DnD 4.0 outlook

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Okay I have played DnD since the beginning.I have always made it a habit to move along with the new editions as they have been released.So a while back when 4.0 came out I sold the 3.5 stuff I did not need kept a few source books etc etc.After playing 4.0 since it first came out I feel I have made a mistake.I feel I have never should have sold off my 3.5 and tried to tough out this drastricly different new version of DnD.This is not a post to troll or hate on 4.0 but to try and get some perspective on it.

I have read through many forums on the subject.I have talked to players/gms at cons,private groups in my city and to people on DDO.One theme seems to be reoccuring and that is the dislike of 4.0 and the return to 3.5 or going to Pathfinder.Now I played WoW online mmo as well for a few months.I stopped playing WoW because it was to easy and cookie cutter.The formula here seems to be that blizzard keeps making the game easier and easier so you can get to raid level and I assume to gain profit from a new demographic of players the younger kids.

As I played WoW I saw many close similarities to DnD 4.0.The new DnD powers with the usages of at will,encounter and daily resembled the power timers in WoW.The relative easy play in leveling with out a care in the world.You rarely if ever die etc.In WoW there were different classes but the builds in the end all resembled each other very closely IE: You have the different classes with a different focus of attack but the power trees ended up giving you an ability much like the other classes and was just worded or portrayed in a different way.

In DnD 4.0 the same things seem to have occured with the reasons I gave above.I have generated many npcs in the new system and the powers all seem very clone like.The classes change,the focus of how the power is delivered etc but the end results seem to be all very cookie cutter.One class has a power that uses a hth weapon attack to deliver a thunder based attack that has a certain extra effect.Then another class has the same exact power but it is a ranged weapon attack and another class has the same thing but it is a ranged divine or magical attack etc.

The choices in 4.0 also seem more limited.It seems much like a video game where you are forced more into a certain preset mold.I noticed this alot with both rangers and wizards.A ranger use to have good two wpn fighting ability and was good with a bow and had a companion to help out as well.Now if you really want to be good at something you really have to devote yourself to the selection of one of those trees you have to pick one path/aspect etc and can not have the others.Sure you can still take whatever powers you want to try and mix things up and make your character more versatile but you will not be able to have the core advantages of melee,ranged and beast.

Wizards use to be so versatile learning all kinds of spells then being able to rest and take what they thought would be useful on the next adventure.Then if they ran into something that needed a different aproach they could fall back and rest and aquire the spells they needed to better face there challenges at hand.Now wizards only have 3 options at most at certain levels to choose from.
No more school specializing to make your wizard a necromancer or illusionist or evoker etc.Yes they may have powers for wizards or many classes that gain a slight benefit if they have a certain chosen aspect etc that the power requires to get certain effects but its just not the same.

A good example of the previous is using my wiz character in DDO (the online dungeons and dragons which is 3.5 based).When the quest giver explains what I am in for when entering a dungeon I can head to the tavern and adjust my spells accordingly.Since i made it a point of spending my time and money to learn everything I could I have a very wide variety of options.So if the quest giver wants his great uncle saved because he was turned into a wight by some necromancers I can prepare for that.I can take some anto undead spells maybe some protection against negative levels and defense against will based attacks.I can take fire spells for zombies etc.If I am dealing with a Ogre shaman that has conjured up a bunch of elementals then I can take protections for those elements and more elemental attack spells etc.

It just seems to me that this new edition of DnD has cut the very heart out of the game.The classes all seem so cookie cutter any more with greatly reduced chance of customizing and individuality.Sure you can roleplay certain aspects etc but that only goes so far there also needs to be a material aspect in that conception as well.It just seems to me that WOTC/hasbro has taken the game and made it much more simple and generic to suit its need as a cash cow targeting a larger population the younger generation.Form what I had heard WoW started off challenging and fun but as the caved in more and more to the younger players whining about this and that they just kept editing the game.Now you have a watered down version of its former self and servers full of immature kids making up the greater population.DnD 4.0 seems to have copied this formula very closely.

Anyway afte all of that heres my thing.This goes out to the older generation of players and gms.The people who may have played from the ground up or even if they started in at 3.5 have some years under there belt with the game.Are you playing/enjoying 4.0 more so then previous editions?If so what are your reasons,likes etc about the new system?
You know I had a really long counter point post to respond to you. Giving examples and such but as I continued I dont see the point.

Ok so you're bitter that your precious wizard god class that used to be able to do everything over the other calsses was changed to appease the immature kids. So whats stopping you from changing it back or from going back to play a previous edition? What I find odd is that you obviously have a creative mind. You've played rpgs for awhile and you know what you want and dont want out of an RPG.

As far as making D&D like a video game... yeah they probably are. Keep in mind they are a company and their primary goal is to make money. They can see the writing on the wall.  Computer and console gaming is where the money is at. No matter how much hate you or anyone else has for what WoW has done to the gaming genre they are an obvious economic success.  If wizards can convert the video gaming feel into book form they can capture some of that market and they would be fools not to.

I've played 2nd edition, 3.0, 3.5, and now 4.0. 4.0 isnt perfect by any means but I like it for what it is not for what it isnt.  We have many editions and even many different games available to us. Surely if you prefer 3.0 or 3.5 you can still play that right?
< Wizards use to be so versatile. >

I have to agree. These words come across as ...

< [Wizards used to be so vastly unfairly more powerful than any other class. I want my Wizard character to be broken again.] >



These are the reasons I love 4e ...

At-will spells. I *hated* when the Wizard ran out spells. Flavor killer. If I wanted to play a nonmagical crossbower, Id pick a different class.

Integration of Psionic magic.

Reasonably balanced classes. All classes are reasonably viable and fair options.

Reasonably balanced level advancement. Not powerless at low levels. Not broken at high levels.

No 'hazing' (needing to waste levels choosing crap feats) to qualify for broken Prestige classes. All classes follow a format that ensures customizability without brokenness.

It is easier than ever to build the character concept I want. For example, if I want a 'blaster caster' I go with a Striker Storm Sorcerer. If I want an Arcane healer, I go with Leader Artificer. If I want an Illusionist, Il try go with a Psionic Controller 'mind mage' when it comes out, but in the meantime, picking and choosing powers and feats lets me build even a Wizard into an Illusionist - and an effective one. I can fill in the Level Advancement table with any powers, feats, and skills I want, to build any character concept I want. As future PHs come out, the ability to finetune my characters will be more exact.

Rules updates. D&D rules are a living ecology. When rules prove to be too underpowered or overpowered, the devs update the errata to tweak the rules to ensure gaming health. The Compendium and Char Builder make it easy to keep up with the latest rules. Game design challenges tend to get reasonable solutions.
I think you should just keep playing 3.5. I don't see 3.5 closing its doors anytime soon. Keep gaming fun, thats the point. I'm play 3.5/4.0.
Join my Group, Epic Story at, http://community.wizards.com/epic-story
That is a rather funny thing.When I see people immediatly jumping all over my post because I mention a wizard not being like it use to.They immediatly go to aww poor baby you lost your god wizard etc etc blah blah blah.When the fact of the matter is I do not play wizards in non video game rpgs.I was speaking more on the behalf of others who have played them and my experience as mostly a gm through out my 30 years of playing this game.

