Upset about updates

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I know there are a lot optimize hacker crackers on here and there are ways to break the rules and still call it legal. I know some of you are upset over this and are glad for these "updates"

However.

I am steadily growing more and more upset by Wizards updates and "nerfing for game play balance." I would completely ignore it except it is thrown in my face with the character builder (which I love) and LFR games (which I love).

I have shelled out OVER 300$ in 4.0 books. This is more than I have ever paid for a single roleplaying system. And it is growing to the infuriating point that these books are now considered "wrong."

Wizards, you need to get your act together and play test these systems BEFORE you release to the point you consider them correct. I am frustrated and the more I think about this the angrier I get.

DM's can take care of these flaws and bring their players back down to reality. QUIT DOING THESE UPDATES! You are hurting more than you are helping. I know there is a vocal contingent who spend their lives on here worrying about these "flaws" but there are MANY MORE of us who play week in and out and never get on this board who are becoming VERY TICKED OFF by the continual shifting and nerfing of rules. LET THE DMS TAKE CARE OF IT!!!!!!

Thank you,
A very upset customer who is likely to stop buying Wizards products if this continues.


If you don't like the updates, don't use them.

Edit: I'm not being facetious. The only people the updates are "mandatory" for are the ones playing LFR/RPGA games. If you feel that you can deal with any issues that come up in your home game, then feel free to ignore the completely free-of-charge updates as you see fit.

Edit edit: I see that you do play LFR, at least some of the time. Never mind.
The designers and developers are human (as are the editors, playtesters, layout, etc.), so they're going to make mistakes, and when they do, they should strive to correct them.  All in all, the errata isn't that bad; the entire document covers 14 books, the power cards, and the DDI magazines, it contains reasoning for the changes, the changes, and the entire power text, and it only covers a relatively small fraction of the content.
Tim Eagon My DDI Articles Follow me on Twitter @Tim_Eagon
I am sure someone will reply that Wizards are human and can't detect the errors during playtest, but I would appreciate some quality control. Get more people to playtest especially those charop guys that frequently found errors in the books.

As for releasing updates, I don't have any problem with it. It's the fact that an update it needed is the main gripe.

 
I feel your pain in regards to errata, but the alternative of constantly fighting my players around broken game elements is ten times worse for me.  This way wizards does what I pay them to do and doesn't pass the buck on to me.
I am sure someone will reply that Wizards are human and can't detect the errors during playtest, but I would appreciate some quality control. Get more people to playtest especially those charop guys that frequently found errors in the books.

As for releasing updates, I don't have any problem with it. It's the fact that an update it needed is the main gripe.

 

To find some errors requires a playtest that simply too extensive pre-release.  I think most of the time they do a good job.  4e is an extraordinarily balance compared to previous editions and many other rpgs.
I knew before I posted that this was going to be the flavor of the replies so I will play Devils advocate.

Outside this forum Wizards is hurting itself. Most real life D&D players aren't on here rule lawyering.

We are getting pissed off when all of a sudden our character sheets change drastically from month to month and we have to figure out why and how to rebuild our characters based on ever changing rules because a few people have figured out how to "break" something with a rule exploit so wizards is "Fixing it."

And Every time I goto a LFR game and the rules have majorly changed I get even more pissed off. I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE. I know wizards relies on customer feedback and most of what they get comes from rule lawyers on here. I am giving a real world voice from outside this little realm.

Take your car company example. Those cars are built and real world tested for a long time so they don't have hundreds of little recalls. Let alone replacing major components (stealth rules etc). If I bought a car and it kept having to go into the shop because of problems/recalls I would not buy that brand of car again. And this is my point! Wizards is hurting itself.

My points are valid and I am attempting to give Wizards a voice outside of this small community. Wizards is pissing off MANY REAL WORLD PLAYERS who will never come to this forum because they are busy with their lives and play D&D once a week or once a month.  Wizards needs to play test longer/better and let it go when they publish it. Let the gaming community fix what they consider unbalanced in individual games. Quit changing our characters with every character builder update and LFR game we goto!!!
Just so I'm clear, for those who want more playtesting, are you cool with the production schedule being moved back 3-6 months (minium)?

The problem with playtesting is that a playtest doesn't FIX the problems. A playtest finds problems and then there's a new version that has to be playtested again. One of the other issues that results from this is that when something is reworded, the people testing it already know what it used to say and what it's supposed to me so they often miss that the rewrite leaves something to be desired.

And the game keeps getting more complicated. I feel sorry for the poor people who will have to insure that epic hybrids in PHB 4 aren't broken. If that gets released without creating eratta somewhere, then someone deserves Urza's cookie factory.



D&D isn't a car.  To borrow from a fun little film:
"Yeah; but John pianopraze, if the Pirates of the Caribbean D&D breaks down, the pirates rules don't eat the tourists."

Many of us don't want to have to fix things ourselves.  Ideally, there would be no errors - but it's not a reasonable expectation.  As is, I'd rather WotC fix the errors, than say "Meh, you do it.  We don't want LFR players to have to change their character sheets again."
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Just so I'm clear, for those who want more playtesting, are you cool with the production schedule being moved back 3-6 months (minium)?

The problem with playtesting is that a playtest doesn't FIX the problems. A playtest finds problems and then there's a new version that has to be playtested again. One of the other issues that results from this is that when something is reworded, the people testing it already know what it used to say and what it's supposed to me so they often miss that the rewrite leaves something to be desired.




QFT, and I wouldn't want to think of the cost and revenue impact.

