Lessons unlearned

It is obvious that this early playtest failed to learn any of the important lessons of the last 15 years of game design, or what was good and bad about 4th edition.


 


Good things that were forgotten:


 


1) All the rules are on your character sheet. The fact that, in 4th edition, your powers were all on power cards attached to your character sheet made the game infinitely better. Anything which steps away from this is a terrible, terrible idea from a usability standpoint. As such, spell memorization (as per the way the new wizard works) is, simply put, a bad idea. It adds confusion and slows down gameplay greatly as the caster has to sit down and figure out what spells to memorize. Having a set power list makes the game infinitely more accessible, and causes much less slowdown - every time you have to open up the rulebooks to figure out how something works is an indication you've done something wrong.


 


2) The attacker always rolls. Saving throws (rolled by the defender) as opposed to attack rolls (rolled by the attacker) are always always always a bad idea. Why? Because it breaks convention. The character attempting an action should always make the roll; this makes the game behave in a much more uniform manner and prevents people from getting confused and makes people have to wait less on other people rolling. If a monster casts a fireball on the characters, and everyone has to roll a saving throw, it is a lot slower than if the monster just throws five dice, one for each character.


 


3) Everyone uses the same basic set of rules. If you have spellcasters basically use an entirely different set of rules from nonspellcasters, the game is going to suck. Period. It will inevitably lead to imbalance and greater complexity, and both are bad. You want characters to work consistently from class to class. Don't have spellcasters have spells and non-spellcasters lack them, then non-spellcasters are boring (and probably weaker).


 


4) Everyone is always useful. A wizard should always be able to cast useful spells, and should not be forced to pick between being useful in combat and being useful out of combat; the same applies to every single character class. Putting combat and noncombat powers together is always a mistake.


 


5) People in heavy armor having as high or higher armor class than people in light armor. It is good for everyone's AC to be close together, but the current design basically says that you should only wear light or heavy armor (the middle armors can never be better than light armor, they can only be worse than it unless your dexterity modifier is 0 - in which case you should be wearing heavy armor). The current system will almost invariably make the highly dexterous thief harder to hit than the warrior carrying a two-handed weapon, and the thief sacrificed nothing for their high AC.


 


6) Combat and noncombat options need to be separated. 4th edition did a decent job of this (a few utility powers failed here, though), but it looks like from the playtest document that damage dealing spells and spells that are not used in combat are occupying the same spots. This is just bad design in a game as combat centric as D&D is. Noncombat options need to be kept seperate, and no class should have a monopoly over them - and you need to make sure that fighters have as many noncombat options as rogues and wizards do.


 


Lessons that weren't learned:


 


1) Complexity is bad. D&D is complicated, and every edition since at least 2nd edition AD&D has been more complicated than the previous one. 3rd edition was much more complicated than second edition was and, thanks to the much faster leveling, more players encountered more complexity, resulting in an enormous mess as 3rd edition, like those before it, had little real numerical basis underlining it. 4th edition fixed the problems of 3rd edition, but it was even more complicated than 3rd edition in many ways - while there wasn't as much bad complexity in the way of high level Vancian casters, a high level 4th edition character had a huge number of -meaningful- choices at any given moment, which could be intimidating. This is such a big issue that I'm going to break out each of the places where it is a problem.


 


2) Character creation is too complicated. Characters have too many build options for most reasonable people to consider, and the huge number of options lead to a large number of subpar trap options along with a small number of good options, and the more options came out, the harder it was to separate the chaff from the wheat.


 


3) Feats, in particular, are an enormous failure - 3rd edition introduced them and 4th edition continued them, but in both cases, in my experience, they were the major sticking point for both new and veteran players. There are far too many feats, and the shared feat pool leads to all sorts of nonsense, not to mention dangerous combinations and just plain old analysis paralysis while making or levelling characters. Lessening customization options will, rather oddly, actually make making and levelling characters a more enjoyable, less intimiating, and less onerous experience.


 


4) Characters have too many options while playing them. High level casters have always had this issue, but 4th edition made it so that everyone had a lot of meaningful options. While this SOUNDS fun, in practice it often lead to analysis paralysis amongst many players, where they were unable to choose between their options and they considered what to do for far too long. It disrupted combat and kept it from flowing smoothly. All characters (and this includes casters - in fact, I will go so far as to say it ESPECIALLY includes casters) need far fewer options, or perhaps, more accurately, far fewer rules-based options.


 


5) Characters have too many magical items. This is yet another example of something that seemed good not working out. In 2nd edition, magical items were rare and valuable; they were seen as special. In 3rd edition they were commoditized and every character had a full set of equipment like a Diablo character. This seemed like a good idea at the time but in practice it made magical items much less special, and yet another thing to keep track of; this was carried over into 4th edition. D&D is not Diablo; the current rate of magic item dispensation doesn't work right, magic items don't feel special, and magic items that actually do interesting things only further add to the complexity of characters. While this wasn't really explicitly covered in the playtest document, I'm pretty sure this is going to be perpetuated. This is bad. Adding further complexity to already overcomplicated characters is bad, and ultimately the straight up numerical bonus items are rather boring and feel like a given. A better model is for characters to have far fewer magical items, but any magical item they get is actually significant.


 


6) Classes need to be of equal complexity. 4th edition actually did a very good job of this; all the classes are about equally difficult to play and understand, and while the overall complexity level of the game is a bit high, the complexity balance BETWEEN classes was actually quite reasonable.


 


7) Powers are good. While the format of the power cards could potentially be improved, the overall idea of them worked pretty well, and the game needs to be designed so that it works this way.


 


8) Characters need to have more options than "I attack". There is no reason why a fighter should have fewer combat options than a wizard does, and it has a significant funness impact on both classes, as well as presenting significant balance issues.

9) Needless rolling for healing out of combat. This is just obnoxious and a waste of time and brainspace. Let characters heal a set amount of hit points, rather than forcing them to roll. Honestly, I'm not sure whether the whole "daily healing amount" is even the correct approach - it might be better to try and limit it in some other way, or just not care and start characters at full hp every combat unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

These rules are not ready to be put out into the wild and playtested. There was a fundamental misapproach to the game in the first place.

If you want D&D Next to be successful, here is what you need to do: You need to make the game simple enough that a 13 year old kid who has heard about D&D from TV/the internet can just pick up the books at Barnes and Nobles and play the game with his friends, without any external help or encouragement from anyone who played the game before. This needs to be the exact same version of the game that everyone else in the universe plays, not some dumbed down version of the game - the game should be that simple. And if someone else gives them the book so that they can join their playgroup, that book should be enough for them to play, without instruction.

I was going to reply but I was just so...bewildered by the amount of hate in this post that I don't know where to start.

I'll just widdle it down to the point of the matter. Opinions are opinions. If you want to play 4e, play 4e. 
My two copper.
I was going to reply but I was just so...bewildered by the amount of hate in this post that I don't know where to start.

I'll just widdle it down to the point of the matter. Opinions are opinions. If you want to play 4e, play 4e. 



I didn't think this was very hateful, though maybe I'm too tired to see it, and in any event, I'm not sure where you got the 4e thing from - yes, I love 4th edition, but the fact of the matter is that it really is too complicated. It is an awesome game but tons of roleplayers will never touch any edition after 2nd edition AD&D because character creation is too intimidating. I've been running into this problem with real life teenagers and it tells me something is wrong.