When it came to problem solving within the party the wizard and at times the rogue were the go to classes.I see nothing wrong with that.The problem solving classes whether by the player or there characters ability are just as important as the fighter types that do there jobs to help the party out.With this new edition they have gutted everything down to a very basic aproach.

I can remember situations with the previous editions wizards making for some very great sessions.There was one time when the party had to go after some ogres.The ogres territory was on the other side of a large river with no bridge but could still be aproached by the log way across at a fjord.The wizard new a spell that could conjure up a bridge.So the party waited and when the wiz memorized the spell he conjured the bridge over the river.The party then snuck in behind the primary defenses of the ogres and created alot of havoc within the ogres lair and were very successful in there undertaking.Now you tell me what is wrong with having that kind of capability?To me that sounds like true gaming,imagination and thinking in the true spirit of the game.It is in no way god like or overpowering like so many seem to whine about.

I also never experienced this god like wizard complex you speak of and I  have been a dm and player for 30 years.Maybe I was lucky to have good players I do not know but it has been my experience that wizards have always been on equal footing as everyone else.You needed all the major classes at times to get the job done.The wizard is only as good as his party members that hold up there end of the deal.If the fighter can not tie up a rush of enemies with the cleric healing him and the ranger or rogue taking out stragglers or break away foes things will go bad.

One of you mentioned that you could customize any kind of character you wanted.I disagree with that statement some what.You can do basic customizing of character in this new edition.If you actualy compare the two editions the 4e customizing does not hold a candle to 3.5 and you are fooling yourself if you think those handfulls of feats and powers in 4e can achieve that.What you end up with is actualy a very limited amounts of choices railroading you into specific builds and concepts.Only a players own devotion to implanting a concept within the character will rectify that.The game its self will not allow for that much freedom.In the end with the new edition you will just end up playing a character who is a few hit wonder with his pocket of powers.

Any way I wrote this post as I stated to get opinions from other DnD vets on the new edition.So I stated my problems/concerns with the new system.I did not need someone who either is a sixteen year old or acts like one to accuse me of wiz god power loving etc.

Also I just used the wizard as I thought it was a good example.I happen to think that all of the classes have been watered down into a state of being shadows of there former selves.

While 3.5 maybe more custonizable its also a mored flawed system, most people only play certain classes as they are heads better than the rest and Prc classes are broken and unbalenced. The best point of 4th in my opion is that for the most part all classes are equal and useful at all levels. I to have been playing D&D for over 30 years and 4th is the most balenced system to date and the  biggest complaint I have heard from players of 3.5 is their favorite class got nerfed or changed in someway they did not like. What wizards seems to be doing is appealing to a broader audiance and that may step on a few toes then so be they are a compay after all with the mandate to turn a profit. The old ways of RPG design are dead that is why companies like TSR, FASA, West End Games are gone they as they could not adapt to the change in times.

To pick up conversation about WoW and the video game aspect that was mentioned.I agree WoW did alot for the video game industry and that blizzard is of course a business and in it all to make obs of cash.I do not blame them for that and I understand that.I am not a WoW hater I do miss it at times but I choose to no longer play it.The way the game has been altered any 12 year old can master the game and they do.The game has been relegated to a childrens game more so then a game that I am not only familiar with but also one that I can enjoy.

Unfortunately you are also correct in your statement about things going the way of the video game.Too many people are turning to just the video games rather then embracing both forms.They are doing it because the V games are an easier avenue to deal with.Pen an paper rpgs use to be challenging but with 4e now on the shelves now the rpgs have gone the simple route as well.Blizzard dumbed down warcraft to appease the younger crowd and to garner more membership and it worked.Now DnD has done the exact same thing.There is nothing wrong with this in some ways.It is good that new generations can have fun with these new game styles.It is however rather disheartning that they could not get interested in a more challenging and intelligent format like the older styles.
I agree with what you said Stormbringer.The bard for instance was hardly ever played at all where other classes got much more of the love.I do have to say that the new classes may be more balanced but they are also very dry in comparison the the older ones.The new classes pretty much all do the same thing except in different ways.I have been to cons and played in 4E games a few times now.You have 6 to 8 players at the table and as powers start getting used by some of the different classes they all just start resembeling each other rather closely.They are obviously not all like that I mean a fireball is different then a shadow wasp strike etc etc.there are still many powers that are just recycled to fit the classes concept but in the end result are the same.
I never said you or any other player had a god complex nor am I sixteen. Its the wizard class and their vast god like powers compared to the other classes that is the god part.

So far you are the only one calling others names and that continues to show your real intent of this thread. To rant about 4.0 and its player base. Its the same old topic. If you were really interested in finding out why people likd 4.0 you wouldn't have started this thread with insults about players maturity of to wizards of the coast ripping out the heart of gaming.
You would have talked like the adult with 30 years of GMing experience you profess to be.
as a disclaimer, i'll mention that i've played only one session of 2e and three sessions of 3.5e. i never bought anything until i started buying 4e material; i checked out 3.5 books from the library. you've been playing and DMing longer than i've been alive, much less involved in D&D [about 8 months as player and DM].

sorry you don;t enjoy the game as much in the new edition. but as others have mentioned, you can easily return to play earlier editions. but, i sense that wasn't really what you are trying to assess. it seems you are speaking for how much you had hoped to see the massive game which had become 3.5e better condensed and more reasonably balanced, yet still integrating the large scope of custom options available. is that a bit of your perspective?

i admit, i havent' got an interest in 3.5, but i have got a bit of interest in Pathfinder and placed that on my christmas wishlist. i played abit of WoW, but didn't enjoy the lack of interaction with other players. i can also see some of the similarities between WoW and 4e. some of the powers do seem to be copies across classes and power sources at times.

i'll avoid the wizard example until later, but the ranger example, i'll mention. i like that a ranger now has to choose one path to focus on. they can still take powers that would be appropriate for any build, but they pick a style and focus on that. i lke that each class in fact, has to choose one path to follow. i prefer that because it creates custom options and encourages fair play. it is fair that a ranger cannot take the benefits of all three fighting styles. currently there may not been a huge list of powers to choose from, making all rangers appear fairly similar, but that will increase as more amterial is published. Martial Power 2 has already been announced and will likely bring a laundry list of new powers and paragon paths and epic destinies, some for all martial, some for only rangers. PHB3 is slated to have martial practices, whatever those look like that can give martial characters options similar to rituals.

what i see is not that there are not enough options to make a custom character, but that the options are still somewhat limited and will increase with time. there is already third-party source material and WotC certainly appears to be dedicated to increasing the range of options for players in every class.

i'll still stay away from the wizard example, but i want to touch it so badly.

