Why are people abandoning Next so soon?

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I am confused.  This is round one of many rounds of playtesteing we can expect to see.  It is FAR from a final draft of the system.  Shoot, we have not even seen character creation yet!!!

I see so many posts that are saying people will never play again. It is really odd to me, as a DM/Gamer/Playtester with 32 years of gaming under my belt I was happy to see the playtest.  Does the system as it is right now have flaws?  YES  Can these be fixed?  YES  Can we expect the next round of playtest material to have changes?  WITH OUT A DOUBT  Will we all like these changes?  NO

Playtesting is not [just] a chance to see the rules first, it is meant to be a process to gather opinions and ideas to make a game playabe and better.  Please folks, what WotC needs here is constructive honest criticism and a chance to show us they are listening.  I will be running 2 more rounds of playtest sessions [using my own scenarios this time] this weekend and will then post about the game issues I have and what I really liked about it.

Give it a chance folks [and you don't have to use the Caves of Chaos, though I just pulled out one of my old copies of B2 and used the inside cover map as it was printed cleaner than the computer scan we got in the module...
 
I think some didn't read all of the packet, like the part that explains that this playtest is just to test a couple of aspects of the game, such as how it adapts to various playing styles. They just jumped right in, apparently expecting a complete game to have been handed to them for free.


For my first round of playtesting we rotated positions so everyone had a chance to play everything. For the current round, I am back in the DM's seat and the guys winged it creating their own characters. We are using Dragonfoot's "The Nameless Dungeon", which was written for Classic D&D. Where D&DNext doesn't have a guideline readily available, we're using the 1991 Rules Compendium to sort it out. So far so good!  
I don't think anyone is saying they would downright not play 5E based on the play test. I am seeing people that explain that the play test doesn't do what other editions or even other games do half as well. I'm seeing people who take the developers who say "This is the core immutable part of the game that you will build off of to create your game" and saying, no sorry I can't build my game on this foundation.

I have said it over and over with vancian casting. If its in the core as a baseline for most or all magic using classes, then this is not the game for me, even if future modules allow me to kinda sorta get a 4E feel out of it.

I have seen statements like the above. I am personally going to give WotC right up until release to make vancian an optional magic module. If that doesn't happen, well I'm just not going to buy 5E. Its just that simple...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.

I see so many posts that are saying people will never play again. It is really odd to me,




I don't see so many of those.  I *do* see a lot of people saying "We're done, call us when the next playtest packet comes out, and if it fixes X, Y, Z, Q, and T, we'll give it another shot" - because they ran into things that were, for them, game-killers.

Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
I don't think anyone is saying they would downright not play 5E based on the play test. I am seeing people that explain that the play test doesn't do what other editions or even other games do half as well. I'm seeing people who take the developers who say "This is the core immutable part of the game that you will build off of to create your game" and saying, no sorry I can't build my game on this foundation.

I have said it over and over with vancian casting. If its in the core as a baseline for most or all magic using classes, then this is not the game for me, even if future modules allow me to kinda sorta get a 4E feel out of it.

I have seen statements like the above. I am personally going to give WotC right up until release to make vancian an optional magic module. If that doesn't happen, well I'm just not going to buy 5E. Its just that simple...



Although I'm more positive about the playtest then you seem to be and I quite like what should really be called Vanco-Dygaxian casting, I really would like to see alternative magic systems in the core books. I imagine an encounter based system will probably be presented alongside Vancian as alot of people seem to want that, my hope is there will be several other magic systems as well.

To respond the the OP I think allot of people see the playtest documnts and then jump to conclusions about what will be contained in the final release. They then become scared DNDNext wont support what they liked about edition X. It think the fear is legitimate and people should fight for what they want included in D&D (all my fears involve encounter powers being the norm) but it does seem a tad early as we've not really seen that much yet, and personally I've like most of what I've seen. I would probably stick with the playtest even if it started going in directions that I didn't like because I"m curious to see how a professional game is developed, also I think feedback wether negative or positive is crucial for WotC to make the best game they can.
I don't think anyone is saying they would downright not play 5E based on the play test.



Ooh, me me. *raises hand*

When I suggested to my group that we play 5e in the future they laughed. Laughed long and hard. Based upon the playtest it is highly unlikely that our group will stay with the D&D brand for this edition (especially now that we have 13th Age on pre-order).

The basic core of the system is so far from supporting any game that we'd enjoy that it would take a lot at this point to convince us that it is saveable.

Yes, we know this is just a playtest. Everybody knows that.
Yes, we know that there will be added modularity. Everybody knows that.
Frankly unless some very fundemantal parts of D&D Next are rethought from the ground up we don't think any amount of tweaking or added modules will fix it to our liking. If 3-pillars design and fiat-based rules are dumped in favor of class balance and a well written system we can talk.

The basic framework is that of a bear, and we wanted an owl. We don't see why we should get a bear with modular feathers when there are owls out there on the market.

