What will be the legacy of 4e?

In my mind, 4e is a re-imagining of D&D. For whatever reason, WotC has made D&D their baby, unique from anything seen under Gygax or TSR. Maybe to put some distance between D&D and d20 spin-offs like Pathfinder? Now, with DDN, I can’t help but wonder if WotC feels they’ve went too far and now want to recapture (for lack of a better word) some of the legacy of D&D (rather than leave it in the hands of a game like Pathfinder). Maybe?


The next iteration of D&D will be the 40th anniversary edition of D&D. That’s a perfectly good excuse for bringing the D&D community (back) together I think. That’s good. These rambling thoughts are all basically a lead in to this question: What will be the legacy of 4e?

I’m mean for years and years, the lore of the game was carried over from edition to edition. Then, things were re-imagined with 4e; WotC seemed to say “Okay, let’s make this game our own”. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s their prerogative after all.


For instance, we had the Great Wheel cosmology in 1e (Manual of the Planes), 2e (Planescape), and 3e. Then, in 4e, the Great Wheel was supplanted by the World Axis cosmology. That’s the most obvious example of re-imagining that took place with 4e. Another example is the re-imagining of Tieflings as a core race in 4e, or even Aasimar as Deva.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining here. I’m actually a fan of the new cosmology, and 4e Tieflings are okay ;). I’ve really enjoyed the re-imagined aspects of 4e. For the first time in a very long time, the lore of the game feels fresh and new to me. I can’t help but wonder however what will be the legacy of 4e? Has the re-imagined world of 4e really been around long enough to have a claim to the D&D legacy? I wonder if the designers will carry it forward in some manner or if they’ll simply let it fade away.  I doubt it but I wonder how it will all 'mesh' with D&D lore in the long run.


= = =


What do you guys and gals think?  I'm curious.


/\ Art
I think that the legacy of 4e will be written in the critical reception of 5e and how much of 4 remains in 5. If 5e is everything the game designers hope and say it will be, and that the various factions all want to reunify us to one sysyem, then it will probably be seen favourably as the system that brought us to this point. without it and its ideas, no 5e. If little 4e is seen in 5e and 5e is a success, then probably most will consider 4e an experiment that had interesting bits but mostly failed. If 5e tanks, presumably cos it tried too hard to make it all things to all people, then 4e will be seen as the last viable system that didnt capitulate and retain relevance and possibly in new fans. 

My crystal ball gazing.  
The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules. -Gary Gygax
I think it will carry the same legacy as New Coke.

Too much deviation from the original product in an attempt to make money and compete with rival producers of similar products (Pepsi, or in this case, the video game / MMO industry).
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion Make yourselves scabs?
 

I’m mean for years and years, the lore of the game was carried over from edition to edition. Then, things were re-imagined with 4e; WotC seemed to say “Okay, let’s make this game our own”. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s their prerogative after all.

For instance, we had the Great Wheel cosmology in 1e (Manual of the Planes), 2e (Planescape), and 3e. Then, in 4e, the Great Wheel was supplanted by the World Axis cosmology. That’s the most obvious example of re-imagining that took place with 4e. Another example is the re-imagining of Tieflings as a core race in 4e, or even Aasimar as Deva.


 

In 2ed, Demons and Devils were called Baazteu and Tanari. Sigil was first mentioned in 1994, 20 years after D&D came out. In 3ed, suddenly Paladins could be non-human. In every edition, things change. The important difference is whether the fans accept it as "right" or "not right".    

I'm not sure what you mean by the bolded part. Do you mean how Tieflings were made integral to the 4ed campaign world, or that they could be included in the first PHB?  

Has the re-imagined world of 4e really been around long enough to have a claim to the D&D legacy? I wonder if the designers will carry it forward in some manner or if they’ll simply let it fade away.  I doubt it but I wonder how it will all 'mesh' with D&D lore in the long run.



Stuff like Planescape and Dark Sun are very incongruous with what came before, but they were accepted, at least by significant amounts of people. I think that the PoLand world will be remembered strongest by its fans, and when they design their own product, it will be influenced by PoLand. I doubt it's going to mesh, because so much of it is irreconciable with the past, and also because the design choices to change certain things reflect different desires and uses of the world and multiverse. 

