In summary - why do people have problems with the 4th edition?

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I'm new to D&D, and preparing to set up my first group.  I see that there's a lot of debate around about why the older versions were better, and some people have issues with the 4th edition.  I don't really understand what the issues with it are. 

From watching some of the youtube videos of games in action, I'm guessing it might be because of the actually system of fighting - when you have an encounter, it seems rather over-complicated;  I find myself wondering: what's happened to the narrative?  Because it takes ages to actually kill a few beasties.  Is your issue that they made it too much like a wargame?

Maybe I'm totally wrong though, that was just my initial thought.  I wonder if people could summarise, in one or two sentences: why do you like / not like the 4th edition; and why do you think the older versions were better / worse?

As I said, I'm new to all this, so please bear with me asking obvious questions, that must have been asked many times before.

4E is my favorite edition, but some of the most common complaints:  People not liking how the powers are set up.  All PHB1 and 2 classes were set up with at will, encounter, daily, and utility powers.  A lot of people did not want all casters to have at wills or martial classes to have daily powers.  Later classes changed this, but by then people had usually made up their mind.

Some people like class and race imbalance, which 4E tried and usually succeeds at avoiding.  Some people like "vancian" casting, where wizards and cleric type PCs have big lists of daily spells they pick from each day and 4E does not do that.  Some people like save or die and plot rending spells, which 4E does not have.  A lot of people don't like 4E multiclassing rules compared to previous editions (I personally like it, but think it could have been done a lot better).  Some of people like having alignment and racial restrictions to classes, which 4E generally avoids.  4E redid a lot of really old mechanics of previous editions.

Early 4E did tend to drag as the monsters weren't well designed: too little damage and too many hitpoints.  In my experience it was (usually) not much longer than 3.5 and you don't do pre fight buffing which saves time.
you cant rp in 4e!!!!!!!!
you cant rp in 4e!!!!!!!!



rp = role play?

You can't role play?  why not?  Why could you role play in previous versions, but not anymore?  I don't get it - isn't it just up to the individuals and the group whether or not you choose to speak in character?
you cant rp in 4e!!!!!!!!



rp = role play?

You can't role play?  why not?  Why could you role play in previous versions, but not anymore?  I don't get it - isn't it just up to the individuals and the group whether or not you choose to speak in character?

Yes, it's up to the individual group, and nothing about 4E actually prevents you from roleplaying.  However, "you can't roleplay in 4E" is a common, although inaccurate, complaint of some previous edition holdouts.

There is some element of truth to the complaint.  While nothing about 4E hinders roleplay, early 4E also didn't give the players much flavor to help with roleplay.  I can roleplay while playing Monopoly or Scrabble, after all.  As 4E has matured, it has gotten much better in this aspect, but that doesn't stop many from repeating the same tired, overblown complaint.

t~
you cant rp in 4e!!!!!!!!



rp = role play?

You can't role play?  why not?  Why could you role play in previous versions, but not anymore?  I don't get it - isn't it just up to the individuals and the group whether or not you choose to speak in character?



its just a common thing people say about 4e, not my opinion
What people mean when they say that is that 4e doesn't dictate your character concept for you to nearly the same degree as the game used to. Turns out a lot of people want to play a role from a list, not create something personal.

Not a difficult desire to accomodate (see, for instance, the character concept generation appendix in HotFW), though it will also be an extremely easy area to screw up if they go back to "required" rather than "suggested".




So we need to do more work in character creation in the 4th edition compared to previous versions?  Is there anywhere that I can find pre-created characters, if I want to get a game going quickly, and get straight into the action?

On a bit of a sidenote, I read or saw something about a classic PC lineup.  If you have five player characters, plus a DM, what is the best choice of characters for the players?
Is there anywhere that I can find pre-created characters, if I want to get a game going quickly, and get straight into the action?

?



here you go

dungeonsmaster.com/pre-generated-charact...
As long as you have the 4 roles covered (leader, defender, controller, striker), any combination of classes works.  And even this is only true for new DMs.  Once you get the hang of things, you can literally have any party composition you want, as long as you adjust accordingly.

When 4E first came out, I found character creation very easy (I still think its easy IMO).  But since release, a lot of options have come out.  Now, its painful to watch new players try and create characters (on the online builder), especially without any guidance...

