Mearls pleading for unity


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Urizen wrote:

Interesting observation. When I go to second market stores such as Half Price Books, it's a rare occasion for me to find a Pathfinder resource there. 4e, on the other hand, its volumes are growing.

In the few I've been around to in Austin, I haven't noticed any 4E or Pathfinder books on the shelves. I do note that 3.5 core books are running above cover price when I look for them online.


I'm a HPB hound. Pathfinder/Paizo stuff in general are VERY rare. 4e is common. 3.5 stuff is easier to find than it was during the period when people were feeling more desperate, but it is also much more common to see them at higher than half price and they are never put on clearance any more, unlike 4e stuff.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
pres man wrote:
Mouthy Upstart wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Though this is pure speculation on my part it would suggest that I might have been right in that WotC should have kept producing 3.5...though every time I even suggested that over at the WotC boards I got called crazy...but if both Pathfinder and 4th ed are doing well...that they would be raking in the money.
Crazy? More like, INSANE. I mean, it's NEVER worked to produce TWO versions of D&D at the same time, and it never WOULD HAVE worked.

I believe Paizo said that even if the GSL had been more desirable at the beginning, that Paizo would never have been interesting in producing versions of products for 4e and 3.5 (or ultimately their own in-house system). They would have picked one system and focus all of their resources on that.

Funny how Paizo is applauded for that as a good business sense and WotC is ..., well we know.

To be fair though, I think that the fact that Paizo is considerably smaller than WOTC might also have had something to do with that position.

I also agree that WOTC producing more 3.5 material along side 4E would not have done alot to bolster confidence in 4E. So as far as actively NOT supporting older editions they made the right call.

Now not making the older edition material available anymore via PDF? I could see people getting upset about that. But as has been said before other people are picking up the slack on that front so there's not a whole lot to worry baout unless you were looking for a specific TSR product like a module or Campaign setting.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Urizen wrote:

Interesting observation. When I go to second market stores such as Half Price Books, it's a rare occasion for me to find a Pathfinder resource there. 4e, on the other hand, its volumes are growing.

In the few I've been around to in Austin, I haven't noticed any 4E or Pathfinder books on the shelves. I do note that 3.5 core books are running above cover price when I look for them online.

+1 on that. I actually need hard copies of 3.5 stuff(I mostly have pdfs) for my collection, if only to have hard stuff to work with for Freehold! The Saga of Wune.


pres man wrote:
Mouthy Upstart wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Though this is pure speculation on my part it would suggest that I might have been right in that WotC should have kept producing 3.5...though every time I even suggested that over at the WotC boards I got called crazy...but if both Pathfinder and 4th ed are doing well...that they would be raking in the money.
Crazy? More like, INSANE. I mean, it's NEVER worked to produce TWO versions of D&D at the same time, and it never WOULD HAVE worked.

I believe Paizo said that even if the GSL had been more desirable at the beginning, that Paizo would never have been interesting in producing versions of products for 4e and 3.5 (or ultimately their own in-house system). They would have picked one system and focus all of their resources on that.

Funny how Paizo is applauded for that as a good business sense and WotC is ..., well we know.

Size makes all the difference.


pres man wrote:
Mouthy Upstart wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Though this is pure speculation on my part it would suggest that I might have been right in that WotC should have kept producing 3.5...though every time I even suggested that over at the WotC boards I got called crazy...but if both Pathfinder and 4th ed are doing well...that they would be raking in the money.
Crazy? More like, INSANE. I mean, it's NEVER worked to produce TWO versions of D&D at the same time, and it never WOULD HAVE worked.

I believe Paizo said that even if the GSL had been more desirable at the beginning, that Paizo would never have been interesting in producing versions of products for 4e and 3.5 (or ultimately their own in-house system). They would have picked one system and focus all of their resources on that.

Funny how Paizo is applauded for that as a good business sense and WotC is ..., well we know.

Actualy I am not appaulding Pazio for that good bussiness sense. Though given Pazio size...I can understand why that they made sense for them...but WotC is not only larger...it is backed up by Hasbro. So they could very well have done so.

Also I think you are reading too much into Mouthy Upstart statement...I think that popster is refering to the fact that D&D for all of it's AD&D run and most of it's 2nd ed run also had Basic D&D produced as well. So it is not like they have not done it before.

Edited: Ninjad by noth SkinHakkaider and Mairkurion...drats. (shakes fist)


John Kretzer wrote:
Actualy I am not appaulding Pazio for that good bussiness sense. Though given Pazio size...I can understand why that they made sense for them...but WotC is not only larger...it is backed up by Hasbro. So they could very well have done so.

I am not entirely convinced that the actual operating part of WotC that actually works on D&D is exponentially larger than the Paizo staff. They may be, I have no idea, but just because WotC (which includes things like Magic, has included Star Wars and HeroScape, etc) and Hasbro are all larger doesn't mean the staff working on D&D is necessarily larger. The larger mother corporation is only going to spend money if they view it as cost effective, which running a second edition probably isn't.

