Is it too late to go back to the drawing board?


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Gallo wrote:
Pathfinder is to 5E what BMW is to Toyota. Sure BMW looks at what Toyota does but isn't going to be overly concerned about how well the new Corolla sells provided BWM's latest 5 series is a quality car.

Passive edition warring codswallop, 5th Ed is not the lesser vehicle, in fact, it would seem, as Willy Wonka says: "Strike that, reverse it."

Zardnaar is on point here (as usual), and I feel PF2 is going so far out of its way not to be like the world's most popular RPG, that they seem to be stumbling around. I want PF2 to tap that area between 3rd Ed/PF1 and 5th Ed, and really bring this Legendary action they were on about, that could be key to distinguishing it from 5th Ed.

If you think my comment was passive aggressive or edition war you completely missed the point of my analogy. It was simply noting that as long as PF2 does well enough for Paizo to be happy with sales then the performance of its competitors won’t make them lose any sleep.


Gallo wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Gallo wrote:
Pathfinder is to 5E what BMW is to Toyota. Sure BMW looks at what Toyota does but isn't going to be overly concerned about how well the new Corolla sells provided BWM's latest 5 series is a quality car.

Passive edition warring codswallop, 5th Ed is not the lesser vehicle, in fact, it would seem, as Willy Wonka says: "Strike that, reverse it."

Zardnaar is on point here (as usual), and I feel PF2 is going so far out of its way not to be like the world's most popular RPG, that they seem to be stumbling around. I want PF2 to tap that area between 3rd Ed/PF1 and 5th Ed, and really bring this Legendary action they were on about, that could be key to distinguishing it from 5th Ed.

If you think my comment was passive aggressive or edition war you completely missed the point of my analogy. It was simply noting that as long as PF2 does well enough for Paizo to be happy with sales then the performance of its competitors won’t make them lose any sleep.

Okay, this illustrates the problems with analogies on the internet, because it came off as PF is the superior brand/car.

As for success, yes, if PF2 hits its own stride, great. I want it to scratch that itch that 5th Ed does not, for some.


I'm going to be happy with PF2 if it meets 2 criteria;

1) I like it as a product, regardles of whoelse like it or not

2) It's profitable enough for Paizo to keep it running for the next 10 years and produce awesome APs and great aditional books.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Gallo wrote:
Pathfinder is to 5E what BMW is to Toyota. Sure BMW looks at what Toyota does but isn't going to be overly concerned about how well the new Corolla sells provided BWM's latest 5 series is a quality car.

Passive edition warring codswallop, 5th Ed is not the lesser vehicle, in fact, it would seem, as Willy Wonka says: "Strike that, reverse it."

Zardnaar is on point here (as usual), and I feel PF2 is going so far out of its way not to be like the world's most popular RPG, that they seem to be stumbling around. I want PF2 to tap that area between 3rd Ed/PF1 and 5th Ed, and really bring this Legendary action they were on about, that could be key to distinguishing it from 5th Ed.

If we are using a car analogy if 5E is a Toyota 3.X is a 18 year old Alfa Romeo. Its mad, breaks a lot, unreliable, frustrating and plain ol doesn't work sometimes but can be a lot of fun.

Grand Lodge

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gustavo iglesias wrote:

I'm going to be happy with PF2 if it meets 2 criteria;

1) I like it as a product, regardless of who else likes it or not

2) It's profitable enough for Paizo to keep it running for the next 10 years and produce awesome APs and great aditional books.

That's the catch...your second criteria depends heavily on the caveat of your first (highlighted in bold). You may not care who else likes it or not, but its profitability will invariably depend upon who else likes it or not...


Otha wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

I'm going to be happy with PF2 if it meets 2 criteria;

1) I like it as a product, regardless of who else likes it or not

2) It's profitable enough for Paizo to keep it running for the next 10 years and produce awesome APs and great aditional books.

That's the catch...your second criteria depends heavily on the caveat of your first (highlighted in bold). You may not care who else likes it or not, but its profitability will invariably depend upon who else likes it or not...

You are very much right. But there is still a distinction that enough people to sustain the game "long term" is one thing and "some people didn't like it" is another.

The game won't please everyone. But it can throw a bigger overall net or a smaller overall net.


Otha wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

I'm going to be happy with PF2 if it meets 2 criteria;

1) I like it as a product, regardless of who else likes it or not

2) It's profitable enough for Paizo to keep it running for the next 10 years and produce awesome APs and great aditional books.