On topic:  4E felt like the first edition that didn't require a lot of tweeking out of the box.  I had always taken issue with many rules in previous editions, which lead to houseruleing and handwaveing.  4E streamlined combat, which gave our group the ability to focus on our characters and the events unfolding as we played, instead of rules.  I know this is not a universal experience, but it is mine.
For me, it was because combat took too long.  I  like combats that last maybe 10 minutes.  4e's highly tactical combat system just didn't suit my taste.  It's not a bad thing.  A lot of people like that.  I just didn't.
Well, some people would also list that as a problem, but the one being discussed here is more that if you play a Paladin in 4e you're expected to choose a god, define a faith, and figure out what it is you will and will not be supposed to do between yourself and your DM, rather than having an official, universal Paladin code that you must follow or you are Doing It Wrong.

Classic PC lineup? Warlord, Ranger, Fighter, Wizard, Rogue would do it. Not coincidentally, this list is also known as "bringing one of every class from PHB1 that worked properly on publication".



Ah, so 4e is more flexible regarding character creation?  That sounds pretty good, for me.  Especially since I'm using D&D for English language teaching - it's nice to have the possibility of more creativity in character creating.  good to have the pre-created characters as an option too though - thx to frothsof for the link

youre welcome!
I havn't played alot of older editions but what i gather is...

Combat:
4) Tactical:  You get 5-6 turns, things die slowly, making it worthwile to say... push things into a clump for your wizard to blast.
3.5) Simple: You get 1-2 turns, things (including you) die quickly... no need to push things if you can just kill them.

RP:
4) Undefined / Free: You are a paldin / rogue / druid: make up a personality.
3.5) Defined / Restricted: You are a paldin / rogue / druid: You abide by code X.

Balance:
4) Everyone is more or less balanced across all levels
3.5) Some classes start strong, but scale slowly.  Others start weak, but become powerful. 

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.

Every reason I've heard people cite for why 4e is horrible and previous editions (particularly 3.5E) are good, I have one of three answers for:

1) I agree, except in my experience 3.5E was worse. Example: slow combats.

2) What do you mean you can't do that in 4E? Every player I know does it a lot! (Or equivalent: No rule for it in 4E? Try PHB1 page xxx.)

3) That is one of the reasons 4E is vastly better.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Re: RPing in 4e.
I think the biggest long term stumbling block is  Skill Challenges. They can be great but they default to bad. When done ideally they should look like organic roleplaying, where players just have their PCs do what makes sense in character and that is (assuming PCs who know their own strengths and aren't trying to sabotage themselves) the course of action with the best chances of succeeding. At the end, the SC system should then give you a reasonable guideline for when to call the overall activity a success or failure, and what the implications are in terms of XP or other rewards.

The published rules for Skill Challenges fail here because they set up the wrong 'shape' to things. They assume you are in a scenario where trying and failing is definitely worse than not trying at all. This is reasonable for certain types of situations, such as a diplomatic effort, for example, where saying the wrong thing can make the person your trying to convince start hardening their attitude toward you and not want to keep listening.
For a lot of scenarios though, time is the limiting factor and if someone is doing nothing in such a scenario they are probably hurting the odds of overal success, and if they are aiding that is at the expense of making their own attempt. For such a case, you should be targetting a number of successes with each character having a fixed number of attempts (and an aid another costs one of those attempts but gives +2 instead of a success.. only reasonable to try if you are in over your head for accomplishing it yourself).
For some situations, it may be that each individual needs to succeed at something, and each failure comes at an individualized cost without a real risk of overal party failure. 

Hopefully 5e will revamp the Skill Challenge to address these different shapes and how to reward them appropriately. LFR has been doing a fair bit of experimenting in this area in some of the mods and it has helped.

Another aspect is that it is key to approach the skill challenge from a goal oriented perspective rather than a skill-rolling oriented perspective. IF the party is trying to escape from the city, and one of them has an ability to instantly make a portal the party can hustle through and let close behind them, that should serve as complete success, skill challenge over. If the best they can do is, say, make the whole party fly for a round, then that should probably be usable for a success with an appropriate description of how they slip into a back alley and use it to hop over a wall before the guard can catch them. Etc. Use your judgement as a DM to figure out what makes sense.      
@Istaran-
Have you seen the small changes they made to skill chalenges in Saga StarWars Gallaxy of intrigue?
It has writen out and named modifiers for some of the problems you point out.
It could even be an example of how they improve the system for 5E, I mean D&D next.
 