Another thing, I don't think characterizing the source of the errata as "rules lawyers" is particularly fair.  While a lot of the errata consists of wording clarifications to bring RAW in line with RAI, there was some actually broken stuff fixed in the errata.
Tim Eagon My DDI Articles Follow me on Twitter @Tim_Eagon
Are people really running into a problem of having to rebuild multiple characters month to month?

I have a few characters who I try to keep current since I am not a player in a regular game right now, so I tend to jump in for pick up games and I want to grab the character who fits the group best.  I have had very little trouble keeping these guys current.  The biggest change was with the latest errata, which meant that one of them had a feat that I had to replace because it had become completely useless.  A few other feats have been changed dramatically, I know, but it's not that much.

Heck, some months I'm all excited to fire up the character builder and redesign my builds from the ground up in light of new material, only to find myself disappointed when nothing is worth changing.

It just seems like if you are having to totally redesign your characters due to errata, you were probably playing a broken build already.
More pre-release playtesting won't prevent the errata/updates. Even if they paid 100 people to playtest, it would not be sufficient, resulting in perhaps a delay and certainly a price increase in the books.

We get so much update and errata content because thousands of players are playing with the new material, netting tens of thousands of free playtest hours, almost immediately upon release. With the Internet, we get to send in our observations -- instantly and repeatedly. This generates the errata and updates.

Previous editions of D&D, if released today for the first time, would contain just as much feedback. And WotC would be releasing a similar level of errata. That other gaming companies do not release nearly this much errata is not indicative of a lower level of error. It is indicative of a lower level of feedback and a lower level of response to feedback.

The only way to decrease the amount of errata and updates is for WotC to ignore our feedback. And that is not a good thing.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
More pre-release playtesting won't prevent the errata/updates. Even if they paid 100 people to playtest, it would not be sufficient, resulting in perhaps a delay and certainly a price increase in the books.

We get so much update and errata content because thousands of players are playing with the new material, netting tens of thousands of free playtest hours, almost immediately upon release. With the Internet, we get to send in our observations -- instantly and repeatedly. This generates the errata and updates.

Previous editions of D&D, if released today for the first time, would contain just as much feedback. And WotC would be releasing a similar level of errata. That other gaming companies do not release nearly this much errata is not indicative of a lower level of error. It is indicative of a lower level of feedback and a lower level of response to feedback.

The only way to decrease the amount of errata and updates is for WotC to ignore our feedback. And that is not a good thing.



Yeah, I think that this makes the most sense. I doubt that it's a higher than average level of error on the part of WotC. It's far more likely that it's a higher than average level of error correction. Of course, I have no data to back that up, but it seems a far more reasonable assumption.

If that is true, then there are two choices: find but fail to correct the errors, or find and errata the errors. Given that choice, I would prefer the former. As others have noted, simply finding all errors pre-release (if even possible) would push back release dates and greatly increase costs. I sympathize with WotC's position, and I have been happy so far. Nothing has been so sweeping as to hinder my enjoyment.

I know there are a lot optimize hacker crackers on here and there are ways to break the rules and still call it legal. I know some of you are upset over this and are glad for these "updates"

However.

I am steadily growing more and more upset by Wizards updates and "nerfing for game play balance." I would completely ignore it except it is thrown in my face with the character builder (which I love) and LFR games (which I love).


 


Its entirely necessary to keep games fun.

I have shelled out OVER 300$ in 4.0 books. This is more than I have ever paid for a single roleplaying system. And it is growing to the infuriating point that these books are now considered "wrong."


 


My recommendation?


 


Post-it notes. That's what I use for my errata-keeping needs.


 


Not to mention the (rather obvious) fact that, if you have the character builder, you don't have to reference the books at all.

Wizards, you need to get your act together and play test these systems BEFORE you release to the point you consider them correct. I am frustrated and the more I think about this the angrier I get. 


 


While this would be how it would be in an ideal world, there are several issues:


 


1) Some errors are simply due to not thinking about it. Good examples of this include the original Blade Cascade, original Divine Miracle, original Orb of Imposition, and many stances. These errors could have been caught and eliminated. To their credit, they are correcting these errors over time, and on the whole tend to make fewer now than they did originally (Martial Power 2 has far, far fewer such powers).


 


2) Some errors are due to lack of playtesting. However, there is only so much playtesting you CAN do. As such, some of these errors (the Psion) can be caught. Others are much more subtle, and don't become obvious until they reach the real world (I would say that the Warlock fell under this category, as did many of the original wizard powers which offered no control at all). One needs to remember that Magic adds on the order of 150 cards per small set, and 300 cards per big set; it makes a lot more money than D&D does, and each set (which comes out 4x per year) has more playtesting done on it. They almost never make major mistakes these days, though minor ones (Tarmogoyf) do occur periodically. There are roughly as many powers per class in a book like the PHB 3 as there are cards in an entire set of magic cards. To be fair, it is easier to balance powers for D&D, but also to be fair, it takes far longer to playtest anything in D&D because magic is a much faster game to play. So each book contains roughly 5x as much stuff in it as a large set of magic cards does. That there are errors is understandable, though we should complain - after all, we do want a perfect product. But I live in reality, and understand that, in fact, it will probably not be perfect. I will settle for "nothing really obvious, but maybe some subtle errors which need to be corrected."

DM's can take care of these flaws and bring their players back down to reality. QUIT DOING THESE UPDATES! You are hurting more than you are helping. I know there is a vocal contingent who spend their lives on here worrying about these "flaws" but there are MANY MORE of us who play week in and out and never get on this board who are becoming VERY TICKED OFF by the continual shifting and nerfing of rules. LET THE DMS TAKE CARE OF IT!!!!!!

