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My feelings about 5E D&D


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Taldor

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I guess this is as good a place as any to post my feelings about 5E D&D.

4th Edition
* I own a bunch of the books (hundreds of dollars)
* I played it for a summer back in 2008 and again in 2010.
* My biggest gripe is the powers system. I feel that the action descriptions are too specific. When I play, I feel like Ken or Ryu on Street Fighter --"Haduken! Haduken! Haduken!"
* When I read the intro to the D&D 4E PHB, I felt like it was a sales pitch.
* Ever since 3E, WOTC has been mentioning miniatures more and more as a necessary part of the game. They've never appealed to me, and I resent the emphasis.

These are all typical reasons why "old school" D&D players dislike 4th. I have friends who like 4th. I think 4th can be an enjoyable game, but it's (a) not free enough to appeal to me, (b) obviously focused on taking my money, and (c) not executed as well as Pathfinder (e.g. adventure paths?).

I think mechanics changes resulting in (a) was a misplaced reaction to the growing popularity of WOW. I think (b) is caused by the difference between these two links:

http://www.google.com/finance?q=hasbro

http://www.google.com/finance?q=paizo

And (c) is what happens when you dump a bunch of passionate, talented people who have been working on D&D for years.

I'm a good candidate for D&D 5E to target. I have enough disposable income to buy every 5E D&D product they can make. I am willing to buy more than I'll use, just so I have the option of using it. Just so it can look pretty on my shelf. Paizo is doing well because they're selling me more products than I actually use. Congratulations on the subscription model -- it's a way of getting more money out of me without making me feel like I'm being targeted.

Why would I play D&D 5E? Pathfinder already has such a huge lead in terms of content for the modified 3.5 system. Am I going to buy yet another Forgotten Realms campaign guide? I haven't even had time to read the 4E one yet. If I wanted to play Forgotten Realms, why wouldn't I just grab my 3E Guide and use it with Pathfinder?

Why should I even trust WOTC? Why should I believe that 5E isn't just another money grab? Mike Mearls needs to answer these questions before I'll have any enthusiasm for 5E. 4E was the nail in the coffin as far as my relationship with the WOTC brand. If Mike Mearls wants me back on board, he needs to stop talking around the issue.

I see this in Silicon Valley all the time. You have business focused on getting return for their investors (e.g. companies founded on the premise they will be sold after 12 months), and you have businesses focused on building a product they love ("lifestyle businesses" which never make anybody super wealthy, but which offer people work that they enjoy doing every day).

Lisa Stevens has one of the biggest Star Wars collections in the world, so I can believe she's a pretty big nerd, and that her criteria for success as a business is more than just financial.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Goldner

What about the CEO of Hasbro, Brian Goldner?

I googled for "brian goldner dungeons and dragons" and I find this:

http://www.enworld.org/forum/5765766-post205.html

There seems to be evidence that Brian Goldner likes making CCG's because they are profitable, but I don't see anything suggesting that he plays Dungeons and Dragons or that he cares at all about it as a cultural institution.

"Sometime around 2006, the D&D team made a big presentation to the Hasbro senior management on how they could take D&D up to the $50 million level and potentially keep growing it. The core of that plan was a synergistic relationship between the tabletop game and what came to be known as DDI."

Systematically, WOTC is set up to fail, because the way it gets funding is to pitch business plans premised on making as much money as possible. This is why there are D&D "Fortune Cards" -- because Hasbro wants to make money, and since they're used to making money w/ randomized card packs (a.k.a. CCG), they're going to try and make D&D into a randomized card pack. This is why D&D has randomized miniatures.

Executives make money using one method, and they try to apply that method across the board, regardless of whether it makes sense in the context of adding value to the product. They say stuff like "leveraging existing strengths." But at the end of the day, they're crapping on the product to try and make more money. Owners of Hasbro stock think this is fine -- that's why Goldner has his job.

But consumers hate it. And if you don't have shareholders to answer to, you can't feel very good at the end of the day when you make a crappy product, especially if you're making a crappy product and not getting rich at it.

In the 5th edition announcement, Mike Mearls says:

"Our mission is to ensure that D&D enters its next 40 years as a vibrant, growing, and exciting game."

I hope he can enter the next 2 years as a vibrant, exciting game. Much less the next 40. If you read between the lines, he's saying that D&D 4E won't be a vibrant, growing, and exciting game in the next 40 years. He doesn't discuss why. He doesn't acknowledge the failure. He doesn't say anything specific enough to make me believe that he recognizes what needs to be fixed. All he's saying is that WOTC wants me to spend more money on yet another set of rules with vague specifications. Since he's not saying what the problem is, I have no idea what 5E is fixing, and therefore I have no idea why I'd want to buy it.

"By involving you in this process, we can build a set of D&D rules that incorporate the wants and desires of D&D gamers around the world. We want to create a flexible game, rich with options for players and DMs to embrace or reject as they see fit, a game that brings D&D fans together rather than serves as one more category to splinter us apart."

This sounds nice, but it doesn't mean very much. There's already oodles of content to embrace and reject in previous editions. Why do I need more? WOTC would have done better to delay announcing 5th Edition until they actually had some concrete value to offer. I have zero confidence WOTC will deliver a compelling product, both due to the performance on 4E and due to the systematic challenges they face as part of a publicly owned corporate structure.

"There is a lot of work to be done, and I’m hoping you have the time, energy, and inclination to pitch in."

Why would I have the inclination to pitch in? Why would you expect me to? To help make Hasbro profit? The book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" says to admit when you're wrong, because when someone believes that you know you were wrong, then they can believe that you can change your behavior and fix things -- they can believe you have good intentions even if the execution isn't perfect.

D&D 4E isn't a terrible game, but it's obviously a worse game than 3E. You can see this just by the rise of Paizo and Pathfinder. By not acknowledging the problems with 4E and by not apologizing for the damage 4E has done to the D&D brand, WOTC is sending me the message that they don't truly care about what I think. They may say they want my input on 5E, but their attitude towards 4E says otherwise.

Mike and Hasbro can hope all they want, but without offering some concrete value and without expressing a meaningful, specific opinion about what makes D&D good -- why would I waste my time playtesting? I could be playing Pathfinder. Right now, the best thing WOTC can do for fantasy roleplay is to give D&D a rest. They should hire some of the people behind Eclipse Phase and revisit sci-fi. Whatever they do -- dump the powers system. That's what I could get behind.

Paizo Employee PostMonster General

Edited thread title. Inflammatory titles don't help.

Paizo Employee PostMonster General

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed a post. Gorbacz, you know better than that.

Taldor

I will be very curious to see what WoTC produces. Will I buy it? I'll say no but I may change my mind. A lot depends on my game group and what we decide we want to do.

I have to agree with you and in many ways feel that WoTC has finished with 4E so to keep making money they move on to the next thing which is being called 5E.

While I picked up a 4E book (PHB) I found right away that it was not what I wanted to play or invest my hard earned cash on. I'm not rich and spending money on gaming has to be budgeted.