On one hand we have a game on pre-order now that is written by the designers of our two favorite editions of D&D, that does everything 3e and 4e did, is familiar to both editions but is not a clone. It has cool new mechanics, nifty ideas, and makes me happy. We playtested 13th Age, and we had a great time. Fast gridless combat that was still excitingly tactical, a creative backgrounding/skills system, cool story mechanics that blend fluff and crunch into a flunthy blend. It is what we've been looking for from 3e and 4e, and an evolution of the best bits of both with neat touches from earlier editions.

On the other hand we have a retro-clone with as yet undeveloped addable modules to make it maybe a bit like something that we already have on our shelves. The best that can be said for 5e at this point is that it is inoffencive and has a brand name. We playtested it, and were bored. It plays like a retroclone, but there is currently a market flooded with retroclones and if we wanted to play one we would pick up LotFP or DCC.

Even if the basic framework is fully fixable to include correct class balance and tactical funtimes and deep story why bother, why go to the work of adding modules when there are other games out there built specifically for what we want? Why buy a fixer-upper for the same price as a finished system?

So yes, based on the playtest, 5e is not for us.
I was excited about the playtest and was going to run it...

Until I got the playtest packet.  Now I'm going to wait for further playtests to see if I can handle it without a 10' pole.  LFQW looks to be back with a vengence.  I've got 2e for that and the core of 2e seems to be better designed than this mess.
Just a comparison of the amount of verbiage of the playtest materials to the PHB and DMG of 3.5 and it is not even 1/100th of the amount of material.  It is inherently an unfair judgment at this stage regarding Next's viability.  In a playtest, like any other experimental environment, the makers of the experiment are looking at only a few key variables and keep the rest as a constant.  In the final version, there will be very few of these constants, but right now, to determine the results of certain unknowns, the other aspects of the game (which will all evolve and revolve around eachother: skills, spellcasting, tactical combat, etc.) have been reduced to such an extent that they have minimal impact on the things that are being tested. 

Frankly, since WotC has been mum on the subject, we do not know what is being tested, and what is being restricted regarding the playtest.   lokiare, above, said that if the core system is vancian based, he/she (not sure) will not play the game.  That is, of course, your opinion and you are more than entitled to it.  My point is that vancian magic may be in this playtest as a base-line for testing other aspects of the game, and once those aspects are hammered home, WotC introduces another magic system to tweak into place as an optional module.  We just don't know at this point.  Heck, this WHOLE playtest could be to gather reaction to the new "advantage/disadvange" system, with everything else thrown in to provide a (somewhat) playable game. 

WotC needs to sell books.  Plain and simple.  The playtest materials are SO FAR from complete just from a business model perspective, that we can be assured this is NOT what will be available for public consumption. 
The playtest materials are SO FAR from complete just from a business model perspective, that we can be assured this is NOT what will be available for public consumption. 



Which is a pity, because you only get one chance to make a 1st impression.
The playtest materials are SO FAR from complete just from a business model perspective, that we can be assured this is NOT what will be available for public consumption. 



Which is a pity, because you only get one chance to make a 1st impression.



OK, 5EFan [name is really odd based on your point of view] I have done a LOT of playtesting for a LOT of different companies and must say that in a playtesting arena, it is NEVER about 1st impressions.  It is about willingness to listen to your playtesters and change what needs to be changed.

I will post more on Monday once I have these next 2 sessions under my belt and I will give all of my thoughts and ideas.

See you all in 3 days.
 
I think part of this problem is the belief that some things in the playtest package are set in stone and people not liking what they think the designers are not going to change. The designers never gave any really good indications about what is more likely to change compared to less likely to change except from the too generic "everything is subject to change" because no one really believes that "everything" is actually subject to change.
I'm not surprised at all to see people losing interest.  Yes it's early, yes we haven't seen most of the games, but for some what we have is enough to make an initial decision.  

We are presented with the "core" framework of the game.  If there are things about it now that you fundamentally dislike, for example the way saving throws work, it's tough to imagine modules that are going to change that much.  It may be that a rule module can alter that, but I tend to doubt it.  Something like that is so fundamental to the game that you can't really alter it.  I can't imagine the Monster Manual having multiple versions of the same creature to accommodate different fundamental approaches to things like Attacks, Defenses, Saving Throws, and the like.

Beyond that, in its current state that game is too basic for many (myself included); I played basic D&D back in the day, and rapidly lost interest in it.  I can see becoming disinterested in the current verison of the game.  I'd love to see something like a ranger or warlock or half-orc, or get an idea of how character creation works. 

As it stands I have 5 extremely basic pre-generated characters and an extremely basic dungeon... it feels like a pen and paper version of Diablo 3 to me.  Sure Diablo is fun... for a while, but the strength of D&D has always been in making your own characters, your own adventures, and creating something that can be whatever you want it to be.  For all the talk of a modular game that can be played any way, the version of the first version fo the game unveiled on the general pblic seems to speak to a single style of play, one that was all the rage 30 years ago, but many have outgrown.  Maybe it's not a fair assessment of the game as a whole, but right now it seems very focused on a specific target audience.  I can totally understand someone who is not part of the audience loosing interest.