This isn't about mechanics, it is about basic game approach. If I tell you that a board is crooked, and you built your house on mud, I'm not doing a very good job of giving feedback, now am I?
Most of whats written in the first post is psychology and 40 years of research, not hate.  

I wish there was a nice and fun way to move saving throws to the attacker instead of the defender. 
While I wouldn't call it hate (well most of it) it is a lot of opinion presented like it is fact.
Actually from what I have seen, the developers looked at the "Good" things listed above and said 'yep that didn't work we better try something else'.

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Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
There's really nothing I like about 4e.
Actually from what I have seen, the developers looked at the "Good" things listed above and said 'yep that didn't work we better try something else'.



As long as I am correct to interpret your "" as sarcasm, then I agree completely. This tends to be the prevailing opinion among most of the people in my gaming community.

Shane 
Help make Combat Mastery happen: If you like the idea of Combat Mastery, as outlined below, for fighters copy it onto your signature and add interesting combat maneuvers to the list. Two new examples could be throat punch or spit in eye. Combat Mastery: When a Fighter performs combat maneuvers such as bull rush, disarm, sunder, trip, hip toss, eye poke, ball kick, hair drag, blind with sand, slide down banister, swing on chandalier, walk on barrel, use enemy as shield, interpose self in front of arrow trying to kill wizard, intimidate, pick up kobold by the neck, etc, the minimum die result is 10. Fighter Combat Maneuvers: On a given round the fighter can bull rush, disarm, sunder, trip, hip toss, eye poke, ball kick, hair drag, blind with sand, slide down banister, swing on chandalier, walk on barrel, use enemy as shield, interpose self in front of arrow trying to kill wizard, intimidate, etc, in place of his/her move action. This is a nonattack action that might cause the fighter's opponent to be rendered prone, unarmed, blind for a round, etc, or otherwise grant the fighter advantage or his/her opponent disadvantage as the Fighter sees fit.
3) Everyone uses the same basic set of rules. If you have spellcasters basically use an entirely different set of rules from nonspellcasters, the game is going to suck. Period. It will inevitably lead to imbalance and greater complexity, and both are bad. You want characters to work consistently from class to class. Don't have spellcasters have spells and non-spellcasters lack them, then non-spellcasters are boring (and probably weaker).



I find a game where everyone uses the same mechanics boring. Forth edition didi it, I tried it and I got bored fast. I like differences, I like unique mechanic classes, I'm all for learning and trying different things. And I do not care about game balance.

4) Everyone is always useful. A wizard should always be able to cast useful spells, and should not be forced to pick between being useful in combat and being useful out of combat; the same applies to every single character class. Putting combat and noncombat powers together is always a mistake.


So hey, I am a man with bad dex, I always trained to kill things in the most noysy way with my enormus weapon and heavy, noisy armor, but since this is a game I must be as usefull as the rogue when we try to be sneaky.
That's not what I look for in an rpg. I'll pass.

 
6) Combat and noncombat options need to be separated. 4th edition did a decent job of this (a few utility powers failed here, though), but it looks like from the playtest document that damage dealing spells and spells that are not used in combat are occupying the same spots. This is just bad design in a game as combat centric as D&D is. Noncombat options need to be kept seperate, and no class should have a monopoly over them - and you need to make sure that fighters have as many noncombat options as rogues and wizards do.


I never played dnd as a combat centric game, I did not like 4th edition because it was far too combat centric and I hope to see some classes with more and better combato options, and other with more and better out of combat option. I act a character who live in a world here, I'm not playing a video game.

 
1) Complexity is bad. D&D is complicated, and every edition since at least 2nd edition AD&D has been more complicated than the previous one. 3rd edition was much more complicated than second edition was and, thanks to the much faster leveling, more players encountered more complexity, resulting in an enormous mess as 3rd edition, like those before it, had little real numerical basis underlining it. 4th edition fixed the problems of 3rd edition, but it was even more complicated than 3rd edition in many ways - while there wasn't as much bad complexity in the way of high level Vancian casters, a high level 4th edition character had a huge number of -meaningful- choices at any given moment, which could be intimidating. This is such a big issue that I'm going to break out each of the places where it is a problem.


I like complexity, but I agree that there must be also simple mecanics for those who do not like it. Just relax and wait for future playtest material. They sait that they will give either complex and simple things and you will be free to choose wich one you play, so just be patient here. And I belive playtest material is far from complex.

6) Classes need to be of equal complexity. 4th edition actually did a very good job of this; all the classes are about equally difficult to play and understand, and while the overall complexity level of the game is a bit high, the complexity balance BETWEEN classes was actually quite reasonable.


Why? I want to play complex, you want to play simple. All classes are equaly complicated. One of us will not like it. I say, give options to every class so they can al be played as simmple or complex as the player likes.

7) Powers are good. While the format of the power cards could potentially be improved, the overall idea of them worked pretty well, and the game needs to be designed so that it works this way.


No. You like powers, so are good for you. I do not and for me are bad. Do not put your opinon as an absolute reality.
By the way, if you reed wht feats are in this playtest, there are many feats that looks more like powers than 3rd edition feats.

 
9) Needless rolling for healing out of combat. This is just obnoxious and a waste of time and brainspace. Let characters heal a set amount of hit points, rather than forcing them to roll. Honestly, I'm not sure whether the whole "daily healing amount" is even the correct approach - it might be better to try and limit it in some other way, or just not care and start characters at full hp every combat unless circumstances dictate otherwise.



Then do not roll and just say character gain full hd or half that value. That's not difficult. 
Most of whats written in the first post is psychology and 40 years of research, not hate.  

I wish there was a nice and fun way to move saving throws to the attacker instead of the defender. 



4th edition did this with the whole "attack vs Fort/Reflex/Will/AC" system, if you look at the math:

A +14 will save, for instance, is on average a roll of 24.5. If you take the DC of the saving throw (say, 24), and subtract 10 from it, you will have an attack roll to roll against their average will save (24), and it is more or less mechanically equivalent. That's exactly what they did.

Or maybe you were just being sarcastic?

There are other options; one possibility is "the defender always rolls", and another is "the players always roll", but "the defender always rolls" is slower (and I think less satisfying) than "the attacker always rolls", and while "the players always roll" sounds fun, in practice its a lot more burden on the players to pay attention (a similar problem to "the defender always rolls") and rolling dice is fun, so it is good for the DM to make rolls as well. Opposed rolls are another possibility, but are even slower to adjucate than either of the other options. Thus "the attacker always rolls" is pretty optimal.

Incidentally, 4th edition "saving throws" (which really aren't saving throws at all) probably should have been done away with, with multiround effects automatically just lasting for two rounds instead of one (which is how long they lasted on average anyway - and there's nothing more annoying than save ends effects that you just keep failing to save against, or which go away almost immediately and do practically nothing), though I suppose the rolls to see if you got tossed off the edge were okay to keep the way they were (though I never liked them much in practice). 
I thought it was silly how 4e took SW:S's defenses and added Armor Class ontop of it and then tacked on a default weird 'saving throw'.

There's really nothing I like about 4e.


This isn't terribly helpful.


I find a game where everyone uses the same mechanics boring. Forth edition didi it, I tried it and I got bored fast. I like differences, I like unique mechanic classes, I'm all for learning and trying different things. And I do not care about game balance.