"It just seems to me that this new edition of DnD has cut the very heart out of the game." [emphasis added]

this is the line that i simply cannot agree with and i can't even see how you come to this conclusion. i don't mind hearing your logic on it, but i'll also expose mine. i see the heart of the game being roleplay and rollplay. the roleplay is one side of the heart because it is still a game of players gathering for a social game which involves story-telling, innovative thinking, creative action, and friendly interaction. the rollplay is another side of the heart because the core mechanic still exists that you roll a die, add appropriate modifiers, and the DM adjudicates the result using established rules to resolve the action.

i've got no way to speak for earlier editions in the same manner that you do, but it seems to me that the core mechanic and roleplaying is the heart of all editions. those two elements are still present in 4e. it was never about the options, the powers, the classes, the power sources, the treasure, the monsters, the roles, the books, the prestige classes, the paragon paths, the epic destinies. i believe the heart of the game is still very present and it lives in the roleplay and rollplay of the game.

so, that's my logic.

as another poster mentioned, i like 4e for more than the accessability and ease of learning. i enjoy having arcane users and any other caster that doesn't "run out of juice" becuase they've already used their allotted number of spells for the day. i'm looking forward to the integration of psionic, shadow and hopefully [fingers crossed] elemental classes. i'm glad that the classes are more fairly balanced so that every character can be a core contribution at all levels and in most combat or non-combat encounters. a good pattern to follow when homebrewing custom classes, powers, magic items, etc. routine publications from the game designe rather than countless third party source books that offer innumerable options that may or may not fit the campaign/play group.

when learning 3.5 for a group of friends, i took weeks to really get it before the first session. i was trying to create my sorcerer and had lots to learn about that. but i played thorugh a few sessions and found that i didn't enjoy the DM style. it wasn't all about not liking 3.5, but i was frustrated that i had a limited number of spells.

within that group i learned about 4e and found others interested, so i found a way for my sorc to get killed in a blaze of glory and left to start my own campaign DMing 4e. yesterday, i taught a newbie about playing a fighter that i created for him to add to an existing group of newbies. they've had a few sessions to learn artificer, druid, rogue, ranger, and paladin [two are playing two characters very easily]. i was so glad that i could teach the basics of his stats and powers and some unique features of fighters in about 30 minutes. sure, he still had to ask some questions, but he was ready to play.

that sort of ease of learning and accessability [IMO] doesn't detract from the heart of the game [core mechanic + roleplay].

course, if you consider the heart of the game to be something completely different, then maybe you do see that particular thing having been lost.
It is good that new generations can have fun with these new game styles.It is however rather disheartning that they could not get interested in a more challenging and intelligent format like the older styles.


I'm currently playing Pathfinder and am enjoying it. It gives more of what you seem to be wanting. Not sure if I missed this in your post but have you tried it?
We already have past challenging versions of D&D. I'm glad that we have a different version. As I have said before if you want challenging and an intelligent format then play those. It doesnt really matter what is currently being sold on gaming stands.

They are obviously not all like that I mean a fireball is different then a shadow wasp strike etc etc.there are still many powers that are just recycled to fit the classes concept but in the end result are the same.


I do agree with you on this part. The classes do feel similar compared to past editions. However from a player point of view in the grand scheme of things this can be good.
In low levels of past editions the fighter types did all the work. The wizard fired their 1 or 2 spells then sat around and watched their friends have fun at the gaming table. They werent going to charge forward with their dagger and robe armor and 4 hit points.
Later on it was the reverse. Wizards summoned volcanoes and oblitereated entire armies while the fighters watched their friends at the table have the glory.

Part of the fun of the wizard is resource management. When do you cast your super spell or do you save it? That seems to be part of the intelligent format.
MMOs showed that that same level of fun can be carried to other classes so more people can experience it.
Thats basically what 4.0 combat is about. Resource management. As another poster mentioned above, each class has something that they can be doing, there no longer is sitting and watching your friends have fun.
That playstyle is not for everyone but thats the group that 4.0 targets.

/ Foss: A large river with no bridge. The [2e] wizard knew a spell that could conjure up a bridge. So the party waited, and when the wiz memorized the spell he conjured the bridge over the river. /


Actually, the 4e wizard is versatile.

Here I fixed the challenge for you for 4e.

/ A large river with no bridge. The [4e] wizard knew [rituals] that could conjure up [water walking, water breathing, phantom steed, or linked portal]. So the party waited, and when the wiz [prepared] the [ritual] he conjured [them] over the river. /

While at a glance some powers may see the same it is not the case sure some powers from one class may have simularities with powers form another but they are different. I love the fact the mages do not run out of spells and fighters can do a lot more than in the past. It has brought the old boring melee classes back to an even keel with the hardcore spell casters, something the game really did need. As far as it being alot like WOW now I for one could care a less as long as the game mechanics are sound and easy to use. I don't like to have to be a rules guru to run a game and this edition makes it so anyone can run and play the game and unlike previous editions this edition is a totally new system not a logical advancement from the previous ones. My main problem with the 4th edition is up until primal power the fluff was lacking and fluff is what gives D&D its life and sets it apart form other fantasy RPG's. If primal power is how most future releases are going to be done then the game has a very bright future if not it will need help from its DM's and player's to fix in thier individual games. I am hoping wizards has listened to the support there has been for the fluff content as it brings a lot to the game as a whole. If you prefer 3.5 over 4th then I say go back to it but I for one don't miss a very broken and unbalenced system that comes along with it.

Part of the fun of the wizard is resource management. When do you cast your super spell or do you save it? That seems to be part of the intelligent format.




Not in the game I was in. My wife kept wanting to cast fireball, but we other players kept holding her back, insisting she save it for the bad guy at the end.
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Of the two approaches to hobby games today, one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school. AD&D is assuredly an adherent of the latter school. It does not stress any realism (in the author's opinon an absurd effort at best considering the topic!). It does little to attempt to simulate anything either. (AD&D) is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek the use of imagination and creativity.... In all cases, however, the reader should understand that AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which an fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be taken too seriously. For fun, excitement and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed.As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe or even as a reflection of midieval or ancient warfare or culture or society, it can be deemed only a dismal failure. Readers who seek the later must search elsewhere. - Gary Gygax. 1e DMG.
The reason you got jumped on was because of this quote.

"Ok so you're bitter that your precious wizard god class that used to be able to do everything over the other calsses was changed to appease the immature kids."

I believe right there you are accusing me of having a precious god class and that was the reason I was hating on 4.0.

No worries regardless I did jump the gun in retaliation to that comment.But my post was true to my word about why I was making it.Then i get that comment from you so there in lies my response.I just really dislike it when people post on here and then get accused of things like that.

Well when I refer to the heart of the game I think of two things.The Gm and players doing there part and roleplaying.Then a responsibility from the company to not make a watered down generic system.Toning down the customizing options and background materials for character classes is it just a lame idea in my opinion.
That was a good point on the rituals and just waiting to cast one of them.However i still see a problem with those.Now that rituals have taken over for many spells most of those take time and some a good amount of time.So in the circumstances when you run into a dilemma and have to wait yes those can work out just fine.It was much nicer before though when you could try to predict what you needed plan for it and then mem the spells you needed.Then it was a matter of a quick cast and you were off.Now certain spells are ritual only so if you are pressed for time in the new game and the solution is a ritual you are probably just out of luck.At least if your wizard was crafty back in the older editions he might have forseen something like it and then boom right off his finger comes the spell and you are on you way.
It could very well be that I am more of previous edition player compared to this new fad that is sweeping v games and paper games.I loved the days of where you had to plan out your characters in depth.Had large amounts of choices in creating and leveling them.Then the thinking and strategizing parts they may have taken a little bit more of time.Now as I read the books it just feels like DnD for dummies.

It always saddens me when someone who says they've played for as many years as I have, and yet they haven't been able to figure out D&D. The game changes. It always changes. It even flat out states it will change. Check out the intro to the 2nd edition. Heck, back then even Gary Gygax said there would probably be a third and even fourth edition of the game.

