The Fifth Edition Announcement - What do you think of their stated intentions?


4th Edition

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Rockheimr wrote:

Hey, let's be clear, if 4e had doubled WOTC's D&D sales by drawing in the hoped for WOW-rush as planned, I'd be the first to grudgingly concede it was a great success for WOTC. I would naturally add the success saddened me, as I think the edition was an enormous step in the wrong direction and I certainly wouldn't play it, however I would accept I was clearly in a dying minority and it had obviously been the right commercial decision to take.

Yes. I think we can separate two issues here:

1) I don't like 4e. I ran it, played in it, even demoed it at a gaming store. I just don't like it - I think it moves in the wrong direction, and for me it is just a bad RPG. That's all my subjective impression of it. I think enough other people share my subjective impression that it is at least part of the explanation (a significant part) as to why the game failed.

2) Everything mentioned previously about loss of market share, the brand, etc. objectively indicates that the game was a failure in that sense. This is separate and apart from whether the game itself it actually any good. As I said above, good products can fail. It is clear that even WotC/Hasbro have realized the game failed, and I suspect they've known it for some time. They want to regain lost ground with 5e.

Point #1 can be argued to death (and has been). I don't see much room for arguing point #2.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
1. 4e is not D&D. It doesn't FEEL like D&D. The game designers sacrificed the soul of the game in a hopeless quest for the holy grail of "class balance."

I'm not inclined to believe this as a real reason, and much more as an attempt at justification. I've heard this same reason from countless people, and the few who are able to identify exactly what they think the "soul" of the game is invariably come up with different answers (many of which are actually contained within 4e anyway).

Quote:
2. WotC miniatures marketing was based on the collectible card game model. Buy product unseen for mega-bucks and hope for something good. That might work for a $5 pack of cards, but for a $40 box of plastic figurines, when you feel screwed you feel screwed.

So by that token they'll start hating Paizo, right?

I'm not advocating that you should hate Paizo, by the way. I'm saying that hating either company for engaging in the only workable business model for selling pre-painted plastic miniatures is a dumb thing to hate anyone over.

Quote:
3. ACTUAL collectible cards for the game. If the derision heaped upon WotC for their sins were not already enough, with the announcement of cards you played on your turn, well that just further cemented in their minds the idea that WotC was nothing but a money-grubbing greed-monkey. (Yes, I know Paizo has also marketed cards, I didn't say this was rational).

At least you recognize that the reasons for hating WotC aren't good ones.

Quote:
4. Endless errata. As a 4e player I myself was frequently frustrated when my characters powers, items or feats suddenly no longer did what they did the day before. Errata is a good thing, unless it is such a ceaseless flood that you reach the conclusion that the REASON for the endless errata is essentially design incompetence in the first place.

Or simply an evolving understanding of the system, which was the case. Chances are, however, that if you as a 4e player were finding yourself frequently the target of errata, you were probably habitually selecting options that were errata-vulnerable - that is, character options that were obviously much stronger than other options and which you probably ought to have foreseen being changed. Maybe not, but probably.

Quote:
5. 4e revisions. Every time WotC announced some product or game redesign that was clearly intended to reach out to the alienated players who now play Pathfinder, the reaction was not "Oh, well, maybe WotC is OK then." The reaction was "Hah! So now even THOSE idiots are realizing they screwed things up. Too little too late dudes."

Again, the "WotC shot my puppy" mentality.


I believe the simple fact that 5E is coming out much earlier than we expected it is an indication that at least WotC views 4E as a failure.


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4e may well be a "bad RPG" but it's a pretty dang good tactical combat simulation. There's some stuff in there that is worth looking at by Paizo or any other RPG design company.

What I find hilarious Steerpike is that many of us have been making the point that 4e has been a clear markeplace failure for at least a year, using the same argument that you've used here, but believe me, there has been plenty of argument about that, and probably still will be.

What I find interesting on other boards about the 5e announcement is how few folks seem to understand what is blindingly obvious to me, which is that the whole approach to the 5e announcement is nothing but a clear admission that 4e has been an utter failure, and that if 5e can't win back those lost fans... well Hasbro has never been slow to pull the trigger on canceling a product line.

I mean you can smell the desperation in the statements coming out from WotC.


Rockheimr wrote:
If you're correct, which I don't think you are, then it would be fantastic news for WOTC, as it would mean they could solve all their problems by something so simple and relatively cheap as publishing 2 monthly magazines again and all their lost customers would presumably return to them.