Thank you,
A very upset customer who is likely to stop buying Wizards products if this continues.


 


1) Some updates are buffs, not nerfs, making powers actually work or not strictly worse than compatriot powers or feats or what have you.


 


2) Some updates are nerfs, making stuff which is overpowered or broken fair. There is no cause to be upset about this unless you like making other people miserable, and given that you KNOW that these things are problematic, you should know that they need to be fixed. Yes, sometimes something which could be used honestly was hit because it was actually horribly broken or overpowered, but you never used it properly - that guy who used Black Lotus to cast Woolly Mammoths on turn 1. But that doesn't change the fact that I was casting Hymn to Toroch twice, and frankly, some of the issues were so large that anyone who even took the power would quickly snap the game in half - Blade Cascade, Divine Miracle, the Orb of Imposition...


 


3) No, DMs CANNOT take care of these flaws and bring them down to reality. You are wrong, completely, totally, and utterly. Most people do not come to these boards to hang out. The ONLY way they know that something is a problem is via official updates to the game. Many people will never even see those, but amongst the very, very large contingent of people who play the game, visit the website, but don't go to the forums, those people will not know. There are far too many issues for most DMs to fix, and moreover, it isn't THEIR responsibility TO fix it - it is the creators of the game's responsibility.


 


There is nothing that says you have to follow the updates in your own personal game. When you are out playing with other people, then the only reason you'd complain is that they made it so your uber broken character no longer works.


 


Yes, I understand the frustration of your books being wrong, but it is far worse for the rules to remain wrong, as that makes the game less fun.


 


I knew before I posted that this was going to be the flavor of the replies so I will play Devils advocate. 

Outside this forum Wizards is hurting itself. Most real life D&D players aren't on here rule lawyering.

We are getting pissed off when all of a sudden our character sheets change drastically from month to month and we have to figure out why and how to rebuild our characters based on ever changing rules because a few people have figured out how to "break" something with a rule exploit so wizards is "Fixing it."

And Every time I goto a LFR game and the rules have majorly changed I get even more pissed off. I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE. I know wizards relies on customer feedback and most of what they get comes from rule lawyers on here. I am giving a real world voice from outside this little realm. 

Take your car company example. Those cars are built and real world tested for a long time so they don't have hundreds of little recalls. Let alone replacing major components (stealth rules etc). If I bought a car and it kept having to go into the shop because of problems/recalls I would not buy that brand of car again. And this is my point! Wizards is hurting itself.

My points are valid and I am attempting to give Wizards a voice outside of this small community. Wizards is pissing off MANY REAL WORLD PLAYERS who will never come to this forum because they are busy with their lives and play D&D once a week or once a month.  Wizards needs to play test longer/better and let it go when they publish it. Let the gaming community fix what they consider unbalanced in individual games. Quit changing our characters with every character builder update and LFR game we goto!!!


 


You. Are. Wrong.


 


Firstly, I've never played with anyone who complained about errata to a game. They always have understood that it makes the game better, not worse. I've played BOARD GAMES with errata, extensive errata at that, for crying out loud. Errata is seen as a necessary evil. You can, very easily, read what has been erratad every time it happens. It takes a half hour, tops, to read the new errata.


 


Secondly, character sheets almost never "change dramatically". I would say that, in the entire history of the game, there has been maybe two dramatic changes. One would be the fix to Hide Armor Expertise, which, while it had very little in the way of ripple effect, did lower several characters' armor classes by a large margin. The second would be the fix to Battlerager Vigor. Both of these were done to combat completely unkillable characters, and neither of them rendered characters nonviable. Indeed, Battlerager Vigor is still quite potent, and Swarm Druids still have huge DR from level 1. Every other change, including the fix to saving throws, did not constitute a "dramatic change".


 


Moreover, whenever a character's damage output drops catastrophically, that means that the player in question was doing something abusive. Ergo, if they are complaining that their character sucks now that they aren't both the best defender and striker in the game, chances are, their opinion is worthless because they are making the game unfun for other people.


 


The rules do not "majorly change". The vast, vast majority of the several thousand feats, powers, and magic items have not changed since they were printed.


 


And, if you think the forums are the only people they listen to... you're wrong. They have other means of gaining feedback. The forums are a very valuable one, though, but only one. The Character Op boards simply tend to find stuff fastest; a lot of what we find, however, is stuff which others will find as well. Sure, some things (like using Sudden Assault to do near-infinite damage) is pretty unlikely to happen by chance. Shock and surprise, they haven't fixed that stuff. Other stuff, like Divine Miracle, Orb of Imposition, Dual Strike, ect. happen in every game where the power is used. These powers all require errata because they simply will cause problems whenever and wherever they appear. Due to 4th edition's simplicity (but simultaneous depth), a lot of issues are very easy to randomly stumble across - it almost never requires a lot of tricks to trigger something broken. A lot of the worst offenders have simply been linear powers which you could stack too well, or which interacted in a very simple and very broken way. If assigning a -5 penalty to saving throws is good, assigning a -15 penalty is better, and it is not hard to go from A to B. Same goes for damage or what have you.


 


Additionally, some people who never, ever post on the boards go to the character optimization boards to find a character they want to play in their games. Indeed, in real life, most people I know who actually go to the boards do so explicitly to find characters or builds.


 


Your points aren't valid, and you aren't giving any examples of your "fair" characters who are nerfed by these updates.


 


Just so I'm clear, for those who want more playtesting, are you cool with the production schedule being moved back 3-6 months (minium)?