As for the whole pdf thing, yeah I think it is stupid, but I would point out that 4e pdfs are not for sale either. If the goal was to kill older editions and push 4e, then it would have made sense to pull the older edition pdfs only and push the 4e pdfs. That isn't happening, so I think people are reading too much into the whole pdf thing. Yes, again, stupid to pull them.


pres man wrote:

I am not entirely convinced that the actual operating part of WotC that actually works on D&D is exponentially larger than the Paizo staff. They may be, I have no idea, but just because WotC (which includes things like Magic, has included Star Wars and HeroScape, etc) and Hasbro are all larger doesn't mean the staff working on D&D is necessarily larger. The larger mother corporation is only going to spend money if they view it as cost effective, which running a second edition probably isn't.

You might be right...I don't know I have not done a head count. But with their corporation I can gurantee they have a much larger budget than Pazio does...and back in the the early days of 4th ed...they could definitly have pulled it off...especialy I think you are missing the point that 4th ed line would have recieved a fraction of the books it did get...not saying fo full bore on both systems.

Now, you are right...WotC probably could not produce two systems...it looks like they have problems with just one...but back than...it is more questionable. And if they did...back than they might have made another money for Hasbro to expand them...

As I said it is pure speculation. I love speculation because hey we are both right...

Edit: Also at the time Pazio was alot smaller I think...if they continue to grow who knows. It has worked in the past...there is no reason to think it can't work.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
pres man wrote:

I believe Paizo said that even if the GSL had been more desirable at the beginning, that Paizo would never have been interesting in producing versions of products for 4e and 3.5 (or ultimately their own in-house system). They would have picked one system and focus all of their resources on that.

Funny how Paizo is applauded for that as a good business sense and WotC is ..., well we know.

I would say the big difference between the 4e releases and the PF release, at least for me was I wasn't ready for another major change that makes me have to work to use any of my previous books. I wanted a 1st edition to 2nd edition change and not a 2nd to 3rd style change. Pathfinder did that 4e didn't so I play PF.

The other big difference was Paizo's release was to make it so they were no longer dependent on another publisher. (Although being dependent on that publisher helped them get the company to the point they were at). From a business perspective, they lose the Dragon and Dungeon licenses and have to scramble to create a new product line. Then WotC announces 4e ad they are in a position where they either convert to the new rules and hope that WotC doesn't change things again or they do what they did and put their fate in their own hands.

WotC was just at a point where they felt their previous edition had run it's course, and looking to move forward.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Freehold DM wrote:
+1 on that. I actually need hard copies of 3.5 stuff(I mostly have pdfs) for my collection, if only to have hard stuff to work with for Freehold! The Saga of Wune.

Precisely why I'm glad the OGL let's you print the rules yourself. Or have Lulu print and bind them for you. Added bonus of being able to insert houserules to your hearts content!

Dark Archive

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
pres man wrote:
Mouthy Upstart wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Though this is pure speculation on my part it would suggest that I might have been right in that WotC should have kept producing 3.5...though every time I even suggested that over at the WotC boards I got called crazy...but if both Pathfinder and 4th ed are doing well...that they would be raking in the money.
Crazy? More like, INSANE. I mean, it's NEVER worked to produce TWO versions of D&D at the same time, and it never WOULD HAVE worked.

I believe Paizo said that even if the GSL had been more desirable at the beginning, that Paizo would never have been interesting in producing versions of products for 4e and 3.5 (or ultimately their own in-house system). They would have picked one system and focus all of their resources on that.

Funny how Paizo is applauded for that as a good business sense and WotC is ..., well we know.

Size makes all the difference.

Very true... oh wait you mean Game COMPANY size... err yeah... thats what I meant to... I think.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
+1 on that. I actually need hard copies of 3.5 stuff(I mostly have pdfs) for my collection, if only to have hard stuff to work with for Freehold! The Saga of Wune.
Precisely why I'm glad the OGL let's you print the rules yourself. Or have Lulu print and bind them for you. Added bonus of being able to insert houserules to your hearts content!

Indeed, that last makes me weep with joy on a regular basis.

Dark Archive

pres man wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Actualy I am not appaulding Pazio for that good bussiness sense. Though given Pazio size...I can understand why that they made sense for them...but WotC is not only larger...it is backed up by Hasbro. So they could very well have done so.

I am not entirely convinced that the actual operating part of WotC that actually works on D&D is exponentially larger than the Paizo staff. They may be, I have no idea, but just because WotC (which includes things like Magic, has included Star Wars and HeroScape, etc) and Hasbro are all larger doesn't mean the staff working on D&D is necessarily larger. The larger mother corporation is only going to spend money if they view it as cost effective, which running a second edition probably isn't.

As for the whole pdf thing, yeah I think it is stupid, but I would point out that 4e pdfs are not for sale either. If the goal was to kill older editions and push 4e, then it would have made sense to pull the older edition pdfs only and push the 4e pdfs. That isn't happening, so I think people are reading too much into the whole pdf thing. Yes, again, stupid to pull them.