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

I think it will carry the same legacy as New Coke.


This.

I'm thinking, in no particular order:

  1. Warlords

  2. Avengers

  3. The new cosmology

  4. Power Sources

  5. Roles being made explicit for the first time

  6. Themes

  7. Fighters finally being equals with Wizards

  8. Casters having at-wills



 I'm sure it will be remembered as a wild time when fighters casted spells, wizards could cast some spells as long as they liked,role playing was banned, skills were thrown out, DnD became WoW, the non caster proletariat raised up and achieved equality for the briefest moment a la the Paris Commune, all this among Randian screams of "If everyone is a caster then no one is!".


1) Balance among different classes all over the board.


2) No need to have a magical healbot with you.


3) Much more detailed and creative combat for non-casters.


4) At-will powers for casters

5) Faster encounter creation for DMs

Honestly I would like 5e to be 4.5 once all optional modules will be out, while being close to 1e/2e when only core or a few optional modules will be used.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

A lot will depend on how well 5e goes over.

If 5e does badly it is very likely there will be 3 camps, the 3e/Pathfinder players, the 4e players and the 5e players. This would mean a good chance of Hasbro retiring D&D as a product line. Pathfinder would become the only supported version of the game and would slowly absorb most of players. If this does happen, 4e will be viewed as a mistake that killed the game by many.

If 5e does well, then it will get most of the players fairly quickly. In this case it will depend on how much 4e there is in 5e. If there is a lot, then 4e will be viewed as an experiment that went too far too fast, if there isn't a lot, then it will be viewed as a failed experiment.

I think WotC is smart enough to realize if they want to bring the 3e and 4e camps together they need to carefully blend the best and most popular bits from the previous editions without favoring any one edition too much. That means the new cosmology and background will have a blend of 3e and 4e. Because of that, I expect the Feywild and Shadowfell will be carried over in some form. Some elements of the Astral Sea will probably be incorporated in the new Great Wheel. Of the 4e gods, only the Ravenqueen is likely to carry over, she is really the only popular addition, the rest are either generic or already existed.

With the races, some background material is likely to be carried over. For most races the background material is generic enough that it can be incorporated easily. Tielfings are really the only hard case, as some people prefer the 3e version and some the 4e version and they are different enough that the game really can't have both at the same time. If WotC carries over the 4e version the background material will probably come with it. I'm rather expecting some sort of attempt to blend the two though, and who knows where they will go for background then.

I think that the new coke analogy pretty much nails it. For many players 4e was a sort of, scouring of the shire, the removal of all the lore from previous additions really turned people off. From the removal of spell names to the **** of the forgotten realms a lot of people just got pissed. Most of the new 4e mechanics were really solid but it’s super hard to overcome people’s hatred of the destruction of the lore. 4e represents the death knell of the hobby as it exists today, 5e can save it but only if it’s nearly perfect and appeals to the whole player base, that’s a big order. I think that 4e will be rembered as the game that killed the FLAGS and put the board game and pen and paper games into an online only sales situation. Pathfinder may be the hobbies white night riding to the rescue I think pizo and the PDF are the future of the hobby.


If 5e does well, then it will get most of the players fairly quickly. In this case it will depend on how much 4e there is in 5e. If there is a lot, then 4e will be viewed as an experiment that went too far too fast, if there isn't a lot, then it will be viewed as a failed experiment.



If there's alot of 4e in 5e?  Then I predict that 5e will not succeed.

Why?  Because a significant % of the people WoTC is trying to sell it to have allready rejected 4e.  They've done so twice now counting Essentials.
So I can't imagine they'll act any different if given a 3rd dose.


1) Balance among different classes all over the board.


2) No need to have a magical healbot with you.


3) Much more detailed and creative combat for non-casters.


4) At-will powers for casters

5) Faster encounter creation for DMs




These.  These are all things that 4e did that they have expressed will be included in 5e.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
The New Coke analogy works for me.  As I remember, it didn't take long for Coca-Cola to back-pedal and introduce 'Classic Coke' (New Coke quietly disappeared a short time later).  I'm seeing a similar pattern with 4e and DDN; the re-imagining, re-invention wasn't as popular as hoped.

