The excitement of the good old days of 4e

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So yes the OGL is wonderful, amazing, fantastic for the hobby and industry.  But the OGL is a cancer, slowly eating away at the life force of the D&D brand.




Correction, the OGL is a cancer slowly eating away at the profits of WOTC, but D&D is well, alive and thriving it just goes by a different name... Pathfinder.

D&D is just a name, the game of D&D is a design philosophy, a spirtit and above all else its fan base. A huge chunk of that fan base has moved over to Pathfinder which is in every sense of the word down to the finest detail D&D.  5th edition is all about one thing and one thing only, getting back the fan base under WOTC, rather than where it is today, at Paizo.. but don't be fooled into believing that D&D fans exist only on this forum, in fact, I would say that most of the poeple on the 4th edition forums aren't D&D fans at all.. They love 4th edition, not D&D, its a distincition with a big difference.  How can you be a fan of D&D if you don't like the first 30 years of its existance and think the latest incarnation of it that has little to no resemblence to its roots is somehow D&D.  That's like saying Spaceballs was a sequal to Star Wars... its a silly notion and anyone who counts himself a fan knows better.  What has been released in 5th edition so far is more D&D than 4th edition has ever even hoped to be let alone acomplished.

My Blog (The Gamers Think Tank)

"Edition wars like all debates exist because people like debates"

OP.   sorry 4 E isn't old enough to have a good old days
Lots of hogwash being spewed around by the 4e haters.
OP.   sorry 4 E isn't old enough to have a good old days



I disagree. The world of 4e is very different now than it was at launch.
[ in fact, I would say that most of the poeple on the 4th edition forums aren't D&D fans at all.. They love 4th edition, not D&D, its a distincition with a big difference.  How can you be a fan of D&D if you don't like the first 30 years of its existance and think the latest incarnation of it that has little to no resemblence to its roots is somehow D&D.  That's like saying Spaceballs was a sequal to Star Wars... its a silly notion and anyone who counts himself a fan knows better.  What has been released in 5th edition so far is more D&D than 4th edition has ever even hoped to be let alone acomplished.



What a load of garbage. I've been playing D&D for well over 30 years and enjoyed ALL editions of the game and I know a large number of people who would say the same thing, including many of the 4e fans on these forums. To say that fans of 4e are not fans of D&D is just a garbage statement. Please take your hate somewhere else.
I would actually agree in that...i am not a D&D fan before 4e, i disliked the brand D&D before i decided to test 4th edition.  Because everything i was expose to attached to the D&D franchise meaned crap to me, i disliked the rules of 1e to 3.X, the videogames (and even videogames using d20 ruleset like KOTOR), the cartoon, the novels and those horrible horrible movies...i got late into the 4e, because i rejected invitation to play it for a whole year, because in my mind, everything attached to D&D was crap for as long as i have memory in my short 26 years of life, i played 4e and i liked it quite alot, it removed most things i hated about the other editions. 
4E is basically humming right now.

If WotC hadn't totally screwed the pooch with some of the worst adventures in the history of the D&D brand - Pyramid of Shadows and anything with Bruce Cordell's name on it - it may have become more popular. However, releasing adventures specifically designed to highlight the WORST parts of the 4E game is one of the more stupid moves WotC has made.

I don't know.  I'm dreading 5e.  While I was against 4e when it came out, I've come around and accepted that it's a superior system.  5e feels to me like a step back into the dark ages.



I feel the same way.

I love the earlier editions but 4E simply gets it right as far as I am concerned and my players feel the same way.

5E is going to be a dud. Mike "Iron Heroes" Mearls thinks that releasing an incomplete game and calling it "modular" is a design feature rather than a design disaster and I can also practically guarantee that the adventures they're going to publish will suck. Or blow chunks.

Fun Fact: When they scraped the selling pdf version of 4e books...they actually made piracy the only way to get into D&D in most of the world.  There are alot of potential and current D&D players all around the globe outside your first world bubble.  So yes...the fear of piracy and it's countermeasure...provoked piracy.  People that pirate to avoid paying won't pay for D&D books anyway, if they can't get it free they won't, plain and simple...but there are alot of people that have to do piracy, because it's the only way for them to get that material would be thru piracy.  Digital Distribution have proven to be the best weapon against piracy: Netflix, iTunes store & Steam are some of those examples.



This is so true.

I bought the 4E PDFs when they were available for sale legally. Since then I have illegally downloaded every single book plus an offline version of the Compendium and the Character Builder. I live in a Third World country so I have no fear of lawsuits but I would also happily go back to buying the PDFs tomorrow if WotC started selling them. (I do buy hard copies of all the books so I also treat my PDFs as "fair use" personal copies. And the Compendium and Character Builder are my back-ups for when WotC turns off the 4E e-Tools. After all, they promised they wouldn't... which is corporate speak for, "Yes, of course we're going to turn them off.")
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
uhg.  PoS.  That adventure was the worst PoS (pun very intended) ever.

I think that what you're going to see is that 5e is going to divide the community even more.  I dont think that you can dispute that 4e was a large departure from traditional D&D, and you have to think that there was a target audience for 4e.  I believe that there was a hope that older gamers would also pick up the new edition and be accepting.  While some did, I think it's pretty safe by the numbers of pure haters out there, that there were many who did /not/ stay brand loyal regardless of edition.