Here's the problem: You do care about game balance, you just don't KNOW that you care about game balance. You may think I'm wrong, but, time and again, people who say this don't really mean it. What they actually mean is that they don't really focus on it. Game balance IS a major issue and can really compromise the fun, and the more imbalance there is the greater the odds are of it causing issues.


A good example from 3rd edition are Save or Suck/Die effects which effectively or actually kill people with a single roll. These are hugely unfun when directed at the player and the system does so on a regular basis. This is very unbalanced because it circumvents the entire hit point system, and this imbalance leads to unfun when characters (be they PC or NPC) die in a very undramatic fashion which goes against the way the system otherwise functions. Rocket tag is fun in a dumb sort of way but doesn't make for good storytelling.


So hey, I am a man with bad dex, I always trained to kill things in the most noysy way with my enormus weapon and heavy, noisy armor, but since this is a game I must be as usefull as the rogue when we try to be sneaky.
That's not what I look for in an rpg. I'll pass.


So you can't create a distraction, disguise yourself as a guard, or otherwise assist? I'm pretty sure there are myraid ways they can help that don't involve Stealth checks - that's the entire point. The point is not "everyone is equally good at everything" but rather "everyone can always contribute well."


If you're doing an infiltration mission, you need for some way for aforementioned clunky plate mail dude to contribute, and in a way that keeps the player engaged.


Period.


I never played dnd as a combat centric game, I did not like 4th edition because it was far too combat centric and I hope to see some classes with more and better combato options, and other with more and better out of combat option. I act a character who live in a world here, I'm not playing a video game.


Here's the problem:


3rd edition was combat centric.
2nd edition AD&D was combat centric.
D&D Basic was combat centric.
1st edition AD&D was combat centric.
Old D&D was combat centric.


The fact that you never played D&D as a combat centric game probably indicates either that 1) You are lying, 2) you are wrong, or 3) you are using the system in a way that it isn't really designed for. 3 is actually very common, but it doesn't change the fact that D&D isn't and wasn't always a combat centric game.


The problem was that 4th edition basically made you realize that, hey, D&D is combat centric. CLEARLY THEY ARE CHANGING SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT ALWAYS THIS WAY NERD RAGE!


When you know, 3rd edition is the same way. Just look at what percentage of the books is about stuff relating to combat. Its an incredibly high percentage!


2nd edition AD&D was probably the LEAST combat centric iteration of the game.


I like complexity, but I agree that there must be also simple mecanics for those who do not like it. Just relax and wait for future playtest material. They sait that they will give either complex and simple things and you will be free to choose wich one you play, so just be patient here. And I belive playtest material is far from complex.


This is the flaw with low level prefabricated playtesting - you can't see the backend complexity. 1st level 3rd and 4th edition characters do not look too awful in terms of complexity, but when you actually build one, its obvious that they are more complicated than they seem - and then higher level characters are often multiple times more complicated than first level characters.


However, you can see obvious signs of excessive complexity already in the casters, and these are low level dudes - they're going to be atrocious at high levels in terms of complexity level.


Why? I want to play complex, you want to play simple. All classes are equaly complicated. One of us will not like it. I say, give options to every class so they can al be played as simmple or complex as the player likes.


You can't even understand what I'm saying, so how can you say that you want the game to be complicated? I enjoy 4th edition, and I am perfectly comfortable with its complexity level. However, most people are incapable of playing 3rd or 4th edition. This probably includes you. I've played with dozens of people who just can't cope with the complexity of anything past AD&D second edition, and people who refuse to even play more complicated games because character creation is too intimidating (and they don't want someone else to make their characters for them, either).


The truth is that the complexity level needs to be such that 13 year olds can pick up the books and without any outside help run a game for their friends without any of them getting bored in the process of character creation and running the game. Every edition past 2nd edition fails this test, I think.

You, as a player, are incapable of making good decisions regarding complexity level. Designers have to make these decisions because players don't really understand complexity. The simpler you can make things, the better - and it plays better too. Studies have demonstrated this to be true. Players will almost never say that they need to have fewer options, even when that is exactly what they need.

If you're really interested in this, read some stuff about game design philosophy. Look at the creators of Portal. Look at David Sirlin.

If you're not interested, that's fine; most people aren't. But it means that you're not going to be able to understand why cutting down on complexity is one of the most important things that developers do. Magic is a very complicated game, and they are constantly working to make it as simple as possible. D&D needs to do the same. 


No. You like powers, so are good for you. I do not and for me are bad. Do not put your opinon as an absolute reality.
By the way, if you reed wht feats are in this playtest, there are many feats that looks more like powers than 3rd edition feats.


You like powers. You just don't recognize them as such.


Do you like spells from 3.x? They're powers.


Powers aren't new to 4th edition, they've been around for absolute ages. They're just formatted legibly now.


Then do not roll and just say character gain full hd or half that value. That's not difficult.


This is how the game should work by default.

Here's a suggestion for better discussions and less aggravation next time:

a) offer opinions as your opinions and do not offer them as facts :"I think /I consider" is much more helpfull than "Everyone knows /All know /It is known..."

b) Do not put words in other people's mouths. Let them express themselves as they like. And if you think they are not correct try to explain to them why.


I am in total dissagreement with everything you have post here. I do not have the will or time to even sit down to write now replies to your statements above which are so patronising and for all the game base out there.

I can assure you that after 20+ years of gaming I do love save or die mechanics. I can assure you that I had more fun with older editions and I have trainned much more younger people with D&D using 2nd and 3rd edition than I have with 4th.

But the importnat thing here is that this is me, not you , nor the other posters in the forum. And I know that I cannot be right in all aspects of my opinions.

PLease repsect other people's opinions if you want to have a discussion and you don't just want to open a thread to cry foul on D&D Next and praise your precious 4th edition.
I was going to reply but I was just so...bewildered by the amount of hate in this post that I don't know where to start.

I'll just widdle it down to the point of the matter. Opinions are opinions. If you want to play 4e, play 4e. 




Translation - someone disagrees therefore they "hate."

So many words have been rendered utterly meaningless by the Cult of Political Correctness.  Diversity, open-minded, tolerance, bigot, phobia, and of course "hate."

Utterly meaningless! 
Here's the problem:

3rd edition was combat centric.
2nd edition AD&D was combat centric.
D&D Basic was combat centric.
1st edition AD&D was combat centric.
Old D&D was combat centric.


The fact that you never played D&D as a combat centric game probably indicates either that 1) You are lying, 2) you are wrong, or 3) you are using the system in a way that it isn't really designed for. 3 is actually very common, but it doesn't change the fact that D&D isn't and wasn't always a combat centric game.


The problem was that 4th edition basically made you realize that, hey, D&D is combat centric. CLEARLY THEY ARE CHANGING SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT ALWAYS THIS WAY NERD RAGE!



True.  What's more is the absurd nerd rage against "Roles."  I've heard so many nerds rage about "giving roles a name."  It's an argument for the obtuse.  Granted, the game is make believe but we don't need to make believe that roles have never existed.  Gygax was explicit they existed long before many a nerd was born (Ref "Master of the Game").

