Once bitten, twice shy (5E)


4th Edition

Scarab Sages

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So, its been 5 years now has it friends?

I so fondly recall the excitement at the new 4E announcement back in the day. Ah those glorious rumors from GenCon and the excitingly looking forward to all the glory the new dawn of gaming would provide. Ooohing and Ahhhing at the idea of a fully supported electronic tabletop and a freedom from grapple checks. Such exciting times.

Sadly in 5 years I've played in zero 4E campaigns and only a handfull of one-shot adventures. Perhaps I should have worked harder to convince my friends that it was as amazing as I wanted it to be, but their counterpoints that the adventures were just dreadful (and they were - both LFR and the published line started off weak at best).

Then the electronic table top died a quiet death.

Then it rapidly became clear that the material printed in the core books was to be rapidly outstripped in power by supplements available first (and sometimes for years) only though the subscription model with the character creator software making those of us who bothered to buy books look like chumps.

That said I do like most of Monte Cook and Mike Mearls' work and so will be paying the new edition a fair bit of attention. It will honestly not have the same hooks in me that 4E did.

One significant note is that the announcement came not from any of the industry events (not even their own D&D experience) but via mainstream journalism. The jaded part of me wonders if this means that they no longer think the RPG customer is deserving of attention or if marketing at WotC is so terrified by their sales numbers that they don't think we're out here anymore.


I am curious, but not excited.


Matthew Trent wrote:


One significant note is that the announcement came not from any of the industry events (not even their own D&D experience) but via mainstream journalism. The jaded part of me wonders if this means that they no longer think the RPG customer is deserving of attention or if marketing at WotC is so terrified by their sales numbers that they don't think we're out here anymore.

I think they probably went this route for those of us who gave up on them after 4ED.

I learned about 5ED from another publishing company's forums (HERE).

Many like me may not venture over to their website, so I think mainstream media is a wise choice to try to entice those who abandoned their products to give em another chance.

Frog God Games

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Matthew Trent wrote:
One significant note is that the announcement came not from any of the industry events (not even their own D&D experience) but via mainstream journalism. The jaded part of me wonders if this means that they no longer think the RPG customer is deserving of attention or if marketing at WotC is so terrified by their sales numbers that they don't think we're out here anymore.

I think that it's simply the result of mainstream media bothering to pay attention to the table-top gaming industry.

I highly doubt that E.G.G. would have been upset if The New York Times ran an article on the launch of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

The jaded part of you reminds me of the people that call punk bands that sign on to major labels "sell outs" because those that came before didn't. Meanwhile, those that came before talk about how they would have signed on with a major label if the offer had been made!

In the article at ENWorld (linked to numerous times yesterday) the reporter makes it a point to say that all of the invited reporters are gaming geeks. So it's really a matter of people from the gaming culture being in positions to spread the love. :D

Contributor

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Well, as revealed in one of the articles I read yesterday, the mainstream media was flown out and put up at WotC's expense for a secret playtest this past December which does help to get your story covered by Forbes, CNN, and the New York Times.

And to be completely fair, I think that's a better use their advertising dollars than commissioning a cartoon of dragons crapping on trolls.

That all said, I bought several 4e books sight unseen, expecting to be wowed or at least not sorely disappointed. That wasn't the case.

5th Edition? I'll check out the free playtest. What I see there will influence my decision as to whether I pick up any of the new books. But it will have to be freakin' fantabulous before I pre-order anything. Once burned, twice shy.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Matthew Trent wrote:
One significant note is that the announcement came not from any of the industry events (not even their own D&D experience) but via mainstream journalism. The jaded part of me wonders if this means that they no longer think the RPG customer is deserving of attention or if marketing at WotC is so terrified by their sales numbers that they don't think we're out here anymore.

I see it the opposite. Yes, New York Times made an announcement that there would be an announcement, but the actual announcement came from Mike Mearls wizards.com column, and it was followed up but multiple gamer blogs that mentioned WotC invited them to playtest the game. This is far more participatory than WotC was in the development of 4e, and it shows a new respect for the community in my eyes. Announcing it a few weeks before D&D Expo means there is still a chance for at least local gamers to drive down for the weekend and give the new edition a try.

