WotC WotC needs an Elon Musk

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But if the desire was to politically clean house back to a more neutral stance and allow creators to go ham without worrying about six levels of Sensitivity Experts , I think it's fair to say this is the best man for the job, no?

The irony here being that I don't believe WOTC has used sensitivity experts for their stuff, or at least they don't seem to credit them.

Though I'd be interested in seeing what a more "neutral stance" would be for Musk. The return of gendered stat modifiers? ;)

Unless I completely missed OP's reason for wanting Musk specifically...

I think a lot of people have missed that the OP was using Musk as an example of someone who comes in and makes drastic changes to try and turn around a product, not as the actual person they intend. They want someone who comes in and makes big changes to help the product out. I think that's

If I'm remembering the recent DMG Al Qadim book correctly, one of the co-authors is actually Middle Eastern so they're far more likely to actually get the culture they're drawing inspiration from correctly.

Yeah, he specifically does sensitivity reading also. Again, it helps to make sure these products don't do stupid or offensive things to have someone who can recognize that stuff before it gets into printing.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
They haven't announced replacements for all their hard cover books, and they have explicitly stated that they don't want a situation where they make all people's existing hardcover books obsolete.
Yet that's what will inevitably happen, only faster than it does now.
What they have described is wanting to move to a paradigm where, instead of expecting folks to replace their entire collection every 5-10 years, they can continuously sell books, adding updates as they feel the game needs.
And every update renders previous versions of what was updated obsolete.
WotC is trying to move from short-term tactics to a long term strategy. That is explicitly how they have described OneD&D, as rejection of that old "editions" paradigm of planned obsolescence. They are envisioning that they can sell more books incrementally by NOT throwing the baby out with the bathwater as the old "editions" system did. So, yeah, they wanna sell more books. And they are arguing that they can do so by not continuously rebooting the game and driving customers away.
Leading to conversations like this in about 2028:

DM: "OK, everyone's here. <lays out premise of game etc.>. So, I'd better ask which version of what books you each have?"
Player 1: "I have the Players' Handbook, brand new 2028 printing!"
Player 2: "I've got a PH as well, but it's from 2023."
Player 3: "I just look online for that stuff; (to Player 1) there's updates there newer than even your 2028 book."
Player 4: "I've got the '25 PH - yeah, it's the one they messed up on with those new classes, but it's all I've got."
DM: "So, four of you each have different versions of the same game; and mine is different again. Trying to unify them all into a single version is gonna be a pain in the d20 for me; and damned if I'll ask you all to go out and buy something you pretty much already have. Screw it - let's play something else."
Look at it this way: they think they have developed a healthy system. They are probably largely through the rapid growth phase, so the question is "how do we get to sustained growth" while keeping the game healthy.
This is my main complaint with today's business model: "sustained growth" is ultimately, in the end, unsustainable. Once a business is chugging along and making money, what's wrong with "sustained status quo" as a goal?
Jettisoning 5e is a huge risk, and there is no need to do so because the game has a big, healthy base. So instead of jettisoning it, they have to train players to stop thinking of D&D in terms of editions, and instead think in terms of one continuous game that evolves incrementally, with no obvious dividing points. Because from a sales perspective, you don't want to divide a healthy customer base.
See my hypothetical conversation above. That's what it'll look like in the wild: instead of getting a different game every ten-ish years you're getting a different game every year or even sooner, despite vague nods toward backward compatibility.
 




Remathilis

Legend
I think a lot of people have missed that the OP was using Musk as an example of someone who comes in and makes drastic changes to try and turn around a product, not as the actual person they intend. They want someone who comes in and makes big changes to help the product out.

Silicon Valley has a concept they call market disruption. They are addicted to it. They dream of killer apps that will replace whole systems and markets. Uber and cabs. Airbnb and hotels. GrubHub and delivery. Even the concept of crypto and finance. And on a certain level, new changes inevitably change markets (see cars and horses). However, some people are so hungry for that disruption that they don't actually care if what they are doing is GOOD or not. They want to be the 1 billion dollar idea that starts a revolution rather than actually figuring out if the idea is needed, useful or practical. (The Hyperloop would make so much more sense if it was a train rather than a regular car. You know, like a subway).