No, actually, that's not what it would mean at all.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:


What I find hilarious Steerpike is that many of us have been making the point that 4e has been a clear markeplace failure for at least a year, using the same argument that you've used here, but believe me, there has been plenty of argument about that, and probably still will be.

Yeah, that's true - I've seen a lot of that argument made for some time now, and anecdotally it backs up my experience. Even the fans of 4e in my local groups were getting tired of it a little over a year ago and migrating to other games.

I agree regarding the 5e announcements and corresponding statements. It's about as close an admission to failure as you're likely to see. Hasbro/WotC clearly doesn't consider the game a success and is eager to move on to the next iteration.


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Let me clarify a bit.

For a long time D&D was THE RPG in the industry. No other game achieved success in the same zip code as D&D. Dungeon and Dragon magazines gained a very small, but fiercely loyal, fanbase within the enormous D&D community. Although the magazines were a huge success under Paizo's watch, and became more popular than ever with the advent of the adventure paths, the majority of D&D players viewed them as a novelty. Most DMs didn't allow anything in their games that wasn't in an official D&D book, magazine content included.

That didn't sit well with WotC. The combination of print media like magazines giving way to the digital age combined with the low percentage of players willing to use magazine content convinced WotC to let the license expire. Regardless of how often Lisa or anyone else gets on these forums and reiterates how amicable the split was or how generous of WotC it was to extend the license until Paizo wrapped up the Savage Tide AP, fanatics constantly decry WotC for "cancelling" the magazines like someone broke into their homes and shot their puppies.

At the same time, WotC released 4E. Not only did they "cancel" the magazines, but they "cancelled" the current edition of the game. And to add insult to injury, they took inspiration for the new edition from the same digital revelution that doomed the magazines.

Edition changes have always been tumultous for D&D. WotC stepped into a veritable sh*tstorm by changing editions at the same time that it pissed off a bunch of players who had become loyal to Paizo in lieu of D&D. Paizo was the rock that magazine and 3.5 fans clung to in a sea of change.

In the eyes of Paizo fans, WotC has become the enemy. They're fiercely protective and loyal to "their" company. They see any success by WotC as a threat to Paizo and to their player base. Even though the history of the game is rife with fans who played multiple RPGs at any given time, Paizo fanatics view Pathfinder and D&D as mutually exclusive. One can only steal players and market share from the other. There can be no peaceful coexistence.

That's why you're seeing such a backlash here over the 5E announcement. We can see the signs of 5E shaping up to be a huge success. It's like the next even numbered Star Trek movie. That makes it a threat to Pathfinder in the eyes of fanatics.


Scott:

If I am selecting obviously overpowered choices that will clearly be errata fodder, then that alone is a clear admission of the design incompetence I am describing. If I, a customer should be able to see that, what the hell is the job description of a game designer?

I didn't say that all the reasons for hating WotC were good ones. Some were irrational even. I don't hate WotC and I PLAY 4e and purchase their products. I have a DDI account. I'm not a hater. But the reasons I've heard from the haters I know are not ALL irrational. I agree with the merit of some of them.

As far as the "doesn't feel like D&D" argument is concerned, I totally agree with that. 4e is not D&D. It's a different game. I can tell you why, but you clearly would just disagree with me. I don't care. There are enough people who agree with me that WotC is now the #2 RPG company on the planet. So I feel pretty vindicated in my opinion in spite of your inability to understand the reasons for it.


Sebastrd wrote:
We can see the signs of 5E shaping up to be a huge success.

This is really a ridiculous assertion to make at this stage in the game. I hope 5e is successful, but there is no basis at this point in time for saying it is shaping up to be either a success or a failure.

Your explanation about hatred of WotC and loyalty to Paizo is also misplaced. A very small minority may feel that way. Most people I know who play Pathfinder do so because they prefer the game to 4e, and they are ambivalent toward WotC. If WotC puts out a good game, they'll likely buy it. I know I will.

The kind of broad statements you are making to characterize an entire fan base are nonsense, imo.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sebastrd wrote:
We can see the signs of 5E shaping up to be a huge success.

Bwahahahahahaha.


Nobody gets to say what is D&D except the owners of the name. You can say it doesn't feel that way though. In short the best state that one can make is that "It is not my D&D".

PS:I am not a 4E or WoTC fan before the accusation even comes out.


