Red Box - DnD 4.5?

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I've read several articles, blogs, etc. stating that WOTC is not makng the DnD Essentials line a 4.5 versionb ut a stream-lined way to introduce new players to the game. However, I did find something very interesting while reading the article "Dungeons and Dragons Essentials are comming!"

And I quote: "First off, we've designed the outside of this starter set with nostalgia in mind. Specifically, we made it look just like the “Red Box” from the early 1980s, including using the classic cover art by Larry Elmore and the original D&D logo." Ok, now here's the interesting part, it continues: "Inside, however, it uses the newest version of the game."

Usually, when they write an article they use, by-and-large, the term '4th edition mechanics' or something close to that; but not this time. Any thoughts?
As many updates as they've had, it might as well be version 4.5.

With the amount of correction tape and hand-written updates as my books have, it certainly feels like as many changes as v3 to v3.5.  Maybe not, but that's how it feels.

And I'm guessing this Essentials line is going to have all the updates, so yeah - it might as well be 4.5.

I'm okay with it, though - I like that they update often to make the game the best they can.  It'd be less messy with PDF books that we could download and have updated PDFs for.  But oh well.

WotC choosing not to call the current ruleset v4.5 is just a semantics thing.

Rule Zero: Save vs. Hivemind http://rulezeroblog.wordpress.com
Eh, a new version hardly means that you have to jump up .5 in version numbers. I'd say that Essentials is the 4.1 patch if even that high. It will be making some changes to the rules(most of which are already covered in the Errata), but we shouldn't be getting the complete overhaul of several classes and game systems like we saw in 3.5. Heck most of the material we are getting in the Essentials line will actually be new and not reprints from what I understand.
It isn't 4.5 at all because it doesn't replace anything from 4th Edition. It uses the same exact rules and errata we are using now. The class builds are all new and are not meant to be replacements for the old class builds. You can use any of the material from the PHB, PHB2, PHB3 and Essentials together.

If you are a veteran 4E player, then Essentials is just a couple of splat-books and a new Monster Manual. The inclusion of already existing errata does not make it a point-five edition.
I am Gazra. This is my DDI account. Gazra is my forum account. Sometimes I get lazy and post with this account.
It seems like the text you are referencing is just contrasting the old, orginal box art and appearance with the newest version of the game, which is 4e.
At least, that's how I'm reading it.
"All the world will be your enemy, Prince of a Thousand enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you; digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed." -Frith, Watership Down

9.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

The marketing blurb will always call it 'the newest' even when it's the same material. (You don't advertise something as 'the same old'.)

As far as I can tell, the major difference - apart from incorporating all of the errata and clarifications to date - will be the format in which it's presented. Obviously this is a move away from the PHB/DMG/MM format we're used to, but in addition to that I expect that some of the confusing aspects of the 4E PHB will be addressed, such as its annoying habit of not explaining a reference until long after it has appeared. (Consider how many people post and ask what [W] means because it appears early in the book and isn't actually explained until much later - that's probably going to be corrected in Essentials.)
It seems like the text you are referencing is just contrasting the old, orginal box art and appearance with the newest version of the game, which is 4e.
At least, that's how I'm reading it.

Exactly. They were saying that while the box may look like old-school Basic D&D, the rules inside are 4th Edition.
I am Gazra. This is my DDI account. Gazra is my forum account. Sometimes I get lazy and post with this account.
As far as I can tell, the major difference - apart from incorporating all of the errata and clarifications to date - will be the format in which it's presented. Obviously this is a move away from the PHB/DMG/MM format we're used to, but in addition to that I expect that some of the confusing aspects of the 4E PHB will be addressed, such as its annoying habit of not explaining a reference until long after it has appeared. (Consider how many people post and ask what [W] means because it appears early in the book and isn't actually explained until much later - that's probably going to be corrected in Essentials.)



I agree...the Essentials line is just 4e, with the current updates, promoted and presented differently. I am very excited about the whole line.

Eh, a new version hardly means that you have to jump up .5 in version numbers. I'd say that Essentials is the 4.1 patch if even that high.

This sort of thing always seems like a misnomer to me. 3.5e was in no way halfway patched towards 4e, and was almost entirely different. The idea that patches bring the item in question closer to the next "edition" originates from patches to improve quality in steps. But editions aren't versions, they're different games. There's no promise that Essentials, allegedly version 4.5, is halfway to what 5e will look like.

It's more like what we started with was 4e, version 1.0. What we'll have with the Essentials books is 4e, version 2.0. Right now, we're at 4e, version 1.7 or so. We're mostly there, I assume. Especially with the updates to Acrobatics, Athletics, ect., out of the way. Although Tuesday's errata could enlighten us to a whole new world of changes that make it seem more like version 1.4.
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.
4e v1.7?

I think we should start the count at version 0 being the first release.