The point is that a Musk-like figure might want to disrupt the whole system in ways that aren't exactly consumer friendly. They could, for example, decide that people like finding random treasures, so rather than put magic items in the DMG, they sell them in randomized card packs. They would make far more selling 100 card sets of magic items rather than a $50 book. It's disruptive, it's innovative, it's going to make them money.

So be careful when "bold new ideas" and "game changers" get mentioned; they rarely work out for consumers in the long run.
 

Leading to conversations like this in about 2028:

DM: "OK, everyone's here. <lays out premise of game etc.>. So, I'd better ask which version of what books you each have?"
Player 1: "I have the Players' Handbook, brand new 2028 printing!"
Player 2: "I've got a PH as well, but it's from 2023."
Player 3: "I just look online for that stuff; (to Player 1) there's updates there newer than even your 2028 book."
Player 4: "I've got the '25 PH - yeah, it's the one they messed up on with those new classes, but it's all I've got."
DM: "So, four of you each have different versions of the same game; and mine is different again. Trying to unify them all into a single version is gonna be a pain in the d20 for me; and damned if I'll ask you all to go out and buy something you pretty much already have. Screw it - let's play something else."
This gives me flashbacks to playing 2e mostly using the original PHB and 1 person using the revised black cover PHB.

Player: What page is rule for obscure hit modifier being discussed?
Me: 92
Player: Uh, that page is all about healing and rest. I don't see anything like what you're saying here. You sure?
Me: Oh, you have the new book.

So annoying having different books for the same game.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I want a lot of content for D&D.
That's not what you said. You said that you want them to do the 2e approach to settings again. Which, notably, is a part of why TSR went bankrupt. You even mentioned "how they got saved", implying that it would happen again.

Sure, if WotC goes bankrupt, they might get "saved"/bought out again. But what about the next time? Or the next time? How many bankruptcies is it going to take for companies to realize that D&D can't make money like this, and either change the formula to one that does make money (the current one) or just stop "saving" the hobby?

Because that's where this leads. Supporting a bunch of settings in the level that 2e did does not work as a business strategy for D&D. But you want them to do it. And it just does not work. People will either figure out that D&D is a dead hobby and not worth buying out/"saving", or they're going to do exactly what WotC is doing right now: publish the bare minimums to support popular settings and then move on to do the others.

You want a lot of content for D&D? You already have it in 5e. They've published dozens of books, averaging about 250 pages in length per book, for a ton of different adventures, settings, and character concepts. You want setting detail to go deeper? You already admitted that you just want the 2e setting books (which you already own) copy-pasted into newer books. Just use those game products that you love so much that you want D&D to go bankrupt again. You want 5e conversions of older races and monsters? The ones that WotC hasn't converted yet have been converted about 1,000 times on the DMs Guild, D&D Beyond's homebrew race builder, and 3rd party products like the ones by Kobold Press. Choose version that you like and use it.

WotC are trying their best to keep the game alive while also supporting a bunch of different settings in 5e. That means compromise. As much as they might want to, they can't do the 2e model of publishing a ton of books for every setting. They know where that leads because they bought the game after that model helped drive TSR bankrupt. So, instead, they just have to publish one or two official books per setting, hope that they covered everything necessary to play the game, and leave it up to the DMs or 3rd party publishers to update the stuff that they can't.
 
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So, instead, they just have to publish one or two official books per setting, hope that they covered everything necessary to play the game, and leave it up to the DMs or 3rd party publishers to update the stuff that they can't.
And collect a percent of the sale if it's through DM's Guild. Money for doing pretty much nothing.

I do wonder if things would be different if WotC did go the route TSR did with a ton of settings supported with a bunch of products simply due to how much larger the player base is, but I certainly wouldn't want to find out if I were WotC. Stick with what's clearly working and look for extra money in places like film and television.
 



Micah Sweet

Legend
Well, they are letting people make money off of Intellectual Property that they own. Most other companies don't allow for anything like that.
That I agree with. Viva la Guild! I just want them to open up the rest of the settings so people can feel comfortable making content. TSR's settings are the only thing WotC has that are of any value to me anymore.
 


Clint_L

Hero
Yet that's what will inevitably happen, only faster than it does now.

And every update renders previous versions of what was updated obsolete.