@Alistair_c
another thing that the people who hate 4E complain about is that when the Fighter or Paladin trys to get between the monsters and the soft and squishy Wizard  they have powers or class features that give the monster a reason to not target the Wizard.

They think that it is too much like the pull / agro / tanking in MMORPGs.
Combined with the class roles of defender, controller, leader, striker the nay sayers think it is all too much like an MMORPG.
Because knowing what is expected of you and bring good at it is obviouslly a bad idea. 
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
What people mean when they say that is that 4e doesn't dictate your character concept for you to nearly the same degree as the game used to. Turns out a lot of people want to play a role from a list, not create something personal.

Not a difficult desire to accomodate (see, for instance, the character concept generation appendix in HotFW), though it will also be an extremely easy area to screw up if they go back to "required" rather than "suggested".



I disagree with this sooo much.  While I dont feel that 4E necessarily places you into any specific role, neither did 3E.  I would even say that 3.5 was much better at allowing you to mix and match to assing the character personality to the way you want your character to react.  4E is only not bad at it because you can just reflavor all the power descriptions to be the way you want.  The 4E powers are kinda all the same eventually and blend together so you just invent your personality outside of what your character can really do.  Which has both good parts and bad parts to it.
Considering Blizzard is rolling in their moneybin while WotC has had to fire a good deal of talent, any comment of "Like a MMO" is coming from a smaller potential source of income.

Also: Marking is brilliant, of the fundamental changes in 4e, it's probably the second best implemented (Striker's +Damage feature being the top) all around with really only 2 mechanical failures and one of those is pretty irrelevant (mind spike)
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
As I was reading this topic, I realized that 4e in some ways plays out like an action movie - the types with big set-piece combat, chase, or general action sequences. The plot moves forward in these moments, but the characters often use actions instead of words to express themselves. And, well....some people don't like these types of movies.

In the 3e games I run, combats rarely last more than a round or two, with every successful strike being pretty decisive. I think a Skill Challenge that uses attack rolls instead of skill checks could emulate these types of battles in 4e pretty easily (with healing surge loss instead of game overs as failure penalties). In this way 4e is kinda cool, in that you can have long and quickie combats, whereas in 3e you really had to game the system to pull off long combats.

There are other things people don't like about 4e, but I think a lot of it is perception of the game.
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 ****.
    Since I deem 4e the best version so far, I may not be the proper person to ask [or answer], but...
    The game is much more tactically complicated.  For those who like complications, this is a virtue, but a lot of people want a simple game and we may have gone too far if we want the greatest popularity. 
     The complexity does seem to cut into rp somewhat.  There is only so much time and when you are busy figuring out what your powers are, and looking for prime use, rp is skimped on.  Now, it was often skimped on anyway, but I again wonder if it is now a little too hampered.
      A major problem was that 4e is just too different.  It really does not qualify as D&D at all.  Earlier versions were simply and obviously clear improvements, but 4e was just too different to make that an easy judgement.  That is what gave Pathfinder a chance.  In earlier versions, there were a few people who wanted the old ways, but the overwhelming majority went with the new version.  4e was just too ahead of the times.  A 3.75, maybe followed by a 4e might have worked better.
I think presentation has a lot to do with it. In 3e there were martial characters with daily powers and wizards with at-wills, yet no one minded those because of the way they were presented. Also, some people don't like tactical combat (I don't really understand this as I've played both with and without a grid in every single edition, including 4e), and combats seemed to take much longer. Also, pg 42 being in the DMG instead of the PHB was a mistake (presentation) as many players apparently didn't realize it existed, and skill challenges were a cool idea but their DMG1 presentation was horribly lacking and pretty much set DMs using them for the first time up for failure.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
I think a big part of the difference in terms of combat can be expressed by comparing Fireball vs Fireball:
3.5
Show

Fireball

Evocation [Fire]





























Level:Sor/Wiz 3
Components:V, S, M
Casting Time:1 standard action
Range:Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Area:20-ft.-radius spread
Duration:Instantaneous
Saving Throw:Reflex half
Spell Resistance:Yes

A fireball spell is an explosion of flame that detonates with a low roar and deals 1d6 points of fire damage per caster level (maximum 10d6) to every creature within the area. Unattended objects also take this damage. The explosion creates almost no pressure.