I wouldv said, were currently at v0.5, but v0.7 seems like a decent estimate.

Shorthand notation?

4e007
As has been stated already by a couple of posters the statement simply means that the "Nostalgic" Red Box set contains the "New" or current version of D&D not the "Old" version originally released in the Red Box

Maybe some day someone will take the time to analyze and rate each update 3.0 received until 3.5 plus the updates between 3.0 and 3.5 and compare them to a similar analysis of the 4e updates.


I wouldn't be surprised if the outcome would be that we already have a similar amount of  changes between 4e release and 4e today as between 3e and 3.5, with the only difference being that this time WotC chose not to call it .5e and not to sell an updated set of core rule books.


Maybe some day someone will take the time to analyze and rate each update 3.0 received until 3.5 plus the updates between 3.0 and 3.5 and compare them to a similar analysis of the 4e updates.


I wouldn't be surprised if the outcome would be that we already have a similar amount of  changes between 4e release and 4e today as between 3e and 3.5, with the only difference being that this time WotC chose not to call it .5e and not to sell an updated set of core rule books.


Exactly.  Some in this thread just aren't comprehending.

Rule Zero: Save vs. Hivemind http://rulezeroblog.wordpress.com
The difference is, 3e was primarily hardcopy thus a fixed platform, and 4e is primarily electronic thus an evolving platform.
PHB1 = 4e
PHB2 = 4.1
PHB3 = 4.2
So probably 4.3.

But as other's have said, it's been more of a continuous upgrade.  And 90% of the people approve of 90% of the updates.  Witht he main complaint not being the updates themselves, but just the number of them.

I would also like to point out that the devs implied that they where going to be more concise in the future, with tighter wording on things as they want to avoid errata's for the essentials line. (and from what i've seen, this is true).

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

4e is certainly going to surpass a 10th update phase, so what would the notation be?

4.9 .. 4.10 .. 4.11 ..

Basically chapter 4, verse 11?

3.5e changed the way certain classes worked (for example, presenting a "build"-like selection for rangers, changing some of the core features of druids and clerics as far as spontaneous casting, domains and turn undead) - but in 4e we get new builds and ways to override the core class features in each X Power book and various magazine articles. 4e was designed from the start to reintroduce a class without assuming that anything was invalidated in an older build.
They have said this is already published rules with some new content. Why are people still calling it 4.5. This is not 3 or 3.5. It is the rules we have been using for sometime now. I hope I never hear that the essential line is 4.5 again.
4th has changed, but it hasn't truely changed to the degree 3.5, and most of what made 3.5 bad was because you had To update to the new books in order to be well, updated. The biggest 'change' in 4the has been the skills, everything else has been minor tweaks.

Essentials are completely optional, the game you play with or without them is still the same, you merely lack the new builds and feats in the essentials books. This can be said for any other Power Book or PHB.
www.randomhouse.biz/international/PDFs/w...

Scroll down to Heroes of Shadow. If you read the selling points you will notice it has been dubbed a Players' Option accessory and is part of an expanded line linked to Essentials. The PO is suppose to take the players to the "next level" of the game. Why? I thought that's when the more advanced rules of PHB1-3,DMG1-2, MM1-3 come in. Evidently, not. So, the next level after Essentials is called Players' Option. That's interesting.

WOTC will never admit they are pulling a .5 job because it will go over like a lead balloon.

Why is WOTC spending good money on a watered down version of the 4e rules to bring in a younger crowd? I bet Rob Heinsoo would have loved to have kept his job with this cash they're pushing into Essentials. Besides, I thought one of the big selling points of 4e was it's simple enough for old gamer and young gamer alike?

I'm having a blast with 4e. I haven't been this happy with D&D since my 1e days back in the 80's. However, you don't have be Hamlet to know something is fishy in Denmark.
> Why? I thought that's when the more advanced rules of
> PHB1-3,DMG1-2, MM1-3 come in. Evidently, not.

No, because Heroes of Shadow is equivalent to Arcane/Martial/Divine/Primal/Psionic Power.
I agree Dragon
> Why? I thought that's when the more advanced rules of > PHB1-3,DMG1-2, MM1-3 come in. Evidently, not. No, because Heroes of Shadow is equivalent to Arcane/Martial/Divine/Primal/Psionic Power.



I think you're a little bit wrong there.

It's not similar to the X Power books, but instead maybe the new format for classes. Heroes of Shadows seems to bring in whole new classes, which I find good.

I personally think they're taking a step away from further PHB's and instead will rely on more specific books. That's the way it looks.

Anyways, calling the Essentials a 4.5 is like calling the 3.5E starter box set D&D 5.7 - totally bogus, that is.



I completely agree. This is perhaps a new format WOTC will preview at a later date seeing as HOS doesn't hit shelves until April of next year.