I do have to point out that 1st Edition wasn't "combat centric" in that experience points could be gain from treasure alone.  This makes nerd rage look even more foolish than normal.  Nerds raged that gold was a dumb way to get exp, but the purpose was to allow players to quest for treasure without ever fighting a monster and still gain experience.  That million gp gem was the experience for navigating the jungles and traps.  The 1st attempt at non-combat exp and questing exp and nerds shouted it down.  Now they're all posturing like they were 100% for it all along. 
Most of whats written in the first post is psychology and 40 years of research, not hate.  

I wish there was a nice and fun way to move saving throws to the attacker instead of the defender. 



4th edition did this with the whole "attack vs Fort/Reflex/Will/AC" system, if you look at the math:

Or maybe you were just being sarcastic?

 



While 4e did this in a fun way, I don't agree they did it in a nice way.  AC was just too different from Fort/Ref/Wil and yet, exactly the same.  It needs to be more elegant and streamlined.  But I havn't seen how to do that yet.
Here's a suggestion for better discussions and less aggravation next time:

a) offer opinions as your opinions and do not offer them as facts :"I think /I consider" is much more helpfull than "Everyone knows /All know /It is known..."



If you present your opinions as facts, people are more likely to take them as such. It is a basic method of effective argumentation.

In any event, several of the things I stated are indeed facts, and not mere opinions; studies and good game developers alike will tell you that most of what I said is utterly uncontrovertial, only the specifics are really arguable. Complexity is bad, and people really don't respond well to it. You need to make things simple, and I see huge flashing warning signs that D&D Next is, right now, NOT simpler than 3rd or 4th editions were.

I am in total dissagreement with everything you have post here. I do not have the will or time to even sit down to write now replies to your statements above which are so patronising and for all the game base out there.



Well, to be fair, ultimately, the OP is not actually directed at you. It is directed at whoever on the development staff looks at this forum (probably all of them, knowing WotC ). It may sound demeaning to you, but it really isn't meant as such.

The truth is that people don't like it when you tell them that something is too complicated for them. However, there is no way to tell the devs that the game is too complicated that doesn't involve saying that the game is too complicated. I could have emailed them, I suppose, but I only know one of their email addresses and I'm not even sure if they're involved in D&D Next. In any case, I was hoping that some folk might be able to contribute.

The fact that the game is too complicated is a problem which they need to address. RPGs are incredibly complicated games; most computer games are simpler than D&D is, and we have computers do most of the calculations for us with those.

I can assure you that after 20+ years of gaming I do love save or die mechanics. I can assure you that I had more fun with older editions and I have trainned much more younger people with D&D using 2nd and 3rd edition than I have with 4th.



The problem is that memory is a rather fickle thing. Did we really have more fun with 2nd edition than we did with more recent editions? That's difficult to actually tell. We know that our memories lie to us; this is why politicans often appeal to a simpler, easier time in the past when everything was good, even though it is a blatant lie and everything is better now than it was before. Nostalgia filters are a real thing and are a big problem. Sometimes it really was that fun, but other times, it wasn't - or it wasn't fun because of the game but because of other things, as is the case for 2nd edition AD&D for me. Or even early 3rd edition.

But the importnat thing here is that this is me, not you , nor the other posters in the forum. And I know that I cannot be right in all aspects of my opinions.



I wouldn't hold my positions if I did not feel them to be correct.

PLease repsect other people's opinions if you want to have a discussion and you don't just want to open a thread to cry foul on D&D Next and praise your precious 4th edition.



There is no reason to respect other people's opinions, merely to be decent to other people. Opinions are things which can be discarded, and should be when they're wrong. I have no respect for opinions that are clearly wrong, and neither should you.

In any case, it is obvious that you are again falling prey to "something is complicated, therefore I must make up something": I am quite certain that I have pointed out a major flaw with 4th edition - complexity - several times, and yet somehow you are construing this as a "4th edition is awesome!!!!1111oneoneoneeleventy" thread.

Reanalyze your own thoughts, and don't merely allow your brain to run away with you. Brains are nasty things that will play you if you don't keep tight control over it. You have to harness your brain and always question why you believe certain things, especially if they are not directly in your sights.

I do have to point out that 1st Edition wasn't "combat centric" in that experience points could be gain from treasure alone.  This makes nerd rage look even more foolish than normal.  Nerds raged that gold was a dumb way to get exp, but the purpose was to allow players to quest for treasure without ever fighting a monster and still gain experience.  That million gp gem was the experience for navigating the jungles and traps.  The 1st attempt at non-combat exp and questing exp and nerds shouted it down.  Now they're all posturing like they were 100% for it all along.



Well, first edition was combat centric insofar that a great deal of what it concerned itself with, rules-wise, was combat; it was not, however, combat exclusive, and I think that 1st and 2nd editions were actually probably less combat centric than 3rd and 4th. It is certainly true that people's complaints about the ridiculousness of gaining xp for gold probably did the game no favors, and, perhaps ironically, it actually sort of solves the problem of "Why am I gathering gold if I can't buy anything useful with it?" - 3rd edition changed the game from its 2nd edition transformation of reaching higher levels and becoming a lord into being a hugely badass adventurer, so they had to give you something to spend all that gold on - namely, magic items. If gold is worth xp, then it is its own reward, even if you do something like donate it to charity or build a keep or what have you, something that doesn't help you slay dragons. Indeed, it encourages such in character spending of gold, as opposed to the race for ever better magical items.
I find a game where everyone uses the same mechanics boring. Forth edition didi it, I tried it and I got bored fast. I like differences, I like unique mechanic classes, I'm all for learning and trying different things. And I do not care about game balance. 



So you don't care about nearly every other RPG that was ever created?

White Wolf: same mechanics.
Gamma World: same mechanics.
Marvel Superheroes: same mechanics.


Same mechanic =/= Zero Differences


I'm curious as to how your "hate" of "same mechanics" grants any insight beyond your emotional state to improve the quality of DnD Next?

 I find a game where everyone uses the same mechanics boring. Forth edition didi it, I tried it and I got bored fast. I like differences, I like unique mechanic classes, I'm all for learning and trying different things. And I do not care about game balance.



you do know that this argument toward 4th edition is no longer valid since the introduction off essentials about 2 1/2 years ago right ?

 I find a game where everyone uses the same mechanics boring. Forth edition didi it, I tried it and I got bored fast. I like differences, I like unique mechanic classes, I'm all for learning and trying different things. And I do not care about game balance.



you do know that this argument toward 4th edition is no longer valid since the introduction off essentials about 2 1/2 years ago right ?




I personally wasn't aware. How is Essentials different?

Shane 
Help make Combat Mastery happen: If you like the idea of Combat Mastery, as outlined below, for fighters copy it onto your signature and add interesting combat maneuvers to the list. Two new examples could be throat punch or spit in eye. Combat Mastery: When a Fighter performs combat maneuvers such as bull rush, disarm, sunder, trip, hip toss, eye poke, ball kick, hair drag, blind with sand, slide down banister, swing on chandalier, walk on barrel, use enemy as shield, interpose self in front of arrow trying to kill wizard, intimidate, pick up kobold by the neck, etc, the minimum die result is 10. Fighter Combat Maneuvers: On a given round the fighter can bull rush, disarm, sunder, trip, hip toss, eye poke, ball kick, hair drag, blind with sand, slide down banister, swing on chandalier, walk on barrel, use enemy as shield, interpose self in front of arrow trying to kill wizard, intimidate, etc, in place of his/her move action. This is a nonattack action that might cause the fighter's opponent to be rendered prone, unarmed, blind for a round, etc, or otherwise grant the fighter advantage or his/her opponent disadvantage as the Fighter sees fit.
I thought it was silly how 4e took SW:S's defenses and added Armor Class ontop of it and then tacked on a default weird 'saving throw'.



