Mearls pleading for unity


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KaeYoss wrote:
pres man wrote:


I see comments like this and I have to wonder how spoiled we have become. Hope in the way-back machine to 1985 and offer the other RPG companies then if they would sign up for the GSL.
I don't give a flying frick about what companies would have done at the time when I was still to young to go to school. The GSL might have been a godsent back then, but this is not back then. Being more advanced than something from over 25 years ago is just not going to cut it today. Call it spoiled, if you must to feel better. I'll call it the basic human desire to set the bar ever higher in everything.

I notice you left off the relevant part of my comment to your current position. Here it is again.

pres man wrote:
Heck, no matter how restrictive it is it is still more open than most other non-3.x based game systems out there.

So even in this current day with our superior technology, the GSL is still more open then what many RPG companies whose systems are not based on 3.x are.

Now I understand that you might not give a crap about those others systems but in that case you are comparing the GSL only to OGL which gives a very skewed view of how open it is relative to the market at large.


Hydro wrote:


Anyone can publish anything released under the OGL.

So does that mean WotC can start puttimg out product for Pathfinder?


Are wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

It was not that...the OGL had a clause which allowed WotC to use anything published under the OGL...though it was only used once that I can think of( Triva question: What was it?)

If you refer to the same thing that popped into my mind: The addition of the Razor Boar and the Scorpionfolk to Monster Manual II.

Yes you and Hydro are right...that is the only time I can think of.


John Kretzer wrote:
Hydro wrote:


Anyone can publish anything released under the OGL.

So does that mean WotC can start puttimg out product for Pathfinder?

Absolutely. Though to claim compatibility they would have to sign Paizo's game license.

Liberty's Edge

cibet44 wrote:
Sorry, but being lead designer of 4th ed means he green lit pg 115 of the 4E PHB. A clear dig at Pathfinder.

P.115? You mean the fact that they named a Ranger Paragon Path - Pathfinder - for the ultimate scout? That's a clear dig? Huh?

Not to defend 4th Edition (I don't play it), but how is that a clear dig at Pathfinder? I just don't get it...


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
I don't think it really matters. If your so far out of WotCs loop as to not check the website and you don't follow much in the way of media that might get you to check it then your probably a lost cause for WotC. For WotC the real market is not PAX at all but maybe some of the people who either already really like 4E (because they need to keep their current fans and keep them interested) and those that play 4E at least a bit on the side. For the group that plays a bit on the side, if they made the game more to their tastes, then they might play more - and buy more supplements and hopefully get a DDI subscription. Nonetheless the core of the respondents are going to be the 4E player base itself and keeping them happy and continuing to subscribe needs to be WotCs primary goal.

That is assuming alot...

You assume 4th ed is selling like hot cakes...which is atleast questionable. It used to be the top RPG out there...now they are atleast sharing that distinction w/ Pathfinder(or Pathfinder is catching up fast) which means sales are down.

You asssume they will be loyal to 4th ed players( just look at the did to loyal 3rd ed players)

You assume that they don't believe they can get more people buying D&D by a rules overhaul...rather they are right or not is inmaterial...it is obvious what they believe.

I can understand why you assume this...I did assume similiar thing right before 4th ed was released. WotC( or probably more importantly Hasbro) can not be trusted.


Everyone needs to rein it in a few yards. There is a lot of misinformation regarding the GSL being spread here.

KaeYoss wrote:
In one version of the GSL (and, for all I know, in the current version, too), there was a clause where everyone signing committed to not using the OGL any more, more or less - the GSL said (or still says) that if you use it on a product line, you obligate yourself not never create OGL material for that product line again. Never. That part of the GSL had no expiration date, and would persist even after the expiration of the GSL.

The GSL does not say this. It did for a period of time at the beginning, and was then revised.

John Kretzer wrote:
Doesn't the GSL require WotC approval of how it is used or something like that?

No. You have to submit a "Statement of Acceptance", but this is just identifying and contact information (and a signature) so that WotC knows who is using their license. It doesn't ask you to describe your product in any way. And you're able to use the license 10 days after you submit the form; unless WotC actually tells you that you can't use the license, you're good.

Hydro wrote:
Anything released using the GSL can become WoTC property at any time, for any reason or no reason.

No. This is not true. At all.

Hydro wrote:
It does also include a long list of reason why they "might" revoke the GSL (and make your work WoTC property) but they aren't bound to those reasons.

No, it doesn't. The word "revoke", in any of its forms, does not appear in the license. It does not list any reasons why it might decide to terminate the license wholesale, and the FAQ acknowledges that such a termination a) is unlikely, and b) allows a 6 month grace period for those using the license to sell the remainder of their product.

Hydro wrote:
With the GSL, when I say "they own it", I mean that you can lose your right to publish your material for any reason or no reason, and that they also have the right to publish something exactly like it if they want.

