Abandoning the fans?


4th Edition

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The Exchange

I have heard from a more than a few people here that Wizards has abandoned their fans with 4e.

How is that even vaguely possible given the dramatic pace of sales - outstripping even WotC's predictions.

The implication that 4e does not appeal to existing players is not born out by the sales figures an the general enthusiasm on many online fora (Paizo being a clear exception). Heck - my FLGS has a long preorder list even though they are not discounting the books.

This remids me of the Dilbert cartoon where the pointy haired boss goes to see Ming the web designer to tell her that everyone hates the website. She asks if he talked to the monks in Tibet. He says no - well he does not like it. Ming replies - so you confused one person for everyone on the planet.

Just because a number of individuals here on these boards believes that WotC has abandoned its fanbase does not mean that they have. Sales of 4e are set to surpass 3e and the game has not even been released.


I can only speak for myself and believe me I was a great supporter of 4th edition but what I've seen or read on numerous forum does not appeal to me. I will buy the books of course so as to add them to my collection and to scavange some of the good ideas that are bound to be included with 4th edition but personally I am thinking more and more about converting to RuneQuest.

I though about the Pathfinder RPG which I think will be a great product but which I fear will not go far enough in addressing some of the flaws of 3.5

Liberty's Edge

CWM,

I'll refrain from addressing the issue of whether WoTC has actually abandonded the fans. Instead, I'd like to address the "sold out" status of the first print run. As many people have pointed out, a large majority of the first runs copies were undoubtedly grabbed by the big book store chains (B&N, Amazon, etc) who according to industry insiders could be returned to WoTC if they don't sell. You yourself pointed out that this does not equate popularity but merely the system is anticipated by sellers to generate a large profit. Even the pre-orders on Amazon which have gone exceptionally well does not indicate the system will be successful. The real test is yet to come in the later iterations of core books, splat books, and campaign books.

Admittedly they have sold out of the first run faster than 3.0 and 3.5. I'm not questioning that and will concede that point. But I don't think it means the system is auotmatically a success. Is it a good indication? Yes. Is it conclusive or even presumptive? No.

This story is not even close to being finished.

FP


The way I heard it, people said that Wizards were trying to reach a new audience (the younger on-line gamers). If this is true, and was a success, then it could actually be possible to surpas the salesfigures of 3rd edition and still abandoning the old fan-base.


OK... Let's not fall again into the civil war of Pro4 and Anti4...

I don't think WotC are abandonning their fans.
Hey, as a matter of fact do WotC have actual fans ? This is a company, not a rockband or a movie star. D&D has fans. I am not sure the Wizards have, excepted by, maybe, some old Magic players (losers) (kidding).
The company decided to change the game, for the best or the worse (not the topic here), not to alienate their current customers but to attract new ones, to build a new generation of dungeoneers.
Did they do it the right way ? Probably not. Their marketing and communication could be much better, sadly.

The fact that some gamers express themselves vehemently and loudly on internet through messageboards or websites certainly makes some noise.
But it would be wrong to think they are a majority. Even if they are many.
There is vast number of gamers who do not extend their passion for the game to the point of visiting dedicated websites (not even the official one) or posting on messageboards.
Believe it or not, may people don't have internet access.
I wouldn't be surprised if many of them didn't even hear about the clamor at the annoucement of D&D4 or at each preview of the rules.

A few years ago only, when the 3rd edition came out, the reactions were not that loud. I am not talking about the pro and cons, just about the mediatic coverage.
A few years before, when the 2nd edition came out, there was actually quite no mediatic reaction, for the simple reason that gamers didn't have the access we have today to internet. Most of the communication was made though Dragon magazine (no pun).

So, outside of the hardcore gamers (like us), the casual ones are going to learn about D&D4 one day, discovering a new book on the shelves of their store. They will protest about spending more money in this damn game, some of them remembering doing the same thing a few years ago, and some (more rare) doing the same a few years even earlier. But being gamers, and curious, they will flip the pages. And they will buy the book.
The game is alive. Gamers want to play. Gamers buy the books.

Sovereign Court

Just because they sold a lot of books initially, doesn't mean that they didn't abandon a portion of their fanbase. A lot of people that were on the fence or were pretty sure 4E wasn't for them, still bought the books for numerous reasons. Either they wanted to try to add some 4E rules to existing games (a lost cause if you ask me), wanted to see how bad it really was, or wanted to read the rules to judge for themselves. Even Razz bought the books. The real test will be if these sales continue for the long haul and if their splatbooks and DDI are actually sucessful. From what I've heard from people that actually bought the books, unless they had already decided that they were going to love the game no matter what, many of them have been decidedly negative or ambivalent/uncertain at best.


