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Monte Cook on modularity


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
cibet44 wrote:
I guess, but again, if they were able to pull this off why didn't they do it with 4E? Was creating 4E some kind of prerequisite to creating this ultimate edition of D&D? Doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

In acknowledging past mistakes they are hopefully also making an undertaking to learn from them and to not repeat them. I would think the answer would be that they know more now than they did when 4E was released. Whatever they come up with won't be perfect, but maybe it will be better.


@ Adamantine Dragon: thought they did that when they made the fighter good at something, the rogue be effective in combat, remove save-or-die spells, and made other healing classes besides the trope cleric in 4E? Guess all the complaining I heard in the not so distant past about the game at the time was just all my imagination.


Diffan wrote:
@ Adamantine Dragon: thought they did that when they made the fighter good at something, the rogue be effective in combat, remove save-or-die spells, and made other healing classes besides the trope cleric in 4E? Guess all the complaining I heard in the not so distant past about the game at the time was just all my imagination.

Diffan, there have been numerous reports from 4e beta testers that WotC totally ignored their comments. Too numerous to ignore.

Except, of course, by you, Scott and other WotC apologists.


Steve Geddes wrote:
cibet44 wrote:
I guess, but again, if they were able to pull this off why didn't they do it with 4E? Was creating 4E some kind of prerequisite to creating this ultimate edition of D&D? Doesn't seem to make much sense to me.
In acknowledging past mistakes they are hopefully also making an undertaking to learn from them and to not repeat them. I would think the answer would be that they know more now than they did when 4E was released. Whatever they come up with won't be perfect, but maybe it will be better.

Steve, I am trying, really, really trying to maintain hope that they actually did learn from their past mistake.

But then I see their lead designer post self-aggrandizing tweets and I have to shake my head. Megalomania is not a good fit for cooperative design. Never has been.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Diffan wrote:
@ Adamantine Dragon: thought they did that when they made the fighter good at something, the rogue be effective in combat, remove save-or-die spells, and made other healing classes besides the trope cleric in 4E? Guess all the complaining I heard in the not so distant past about the game at the time was just all my imagination.

Diffan, there have been numerous reports from 4e beta testers that WotC totally ignored their comments. Too numerous to ignore.

Except, of course, by you, Scott and other WotC apologists.

I haven't ignored it. In fact, I responded directly to it when it was brought up earlier.

The difference is that I gave it a bit of thought. When a tester provides feedback, they do so blind. They don't know what the sum total of data looks like. They only know what they themselves said. There are any number of reasons why a bunch of testers could provide feedback and request changes and not see those changes come to pass - perhaps many more groups provided opposing feedback, or perhaps the designers changed other aspects of the system in order to address an underlying issue rather than the superficial one the testers recognized. The reality is that the testers are not in any position to say whether or not their feedback was ignored.

It's like someone voting in a presidential election, and then whining, "They ignored my vote!" when the other candidate ends up winning. It's unbelievably arrogant to imagine that your personal feedback is so much more important that the hundreds of other testers out there. Provide good feedback, and accept that you are one voice among many and that you don't get to make unilateral decisions on what is or isn't right for the game.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Diffan wrote:
@ Adamantine Dragon: thought they did that when they made the fighter good at something, the rogue be effective in combat, remove save-or-die spells, and made other healing classes besides the trope cleric in 4E? Guess all the complaining I heard in the not so distant past about the game at the time was just all my imagination.

Diffan, there have been numerous reports from 4e beta testers that WotC totally ignored their comments. Too numerous to ignore.

Except, of course, by you, Scott and other WotC apologists.

I haven't ignored it. In fact, I responded directly to it when it was brought up earlier.

The difference is that I gave it a bit of thought. When a tester provides feedback, they do so blind. They don't know what the sum total of data looks like. They only know what they themselves said. There are any number of reasons why a bunch of testers could provide feedback and request changes and not see those changes come to pass - perhaps many more groups provided opposing feedback, or perhaps the designers changed other aspects of the system in order to address an underlying issue rather than the superficial one the testers recognized. The reality is that the testers are not in any position to say whether or not their feedback was ignored.

