4th Edition's impact and success compared to 3.0/3.5

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As I'm only familiar with 3.0 and 3.5, I was curious if 4th edition is selling as well as the previous edition and if it really is reaching a broader fanbase? I don't have anything against 4th personally, it's just that I have so much invested in 3.5 (and I'm also heavily into Neverwinter Nights 1&2) I don't as yet feel the need to change. I think my love of multiclassing and building 3.0/3.5 characters is what appeals to me most.
I think my love of multiclassing and building 3.0/3.5 characters is what appeals to me most.



4e doesn't have much of that. Building characters is a lot more straightforward and being useful is a lot easier, while being super-powerful is practically impossible. So if drawing up characters is your thing, 3.5e is probably better for you.

As for reaching a broader fanbase... I've convinced a lot of people to play 4e with me, people of whom I'm pretty sure I would not be able to play 3.5e due to the high system mastery and time investment requirements. My girlfriend also managed to figure out 4e in about 3 months, while never really "getting" 3e even after playing for 2 years. Most likely, again, due to the required system mastery. 
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Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
[ So if drawing up characters is your thing, 3.5e is probably better for you.  


Not necessarily I love creating characters and 4e is exactly where I like to do it. When I feel like optimizing (In part because I dont feel guilty that I am going to create a punpun/CoDzilla) or reflavoring (Its more easilly distinguished what I can spice up) its all scrumptious.

Oh and when I create a character in 4e I definitely feel encouraged to be also thinking of them in terms of their place in a team... which gives me more warm fuzzies. 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

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As I'm only familiar with 3.0 and 3.5, I was curious if 4th edition is selling as well as the previous edition and if it really is reaching a broader fanbase?

Ironically, from the little available evidence, the answers would seem to be 'no' and 'yes.'  We have no solid sales data, but WotC's freakish behavior over the last years, starting with Essentials and proceding to announce, pull and re-anounce products, has that special air of desperation that corporate america only gets when sales are below target (no telling how unrealistically high that target was, though).  As for the breadth of the fan-base, well, D&D has always been a game for the oldest and newest gamers.  There's always been a contingent that starts with D&D and never really moves on, and, because of the game's name recognition, new players often start with it.   

In the 90s, that changed, as new players were drawn to Storyteller and LARPing - or away from RPGs entirely to M:tG and it's immitators.  D&D remained a strong product line due to its name recognition and legion of longtime fans, but it lost that position of leadership and that natural 'first gaming experience' that it had so long enjoyed.  

3e changed part of that.  By going open-source, 3.0/d20 leapt back into industry leadership.  It was a brilliant stroke.  With D&Ds name recognition and solid core of fans, would-be competitors had to ask themselves 'do I want to compete with D&D, or jump on the open-source bandwagon.'  Even WWGS, who'd been about as close to an industry leader as there was in the 90s, opted for the bandwagon.  WotC just about rolled up the RPG industry and delivered it to Hasbro, not that Hasbro's bottom line would've noticed.  But, leadership is not revenue.  

With 4e, two distinct things happened.  1) The designers were given enough latitude to slaughter some sacred cows and seriously improve the game, really modernizing it for the first time, well, ever.  2) The OGL was dumped in favor of a more restrictive GSL, which basically dumped all those 3rd-party bandwagon-jumpsers like a first wife - and reckoned not on the alimony.   1) was a briliant success.  2) was a dismal failure.   

With every edition, there are hold-outs who cling to the old version for a while (sometimes a long while) and nerdrage about how evil the rev-roll is.  Normally, they die away for lack of new material.  However, through the power of the OGL, new material (Pathfinder) kept coming out, so the hold-outs can nerdrage about the evil of the new edition idefinitely.  There's really nothing for WotC to do but give in, roll back time, give up on innovation, take D&D back to the open source model, and accept that the game will never again have anything going for it but name recognition and third-party support.



 

 

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I was curious if 4th edition is selling as well as the previous edition


No. 
3e benefited from a confulence of lucky events. The people who grew up playing 1e were curious about the game again or had kids ready to play. Meanwhile, 2e had all been dead, so people were ready for a change. It was perfect timing. 

and if it really is reaching a broader fanbase?


No.
4e has a solid audience, but the edition is just less flexible. It traded the flexibility of 3e for balance and consistant play. It does what it does well really well. Phenomenally well. But if you try and do something else it's a bit of a struggle. It's just not built for some styles of play, which means a slightly narower audience.

I don't have anything against 4th personally, it's just that I have so much invested in 3.5 (and I'm also heavily into Neverwinter Nights 1&2) I don't as yet feel the need to change. I think my love of multiclassing and building 3.0/3.5 characters is what appeals to me most.


It's hard to argue with investment. If you have a lot of books or are really fond of an edition, there's not much point in switching: if you're not completely interested in something new you'll compare editions and seek out faults. It might be better to try 4e as side games, something as an experiment but not a permanent replacement so you can enjoy it for what it is rather than feeling force to accept it completely as your new system. 
Try a couple games of Encounters at a gaming store or a few Living Forgotten Realms modules.  

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I personally find 4e to be an improvement in most categories over all previous editions, but like Tony said - WotC's very, very erratic (bordering on unprofessional) behavior makes it obvious that it's floundering to some degree.  

The main reasons why, I surmise, are:

1. Its more restrictive, board-gamey gameplay alienated many RPGers who are used to simulationism being part of the game rules rather than being handled in the abstract.  This is the main thing that split the fanbase from 3e.  My opinion is that D&D has never handled simulationism very well, and that it's better served by a ruleset more similar to 4e's.     

2. The edition came about a year or two prematurely, and felt somewhat overly-capitalistic.  The result of this was a lower-than-expected quality of early products like the original rule books, the introductory adventure and the FRCG, as well as major, unforgivable rules oversights like the math scaling.  

3. The butchering done to the FR setting, which has been for some time the flagship campaign setting for D&D, even if not the "core" one.  4th edition FR left a very, very bad taste in a lot of peoples' mouths and I'm quite sure it played a rather large role in continuting the exodus from the official D&D brand.  

4. WotC/Hasbro's diminishing reputation over typical "corporatism" - things like yearly layoffs and excessive focus on IP and anti-piracy regulations. The "change" to the OGL was somewhat misguided and did little but cause resentment and more fracturing amongst both gamers and content developers.   
 
5. The fact that PF is about the most ideal version of 3.x that will ever exist, and enough players liked 3rd edition enough that PF was a more natural upgrade for them than 4e was.   