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:


As far as the "doesn't feel like D&D" argument is concerned, I totally agree with that. 4e is not D&D. It's a different game.

I think people pretend to misunderstand this sentiment on purpose. It isn't hard to grasp. 4e has the brand name, but it is different enough that many consider it more like a new game.

If Ferrari released a $10,000 car meant to compete with Kia's base model, it would have the Ferrari brand on it, but I doubt anyone would have a problem understanding just what an existing Ferrari owner means when he says "it's just not a Ferrari."


Sebastrd wrote:

Let me clarify a bit.

...

Many of your statements seem unsupported. I see little "Paizo" fanaticism in the anti-4E crowd. And today is the first time I've heard about the magazine thing being the source of everyone's rage.

I think your theory needs a little more thinking out. The death of the magazines is one reason to dislike WotC, and the inception of 4E is another. They are separate and distinct.

I was an avid fan of the Dragon magazine. Not so much Dungeon. But I would have stopped buying them with the inception of 4E because I don't play 4E. Any attitude I have about WotC has to do with the way they marketed 4E, and not the magazines.

I think the majority of anti-4E people are also anti-WotC. And I doubt seriously if the magazines play a part in their anti-4E stance, though they might contribute to their anti-WotC stance. Contribute. Not explain.

The anti-WotC crowd has plenty of reason for their stance. You can't reduce it to a petty tantrum over magazines.

EDIT: Oh, and one other thing: if 5E is a huge success, it will necessarily have to be because it brought in some of those anti-WotC people you're trying to marginalize. Otherwise, it will just be a repeat of 4E, and doomed to failure.


wraithstrike wrote:
Nobody gets to say what is D&D except the owners of the name.

Huh. That's strange. I thought I just did say that.

Yep, I scrolled up and checked, and sure enough I totally DID say that.

I'm not going to get into a meaningless semantic argument with you wraith. You either know what I mean and are being deliberately disingenuous or else you will never understand it.

But the people who now buy their "D&D fix" from Paizo sure as heck know what I mean. And they are the ones who matter.

Contributor

Steerpike7 wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:


As far as the "doesn't feel like D&D" argument is concerned, I totally agree with that. 4e is not D&D. It's a different game.

I think people pretend to misunderstand this sentiment on purpose. It isn't hard to grasp. 4e has the brand name, but it is different enough that many consider it more like a new game.

If Ferrari released a $10,000 car meant to compete with Kia's base model, it would have the Ferrari brand on it, but I doubt anyone would have a problem understanding just what an existing Ferrari owner means when he says "it's just not a Ferrari."

This already happened with Cadillac when they did their "Caddy that Zigs" business making the Catera out of the Opel Omega. This was not the sort of Cadillac Jerry Lee Lewis was singing about in "Pink Cadillac" nor was it the sort of Cadillac that inspired Quiet Riot to do "Slick Black Cadillac." The Catera was a slightly dowdy modern sedan, hardly a fitting heir to the great Caddies of the 50s and 60s or even the sort-of-reasonable approximations of the 70s.

4e? Yes it had the logo and some of the art and so on, but it was not anything that felt like D&D, which all three of the editions before did.


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
4e? Yes it had the logo and some of the art and so on, but it was not anything that felt like D&D, which all three of the editions before did.

I have a mini-poster on the wall of my gaming room that I'm not particularly proud of (:P). I found it on the web a couple of years back. It's the cover of the 4E PHB with the Playschool logo beside the "Dungeons & Dragons" banner.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Scott:

If I am selecting obviously overpowered choices that will clearly be errata fodder, then that alone is a clear admission of the design incompetence I am describing. If I, a customer should be able to see that, what the hell is the job description of a game designer?

So you think that a product containing thousands of individual rules interactions needs to be error-free, or the designers are incompetent?

I don't think that's a stance you want to take, because it says some very unflattering things about what your opinions of the Paizo design team must be.

Quote:

I didn't say that all the reasons for hating WotC were good ones. Some were irrational even. I don't hate WotC and I PLAY 4e and purchase their products. I have a DDI account. I'm not a hater. But the reasons I've heard from the haters I know are not ALL irrational. I agree with the merit of some of them.

As far as the "doesn't feel like D&D" argument is concerned, I totally agree with that. 4e is not D&D. It's a different game. I can tell you why, but you clearly would just disagree with me. I don't care. There are enough people who agree with me that WotC is now the #2 RPG company on the planet. So I feel pretty vindicated in my opinion in spite of your inability to understand the reasons for it.