It's only "silly" if you don't get it.  The developers of SWS were explicit as to why they did this.  It's been common in DnD day one that your character would gain new treasure to replace old treasure.  It's been common in Star Wars since the first movie that Han had the same blaster since day one.  A high level SWS player never got +5 Storm Trooper armor and a +4 Holy Light Saber.  Players in SWS have small bonuses (or none at all) from Armor unless they're a Soldier.

 I find a game where everyone uses the same mechanics boring. Forth edition didi it, I tried it and I got bored fast. I like differences, I like unique mechanic classes, I'm all for learning and trying different things. And I do not care about game balance.



you do know that this argument toward 4th edition is no longer valid since the introduction off essentials about 2 1/2 years ago right ?




I personally wasn't aware. How is Essentials different?

Shane 



well for one thing AEDU is no longer present for many of the essentials classes.
they tend to work with riders that you add onto your basic attack.

 I find a game where everyone uses the same mechanics boring. Forth edition didi it, I tried it and I got bored fast. I like differences, I like unique mechanic classes, I'm all for learning and trying different things. And I do not care about game balance.



you do know that this argument toward 4th edition is no longer valid since the introduction off essentials about 2 1/2 years ago right ?




I personally wasn't aware. How is Essentials different?

Shane 



I didn't make the point but there is a bit more variance in the classes.

Bladesinger example : You basically only have one encoutner power (bladesong which is pretty awesome) then you take your daily powers from the wizard encounter list. Actually ends up feeling almost vanican (without the swappability). 

Slayer example: You basically have no dailies and a ton of encounter powers. 

Also, there was a lot of focus on MBA and RBA. The bladersinger for example had 'bladespells' that triggered everytime you made a successful MBA.

I would disagree with this point even so because it all still boils down to powers and everyone still has to worry on some level about resource managment. It was slightly more varied though. 



It is obvious that this early playtest failed to learn any of the important lessons of the last 15 years of game design, or what was good and bad about 4th edition.




Given that the game according to Mike Mearls is about 10% complete, I think its safe to say that your assesment of what lessons have and have not been learned is a bit pre-mature.   You don't have to build a roof on a house in order to test and make sure the doors are working.  You have been asked to test the doors, what you are effetively doing is testing the doors, complaining that their is no roof yet. 

1) All the rules are on your character sheet. The fact that, in 4th edition, your powers were all on power cards attached to your character sheet made the game infinitely better. Anything which steps away from this is a terrible, terrible idea from a usability standpoint. As such, spell memorization (as per the way the new wizard works) is, simply put, a bad idea. It adds confusion and slows down gameplay greatly as the caster has to sit down and figure out what spells to memorize. Having a set power list makes the game infinitely more accessible, and causes much less slowdown - every time you have to open up the rulebooks to figure out how something works is an indication you've done something wrong.



Anything huh?  How about instead of putting it on a character sheet we create a deck of cards with all the powers and rules at your finger tips?  I didn't find flipping through a 20 page character sheet anymore clever or intuitive than searching through an indexed book. 

4) Everyone is always useful. A wizard should always be able to cast useful spells, and should not be forced to pick between being useful in combat and being useful out of combat; the same applies to every single character class. Putting combat and noncombat powers together is always a mistake.




Your almost there, you just need to step outside of the box a little bit more.  What really needs to happen is that their should be at no time a requirement to step out of the narrative mode and into combat mode.  The two should be seemlessly part of the same system.   The biggest problem with 4th edition was that when tactical combat started, the story stopped. 

 

6) Combat and noncombat options need to be separated. 4th edition did a decent job of this (a few utility powers failed here, though), but it looks like from the playtest document that damage dealing spells and spells that are not used in combat are occupying the same spots. This is just bad design in a game as combat centric as D&D is. Noncombat options need to be kept seperate, and no class should have a monopoly over them - and you need to make sure that fighters have as many noncombat options as rogues and wizards do.





Dude seriously... no .. no no no and NO.  So MMO your making my head hurt.  Your trying to mechanically balance story elements and player choices as they apply to narrative.  

We don't need "balancing" of what characters can do outside of combat categorized by class, nore do we need abilities to be restricted by class.    This is a horrible invention of D&D that should have been tossed out years ago.  You cannot create a system where class restricts what you can do as a character without the world becoming a clice... fighters are stupid, wizards have high intelect, rogues are all dexterious and Clerics are all wise....Than follow it up by creating class abilities and skills with their own restrictions.. wise clerics can learn the religion skill but apperantly are not allowed to be good climbers?, while fighters are good climbers and jumpers, but they have trouble with learning geography?.  Its a terrible system that doesn't allow for a world to exist in a natural, realisitic way in which players can create natural and believable characters.  All you can do in this world is create clices.  Horrible, horrible clices that would make Tolkein flip over in his grave.   4th edition did NOT do a descent job of creating a distinction between combat and non-combat.  All it did was create the more fiercely stupid clices of any system in existance. 


If you want D&D Next to be successful, here is what you need to do: You need to make the game simple enough that a 13 year old kid who has heard about D&D from TV/the internet can just pick up the books at Barnes and Nobles and play the game with his friends, without any external help or encouragement from anyone who played the game before. This needs to be the exact same version of the game that everyone else in the universe plays, not some dumbed down version of the game - the game should be that simple. And if someone else gives them the book so that they can join their playgroup, that book should be enough for them to play, without instruction.


That I can agree on but unfotunatly the complexity of role-playing is the produce of supply and demand.  Players over the last 30 years have demanded higher complexity, its why 3rd edition was more complex.  Streamlining however is the key.  You CAN have a complex system that is really easy to run, FFG has already proven that with WFRPG 3.0.  There is nothing wrong with complexity as long as that complexity doesn't get in the way of playing the game and is easy to manage.

My Blog (The Gamers Think Tank)

"Edition wars like all debates exist because people like debates"

Lessons that weren't learned: 

3) Feats, in particular, are an enormous failure - 3rd edition introduced them and 4th edition continued them, but in both cases, in my experience, they were the major sticking point for both new and veteran players. There are far too many feats, and the shared feat pool leads to all sorts of nonsense, not to mention dangerous combinations and just plain old analysis paralysis while making or levelling characters. Lessening customization options will, rather oddly, actually make making and levelling characters a more enjoyable, less intimiating, and less onerous experience.


5) Characters have too many magical items... A better model is for characters to have far fewer magical items, but any magical item they get is actually significant.


7) Powers are good. While the format of the power cards could potentially be improved, the overall idea of them worked pretty well, and the game needs to be designed so that it works this way.


8) Characters need to have more options than "I attack". There is no reason why a fighter should have fewer combat options than a wizard does, and it has a significant funness impact on both classes, as well as presenting significant balance issues.

9) Needless rolling for healing out of combat. This is just obnoxious and a waste of time and brainspace. Let characters heal a set amount of hit points, rather than forcing them to roll. Honestly, I'm not sure whether the whole "daily healing amount" is even the correct approach - it might be better to try and limit it in some other way, or just not care and start characters at full hp every combat unless circumstances dictate otherwise.