Currenty I have every 1st Ed book on shelves and probably half the modules produced for it, not to mention many of the boxes for FR

I also have almost every book of 2nd ed and many 3.5 books. Do I want buy yet another system that will gather dust and never be looked at or used again? No. Now if WoTC was willing to give me in fair trade for all my 1 - 4E books I have, then I MIGHT be more willing to take a harder look at their product. Lets face it, I have a tree in my house that has no use, why not recycle that tree and give games product? That would never happen as it would cost money which is something that WoTC or anyone else would not do to gain support. It's like the endless PC's and operating systems we buy, they have no value after X years. At least my car or house still has some value and can be used as a trade in or sold to someone who wants it.

The only thing that keeps WoTC failing right now is Hasbro, To me it was stupid to let Hasbro buy them out. Hasbro has not a clue about RPG's. They hardly know about games period and those that run the company do not understand the industry or those that are apart of it.

To be honest I was very unhappy when TSR got taken over and Gygax lost out, then to see TSR go belly up because of a CEO that did not know the game or the industry and ran the company into the ground only to be bought by WoTC.

Did WoTC do good? Yes and No. They produced one of the best versions to date with 3.5, but they also showed their mentality of producing to many books to out do the last book, or to over complicate things, or over balance things. I think this was do to the fact that those that created 3.5 where no longer in charge and in came the mind set of the mighty dollar or the Collector Card Game mentality of a new set of cards every other month that out did the previous cards and to charge money to play tourneys by making people buy packs to enter a game. And by not having the latest cards, you could never win the tourney. I see that with all CCG.

I cannot say I am excited about 5E but I am curious to see what they do. Just like I am curious to see what Paizo puts out every month in the form of player companions, AP's campaign books and other misc stuff.

I am thrilled to say my group ALL loves Pathfinder and the fact you really only need 1 book to play and that is the CRB and not every other book produced.

So to that I say good luck to WoTC and lets see and not hear what you have or plan on doing.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Personally, I'd be surprised if WoTC are targetting PF players directly (though they no doubt hope some of them will pick up 5E stuff at some point).

Trying to poach customers of competitors within an established, niche market (with all the passionate fans that implies) has to be an inferior strategy to growing the market and attracting new or lapsed players, imo.

Of course, I also disagree with "D&D 4E isn't a terrible game, but it's obviously a worse game than 3E." so what would I know?


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IceniQueen wrote:
The only thing that keeps WoTC failing right now is Hasbro, To me it was stupid to let Hasbro buy them out. Hasbro has not a clue about RPG's. They hardly know about games period and those that run the company do not understand the industry or those that are apart of it.

Am I the only one skeptical about claims that Hasbro has any substantial input into D&D's development (beyond possibly setting targets?)

They bought WoTC because of Magic. In my (limited but not non-existent) experience, parent companies rarely have much input into wholly owned subsidiaries and when they do it's the flagship products.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think you make the same mistakes in judgment that a lot of fans do - assuming that Hasbro is responsible for all of WotC's functional decisions with regards to the D&D brand.

You also make some really unsupportable claims, like the idea that 4e is obviously worse than 3e. That's ignorant. Not only is that a wildly subjective claim, but even trying to look at it objectively (in the sense of product moved or brand growth) is impossible without an expert's eye for the strength of the market in general and the external factors that have been at play for the last five years.

Finally, they don't owe you or anyone else an apology. They may end up delivering one, but it will be to appease you rather than because you deserve it. They said, "We're going to make the Dungeons & Dragons that we think should be made, and we know we're going to lose some customers in the process, but that's how the world works." They shouldn't have to apologize for wanting to take bold strides, and it's kind of shameful that you would ask for one.

If you don't want to contribute your input to whatever comes next, that's fine. It's your call. But you're being offered the opportunity to influence the direction of the hobby, however slight. It's preposterous that you would find something to criticize about that offering, but I suppose that some people can't get past their own sense of misplaced indignation.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
IceniQueen wrote:
The only thing that keeps WoTC failing right now is Hasbro, To me it was stupid to let Hasbro buy them out. Hasbro has not a clue about RPG's. They hardly know about games period and those that run the company do not understand the industry or those that are apart of it.

Am I the only one skeptical about claims that Hasbro has any substantial input into D&D's development (beyond possibly setting targets?)

They bought WoTC because of Magic. In my (limited but not non-existent) experience, parent companies rarely have much input into wholly owned subsidiaries and when they do it's the flagship products.

I specifically link to and have a quote in the post where WotC is pitching to Hasbro. WotC is financially responsible to Hasbro, and Hasbro is responsible to shareholders. Hasbro has ultimate control over what WotC does. They can pull the plug at any time. WotC can only do things that Hasbro wants, and Hasbro is responsible to shareholders to either make the stock price go up or to pay out a dividend. Hasbro might give WotC creative freedom because micromanaging from the top can hurt the bottom line. But at the end of the day, WotC knows that it needs to hand over a load of cash to Hasbro, otherwise (a) people get fired or (b) products get killed, and that pressure is going to dominate decision making. Hasbro doesn't fund D&D b/c they love and have passion for the game. They fund it because they believe they can get 3 gold coins for every 1 they invest.

Andoran

We can't force HASBRO to do anything. They have shown in the past that they think they know far more than us mortals. All we can do is not buy their bull. Then, just maybe, when it dawns on their paper-pushers that 5E is following in 4E's unprofitable footsteps, it might sink in that they should get out of a roleplaying niche that they are eminently unsuited to fill. Now, that's both true capitalism and consumer power.


Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
We can't force HASBRO to do anything. They have shown in the past that they think they know far more than us mortals. All we can do is not buy their bull. Then, just maybe, when it dawns on their paper-pushers that 5E is following in 4E's unprofitable footsteps, it might sink in that they should get out of a roleplaying niche that they are eminently unsuited to fill. Now, that's both true capitalism and consumer power.

Good lord, is everyone convinced that Hasbro decides how D&D is played?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Truth to be said Scott, apart from "somebody wrote something about it on forums" there's no tangible support for either position.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
TTalent wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
IceniQueen wrote:
The only thing that keeps WoTC failing right now is Hasbro, To me it was stupid to let Hasbro buy them out. Hasbro has not a clue about RPG's. They hardly know about games period and those that run the company do not understand the industry or those that are apart of it.

Am I the only one skeptical about claims that Hasbro has any substantial input into D&D's development (beyond possibly setting targets?)

They bought WoTC because of Magic. In my (limited but not non-existent) experience, parent companies rarely have much input into wholly owned subsidiaries and when they do it's the flagship products.

I specifically link to and have a quote in the post where WotC is pitching to Hasbro.

Yes, but did you read the article and the context? Those sorts of pitching meetings are extraordinarily rare, especially for a non-core brand like D&D. The whole point of the meeting was to argue that D&D should be treated as a core brand (even though it didnt meet the definition).

The post by RyanD is entirely consistent with what I was saying regarding parent companies' interests generally being restricted to flagship products (or "core brands" to use the Hasbro term, if it's still relevant).