You point your finger and determine the range (distance and height) at which the fireball is to burst. A glowing, pea-sized bead streaks from the pointing digit and, unless it impacts upon a material body or solid barrier prior to attaining the prescribed range, blossoms into the fireball at that point. (An early impact results in an early detonation.) If you attempt to send the bead through a narrow passage, such as through an arrow slit, you must “hit” the opening with a ranged touch attack, or else the bead strikes the barrier and detonates prematurely.


The fireball sets fire to combustibles and damages objects in the area. It can melt metals with low melting points, such as lead, gold, copper, silver, and bronze. If the damage caused to an interposing barrier shatters or breaks through it, the fireball may continue beyond the barrier if the area permits; otherwise it stops at the barrier just as any other spell effect does.


Material Component

A tiny ball of bat guano and sulfur.



4e
Show

Wizard Attack 5Fireball

A globe of orange flame coalesces in your hand. You hurl it at your enemies, and it explodes on impact.


Daily   *     Arcane, Evocation, Fire, Implement Standard Action     
Area burst 3 within 20 squares


Target: Each creature in the burst


Attack: Intelligence vs. Reflex


Hit: 4d6 + Intelligence modifier fire damage.


Miss: Half damage.



Tactically they are basically the same thing. The shape they take up on the battlefield is conceptually equivalent but literally different and makes for a lot more cases in 3.5 where exact positioning gets to be a pain. (People talk a lot about exact positioning being a bigger deal in 4e, but I find the non-Euclidean geometry plays down exact positioning a lot as you don't have to deal with the pseudo-round shapes all the time.) The damage numbers are different and scale differently (4e's in particular is generally concidered weak, but SoD proponents considered 3.5s to be weak as well), but each is pretty standard for its own edition. 3.5's has a much bigger engagement range, if your DM is ever generous enough to allow your enemies to be spotted at more than 100 ft away.

The big difference is in the description of the effects. The 4e version spends 2 lines (hit/miss). The 3.5 version spends three paragraphs to convey the same thing, adding an array of specialized considerations that almost never come into play.

Because 4e lacks this kind of descriptional overhead, they can put out similar basic powers en masse fairly easily. But even really complex powers in 4e end up less wordy than 3.5's fireball. There's a ton of variations that have significant tactical implications but end up expressed in a similar, unambiguous format. To a lot of people this loses the character. To a lot of people this seems more tactical (is that only because they used to play fighters or other charcters designed for repetitive basic moves? I don't know). The upshot though is that each power is well defined (no cross references.. OMG, 3.5's wild shape was such a stupid mess of cross references) and they can put out a lot including even interesting unique powers pretty easily. And when you get to the table Fireball is basically Fireball.
  
Actually, another aspect there...

In 4e, roughly, if you're not really trying to work on damag,e your damage can go up by around 1/level.  (the baseline is not even that.  +5 @ 1st vs. +15 @ 30 is only +1 damage per 3 levels).   Comparing to this, monsters gain around 8hp/level.

In 3.5e damage goes up by 3.5/level.  And monsters gain/level is more variable, but let's say between 4 and 9/CR as a roughly equivilent number. (1d8 -> 2d8.  Dragons scale by something like 3d12/CR, but they're closer to solos in 4e).

So if you don't really work to find ways to crank your damage, you can end up with really long combats in 4e at higher levels... which are not spectacularly fun to play.

(Of course, if you do work on cranking up your damage, you can end up scaling it closer to +4/lvl, which turns into a completely different game form)

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

In no particular order.

1. Boring/rigid class/roles sytem. Didn't really matter what class you were and strikers were very good along with striker like builds. Damage=death and death is the best status efect.

2. No dead tree format Dragon/Dungeon.

3. Lacklustre/boring game books for the most part with recycled 3.5 art and often weak art as well.

4. Somewhat boring/silly genre replacing the great wheel. Add parts of D&D history blend with greek mythology, aw who cares.

5. 4th ed Forgotten Relams. The Relams died for me in 4th ed. I hate the 4th ed relams with a passion.

 Those would be the main offenders. The mechanics of 4th ed were good but to above were the main deal breakers for me. 3 years of DDI and no thanx. 4th ed wasn't bad as such but I wanted a fixed (nerfed spellcaster, cleaner mechanics)  3.5/d20 version of D&D and I got 4th ed
For me, it was because combat took too long.  I  like combats that last maybe 10 minutes.

I ask this because I really want to know. Why bother with a 10 minute combat? Why not just say to the players "You kill the monsters."