I agree with that mostly. While I think not selling older PDF's had it's appeal and likely factored in. I think the main and by far biggest reason to not sell PDF's was to push the DDI subscription. Since that is the only way to access electronic copies of the books now.

Dark Archive

As for the whole two versions of DnD thing. I think it would have been a very bad idea for WotC to support 4e and 3e with new product. I don't think it would have been bad to sell the older version as PDF's.

Now something I think both WotC and Paizo should do. Is make a basic streamlined version of their game. For say levels 1-10, have all the rules you need in a single book/box what have you. Then offer a small setting book, maybe one book of options(including maybe a couple more classes or races but no new rules), then crank out a slow but steady supply of adventures. That would be a gateway and eventually people could move from it to the advanced versions of their game. Will either one do that? I have no idea. Is it a good business tactic? I don't know, but I think it is, but then I am not well versed in business.


Dark_Mistress wrote:

As for the whole two versions of DnD thing. I think it would have been a very bad idea for WotC to support 4e and 3e with new product. I don't think it would have been bad to sell the older version as PDF's.

Now something I think both WotC and Paizo should do. Is make a basic streamlined version of their game. For say levels 1-10, have all the rules you need in a single book/box what have you. Then offer a small setting book, maybe one book of options(including maybe a couple more classes or races but no new rules), then crank out a slow but steady supply of adventures. That would be a gateway and eventually people could move from it to the advanced versions of their game. Will either one do that? I have no idea. Is it a good business tactic? I don't know, but I think it is, but then I am not well versed in business.

I thought that this is kind of what 4E Essentials was. I may be wrong.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dark_Mistress wrote:
Now something I think both WotC and Paizo should do. Is make a basic streamlined version of their game. For say levels 1-10, have all the rules you need in a single book/box what have you. Then offer a small setting book, maybe one book of options(including maybe a couple more classes or races but no new rules), then crank out a slow but steady supply of adventures. That would be a gateway and eventually people could move from it to the advanced versions of their game. Will either one do that? I have no idea. Is it a good business tactic? I don't know, but I think it is, but then I am not well versed in business.

Paizo is apparently working on one now, although I haven't kept up with what they're doing with it.


Mike Mearls: Harbinger of Editions!

The fighter column especially really does have that deja vu feeling, doesn't it? I keep remembering his column about the rust monster way back when, which turned out to be a "stealth preview" of 4E philosophy.

But what, if anything, can we take away from the new set of columns? "We want to get back to our roots?" Well, okay, good luck with that. "More GM arbitration, fewer hard-and-fast rules?" Good luck with that too -- especially when it comes to tournament play. "Less product over time?" Well that's already being implemented, in the form of projects being cut from the schedule. On the other hand, looking at the D&D shelf at the FLGS, I see a dizzying array of products that have come out in the past year with little real guidance as to what's what. Three core rulebooks are easily identified. Half a dozen boxes of varying sizes and shapes, not so much.

Right now at least, the impression I get is that they've been flailing. Heck, the "fortune cards" looked to me like somebody said, "Gamma World is working! Quick, add booster cards to D&D and see if that fixes it." The impression I get from the schedule cuts and the new "let's be friends again" posts by Mr. Mearls is that they may have decided to stop, re-think, and start over.

Will it work? Dunno. There's a lot for people to get over, not the least of which is the volatility of it all. Paizo created Pathfinder as much to know they'd have a rule system that stuck around as anything else. All hostility to WotC aside, if D&D becomes a moving target of rules that keep completely changing before your campaign has even finished, it's going to be hard to want to adopt 'em.

-The Gneech

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think Mike's "steps" chart is wonky and somewhat arbritary. Where's the "Calculate weapon speed" for 2e? Why are Perception and Insight calaculations listed as separate from calculating skill totals in 4e since you'd probably do that during the calculate skills step? (To get +2 over 3rd??)


Reckless wrote:
I think Mike's "steps" chart is wonky and somewhat arbritary. Where's the "Calculate weapon speed" for 2e? Why are Perception and Insight calaculations listed as separate from calculating skill totals in 4e since you'd probably do that during the calculate skills step? (To get +2 over 3rd??)

Agreed. Including passive scores as two "steps" in character creations seems a bit silly. I see his overall point, but some of it does seem arbitrary as you say.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

Ah, the derision of the current edition begins... Too many steps in 4e, so of course you'll want the next edition we're not working on (wink, wink) currently.

Dark Archive

Joana wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
Now something I think both WotC and Paizo should do. Is make a basic streamlined version of their game. For say levels 1-10, have all the rules you need in a single book/box what have you. Then offer a small setting book, maybe one book of options(including maybe a couple more classes or races but no new rules), then crank out a slow but steady supply of adventures. That would be a gateway and eventually people could move from it to the advanced versions of their game. Will either one do that? I have no idea. Is it a good business tactic? I don't know, but I think it is, but then I am not well versed in business.
Paizo is apparently working on one now, although I haven't kept up with what they're doing with it.

I know they are working on a basic game yes. I don't know if it will be like what I said or more like 4e's which was only a couple of levels and no real follow up.


