WOTC Edition Neutrality

What do you all think of the idea of all the core books always being available by print on demand or such.   

What do you think of WOTC by default always supporting the current and previous edition.   So right now it would be 4e and 3e.   When 5e lands it would be 5e and 4e.   Meaning they fully support the two prior editions and provide access by printing all the editions core books.

With some modest efforts dungeon and dragon could support both editions.  Obviously keep the online tools for 4e as 5e comes online.   Fact of the matter, I would argue they should add tools for all the previous editions too.


While I don't think any of the previous editions were perfect, and I am excited for 5e, I think WOTC could make some money and keep some people happy that otherwise can't be made happy.  

Maybe if they went to an app store approach for modules and supplements then they could even make money off those editions by third parties selling modules etc.. through their app store.

 

Here is a great blog by themormegil that explains why we had an edition war. narrativism vs simulationism

 HoBby Award Winner metagame dissonance (plot coupon)

dissociative mechanics (same as my own metagame dissonance. A great article.)

The Five Minute Workday Fallacy

My view on hit points

Makes too much sense, Hasbro/WotC will never go for it.  Besides supporting the newer versions, they would get hounded to support the older ones.
I would like it, but why would WotC want to do that? That's more cost on their side for dual system support, one of which is a previous edition which effectively becomes a copetitor to their latest lineup (the one they want to sell).
It's more convenient to them to let the old edition die so that players eventually come over to the latest one. 
It's money.  If they had never dropped 3e then Pathfinder would not exist.  In fact I think the Pathfinder people were surprised at their success.  They were driven to make a game by WTOC's dumping d20/OGL completely.   So right now they'd have all of 4e sales and 3e sales.

Design and development of a system is most of it's cost.   The marginal cost of printing a book to sell is negligible these days so it is pure profit (Like I said they could even do print on demand).   It is no risk profit.   

The dev time to create modules for the edition is of course some time but that is far easier and less intensive than making new rules.   If they created an awesome module, I honestly think I could turn any 4e version into a 3e version in a day or two.   Thats a lot of potential sales for very little work.   I would go with an approach where the stats are put in the back.  So you just swap out the stat pages.   

It also frees them to experiment with future editions.  They could do their own retroclone for 6e or 7e and not worry because they already support the more complex editions in earlier versions.

 
It's money.  If they had never dropped 3e then Pathfinder would not exist.  In fact I think the Pathfinder people were surprised at their success.  They were driven to make a game by WTOC's dumping d20/OGL completely.   So right now they'd have all of 4e sales and 3e sales.



True. The Pathfinder thing was one of those 'ouch, that didn't work out as planned...' for WotC. The problem back then was that when they dumped the old edition there was someone to pick it up and bring 1/2 of the D&D fans to their side.

I (sadly) just don't think 4E has enough numbers to justify supporting it this time around. The 4E players are about 1/2 of what the 3E players use to be, and 1/2 of them will move on to DDN anyway. And it's likely there won't be Paizo around to capitalise on the remaining 4E orphans this time, simple because the numbers are not so good.

And it's likely there won't be Paizo around to capitalise on the remaining 4E orphans this time, simple because the numbers are not so good.


Also, 4e will be a lot harder to convert to a d20 OGL simply because none of the Powers ar ein the OGL, so they'd all have to be converted by hand into something OGL-compatible without violating the copyrights.  Converting 4e to OGL is going to be time-consuming and labor-intensive, with no real guaranteed return on investment.  I could see a fan-group working on it, sort of how OSRIC came into being.
Yeah I don't think there will be a 4e Pathfinder.   There may be games devoted to the same principles (e.g. 13th Age) but they won't be almost the same game.   

What I proposed was WOTC support past editions.   
It's money.  If they had never dropped 3e then Pathfinder would not exist.  In fact I think the Pathfinder people were surprised at their success.  They were driven to make a game by WTOC's dumping d20/OGL completely.   So right now they'd have all of 4e sales and 3e sales.



