you can't universally measure* how that temperature feels to everyone who is experiencing it.

* - though you can get a bit closer via factoring in windspeed, cloud cover, humidity and various other things to get a "feels like" temperature, which is what these weather channels try to do. This still doesn't tell you what each individual person or creature out there actually feels, though, as two people can perceive and-or react to the same thing - in this case, the weather conditions - very differently.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
B. June 6, 2008- the release of 4e. Do you know what else happened between the announcement of the product and the release? The Great Recession. Not the best time to release a new product (especially when you were hoping for sweet recurring subscriber revenue).
This is a factual error. The crash of 2008 in fact occurred in September that year, and the recession followed from that.

Still crappy timing for 4e, but it had already been released and on the market for 3 months when the recession began.
 

Hussar

Legend
Let me turn this around- if your child makes you a drawing, and dies shortly after, is that art more important to you than a Leonardo you see in the museum?
Since when does importance = quality?

Something can be very low quality, but still meaningful and important. However, no matter how important it is to me personally, doesn't suddenly make my brains fall out the side of my head and claim that my child's art is of higher quality than a Leonardo.
 

Hussar

Legend
The problem with the notion that qualitative elements cannot be objectively gauged is that it ignores some pretty large areas where it's done all the time.

Take teaching. Teachers evaluate qualitative elements all the time. A significant portion of your grade is the result of qualitative assessements Now, if qualitative assessments were subjective, then the assessments you received should vary widely depending on the assessor. So, you might get a great grade in one year, but a failing grade in the next year despite producing the same quality of work simply because these assessments are subjective.

Since that doesn't actually happen (barring other issues of course - it does happen but it is usually indicative of some sort of problem) and people's grades, by and large remain fairly stable throughout their academic career and even across different instructors and schools. So, how does this happen? Well, based on the experience of the teachers and the massive body of experience collectively over the years, objective standards are created judging benchmarks for students. A student in Year X should be able to perform Task Y with a reasonable level of competency.

Sure, it's vague and wibbly wobbly, but, it works. And it works very, very well. The idea that only numerical, quantitative elements can be assessed leads to standardized, multiple choice testing and absolutely horrible academic results. All because people insist that only numbers can be objective. It's simply not true. We can create all sorts of very objective standards - common person standards are prevalent in law for example - that, while certainly not as precise as a quantitative assessment - are still objective in their application.

The world is full of qualitative assessments that are objective.
 

52 years of life and I've never had someone ask me if it's warm or cold in an area that they could feel the temperature at. It's not a question people ask.
no one ever asked you "Hey I'm getting dressed is it warm out?" never? I don't know if I should not believe you or feel sorry for you
Now, if someone asks if it's going to be warm this weekend and I tell them that it's going to be 60, they KNOW that it's not going to be warm. If I tell them that it will be 80. They KNOW that it will be warm. The number conveys that information. 60 may not be cold to someone on an individual level, but they will still know from being told that number whether or not they will be cold.
I honestly don't even understand what you are argueing anymore. you are now ignoreing that without the context of the rest of teh weather those numbers don't convey the answers.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
This is a factual error. The crash of 2008 in fact occurred in September that year, and the recession followed from that.

Still crappy timing for 4e, but it had already been released and on the market for 3 months when the recession began.

The Great Recession started in December, 2007.

Bear Stearns announced the implosion of certain hedge funds in July of 2007. That's when the writing was on the wall that lead to its collapse in March of 2008.

You are thinking about TARP and bailouts - a later policy response to the carnage that had been happening for almost a full year. But there had already been a full year of massive contractions, stock market losses, and job losses.
 

Without those made-up scales how are we supposed to make useful and objective comparisons between things we can't conveniently line up next to each other and eyeball, or between things where memory might have faded regarding one or more of the comparitors?
i didn't say the numbers are 100% usless. I am just saying that by itself it is only a single peace of information that if true or not still can mislead. It also needs other information with it or it isn't the whole story.
Examples of such might be:

--- whether the highest point in Oregon is higher or lower than the highest point in Alberta (feet and meters are made-up scales, remember)
and where those numbers do have a meaning (and yes made up) it CAN be useful in theory... but it doesn't answer the question "WOW, how steep of a climb is that?"
--- whether the temperature today in Victoria BC is (not "feels", "is") warmer, cooler, or the same as it was on this date last year
is useful for study, but wont help me decide if I need a jacket.
--- whether I'm getting the same gas mileage from my car now vs 5 years ago (assuming I keep good records, which I do)
and again where in theory that can be useful (although since all cars loose gas milage I am not sure how or why) it doesn't answer "How much do I need to fill my tank?"
We need ways of measuring and-or quantifying that which is objective, and that's why we've made up all these scales.
and they are ONLY good at measuring 1 bit of information... the stink at answering any question OTHER than "what is the measurement of X"

they can be PART of an answer to more. They can be used as a tool to answer more, but they in and of themselves are not answers to anything other then "On this made up scale what is the number we assign it?"
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

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