Personally, I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet, but I I'm getting tired to trying to keep my players enganged, at least until we see the next packet.

D&D Next... waiting and seeing...

I also think there are some people who are looking for reasons to push D&D away.  Either they are digrunted by past experiences, or they are interested in other games.  That's ok.  People who are interested and willing to be patient should stay with the playtest to make the game the best game possible.  Others can join on after the game is launched and supported.  If it all works out, more people will be playing D&D in 2013 and 2014.  That's all WotC and loyal gamers can hope for.

A Brave Knight of WTF

The announcement:
Cool! There is a new edition of D&D coming out!
Reading a bit later:
Sorry guys, they say it will make players of every edition happy. That means nobody will be happy.
Playtest release:
Hey, it isn't bad. Sure it has a few problems, but it has plenty of stuff I want to know more about.
Reading the forums:
I'm not holding out much hope. (I'm not giving up).

On reading the forums people want instant healing after every encounter, people complain about full healing after a long rest, people complain the wizard is to powerful, people want Vancian magic done away with b/c the wizard shouldn't be limited. I've read of people wanting more weapons, and people wanting weapons reduced to simple, one-handed, and two-handed.
I'm just not sure what will happen with 5e.

My big issue with choosing a game is money. The next is product availibility. We play 3.5 because we have books and no money to switch to another game. The problem is people have left the group, and we now have 2 PHB for about 8 people.
We will be changing to a new system in a few years. I want to stick with D&D, and that is why I am doing the playtest.

We felt the current playtest was focused on combat. In our usual setting, combat is about a third of the adventure. What does 5e have for the other 2/3?

The first thing I look at in a game is char. generation. Not addressed yet.

I think to many people have a litmus test for 5e that the playtest did not pass.
I want a good playable system that covers combat and non-combat situations.
I wish I had picked up a 4e book to explore that system, so I could see what it had to offer.
I am done with my wandering pointless rant.
I started playing D&D in the 80's. I've played D&D, 1e, 2e, and 3.xe (and many other RPGs). I also played Magic since it came out (except for a few years around the change of the millennium. I say this so you know a bit of my experience, not because I care about editions.
Some advise here from some guy named E. Gary Gygax.

Quoted from the 1st ed.

A few brief words are necessary to insure that the reader has actually obtained a game form which he or she desires. Of the two approaches to hobby games today, one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school. AD&D is assuredly an adherent to the latter school. It does not stress any realism (in the author's opinion an absurd effort at best considering the topic!). It does little to attempt to simulate anything either. ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek to use imagination and creativity....   ... AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which can fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be taken too seriously. For fun, excitement and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed. As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe, or even as a reflection of medieval or ancient warfare or culture or society, it can be deemed only a dismal failure.  Readers who seek the latter must search elsewhere.  ..."

End of quote from 1st ed DMG.

Guys. It's a game. Guys... this is an early edition of a playtest of a game that will/must fail to be a realistic simulation. 

... more words of advice from Gygax...

"... Participants will always be pushing for a game which allows them to become strong and powerful far too quickly. Each will attempt to take the game out of your hands and mold it to his or her own ends. Tos satisfy this natural desire is to issue a death warrent to a campaign. For it will either be a one-player affair or the players will desert en masse for aomwrhinf more challenging and equitable. ..."

"... When you build your campaign you will tailor it to suit your personal tastes. In the heat of play it will slowly evolve into a compound of your personality and those of your better participants, a superior alloy. ..."

End of Gygax quotes from 1st DMG preface.

I just figured it was time to mention this.
 
It's five pregens and one dungeon.  Three weeks is plenty of time to just plain exhaust the source material.

I'm not abandoning D&D Next, but the state of the materials they released for play testing was disappointing (feels like too much of a throw back in terms of the potential for character creation options).


Plus, the 30+ years the game has been around as established that a d20 based system can work. I'm expecting D&D Next to build on what has come before, rather than be a regression of the rules and will be a vocal supporter of that direction until the games is released.

It's five pregens and one dungeon.  Three weeks is plenty of time to just plain exhaust the source material.



This is the most true thing ever. 

That, and that people are treating this as a demo, not a playtest. They're figuring out what works, not fine tuning a few things. The idea that "this whole system is unbalanced and unplayable" is based on a LOT of extrapolation, and with so little data it seems ridiculous to make any assumptions at this point.
'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'
It's five pregens and one dungeon.  Three weeks is plenty of time to just plain exhaust the source material.



This is the most true thing ever. 

That, and that people are treating this as a demo, not a playtest. They're figuring out what works, not fine tuning a few things. The idea that "this whole system is unbalanced and unplayable" is based on a LOT of extrapolation, and with so little data it seems ridiculous to make any assumptions at this point.



We'll see in the next iteration of the play test. I'm going to say it probably won't change much. They will just reveal more... mark my words...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
In my thread This isn't the D&D we're looking for..... I pretty much say that for the time being, I'm not going to continue the Playtest phase until I see some additional content that allows my group to have the sort of session that we enjoy. I gave it two solid shots over the course of approx 7-8 encounters and it just wasn't that much fun. Since my group only gathers one a week, that's only 52 times a year we meet and 2 of them were the Playtest. And if they're not satisified as a group to keep playing it, I'm not about to keep shoving it on them just because it's the new shiney.