6. Regardless of the merit of the Essentials line as independent products (I liked most of them), its execution as a mid-edition revamp was not particularly well handled - it left a lot of disorganization, bloat, and inconsistency in quality and presentation in its wake, and failed to fix some of the more egregious problems with the overall system.


I personally find 4e to be an improvement in most categories over all previous editions, but like Tony said - WotC's very, very erratic (bordering on unprofessional) behavior makes it obvious that it's floundering to some degree.  

The main reasons why, I surmise, are:

1. Its more restrictive, board-gamey gameplay alienated many RPGers who are used to simulationism being part of the game rules rather than being handled in the abstract.  This is the main thing that split the fanbase from 3e.  My opinion is that D&D has never handled simulationism very well, and that it's better served by a ruleset more similar to 4e's.     

2. The edition came about a year or two prematurely, and felt somewhat overly-capitalistic.  The result of this was a lower-than-expected quality of early products like the original rule books, the introductory adventure and the FRCG, as well as major, unforgivable rules oversights like the math scaling.  

3. The butchering done to the FR setting, which has been for some time the flagship campaign setting for D&D, even if not the "core" one.  4th edition FR left a very, very bad taste in a lot of peoples' mouths and I'm quite sure it played a rather large role in continuting the exodus from the official D&D brand.  

4. WotC/Hasbro's diminishing reputation over typical "corporatism" - things like yearly layoffs and excessive focus on IP and anti-piracy regulations. The "change" to the OGL was somewhat misguided and did little but cause resentment and more fracturing amongst both gamers and content developers.   
 
5. The fact that PF is about the most ideal version of 3.x that will ever exist, and enough players liked 3rd edition enough that PF was a more natural upgrade for them than 4e was.   

6. Regardless of the merit of the Essentials line as independent products (I liked most of them), its execution as a mid-edition revamp was not particularly well handled - it left a lot of disorganization, bloat, and inconsistency in quality and presentation in its wake, and failed to fix some of the more egregious problems with the overall system.



1. Strawmanry.

2. Strawmanry.

3. And yet, there was peoples BROUGHT BACK TO FR to it - and many fans didnt mind it, or even liked it. Like me.

4. The OGL screwed the owners. And there was way too much crap.

5. PF = scam, as you pointed. It's just a freaking update sold with a pseudo-anti-capitalistic bent.

6. Bah.

7. I vote for Québec SOlidaire, and as a centrist,they have the right to make money. 

This post was a ramassis of clichés, strawmen and rehashed crud.  Hatin'.
I personally find 4e to be an improvement in most categories over all previous editions, but like Tony said - WotC's very, very erratic (bordering on unprofessional) behavior makes it obvious that it's floundering to some degree.  

The main reasons why, I surmise, are:

1. Its more restrictive, board-gamey gameplay alienated many RPGers who are used to simulationism being part of the game rules rather than being handled in the abstract.  This is the main thing that split the fanbase from 3e.  My opinion is that D&D has never handled simulationism very well, and that it's better served by a ruleset more similar to 4e's.     

2. The edition came about a year or two prematurely, and felt somewhat overly-capitalistic.  The result of this was a lower-than-expected quality of early products like the original rule books, the introductory adventure and the FRCG, as well as major, unforgivable rules oversights like the math scaling.  

3. The butchering done to the FR setting, which has been for some time the flagship campaign setting for D&D, even if not the "core" one.  4th edition FR left a very, very bad taste in a lot of peoples' mouths and I'm quite sure it played a rather large role in continuting the exodus from the official D&D brand.  

4. WotC/Hasbro's diminishing reputation over typical "corporatism" - things like yearly layoffs and excessive focus on IP and anti-piracy regulations. The "change" to the OGL was somewhat misguided and did little but cause resentment and more fracturing amongst both gamers and content developers.   
 
5. The fact that PF is about the most ideal version of 3.x that will ever exist, and enough players liked 3rd edition enough that PF was a more natural upgrade for them than 4e was.   

6. Regardless of the merit of the Essentials line as independent products (I liked most of them), its execution as a mid-edition revamp was not particularly well handled - it left a lot of disorganization, bloat, and inconsistency in quality and presentation in its wake, and failed to fix some of the more egregious problems with the overall system.



1. Strawmanry.

2. Strawmanry.

3. And yet, there was peoples BROUGHT BACK TO FR to it - and many fans didnt mind it, or even liked it. Like me.

4. The OGL screwed the owners. And there was way too much crap.

5. PF = scam, as you pointed. It's just a freaking update sold with a pseudo-anti-capitalistic bent.

6. Bah.

7. I vote for Québec SOlidaire, and as a centrist,they have the right to make money. 

This post was a ramassis of clichés, strawmen and rehashed crud.  Hatin'.



1. Please elaborate on how this is a strawman, that accusation doesn't even really make sense.
2. Same here.
3. There is no do doubt whatsoever that the Realms lost more fans than it gained in this edition, sorry to burst your bubble.
4. Perhaps.  But many people would disagree, which was the point of my post.
5. PF isn't a scam, it's a more direct evolution of 3.x, which some people are quite happy with.  Enough to put a serious dent in the WotC fanbase.
6. ... whatever

It doesn't even really seem like you read the post carefully or understood the point of it.

It doesn't even really seem like you read the post carefully or understood the point of it.


Yeah.
I especially enjoy how he accuses you of "hatin'" when you said "find 4e to be an improvement in most categories over all previous editions" and simmilar comments. 

I think most of the FR changes were not a bad idea. There were good reasons for most. It was just problematic that they also affected the novels and did not enable people to pick which era they wanted to play in, locking people into the heavily altered Realms. 

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The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

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It doesn't even really seem like you read the post carefully or understood the point of it.


Yeah.
I especially enjoy how he accuses you of "hatin'" when you said "find 4e to be an improvement in most categories over all previous editions" and simmilar comments. 

I think most of the FR changes were not a bad idea. There were good reasons for most. It was just problematic that they also affected the novels and did not enable people to pick which era they wanted to play in, locking people into the heavily altered Realms. 

It's anyway false and hatin'. At times, you have to be direct and simple, and don't waste words. 


It doesn't even really seem like you read the post carefully or understood the point of it.