4e is as full of choices as any other edition. Things really aren't that different.


Take for example the OP's point about the powers feeling like they have a timer. Well, later on he says he likes earlier edition wizards because if he didn't memorize the right spells, he can rest and select new ones. Well, resting is 8 hours, so there's a timer right there.


There were plenty of effects and spells that listed once/day. Another timer.


Saying there's a limited amount of preset charcter modes is like saying the same thing for 3e; 3e only listed 2 "starting packages" for the character classes.


I always wonder where all the creative players have gone. Even as late as 3e we had folks willing to create and add to the game. 4e comes out, and suddenly everyone is hit with the Uncreative Stick and everything suddenly is limited. When 3e first came out, a player I know was very excited. He saw a LOT of things missing from 3e.


Did he gripe about 3e missing theses things? Nope. He excitedly told us how many hours he spent creating this prestige class, and that houserule.

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Of the two approaches to hobby games today, one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school. AD&D is assuredly an adherent of the latter school. It does not stress any realism (in the author's opinon an absurd effort at best considering the topic!). It does little to attempt to simulate anything either. (AD&D) is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek the use of imagination and creativity.... In all cases, however, the reader should understand that AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which an fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be taken too seriously. For fun, excitement and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed.As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe or even as a reflection of midieval or ancient warfare or culture or society, it can be deemed only a dismal failure. Readers who seek the later must search elsewhere. - Gary Gygax. 1e DMG.
There were plenty of effects and spells that listed once/day. Another timer.

or a lesser used example: 3/3.5ed barbarians could rage only once per encounter, no matter how many times per day they actually could rage.

I always wonder where all the creative players have gone. Even as late as 3e we had folks willing to create and add to the game. 4e comes out, and suddenly everyone is hit with the Uncreative Stick and everything suddenly is limited. When 3e first came out, a player I know was very excited. He saw a LOT of things missing from 3e.

being a homebrewer, I can tell you that 4e classes are much more complex then 3e.
  • the downside of a good defined balance: in 3/3.5 homebrew it was OK as long as you were between the fighter and the wizard. now, you're quite constricted

  • the huge collection of powers: while in 3/3.5 you create about a dozen abilities for 20 levels,  in 4e now you need to create about a hundred powers, each with own name and flavor.

Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
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Okay I have played DnD since the beginning.I have always made it a habit to move along with the new editions as they have been released.So a while back when 4.0 came out I sold the 3.5 stuff I did not need kept a few source books etc etc. ... This is not a post to troll or hate on 4.0 but to try and get some perspective on it.

OK, if you say so.  I'll just reply to the bits of your post that aren't hate'n or troll'n:

...

....


..........


ah, here we go:

This goes out to the older generation of players and gms.The people who may have played from the ground up or even if they started in at 3.5 have some years under there belt with the game.

That'd be me.  Started in 1979 with the infamous blue-book 'basic set,' moved on to AD&D, 2e (which I eventually had to give up on - sheer volume of poor suplements killed it), 3e/3.5 and now 4e, with diversions into plenty of other games along the way.

Are you playing/enjoying 4.0 more so then previous editions?

Yes. 

The game really has improved, or changed for the better, on balance, with each new version.  2e cleaned up some of the obvious errors and inconsistencies in 1e, then died the death of a thousand suplements.  3.0 started out as a good overhaul, what 2e should have been, a game as good as anything published in 1989.  3.5, like later 2e, got into rules overload issues and started to fall apart.  4e was due, and it was a radical re-design.  It's closer than ever to catching up to the state of the art.

If so what are your reasons,likes etc about the new system?

There were a number of major changes in 4e that I aprove of.  The codification of generic roles rather than iconic-class roles, the formalization of Power Sources, healing surges, the much greater degree of class balance achieved by putting everyone on the basically the same resource-management footing.  All very good.  There were also some deeper changes in philosophy that I could get behind.  I like that system mastery was allowed to become less critical, it makes the game more accessible to the casual (or less fanatical) player, which means there's more folks I can game with.  I like that it's /much/ easier to prep for adventurers - that means more folks can handle DMing, so I, again, get to play more.  I like that monsters and NPCs are back to having thier own rules, different from those governing PCs, it gives the game a more heroic-fantasy feel, with the PCs being genuinely special from the beginings, not just some clueless kids fresh off the race-and-class assembly line.

There are other things I'm more ambivalent about.  Exception-based design doesn't exactly thrill me.  Yeah, it worked for Magic the Gathering, I guess.  D&D has always had aspects of it, anyway, and, yes, it cuts down, a little, on the rules controversy.  But it sacrifices a fair bit of rational consistency to do it, and it makes rules glitches quite intractible, and the rule books read more than ever like technical manuals (though, again, that's not all bad).  I'm OK with the shift from 'simulationism' to 'gamism.'  I /like/ both, I guess I just wish it were possible to have more of both, rather than trading off.   I miss the build-to-concept customizability of 3.x, but, I managed to enjoy 1e all those years without any sort of customizability, so I can live without it.  The corresponding improvement in class balance and ease of chargen, adventure design, and actual play is worth it.  (Besides, I still play Champions!, so I get all the customization I want, there).  The shifting of emphasis away from piles of magic items and towards the characters is good, long overdue, and still not sufficient.  Magic items are still mandatory, and can still end up going too far in defining characters or being central to builds.  It's better than it's been, it's one of the few trends continued from 3.x, I just hope it gets to a better place eventually.  Keywords are also a mixed blessing, they do make rules more concise and they do improve clarity, but they can open up some real Murphy's Rules with just the teeniest of oversights.  Plus, keyword reliance and the specific-beats-general rule of thumb lead to some pretty bad interpretations staking out some very strong positions.   Also, as much as I like the powers paradigm, it makes designing a homebrew class pure hell.  It would be nice if there were a decent-sized pool of 'generic' powers for each power source, so that each class needed fewer 'unique' powers.

There are a few things I genuinely dislike.  I do not like the pace of publication:  it's too fast, which hurts quality.  And, even though 4e's basic design should be more forgiving of rules overload, it's still not going to be immune, and the faster the books are churned out, the sooner the system will collapse under their weight.   I'm also disapointed with some attitudes in the community.  Maybe it's a function of the medium, but it seems to me that the 3.x community was noticeably less accepting of the idea of variants or 'house rules,' and that trend has continued to advance here, with 4e.   In the same way you find the simplification of the game disheartening (1e was written like a freak'n college text book, so some simplification was in order, but I'd agree that 2e was just fine in that regard), I'm discouraged by the dismissive attitudes towards anything beyond the sacrosanct 'rules as written.' 


 

 

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It could very well be that I am more of previous edition player compared to this new fad that is sweeping v games and paper games.I loved the days of where you had to plan out your characters in depth.Had large amounts of choices in creating and leveling them.Then the thinking and strategizing parts they may have taken a little bit more of time.Now as I read the books it just feels like DnD for dummies.

You really haven't built many 4E characters based on this comment.