I can only speak for myself and every roleplayer I know personally, but we all feel abandoned. Wizards certainly fired us.

Seldriss wrote:


I don't think WotC are abandonning their fans.
Hey, as a matter of fact do WotC have actual fans ? This is a company

I know Paizo does. But then, they behave more like a bunch of great guys than a faceless corporation.


KaeYoss wrote:
I know Paizo does. But then, they behave more like a bunch of great guys than a faceless corporation.

That's true. Hmm... Interesting...

Maybe because, corporation or not, WotC is a company producing different things, not only roleplaying games.
On the other side, the area of control of Paizo is more dedicated to RPGs, whether they produce them or just sell them online.
But then that's true we can just resume that in the corporation idea.
OK, i stand corrected, KaeYoss :)


Quite the contrary! I believe that they are not abandoning their fans by a long shot. Me and ~ten others I know have been diehard fans of the company and D&D for some time, and all ten of us have preordered the books, so there are ~30 sales for Wizards!


I don't really like the company and I feel like they've slighted me.

On the other hand this hobby needs a boost and I think that drives their actions, and they may yet show us that they have done the right thing to bring new blood into the game.

So yes, they have fired some of their customers. But if they keep giving us what we want, they may close the door to new customers. We've bought our books. New customers haven't.

Perhaps what they've done is good for the game. Time will tell.


KaeYoss wrote:

I can only speak for myself and every roleplayer I know personally, but we all feel abandoned. Wizards certainly fired us.

Seldriss wrote:


I don't think WotC are abandonning their fans.
Hey, as a matter of fact do WotC have actual fans ? This is a company
I know Paizo does. But then, they behave more like a bunch of great guys than a faceless corporation.

4e wasn't produced by a facelss corporation. People like Mike Mearls, Bruce Cordell, and Andy Collins put it together.

I don't know for sure but I bet the guys at Paizo don't think the same way that you do. They most likely know and respect the guys over at Wizards just as I would believe that Wizards respects the great guys at Paizo.

Sovereign Court

A lot of people seem to feel more abandoned than ever "after" reading the new rules. I've seen numerous posts from people that were on the fence, got the new books, read the rules, and then felt betrayed and abandaoned enough to launch into an anit-4E tirade. So sayin that they haven't abandoned their fans isn't the case. The only question is "How many have they abandoned?", and "Have they gained more than they lost?" It seems a lot of the intial sales are being driven by morbid curiousity, and that simply cannot sustain long term sales. I think it's a bit premature to call it a success, and say they have given their customers exactly what they want.


WotC's Nightmare wrote:
It seems a lot of the intial sales are being driven by morbid curiousity, and that simply cannot sustain long term sales. I think it's a bit premature to call it a success, and say they have given their customers exactly what they want.

Half empty.

Half full.

Whatever.

Time will tell.

Incidentally, they seem to have given CWM what he wants and he's not alone. Did they fire you, CWM?


Seldriss wrote:

The fact that some gamers express themselves vehemently and loudly on internet through messageboards or websites certainly makes some noise.

But it would be wrong to think they are a majority. Even if they are many.
There is vast number of gamers who do not extend their passion for the game to the point of visiting dedicated websites (not even the official one) or posting on messageboards.
Believe it or not, may people don't have internet access.
I wouldn't be surprised if many of them didn't even hear about the clamor at the annoucement of D&D4 or at each preview of the rules.

Seldriss have a going point there. Most D&D players I know don't spend much time on internet talking or reading about D&D. From my five players, four didn't know almost anything about the 4E previews until I said that we were going to convert, one week ago.

I believe a good amount of D&D players are likely to adopt 4E simply because it's the "current" system, not because they particularly love it or hate 3.5E.


Krauser_Levyl wrote:
Seldriss have a going point there.

Hey ! I always have good points !

;)


KaeYoss wrote:
I can only speak for myself and every roleplayer I know personally, but we all feel abandoned. Wizards certainly fired us.

See, I just don't understand how people can take this so personally. A company made a great product, and then they discontinued it in favour of a product you don't like. They're not forcing you to stop using the first product, they just don't support it (although third parties still do). How does that make you feel "abandoned" or "fired"?