I'm an avid 4e player. I enjoy the system. But I think WotC has made several wrong steps as far as presenting 4e, and it shows. I may not have the statistics for sales, but one doesn't cancel several major releases if everything is going well. With the exception of the upcoming new online tools, both the online output (i.e. the "magazines") and the product release schedule feel dismal at best.

I do marketing for a small business. There were often times I'd watch WotC make a product or marketing decision that immediately put my red flags up, but I figured that WotC had information or expertise that I was simply lacking. Perhaps, however, they didn't.

The most telling is that the designers had to so often explain themselves. From their first major overhauls to vast parts of the game system to their recent confusing integration of an "Essentials" product line, they seemed to ignore the most important marketing rule: The simplest message is the most effective. It's not a good sign when you have to explain yourself in more than a few brief explanations. When 4e players such as myself don't understand how Essentials falls into 4e products and several columns are dedicated to explaining it, then it's most likely doomed to fail.

The result seems to be a scattered customer base. That Pathfinder is even considered competition for a brand like D&D would have seemed impossible just a few short years ago, but much indicates that Pathfinder is holding its own against the "world's most popular roleplaying game."

If WotC wants to recoup, the company has its work cut out for it. I don't know if 5e is the answer, and I'm not sure WotC knows whether 5e is the answer either. My guess is that they are in a phase of gathering as much information as possible before they attempt to strategize a plan. I don't think that recent behaviors indicate a 5e...I don't think they'd be focusing on their online tools so much if that were the case. I think it indicates that WoTC is asking themselves "WTF just happened and what do we do now?"


Whimsy Chris wrote:
The result seems to be a scattered customer base. That Pathfinder is even considered competition for a brand like D&D would have seemed impossible just a few short years ago, but much indicates that Pathfinder is holding its own against the "world's most popular roleplaying game."

The neat thing is, if Pathfinder overtakes D&D, Paizo doesn't have to change their marketing phrase, 'cause their material will still be compatible with the world's most popular roleplaying game. ;)

-The Gneech


Whimsy Chris wrote:
If WotC wants to recoup, the company has its work cut out for it. I don't know if 5e is the answer, and I'm not sure WotC knows whether 5e is the answer either. My guess is that they are in a phase of gathering as much information as possible before they attempt to strategize a plan. I don't think that recent behaviors indicate a 5e...I don't think they'd be focusing on their online tools so much if that were the case.

As much as I hate to fan edition wars, a company's lead developer does not ask a pointed question like that publicly like that about the basic structure of how the fighter is setup if they aren't already planning something pretty dang big. That combined with the earlier polls definitely makes it clear that they are in the process of developing 4E's replacement, whatever it may be called. It will still probably be a while before we see what the replacement is, but they are definitely planning it.

Dark Archive

sunshadow21 wrote:
Whimsy Chris wrote:
If WotC wants to recoup, the company has its work cut out for it. I don't know if 5e is the answer, and I'm not sure WotC knows whether 5e is the answer either. My guess is that they are in a phase of gathering as much information as possible before they attempt to strategize a plan. I don't think that recent behaviors indicate a 5e...I don't think they'd be focusing on their online tools so much if that were the case.
As much as I hate to fan edition wars, a company's lead developer does not ask a pointed question like that publicly like that about the basic structure of how the fighter is setup if they aren't already planning something pretty dang big. That combined with the earlier polls definitely makes it clear that they are in the process of developing 4E's replacement, whatever it may be called. It will still probably be a while before we see what the replacement is, but they are definitely planning it.

To be fair they may not be planning 5e, but might be thinking about another product line like Essentials. Such information would be important to it. Especially if they do it as a gateway game to 4e. maybe call it 4e basic or something.


Dark_Mistress wrote:

As for the whole two versions of DnD thing. I think it would have been a very bad idea for WotC to support 4e and 3e with new product. I don't think it would have been bad to sell the older version as PDF's.

Again 4th ed would have been completely different if they went that route...more like what you are suggesting Pazio should do.

I mean the problem with 4th ed was it was trying to be two different games...and expandfing too rapidly for one of those things. That is why it failed for me as a game.

I could not do with it what I want like 3.5 because they had to simplfied it for the newbies...but the newbies suddenly get buried in a ton of books that you really need to play it as well as just core from 3.5.

Two games that are related would have done a bunch better job.

But than again I think a large part of 4th ed was ego. To put their mark on the brand( They said they will never want to go back even if it proved to be failure). To slaughter some sacred cows to replace them with their own...and if you really think the FR rewrite was anything besides pure ego than you are saddly mistaken. I have seen hundreds of ways that they could of changed the Realms to deal with the misperceptiuon people had of it that was less invasive and troublesome...heck the fact the creators wh worked on the new Realms are the same ones who made bone headed mistakes that they had to fix did not exactly filled me with confidence...