True. The Pathfinder thing was one of those 'ouch, that didn't work out as planned...' for WotC. The problem back then was that when they dumped the old edition there was someone to pick it up and bring 1/2 of the D&D fans to their side.

I (sadly) just don't think 4E has enough numbers to justify supporting it this time around. The 4E players are about 1/2 of what the 3E players use to be, and 1/2 of them will move on to DDN anyway. And it's likely there won't be Paizo around to capitalise on the remaining 4E orphans this time, simple because the numbers are not so good.




I think a loss of half is being generous, I would put the number of losses closer to 75% if not more.  According to our local comic store more pathfinder stuff is sold alot more by far than WotC. 
Yeah I don't think there will be a 4e Pathfinder.   There may be games devoted to the same principles (e.g. 13th Age) but they won't be almost the same game.   

What I proposed was WOTC support past editions.   



Thanks for holding out an olive branch  

I have been lately supporting an Open Design project which was set up to be Pathfinder/4E a dual system.
Eventually the Pathfinder costomers were outnumbering the 4E ones 3:1, so the 4E version didn't happen. From that experience I didn't get much hope for 4E moving forward in terms of official support.

13th Age is kind of a curveball (from what I get from reading the playtest material), with a 4E skeleton and 1st/2nd ed flesh. It's definitely intersting, but probably not for those who are looking for a '4e Reborn' game.

@Windstar: you are probably about right currently; even if it's not 75% it's probably close to 70%. My 50% estimate was referring to the beginnings of Pathfinder.
 
What do you all think of the idea of all the core books always being available by print on demand or such.


I think I'm glad you've finally come around to what I've been arguing for more than a month now.

For example...

There is no reason in this day and age for a publishing house to be basing their plans around the production of large inventories of dead-tree products and what WotC should be focusing on is transforming their website into the iTunes of D&D, where anyone can come and get (either digitally or POD) any item from all of D&D's 40 year history and releasing new content for ALL the editions (a service similar to the app store with its ratings could even allow for outsiders to produce and re-sell content for the various editions with WotC getting a share of every sale). This would include tailoring the site to make it easy for customers to find the kind of D&D that is right for them.



So, Welcome aboard.
Did I ever oppose you?  I may have said they won't do it but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice.  I'm also eager for 5e because I think all the editions have their issues.
I'd love to see WotC publish (however they choose to do it, whether POD or PDF or whatever) support materials for all editions.

Some months back I mentioned allowing third-party writers and developers to write adventures, modules, etc., and for those to be vetted by WotC and then sold through a WotC-maintained online store. WotC makes money, the writers and devs make money and get exposure, and players of all editions get new material. Everyone wins. Other companies do this, so it's not an outrageous or non-feasible idea.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

I think one of the big issues from an edition neutrality standpoint is the new AD&D books - it seems interesting at first, but doesn't that seem exactly like the kind of book that WotC should have released to Kindle/iBookstore/Nook? It isn't competing against 4e or D&DNext, they've already done all the work, and anyone who wanted a pirated version of it likely already has it. And there are no issues at all with over or under supply.

From an AD&D perspective, I can't imagine I'm ever playing it again. Nor does it have room on my bookshelf. But from a $10 nostalgia perspective? I'd buy all 3 of the main books, look at them once or twice, and then likely forget about them.

I can't possibly be alone on this. They'd make millions if they did that. Instead, they're doing something that could very well get hit with remainder problems.

Edition-neutral seems like a great stance, but I think WotC might be too rigid internally to make it work correctly. 
Since they are now printing all older books and editions that are popular enough, I'm not understanding the basis of this thread.
All? I hadn't heard about anything except the special reprinting of the first three of the 1st Ed. books. Can you point me to a link about other books? I'd be interested to see those.

As to the basis of this thread, I think Emerikol was referring to new material, not just reprints of old.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

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

I don't think people understand the manpower needed to support an edition.  All materials published go through several layers of review for balance and playability.  They don't simply have one of their developers write something and then throw it into a book.

To support multiple editions, they have to do one of two things.