I mean really, if you dislike combat so much, why have it at all? You can just narrate the foregone conclusion and move on?

4e had bad marketing that was hostile towards fans

4e books aren't particularly fun to read (look at the fireball example, 3e's reads more like a story)

Pathfinder came out to snatch up the 3e fans

4e is largely a failure of presentation. Most criticism comes from an ignorance of how the game actually plays. 

the biggest mechanical criticism though are skill challenges don't work and math stuff. 
For me, it was because combat took too long.  I  like combats that last maybe 10 minutes.

I ask this because I really want to know. Why bother with a 10 minute combat? Why not just say to the players "You kill the monsters."

I mean really, if you dislike combat so much, why have it at all? You can just narrate the foregone conclusion and move on?




Hi,

At work so I'll keep it short now.  I'll try to expound on it a bit later.

Two points though.

1)  I never said I dislike combat.  I find it exciting.  What I don't like are long combats.

2)  Why not just say "you kill the monsters?"  I play 1e primarily... and it's not the case where combats against monsters are a foregone conclusion.  Early edition combat tends to be very swingy which I find is part of it's charm.  It doesn't make it absolutely good or bad... it's just the way I like to play.  So, handwaving combat isn't an option because there was always the real possibility that a PC could be knocked unconscious or killed.

4e had bad marketing that was hostile towards fans

4e books aren't particularly fun to read (look at the fireball example, 3e's reads more like a story)

Pathfinder came out to snatch up the 3e fans

4e is largely a failure of presentation. Most criticism comes from an ignorance of how the game actually plays. 

the biggest mechanical criticism though are skill challenges don't work and math stuff. 



The fun part is that the real flaws of the product, its faulty math past a certain level, the flawed mechanics of Skill Challenges (the idea was good though, it just needed some polish) etcetera, are never really brought up by non-fan...

So much time is spent dealing with nonexistent problem, and so little time to deal with the actual problems...
4E has several flaws most of which have already been mentioned, but I don't think that a couple of important 4E flaws have been mentioned (and they go hand in hand with the poor marketing):


1.  The promised support for the game wasn't there (and in some cases never materialized).  I am of course referring to the DDI support, Virtual Table-Top, Encounter/Adventure Creator and much more.


2.  The game wasn't finished! There is a lot of mistakes, holes, and obvious places where either the game flat out wasn't playtested, or the playtest data that Wotc did get was ignored.  Of course we know knew per Mearls (see EN World) that indeed 4E flat out ignored almost all of the playtest data that they received and 4e suffered for it.  The game had to undergo 2 years of brutal errata that in places almost seemed to completely rewrite the printed core books making them nearly useless in places (which was aggravated by the slow, late, and inconsistant digital support 4e got esp early).  Game breaking stuff lasted in 4e for as much as two years after initial publication (the first version of the Orb of Imposition for example).


-Polaris      
In no particular order.

1. Boring/rigid class/roles sytem. Didn't really matter what class you were and strikers were very good along with striker like builds. Damage=death and death is the best status efect.

2. No dead tree format Dragon/Dungeon.

3. Lacklustre/boring game books for the most part with recycled 3.5 art and often weak art as well.

4. Somewhat boring/silly genre replacing the great wheel. Add parts of D&D history blend with greek mythology, aw who cares.

5. 4th ed Forgotten Relams. The Relams died for me in 4th ed. I hate the 4th ed relams with a passion.

 Those would be the main offenders. The mechanics of 4th ed were good but to above were the main deal breakers for me. 3 years of DDI and no thanx. 4th ed wasn't bad as such but I wanted a fixed (nerfed spellcaster, cleaner mechanics)  3.5/d20 version of D&D and I got 4th ed

1)I don't see how that differs from previous editons.  If anything, it's better in 4e, since things can live long enough for daze to matter.  And there's plenty of room to customize within a class.

2) Personal preference, but yea, some people like paper.

3) They cleaned and dried the mechanics.  Which is nice for play, but does make for a rather dull read.

4) Personal preference, i prefer the planes not being divided by tenuous ideals.  Even if it made it nice and semetrical.

5) can't comment, always played custom worlds.


2)  Why not just say "you kill the monsters?"  I play 1e primarily... and it's not the case where combats against monsters are a foregone conclusion.  Early edition combat tends to be very swingy which I find is part of it's charm.  It doesn't make it absolutely good or bad... it's just the way I like to play.  So, handwaving combat isn't an option because there was always the real possibility that a PC could be knocked unconscious or killed.