I would say that WotC's first and biggest failing with 4e -the marketing- has so far been the most impressive part of this announcement. Of course, they're doing everything Paizo taught them works, which is smart business but does nothing to draw people away from Pathfinder. Hopefully that isn't their goal because ultimately WotC is a million dollar company that must answer to a billion dollar company, whereas Paizo is a million dollar company that answers only to itself.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I would be more excited if the 5E initial rulebook leaves the game in a state more similar to that of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook than the initial 4E PHB/DMG/MM. When the latter set of books came out, that was all there was of 4E -- nothing from 3E could be converted easily. On the other hand, a simple little PDF file made all prior 3E material usable with the Pathfinder Core Rulebook -- so that new edition was able to build on the 3E legacy. If they really live up to their promise to make 5E compatible with all prior editions, I would be happily surprised.


Matthew Trent wrote:
One significant note is that the announcement came not from any of the industry events (not even their own D&D experience) but via mainstream journalism. The jaded part of me wonders if this means that they no longer think the RPG customer is deserving of attention or if marketing at WotC is so terrified by their sales numbers that they don't think we're out here anymore.

I saw this and took away a reminder that the D&D brand still is a household name. Could Pathfinder (or any other game) announce a new edition and get this kind of coverage?

But personally, I will need a lot more information (especially regarding the OGL) before I start even contemplating purchasing anything.

Contributor

AHalflingNotAHobbit wrote:
Matthew Trent wrote:
One significant note is that the announcement came not from any of the industry events (not even their own D&D experience) but via mainstream journalism. The jaded part of me wonders if this means that they no longer think the RPG customer is deserving of attention or if marketing at WotC is so terrified by their sales numbers that they don't think we're out here anymore.

I saw this and took away a reminder that the D&D brand still is a household name. Could Pathfinder (or any other game) announce a new edition and get this kind of coverage?

But personally, I will need a lot more information (especially regarding the OGL) before I start even contemplating purchasing anything.

If they flew reporters out and put them up in hotels, they possibly could.

It should be seriously noted that this was not just something the press stumbled onto by itself.


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
AHalflingNotAHobbit wrote:
Matthew Trent wrote:
One significant note is that the announcement came not from any of the industry events (not even their own D&D experience) but via mainstream journalism. The jaded part of me wonders if this means that they no longer think the RPG customer is deserving of attention or if marketing at WotC is so terrified by their sales numbers that they don't think we're out here anymore.

I saw this and took away a reminder that the D&D brand still is a household name. Could Pathfinder (or any other game) announce a new edition and get this kind of coverage?

But personally, I will need a lot more information (especially regarding the OGL) before I start even contemplating purchasing anything.

If they flew reporters out and put them up in hotels, they possibly could.

You think they could? I'll have to defer to you on this, since I know essentially nothing about what it takes to get favorable coverage in major publications.


Ok WotC is asking the gaming community to assist with 5e on what players abd DM's want to see in the new edition besides play testing. So far many players are requesting WotC to look in the older editions for inspiration and bring back certain elements of the game. Hope it pays off.

Liberty's Edge

Shadowwalker wrote:
Ok WotC is asking the gaming community to assist with 5e on what players abd DM's want to see in the new edition besides play testing. So far many players are requesting WotC to look in the older editions for inspiration and bring back certain elements of the game. Hope it pays off.

If they cam make it work well as a cohesive whole it might make for a great version of D&D. If not it might be a mish mash of systems that does not work well as a whole. I liked the spheres for clerical magic in 2E. I liked the fact that a cleric of a certain type of god would be weaker in one are of magic in another. It amde sense imo for a cleric of a god of war to not have major access to healing and here a cleric of a healing god would not be as well versed in the art of war.


Hiya.

Well, right now I'm giving 5e a "shurg". As more comes out I'll probably pay more attention. I am curious as to their alluded "doesn't matter what version you play, you can play that version from within 5e". It this means I can pull out my 1e module of The Secret of Bone Hill and use it pretty much as-is with 5e...I'll very likely be sold (and probably pee myself with awe). If it takes so much work to use it that I would be better off just re-writing it from scratch...I'll take a pass and just keep plying the actual 1e AD&D system.

But, my biggest worry is that, from the looks of it, I don't think anyone who was/has/is listed as working on it other than Monte and Bruce have anywhere *near* the experience or capability to really "get" the older editions and how to present them in a new version...so I'm not holding my breath for 5e. I'm hoping I'm pleasantly surprised.