I don't think it's 4.5 either. But, it's not going to be the 4e we are use to. I have a feeling the Essentials will streamline 4e using the errata and maybe a new rule or two might slip in there.
Hero's of ...  just sounds catchier then PHB shadows.  Really they could of called PHB3 Hero's of Psyonics or something.  It's the same game, they just renamed and rearranged the books a bit, like they did for the darksun setting.

IMO, all the rules will be put in the rules compendium, player classes in the "Hero's of" stuff, and DM stuff it's book, instead of having the rules spread out between the PHB and the DMG.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Well the plot thickens!

We decided to embrace something similar to the old sub-class concept from bygone editions. The classes presented in Essentials are different takes on existing classes, ones that share a similar place in the Dungeons & Dragons world but that use different mechanics. By embracing this approach, we could produce a “new” fighter with new mechanics without having to change the existing fighter class.



DUN.

DUN.

DUNNNNNNNNNNNNN.
Well the plot thickens!

We decided to embrace something similar to the old sub-class concept from bygone editions. The classes presented in Essentials are different takes on existing classes, ones that share a similar place in the Dungeons & Dragons world but that use different mechanics. By embracing this approach, we could produce a “new” fighter with new mechanics without having to change the existing fighter class.



DUN.

DUN.

DUNNNNNNNNNNNNN.



Mind = blown
Well the plot thickens!

We decided to embrace something similar to the old sub-class concept from bygone editions. The classes presented in Essentials are different takes on existing classes, ones that share a similar place in the Dungeons & Dragons world but that use different mechanics. By embracing this approach, we could produce a “new” fighter with new mechanics without having to change the existing fighter class.



DUN.

DUN.

DUNNNNNNNNNNNNN.




Did you miss the part where they mention that some classes will no longer have daily powers? This is pretty nuts.
I didn't miss that at all, but what got to me immediately was that they are not just new builds on existing classes they are entire variant classes from the ground up. A class that has no daily powers is a scary and interesting idea. Hopefully it won't have worked out as poorly as psionics did, which is why I use the term "scary" there.
I didn't miss that at all, but what got to me immediately was that they are not just new builds on existing classes they are entire variant classes from the ground up. A class that has no daily powers is a scary and interesting idea. Hopefully it won't have worked out as poorly as psionics did, which is why I use the term "scary" there.




It might be more like Book of 9 Swords from 3.5. All at-will or encounter abilities and different classes had different ways to refresh those encounter abilities.

Edit: I expect them to fix psionics in the errata tomorrow. I doubt we'll be spamming level 1 at-wills with augment 2s throughout epic tier.
Bingo.

Ever wonder why we don't know if a PHB4 and a DMG4 are coming out?




I was so surprised (but not really why they didn't even come out with a DMG3, since the first one was dedicated to Heroic and just plain getting started, DMG2 was for Paragon, I assumed a DMG3 was going to be for Epic tiered play...instead they came out with the Essentials line. Kinda depressing to be honest.

And true they aren't calling it 4.5, but even the packaging looks different and has a different feeel to it...I mean look at the modules now they are going back to the classic way of doing them. One thing I loved about 4e was the new style of the adventures...it just makes me sad that's all. Why can't they just leave well enough alone?
Eh, a new version hardly means that you have to jump up .5 in version numbers. I'd say that Essentials is the 4.1 patch if even that high. It will be making some changes to the rules(most of which are already covered in the Errata), but we shouldn't be getting the complete overhaul of several classes and game systems like we saw in 3.5. Heck most of the material we are getting in the Essentials line will actually be new and not reprints from what I understand.



But if you look very carefully to what they wrote in this article: "Commencing Countdown!", the classes have been designed in a way we can still use them but somehow will be different. They classes are designed for the Essential line but are compatible (basically) with 4e core classes aside from Wizrds. So, in a sense it is a 4.5 ya?
4e v1.7?

I think we should start the count at version 0 being the first release.

I wouldv said, were currently at v0.5, but v0.7 seems like a decent estimate.

Shorthand notation?

4e007



4e007? LOL *Brittsh accent* "Hello there, I'm Dragons, Dungeons and Dragons"
www.randomhouse.biz/international/PDFs/w...

Scroll down to Heroes of Shadow. If you read the selling points you will notice it has been dubbed a Players' Option accessory and is part of an expanded line linked to Essentials. The PO is suppose to take the players to the "next level" of the game. Why? I thought that's when the more advanced rules of PHB1-3,DMG1-2, MM1-3 come in. Evidently, not. So, the next level after Essentials is called Players' Option. That's interesting.

WOTC will never admit they are pulling a .5 job because it will go over like a lead balloon.

Why is WOTC spending good money on a watered down version of the 4e rules to bring in a younger crowd? I bet Rob Heinsoo would have loved to have kept his job with this cash they're pushing into Essentials. Besides, I thought one of the big selling points of 4e was it's simple enough for old gamer and young gamer alike?