That's the catch...your second criteria depends heavily on the caveat of your first (highlighted in bold). You may not care who else likes it or not, but its profitability will invariably depend upon who else likes it or not...

I know, that was the point.


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I've seen several comments now about how much "the people at GenCon loved it" or similar. Those comments concern me that they are being taken as more significant to the big picture than they should.

It is relevant that people at GenCon are "'fired up". It doesn't mean that they will like a bad game. They will still let you know if they don't like something. But positive reactions *do* get amplified in this setting, especially with regard to a "big release" that has anticipation built up.

But, the more important thing is that Pathfinder for many players (very much so in my case) is a long term story-telling game. I am certain I could have a great time playing a one-off PF2 game kicking monster butt and engaging in other fantasy heroics.

But it is the over time play that would make a big difference to me. Both in terms of how the characters grow and change and interact with the world differently and in terms of how he "sameness" of interactions of one character with the world and the differing action of different characters feel over time.

I am completely confident that PF2 is going to sell massively the day it is released. I'm looking at how the game will work over time for me and how it compares to other games in this consideration. Will burn out and other games pull the fanbase down or will it last? Release event enthusiasm doesn't offer much insight here.


Yes, the survey is more important than the Gen Con.

However, Gen Con (and other conventions) also heps you to know things about the game. If the game plays better than it reads (ie. those who play it are, overall, happier than those who have only read it), it tells you things about the gampleay, but also about the reading. Maybe the way the book its formated, and how it reads, it's not good enough.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:

Yes, the survey is more important than the Gen Con.

However, Gen Con (and other conventions) also heps you to know things about the game. If the game plays better than it reads (ie. those who play it are, overall, happier than those who have only read it), it tells you things about the gampleay, but also about the reading. Maybe the way the book its formated, and how it reads, it's not good enough.

One other thing to consider is that, AFAIK, the people at conventions play premade characters. Building a character you're gonna play for a campaign is a different beast than being handed a sheet and told: go have fun. And character building is not making me tingle right now, as opposed to PF1.


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BryonD wrote:
I've seen several comments now about how much "the people at GenCon loved it" or similar. Those comments concern me that they are being taken as more significant to the big picture than they should.

To be fair, the comments on these boards should also not be taken as more significant than they should also.

People who are opinionated and passionately adamant enough to post on forums a lot are not all that representative of the wider player base :).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Azih wrote:
BryonD wrote:
I've seen several comments now about how much "the people at GenCon loved it" or similar. Those comments concern me that they are being taken as more significant to the big picture than they should.

To be fair, the comments on these boards should also not be taken as more significant than they should.

People who are opinionated and passionately adamant enough to post on forums a lot are not all that representative of the wider player base :).

I would say they are disproportionally the people who buy the actual products, though, i.e. GM's.

To be honest, outside of the CRB, none of my players own any of the materials. I am the only person who is collecting all the hardcovers, AP's and selected sourcebooks. And there's only one guy who has another CRB.

Grand Lodge

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magnaangemon01 wrote:
The Paladin gets Attack of Opportunity as a feat. If they're going to take it away on the large part, they should give it to the Rogue as well, either as normal or like Combat Reflexes in 1e.

AGREED. No reason why a rogue shouldn't have this.


Azih wrote:
BryonD wrote:
I've seen several comments now about how much "the people at GenCon loved it" or similar. Those comments concern me that they are being taken as more significant to the big picture than they should.

To be fair, the comments on these boards should also not be taken as more significant than they should also.

People who are opinionated and passionately adamant enough to post on forums a lot are not all that representative of the wider player base :).

agreed The noise here is very misleading. Even when it is right, it may just be by chance. :)

Many who never visit these boards will decide the fate of the game over the next couple years


gustavo iglesias wrote:

Yes, the survey is more important than the Gen Con.

However, Gen Con (and other conventions) also heps you to know things about the game. If the game plays better than it reads (ie. those who play it are, overall, happier than those who have only read it), it tells you things about the gampleay, but also about the reading. Maybe the way the book its formated, and how it reads, it's not good enough.

Well, if it plays poorly on one play then, yeah, you have a real problem. Clearly we can mark that as passed.

But I think you missed a key part of my point.
People who played it at GenCon learned nothing about how it plays over an 18 month period.

Is it just as good as a growing and evolving RPG as it is a one off?

Grand Lodge

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Lisa Stevens wrote:
Arklore wrote:
I ask this because in 2015 and 2016 D&D had almost no presence at GENCON and was not even in the main convention hall in 2016 where as Pathfinder was in the Sagamore Ballroom, totally packed from 8AM till roughly 11PM.