The first part is only partially accurate - they can terminate their license at will, but you have time to sell what you've created under it. The second part is not true at all. The license provides that WotC is within their rights to develop something "substantially similar" to something you've created under the license. This does not mean "exactly like it", and it does not mean, at all that you in any way lose copyright over your own products. This part of the license exists so that if, for instance, third-party-publisher WeMakeCoolGames decides to publish a sourcebook under the GSL that contains a chupacabra, and WotC later publishes their own sourcebook that contains a version of the chupacabra, WotC has the right to do so. This is, I imagine, to protect WotC from having planned/scheduled products impaired by a licensee releasing something. Again, the FAQ explains that this very situation could happen, and that if it does WotC will accept petitions from the licensee to have the original (3pp's) creation included in the SRD so that the 3pp can continue to use it.

First, if you are unclear as to what the license says, my advice is to actually read it. Furthermore, if you are in any way unclear as to the provisions of a license - or any legal concern, for that matter - you probably shouldn't speculate on it, and you certainly should not talk about it as though you are familiar with it. Finally, if you are concerned about how the terms of the license apply to you or your business interests, you should discuss it with a lawyer.


John Kretzer wrote:
You asssume they will be loyal to 4th ed players( just look at the did to loyal 3rd ed players)

I was a loyal 3rd edition player. So were many, many current 4e fans. WotC did not "do" anything to loyal 3rd edition players. There were some loyal 3rd edition players who did not like the decisions WotC made regarding 4e, but it's clear that being a loyal 3rd edition player doesn't really say anything about how you perceive WotC's actions.

You shouldn't presume to speak for an entire edition's worth of fans.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Scott Betts wrote:

I was a loyal 3rd edition player. So were many, many current 4e fans. WotC did not "do" anything to loyal 3rd edition players. There were some loyal 3rd edition players who did not like the decisions WotC made regarding 4e, but it's clear that being a loyal 3rd edition player doesn't really say anything about how you perceive WotC's actions.

You shouldn't presume to speak for an entire edition's worth of fans.

At the very least, they denigrated the game we played, and derided us for "not having as much fun as we should be" for liking things like Craft and Profession skills. So yeah, by mocking the game I prefer to 4E, I say they did something to me. Namely, lost me as a customer.

That's okay, the best design talent around works on the game I prefer.


Russ Taylor wrote:
At the very least, they denigrated the game we played, and derided us for "not having as much fun as we should be" for liking things like Craft and Profession skills. So yeah, by mocking the game I prefer to 4E, I say they did something to me. Namely, lost me as a customer.

They lost you as a customer because they told the internet their own game wasn't as fun as it could have been?

Those jerks.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Scott Betts wrote:

They lost you as a customer because they told the internet their own game wasn't as fun as it could have been?

Those jerks.

That sort of sarcastic response isn't really constructive. I just edited out my own reflexive, sarcastic retort in fact.

I'm cool with people choosing to play 4E, but pretending WotC wasn't annoying to their own customer base (as you are when you say they didn't "do anything") is hiding your head in the sand. Wizard's product pipline for D&D is drying up for a reason, and Paizo's grabbing market share for a reason. It's not all down to who's making the better product, treatment of customers plays a role.

I don't know if D&D will ever be unseated as the RPG king, but I do know a lot of the market has chosen high-quality, compelling products and great customer service over the biggest, most famous brand.

If you want to have a serious conversation without sarcasm, let me know.

Edit:
Regarding being a "loyal 3rd edition" customer. I wrote adventures for the RPGA, helped run their biggest campaign for a number of years, bought tons of books, ran hundreds of sessions, and evangelized the game to many people. And I even playtested 4th edition. I'd hope I'm not the sort of customer Wizards of the Coast wanted to lose.

I don't do nearly as much Organized Play for Paizo as I did for Wizards, mainly because my life has changed, but I evangelize for Paizo now, buy tons of books, and have run at least a hundred sessions of Pathfinder RPG too. And I'm lucky enough to help design some products. I'd hope I'm the sort of customer Paizo wants to attract and keep.


John Kretzer wrote:
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
I don't think it really matters. If your so far out of WotCs loop as to not check the website and you don't follow much in the way of media that might get you to check it then your probably a lost cause for WotC. For WotC the real market is not PAX at all but maybe some of the people who either already really like 4E (because they need to keep their current fans and keep them interested) and those that play 4E at least a bit on the side. For the group that plays a bit on the side, if they made the game more to their tastes, then they might play more - and buy more supplements and hopefully get a DDI subscription. Nonetheless the core of the respondents are going to be the 4E player base itself and keeping them happy and continuing to subscribe needs to be WotCs primary goal.

That is assuming alot...

You assume 4th ed is selling like hot cakes...which is atleast questionable. It used to be the top RPG out there...now they are atleast sharing that distinction w/ Pathfinder(or Pathfinder is catching up fast) which means sales are down.

Even if they are sharing it with Pathfinder they still need to try and keep what customer base they have.

John Kretzer wrote:


You asssume they will be loyal to 4th ed players( just look at the did to loyal 3rd ed players)

You assume that they don't believe they can get more people buying D&D by a rules overhaul...rather they are right or not is inmaterial...it is obvious what they believe.