I'm not sure that sharing the same need for justification with a lot of other people should really qualify as vindication.


Heck, I'm still playing 3.5. Unfortunately, sorry Pathfinder fans, Pathfinder isn't COMPLETELY backwards compatible. So I never switched over. I have hundreds and hundreds of dollars in a perfectly playable 3.5 game that my sizable group enjoys playing. If I could just smoothly import Pathfinder supplements and classes into my 3.5 game, I'd buy more Paizo stuff. But I can't, so I enjoy the material I have- which is still more material than I'll ever have time to actually use.

5th EDITION! Give me a break.


Scott Betts wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Scott:

If I am selecting obviously overpowered choices that will clearly be errata fodder, then that alone is a clear admission of the design incompetence I am describing. If I, a customer should be able to see that, what the hell is the job description of a game designer?

So you think that a product containing thousands of individual rules interactions needs to be error-free, or the designers are incompetent?

I don't think that's a stance you want to take, because it says some very unflattering things about what your opinions of the Paizo design team must be.

You have a particular knack for cherry picking comments to pretend to rebut points Scott. You're pretty good at it. As you no doubt fully understand, my point is about the sheer volume of errata that flooded out of WotC releases. I mean it was a MONTHLY RITUAL for me and my gaming friends to revise their characters due to errata. You can attempt to downplay that level of ineptitude all you like, those of us who experienced it have clear memories of it.

Scott Betts wrote:
Quote:

I didn't say that all the reasons for hating WotC were good ones. Some were irrational even. I don't hate WotC and I PLAY 4e and purchase their products. I have a DDI account. I'm not a hater. But the reasons I've heard from the haters I know are not ALL irrational. I agree with the merit of some of them.

As far as the "doesn't feel like D&D" argument is concerned, I totally agree with that. 4e is not D&D. It's a different game. I can tell you why, but you clearly would just disagree with me. I don't care. There are enough people who agree with me that WotC is now the #2 RPG company on the planet. So I feel pretty vindicated in my opinion in spite of your inability to understand the reasons for it.

I'm not sure that sharing the same need for justification with a lot of other people should really qualify as vindication.

When those people are a large enough community and have voted with their feet enough to have taken the dominant company in the RPG industry and put them in second place and falling... Yeah Scott, I think that qualifies as "vindication."


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
You have a particular knack for cherry picking comments to pretend to rebut points Scott. You're pretty good at it.

Thanks!

Quote:
As you no doubt fully understand, my point is about the sheer volume of errata that flooded out of WotC releases. I mean it was a MONTHLY RITUAL for me and my gaming friends to revise their characters due to errata. You can attempt to downplay that level of ineptitude all you like, those of us who experienced it have clear memories of it.

4e didn't contain more errors or even more egregious errors than any edition of the game that came before.

What it did do differently was actively embrace the update/errata process. For the first time, the game's rules were living in the sense that as new design paradigms were uncovered and new books were released, old material could be updated and reconfigured via the update process and DDI to meet the way D&D was being published right at that moment.

You saw less errata in the 3.5 days, but not because there weren't any problems. There were problems. Some of them huge. But the designers didn't consider addressing those problems to be a priority post-release. Only near the end of the 3.5 lifecycle did we start to see that sort of mentality take off (the polymorph rules update, for example).

I'm not trying to twist your words or purposefully misunderstand you. I'm trying to drive home the fact that updates were more prevalent in 4e because the designers made updating the rules a priority, not because they were incompetent. WotC's design team is very strong; arguably the strongest in the industry, because they can afford to hire the best up-and-comers (and the best up-and-comers want to work for them).

Quote:
When those people are a large enough community and have voted with their feet enough to have taken the dominant company in the RPG industry and put them in second place and falling... Yeah Scott, I think that qualifies as "vindication."

You can feel vindicated in not liking 4e. I think it's silly to feel vindicated that other people share your need for justification, though. That's all.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Rockheimr wrote:

If you have some evidence for a general market decline matching the reported 40-50% drop in WOTC D&D sales please share it with us.

As to my question, which you still haven't answered, it's only complicated if you make it so. A yes or no answer would do.

My answer is no, I don't think 4E was a failure.

Where was a 40-50% drop ins WoTC D&D sales reported?


Steve Geddes wrote:

Where was a 40-50% drop ins WoTC D&D sales reported?