It's like someone voting in a presidential election, and then whining, "They ignored my vote!" when the other candidate ends up winning. It's unbelievably arrogant to imagine that your personal feedback is so much more important that the hundreds of other testers out there. Provide good feedback, and accept that you are one voice among many and that you don't get to make unilateral decisions on what is or isn't right for the game.

They've also just commented on this issue (amongst other things) in the latest Rule of Three article.

"A final word about gathering feedback: one of the things that has been extremely beneficial to me working on the D&D board games is learning to see beyond the words used in feedback to find the root causes of that feedback. What the expected high volume of feedback should reveal to us is trends in the needs and desires of our players. We might see five hundred different pieces of negative feedback about an individual game element; at that point, our job is not just to respond to each complaint, but to get at the root cause of the complaint and make adjustments. So while we might see feedback that says, "This should be 3d8+2 instead of 2d6+1," what we really need to figure out is whether or not there is a deeper issue causing the element to be underpowered."

Providing feedback on a problem does not necessarily mean that your suggested solution is the one the designers will think is best, even if the problem you raise is a commonly cited one. I think we saw similar things in Paizo's playtest of PF - remember all the drama when the final rules were released and there were some changes people weren't expecting or changes they were expecting which didnt make the final cut?

I hope (and expect) that, as the process begins in earnest, there will be a little more guidance as to where they're heading. Clarity over whether this is an attempt to make 4E more 3.5ish, whether it's going to be all new ruleset, whether it's going to be stripping back to the 4E fundamentals and then rebuilding in a more modular way. Sorting out issues like that will be essential, in my view, if they want to manage expectations better and not leave significant sectors of the playtesters feeling blindsided.

I may be reading too much into it, but the opening comment in the first question about other things in the pipeline 'for the next few years' reassured me somewhat that they weren't trying to rush this process. I think Gencon 2013 is a reasonably ambitious goal for release. I'd be skeptical of anything closer being able to take full advantage of the playtesting they're asking for.


Steve Geddes wrote:
They've also just commented on this issue (amongst other things) in the latest Rule of Three article.

Thanks for pointing that out. I read it this morning but couldn't remember where I'd seen it.


See Scott and Steve, the problem here is that I have reached my own conclusion about what design flaws 4e has. And they are legion. (I won't even go into how the whole magic item mechanic was obviously cut and pasted on at the last possible instant without the slightest thought about the impact to the rest of the game balance.)

And when I see or talk to ex 4e testers who say "I reported back on X or Y and they ignored it" X and Y are quite frequently exactly the things I find lacking, and exactly the things that a large majority of 4e ex-pats who now play PF say they left the game for.

So you see, you can talk all you like about the theories of game design and designer's taking input from testers.

In my world (a world I know you don't live in) the designers deliberately ignored precisely the things that caused their game to fail.

That's how I see it. Excuse it however you like.

I'm just not remotely convinced that they won't do it again. I had high hopes until that tweet was retweeted. The guy is clearly impressed with his own design skills, even after one of the most abysmal failures in RPG history (I know, you don't agree with that either). I sense a repeat disturbance in the force already brewing...


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I'm just not remotely convinced that they won't do it again. I had high hopes until that tweet was retweeted. The guy is clearly impressed with his own design skills, even after one of the most abysmal failures in RPG history (I know, you don't agree with that either).

Before I bother addressing this any further, which tweet was that, exactly?


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Diffan wrote:
@ Adamantine Dragon: thought they did that when they made the fighter good at something, the rogue be effective in combat, remove save-or-die spells, and made other healing classes besides the trope cleric in 4E? Guess all the complaining I heard in the not so distant past about the game at the time was just all my imagination.

Diffan, there have been numerous reports from 4e beta testers that WotC totally ignored their comments. Too numerous to ignore.

Except, of course, by you, Scott and other WotC apologists.