You actually gave a few points about what 4e didn't do right, and mentioned another edition.  Of course that means you're hating.  Havn't you been around these boards long enough?  That's the typical response on these here parts.
I think Einlanzer about hit the nail on the head. 4e is certainly an upgrade as far as actually playing the game is concerned. It drops alot of pretext and attempts at simulationism in favor of letting those be handled by the individual groups, an idea I think is ace. I love 4e, but I liked 3rd alot too, and it's hard to say which has had more influence. I think it's a largely regional thing.

Back where I grew up (near Elgin Il and near the birthplace of D&D) there are alot of grognards who refuse to even try 4th, saying crap like it's an MMO or a board game. The fact is most of these people simply don't have enough imagination to come up with abstractions for what the rules used to handle that they honesty don't need to. Alot of them make the claim "I already invested so much in 3.5 for wizards to screw me like that!" I invested a TON in 3.5, I have easily over a grand worth of 3.5 books and no one was more eagre than me to play 4th. Some people don't have as much expendable income, and I can respect that, but groups can pool money, if you and 5 of your closest friends can't get ninety dollars together you might need to find a cheaper hobby.

Where I'm living now (western Wisconsin) there are alot of new players surrounded by a handful of knowledgable veterans. 4th is strong here, to the point where the local game store doesn't even carry the pathfinder core books, or any non-D&D RP books for that matter unless someone special orders them.

So I suppose the answer "it depends." 3.5 was very influential for a myriad of reasons, but it still had some really noticeable flaws. 4th might not be as influential, but it didn't have the luxury of being released several years after any of it's predessors newest books were released. 4th has certainly drawn a larger crowd to D&D from what I've seen. 3.5 had high expectations of it's players, and alot of really arcane rules and corner cases. Whereas 4ths rules set up is almost like a CCG with a short set of core rules that have the caveat "specific rules always overule general rules." Alot of my friends who refused to deal with 3.5s arcane setup, or simple couldn't deal with, now play 4th with me. We all love it, but I still love 3.5 and it bums me out when people put down an edition of the game. I could still have fun with AD&D honestly, the rules system isn't as important to me as the group I'm gaming with.

If I could say just one thing for 4th that it did, without a doubt, 100% better than any previous edition of D&D, and better than almost every RPG ever, is that it made DMing not only easy but alot of fun. I dreaded DM duty in 3.5, it was such a huge pain to plan things, make sure monsters were appropriately challenging, identify how many power gamers vs how many casual were in the group, write up monsters that were built exactly like PCs so took hours, guess at what treasure would be appropriate and try to read those awful stat blocks. 4th has made DMing so easy, so accessable to anyone, that groups who never had anyone that wanted to step up and DM before now have three or four players who are willing, and often eagre, to DM. To me this, more than anything, should be 4es legacy, the legacy that DMing can be simple and accessable, and not something that takes as many hours a week to do as a full time job.

I suppose when it comes down to it the major difference between 3.5 and 4 is this. 3.5 was an edition tailored to the player, whereas 4th is an edition tailored to the DM.
There's no question that 4E is not the success that 3E was.

Third edition came at a critcial time.  AD&D was starting to show its age horribly.  And I do mean horribly.  Roll on a table to tell you what table you need to roll on to figure out the results horribly.  For some reason TSR decided that with new information must come new complexity and thus the game system ballooned in difficulty as the size grew.  

White Wolf had walked into the gap for a simple system, and delivered Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage.   However, the initial 'shiny' of those systems had worn off, and the flaws were starting to come to the fore.  Primary among those flaws was combat.  WW PCs have the equivalent of 7 hp.  Given that weapons often had a damage potential of 6-10 per attack and most characters could make 3-8 attacks per round, combat between two powerful characters was the equivalent of rocket tag.   

Inbetween somewhere was GURPS, but GURPS suffered from the fact that no one understood or used the full character creation rules, outside of a handful of players, and brief exposure to the system tended to panic people who had even a moderate tolerance for complexity.  GURPS may stand for Generic Universal Role-Playing System, but apparently no one asked if the goal of creating the most universally generic role playing system was actually a good one.  

Into this morass stepped 3E.  Simpler than any other system except perhaps WW, with combat that was, while still rocket tag, at least slightly more forgiving rocket tag (combats were known to last until round 3, instead of universally ending during the surprise round like they did in WW games), with few charts and strong fantasy flavor, 3E worked.

...kinda.  The release of 3.5 was the admission that 3rd edition didn't actually work.  You can see attempts to balance it floating through.  Buffs were lowered from 1 hr/lvl to 10 mins/lvl so casters didn't universally have better stats than fighters.   They added grappling to try and make melee combatants able to handle casters.  Of course they didn't quite know what they were doing still.  Natural Spell caused Druids to not need a single physical stat, making them the most painfully single stat dependent class in the entire game.  They pretty much surrendered and let people print whatever for 8-9 level spells, making everything about level 15 horrifically unplayable.   The focus on making classes a tad more surviveable to nerf the rocket tag elements mainly just made Wizards and Clerics more able to survive late (their rocket tag elements were utterly uneffected).  Druids by that point, of course, had opted out of the entire concept of D&D by typing "Power Overwhelming" into their console, and thus giggled at the others as they did things (it wasn't until the release of Divine Metamagic that Clerics would type in "Power Overwhelming" and join Druids in the 'god mode D&D' box).  

4E was meant to fix that.  However, WotC didn't realize something.  For many, it wasn't a bug, it was a feature.

Smart, experienced players played casters.  New players were given the fighter and rogue, and the experienced players would shepherd them, carefully keeping their 'true power' in check  (druid was usually reserved for the 'gf you brought along' because as long as she didn't take levels in non-druid she could successfully win D&D just by doing whatever.  Also letting an optimized druid loose on 3E isn't considered sporting).  Sure, the 'challenges' they faced were miniscule, but they enjoyed facerolling whatever the DM tossed at them.  It was an excuse to drink beer, make jokes, and feel good as they rolled through a dungeon.

4E fixed that but good.  Now the new player actually threatened their success.  The gf they brought along who didn't know how to play couldn't be dumped in an overpowered insane class, because there was no overpowered insane class.   People had to actually know how their characters and the game rules worked, and care about positioning (whereas in 3E if you were too drunk to move your character properly it didn't really matter, positioning wasn't a huge deal).  

What WotC didn't quite realize is that the market for an interesting strategic RPG was... pretty small.  What people wanted was an unbalanced faceroll system where they could win every challenge with ease.  4E failed to deliver. 
The thing is that I find 4e a superior choice for DMing. Its way easier to run, and a lot easier to tell my story with. Oh, and since its actually hard to come up with a broken character, between reskinning, multiclassing, and hybrid, I don't see why you can't make any narrative character you want. I.e. Describe it first in story/in-universe terms, and then figure out how to translate that to game terms.

