Mearls pleading for unity


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*Bows* Thank you for that edification.

You says ya don't learn nothin' in th' interwebz? (^_~)

:P

Much cheers to you and yours.


sunshadow21 wrote:
Those who see only hate for 4E seem to be missing the fact that the hate doesn't come from a single source or a single reason. I see 4E as being very similar to Vista in how its viewed by the public. Both systems were extremely dramatic departures from what had come before, and due to this were forced to rely on what could be considered moderately forceful marketing tactics that the companies involved were not accustomed to having to use. Specific complaints about individual changes and specific marketing attempts all got stacked on top of each other creating a body of complaints that took on a life of its own. I recall a thread about White Wolf's attempts at updating their systems that suffered the same thing. Had any of these systems been marketed with a different brand name not tied to the past in any way shape or form, they would have stood a much better chance of being judged on its own merits. As it was, the people marketing them were forced to find justification for why they changed so much so quickly, and the collection of those justifications was more than the PR departments involved, none of which had really had to deal with significant negative press previously, could manage.

See, I've made the Vista/4E comparison myself on occasion, and I think it's a fair comparison in all the ways you've mentioned. But I think the comparison diverges in one important way, in that in my circles (I buy IT for a University) Vista was seen as just sort of a mechanical failure, whereas I knew a lot of gamers (myself included) who attached a sort of arrogance and disrespect to the system-wide change of 4E.

But that points back to the thing you said that I have also been saying all along, and that is that if 4E had been called something other than D&D, it might be giving D&D a run for its money right now as a respected rival system. But whatever we say in these forums, and however we may feel as individuals, it is clear from the divisions and the sales of Pathfinder and others, that a sizeable chunk of the gaming community did not/does not make a connection between 4E and Dungeons & Dragons.


John Kretzer wrote:
Now take a line from one of the Preview books..(I'll paraphase as either I don't currently have it or it would take days to dig up). But it pretty much it said...We are not going to be detailing some types of gods because we feel it has no place in a adventurers live...like a god of agiculture.

No worries, got you covered there. The passage you're concerned with reads, and I quote:

Worlds and Monsters wrote:
After identifying the most important deities - Llolth, Bahamut, and so on - we made a list of the divine roles we wanted to fill. It was a long list, covering everything from storm and sea to agriculture, community, and love. The next step was to identify which roles we thought were most important - and which gods made good choices for adventurers to follow or fight. A god of agriculture helps make a realistic pantheon, but isn't a figure that many adventurers will decide to worship.

...which part of this, exactly, did you disagree with? I mean, are you planning on asserting that the number of players who will want characters worshiping the god of agriculture will come anywhere close to the number of players who will want their characters worshiping Pelor? That's basically what they're saying - gods of agriculture are all well and good, but they don't present as many clear opportunities for PCs to have a beef with them as the more prominent evil gods do, and a god of agriculture probably isn't going to be the driving force behind a lot of clerics' motivations compared to those gods who encourage righteous crusading.

Nothing he said implied that you would have any problem creating your own deity and giving him the agriculture portfolio, or even deciding to worship Pelor for his stewardship of agriculture alone.

Contributor

pres man wrote:
Now as in, now you are claiming that the 3.5 grappling rules are broken or overcomplicated.

I'd say mostly "broken." I've been on the receiving end of them as a player, they're overpowered, and unless you've min-maxed your character to an insane degree, you're hosed. However, they're also overcomplicated in that there's an insane list of special circumstances for all sorts of actions attempted during a grapple which requires book consultation to make sense of.


John Kretzer wrote:
Side note tangent: since I am in the car bussiness...the end of year sells on models has nothing to do with less desireable...and all to do how fast cars devalue in price.

Out of curiosity, John, why is it, do you think, that those previous model year cars devalue in price so fast?

Could it be because customers find them...less desirable?


KaeYoss wrote:
ShinHakkaider wrote:


I mean I dont go onto the WOTC board to defend 3.5 and Pathfinder

Oh, you should. Make sure you're not at all offensive to anything wotc. Just say that in addition to 4e, you like Pathfinder, since it's so different a game and you like variety, or anything like that.

Then count the seconds until the Wave comes crashing in.

These boards here don't do that. Paizo actually defends the competition's fans when they're being harassed.

It's not a bad thing, of course, but there's people who abuse it. Just ignore them.

That is certianly not always true. I don't particularly frequent the WotC boards but was over there looking for some information regarding the DDI at one point and there was a 4E vs. Pathfinder thread that I got curious about and read - in part to see how bad the vitriol would be. It ran seven or eight pages and was generally a pretty even handed and fair presentation of the differences. There where also several warnings from admin types to keep things civil. It was also quite clear that some of the more knowledgeable posters where also players of Pathfinder, even if their main game was 4E.

I think your contention might have been roughly correct early on during the height of the edition wars but not these days. If for no other reason then both companies don't want to alienate customers. Same with Paizo, Scott Betts spends money on Golarion supplements and converts the world to 4E, I buy the adventure paths for use in converting both to my homebrew and to 4E. Lots of people at least dabble in the other system etc.

At this point unfettered flame wars are not something either company is going to desire - its bad for business.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


While I'm sure that others here could vouch for me in my stead (including a few I know in real life), I figured I'd take the opportunity to show off my latest Pathfinder bling (arrived on Saturday), just for you.

*looks at photo*

*looks at avatar*

*back to photo*

*back to avatar*

Always fun to see the differences. :)

Hehe, ain't that the truth!

When I first started running Rise of the Runelords, I found myself playing Sheriff Hemlock more than any other NPC (I'll let you draw your own conclusions about what that says about the party). I started posting here about the same time, so I just picked an avatar I recognized from the adventure. :D


Studpuffin wrote:


I honestly didn't remember much in the way of complaints about grappling before.