That said, there /are/ a large number of 4e fans out there.  Perhaps not as large as the older editions (I'm not interested in the argument that the 3e legions of hate are always willing to take up), but certainly there is a good number of 4e fans out there.

5e is very much a step back to a more 3.5ish game.  Those of us who believe that 4e is a vast improvement over the older systems aren't interested in taking a step back in time to, a worse set of game mechanics.  We're simply going to keep playing 4e instead.

People who are happy with Pathfinder are likely not going to all of a sudden jump on the D&D bandwagon, just because it's got the D&D name.  Their brand loyalty died off years ago when 4e came out and they decided to jump ship.  So, 4e's going to probably lose their brand loyal, and /some/ paizo folks will jump ship and give 5e a go, but the fact is, the fractured community is /never/ going to be healed simply because the gap between the systems is too great.

5e's not a /bad/ idea; it's certainly wise to tray and reclaim what was lost.  What /is/ a bad idea is telling the 4e fans to take a long walk off a short dock like they did the 3.5 fans.  if they had half a brain, they'd continue with the 4e support, even if it's at a lesser rate then 5e.  the fact is, the 4e fans are likely to tell WotC to get bent, just like the 3.5e fans did.
...the 3e legions of hate...


Normally I'd consider this overdramatic generalization, but man, if only I had a buck for every time I'd endured a generic 4e = WoW rant in person, typically as part of meeting a Pathfinder gamer for the first time. After asking "Why does it feel like WoW to you?" enough times and getting the "I dunno, it just does" response, I've learned to take a deep breath, merely say "Okay," and remind myself I will never game with this person.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
[ in fact, I would say that most of the poeple on the 4th edition forums aren't D&D fans at all.. They love 4th edition, not D&D, its a distincition with a big difference.  How can you be a fan of D&D if you don't like the first 30 years of its existance and think the latest incarnation of it that has little to no resemblence to its roots is somehow D&D.  That's like saying Spaceballs was a sequal to Star Wars... its a silly notion and anyone who counts himself a fan knows better.  What has been released in 5th edition so far is more D&D than 4th edition has ever even hoped to be let alone acomplished.



What a load of garbage. I've been playing D&D for well over 30 years and enjoyed ALL editions of the game and I know a large number of people who would say the same thing, including many of the 4e fans on these forums. To say that fans of 4e are not fans of D&D is just a garbage statement. Please take your hate somewhere else.



I agree with Style75.   I've also been playing D&D since the 70s and I think that 4e is the best version of the game.   It is most certainly D&D.   And this notion that Paizo = D&D "alive and well" is also garbage.   If it doesn't say D&D on the box, it's NOT D&D.



[ in fact, I would say that most of the poeple on the 4th edition forums aren't D&D fans at all.. They love 4th edition, not D&D, its a distincition with a big difference.  How can you be a fan of D&D if you don't like the first 30 years of its existance and think the latest incarnation of it that has little to no resemblence to its roots is somehow D&D.  That's like saying Spaceballs was a sequal to Star Wars... its a silly notion and anyone who counts himself a fan knows better.  What has been released in 5th edition so far is more D&D than 4th edition has ever even hoped to be let alone acomplished.



What a load of garbage. I've been playing D&D for well over 30 years and enjoyed ALL editions of the game and I know a large number of people who would say the same thing, including many of the 4e fans on these forums. To say that fans of 4e are not fans of D&D is just a garbage statement. Please take your hate somewhere else.



I agree with Style75.   I've also been playing D&D since the 70s and I think that 4e is the best version of the game.   It is most certainly D&D.   And this notion that Paizo = D&D "alive and well" is also garbage.   If it doesn't say D&D on the box, it's NOT D&D.


     An attitude beloved by lawyers, but not by consumers.  We routinely, and correctly, say the name may be the same, but the product isn't.  WOTC bragged about all the 'sacred cows' it had slaughtered and we can take them at their word.  4e is just vastly different from 3.5 and every other D&D version.  To call it D&D is to say that almost every competitor of D&D was D&D.  Pathfinder is much more 'D&D' than 4e.
    That does not mean D&D is bad, or good.  It is just different from 4e.  I enjoyed 1e, 2e, 3e, and 3.5, each of which I dumped with varying degrees of joy or reluctance and would never think of playing if the new version was available.  They were fine for their time, but we have better now.

     
Just because it's beloved by lawyers and not consumers does not somehow make the statement wrong.
[ in fact, I would say that most of the poeple on the 4th edition forums aren't D&D fans at all.. They love 4th edition, not D&D, its a distincition with a big difference.  How can you be a fan of D&D if you don't like the first 30 years of its existance and think the latest incarnation of it that has little to no resemblence to its roots is somehow D&D.  That's like saying Spaceballs was a sequal to Star Wars... its a silly notion and anyone who counts himself a fan knows better.  What has been released in 5th edition so far is more D&D than 4th edition has ever even hoped to be let alone acomplished.



What a load of garbage. I've been playing D&D for well over 30 years and enjoyed ALL editions of the game and I know a large number of people who would say the same thing, including many of the 4e fans on these forums. To say that fans of 4e are not fans of D&D is just a garbage statement. Please take your hate somewhere else.



I agree with Style75.   I've also been playing D&D since the 70s and I think that 4e is the best version of the game.   It is most certainly D&D.   And this notion that Paizo = D&D "alive and well" is also garbage.   If it doesn't say D&D on the box, it's NOT D&D.