While I understand that they may have been ignored, how do you know how abundant they were? How do you even know WHAT they were? I was talking about complaining of v3.5 mechanics that LED to the development of 4E. You know, the kind of complaints that Monks were very good, Roges only find/disable traps until 7th level and then should retire, and Fighters are only good when using the Tripping Chain-Gun build and Tome of Battle material. THATS the sort of upset attituded I found at the tail end of 2006 and 2007 that let people to feel 4E mechanics would make things better (and have, IMO). But people don't seem to remember those days, becuase no one complained back then.

Also, what am I apologizing for again?


Scott Betts wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I'm just not remotely convinced that they won't do it again. I had high hopes until that tweet was retweeted. The guy is clearly impressed with his own design skills, even after one of the most abysmal failures in RPG history (I know, you don't agree with that either).
Before I bother addressing this any further, which tweet was that, exactly?

Heh, there's not much point in addressing it anyway Scott, you and I are clearly from different worlds on this subject. But it was the one where he bragged about how much he enjoyed being told something was impossible so he could do it.

That's an admirable trait in a comic book superhero, not so much in a person who has to cooperate with other people to get things done. And it simply reeks of the same attitude that led him to ignore feedback he didn't want to hear on 4e.

I'm trying diligently to regain my optimism, but that really deflated my hopes when I saw it.

I really wish they would just take a green field approach and forget about becoming the "awesomist game designer in history who did the impossible when everybody said it couldn't be done!" and just work on improving the dang game.


Diffan wrote:
Also, what am I apologizing for again?

definition of apologist

What amazes me to this day Diffan is how some people still are totally blind to the deficiencies of a game design that I saw on literally the first day I tried to play 4e and which have been routinely repeated by those who voted against the system with their feet.

The game literally took WotC from first to second place in RPG popularity and you and other apologists still say "it's YOUR PROBLEM not the game design!"

It's absolutely clinical.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Heh, there's not much point in addressing it anyway Scott, you and I are clearly from different worlds on this subject. But it was the one where he bragged about how much he enjoyed being told something was impossible so he could do it.

Cool, just wanted to make sure.

So, that guy? That was Monte Cook. A man who had nothing to do with the release of 4e, and everything to do with the development of 3rd Edition.

That was the "one of the most abysmal failures in RPG history" that he was responsible for, in your opinion?


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
What amazes me to this day Diffan is how some people still are totally blind to the deficiencies of a game design that I saw on literally the first day I tried to play 4e

Yeah, HOW CRAZY IS IT that people can actually enjoy 4e and don't actually think it's the worst thing ever?

So crazy.


Scott Betts wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
What amazes me to this day Diffan is how some people still are totally blind to the deficiencies of a game design that I saw on literally the first day I tried to play 4e

Yeah, HOW CRAZY IS IT that people can actually enjoy 4e and don't actually think it's the worst thing ever?

So crazy.

Scott, nobody is saying that nobody enjoys 4e. I enjoy 4e. They got some things right. I especially like the way they improved the tactical battlefield mechanics.

What people are trying to tell you is that a game redesign that alienates a huge fraction (a majority?) of their customers is a failed game design. You keep saying "All of you tens of thousands of people who prefer PF to 4e are WRONG! 4e is BETTER!" Well, enough of them disagree with you to suggest that perhaps you have a higher opinion of the game than it deserves.


Scott Betts wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Heh, there's not much point in addressing it anyway Scott, you and I are clearly from different worlds on this subject. But it was the one where he bragged about how much he enjoyed being told something was impossible so he could do it.

Cool, just wanted to make sure.

So, that guy? That was Monte Cook. A man who had nothing to do with the release of 4e, and everything to do with the development of 3rd Edition.

That was the "one of the most abysmal failures in RPG history" that he was responsible for, in your opinion?

Heh.. now you'll see how I can admit I was wrong about something. Somehow I had it in my mind that quote came from the 4e designer. Not sure how I got that crosswise.

Amazingly Scott, this makes me feel better about 5e. Thanks.