I recall it being one of the mainstays about things to argue about on the Paizo forums. Part of the problem was that the rule book said one thing and then the errata said another and finally there where a series of articles on WotCs website meant to be an 'in depth' look at various mechanics. Note only did this in depth article say a third thing but they significantly revised that article...twice.

I recall being annoyed because the first revision was the version of grappling I believed was really the best way of going with this and then they had to ruin it by revising the damn article again.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'll be honest.* I really am as ruggedly handsome as my avatar.

*:
Remember I make jokes of everything.**

**:
I mean everything.***

**:
Really. Everything.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

The ads linked a few pages back - I didn´t care for them, as I just thought they were not as funny as the folks who made them seemed to think. Especially the one presenting older versions of the game left me "Did they really think that was funny? Its stupid." Offended? If anything, I was offended by the stupidity of the clip as whole. But that is a matter of taste.

I think that many folks were not especially offended by that clip alone, but rather by a number of decisions many fans did not like - the very different rule system, pulling the various licenses, pulling the pdf sales, fundamental changes to the game worlds, the tighter rules of the GSL. Given all that, the advertizing campaign was probably the last straw to many folks, as it can be seen as portraying folks clinging to the older games as incompetent nerds. I guess it seemed to many that the designers at WotC did not listen to the fan base, or if they did, the fan base was considered not important enough. Given the less-than-stellar history TSR had in that regard, many folks did not take that as a good development. Rather, some of these were seen as a step backwards, especially as some licencees did really good work, and the OGL undeniably revived the RPG market tremendously.

Stefan


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

Oh, and regarding Mearls´ articles - well, I did read the first one, but honestly, I don´t really care for 4e or an upcoming 5e. I had a look at 4e and decided it was not for me, so I chose to ignore it for the most part. That causes Mearls call for unity fall on deaf ears here. I personally think that some of the moves WotC made at the start of 4e did divide the fanbase even further than it was already. YMMV, of course.

Stefan


Stebehil wrote:
Given all that, the advertizing campaign was probably the last straw to many folks, as it can be seen as portraying folks clinging to the older games as incompetent nerds.

Yep, I think this is close to the truth. The people who found the ads offensive were, by and large, those who had received information about the changes surrounding 4e negatively enough that by the time they got to the ads, they were already in the prejudicial mindset of "WotC hates gamers like me." When you've got that in your head as an unquestionable truth, it's easy to place otherwise innocent actions into that contextual framework.

Contributor

Scott Betts wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Now take a line from one of the Preview books..(I'll paraphase as either I don't currently have it or it would take days to dig up). But it pretty much it said...We are not going to be detailing some types of gods because we feel it has no place in a adventurers live...like a god of agiculture.

No worries, got you covered there. The passage you're concerned with reads, and I quote:

Worlds and Monsters wrote:
After identifying the most important deities - Llolth, Bahamut, and so on - we made a list of the divine roles we wanted to fill. It was a long list, covering everything from storm and sea to agriculture, community, and love. The next step was to identify which roles we thought were most important - and which gods made good choices for adventurers to follow or fight. A god of agriculture helps make a realistic pantheon, but isn't a figure that many adventurers will decide to worship.

...which part of this, exactly did you disagree with? I mean, are you planning on asserting that the number of players who will want characters worshiping the god of agriculture will come anywhere close to the number of players who will want their characters worshiping Pelor? That's basically what they're saying - gods of agriculture are all well and good, but they don't present as many clear opportunities for PCs to have a beef with them as the more prominent evil gods do, and a god of agriculture probably isn't going to be the driving force behind a lot of clerics' motivations compared to those gods who encourage righteous crusading.

Nothing he said implied that you would have any problem creating your own deity and giving him the agriculture portfolio, or even deciding to worship Pelor for his stewardship of agriculture alone.

The trouble with this statement is that it leads to insipid world-building and isn't backed up by actual mythology.

Let's look at real world gods and goddesses of agriculture. Let's start with the Greeks and look at Demeter. Nice mother goddess, does happy-nice agriculture stuff, has a daughter who's the goddess of springtime name Persephone and-- What's that? She's been abducted by Hades? I don't care if he's the ruler of the underworld and the brother of the king of the gods I WANT HER BACK RIGHT NOW AND I BETTER GET HER BACK BECAUSE NOT ONLY WILL YOU NOT LIKE ME WHEN I'M ANGRY, YOU REALLY WON'T LIKE ME WHEN I'M DEPRESSED. YOU SEE THAT ICE AND FROST? THAT'S WINTER AND IT GOES ON UNTIL I GET MY DAUGHTER BACK!

That's one of the nice agricultural goddesses. Want one of the nasty ones? Ever heard of Tlaloc? Aztec god of rain, fertility and water? Liked to send plagues when he got ticked off, which was often, and though child sacrifice was spiffy?

If your god of agriculture isn't one that adventurers want to worship or fight, you haven't designed them very well. Any harvest god is also a god of famine when they withhold their blessings, and they make utterly wonderful evil gods because unlike gods of necromancy and such, the harvest gods are gods that the populace actually needs.

The Exchange

Except that WotC weren't trying to create something specific, they were trying to create a default world. Once you start throwing Tlaloc in there, you get a very specific vibe. Not everyone wants, in effect, a LE god of agriculture - you are now world-building in a way that WotC didn't want to go to in their very vanilla world. And that was a deliberate stance by them, intended to get you rolling up characters and adventuring quickly without agonising too much about gods and goddesses. As for Demeter, that's a legend which, if you felt so inclined, you could add to Pelor with no real hassle.