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Back where I grew up (near Elgin Il and near the birthplace of D&D) there are alot of grognards who refuse to even try 4th, saying crap like it's an MMO or a board game. The fact is most of these people simply don't have enough imagination to come up with abstractions for what the rules used to handle that they honesty don't need to. Alot of them make the claim "I already invested so much in 3.5 for wizards to screw me like that!" I invested a TON in 3.5, I have easily over a grand worth of 3.5 books and no one was more eagre than me to play 4th. Some people don't have as much expendable income, and I can respect that, but groups can pool money, if you and 5 of your closest friends can't get ninety dollars together you might need to find a cheaper hobby.


Here's the thing, it's not the job of fans to decide to just switch. That can't be relied on. WotC has to sell them on the new edition, give them a real reason to switch. 
But they didn't. They tried, but they focused on a "4e is better and will fix problem x, y, and z" and a dash of mocking 3e for its problems. This just alienated the grognards. It sent me into an angry hate spiral and made me a troll on these forums for some time because, even though I thought 3e had HUGE problems, it was a game I loved and they were hatin' on something I loved.

WotC just needs to do a better job next time establishing a need and have a longer cooling off period between editions where people can feel like books less than a year old are not being rendered obselete. 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

As I'm only familiar with 3.0 and 3.5, I was curious if 4th edition is selling as well as the previous edition and if it really is reaching a broader fanbase? I don't have anything against 4th personally, it's just that I have so much invested in 3.5 (and I'm also heavily into Neverwinter Nights 1&2) I don't as yet feel the need to change. I think my love of multiclassing and building 3.0/3.5 characters is what appeals to me most.




I think that 4e lost far more fans than it gained.  Google '4e Sucks' and see what I mean.   With that said, every edition of D&D has created some turmoil, but 4e was clearly the biggest upset. 




I think that 4e lost far more fans than it gained.  Google '4e Sucks' and see what I mean.   With that said, every edition of D&D has created some turmoil, but 4e was clearly the biggest upset.



I'd be careful saying things like that. "D&D 3e sucks" actually gets more then twice the number of hits  that "D&D 4e sucks" does.

Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
As I'm only familiar with 3.0 and 3.5, I was curious if 4th edition is selling as well as the previous edition and if it really is reaching a broader fanbase? I don't have anything against 4th personally, it's just that I have so much invested in 3.5 (and I'm also heavily into Neverwinter Nights 1&2) I don't as yet feel the need to change. I think my love of multiclassing and building 3.0/3.5 characters is what appeals to me most.




I think that 4e lost far more fans than it gained.  Google '4e Sucks' and see what I mean.   With that said, every edition of D&D has created some turmoil, but 4e was clearly the biggest upset. 




Using google as a metric can be misleading, the proliferation of blogs and forums is significantly higher then when 3.x was released and around.

If you look hard enough you can find the same old arguements about 3.x that are being thrown at 4e now.  Just becuase it is much more visable and louder doenst nessessarly mean that there is actually more of it.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.




I think that 4e lost far more fans than it gained.  Google '4e Sucks' and see what I mean.   With that said, every edition of D&D has created some turmoil, but 4e was clearly the biggest upset.



I'd be careful saying things like that. "D&D 3e sucks" actually gets more then twice the number of hits  that "D&D 4e sucks" does.




what tool did you use for that?  I was looking at google trends and adsense keywords.

I just typed both of them into Google and looked at the number of hits to see how many websites used the terms.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
It doesn't even really seem like you read the post carefully or understood the point of it.


Yeah.
I especially enjoy how he accuses you of "hatin'" when you said "find 4e to be an improvement in most categories over all previous editions" and simmilar comments. 

I think most of the FR changes were not a bad idea. There were good reasons for most. It was just problematic that they also affected the novels and did not enable people to pick which era they wanted to play in, locking people into the heavily altered Realms. 



I was more okay with some parts of it than I was others.  In particular, I was okay with both the 100 year jump and even the spellplague for the most part.  What I wasn't okay with was the retconned genesis story and the "collision of twin worlds" nonsense.  

The main reason I wasn't okay with it is that Toril itself was originally conceived as a fantasy mirror "twin world" of Earth.  That's the reason why it's called the "Forgotten Realms" - it was almost like Earth's version of the Feywild. I really enjoyed that flavor, and didn't appreciate it being retconned out of existence with a very arbitrary and  over-the-top deus ex-machina as a way of pointlessly removing Maztica and several of the more unique cultures and introducting races like the Dragonborn.     

Of course, I say all that - the only FR I find to be really that good was the original, before the "gods walking the land" and all that.  It's been a bit half-baked ever since then.   
Not that we actually know any sales figures, but it's important to point out that D&D Insider has probably done more to reduce book sales than the change over from 3E. The fact that I can have access to practically all the crunch content for a modest subscription fee, and then only purchase the physical books that I want for the fluff, means I'm spending a lot less money on books than I otherwise would. And I suspect I'm not alone, and I suspect it's part of WotC's business plan.
I personally find 4e to be an improvement in most categories over all previous editions, but like Tony said - WotC's very, very erratic (bordering on unprofessional) behavior makes it obvious that it's floundering to some degree.  

The main reasons why, I surmise, are:

1. Its more restrictive, board-gamey gameplay alienated many RPGers who are used to simulationism being part of the game rules rather than being handled in the abstract.  This is the main thing that split the fanbase from 3e.  My opinion is that D&D has never handled simulationism very well, and that it's better served by a ruleset more similar to 4e's.     

2. The edition came about a year or two prematurely, and felt somewhat overly-capitalistic.  The result of this was a lower-than-expected quality of early products like the original rule books, the introductory adventure and the FRCG, as well as major, unforgivable rules oversights like the math scaling.  

3. The butchering done to the FR setting, which has been for some time the flagship campaign setting for D&D, even if not the "core" one.  4th edition FR left a very, very bad taste in a lot of peoples' mouths and I'm quite sure it played a rather large role in continuting the exodus from the official D&D brand.  

4. WotC/Hasbro's diminishing reputation over typical "corporatism" - things like yearly layoffs and excessive focus on IP and anti-piracy regulations. The "change" to the OGL was somewhat misguided and did little but cause resentment and more fracturing amongst both gamers and content developers.   
 