That being said, I completely reserve the right to change my opinion as the game becomes more developed and we get more packets to test. If the next packet holds far more info on character creation or unique pre-made characters with more than 3 levels and some codified rules for specific actions in combat, I'll have them give it another go. Until then, we'll continue to use our v3.5 and 4E rulesets. 

Additionally, I can say that some of the Core elments aren't to our liking. And those core elements build up the basics for the game. Clerics being reduced to Heal-Bots, Fighters regulated to only feats for unique abilities, wizards spells so ambiguous that it allows them FAR more freedom in the "Improv-style" than anyone else. and those are just a few things they need to iron out.    
Howdy folks,

I have moved this thread to the Playtest Packet Discussion forum.

Thanks.  

All around helpful simian

I am confused.

I see so many posts that are saying people will never play again.

Give it a chance folks [and you don't have to use the Caves of Chaos, though I just pulled out one of my old copies of B2 and used the inside cover map as it was printed cleaner than the computer scan we got in the module...
 



It's...  Human? 

Really I agree.  I just can't tell you how honored I feel to be a part of this and to be able to express how I feel about it.  The negative is legit to say, but to render a death sentence this early is not really a defensible thing to do.  It's highly impractical as well.

I will admit that I could not and did not enjoy its last irteration and I just continued to play 3.X pretty much, short of the occassional drop in game.  And that option I suppose will still exist. 

But right now I am starting threads on various topics and contributing on various ones, to try and generate as many conversations as we can on the different stuff that I'd love to see worked on.

Restraints, DC's, Terminology, monster difficulty and the like are all issues that are tangible, in evidence and we can talk about and really discourse.  The ultimate outcome will be what it will be.  But by giving the floor to so many voices that represent the old and the new, they really are being smart about it and I hope they will get more out of threads like the one on Greek Fire Oil and Acid durations than they do on the doomsaying.
Not abandoning it here.

Perhaps a bit turned off by the opposition to what I find most appealing in the playtest, but the speed of play and interesting approach to background and theme have my attention.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Gotta agree with Valdark there...I want to see where some of these concepts go.
This depends on "so soon". I've been at this playtest since December. I've been suffering through this design philosophy since 2010 (Essentials).

Why am I ready to condemn Next?

1. I'll start by echoing what others have said: The game I want can't exist on the core rules we've been presented with unless some of those basic concepts are redesigned from the ground up. Based on the fact that these concepts have been present since the first version of the playtest I saw seven months ago, they're feeling very much set in stone to me.

2. "Old-school feel". This is a meaningless statement to me. I like 4e because it didn't feel like any past edition. Having spent the last four years playing a game that shows good design done right, I have zero interest in going back to the dark ages of kludgy design, bad art, and cheap excuses. I don't want Next to "feel like D&D". I want Next to feel like a new game.

3. Monte J. Cook. I dislike his attitude and I dislike his design philosophy. One of the few bright spots in this entire ordeal was the day he quit the team. I happened to be with my gaming group when that announcement got posted; we cheered his departure. The more of his influence we can eradicate from the game, the better it will be.
It is the Doctor Who syndrome, in a lot of ways.  We all love D&D, everyone loves Dr. Who, but we have our own doctor, and we love him.  When the new doctor appears, there is a lot of backlash and folk saying "I'll never watch Who again", but you know what?  After a few episodes, you are hooked on new Who, and you know why?  Interesting characters and great writing will trump who is flying the tardis at any given time.

Yeah, it may no longer have a stick of celery in it's lapel, but I bet Dr. WhoNext will have a lot of viewers.  ;)
We all love D&D, everyone loves Dr. Who, but we have our own doctor, and we love him.

3, 4, 10, 11, and Rowan Atkinson.

There are always drama queens who overstate evrything, and I'm sure there are people who see enough they don't like in the system to see it as unsalvagable. I think they are the vast minority, however, and the OP is really being as much an overstater as the folks who are "Worst Game Ever"ing.

That being said, what I see so far I don't like, and that's all we have to discuss right now.  When the magic module which makes the system much more exciting arrives, we will be more excited about the game.

A bit on my dissapointment;
1. The Big One.  The system doesn't seem to be offering me anything new. In 1-5 years, WOTC is going to ask me to begin paying money to play this game.  Right now I'm playing 4th ed for free (Insider cost is a wash, as there is NO way they are giving that up for their new system).  Right now I'm playing 3rd ed for free (we never bought the 3.5 books).  Right now I am playing Pathfinder for free.  I've paid for all those books already (or someone with me has).  To get me to buy new ones, you need to offer something worth hundreds of dollars (as that's what I will be paying for new books in course of a few years).  3rd, 4th and PF all offered me great value for my dollar.  Clearly there is plenty we haven't seen yet, but the direction this sytem is heading looks like a hybrid of books I already own that I could have written in a weekend.  To be honest, we are already playing a hybrid 4th campaign (we are using 4th and replaced the stuff we don't like with house rules and 3rd ed ones).  This looks like a 3rd edition game where they took some good things from 4th and plugged them in.  I can do that on my own.

