D&D General Why are so many D&D articles *garbage*?

Laurefindel

Legend
It may come to a shock to some of you that sometimes, people are wrong on the internet.
gasp!


Think to yourself "what would be more valuable than gold". Got five-ish choices? Ready? Ok, where they:

1: Decanter of Endless water
2: cloak of flying
3: Silver (... I'm not kidding)
4: A manual that boosts a stat
5: The friends you made along the way.

Ok, just for fun...

1) Decanter of Endless water: Ok, infinite supplies of clean, drinkable water. It's actually world-changing when you think of it, once you get out of the D&D adventurer mindset...
2) Cloack of Flying: Every little boy and girl's dream. And of not-so-little boys and girls... Sure, ok, I'll take it.
3) Silver: Ok... Hum... Well... I give up on this one... I bet it's about some shenanigans where you can buy something for, let's say, 1 gp, and get more than 10 sp worth of silver out of it, or something stupid like that.
4) A Manual That Boosts a Stat. Yeeeeaaah... it's good, but...
5) The friends you made on the way: Ahhhhhhhhhh, cute!
 

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Bunker

Hero
So

It may come to a shock to some of you that sometimes, people are wrong on the internet. And that's ok. I mean, on EN world people are wrong every day. Hypothetically speaking, it is even possible that I am wrong sometimes - I mean, I post a lot and just sheer statistics indicate I should have been wrong by now somehow, although clearly I am the exception that proves the rule ;)

Ahem. Anyway, we all make mistakes, and that's ok, it's just elf games. We aren't paid for this. But some people are paid for this, they write articles for money - good for them! And since they are professionals, they should be... less wrong than the random internet poster, in theory. And thanks to the wonders of algorithms and oppressive corporate surveillance, these articles are recommended for me to read on my phone. Great stuff right? Except, many times, these articles are terrible.

For example: D&D: Five Treasures More Valuable Than Gold

So first of all, no this is not me pointing out that gold is a medium of exchange and thus has no inherent value - you use it to get other things, thus technically speaking everything is more "valuable" than gold... let's ignore my pedantry (sometimes it's the right thing to do!) and let's just look at the choices. Think to yourself "what would be more valuable than gold". Got five-ish choices? Ready? Ok, where they:

1: Decanter of Endless water
2: cloak of flying
3: Silver (... I'm not kidding)
4: A manual that boosts a stat
5: The friends you made along the way.

No? Because that's the list! That is a very mediocre, trolley list, Bell of Lost souls!

And it's not the only one!


The best magical items are...
  • Bag of Holding
  • Cloak of Protection
  • Wand of Magic Missile
  • Alchemy Jug
  • Magic Weapon
  • Illuminator’s Tattoo
  • Boots of False Tracks
  • Spell Scroll
  • Circlet of Blasting
  • Ioun Stone
The druid subclasses, ranked: Dungeons & Dragons: The Druid Circles, Ranked
#1 is.... circle of spores?!?!

And this are just a few examples. I've seen so many over the last year or so. Guide to barbarian telling people to play a bezerker for example, I wish I had saved them.

So, what's going on here? Writers paid by the word and with very short deadlines, and editors that don't know anything about D&D?
Pointless listicles get clicks. It's that simple. It's not just D&D, it's everything. Whatever you interest is, the most popuar articles are bland listicles with no substance or value. shrug
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Meh, I can beat that Top Five list.

#5: "The friends you made along the way" is pretty good, but the enemies you make along the way have more replayability. You'll get tons and tons of "oh s--t!" moments from your players when they start encountering the leveled-up and tricked-out villains from their early adventures that they let escape. "Hey, aren't you that kobold that ran away in our first dungeon?" "I AM CRONCH, MASTER ALCHEMIST, AND I WILL AVENGE MY CLAN!" (gunshots, explosions)

#4: Stat-boosting manuals are probably the most boring, bland, and overrated magic items in the game. The numbers go up until you win, yes yes, your rogue is very impressive. (eyeroll) Go with a ring of wishes instead, because it's more fun, more creative, and more versatile.

#3: Silver. It's a shiny metal. And apparently it's supposed to be better than gold, according to Trollya McClickBait's article. We all know this is a pile of bovine excrement. I would rather find a single platinum coin than a hundred silver ones, so that's my final answer: platinum.

#2: Know what's better than a cloak of flying? Literally anything, because there's no such thing in the DMG. Sure, there's a potion, and a broom, and a carpet, and some wings...but no cloak. I think they might mean cloak of the bat, and that item requires both of your hands to activate. Bah! Give me the broom of flying instead, if for no other reason than being able to do literally anything once I'm aloft.

#1: Keep your decanter of endless water and give me a lantern of revealing. See invisible creatures, on a budget! Sure, you'll toss it into a haversack as soon as you hit 5th level, just like you would that decanter...but unlike the decanter you'll get tons of uses out of the lantern before then.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So, what's going on here? Writers paid by the word and with very short deadlines, and editors that don't know anything about D&D?

There are millions of gamers in the world at this point. They will have (surprise, surprise) different ideas of what is and isn't garbage.