Every 4E character has the following choices at level 1:
Race
Background (Optional but recomended - has 2 layers. Pick Background(s), Pick Feature)
Abilities
Class
Spells/Powers Minimum of 4 choices (2 At-Will Powers, 1 Encounter Power, 1 Daily Power) many classes &/or races have more.
Skills
Feat
Diety (Optional but recomended for Divine Characters)

Compare to 3.X:
Race
Abilities
Class
Skills
Feat
Spells or Powers (if your class has them)
Diety (Optional)

Compare to 2E (Pre-Skills and Powers & not using Psionics)
Race
Abilities
Class
Skills or Secondary Skills
Proficiencies (Optional & limited)
Spells (if your class has them)
Diety (Optional)

Compare to 1E
Race
Abilities
Class
Spells (if your class has them)
Secondary Skills (Optional)
Psionics (Optional and/or if you were lucky)
Diety (Optional)

Looks to me like 4E has the most choices for the most characters at 1st level.

Now let's look at level 1-10
Here I'll just look at 3E vs 4E the comparison is better.
3E
3 Extra Feats
9 xY Skill points.
Spells if you have them at varing rates.
+2 x2 to stats.

4E
5 Extra Feats
7 Extra Spells/Powers regardless of class.
+1 to 2 stats x 3
1 Retraining option each level (total of 9).

Here 3E wins out on the detail of "Skill Points" but the reality is that they simply don't matter the vast majority of the time unless you are a skill monkey character, and the game is giving you opportunities to use them, but chances are the 4E skill system with its flexibility will win out here for such builds. (eg Use Rope (one of the better 3E skills) can be done by several 4E skills (should the DM want a roll), but was a hard skill to get good at in 3E for most characters).

So while 3E wins in the minutae when advancing levels, 4E is definately ahead for the vast majority of characters in the areas that are going to matter the most. Even when you hit Paragon and above in 4E you are simply making more meaningful choices more often.

I have a lot of 4E builds, from the pretty standard fighters through to the Warlock MC Paladin who is the party's Defender, to the Ruthless Ruffian Rogue in Plate Armour. To think that 4E is limiting and or lacks flexibility is to show an ignorance of the system, and that is before you start reskining powers so they work the same but sound how you want them to....

---------

From the DM side of the table, give me 4E any day.

With tools like the Monster Builder (in Adventure Tools) it takes minutes to make custom monsters in game prep, and unless I'm trying to make them unbalanced they will be fair to fight for the party. (And it didn't take that long before AT came along tbh).

In terms of encounters you look at 1 table in the DMG and grab monsters to suit staying (usually) within 2 of the PC's level. Again it takes minutes, and with the Adventure Tools to search for monsters it is really easy to grab monsters by type to build themed encoutners etc.(And it wasn't  that hard before AT came along tbh).

Skill Challenges give me a great framework for spelling things out to my players on how success will happen in a non-combat task, and tell me when I need to impose a consequence - and it is consistent. Party wants to sneak through a dungeon - Skill Challenge time, and they can nominate the skills and describe how they are using them. Got key encounters they need to fight, set the number of checks you want them to make before they get to the first one, and go. If they fail put in a "random" encounter...

---------

Ultimately if 4E isn't your cup of tea - great, have fun playing a game you like and don't play 4E, there is no skin off anyone's nose if you do that. The real golden rule of RPGs is "as long as everyone at the table is having fun".

See this is really the thing, you do not have to defend your dislike of 4E, it is ok not to like it. Just find something you do like (Pathfinder sounds like a good shot) and play that. The WotC Ninja's will not come to your house and steal your fun.
Well to answer the one poster about lack of creative input from players in 4E I think comes from the edition itself.The new edition is rather alien looking then its former editions.I also think some  may feel short changed with what they got in 4E.I think when you simplify a game too much and take away alot of the thinking and planning aspects of it you will get lazy players to go along with it.

I have seen what you are talking about as well with the groups I have observed playing in hobby stores and at cons.I also saw it start to develop in WoW as well.The game got so simplified that the true gamers,players that liked something challenging and players with imagination left the game.Then a whole new breed of player came rolling in.The new breed was lazy.They wanted everything easier,quicker and wanted to put forth the least amount of effort.

I have my own world that i started up a couple of decades ago.I have just as much source material of my own creation that the company puts out.So my problem is not being able to to bypass or ignore the stuff I do not approve of.My problem just lies with trying to keep up with the times and converting my races,classes,monsters etc etc into the new edition.When the new edition is so limiting it just angers me.Part of it was my own fault I thought 4E was going to be great when I first read it and jumped ship too soon.After playing it for a year I just realized that damn this thing is so lacking compared to the other editions.

I think it was just a nicer feeling when the company put out a product that had more to work with that would inspire me.In the end after playing this new one it was almost like dealing with a idea killing product line.
Some people always go the troll acusations or the hater label.I think people use these terms way to loosely.anymore i see so many people airing legitimate questions or grips and people just flame them.Its almost like they are just being ignorant.They would rather just live in there own private bubble community and not deal with anything else.As soon as some one tries to air a question or complaint the bubble people take the exclamation as a jab at them personaly with a big needle.

If complaining or stating my dismay about something is a troll accusable offense so be it.If airing said complaints to get opposite possibly insightful feedback is a troll so be it.Then yes you can call it a troll.
I do see alot of people yapping about balance in the new game with the classes.Everyone saying that the older versions were so unbalanced.I guess in my long years of gaming I missed this some where.I have never experienced this unbalance with the classes.My players always just played what they wanted to play.No one ever complained that the wizard was a god or that their fighter sucked.In fact I never had anyone complain about the bard not being very useful and lets face it they were for the most part a roleplaying based class that was a utility class at best.

I guess I just missed this whole problem that has plagued so many of you.
I would like to thank Tony for his post.Even they I may not agree with everything he said it was just the kind of post i was hoping to get when I started this thread.
I am glad to hear of yet another gm/player that I agree with on the limitations of the new game for homebrewing.His other grips  are unfortunately well founded as well.They will always quickly mass produce books as they are a company trying to make as much money as possible regardless if the quality suffers.I think Hasbro owning them has alot to do with.As far as the rules lawyers and power gamers go,well they have always been here and always will be.
One of the members posted his comparisons of character gen through out the various editions.For 4e the background element was listed.This is not needed and does not make 4e special in any way.Players should have the imagination to come up with at least a basic flavor,personality background etc for their characters.The game does not need to help with that it needs to help out with good class and race construction and a myriad of customizing options to help the characters out.

As for not having generated many 4E characters that is far from the truth.I have made 1 of every type of every class and in some cases more then one.How do you think I came to the conclusion that the new classes are boring and stale compared to there former versions.As I generated characters I saw alot of repetition and parody among the so called different classes.

Honestly when I looked at them it really seemed like they could have left out many of the classes and just kept a handful.The classes just repeat themselves now due to there role with only the slightest variance of ability and some creative fluff thrown in to make it seem different.

The suggestions of just play the version you want I obviously agree with.Like i said I played 4e for a year and gave it a chance.I just wanted to bounce my feelings about the new edition off some of you to see what the different takes on these things were.That is what these forums are supposed to help with is it not.

Anyway after all of that heres my thing.This goes out to the older generation of players and gms.The people who may have played from the ground up or even if they started in at 3.5 have some years under there belt with the game.Are you playing/enjoying 4.0 more so then previous editions?If so what are your reasons,likes etc about the new system?