The basic 4e pantheon is just that - basic, a DM's aid. They didn't want to close off options because "WotC say so", unlike in other highly developed worlds. You can read off the list of gods and goddesses in the 3e FR Faiths and Pantheons but, in the end, many (maybe most) PCs won't care - that's more a world-creator showing off - and it is restrictive canon, another thing that the designers were trying to reduce or eliminate. And the designers certainly weren't saying "You cannot have a LE agricultural god" - you can have whatever you want, it is your game, and they say that a lot in the 4e books. All they created was a basic default for DMs who didn't care to define a different pantheon for themselves.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Scott Betts wrote:


While I'm sure that others here could vouch for me in my stead (including a few I know in real life), I figured I'd take the opportunity to show off my latest Pathfinder bling (arrived on Saturday), just for you.

LOL.

That is an awesome module.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

Except that WotC weren't trying to create something specific, they were trying to create a default world. Once you start throwing Tlaloc in there, you get a very specific vibe. Not everyone wants, in effect, a LE god of agriculture - you are now world-building in a way that WotC didn't want to go to in their very vanilla world. And that was a deliberate stance by them, intended to get you rolling up characters and adventuring quickly without agonising too much about gods and goddesses. As for Demeter, that's a legend which, if you felt so inclined, you could add to Pelor with no real hassle.

The basic 4e pantheon is just that - basic, a DM's aid. They didn't want to close off options because "WotC say so", unlike in other highly developed worlds. You can read off the list of gods and goddesses in the 3e FR Faiths and Pantheons but, in the end, many (maybe most) PCs won't care - that's more a world-creator showing off - and it is restrictive canon, another thing that the designers were trying to reduce or eliminate. And the designers certainly weren't saying "You cannot have a LE agricultural god" - you can have whatever you want, it is your game, and they say that a lot in the 4e books. All they created was a basic default for DMs who didn't care to define a different pantheon for themselves.

Beyond that, they actually explain that one of the big reasons they decided to even have a core pantheon for 4e was that they, the designers, needed something to work with when it came to art (holy symbols around clerics' necks, emblems on shields, etc.) and adventure settings (ruined temples, epic god-vs.-god wars, etc.). I'm sure at some point they asked themselves "Which gods do we see ourselves probably writing adventure about, down the line?" and gods like Tiamat showed up higher on the list than yon-god-o'-farmlands.


Erik Mona wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


While I'm sure that others here could vouch for me in my stead (including a few I know in real life), I figured I'd take the opportunity to show off my latest Pathfinder bling (arrived on Saturday), just for you.

LOL.

That is an awesome module.

Darn tootin'. My players will rue the day they sat down at the table with a DM sadistic enough to run pugwampis. I'll make sure they know whose name to curse. ;)


Scott Betts wrote:
pres man wrote:

Here is some of the advertisements that got people worked up against 4e.

Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition: Teaser (AKA Don't grapple the troll)

A 4th Edition Interview with a Red Dragon (and his cronies) (AKA Poop on the Troll)

Okay, the second one I can see people getting worked up over if they miss the point. The first one, though? No way. There is nothing in there to be offended by or get riled up over. What the heck, internet?

Really? Other than the implied "You had 8 years to figure out how to grapple. Here, since you fail, we're just going to take it away from you and give you something easier. Math is so hard. Sorry about that."

Some of us use grapple rules on a fairly regular basis without any trouble. This was an over-exaggeration of a rule that isn't that hard.

Basically, instead of just saying "Hi, we have a new edition of the game we feel strongly about, here's why...", they took the route of "You've been playing "wrong" all this time. You're not having as much fun as you think you're having. You're only playing it right if you play our NEW edition. That, or you can keep on not having fun. Your choice." It was insulting.

Instead of hyping 4e up on it's own strengths and potential, they instead chose to attack their previous edition. Sort of like how a bully has to hurt other people's feelings to make himself feel better, or a disrespectful person puts down others so that they look better.

They thought they were being hip and edgy, and wound up shooting themselves in the foot. WotC is that guy trying to be the "Cool Dad" and appeal to the young, hip kids, and ends up looking like a tool. That's what I got from these ads. WotC is the 50 year old guy wearing MC Hammer parachute pants in the 2000's.

EDIT: sorry if I'm late with the response, haven't checked the board since yesterday afternoon.


Scott Betts wrote:


Hydro wrote:
That add wasn't about the good things in 4e. They didn't say anything at all about 4e; the only thing they revealed about it was that there was going to be a digital character generator, which really isn't even connected to the narrative of the add. If the add had been about positives instead of about negatives (as you are incorrectly portraying it) I think it would have been taken completely differently.

The ad's point was to illustrate problems with older editions, which makes clear that WotC listened to those complaints and was doing something about them, and then to illustrate that the game has been evolving for decades and yet you still have imagination adventurers slaying paper trolls around a dinner table.

I'm not going to tell you you're wrong(since it's just an opinion), but I strongly disagree with you there Scott, especially this line:

"WotC listened to those complaints and was doing something about them"

Exactly what did they do about it? They showed their portrayal of an average 3e game, people not having fun, frustrated by the grapple rules, but they didn't show "what they did about it". Had they shown 4e's grapple rules in comparison, that would be different, but all they did was cut away to people playing 4e and laughing, smiling, having fun. There was no emphasis on anything that was "fixed" other than "oh look, they're smiling! We fixed the fun!"

For all the ad accomplished, they might as well have been playing Monopoly in that last scene; what they were playing didn't amount to anything since nothing from 4e got talked about. That last scene could have just as easily been a 3e game.


pres man wrote:
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Coupling this with the attitude I am feeling from the adds then I can understand why people got upset.

First off, just a quick thing that is bothering me. People it is "AD" and "ADS", not "ADD" and "ADDS". It is based off the word advertisement, which you will find only has one D in it.