I think he's saying that the Pathfinder sales that put 4E into second place represents a 50%+ market share.


Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Where was a 40-50% drop ins WoTC D&D sales reported?

I think he's saying that the Pathfinder sales that put 4E into second place represents a 50%+ market share.

It assumes a number of things that are either not true or may not be true, though.

First, that 4e is really in second place.

Second, that the hobby market did not experience negative growth during the course of 4e's lifespan.

Third, that people who bought Pathfinder did not also buy 4e.

And probably some other factors that I've forgotten or am not equipped to understand.


Whether the hobby market as a whole shrunk or not has no bearing on the relative market share of WotC and Pathfinder. If the market as a whole shrunk, then Pathfinder's market shrunk as well. If Pathfinder's market share is greater than WotC, then 4e failed in that regard as WotC went from dominating the market to being in second place. Honestly, even if Paizo only put a sizable dent in WotC's market share and WotC was still in second place, it would still rate as a bit of a debacle for WotC given the market dominance they had before. There no way a reasonable person can put a good spin on what has happened to WotC and D&D under 4e. No matter how you view it, it is a decline from D&D's previous position in the market.


Scott Betts wrote:
First, that 4e is really in second place.

I don't know what the markets show. I'm just clarifying what was said.


Steerpike7 wrote:
Whether the hobby market as a whole shrunk or not has no bearing on the relative market share of WotC and Pathfinder.

But it does have a bearing on whether overall sales volume dropped, which is what was being claimed. The relative market share was just being used to support that claim.

(The logic being, presumably, that if D&D went from controlling 100% of the tabletop gaming market to 50% of the tabletop gaming market, it must have experienced a sharp decline in sales volume even relative to the overall market.)


Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
First, that 4e is really in second place.

I don't know what the markets show. I'm just clarifying what was said.

Right, I understand.


Scott Betts wrote:


But it does have a bearing on whether overall sales volume dropped, which is what was being claimed. The relative market share was just being used to support that claim.

Yes, it is important to that determination. I think the relative market share between the two is the more telling statistic. I suspect WotC is not happy with how that picture looks.

There is information that we're simply not going to have, but it seems to me that the timing and tone of the WotC 5e announcement is very good evidence that they are not at all pleased with the current market for 4e.


Steerpike7 wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


But it does have a bearing on whether overall sales volume dropped, which is what was being claimed. The relative market share was just being used to support that claim.
Yes, it is important to that determination. I think the relative market share between the two is the more telling statistic. I suspect WotC is not happy with how that picture looks.

I agree, they probably aren't.

I personally don't think it's a bad thing, though. I like the idea of having two (relative) giants at the forefront of the industry.


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Scott Betts wrote:


I personally don't think it's a bad thing, though. I like the idea of having two (relative) giants at the forefront of the industry.

Yeah, I think that's good too. Competition in the industry is better than having a 500-pound gorilla dominating everything. In that respect, I also hope 5e is a good game. I don't harbor any ill-will to WotC. I don't like 4e. I have friends who like it. If 5e is good (in my opinion) I'll play it, and I'm sure I'll be playing Pathfinder and others as well.


Just to be clear, nobody actually knows the exact market shares or total sales or anything of that nature?

About the errata: the need for errata is a bad thing, as it implies that they didn't do much testing or balance control, or that they possibly don't understand how their own game really works, but the fact that they do errata things is good. That half the time the reaction to the errata was negative because they went too far, or arbitrarily hit something that was functioning fine, is another matter.

I would be really interested to hear some of the content of their strategy meetings. 4e was clearly trying to draw in new players, but the little bit of talk about the new edition seems to be more focused on trying to regain lost players. EDIT: Thinking about it more, I suppose the two are really one in the same, as I imagine that the majority of new players to D&D are introduced to it by an existing player.


Momar wrote:

Just to be clear, nobody actually knows the exact market shares or total sales or anything of that nature?

I think most people are extrapolating from what we can find out about sales etc. To me, the WotC actions around the 5e announcement, and the clear indication they're specifically interested in recovering fans, tells me the loss of marketshare is viewed as substantial by WotC.


DigitalMage wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
It's not D&D Next, it's 5E. No matter what WotC Brand Management says.

Calling it D&D Next is just as right as calling it 5e thank you very much, at the very least D&D Next is a term being used by WotC - sorry if that offends your sensibilities to the point that you feel the need to "correct" me.