I have to say I am guilty of calling Pathfinder, D&D. It just feels so similar and is backwards compatible so why not? I always call Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons 3.75 in public becasue those that haven't heard of it will know what I'm talking about, without them having to ask.

But as for people saying 4e isn't D&D thats jsut bullcrap. Says right on the PHB "Dungeons & Dragons". 

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X

Just because it's beloved by lawyers and not consumers does not somehow make the statement wrong.


    Depends on the audience we are talking to.  And we are talking to consumers, not lawyers.  The very success of Pathfinder shows us that a huge number of people consider it, not 4e, to be the true D&D.  It got the vast majority of its customers from being almost a copy of 3.5, while 4e was talking about how new and inproved it was [which it was, but a lot of people thought differently about the improved part].
  The very success of Pathfinder shows us that a huge number of people consider it, not 4e, to be the true D&D



I've highlighted my problem with your statement.  Why does their have to be one true D&D? In the last 6 months I've played every edition of the game, including Pathfinder (which I agree is D&D btw, seeing as how it is 90% 3.5e), and had fun with every one. I don't subscribe to the belief that only the latest and greatest version is the true version and I'm sure that even after I'm enjoying 5e I'll still believe that 1e through 4e and PF are also D&D.

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Just because it's beloved by lawyers and not consumers does not somehow make the statement wrong.


    Depends on the audience we are talking to.  And we are talking to consumers, not lawyers.  The very success of Pathfinder shows us that a huge number of people consider it, not 4e, to be the true D&D.  It got the vast majority of its customers from being almost a copy of 3.5, while 4e was talking about how new and inproved it was [which it was, but a lot of people thought differently about the improved part].


Actually, the fact that the Mass Effect Trilogy was far more successful than either Pathfinder or 4E shows that Mass Effect is the true D&D.

Although I have to face that the Avengers movie was probably more successful than Mass Effect, so that might really be the true D&D.  Or it could be Nolen's Batman Trilogy... do we get to count the entire Trilogy when determing success in order to figure out what the true D&D is?
Obviously Modern Warfare 3 is the true D&D
Well, there's a lot to sort through here.

I like the idea of an Open License. Maybe not totally open, but one that at least makes 3rd party products possible. Remember how IMB trounced Apple back in the 80s? IBM had a nearly totally open license. Apple had a nearly totally closed license. Which became the primary business machine?

What's the best edition: all of them. Each one was the best of its time.
What's the worst edition: also all of them. They all have problems of one sort or another.

Biggest problems:
1 Consistency: The people writing the new material not paying attention to the existing material. I think 2nd ed had this problem the most, simply because there was so much of it, and it just kept on coming for about 5 years.
2 Unbalanced: not arguments like "Spell casters are way more powerful than melee fighters", (which I never bought), but rather they would build some materials that were great, and others that sucked. 2nd Ed Fighters, Thieves, and Bard's handbooks were great. Wizard's handbook was OK. Priest's book was awful.
3 Sent to press before it was ready: so many typoes and revisions. 4th Ed's first run of books didnt' get time to dry properly, so oils from fingers would smudge the ink.
4 Software lack-of-support:3rd and 4th both had character builder software that was never finalized. For 3rd, they followed the modern trend of Game Software--the first thing your computer does when it installs the program is to get the patches for the glitches that weren't solved by the time the disks went to press. How about make the software work BEFORE sending it to press. Or just make it a free download. With 4th edition, they just killed the support for the program in favor of an online web-based tool that is only available to subscribers.
5 No mid-edition revisions: 3rd had 3.5 (which actually was an improvement). But then 4th got essentials, which created a mess. It was the same game, but it wasn't. It was the same system, but it wasn't. It was compatible, but it wasn't. It would have been better to go with 4.5 or a completely different game.
6 Longevity: 1st ed lasted for what... 12 years? 2nd was about 10 years. 3rd and 3.5 both got about 5 years. 4th has had about 4.5 years, and they are already abandoning for 5th. Thanks.
7 Lack of adventure modules: 1st edition had tons and tons of mods (both TSR and 3rd party products). 2nd had a good number, and you could re-use/update 1st ed mods. 3rd eventually built up a number, but 3rd party publishers produces almost as many. 4th ed--the options are pretty limited.

Here's an idea. Probably a dumb idea, but I'll throw it out there. Published adventures for 5th ed could also come with conversions to previous editions. Or, if the mod is a famous reprint (Like Ravenloft or Tomb of Horrors), include the previous versions. Bundle them together. If nothing else, make it a PDF on a CD that people can print out on their own. Then any new module will be usable by someone playing any edition.
 
Here's an idea. Probably a dumb idea, but I'll throw it out there. Published adventures for 5th ed could also come with conversions to previous editions. Or, if the mod is a famous reprint (Like Ravenloft or Tomb of Horrors), include the previous versions. Bundle them together. If nothing else, make it a PDF on a CD that people can print out on their own. Then any new module will be usable by someone playing any edition.



I heard a rumor that "conversions" being straight forward was the plan and content that is cross edition useable being a part of that seems not a huge step.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

4th Ed's first run of books didnt' get time to dry properly, so oils from fingers would smudge the ink.