2. I was expecting something exciting, I love D&D.  I was so exciting reading 2nd, 3rd and 4th ed players handbooks and exploring the new rules.  While this is a very limited sample of 5th, what is there is nothing new.

My 2 cents, I hope I am wrong, and I get to spend that money... 
This depends on "so soon". I've been at this playtest since December. I've been suffering through this design philosophy since 2010 (Essentials).

Why am I ready to condemn Next?

1. I'll start by echoing what others have said: The game I want can't exist on the core rules we've been presented with unless some of those basic concepts are redesigned from the ground up. Based on the fact that these concepts have been present since the first version of the playtest I saw seven months ago, they're feeling very much set in stone to me.

2. "Old-school feel". This is a meaningless statement to me. I like 4e because it didn't feel like any past edition. Having spent the last four years playing a game that shows good design done right, I have zero interest in going back to the dark ages of kludgy design, bad art, and cheap excuses. I don't want Next to "feel like D&D". I want Next to feel like a new game.

3. Monte J. Cook. I dislike his attitude and I dislike his design philosophy. One of the few bright spots in this entire ordeal was the day he quit the team. I happened to be with my gaming group when that announcement got posted; we cheered his departure. The more of his influence we can eradicate from the game, the better it will be.



I'm curious what you thought of the Q&A session that M.M. did a couple days ago? I, for one, felt much better after reading it.
'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'
This depends on "so soon". I've been at this playtest since December. I've been suffering through this design philosophy since 2010 (Essentials).

Why am I ready to condemn Next?

1. I'll start by echoing what others have said: The game I want can't exist on the core rules we've been presented with unless some of those basic concepts are redesigned from the ground up. Based on the fact that these concepts have been present since the first version of the playtest I saw seven months ago, they're feeling very much set in stone to me.

2. "Old-school feel". This is a meaningless statement to me. I like 4e because it didn't feel like any past edition. Having spent the last four years playing a game that shows good design done right, I have zero interest in going back to the dark ages of kludgy design, bad art, and cheap excuses. I don't want Next to "feel like D&D". I want Next to feel like a new game.

3. Monte J. Cook. I dislike his attitude and I dislike his design philosophy. One of the few bright spots in this entire ordeal was the day he quit the team. I happened to be with my gaming group when that announcement got posted; we cheered his departure. The more of his influence we can eradicate from the game, the better it will be.



I'm curious what you thought of the Q&A session that M.M. did a couple days ago? I, for one, felt much better after reading it.



So far, my opinions mirror Kalranya's in what DDN has shown us for the Core element of the game. Some things are interesting (like Ability Scores serve as Saves and Advantage/Disadvantage) but aside from those few things, I haven't been impressed with the quick play and combat of DDN.

Now, Mike Mearl's Q&A session assuages a few of my fears with the knowledge that 4E fans want more and that more is coming. I'm excited to see what they come up with in the Next Playtest packet, but until then It's mostly goign to be negative from my group.

I've seen people say this. Because of two main reasons.

1- Skills don't do much, and what they do do is all "DM May I?". Entire classes are skill based and this is a problem because now they don't get to do anything. 

2- Monster HP Bloat from 4e is still here, only things do less damage than 4e. This is not good. The best example being a Minotaur, that takes the fighter about 9 hits on average to finish. He hits 60% of the time, so really we are looking at 14-15 rounds. Please note the fighter has 32 HP tops, is hit 55% of the time, and takes 11 damage from the axe and 7 from the bite.  That is basic rough eyeball math (thats incorrect) and it catches problems that shouldn't have made it past the first round of internal playtesting.  Let alone outside testing. 

---------------

My own impressions on why I'm disappointed got really long. I bolded the important bits. I tried not to attack specific people (Mearls) but my impressions were mostly on the appearance of effort put into the product and long bit on the AMA and its hard to talk about that without specifically naming people. I don't have the whole picture and I'm sure a lot more has been done that I don't know about. 

My own impression from the playtest was that they hadn't actually run any encounters themselves and have just been "eyeballing it based on old editions". Thats great for getting initial numbers I guess, but at the end of the day you need to run the math and make sure it works. Then you need to play some sessions to make sure it matches up and is still fun.

Case in point for "didn't play any games in house". The swarm of rats encounter. I'm rolling 32d20 each round as DM. Thats awful, and you didn't notice this? You would had to have if you had run through each encounter multiple times to make sure it works.

It being the first round of external you can excuse some bugs, and totally broken things (drunk wizards).  You really can't excuse some core tennants of the system not working, like "Skills" and "HP" or "Attack and Damage". Whats left? Magic? Thats not paticulalrly balanced. I'm taking magic missile over every blasting spell in there, and its a minor spell. Charm person? You mean beat the princess up until she likes me? Ray of Frost is one of the better spells there, and its a "minor" evocation. No save and they can't move. 