Then just roll a d20.   1-5, you loose a PC, 6-10, you are heavily wounded, 11-20, you win.

Very swingy and fast. 

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.

Personal preference, but I'm not a fan of swingy combats in roleplaying games. It's fine in a tactical wargame, or any other game that doesn't care in the slightest about plot and continuity. If (permanent) character death is common, I am not going to be able to care about my character. I'm going to make cheap throw-away characters so that it doesn't matter when they die, and I"m not going to care about the plot because it's going to be made into swiss cheese by the protagonists being offed repeatedly. SO in effect it's going to become nothing but a board game to me.

One of the things I love about 4e is that it is so much better than 3.5 (which was my first version of D&D) at getting to the brink of defeat/death without any actual character deaths. You see death coming far enough in advance that you can change course and act to avert it. In 3.5 there's save or dies where by the time you know it's coming you're rolling the d20 to see if you are dead or not and have no choices to make to avert it, or high level monsters who hit hard enough that landing in the 0 to -9 zone is increasingly unlikely. (And, you know, a lot of monsters that outrun most PCs trivially, making the often suggested "sometimes you should run away" a truly hilarious suggestion. The worst is a dragon, since they can generally fly as far as you can full run and still attack.)
I'm new to D&D, and preparing to set up my first group.  I see that there's a lot of debate around about why the older versions were better, and some people have issues with the 4th edition.  I don't really understand what the issues with it are. 

Nostalgia and resistance to change.

Seriously, there is nothing better, or even particularly good about the older eds, people just love them because they have fond memories of playing them when they were young and/or played them for so long they're used to them and set in their ways.

Accross the board, 4e is a tecnically superior system, though that's far less evident when comparing it to other games than when comparing it to older editions of the same game.  That's because D&D, though it got the whole ball rolling back in '74, has lagged the industry throughout most of your hobby's history.  From the release of RuneQuest in '78 on, there have been better games out there than D&D.  Today, the list of games that are better than D&D (especially if you don't include 4e as representative of D&D) is probably only slightly smaller than the list of games other than D&D. 

I wonder if people could summarise, in one or two sentences: why do you like / not like the 4th edition; and why do you think the older versions were better / worse?

I don't want to waste your time on explaining just how bad D&D has been and why, it's a voluminous topic.  Suffice it to say that D&D was the first RPG, and was very primitive, to start.  A lot of games imittated it, but also learned from it's mistakes, and subsequent generations of games likewise learned from those games mistakes.  Fairly standard dynamic for any new thing - it gets rapidly improved at first, then slowly refined.  D&D, resting on the laurels of it's 'first' status, did not learn from it's mistakes or make improvements rapidly.  It more or less coasted for 20 years or so, becoming something of a laughing stock among serious gamers, but adored by it's hard-core fans who stuck with it out of loyalty and habbit. 

4e's better because it actualy tried, but it's still nothing special (but for that name recognition and 'first' RPG status) compared to other games. 

My advice would be to play D&D for a bit, and explore other games until you find something that really suits you.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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I think one of the problems is the spellcasting (or Powers) system.  Using the powers for each class makes them seem the same.  Older players liked that the magic system was different and that spellcasters could do some interesting things using spells in specific situations.  In 4e, most of the powers for spell casters don't do much that is as interesting as older version spells.  4e focuses more on the standard conditions like...slow, knock prone, blind, push, immobilize, stun, daze, etc.  One of the joys from older games was using a specific spell to really help the party at crunch time.  For example, using Rope Trick to create an extradimensional hiding place to escape pursuit, or charming a person or monster to fight for you or help you in other ways.  By balancing (or over balancing) 4e made magic seem less magical.  Hey...the Dwarven fighter can cut with an axe, do damage and push a foe back...guess what?   A wizard can use a power to cause damage and push a foe back.   Not much difference.

There are certainly many good points to 4e, and I enjoy playing it (and it is a joy to DM), but the spell casting is a huge point of contention.  Rituals in 4e do not bridge the gap. 

 

A Brave Knight of WTF

Hey...the Dwarven fighter can cut with an axe, do damage and push a foe back...guess what?   A wizard can use a power to cause damage and push a foe back.   Not much difference.
 



I think this highlights a huge gap between initial perception and contextualized understanding. 