Andoran

My hope is that they find a nice game, but I'm skeptical that all of the things they say are going to be true. We've all heard plenty of claims in the past that just don't come true.

Edition Wars: the only thing other than religion and politics to instill so much rancor in the population.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Scott, nobody is saying that nobody enjoys 4e.

But you are saying that you're amazed that people disagree with you about 4e's design deficiencies, as though no one in their right mind could see certain aspects of its design as anything but awful.

Quote:
What people are trying to tell you is that a game redesign that alienates a huge fraction (a majority?) of their customers is a failed game design. You keep saying "All of you tens of thousands of people who prefer PF to 4e are WRONG! 4e is BETTER!"

Really?

Do I?

Quote:
Well, enough of them disagree with you to suggest that perhaps you have a higher opinion of the game than it deserves.

Or perhaps I don't.

Silver Crusade

cibet44 wrote:

So who buys this modular 5E anyway?

Speaking as a current Pathfinder player and 3.5 supporter why do I buy it? I have the game my players and I like and we play it. I don't need plug in support for "4E like play" or "1E like play". We play 3.5/PF, that's it.

4E players? Why? Is there a big demand in the 4E community for modular support of other editions of D&D? It doesn't seem like there is but I'm no expert on the 4E community.

1E/2E players? Are current 1E/2E players pining for a new edition of D&D that allows plugin of their old characters? That seems really odd to me. If you are still playing 1E or 2E today I would venture a guess that you are not very open to new rule-sets.

OSR players? Unless 5E goes back to a fully open OGL model I can't imagine any OSR groups even coming near it.

If Pathfinder did not exist I could see WoTC wanting to unite the 3E/4E groups again but since they deliberately abandoned 3E, and Paizo took over that group pretty completely and successfully, who are they targeting with a modular 5E?

Well, as a very smart person said there are six types of gamers that 5th Edition is dealing with.

1) New gamers who have never played any other edition but 5th
2) Existing gamers who will switch to 5th edition because it is new and officially supported
3) Existing gamers who will switch to 5th edition because they have tried the rules and enjoy them.
4) Existing gamers who use both 5th edition and some other edition
5) Existing gamers who stick with there current edition because they have tried the 5th edition rules and dislike them.
6) Existing gamers who will not switch over to 5th edition because it is not the edition they have always played.

So at least in theory two thirds to five sixth of the target market will either buy or at least play in one game using 5th edition. Now to keep those numbers, WoTC will have to find a way to give groups 2 and 3 a reason to stay with 5th edition rather than slip into groups 5 and 6 and that is where the tricky part comes in.


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:
WotC apologists.

Why are we still doing this?


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Heh, there's not much point in addressing it anyway Scott, you and I are clearly from different worlds on this subject. But it was the one where he bragged about how much he enjoyed being told something was impossible so he could do it.

Cool, just wanted to make sure.

So, that guy? That was Monte Cook. A man who had nothing to do with the release of 4e, and everything to do with the development of 3rd Edition.

That was the "one of the most abysmal failures in RPG history" that he was responsible for, in your opinion?

Heh.. now you'll see how I can admit I was wrong about something. Somehow I had it in my mind that quote came from the 4e designer. Not sure how I got that crosswise.

Amazingly Scott, this makes me feel better about 5e.

It should. Monte is well-regarded. So is Mike Mearls, of course, who is probably the person you were imagining, but only by those who don't think 4e was a miserable failure.

Andoran

bugleyman wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
WotC apologists.
Why are we still doing this?

I think most people are too busy with the reaction "How the F&*) is this going to work?" to really have that reaction. I was surprised to see it.


bugleyman wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
WotC apologists.
Why are we still doing this?

Doing what?


Scott Betts wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Scott, nobody is saying that nobody enjoys 4e.

But you are saying that you're amazed that people disagree with you about 4e's design deficiencies, as though no one in their right mind could see certain aspects of its design as anything but awful.

Quote:
What people are trying to tell you is that a game redesign that alienates a huge fraction (a majority?) of their customers is a failed game design. You keep saying "All of you tens of thousands of people who prefer PF to 4e are WRONG! 4e is BETTER!"