I'm also concerned that what CCS says has merit, that DDN cannot *afford* to have too much 4e in it; that game has been soundly rejected by people that WotC wants to re-capture.  I've enjoyed the lore of 4e but I wonder if it will be allowed to quietly disappear like New Coke.

My personal feeling is that the legacy of 4e will revolve more around mechanics and less around lore.  Much of the lore form 3e and earlier and 4e just don't seem to mesh well.  Some things will translate easily enough (the Shadowfell and Feywild perhaps) but other things are gonna be tricky I think.  Where will Deva fit in the Great Wheel for instance; Aasimar don't fit in the World Axis too well (there are no celestials-- that's one reason for re-imaning the race as Deva).

I think 4e will be better remembered as the game that introduced things like ADEU spells for spellcasters, balance among the classes, and (my favorite ;)) healing surges (and the elimination of the healbot).  As Salla says, the designers have mentioned that these things will likely carry over.

= = =

Great thoughts so far from everyone.  Got another question for ya:  Assuming that the they can 'mesh' the published lore of 3e (and earlier) with 4e, what new things do you think we'll see in DDN, storywise?  

For instance, Aasimar were re-imagined as Deva so that the race would more properly fit into the World Axis cosmology.  Assuming they bring back the Great Wheel, while at the same time retaining some of the elements of the World Axis, what will be the relationship between Aasimar and Deva?  Will they be something like Eladrin and Elf or will they be re-imagined (again), maybe as an all new race?

Whaddya think ;)?  How much stuff like that do you expect to see in DDN?
/\ Art
4e will have several legacies.
one of them will be what its oncoming did to the forgotten realms.


another will be its ramshackled ideas that did not run as planned.


another will be that it had some decent novels. and the novels I hope will be 4e's legacy..... well most of them, the LP trilogy I'd like to forgett.        
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....


another will be that it had some decent novels. and the novels I hope will be 4e's legacy..... well most of them, the LP trilogy I'd like to forgett.        



Absolutely.
I'm not a big fan of the system, but I don't hate it. I just prefer to play 3.x/Pathfinder and 2e. I did kind-of like what Essentials was trying to do and I have really enjoyed the 4e novels. 
I definitely think that the novels are something that can be remembered fondly about 4e. Of course, I'm also one of the minority that likes the Essentials Digest size books, so what do I know.
For what's it worth, I love 4ed and completly agree with the New Coke analogy. Mostly because any flavour of Coke tastes the same. ;)


Where will Deva fit in the Great Wheel for instance; Aasimar don't fit in the World Axis too well (there are no celestials-- that's one reason for re-imaning the race as Deva).



What? Angels exist. Other divine races exist. If Celestials can inter-breed with mortals in the Great Wheel, they can do the same in the World Axis. Lord knows that not having strict alignments means it makes more acceptable for Celestials to bump uglies with orcs.

For instance, Aasimar were re-imagined as Deva so that the race would more properly fit into the World Axis cosmology.  



Again, what? The Deva is not the Aasimar. The world team didn't want the Aasimar, so it choose a race with a different celestial connection. The Great Wheel Deva is certainly a different thing from the World Axis Deva, but you could switch them between each cosmology, and they could fit in the foreign cosmology just fine.

 Assuming they bring back the Great Wheel, while at the same time retaining some of the elements of the World Axis, what will be the relationship between Aasimar and Deva?  Will they be something like Eladrin and Elf or will they be re-imagined (again), maybe as an all new race?

 

Aasimar will be children of angels, and Deva will be angels that took on mortal form. Really, no overlap except in a macro view of "it's a celestial-themed race."

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick


If 5e does well, then it will get most of the players fairly quickly. In this case it will depend on how much 4e there is in 5e. If there is a lot, then 4e will be viewed as an experiment that went too far too fast, if there isn't a lot, then it will be viewed as a failed experiment.



If there's alot of 4e in 5e?  Then I predict that 5e will not succeed.

Why?  Because a significant % of the people WoTC is trying to sell it to have allready rejected 4e.  They've done so twice now counting Essentials.
So I can't imagine they'll act any different if given a 3rd dose.