I can understand why you assume this...I did assume similiar thing right before 4th ed was released. WotC( or probably more importantly Hasbro) can not be trusted.

I assume they have the ability to learn from what has happened in the past and won't willfully make the same type of error in the future...yes.

Liberty's Edge

Russ Taylor wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:

They lost you as a customer because they told the internet their own game wasn't as fun as it could have been?

Those jerks.

That sort of sarcastic response isn't really constructive. I just edited out my own reflexive, sarcastic retort in fact.

I'm cool with people choosing to play 4E, but pretending WotC wasn't annoying to their own customer base (as you are when you say they didn't "do anything") is hiding your head in the sand. Wizard's product pipline for D&D is drying up for a reason, and Paizo's grabbing market share for a reason. It's not all down to who's making the better product, treatment of customers plays a role.

I don't know if D&D will ever be unseated as the RPG king, but I do know a lot of the market has chosen high-quality, compelling products and great customer service over the biggest, most famous brand.

If you want to have a serious conversation without sarcasm, let me know.

Edit:
Regarding being a "loyal 3rd edition" customer. I wrote adventures for the RPGA, helped run their biggest campaign for a number of years, bought tons of books, ran hundreds of sessions, and evangelized the game to many people. And I even playtested 4th edition. I'd hope I'm not the sort of customer Wizards of the Coast wanted to lose.

I don't do nearly as much Organized Play for Paizo as I did for Wizards, mainly because my life has changed, but I evangelize for Paizo now, buy tons of books, and have run at least a hundred sessions of Pathfinder RPG too. And I'm lucky enough to help design some products. I'd hope I'm the sort of customer Paizo wants to attract and keep.

Conversations on the interwebs usually scare me but I'm curious enough. Besides the throwing away of those skills you posted in what way did WotC actually purposefully anger their old players?

The skill changes I actually agree with for the most part. Skill challenges are hit or miss but the lack of things like profession allow me, as the DM, to have the players have their own backstories detailed out and if said professions are involved in them, then I let them use those things in game. Had a professional sailor, a cook, and a flute player all in one group without needing to roll dice to say they're good at it.

The Forgotten Realms changes I'm more apt to consider as I was at first quite annoyed/upset myself. After I settled and took some time away from my knee jerk reaction I found there wasn't a whole lot to get mad at. Its their setting to do as they want with. For new players or those unfamiliar or threatened by FR lore/stuff it gave a great place for them to get started. For old players who love the lore/world as it was, there's so much back information out there they never actually NEED to change their campaign to match unless they want to be RPGA standard but thats likely the minority. Heck, in the end even my group went back to FR and use the new setting (though I've been dying to try Eberron with little takers).

Me asking what WotC did isn't a provocation either so please don't take it as such. I hear a lot of people say that they burned a lot of old players but I've always been confused by what exactly happened. I might just be out of the loops.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Misery wrote:


Conversations on the interwebs usually scare me but I'm curious enough. Besides the throwing away of those skills you posted in what way did WotC actually purposefully anger their old players?

I don't think they purposely ticked anyone off. I think they went with a foolish marketing tactic (possibly trying to be "hip and edgy", and it backfired.

Go back on their site and find the old columns. A lot of them talk about 3E in a mocking way, the skill example ("you're probably not having as much as you should be") probably being the worst. There was a lot of talk about how they knew much better how to make a good game, and since there was not much design staff in common, that actually comes across as a dig at the original team.

The pulling of the licenses, termination of D20, lack of a valid GSL (eventually fixed), cancelling of the magazines, and other moves produced a lot of bad blood too.

Essentially Wizards gave a vibe of "we know how you should play the game" that didn't sell well to a segment of the community. That and other actions they did wound up costing them a big chunk of their base.

I don't think they set out to tick people off. If anything, I think someone drank the koolaid as far as how to market to the new generation.

Liberty's Edge

Russ Taylor wrote:
Misery wrote:


Conversations on the interwebs usually scare me but I'm curious enough. Besides the throwing away of those skills you posted in what way did WotC actually purposefully anger their old players?

I don't think they purposely ticked anyone off. I think they went with a foolish marketing tactic (possibly trying to be "hip and edgy", and it backfired.

Go back on their site and find the old columns. A lot of them talk about 3E in a mocking way, the skill example ("you're probably not having as much as you should be") probably being the worst. There was a lot of talk about how they knew much better how to make a good game, and since there was not much design staff in common, that actually comes across as a dig at the original team.

The pulling of the licenses, termination of D20, lack of a valid GSL (eventually fixed), cancelling of the magazines, and other moves produced a lot of bad blood too.

Essentially Wizards gave a vibe of "we know how you should play the game" that didn't sell well to a segment of the community. That and other actions they did wound up costing them a big chunk of their base.

I don't think they set out to tick people off. If anything, I think someone drank the koolaid as far as how to market to the new generation.

I can agree with the GSL thing with it not being as open as the OGL as well as the pulling od the d20 branding thing (that one seems silly).