Really?

Do I?

Quote:
Well, enough of them disagree with you to suggest that perhaps you have a higher opinion of the game than it deserves.
Or perhaps I don't.

Scott, you continue to either misunderstand or mischaracterize the points people make in discussing with you.

I do, in fact, find it amazing that people like you don't recognize the design deficiencies in 4e as deficiencies. Having deficiencies does not make a game "awful." I have repeatedly told you that I play and enjoy 4e. But that doesn't mean I'm blind. I play and enjoy PF too, and I see its design deficiencies too.

In some cases I can see something as a design deficiency and still like it. (Does that blow your mind?) That's because I can recognize that there are actually certain things about RPGing that I might personally like myself, but I realize that I am in the minority.. That's what you and others who defend 4e seem, to me, to be unable to realize. Just because you like it should not make you blind to the fact that it is still a deficiency if enough people dislike it. For example, I concede the point that Pathfinder has a major design flaw when you get to higher levels. The game doesn't scale. Certain classes gain power much more rapidly than other classes. Certain spells create major problems for GMs to adjudicate. The game, imho, gets insane after about level 14.

So I don't play it at those levels. But it's still a deficiency.

Yes Scott, you routinely make comments about how people who don't appreciate 4e are wrong, ignorant or irrational.

I don't really care if you realize that your opinion of 4e is wrong. The market realized it years ago. WotC is admitting it now. It doesn't really matter if you never accept it.


One more quick point. If I called 4e a "miserable failure" that was inaccurate. 4e is a pretty good game. It's just not what I call D&D.

What it is, is a "market failure."


I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea of a subjective opinion being objectively "wrong."

Still no luck. :)


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Yes Scott, you routinely make comments about how people who don't appreciate 4e are wrong, ignorant or irrational.

Ah, but they're not wrong because they don't appreciate 4e. When they're wrong, they're wrong because the things they say are incorrect. I don't call people "wrong" for liking one game more than another.

Unless they like FATAL. Then they're actually wrong.

Quote:

One more quick point. If I called 4e a "miserable failure" that was inaccurate. 4e is a pretty good game. It's just not what I call D&D.

What it is, is a "market failure."

Again, you don't know that it's a market failure. You think it is, and you've got some circumstantial evidence that it might be true, but you don't have sales figures and you don't have an idea of what WotC's goals were.


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

I'm wondering if we're missing something here...

Look at this section of the article specifically:
"...this isn't another salvo in the so-called edition wars. This isn't an attempt to get you to play Dungeons & Dragons in a new way. This is the game you've already been playing, no matter what edition or version you prefer. The goal here is to embrace all forms of the D&D experience and to not exclude anyone. Imagine a game where the core essence of D&D has been distilled down to a very simple but entirely playable-in-its-right game. Now imagine that the game offered you modular, optional add-ons that allow you to create the character you want to play while letting the Dungeon Master create the game he or she wants to run. Like simple rules for your story-driven game? You're good to go. Like tactical combats and complex encounters? You can have that too. Like ultra-customized character creation? It's all there."

I'm wondering if this means that there are some modules chosen by the players, and some chosen by the DM. I'm thinking that some things like 'tactical-combat-with-a-grid' would be a DM rules module, since you can't have one person use it and another not use it.

I know it's probably bad form to reply to my own post- but it looks like I was right in my thoughts here. There's a new interview with Mearls up on gameinformer.com where he says this is in fact the case. I started a new thread if people want to discuss the interview.

Qadira

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
Sure, we can focus on feel. But Monte Cook is talking about mechanics.
I am afraid that you are right.