  1. Support an entire staff well-versed in each supported edition.  This means doubling their payroll.  You can't have people versatile in two editions because it is too easy to get confused as to what the formulas and standards are for each edition.  In essence that's what's happening right now, in that there is one team working on the playtest and then a different team at the magazines working on 4e content.  They can do it now because there is no magazine content for Next and no book content for 4e.  But when Next releases, they will publish magazine content for it and then the magazine staff will have to move fully over to Next.

  2. Sacrifice any pretense at quality control and thereby diminish the brand value.  If, for instance, Wizards tried to continue to support for Edition X by publishing anything their freelancers produced without going through the usual checks, you'd see quality drop off considerably.  And pretty soon people would be simply dismissing Edition X content released from that date forward as crap, which is not much better (and quite likely much worse) than not supporting the edition in the first place.


It's one thing to re-release content that has already been written, as they are doing with the re-release of the 1e and 3.5 corebooks.  It's very much another thing to try to develop new content for an edition, and I'd be very surprised if the numbers make that a wise decision.

Also, why the assumption that everyone has a Nook/Kindle/iPad/Etc?

I personally like my library of books.  :P
I don't think people understand the manpower needed to support an edition.  All materials published go through several layers of review for balance and playability.  They don't simply have one of their developers write something and then throw it into a book.



Yes, it's really sad that it takes that much effort to produce some of the crap they have....
Makes you wonder (in a morbid way) what some of the stuff looked like before we laid eyes upon the "finished" version.
Also, you have to remember that judging the success of a product or business isn't just about the raw profit, but about the growth.  So if WotC is under pressure from Hasbro to grow the brand, thus the One Edition to Rule Them All approach, but the re-selling of older editions cuts into that, WotC may be seen as failing even though their actual revenues/profits are up.  The obvious thing is to assume that all that businesses care about is dollars, but the reality is far different.  That's also why the retroclones may be having such an impact on 5E, not because the retroclones are outselling 4E, but because they're growing and 4E (presumably, I don't have any numbers obviously) isn't. 
Yes, it's really sad that it takes that much effort to produce some of the crap they have....
Makes you wonder (in a morbid way) what some of the stuff looked like before we laid eyes upon the "finished" version.



Lol. No shortage of optimists here, I see. To be honest though, you're right. Not everything they put out is gonna be a gem, and no matter what it is, it's not gonna suit the taste of somebody or other. That said, I think a lot of companies go down hill in the quality-control dept when larger corporations get involved.

The designers are always gonna do their best to put out a quality product in the time that's allotted to them, but often times with a big company looming overhead, they're given hard deadlines for content releases, rather than getting the stuff out when the product is ready on it's own merits. That doesn't mean that given an unrestricted time fame a design team will always produce winners (the new version of Cyberpunk that came out a few years ago for instance). It does, however, increase the likelihood that the product will meet a certain standard that rushed material doesn't always do.
Initially I think all past editions should just be available as PDFs at a reasonable price, as that's easy money. Freely let people buy your old products online from your own website, but only the newest products are available as physical products in stores. 

As Print-On-Demand gets a little better in terms of cost and quality, I think it will become an option. White Wolf is already working on making that a possibility, and Paizo is keeping up on the topic waiting for the quality to reach acceptable levels.
WotC has it a little easier than both, as the print quality of many of their early products was so low. It should be easy to fire off a product of acceptable & comparable quality to early modules and accessories. Which should be first: all products available for PDF but only adventures and setting books on PoD, so you can buy a copy and update to the newest edition. 

But given the managerial stance on PDFs and the digital realm this seems unlikely. 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

And it's likely there won't be Paizo around to capitalise on the remaining 4E orphans this time, simple because the numbers are not so good.


Also, 4e will be a lot harder to convert to a d20 OGL simply because none of the Powers ar ein the OGL, so they'd all have to be converted by hand into something OGL-compatible without violating the copyrights.  Converting 4e to OGL is going to be time-consuming and labor-intensive, with no real guaranteed return on investment.  I could see a fan-group working on it, sort of how OSRIC came into being.