At least magic is seems to fall within that "We need to tweak some numbers and add/remove saves on things" realm. Thats acceptable errors for a playtest. "Skills don't do anything" and "Combat doesn't work" do not. 

The whole playtest looks like something a guy slapped together in a weekend because he remembered he promised there would be one, and he was supposed to be writing rules. Then he remembered he wanted an early 13 release and went crap I better playtest soon.... here this should work, the week before it was due. Did you read Mearl's whats your day look like response on the Reddit  AMA? "I get up early and check emails at like 8:30, and then have a few meetings after lunch I play diablo". Good to see he is busting his hump getting the playtest up to speed and out the door. If he had said "We playtest every morning from 7AM-Noon running various encounters to make sure they are fun and everyone has something interesting to do. Then from noon to 4PM we brainstorm ideas on fixes for notes from our playtest and work on mechanics. From 4 to 6 and sometimes later (rarely earlier) we focus on meshing those new ideas with the existing body of work. Usually I do about half this, and half meetings to plan future products and mangerial stuff. Then the next day we playtest those new ideas starting at 7AM. We go Mon-Sat for now, because we were gearing up for playtest release, but now that the first draft is out the door we will relax leaving at 3 or 4 and cut saturdays out until a month before second draft playtest when we ramp it back up. Once the edition as a whole is out the door I am planning to take a week or so off just to hang with the family, and am looking forward to that." I'd be like "Wow they are putting in serious hours and really banging stuff out, this is going to be good. But "We run a game monday mornings, and the rest of the week I check emails at 9 AM, and have meetings till lunch and then play diablo." was just disappointing.  I bet he probably does more than that each day, but thats not how it sounded. 

That may look like a long week, but thats what the month before a major project for a major brand should look like for that major projects lead guy. And hey, he is the lead designer, once it is out the door successfully, he can take a few weeks off to decompress. 

I've been writing an RPG on my own free time, and it was more complete than this. I started shortly after 5e was announced because I realized it will never be "Krusks perfect RPG" because it has to appeal to more than just me (not a problem). My own time basically includes 4-5 hours every weekend, and jotting notes down as I think of them throughout the week. Usually 1-2 hours tops. I'm a fast typer, but I don't think that explains the difference. I assume they started long before 5e was announced. 

Eh, end of the day I'll still buy the core books when they come out unless they do something really heinous. I can always drift back to 3.5 if its terrible. I don't mind dropping 60$~ for a new set of rules if they are decent. (I got 4e for 66$ with the preorder box set, and am expecting to maybe hit 80 tops for 5e).

I think a lot of people are fooling themselves when they say they won't ever play.  Its DND, and unless its totally just unplayable, it will always have the bulk of players. Sure you have 1-2 in every group who can tell you what pathfinder or Tome are, but by and large most people don't really care about the rules and just want to hang together and roll some dice. Now that 1-2 group grows in number every time there is a bad edition or move by DND, but I think its still got a ways to go before its the majority. And that 1-2 is generally outvoted by the other 3-4 in the group and they end up playing the most recent/popular edition of DND.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"

"Your advice is the worst"

Well put, nearly exactly how I feel.  I read the packet and thought, "Sheesh, this seems like something a few guys could cram together in a weekend of intense work."
It is the Doctor Who syndrome, in a lot of ways.  We all love D&D, everyone loves Dr. Who, but we have our own doctor, and we love him.  When the new doctor appears, there is a lot of backlash and folk saying "I'll never watch Who again", but you know what?  After a few episodes, you are hooked on new Who, and you know why?  Interesting characters and great writing will trump who is flying the tardis at any given time.

Yeah, it may no longer have a stick of celery in it's lapel, but I bet Dr. WhoNext will have a lot of viewers.  ;)

Except here's the difference: Once the old Doctor is gone, he's gone; no new content with that Doctor will ever be created. With D&D, that's not true; I have the Doctor I like best, and I can keep creating new stories with him for as long as I want. I have no need to switch.

I'm curious what you thought of the Q&A session that M.M. did a couple days ago? I, for one, felt much better after reading it.

You mean the AMA? There was no new information there, just more of the same hot air that's been blowing from Renton for half a year now. I'm well aware of what Mearls thinks he's designing, but that's quite different from the materials I've been handed. 

Next is simply incompatible with the D&D that I play, and it always will be. This is because the core design philosophy of Next, which sits way below the actual rules, is incompatible. It's a fundamental, irreconcilable disconect.

Well put, nearly exactly how I feel.  I read the packet and thought, "Sheesh, this seems like something a few guys could cram together in a weekend of intense work."

You should have seen the earlier versions. This one looks polished and sparkly in comparison.

I'm not surprised at all to see people losing interest.  Yes it's early, yes we haven't seen most of the games, but for some what we have is enough to make an initial decision.  

We are presented with the "core" framework of the game.  If there are things about it now that you fundamentally dislike, for example the way saving throws work, it's tough to imagine modules that are going to change that much.  It may be that a rule module can alter that, but I tend to doubt it.  Something like that is so fundamental to the game that you can't really alter it.  I can't imagine the Monster Manual having multiple versions of the same creature to accommodate different fundamental approaches to things like Attacks, Defenses, Saving Throws, and the like.