The fighter swings his axe, deals some damage, pushes the foe (who is adjacent) into a less advantageous position such as interposing himself between the foe and his allies, and pins the foe into place with the combination of Combat Challenge and Combat Superiority, creating a strong incentive for the foe to fight the Fighter rather than bypass him to get to an easier target

The wizard throws a spell from a distance, pushing his foe into a less advantageous position, frequently either off a cliff, into other harmful terrain, or into a damaging zone that the wizard set up for just this purpose. If there isn't damage to be done in this way, the Wizard probably chose a push power because it makes it more dangerous or impossible for the enemy to reach the Wizard on its next turn, because the Wizard isn't tough enough to endure a sustained attack.

Note how even the same mechanic - deal some damage plus push - becomes completely different, almost opposite in fact, in terms of their tactical relevance because of the context of the characters the powers are on. One character is pushing to keep away from the enemy while the other is pushing to keep the enemy to himself.

And that's even with powers that are practically identical. The reality is that highly similar powers are a fairly small part of the game (especially if you skip the ones within a single class that are basically upgrades of one another), and often just cover basic staples (like, say, pushing). No one else can multiattack like a ranger, wizards rule at zone creation, fighters are the stickiest out of the box, wardens can generally achieve similar stickiness through active powers (often encounter-long dailies), etc.

The similarity between Luring Strike and Overwhelming Strike are dwarfed by the differences in the classes that possess them (or even the effects of the Power of Skill feat).
But no matter how true all that is, that won't stop someone from looking at the stat blocks and declaring "Swordmage is the same as Avenger!"

Note how even the same mechanic - deal some damage plus push - becomes completely different, almost opposite in fact, in terms of their tactical relevance because of the context of the characters the powers are on. One character is pushing to keep away from the enemy while the other is pushing to keep the enemy to himself.



Very nice, but a fairly idealized account of what might happen in any given encounter. As a wizard I would push the enemy into a square close to the fighter, from which it would be harder for him to get to me. The fighter might similarly push the enemy into the zone I created (back when I was still playing 4e, push builds were in fact all the rage as it could be used to ping-pong the enemy through the zone for incredible amounts of damage, but maybe they've fixed that now).

You're free, of course, to create any narrative you'd like for what happens on the grid, but from a tactical point of view dmg + push equals dmg + push. (A ranged d+p is somewhat different to a melee d+p, but that wasn't the point you were making.)

At the end of the day, either you and your group enjoy the combat of 4e or you don't. If somebody feels that the classes are too samey, it's a symptom of them not having fun with the game.
Very nice, but a fairly idealized account of what might happen in any given encounter. As a wizard I would push the enemy into a square close to the fighter, from which it would be harder for him to get to me. The fighter might similarly push the enemy into the zone I created


It had to be idealized because I'm generalizing. My main point was that sometimes different character use the same tools very differently because of what else they have in their toolbox.
 
(back when I was still playing 4e, push builds were in fact all the rage as it could be used to ping-pong the enemy through the zone for incredible amounts of damage, but maybe they've fixed that now).


They stopped single-turn ping-pong, but a party could still all pick up pushes to shove an enemy back and forth on their own seperate turns.
You're free, of course, to create any narrative you'd like for what happens on the grid, but from a tactical point of view dmg + push equals dmg + push. (A ranged d+p is somewhat different to a melee d+p, but that wasn't the point you were making.)


As I just pointed out, they aren't the same because of the context. (If we assume the wizard somehow has melee d+p, he'd be typically using to escape from the enemy, not to dictate where he stays in the enemy's face. Though I"m making assumptions about the wizard ;P I've seen some disturbingly tanky wizards on occassion.)
At the end of the day, either you and your group enjoy the combat of 4e or you don't. If somebody feels that the classes are too samey, it's a symptom of them not having fun with the game.


I think I can agree with this. I almost exclusively hear the 'samey' claim from people who don't like 4e, and usually ones who played it once or twice if at all. People who play a lot rarely think the classes play the same, or even particularly similar.
It had to be idealized because I'm generalizing. My main point was that sometimes different character use the same tools very differently because of what else they have in their toolbox.


Hmm. I tended to see 4e combat as manipulating states on the board. And since the party was cooperating in this, it didn't necessarily matter who did the d+p as long as the resulting state was the desired one. (Agreeing on what the desired state actually looked like was easier said than done, of course, in practice it could be a real challenge to find a push that didn't thwart someone else's plan for the round...)