Sorry went into a little rant at the end.


sunshadow21 wrote:
Whimsy Chris wrote:
If WotC wants to recoup, the company has its work cut out for it. I don't know if 5e is the answer, and I'm not sure WotC knows whether 5e is the answer either. My guess is that they are in a phase of gathering as much information as possible before they attempt to strategize a plan. I don't think that recent behaviors indicate a 5e...I don't think they'd be focusing on their online tools so much if that were the case.
As much as I hate to fan edition wars, a company's lead developer does not ask a pointed question like that publicly like that about the basic structure of how the fighter is setup if they aren't already planning something pretty dang big. That combined with the earlier polls definitely makes it clear that they are in the process of developing 4E's replacement, whatever it may be called. It will still probably be a while before we see what the replacement is, but they are definitely planning it.

Perhaps, but it could also indicate another iteration of 4e. The Gamma World game is based on 4e rules. Essentials was a kind of new presentation of 4e. The now delayed or canceled Ravenloft RPG was going to be based on 4e. Perhaps such questions are helping Mearls decide if a new game is needed or just a new way of presenting 4e, like a kind of Basic version of the game or alternatively, new complexities of options. Or maybe they will plan on presenting new RPGs with the 4e skeleton, like Gamma World, but want some indication on how detailed it ought to be.

To me, it feels they are throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall, such as Fortune Cards, online play, and other RPGs, to see what sticks. This may all culminate in another edition of the game, but so far I haven't seen enough to prove it.


H. T. J. Munchkineater wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
H. T. J. Munchkineater wrote:
Mr. Betts wrote:
One of these things used sarcasm to make a point.
Ah, sarcasm on the internet. It works so well. I'm surprised it was taken out of context here, actually, I've never seen that happen before. Bizarre, really. In most cases it is well delivered, and well received, often disfusing otherwise tense situations. Never have I seen it misused, poorly applied, or used as a justification retroactively for a statement that may have been unreasonable but furiously typed in the heat of the moment. I am sadden by its unique and unprecedent situation here.
You're right, but why does my tension increase when I read your words?

A mystery indeed.

Hmm.

Hmmmm.

Probably because I'm a jerk.

That must be it, then. Plus, your name is wrong. Shouldn't it be Munchkineticist? Or whoever you call someone engaging in in munchkineatography.

Dark Archive

John Kretzer wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:

As for the whole two versions of DnD thing. I think it would have been a very bad idea for WotC to support 4e and 3e with new product. I don't think it would have been bad to sell the older version as PDF's.

Again 4th ed would have been completely different if they went that route...more like what you are suggesting Pazio should do.

I mean the problem with 4th ed was it was trying to be two different games...and expandfing too rapidly for one of those things. That is why it failed for me as a game.

I could not do with it what I want like 3.5 because they had to simplfied it for the newbies...but the newbies suddenly get buried in a ton of books that you really need to play it as well as just core from 3.5.

Two games that are related would have done a bunch better job.

But than again I think a large part of 4th ed was ego. To put their mark on the brand( They said they will never want to go back even if it proved to be failure). To slaughter some sacred cows to replace them with their own...and if you really think the FR rewrite was anything besides pure ego than you are saddly mistaken. I have seen hundreds of ways that they could of changed the Realms to deal with the misperceptiuon people had of it that was less invasive and troublesome...heck the fact the creators wh worked on the new Realms are the same ones who made bone headed mistakes that they had to fix did not exactly filled me with confidence...

Sorry went into a little rant at the end.

Actually no, I am suggesting both Paizo and WotC do a stripped down version of their current game. One that works exactly the same using the same basic rules. But remove a lot of the options to make it less complex. That is totally different than support two pretty much completely different games, and both versions of the same game.

Least to me it is completely different.

Hmm when exactly did I switch sides in this argument to defend 4e anyways? :)


Reckless wrote:

Every time someone puts "PR" in a post, I read it as "Psychic Robot" and none of those posts make any sense. Carry on.

Actually, they might make more sense that way.


Dark_Mistress wrote:
Reckless wrote:

Every time someone puts "PR" in a post, I read it as "Psychic Robot" and none of those posts make any sense. Carry on.

When I see PR I think, Punky Rabbit.

"Phallic Rorschach" here. And aren't they all?


Dark_Mistress wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:

As for the whole two versions of DnD thing. I think it would have been a very bad idea for WotC to support 4e and 3e with new product. I don't think it would have been bad to sell the older version as PDF's.

Again 4th ed would have been completely different if they went that route...more like what you are suggesting Pazio should do.

I mean the problem with 4th ed was it was trying to be two different games...and expandfing too rapidly for one of those things. That is why it failed for me as a game.

I could not do with it what I want like 3.5 because they had to simplfied it for the newbies...but the newbies suddenly get buried in a ton of books that you really need to play it as well as just core from 3.5.

Two games that are related would have done a bunch better job.

But than again I think a large part of 4th ed was ego. To put their mark on the brand( They said they will never want to go back even if it proved to be failure). To slaughter some sacred cows to replace them with their own...and if you really think the FR rewrite was anything besides pure ego than you are saddly mistaken. I have seen hundreds of ways that they could of changed the Realms to deal with the misperceptiuon people had of it that was less invasive and troublesome...heck the fact the creators wh worked on the new Realms are the same ones who made bone headed mistakes that they had to fix did not exactly filled me with confidence...