Quote:
WotC is financially responsible to Hasbro, and Hasbro is responsible to shareholders. Hasbro has ultimate control over what WotC does. They can pull the plug at any time. WotC can only do things that Hasbro wants, and Hasbro is responsible to shareholders to either make the stock price go up or to pay out a dividend. Hasbro might give WotC creative freedom because micromanaging from the top can hurt the bottom line. But at the end of the day, WotC knows that it needs to hand over a load of cash to Hasbro, otherwise (a) people get fired or (b) products get killed, and that pressure is going to dominate decision making. Hasbro doesn't fund D&D b/c they love and have passion for the game. They fund it because they believe they can get 3 gold coins for every 1 they invest.

Of course. But the way parent companies do that is not by dictating how the subsidiaries are to hit their targets.


Gorbacz wrote:
Truth to be said Scott, apart from "somebody wrote something about it on forums" there's no tangible support for either position.

In one case, "somebody" is an unconnected fan's friend.

In the other, "somebody" is a bunch of people who either work for or work with WotC.

I'm not sure why anyone wants to pretend that these are equivalent.

Taldor

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:

I think you make the same mistakes in judgment that a lot of fans do - assuming that Hasbro is responsible for all of WotC's functional decisions with regards to the D&D brand.

You also make some really unsupportable claims, like the idea that 4e is obviously worse than 3e. That's ignorant. Not only is that a wildly subjective claim, but even trying to look at it objectively (in the sense of product moved or brand growth) is impossible without an expert's eye for the strength of the market in general and the external factors that have been at play for the last five years.

Finally, they don't owe you or anyone else an apology. They may end up delivering one, but it will be to appease you rather than because you deserve it. They said, "We're going to make the Dungeons & Dragons that we think should be made, and we know we're going to lose some customers in the process, but that's how the world works." They shouldn't have to apologize for wanting to take bold strides, and it's kind of shameful that you would ask for one.

If you don't want to contribute your input to whatever comes next, that's fine. It's your call. But you're being offered the opportunity to influence the direction of the hobby, however slight. It's preposterous that you would find something to criticize about that offering, but I suppose that some people can't get past their own sense of misplaced indignation.

Let's make it simple. Let's look at Pathfinder vs. 4E sales for 2012. Or, if you like, for six months in the past and six months in the future from today. Look at popularity on amazon.com. I'll stand by my statement. When 3E came out, people didn't fracture off a 2E company that would then increase in sales until it overtook WotC. 4E has somehow managed to do what no other edition before it has done in 35 years -- to be overtaken by an upstart. I don't think it's a terrible game. I think it introduced new elements that didn't appeal to certain people and that were very difficult to work around if you didn't want to use them. A huge amount of the PHB is taken up with lists of powers - if you don't like that system and you shrug it off -- suddenly half the pages you paid for are worthless.

As far as an apology goes, yeah I'd like to hear WotC say, "We made 4E to try and connect with WoW players. We didn't capture the WoW audience. We alienated people who like the face to face interaction. We regret that. This is what we've learned. This is how we're going to move forward." WotC doesn't owe me an apology unless they want my money. If they don't want my money, that's fine. But if they want my money, they need to admit that producing randomized fortune card packs was a bad idea. They need to admit that *requiring* miniatures was a bad idea. That MMORPG combat roles and very specific powers was probably not the best idea for a table top RPG. If they don't want to do that - if they're proud of those things - that's fine with me. Now that Paizo is around, I don't care if WotC drops D&D all together. That would open up more of the market to Paizo, and frankly, I trust Paizo way more than I trust WotC.

I don't feel entitled to anything from WotC-- they're not giving out hardback books for free. I pay for them, and I'm entitled to and I deserve whatever I can I pay for.

Look at the product reviews on Amazon -- the 4E PHB has 3 stars. The Pathfinder Core Rulebook has 4.5. Maybe WotC should be apologizing to themselves.

Nobody needs an invitation from WotC or anybody else to influence the direction of the hobby. WotC isn't doing me any favors by asking me to spend my time telling them what to do for 5E when 4E fumbled the ball.


TTalent wrote:
Let's make it simple. Let's look at Pathfinder vs. 4E sales for 2012. Or, if you like, for six months in the past and six months in the future from today. Look at popularity on amazon.com. I'll stand by my statement. When 3E came out, people didn't fracture off a 2E company that would then increase in sales until it overtook WotC. 4E has somehow managed to do what no other edition before it has done in 35 years -- to be overtaken by an upstart.

You're right! I wonder if that thing called the OGL had anything to do with that!

Quote:
I don't think it's a terrible game. I think it introduced new elements that didn't appeal to certain people and that were very difficult to work around if you didn't want to use them. A huge amount of the PHB is taken up with lists of powers - if you don't like that system and you shrug it off -- suddenly half the pages you paid for are worthless.

That almost sounds like the spells system from 3e!

Quote:
As far as an apology goes, yeah I'd like to hear WotC say, "We made 4E to try and connect with WoW players. We didn't capture the WoW audience. We alienated people who like the face to face interaction. We regret that. This is what we've learned. This is how we're going to move forward." WotC doesn't owe me an apology unless they want my money.

No, they don't owe you an apology, period. You're acting over-entitled, and that alone is a pretty good reason for WotC to focus on other, better customers.

Quote:
If they don't want my money, that's fine. But if they want my money, they need to admit that producing randomized fortune card packs was a bad idea.

I don't see how, and I really doubt you'll be able to provide a good reason yourself.

Quote:
They need to admit that *requiring* miniatures was a bad idea.

Again, why? And why should they apologize to you for it?

Quote:
That MMORPG combat roles and very specific powers was probably not the best idea for a table top RPG.

D&D has had those roles since the dawn of time. Let's not pretend otherwise for the sake of justifying your own personal indignation.

Quote:
If they don't want to do that - if they're proud of those things - that's fine with me. I don't feel entitled to anything from WotC-- they're not giving out hardback books for free. I pay for them, and I'm entitled to and I deserve whatever I can I pay for.

Which means it's ridiculous for you to claim they owe you an apology in order to earn your money. They haven't personally harmed you in any way.

Quote:
Look at the product reviews on Amazon -- the 4E PHB has 3 stars. The Pathfinder Core Rulebook has 4.5.

On a related note, user reviews are terrible and you should exercise tremendous caution when relying on them.

Quote:
Nobody needs an invitation from WotC or anybody else to influence the direction of the hobby. WotC isn't doing me any favors by asking me to spend my time telling them what to do for 5E when 4E fumbled the ball.

They're not doing you any favors? They're giving you the opportunity to help ensure that they deliver a product you want to play. You can ignore it, sure. Just don't b$@$! about 5e when it comes out. It's like voting - if you didn't bother to show up to the polls to cast your vote, especially when that vote actually carries any kind of weight, you really have no right to criticize your government.

Shadow Lodge

Scott, you appear in every 5E thread I have read criticizing people's opinions with your own opinions. Instead of that approach, I am curious what you think WoTC did wrong with 4E in terms of game design and marketing. Clearly there is something. If there wasn't why is there such a huge backlash against it? People complained when 2E went to 3E but you have to admit that it wasn't this extreme (I remember...I was one of the complainers). So what went wrong?