Some of WotC's business choices seem a little ham-handed (like their "3rd edition sucks, 4th edition rocks" style of advertising or their behaviour regarding the OGL), but why should that make me upset?

Sovereign Court

CWM - I'm not sure who exactly pays you to be wotc's stoogemonkey, but why are you always trying to defend that company?


How shattering it seems to be to discover that not everybody has the same opinion of things....


I'm actually surprised to hear that pre-sales of 4th edition corebooks outsold 3rd edition corebooks. This is the first I heard it. Interesting.

Its just that without Dragon and Dungeon magazine I was wondering how 4th edition is even getting the word out. They had zero advertising outside of Gaming Stores and their own website.

Anyway initial sales arent everything. 4th edition could be like Spiderman 3 or the American Godzilla movie. It makes tons of money on opening weekend due to the hype and then everyone sees it and word gets out that its poo.

As far as WotC "abondoning their fans"...Well thats kind of a dramatic thing to say.
But anyone who does says this is just referring to WotC pretty much closing the door on Dungeons & Dragons and trying to stamp out 3rd party companies from making D&D products.
In its place is this brand new fantasy RPG that WotC is slapping the D&D name erroniously on to make it sell better.
So those who liked D&D and dislike this new game feel abanoned.


Pax Veritas wrote:
CWM - I'm not sure who exactly pays you to be wotc's stoogemonkey, but why are you always trying to defend that company?

Well.. I'm sure that one doesn't need to be an alien in order to admire and respect WotC's work. I know people who admire and respect Microsoft, and they are not being paid for that.


KaeYoss wrote:
I know Paizo does. But then, they behave more like a bunch of great guys than a faceless corporation.

Faceless corporation??

That's funny, because through the online interviews and spotlights on WotC website, I've seen plenty of faces of WotC employees.

If anything, I'd say the opposite. Just because you don't like the game they designed, let's not make up s*%* to try and paint WotC as villains.

The Exchange

Krauser_Levyl wrote:
Pax Veritas wrote:
CWM - I'm not sure who exactly pays you to be wotc's stoogemonkey, but why are you always trying to defend that company?
Well.. I'm sure that one doesn't need to be an alien in order to admire and respect WotC's work. I know people who admire and respect Microsoft, and they are not being paid for that.

I would have been ok if you had said Apple instead of Microsoft. :P

But seriously - I am a pragmatist. Wizards has scored a huge win with its Amazon ranking. It is achieving the kind of sales reserved for Oprah's Book Club.

I do not need to be paid to see the reality of the situation. All indicators are pointing to a 4e success story. That could not have happened if WotC had "abandoned all of its fans".

The Exchange

Pax Veritas wrote:
CWM - I'm not sure who exactly pays you to be wotc's stoogemonkey ...

Oh, BTW I happen to have a bit of a monkey fixation so as insulting as you may have meant that to be it's actually kinda complimentary. When I was thinking of a screen name for this board I toyed with ideas such as SWAT monkey, monkey pox, or my old yahoo ID bighappymonkey.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I know I felt abandoned when they killed my beloved Dungeon and Dragon magazines. I know I felt abandoned when they all but gave up on trying to to an online version of them. They haven't posted enough material to fill even a single issue since they went to the online model. The online effort is pathetic. Nothing has even been posted since early may. Now the books are coming out and I was able to preview a copy of them and all I have to say is. What?

I have played through the the 1st edition, 2nd edition and even the laughable Player's Option era. I like 3.5 and after reading 4e, 3.5 is where they peaked. Not saying its perfect but my games are not all about combat and 4e has little to offer role-not-roll players over 3.5 from my impression from the read through. This DM, I mean GM, feels abandoned by WotC and I am happy to to return the favor. Pre-order of box set canceled.


Pax Veritas wrote:
CWM - I'm not sure who exactly pays you to be wotc's stoogemonkey, but why are you always trying to defend that company?

Tsk tsk...

No need for personal attacks.
Crosswiredmind has his opinion and is entitled to it.
The way i see it, he has some merit (Wisdom) for posting here, exposing his opinion about D&D4, risking the magic missiles of all the D&D4phobes.


mindgamez wrote:
The online effort is pathetic.

While I disagree with your opinion on the 4th Edition system, I do agree that the online effort has been incredibly lackluster. I guess the difference is after seeing what they've done with the system, I am excited and optimistic about what "potential" DDI has.

