Now that 4E is drawing to a close we can safely say: NEVER DO THAT ERRATA POLICY AGAIN.

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The 4E errata policy was overzealous to the point of being histrionic. It's a very very bad policy when someone picks up a book like Adventurer's Vault or the Monster Manual or the Player's Handbook and has to throw it in the trash because a ridiculous errata policy makes much of the content useless. Which is what happens when you have over 150+ pages of errata, most of it being piddling crap like 'fighter only gets wis bonus to damage with this feat once/round' or 'Come And Get It is now a slide instead of a shift'.

I understand that it sucks when everyone and their mother picks up Pit Fighter or Kulkor Arms Master, but the solution to that is NOT to publish errata willy-nilly.  It fractured the fanbase in a huge way and hurt the playability of the game. And 5E D&D or whatever edition that comes in the future needs to never do this again.

I literally stopped buying 4E D&D products and cancelled DDI after the pre-Essentials update. Until then I had almost every 4E book except for things like the Draconomicon. Having the rug pulled up under me for the fifth time in a row was the last friggin' straw. Now that 5th Edition D&D is on its way, I do plan to buy D&D books for 5th Edition as long as it's at least Exalted 2nd Edition Quality. Not a high hurdle to clear with a book that thinks it's okay to put nude underage furries in the core rulebook, but that's another story.

But I'm drawing a line in the sand right now, WotC. If you pull that reckless errata crap again I will drop you as quickly as I did 4E. I do not like throwing away forty dollars just because some TCs get their panties in a bunch about 8 more DPR and nor will most of your lapsed customers.
I liked it, made it feel like they actually cared about game balance instead of throwing half-assed classes and abilities with the expectation we should fix it ourselves.
I liked it, made it feel like they actually cared about game balance instead of throwing half-assed classes and abilities with the expectation we should fix it ourselves.



At least fixing it ourselves would help us to understand what was wrong with it originally.  Some of the errata and updates they did made no sense.  For a while, they said they were going to post explanations about each erra --- err "update" but that stopped after the second or third time.  I guess it just got to be too much for them.

That should have been a hint, guys....
why do you throw away your books??? Why not just give them to me?  I'll send you shipping costs!

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

I would rather they actually fix things that are broken, thank you.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I wish WoTC keep Rule Update process around, things always need fixing. But better developpement and stronger Playtesting will reduce the need.

Also, thowing your book in the garbage because  something like 3% of your book content received an update is not so great. Give it to someone who will appreciate it more than you do Wink

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I wish WoTC keep Rule Update process around, things always need fixing. But better developpement and stronger Playtesting will reduce the need.

Also, thowing your book in the garbage because  something like 3% of your book content received an update is not so great. Give it to someone who will appreciate it more than you do Wink



No.  Rule Updates are the problem.  Errata should be for fixing mistakes such as typos, not for changing entire powers because "Oops, this was stronger than we thought it would be."

What was the reason for the change to Come and Get it?  I bet some DM somewhere complained that they couldn't do anything about a Fighter that had it and kept the monsters locked down .. you know, doing his *ROLE* as a defender.
Not all powers needed an update i agree (Blinding Barrage, Come and Get it etc...) but a lot of the stuff in the Compile PDF is also errors fix, keywords, wording and other changes or clarification. Rule Updates isnt only nerfbating. Rules for Stealth or Obscure Terrain are good exemples of why Rule Update must stay around.

But i agree more educated Rule change to reduce the volume and rely on it only when really necessary or game breaking could help keep them low. But saying Rule Update is the problem is incorrect, its the solution.  One solution to  treat a problem, among others.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I wish WoTC keep Rule Update process around, things always need fixing. But better developpement and stronger Playtesting will reduce the need.

Also, thowing your book in the garbage because  something like 3% of your book content received an update is not so great. Give it to someone who will appreciate it more than you do Wink



No.  Rule Updates are the problem.  Errata should be for fixing mistakes such as typos, not for changing entire powers because "Oops, this was stronger than we thought it would be."

What was the reason for the change to Come and Get it?  I bet some DM somewhere complained that they couldn't do anything about a Fighter that had it and kept the monsters locked down .. you know, doing his *ROLE* as a defender.



Come and Get It actually got alot of complaints about realism more over its balance.