Sorry went into a little rant at the end.

Actually no, I am suggesting both Paizo and WotC do a stripped down version of their current game. One that works exactly the same using the same basic rules. But remove a lot of the options to make it less complex. That is totally different than support two pretty much completely different games, and both versions of the same game.

Least to me it is completely different.

Hmm when exactly did I switch sides in this argument to defend 4e anyways? :)

Is/Was this not True 20's philosophy?

Dark Archive

Freehold DM wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:

Actually no, I am suggesting both Paizo and WotC do a stripped down version of their current game. One that works exactly the same using the same basic rules. But remove a lot of the options to make it less complex. That is totally different than support two pretty much completely different games, and both versions of the same game.

Least to me it is completely different.

Hmm when exactly did I switch sides in this argument to defend 4e anyways? :)

Is/Was this not True 20's philosophy?

Yes and no, true 20 is indeed a stripped down game. But it was not being made as a gateway game to another game. What I am talking about is something along the lines of true 20 to a point that is designed to be quick and easy to play. But act as a gateway that encourages people to later pick up the other game for a more robust gaming experience.


Dark_Mistress wrote:

Actually no, I am suggesting both Paizo and WotC do a stripped down version of their current game. One that works exactly the same using the same basic rules. But remove a lot of the options to make it less complex. That is totally different than support two pretty much completely different games, and both versions of the same game.

Least to me it is completely different.

Hmm when exactly did I switch sides in this argument to defend 4e anyways? :)

Banging head on deask...you are misiing my point..or maybe I am completely mis communicating it...probably it is more my fault.

What I though WotC should do is have maybe updated 3.5 to fix things like Pathfinder did and call it 4th ed. Than put out Basic D&D which would be a stripped version of 3.5 Updated for new players. The 4th ed as we all know and hate would not exist.

That is what I meant. I think it all my fault for not communicating clearly; can you forgive me?


John Kretzer wrote:
even back in the OGL alot of the 3pp products were just terrible.

Sturgeon's Law. 90% of everything is crud.

There are crappy OGL products, sure. But there are also OGL products that are head and shoulders above wotc stuff.

John Kretzer wrote:


Personaly...I thought the OGL and the GNL(?) was a good idea on paper and helped WotC alot out in certain ways....but the RPG industry took a big hit in innovation and creativity...everything was d20...

On the other hand, it meant that some crappy games at least had a good basic ruleset.

And, again, a lot of the stuff that was deetwenticied was actually quite nice. It doesn't have to be a bad thing.

And I'm sure there are companies that got a great - and well-deserved - boost in sales and popularity by hitching their wagon to the star d20. Even if they later did their own ruleset.

John Kretzer wrote:


Though this is pure speculation on my part it would suggest that I might have been right in that WotC should have kept producing 3.5...though every time I even suggested that over at the WotC boards I got called crazy...but if both Pathfinder and 4th ed are doing well...that they would be raking in the money.

Actually, I'm not sure.

Reprinting old stuff (beyond the core rulebooks) might not have been profitable. They were going to draw some of the customers who would otherwise have bought 3e books away with 4e books, and a lot of other people already had those books. It's quite possible that a lot of those books would not have been reprinted even if 4e was announced and released a few years later.

And if you want to do another print run, you need to be sure that the demand will be sufficient to have a print run big enough to make it profitable. If there is not enough demand, you can either make a small print run (meaning the books will be more expensive) or sit on a lot of books nobody will buy. Since both are not very good prospects, it's often better not to reprint.

As for doing new books: Probably wouldn't have worked that well, since that would have meant doing two games at once.

Of course, there was no reason whatsoever for stopping to sell the PDFs. Unless you count "destroy older editions to force people to play 4e or become criminals" as a reason.


pres man wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Power Word Unzip wrote:

Heeeeeere's Mikey, with part 3 of L&L.

Is it just me or was there two poll questions?
I think someone screwed up the editing and left the question from last week when they cut and pasted.

(edited, date corrected)

They seem to have fixed it now. I see only one poll at the bottom of today's article. (8th March 2011)


John Robey wrote:


The impression I get from the schedule cuts and the new "let's be friends again" posts by Mr. Mearls is that they may have decided to stop, re-think, and start over.

Will it work? Dunno. There's a lot for people to get over, not the least of which is the volatility of it all. Paizo created Pathfinder as much to know they'd have a rule system that stuck around as anything else. All hostility to WotC aside, if D&D becomes a moving target of rules that keep completely changing before your campaign has even finished, it's going to be hard to want to adopt 'em.

Hostility towards wotc or not, a lot of people have migrated towards Pathfinder and are not interested in another fantasy role playing game. They lost many customers they won't get back.

Admitting they f$*~ed up and apologising for what they did might mitigate this a bit.

They seem to be losing customers now, who just don't like 4e. Assuming they haven't found another game by then, some might go back to D&D with 5e.

And naturally they'll lose more customers when they do the new edition, people who are against the new edition for whatever reason.