The OGL is just a license. I can publish a set of new 4e powers right now under the OGL if I wanted to. The barrier comes in when you want to make a 4e clone because you can't just copy and paste the existing material. However, anyone could continue to publish new 4e material or reimagine some of the 4e classes to create their own PHB.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
Makes too much sense, Hasbro/WotC will never go for it.  Besides supporting the newer versions, they would get hounded to support the older ones.


Sadly, this^^^
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
It's money.  If they had never dropped 3e then Pathfinder would not exist.  In fact I think the Pathfinder people were surprised at their success.  They were driven to make a game by WTOC's dumping d20/OGL completely.   So right now they'd have all of 4e sales and 3e sales.



True. The Pathfinder thing was one of those 'ouch, that didn't work out as planned...' for WotC. The problem back then was that when they dumped the old edition there was someone to pick it up and bring 1/2 of the D&D fans to their side.

I (sadly) just don't think 4E has enough numbers to justify supporting it this time around. The 4E players are about 1/2 of what the 3E players use to be, and 1/2 of them will move on to DDN anyway. And it's likely there won't be Paizo around to capitalise on the remaining 4E orphans this time, simple because the numbers are not so good.




My anecdotal evidence is greater than your anecdotal evidence!

Several 4E books were on best seller lists and WotC in some early 4E articles said that 4E was doing well...
"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.
Yeah I don't think there will be a 4e Pathfinder.   There may be games devoted to the same principles (e.g. 13th Age) but they won't be almost the same game.   

What I proposed was WOTC support past editions.   



Thanks for holding out an olive branch  

I have been lately supporting an Open Design project which was set up to be Pathfinder/4E a dual system.
Eventually the Pathfinder costomers were outnumbering the 4E ones 3:1, so the 4E version didn't happen. From that experience I didn't get much hope for 4E moving forward in terms of official support.

13th Age is kind of a curveball (from what I get from reading the playtest material), with a 4E skeleton and 1st/2nd ed flesh. It's definitely intersting, but probably not for those who are looking for a '4e Reborn' game.

@Windstar: you are probably about right currently; even if it's not 75% it's probably close to 70%. My 50% estimate was referring to the beginnings of Pathfinder.
 



Yeah, I'm getting pretty close with the game I'm working on. You won't have as many powers as 4E, but it will definitely have the feel of 4E.

The main features of the game I am designing are:


  1. The player chooses the primary stat not the class (i.e. intelligent fighters, and high constitution wizards)

  2. You can build a balanced power on the fly using a little math and some charts.

  3. You can build an all at-will class, or build an all daily class, or build an all encounter class, or any combination of the three.

  4. Resources are not based on time limits, magic item creation and power restoration and healing all happen as you adventure with more happening in a day if you have more encounters in a day.

  5. Its scale able. A new player can just pick up a ready made character, or dive into the gritty details of creating powers and class features.

  6. The core game is free, with settings and supplements costing very little, free online support/tools, etc..etc...

  7. Open licensing. People can create tools, games, adventures, settings free and commercially sell them.

  8. It will be meticulously balanced.

But what do I know about game design... I should leave it up to the 'professionals' that keep dividing their fan base...
"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'd love to see WotC publish (however they choose to do it, whether POD or PDF or whatever) support materials for all editions.

Some months back I mentioned allowing third-party writers and developers to write adventures, modules, etc., and for those to be vetted by WotC and then sold through a WotC-maintained online store. WotC makes money, the writers and devs make money and get exposure, and players of all editions get new material. Everyone wins. Other companies do this, so it's not an outrageous or non-feasible idea.



If WotC was that smart they wouldn't have gone through 3-4 editions in 10 years...
"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.
The OGL is just a license.


It's a license that lets you use copyrighted terms without fear of prosecution.

The barrier comes in when you want to make a 4e clone because you can't just copy and paste the existing material.


Yes.  That's what we're discussing.  Making a 4e clone ala Pathfinder. 