#3 - I wouldn't say Feats were an "enormous failure."  I would say the problem with feats were they were never well defined.  No two feats were even close to equal.  If you look at D20 Modern or SWS you'll find that it's was often difficult to tell the difference between a Feat and a Talent.  That's a problem.

#5 - A bigger problem with magic items is the 3e magic item shop mentality.  When magic items come from a "Best Buy" or "Walmart", like in Eberron, the mystery is dead.  Crafting was a genie that never should have been released from the bottle.  If anything, this is the worst culprit.  Players spent more time being merchants than being adventurers.

#7 - Powers need to be greater than combat.  The Playtest does this with Backgrounds by giving the characters roleplaying benefits without rolling.  If all of the characters have powers then #8 is already solved.

#9 - All dice rolling exercises should disappear.  A fighter should just be able to kick down a door without rolling, just as a carpenter should be able to build it.  Rolling when it doesn't matter should be abolished as a standard part of the rules.  The playtest does this with Backgrounds but it doesn't do this enough.
13 years old isn't young enough. I think I will introduce my son to D&D when he is 8 or 9 like I was when I started playing AD&D.

Shane 
Help make Combat Mastery happen: If you like the idea of Combat Mastery, as outlined below, for fighters copy it onto your signature and add interesting combat maneuvers to the list. Two new examples could be throat punch or spit in eye. Combat Mastery: When a Fighter performs combat maneuvers such as bull rush, disarm, sunder, trip, hip toss, eye poke, ball kick, hair drag, blind with sand, slide down banister, swing on chandalier, walk on barrel, use enemy as shield, interpose self in front of arrow trying to kill wizard, intimidate, pick up kobold by the neck, etc, the minimum die result is 10. Fighter Combat Maneuvers: On a given round the fighter can bull rush, disarm, sunder, trip, hip toss, eye poke, ball kick, hair drag, blind with sand, slide down banister, swing on chandalier, walk on barrel, use enemy as shield, interpose self in front of arrow trying to kill wizard, intimidate, etc, in place of his/her move action. This is a nonattack action that might cause the fighter's opponent to be rendered prone, unarmed, blind for a round, etc, or otherwise grant the fighter advantage or his/her opponent disadvantage as the Fighter sees fit.
Titanium_Dragon is my new hero.

I've been fascinated with the principles of good game design. I honestly wouldn't mind if they put in a couple of devs from the Magic the Gathering team over there to help fix the messes they've made.

Everything stated in the original post is correct, factual, and indisputable.

The only gripes I have with 4th these days just happens to be the analysis paralysis during both character creation and (sometimes) combat. I love 4th. I would never go back to 3rd after it. But I was hoping the next edition would actually continue to improve in game design, not go backwards.

Things that need to be addressed:


Regarding Feats:
-There are hundreds of feats these days.
-Many older feats have been made obsolete by newer ones.
-Combat and noncombat feats share and compete for the same space.
-Situational and constant feat share and compete for the same space.
-There are too many feats you might want but that you have to know about previously to be able to set up your character to qualify for. With the hundreds of feats out there now, they get lost and forgotten.

Regarding Powers:
-By the time characters enter Paragon, the number of rule-provided options in combat becomes overwhelming.
-All the non-Essentials classes (and a few of those too) have anywhere from 10 to 20 powers to pick from at each level.
-Too many out of turn powers don't have quick resolutions. This is more about speed in combat than complexity, but it is better overall that any Immediate (Reaction or Interrupt) powers no longer involve any additional dice rolling.


If these issues could be addressed while maintaining all that 4th did right, I would certainly switch to it and keep supporting WotC with my money. Until then, D&D Next (or rather D&D Previous) is not looking like it'll hold my patronage.

 I find a game where everyone uses the same mechanics boring. Forth edition didi it, I tried it and I got bored fast. I like differences, I like unique mechanic classes, I'm all for learning and trying different things. And I do not care about game balance.



you do know that this argument toward 4th edition is no longer valid since the introduction off essentials about 2 1/2 years ago right ?


I didn't intend to post against 4th edition, nor I do care what essentials do. My point was: I do not like everyone playing the same mechanics, and it's an opinion given after trying it. Then if essentials came with something different that's all for good. But I still do not like everyone using same mechanics.
I will indulge you Titanium this once only because you were slightly less aggravating this time. If it turns out you are  simply looking for the good ole' brain duel and not even concentrate on the important aspects of this forum you will not hear from me again in this thread.

Here's a suggestion for better discussions and less aggravation next time:

a) offer opinions as your opinions and do not offer them as facts :"I think /I consider" is much more helpful than "Everyone knows /All know /It is known..."



If you present your opinions as facts, people are more likely to take them as such. It is a basic method of effective argumentation.

In any event, several of the things I stated are indeed facts, and not mere opinions; studies and good game developers alike will tell you that most of what I said is utterly uncontrovertial, only the specifics are really arguable. Complexity is bad, and people really don't respond well to it. You need to make things simple, and I see huge flashing warning signs that D&D Next is, right now, NOT simpler than 3rd or 4th editions were.



You will find that if you present your opinions as facts weak-willed people might find you interesting or consider that you may know what you are talking about. In most cases if you do apply this in your conversations you will find that it is a basic method for being considered a mr know-it-all. It will not lead to a constructive or effective debate it will lead into a heated argument from the get-go.

I am in total dissagreement with everything you have post here. I do not have the will or time to even sit down to write now replies to your statements above which are so patronising and for all the game base out there.



Well, to be fair, ultimately, the OP is not actually directed at you. It is directed at whoever on the development staff looks at this forum (probably all of them, knowing WotC ). It may sound demeaning to you, but it really isn't meant as such.

The truth is that people don't like it when you tell them that something is too complicated for them. However, there is no way to tell the devs that the game is too complicated that doesn't involve saying that the game is too complicated. I could have emailed them, I suppose, but I only know one of their email addresses and I'm not even sure if they're involved in D&D Next. In any case, I was hoping that some folk might be able to contribute.

The fact that the game is too complicated is a problem which they need to address. RPGs are incredibly complicated games; most computer games are simpler than D&D is, and we have computers do most of the calculations for us with those.



If you don't want me to read it and comment it please direct it via private messages to WoTC  (or an email as you say above). Otherwise your OP reads as follows:

"Dear WoTC your first attempt is a failure and you seam not to learn from your past mistakes. Read on below my point of view about your failure which is a fact that everybody agrees to. Here's 10 points where you failed and you need to change them because I say so and all the world agrees with me."

So you are asking for trouble by the people who frequent this forum. IF you are the intellectual person you seem to be I will go as far as thinking that you may be baiting for this...

As for this infamous complexity issue I will address this further down...

I can assure you that after 20+ years of gaming I do love save or die mechanics. I can assure you that I had more fun with older editions and I have trained much more younger people with D&D using 2nd and 3rd edition than I have with 4th.



The problem is that memory is a rather fickle thing. Did we really have more fun with 2nd edition than we did with more recent editions? That's difficult to actually tell. We know that our memories lie to us; this is why politicans often appeal to a simpler, easier time in the past when everything was good, even though it is a blatant lie and everything is better now than it was before. Nostalgia filters are a real thing and are a big problem. Sometimes it really was that fun, but other times, it wasn't - or it wasn't fun because of the game but because of other things, as is the case for 2nd edition AD&D for me. Or even early 3rd edition.