Its still an awesome power.    
     Updates can be annoying, but developers are mortals and thus make mistakes.  We need to correct these errors whether they are a missing comma or a mistake that TPKs the party or cakewalks the monsters.
    Now maybe we will want to copy Britainica and put the entire game online so it will be easier to correct, or we may want to wait a few years, but the sooner we can correct an error, the better.
Errata and rules updates in 4e seem to have grown to fit the reliance of the format and many of its players and DMs on the literal rules, i.e. the RAW. If D&D gets treated like checkers, the rules and how they are worded becomes overly important. Nothing about all those updates was ever mandatory and outside of organized play every DM was and is free to change as they please. 

As long as we have people that will use the RAW to browbeat (or to put it less negatively: to convince) a DM into allowing stuff like recursive damage loops, or damage per square (do we recall the ere of the bloodmage where the rich red flow seduced many a wizard?) the many updates and errata were and are sorely needed.  

To be honest I think the problem is much more in how the rules were presented and concequently viewed and used (like checkers ) than in the resulting errata. So if DnD Next turns out to be a little less focussed on the literal wording of things, errata and updates should be a lot less of a requirement.

Oh and as an afterthough: if comma in the wrong place TPK's a party I would look at the DM. Not the rules, updates or errata
To DME, or not to DME: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous powergaming, Or to take arms against a sea of Munchkins, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;No more;
Errata and rules updates in 4e seem to have grown to fit the reliance of the format and many of its players and DMs on the literal rules, i.e. the RAW. If D&D gets treated like checkers, the rules and how they are worded becomes overly important. Nothing about all those updates was ever mandatory and outside of organized play every DM was and is free to change as they please. 

As long as we have people that will use the RAW to browbeat (or to put it less negatively: to convince) a DM into allowing stuff like recursive damage loops, or damage per square (do we recall the ere of the bloodmage where the rich red flow seduced many a wizard?) the many updates and errata were and are sorely needed.  

To be honest I think the problem is much more in how the rules were presented and concequently viewed and used (like checkers ) than in the resulting errata. So if DnD Next turns out to be a little less focussed on the literal wording of things, errata and updates should be a lot less of a requirement.

Oh and as an afterthough: if comma in the wrong place TPK's a party I would look at the DM. Not the rules, updates or errata



A comma in the wrong place is the different between "My friend, Rick and I went to the beach." and "My friend, Rick, and I went to the beach."  I would rather not sound like a schizophrenic person, personally. 
Any new books just need lots of playtesting by optimisers and players that know how to break things :P

Perhaps some form of closed group community testing.
I would rather they actually fix things that are broken, thank you.


Just quoting this.

Whilst I'd prefer if they wrote a properly balanced and functiuonal game in the first place, if it is broken, I'd like to see it amended.  IN a digital age, this should not be a problem.  But Wizards are struggling with the whole 'digital age' thing.

I was plenty happy with the RC release.  I would have been happier if it had been properly tested.  I would be even happier if they would errata what is wrong with it.

Indeed, I think the prospect of rereleasing errated/amended books is an excellent idea, albeit a very expensive one, unless you do the whole digital thing.

Seriously, do the digital thing.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I would just focus on getting it right. Playtesting is pretty important. Why not put it on your digital service before it goes to print, so you can make changes and get everything properly playtested before printing it? This way people who like digital get everything quickly, and people who like books don't get drowned in errata.
"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." - Manwë, High King of the Valar
this thread is ridiculous. the freaking 1e dmg had a bunch of errata, they just added it to later printings. d&d has always revised itself since the beginning and it is almost always good thing

playtesting is def a good thing but sometimes it can go too far, see heroes of shadow, feywild, and elemental chaos. some of the powers are the weakest ever released and you can bet that is from playtesters being like *whiny voice* 'oooo this could be too powerful'
I would rather they actually fix things that are broken, thank you.



D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I would rather the books be printed right the first time, but sometimes they introduce new rules elements that unintentionally break existing things (pacifist healer type things in Divine Power and healer's lore for instance) and sometimes even big groups miss broken stuff.

For instance it took a while for anyone to notice that kulkor arms master was broken good.  The book had been out for months before people started exploiting it and charop group figured out it was the most powerful paragon path in the game.  I started the first errata thread on it 14 months after Martial Power 2's publication.  Since by itself used as originally envisioned it wasn't broken and had a significant cost to even taking it.  It was when combined with a bunch of other things that it broke stuff.

And the alternative to errata is things like feat taxes and brokenness and if I have to pick, would chose errata every time.