Your conceptualized way of looking at it probably has its merits, but I just never saw it that way.
    
They stopped single-turn ping-pong, but a party could still all pick up pushes to shove an enemy back and forth on their own seperate turns.


Ok, much better than nothing, then. It's still quite cheesy, but off the cuff it doesn't sound like a gamebreaker to me.

I think I can agree with this. I almost exclusively hear the 'samey' claim from people who don't like 4e, and usually ones who played it once or twice if at all. People who play a lot rarely think the classes play the same, or even particularly similar.


I never particularly felt the classes were samey during play (we were a smaller outfit with little to no overlap, though), but remember feeling overwhelmed whenever I was browsing that char generator thingy and seeing thousands of powers that all pretty much boiled down to permutations of the same dice rolls and effects. It might not mean it's samey, but it sure means you're not unique and that's disheartening, too.
Good points above.

Another reason why some don't like 4e can be seen as a corollary within the Power/Sameness argument.

Since many of the powers specifically deal with combat positioning, it requires players to focus on tactical decisions.  Many enjoy this.  Many don't.  I've heard lots of posts complaining that 4e is too focused on combat, and I think the importance of tactical decisions (using the table and miniatures to depict the battles) and powers that affect movement and positioning is the cause.

Focus on combat tactics, movement and positioning also slows down combat decisions and tends to make 4e combats last longer than combat in previous versions.

 

A Brave Knight of WTF

I never particularly felt the classes were samey during play (we were a smaller outfit with little to no overlap, though), but remember feeling overwhelmed whenever I was browsing that char generator thingy and seeing thousands of powers that all pretty much boiled down to permutations of the same dice rolls and effects. It might not mean it's samey, but it sure means you're not unique and that's disheartening, too.



I think a big part of this is basically mentally subtracting out dice+attribute damage out of what you're looking at as being basically a given (and rather it's noteworthy when an attack power -doesn't- deal damage) and assume your standard single-target range as a baseline, and probably vs AC as a default for weapon, vs NAD as default for implement.

Once you have that baseline, look at what it is that makes the power distinctive, and that's where you should be focusing. I keep hearing people refering to powers as being "damage and effects" as though the effects are all basically the same, when in fact the effects range over a -huge- variety.

The damage is the underlying basic premise of the game. It's assumed that normally all PCs will attempt to damage at least one enemy every turn, and will eventually achieve victory in that fashion if they are not first defeated by the enemies dealing damage to them. It's like the "go forward" part of a racing game. Surely you don't freak out about how samey it is that all racers in a racing game go forward? You probably don't even think to notice it, because you're too busy noticing the differences between their cornering, acceleration, maybe wierd superpowers depending on the game. Is a racer that goes forward and drops landmines (or banana peels or whatever) the same as a racer that goes forward and fires rockets (or turtle shells or whatever)? 
Once you have that baseline, look at what it is that makes the power distinctive, and that's where you should be focusing. I keep hearing people refering to powers as being "damage and effects" as though the effects are all basically the same, when in fact the effects range over a -huge- variety.


Like those other people, I don't really see the variety as huge, likely because my baseline was shaped during earlier editions of the game (not fully varied for each and every class, mind you, but fantastic variety for certain classes). The variety in 4e seems more subtle, and we never really got to the point where we would refine our sensibilities and start appreciating them more because Rhenny has it right: We weren't the right type of players for 4e. We just wanted to meet up and have some fun, and for this purpose we didn't particularly need such a complex gaming system. On the contrary, it got in the way of how we like to play. We did make several honest attempts to make it work for us, but it simply didn't pan out.

Now, did we reject 4e or did 4e reject us? For me, it certainly feels like the latter is the correct interpretation.
You're free, of course, to create any narrative you'd like for what happens on the grid, but from a tactical point of view dmg + push equals dmg + push. (A ranged d+p is somewhat different to a melee d+p, but that wasn't the point you were making.)

I get it.  In 1e, a fighter dishing out 7 points of damage with a sword and a magic-user dishing out 7 points of damage with shocking grap, are totally different.  In 4e, a fighter moving up to an enemy, doing 12 damage and pushing him1 square then shifting into the space he vacated, leaving the enemy marked and subject to his Combat Challenge attack, is identical to a wizard doing 8 damage & pushing several enemies in a close blast 3 (carefully positioned to avoid hitting allies) away from him, then moving further away from them to a safer location.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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