Beyond that, in its current state that game is too basic for many (myself included); I played basic D&D back in the day, and rapidly lost interest in it.  I can see becoming disinterested in the current verison of the game.  I'd love to see something like a ranger or warlock or half-orc, or get an idea of how character creation works. 

As it stands I have 5 extremely basic pre-generated characters and an extremely basic dungeon... it feels like a pen and paper version of Diablo 3 to me.  Sure Diablo is fun... for a while, but the strength of D&D has always been in making your own characters, your own adventures, and creating something that can be whatever you want it to be.  For all the talk of a modular game that can be played any way, the version of the first version fo the game unveiled on the general pblic seems to speak to a single style of play, one that was all the rage 30 years ago, but many have outgrown.  Maybe it's not a fair assessment of the game as a whole, but right now it seems very focused on a specific target audience.  I can totally understand someone who is not part of the audience loosing interest.

Personally, I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet, but I I'm getting tired to trying to keep my players enganged, at least until we see the next packet.



I agree with this. While we all know it's a playtest and things can change, not everything will change. This playtest shows the design direction, and it looks to be a giant leap backwards in that regard. So, unless they're willing to tear everything down and start from the ground up, I can understand someone looking at this playtest and saying it is not for them. I'm close to it, just because of the design goals. It's AD&D with d20-isms and modular stuff that can emulate a game I already own and play.

In addition to the issue of design direction (which I do not like), the other thing that is putting me off of Next - and which killed my interest in various other D&D elements (such as several settings) in the past - is the realization that...

"If this is what its fans are like then I don't want to have anything to do with it."

The antagonistic and judgmental nature of so many 'discussions' on the Next forums means that, rather than helping to promote my interest in the brand, they're doing a great job of driving me away from it. I'm probably not alone in that.
In addition to the issue of design direction (which I do not like), the other thing that is putting me off of Next - and which killed my interest in various other D&D elements (such as several settings) in the past - is the realization that... "If this is what its fans are like then I don't want to have anything to do with it." The antagonistic and judgmental nature of so many 'discussions' on the Next forums means that, rather than helping to promote my interest in the brand, they're doing a great job of driving me away from it. I'm probably not alone in that.



I will agree with you there Neutronium...there are many threads where the OP gets verbosely beat-down by a gang of folks that don't agree with him/her. If they don't agree, that'd be fine and great if they just posted that...but to gang up and tell the person that they're 100% wrong and completely ignore any debate on how it could be that the OP is right, that's irked me quite a bit too.

It was my belief that gamers, as a community, were pretty open-minded. There have been several threads that have been contrary to that apparent assumption.

It's good to know that I'm not alone in that regard. 
In addition to the issue of design direction (which I do not like), the other thing that is putting me off of Next - and which killed my interest in various other D&D elements (such as several settings) in the past - is the realization that... "If this is what its fans are like then I don't want to have anything to do with it." The antagonistic and judgmental nature of so many 'discussions' on the Next forums means that, rather than helping to promote my interest in the brand, they're doing a great job of driving me away from it. I'm probably not alone in that.



Welcome to the internet.

Find me something that has fans and I'll point out how they argue and are 'antagonistic'. Its 1 part anonymity and 1 part nerd rage. Learn to deal with it or quit hanging with the fans...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Find me something that has fans and I'll point out how they argue and are 'antagonistic'. Its 1 part anonymity and 1 part nerd rage. Learn to deal with it or quit hanging with the fans...



Unfortunately...this is one of the ways to potentially communicate with the staff involved in the project, and it's also one of the ways to communicate with folk located significant distances from one's-self...and it's probably the only place to do both at once.

Getting flamed on a forum or message board is nothing new...getting brow-beaten into conformity is a little over-the-top. People have opinions of a product, what it could be, and what it should be...and none of those opinions are inherently wrong; they might not be practical, but they're not wrong.

This is the fundamental aspect of other people that often gets forgotten or ignored.
You know what's funny?  I was very excited about last edition as I heard more and more  rumors of the playtesting that happened (I knew WOTC staff members).  Then when it showed up, I was horrified beyond words.  In other words, the early indicators could not have prepared me for the truth.

The same thing goes for this version.  it is quite possible that many who dislike some things they see now will have a 180 degree opinion upon seeing it in all its glory.  Those with optimism may have it moderated by the truth also. 

THE KEY is that the the designers are listening to the WORLD of DnD players and one hopes, learning from it.  That's pretty awesome in my opinion.
Eh?  People hate this system?  Seems like it fixes 3rd, and adds the little bit of good parts that 4th had.  The design goals seem pretty solid to me and the playtest actually looks like they are aiming for those goals.  I don't think we're going to get something that feels like it was inspired by CCGs (like 4th did, with its "buy more books to do slightly different things" philosophy).

I am a little fuzzy here on what is so bad here. 