Sorry, not an attack on you Dwarf, just saw it in your comments and thought I had to respond as I have seen it in several others. To me, it was getting to the point that it is for others when they see "rouge" instead of "rogue".

I was in a hurry (running late for work) and only spell checked and didnt do a full read through or I would have picked it up.

pres man wrote:
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Also if people hate Pathfinder so much why are they on the boards?

I'll field this, though I don't hate Pathfinder. I play 3.5, didn't quit for WotC, ain't going to quit for Paizo. So, if I don't play PF, why come to these boards? First off, this site is not only for a game company but also for an online store. I on occasion purchase items from that store, so I consider myself a customer of the store, if not of the game system.

Also as a game site, you hear discussion of many different kinds of games and not just the PF system. One would have to ask, if someone was so in love with PF, why would they explore a thread about articles from another company that produces another game system?

Finally, there are lots of other types of threads that Paizo hosts here, off topic, movies, television, books, etc. Frankly, if this site only discussed PF and that was it, I wouldn't bother visiting.

NO I asked why people who HATE Pathfinder come on the boards NOT why do people who DO NOT play Pathfinder come on to the boards and comment. Please read my posts carefully before replying.

bugleyman wrote:
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Also if people hate Pathfinder so much why are they on the boards?
If you're not with us...

No my problem is with people that whine about everything and don't contribute who sit and threads and fill them full of vitriol and make good conversations and rules discussions useless with their pontificating and arsehattery.

On the other hand

I fully understand that people like Scott enjoy the adventure paths and other Paizo products.

Scott has an excellent thread where he was converting them to 4E.

Nor do I see Scott in the rules threads complaining about the rules set...

I understand he is a vigorous (if occasionally blinkered) defender of the game he likes to play and at the same time he makes a contribution to the community and opens up Paizo products to people that would not normally access them.

Scott Betts wrote:
Stebehil wrote:
Given all that, the advertizing campaign was probably the last straw to many folks, as it can be seen as portraying folks clinging to the older games as incompetent nerds.
Yep, I think this is close to the truth. The people who found the ads offensive were, by and large, those who had received information about the changes surrounding 4e negatively enough that by the time they got to the ads, they were already in the prejudicial mindset of "WotC hates gamers like me." When you've got that in your head as an unquestionable truth, it's easy to place otherwise innocent actions into that contextual framework.

Yes but why did people end up feeling the way they did, how did the information reach them negatively, for me the marketing campaign was a negative experience, at first I was excited then the messages I was getting from the marketing and news reminded me of the bad old T$R days (where the rules weren't the problem but the attitude to the community was) and I stopped playing D&D all together and went back to WOD, Shadowrun and GURPS.

Is it possible to acknowledge that on several levels the WoTC/Hasbro marketing campaign was not the best, and unintentionally they alienated a sizable portion of their community. There was no conspiracy to smash people that liked 3.5 just in the hype and excitement of the new rule set WoTbro forgot to be sensitive to people who loved the game that they had played for a sizable portion of their lives. Without intending to, they made a lot of people very angry with them.... They then compounded this with the late GSL and pulling Dungeon & Dragon (which they were fully within their rights to do) and not taking into account the negativeness that was building around 4E from people who started to think WoTbro were trying to tear down their game.

I like the quality of Paizo products they are the best I have purchased in the RPG industry, but if my GM were to say tomorrow we stop playing Pathfinder and we are playing Savage Worlds, Rifts, RoleMaster or GURPS Horseclans I wouldn't have a problem with that either. So I am not tied or have an allegiance to a particular system but I do love the Paizo community and the attitude of Paizo staff and management.

Shadow Lodge

Stebehil wrote:
The ads linked a few pages back - I didn´t care for them, as I just thought they were not as funny as the folks who made them seemed to think. Especially the one presenting older versions of the game left me "Did they really think that was funny? Its stupid." Offended? If anything, I was offended by the stupidity of the clip as whole. But that is a matter of taste.

Indeed, really more an eyerolling thing...

Quote:
I think that many folks were not especially offended by that clip alone, but rather by a number of decisions many fans did not like - the very different rule system, pulling the various licenses, pulling the pdf sales, fundamental changes to the game worlds, the tighter rules of the GSL. Given all that, the advertizing campaign was probably the last straw to many folks, as it can be seen as portraying folks clinging to the older games as incompetent nerds. I guess it seemed to many that the designers at WotC did not listen to the fan base, or if they did, the fan base was considered not important enough. Given the less-than-stellar history TSR had in that regard, many folks did not take that as a good development. Rather, some of these were seen as a step backwards, especially as some licencees did really good work, and the OGL undeniably revived the RPG market tremendously.

To me the lead up to 4e was one letdown after the other.

  • Canceling the magazines
  • Dropping support for the web site which had some great resources
  • Replacing the above with the 'preview' of DDI which was a mess and mostly just junk... why would I pay for something when the 'preview' was garbage?*
  • Announcing digital tie-ins were to be limited to Windows only
  • Replacing the world+dog friendly OGL with the GSL
  • *Selling* some rather lame preview books which were not appealing at all.*
  • Fairly poor treatment of 3rd party publishers leading up to the product release (which is I suspect what ultimately caused Paizo to decide to create PFRPG).
  • Reading the actual rules books which seemed to me soulless and uninspiring essentially 4e flushed the baby with the bathwater when it came to game design. They fixed a lot of the problems with the system, but they didn't retain a lot of the advantages that made D&D fun and interesting.

    Listening to the podcast leading up to the release I was actually fairly interested but as it got closer and closer to release date the disappointments mounted. By the time the adverts were released I wasn't very interested in 4e at all, I suspect many others felt similarly so were in a bad frame of mind when they viewed them.