Seems nit-picky, but for clarification, this wasn't the case. Someone made the decision to use top- or near-top quality ink and paper, without realizing that some ink/paper combos don't work too well. I'm pretty sure the ink on the first few books will still smudge if you're not careful.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
Its still a big screw up regardless. My issue with the initia l4th ed books wasn't a positive one. Having to trawl through over 100 pages of class powers that were poorly defined wsn't my idea of fun. 3W+xyz may be easy now but initialimpression matter as they actually clarified what 1W, 2W etc actually meant after the powers.
4th Ed's first run of books didnt' get time to dry properly, so oils from fingers would smudge the ink.



Seems nit-picky, but for clarification, this wasn't the case. Someone made the decision to use top- or near-top quality ink and paper, without realizing that some ink/paper combos don't work too well. I'm pretty sure the ink on the first few books will still smudge if you're not careful.



No, you really have to work at it now, with heavy, sweaty hands, and maybe some salt and alcohol. When the books first came out, even light persperation was enough to pull away the ink.
(I worked in publishing for 5 years, and double-checked by asking someone who has been working in publishing (esp paper & inks) for 30). With the combination of paper and ink used, extra drying time was essential. Whoever made the decision did not know this.
WhisperMageMan - I see. So the ink/paper combo DID work, but required more time to dry. Good to know.

Having to trawl through over 100 pages of class powers that were poorly defined wsn't my idea of fun. 3W+xyz may be easy now but initialimpression matter as they actually clarified what 1W, 2W etc actually meant after the powers.


A little confused by this. By initial books, I'm assuming you're talking the original three. Looking at it right now, they clearly define what the powers mean and how to read them before the class descriptions in the class chapter...
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
I probably missed that on the first read through of the 4th ed players handbook. At the time I was a big fan of 3.5 but to this day I can't tell you whats in the Spell Compendium as it is very boring to read. Reading the 4th ed players handbook class descriptions felt like reading the Spell Compendium or Tome of Magic in 2nd ed. I think 2010 was the last time WotC got any money from me for D&D and I let my DDI account expire after 2011 and stopped playing MtG as well.

 Also it rapidly became apparent that 4th ed felt very incomplete. Some of the classes for example did not have power options at certain levels for the one of two builds the initial books let you build. 3.5 core for example let you build alot more archetypes due to feats and PrCs. Most of the basic building blocks for concepts were in the 3.5 players handbook as it was obvious one where to go with various combat styles and the like. A few splats made 3.5 better, splats were almost mandatory in 4th ed. Both got drowned in splats though. Most splats in 3.5 sucked towards the end, 4th ed splats went downhill after Darksun or around about there.

 I wasn't even that upset when 4 th ed was announced. 8 years of 3rd ed was a year or 2 short of an ideal edition length for me but I was ready for a new edition. I was more upset with Dragon and Dungeon magazines being killed off in dead tree format and then subsequent butchering of them as PDFs as well. Also still not over the 4th ed FR butchering of the camapign setting. Basically I went from someone neutral on 4th ed even enjoying it at times to some on who won't touch it with the proverbial 10' pole.

 Whining on the forums won't do much and the forums here in 2009 were the worst I have seen them since I got here in early 2001. So I voted with my wallet. no money for WoTC. Thing with 4th ed most of the 4th ed avengers here are long gone. The impression made was WoTC made 4th ed for people who did not like normal D&D or FR and once they bailed/got bored and moved on 4th ed only had a fraction of older players left and a fewer new players.

 A few years ago WoTC got money for D&D, minis, magic, Dragon/Dungeon,  and novels from me. I kinda like DMing 4th ed even but I can't get players for it as they prefer PF now and I wasn't happy with WoTC over the changes made to DDI specifically the online CB and treatment of Dragon/Dungeon. To get me back as a consumer they have to release a version of D&D mechanically superior to 3.5, PF, 4th Ed, Star Wars Saga, and support it better than say Golarion. I have very little idea whats in D&D next as I have avoided reading much on it kinda like the lead up to 4th ed so as to not prejudge it.

That was the problem for WOTC, not the OGL.




Yup...

No one ever thought the OGL was a better idea until 4th edition was released and Pathfinder turned out to be the more popular game.  Its true that Pathfinder wouldn't exist today where it not for the OGL, but something else similiar to 3rd edition would have inevitably come out and acomplished the same thing.  The division of the community didn't happen because of the OGL, it happened because 4th edition made a poor follow up and people have been trying to rationalize an execuse and reasoning to the contrary ever since.  That's all it was howeve, plain and simple.  4th edition was a lesser D&D. 

Sad part is that it could have been really great, they had an amazing albeit it, flawed basis to continue the legacy.      

I disagree. Pathfinder (and in fact any of the OSR games) wouldn't exist without the OGL. Time and time again FRPGs have tried to challenge D&D and they have all failed without making any real dent in it at all. People WANT D&D, not Rune Quest, Dragon Quest, GURPS Fantasy, Hero Quest, Savage Worlds, BoL, EPT,  etc etc etc. Some of those games have had decent followings and dedicated fans, and were good games. NONE of them was ever more than a bump on the behind of D&D, literally. RQ was probably the most popular (maybe GURPS) and neither of them ever had even 1/10th of the sales of D&D, until PF came along.