There will be no 4th in 5th.
there might be quite some essentials.
but as many who rejected 4th diden't even look at essentials as it did carry the 4th edition lapel they might not eaven realise how many thinges in 5th are based on essentials. 
I think my friend, who used to be a hater of 4e for a long time said it really well:

"If you could trick pople into playing 4e without telling them they were playing 4e, they would probobly like it."

Haters gonna hate is never more evident when it comes to 4e. There are some valid complaints about the system, but most of what I read and hear is blind ignorance and hypocracy.

Saddly, a legacy is based on impressions and opinions instead of facts. The New Coke analogy is funny, but what I don't like about it is that New Coke was terrible. 4e did a lot of good things for the game. That gets lost when you call it "New Coke."
that phrase needs to go.
Haters gonna hate.... really needs to go.



for all what 4e did right, it did an equal number of things wrong and both of which would be highly oppionated as no two people will agree on everything     
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
Why?  Because a significant % of the people WoTC is trying to sell it to have allready rejected 4e.  They've done so twice now counting Essentials.
So I can't imagine they'll act any different if given a 3rd dose.

The problem being there is also a large camp of people who think 4e is the best edition ever. For 5e to really succeed, it has to appeal to both. So it is going to have some 3e and some 4e in it. it is just going to be a question of ratio.

My personal feeling is that the legacy of 4e will revolve more around mechanics and less around lore.

Probably true, but I suspect only because 4e was a fairly lore light game. The Pol setting favors fairly generic material with limited backgrounds, and the game wasn't around long enough to develop it's own complex lore. Most of it is either older stuff that was carried over and updated, or random bits of fluff that don't connect to anything else. So what 5e will get from 4e in lore is a few specific popular items, the Ravenqueen, the Fewwild and the Shadowfell, plus some other random bits mixed in here and there.

Great thoughts so far from everyone.  Got another question for ya:  Assuming that the they can 'mesh' the published lore of 3e (and earlier) with 4e, what new things do you think we'll see in DDN, storywise?

Very little at the start. They have a lot of existing material they need to fit in. Given their goal of trying to bring over both 3e and 4e fans, they need to include as much old material as possible. The only new lore in the first run of books is likely to be little bits that bridge between 3e and 4e material.

Again, what? The Deva is not the Aasimar. The world team didn't want the Aasimar, so it choose a race with a different celestial connection.

Where do you get the bit about the WotC designers not wanting the Aasimar. The WotC designers said that the Deva was the 4e Aasimar put through the same sort of re-imaging that the Tiefling got. The end result just turned out so different that most people don't see the connection.

The New Coke analogy doesn't work. A lot of people legitimately enjoyed 4e and consider it the best edition ever written. It was very different, but it wasn't a failure. 
I love you guys.
that phrase needs to go.
Haters gonna hate.... really needs to go.



for all what 4e did right, it did an equal number of things wrong and both of which would be highly oppionated as no two people will agree on everything     


One can reasonably say that about past editions too.  I came into D&D with AD&D 2e, played through 3e, and into 4e, and I enjoyed them all while playing them.  IMO, each edition has been better than the last.  However, none of them are without their significant flaws.

And, realistically, it doesn't matter what a person is interested in; there are always going to be haters, who are going to hate it.  The D&D community should be especially aware of this fact given how much hate has been directed at the game by people and organizations that never even tried to understand it, and all the hate directed at the socially different people who chose to play the game.

Heck, the following quote from the movie Airheads is the closest thing D&D and its players have ever gotten to a fair shake in the public consciousness:

Chazz: It's... uh, he's... awww ****. Kayla, there's something I gotta tell ya. Um... I was a geek in high school. I had really short hair, I played "Dungeons and Dragons", I had a bug collection, I ate my Boogers. My name's not Chazz... it's Chester, and I understand if You don't love me, anymore.
D & D Rocker: I played D & D, too!
School Newspaper Rocker: I was editor of the school magazine!
Corduroy Rocker: I used to wear corduroy pants!
Masturbating Rocker: I used to ****... constantly!