Hopefully (no... THEY BETTER) take advantage of DDI, especially considering the hefty cost for the consumer and put out some amazing content.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Of course, WotC didn't abandon all of its fans. But by revising pretty much everything, including the meta-setting stuff, they certainly abandoned a lot of tradition and history and that means they, effectively, abandoned the subset of fans who thought that was important to their D&D experience.

It's my opinion that the vast majority of mechanical changes could have been accomplished without touching the meta-setting. That would have lost some fans there anyway since the mechanics won't grab everyone. But by having such a wide scope of changes, they increased their likely losses since now they stand to lose fans on the meta-setting changes as well as mechanical changes. And if 4e picks up fans, it will most likely be through the mechanical changes and not the meta-setting changes.

The Exchange

Bill Dunn wrote:
Of course, WotC didn't abandon all of its fans. But by revising pretty much everything, including the meta-setting stuff, they certainly abandoned a lot of tradition and history and that means they, effectively, abandoned the subset of fans who thought that was important to their D&D experience.

I was about to agree with that. Then I thought back to all of the changes that have already happened in the meta-setting. Even the specific settings have changed throughout the years. Take the Forgotten Realms as an example - the 3.5 version is not the same as the very first TSR incarnation of FR. Granted that the switch from 2e to 3e did not seem as dramatic. I think this came down to a major operation in customer distraction.

For 3e WotC went back to Greyhawk and FR was not there from the start and almost did not make it even when the 3e version started to hit the shelves.

When I look back over D&D history all I see is change. The pattern goes core > supplements + modules > revised core > supplements + mods > revised core ...

Silver Crusade

crosswiredmind wrote:
Krauser_Levyl wrote:
Pax Veritas wrote:
CWM - I'm not sure who exactly pays you to be wotc's stoogemonkey, but why are you always trying to defend that company?
Well.. I'm sure that one doesn't need to be an alien in order to admire and respect WotC's work. I know people who admire and respect Microsoft, and they are not being paid for that.

I would have been ok if you had said Apple instead of Microsoft. :P

But seriously - I am a pragmatist. Wizards has scored a huge win with its Amazon ranking. It is achieving the kind of sales reserved for Oprah's Book Club.

I do not need to be paid to see the reality of the situation. All indicators are pointing to a 4e success story. That could not have happened if WotC had "abandoned all of its fans".

It was never a question of WOTC abandoning all of their fans. No, I believe it is more of a question of the abandoning of those fans who've been around since the game's earliest days by completely changing the game to attract a newer(read: MMORPG-minded)audience. At least with 3.0 and 3.5, the change was one that attempted to clean up the clutter of the first and second editions. 4E is little more than an enacted scorched earth policy in regard to any and all previous editions.

I'm not looking to be flamed, but this is just one person's opinion. I do not profess to speak for anyone else, but I do know those who feel the same as I do. And we do feel both betrayed and abandoned by WOTC. Our ultimate reactive expression of this feeling compels us to support Paizo's Pathfinder RPG rather than 4E. By doing this, we are hopefully sending a message to WOTC "we" (those gamers long in the tooth like myself) are a customer base that shouldn't be ignored. That we are still relevant.
Ok, my wife has come and pulled my soapbox out from under me, so I think I'll stop for now. Which is fine by me...I think being that high up was giving me a major nosebleed anyway. ;)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
crosswiredmind wrote:


I was about to agree with that. Then I thought back to all of the changes that have already happened in the meta-setting. Even the specific settings have changed throughout the years. Take the Forgotten Realms as an example - the 3.5 version is not the same as the very first TSR incarnation of FR. Granted that the switch from 2e to 3e did not seem as dramatic. I think this came down to a major operation in customer distraction.

It's true that they've changed things, but not all that much in many cases. Much of it comes down to further development, particularly when FR differs from the generic D&D meta-setting. The real problem comes when they have some "event" to justify the changes in editions like the Time of Troubles in FR with the shift from 1e to 2e. I don't know anybody who thought that was a good idea. And now they're doing the same with some kind of spell-plague.

Realistically speaking, I think it would be fine if the setting stayed mostly the same and you just changed the rules, only calling out changes to the setting when necessary to support the changes to rules.

The Exchange

Bill Dunn wrote:
Realistically speaking, I think it would be fine if the setting stayed mostly the same and you just changed the rules, only calling out changes to the setting when necessary to support the changes to rules.