And at GenCon 2018, the Sagamore Ballroom was packed with players 24 hours a day for four days.

From what I heard from those GMs running demos and the PFS GMs running the PF2 scenarios, there was an overwhelming wave of love for the new rules once people actually sat down and played. That doesn't mean that there aren't some rough spots that might need to be filed down, but the mood coming out of GenCon was extremely positive.

-Lisa

Lisa hit the nail on the head.

WoTC is and has not been a non-presence at GenCon for almost 10 years now. I've played 5e many times and like PF1 far better as do those I game with and many I talk to. One of the reason DnD ranks so high in sales is the name only.

The creative and story development of Paizo is unrivalled. Does PF2 have some issues that still need to be worked out? Yes. That's what the playtest is for.

Grand Lodge

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Palidian wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, that. So far Mark Seifter, Jason Bulmahn and the others have been pretty quiet and have not really given a detailed response to many of the concerns (and I am talking about the ones where detailed feedback was given, not the "the world is ending!" ones). Given how James said that they'd start interacting with us after getting a bit of rest after GenCon, it's a bit worrying. Especially since they were so active during the preview period, when we could look forward to dozens of posts per blog post.

To be honest, I'm not really concerned by radio silence. But I am very much concerned when staff spend the time and effort to write posts like these:

- "If we thought that there were huge problems, of course we would fix them!"
- "Actually, it seems you may have misunderstood us. If you go back and re-read the previews/rulebook/blogs/staff comments, you'll see that there actually isn't a problem!"
- "Wow, these all sound like significant complaints that you have presented in a very thoughtful and organized manner. Luckily, the folks at GenCon LOVED the game; so I'm sure that you'll feel better after you play the game."

But they don't spend the time or energy to write posts like these:

- "This is a fair criticism that we have seen in many places. I will be sure to bring it up with our design team!"
- "Wow! It is really impressive that you have put so much effort into making your case! We would deeply appreciate it if you can take the playtest survey to ensure these points reach the right people!"
- "It seems like the community is rather split on this mechanic, with some liking it a lot and others taking issue with it. We would like to hear more from the players who don't enjoy it; if possible, more details about what specific aspects are disliked would be the most helpful."

If Paizo is too busy looking over surveys and forums to post updates constantly, that's fine. But if they do have time to engage with the player base on complaints and...

Palidian, you're just plain incorrect. Hyperbole. Stay up to date on everything and you'd see you're wrong.

Liberty's Edge

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Lisa Stevens wrote:
Arklore wrote:
I ask this because in 2015 and 2016 D&D had almost no presence at GENCON and was not even in the main convention hall in 2016 where as Pathfinder was in the Sagamore Ballroom, totally packed from 8AM till roughly 11PM.

And at GenCon 2018, the Sagamore Ballroom was packed with players 24 hours a day for four days.

From what I heard from those GMs running demos and the PFS GMs running the PF2 scenarios, there was an overwhelming wave of love for the new rules once people actually sat down and played. That doesn't mean that there aren't some rough spots that might need to be filed down, but the mood coming out of GenCon was extremely positive.

-Lisa

Having been there on the floor an the Sag for 50+ hours of that convention, I can tell you that the mood around 2E was extremely positive. I was very skeptical about 2E going in. GenCon got me on board. I heard similar stories over and over, and more importantly, I was at tables with a lot of people who played both 1E and 2E for their first time during GenCon. Excitement bringing in new blood is a good thing. I gave out more new paizo number this year than in any previous year.

Liberty's Edge

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BryonD wrote:

I've seen several comments now about how much "the people at GenCon loved it" or similar. Those comments concern me that they are being taken as more significant to the big picture than they should.

I think one reason that weight need to be put there is that people actually played the game there. It wasn't theory crafting. It wasn't speculation. It was reactions from players who played at a table.

Were there complaints about some specifics? Yes. But overall, reactions I heard overwhelmingly thought that the big brush strokes got it right. I think the core of the system is there, and now it's about getting the details right.

Liberty's Edge

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nogoodscallywag wrote:
Palidian wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, that. So far Mark Seifter, Jason Bulmahn and the others have been pretty quiet and have not really given a detailed response to many of the concerns (and I am talking about the ones where detailed feedback was given, not the "the world is ending!" ones). Given how James said that they'd start interacting with us after getting a bit of rest after GenCon, it's a bit worrying. Especially since they were so active during the preview period, when we could look forward to dozens of posts per blog post.