So, yeah, haters are gonna hate.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I think it will be remembered as a interesting and rather brave experiment, but at the same time one that ultimately failed at being D&D.
After playing it for a couple of months, me and my group all felt like it wasnt really D&D, it was a D&D spinoff. It still has a lot of fans, but to us grognards, they all have a really warped perception of what D&D is. And they will all be expecting to have that perception, be met in the 5th edition.
Now with this modular system it may be possible to have that D&D spinoff and the "real" D&D running at the same table.
It will be very interesting to see if it works. I hope so Smile
Again, what? The Deva is not the Aasimar. The world team didn't want the Aasimar, so it choose a race with a different celestial connection.

Where do you get the bit about the WotC designers not wanting the Aasimar. The WotC designers said that the Deva was the 4e Aasimar put through the same sort of re-imaging that the Tiefling got. The end result just turned out so different that most people don't see the connection.

Just further backing this up, FRPG says on p. 21: 

Just as the Mulan deities could only send avatars into Faerûn, the angelic servants who accompanied them also had to incorporate themselves in mortal flesh, and became the race of devas—or aasimars, as they were known in Mulhorandi.

and thats not what it said back in 3.x and earlier editions on the aasimar.
a mask everyone has at least two of, one they wear in public and another they wear in private.....
The New Coke analogy doesn't work. A lot of people legitimately enjoyed 4e and consider it the best edition ever written. It was very different, but it wasn't a failure. 



actually this statement proves it is exactly like New Coke -- if you don't recall, New Coke had quite a lot of followers that absolutely loved it, but it was so varied from the original Coke product it was condemned from the start. so while you or others might love 4th Edition, just remember, a lot of people loved New Coke, too... just not enough to prevent the company from backpeddling and trying to return to their "classic" ways.
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion Make yourselves scabs?
and thats not what it said back in 3.x and earlier editions on the aasimar.



Certain parts of 4e had a really bad habit of completely contradicting previous conceptions of monsters while still claiming to be set within the same continuity. Archons going from Lawful Good celestials for three editions to suddenly archons being evil elementals, eladrin being Chaotic Good celestials and suddenly that race vanishing and mortal sun/moon elves being called eladrin, other outsider races simply vanishing entirely because 4e randomly got rid of certain alignments.

It was awkward to say the least, and lends to the conception among many that 4e was simply too far afield from previous editions of D&D - essentially being a different game entirely (felt especially harshly in campaign settings like FR). It has elements that are worth future consideration yes, but a lot of things again fell too far afield for much of the community to view it as D&D-enough in their eyes.
Shemeska the Marauder, Freelancer 5 / Yugoloth 10
I'm getting the impression that a lot of people's concerns with 4e were not based on mechanics, but on fluff text. Fluff text is the easiest thing to change in an edition and I'm sure 5e will be able to make fluff text based on user input.
New Coke

The best thing about New Coke is that now Coca-Cola has the word Classic underneath it now, that's cool imo.  First time I saw 4e I thought it was different enough from D&D that they could release a 5th edition just like the pre4e game and it would seem new.  And they could release it quickly.

Maybe instead of D&D Next (not surprisingly like Pepsi Next) go with D&D Classic. 
No, lol, I am serious!
I'm getting the impression that a lot of people's concerns with 4e were not based on mechanics, but on fluff text.



Which makes no sense to me, since the fluff text in any edition can be easily and completely ignored and changed if you don't like it.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
It depends on 5e

If 5e is a full success, 4th passes somewhat gracefully (at least as much as 1st and 2nd have).  It will be viewed as an experiment, with a level of success depending on how much of it is seen in 5th.  It will also be seen as Dark Times for the brand, given that the success of 5th is contingent on sparking a new golden age of united D&D, but the rules sustem might have its advantages as well as its flaws remembered this way.

If 5e is a limited success because it fails to draw the 4e-crowd, 4th withers and dies (there can be no 4thfinder).  It is regarded bitterly and relegated to the land of Discontinuity, most likely Canon Discontinuity even.  Every effort is made to grind its legacy into the dust to force acceptance of the New Order.  In time, those diehards who remain become another wing of the very OSR grognards they once despised.