I'll preface this by noting that these are not pretty opinions. They say some unpleasant things about the gaming community (and can easily be applied to the whole gaming community, not just tabletop roleplaying games), but I think that they are largely true things, and I think that the initial reaction of many to deny these things is part of what has caused the problem to become so large.

Asphere wrote:
Scott, you appear in every 5E thread I have read criticizing people's opinions with your own opinions. Instead of that approach, I am curious what you think WoTC did wrong with 4E in terms of game design and marketing. Clearly there is something.

Mmm, no, I think the design was pretty good. It's my favorite edition of D&D, so I personally don't think they went wrong there. Some people didn't like it, and some of those people even had solid reasons for not liking it. I mean, sure, there are things I'd do differently if I were the all-powerful design dude, but less so than for any other version of the game to date.

Marketing-wise, their biggest mistake was publishing a product line with a target audience of D&D players. You can't do anything in this community without some faction acting like you shot their puppy, no matter how valid your reasons. It's a terrible group of customers to have to navigate.

Quote:
If there wasn't why is there such a huge backlash against it?

Because D&D players are nerds, and nerds are hyper-passionate about the things they're interested in, and passionate people imagine personal ownership of the thing they're passionate about without actually owning it, and when you change that thing and they don't like the change, instead of accepting it and dealing with it like normal people, they explode.

Quote:
People complained when 2E went to 3E but you have to admit that it wasn't this extreme (I remember...I was one of the complainers).

It wasn't as extreme, but the complaints were the same. And I mean really very similar. People have dredged up discussions from 2000 that feature the exact same criticisms we saw in 2008 - turning D&D into a video game (Diablo II, in the case of 3e; ironically, Blizzard games always get the blame), it's a roll-playing game not a role-playing game, trampled on the soul of D&D, etc. So the content of the explosion didn't change, just the volume. There are a lot more people on the internet now than there were in 2000, and the "old-school" crowd had another decade or so of experience under their belt to give them that extra boost of self-importance.

The environment was different, the changes were perceived at a glance as more extreme, and people imagined that they "owned" what D&D was more than they actually did. And, to top it all off, the OGL allowed Pathfinder to become a player. Where previously gamers might have eventually gone through long-term play experiences with 4e that moderated their inflamed opinions with the reality of how the game actually plays, they were able to jump ship to another equally-supported game and avoid that whole intellectual reconciliation altogether. As a result, we have people who still believe the same falsehoods about 4e years after it came out.

Before you react to this post, I want you to imagine the level of berserker fury that these message boards would experience if Paizo announced that they would be coming out with Pathfinder 2e and outlined changes as substantial as those from 2e to 3e, or from 3e to 4e. It had very little to do with the company and the game, and a great deal to do with the audience.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
TTalent wrote:
Let's make it simple. Let's look at Pathfinder vs. 4E sales for 2012. Or, if you like, for six months in the past and six months in the future from today. Look at popularity on amazon.com. I'll stand by my statement. When 3E came out, people didn't fracture off a 2E company that would then increase in sales until it overtook WotC. 4E has somehow managed to do what no other edition before it has done in 35 years -- to be overtaken by an upstart.

You're right! I wonder if that thing called the OGL had anything to do with that!

Quote:
I don't think it's a terrible game. I think it introduced new elements that didn't appeal to certain people and that were very difficult to work around if you didn't want to use them. A huge amount of the PHB is taken up with lists of powers - if you don't like that system and you shrug it off -- suddenly half the pages you paid for are worthless.

That almost sounds like the spells system from 3e!

Quote:
As far as an apology goes, yeah I'd like to hear WotC say, "We made 4E to try and connect with WoW players. We didn't capture the WoW audience. We alienated people who like the face to face interaction. We regret that. This is what we've learned. This is how we're going to move forward." WotC doesn't owe me an apology unless they want my money.

No, they don't owe you an apology, period. You're acting over-entitled, and that alone is a pretty good reason for WotC to focus on other, better customers.

Quote:
If they don't want my money, that's fine. But if they want my money, they need to admit that producing randomized fortune card packs was a bad idea.

I don't see how, and I really doubt you'll be able to provide a good reason yourself.

Quote:
They need to admit that *requiring* miniatures was a bad idea.

Again, why? And why should they apologize to you for it?

Quote:
That MMORPG combat roles and very specific powers was probably not the best idea for a table top
...

If I'm not mistaken, the best customers are the customers who buy the most product. I'm single, no kids, and I'm in the top 10% in terms of household income, counting only my salary. I own several hundred RPG books, and I've been playing for over 10 years. WotC employees can't pay their mortgages with good will. They need dollars. I'm saying I want an apology if they want my dollars. You can disagree with how I decide to spend my money, but it's my choice. You can disagree that WotC needs my money . . . maybe they don't . . . maybe they can just use a daily power or a wish spell. Good luck with that.

You're right, I think the powers system is similar to the spell system. I'm okay with the spell system when it's limited to a few classes -- not when it applies to *all* classes.

Certainly Paizo has profited from the OGL. Certainly WotC profited from Gygax & Arneson's work in the 1970s. What does this have to do with 5E? What does this have to do with 4E? 3E profited from Paizo's first adventure paths. Wizards created the OGL because they thought it would profit everybody -- including themselves.


TTalent wrote:
If I'm not mistaken, the best customers are the customers who buy the most product.

That's part of the equation, and a lot of businesses are simple enough that you can stop there. You should consider other factors too, though - how much you need to do to earn and keep the customer's business, how good the customer is at being an advocate for your products, etc.

Quote:
I'm single, no kids, and I'm in the top 10% in terms of household income, counting only my salary. I own several hundred RPG books, and I've been playing for over 10 years. WotC employees can't pay their mortgages with good will. They need dollars. I'm saying I want an apology if they want my dollars. You can disagree with how I decide to spend my money, but it's my choice. You can disagree that WotC needs my money . . . maybe they don't . . . maybe they can just use a daily power or a wish spell. Good luck with that.

I'm just saying that it strikes me as overly-entitled to imagine that you're owed an apology from a company that did no injury to you. You might get an apology, but it won't be because you're owed one.

Quote:
You're right, I think the powers system is similar to the spell system. I'm okay with the spell system when it's limited to a few classes -- not when it applies to *all* classes.

The question then becomes, of course, how can those other classes ever feel like they're enjoying the same play opportunities as spellcasters when the spellcasters have the power to do anything and everything up to and including reshaping the universe to their whim, and non-spellcasters get to hit people with sticks? This was a problem that WotC sought to solve, and I'm damn glad that they did.

Quote:
Certainly Paizo has profited from the OGL. Certainly WotC profited from Gygax & Arneson's work in the 1970s.

The non-trivial distinction here being, of course, that WotC actually acquired TSR's assets. Paizo used a free, open license.

Quote:
What does this have to do with 5E? What does this have to do with 4E? 3E profited from Paizo's first adventure paths.

Again, under express license from Wizards of the Coast to produce D&D's official periodicals.

Quote:
Wizards created the OGL because they thought it would profit everybody -- including themselves.