    Regardless, I don't blame WotC for the industry split, they produced an offering I don't like. If Paizo hadn't come along I would have very likely stuck with 3.5 and possibly just left gaming entirely. Whether you can somehow meld the industry back together at some point is beyond me. I am certainly not interested in "unity" if it involves the GSL and a digital platform locked into Windows (I'm not even sure if this is relevant anymore).

    *:
    These are all my personal opinions, I recognize that maybe other people liked these products/ ideas but personally they had no appeal at all


  • ProfessorCirno wrote:
    Could someone bring up why wizards saying "Grappling is way too complicated" is horrible and dastardly, and Pathfinder explicitly changing the grappling rules because they're way too complicated is the stuff of angels and saints?

    It's not just what you say, but how you say it.


    I wonder how "Blame our old costumers" would work as a corporate strategy?

    ::Someone passes MU recent Mearls' postings::

    Ah, too bad. If only there were some people left to defend the old strategy!

    ::Peeks in thread::

    Ahh...


    Mothman wrote:


    Well ... no ...

    At the risk of speaking for other people and perhaps misinterpreting what they are saying or meaning, what I see is being said, in the main, is this:

    Wotc said 3.5 grapple is too complicated and that folk who wanted to play a game that used it were foolish / outdated and changed it for 4e.

    Paizo said that 3.5 grapple is too complicated and changed it for Pathfinder.

    Whether Wotc actually said that, or meant it, or have been misinterpreted is another issue. But I don’t think people in this thread are criticising one company and giving another a free pass or praise for exactly the same thing. The issue is not the change it is how the need for change was presented.

    I hereby allow you to speak for me in this matter, since you hit the nail on the head.


    Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
    (unlike Paizo, which has, so I can access any of those from my laptop).

    Don't forget the fact that the rules are free for everyone. No adhesion contract to sign, no subscription to pay. No single cent to spend. Just go to the website (or, rather, to one of several websites. One is the official Paizo one, but others have gone to great lengths adding other material from other books to the stuff that Paizo themselves puts on the net. And this is not only tolerated by Paizo, it's actually endorsed.) and look it up.


    Russ Taylor wrote:
    Scott Betts wrote:
    And, really, replace those with any product and the product line it replaces and you have every iterative product rollout, ever.
    Can you show me all the car commercials talking about how bad their old cars were?

    Oh, didn't you see the commercials for the new Toyota models, where they praise that these don't block the breaks and thus turn into deathtraps?

    Oh, wait, I made those up.

    I think there are ads like that. But they're not broadcast. They're shown to people studying marketing, as a cautionary tale.

    The Exchange

    I think that the dynamic of this website is different, and the reason why there is a lot of vitriol is historic. Primarily this website and messageboard was set up to support the Paizo Dungeon and Dragon magazines, and most people here were fans of that. They were at their apogee of goodness, and I say that as someone who subscribed to them for a long, long time (back to Roger E Moore's time, I think). I never really was bothered about the change of edition - I always considered the change from a moribund 2e to a much better 3e to be a positive thing, and while I was happy with 3e I didn't really see it as a problem as such - but I was pretty furious about the cancellation of the magazines, and I was not alone. For me, Paizo and the community here was my primary contact with D&D in the broader world, and the magazines were my D&D "fix", much more so than WotC's offerings, being more relevant ("Hey, adventures!") and better quality all-round.

    So the cancellation was upsetting to a lot of people and generated a lot of bad feeling, and so I think some people were ready to be offended. They also did a few other things early on, like blowing up FR (again, not really a problem for me - I quite like the new version) which upset a dedicated fanbase there. WotC has actually learned from its mistakes, and the Eberron 4e was a decent straight conversion, and Dark Sun 4e a very good product, but for many it's way too late.

    Once Paizo announced its plans for Pathfinder and so on, I really wasn't that bothered anymore - my D&D fix was safe. Plus I've always felt that WotC have a right to do what is in their interests, rather than necessarily mine, in the interests of profit - I don't see them as purveying products specificially for me, but instead to a market for profit. And it doesn't have to be either/or - I play PF and 4e. But the magazine cancellation, I think, is why there is a lot of bad feeling towards WotC here specifically.

    As a smaller company, Paizo are nimbler and better at communicating than WotC, and because they ran the magazines they had a much better insight into what the customer wants, and developed skills in key areas that WotC, in a BIG strategic error, decided to outsource: adventure design, the life-blood of the game. But a lot of these decisions probably pre-date 4e by a long time - they go back more to the early days of 3e.


    John Kretzer wrote:
    As a example...I love the 3.5 skill system. It had great depth and flexability to it...both 4th ed system and PF's are inferior to it( except the combing hide and move silently into stealth and spot and listen into perception...I thought they should have done that in 3rd...). But I get it is not for everyone...people in group did not like it and got bogged down in it..so I could live with a change. 4th ed threwq it out the window practicly and put in a system I hate. Pazio was more of a compromise...it means both I and the people in our group could enjoy the game more together.

    I prefer the PF system. It uncouples skills a bit more from class (which I like. PF might be a class-based system, but at least in my opinion it works because it has a lot of elements that are not class-based) while still making class skills something useful, and it gets rid of the half-rank thing (which I think was overly complicated, the new system is more elegant without sacrificing much of its flexibility) which is especially good if you're multiclassing.

    In its alpha stage, PF had a different skill system where you only got a certain amount of skills and the bonus was more or less fixed to depend on level.

    It was dismissed again when the fan base complained that it sacrifices too much flexibility without offering sufficient gain.

    But 3.5 and PF are quite similar (I personally liked how they achieved what I thought was a big improvement with such a small change), and the 3.5 system was by all means unplayable (3.0 was a bit worse still, with those exclusive skills).