I'v played and DM'd AD&D from 1st Ed, mainly through 2nd Ed, and a lot of 3+ D&D, also Basic D&D.

I have to say over all I prever 4th Ed over 3rd Ed. Although it is not without it's failings and I can see why people might not like for some of the reasons you've mentioned, although I disagree with a number of your points.

Certainly as a DM I much prefer this edition than 3rd Ed, 4th Ed is much less work for the DM, and not just because of the tools available via D&D Insider.

Take for example the 3rd Ed Pit Fiend to use this critter as a DM I need to know (or waste time page flicking)

3 feats that the discriptions of which aren't in the stat block.
14 spells that the discriptions of which aren't in the stat block.
1 disease that has special rules not mentioned in its stat block.
1 aura effect that mimics another spell not detailed in its stat block.
6 different devils it can summon that introduce more stuff that isn't even in their stat blocks.

Then compare that to the 4th Edition Pit Fiend that has the same aura, but how it works is detailed in its stat block, not referencing a spell in a different book. It too can summon devils, but everything needed to run those devils is covered in their stat block.

It removes major headaches to running this sort of creature.

Also NPCs in 4th Ed aren't build in the same way as player characters so I can give them powers that players can never get, and I don't need to worry about having the make an NPC X level so he has enough feats to give him the one feat I actually need to. Or work out were all the skill points go, etc.

Then you have the tier system which means you know as the DM that the players won't be flying around willy-nilly until epic level. Which just makes much easier to run encounters when you only need to worry about 2 dimensions.

For a DM Encounter design and running is much easier, thanks the the tools, thanks to the fact you don't have to follow the same rules as the player, thanks to the creature design, thanks to the tier restrictions, and thanks to the rules being much clearer and faster.

In fact IMHO World design is also much easier, because the DM doesn't have to follow the same rules as the players, which seemed to be assumed in 3rd Ed.

I've got more to say on the player side of things, but I'll come to that later.




I can remember situations with the previous editions wizards making for some very great sessions.There was one time when the party had to go after some ogres.The ogres territory was on the other side of a large river with no bridge but could still be aproached by the log way across at a fjord.The wizard knew a spell that could conjure up a bridge.So the party waited and when the wiz memorized the spell he conjured the bridge over the river.The party then snuck in behind the primary defenses of the ogres and created alot of havoc within the ogres lair and were very successful in there undertaking.Now you tell me what is wrong with having that kind of capability?To me that sounds like true gaming,imagination and thinking in the true spirit of the game.It is in no way god like or overpowering like so many seem to whine about.



That's not gone from this edition, that's a non-combat spell so in 4th Edition will likely to have been replaced by a ritual. There is no limit to the number of rituals a wizard can learn (in fact you don't even have to be a wizard, just Wizards and Clerics get Ritual Magic for free). And rather than having to rest 8 hours to have that spell take up a vital spell slot, you just cast it, but the casting times tend to be longer.

Shadow Bridge or Tenser's Lift both 8th level rituals would do pretty much the same thing, as you mentioned above.

It's not a failure in the system here, more a failure in your understanding of it. Virtually all spells that are non-combat related will be Rituals, spells that have a combat application will be powers.

being a homebrewer, I can tell you that 4e classes are much more complex then 3e.
  • the downside of a good defined balance: in 3/3.5 homebrew it was OK as long as you were between the fighter and the wizard. now, you're quite constricted

  • the huge collection of powers: while in 3/3.5 you create about a dozen abilities for 20 levels,  in 4e now you need to create about a hundred powers, each with own name and flavor.




I think if you are homebrewing a class for 4th Ed you are better going with a Paragon class or Epic Destiny.

Also as a homebrew DM in 3rd Ed if you wanted to create a special NPC, with different abilities from the core classes. Then you had a duty to create a whole new class, which would be available to the players as well. Because NPCs were built on the same rules.

Now you don't have to worry about that you just give the NPC the special ability you want in it's stat block. It doesn't need to be available to the players, you don't have to design a whole new class. You don't need to balance it against the other PC classes.

In many ways it makes this aspect of homebrewing a campaign world much easier.
One of the members posted his comparisons of character gen through out the various editions.For 4e the background element was listed.This is not needed and does not make 4e special in any way.Players should have the imagination to come up with at least a basic flavor,personality background etc for their characters.



Not all do. Especially not all new players, and D&D has tended to be most peoples first experience of roleplaying, why shouldn't it make things easier for new players? They are optional backgrounds after all.

The game does not need to help with that it needs to help out with good class and race construction and a myriad of customizing options to help the characters out.



There are a lot more options for most classes (particularly melee ones) in 4th Edition that there are in any earlier edition. The spell casters admittedly look a little more limited at first glance but when you take rituals into account they are still way out in front on options. A first level wizard had one or two spells a day, a first level wizard in 4th Edition, has at least two unlimited spells, one he can use each encounter and two others (which one can be used daily), plus three rituals. At higher levels he still stays on par with earlier editions.

All the classes are good throughout the 30 levels, rather than some being clearly worse off at different levels (wizards compared to fighters), as in earlier editions.

As for not having generated many 4E characters that is far from the truth.I have made 1 of every type of every class and in some cases more then one.How do you think I came to the conclusion that the new classes are boring and stale compared to there former versions.As I generated characters I saw alot of repetition and parody among the so called different classes.



And a sorcerer didn't parody a wizard in 3rd Ed? They used the same spell list. the two play very differently in 4th Ed, with the wizard having much more area effect spells, and the Sorcerer tending to do more damage to individual targets being a striker. The fighters mark plays differently than the Paladin or Wardens even though technically they seem to read the same. The melee classes particularly are much less boring than they use to be. In 3rd Ed, most melee characters (bar the Dervish) played stand their and Full attack each round, or worse had some trip attack they would spam every round, talk about tedious. Now the battlefield is much more fluid and the melee types have a range of powers.

Honestly when I looked at them it really seemed like they could have left out many of the classes and just kept a handful.The classes just repeat themselves now due to there role with only the slightest variance of ability and some creative fluff thrown in to make it seem different.



Well all Defenders have a means to defend, but the Swordmage plays very differently from the Fighter in our group. All Leaders some method to heal, but you can hardly say the Dragonborn Warlord plays the same as an Elf ray based cleric. Some of these difference have only really become apparant through playing these classes.

The suggestions of just play the version you want I obviously agree with.Like i said I played 4e for a year and gave it a chance.I just wanted to bounce my feelings about the new edition off some of you to see what the different takes on these things were.That is what these forums are supposed to help with is it not.



Yeah I think some people are a bit tired of the WoW comparisons which are pretty unfounded. If anything 3rd Edition plays more like WoW. What with the constant potion use (or Cure Light Wands use) to heal up. At-Will, Encounter and Daily are nothing like WoW timers. For a start, you can use At-Wills, at will, which is no timer at all. Then Encounters you can only use once a fight no matter how long that fight is, again very unlike any timer in a MMO. And daily powers? They have been around since 1st Ed, I'm not familiar with many powers in a MMO that you can use only once every 24 hours?


I've been playing since 1981, starting with the Blue Box and playing every edition except 3.0 (I did play 3.5).  I prefer 4e to any edition except possibly 2e (with my extensive house rules).