I'll also get behind the removal of dungeon and dragon magazines. I still miss getting those awesome things in the mail even though I barely used any of it. To me they were just fun little geek things to look at and they are missed. Been meaning to hit up Kobold Quarterly to fill that gap but I am apparently very lazy.

The "probably not having as much fun as you should be" thing I'm torn on seeing as a slight. I can see how some people might think it is but they might have thought it was true and maybe it IS true since the word "probably" is invoked (assuming thats the correct quote). For every person that liked having to dump skill points/roll profession/crafting/whatever non combat skill there could be four or five people that were happy it was gone which wouldn't make the statement all that false.

As far as going back and reading some of the 3e columns discussing it ... I COULD do that but I'll be honest with the fact I probably (heh, there's that word again) won't. I've got a full time job, a wife, a kid, and some more fun things to do with free time (I actually would look them up if wizards wasn't blocked at work. It didn't start out that way when I started at the job 3 years ago but either my work classified it under games or Wizards changed it to flag it as such *shrug*). I'll try to pick up what I can here and there to try and find a better understanding of these slights though.

As for the game itself and their claims they think they know how we (my gaming table) should be/want to be playing the game, they weren't far off. Combat is pretty nice, especially at higher levels. There are some things not everyone is in love with (my wife loves Bards as support classes but feels the fact she usually has to do damage to support is kinda meh) but as a DM, it's much easier to prep adventures and my players claim to have more fun now then they did in 3rd. We do like using miniatures and enjoy the combat but we also played D&D minis when it first came out so there's that.

Also if they didn't actually set out to tick anyone off and it was just horrible communication skills then I'm more apt to let those things slide. I'm sure an outright apology might go a long way with some people but I'm not sure how much. Not to mention companies aren't usually quick to say they screwed up out and out. Maybe they'll hint at it or say so without SAYING so, but I don't really know of one.

Heck, look at Paizo. Unless I'm mistaken (and I could be, I don't have time to scour the messageboards/blogs on here forever), they released an option for a Lawful Evil paladin they still haven't flat out said was a mistake and to ignore it as such. I think there's been higher ups saying that it probably shouldn't have seen print and if they would have caught it sooner they would have removed it but this goes back to dancing around saying "We screwed up with this" (again, maybe they DID say it and if so, that whole point is moot and score 1 more for the Paizo chaps). I understand that this example is super super SUPER small compared to that of Wizards and was only meant to emphasis the apology thing so don't take it as more than that. Really apples and oranges I know.

Finally, I'm not going to fault them for trying to get a younger/newer crowd into D&D. Something had to because if not the parents then I really don't know how people get introduced. Everyone's story seems different. I was introduced by friends who had a VERY basic idea of the game in AD&D. Grown as I look at the rulebook for pathfinder and how huge it is ... its daunting. Same if you stack the PHB of any edition of D&D with the DMG.

The new Red Box was an awesome idea they should have probably led with from the beginning in my opinion.

I'm not sure how successful they were in bringing in now blood but I hope they managed even a little for the sake of the hobby as a whole. I plan on teaching my daughter to play and honestly, I'll be teaching her with the Red Box OR with some of those D&D boardgame they have out now (the Ravenloft one and the one with the dragon on the cover. Also a Drizzt one coming out HUZZAH). Why? Because its an awesome stepping stone into it. Hell she's already addicted to playing my old Hero Quest boardgame I have. She's so friggen adorable making the sound affects when she attacks and we do voices for everything (she's 7 turning 8) and it lets me know she'll likely do well with these things (she already wants to play so there's no need to convince HER ... I just need the time).

... sorry for the ramble at the end.


@Jeremy Mac Donald: I really hope you are right. I have nothing against those who like 4th ed. Really. I have Pathfinder and all of my old 3.5 stuff. And if WotC learns from their past than that is great for you...but I really don't think they have. But we will see.

@Miserly: I remember reading those preview books and thinking that these guys play a very different game than I do...and they are mocking the game I play. Maybe you did not see it because you argeed with them(the things that 'needed' to be changed, not the mocking part) but it felt like a slap in the face with every comment...even with that I still tried 4th ed by the way.

I was going into all the changes they made...but I won't here...as you work...have family...and are lazy you probably won't have time to read it anyway. But believe when I say this...every problem they said 3.5 had...I never had. My biggest problem though is that the even said themselves alot of the 'problems' were just misperception(especialy with the Realms) but instead of just changing perceptions they pretty much burned it down.

Their vision of the ame was very narrowly focused and inflexable in my opinion.

@Scott Betts: Actualy I am very confident in saying that majority of loyal3rd ed fans didn't convert to 4th ed or have been steadly abandoning it since it has come out. I don't have any hard numbers to back me up here...I'll admitt that straight out. But from what I have seen in my local area and the increasing pop. of Pathfinder...I can speculate. Do you have any hard numbers to back up the many part? What are you basing your speculation on?

Come up this WotC that learn if the puit crap in a Magic:The Gathering Box it will sell...you don't think they might be starting to view the D&D brand similiarly?