5. The fact that PF is about the most ideal version of 3.x that will ever exist, and enough players liked 3rd edition enough that PF was a more natural upgrade for them than 4e was.   

6. Regardless of the merit of the Essentials line as independent products (I liked most of them), its execution as a mid-edition revamp was not particularly well handled - it left a lot of disorganization, bloat, and inconsistency in quality and presentation in its wake, and failed to fix some of the more egregious problems with the overall system.



1. Strawmanry.

2. Strawmanry.

3. And yet, there was peoples BROUGHT BACK TO FR to it - and many fans didnt mind it, or even liked it. Like me.

4. The OGL screwed the owners. And there was way too much crap.

5. PF = scam, as you pointed. It's just a freaking update sold with a pseudo-anti-capitalistic bent.

6. Bah.

7. I vote for Québec SOlidaire, and as a centrist,they have the right to make money. 

This post was a ramassis of clichés, strawmen and rehashed crud.  Hatin'.



I am not really sure that you understand what strawman, scam, or "hatin'" mean. His post was not guilty of either producing strawmen or hating. Additionally, while I hate Pathfinder, it is not in any shape or form a scam--you recieve the product you pay for and may people love that product.


As I'm only familiar with 3.0 and 3.5, I was curious if 4th edition is selling as well as the previous edition and if it really is reaching a broader fanbase? I don't have anything against 4th personally, it's just that I have so much invested in 3.5 (and I'm also heavily into Neverwinter Nights 1&2) I don't as yet feel the need to change. I think my love of multiclassing and building 3.0/3.5 characters is what appeals to me most.

I don't think anyone can possibly say. 4e could be outselling 3.5 and it might not be. You'll find a lot of people have come to the conclusion that 4e has met with limited success. I don't know if they're wrong, but any attempt to figure out one way or another relies on a long string of assumptions and tea leaf reading. The existence of PF as a popular game system reasonably raises the question of whether that bit into 4e much or not, but again who knows? I personally have yet to meet someone that bought a PF core book. I've run a couple of 4e campaigns.

I think if you were getting into 4e you'd find that its range of character building options is pretty amazingly large. I don't know how that competes with 3.x, it is kind of hard to say. In 4e you MC by selecting an MC feat, so you are always a base class plus possibly one multi-class, from which you don't get a lot, just usually a cut down version of one class feature, sometimes a power use, and qualify as a member of that class (which opens up a bunch of things). So a Figher/Wizard is going to be 90% fighter and 10% wizard. Still, that 10% can be quite interesting.

4e also has Hybrid rules, which are really the equivalent of 3.x MCing (or more like 2e MCing). You pick 2 classes, get a cut down version of each one's features, and can pick powers from either class. It works WELL in general (some combinations are horrible of course).

You get a lot of other character building options beyond that. Feats do all kinds of things. Themes let you add some added element to your PC (almost like an MC feat). There are various options that are either class features of specific classes or accessed via a feat, so you can take a heritage feat and be part vampire for instance, etc. The ritual casting system and practice system also allow for a bunch of options and combinations of concepts.

Basically if someone walks into a room and says "I have a concept for a character" and creates it with each system you can do pretty much any concept with 4e. Some are more natural with one system or the other, but you can do it. The 4e version will almost certainly be a good solid playable character, and you can more often have it all working at level 1.

In the end I think 4e has made a change in D&D that will never be unmade. It is different, arguably 'better' in some sense, and it will never go back to its older incarnations. When something does that it usually means it isn't going to have the dominance it once did, but it will be able to continue to evolve into new and interesting things.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
There's no question that 4E is not the success that 3E was.

Third edition came at a critcial time.  AD&D was starting to show its age horribly.  And I do mean horribly.  Roll on a table to tell you what table you need to roll on to figure out the results horribly.  For some reason TSR decided that with new information must come new complexity and thus the game system ballooned in difficulty as the size grew.  

White Wolf had walked into the gap for a simple system, and delivered Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage.   However, the initial 'shiny' of those systems had worn off, and the flaws were starting to come to the fore.  Primary among those flaws was combat.  WW PCs have the equivalent of 7 hp.  Given that weapons often had a damage potential of 6-10 per attack and most characters could make 3-8 attacks per round, combat between two powerful characters was the equivalent of rocket tag.   

Inbetween somewhere was GURPS, but GURPS suffered from the fact that no one understood or used the full character creation rules, outside of a handful of players, and brief exposure to the system tended to panic people who had even a moderate tolerance for complexity.  GURPS may stand for Generic Universal Role-Playing System, but apparently no one asked if the goal of creating the most universally generic role playing system was actually a good one.  

Into this morass stepped 3E.  Simpler than any other system except perhaps WW, with combat that was, while still rocket tag, at least slightly more forgiving rocket tag (combats were known to last until round 3, instead of universally ending during the surprise round like they did in WW games), with few charts and strong fantasy flavor, 3E worked.

...kinda.  The release of 3.5 was the admission that 3rd edition didn't actually work.  You can see attempts to balance it floating through.  Buffs were lowered from 1 hr/lvl to 10 mins/lvl so casters didn't universally have better stats than fighters.   They added grappling to try and make melee combatants able to handle casters.  Of course they didn't quite know what they were doing still.  Natural Spell caused Druids to not need a single physical stat, making them the most painfully single stat dependent class in the entire game.  They pretty much surrendered and let people print whatever for 8-9 level spells, making everything about level 15 horrifically unplayable.   The focus on making classes a tad more surviveable to nerf the rocket tag elements mainly just made Wizards and Clerics more able to survive late (their rocket tag elements were utterly uneffected).  Druids by that point, of course, had opted out of the entire concept of D&D by typing "Power Overwhelming" into their console, and thus giggled at the others as they did things (it wasn't until the release of Divine Metamagic that Clerics would type in "Power Overwhelming" and join Druids in the 'god mode D&D' box).  

4E was meant to fix that.  However, WotC didn't realize something.  For many, it wasn't a bug, it was a feature.

Smart, experienced players played casters.  New players were given the fighter and rogue, and the experienced players would shepherd them, carefully keeping their 'true power' in check  (druid was usually reserved for the 'gf you brought along' because as long as she didn't take levels in non-druid she could successfully win D&D just by doing whatever.  Also letting an optimized druid loose on 3E isn't considered sporting).  Sure, the 'challenges' they faced were miniscule, but they enjoyed facerolling whatever the DM tossed at them.  It was an excuse to drink beer, make jokes, and feel good as they rolled through a dungeon.