No, seriously, you are both wrong. Read the whole article - he doesn't say "You can play your 1e character in a 5e game", he saye "your 1e-loving friend can play in a 3e-style game without having to have all of those options he doesn't want to deal with". We are not talking about backwards compatibility with earlier editions, we are talking about feel and additional, optional complexity embedded in a single set of rules - 5e rules.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
Sure, we can focus on feel. But Monte Cook is talking about mechanics.
I am afraid that you are right.
No, seriously, you are both wrong. Read the whole article - he doesn't say "You can play your 1e character in a 5e game", he saye "your 1e-loving friend can play in a 3e-style game without having to have all of those options he doesn't want to deal with". We are not talking about backwards compatibility with earlier editions, we are talking about feel and additional, optional complexity embedded in a single set of rules - 5e rules.

This.


P.H. Dungeon wrote:

I'm not a huge fan of any current iteration of D&D either. I'm enjoying Dragon Age right now, you might be interested in checking that out.

Yora wrote:

I'd buy that game because I don't really like any versions of D&D.

However, I dislike 3.5e and Pathfinder less than all other fantasy RPGs. If someone shows me something better than that, I am all for it. And the bar isn't really set that high. Being able to play a game as complex as 2nd Edition with based on the basic d20 system and it having decent official support would probably be all I want.

I did, and it looks really great. But I don't expect any content beyond those two boxes and I wouldn't want to play in that world. And I quite enjoyed a large number of the D&D books from all editions.

Shadow Lodge

FoxBat_ wrote:

When's the last time you 3.5-loving players got together with some 4E-loving players?

That's essentially what Monte is promising. Not just that you can play "any edition", but do so at the same table. You don't have playgroups needing to agree on one edition or the other, you have more opportunities to pick up new players because they aren't playing an incompatible edition. It's not "The DM picks one set of rules and everyone abides by it", it's "everyone brings their own character creation rules and we somehow mix it all together." Heck, maybe one of your existing players might like to try some 4E or 1E stuff but wasn't willing to trade groups for the privledge, maybe now he doesn't have to choose.

Again, very implausible, maybe impossible, but that is the sell.

I think you may be putting words in his mouth. I'm not a big fan of his, especially when it comes to game mechanics, but I'm pretty sure that even he realizes that that would be impossible.

Even if it was possible, it's be a complete f!*&ing nightmare to GM.

Shadow Lodge

Scott Betts wrote:
Monte is well-regarded.

Perhaps, but him being involves certainly gains no confidence from me. From everything I've read about his involvement with 3e, it seems the things I dislike most about the system are directly from him.


bugleyman wrote:

I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea of a subjective opinion being objectively "wrong."

Still no luck. :)

Sometimes the opinion that something is subjective is itself objectively wrong.


Scott Betts wrote:


Again, you don't know that it's a market failure. You think it is, and you've got some circumstantial evidence that it might be true, but you don't have sales figures and you don't have an idea of what WotC's goals were.

Make this pedantic argument all you like Scott. We all know that you cannot concede a point even one that is shining like a supernova in the heavens above. Doesn't matter, we all know what a market failure is, and 4e qualifies.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
Sure, we can focus on feel. But Monte Cook is talking about mechanics.
I am afraid that you are right.
No, seriously, you are both wrong. Read the whole article - he doesn't say "You can play your 1e character in a 5e game", he saye "your 1e-loving friend can play in a 3e-style game without having to have all of those options he doesn't want to deal with". We are not talking about backwards compatibility with earlier editions, we are talking about feel and additional, optional complexity embedded in a single set of rules - 5e rules.

And somehow 5E rules aren't mechanics? I'm confused by your reply.


Kthulhu wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Monte is well-regarded.
Perhaps, but him being involves certainly gains no confidence from me. From everything I've read about his involvement with 3e, it seems the things I dislike most about the system are directly from him.

I always thought it was weird that his Dungeon-a-Day service supported 3.5 and Pathfinder but not 4E, yet he is now employed by WoTC. Sure, he was never very publicly vocal about not liking 4E but as they say: "Actions speak louder than words." Odd to me that WoTC chose to bring in a non 4E supporter to head up the effort to build 5E. Not much thanks to those 3rd party authors and publishers that supported 4E publicly is it?