However, anyone could continue to publish new 4e material or reimagine some of the 4e classes to create their own PHB.


Reimagining classes is exactly what I'm discussing when I say it would all have to be rewritten by hand to avoid copyright issues.  Any power that isn't covered by the OGL (and for 4e, that's pretty much all of them) would have to be rewritten by hand.  Given the number of powers, making a 4e Pathfinder (or even a 4e OSRIC) would be a laborious process.
I don't think people understand the manpower needed to support an edition.  All materials published go through several layers of review for balance and playability.  They don't simply have one of their developers write something and then throw it into a book.

To support multiple editions, they have to do one of two things.


  1. Support an entire staff well-versed in each supported edition.  This means doubling their payroll.  You can't have people versatile in two editions because it is too easy to get confused as to what the formulas and standards are for each edition.  In essence that's what's happening right now, in that there is one team working on the playtest and then a different team at the magazines working on 4e content.  They can do it now because there is no magazine content for Next and no book content for 4e.  But when Next releases, they will publish magazine content for it and then the magazine staff will have to move fully over to Next.

  2. Sacrifice any pretense at quality control and thereby diminish the brand value.  If, for instance, Wizards tried to continue to support for Edition X by publishing anything their freelancers produced without going through the usual checks, you'd see quality drop off considerably.  And pretty soon people would be simply dismissing Edition X content released from that date forward as crap, which is not much better (and quite likely much worse) than not supporting the edition in the first place.


It's one thing to re-release content that has already been written, as they are doing with the re-release of the 1e and 3.5 corebooks.  It's very much another thing to try to develop new content for an edition, and I'd be very surprised if the numbers make that a wise decision.




I think a regular company might go through that process, I think WotC kinda does this:

Mearls "I thought up this cool concept for a vampire. Here's how it works. Who thinks its cool."

others "Sure, sounds cool to me."

Cooke "I don't know sounds kinda ivory tower to me."

Mearls "Pack your stuff Cooke. Everyone else... ok print it!"
"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.
Yes, it's really sad that it takes that much effort to produce some of the crap they have....
Makes you wonder (in a morbid way) what some of the stuff looked like before we laid eyes upon the "finished" version.



Lol. No shortage of optimists here, I see. To be honest though, you're right. Not everything they put out is gonna be a gem, and no matter what it is, it's not gonna suit the taste of somebody or other. That said, I think a lot of companies go down hill in the quality-control dept when larger corporations get involved.

The designers are always gonna do their best to put out a quality product in the time that's allotted to them, but often times with a big company looming overhead, they're given hard deadlines for content releases, rather than getting the stuff out when the product is ready on it's own merits. That doesn't mean that given an unrestricted time fame a design team will always produce winners (the new version of Cyberpunk that came out a few years ago for instance). It does, however, increase the likelihood that the product will meet a certain standard that rushed material doesn't always do.



I could see if some of this were true. Like a bland class that no one liked the flavor of, but when the CharOp board can find a glaring math error in the first 5 minutes after release you know somethings going on...
"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.
Initially I think all past editions should just be available as PDFs at a reasonable price, as that's easy money. Freely let people buy your old products online from your own website, but only the newest products are available as physical products in stores. 

As Print-On-Demand gets a little better in terms of cost and quality, I think it will become an option. White Wolf is already working on making that a possibility, and Paizo is keeping up on the topic waiting for the quality to reach acceptable levels.
WotC has it a little easier than both, as the print quality of many of their early products was so low. It should be easy to fire off a product of acceptable & comparable quality to early modules and accessories. Which should be first: all products available for PDF but only adventures and setting books on PoD, so you can buy a copy and update to the newest edition. 

But given the managerial stance on PDFs and the digital realm this seems unlikely. 



print on demand is within $1.00 of full print runs in terms of cost now, that's no longer a problem. Check out www.drivethrurpg.com they have a list of print on demand products and all you have to do as a publisher is send them a properly formatted PDF for printing according to their specifications...
"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.
Initially I think all past editions should just be available as PDFs at a reasonable price, as that's easy money. Freely let people buy your old products online from your own website, but only the newest products are available as physical products in stores. 