That I agree with 100%


Bill Dunn wrote:
Realistically speaking, I think it would be fine if the setting stayed mostly the same and you just changed the rules, only calling out changes to the setting when necessary to support the changes to rules.

A lot of people disagree with this though. Some people like to have an explanation for a lot of the changes, instead of just retconning the new things in without any sort of justification. It kind of loses continuity if you do it that way.

They aren'y advancing the timeline for Eberron, so we'll see how WotC handles such a thing.

The Exchange

Blayde MacRonan wrote:
Which is fine by me...I think being that high up was giving me a major nosebleed anyway. ;)

You do make some excellent points and I do not doubt that there are some folks that do feel the changes have pushed the game outside of their comfort/preference zone. I am also glad that a company like Paizo has come along to fill that void.

That being said I do not think change should be condemned simply because of the fact that it is a change.

Back in the 80's I ran a roomful of huge printers. The terminals we used to control them used a command line interface and JCL commands. Towards the end of my tenure (it was a summer job) they were introducing a new GUI that was all point and click. I could not get the hang of it and left a month before i had originally planned because the change was just too much (that and the hours truly sucked - 4pm til 2am four days a week).

Thinking back on that experience I realize that I never gave the system a chance. It was unfamiliar and my use of it was inefficient. I felt left behind but I should have simply given it a fair shake. My bud who stayed on later told me that the new routing system had reduced errors and rework, and that it made life so much easier.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Abandon is a pretty harsh word, but I do think it fits to a degree.

I'm not sure it was an abandonment of their fans, but my feelings (and the feelings of the majority of my gaming group who have spoken on the matter) is that they have abandoned the tradition of D&D in an effort to generate a product for a new generation. I can't fault them for running a business where they want to make money, and pulling in new sucker...I mean gamers, is always an admirable goal for any company, but I don't think adequate consideration was made for those who have spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on their 3E/3.5E products in the last 8 years.

I do feel abandoned by WotC. I was already disillusioned with their Dragon and Dungeon magazine cancellation, and now I no longer see any need to remain part of their community (I prefer the Paizo community anyway), especially when there are other organizations that have caught my attention.

Just my opinion though, as everybody is going to feel different about the whole situation.

Scarab Sages

I won't change to 4th. edition - not because I'm angry at WotC, not because I feel abandoned by them - just because, after playtesting, I like other fantasy rpgs - 3.5 included better.
As I said - I don't feel abandoned - I never had a relation to them besides buying and liking many products they released over the time. I don't know about the way they discussed / or didn't discuss the new edition with fans (be it on the web or at conventions or whatever) because I didn't care to participate. So - If fans activly in discussion of any kind with the employers of WotC feel abandoned by them (and I mean discussion - not attacking them for releasing theri new edition or calling them names for not continuing 3,5) I apologize for the generalization to follow.
I've heard the "they have abandoned their fans" argument before - lots of times. Every time a band publishes a new album that doesn't sound exactly like the last one, almost every time a writer takes a new direction and for that finishes a series of books to begin with a new one, every time a tv-show that has "fans" takes a turn that is not expected by the everyone you can hear "fans" crying out that they were abandoned by the writer/band/director.
I think this is more or less unavoidable. Do I think WotC could have managed the trasition to 4th ed. better, yes!. Do I think their marketing camaign was flawed - hell yeah!. But I don't blame them for the new edition - and the good thing is - I don't have to. All I have to do is send my money and my time (and a slightly to large slice of both) on other games / other companies. I do not care if the game I play is called Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder or Bobs & Bunnies. I'm pretty sure that as long as there are fantasy rpgs out there, I will find ideas, adventures and usable products out there to help me when my imagination or my time don't do the job.
I've played through early second edition, 3rd edition and 3.5, I've spent lots of money on (A)D&D, D&D and other games published by TSR, later WotC, I won't spend my money on 4th edition (other then the basic rules which I kind of needed to make my choice regarding the new game), yet, I don't feel abandoned, though, sadly I have to abandon them. I think the outcry of some fans will silence - they will either convert to 4th edition anyway, so they can remain with D&D or they will find other games and other companies to be devoted to.

The Exchange

MisterSlanky wrote:
Just my opinion though, as everybody is going to feel different about the whole situation.

Please understand that my intention here was not to invalidate individual perceptions or feelings but to counter the generalization of those perceptions and feeling to all D&D fans.