@Miserly: How is anti-Paladin a mistake? They have been part of the game since 1st ed? It is very old school. Sorry for the tangent but I really don't get this comment.


pres man wrote:


Now I understand that you might not give a crap about those others systems but in that case you are comparing the GSL only to OGL which gives a very skewed view of how open it is relative to the market at large.

The fact remains that this is not the market at large. GSL is for what they claim is D&D. OGL is for D&D. That comparison seems pretty much spot-on.

The very same company that did the GSL also did the OGL (though there were different people at the helm).

OGL was one of the best things that ever happened to the game. It gave us Pathfinder. It gave us True20. It gave us a lot great material that was not made by wotc (stuff that is quite often a lot better than the wotc stuff). Sure, it also gave us a lot of crap, but we all know that 90% of everything is crap, and the "official" D&D stuff is not that different...


Heymitch wrote:
cibet44 wrote:
Sorry, but being lead designer of 4th ed means he green lit pg 115 of the 4E PHB. A clear dig at Pathfinder.

P.115? You mean the fact that they named a Ranger Paragon Path - Pathfinder - for the ultimate scout? That's a clear dig? Huh?

Not to defend 4th Edition (I don't play it), but how is that a clear dig at Pathfinder? I just don't get it...

The distant past called, they wanted their post back ;-P

(The issue of the wrong step thing was discussed earlier in the thread. Same thing for Paizo's counterstrike.

I think the consensus was that it could well have been a dig at PF, and Paizo admitted that their counter was intentional, but it was all in good fun. A bit of friendly teasing among the game designers themselves, many of which are still friends)


Russ Taylor wrote:


The pulling of the licenses, termination of D20, lack of a valid GSL (eventually fixed), cancelling of the magazines, and other moves produced a lot of bad blood too.

And, some time later, the whole PDF disaster.

That alone shows me that they're either unwilling or unable to learn from their mistakes.

Frankly, It will need a lot of effort on their part to get back into everyone's good graces. And I don't think they even care about that.

Until they they piss off enough customers so nobody's left. But then again, they'll probably say that RPGs are dead, not their fault, and walk away.


John Kretzer wrote:

@Miserly: How is anti-Paladin a mistake? They have been part of the game since 1st ed? It is very old school. Sorry for the tangent but I really don't get this comment.

I don't think that was the incident.

I think it's about the paladins of Asmodeus. In the Asmodeus article in PF#29 (Mother of Flies), it was written that there are paladins of the Archfiend. The explanation at the time was that Asmodeus is much more aligned towards law than towards evil, so a paladin who cares a lot about order can worship Asmodeus, getting very specific orders to let him be a paladin (with all the do-gooder attitude) and still serve Asmodeus's greater agenda.

It was later said that in hindsight, that part was a mistake, they shouldn't have said anything about paladins of Asmodeus.

There are other things where Paizo said in hindsight that they'd do it differently if they did it again now. Some of that will be seen in the Inner Sea World Guide, where they'll revise some stuff, mainly from the Campaign Setting the Guide will replace.

The fact is, Paizo will openly admit when they made mistakes.
They'll also always explain their decisions, and the explanations never sound like a cop-out excuse.

Of course, these mistakes we're talking about here were stuff in the books they could have done better, not instances where they inadvertently or intentionally insulted or annoyed customers.


I think my biggest concern with everything WoTC has done with 4E is that they don't seem to even realize just how bad the reaction people have to their many small, probably unintentional, but still dubious, decisions really is. The turning the character builder into a web based system is a good example; by itself, the transition was not perfect, but the lack of a functional export option was annoying, not a major core issue to the functionality of the program as a whole, but because they have made many such minor irritations in their handling of the release and support of the game since release, it was a big enough issue to spawn a pretty feisty thread, with even those who like and play 4E to throw some vitriol.. Likewise, most people probably could have looked past the unintentional slights in the preview books if they hadn't unintentionally been reinforced by the preview columns and the initial product itself. Ultimately, even if the individual examples were unintentional, there were already enough of them by the time of the actual launch that a difficult launch and subsequent support have only reinforced a sense of sloppiness in WoTC's actions.


KaeYoss wrote:
pres man wrote:


I see comments like this and I have to wonder how spoiled we have become. Hope in the way-back machine to 1985 and offer the other RPG companies then if they would sign up for the GSL.

1985 just called. They wanted their outdated views back.

While you're at it, they said you should bring them one of our super future computers.

They asked about something with 500mhz!!!! and (they were breathing heavily as they said this) 4MB of RAM and a 1000MB hard disk.

When I told them that I'd rather have you bring one of the up-to-date machines for their troubles of lending you their outdated opinions, that I'd have you bring a Core i7 with 4 hyperthreading processor cores giving them basically 8x3000mhz, 4000MB of ram and a 2.000.000MB HD, half of them just died of overawesomenation. The rest died a second later when I confirmed them that no, I wasn't sending in a mainframe that needs its own building, but rather a normal-sized PC, and would a 22" screen be enough.