I have to agree with those who said your post comes off antoganistic and disingenuous.  It does not sound like you are interested in learning.  It does sound like you just want to rant.  however, I'm going to assume that was not your purpose.  A word of advice: don't make WoW comparisons.  They've been done to death, they've been mostly debunked and they don't do anything but to poison the debate.

Let's move on to your comments....

flyingfossgrim: You have the different classes with a different focus of attack but the power trees ended up giving you an ability much like the other classes and was just worded or portrayed in a different way.

I don't see this.  Yes, the powers have a uniform nomenclature, but they are very different. I don't think you'll find a fighter and wizard power that have the same effect.  I think a lot of people who are wedded to the old editions simply do not like the fact that different power sources no longer have separate subsystems.  In old editions, spellcasters used Vancian, martial characters had feats or other techniques, psionic characters had power points, and other characters had their own unique systems like Incarna.

4e is about uniformity, making it easier to read and understand what a power does.  That doesn't make the classes "samey" (a word I've seen used).  It makes it easier to balance them, and easier to use them.

The other focus is specialization.  Wizards have basically been split into three classes (warlock, sorcerer and wizard), clerics into cleric, invoker and avenger, and druids into druid, shaman, and warden.  I know a lot of DMs clai they didn't see the balance problem, but I think you were being willfully blind.  How often after level 9, was the strategy basically, "Stand back and let the wizard blast them"?  If you claim never to have experienced this, then I don't think you actually played earlier editions (at least not beyond level 9).

In prior editions, the wizard (at upper levels) could do everything.  In theory, this was to compensate for the fact that unde rlevel 5, the wizard could do very little.  In 3e, the wizard was joined in this regard by the druid and the cleric, except that these classes were ohenomenal from level 1.  But the problem was the same.  Classes were not balanced.  You may not have seen it, but if, as you claim, you went to conventions and spoke to people, then I doubt you didn't see it.  I went to the cons too, and the problem was well known.

flyingfossgrim: Are you playing/enjoying 4.0 more so then previous editions?If so what are your reasons,likes etc about the new system?

Yes, I am.  I find it easier to write adventures.  I find combat more dynamic.  I find it easier to improvise actions, in much the way I used to do in 1e and 2e.  It takes me less than 2 hours to plan a session from blank page to finished product.  In 3e, it would take me days, mostly because it was so hard to craft adventures where the fighter and rogue could contribute meaningfully and the druid and wizard would still feel challenged.  The digital tools help me keep track of the player's abilities.  I find non-combat is just as easy to run as before and, unlike with 3e, I don't worry about NPCs needing to be 10th level to have the Skill bonuses I need them to have.  I just make an NPC and give it the abilities it should have.

Do I think 4e is perfect?  No.  My biggest issue is that player classes are too complicated for some of my casual players.  Some players just want to sit down at a table and play.  They don't want to spend time poring through lists of feats and powers.  They would play a fighter in earlier editions, not because it was the most fun, but simply because they didn't want to spend time poring over spell lists.  There's no character like that now, and they wish that, every round, they weren't poring over their list of powers.

Also, because of some of the issues above, combat is a lot slower.  I've been dreading this, but I'm going to institute a house rule where I halve monster hp and add 150% to their damage, just to shorten the combat without reducing the deadliness.
< Foss: Rituals have taken over for many spells. >

The rule is, all combat spells are 'spells'. All noncombat spells are 'rituals'.

Some 'utility' spells are 'dual use', mainly for combat but some can be used out of combat, like the ones that grant mobility.

Even attack spells can be dual use. Dont forget, the definition of an 'enemy' is whatever your attack targets. So, you can go into 'combat' with a locked door to blast thru it with your spells, for example.




< Most of those [rituals] take time, and some a good amount of time. >

Because of my play style, 4e rituals are much quicker than the old noncombat spells.

(For convenience, Il just refer to all 'noncombat utility spells' as 'rituals', regardless of edition.)

The thing about the 'rituals' of the old editions is, the Wizard was only 'versatile' if the Wizard happened to have prepared the right spell. It was a serious problem. It would be stupid for the 3e Wizard to 'prepare' the Water Breathing ritual because most assuredly the circumstance that would require it would rarely ever show up. If the Wizard did prepare it, em would be wasting a precious spell slot - which was better used for attack spells! Unfortunately, on the rare occasion the Water Breathing ritual did prove vital, the Wizard wouldnt have it prepared and thus *not* be 'versatile'.

The reality was in previous editions, the majority of Wizard noncombat rituals were never used because they were never prepared. To get around this problem, it was 'optimal' for the Wizard to, instead, prepare a few 'open spellslots' and never prepare any ritual itself. When in combat, the Wizard had extra attack spells prepared. By contrast, by definition, rituals are noncombat spells, and when out of combat, the Wizard has lots of time anyway. So it was advantageous to use the 'open spellslot' to cast *any* ritual that turned out to be useful in some unlikely event, directly from the spellbook. It took extra time to cast a ritual using an open spellslot (IIRC an hour?). But who cares, the Wizard has plenty of time when out of combat.

Foss, even in your own example, the Wizard who needed to get the party across the river hadnt prepared the 'bridge' ritual. Of course, not. Your example is accurate. The party had to wait for the Wizard. The smart Wizard would have had the open spellslot prepared. But in this case, the Wizard had to 'prepare' it! In other words, the Wizard had to be fully rested so as to swap out the prepared spells. The party had to wait many hours for that bridge to appear!

4e solves this problem of rarely-prepared noncombat rituals by making them all 'rituals'. Rituals usually take only 10 minutes to 'perform'. The 4e Wizard is far superior to the Wizards of previous editions that must 1) waste a spellslot by preparing an unused noncombat spell, 2) waste an hour (?) to cast a prepared spellslot from the spellbook, or 3) waste a day (!) to prepare a new spell!

Of course, some 4e rituals that are very powerful take longer to perform, upto an hour (rarely more), but this is fair. Its part of the checks and balances to avoid gaming brokenness.



< Then it was a matter of a quick cast. >

As even your own example shows, a noncombat ritual was never quick. The party had to *wait* for the 2e Wizard to *memorize* that particular rarely-useful ability. It took a long time!

The 4e rituals take much less time! And seem to get used more often! Making the 4e Wizard *more* versatile!
I happen to be one of those old time gamers who have gone through many editions.  I have started in 1985 with AD&D and have played every edition since.  Here are my thoughts on 4E as they compared with previous editions:

First of all, it is not exactly that 4E balances all classes.  It's more like in 4E, all characters no matter what class or build you are can make meaningful contributions in a combat encounter at all levels of play.  At low level, the wizard does not have to hide behind the fighter and be mostly a crappy archer while the fighter does all the work.  At mid to high levels, the fighter does not have to watch while the wizard does 90% of the work and leave the fighter to finish off creatures that are not worth using a spell on.

To the OP:  I'm glad you have never experienced this imbalance in your games.  You have been very lucky.  I have also had some good luck with the people I play with that keeps things in check.  I have also played in groups where most people just stand around unable to do anything while one guy does all the work.  What 4E has done was try to minimise those situations that take one or more characters out of the combat encounter or make the encounter near impossible unless you have a particular ability or item.  Combat encounters may be more difficult or easier depending on your party, builds and items, but it never becomes a walk in the park or Mission Impossible.