^_^

Paul L. Ming

The Exchange

Matthew Trent wrote:
So, its been 5 years now has it friends?

Actually, no. It's been 3 and a half.

Liberty's Edge

W E Ray wrote:

But in this case, anyone who was fooled the first time, well, shame goes to both WotC and you who actually supported them / purchased their product.

Shame.

Well, I initially didn't like the sound of 4e (especially the Hit Point yo-yo that is still a bugbear with me) so I wouldn't say I was sucked in, however due to a WotC data protection act issue I complained about I got a free copy of the PHB as an apology.

That and the advent of PF led me into pursuing 4e and, although I still prefer 3.5, its a decent rule system and was the system in which I finally got to run an Eberron campaign from start to finish with. I think apart from Shadowrun that is the first decent campaign I have played to a decent conclusion and thus was very satisfying (compare that with the number of campaign I started under 3.5 of PF that dragged on so long I didn't get to finish them because I moved groups, or the campaign just fizzled).

So, no, I don't think its shame on me that I bought into 4e, and that I am now excited about 5e.

Ironically, the very early announcements about Pathfinder and keeping 3.5 in print were what I got all excited about and caught up in the hype thinking Paizo were going to help keep 3.5 alive. Later I discovered that actually, PF was going to be a 3.75 and thus 3.5 was going to get left behind jsut as 3.5 left 3.0 behind. So if anything it was more shame on me for believing the initial PF hype.


Wolfthulhu wrote:
Matthew Trent wrote:
So, its been 5 years now has it friends?
Actually, no. It's been 3 and a half.

On the other hand, by the time the new edition is actually out, it may well be at the 5 year mark. 4E was announced about 10 months before release, and many seemed to feel this was 'deceptive' and 'not giving the fans enough time' and such.

Given they may be trying to be more open in terms of communication and seem to be announcing this much earlier in the development cycle, and plan on incorporating a lot of feedback and playtesting, I can easily see it still being a solid 18 months before release, which will put it right around the 5 year mark that I would feel comfortable with. The question is, will we still see 4E products released during that time?

Quite possibly, given they have already slowed their 4E release schedule. So they have some room to spend their time developing 5E, release a few more 4E products along the way, and hopefully have something fully ready to go right around when everyone is ready for it.


I think the title to this thread embodies the feelings of a lot of people with respect to the prospect of 5e. Obviously it doesn't apply to people who love 4e, but WotC even realizes there is a substantial portion of the fan base for which this is not the case, and 5e looks to be an attempt to draw some of those people back. So the "once bitten, twice shy" sentiment is a reality WotC has to deal with, and arguing with it from the standpoint of a 4E fan makes no sense. If you're an ardent 4e fan, WotC has your business already. They're in the process of trying to get back the business they lost with 4e (while keeping the 4e business as well). I think they've set quite a challenge before themselves.


memorax wrote:
I liked the spheres for clerical magic in 2E. I liked the fact that a cleric of a certain type of god would be weaker in one are of magic in another. It amde sense imo for a cleric of a god of war to not have major access to healing and here a cleric of a healing god would not be as well versed in the art of war.

I miss spheres, too. Domains just don't accomplish the same thing.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed a post and the replies to it.

Flag it and move on, please.

The Exchange

Matthew Koelbl wrote:
Wolfthulhu wrote:
Matthew Trent wrote:
So, its been 5 years now has it friends?
Actually, no. It's been 3 and a half.

On the other hand, by the time the new edition is actually out, it may well be at the 5 year mark. 4E was announced about 10 months before release, and many seemed to feel this was 'deceptive' and 'not giving the fans enough time' and such.

Given they may be trying to be more open in terms of communication and seem to be announcing this much earlier in the development cycle, and plan on incorporating a lot of feedback and playtesting, I can easily see it still being a solid 18 months before release, which will put it right around the 5 year mark that I would feel comfortable with. The question is, will we still see 4E products released during that time?

Quite possibly, given they have already slowed their 4E release schedule. So they have some room to spend their time developing 5E, release a few more 4E products along the way, and hopefully have something fully ready to go right around when everyone is ready for it.

People will be far less likely to buy releases for what is effectively a 'dead' edition of the game. WotC knows this, that's why they started putting out 'edition neutral' fluff books after they announced 4e.

Also, we aren't really all that early in the development cycle, selected media folk played a functional version of the game last month.

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