In other words: I don't give a flying frick about what companies would have done at the time when I was still to young to go to school. The GSL might have been a godsent back then, but this is not back then. Being more advanced than something from over 25 years ago is just not going to cut it today. Call it spoiled, if you must to feel better. I'll call it the basic human desire to set the bar ever higher in everything.

Kaeyoss, this post made me wet myself with laughter. Thanks man, I needed this.


Russ Taylor wrote:
Misery wrote:


Conversations on the interwebs usually scare me but I'm curious enough. Besides the throwing away of those skills you posted in what way did WotC actually purposefully anger their old players?

I don't think they purposely ticked anyone off. I think they went with a foolish marketing tactic (possibly trying to be "hip and edgy", and it backfired.

Go back on their site and find the old columns. A lot of them talk about 3E in a mocking way, the skill example ("you're probably not having as much as you should be") probably being the worst. There was a lot of talk about how they knew much better how to make a good game, and since there was not much design staff in common, that actually comes across as a dig at the original team.

The pulling of the licenses, termination of D20, lack of a valid GSL (eventually fixed), cancelling of the magazines, and other moves produced a lot of bad blood too.

Essentially Wizards gave a vibe of "we know how you should play the game" that didn't sell well to a segment of the community. That and other actions they did wound up costing them a big chunk of their base.

I don't think they set out to tick people off. If anything, I think someone drank the koolaid as far as how to market to the new generation.

This, essentially. And this is coming from someone who is a known brewer, proliferator, and distributor of his own brand of Haterade(tm).


New Legends and Lore column up today.

My main beef with the poll, again, is that I'm really afraid the answers will paint an inaccurate picture given the simplistic format of the polls, especially question 2. I mainly want more adventures and DM rule options, but 4E already has a lot of adventures on the market - just not very good ones.

Same thing with the pages-per-month question - I don't really want to count the online content in that total because most of the stuff coming out of Dragon/Dungeon in its DDi form is utter crap. So I voted for a lower page count (maybe 600 yearly) because I'm afraid a result showing that people want reams of additional content is just going to make WotC decide to produce more craptastic DDi stuff and never come out with anything good in print.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I find it amusing that the 4E marketing gets a pass while people like Frank Trollman, Crusader of Logic, CODzilla, and plenty others are considered rude and unwanted when they say the exact same things.


Hmm. I went for 1800 yearly and "more DM options", but I feel that the poll should have been multiple-choice, with more options that were clearly defined.

I'm not sure how useful these polls are really going to be at this point. They will only be a very rough guideline (if even that). For instance, while I like to have a lot of options available, that doesn't matter if 80% of those options are useless to me (either through poor design, or poor implementation, or by being over or under powered). I'd much rather have half the number of options (or less), if the ratio of useful material was significantly higher.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I find it amusing that the 4E marketing gets a pass while people like Frank Trollman, Crusader of Logic, CODzilla, and plenty others are considered rude and unwanted when they say the exact same things.

Interesting point.

Dark Archive

Interesting read and I agree i wish there had been more poll options. Even better allowing for more than one choice. Like break page content up into groups. How many pages of rules a month, how many pages of adventures a month etc.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Freehold DM wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I find it amusing that the 4E marketing gets a pass while people like Frank Trollman, Crusader of Logic, CODzilla, and plenty others are considered rude and unwanted when they say the exact same things.
Interesting point.

Cognitive dissonance, you think?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Scott Betts wrote:
(stuff)

Thank's for the link, and for the clarifications. Like many Pathfinder players WoTC really fell off my radar shortly after 4e was released, and I actually had no idea that the GSL had been substantially revised.

The original GSL was extremely harsh- yes, I actually read it, as did most of the others in the dozen+ page thread here on the paizo boards- but I don't know where I would find an outdated copy now and thus can't really confirm or deny that I wasn't reading it correctly.


Yeah, I know how a lot of folks here feel. I hate it when a game company tells you that the game you are playing sucks. When they say things like:
Grappling is too complicated.
Cross-class skill calculation is too hard.
Spiked chains are too powerful because they are actually worth a feat.
Clerics shouldn't be running around in heavy armor.
...

Yeah, and then the game company uses misleading advertisements, trying to claim it is still your game when it is not to try and trick people to purchase it.

Yeah I hate that stuff.

Oh ... we weren't talking about ... Pa... Oh, sorry, go back to your Haterade(tm). Ignore my interruption.

Sovereign Court

Power Word Unzip wrote:

New Legends and Lore column up today.

My main beef with the poll, again, is that I'm really afraid the answers will paint an inaccurate picture given the simplistic format of the polls, especially question 2. I mainly want more adventures and DM rule options, but 4E already has a lot of adventures on the market - just not very good ones.

Same thing with the pages-per-month question - I don't really want to count the online content in that total because most of the stuff coming out of Dragon/Dungeon in its DDi form is utter crap. So I voted for a lower page count (maybe 600 yearly) because I'm afraid a result showing that people want reams of additional content is just going to make WotC decide to produce more craptastic DDi stuff and never come out with anything good in print.