To be honest, I'm not really concerned by radio silence. But I am very much concerned when staff spend the time and effort to write posts like these:

- "If we thought that there were huge problems, of course we would fix them!"
- "Actually, it seems you may have misunderstood us. If you go back and re-read the previews/rulebook/blogs/staff comments, you'll see that there actually isn't a problem!"
- "Wow, these all sound like significant complaints that you have presented in a very thoughtful and organized manner. Luckily, the folks at GenCon LOVED the game; so I'm sure that you'll feel better after you play the game."

But they don't spend the time or energy to write posts like these:

- "This is a fair criticism that we have seen in many places. I will be sure to bring it up with our design team!"
- "Wow! It is really impressive that you have put so much effort into making your case! We would deeply appreciate it if you can take the playtest survey to ensure these points reach the right people!"
- "It seems like the community is rather split on this mechanic, with some liking it a lot and others taking issue with it. We would like to hear more from the players who don't enjoy it; if possible, more details about what specific aspects are disliked would be the most helpful."

If Paizo is too busy looking over surveys and forums to post updates constantly, that's fine. But if they do have time to engage with the

...

One thing I definitely learned at GenCon. Just because they aren't posting, doesn't mean they aren't listening and discussing internally. There was a thread made months ago, where Paizo employees didn't comment at all. There was actually some heated debate about it. There were some good points, some emotional points, and some crazy points. I figured it was a dead issue until an announcement was made about how that was being implemented. I was sitting next to a paizo employee at the time and expressed my surprise, since I remembered the thread on the same topic. It was explained to me that they purposely didn't post on that and kept the discussions internal, so that they didn't influence the external debates with their opinions. Sounds pretty smart to me. Make solid points. Back them up. They will likely be heard. You don't need someone to specifically acknowledge or validate your opinion.


magnuskn wrote:
Azih wrote:
BryonD wrote:
I've seen several comments now about how much "the people at GenCon loved it" or similar. Those comments concern me that they are being taken as more significant to the big picture than they should.

To be fair, the comments on these boards should also not be taken as more significant than they should.

People who are opinionated and passionately adamant enough to post on forums a lot are not all that representative of the wider player base :).

I would say they are disproportionally the people who buy the actual products, though, i.e. GM's.

To be honest, outside of the CRB, none of my players own any of the materials. I am the only person who is collecting all the hardcovers, AP's and selected sourcebooks. And there's only one guy who has another CRB.

This doesn't change the fact that the people are vocal on criticism of the playtest on these boards are... a couple dozen people at best? It's literally the same names over and over.

Also, not all gaming groups look like yours. I'm the DM generally - I own almost a hundred 3rd/3.5 books, a boatload of PF1 ones, everything ever released for 4E, heck I own almost ever 5E book and we aggressively dislike 5E. But my players generally own the PHBs, the various splats for the class they own, the DM books if they DM too... it's very rare that a person sitting at my table has less than 5-6 books for whichever version of D&D we're playing.


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@GM Thrawn: my one quibble with that is that many of those people got to skip the character creation/gearing/trying to consume the entire ruleset to get going step (see: being handed presets and jumping right to the gameplay, rather than the usual "session zero" and all of it's issues). likewise, they also might have not gotten to fully interact with the leveling experience (and thus the lackluster options strewn about throughout the class, feat, and skill sections) or the other minutiae that people here have been pointing out as problematic or unimpressive.
they make for some good data on newcomers' reactions to the combat and exploration mechanics under stricter conditions, certainly, but it seems wrong to put more weight on their input than people who've taken the time to run from session zero or even their own home games (as they have a more complete exposure to the rules, both GM and player-side)

though to clarify again, this is just referring to the con-goers, and I could certainly be wrong--people may have purchased the book, plonked down and gotten started on making their own characters or trying to run the adventure after reading everything through.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Visanideth wrote:
This doesn't change the fact that the people are vocal on criticism of the playtest on these boards are... a couple dozen people at best? It's literally the same names over and over.

Nonetheless the idea that the devs don't have to listen to us and just do whatever they want is insane. They are trying to sell this product to us and they have actively solicited our feedback. Sure, they can go out on a longshot and try to change the paradigm of the game which has kept them employed for the last decade just with their ideas, but then it is just a wild guess if they will keep their jobs for the next decade.

Furthermore, they already have changed things based on the feedback they have gotten from the community. So I really have idea who in their right mind would think it a good idea to give them advice to ignore all feedback which isn't 100% positive.