The big issue that I hope they get is the core math right.  The keys to that is no untyped bonuses and limit the number of types of bonuses that effect d20 rolls (this was a big issue in both 3.5 and 4e).  And make sure scaling conditional bonuses to d20 rolls don't get given out at will (mainly a 4e issue).  Then testing out with a large variety of games at all levels to make sure you are hitting whatever set points they want for the game.  If PCs are supposed to hit about 60% of the time at all levels, it should be hard to get to 80% by level 10, not a cake walk like it is with a lot of 4E builds.
Since we're quoting:

Seriously, do the digital thing.



playtesting is def a good thing but sometimes it can go too far, see heroes of shadow, feywild, and elemental chaos. some of the powers are the weakest ever released and you can bet that is from playtesters being like *whiny voice* 'oooo this could be too powerful'

You are making assumptions here and is so often the case with assumptions, not true. What is true, is that playtests focus on the strong stuff and that the weak stuff as a concequence get neglected somewhat. It didn't get weak, because strong stuff got reduced, it remained weak, because it did not draw much attention.

Personally I agree with ImaginaryFriend, although the problem is not new to 4e. The same happened in 3e, but the lack of errata made it virtually impossible for casual players to game together with the more invested games in Organized Play. I really prefer to have errata to simply letting the DMs solve it since ultimately home games can choose and pick anyway, but Organized Play does not have that option.
Seriously, do the digital thing.




A million times this.


 
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playtesting is def a good thing but sometimes it can go too far, see heroes of shadow, feywild, and elemental chaos. some of the powers are the weakest ever released and you can bet that is from playtesters being like *whiny voice* 'oooo this could be too powerful'

You are making assumptions here and is so often the case with assumptions, not true. What is true, is that playtests focus on the strong stuff and that the weak stuff as a concequence get neglected somewhat. It didn't get weak, because strong stuff got reduced, it remained weak, because it did not draw much attention.

Personally I agree with ImaginaryFriend, although the problem is not new to 4e. The same happened in 3e, but the lack of errata made it virtually impossible for casual players to game together with the more invested games in Organized Play. I really prefer to have errata to simply letting the DMs solve it since ultimately home games can choose and pick anyway, but Organized Play does not have that option.


Have to agree.  With the somewhat mystifying exception of the Witch (which, to be fair, would be a perfectly fine class if it wasn't eclipesed in EVERY way by previous Wizards, and wasdisappointing in not being what it could have been), HoF was one of the best books in the recent history of the game.  Its balance was much close to the sweet spot than the rest.  Little that was hideously overpowered or broken, similarly little that was horribly underpowered.  It was just right.  Moar playtesting.  But... good playtesting.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Yeah, I think I have decided that if they don't do the digital thing I won't be playing Next. 

I have 20+ 4E books on my shelf.  And boxes of Basic, 2e, and 3.5.  My regular groups DMs pick through that stuff for ideas for 4E and other games campaigns sometimes so I haven't wanted to get rid of it.

I haven't bought a physical book that wasn't for my kids for a long time, excepting 4E books.  And I read at least 2 books a month, but its either chekced out from library or sent straight to my kindle.
With the somewhat mystifying exception of the Witch (which, to be fair, would be a perfectly fine class if it wasn't eclipesed in EVERY way by previous Wizards, and wasdisappointing in not being what it could have been), HoF was one of the best books in the recent history of the game.



This.  HoS had some major underpower issues, as does the most recent dungeon book.  HoEC not sure about since I haven't looked too closely at it, but nothing seems broken overpowered and it has lots of themes and feats that hit the sweet spot of good and insteresting, but not broken.   The neverwinter book was all over the place for quality.

HoF was pretty well done overall and probably the best book of the last 6 months, with my only real complaint being not enough support for the races.
i like and own all of those books, there are just a lot of weak powers
While I agree that there was too much errata in 4th edition, I think the OP is overstating the case.  At no point did I ever feel a need to "throw away" my books, nor did they become "worthless".

I think part of the problem was the rate at which new material was released in 4th ed.  There were several years there, back during the power book craze, that they were cranking out staggering amounts of player options.  I think a more moderate pace and a bit more playtest would have been called for.
I would rather they actually fix things that are broken, thank you.



Tossing my hat in the ring for digital versions of books.
So many PCs, so little time...

If they decide to go digital, they could go the route that O'Reilly books are experimenting with: digital updates to the books.  Basically, you have the book.  If they make a change to the book at some point in the future, you can automatically have your copy updated to reflect the changes.,... typos and all!  :P

Seriously, though ... this is cool stuff and I hope it works out for O'Reilly cause if it does, then more publishers will use it and that is *awesome!* 

I'd actually prefer that they be MORE aggressive with errata, not less.