    My musings ignored the skill consolidations - I generally liked them, though I'd have done a few things differently.


    pres man wrote:
    Now as in, now you are claiming that the 3.5 grappling rules are broken or overcomplicated.

    I'll chime in here. We play 3.5. Have no intention to move to Pathfinder or 4E. I have a monk in the party where all he does is grapple. Every attack. Every battle.

    We still grab for the Rules Compendium at least once per game to try and sort something about the grapple rules.

    Are they rocket science? No. Are they as clear as they can be? No.

    Still prefer 3.5.

    Greg


    Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:


    That is certianly not always true. I don't particularly frequent the WotC boards but was over there looking for some information regarding the DDI at one point and there was a 4E vs. Pathfinder thread that I got curious about and read - in part to see how bad the vitriol would be. It ran seven or eight pages and was generally a pretty even handed and fair presentation of the differences.

    Then you either were lucky, or they improved in the last couple of years. I know them from since before 4e was announced, and know more from reputation. They used to be pretty bad.

    I don't set foot there, so I'll take your word for it.


    ProfessorCirno wrote:

    Could someone bring up why wizards saying "Grappling is way too complicated" is horrible and dastardly, and Pathfinder explicitly changing the grappling rules because they're way too complicated is the stuff of angels and saints?

    I mean, assuming there's a reason that isn't "I like one company and dislike the other!"

    See, a lot of changes in 4e have followed in tune in Pathfinder; one changed less, certainly, but the ideas behind the changes were the same. SoDs too much? Wizards/clerics/druids are too powerful? Fighters aren't powerful enough? Multiclassing gone horrible wrong? All classes should have options to choose from as they level?

    The list goes on...and on...and on. I mean ok, I can see disliking the changes themselves in 4e, but getting mad at the desire for those changes existing while at the same time praising a game that had those same desires is offsetting to put it lightly.

    Both games - especially with APG and Essentials - are far closer then many on either side of "the war" like to think.

    Besides, I see no war here. I see yet another group of people taking a call for togetherness as a sign of weakness to attack. This is entirely one way.

    You're right, Pathfinder changed a lot of the same things 4e changed, but you are completely ignoring the respective companies approach to the changes, which I think is what everyone is arguing here.

    WotC took a very aggressive stance on the edition change, a very "if you're not with us, you're against us!" kind of approach. They couldn't figure out how to sell their system without attacking others. WotC, in a slightly exaggerated example, sits high on their throne, behind 100' tall walls, and tells the player how to enjoy their game. They even had the nerve to say things like "you're not having as much fun as you think you are." That's a pretty bold statement. I'd like to think your average human being can decide for themselves whether or not somehting they are doing is fun. Hell, animals can figure that much out.

    Paizo took a completely different approach. They held open play-testing, infinite hands-on play discussions, constant updates and revisions, and gave us the game we told them we wanted to play. To this day you'll find regular posts from the games creators right along side other posters. Instead of lording the game over us and telling us how to play, they took it to the community, and have openly and plainly defended every change they made. They have nothing to hide. Of course you can't please every single player, but for the most part it was player input that decided the final version of Pathfinder.

    Rules changes can be fine. Updates can be good. I think the popular misconception of 3e players is that we're mad that something got changed; most of us aren't. It's how those changes came about; one company slapped us in the face with them, while the other took time to ask us what we'd like to see changed.


    Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
    The trouble with this statement is that it leads to insipid world-building and isn't backed up by actual mythology.

    And the problem with this statement is that it goes for all settings.

    Setting 1 has no deity of agriculture, setting 2 has one deity of agriculture and ten different warriors gods. What do they have in common? They're both hilariously unrealistic.

    D&D has always sculpted the world around the adventurers. 4e is no different in this.


    Jandrem wrote:
    You're right, Pathfinder changed a lot of the same things 4e changed, but you are completely ignoring the respective companies approach to the changes, which I think is what everyone is arguing here.

    I'm not, and they aren't.

    People are claiming that 4e's changes "insulted" them because it implied nobody liked grappling. Similar complaints are levied against the changes to SoDs, the increased health at early levels, the goal of having longer combat, giving non-casters more options.

    Let me be frank as someone who has seen far too many edition wars - the complaints typically hold no ground in 4e to begin with, and many are vague enough to apply equally to Pathfinder.

    The problem is that many of the complainers have never played 4e, and most likely have never even read the books for it.

    Me? I enjoy both games. I enjoy most editions period. But when I talk about issues in either game, it comes from a level of personal experience that overall is missing in a true "edition wars" thread.


    ProfessorCirno wrote:
    Jandrem wrote:
    You're right, Pathfinder changed a lot of the same things 4e changed, but you are completely ignoring the respective companies approach to the changes, which I think is what everyone is arguing here.

    I'm not, and they aren't.

    People are claiming that 4e's changes "insulted" them because it implied nobody liked grappling. Similar complaints are levied against the changes to SoDs, the increased health at early levels, the goal of having longer combat, giving non-casters more options.

    Not really sure why you quoted me, since you completely missed everything I said, but oh well.

    People like grappling. It's the grappling rules and how they got changed that some people are debating. I can use them fine, but I'll admit they're clunky, and even looking outside of my gaming table(you'd be amazed out how different things are when you do that) just seeing all the fervor over the old grappling rules says that something needed to be done about them. I don't think most of us are arguing that they shouldn't have been changed, it's how they went about it.

    Again, I think a LOT of misconceptions about previous edition/PF players is that we feared change of any kind. That's just not the case for everyone, or we wouldn't have gone to 3.5 from 3.0 in the first place. Hell, I was looking forward to 4e before it came out. I felt 3.5 had a good run, they were running out of material to print(the major stuff had been covered), and maybe it was time for something new. When it came out, I didn't like it. Not my thing.