4E fixed that but good.  Now the new player actually threatened their success.  The gf they brought along who didn't know how to play couldn't be dumped in an overpowered insane class, because there was no overpowered insane class.   People had to actually know how their characters and the game rules worked, and care about positioning (whereas in 3E if you were too drunk to move your character properly it didn't really matter, positioning wasn't a huge deal).  

What WotC didn't quite realize is that the market for an interesting strategic RPG was... pretty small.  What people wanted was an unbalanced faceroll system where they could win every challenge with ease.  4E failed to deliver. 



(edited)

But 4th is the success that 3rd was.  I want to go into details but I have a feeling this entire thread is going to become "Na ah, Ya ah"

I have learned to not even bother posting what is wrong, what is right, what did this edition do and what this one didn't do.

I find to many times people are stuck in there opinions and anything I say won't make a difference
What WotC didn't quite realize is...What people wanted was an unbalanced faceroll system where they could win every challenge with ease.  4E failed to deliver. 


From my experience, this is uncomfortably truthy. =/
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
What WotC didn't quite realize is...What people wanted was an unbalanced faceroll system where they could win every challenge with ease.  4E failed to deliver. 


From my experience, this is uncomfortably truthy. =/

Hmmmm. yeah, I don't think its true though. It is just that 'challenge' was very uncertain at higher levels in 3.5, and somewhat luck dependent in all previous editions.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
TBH, I'll probably never play 3.5e(much) since I don't want to play a game where I'm punished for not picking x class.
The 4e change was the first edition change in the high internet world.  Sure the switch to 3e happened when their were some small internet forums.  However the advent of blogging, major advances in forum tech and the proliferation of casual net use hadn't really kicked in yet.  In every edition change there were holdouts, I would say that we can all agree with that statement.  Before the 3.5-4 changeover there wasn't any way for fans to be heard on the scale that they could in 2008.  In fact seeing as D&D has classicaly been the game of shut ins I doubt there was any real public talk about the changes, people either bought the new edition or they didn't.  Now anybody with a gripe can bitch on the net and find the few others that agree with them.  these few can form a united front and start convincing others using strawmen arguments, troll tactics and proliferation.


(edited)

But 4th is the success that 3rd was.  I want to go into details but I have a feeling this entire thread is going to become "Na ah, Ya ah"

I have learned to not even bother posting what is wrong, what is right, what did this edition do and what this one didn't do.

I find to many times people are stuck in there opinions and anything I say won't make a difference



It really doesn't take that much in the way of analytical skills to see that, financially, it isn't.  (edited).
There's no question in my mind that 3rd Edition D&D revitalized Dungeons & Dragons in general and gave the brand its second wind. Core rulebook sales were consistently strong after the product's release and multiple printings of those books followed.

I have no idea about sales figures for 3E and 4E, but IMNSHO I do believe 3 outsold 4.

To the OP: having played and run D&D campaigns for 3E and 4E, I would suggest you give 4E a try, with the caveat that you treat it like you would a product by WoW or GURPS or Alderac Entertainment.

That is, think of it as a brand new fantasy roleplaying game when you start learning the rules, because this helps with rules-confusion (sort of like dealing with false cognates when you learn a new language) between the two editions.

Don't think of it as "D&D" until after you've played a few sessions. 4E is a fun system. I think you'll enjoy it.
I came to 4e from 2e.  I bought the 3e books, but never found a game to get into.  From what I had read, I prefered 2e to 3e.  I just didn't feel it, but would have played it in a heart beat.

When 4e came along, I bought the books for that as well.  At first, I /hated/ the concept of 4e.  It changed way too much, was too different from my experience.  It's just like WoW, blah blah blah.  Then I actually /played/ some 4e, and found that I like it a lot more then I expected to like it, and in fact, like it better then my precious 2e.  I /like/ being able to cast more then 1 spell per day at level 1 on a caster.  I /like/ the way healing surges work.  Heck, I'd even play a 4e cleric.  I wouldnt be caught dead playing a 2e cleric.  I /like/ that most classes are playable, even if not completely overpowered.

Even garbage classes like the binder, I think are /playable/ as long as you aren't playing in a completely optimized party.

All in all, from a game play perspective, I think that 4e is better then 2e could even dream of being, and it looks better then 3e appeared to be.  If you go into 4e with a mindset of "I'm going to have fun playing this" and let go pre-conceptions, 4e is a hell of a good game.



(edited)

But 4th is the success that 3rd was.  I want to go into details but I have a feeling this entire thread is going to become "Na ah, Ya ah"

I have learned to not even bother posting what is wrong, what is right, what did this edition do and what this one didn't do.

I find to many times people are stuck in there opinions and anything I say won't make a difference



It really doesn't take that much in the way of analytical skills to see that, financially, it isn't.  (edited).



And here we go with the na ha, ya ah

You have the sales figures to show that 4th is a success.  We all are going on assumtions that we precive as true, when in reality very few people acutally know what the acutal sales so in turn even fewer people with those sale numbers know what to make of that data

(edited).
Just when you thought this sort of thing was over with...

I personally find 4e to be an improvement in most categories over all previous editions, but like Tony said - WotC's very, very erratic (bordering on unprofessional) behavior makes it obvious that it's floundering to some degree.  



First off, this guy says that 4E is an improvement at the start of this post, but everything that comes later refutes this original statement. I don't understand this need to balance an almost edition war tirade against 4E/wotc with one sentence of faint praise at the start.

The main reasons why, I surmise, are:

1. Its more restrictive, board-gamey gameplay alienated many RPGers who are used to simulationism being part of the game rules rather than being handled in the abstract.  This is the main thing that split the fanbase from 3e.  My opinion is that D&D has never handled simulationism very well, and that it's better served by a ruleset more similar to 4e's.  


Was it really necessary to use the edition war insult in this statement? Also, as somebody who has a lot of experience arguing with disgruntled 3E fans, I can definitely say that your assertion that it was the main thing that split the fanbase is very weak.


2. The edition came about a year or two prematurely, and felt somewhat overly-capitalistic.  The result of this was a lower-than-expected quality of early products like the original rule books, the introductory adventure and the FRCG, as well as major, unforgivable rules oversights like the math scaling.



We have leftist anti-corporation babble and conspiracy theorizing here. I'd also dispute the assertion on quality. It was no worse than anything WotC did with 3E, and the quality was more than enough for me and many others to kick 3E to the curb. 