If 5e is a limited success because it fails to reunite the older crowds, but attracts the 4e bunch, 4th passes gracefully and is remembered in D&D circles as a golden age that "purged" D&D of all the "awful" things the older editions crowd was looking for.  With 5e's failure to attract them, 3e/PF and OSR players direct even more bitterness at 4e than before, seeing it as the act that sparked Edition War.

If 5e fails miserably at attracting old players of any stripe, 4e joins the ranks of those who once hated it -- while there may be no 4thfinder, the miserable nature of the new edition may prompt a 4e answer to OSRIC.  4e diehards become what they've hated, unrepentant followers of an outdated edition ready to lob vitriol at the next one.  In fact, being less removed than 3e/PF and OSR, they probably pick up the torch of the loud grognard, railing at the fans of the new.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."
On Worldbuilding - On Crafting Aliens - Pillars of Art and Flavor - Simulationism, Narritivism, and Gamism - Shub-Niggurath in D&D
THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

Agreed, Salla

I am currently making up my own fluff for Tiamat and Bahamut, for example. I don't need WoTC or other people to use that fluff in order for me to use it.

@Jim11735

People have already suggested thinking of 5e as an "anniversary" edition. I think calling it DnD Classic also works well.
I'm getting the impression that a lot of people's concerns with 4e were not based on mechanics, but on fluff text.




Which makes no sense to me, since the fluff text in any edition can be easily and completely ignored and changed if you don't like it.


Makes a lot of sense to me, because I think that most people don't bother with their own fluff. They buy the whole package.

What's the difference between D&D, Midgard, 7th Sea, ...? The fluff


Sure, I could use a D&D setting with the Midgard rule, or the D&D rules in the 7 Seas setting (which leads of to 7th Sea D20), but I propably buy a setting for it's fluff and use whatever rules come with the fluff (just look at all the D20 version of various settings, people didn't care about a completly changed rule set as long as the setting fluff was left the same)

But fluff has changed in every edition and is very dependent on specific game setting (Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Planescape, Forgotten Realms...). Do you really see the fluff from 1e to 3.5e as this consistent blend, which was "destroyed" by 4e?

Likewise fantasy art needs to change with the times. A lot of fantasy art that was created in the 1970's (or even 80's) is no longer appropriate. There needs to be a fresh look.
For me the legacy is 4e is the version I taught and played with my kids.  They will have access to it until my books lockup due to the release of another version.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

But fluff has changed in every edition and is very dependent on specific game setting (Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Planescape, Forgotten Realms...). Do you really see the fluff from 1e to 3.5e as this consistent blend, which was "destroyed" by 4e?

Yes. For decades D&D hat it's metasetting with the great wheel and all the "nonsense" that was attached to it. Sure, each campaign setting had a different tone, but at the end of the day they all were linked through the planes.

While there were some cataclysms shaking a setting here and there, through all of it the meta setting remained pretty constant


 That was the "D&Dnes" and 4e disregarded it all. How many spells a cleric can cast or how much a fighter could contribute compared to a wizard, these all are trivialities, D&D had a specific setting that set it apart from other RPGs with their own specific settings, no matter how their respective rules changed over their edtions.


One of the biggest misstakes in 4e FR was the 100 year jump. So far all cataclysms hitting FR have been "event X happened just yesterday, we now have today" and then 4e was suddenly "event X happened and now we are 100 years later". Really, even without any spellplague the 100 year jump alone would have driven away a lot of fans. 


I'm getting the impression that a lot of people's concerns with 4e were not based on mechanics, but on fluff text. Fluff text is the easiest thing to change in an edition and I'm sure 5e will be able to make fluff text based on user input.

It looks like that here, but that is because this is the story, flavor and art forum, where a lot of the discussion is just fluff.

At at more subtle level, mechanics and fluff are linked. To a certain extent the mechanics are an expression of the fluff and the fluff is a description of the mechanics. If the game mechanics don't support something, then no amount of fluff can add it to the game.


read underdark or the demonomicon and then tell me with a straight face that 4e has a fluff problem


Personal opinion...

I think the fundamental issue at the core of the "edition wars" is that 4E would have made an excellent, oh, let's say 7th edition.