John Robey wrote:
Whimsy Chris wrote:
The result seems to be a scattered customer base. That Pathfinder is even considered competition for a brand like D&D would have seemed impossible just a few short years ago, but much indicates that Pathfinder is holding its own against the "world's most popular roleplaying game."

The neat thing is, if Pathfinder overtakes D&D, Paizo doesn't have to change their marketing phrase, 'cause their material will still be compatible with the world's most popular roleplaying game. ;)

-The Gneech

:D

It's a win-win situation.


@KaeYoss: I hope I explained what I meant better in the post right above yours in regards to two systems.

As to OGL products...good did come out of it...it probably was for the best all around. You convinced me.

Dark Archive

John Kretzer wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:

Actually no, I am suggesting both Paizo and WotC do a stripped down version of their current game. One that works exactly the same using the same basic rules. But remove a lot of the options to make it less complex. That is totally different than support two pretty much completely different games, and both versions of the same game.

Least to me it is completely different.

Hmm when exactly did I switch sides in this argument to defend 4e anyways? :)

Banging head on deask...you are misiing my point..or maybe I am completely mis communicating it...probably it is more my fault.

What I though WotC should do is have maybe updated 3.5 to fix things like Pathfinder did and call it 4th ed. Than put out Basic D&D which would be a stripped version of 3.5 Updated for new players. The 4th ed as we all know and hate would not exist.

That is what I meant. I think it all my fault for not communicating clearly; can you forgive me?

Maybe, maybe not. I am not going to debate what they should or should not have done. I am mearly talking about what I think they should do in the here and now. And yes I thought you was talking about the same thing I was. WHich is the here and now and heading into the future.


Urizen wrote:

4e books are plenty, but one store had a Bestiary 2 and a GMG while the other did not have any on the shelves.

I'm sure someone will be able to explain this away with trends and math and [impactful] statistics with nary a hand wave, but I doubt that it's only my locality that reflects this.

Major book retailers (Borders and Barnes & Noble, specifically) tend to keep comparatively large inventories of 4e books, dedicating quite a bit of shelf space to them (often including end-of-aisle display stands as well). They generally only keep a handful of Pathfinder books. It's not that they order identical numbers of 4e and PFRPG books, and that one sells like hotcakes while the other doesn't.


It is possible they are planning another essentials, but I just don't that working any better than the first essentials did long term. I would not be at all surprised if they don't know themselves exactly what the next step is, but they are running out of ideas that will work with 4E, and everything tried thus far has had trouble sticking, so a new edition has to at least be one of the options they have on the table. If they do go that route, I would expect it to be at least a year before they have anything definite, which by that point in it's life cycle, 4E will be pretty close to where 3.5 was when they announced 4E, so starting to gather ideas now for a new edition would not be out of place.


H. T. J. Munchkineater wrote:
I thought that this is kind of what 4E Essentials was. I may be wrong.

Basically, yeah. The Red Box set gets your whole group started, and if you enjoy it, a player buys a Heroes book and a DM buys a DM's Kit. You can even skip the Red Box if you don't need a low-cost preview to help you make a decision.


I don't think they are immediately going to abandon 4E, but I do think that a new edition has to the end goal of all of this, even if that end goal is still a ways off and involves many little steps to get there. If they are smart, they will use the time they have left with 4E to see what the long term reaction to essentials is and try out some of their new ideas for a new edition as optional rulesets for 4E rather than springing brand new systems on their players like they did with 4E.


James Martin wrote:
Ah, the derision of the current edition begins... Too many steps in 4e, so of course you'll want the next edition we're not working on (wink, wink) currently.

What derision? He didn't say 4e had too many steps. He was just wondering at why the number of steps had increased so much since the game's early days. I think it's worth examining that, and I think the answer will probably have something to do with the fact that game designer's quickly learned that many/most people have an appetite for a certain amount of complexity and customization.


Scott Betts wrote:
James Martin wrote:
Ah, the derision of the current edition begins... Too many steps in 4e, so of course you'll want the next edition we're not working on (wink, wink) currently.
What derision? He didn't say 4e had too many steps. He was just wondering at why the number of steps had increased so much since the game's early days. I think it's worth examining that, and I think the answer will probably have something to do with the fact that game designer's quickly learned that many/most people have an appetite for a certain amount of complexity and customization.

No, but he did go out of his way to reach a bit on a few items for 4e and to simplify the creation process for 3.5e in order to make it seem as if the 4th edition character creation was more complex and customizable than its predecessor.

Now I would like to see him compare the creation of, say a 10th level Wizard for each edition and then still try to paint the same picture.


Moro wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
James Martin wrote:
Ah, the derision of the current edition begins... Too many steps in 4e, so of course you'll want the next edition we're not working on (wink, wink) currently.
What derision? He didn't say 4e had too many steps. He was just wondering at why the number of steps had increased so much since the game's early days. I think it's worth examining that, and I think the answer will probably have something to do with the fact that game designer's quickly learned that many/most people have an appetite for a certain amount of complexity and customization.

No, but he did go out of his way to reach a bit on a few items for 4e and to simplify the creation process for 3.5e in order to make it seem as if the 4th edition character creation was more complex and customizable than its predecessor.