Skills?  While losing skill points is a bit painful, I have to say what we get for the loss more than makes up for it.  Consider 4th, I had a horrible time getting my players to be creative in it.  Why?  Because the dang PHB is was written like a straight-jacket, giving all players the impression that you can only do what you are explicitly given permission to do.  Sure, the DMG has rules for adjudicating creativity, but what good is that if the players are taught by their book to stifle that creativity?  Not much, and me giving everyone a free encounter power that they could MAKE UP on the spot (and I'd adjudicate) didn't help much.  Horrible.  So here we have D&Dnext, where skills are moved to be attribute-focused, and if you want to do something, you roll the attribute.  This is explicitly told to the players and they are told they can try ANYTHING.  With some creative examples in the PHB, we'll have a system that does a lot to unleash the creativity of players.  Worth losing skill points over?  I think so.

Complexity?  Eh, seems to me like the saves are more complex in Next.  There are 6 saves now.  They are just easier to conceptualize and apply to more things.  The system is less specific and more generalized, but not in an innappropriate way.  Seems good to me.  Simpler grappling rules is just good.  I don't see what 3rd had here that's Next doesn't have.  Less options regarding feats and such?  Well, I think overall there look to be a lot more options regarding character builds, since you have class options (seem like a bunch for everyone), race, theme, and background.  Heck, a lot of concepts look like you can start them at level ONE.  Fighter-Mage?  Make a Fighter with Magic-User as a Background.  If we lose the insane ceiling on rules mastery that 3rd had, we still have a lot of options.

I guess I'm just confused.  Reading through this thread didn't clear anything up for me either.  What exactly is wrong here?

Edit:  If it is hit points, damage, or anything else like that, then I don't see why people are complaining at all.  First, the playtest wasn't about those aspects and admits they aren't balanced yet.  Second, in a tuned game these are the easiest things in the world to adjust by the DM.

PS.  For what it is worth, I've played 2nd Edition AD&D, 3.X, 4E (one campaign), Werewolf/Wraith/Mage (Revised), FATE, and some other systems.  So I don't think I have blinders on here.
Eh?  People hate this system?  Seems like it fixes 3rd, and adds the little bit of good parts that 4th had.  The design goals seem pretty solid to me and the playtest actually looks like they are aiming for those goals.  I don't think we're going to get something that feels like it was inspired by CCGs (like 4th did, with its "buy more books to do slightly different things" philosophy).

Yes, it fixes 3e. The majority of 3e players who didn't jump ship to Pathfinder seem pleased with it.

The 4e players, however, generally dislike Next. It doesn't incorporate enough of what we think made 4e good, and isn't ever going to.

I am a little fuzzy here on what is so bad here.

Imagine if Next took the worst parts of every past edition and crammed them together into one game. It's the opinion of many of us that this is exactly what has happened.

Skills?  While losing skill points is a bit painful, I have to say what we get for the loss more than makes up for it.  Consider 4th, I had a horrible time getting my players to be creative in it.  Why?  Because the dang PHB is was written like a straight-jacket, giving all players the impression that you can only do what you are explicitly given permission to do.  Sure, the DMG has rules for adjudicating creativity, but what good is that if the players are taught by their book to stifle that creativity?  Not much, and me giving everyone a free encounter power that they could MAKE UP on the spot (and I'd adjudicate) didn't help much.  Horrible.  So here we have D&Dnext, where skills are moved to be attribute-focused, and if you want to do something, you roll the attribute.  This is explicitly told to the players and they are told they can try ANYTHING.  With some creative examples in the PHB, we'll have a system that does a lot to unleash the creativity of players.  Worth losing skill points over?  I think so.

Your players never understood 4e's skil system. Creativity is an assumed permission in any RPG. If your players are unable to grasp this, perhaps they should be playing a simpler game than 4e. Oh wait. 

Complexity?  Eh, seems to me like the saves are more complex in Next.  There are 6 saves now.  They are just easier to conceptualize and apply to more things.  The system is less specific and more generalized, but not in an innappropriate way.  Seems good to me.  Simpler grappling rules is just good.  I don't see what 3rd had here that's Next doesn't have.  Less options regarding feats and such?  Well, I think overall there look to be a lot more options regarding character builds, since you have class options (seem like a bunch for everyone), race, theme, and background.  Heck, a lot of concepts look like you can start them at level ONE.  Fighter-Mage?  Make a Fighter with Magic-User as a Background.  If we lose the insane ceiling on rules mastery that 3rd had, we still have a lot of options.

That's not the kind of complexity we're talking about. 

This is the kind of complexity we're talking about:

3e Fighter: Move Action, Basic Attack.

4e Fighter: Move Action, Minor Action, Basic Attack, At-will 1, At-will 2, Encounter, Daily, Action Point, Second Wind, Opportunity Action, Combat Challenge, Combat Superiority.

Next Fighter: Basic attack (and move up to your speed).

See the difference?

I guess I'm just confused.  Reading through this thread didn't clear anything up for me either.  What exactly is wrong here?

From your perspective, nothing. We don't all share your perspective.