3. The butchering done to the FR setting, which has been for some time the flagship campaign setting for D&D, even if not the "core" one.  4th edition FR left a very, very bad taste in a lot of peoples' mouths and I'm quite sure it played a rather large role in continuting the exodus from the official D&D brand.  



FR stopped being the flagship campaign setting long ago, when it split from mainstream D&D and went down its own path, catering to its own fans as opposed to D&D as a whole. That, and a few other things demanded a reboot. You can argue the quality of the reboot, but FR was on schedule for a butchering. You can count me as one of the people who never would have touched FR with a 10 foot pole prior to 4E's butchery, and now I use it in most every campaign.

4. WotC/Hasbro's diminishing reputation over typical "corporatism" - things like yearly layoffs and excessive focus on IP and anti-piracy regulations. The "change" to the OGL was somewhat misguided and did little but cause resentment and more fracturing amongst both gamers and content developers.



Statements like this make me feel that this hobby deserves to die. Get over yourself. Its just a freaking game. If a company makes a good game, you buy and play it. If it doesn't, you don't. If you want to insert your own politics into it, and base your enjoyment on that instead of the game itself, I feel sorry for you.
 
5. The fact that PF is about the most ideal version of 3.x that will ever exist, and enough players liked 3rd edition enough that PF was a more natural upgrade for them than 4e was.  



Lavish Pathfinder praise, enter stage right. As someone who was neck deep in 3.x, statements like these are a joke. Pathfinder is a half-assed set of houserules for 3.x, built up by hype. 

6. Regardless of the merit of the Essentials line as independent products (I liked most of them), its execution as a mid-edition revamp was not particularly well handled - it left a lot of disorganization, bloat, and inconsistency in quality and presentation in its wake, and failed to fix some of the more egregious problems with the overall system.



Essentials is actually quite elegant. The disorganization and bloat comes from non-Essentials, actually. I also wasn't aware Essentials was meant to fix problems with the system, and this is the first I'm hearing of it. Are you even familiar with 4E?

...whatever
Casual - I don't think you are interpreting his statements well.

He doesn't contradict his initial statement of liking 4E. He is critical of 4E, but that doesn't mean he dislikes it. In one quote, he specifically says that D&D is better handled by 4E's ruleset. How is that not liking 4E?

Also, saying that PF is the most ideal version of what he considers a broken system isn't lavish praise. Can you consider a more ideal 3.5 that doesn't totally change the way the game works? Remember that one of the goals was backwards compatibility. What he is pointing out is that people that liked 3.5 wanted more 3.5, not 4E.
In fact, this was one of the major complaints at the time 4E was released. While some people, like myself, wanted major revisions to 3.5, many people just wanted more of the same.

I think you are really mis-reading what he said. He's not excessively critical of 4E or lavishing praise on PF. He's fairly even-keeled about the whole thing and makes some good points.

I think you've argued with too many disgruntled 3.x fans, and now your hackles are up and you are looking for a fight. For some reason you are trying to pick an argument with someone who, for the most part, agrees with you.
Casual did you read Einlanzers post, actually READ it? Or did you just skim for keywords? Einlanzer is giving an honestly very even-handed approach to informing someone about 4es success and failures relative to 3.x's. They aren't the same game, and never will be, and some people will just end up liking 3.x/pathfinder more, there are things there that just don't exist in 4e like there are things in 4e that just don't exist in 3.x.

3.x is more simuilationist in it's rules, thats just a fact, you can't disprove that. 4e takes the RULES about simulationism and gives them over to the players and the DM to cooperatively abstract. I don't need to roll to figure out if I can cook or fix a bent sword or sail a boat or whatever else; if it's in my characters background to know how to do those things it's assumed I can do them fairly well without having to worry about failing barring some unforseen complications. 3.x's combat rules were also alot more deep and arcane at their base; 4e has a very simple combat system at it's base but numerous complicated deep aspect branching off to where the characters and monsters exist on the rules continuum.

FR still is a flagship setting for many people. It's the living campiagn setting for 4e and many people who are only faintly familiar with D&D know what the FR is because of it's feature in numerous video games. FR might have strayed from D&D for a while, but it was clear it has always been identified with D&D.

I think it's fair to critize hasbro as well. Indeed we should critize it, we are their customers and thus the people who pay them. So if they're practicing things we find unappealing we should let them know. Nothing ever gets changed if no one complains about it to begin with.

Okay now onto the big thing, Pathfinder. I know around these parts it's almost like a curse word, but, as far as 3rd edition goes, it is actually about as good as you're going to find carried in a game store. It removed a fair amount of the really big problems, like dead levels especially, and was still 3rd edition at it's core and was immediately recognizable as that. It isn't a bad game just by virtue of being in competition with 4th edition. You shouldn't go around **** on peoples hobbies, it's not cool. Some people like pahtfinder more than 4th, and that's their right, because as I said before it's just a different game and does different things so different people like it or 4e better than one or the other. Also like Dranack said, saying "pathfinder is the most ideal version of 3.x" isn't exactly a compliment, it's just a statement about it's relative quality to one other thing. That would be like me saying I think pulp free is the best version of orange juice and you getting upset because you prefer apple juice, it's makes no sense.

Finally regardless of how good or bad essentials turned out to be there's no arguing that it's reception was at the very least looked dubiously upon. Some people called it 4.5, and I don't think that's exactly right, but it gives you an idea of what people thought about it because it was just such a BIG difference from what had been published previously and didn't even bother to actually FIX the math hole, just give more feats to patch it up. Essentials clearly was meant to fix some things, or rather just change them to make design easier. The essential class setup requires VASTLY less work than an original 4e class does, and there was much more room made in regards to fluff. The essentials books have also become the new core, in a manner of speaking. They're the books WotC tells retails stores "if you only carry a few books make sure they're these," and they're the books that are used during encounters (the program to introduce new players to the system). And Einlanzer wasn't even questioning the merits of the essentials line, he was just stating that their reception was less than stellar and it did indeed cause a bit of confusion during it's release.
I think the word 'troll' is occasionally used as a shorthand for 'you're right but I don't like that.'
Where do I fit in. I wanted major revisions to 3.5, 4th ed went to far/different direction, PF didn't go far enough. Saga came close but is a different genre and is essentially a 3.5/4th ed hybrid with the 3.5 magic system ripped out. 4th ed made a massive impact. Time will tell if it was a positive or negative impact to the D&D brand as a whole.

 I still haven't forgivin WoTC for the 4 th ed realms though. 5th ed had better be 1375 DR or there abouts in terms of the Realms.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Casual - I don't think you are interpreting his statements well.