Now I would like to see him compare the creation of, say a 10th level Wizard for each edition and then still try to paint the same picture.

Ooh, that would be interesting. But I think here he's specifically trying to see how the fighter (often considered a fairly straightforward, easy-to-play class) has evolved in complexity over time.

Regardless, though, it's clear that complexity has trended upwards since 1e. It looks like it may be leveling off, and that probably has a lot to do with the fact that we're narrowing in on that happy level of complexity that people seem to be okay with.


Dark_Mistress wrote:
Charlie Sheen wrote:

Duh, not winning!

Not even this warlock can cheer that dude up. Scott?

Interesting read.

I just don't see WotC doing all of this and if only the easier ones are followed I don't really see anything changing. Some of this even seems counter productive. WotC not having an online store makes it more appealing for FLGS to support them since there is no danger of WotC taking some of their sales. It'd be very foolish of them to alienate a group that is basically happy with them just for a shot at having more 3rd party supporters.

Asking WotC to use the DDI to support other game companies is a step beyond the benign negligence that was basically the model under the OGL. At this point the GSL is pretty much open, its not quite as good as the OGL but nothing is really stopping a 3rd party publisher from making money if they can get their product to market and get people to buy it.

Its up to such 3rd party companies to find a way to do that - I just can't see how they can expect WotC to deploy their assets to this task. I mean maybe WotC might have some regular article on the DDI that highlights what they think are good 3rd party resources - that one just might be of interest to WotC (the theory being that such DDI content makes the DDI more useful to some subscribers and therefore convinces more subscribers to keep paying).

Not that it surprises me that 3rd party content providers are moving away from WotC en masse. None of them have had an easy time selling to 4E consumers. I suspect that is mainly because 4E consumers - the hardcore that would even consider a 3rd party product, use the DDI and if its not in the DDI then it is a major pain in the ass to play with it.

Hence 3rd party producers need to come up with other niche products - an AP would be a good place to consider actually, as WotC never made another after Scales of War, so a good adventure path might sell. A book of well designed Skill Challenges might sell but alternate rules that are not compatible with the DDI won't.

I think the argument for more communication is actually flawed. Back in the day when a rule changed there was little mention of it until the book hit the stands. Here WotC might have been able to warn the 3rd party of such changes (though I doubt they actually did) but with the DDI by the time its actually official that a rule is going to change its only a few days or weeks from the point where they update the DDI to reflect that change. WotCs just not sitting on rule changes for months at a time in the model they are currently using. The time between everyone being on board with a rules change or update and that change taking effect is a lot smaller.


Scott Betts wrote:
Moro wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
James Martin wrote:
Ah, the derision of the current edition begins... Too many steps in 4e, so of course you'll want the next edition we're not working on (wink, wink) currently.
What derision? He didn't say 4e had too many steps. He was just wondering at why the number of steps had increased so much since the game's early days. I think it's worth examining that, and I think the answer will probably have something to do with the fact that game designer's quickly learned that many/most people have an appetite for a certain amount of complexity and customization.

No, but he did go out of his way to reach a bit on a few items for 4e and to simplify the creation process for 3.5e in order to make it seem as if the 4th edition character creation was more complex and customizable than its predecessor.

Now I would like to see him compare the creation of, say a 10th level Wizard for each edition and then still try to paint the same picture.

Ooh, that would be interesting. But I think here he's specifically trying to see how the fighter (often considered a fairly straightforward, easy-to-play class) has evolved in complexity over time.

Regardless, though, it's clear that complexity has trended upwards since 1e. It looks like it may be leveling off, and that probably has a lot to do with the fact that we're narrowing in on that happy level of complexity that people seem to be okay with.

I am not so sure that the complexity really did trend upwards in the move from 3.5 to 4e though. Sure, if you just look at his chart there it appears so, but off the top of my head planning out your feat selection and ensuring that you can reach the ability prerequisites alone makes a 3.5e build more complex than a 4e, where such planning is unnecessary (correct me if I'm wrong on this one.)


Moro wrote:
I am not so sure that the complexity really did trend upwards in the move from 3.5 to 4e though. Sure, if you just look at his chart there it appears so, but off the top of my head planning out your feat selection and ensuring that you can reach the ability prerequisites alone makes a 3.5e build more complex than a 4e, where such planning is unnecessary (correct me if I'm wrong on this one.)

I don't think it shifted upward as far as overall complexity as much as it shifted in other ways. In 3.5 the initial planning of a character could take a bit to work out, but once that was done, it frequently really only needed minor tweaks to adjust for actual in game character development, and the actual leveling was simply a lot of math. Feats and spells tended to add a bit of complexity, but even this became easier as the levels went up, and the theme for the character became apparent. 4E isn't nearly as front loaded, but each level is the same complexity as the last one was in terms of character choices, and it is that way for all classes, especially with how they are using DDI to constantly update rules and errata. As a price for taking out the ultra complex steps of character building and leveling, they also had to lose most of the ultra easy steps.

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