D&D 4E Why Keep a Grid? Measurement in 4E

CinnamonPixie

First Post
I think the problem comes from the hard push by Hasbro to sell miniatures. The minis didn't do as well as they'd wanted (no one there thought about "limited" "collectible" minis not being high on the RPG gamer's list of "must haves" and didn't think to make many not-so collectible "common" monsters and such widely available at non-exuberant prices so that gamers would find them affordable, enticing, and probably more worth while?!)... So why not cram the miniatures rules into D&D and strip the other elements out of D&D to make it more of a miniatures game itself. That way the game will almost feel like it requires or needs them (hence why movement and range is all in "squares" now - it's too simple and dumbed down for people to miss anything in translation or to have to "think" about how to apply "feet to squares" when it comes to things like conical, spherical, and other area-of-effect ranges/spreads).

They wanted to make the game more of a miniatures-intensive product and more of a non-stop combat love-fest like the online RPGs tend to be... By doing so they could combat the market's powerhouse of WOW AND sell more minis at the same time - at least that is the goal. I think, however, that Hasbro has grossly misunderstood the gamer mind and fails to realize that Miniatures and battle maps are nice, but NOT needed, and that D&D Online is NOT D&D and WOW is NOT killing D&D and that D&D players don't want to play WOW and D&D for the same reason(s). They think we do, that they are, and therefore since WOW is killing D&DO then therefore its killing D&D in general - and miniatures aren't selling like they want... The solution? Make a new edition and make it as much like WOW as you can and make it very tactically grounded and focused as you can to make it as miniatures-required as you can; it'll solve BOTH "problems" at the same time... Sadly, the problems aren't caused by those reasons at all...
 

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Tolen Mar

First Post
Gloombunny said:
Nudging the table is an extremely egregious example. Most of the time you'll be dealing with things like at what angle someone places their thumb on the map while measuring, or nudging a mini a quarter-inch to one side as they take their hand off it, or any number of tiny things that happen by honest accident all the time but can make a crucial difference in play.

Not only is it difficult to tell whether a given mismeasurement was an honest mistake or nefarious cheating, but the frequency of mistakes makes things problematic even when everyone playing is completely trustworthy.

I just don't see the need to be that picky about it. The point is to have fun, not quibble over quarter inches. Unless someone stands up and rattles the entire table, minor little nudges and bumps just arent that critical.
 

Dausuul

Legend
CinnamonPixie said:
I think the problem comes from the hard push by Hasbro to sell miniatures. The minis didn't do as well as they'd wanted (no one there thought about "limited" "collectible" minis not being high on the RPG gamer's list of "must haves" and didn't think to make many not-so collectible "common" monsters and such widely available at non-exuberant prices so that gamers would find them affordable, enticing, and probably more worth while?!)... So why not cram the miniatures rules into D&D and strip the other elements out of D&D to make it more of a miniatures game itself. That way the game will almost feel like it requires or needs them (hence why movement and range is all in "squares" now - it's too simple and dumbed down for people to miss anything in translation or to have to "think" about how to apply "feet to squares" when it comes to things like conical, spherical, and other area-of-effect ranges/spreads).

They wanted to make the game more of a miniatures-intensive product and more of a non-stop combat love-fest like the online RPGs tend to be... By doing so they could combat the market's powerhouse of WOW AND sell more minis at the same time - at least that is the goal. I think, however, that Hasbro has grossly misunderstood the gamer mind and fails to realize that Miniatures and battle maps are nice, but NOT needed, and that D&D Online is NOT D&D and WOW is NOT killing D&D and that D&D players don't want to play WOW and D&D for the same reason(s). They think we do, that they are, and therefore since WOW is killing D&DO then therefore its killing D&D in general - and miniatures aren't selling like they want... The solution? Make a new edition and make it as much like WOW as you can and make it very tactically grounded and focused as you can to make it as miniatures-required as you can; it'll solve BOTH "problems" at the same time... Sadly, the problems aren't caused by those reasons at all...

I don't agree with your premise that they're trying to morph D&D into WoW. I do think they are trying to learn from WoW's success; as they should be. Just because it's popular doesn't mean it doesn't have good ideas, and in fact probably means it does have a good idea or two in there someplace.

As far as making the game more mini-centric... hmm. The push to sell more minis probably does factor into their calculations, but I think what they're really trying to do is build a more streamlined, economical game. The thing is, in order to achieve maximum performance from any given system, you have to tailor it to its chosen task; a game that is thoroughly optimized for miniatures-based play will necessarily be less well-suited to other types of play.

4E is clearly heavily miniatures-optimized; I doubt it's been tested much in "free-form" play. Using "squares" as the exclusive unit of measurement works very well in battlemat combat, but not well at all in free-form. Similarly, there are a lot of 5-square auras and the like, which emphasize precise positioning; and the increase in tactical movement also pushes for the battlemat.

I wouldn't read big conspiracies into WotC's design decisions for 4E; just an intense focus on one specific type of gameplay, somewhat to the exclusion of other types. Which is a little sad, but at least it will handle that one specific type very, very well, and hopefully it can be adapted to others without too much fuss.
 

frankthedm

First Post
Well, without a grid, here is how to give pushing the same amount of leway the grid gave it.
 

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