I'm having a blast with 4e. I haven't been this happy with D&D since my 1e days back in the 80's. However, you don't have be Hamlet to know something is fishy in Denmark.



This is exactly how I feel. I think everyone is being to analytical on this thread, though I do appreciate all the input; it's what I was looking forwhen I posted this. However, the above quote really emphasises the true grit-hard fact, that they did a twist-round-about and are covering it all up with fancy and politically correct verbiage so as not to stir the 'hornets nest' of gamers that would be up in arms about vs4.5 after only 2 1/2 yrs. of 4e's release.

4e was just fine with the way it was done at the beginning, from the core mechanics to the packaging of the minis.

I loved 4e just the way it is and have a grand ol time just like I did back in the 70's and 80's with 1e!

Well the plot thickens!

We decided to embrace something similar to the old sub-class concept from bygone editions. The classes presented in Essentials are different takes on existing classes, ones that share a similar place in the Dungeons & Dragons world but that use different mechanics. By embracing this approach, we could produce a “new” fighter with new mechanics without having to change the existing fighter class.



DUN.

DUN.

DUNNNNNNNNNNNNN.




Did you miss the part where they mention that some classes will no longer have daily powers? This is pretty nuts.



SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Points finger! SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Aaaaaand psionic classes dont have encounter powers.

They do, just not attack powers - there are plenty of psionic encounter utilities.

This is exactly how I feel. I think everyone is being to analytical on this thread, though I do appreciate all the input; it's what I was looking forwhen I posted this. However, the above quote really emphasises the true grit-hard fact, that they did a twist-round-about and are covering it all up with fancy and politically correct verbiage so as not to stir the 'hornets nest' of gamers that would be up in arms about vs4.5 after only 2 1/2 yrs. of 4e's release.

4e was just fine with the way it was done at the beginning, from the core mechanics to the packaging of the minis.

I loved 4e just the way it is and have a grand ol time just like I did back in the 70's and 80's with 1e!




Or maybe they were so specific with their language to avoid people trying to using the meaningless "4.5" buzz term to try and gank them like they did duringing the Edition Wars, and try to smear their attempts to expand the game as a money grab or a design failure. You know. Kind of like what is happening now.

From what we know the Essentials line, it will not change the usability of current material, it will not change the way the game works on any fundamental level. Most people still get their daily powers. All of your old books are still good. At best it just makes a few new ways to play old classes based on improved design philosophy. You know. Like the Power books. Which we've been getting for two years.

Calm down. This is not 4.5. You're all being silly.

At best this is a great new way to work on the game. At worst? Something to be swept under the rug and continue on with all of the toys you have and will get in the future.
I am a: Lawful Good Dragonborn Paladin
4e was just fine with the way it was done at the beginning, from the core mechanics to the packaging of the minis.

I loved 4e just the way it is and have a grand ol time just like I did back in the 70's and 80's with 1e!




This is something worth pointing out - the Essentials doesn't change anything that you like about 4e.

I don't want to say too much, since we have more preview articles coming out, but if you decide you don't like anything in the Essentials you'll still have plenty of new books, interesting options, and so forth to look forward to.

To pull the key sentences from the article:

"If you’re already playing a Dungeons & Dragons game, there’s one very important thing to remember—the Essentials products matter only as much as you want them to. We very carefully designed the new classes and added more options to the races in such a way that existing characters remain unchanged."

It was critically important throughout the design process to make sure that the above statement was true.


I don't want to say too much, since we have more preview articles coming out, but if you decide you don't like anything in the Essentials you'll still have plenty of new books, interesting options, and so forth to look forward to.




I wish I could believe that.  Past experience says otherwise.  

I don't want to say too much, since we have more preview articles coming out, but if you decide you don't like anything in the Essentials you'll still have plenty of new books, interesting options, and so forth to look forward to.

I would love it if we could get a confirmation that hardcover "fluff" books like Draconomicon, a feywild book and similar are still going to exist post-essentials. Because that's what I'm most worried about entirely disappearing from the schedule, as these (Draconomicon, Open Grave, Underdark, Plane Above etc) have been the best books released in 4E thus far.

I think a lot of gamers will be happier if we can see that some of those books, like a DMG3 are coming out after essentials before people will calm down about essentials changing the direction 4E is taking.

I am glad to see though that essentials isn't replacing anything and is just adding new options. Hopefully some of those new class designs will work out well. I am still a bit skeptical overall though but I am interested enough that I'll give it a good chance.
We're in a bit of a weird space, since we don't really talk about the next year's releases until GenCon. However, I can say that since wrapping up Essentials design we've been busy working on 2011 releases. Perhaps more to the point, I still use my PH 1 as my primary rules reference when working on those books.

So, I can't talk in specifics yet, but I think you'll be happy with what we announce.