By making that kind of generalization it divides the community deeper with some fans claiming to be the true fans and the others become the apostates.

We are all fans of D&D but some do not like the changes that are underway. That's ok - change is not easy and never universally accepted.


crosswiredmind wrote:
MisterSlanky wrote:
Just my opinion though, as everybody is going to feel different about the whole situation.

Please understand that my intention here was not to invalidate individual perceptions or feelings but to counter the generalization of those perceptions and feeling to all D&D fans.

By making that kind of generalization it divides the community deeper with some fans claiming to be the true fans and the others become the apostates.

We are all fans of D&D but some do not like the changes that are underway. That's ok - change is not easy and never universally accepted.

Crosswiredmind:

To save the arguements over 'what is D&D?' it might be easier to say: 'We are all fans of roleplaying games...' :D

The Exchange

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
To save the arguements over 'what is D&D?' it might be easier to say 'we are all fans of roleplaying games...' :D

Well I have been told that in spite of my first hand experience 4e is NOT a roleplaying game so I am not sure your suggestion would hel much. ;)


crosswiredmind wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:
To save the arguements over 'what is D&D?' it might be easier to say 'we are all fans of roleplaying games...' :D
Well I have been told that in spite of my first hand experience 4e is NOT a roleplaying game so I am not sure your suggestion would hel much. ;)

Ah. Good point, I was forgetting that.

Will supply my serious thoughts on the thread topic shortly.

Scarab Sages

Well I have been told that in spite of my first hand experience 4e is NOT a roleplaying game so I am not sure your suggestion would hel much. ;)

Hey! I'm not the only erson who's keyboard has a serious lack of "p's"

(I should sto wasting them...)


Quite honestly I think "abandoned" is the wrong word. I think alienated fits a bit better.

As for me: Yeah, I do feel alienated by WotC. Their early marketing for 4th was abysmal, and insulting (most people can agree with that). A lot of the changes were dramatic, as they leaked on Wizards site and many customers felt, well bad for not like what they were seeing. I was cautiously pessimistic about 4th edition from the early reviews and announcements. There was so much (and is so much currently) missing from the game that I happened to love (several classes and races for example). I still feel alienated by 4th, 4th's fans and Wizards over this issue. Paizo's boards have become a safe haven for us "grognards" i think, because this is the one place we can come where we don't feel alienated. Sadly it's at the expense of those that do like 4th. This is a sickenly divisive issue, and personally I wish things would settle down so we can start enjoying the game again.

I read the 4th edition forums, try to post here minimally. I read them because even though I feel alienated by Wizards marketing, and some of Wizards fanboys*, I'm still curious about the game.

So no, I don't think Wizards abandoned their fans, I do think the alienated a great many of us though, albeit unintentionally.


crosswiredmind wrote:
I have heard from a more than a few people here that Wizards has abandoned their fans with 4e.

I think this is a defensible claim.

The redesign altered and eliminated a great deal of material that has been part of the fabric of D&D for thirty years.

A good parallel (IMO) is Star Trek and it's fan base. They (we) can be notoriously demanding when it comes to continuity and internal consistency. It's not bad, nor good, but just the nature of the beast. Movie producers spurn those sensibilities at their own risk (and have occasionally paid the price).

Like ST, D&D fans can be a peculiar, demanding lot. We've learned to play the game a certain way, learned to love that way of playing, and can very easily (and predictably) get our panties in a wad when you take it away. Just look at Vancian magic -- it sucks, it has always sucked, yet people are throwing hissy-fits over its elimination.

And just because people are buying 4e doesn't discredit the claim. WotC can show contempt for its fan base with some impunity -- they are the industry leader, and there's no company positions to take their place.

They've done a good job with 4e -- that doesn't mean they've honored everything long-term players want and/or like.

Regards.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

My group had our first session of 4E this past Saturday. I think it'sthe most fun I've had running the game in years. I certainly don't feel abandoned by WotC. On the contrary, I think they've finally made the changes necessary for me to teach the game to young family members and have them actually feel like they understand what's going on - yet the game has plenty of depth and complexity for any stories I want to tell with the adults group.