Yes, they did. They did not foresee the eventual result of that decision, or if they did they thought it was so unlikely as to not be a concern. Whoops.


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By way of illustration.

Osirion

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber

Guess I need to avoid these threads like I did back in the early 4e/Pathfinder days.

This is just crazy talk...


Scott Betts wrote:

...

It wasn't as extreme, but the complaints were the same. And I mean really very similar. People have dredged up discussions from 2000 that feature the exact same criticisms we saw in 2008 - turning D&D into a video game (Diablo II, in the case of 3e; ironically, Blizzard games always get the blame), it's a roll-playing game not a role-playing game, trampled on the soul of D&D, etc. So the content of the explosion didn't change, just the volume. There are a lot more people on the internet now than there were in 2000, and the "old-school" crowd had another decade or so of experience under their belt to give them that extra boost of self-importance.

The environment was different, the changes were perceived at a glance as more extreme, and people imagined that they "owned" what D&D was more than they actually did. And, to top it all off, the OGL allowed Pathfinder to become a player. Where previously gamers might have eventually gone through long-term play experiences with 4e that moderated their inflamed opinions with the reality of how the game actually plays, they were able to jump ship to another equally-supported game and avoid that whole intellectual reconciliation altogether. As a result, we have people who still believe the same falsehoods about 4e years after it came out.

Before you react to this post, I want you to imagine the level of berserker fury that these message boards would experience if Paizo announced that they would be coming out with Pathfinder 2e and outlined changes as substantial as those from 2e to 3e, or from 3e to 4e. It had very little to do with the company and the game, and a great deal to do with the audience.

Actually I think the rage won’t be by far that large if they wait for those 7 or so years as promissed and will run multiple playtests to find out what mechanics are liked the best.

I don’t think that 3E -> 4E transition would have been much smoother if the players would have been asked and merits of changes explained. WotC would have known how disliked it would be to be able to kick someone in the butt once every 5 minutes. What if the encounter powers received recharge ability similar to what the monsters have (roll 6d, recharge upon 6 – or better) with explanation that it represents a blind chnce that opens the opportunity to repeat the trick (and leave powers recharging tricks)? Would that blunt the rage about the artifical limits without disturbing the ballance? And what about scaling the powers instead of replacing them with the same +1[W] on top (but with different name and taking up space)? I think that the designers would have heard all the gripes and either explained or tweaked them to make the new edition more paltable.


Zmar wrote:
Actually I think the rage won’t be by far that large if they wait for those 7 or so years as promissed and will run multiple playtests to find out what mechanics are liked the best.

I must have missed that. When did they promise there would be seven years between editions?

Also, they will be running multiple playtests. That's how this works.

Quote:
I don’t think that 3E -> 4E transition would have been much smoother if the players would have been asked and merits of changes explained.

Players were asked (just not in an open playtest; I had friends who participated in the 4e playtest), and the merits of the changes were explained. Some people disagreed with them, but they were explained. In fact, WotC put out two entire books explaining the changes that were made before 4e even came out.

Quote:
WotC would have known how disliked it would be to be able to kick someone in the butt once every 5 minutes. What if the encounter powers received recharge ability similar to what the monsters have (roll 6d, recharge upon 6 – or better) with explanation that it represents a blind chnce that opens the opportunity to repeat the trick (and leave powers recharging tricks)? Would that blunt the rage about the artifical limits without disturbing the ballance?

Probably not, and it also would have dramatically increased the length of encounters, as each player would easily double the number of rolls they make on their turn.

Quote:
And what about scaling the powers instead of replacing them with the same +1[W] on top (but with different name and taking up space)?

The powers do scale. Midway through your career you start swapping out less powerful encounter and daily powers for more powerful ones. Oh, and even at-wills increase in power at level 21.


Patfinder crew when the game was released said that they'd like to put 7 to 10 years before they'll do PF2. Someone could link it perhaps.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't remember much of the explaining. Perhaps they weren't nearly as active in broadcasting the info. Buying a book to read explanation why the hell did they...? Really?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm not saying that it's a perfect option ro recharge this way, I'm jsut saying that it could have been different.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Aehm that's exactly what I claimed as one of the gripes the people have. Why do I forget Soldier Strike and learn Phoenix Swoop to scale a thing that I already have (and why does it take aditional place in my book). It rather seems like building artifical diversity of powers that actually doesn't exist upon closer look.

It's just an exmple of imput though, I don't think that this is the place and time to tweak 4E, but these are things that emerge in playtests and the designers can either do something or at least explain the merits of current setup.

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
TTalent wrote:

Ever since 3E, WOTC has been mentioning miniatures more and more as a necessary part of the game. They've never appealed to me, and I resent the emphasis.

[...]
I'm a good candidate for D&D 5E to target. I have enough disposable income to buy every 5E D&D product they can make.
[...]
Why would I play D&D 5E?

I have only scanned the rest of this thread but one thing I wanted to mention is that it has apparently already been hinted at by WotC that miniatures will be optional in D&D Next.

So if miniatures have never really appealled to you then that in itself is a great reason to get into the D&D playtest and see if D&D Next can be a better game for you than Pathfinder currently is (where minis are pretty much a required component of the game).


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TTalent wrote:
Wizards created the OGL because they thought it would profit everybody -- including themselves.

And Wizards did profit by it. They greatly expanded on the player base for 3.0 and 3.5, bringing in a lot of revenue. The OGL didn't come back to bite them until they tried to leave it behind.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Truth to be said Scott, apart from "somebody wrote something about it on forums" there's no tangible support for either position.

In one case, "somebody" is an unconnected fan's friend.

In the other, "somebody" is a bunch of people who either work for or work with WotC.

I'm not sure why anyone wants to pretend that these are equivalent.

You're trusting a company employees to tell you everything about their company's relation with their parent corporation? Well, considering your level of trust in everything that WotC says/does I shouldn't exactly be surprised :)

Andoran RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Scott I know you enjoy the 4th Edition and think it's the best itteration of the game to date. Many of us disagree and when you say that the only mistake was in marketing the new edition to the current pool of gamer's because we're a bunch of hyper sensitive nerds is as offensive as many of the comments against 4e.

It's also disingenuous there were a number of mistakes. Some they might wish they hadn't made, some the they may rethink , and some they don't see as mistakes. For example:

  • Talking about how bad the last product was, when clearly they had a strong fan and vocal base.
  • Too much, too soon. 2e (1989) 3.0 (2000) - 3.5 (2003) - 4e (2008)
  • recalling every licensed property and even going so far as to
  • shut down the print versions of Dungeon and Dragon too close to the 4e release.
  • Ignoring the impact and brilliance of the OGL and losing out on the early support of 3pp.

    There are also subjective mistakes: like the game doesn't "feel" like D&D etc etc. WotC doesn't OWE those players an apology for the changes but maybe they should get the marketing people to put together a statement that attempts to appease those players without denigrating the 4e ruleset and the current fanbase.

    I want to see 4e/5e survive and thrive I no longer play official D&D and given my investments in Pathfinder and 3e I probably wont play 5e, but I don't wish WotC/Hasbro any ill will.