He doesn't contradict his initial statement of liking 4E. He is critical of 4E, but that doesn't mean he dislikes it. In one quote, he specifically says that D&D is better handled by 4E's ruleset. How is that not liking 4E?

I think you are really mis-reading what he said. He's not excessively critical of 4E or lavishing praise on PF. He's fairly even-keeled about the whole thing and makes some good points.

I think you've argued with too many disgruntled 3.x fans, and now your hackles are up and you are looking for a fight. For some reason you are trying to pick an argument with someone who, for the most part, agrees with you.



Lets look at the words he used to describe 4E and/or WotC:

Unprofessional
Restrictive
Board-gamey(a classic Edition War insult, not far behind the WoW accusations)
Premature
Over-Capitalistic
Lower than Expected Quality
Unforgivable
Butchering
"Corporatism"
Disorganization
Bloat
Inconsitancy
Failed
Egregious

With hostile language like this, particularly the two bolded terms, excuse me if I refuse to take his "praise" at face value. A common tactic of people spewing 4E hate is to pretend to play the system to lend their complaints more credence, and his post sounds more like one of those than anything else.


Casual did you read Einlanzers post, actually READ it? Or did you just skim for keywords? Einlanzer is giving an honestly very even-handed approach to informing someone about 4es success and failures relative to 3.x's. They aren't the same game, and never will be, and some people will just end up liking 3.x/pathfinder more, there are things there that just don't exist in 4e like there are things in 4e that just don't exist in 3.x.



An even-handed approach doesn't touch on incendiary and hostile language as he did. He might not be a true 4E hater, but he definitely has an axe to grind(my guess would be that he was an OGL fan upset that WotC kicked it to the curb). One doesn't have to fit the exact description of an edition war troll to be biased and hostile.


3.x is more simuilationist in it's rules, thats just a fact, you can't disprove that. 4e takes the RULES about simulationism and gives them over to the players and the DM to cooperatively abstract. I don't need to roll to figure out if I can cook or fix a bent sword or sail a boat or whatever else; if it's in my characters background to know how to do those things it's assumed I can do them fairly well without having to worry about failing barring some unforseen complications. 3.x's combat rules were also alot more deep and arcane at their base; 4e has a very simple combat system at it's base but numerous complicated deep aspect branching off to where the characters and monsters exist on the rules continuum.



4E hit D&D simulationism with a bus and then backed over it, and blew up the ambulance that came to rescue it with a rocket launcher. I'm not denying that. I do disupte his claim that this was the primary beef. A quick list of anti-4E complaints off the top of my head:

1. Lack of simulationism
2. Dumped the OGL
3. Dumped traditional fantasy aesthetic for a more cinematic aesthetic
4. Slaughtered sacred cows
5. Gutted the god-like power of spells
6. Removed the 3E multiclassing system

and you could go on...

Calling simulation(or any single complaint) the primary reason a majority people didn't switch is ridiculous.


FR still is a flagship setting for many people. It's the living campiagn setting for 4e and many people who are only faintly familiar with D&D know what the FR is because of it's feature in numerous video games. FR might have strayed from D&D for a while, but it was clear it has always been identified with D&D.



FR had for a long time been a parochial backwater of D&D, focused inward towards catering to its own fans at the expense of appealing to D&D at large. At the same time, its prominence stood in the way of any other setting becoming the flagship D&D setting. You could argue whether the reboot was botched, but a reboot was long overdue.


I think it's fair to critize hasbro as well. Indeed we should critize it, we are their customers and thus the people who pay them. So if they're practicing things we find unappealing we should let them know. Nothing ever gets changed if no one complains about it to begin with.



That is bull. You know what is more important than how Hasbro behaves? The freaking game. If the game is good, who cares what Hasbro does?


Okay now onto the big thing, Pathfinder. I know around these parts it's almost like a curse word, but, as far as 3rd edition goes, it is actually about as good as you're going to find carried in a game store. It removed a fair amount of the really big problems, like dead levels especially, and was still 3rd edition at it's core and was immediately recognizable as that. It isn't a bad game just by virtue of being in competition with 4th edition. You shouldn't go around **** on peoples hobbies, it's not cool. Some people like pahtfinder more than 4th, and that's their right, because as I said before it's just a different game and does different things so different people like it or 4e better than one or the other. Also like Dranack said, saying "pathfinder is the most ideal version of 3.x" isn't exactly a compliment, it's just a statement about it's relative quality to one other thing. That would be like me saying I think pulp free is the best version of orange juice and you getting upset because you prefer apple juice, it's makes no sense.



Pathfinder is a lie. Pathfinder advertised itself as a fixed, compatible 3.5E and failed on both counts. As much as I refuse to touch it now, I was a satisfied 3E player for many years and I find Pathfinder to be an insult to that memory. If I wanted to play 3.5E, I'd play 3.5E, not some copy.


Finally regardless of how good or bad essentials turned out to be there's no arguing that it's reception was at the very least looked dubiously upon. Some people called it 4.5, and I don't think that's exactly right, but it gives you an idea of what people thought about it because it was just such a BIG difference from what had been published previously and didn't even bother to actually FIX the math hole, just give more feats to patch it up. Essentials clearly was meant to fix some things, or rather just change them to make design easier. The essential class setup requires VASTLY less work than an original 4e class does, and there was much more room made in regards to fluff. The essentials books have also become the new core, in a manner of speaking. They're the books WotC tells retails stores "if you only carry a few books make sure they're these," and they're the books that are used during encounters (the program to introduce new players to the system). And Einlanzer wasn't even questioning the merits of the essentials line, he was just stating that their reception was less than stellar and it did indeed cause a bit of confusion during it's release.



The Essentials discussion is a whole different can of worms, and beyond the scope of this thread.
...whatever
Casual - you are using the same hostile language that you accuse Einlanzer of using. Not helping your case much. Sounds like you have an axe to grind.
4e will make more money over its lifetime just because of Dnd insider. Companies love constant revenue streams, rather than hoping you'll buy the book. For instance no ome in my group is even remotely interested in the book of vile darkness. But between now and the next book release I would have spent enough money to purchase it, whether I wanted to or not. Over all Dnd insider is a good thing its the grease that keeps the gears rolling. As for 3e and 3.5 its over people just get over it. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to play 4e, there is more than enough content out there for it. Just play enjoy your game, and stop worrying what I'm doing atthe my 4e table.