The ease of use of 4E seems to be a complaint from the OP.  As a long time gamer, I appreciate that 4E makes it easier for me to prepare a game and run it without accidentally killing the party.  I find in previous editions a bad roll is all you need to die.  In 4E, there is a much larger margin of error especially at low levels.  I want my group to play the adventure, not die in the first combat encounter with ease.  I figured it would be more fun if they not die and actually play out the rest of the adventure.  If dying is harder, it makes my job easier as a DM to get more fun out of the game.  Yeah, players can still die, but I like not having to worry about it every single encounter.

The ease of use that is of a good benefit is that you can make a suboptimal character and it can still be effective.  One of the players in my group is bad at optimising.  This means that he can make an ineffective character in older editions.  In 4E, he makes similar suboptimal choices, but the character is still effective.  He gets to do his stuff that he likes and they help the party instead of just being flashy.  I can make a more effective character than he, but I will not be able to overshadow his or render his useless because I can do more effective things.

I certainly do not see how all classes are similar.  Defenders can protect allies better, leaders help allies perform better than other roles, strikers deal the most damage on their own and controllers can subtly manipulate the battlefield well.  Different classes perform their roles differently.  Also, what makes different classes different lies in the class features in conjunction to the powers.  A rogue and fighter may both have an ability that does a force move, but the rogue does it to deal more damage where as the fighter does it to get an ally out of harms way.  Although a fighter may try to force move to set up for more damage, he will still not be as effective as a rogue.  Likewise a rogue will have a harder time protecting an ally after the force move compared to the fighter.  You need to look at the overall function of class abilities and powers.

Most of the changes in 4E have to do with combat.  Out of combat, I find that all of the editions play out the same.  The rogue still is better at scouting than other characters.  The wizard is better at dealing with magical issues, etc.  The role playing is still the same.  The mechanics of each edition primarily focuses on combat.

The one thing about 4E that does not work well with my group is the emphasis and length on tactical combat.  We have been playing once or twice a month for a year now and battles that are appropriate for the party level still seem to take too long for my liking.  I personally like tactical combat games.  It's just that with my group, most of the players want the role playing more and are less proficient in tactical gaming.  When we get into a fight, I find that the game turns into a board game like Axis & Allies.  The added complexity and length of tactical combat sometimes take people out of the mood created by the role playing because they have to really focus on which square to move to and what power to use.  It's like reading a good book and then when you get to a fight, you have to close the book and then open up your tactical board game and play out the battle.  Then when it is done, you continue reading the book, but lose the mood because you interrupted the mood with playing a board game. 

The rules of combat tends to be very rigid because of the use of the battle grid.  There is less flexibility on the player and DM to allow the player to accomplish some cool things just because the character is one movement point short.  If no grid is used, then the DM has the flexibility to allow certain actions because it sounds cool.

Overall, I do prefer 4E over the previous editions.  It's not perfect, but there are flaws in older editions that 4E addresses quite well.

To the OP:  It is unfortunate that you do not like 4E as much as previous editions.  Since you have given 4E a year, I respect your opinion.  It seems that you have not experienced those issues with previous editions that I see 4E addresses.  I do not fully understand your comparisons to WoW as I have not played it, but only been told about what it is like.  As for comparisons to video games, perhaps it is the tactical combat, complexity and length.  I find all editions have resembled video games to a certain extent.  There are many video and computer games based on D&D combat.
<\ \>tuntman
Having started in 1983, and played through pretty much every iteration of the game beyond the *really* old leaflet versions, I far prefer 4E both as a player and as a DM.

I find that 4E's standardization makes it easier to create and fit in new material, that I don't need to spend nearly as much time doing math so that I can spend more time on story, and that it's easier to work in events (including PC stunts) on the fly because of the general nature of the rules.
Well since we are tellin gour ages I guess I will go next. I have been playing since 1986 and 1st/2nd edition are my favorites followed by 3.5 in a close second. What I miss is buffing up before battles, have spells last in the minutes, having spells do all sorts of crazy things even out of combat. This is why we still play a 3.5 game, but one thing you really need to look at is by comparing 3rd and 4th edition D&D you are comparing apples and oranges that is harvested by the same company. Yes they are both fruit and yes they are harvested by the same company but they are different. 4th edition is a completely different game than previous editions, so you either like it or you don't. You shouldn't have sold your 3.5 books, but if you look on the net hard enough you can find them all. Play what you want buddy, don't let anyone here tell you what you should and should not play. Also don't let anyone keep you from your opinion because you have a right to express it. The ones that get upset and say things like aww poor baby you don't have your god like wizard in this edition. Well you just tell them aww poor baby 4th edition isn't the god like edition you think it is. People get mad when you don't see "their" truth.
It seems to me that 4E is for people who want to have an exciting game and 3.5 is for elitist power gamers that think just because it's more complicated it's better. Why else would they be so upset that the game is balanced, more fun, and easier to play? I'm 25, started playing with 3.5 and my group consists of two players who have played since first edition, one since second edition, once since 3.5 like me, and one that started with 4E, we all prefer 4E. Classes are more varied and there are more options, it's much easier to make the character that you want to play, it's incredibly easier to make an adventure and always turns out way more fun, and I basically agree with all the positive stuff people have said about it before me more eloquently than I can manage.
Well not that there is a need for this really but I will say it any way.I know of powers in WoW that have a 2 hour timer on them.Now how long is a actual day in WoW not real sure never cared really but i think 2 hours or so is getting close to being a daily power.The WoW comparison was not my own I found out later on.I had just started playing WoW to give it a shot a few months before 4E came out.When I opened the PHB I saw many things I would call a copy.Some were just little things but it was the powers that made me sit back and go wow its WoW.

The timers have always been around true or at least for a good part of it.It just seemed to me like it was a much closer copy then in the past.There are powers in WoW that have a longer timer like a couple of minutes.Those would be much like a encounter power as you are not going to get off another one in most fights before you or the enemy is dead.At will powers are prominent really in WoW.A power that has a quick timer resets in a few seconds which is about the time a round really is in DnD.

After i came to the conclusion that DnD 4e made me feel like it was made in WoWs image I did find many that held the same opinion of it.Now this is not always a bad thing,I think WoW is a good game just to dumbed down any more for my taste.I do find it amusing that many take great offense to the comparison.They seem to be ignoring the obvious because they are so dead set as seeing 4e as the greatest thing for DnD since the invention of the internet.

I know many of you that have posted have not played or do not see the comparison.Still there are just as many out there that seem to,I am not sure if they are wow haters or not.Like I said I do not hate the game it was  just a comparison and a fear that the next gen of games are going to get more and more like v games.
Actualy I have played since the ground up with DnD.I also was lucky enough not see this class abuse every one speaks of.Sure i saw the fights where the wiz stands back and blows everything away but you know what I have seen it just as much in the new game.Its just about the same if you ask me from this addition to the last.If the spellcaster in general is made properly they can step up in a room let loose an AOE and butcher everything before any one has has a chance.

In fact i would say that there is a better chance in 4e to do the wizard blow them all down strategy at early levels then before.Wizards start off with some good Aoes at early levels compared to before.I know from my own experiences in 4e thus far that this is true.Watched the wizard take out rooms full of kobolds,goblins and orcs before anyone had a chance to do anything.He did it with encounter powers so really he could just keep doing that the whole adventure.
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