  • Shadow Lodge

    Scott Betts wrote:


    Asphere wrote:
    Scott, you appear in every 5E thread I have read criticizing people's opinions with your own opinions. Instead of that approach, I am curious what you think WoTC did wrong with 4E in terms of game design and marketing. Clearly there is something.

    Mmm, no, I think the design was pretty good. It's my favorite edition of D&D, so I personally don't think they went wrong there. Some people didn't like it, and some of those people even had solid reasons for not liking it. I mean, sure, there are things I'd do differently if I were the all-powerful design dude, but less so than for any other version of the game to date.

    So I think this is a reasonable position. I don't think 4E is poorly designed at all. I just like 3.5/Pathfinder better. I like my games complex and messy. Messy languages produce great works of literature for a reason. 4E feels too clean, too efficient. It feels sterile to me and doesn't invigorate my sense of nostalgia from playing AD&D when I was a teenager.

    I played and DM'd 4E for two years and I had fun. But for some reason when I played Pathfinder at a random con I not only had fun but it reminded me of AD&D even though it was clearly different. I missed 3/3.5E completely and came back to 4E and moved on to Pathfinder. I had never even heard negative comments about 4E until after I discovered Pathfinder and already enjoyed it more. In fact it was the opposite, I saw extreme criticisms and nonconstructive opinion bashing of Pathfinder over at the WoTC forum all the time. I remember asking myself: what is Pathfinder?

    I don't think we all, or even most of us, fit into your packaged description. I think only the very loud vocal minority who get you emotionally riled up stick out in your memory. From my point of view, I see 4E fans, such as yourself, tirelessly going to great lengths on every game forum to defend 4E - it is a bit fanatical. They are hyper sensitive about folks expressing their opinion. Sure they get lots of "4E DIAF WTF" comments but it doesn't justify jumping down people's throats when they say that they think the power system interferes with verisimilitude. That is just an opinion - not a right or wrong answer.

    I think its too bad 4E had such a short run and I feel bad for folks who invested a lot of money in it. I hope 5E will be backwards compatible for the sake of your community.

    Cheers,

    Asphere


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    TTalent wrote:
    Why should I even trust WOTC? Why should I believe that 5E isn't just another money grab? Mike Mearls needs to answer these questions before I'll have any enthusiasm for 5E.

    All RPGs are designed to make money. Given that WotC is composed of a bunch of gamers, I'm confident it is also designed to be the best game they think they can make.

    Now, that doesn't mean it will be a game you will like, sure. But I'm not sure where those questions ever really come into it. You should have enthusiasm for 5E if and when you see previews of it that look exciting and fun to play. Judge the product on its own merits - or, if you already are happy with other games, don't worry about it.

    If the product looks fun, check it out. If not, don't. I remain confounded by how many people want to make it so much more complicated than that.

    Shadow Lodge

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Matthew Koelbl wrote:
    TTalent wrote:
    Why should I even trust WOTC? Why should I believe that 5E isn't just another money grab? Mike Mearls needs to answer these questions before I'll have any enthusiasm for 5E.

    All RPGs are designed to make money. Given that WotC is composed of a bunch of gamers, I'm confident it is also designed to be the best game they think they can make.

    Now, that doesn't mean it will be a game you will like, sure. But I'm not sure where those questions ever really come into it. You should have enthusiasm for 5E if and when you see previews of it that look exciting and fun to play. Judge the product on its own merits - or, if you already are happy with other games, don't worry about it.

    If the product looks fun, check it out. If not, don't. I remain confounded by how many people want to make it so much more complicated than that.

    I agree with this. Recently I mentioned excitement over WoTC theme mini packs and another poster said that he couldn't give his money to WoTC in good conscience. Huh? They made a game you didn't like...they didn't use child labor in sweatshops or do anything criminal or immoral. I boycott Walmart, BP, Coca-Cola, etc...not WoTC.

    Andoran RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Matthew Koelbl wrote:
    TTalent wrote:
    Why should I even trust WOTC? Why should I believe that 5E isn't just another money grab? Mike Mearls needs to answer these questions before I'll have any enthusiasm for 5E.

    All RPGs are designed to make money. Given that WotC is composed of a bunch of gamers, I'm confident it is also designed to be the best game they think they can make.

    Now, that doesn't mean it will be a game you will like, sure. But I'm not sure where those questions ever really come into it. You should have enthusiasm for 5E if and when you see previews of it that look exciting and fun to play. Judge the product on its own merits - or, if you already are happy with other games, don't worry about it.

    If the product looks fun, check it out. If not, don't. I remain confounded by how many people want to make it so much more complicated than that.

    Can someone explain to me why profit is bad? Seriously.

    Every company designing games is trying to (to use the derogatory term from above) "grab" a bit of your money. In exchange they are giving you a product. Pretty much the only way to get your money in a constant stream is to produce a top notch product that people want to buy. It's a combination of quality and marketing.

    WotC isn't wrong for wanting to make a product that makes a profit and I don't think that the designers are any less passionate about making a good game.

    Shadow Lodge

    Locke1520 wrote:
    Matthew Koelbl wrote:
    TTalent wrote:
    Why should I even trust WOTC? Why should I believe that 5E isn't just another money grab? Mike Mearls needs to answer these questions before I'll have any enthusiasm for 5E.

    All RPGs are designed to make money. Given that WotC is composed of a bunch of gamers, I'm confident it is also designed to be the best game they think they can make.

    Now, that doesn't mean it will be a game you will like, sure. But I'm not sure where those questions ever really come into it. You should have enthusiasm for 5E if and when you see previews of it that look exciting and fun to play. Judge the product on its own merits - or, if you already are happy with other games, don't worry about it.

    If the product looks fun, check it out. If not, don't. I remain confounded by how many people want to make it so much more complicated than that.

    Can someone explain to me why profit is bad? Seriously.

    Every company designing games is trying to (to use the derogatory term from above) "grab" a bit of your money. In exchange they are giving you a product. Pretty much the only way to get your money in a constant stream is to produce a top notch product that people want to buy. It's a combination of quality and marketing.

    WotC isn't wrong for wanting to make a product that makes a profit and I don't think that the designers are any less passionate about making a good game.

    Well the phrase "profit is bad" sounds dumb out of context. I think people mean that if that is your singular motive in product design it is bad. I do not think WoTC is necessarily guilty of this however. Obviously a lot of well thought out hard work went in to designing it.

    Taldor

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

    The distinction that Paizo got the OGL for free and WotC paid for TSR's assets - who cares? WotC expected to be paid for the OGL indirectly by industry growth. TSR shareholders were compensated more directly, but in both cases people are using whatever they can given the resources available. You can't effectively patent a rules system. The OGL's value is in the compatibility it promises, which is marketing.

    I have absolutely no problem giving businesses unreasonable sums of money. My beef is not with WotC trying to profit - my beef is with its tactics. I subscribe to Paizo and buy way more adventure paths than I'll likely have time to play. But I like the idea I could play them, and I know what I'm getting. With randomized card packs and miniatures, I'm encouraged to buy more not to gain options, but because they're trying to act like a slot machine - if I keep pulling the lever and they infrequently reward the behavior, hopefully I'll end up getting what I wanted in the first place. I think it's bad business. Make money by creating and communicating value - not by trying to game impulsive behavior with a bunch of filler crap.