Actually, the new ruleset allows running some of the old, classic adventures that 3rd edition really couldn't support. Back in the old days, you'd run into big groups of monsters, or entire groups of adventurers of equal or (sometimes) higher level than the PCs. 3rd edition's focus on single-monster encounters and its way of classifying NPCs made those old adventures impossible to convert accurately. Take a look at the WotC site for the recent Dragon article on converting old adventures, though - run the Hill Giant Steading and have fluid, interesting interactions as you deal with dozens of giants. Cool!

I've been playing since 1979, and with 4E, I feel like they've given my game back to me. So despite the rhetoric of many 4E-phobes here on the Paizo boards, 4E isn't just "for the kids."

The Exchange

Tatterdemalion wrote:
The redesign altered and eliminated a great deal of material that has been part of the fabric of D&D for thirty years.

I guess the reason I have difficulty finding empathy for this is that I have never been a big fan of D&D fluff. Apart from Living Greyhawk all of my D&D life has been spent in home brewed worlds that bore only passing resemblance to any "official" setting.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Cintra Bristol wrote:


Actually, the new ruleset allows running some of the old, classic adventures that 3rd edition really couldn't support. Back in the old days, you'd run into big groups of monsters, or entire groups of adventurers of equal or (sometimes) higher level than the PCs. 3rd edition's focus on single-monster encounters and its way of classifying NPCs made those old adventures impossible to convert accurately. Take a look at the WotC site for the recent Dragon article on converting old adventures, though - run the Hill Giant Steading and have fluid, interesting interactions as you deal with dozens of giants. Cool!

My experience with converting old modules (I'm running a classic module campaign for 3.5) runs pretty much directly counter to this. I've never had a lick of trouble converting 1e adventures into 3e with the single exception of dealing 3e's much more generous XP tables at low levels. Giants, Slavelords, White Plume Mountain, Keep on the Borderlands, all went just fine with relatively little work. The giants series ends up being for higher level parties, but otherwise plays pretty true to the original.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
crosswiredmind wrote:
Well I have been told that in spite of my first hand experience 4e is NOT a roleplaying game so I am not sure your suggestion would hel much. ;)

Yeah.

My concern isn't that it isn't a role-playing game. Rather, my concern is that the game tends to "shoe-horn" people into a particular mindset. I personally blame the "role" concept, and my basis for this assumption (and everything that goes associated with "assuming") is thirty+ years of playing a paladin and having all sorts of players "metagame" and tell me what I can and can't do (Code of Conduct, you're Lawful Good, yadda yadda). It's the nature of the human beast. Another case in point - CCG "Price Guides". Scrye is a self-fulfilling prophesy - what originally started out as a "This is what the shop in Canton, Ohio is selling this card for" has now become the "blue book" and most persons (not all, granted) do their valuations based on what is printed there. I guess this is where I chaff the most - being told what and how to play. It was a problem when I played Everquest, and its a problem when I play D&D. Its not as bad, but the correlation is still there.

Other than that, I think people tend to personalize things too much. WotC really did do some extremely stupid things that WOULD lead to alienation (listen to some of the podcasts that continually reference 3.5 as crap, make veiled and not-so-veiled references that those who continue to play 3.5 are also crap, etc.) That being said, I doubt seriously that, sitting at the head of Hasbro, is Snidely Whiplash, twirling his mustachios and snickering, imagining the next steps in customer-base machinations!

All that being said, I do take some small amount of umbrage when 4E-fans continue to lambast me about how "4E-aphobe" I am,

Cintra Bristol wrote:
So despite the rhetoric of many 4E-phobes here on the Paizo boards

or that I "just don't get it." Personal preference is subjective - explain to me WHY your favorite ice cream flavor is somehow more substantive than mine is! I ... DON'T ... LIKE ... 4E! I've BOUGHT AND READ the rules. I've BOUGHT AND PLAYED the game (H1 and some homebrew adventures). I don't LIKE it. Period. Stop treating me [I'm using the "general you" as in reference to some of the more caustic 4E fan voices out there and not the "specific you" as in CWM] as if I am somehow less of a gamer and less of a human being because the game doesn't appeal to me, and I will exhibit the same respect towards you.

Enough said.