The policy of nerfing things that were too strong but leaving things that were too weak to rot while releasing newer options that were expected to replace them resulted in unnecessary bloat.
I think the problem with 4e's errata was more of presentation than quantity.  Each entry is verbose, often reprinting entire rules sections for context, regardless of how much or how little was change.  While great for clarity, it made the errata documents appear misleadingly larger than the actual quantity and breadth of changes would otherwise suggest.  And once the knee's been jerked, people tend to become stubborn in their position.  Being more concise the next time around would probably help curb the errata hate.  That said.

I would rather they actually fix things that are broken, thank you.



This.

I'd actually prefer that they be MORE aggressive with errata, not less. The policy of nerfing things that were too strong but leaving things that were too weak to rot while releasing newer options that were expected to replace them resulted in unnecessary bloat.



And this.
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I don't know why you would drop DDI when the rules compendium has just about everything in it with up to date eratta. I've bought books before but always for systems like Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0 where the supplements were really supplements and not core material parcelled. To me its insane to buy that many books for 4e when you can just sub and have access to it all.
I would rather they actually fix things that are broken, thank you.






+1
@Rickdeckhard

Most of the 4E splat books have a lot of good non rules stuff in them.  Neverwinter, heroes of the feywild, and darksun for instance I enjoyed for the things like the fluff as much as the rules.  I actually sat down and read the darksun book fluff from cover to cover and and am in the middle of doing that with the heroes of feywild book.  My in person group made really good use of the darksun non-rules stuff in particular and had a campaign where a large part took place in the feywild and would have used that fluff stuff had it been published at the time.

One of the best things about almost all the 4E splat books is that they have a good balance of fluff and crunch.

And sadly the compendium misses rules things, even dragon magazine stuff, that you can only catch by reading the books.

Buying a book should entitle you to lifetime's update of errata for the contents of that book, or any additional errata that may affect it. Buying over 10 books should entitle you to pretty much anything.
Buying a book should entitle you to lifetime's update of errata for the contents of that book, or any additional errata that may affect it. Buying over 10 books should entitle you to pretty much anything.



considering that errata has always been free I dont know what you mean by this.

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

Really? Never mind then :E

I think this is a technology issue then. Unfortunately books will always be limited like this.  
@GelatinousOctahedron

I get what you are saying and you make a fine point. Case in point I do have the Dark Sun Campaign Guide and have used it because dark sun is such a setting. I can also understand needing the DMG books as they really help formulate the correct approaches to building adventures on a mechanical level. Beyond a campaign setting and DMG though I see little reason to buy the other books (phb 2, martial power, divine power, etc.). Most of the content in these releases is mechanical and more of a shopping source for PCs when it comes to feats and powers.

I was just trying to offer the counterpoint that you don't need to buy nearly as many books as the OP was suggesting. Its fine if you do and that you like them, but understand that there will be eratta after print regardless.
I would rather they actually fix things that are broken, thank you.



Forsooth. The errata were a truly great boon for the Fourth Edition. Overpowered stuff got fixed. Some weak stuff got strengthened. In fact more errata would have been even better.

The Character Builder and on-line Compendium means that the players and dungeon masters are never out of date. It is true that the original Players' Handbook now contains several obsolete things, but that is why the Wizards published the cheap Rules Compendium for us. I would not have minded reprints of the Players' Handbook and Adventurers' Vault, but I never needed them because of the Character Builder and on-line Compendium.

(Now on the other hand, I will complain about the functionality of their on-line resources: clunky, crash-prone and slow; a simple multi-linked SRD like Pathfinder's would be much better.)

Member of Grognards for 4th Edition
I'd actually prefer that they be MORE aggressive with errata, not less. The policy of nerfing things that were too strong but leaving things that were too weak to rot while releasing newer options that were expected to replace them resulted in unnecessary bloat.



Quoted for truth. I wish the Wizards had either strengthened (much better choice) or deleted all the feats, items and powers which were made obsolete by newer stuff. 

Member of Grognards for 4th Edition
My background is in Magic the Gathering, and I can tell you in general that WotC sometims has no idea what they are doing and are very inconsistant.

It's funny to hate of eratta when that's what large parts of DMG2 did.

There are a lot of updates and I am rather new to 4e. Is there a comprehensive list of important change I shold know about? I have the original books, not the rules compendium.