The problem with playtesting is that a playtest doesn't FIX the problems. A playtest finds problems and then there's a new version that has to be playtested again. One of the other issues that results from this is that when something is reworded, the people testing it already know what it used to say and what it's supposed to me so they often miss that the rewrite leaves something to be desired.

And the game keeps getting more complicated. I feel sorry for the poor people who will have to insure that epic hybrids in PHB 4 aren't broken. If that gets released without creating eratta somewhere, then someone deserves Urza's cookie factory.


 


I'd be happy with a slower production schedule. However, WotC would not be happy with it. Ultimately, it is WotC who has to determine the balance between speed and quantity according to what they believe will make them the most money. Turning out a lot of bad books is suboptimal, as is releasing too few books per year. You have to strike a balance.


 


Saying that it is "unreasonable" to expect no errors is actually rather wrong. It is entirely reasonable to expect exactly that; indeed, I do expect it. However, I am willing to tolerate a low level of errors, and for important errors, I want them fixed promptly; more minor errors which can be overlooked for a while I want corrected, but if I have a choice between fixing original Dual Strike and Battlerager Vigor, and fixing some underpowered power when there are many other powers which are viable at that level, I'd choose the former as the former is far more likely to ruin games (and may be more difficult for me to fix).


 


In the end, updates are a good thing, and are a very valuable tool to DMs who want their games to work and not have to be like "Well, I am not going to allow psionics into my game because they are broken and I don't want to spend MY time fixing them."

Question for the OP. Can you show me a RPG company that is able to produce a game, with no problems what so ever, to the point that they would never need to release an errata (whether the company produces that or not)? Of course not, that would be silly. Things are tested, yes of course. But when 10 guys who already worked on the book go in an try testing every single thing ever, with everything else, of course something will be missed. The fact that WotC is willing to go back, fix what ends up being wrong, and then offers it for free on the internet, is a GOOD thing.

Also, I doubt at any point it's useful to use books to look up attacks and power (the majority of the errata) when you have it printed on a sheet right infront of you.
Question for the OP. Can you show me a RPG company that is able to produce a game, with no problems what so ever, to the point that they would never need to release an errata (whether the company produces that or not)? Of course not, that would be silly. Things are tested, yes of course. But when 10 guys who already worked on the book go in an try testing every single thing ever, with everything else, of course something will be missed. The fact that WotC is willing to go back, fix what ends up being wrong, and then offers it for free on the internet, is a GOOD thing.

Also, I doubt at any point it's useful to use books to look up attacks and power (the majority of the errata) when you have it printed on a sheet right infront of you.



Alternity, made by TSR/WotC in the late 1990s? :P Its arguable, anyway; its a great game, and has possibly the most brilliant dice system in any RPG I've played.

But really, part of it is building balance into the base system. Part of what makes Alternity fair is the fact that there really are a very limited number of ways to deal damage at all, which means that as long as none of that is wonky, its really difficult to break things. It also helps that Alternity is far, far, far less combat focused than D&D is as well, as noncombat is always more fluid and thus, assuming you have a fair system, it is more difficult to break. Given the high level of uniformity of rules in that game (it is far, far less complicated than 4th edition D&D) it was a much easier task. There are still arguably some issues, but I would say they tend to be more of a group dynamic thing (as well as a taste thing - combat is pretty unforgiving in that game, which probably played a role in its failure, as well as the fact that no one knew it existed).

4th edition does a good job of building balance into the base system; most of the problems are caused by effects which ignore the math of the game. 
I know there are a lot optimize hacker crackers on here and there are ways to break the rules and still call it legal. I know some of you are upset over this and are glad for these "updates"

However.

I am steadily growing more and more upset by Wizards updates and "nerfing for game play balance." I would completely ignore it except it is thrown in my face with the character builder (which I love) and LFR games (which I love).

I have shelled out OVER 300$ in 4.0 books. This is more than I have ever paid for a single roleplaying system. And it is growing to the infuriating point that these books are now considered "wrong."

Wizards, you need to get your act together and play test these systems BEFORE you release to the point you consider them correct. I am frustrated and the more I think about this the angrier I get.

DM's can take care of these flaws and bring their players back down to reality. QUIT DOING THESE UPDATES! You are hurting more than you are helping. I know there is a vocal contingent who spend their lives on here worrying about these "flaws" but there are MANY MORE of us who play week in and out and never get on this board who are becoming VERY TICKED OFF by the continual shifting and nerfing of rules. LET THE DMS TAKE CARE OF IT!!!!!!

Thank you,
A very upset customer who is likely to stop buying Wizards products if this continues.




Sorry, this is the community forums. You must be looking for the customer service: wizards.custhelp.com

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

Question for the OP. Can you show me a RPG company that is able to produce a game, with no problems what so ever, to the point that they would never need to release an errata (whether the company produces that or not)? Of course not, that would be silly. Things are tested, yes of course. But when 10 guys who already worked on the book go in an try testing every single thing ever, with everything else, of course something will be missed. The fact that WotC is willing to go back, fix what ends up being wrong, and then offers it for free on the internet, is a GOOD thing.

Also, I doubt at any point it's useful to use books to look up attacks and power (the majority of the errata) when you have it printed on a sheet right infront of you.



Alternity, made by TSR/WotC in the late 1990s? :P Its arguable, anyway; its a great game, and has possibly the most brilliant dice system in any RPG I've played.