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Visanideth wrote:
This doesn't change the fact that the people are vocal on criticism of the playtest on these boards are... a couple dozen people at best? It's literally the same names over and over.

Nose counting is a huge mistake.

If we look at it that way, then there are not nearly enough people who like the game for it to have a prayer of success. Clearly that s wrong.

The trick is finding feedback that is insightful.
And keeping long term play in mind is important to that.


BryonD wrote:

The trick is finding feedback that is insightful.

That's of course the best reason to have a playtest. It's not about counting heads - most people have absolutely no idea of what makes an RPG work and critics are always the most outspoken people (again look at 5E, a colossal commercial success, and the vitriolic reaction to the playtest on the WotC boards).

It's about reading the feedback and pruning the message to find competent, non opinionated, often mathematically validated criticism.


Azih wrote:
BryonD wrote:
I've seen several comments now about how much "the people at GenCon loved it" or similar. Those comments concern me that they are being taken as more significant to the big picture than they should.

To be fair, the comments on these boards should also not be taken as more significant than they should also.

People who are opinionated and passionately adamant enough to post on forums a lot are not all that representative of the wider player base :).

This is true, and it is true for both people happy and unhappy with it.

Let's be serious, if we count the names that post in the general playtest forum, how many of us there are? A couple hundreds? Maybe one thousand?

If Paizo is only going to sell 1.000 copies of the CRB, they are already drawing dead. The number of people who play (or GM) this game who never came to the forums VASTLY outnumbers those of us who do.

The same is true for people in the gen con, of course. That's why the playtest survay is so important.


BryonD wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Yes, the survey is more important than the Gen Con.

However, Gen Con (and other conventions) also heps you to know things about the game. If the game plays better than it reads (ie. those who play it are, overall, happier than those who have only read it), it tells you things about the gampleay, but also about the reading. Maybe the way the book its formated, and how it reads, it's not good enough.

Well, if it plays poorly on one play then, yeah, you have a real problem. Clearly we can mark that as passed.

But I think you missed a key part of my point.
People who played it at GenCon learned nothing about how it plays over an 18 month period.

Is it just as good as a growing and evolving RPG as it is a one off?

I did not miss it, and I agree you have a point.

My point is that the Gen Con stuff is still useful to detect things. For example, it can help you to detect that the book is boring as hell and reads like a technical computer manual. That's a problem that needs fixing, and you can detect it because there is a disconect between how the rules read, and how the rules are played.

Then, of course, there are OTHER problems, that might not be discovered by that, and those problems would need other methods to be discovered, and need to be solved independently. But regardless of that, if the Gen Con helped you to identify even just 1 problem, that's useful by itself.


WormysQueue wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Now look at the lead up to 4E and you see a split community from Day 1. And as time went by the ranks of those in favor slowly declined. But there was never a unified positive attitude.

I still think the comparison with 4E can only go so far.

Yes.

I should be clear that I did not mean to equate PF2E with 4E.
I was only comparing the tone of the online reaction.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
I did not miss it, and I agree you have a point.

Cool

Then I'll just say that my point still stands, I've agreed from the 1st that their are merits. But there are also limitations which seem to be being downplayed. That is not good.


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magnuskn wrote:
Azih wrote:
BryonD wrote:
I've seen several comments now about how much "the people at GenCon loved it" or similar. Those comments concern me that they are being taken as more significant to the big picture than they should.

To be fair, the comments on these boards should also not be taken as more significant than they should.

People who are opinionated and passionately adamant enough to post on forums a lot are not all that representative of the wider player base :).

I would say they are disproportionally the people who buy the actual products, though, i.e. GM's.

To be honest, outside of the CRB, none of my players own any of the materials. I am the only person who is collecting all the hardcovers, AP's and selected sourcebooks. And there's only one guy who has another CRB.

Nope casual players buy the most materials. WoTC listened to forum concerns and the RPGA in regards to 4E design did not turn out well and WoTC own forums were very negative towards 5E (mostly because the 4E fans had taken them over). When it became clear that 5E was not 4.5 and fans of other editions started posting about the D&D Next playtest or what have you they blew up a lot worse than they have here.

The way people talked about 3.5 on the forums was vastly different to the way most players played it. The well known problems 3.5 had on the forums were not a major problem for most gamers its how they got Pathfinder.

Put simply most players are not hard core power gamers or want to spend a lot of time crunching numbers and eking out builds.