WotC putting out '3.8' instead of 4e wouldn't matter. The problem was losing control of their IP. Paizo is a much smaller company with a lot lower overhead and frankly a looser and more creative corporate culture that is more gamer-friendly and a lot less obsessed with brand management than WotC is. WotC created that monster, they gave them a license to their game, brand recognition (through their distribution and publishing of Dungeon and Dragon), and a nice income stream selling D&D products online.


    But how does any of this really matter?  We might agree that Pazio was in a good position to invade the D&D market, but the essential point was that WOTC was "abandoning" it.  4e is just not D&D.  [I deem it superior, but obviously quite a few disagree.]   So if they had put out 3.8, there would have been no market room for Paizo to invade.


Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of good things about OGL from the perspective of players, at least for a while, but it was a terrible and crippling business strategy for WotC. It meant essentially they could either freeze D&D at its 3.5 version (because any change from that is a fork of the community AND the game now) or try to do what they did with 4e. That HAD to be done though,  because eventually the game needed to be modernized.


     The success of Pathfinder shows there was no such need to "modernize".  What is pretty much the old stuff is selling quite well.  Now you might be correct if we define "modernize" as "nothing of the sort, just different enough so everybody has to buy new books".  But as 3.5 showed, there was no need to massively change the rules to get those sales.


 Maybe not all the choices they made in 4e design worked out perfectly, but if it was the only D&D in town it would be fine and they could proceed to build on that until they had a game that was both amazing and supported their new business models.


      But that is the point.  WOTC could no longer be confident it would be the only game in town.  So it needed to stick to a 3e base and put out 3.8.




Well, you could say that '3.8' would have headed off any kind of PF type game, but that's like a strategy of just hanging back behind the center line in a soccer game and hoping that you will HAPPEN to score and win and that your defense will be iron-clad. It sacrifices all initiative, growth, and opportunity to your opponents (or at least gives up any chance of reviving the market). Its a recipe for irrelevance and death.

I think it is very short-sighted to think that PF "proves that 4e wasn't needed". How do you know what the combined sales of 4e and PF are right now? OBVIOUSLY 3.5 wasn't selling well anymore after about '05 or else 4e never would have been dreamed up. Its theoretically possible that mysteriously PF created a giant surge in sales of D&D, but it is basically 3.5, so I really doubt it. The sales of both games combined MIGHT logically follow the same sales trajectory that 3.5 did. In other words 4e was most certainly needed. Given that PF and 4e have sold pretty evenly with each other for several years what does that tell us? That clearly even combined sales of both games put together might not have been enough for WotC, and that 3.5 sales were neither sufficient anymore nor likely to be reproduced.

Now, maybe some 'other' unrealized version of D&D theoretically can't be written off as some magic bullet, and that's what the 5e pitch to management is "we can do it this time!". Frankly I think 4e did a lot of things that needed to be done but the handling and presentation were ham-handed. Going back essentially to an older product won't magically make better sales. Maybe NOTHING will at this point. DDN better be a NEW product that builds on the only direction WotC has left to go in or they're just stupid.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
[ in fact, I would say that most of the poeple on the 4th edition forums aren't D&D fans at all.. They love 4th edition, not D&D, its a distincition with a big difference.  How can you be a fan of D&D if you don't like the first 30 years of its existance and think the latest incarnation of it that has little to no resemblence to its roots is somehow D&D.  That's like saying Spaceballs was a sequal to Star Wars... its a silly notion and anyone who counts himself a fan knows better.  What has been released in 5th edition so far is more D&D than 4th edition has ever even hoped to be let alone acomplished.



What a load of garbage. I've been playing D&D for well over 30 years and enjoyed ALL editions of the game and I know a large number of people who would say the same thing, including many of the 4e fans on these forums. To say that fans of 4e are not fans of D&D is just a garbage statement. Please take your hate somewhere else.



I agree with Style75.   I've also been playing D&D since the 70s and I think that 4e is the best version of the game.   It is most certainly D&D.   And this notion that Paizo = D&D "alive and well" is also garbage.   If it doesn't say D&D on the box, it's NOT D&D.




I won't argue about whether or not PF "is D&D" or not, but I agree, I started playing D&D in 1975 and 4e is D&D to me and it is a damned fine game. ALL my old pals play in my games too, they're fine with it. Not all of them love it, but many do and they all could basically care less if we can all get in a good game, and that's what I DM, so yahoo!
That is not dead which may eternal lie
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" /> Well, you could say that '3.8' would have headed off any kind of PF type game, but that's like a strategy of just hanging back behind the center line in a soccer game and hoping that you will HAPPEN to score and win and that your defense will be iron-clad. It sacrifices all initiative, growth, and opportunity to your opponents (or at least gives up any chance of reviving the market). Its a recipe for irrelevance and death.


    Under certain conditions.  Under others, it is a highly successful strategy.  Thus in our soccer game, it works very well if you are a point or 2 in the lead, in fact much better than any more aggressive strategy.  [You do something aggressive to score more, which also means that when something goes wrong, they can now score, and thus eliminate your lead.]  Since WOTC had the dominant position, the more aggressive strategy gave more chance to make a mistake and no longer be dominant.  Which seems to be just what happened.


I think it is very short-sighted to think that PF "proves that 4e wasn't needed". How do you know what the combined sales of 4e and PF are right now? OBVIOUSLY 3.5 wasn't selling well anymore after about '05 or else 4e never would have been dreamed up. Its theoretically possible that mysteriously PF created a giant surge in sales of D&D, but it is basically 3.5, so I really doubt it. The sales of both games combined MIGHT logically follow the same sales trajectory that 3.5 did. In other words 4e was most certainly needed.