But really, part of it is building balance into the base system. Part of what makes Alternity fair is the fact that there really are a very limited number of ways to deal damage at all, which means that as long as none of that is wonky, its really difficult to break things. It also helps that Alternity is far, far, far less combat focused than D&D is as well, as noncombat is always more fluid and thus, assuming you have a fair system, it is more difficult to break. Given the high level of uniformity of rules in that game (it is far, far less complicated than 4th edition D&D) it was a much easier task. There are still arguably some issues, but I would say they tend to be more of a group dynamic thing (as well as a taste thing - combat is pretty unforgiving in that game, which probably played a role in its failure, as well as the fact that no one knew it existed).

4th edition does a good job of building balance into the base system; most of the problems are caused by effects which ignore the math of the game. 


Technically...

they completely re-did F/X in Beyond Science.

As for Alternity combat, we still tell stories about when I learnt the hard way what the numbers actually meant by dropping the Con 14 (Human) Chainsword-wielding Combat-Spec juiced up on Cybertech in one action with a vehicle mounted stutter cannon. This 30 seconds after he dropped a Metrocop from half a block away with a natural 1 using an extra .44 magnum they had stolen as part of their disguises.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

There's just one thing I have to ask on this subject.  I've read things on this forum that seemed to indicate that certain powers or feats from PHB1 got changed by errata because of the way they stacked with powers or feats released in later books.  If I understand that correctly... why?  Why change the original material to make it work with new material?  To me it seems more logical to change the new material.  The older material should have 'seniority' and the new material altered as needed to make it backward compatable.

I mean, if as a DM I hit upon some really cool adventure idea, but realize it conflicts with the current story arc, I don't just tell my players, "forget what you know about your arch-nemisis, that's not the guy any more, it's this other fiend."  If I did, my players would rightfully acuse me of crappy campaign design.  So why should a player have to put up with downloading the latest character builder to discover that his existing fighter's feat X no longer works the same way because it might create an unbalanced combo if someone with new class B takes it along side new power Y?

There's just one thing I have to ask on this subject.  I've read things on this forum that seemed to indicate that certain powers or feats from PHB1 got changed by errata because of the way they stacked with powers or feats released in later books.  If I understand that correctly... why?  Why change the original material to make it work with new material?  To me it seems more logical to change the new material.  The older material should have 'seniority' and the new material altered as needed to make it backward compatable.

I mean, if as a DM I hit upon some really cool adventure idea, but realize it conflicts with the current story arc, I don't just tell my players, "forget what you know about your arch-nemisis, that's not the guy any more, it's this other fiend."  If I did, my players would rightfully acuse me of crappy campaign design.  So why should a player have to put up with downloading the latest character builder to discover that his existing fighter's feat X no longer works the same way because it might create an unbalanced combo if someone with new class B takes it along side new power Y?



this was more specifically to create a more preferential stacking order to things. The big change was to the newer material and ultimately even if you throw out the newer material the change to the older material was a gain for characters that those feat applied to.

In a nutshell they sorted the issue out by making flat or near-persistent +hit bonuses not stack, and more conditional bonuses stack. Even if you play with just the PHB1 it still makes those feats much more appealing since you can benefit from more than one of them.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

I feel the OP's pain, it is pretty annoying playing in a once a month game and having your powers change from one month to the next.  This has actually happened a couple times in my game already.  I do not like having these changes forced on me by the character builder espcially when some of them are pretty severe.

The alternative would be a power by power check box to not apply the errata and then in the case of multiple erratum on the same power more check boxes.  This simply does not work well and as a Software developer I would not want to code that into the character builder

I have a slightly different question about all of this, why would the CharOp guys keep publishing their results if every time they find a really good combo WoTC nerfs it into oblivion?

Everything I post is an opinion, any perceptions you have to the contrary are not my problem. The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog Initiative Tracker for WP7 RPG Dice Calculator for WP7
why would the CharOp guys keep publishing their results if every time they find a really good combo WoTC nerfs it into oblivion?


I've never seen the fun in playing a "really good combo" in a RPG.

If a "really good combo" makes your character much more effective than the other characters the monsters will still have to be balanced to the party. Every single session, 4 other people are strugging to keep up with your character's ability to soak up and deal damage. Or they're twidding their thumbs while you walk them through skill challenges.

I don't want to play in that game, either as one of the four or as the one. I don't see how that's a fun game to play with friends. I see that as a great way of encouraging everyone else at the table to go play another game.

I see fun in finding really good combos and then I'm happy to see those combos go away.
I have a slightly different question about all of this, why would the CharOp guys keep publishing their results if every time they find a really good combo WoTC nerfs it into oblivion?

Because for most of the CharOp folks, it is not the thrill of playing a broken build that drives them. It is the thrill of finding a broken build. If you're the first to find it, you have street cred.

Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
ITT: A Monday-Morning Developer with a post count in the teens shouts from the peanut gallery that the game's designers should just get it right the first time.  In other words, 'Oh look, it's this thread again.'  As always, I'll give the benefit of the doubt in assuming that you're not just another of the many obvious trolls and sockpuppets that try to start flame wars.

I have shelled out OVER 300$ in 4.0 books.


     Sounds to me like you love the many diverse options WotC is cranking out.  You'd probably be complaining if we only had a half-dozen or so books instead of the variety we do now, yet you're not willing to pay the piper for getting so much content so fast in accepting that it's impossible to foresee all of the ever-increasing combinations possible in such a broad ruleset.

Take your car company example. Those cars are built and real world tested for a long time so they don't have hundreds of little recalls.


     Yeah, why can't WotC's rules be as safe and predictable as a Toyota?

     You're right, car companies don't have hundreds of little recalls.  Does that mean they don't have cause for hundreds of little recalls?  Not remotely.  Every car on the road has problems that it ought to be recalled for.  Might you happen to have seen Fight Club?

A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.