I am using D&D Next as a placeholder for whatever it finally gets called, as I get the feeling that WotC won't call it 5th Edition - just like Mongoose RuneQuest was never called RQ4e and Mongoose RuneQuest II was never called RQ5e, maybe the next iteration of D&D is not going to be called 5e.

I've decided to call it D&DJeff.

Why not?


To me, "D&D Next" sounds an awful lot like a brand of pepsi.

Seems like it would have been a lot better if they had nailed down a name for this next edition before making the announcement. I wonder why they didn't?


Steerpike7 wrote:
Sebastrd wrote:
We can see the signs of 5E shaping up to be a huge success.
This is really a ridiculous assertion to make at this stage in the game. I hope 5e is successful, but there is no basis at this point in time for saying it is shaping up to be either a success or a failure.

I say this based on reading the entirety of the Legends and Lore archive wherein Mike Mearls and Monte Cook discuss the direction of the game, reading the responses of the lucky individuals invited to the December playtest, and watching the responses on this very board. Even here, in the enemy stronghold as it were, the response seems cautiously optimistic. Lots of folks are already saying they'll buy 5E if it's a good system. Laugh all you want, but when 5E is a commercial success I'll accept your apology.

Steerpike7 wrote:

Your explanation about hatred of WotC and loyalty to Paizo is also misplaced. A very small minority may feel that way. Most people I know who play Pathfinder do so because they prefer the game to 4e, and they are ambivalent toward WotC. If WotC puts out a good game, they'll likely buy it. I know I will.

The kind of broad statements you are making to characterize an entire fan base are nonsense, imo.

I'm not at all talking about Pathfinder players. I'm talking specifically about the Paizo fanatics that hate WotC and take any opportunity to slight the company and whatever it produces - especially 4E.


Sebastrd wrote:
Laugh all you want, but when 5E is a commercial success I'll accept your apology.

The assertion being made 'now' is no less ridiculous whether it is a success or not. There simply is not enough information to say that 5e is "shaping up" to be a huge success. Or that it is "shaping up" to be a huge flop. It is doing neither at this point.


Sebastrd wrote: "We can see the signs of 5E shaping up to be a huge success."

I am firmly in the camp of wanting the next version of D&D to be successful, as I think that it would benefit the entire industry.

But even I think the above statement is silly.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Where was a 40-50% drop ins WoTC D&D sales reported?

I think he's saying that the Pathfinder sales that put 4E into second place represents a 50%+ market share.

Which is quite wrong, but I appreciate the clarification. I thought there was some interview or comment somewhere or other where it had been reported. Cheers.

Dark Archive

Quote:
4. Endless errata. As a 4e player I myself was frequently frustrated when my characters powers, items or feats suddenly no longer did what they did the day before. Errata is a good thing, unless it is such a ceaseless flood that you reach the conclusion that the REASON for the endless errata is essentially design incompetence in the first place.
Or simply an evolving understanding of the system, which was the case. Chances are, however, that if you as a 4e player were...

They made the system. They should have understood it enough to avoid putting out such broken options in the first place. Or they could have implemented the radical idea of testing your products before you shove them out the door. You know real playtesting where you have people play the game and listen to their critiques, concerns, and complaints and then make changes to it accordingly, not the sham "only for show" playtesting they did for 4E. I'm sorry, but the degree, amount, and pace of errata for 4E was ridiculous, and should have been embarrassing enough to WotC to make them change the way they did QA for their products. I've seen people so fed up with the errata for 4E that they almost quit playing the game entirely, and did stop buying any more books. I can't say I blame them. Why buy a book, when a good portion of it will be radically errated in a month or two?


AHalflingNotAHobbit wrote:
To me, "D&D Next" sounds an awful lot like a brand of pepsi.

Then call it "New D&D".

Dark Archive

The anti-WotC crowd has plenty of reason for their stance. You can't reduce it to a petty tantrum over magazines.

EDIT: Oh, and one other thing: if 5E is a huge success, it will necessarily have to be because it brought in some of those anti-WotC people you're trying to marginalize. Otherwise, it will just be a repeat of 4E, and doomed to failure.

Killing the magazines (and yes the online version are no substitute. They are dead.) definitely did anger some fans. I know it really ticked me off. To this day, I miss getting Dragon and Dungeon in the mail every month. That is one reason not to like WotC, but since then they have given me and so many other gamers reasons not to like them as a company that the death of the magazines is just a drop in the bucket. It probably did set the stage for hating on WotC for 4E, since many were still ticked about killing the magazines, but it's not the main reason to hate on WotC, at least not anymore.