Leading to conversations like this in about 2028:

DM: "OK, everyone's here. <lays out premise of game etc.>. So, I'd better ask which version of what books you each have?"
Player 1: "I have the Players' Handbook, brand new 2028 printing!"
Player 2: "I've got a PH as well, but it's from 2023."
Player 3: "I just look online for that stuff; (to Player 1) there's updates there newer than even your 2028 book."
Player 4: "I've got the '25 PH - yeah, it's the one they messed up on with those new classes, but it's all I've got."
DM: "So, four of you each have different versions of the same game; and mine is different again. Trying to unify them all into a single version is gonna be a pain in the d20 for me; and damned if I'll ask you all to go out and buy something you pretty much already have. Screw it - let's play something else."

This is my main complaint with today's business model: "sustained growth" is ultimately, in the end, unsustainable. Once a business is chugging along and making money, what's wrong with "sustained status quo" as a goal?

See my hypothetical conversation above. That's what it'll look like in the wild: instead of getting a different game every ten-ish years you're getting a different game every year or even sooner, despite vague nods toward backward compatibility.
No, you're not. Because it has already happened, and the game was fine. Monsters of the Multiverse revised and updated two previously published 5e books. The old material didn't suddenly become unplayable.

Your example is ridiculous. Here's what'll actually happen:

"Hey, the latest PHB has a new way for Bards to use inspiration. We using that?"
"Sure." (Or "No.")

Just as it is now:
"Hey, can I play a Mercy Monk from Tasha's?"
"Okay."

That last conversation actually happened when I rolled my last character, and somehow the game didn't break and we didn't all freak out and decide not to play D&D anymore.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
No, you're not. Because it has already happened, and the game was fine. Monsters of the Multiverse revised and updated two previously published 5e books. The old material didn't suddenly become unplayable.

Your example is ridiculous. Here's what'll actually happen:

"Hey, the latest PHB has a new way for Bards to use inspiration. We using that?"
"Sure." (Or "No.")

Just as it is now:
"Hey, can I play a Mercy Monk from Tasha's?"
"Okay."

That last conversation actually happened when I rolled my last character, and somehow the game didn't break and we didn't all freak out and decide not to play D&D anymore.

It's a pain though we have several ways of doing races, power creep and deliberate obsolescence.

Latest Mordenkainen book for example didn't include the previous ones Tieflinge plus theres ohb and Tasha's as well.
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Hardcore players barely make up 10% of the playerbase and that's in a good year. Turns out, no, designing the game for just those characters is not good as the current absolutely brutal series of guild crushing raids at the moment show.
My most recent raiding group imploded after about six to eight years this expansion. I'm going into Dragonflight planning on doing LFR and the new solo arena queue (there's a vicious mount I've had my eye on for years, but getting into the rated battleground scene is incredibly hard on my server -- next-level gatekeeping).
Said hardcore players also constantly complain about wanting Raid Finder, an accessible way for people who aren't no-lifing and try-harding, to be removed.... Despite the fact Blizz have gone on record saying that raids only exist because Raid Finder gives enough numbers to make it justifiable to even do raids.
Inexplicably making LFR use Group Loot seems like a way to punish people into doing normal raiding, which presupposes that everyone doing LFR had the opportunity to do so all along.
 
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Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
I don't play Classic myself (Look, I get why people like nostalgia but frankly I do not want to relive the days of me waiting on Dalaran trade chat for 6+ hours to grab my daily heroic) but...

The thing to consider is back in the day, we were kind of stumbling about, not 100% sure of what was entirely happening. However all these decades later, we have so much theorycrafting and everything in play that its almost like a solved game. Its going to inherantly be different simply because of all that knowledge we have. See folks mis-remembering Vanilla as being super hard and apparently when Classic launched, it'd take months and months for Molten Core to be beaten, as opposed to the reality where Molten Core was basically solved content and it got done in under a week from launch. Nothing wrong with it all
Pre-Wowhead, we had Thottbot, and I remember consulting it during vanilla beta. The notion that Classic was different -- beyond the systems that created friction, many of which are being dismantled on Classic anyway -- is mostly nostalgia for players' youth.

I don't play Classic, myself -- my overall /played on WoW is already so high that I don't see going back over my old tracks yet again with Classic -- but I always felt that Cataclysm throwing out so many babies with the bathwater was a terrible decision, so I'm glad that Blizzard listened to those players and brought back the pre-Cataclysm version of the game.

Not to mention, Classic Lich King has gotten missing pieces of armor sets finally added to the game, which I hope will get ported over to retail in an upcoming patch, so everyone wins.
 



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