    4e may well have been "needed", at least from the WOTC view, but whether 4e was 3.8, 4e, or 5e is not at all clear.  3.5 apparently did quite well, which gives a presumption that 3.8 would have also.  And since PF has done well, we have further evidence that 3.8 would have sold well.


 Given that PF and 4e have sold pretty evenly with each other for several years what does that tell us? That clearly even combined sales of both games put together might not have been enough for WotC, and that 3.5 sales were neither sufficient anymore nor likely to be reproduced.


     Does not follow.  Now we can assume that the combined sales of both games would not have been enough for WOTC simply because it is a business and wants more of everything.  But we can not say that 3.8 sales would have been at all disappointing.  We don't know that PF and 4e have sold about level for some time, [In fact, my guess is that PF has been steadily gaining on 4e.]  We do have good reason to think that 3.8 would have outsold either PF or 4e, making it the better choice for WOTC [in 08.  Now the best choice in 13 is a very different case.  I'd argue for 4.5, but that is clearly not the way to win big and there are rumors that heads will roll unless 5e does win big.]     

Given that PF and 4e have sold pretty evenly with each other for several years what does that tell us?


It tells us that WotC basically tanked their 4E production schedule a couple years back. It wasn't until they stopped producing as many new books (i.e. less to buy) that PF's sales caught up to 4E's and it didn't start beating 4E's sales until that production has slowed to an absolute crawl.

The fact is that even though they haven't produced a new product for 4E since late spring the 4E Red Box is STILL the first item on Amazon's best seller's list after the new Pathfinder products and the 4E PHB1 still comes in the top 10 of RPG sales (only beaten by Pathfinder, strategy guides for new CRPG's and the RPG add on to the WarMachine miniatures game) on Amazon's sales list.

That tells me new players are STILL joining the 4E community and people investing in it NOW are presumably planning on playing it for awhile despite Next being on the horizon.
Given that PF and 4e have sold pretty evenly with each other for several years what does that tell us?


It tells us that WotC basically tanked their 4E production schedule a couple years back. It wasn't until they stopped producing as many new books (i.e. less to buy) that PF's sales caught up to 4E's and it didn't start beating 4E's sales until that production has slowed to an absolute crawl.

The fact is that even though they haven't produced a new product for 4E since late spring the 4E Red Box is STILL the first item on Amazon's best seller's list after the new Pathfinder products and the 4E PHB1 still comes in the top 10 of RPG sales (only beaten by Pathfinder, strategy guides for new CRPG's and the RPG add on to the WarMachine miniatures game) on Amazon's sales list.

That tells me new players are STILL joining the 4E community and people investing in it NOW are presumably planning on playing it for awhile despite Next being on the horizon.

Yes, I know.

Truthfully, though I know it is some kind of big heresy to say it, there's no indication whatsoever that PF has matched, or has been close to matching, total 4e sales. The 4e PHB1 was the highest selling RPG book of all time. Overall 4e may not have sold what was hoped (its sales targets were considerably HIGHER than 3e) and its not unlikely that PF is outselling it NOW (hardly surprising since 4e is basically already out of print). That in no way means it was wrong or a failure. In other words making 4e and making it a more modernized D&D probably wasn't a bad idea. OTOH making a game where you barely supported any settings and produced nothing but a thin gruel of garbage for adventures CLEARLY wasn't a good idea.

If WotC would have stopped being stupid and just spent its time since 2010 producing good adventures, and finishing DDI, instead of spending it on Mike's dreams of glory they'd be in a lot better shape.

Making 3.8 would have been stupid David. They understood that. It would of course have bumped sales slightly, but many people would have just continued to play 3.5 and the sales of the WHOLE LINE had diminished too much. In a year they'd have been right back where they started, and the game meanwhile gets messier and harder to understand and more confusing for new players to buy into. Plus it remains this giant intractible mass of rules that is hard to present electronically. Now they're going to go back to that? It is mind boggling. Of course DDN will have the usual edition bump but the day after it comes out they'll have to start planning 6e to deal with all the problems than 4e solved.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Thus in our soccer game, it works very well if you are a point or 2 in the lead, in fact much better than any more aggressive strategy.  [You do something aggressive to score more, which also means that when something goes wrong, they can now score, and thus eliminate your lead.]  

That's commonly referred to as "running out the clock". It doesn't work as well in competitions in which there is no clock.

Since WOTC had the dominant position, the more aggressive strategy gave more chance to make a mistake and no longer be dominant.  Which seems to be just what happened.

Actually, WotC remained dominant for more than two years. They lost dominance when they brought in someone to "rescue" 4E, and that person tried to make it more like 3E/Pathfinder.

(The same person is now in charge of Next.)

In other words, their aggressive strategy to remain dominant *kept* them dominant... until they abandoned it in favor of trying to be retroactively conservative and cautious.

(Why did 4E need "rescuing" when it was dominant? Because it failed to capture 150% of the RPG market, as some corporate executives had effectively been promised.)
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Whats a better system is subjective but 4E is effectively dead and has been for some time. Paizo has a differnet coporate structure than WoTC and was actually founded by ex WoTC staff back in 2002. I think Pathfinder also had two things that 4th ed lacked .