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Visanideth wrote:
Moro wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
who plays 4E with just the core 3 book.
Masochists.

Yep.

I fully believe 4E is the best D&D edition, but it only really works if you've invested a few hundred dollars in it.

I think most gamers use just the core books and maybe 1-2 splats and maybe an adventure or 2.

4E PHB had 5/11 3.5 classes missing. That is not good they should have ctt he epic level stuff and put the magic items in the DMG and fit them in. 4E was rushed though so go figure.


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Our group's appraisal is that Paizo has changed too much for Pathfinder fans and not enough for gamers who have left PF for other games. There's so much obvious streamlining that could be done to simplify play or even to allow for more meaningful depth in other places.
The trend in gaming now is for rules lite. PF can carve out a niche as a crunchy alternative to D&D, but they have to do it without alienating their existing fans.
I have a hard time believing it's been internally tested for 2 years.


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Regarding 4e's financial success or lack thereof: I think it speaks volumes that WotC laid off key staff (including 4e lead designer Rob Heinsoo) every year from 4e's launch in 2008 to the beginning of 5e's development in 2012.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Athaleon wrote:
Regarding 4e's financial success or lack thereof: I think it speaks volumes that WotC laid off key staff (including 4e lead designer Rob Heinsoo) every year from 4e's launch in 2008 to the beginning of 5e's development in 2012.

That's a non-argument, since 5e, which is crazy successful, is done by a small team that's a fraction of the 3.5e team.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Regarding 4e's financial success or lack thereof: I think it speaks volumes that WotC laid off key staff (including 4e lead designer Rob Heinsoo) every year from 4e's launch in 2008 to the beginning of 5e's development in 2012.
That's a non-argument, since 5e, which is crazy successful, is done by a small team that's a fraction of the 3.5e team.

And that's a complete non-sequitur. Are you claiming that layoffs at WotC for 4e's entire run are unrelated to its financial success or failure?


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Athaleon wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Regarding 4e's financial success or lack thereof: I think it speaks volumes that WotC laid off key staff (including 4e lead designer Rob Heinsoo) every year from 4e's launch in 2008 to the beginning of 5e's development in 2012.
That's a non-argument, since 5e, which is crazy successful, is done by a small team that's a fraction of the 3.5e team.
And that's a complete non-sequitur. Are you claiming that layoffs at WotC for 4e's entire run are unrelated to its financial success or failure?

No I'll do you one better. WHY is Gamora?


Athaleon wrote:
Regarding 4e's financial success or lack thereof: I think it speaks volumes that WotC laid off key staff (including 4e lead designer Rob Heinsoo) every year from 4e's launch in 2008 to the beginning of 5e's development in 2012.

Chris Sims and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes went in 2015 and there have been others since, so it's hardly as if the process hasn't continued into the 5e years. Which rather speaks volumes about how little the success or failure of the product has on layoffs at WotC.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Athaleon wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Regarding 4e's financial success or lack thereof: I think it speaks volumes that WotC laid off key staff (including 4e lead designer Rob Heinsoo) every year from 4e's launch in 2008 to the beginning of 5e's development in 2012.
That's a non-argument, since 5e, which is crazy successful, is done by a small team that's a fraction of the 3.5e team.
And that's a complete non-sequitur. Are you claiming that layoffs at WotC for 4e's entire run are unrelated to its financial success or failure?

No. But WotC has reduced 5e staff despite its success, so we can draw the conclusion that success or failure isn't the only factor.


Gorbacz wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Regarding 4e's financial success or lack thereof: I think it speaks volumes that WotC laid off key staff (including 4e lead designer Rob Heinsoo) every year from 4e's launch in 2008 to the beginning of 5e's development in 2012.
That's a non-argument, since 5e, which is crazy successful, is done by a small team that's a fraction of the 3.5e team.
And that's a complete non-sequitur. Are you claiming that layoffs at WotC for 4e's entire run are unrelated to its financial success or failure?
No. But WotC has reduced 5e staff despite its success, so we can draw the conclusion that success or failure isn't the only factor.

I heard that staff was expanding, they hired a new head designer last year.


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necromental wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Yes, the survey is more important than the Gen Con.

However, Gen Con (and other conventions) also heps you to know things about the game. If the game plays better than it reads (ie. those who play it are, overall, happier than those who have only read it), it tells you things about the gampleay, but also about the reading. Maybe the way the book its formated, and how it reads, it's not good enough.