    That being said, I don't care if your company has the greatest game on earth; if I don't agree with your business practices, you're not getting my business. 4e is a decent game, they should have had no problem selling it on it's own merits. Their approach of "if you're playing this old broken edition, you're not having fun!" was at the very least presumptuous and disrespectful to those who were having fun, who handled the rules just fine.

    *edited for tangent jumping


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

    To me it was more of the ads saying because of these obscure corner cases, we are releasing a whole new set of rules. I would have been up for 4e if the changes from 3e to 4e would have been similar to 1e to 2e (I ran games for a very long time with a 2nd Edition DMG and a 1st edition PH). Pathfinder brought that to the table and that was why I choose to go that direction.

    I think the first ad fails to create a good reason to upgrade. If you look at the changes that are presented before minis it was harder to keep track of where the characters and monsters were (in every combat). Base Attack Bonus is easier to do then THAC0 (in every combat). Grappling was a bit complicated in 3rd, mainly because no one in our group ever did it so we always had to look up the rule. But it almost never came up so who cares. Also don't make a big deal about the grappling rules and then don't show them grappling in 4e.


    Scott Betts wrote:
    Russ Taylor wrote:
    If there ad campaign included mocking me for eating there and enjoying their food before

    Right, because WotC is all about laughing at people who played and enjoyed previous editions of the game. For instance, everyone who works there.

    ...waaaaaaait...

    It could be argued that is what the first commercial did.


    TriOmegaZero wrote:

    I'll be honest.* I really am as ruggedly handsome as my avatar.

    ** spoiler omitted **

    ** spoiler omitted **

    ** spoiler omitted **

    But..the check you mailed me, endorsed by I.C. Wiener..you mean it isn't real??!?


    Jandrem wrote:
    Scott Betts wrote:


    Hydro wrote:
    That add wasn't about the good things in 4e. They didn't say anything at all about 4e; the only thing they revealed about it was that there was going to be a digital character generator, which really isn't even connected to the narrative of the add. If the add had been about positives instead of about negatives (as you are incorrectly portraying it) I think it would have been taken completely differently.

    The ad's point was to illustrate problems with older editions, which makes clear that WotC listened to those complaints and was doing something about them, and then to illustrate that the game has been evolving for decades and yet you still have imagination adventurers slaying paper trolls around a dinner table.

    I'm not going to tell you you're wrong(since it's just an opinion), but I strongly disagree with you there Scott, especially this line:

    "WotC listened to those complaints and was doing something about them"

    Exactly what did they do about it? They showed their portrayal of an average 3e game, people not having fun, frustrated by the grapple rules, but they didn't show "what they did about it". Had they shown 4e's grapple rules in comparison, that would be different, but all they did was cut away to people playing 4e and laughing, smiling, having fun. There was no emphasis on anything that was "fixed" other than "oh look, they're smiling! We fixed the fun!"

    For all the ad accomplished, they might as well have been playing Monopoly in that last scene; what they were playing didn't amount to anything since nothing from 4e got talked about. That last scene could have just as easily been a 3e game.

    You said it better than I did.


    Digitalelf wrote:
    Dark_Mistress wrote:

    Really I always thought it was.

    "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women." :)

    That which does not kill you makes you stronger right?

    And tries to take your stuff.

    -The Gneech

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Freehold DM wrote:
    But..the check you mailed me, endorsed by I.C. Wiener..you mean it isn't real??!?

    It's a real check, it's just backed by fake money!


    @Scott Betts: The fact that a god of agiculture is probably one of the most widely whorshipped gods by 'common' folk means that the deity would be very influencial. Sure many 'adventures' might not whorshipp the god...but the impact of such a god on a world would be huge. It is a kinda of attiude that turns everyone except the 'adventurers' into card board figures.

    Also put simply I can see reaqsons for a cleric of a agiculture god to go adventuring. One of the most important aspect of deities and their priest is to protect their whorshippers...so I really just disagree with their assertationb that a god of agiculture is unimportant...it is wrong...and just short sighted.

    I also just got a strong feeling of just laziness on their part.

    Side note on cars: Actualy it is because the cars devalue is what makes them less desirable by conbsumers...not that they go down in price because of the cunsumer's desires.


    For the me the ads seemed a continuation of what the designers were saying.
    That was "these are the problems we see in 3,5 that we are going to deal with in 4e".

    My reaction varied between:
    a) that is a very minor matter that would be better dealt with in minor change - more a 3.6.
    b) that isn't a real problem and since you think it is I do not trust you to do a good job.
    c) changing the game to make try to sell more product isn't likely to make it better.
    d) that change will take the game away from the type of game I most prefer.

    I did not think there were major problems with 3.5 - that was why it was my RPG of choice.

    An example of a) was the grappling rules, and Pathfinder shows the sort of solution I was thinking of.

    An example of b) that one of the designers actually said a goal of 4e was to make sure all characters could contribute in combat, assuming that characters who can't contribute aren't fun, which may the case if done accidentally but is not true in general. I once played a priestess from a monastic order who when she started adventuring was near useless in combat, but soon learned how to defend herself, and slowly started to become more competant. As the only healer and most charismatic character she could contribute outside combat. (Started as a cleric with STR 7, WIS 18, CHA 16, DEX 14, took second and third levels in monk intending to becomes a sacred fist.)

    c) was the emphasis on minutures - which I usually do not use.

    d) was a statement by designers that they were reducing the amount of simulation. My preferred style is simulationist, and moving to a more gamist system did not suit me.

    The 4e designers achieved the goals they set, but in doing so they moved the game away from what I prefer. So I stayed with 3.5.

    RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

    Scott Betts wrote:


    Hydro wrote:
    Imagine if they did that over in Magic: the Gathering: for instance, instead of talking about the things that would make Scars of Mirrodin awesome, they instead talked about how bad Alara was, and how great it would be to be rid of it, and who would want to play with that old crap anyway?
    Again, the fact that this is what you think WotC did is kind of incredible.