1. A living game world. Yes 4th ed has FR, core, Dark Sun and Eberron. Pathfinder has Golarion and it is very well developed. When a good chunk of 4th ed players are quietly saying they're buying Golarion and converting you may be in trouble. Earlier editions had a flagshp wolrd generally FR in 2nd and 3rd ed and which was butchered in 4th ed.

2. Adventures.  4th ed did not have many and the few that there were are mostly awful. Pathfinder Adventure paths often has a adult tint to them with slavery, coutesans, prostitution, sex being mentioned. Hell their pirate themed AP had a lesbian devil worshipping admiral in it. Put  simply even if 4th ed was the better system (subjective) its kinda like having the worlds fastest sportscar that runs rare fuel (good pre published adventures).

 Trying to attract new customers is always a good idea, just don't alienate your old ones.
The problem is...most 4e players play homebrew settings/campaing.  They don't give a crap about campaing settings that isn't crunch they can use for their homebrew (wish is why these edition neutral books are ignored)
Thus in our soccer game, it works very well if you are a point or 2 in the lead, in fact much better than any more aggressive strategy.  [You do something aggressive to score more, which also means that when something goes wrong, they can now score, and thus eliminate your lead.]  

That's commonly referred to as "running out the clock". It doesn't work as well in competitions in which there is no clock.

Since WOTC had the dominant position, the more aggressive strategy gave more chance to make a mistake and no longer be dominant.  Which seems to be just what happened.

Actually, WotC remained dominant for more than two years. They lost dominance when they brought in someone to "rescue" 4E, and that person tried to make it more like 3E/Pathfinder.

(The same person is now in charge of Next.)

In other words, their aggressive strategy to remain dominant *kept* them dominant... until they abandoned it in favor of trying to be retroactively conservative and cautious.

(Why did 4E need "rescuing" when it was dominant? Because it failed to capture 150% of the RPG market, as some corporate executives had effectively been promised.)

Exactly, you don't WIN anything in the real world by 'running out the clock' or playing defense. At some point you have to act, do or die. The worst thing you can do is try to act and then chicken out. The only possible result of that is you're worse off than before. To the hesitant goes 2nd place.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
The problem is...most 4e players play homebrew settings/campaing.  They don't give a crap about campaing settings that isn't crunch they can use for their homebrew (wish is why these edition neutral books are ignored)



 Maybe that is because they don't have much in the way of decent choices for a campaign world. FR was a flagship title in 2nd ed and 3rd ed with popular and large amounts of supporting material and novel lines. Not sure how many 4th ed FR books were made but it was alot less than say 3rd eds lines. When 4th ed dropped down to a book every six months and couldn't support product lines lke 3.5 mini lines I suspected it was in trouble espicially when Paizo started realeasing minis via working with Mage Knight.

 Personally wizards used to get thousands of dollars a year from me as I have boxes of RPG books, minis, magic cards, and Dragon and Dungeon magazine. It was almost a perfect storm for me. No more star wars RPG line= lost income for WoTC, no more Dragon/Dungeon lost income, no more FR as I knew it lost income, DDI stinking (CB changes, Dragon/Dungeon changes) lost income, no more minis= lost income. That left MtG and I thought why am I giving this company any of my money any more? I'm only one consumer but it seems a safe bet I wan't alone.

 I wasn't a hard core 4th ed player but neither was I a hard core 3.5 loyalist either. I was ready to move on from 3.5 4th ed books were mostly terrible to read compared to my 2nd and 3rd ed books. I didn't even switch to Pathfinder in 2009 when it came out. I did switch when it became apparent WoTC beefed up 4th ed/DDI and I was struggling to get players. We actually took around 2 years (2009-2011) working out among ourselves what to play as the options were Star Wars Saga, 3.5, 4th Ed, Pathfinder and even 2nd ed was considered. Another option discussed was stop playing RPGs altogather and have a gaming group offline and online.

 Late 2011/Early 2012 the group voted for Pathfinder based on various reasons a large chunk of which was to give the proverbial birdie to WoTC. Pathfinder isn't drastically better in any signifigant way (mechanically) than 3.5 or 4th ed but its better supported with a great world and it isn't WoTC. Sounds bad but it seemed WoTC was determined to drive away loyal customers of 17-18 years. 4th ed wasn't awful but they hashed it up very badly IMHO. I don't hate wizards they just have nothing left anymore I want to buy.
Actually, the players i started to play on 4e that played older editions (some on AD&D and some on 3.5) always played homebrew settings,  even the 3.5 campaing i de-railed in a single session with a sorcerer with a wand of fireball with 50 charges was homebrew.  It's more freedom, more fun, less predicteable, more flexible and more mistery/discovery on a homebrew than something that is already written, that's why i only played a single LFR game, because it's a world where there is already writen character, lore, npc, cities, etc...no sense of discovery and no way to mess up with the world and change the status quo.

I wouldn't never DM a campaing that was based closely to a setting, my campaing i DM'd was only loosely based it's cosmology/planes on points of light's, and only loosely, to give some sort of common knowledge the players would have that i don't have to explain 
True but campaign settings are important even if you don't set your games there. ALot of gamers buy the material ad mine the fluff or crunch. I own a heap of FR stuff even though I rarely play FR. I'm not claiming to speak for all gamers but I bet theres enough and campaign settings have tie in novels  , adventures etc.