    Andoran RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

    Asphere wrote:
    Well the phrase "profit is bad" sounds dumb out of context. I think people mean that if that is your singular motive in product design it is bad. I do not think WoTC is necessarily guilty of this however. Obviously a lot of well thought out hard work went in to designing it.

    I don't think it was out of context, I was just paraphrasing the post above ("money grab") as well as a number of posts I've seen over the years and comments I've heard too many times to count. Even if profit is Hasbro-WotC's singular goal (I don't think it is) the best way to get there is through quality and marketing.

    TTAlent wrote:
    My beef is not with WotC trying to profit - my beef is with its tactics. I subscribe to Paizo and buy way more adventure paths than I'll likely have time to play. But I like the idea I could play them, and I know what I'm getting. With randomized card packs and miniatures, I'm encouraged to buy more not to gain options, but because they're trying to act like a slot machine - if I keep pulling the lever and they infrequently reward the behavior, hopefully I'll end up getting what I wanted in the first place. I think it's bad business. Make money by creating and communicating value - not by trying to game impulsive behavior with a bunch of filler crap.

    I don't play 4e so I don't know about them using cards in the RPG but i think (as far as minis go) that WotC is aware of the same market forces that Paizo and Wizkids have explained in regards to the Pathfinder Battles miniatures line. Having read the 4e books I don't think that cards or WotC miniatures are required for play. In that, any product in those areas is filler which may have value for someone even if it's not you.


    Locke1529 wrote:
    Having read the 4e books I don't think that cards or WotC miniatures are required for play.

    I think the reason people say this is because the powers are explained using squares, and it's much, much easier to visualize the battle with miniatures and a battlemat.

    Kind of like chess. You can play it in your head, but even Bobby Fischer used a board and pieces, though I'll bet he'd say it wasn't "required". ;)

    Andoran RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

    Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
    Locke1520 wrote:
    Having read the 4e books I don't think that cards or WotC miniatures are required for play.

    I think the reason people say this is because the powers are explained using squares, and it's much, much easier to visualize the battle with miniatures and a battlemat.

    Kind of like chess. You can play it in your head, but even Bobby Fischer used a board and pieces, though I'll bet he'd say it wasn't "required". ;)

    I know miniatures make it easier to play. They are very nearly essential...The randomized prepainted plastic figs from WotC not so much. That was my point.


    Randomized miniatures make one of my friends happy. He collects them. But the local game shop used to break the packs open and sell the plastics piecemeal, so you could get what you wanted, if it was available. (They just divided the price of the pack by the number of figures.)

    Taldor

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    First off I don NOT consider myself a Nerd, but a Geek, there is a difference.

    Gamers are passionate about what they love, but this goes for anyone who is passionate about something they love including Sports. Think of all the rabid Bronco fans when Tebow replaced Orten. So it does not matter what it is games, sports, TV show, etc

    Scott, you sound like someone who works for WoTC with the way you defend them and seem to represent them.

    If 4E was so good, why is it failing, why is it that it is losing money, why is it that it is being replaced by 5E or what ever it will be called?

    As someone who started playing a long time ago in a game that was said to be for Brainiacs and super smart kids (Something I never felt I fit into those others might say other wise) When 2E came out I was OK with it, it was pretty much the same game, with some changes. I was slow to jump on 3E but once I played it, I enjoyed it but was thrilled with 3.5E as it seemed to "Fix" some of the things wrong with 3E. When 4E was announced I was wait and see. I watched as much of the videos I could on it, and was skeptical, but thought they had some great ideas that never delivered like all the on-line stuff and long distance gaming, and mod able graphic minis. But when I got a hold of the 4E PHB that was when everything went down hill for me. I HATED WOW the "MMORPG" that was NOT RPing) I hated Everquest as well. Everything I heard from people who played it and loved it and hated it was it is D&D WOW. Even the books seemed this way from what I read. I decided to stay with 3.5E and had heard about PF Beta but paid no heed to it. That is until I say the PF CRB, then I was excited. My game group also looked at the book and it was all of a sudden after a Christmas Break, we all came back with the CRB, converted our characters to PF and we have been hooked since.

    If you talk to gamers that have played 1 - 4 you will find the majority of them like 1st ed or 3.5 best. There are the purest that will never change, and then there are those that will try it and may like it.

    But lets face it, there are those at WoTC that "THINK" they know best. And yes Hasbro DOES Have a say, just like any other parent company be it Ford, GM, or Chrysler, or Nabisco, or Heinz or who ever.

    So WoTC has play testers or wants Play testers. But in the end WoTC has the final say. They also have rules setup and will create them. If they create 5E and play test it, will they scrap everything if 51% of the people hate it, or even 35% hate it? NO! Will they toss some and keep others? Maybe. In the end of all of this WoTC decides. Do the designers no best? NO WAY!

    To me if they wanted to keep this D&D it would be a return to old ways that worked and where proven to work, because to many of the "Old Timers" 4E did NOT work despite what WoTC or you might think.

    Oh and as a final thing, Never trust Customer Reviews? Really? it IS the Customer that buys the games. Those that have something to say good or bad WILL say something. If companies do not listen to customer reviews? They FAIL! And thet really does not go to just companies but anyone who has to rely upon fans. Let me toss out the name Metallica The Black album was loved by many, Load was hated by those that loved every album from Black on down. Metallica lost a TON of fans and has had to scramble to gain them back. In the end it is Metallica's choice AND the record company they work for and yes they DO have to listen to the heads of their Record company or lose their contract. Did it hurt them? yes, did they lose fans? yes, did they gain fans? yes. In the end, they listened to some of the older fans, but they lost many in the transition

    So take this as you want. in the end I'll wait and see and still probably not spend the money I used to on books for D&D. Now if they offer PDF's at a cheap price? MAYBE!

    I want to add I and my groups have been using minis since 1st ed before 1st ed re did the book covers. We found it more enjoyable and will continue to use them no matter what. it was not a WoTC novel Idea but something that carries back to Chainmail days and beyond. Using minis simplifies and removes confusion just like graphics in a PC game compared to a text game like Zork, But then again we have also used Starbusrts candy to represent goblins. For each one you killed, you ate the Starburst.


    iceniqueen wrote:
    Oh and as a final thing, Never trust Customer Reviews? Really? it IS the Customer that buys the games. Those that have something to say good or bad WILL say something.

    As someone who has worked on and off in retail for many years, I can tell you that customer reviews are notoriously unreliable. Almost everyone who likes a service or a product or an event will smile and pay and say nothing.

    The vast majority of "reviews" or "ratings" that come from customers are from people who are disgruntled in one way or another. They are an exaggerated idea of whatever it was the customer didn't like. Companies who place too much emphasis on these reviews (when they aren't using them to keep promotions and salary increases to a minimum) inevitably lose touch with their loyal customer base.