    (. . .)

    Scott Betts wrote:


    This is much more akin to Dominos Pizza's recent pizza crust change. They actively marketed their product as "Geez, guys, our pizza crust used to taste pretty bad. We made it better."

    Imagine if someone had reacted to that by saying "What the hell are you talking about?! I loved Dominos' old pizza crust! I'm offended that you'd suggest it's anything but oven-baked rainbows and unicorn flatulence! I will never purchase from Dominos again - not because I dislike their pizza, but because they dared insult their own crust!"

    Wouldn't that person strike you as...out there?

    Your older posts focused on the idea that WoTC wasn't saying that 3e was bad, and that it was ridiculous to think that they were. You didn't exactly say it and I could be misreading you, but that tone implies that maybe some level of offense would be justified if they had been saying that 3e was bad (which they weren't!)

    In more recent posts you are saying that it is okay in marketing to say that your old product was bad, and that that same reasoning applies to marketing in gaming.

    Can you clarify, please? Do you think that that particular add was portraying 3e as "bad"? If so (or, theroetically, if it had), do you think that would be okay? And if the same tactics were used in one of Wizards' older and better managed properties; i.e, selling new (MtG) blocks by marketing the old ones as "bad", do you think that would be a good idea?

    RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

    As an aside, I think it's a little creepy (in a McCarthyist sort of way) that Mr Betts status as a Pathfinder player and his place in this community has been called into question just because he defends Wizards (yes, he "proved" that he did play Pathfinder, which made me laugh, but that's not the point). I guess now it's my turn to say "what the heck, internet?"

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

    Hydro wrote:
    As an aside, I think it's a little creepy (in a McCarthyist sort of way) that Mr Betts status as a Pathfinder player and his place in this community has been called into question just because he defends Wizards (yes, he "proved" that he did play Pathfinder, which made me laugh, but that's not the point). I guess now it's my turn to say "what the heck, internet?"

    Your Paizo card will be confiscated shortly. Do not leave your present whereabouts. Do not contact anyone. Under no circumstances are you to look at a Pathfinder core book. The System has spoken!

    Contributor

    ProfessorCirno wrote:
    Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
    The trouble with this statement is that it leads to insipid world-building and isn't backed up by actual mythology.

    And the problem with this statement is that it goes for all settings.

    Setting 1 has no deity of agriculture, setting 2 has one deity of agriculture and ten different warriors gods. What do they have in common? They're both hilariously unrealistic.

    D&D has always sculpted the world around the adventurers. 4e is no different in this.

    So you're saying the Norse pantheon is hilariously unrealistic because of all the emphasis on who has what weapon and who's going to be beating who up at Ragnarok?

    Is the Greco-Roman pantheon similarly unrealistic because Ares was accompanied by his sister Eris, as well as Strife, Phobos, Metus, Demios, Pallor, and Enyo? Add in Athena and Zeus and you've got ten warrior gods right there. That doesn't even count Hephaestus, god of fire and smithcraft (and thus weaponsmith of the gods). Or Hercules, demigod of strength. Or Dionysus, god of getting really drunk and trashing things.

    Personally I think the easiest way to darken up the D&D pantheon is to split Agriculture between Pelor, who as sun god is in charge of planting and growing, and Nerull, who is pretty obviously a dark harvest god and would be infinitely cooler if farmers feared and propitiated him like Tlaloc.

    RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

    Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:


    Personally I think the easiest way to darken up the D&D pantheon is to split Agriculture between Pelor, who as sun god is in charge of planting and growing, and Nerull, who is pretty obviously a dark harvest god and would be infinitely cooler if farmers feared and propitiated him like Tlaloc.

    Cool idea.


    John Kretzer wrote:
    @Scott Betts: The fact that a god of agiculture is probably one of the most widely worshipped gods by 'common' folk means that the deity would be very influencial. Sure many 'adventures' might not worship the god...but the impact of such a god on a world would be huge. It is a kind of attiude that turns everyone except the 'adventurers' into card board figures.

    No, it doesn't mean anything of the sort. Even assuming that there's one 'god of agriculture' anyway. Not that it's sensible to compare historic pantheons to how pantheons work in D&D, but the link between number of worshippers and influence/power is not one you can take for granted.

    Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

    Damn! I didn't know this ride was still running.

    This thread is fun. Reminds me of the fact that we still had some hardcore 2e holdouts at Paizo up until a few years ago, and they would occassionally circle the wagons to rehash the 2e > 3e battle.

    Has anyone mentioned how offensive it was to use the same art on the new red box version?

    What about the lack of gnomes in the PHB?

    Also, it's like an MMORPG.


    Sebastian wrote:

    Damn! I didn't know this ride was still running.

    This thread is fun. Reminds me of the fact that we still had some hardcore 2e holdouts at Paizo up until a few years ago, and they would occassionally circle the wagons to rehash the 2e > 3e battle.

    Has anyone mentioned how offensive it was to use the same art on the new red box version?

    What about the lack of gnomes in the PHB?

    Also, it's like an MMORPG.

    People say MMORPG like it's a bad thing, and a LOT of 4e defenders argue it away like it's an insult. It's not. I play 3e/PF, and *gasp* I play MMO's too. It's a kind of game, one that has millions of subscribers, and DnD looked to it for inspiration. Oh my Goddesses I can't believe I'm defending 4e.

    I've got a good friend, who is a staunch, diehard 4e player. The mere mention of "MMO" and he goes into full Wolvie-berzerker rage mode. Hilarious factoid, he's never played a MMO in his life.

    4e is like a MMO. 3e is like a war game.

    So what?

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