As Print-On-Demand gets a little better in terms of cost and quality, I think it will become an option. White Wolf is already working on making that a possibility, and Paizo is keeping up on the topic waiting for the quality to reach acceptable levels.
WotC has it a little easier than both, as the print quality of many of their early products was so low. It should be easy to fire off a product of acceptable & comparable quality to early modules and accessories. Which should be first: all products available for PDF but only adventures and setting books on PoD, so you can buy a copy and update to the newest edition. 

But given the managerial stance on PDFs and the digital realm this seems unlikely. 



print on demand is within $1.00 of full print runs in terms of cost now, that's no longer a problem. Check out www.drivethrurpg.com they have a list of print on demand products and all you have to do as a publisher is send them a properly formatted PDF for printing according to their specifications...


But is the paper quality and binding equivalent? 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

That's actually really important.  People hammered WotC for the crappy quality of a lot of the 4e books.  I oughtta know, I was one of 'em.  ;)
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

I would like it, but why would WotC want to do that? That's more cost on their side for dual system support, one of which is a previous edition which effectively becomes a copetitor to their latest lineup (the one they want to sell).
It's more convenient to them to let the old edition die so that players eventually come over to the latest one. 


Alas, it seems probable.
Supporting two editions (and print on demand older books - or providing electronic versions of them) would be a great thing to do - but it would ask for more designers, writers, testers, etc, with each line bringing less money in. I think it would be profitable, though - but I doubt WotC or Hasbro thinks it too, especially if they are convinced their next product will be able to convince everybody who ever played D&D to buy it...

By "Bob", it feels soooo strange to agree with Emerikol Surprised.

Remember Tunnel Seventeen !
Initially I think all past editions should just be available as PDFs at a reasonable price, as that's easy money. Freely let people buy your old products online from your own website, but only the newest products are available as physical products in stores. 

As Print-On-Demand gets a little better in terms of cost and quality, I think it will become an option. White Wolf is already working on making that a possibility, and Paizo is keeping up on the topic waiting for the quality to reach acceptable levels.
WotC has it a little easier than both, as the print quality of many of their early products was so low. It should be easy to fire off a product of acceptable & comparable quality to early modules and accessories. Which should be first: all products available for PDF but only adventures and setting books on PoD, so you can buy a copy and update to the newest edition. 

But given the managerial stance on PDFs and the digital realm this seems unlikely. 



print on demand is within $1.00 of full print runs in terms of cost now, that's no longer a problem. Check out www.drivethrurpg.com they have a list of print on demand products and all you have to do as a publisher is send them a properly formatted PDF for printing according to their specifications...


But is the paper quality and binding equivalent? 



Yes, the only real difference is the colors. I can't remember which is better but they use different processes...
"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.
Print 'em all!
   Ford is no longer making 2011 models.  Neither is GM or Toyota.  Neither are a host of other companies.  That pretty much settles it.  If there is reason to put out a new model, there is no reason to continue making the old. 
    There will be exceptions, but for the most part, they are not really exceptions.  One can make a new SUV and not have to change the compact.  But the reason is that they are so different they don't really compete.  Thus we have 4e and Pathfinder.  If 5e was 4.5, 4e would vanish.
    Now to keep 4e support, we need to reject one of 5e big sales pitches, that of being able to give you the feel of any previous version.  Indeed, we have claim that 5e is nothing like 4e.  So the idea is pretty much a non-starter.
   
@wrecan
I think most of this manpower you speak of relates mainly to new rule splat books.  Creating modules or even having an app store where third parties can pay to sell their stuff isn't much of a cost.  When an edition ends, it ends rules wise.  I just meant adventure support and reprints of existing books probably on demand.  


@all
The reprint of the original books is because the highest earning power group played that game in their teenage years.   It's a pure nostalgia move.   It will sell well enough I think.