     That formula isn't just a movie invention.  Real car companies have been caught making that same judgment call time and again for things much more severe than a creaky window or a wobbly cup-holder.  This is all just to say that even car companies which hold millions of people's lives in their hands don't provide the level of regulation and reliabiliy you're demanding from a game of make-believe.

     Still, I'll run with the example.

If I bought a car and it kept having to go into the shop because of problems/recalls I would not buy that brand of car again.


     Your car is not a roleplaying game.  It's a closed system.  Everything in that car is meant to work with everything else in that car, and not with anything outside of that car.  The manufacturer officially disavows all responsibility the moment you loosen a single bolt.  In order for your car to be comparable to a roleplaying game, it would have to constantly automatically gain new parts, pieces, and options every single month.  Every month a big crate shows up at your door with a note that says 'We just came out with a new pickup, and even though you're driving a hatchback we thought you might want to use the new parts that go into it.'  Further, not only are you allowed to switch in that pickup's V8 in place of your economy car's V4, you're encouraged to, and the parts are all modular to allow this.

     Now you're telling me that a company with dozens of diverse, wildly different vehicles on the market would be absolutely able to make sure that every single part is compatible with every single other part in every one of the millions of possible combinations?  Yeah, right.  Left up to the auto manufacturers, I can guarantee you two things: You'd see a maximum of two new cars per decade, and at least half of the parts combinations would catastrophically fail, only to be addressed by arbitrated settlement rather than anything even resembling a recall.

My points are valid and I am attempting to give Wizards a voice outside of this small community. Wizards is pissing off MANY REAL WORLD PLAYERS who will never come to this forum because they are busy with their lives and play D&D once a week or once a month.


     Do you have any idea how ridiculously fine the line is between this 'small community' and everyone who uses the DDI tools?  Don't give me that 'I'm too busy to be invested in the game' crap and try to pretend we're some kind of disconnected trogs because we frequent the forums.  I only run the game one day a week too.  I have a life, I have a girlfriend, I have other hobbies.  All you're doing is trying to justify your ignorance about the game by suggesting that you live a richer, fuller life than those of us who actually take the time to know what we're talking about.

     OP, your spending habits show that you clearly love the huge variety of options in the game and are happy with the rate at which they're coming out (else you would be buying them more slowly).  Unless you're willing to pay a lot more for the dozens upon dozens of playtesters that would be necessary for you to get the perfection you're demanding on the timetable you love, your little rant amounts to nothing more than empty whining.  It's hard to choose which benefits to give up in order to justify reaping other benefits, but it's so much easier to demand that everyone else just work harder and do it better without any kind of compensation or consideration of the realities, isn't it?

     This is the WotC model.  Lots of content, a brisk schedule of release, a very dynamic ruleset.  In exchange, we suffer the horrible burden of a relatively attentive, adequately-balanced, and moderately timely system of errata.  If you'd rather get solid content up front and wait months and months to see further output from the developers, I suggest you find a more stagnant roleplaying game to throw your money at (and be ready to be disappointed when it proves to have balance flaws which will never, ever be addressed).
(I employ zie/zie/zir as a gender-neutral counterpart to he/him/his. Just a heads-up.) Essentials definitely isn't for me as a player, and I feel that its design and implementation bear serious flaws which fill me with concern for the future of D&D, but I've come to the conclusion that it isn't going to destroy the game that I want to play. Indeed, I think that I could probably run a game for players using Essentials characters without it being much of a problem at all. Time will tell, I suppose.
I've never seen the fun in playing a "really good combo" in a RPG.

If a "really good combo" makes your character much more effective than the other characters the monsters will still have to be balanced to the party. Every single session, 4 other people are strugging to keep up with your character's ability to soak up and deal damage. Or they're twidding their thumbs while you walk them through skill challenges.

I don't want to play in that game, either as one of the four or as the one. I don't see how that's a fun game to play with friends. I see that as a great way of encouraging everyone else at the table to go play another game.

I see fun in finding really good combos and then I'm happy to see those combos go away.



Because for most of the CharOp folks, it is not the thrill of playing a broken build that drives them. It is the thrill of finding a broken build. If you're the first to find it, you have street cred.

If these builds are only to show what could happen why change the rules at all? Since they are not a real problems only perceived problems and demonstrations of one's knowlege and ablitly to twist the rules?
Everything I post is an opinion, any perceptions you have to the contrary are not my problem. The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog Initiative Tracker for WP7 RPG Dice Calculator for WP7
If these builds are only to show what could happen why change the rules at all? Since they are not a real problems only perceived problems and demonstrations of one's knowlege and ablitly to twist the rules?


I missed where anyone said they weren't real problems. They're problems that some people enjoy finding but don't enjoy exploting and don't enjoy other people exploiting.

My belief is that the rules are changed because LFR brings people to D&D 4e and without the eratta, players who don't care about the enjoyment of anyone else at the table and only care about being uber, can easily drive people away from LFR, ruining the whole "bring people to D&D" concept.

Effectively, this means that the eratta could be considered the house rules of LFR, updated for anyone who wants them. The Character Builder could also be considered a LFR tool since it actually has LFR support built into it. All of it combined is something that is used to attract people to D&D.

Effectively, this means that the eratta could be considered the house rules of LFR, updated for anyone who wants them. The Character Builder could also be considered a LFR tool since it actually has LFR support built into it. All of it combined is something that is used to attract people to D&D.



That is an excellent way of looking at it.

Personally I think a balanced game and errata have value even in a highly houseruled game, because knowing how these things SHOULD work and what WOULD be balanced is still useful even if you decide to ignore such things.