Now lets say 5E is not wholeheartedly embraced by the TRPG community (gasp!), is Monte going to complain about prominent industry individuals or companies that don't support 5E, like he did with 4E? Is Monte going to push to make 5E OGL so others can profit from publishing for it even after it sunsets, like he did with 3E and Pathfinder? Interesting times ahead!

Andoran

Adamantine Dragon wrote:


Make this pedantic argument all you like Scott. We all know that you cannot concede a point even one that is shining like a supernova in the heavens above. Doesn't matter, I know what a market failure is, and 4e qualifies.

Fixed that for you. Stop acting like you talk for all the fanbase. I get it you hate 4E and think its a failure for the most part. I respect that. I ask that you not talk for me and everyone else in this hobby. You feel a certain way about 4E. Everyone else is not you. I like 4E for the most part and dont think its a marketing failure. come up with figures and less hyerbole. Saying that 4E is a marketing failure many times is not going to make it fact. Not unless you back that up with facts.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

cibet44 wrote:
I always thought it was weird that his Dungeon-a-Day service supported 3.5 and Pathfinder but not 4E, yet he is now employed by WoTC.

NOTE: Not speaking for Monte.

There could be any number of reasons.


  • It could be 'write what you know' he prefers writing 3.x over 4.x
  • Maybe he felt he couldn't tell the story he wanted with 4.x mechanics.
  • Maybe he felt the GSL would restrict him too much.
  • Or maybe he thought 4e should have been nuked from orbit and never wanted to support it. ;-)

Unless he tells us, we'd never know. IIRC, With Midgard the AGE system outbid 4e, so it would seem for internet content he was on to something.


Actually, it could be that Mearls hired Cook because he used to work for him and owed him a favor.

Or maybe it's because the two share design philosophies and Mearls wanted a team he could count on, since he no longer directly designs stuff.


memorax wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:


Make this pedantic argument all you like Scott. We all know that you cannot concede a point even one that is shining like a supernova in the heavens above. Doesn't matter, I know what a market failure is, and 4e qualifies.
Fixed that for you. Stop acting like you talk for all the fanbase. I get it you hate 4E and think its a failure for the most part. I respect that. I ask that you not talk for me and everyone else in this hobby. You feel a certain way about 4E. Everyone else is not you. I like 4E for the most part and dont think its a marketing failure. come up with figures and less hyerbole. Saying that 4E is a marketing failure many times is not going to make it fact. Not unless you back that up with facts.

LOL, clearly "denial" isn't just a river in Egypt...

I don't hate 4e. I play 4e. I like 4e.

I'm just not blind about it.


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Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

Actually, it could be that Mearls hired Cook because he used to work for him and owed him a favor.

Or maybe it's because the two share design philosophies and Mearls wanted a team he could count on, since he no longer directly designs stuff.

The team seems to have been selected with the goal of brining together people with backgrounds in a wide range of d20 versions.

We got designers from Star Wars Saga, Iron Heroes, Blue Rose, the Tome of Magic, 3.5e Psionics, Arcana Evolved, D&D 4th Edition, and Magic the Gathering.


My point was that Mearls' bringing Cook onto the team has nothing to do with 3E or 4E or whatever. It has to do with the fact Mearls thinks Cook is a good designer.


Yora wrote:
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

Actually, it could be that Mearls hired Cook because he used to work for him and owed him a favor.

Or maybe it's because the two share design philosophies and Mearls wanted a team he could count on, since he no longer directly designs stuff.

The team seems to have been selected with the goal of brining together people with backgrounds in a wide range of d20 versions.

We got designers from Star Wars Saga, Iron Heroes, Blue Rose, the Tome of Magic, 3.5e Psionics, Arcana Evolved, D&D 4th Edition, and Magic the Gathering.

I think this is definitely part of the overall goal. I suspect that WotC has a fear that the RPG market is under significant economic stress that isn't going to get better anytime soon, and consolidating that market under a consistent game design could restore the market to one where they are the dominant player who owns the fundamental game system, and companies like Paizo have a profitable place designing adventure paths for that game system or other product that doesn't really affect WotC's market goals. The current situation with two gorillas battling for supremacy means that everyone ends up chasing a fractured market. Insofar as I will ascribe any altruistic goals to WotC (or any other profit-seeking company) I think it is quite plausible that WotC truly feels like they need this consolidation to keep the market from collapsing in the future.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Sometimes the opinion that something is subjective is itself objectively wrong.