Again you state for facts your opinions but I will not repeat myself. I will simply disagree with you : Not everything today is better than yesterday. Not everyone today is in a better society or life than before.

But yes you are correct in that the experience we had with D&D in our twenties and in our thirties and so on is different and we remember it different. And this is why edition wars are so stupid in my mind. Like music genre wars and so on. Most people seem to argue with sentiments instead of their brains. I remember it took me 6 years to switch to 3rd edition and I was crying foul all the time. But then I never looked back rules wise. And now I know that it doesn't matter that much - there is no perfect edition but the edition you are comfortable with.

But the important thing here is that this is me, not you , nor the other posters in the forum. And I know that I cannot be right in all aspects of my opinions.



I wouldn't hold my positions if I did not feel them to be correct.



This is a very interesting aspect of the human psyche - especially when I meet people who follow this credo and then prove them wrong. They are the more enjoyable of the people I debate with.

Please respect other people's opinions if you want to have a discussion and you don't just want to open a thread to cry foul on D&D Next and praise your precious 4th edition.



There is no reason to respect other people's opinions, merely to be decent to other people. Opinions are things which can be discarded, and should be when they're wrong. I have no respect for opinions that are clearly wrong, and neither should you.

In any case, it is obvious that you are again falling prey to "something is complicated, therefore I must make up something": I am quite certain that I have pointed out a major flaw with 4th edition - complexity - several times, and yet somehow you are construing this as a "4th edition is awesome!!!!1111oneoneoneeleventy" thread.

Reanalyze your own thoughts, and don't merely allow your brain to run away with you. Brains are nasty things that will play you if you don't keep tight control over it. You have to harness your brain and always question why you believe certain things, especially if they are not directly in your sights.



By now you should probably have realised why I will not even get into an "Argument" with you when you blatantly try to goat this discussion in a flamewar with your above comments about my inability to grasp the fundamentals of your facts/opinions.

But I *will* hang into what seems to be your main beef with the D&D system - and correct me if I am wrong - this is complexity. Complexity in roleplaying games that has to be made simpler if more people are to get into this game. There are two ways to look into this and let us do it with chess:

a)One school of simplifying complexity says: "Why do all the chess pieces have so many different moves? I want all the pieces to have the same set of moves and have different fluffly descriptions for them if they are performed by pawns or rooks. In the end chess becomes checkers with differently styled pieces all doing exactly the same set of moves and the game becomes simpler."
b) The other says "No keep chess as it. It is very simple to pick up and has enough diversity for each piece as it is. It is relatively easy to understand and much much much more difficult to master. It just needs more time invested into it. This is what boardgames are usually : investment of time to understand them in order to truly enjoy them and master them but still easy to pick up and play for a quickie".

Do you want to guess which school I fall under? I do not like the oversimplification of rules. I maybe could live with society making chess into checkers because it can still teach my kid to think outside of the box and try to master it. But I don't want to end up with games like tic-tac-toe (again a good game to get you started into thinking but it will only go that far). Game devs and analysts (like you said earlier) might tell you that this is what the world BUYS in our days and hence you HAVE to go that way - but I do NOT want to play those games.

I do not like the over-simplification of rules and mechanics.
I like the simplification of starting rules as long as this core set is expandable and allows me the capability of adding and enhancing it into what I like about D&D.
Hence I like what they are trying to do with DnDNext even though I am not yet satisfied with what I see
Why can we not rate posts? I would like to +1 Netlich's post, not just for the content, but also in the mature manner in which it is written.
But I *will* hang into what seems to be your main beef with the D&D system - and correct me if I am wrong - this is complexity. Complexity in roleplaying games that has to be made simpler if more people are to get into this game. There are two ways to look into this and let us do it with chess:

a)One school of simplifying complexity says: "Why do all the chess pieces have so many different moves? I want all the pieces to have the same set of moves and have different fluffly descriptions for them if they are performed by pawns or rooks. In the end chess becomes checkers with differently styled pieces all doing exactly the same set of moves and the game becomes simpler."
b) The other says "No keep chess as it. It is very simple to pick up and has enough diversity for each piece as it is. It is relatively easy to understand and much much much more difficult to master. It just needs more time invested into it. This is what boardgames are usually : investment of time to understand them in order to truly enjoy them and master them but still easy to pick up and play for a quickie".



Do you realize the fallacy in your argument?
You're comparing Chess, a game with 6 (counted six) types of pieces, to D&D.
D&D currently has dozens of classes to pick from. Each class will go through well over a hundred powers to choose from and thousands of feats to go through.

Let's not forget when you take an action in chess, you don't have to go look up the rules every time you do so. "I want to make a Bull Rush. How was that done again?" or "I want to cast Burning Spray. How how much damage does it do?"

Your argument for complexity is flawed from the beginning. Chess is actually a very simple game to learn and play but one that takes years to master. Calling it anything more or less is a disservice to Chess and the time tested game design that has stood for much MUCH longer than any edition of D&D has.

I hope that D&D continues to advance, not go backwards. Make it better, not more nostalgic. And from a game design perspective with clear goals of what it needs to accomplish, "better" is not a subjective term.
Scientifically, you will only enjoy complexity as long as you have a social group with which to compare your mastery of the topic.  At the same time, you will not gain more people into that group unless it is sufficiently rewarding/socialy desirable.

Also, if you have to remember more than 7 facts at once, you will likely be unable to do so. Any rule book that requires knowing more than 7 pieces of information during your turn, will cause you to forget some piece of it.

Chess, having only 6 rules for you to know, is sufficiently simple enough.  DnD, which has much more than 7 things for you to think about, is much more complex, and can even hinder a player from playing the game.
I don not like it when people argue with the words rather than the  meaning but I will indulge you too PrimeSonic- once.



Do you realize the fallacy in your argument?
You're comparing Chess, a game with 6 (counted six) types of pieces, to D&D.
D&D currently has dozens of classes to pick from. Each class will go through well over a hundred powers to choose from and thousands of feats to go through.



No I am using the analogy of simplifying the rules of chess in order for it to become Checkers or worse tic-tac-toe to explain how I see the argument on simplifying the rules of D&D and how I fear we might make it into Diablo (to help those who will quote me falsely again : Diablo here is an example of a game that simplified older computer RPG game rules and arguably by some destroyed complexity - commercially though it was an undisputed  success)

EVERY D&D edition ended up with DOZENS of classes or powers or feats or proficiencies....How many did they START with though? Before commersialisation via splatbooks made the game too complex? You cannot tell me you believe that 2nd or 3rd or Basic D&D or even Fourth started with DOZENS of classes? And Hundreds of powers?

Let's not forget when you take an action in chess, you don't have to go look up the rules every time you do so. "I want to make a Bull Rush. How was that done again?" or "I want to cast Burning Spray. How how much damage does it do?"



Try and remember your first forrays into chess...Did you not ask someone about the weird moves (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En_passant)? The optional moves? Did you find it easy to start with?

No as an analogy that simplifies my argument and explains to the people who read this I find that my example with chess is greatly suited...