Beyond that, you must consider the intended audience and purpose of articles in order to evaluate them.
 

Stalker0

Legend
You could just as easily chalk this up to simple probability and energistic theory.


The Internet has lowered the energy barrier from drafting articles seen by loads of people. However, it has not dramatically changed the effort required to write "high quality articles".

In any chemical reaction, the reactions that require low energy predominate over reactions that require a lot of energy, to the point where the high energy reactions are generally a minority.

This is reflected on the internet, where the predominance are low quality "garbage" articles which requires little thought or attention to write, and a minority of "high quality" articles that requires thought, planning, and effort.


Aka the answer to the OP's question.... is science says so ;)
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
We’ve always resisted that type of article here. We basically have three types — news and previews (where I try to be short and factual, rather than turn a one sentence news piece into a 3000 word essay); more editorial stuff (reviews, interviews, etc); and roundups which are lists of things but aren’t listicles (eg the crowdfunding column or reviews roundups).

I am aware I can make more money and get more clicks with listicles.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I think a lot of articles are written for players with no D&D experience. I remember back in middle school my friend learned to play AD&D entirely from reading Dragon articles. He didn't own a single book.

I'm curious, as experienced players, what kinds of articles do we actually want?
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
We’ve always resisted that type of article here. We basically have three types — news and previews (where I try to be short and factual, rather than turn a one sentence news piece into a 3000 word essay); more editorial stuff (reviews, interviews, etc); and roundups which are lists of things but aren’t listicles (eg the crowdfunding column or reviews roundups).

I am aware I can make more money and get more clicks with listicles.
You should write a listicle: "Top 5 Kinds of Articles We Would Never Write!"
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
You should write a listicle: "Top 5 Kinds of Articles We Would Never Write!"
Go Away GIF
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
We’ve always resisted that type of article here. We basically have three types — news and previews (where I try to be short and factual, rather than turn a one sentence news piece into a 3000 word essay); more editorial stuff (reviews, interviews, etc); and roundups which are lists of things but aren’t listicles (eg the crowdfunding column or reviews roundups).

I am aware I can make more money and get more clicks with listicles.
And I really appreciate EN world's content!
 

grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
We’ve always resisted that type of article here. We basically have three types — news and previews (where I try to be short and factual, rather than turn a one sentence news piece into a 3000 word essay); more editorial stuff (reviews, interviews, etc); and roundups which are lists of things but aren’t listicles (eg the crowdfunding column or reviews roundups).

I am aware I can make more money and get more clicks with listicles.
We keep the listicles in the Forums. Thank You very much!
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I think a lot of articles are written for players with no D&D experience. I remember back in middle school my friend learned to play AD&D entirely from reading Dragon articles. He didn't own a single book.

I'm curious, as experienced players, what kinds of articles do we actually want?
something like this:


(the intro is a bit long alas, but about 1/4 in, it gets very useful. )
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
You should write a listicle: "Top 5 Kinds of Articles We Would Never Write!"

Top Seven Articles EnWorld Won't Let You Read!

1. Warlords, How Cool are They? A multi-thread analysis.

2. Humanoid Hearts of Darkness. Why 'Orcs are Evil' is the New Black.

3. ¿Quién es Más Macho? A penetrating look at the best ever D&D Edition, and the worst.

4. 39 Uses for Bards. A list of savory recipes.

5. 1,001 Elven Nights. The complete compendium of all D&D elves, from Artic Elf to Zephyr Elves, and all 999 of their soulless, dead-eyed cousins.

6. If It's a Blast for You, It's a Blasphemy! How to Incorporate Real-World Religions into your D&D game; can God have so many hit points you cannot kill her?

7. Survivor: Every Spell Ever in D&D- There Can Be Only One! Currently at year three.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
Top Seven Articles EnWorld Won't Let You Read!

1. Warlords, How Cool are They? A multi-thread analysis.

2. Humanoid Hearts of Darkness. Why 'Orcs are Evil' is the New Black.

3. ¿Quién es Más Macho? A penetrating look at the best ever D&D Edition, and the worst.

4. 39 Uses for Bards. A list of savory recipes.

5. 1,001 Elven Nights. The complete compendium of all D&D elves, from Artic Elf to Zephyr Elves, and all 999 of their soulless, dead-eyed cousins.

6. If It's a Blast for You, It's a Blasphemy! How to Incorporate Real-World Religions into your D&D game; can God have so many hit points you cannot kill her?

7. Survivor: Every Spell Ever in D&D- There Can Be Only One! Currently at year three.
Mods, can we ban Snarf for this? 😁
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
something like this:


(the intro is a bit long alas, but about 1/4 in, it gets very useful. )
I love reflections on actual play, too.

I also enjoy articles that trace the history of quirky D&D monsters or other tropes. Descriptions of Gygax's original games are always a hoot, too.
 



Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
Bell of Lost Souls is usually better than that. :/

Honestly, the internet clickbait algorithm issue sucks, and has sucked for a long time, though I think for the most part I can tell if something is going to be clickbait or not from the first sentence or first 30 seconds of video etc.
 



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