One other thing to consider is that, AFAIK, the people at conventions play premade characters. Building a character you're gonna play for a campaign is a different beast than being handed a sheet and told: go have fun. And character building is not making me tingle right now, as opposed to PF1.

I'll go one step beyond this: I think PF2's success is largely dependent on your ability to continue character building and "tingle", as you put it. After your first character, and after your 10th, and probably even after your 30th.

One of the things that Paizo is aiming for is having lots of options for characters, and everyone being able to build the characters they want. People have claimed builds in 5e are limited, so if characters start to feel similar to previous characters built quickly, then I'm guessing PF2 won't do very well overall.

NOTE: And this is something you *can't* actually tell from a playtest... People criticize the theory-crafting, but the fact is, it will serve an important role alongside actual playtesting.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Regarding 4e's financial success or lack thereof: I think it speaks volumes that WotC laid off key staff (including 4e lead designer Rob Heinsoo) every year from 4e's launch in 2008 to the beginning of 5e's development in 2012.
That's a non-argument, since 5e, which is crazy successful, is done by a small team that's a fraction of the 3.5e team.

3E had 5 primary designers, 3.5 a few of them were not used such as Monte Cook.

Size of the design and staff levels are not great indicator. 1E is one of the biggest selling D&Ds of all time written mostly by 1 person over 2 years. TSR at its peak had 300+ staff ( and then had a 30% slump in revenue and was almost bankrupt the following year).

Ryan Dancey gave these figures over on the GitP forums.

1E 1.5 million
Basic Red box 1 million +
3E 1 milion+ (this includes 3.0+ 3.5)
2E AD&D 750k

Other sources pout OD&D at around 40k, 3.0 at 500k+ and 3.5 at 250k-350k. Go watch some interviews on youtube. Gygax also claimed 1E outsold 2E 2-1 which matches up with Dancey's claims.

No one actually knows precise figures for B/X and 1E as TSR did not keep good records.

Dancey tend to be about 15-20% higher than other sources. Applecines D&D book also covered the TSR years. Sources at places like the Aceaum are close to Dancey for numbers of TSR era D&D. Some of the TSR D&D adventures have higher sales numbers than Pathfinder and d20 D&D core book sales (eg Keep on the Borderlands).

Pathfinder estimates were 250k circa 2014 at PAX east IIRC. I'm not sure of this number but we have another 2 data points.

Peak Pathfinder was probably 2012 maybe 2013 but Paizo was in a US magazine in 2012 about top 5000 up and coming companies and they reported Paizo had revenue of 12.7 million and around 4. something in 2009.

The other data point was the estimated size of the RPG market in 2013 at 13 millon, its 44 million in 2018 and it almost doubled in size in 2014 with 6 months of sales for 5E. This number is higher than the TSR numbers of the 80's and 90's although they can beat that in 1983 and ironically when they went under adjusted for inflation.

There all sorts of stories about TSR floating around and how they bleed money but apparently revenue was good but selling things at a lose and Dragondice along with the novel return thing did them in.

WotC on their old site had 1983 at 20 million+, Gygax gave the figure of 27 million, others I have seen are low 20's for TSR revenue in 1983. 1983 was peak D&D year, adjusted for inflation its $50 - 68 million dollars bigger than the entire RPG market now.

Some of the guys tracking data on ENworld for Amazon sales recently put up 4E did peak higher than 3.5 on release but fell off a lot harder and sooner, 3.5 maintained higher rankings over a sustained period not sure on total sales however. However 3.5 was not a great selling D&D its the second worst selling D&D ever *maybe 4E IDK 100%) and every D&D from the peak sold less than the one before it, 5E was the one to break that cycle and on sustained sales its probable we great peak D&D now and 1983's figure was 2 editions and 5E is higher than to the other good years of TSR (81 and 82).

With 4E the numbers are unknown, and I have never seen any verification than it actually sold well except hat very brief launch window and Jonathan Tweet is on record sayings its a disaster, Mearls admitted they drove away their own players. Its decline on Amazon matches the rise of Pathfinder 2009-2012. I do vaguely remember a claim that 4E pre sales were very good (AKA before people read it). Beating 3.5 in sales is not a great achievement though every D&D can claim that and possibly Pathfinder.

D&D also has boom and bust years normally close to the boom. 1983 was the peak followed by a 30% collapse in 1984 and near going bankrupt in 85, its how we got Lorraine Williams. 2004 was another bust year along with 96/97 when TSR did actually go under.