But really, complaints about errata in a home game are silly, as silly as complaining about any other aspect of the game as if it isn't something that you can just snap your fingers and change instantly.

Of course, snapping your fingers and changing aspects of the game instantly might have balance implications...

But then, if you care about balance, you should like errata...
I feel the OP's pain, it is pretty annoying playing in a once a month game and having your powers change from one month to the next.  This has actually happened a couple times in my game already.  I do not like having these changes forced on me by the character builder espcially when some of them are pretty severe.

The alternative would be a power by power check box to not apply the errata and then in the case of multiple erratum on the same power more check boxes.  This simply does not work well and as a Software developer I would not want to code that into the character builder




Well, there is another alternative.  Stop playing eladrin fey stepping dual wielding frost wepaons with the wintertouched and lasting frost feats characters and you won't have to worry about your powers changing from one month to the next.


I feel the OP's pain, it is pretty annoying playing in a once a month game and having your powers change from one month to the next.  This has actually happened a couple times in my game already.  I do not like having these changes forced on me by the character builder espcially when some of them are pretty severe.

The alternative would be a power by power check box to not apply the errata and then in the case of multiple erratum on the same power more check boxes.  This simply does not work well and as a Software developer I would not want to code that into the character builder



Well, there is another alternative.  Stop playing eladrin fey stepping dual wielding frost wepaons with the wintertouched and lasting frost feats characters and you won't have to worry about your powers changing from one month to the next.


or barbarians, or avengers, or use stealth (dinged me second month i played)

But really, complaints about errata in a home game are silly, as silly as complaining about any other aspect of the game as if it isn't something that you can just snap your fingers and change instantly.


not really since the Character Builder forces you to use the errata even if you do not want to.


Everything I post is an opinion, any perceptions you have to the contrary are not my problem. The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog Initiative Tracker for WP7 RPG Dice Calculator for WP7

But really, complaints about errata in a home game are silly, as silly as complaining about any other aspect of the game as if it isn't something that you can just snap your fingers and change instantly.


not really since the Character Builder forces you to use the errata even if you do not want to.



Not really.  The character builder allows houserules and prints out a character sheet that can be edited with a pencil in exactly the same manner as the piece of notebook paper you used to use.

Besides, nothing forces you to use the character builder.  Like, at all.
I have a slightly different question about all of this, why would the CharOp guys keep publishing their results if every time they find a really good combo WoTC nerfs it into oblivion?



Because we play the game, too, and making characters better is our thing.

Also, for every combo that gets shown the door, a few others remain. No one's done serious nerfing on my Pit Fighter yet.

In general I'm glad the WotC is on top of things with their errata's and rules updates. But I agree with the OP that it gets annoying. At our table I'm perhaps the biggest optimizer, but even then I stay away from frost-cheesing-fey-charging-daggermasters. We like to play a fun easy going game and the guys will call me out if I over cheese. At the same time the others will come to me for advice on new powers/feats to choose.

Our Barbarian player was miffed last errata when his AC dropped by two because of the HAE nerf (he wasn't maximizing his CON so his AC was still 1 point behind the Rogue's). I know i was pretty livid when leather armor was taken away from my Avenger, and even more so now that there's a new feat in PHB 3 that gives the +2 AC bonus back but there still aren't any good cloth armors to wear.

So yeah errata's can be a PITA, especially for casual players who use the Character Builder out of convenience.  I made a suggestion in the Character Builder forum that they add and option on whether or not to apply errata, similar to how you can choose not to allow dragon magazine issues. This way the CB can still handle your leather armor wearing Avenger, or SoC fighter, or Barbarian that doesn't get auto-hit.

I suggest OP and others go to the Character Builder forum and just make requests there. 

or barbarians, or avengers, or use stealth (dinged me second month i played)


How did the Stealth rules nerf you?  Were you hiding behind allies in combat?  Were you running around "hidden" all combat?

Because while the Stealth rules changed, they really shouldn't have affected anyone in a negative fashion unless they were abusing the rules in the first place.

And (not playing avengers or fighters), didn't they just lose AC?  Like, down to a reasonable level?  And a few power changes?
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Simple truths:

* There are more people that prefer to see the nerfing than people that wish to not see the nerfing.

* The people opposed to the nerfing tend to be hard core D&D addicts that are unlikely to stop buying if they are unhappy (but are far more likely tyo threaten to quit).

* Nerfing opens up the door for optimizers to find 'the new best' option, which just means there is more fun to be had for them.

* Nerfing is necessary to make the game work.  If PCs are overpowered on offense, the DM has to decide whether to adjust or not.  If he doesn't, the game is too easy and gets boring.  If he does adjust, he may make the monsters defensively stronger - which usually comes with offensive upgrades that overpower the normal PC defenses.  Even if the DM manages to balance this, the PCs rocket through the levels because they face tougher encounters, and that denies people the chance to play their characters for the 2 or so year period you should get out of a one weeknight a week type game. 

4E D&D is optimally fun as an RPG when the PCs built are all squarely within the expected power range.  The game breaks and starts to fall apart when the PCs fall out of that range.  WotC NEEDS to keep closing holes where players can accidentally put their PCs too high on the power scale.
D&D & Boardgames If I have everything I need to run great games for many years without repeating stuff, why do I need to buy anything right now?
None of us know how intensive WotC playtesting is. Perhaps it is a bit lazy and could stand to be more intensive. We don't know. What we do know is that testing every power and item in several different situations to make sure it can't cause problems is impossible. It's totally cost-inefficient; Wizards would go out of business in a month. Errors are inevitable. Maybe there should be fewer. But if you look at the ratio between how many errors Wizards have had to errata and how much material they've published (especially in the form of hundreds and hundreds of individual powers), you'll see that there really aren't all that many updates.