I wouldn't worry about them taking the polls seriously - Besides basic issues with the questions themselves, you have both non-response bias issues and voluntary response bias. Then there is the article that precedes the questions - the last few paragraphs present more content in a negative light. A sound survey wouldn't do that either.

I think he's just looking for some kind of feedback without having to sort through 200 emails, not doing polling to decide the future.


It will be interesting to see what use these polls end up being used for. The second set of questions is better than the first poll, but still flawed. Type of material can be a useful breakdown, as long as the assumption is that quality is equal in all cases, but number of pages really isn't when I am more concerned about the quality of what I am choosing to use rather than raw page count most of the time.


pres man wrote:

Yeah, I know how a lot of folks here feel. I hate it when a game company tells you that the game you are playing sucks. When they say things like:

Grappling is too complicated.
Cross-class skill calculation is too hard.
Spiked chains are too powerful because they are actually worth a feat.
Clerics shouldn't be running around in heavy armor.
...

Yeah, and then the game company uses misleading advertisements, trying to claim it is still your game when it is not to try and trick people to purchase it.

Yeah I hate that stuff.

Oh ... we weren't talking about ... Pa... Oh, sorry, go back to your Haterade(tm). Ignore my interruption.

I'm feeling a bit parched.

pauses to sip FHDM brand Haterade(tm)

Ah. Refreshing.

I think it would be different if it was another company/direct competitor saying this. I read LOTS of horrid things aimed at people who played D&D in White Wolf material(and especially their messageboards), for example. However, this was all coming from the very same company that had put out the material they were now mocking- essentially insulting me and others for enjoying a game that I paid them money for. It rubbed many people the wrong way, and understandably so.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
pres man wrote:
Oh ... we weren't talking about ... Pa... Oh, sorry, go back to your Haterade(tm). Ignore my interruption.

*pssst* pres man, you're late to the party. :)

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Jandrem wrote:
It's not going to be called 5e. It's going to fly in under the assumption that it's compatible with 4e, but still new and fresh, so they can have their restart and get rid of the old books at the same time.
This line reminds me of something I just can't put my finger on...

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

pres man wrote:

Yeah, I know how a lot of folks here feel. I hate it when a game company tells you that the game you are playing sucks. When they say things like:

Grappling is too complicated.
Cross-class skill calculation is too hard.
Spiked chains are too powerful because they are actually worth a feat.
Clerics shouldn't be running around in heavy armor.
...

Yeah, and then the game company uses misleading advertisements, trying to claim it is still your game when it is not to try and trick people to purchase it.

Yeah I hate that stuff.

Oh ... we weren't talking about ... Pa... Oh, sorry, go back to your Haterade(tm). Ignore my interruption.

I think that buried in your vitriol is a very valid point, which a lot of Pathfinder fans ought to keep in mind: just changing something, or expressing the opinion that it should be changed, should not be taken as an act of scorn or aggression. Everyone wants to make their game better.

That said, I think most of us agree that Paizo have been far more civil and respectful in their discussion of other games and the people that play them. "We feel that Y is an improvement on X" is not the same thing as actively mocking X.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

This poll is just weird. If I'm playing a game, the amount of material you release DOES increase my chances of buying more books, but there is no release schedule that is going to get me to buy everything you put out. If you only release one book a year, I'm probably only going to buy a book every three years, because the first two weren't relevant to my interests.


sunshadow21 wrote:
I think my biggest concern with everything WoTC has done with 4E is that they don't seem to even realize just how bad the reaction people have to their many small, probably unintentional, but still dubious, decisions really is. The turning the character builder into a web based system is a good example; by itself, the transition was not perfect, but the lack of a functional export option was annoying, not a major core issue to the functionality of the program as a whole, but because they have made many such minor irritations in their handling of the release and support of the game since release, it was a big enough issue to spawn a pretty feisty thread, with even those who like and play 4E to throw some vitriol.. Likewise, most people probably could have looked past the unintentional slights in the preview books if they hadn't unintentionally been reinforced by the preview columns and the initial product itself. Ultimately, even if the individual examples were unintentional, there were already enough of them by the time of the actual launch that a difficult launch and subsequent support have only reinforced a sense of sloppiness in WoTC's actions.

I agree some of the decisions made you wonder if WOTC actually wanted to continue with the success they had. They have only themselves to blame in the end. I did notice a loss in momentum when they changed DDI to a web based model (around the release of Dark Sun), in conjunction with cancelling some of their books. I was always curious if DDI had something to do with, and therefore they shot themselves in the foot when they changed it.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I find it amusing that the 4E marketing gets a pass while people like Frank Trollman, Crusader of Logic, CODzilla, and plenty others are considered rude and unwanted when they say the exact same things.
Interesting point.
Cognitive dissonance, you think?