The game evolves, it always has.  For most editions, it did so incrementally, not radically.  4th edition was a radical change.  It shook up the cosmology, the classes, the alignment system...in short, it wasn't an evolution, but a revolution of D&D.

For a lot of fans, it proved to be too much.  It was a shock to the system.  A better analogy than the "New Coke" thing would be, I think, going from the 1960s Batman TV series to Chris Nolan's Dark Knight.  They are both Batman, but a lot changed and evolved in the interim.  Going from "nanananana, bam! pow!" to "Some men just want to watch the world burn" would be a bit jarring, don't you think?  ;)

Now, from the other end of the spectrum, a lot of folks enjoy 4E, whether they are new to D&D or older fans who just clicked with 4E and enjoy the changes.

 Regarding the "make your own fluff" arguments, I'd like to caution folks to remember that some D&D players enjoy D&D lore as it is.  They are fans of the story D&D has told throughout its history.  The Tarrasque, Mordenkainen, Drizzt, Sturm Brightblade, Lady Vol, all these names resonate as part of D&D's shared history and that is important for a lot of D&D fans.  Thus, when 4E changed the meaning of some of those things, the change was too jarring for some.
             

All around helpful simian

"I think, going from the 1960s Batman TV series to Chris Nolan's Dark Knight.  They are both Batman, but a lot changed and evolved in the interim.  Going from "nanananana, bam! pow!" to "Some men just want to watch the world burn" would be a bit jarring, don't you think?  "

I think that is the best analogy I've heard

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

For a lot of fans, it proved to be too much.  It was a shock to the system.  A better analogy than the "New Coke" thing would be, I think, going from the 1960s Batman TV series to Chris Nolan's Dark Knight.  They are both Batman, but a lot changed and evolved in the interim.  Going from "nanananana, bam! pow!" to "Some men just want to watch the world burn" would be a bit jarring, don't you think?  ;)

Other way around. Moving from 3e to 4e is more like going from Dark Knight to the 1960's Batman. 4e sacrifices any sense of realism or grit for a highly stylistic and camp system after all. 50% joke/50% true

You actually have a good point about the jump to 4e being to jarring for many. There are quite a few players that I have run into that where initially highly resistant to 4e because of it's fundamental changes to the system. Most came around to thinking that the game is at least OK after actually playing it for a while. I did not see the same sort of total rejection when the game went from 2e to 3e. There where arguments over how good particular changes where but the only people I know who didn't switch fairly quickly where deep in the middle of a campaign they didn't want to mess with or revise half way through.

I still think though that 4e isn't actually an improvement over 3e. Around here there are still more people playing Pathfinder then 4e. Why is debatable, but I think the inability of the game to come close to dominating the market even after 4 years says there is something wrong at the core. If the only problem was conversion shock, people would have gotten over it by now and new people learning the game would have moved the market.


For a lot of fans, it proved to be too much.  It was a shock to the system.  A better analogy than the "New Coke" thing would be, I think, going from the 1960s Batman TV series to Chris Nolan's Dark Knight.  They are both Batman, but a lot changed and evolved in the interim.  Going from "nanananana, bam! pow!" to "Some men just want to watch the world burn" would be a bit jarring, don't you think?  ;)
            




I don't think that he Batman analogy works, in that no one makes that jump directly because there are so many iterations of Batman between them - some closer to the campy side (Joel Schumacher, the Animated Series) some closer Nolan's darker version (Burton, the graphic novels) and all of those originated from what was, at the time, an incredibly dark comic book... indicating the campy side was far out of line with what Batman was all about.

You are correct that the switch was jarring - much how the switch from Coca-Cola to New Coke was jarring. It's not to say New Coke was bad or hated by all - just like 4th wasn't inherently bad and definitely is not hated by all. In fact both performed well with test groups prior to release. But both represented a singular shift that was too extreme for the bulk of established fan base to handle and ended up costing the company the money after an initial surge and despite the popularity of a particular subset of consumers.

Comparing 4th Edition to New Coke is not an indictment of its quality but only of its major shift from the core product that was not really requested by the established fan base that also resulted in the company re-thinking said shift.
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion Make yourselves scabs?