Its why I look at sales of PHB (or the equivalent like B/X). In terms of big selling D&Ds though if you add 3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder together you are in the ballpark for sales equivalent to B/X or 1E. Sales of the CMI part of BECMI were not very good (people don't play high level D&D any edition generally).

5E is on track to beating B/X and 1E golden age added together, at least in revenue adjusted for inflation. Online VTTs its about 5 times bigger than Pathfinder. Peak golden age D&D was also around 4-5 times the size of peak Paizo going by revenue. Golden age might be silver age now while the 3.0 silver age is bronze age. Online 3.5 is 5 times more popular than 4E, Pathfinder is a factor of 12.

Each successive D&D actually sold less than the previous one since the golden age, 4E may be a blip there but that was followed by a very rapid collapse. 5E is the 1st one to break that cycle especially over a sustained period.

Big selling D&Ds are not Pathfinder, 3.5 or 4E though at least in terms of RPGs all of them are probably top ten selling RPGs of all time but I think 7 D&Ds can make that claim (not OD&D) and probably Pathfinder. 1E AD&D, B/X and now 5E are your top 3 not 100% sure in the order probably 5E, 1E, B/X.

Dark Archive

gustavo iglesias wrote:
Azih wrote:
BryonD wrote:
I've seen several comments now about how much "the people at GenCon loved it" or similar. Those comments concern me that they are being taken as more significant to the big picture than they should.

To be fair, the comments on these boards should also not be taken as more significant than they should also.

People who are opinionated and passionately adamant enough to post on forums a lot are not all that representative of the wider player base :).

This is true, and it is true for both people happy and unhappy with it.

Let's be serious, if we count the names that post in the general playtest forum, how many of us there are? A couple hundreds? Maybe one thousand?

If Paizo is only going to sell 1.000 copies of the CRB, they are already drawing dead. The number of people who play (or GM) this game who never came to the forums VASTLY outnumbers those of us who do.

The same is true for people in the gen con, of course. That's why the playtest survay is so important.

Exactly, the forum is home to a small percentage of PF gamers. Most simply are not that invested to comb through these threads. They show up with dice looking for fun and chalk the pendatry frequently found here as work. It seems they are far more likely to follow podcasts and streaming content. There’s a reason it’s the same handful of names that appear here over and over again on posts.


Ikos wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Azih wrote:
BryonD wrote:
I've seen several comments now about how much "the people at GenCon loved it" or similar. Those comments concern me that they are being taken as more significant to the big picture than they should.

To be fair, the comments on these boards should also not be taken as more significant than they should also.

People who are opinionated and passionately adamant enough to post on forums a lot are not all that representative of the wider player base :).

This is true, and it is true for both people happy and unhappy with it.

Let's be serious, if we count the names that post in the general playtest forum, how many of us there are? A couple hundreds? Maybe one thousand?

If Paizo is only going to sell 1.000 copies of the CRB, they are already drawing dead. The number of people who play (or GM) this game who never came to the forums VASTLY outnumbers those of us who do.

The same is true for people in the gen con, of course. That's why the playtest survay is so important.

Exactly, the forum is home to a small percentage of PF gamers. Most simply are not that invested to comb through these threads. They show up with dice looking for fun and chalk the pendatry frequently found here as work. It seems they are far more likely to follow podcasts and streaming content. There’s a reason it’s the same handful of names that appear here over and over again on posts.

Same thign applies to D&D players.

I remember the D&D survey results about what made D&D erm D&D and it was basically a 180 over what the forum users thought D&D was. Forums thought 3.5/4E was the one true way but the surveys revealed the older OSR play style (roll dice, eat cheetos go) was more popular and things like builds etc do not mater to the vast majority of gamer. Its why they made things like feats optional in 5E and focused on 4 races and 4 classes. The basic D&D DNA was the 6 attribute scores, class based, alignment, and a few other bits and pieces- most gamers don't care about THAC0, BAB, feats, powers builds, level 11+ etc.

A lot of people played 3.X (including Pathfinder) basically as a more complicated AD&D 2E.


Zardnaar wrote:
The basic D&D DNA was the 6 attribute scores, class based, alignment, and a few other bits and pieces- most gamers don't care about THAC0, BAB, feats, powers builds, level 11+ etc.

True, and I found in a 3rd Ed campaign I ran where I allowed any WotC book, with 2 full casters in the party, that problems can start at 7th level, once 4th-level spells hit the table it can become a nightmare (murderous mist still makes me ill thinking about it), I managed, but, wow, it seemed like a lot of effort to maintain.

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