Some of those individuals mention may be perceived as of having issues concerning (a lack of) tact when it comes to their dissenting opinions. It's akin to trying to have a civil discussion with Fred Phelps having come to a clear conscience, but we're not going to take him seriously given the usual methods of aggrandized vitriolic scorched earth policy to which we've been accustomed. ;-)

EDIT: Also, given those three aliases as examples - they've already set themselves up for potential derision as they're subtle jabs as a prelude of how they're going to lead their discussion.


Freehold DM wrote:


Kaeyoss, this post made me wet myself with laughter. Thanks man, I needed this.

Hey, any time. Just get a fresh change of clothing before you continue reading. :P

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Urizen wrote:
EDIT: Also, given those three aliases as examples - they've already set themselves up for potential derision as they're subtle jabs as a prelude of how they're going to lead their discussion.

Trollman is his given name. See here.

Even so, what about FatR, A Man In Black, Cartigan, and even myself? We've all said things very similar to what was said in the 4E marketing campaign. Why the difference?


pres man wrote:

Yeah, I know how a lot of folks here feel. I hate it when a game company tells you that the game you are playing sucks. When they say things like:

Grappling is too complicated.
Cross-class skill calculation is too hard.
Spiked chains are too powerful because they are actually worth a feat.
Clerics shouldn't be running around in heavy armor.
...

Yeah, and then the game company uses misleading advertisements, trying to claim it is still your game when it is not to try and trick people to purchase it.

Yeah I hate that stuff.

Oh ... we weren't talking about ... Pa... Oh, sorry, go back to your Haterade(tm). Ignore my interruption.

I see what you're getting at, big difference being, Pathfinder is still backwards compatible enough that whatever change I don't like, I can continue using the 3.5 version of the rule for the most part. When I ran a short game of PF during the Beta, that's what we did and all was well; we cherry-picked and just kept what we liked, and all our old game content was still quite usable. Paizo didn't nuke the system and start over, they offered some suggestions and variants as far as I'm concerned.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Urizen wrote:
EDIT: Also, given those three aliases as examples - they've already set themselves up for potential derision as they're subtle jabs as a prelude of how they're going to lead their discussion.

Trollman is his given name. See here.

Even so, what about FatR, A Man In Black, Cartigan, and even myself? We've all said things very similar to what was said in the 4E marketing campaign. Why the difference?

I never actually read the 4e marketing campaign, as I had given up on 3rd edition long before 4e was being talked about. I have, however, sparred with many of your names above. Is there a concise link to actual marketing material from WotC regarding 4e anywhere that codifies the attacks on 3e? I'm almost interested enough to start trawling google, but that will have to wait until later this week, since I can't hit Wizards from work, and I've got Boardgame night, WoW Raid night, and Pathfinder night all hitting this week, plus a Mardi Gras party this weekend.


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)

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Power Word Unzip wrote:
New Legends and Lore column up today.

The spin in that one annoyed me. "Hardcovers" isn't a useful metric for product, pages is. They also really messed up how many hardcovers 2E had - I get 13, not 8, and I'm not sure I have them all.

Player's Handbook
Dungeon Master's Guide
Monstrous Manual
Tome of Magic
Book of Artifacts
An FR hardcover
Domains of Dread
Council of Wyrms
Dragon Kings
3 Player's Option books
1 DM's Option book


Russ Taylor wrote:
Power Word Unzip wrote:
New Legends and Lore column up today.

The spin in that one annoyed me. "Hardcovers" isn't a useful metric for product, pages is. They also really messed up how many hardcovers 2E had - I get 13, not 8, and I'm not sure I have them all.

Player's Handbook
Dungeon Master's Guide
Monstrous Manual
Tome of Magic
Book of Artifacts
An FR hardcover
Domains of Dread
Council of Wyrms
Dragon Kings
3 Player's Option books
1 DM's Option book

I don't think Council of Wyrms, Dragon Kings and Domains of Dread were originally hardcovers- I think they were originally boxed sets.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Freehold DM wrote:
Russ Taylor wrote:
Power Word Unzip wrote:
New Legends and Lore column up today.

The spin in that one annoyed me. "Hardcovers" isn't a useful metric for product, pages is. They also really messed up how many hardcovers 2E had - I get 13, not 8, and I'm not sure I have them all.

Player's Handbook
Dungeon Master's Guide
Monstrous Manual
Tome of Magic
Book of Artifacts
An FR hardcover
Domains of Dread
Council of Wyrms
Dragon Kings
3 Player's Option books
1 DM's Option book

I don't think Council of Wyrms, Dragon Kings and Domains of Dread were originally hardcovers- I think they were originally boxed sets.

But they were Hardcovers by the time 2nd edition was over. Also add to this the Monstrous Compendiums (all 18 I think) and all of the box sets.


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?

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Scott Betts wrote:
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?

The pretense that grappling in 3E's somehow so unplayable that it kills your game? I can see taking offense at that.

Mainly, the lameness in that commercial points to how bad Wizard's marketing campaign was: your old editions all stink, and got in the way of your fun. We know how you should have fun. Relax, and let Wizards decide.

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