 
Personally, I want to see how the "13th Age" turns out. I've heard things about it, but I can't tell if I'd like it or not. I don't care about some aspects of 4e, though I like the roles, and I think it really emphasizes teamwork, and really makes it feel like everyone matters, not like how it essentially felt to me in 3.5. I also like the existance of "encounter" resources, and I'd even like to see them replace Daily resources at least for some classes. I don't care about powers, per se, but I do like meaningful options. I also like how tactical combat works, but I don't nessisarily eschew a TotM playstyle, though I like it more in other genres, (Supers, for example, it works better in) and not so much in fantasy. I've heard that 13th age is based off a "4e skeleton" in many ways, but I don't really know what that means.

Bringing it back to topic, I want to be able to play the style of game that want to, in the ways that I listed above, and in other ways I didn't list. I'm not giving up on D&D Next, but so far, my hopes aren't specifically high. If D&D Next doesn't support those parts of the playstyle of 4e, and instead believes that 4e was all about grids and at-will powers, and chooses to only support those features in modules, I think WotC should still at least reprint, or offer digital versions of books already in print, and maybe even loose their restrictions on 3rd party material, if they stop making their own. If 5e, however, supports the other parts of 4e that I like, I don't see why WotC needs to continue to support 4e, since many 4e players will continue on to 5e, and those who don't will still have enough to run 4e games the way they want to run them.

I am currently raising funds to run for President in 2016. Too many administrations have overlooked the international menace, that is Carmen Sandiego. I shall devote any and all necessary military resources to bring her to justice.

@wrecan
I think most of this manpower you speak of relates mainly to new rule splat books.


No, it means having a full-time staff to review stuff for each edition.  It doesn't matter if you publish adventures or rulebooks.  You need someone dedicated to checking that material.  Actually, limiting it to adventures may be more inefficient because you might not be using that editor full-time at that point, or splitting him amongst product lines, which could cause a decrease in quality.

Creating modules or even having an app store where third parties can pay to sell their stuff isn't much of a cost.


Creating modules is a cost in editorial staff
Having an app store means Wizards changes its sales model to directly compete with the retailers who are currently their point-of-sale for not only D&D but also for the far more lucrative Magic the Gathering.

If there is a reason why Wizards is hostile to .pdfs it may be that they don't want to anger the game shops that are their go-to persons for promoting Magic, their cash cow.  Promoting D&D at the expense of Magic is cutting off their nose to spite their face
I've heard that 13th age is based off a "4e skeleton" in many ways, but I don't really know what that means.



(Sorry to hijack the thread, just trying to provide some 13th Age info for those who might be interested).

That means the 'engine' is basically 4e:
- You roll for any attack, physical or magical, against a defense.
- Math scales with levels for attacks, defenses and damage.
- Each attack can be melee, close-quarter or ranged. 
- Conditions are hard coded in the system.
- There is no fluff in the powers description: only crunch (you are supposed to come up with your own fluff).
- There are at-wills, encounters, dailies and rachargable powers, but classes don't follow an AEDU structure (some do, losely, others don't).
- Classes vary in complexity, from the Barbarian to the Wizard. The Fighter is somewhere in between, toward the simple side.
- There are not explicit roles, but according to the the build choices a character may lean towards one function or another.
- Magic is not open-eneded, but rituals are quite loose (up to DM adjudication).

- Combat is not designed for a grid, but using miniatures/tokens for relative positions works well for it, if you want to.
- There is an 'engaged' state, which provokes opportunity attacks is you attemp to move away (but you can try to disengage with a roll).
- Relative positons are: engaged (melee), nearby (one move action away) and far aways (two move actions away).
- You can always intercept someone moving past you unless you are engaged.

Outside combat, it's quite story oriented, with players chosing 'open' backgrounds for their characters, which act like skills too, and releations to the setting 'movers and shakers', which can be used to affect the campaign (easy to port into a Planescape or Eberron campaign, for example).

I have just red the playtest material so far, not played it yet. Hope I'll be able to give it a go this month at some point. I'm very interested in following how that will shape up compared to DDN.