Your argument for complexity is flawed from the beginning. Chess is actually a very simple game to learn and play but one that takes years to master. Calling it anything more or less is a disservice to Chess and the time tested game design that has stood for much MUCH longer than any edition of D&D has.



Your first part of the sentence is exactly what I am saying and why I use Chess as an example.
Your second part is also why I used chess for my example. I do really wish D&D will learn and become the chess of the future. And why I am against the current trend of simplification as people consider it now. I don't mind making the basic core rules simple to understand but I do mind if D&D loses the complexity and diversity I enjoy.

I hope that D&D continues to advance, not go backwards. Make it better, not more nostalgic. And from a game design perspective with clear goals of what it needs to accomplish, "better" is not a subjective term.



Well said... Nolstagia is not the trick that will make the game better. But make sure we are all on the same page... Are we all sure that better means quality of game design or more applicable to the market out there?

*edited for spelling and meaning
Your argument is flawed because chess pieces do not need to be balanced against one another.
"Your first part fo the sentence is exactly what I am saying and why I use Chess as an example.
Your second part is also why I used chess for my example. I do really wish D&D will learn and become the chess of the future. And why I am against the current trend fo simplifaction as people consider it now. I don't mind making the basic core rules simple to understand but I do mind if D&D loses the complexity I enjoy."

Then you are not understanding the science or the research of game development.

If you could simplify D&D into 10 rules or possible actions, then you would make a game that can last the ages as Chess has. 
Scientifically, you will only enjoy complexity as long as you have a social group with which to compare your mastery of the topic.  At the same time, you will not gain more people into that group unless it is sufficiently rewarding/socialy desirable.

Also, if you have to remember more than 7 facts at once, you will likely be unable to do so. Any rule book that requires knowing more than 7 pieces of information during your turn, will cause you to forget some piece of it.

Chess, having only 6 rules for you to know, is sufficiently simple enough.  DnD, which has much more than 7 things for you to think about, is much more complex, and can even hinder a player from playing the game.



I find some  statements above a bit too far fetched but I do not recall reading such treatises so I will accept them as facts you read somehwere...

The good thing though is that the DM can be responsible for these 7+ things and the players needn't know anything.

In fact a good DM will be able to adapt the game to make it more socially acceptable IF the rules are not so strictly put down and quite clear in their CORE mechanics and less adamant on the extensions, applciations and enhancements.

Unless of course you believe that D&D is only the numbers and not the storytelling part in which case there is no point arguing we belong to different schools of thought on what constitutes a roleplaying game.

That is mostly true, and that is how I have introduced the game to people. (i.e., I tell the player 3 or 4 traditional options, and ask them which they want to do, or if there is something else they can think of)  
However, charachter advancement, and charachter creation, is where all the extra rules get really complex and come into play.
Other players also would be not enjoy being asked which 3-4 opimal moves they would like to do at this moment.
And what do you do with DMs who are new to the game, playing with 4 other players that are new to the game?


Which statements do you find unbeleivable? I can try to remember where I learned the factoid from. 
"Your first part fo the sentence is exactly what I am saying and why I use Chess as an example.
Your second part is also why I used chess for my example. I do really wish D&D will learn and become the chess of the future. And why I am against the current trend fo simplifaction as people consider it now. I don't mind making the basic core rules simple to understand but I do mind if D&D loses the complexity I enjoy."

Then you are not understanding the science or the research of game development.

If you could simplify D&D into 10 rules or possible actions, then you would make a game that can last the ages as Chess has. 



Did people come up with extra rules for chess? Extensions? Expansions? Did computer games evolve it further ? Added fluff to it? YES!

That is the same I want for D&D. I totaly agree with you that the CORE has to be very simplistic. You say 10 moves, above they say 7 - I don't give a flipping toss for that actual number. In fact in 3rd edition can claim they did it with ONE rule the d20.

I am not here to argue semantics and wordings.

I am not here to argue semantics and wordings.



Nope. You're just here to argue. Wink
(*Tongue firmly placed in cheek*)
1) All the rules are on your character sheet.


You didn't have all your powers on your character sheet in 4E, too. It's simply untrue. People had to print out cards or copy their powers out of the book and had to keep several pages of powers at hand. Next is actually better in this aspect as there are less numbers that a character needs.  

2) The attacker always rolls.


Spells or effects where you need to save are not strictly "attacks". There is a clear distinction between when something merits and attack roll and when it merits a save. 

 


3) Everyone uses the same basic set of rules.


They do. d20+Ability+other modifiers vs difficulty. All characters are also build according to the same structure of race+class(+background+theme). The resolution mechanics are the same for everyone. The fact that classes can have different schemes for how they gain their abilities does not make it a bad game.

4) Everyone is always useful.


Based on the actual playtests, everyone had something to do all the time. No character was useless.  

5) People in heavy armor having as high or higher armor class than people in light armor.


This is not a lesson of game design or a universal truth. It's an issue of balancing, that will be adressed, because it' broken. This was not an achievement of any previous edition in a way that it should have been unlearned.

6) Combat and noncombat options need to be separated.


So far I haven't really seen any evidence that having more non-combat options gimps you in combat or vice versa. In fact, Background and Theme demonstrate that combat and non-combat options are purchased from two different pools of resources. Memorizing more non-combat spells does not take combat at-wills from a spellcaster and on top of that, non-combat spells can be cast as rituals. They are plenty separated.

1) Complexity is bad.


I don't see in what way Next is complicated. At this point it's less complicated than both editions that came before it. 

2) Character creation is too complicated. Characters have too many build options for most reasonable people to consider


How was this "unlearned"? A) you haven't even seen the actual character creation rules and B) pretty much all evidence points to the fact that character creation means simply picking your Abilities, Race, Class and optionally Background and Theme. Compared to 3e for example, that's as simple as possible. It's almost Basic simple.

3) Feats, in particular, are an enormous failure


Next feats are considerably different from 3E feats and the design team is aware of their failings in previous editions. 

4) Characters have too many options while playing them


Again, I'm confused as to how do you know this was "unlearned". The pregens have less options than 4E characters. 

5) Characters have too many magical items.


Based on the design blogs magic items are completely removed from the assumptions of the game. You can play without magic items.

6) Classes need to be of equal complexity.


Not necessarily. Even 4E demonstrated that you could have a simple and a complex version of the same class playing at the same table and there would be no huge difference. A lot of other games have classes of varrying complexity without breaking anything. 

7) Powers are good. While the format of the power cards could potentially be improved, the overall idea of them worked pretty well, and the game needs to be designed so that it works this way.


Powers as such are not necessary to the game, but you can see a lot of powers are still in there, just simplified.

8) Characters need to have more options than "I attack".


They do. It's simply not true that the Fighter has nothing else to do than attack, and they stated clearly that more options would be incoming.

9) Needless rolling for healing out of combat.


Take their average value, same as for HP in the pregens, no need to roll.

These rules are not ready to be put out into the wild and playtested.


I feel that you're rather misrepresenting the rules in several points. Several of your criticisms (like the one about magic items) are simply untrue based on everything we know about the game.

I'm not saying "don't criticize" but I feel like none of this is constructive or even well-founded criticism, because it seems to be aimed at an entirely different game than what I'm looking at on my side of the screen.
I believe Netlich's got it right. Except for the part where he mentions other editions beyond the 2nd. An Orc cannot be a paladin. Oh, and Randal Morn is still alive. Hail from Daggerdale