    Not to mention the fact that even disgruntled customers who gave you lousy ratings yesterday will come back and buy more tomorrow, and pay with smiles on their faces.

    This being the case, I don't really blame WotC for not paying much attention to the gripes of their (former) customers. I think it really didn't dawn on them that there was something wrong until sales started to drop, and they had to find out why.


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    The OP voiced his feelings and I have to say I agree with a lot of it.
    Personally though I'm going to add I hope 5e is a flaming bomb of epic proportions.
    So much so that hasbro liquidates WoTC and sells off all of TSR's old IP. Or at the very least looks to sell WoTC along with the licensing. I would love to see Paizo scoop up Forgotten Realms, Krynn, Greyhawk, Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Planescape.. etc on the cheap and give them a home where they will be appreciated and taken care of instead of strictly milked for profit above all else.
    Many will think this harsh, but the fact is WotC lied, repeatedly, to our faces. They swore up and down on their forum that they had no intentions of releasing a 4th edition anytime soon. Not 2 weeks after their repeated denials they suddenly announced that 4th ed was coming soon and well into development, and it was)
    Couple that with them driving away a good portion of their creative staff, changing worlds not to improve them but for the sole purpose of reselling them, clamping down on their licensing, defaming their existing fans and the previous editions, canceling subscription magazines.. etc etc..
    They have shown themselves to be poor and damaging stewards of the DnD brand in my opinion.


    Tell us your true feelings, ralantar! ;)

    Taldor

    Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
    iceniqueen wrote:
    Oh and as a final thing, Never trust Customer Reviews? Really? it IS the Customer that buys the games. Those that have something to say good or bad WILL say something.

    As someone who has worked on and off in retail for many years, I can tell you that customer reviews are notoriously unreliable. Almost everyone who likes a service or a product or an event will smile and pay and say nothing.

    The vast majority of "reviews" or "ratings" that come from customers are from people who are disgruntled in one way or another. They are an exaggerated idea of whatever it was the customer didn't like. Companies who place too much emphasis on these reviews (when they aren't using them to keep promotions and salary increases to a minimum) inevitably lose touch with their loyal customer base.

    Not to mention the fact that even disgruntled customers who gave you lousy ratings yesterday will come back and buy more tomorrow, and pay with smiles on their faces.

    This being the case, I don't really blame WotC for not paying much attention to the gripes of their (former) customers. I think it really didn't dawn on them that there was something wrong until sales started to drop, and they had to find out why.

    Goona quote a FACT to you spoken By Bill Hewlett and David Packard the founders of one of the greatest Electronic companies of all time that went down hill after they left the company because others did not have the same views as them.

    Anger 1 Customer, you Lose 10. It takes 3 Happy customers to gain 1 of those lost 10 They lived this and this is why HP was a great company. Companies forget this. You HAVE to listen to the customers, those who do not like your product, and those that do like your product. You have to give people what they want. Can you make everyone happy? No Or as the saying goes, You can please some of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time. In this case the Some was not as many as those that used to be happy and WoTC lost customers. Yes they gained some, but for every 10 they lost... they gained 1. Add it up.

    Working in Customer service and having worked a little retail, you are more likely to hear from those that are not happy than those that are. in the end, you still need to listen as those 10 that are saying something are really speaking for 100 more. And the 1 that is happy, is speaking 5 or less in most cases.


    Big difference between customer review and service complaints. At HP, when a customer had a complaint it was because of a demonstrable problem with the product. They weren't fielding reviews about the aesthetics of the case the computer came in, or whether or not the printer fit the room decor.

    The complaints about a game are different. They fall into line with aesthetics. The system of 4E works, and works well. It just isn't what some people consider D&D. And the way 4E was marketed was not a matter of mechanics, either.

    The complaints people had about 4E's inception were about preferences, not about product failure.


    Isn't it somewhat common for a company to deny knowledge about their new product until they're ready to reveal it? I don't remember what WotC was saying in particular around then, so maybe it was worse somehow, but the tactic in general seems fair game to me.

    As to customer reviews- in my experience they can be useful to read, but the actual number ratings are nearly pointless. I've seen people give board games a 1/10 for using dice (presumably they dislike randomness), as though that one thing totally invalidates whatever else may be going on in the game.

    I think the main reason there was such a split between 3.5/4 was that the OGL and increased internet usage made it much easier than it had been in the past to stick with the older version while still getting new content and having easy access to other people of the same mindset.

    It's possible in my estimation for Wizards to deliver the super game that can reunite the disparate factions of D&D gamers, but I have little faith in WotC's ability to actually do so. It seems more likely to me that they'll produce something that loses the tight(er) mechanics and balance of 4e, and the people who were attracted to that, while not being able to lure back the customers who have since moved onto other systems or Pathfinder.

    I see a lot of people talking about sales figures and such for 4e and Pathfinder books. Where can I find this information, preferably extending back a few years?

    Cheliax

    I'll say that it is a good thing that 5th is coming.

    Many people didn't like 4th when it came out and I've played it and really didn't feel it was play tested enough.
    I felt like the books had large fonts and tables to take up space and hadn't much content.
    And powers were copy and paste cleric heals using this power, paladin heals using a same power with another name.
    Those and other actions made me really feel like 4th were going to be an edition many would gripe about for a short time until 5th came out.

    According to Amazon Publication Date: June 6, 2008 is the date of 4th and the rule of 5 would mean summer next year, but we are talking about this now, 3½ years later. I say forget the rule of 5, wotc wanted to sale another product and it was 4th. People have different opinions on how well 4th is doing but every book store and game shop I go to have an overstock that is not moving.

    The reason I look forward to 5th gladly is that wotc is taking about play testing. And if they really let people give good reasonable input on a game I can the game becoming something fun to play. I still love pathfinder, and don't think 5th is going to be anything like pathfinder. To sell the game I think wotc will offer something different without having to compete,it's like how we each own more than one pair of shoes and they are not the same brand.


    The rule of 5 is right out in this situation. It was less than a year between 4E's August 2007 announcment and its June 2008 arrival, and I have little doubt that 5E will be out before the end of 2012, or shortly into 2013. They have obviously been working on 5E for a while now (long enough they had a preliminary playtest with outsiders in December, and have asked people to sign up for open playtesting along with the announcement).


    Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
    The rule of 5 is right out in this situation. It was less than a year between 4E's August 2007 announcment and its June 2008 arrival, and I have little doubt that 5E will be out before the end of 2012, or shortly into 2013. They have obviously been working on 5E for a while now (long enough they had a preliminary playtest with outsiders in December, and have asked people to sign up for open playtesting along with the announcement).

    Yes. There is no reason to announce this now if they're planning to wait until the 5th year. All it would do is harm the ongoing sales of 4e. I expect they're going to want to release 5e as soon as possible.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
    The complaints people had about 4E's inception were about preferences, not about product failure.

    The problem here is that a game is not a computer.

    Preferences are what sells the game.
    There are many ways to make rule sets. But if you make a rule set that is not a perfered rule set by your customers, the game (no matter how brilliant the rule set looks to the designer) does not sell well.
    A complaint about a game not living up to a preference is a prouduct failure.

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