WoW and 4e - where's the beef?

What is your feelings on 4e's relation to World of Warcraft?

  • I've played WoW, and I think 4e is like WoW

    Votes: 45 20.2%
  • I've played WoW, and I don't think 4e is like WoW

    Votes: 97 43.5%
  • I've never played WoW, and I think 4e is like WoW

    Votes: 13 5.8%
  • I've never played WoW, and I don't think 4e is like WoW

    Votes: 37 16.6%
  • I was hoping for punch and pie

    Votes: 31 13.9%

was

Adventurer
While I've played WoW and noticed that they do have a few things in common, overall the two products dont seem that similar to me.
 

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Nymrohd

First Post
I really cannot see at all how magic items in any version of D&D are like WoW. In WoW magic items are of extreme importance yet at the same time are completely bland. They offer nothing more than a complex array of stats. The only exception is raid armor sets which are for that reason extremely popular since they can actually affect gameplay (and are not dictated by it). 4E magic items do provide some stats but those are programmed into the system and ultimately of secondary importance to item abilities many of which are active and improve or alter gameplay.

Also defending in 4E and WoW are very separate beasts with few things in common. Warcraft uses taunts that force attackers to focus on you, a threat system that translates rather directly to offensive rotations or FCFS systems of dps classes (maximize your tps), and very limited tactical movement since all characters are transparent as far as moving is concerned limiting tactical movement to facing for mobs with directional attacks and moving away from harmfull effects. The 4E threat management system is entirely different, based on dissuading attackers by making attacks more likely to hit the defender, a lot of tactical maneuvering and action denial, as well as retributive effects. Rarely will an effect in 4E actually force a monster to attack the defender with no choice. (What 4E could have borrowed from WoW is the elaborate system of mitigation and avoidance that tanks use to manage damage, but this is mainly a limitation of the d20 system and thus hard to surpass).

The key observation in 4E design is how as Andor says it looks like something made by a programmer. Which I think directly translates into: 4E design focuses on logical and transparent processes. What frustrates me personally is where it deviates from this principle invariable causing balance issues (weapons as implements are an issues because of poor wording on feats and magic item properties intented for weapon powers but not limited to those).
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Classes in 4E have one (primary) role. (Of course most classes also have one or two secondary roles that depend on your build.)
Classes in WoW (AFAIK) have multiple roles they can fill, depending on how you build them.

I see what you are trying to say then.

Whatever build you pick, that's what you do. That's all you do. You heal? That's all you do. You tank? That's all you do.

There is no "Secondary role".

That's mostly true, but at least now you have a button to swap between two different builds. This is also the reason I say city of Heroes/Villains resembles 4E. Their classes, which are defined by role archetypes, have an obvious primary and a variable secondary role. That and the "healer class" dosn't necessarily heal.
 

Charwoman Gene

Adventurer
It also as many elements that are very 'computerish'. In particular the rulebook reads like it was written by someone who just finished a class in object oriented programming.

You might want to explain this. It's a bit out there, and frankly, is not intuitive. I for one, do not have an idea of what would make you feel like 4e was "written by someone who just finished a class in object oriented programming". Can you give more description?

I think it reads like it was written by someone who just finished a class in Thai Cooking, myself.
 


Cadfan

First Post
You might want to explain this. It's a bit out there, and frankly, is not intuitive. I for one, do not have an idea of what would make you feel like 4e was "written by someone who just finished a class in object oriented programming". Can you give more description?

I think it reads like it was written by someone who just finished a class in Thai Cooking, myself.
I can kind of see it. I've done some recreational programming in an object oriented language. For each item I had to program in the text adventure I was making, there was a sort of stat block. And the sum total of the program, when it was written out in code, was essentially a long list of stat blocks. These stat blocks were heavily laden with key words and references that referred you to other stat blocks.

So you might get something that looked kind of like (using an imaginary object oriented programming language):

TABLE
object, takeable, hideunder, climbon
lookDescription "Its a wooden table with a scratch."
tasteDescription "Why are you tasting a table?
listenDescription "Tables don't make noise."
if HIT TABLE, then "The table smashes into splinters.", add SPLINTERS to KITCHEN;

And then things would continue with the next object.

I can kind of see how power lists might feel that way, particularly in the way that reading a single object tells you very little about the overall function of the code, and you have to read them all and understand them in the context of one another to get a *feel* for what's going on.

Its not a strong analogy, but I can see it.
 


Spatula

Explorer
Having magic tied more closely to level (i.e. low level people can't use magic from a higher tier).
What? There aren't any level prerequisites on gear in 4e.

WoW agro is simulated with the whole marking system.
Giving a DM-controlled monster a penalty to hit is like using high-threat maneuvers (which would be what in D&D?) over and over so that other characters' actions don't top your threat level on a programmed monster's threat table?

I don't see why some people get all defensive over this particular question and pounce whenever someone posts that they find that 4E feels like WoW to them.
Well, for one thing the people saying it seem to not have much knowledge about one or both games.
 
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AllisterH

First Post
Well, for one thing the people saying it seem to not have much knowledge about one or both games.

THIS unfrotunately I think is always true in these discussions.

Example Cooldown is the same thing as an encounter power --- Er, not really. In BBEG fights/raids, you can actually get multiple chances to use your cooldown power whereas the encounter power is simply gone until you rest for 5 minutes after a fight.

Ex2: Aggro = Marking. As you pointed out Spatula, the emchanics are vastly different...
 

resistor

First Post
D&D has always sort of had cooldowns - Vancian magic.

The mechanism for WoW cooldowns is rather different from D&D encounter powers though. Cooldown times vary greatly, from 6 seconds to days, and there is no need to avoid combat for a time period, the cds regenerate no matter what you are doing. For instance a WoW power with a 5 min cd could potentially be used twice in a boss fight.

I definitely don't see encounter powers as a WoW-ism. WoW has no concept of the encounter.

This is where I think a lot people disagree with each other.

To me, and I suspect to many others who think the comparison is valid, 4e's at-will, encounter, and daily powers seem very much like CRPG/MMO power cooldowns, and much more so than 3e did.

I'm not an expert on WoW, but having played a decent amount of Guild Wars in my time, I can say that it feels very similar. You have your powers you can spam more or less all the time, your powers that you can pull off periodically in the fight, and powers that you can only pull off once in a fight, all achieved via cooldowns. Obviously 4e scales it slightly differently (and for all I know, WoW might too), but it still seems very comparable to me.

The reasons I don't think that the same can be said for 3e and earlier are twofold:

First, it didn't apply to every class. Spellcasters had a cooldown mechanic via Vancian casting, but fighters and thieves didn't. This is in contrast to CRPG/MMO practice where it's a defining characteristic of the entire combat system.

Second, there were no tiers of cooldown. You cast your spell, and couldn't cast it again until the next day. A defining feature of the MMO combat being discussed is that different powers have different cooldown times, which becomes an important tactical element.

Basically, while you're correct that 3e had some MMO-like cooldown aspects, I feel that 4e is MUCH more similar in that regard. Not identical, but much more similar.
 

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