So it's your position that one's RPG preferences are actually an objective matter -- or is there something I'm missing here?

As for whether 4E is a failure -- it really depends on the criteria, doesn't it?

Did they produce a fun, functional game? I think so, but it's nigh impossible to try to claim that is an objective question. Did it hit interal profit targets? Did it lose money? Those are objective question, but we simply don't have the data to answer them. Did it fail to dominate the market? Absolutely.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Again, you don't know that it's a market failure. You think it is, and you've got some circumstantial evidence that it might be true, but you don't have sales figures and you don't have an idea of what WotC's goals were.
Make this pedantic argument all you like Scott. We all know that you cannot concede a point even one that is shining like a supernova in the heavens above. Doesn't matter, we all know what a market failure is, and 4e qualifies.

Clearly you don't, since market failure is an economic term about the efficiency of supply and demand, not about how well a certain product is selling. I wouldn't bother to mention it but, you know, you're big on seeming all-knowing and I didn't want you to labour in ignorance.

As for all of us knowing it, other than several people just saying it I haven't seen any numbers to back it up. I also know those numbers are not in the public domain, so anyone saying it either has insider knowledge (unlikely) or is guessing. I think one person who runs an RPG store has made a comment along those lines, but that's one store. Like I say, you clearly have an inside track on this or just worked it out from first principles, but could you share your sources?


bugleyman wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Sometimes the opinion that something is subjective is itself objectively wrong.

So it's your position that one's RPG preferences are actually an objective matter -- or is there something I'm missing here?

As for whether 4E is a failure -- it really depends on the criteria, doesn't it?

Did they produce a fun, functional game? I think so, but it's nigh impossible to try to claim that is an objective question. Did it hit interal profit targets? Did it lose money? Those are objective question, but we simply don't have the data to answer them. Did it fail to dominate the market? Absolutely.

Do you seriously believe that the market goal of 4e was anything less than dominating the RPG market?

I mean they ALREADY DOMINATED THE MARKET before releasing 4e.

Unless their market goal was to CEDE DOMINANCE OF THE MARKET, then it was a market failure.

Are you suggesting that their market goal was to CEDE DOMINANCE?

I suppose you could argue that was possible. In a Bizarro world. Where corporations don't answer to shareholders.

But you can argue that if you like.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Do you seriously believe that the market goal of 4e was anything less than dominating the RPG market?

I mean they ALREADY DOMINATED THE MARKET before releasing 4e.

Unless their market goal was to CEDE DOMINANCE OF THE MARKET, then it was a market failure.

Are you suggesting that their market goal was to CEDE DOMINANCE?

I suppose you could argue that was possible. In a Bizarro world. Where corporations don't answer to shareholders.

But you can argue that if you like.

*Sigh*

Someone in this thread obviously has a burning need to be right -- but I'm not sure it's Scott.

No, of course WotC's goal wasn't to cede the market...hence my characterization of 4E as an "absolute" failure from that perspective. I was merely pointing out that "failure" can mean a lot of things. Perhaps you should take a moment and quite looking for enemies where there aren't any?


bugleyman wrote:


No, of course WotC's goal wasn't to cede the market...hence my characterization of it as an "absolute" failure. Perhaps you should take a moment and quite looking for enemies where there aren't any?

Bugleyman, your post was just an excellent lead in to make my point, I was really directing my comments towards Aubrey, not you, so I apologize that it appeared I was rebutting you.

But you are right, I have allowed myself to get into an argument where both sides are now more trying to make the other side look wrong than adding anything to the discussion.

I think the point has been made. Clearly there are those who won't accept the point no matter how clear it is.

Apologies again.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Come on guys, instead of fanning the flames just flag it and move on.

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