As for whether or not inevitable errors should be officially errata'd or just left there to cause problems, I think the answer is obvious, for all the reasons already given in this thread.
or barbarians, or avengers, or use stealth (dinged me second month i played)


How did the Stealth rules nerf you?  Were you hiding behind allies in combat?  Were you running around "hidden" all combat?

Because while the Stealth rules changed, they really shouldn't have affected anyone in a negative fashion unless they were abusing the rules in the first place.

And (not playing avengers or fighters), didn't they just lose AC?  Like, down to a reasonable level?  And a few power changes?


i had a rouge and read the PHB on how stealth worked played it that way in a couple of "Skill challenges" next month same character...new stealth rules...skill challenges where quite different.  not everything has to do with combat.

Yea you mean like a barbarian all of sudden having to attack 2 different targets...getting corrected at the table when the player tried to use the power. The DM who had to bring up the compendium to show us, because the player had not printed out a new card.  A few power changes, a few armour changes, and so on...

Everything I post is an opinion, any perceptions you have to the contrary are not my problem. The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog Initiative Tracker for WP7 RPG Dice Calculator for WP7
i had a rouge and read the PHB on how stealth worked played it that way in a couple of "Skill challenges" next month same character...new stealth rules...skill challenges where quite different.  not everything has to do with combat.

True, but Skill Challenges are also far more abstract than combat.  The errata for Stealth really only applies when the skill is used on a tactical level, such as during combat.  In a Skill Challenge the mechanics are much simpler
  • Is Stealth (or any other desired skill) a viable option in the challenge?

  • If so than roll against DC.

  • Based on the result, apply 1 success, failure, or other effect as appropriate to the challenge.

Also, for every combo that gets shown the door, a few others remain. No one's done serious nerfing on my Pit Fighter yet.

We all know that nerf's coming.

Really, errata is just evidence of a company that cares and recognizes their fallibility. I rather appreciate it, especially with crazy stuff like barbarians and Hide Armour Expertise (they probably should have made it +2/3/4 scaling, though). If you don't like errata, don't buy the books; D&Di has all the rulestuff from the books that are made up of rulestuff, and you can just buy the non-rules-y books (like the Planes Above) with knowledge that Wizards of the Coast has yet to errata fluff.

That's what I'd do. If I cared about non-rules-y books.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
As Vorpal Bunny has pointed out. In the real world as opposed to forum world players are getting upset every week/month over constant changes.

I have a legitimate beef. And I am posting on behalf of not only myself but many other players who would never come on here who are getting sick of this constant change.

I like the idea of a checkbox in character builder to "not apply errata updates" like they have "don't apply dragon magazine" updates. That is a very elegant solution for non LFR builds. Please do implement that!

Let me pull out my books and write up a little sceen showing how prevelant this has become using only first level characters (I do not have a 4.0  character over 5th level btw for those who were being so nasty and I love D&D, LFR and the Character Builder. All my characters are sacraficing (not min/maxing) at early levels so I can get feats like Hide expertise (Spirit Shaman) that have now been changed).

New gaming LFR party with several new players talked into trying the great game of D&D by their friends:

DM: Welcome, you are sitting in a Tavern along the main road enjoying a rest from your most recent adventures when all of a sudden 5 Kobolds break through the door and start attacking the bartender. Rogue, you are first.


New Rogue:  I hide behind the fighter.


DM: You can’t do that he does not provide superior cover.


Rogue: But the Studied the Players Handbook and it says….


DM: They changed that in errata.


Rogue: I spent 30 dollars on this book to learn to play your game and it’s wrong? grr … well I’ll turn over the table and hide behind that.


DM: OK. Fighter you are next:


Fighter: OK, I move up to the nearest two Kobolds and use my Dual Strike power. I rolled an 18 and a 16.


DM: You hit them both, what is your damage.


Fighter: I rolled a 12 and a 7, so the damage would be 16 and 11.


DM: You don’t add your strength modifier any more to that attack. Also the second attack with the Urgosh you are using only deals 1d6 now.


Fighter: What??? You’re kidding me?


DM: Sorry no, they errata changed both those. Now it is the Kobolds turn. Since the Avenger is right next to the bartender they attack you first. They roll a 18, what is your AC?


Avenger: Woohoo 20, so they miss.


DM: How did you get a 20?


Avenger: +5 for Dex, +3 for Armor of Faith and +2 for leather (I spent my one feat to get more AC). I built him on the Character builder so it must be right.


DM: They updated the character builder. If you check now you will see when you add leather armor your AC Goes down from 18 to 17, even after taking the feat. Armor of Faith is changed to say only “cloth or no armor,” not “while you neither wearing heavy armor,” sorry. Your AC is 17 so the Kobold hits you.


Avenger: @!)#(


(This could go on and on, I have barely even scratched the surface and just used  A FEW of the changes to 1st level characters. This invariably leads to anger and unsettledness at the table over rule changes. This happens almost every LFR session I’m in and it is many, many players upset, not just me. So I say again, Wizards is shooting itself in the foot and pissing off a lot of customers who have bought the books and discouraging new players who are coming in or upgrading from 3.5)

This happens almost every LFR session I’m in and it is many, many players upset, not just me.

OK, quick vote for everyone whose been to a LFR session: Have you seen this and how often?

My vote: Never seen it. Not once. Now it may be that someone is running a non-errataed  character and no one has noticed because the character never appeared broken. I don't know. But we do suggest that people get DDI subscriptions and update their CB for those who use them.