Yora wrote:
AHalflingNotAHobbit wrote:
To me, "D&D Next" sounds an awful lot like a brand of pepsi.
Then call it "New D&D".

Ha!


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Cory Stafford 29 wrote:
Killing the magazines (and yes the online version are no substitute. They are dead.) definitely did anger some fans. I know it really ticked me off. To this day, I miss getting Dragon and Dungeon in the mail every month. That is one reason not to like WotC, but since then they have given me and so many other gamers reasons not to like them as a company that the death of the magazines is just a drop in the bucket. It probably did set the stage for hating on WotC for 4E, since many were still ticked about killing the magazines, but it's not the main reason to hate on WotC, at least not anymore.

I'm glad they got rid of the magazines to be frank. I feel for the Paizo staff (I'm sure it was an unpleasant few months when it happened) but I would hope they'd look back and think that things turned out better than they would have, had the licenses to the magazines been renewed.

The outcome has certainly been better for me - I get all that Paizo currently produces, I get more choice of RPGs and I have a good value DDI subscription.

(Admittedly I seem to be the only person on the planet who didnt really find the pre-electronic Dungeon and Dragon magazines good value and who doesnt mind the current versions).


I am basing my conclusion that 4e is secondary to Pathfinder in the marketplace based on conversations with game store owners in my area, comments about game store sales on messageboards and examination of the sales of Pathfinder vs 4e items on sites like Amazon.com.

WotC's recent public statements simply confirm what observation and common sense have already told me.

Plus I have worked in the corporate world for the last 18 years. If you don't make your numbers, you get one, maybe two chances to "revamp" to meet them. If you can't, you are a corporate liability, not an asset, and corporations that don't shed liabilities don't remain corporations for long.

This is all testable. It will be tested by the market. Let's come back in a year and see where things are.

Right now I'd put the odds of WotC surviving as a unit in Hasbro somewhat higher than D&D surviving as a brand simply because WotC still has some value in the CCG and miniatures market. D&D has become a liability. If 5e does not reverse the decline in the brand within six months, it will be discontinued. (Not six months from NOW, six months from when it is launched).

My personal opinion is that WotC has such a miniscule chance of being successful with 5e that I am quite honestly surprised that Hasbro is even giving them the chance. They must have done one hell of a sales job on the CEO.

That's my prediction. It's testable. We'll see how it turns out.

Sovereign Court

Gorbacz wrote:
It's not D&D Next, it's 5E. No matter what WotC Brand Management says.

Not only that but it sounds more like "D&D Again" then D&D Next


Jerry Wright 307 wrote:


Do you often encounter rational hate?

Just a question...

:D

Yes. Of anchovi pizzas.

Dark Archive

4e didn't contain more errors or even more egregious errors than any edition of the game that came before.

I really can't agree here. The amount and degree of errata for 4E almost amounts to another half edition. That reeks of incompetence, a lack of playtesting, or both.

What it did do differently was actively embrace the update/errata process. For the first time, the game's rules were living in the sense that as new design paradigms were uncovered and new books were released, old material could be updated and reconfigured via the update process and DDI to meet the way D&D was being published right at that moment.

I fail to see how having to check your character every few months to see if it works the same, is a good thing. Given the choice between the rules changing every other month or no errata, I'll take the no errata. If something truly is bad enough to cause a major balance issue, the DM can disallow it.


Cory Stafford 29 wrote:
EDIT: Oh, and one other thing: if 5E is a huge success, it will necessarily have to be because it brought in some of those anti-WotC people you're trying to marginalize. Otherwise, it will just be a repeat of 4E, and doomed to failure.

That's making things too simple. Not everyone who does not love 4th Edition is a Wizards-hater.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Yora wrote:
Cory Stafford 29 wrote:
EDIT: Oh, and one other thing: if 5E is a huge success, it will necessarily have to be because it brought in some of those anti-WotC people you're trying to marginalize. Otherwise, it will just be a repeat of 4E, and doomed to failure.
That's making things too simple. Not everyone who does not love 4th Edition is a Wizards-hater.

In fact, I think it would be silly to target the anti-WotC people. Much better to target those indifferent to the company.


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I'm okay with the new name, but I say it more like:

"D&D? ... Next!"

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