 Paizo for example actually releases very little in the way of dedicated core books a'la WoTC. THeir bread and butter is probably there adventure paths which even though they are not really my thing blow the crap outta WoTC efforts at making a good adventure. The adventure paths are tied to the world of Golarion the default Pathfinder campaign setting. Dragonlamce in the 80's was popular as a setting, adventures, and a novel line with crossover appeal to non RPG gamers via video games and cartoons. Its like the min max boards which used campaign setting materials in both 3rd and 4th ed. If a book has a certain feat, prestige class, class option, or power people want to use they will buy it regardless. By butchering 4th ed in general and FR in particular WoTC alienated alot of gamers it would seem to the extent 4th ed is now the worst edition of D&D in terms of longevity. Technically it will last 4 or 5 years, it was really dead and on life support 2 years in.

 My default world as such uses 4th ed cosmology for the most part, secret organisations from Golarion, parts of Forgotten Realms. D&D in the 70's was heavily influenced by Greek legends (same with 4th ed) and Michael Moorcocks Elric books (alignment, chaos/law, elementals etc). Even the bible has influenced D&D. Very little in D&D is actually unique as such the best one can hope for is strange settings like Darksun with cannibalistic halflings. Would Star Wars be as popular as it is without the setting and characters?

 Mechanically it doesn't matter which edition is the best as it is subjective. What sells is more important for a company. Pathfinder revitalises 3.5 in ways WoTC couldn't or wouldn't. As a personal ideal Pathfinder could have gone further as I really like Star Wars Saga mechanics (blend of 3.5 and 4th basically) over both 4th ed and PF. To this day I'm not sure who 4th eds targeted audience was at. WoTC assumed 3rd ed players would adopt it regardless. They were wrong it would  seem. If 4th ed resembled Saga more I would be playing that instead of Pathfinder which has issues around mechanics. Ideally Paizo would have worked hand in hand with WoTC but the original GSL more than anything lead to the creation of Pathfinder as it basically said "you can't sell OGL stuff, we can pull the plug anytime we won't to and you can't go back to OGL or forward to 5th ed". It was essentially an economic suicde pact for 3rd party publishers with the lure of short term gains based on the assumption 4th ed would recreate 2000 all over again. They revised it but by then it was to late and in the absence of Dragon and Dungeon magazines by default the Pathfinder adventuree paths replaced Dungeon and magazines like Koblad Quarterly became the new Dragon.

4e used to sell more than pathfinder...until Mearls took over and decided to..."let's stop releasing things and change the way we build the game to try to attract the older edition players", wish i won't be surprised he actually did this to suicide 4e so he can be greenlith to make D&DNext by WotC....And while a few good things came from it (i freaking love Hexblade class), it changed how the game was developed and supported for the worst, the only exception of great ideas post essentials were how Themes were implemented outside of Dark Sun (wish was an awesome idea, another layer of character building and customization and reach your character concept, without sacrificing the rest of your character build at all).  

We barely have any books with crunch for the last years, and dragon/dungeon magazine have 1/4 of the content they used to have... Because of that, Pathfinder is starting to outsell 4e...because Paizo do support their game, WotC don't anymore since Mearls got in charge.  

I don't know how they think it's not obvious that if you don't support your product with new content, it will stop being relevant and continue to attract new players...Maybe it wasn't like that back 20 years ago, but it is like that now, because we live in very saturated world where we are constantly bombarded with so many things from all sources, and you have to continue to keep attracting new players and your current players on the game.  That's something videogames company learned to keep a franchise alive, Valve release new hats, weapons, modes, maps all the time for TF2, to keep the game being relevant, Riot games do the same with League of Legends, they make new champions every week to keep the game being relevant (as well as spending millions making LoL events...they have to, because LoL is their only game/property, the moment it's popularity wane...they are DONE, the company will have a huge hit and loose huge amount of money)
 I wouldn't blmae Mearls to much. If essentials was rushed out to appeal to 3.5 hold outs or to compete with PF which was released after 4th ed one would assume it was because 4th ed was tanking. I was never a massive fan of 4th ed but did enjoy DMing it and some parts of it were really good. For me it peaked around Darksun time and right before the offline character builder died. We were running it exclusively via DDI and yeah we weren't massive fans it was fun and reasonably cheap to play. Once DDI sucked via online CB and Dragon and Dungeon magazine being split into articles it was game over 4th ed for me. Even if it wasn't our primary system DDI was cheap enough to actually give WoTC some money unti they beefed it up.
Well, in my case i am screwed, there isn't any fantasy rpg i know that i found them be compotent in design, i disliked the rules from any edition of D&D until i tried 4e, and i was reluclant and exceptic about it for more than a year until i tried it out, so Pathfinder...nope, it have alot of things i hated about old school D&D and more, it didn't removed anything i disliked about 3rd edition and in some cases it made it worst, D&DNext is bringing back everything i disliked about old school D&D...and instead of this being on the "optional module" it's part of the core...and in my opinion the module thing they try to sell sounds like the worst idea ever.

But yes...4e is the edition of D&D that actually turned me into a D&D gamer,  before this, i asociated all things related to D&D as crap (movies, novels, cartoon, videogames...yes i don't like NWN and Baldur's Gate, because i can't get pass the horrible game mechanics)