EDIT - Interesting timing Cintra. You're post wasn't up when I scanned the thread. Understand that I know you aren't referencing me specifically, and that your exact quote doesn't specifically address what I am discussing at all, but there is an underlying hubris attached to those that use the '4E-phobe' accusation that automatically associates a negative connotation to someone who isn't pro-4E. This, from BOTH sides ("Fan-boi!" "4E-phobe!") is probably the most damaging, and the most inciting, commentary being slung back and forth. When asked for an opinion, those in opposition immediately go for the counterpoint (usually with some sort of jagged weapon) instead of accepting the other's opinion. While I am not pro-4E, I am not going to go out of my way to poke someone who is in the eye with a caustic remark full of vitriol. I accept that you like the game. Accept that I don't, and we can both go on being happy.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Bill Dunn wrote:
The giants series ends up being for higher level parties, but otherwise plays pretty true to the original.

I guess that's the problem. Yeah, I converted plenty of low-level stuff (especially once we figured out that you have to cut way back on the treasure handed out in most of those old adventures). But not the mid-level and higher stuff.

Conversions of the Giants series ends up being for really high level PCs. The Demonweb needs to be for near-Epic or even already-Epic PCs. And running high-level 3rd edition was way too much work for me. It felt like I was running an over-complicated superheroes campaign, with everyone flying around and using contingencies to survive high-level save-or-die effects. And it was just too complicated to be fun for me. YMMV.

I haven't seen the 4E rules yet, so I can't say for certain that high-level play will be more attractive to me than it was in 3rd edition. But from the design philosophy I've seen already, and a couple of the charts shown in previews, it certainly looks like it'll feel more like old-school D&D to me. Even if it's purely 4E, though, with a feel all its own, it looks like it's just plain going to be less like work, and more like fun, for me and my group. And that's a whole group of (mostly) older players who don't feel abandoned or disenfranchised by the new edition.

I'm really sorry that other folks are feeling disenfranchised. But Paizo is going to keep making 3.5-compatible stuff. They're the best publisher in the business (in my opinion), and they'll be supporting the hobby for all the folks who don't like the direction of 4E. And I've made a conscious choice not to let myself feel abandoned by Paizo because of that decision, but to remind myself that they've made the best decision they can for their entire fanbase (if not for me personally), and that there's room for both 4E and Pathfinder RPG. (And that I can still use Paizo products, even if I do have to convert them as I go.)

So it gets really old, seeing so many people trying to tell me that no long-time gamers could possibly like 4E, and that they all feel personally affronted by 4E design direction. You've got something you can look forward to, and so do I. I'm not trashing Pathfinder RPG for you - and I'm really, really tired of the few, stubborn, exceedingly vocal people who feel it necessary to keep trashing 4E for me.

SO, just for the record:

I'm a long-time D&D player and DM, and I love the direction of 4E.

My husband is a long-time D&D player and DM, and he loves the direction of 4E.

My current gaming group has been playing 3.5 every Saturday for two and a half years now (some had played D&D before, some just started with 3rd edition), and all of them love the direction of 4E.


I completely agree with the sentiment that while 4th edition might not be so bad of a game in and of itself, it's just doesn't feel like D&D to me. Perhaps if WotC had marketed it as a completely different game, or made these the new Miniature battle rules (since there's so much emphasis on combat in 4e that's pretty much what it is anyways) it would've have alienated the rest of us so much, but trying to replace D&D with something that feel so alien just seems wrong. The classes, races, and setting are such a strong departure from what we've all been used to that it makes 4e hard to swallow.

WotC has admitted that it's trying to reach a new player base with 4e, and I think they'll be successful at that. There are millions of people who play World of Warcraft and Magic who'll eat this stuff up and buy it by the truckload. However, I (and many of the people I game with) look at the 4e skills and abilities that seem like they're pulled straight from an MMORPG and I want to retch.

4e just isn't a game for role-players. They've gone the meta-gaming hack-and-slash approach precisely because that's what sells. You can't mass-market anything for role-players, though, because let's face it: role playing can be HARD. Not everyone can do it, not everyone wants to do it, and it takes a dang good DM to do it well. So good riddance to D&D - lucky for the rest of us we have the Pathfinder RPG to look forward to and fall back on.


countbuggula wrote:
4e just isn't a game for role-players.

I am just not seeing that. Not at all. My gaming group will continue to role-play our hearts out and still use the 4E rule set.

The Exchange

countbuggula wrote:
4e just isn't a game for role-players.

i simply cannot agree with this on a subjective as well as objective basis. 4e has more space dedicated to roleplaying in the phb than in the 3.5 phb. There are no mechanical rules that prevent or even hinder roleplaying in 4e.

I have been trying to be really patient with replies to this thread but this sentiment is just plain wrong on so many levels.

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