When D&D Next will be released: a 2-year process at the current rate?

From the Keynote
A long way to go. Anticipating that it will be a 2-year process at the current rate. “We’re very committed to doing this right.”

I, and I imagine many others, have been assuming we'd see D&D Next released around July-August 2013. But this quote seems to imply May 2014 at the earliest.

Do people think it's likely that we won't see D&D Next for another 2 years before we see D&D Next released? I'm struggling to see how they'll survive another 2 years of poor sales.

Check out my 5th Edition Blog.

Well it all goes to how businesses work.

WotC is a separate company from Hasborg...er... Hasbro...

The CEO is a whipping boy for WotC from Hasbro, so as long as he can take the whipping without being replaced they can let D&D die... Of course with MTG pulling in lots of cash he very well might be able to do that.

Of course its just as likely that he will do whatever Hasbro tells him to since they were the ones that replaced the WotC CEO with one of their own managers...

They are pulling in money through the non-updated DDi with a monthly fee, and reselling all the old books in PDF, so they might just pull it off...
"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 the meantime they should release some stuff for the current edition...releases has been a wasteland after essentials...that's why sales droped...because there isn't almost nothing new to sell...even dragon magazine articles with crunch are a desolated wasteland compared to 2 years ago.
In all honesty, this is to be expected.  if you want the near perfect statistical balance that many want...as well as the breadth of options and mixability that others want.  Plus the ability to support many optional subsystems and not upset any single tiny piece of the balance.  Then they need to go into this..carefully...very carefully, turn over each and every piece with a fine toothed comb...and take halfsteps...tries....bring in new ideas..then throw out the ones that just make things worse.

In all honesty 2 year process..is actually too short..not too long..I'm not sure it's actually physically possible to do all that needs to be done in a mere 2 years..when they are starting from scratch as they claim to be doing. 
It depends on what they're counting the two-year process as starting from; I don't know when the first parts of the system started coming together, but it could go back a fair ways. (Although I hope it doesn't go too far back; if they've been at this for like, a year and the state of the current playtest is all the progress the game's made in that time, that's not very encouraging.)
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
In all honesty, this is to be expected.  if you want the near perfect statistical balance that many want...as well as the breadth of options and mixability that others want.  Plus the ability to support many optional subsystems and not upset any single tiny piece of the balance.  Then they need to go into this..carefully...very carefully, turn over each and every piece with a fine toothed comb...and take halfsteps...tries....bring in new ideas..then throw out the ones that just make things worse.

In all honesty 2 year process..is actually too short..not too long..I'm not sure it's actually physically possible to do all that needs to be done in a mere 2 years..when they are starting from scratch as they claim to be doing. 



In a perfect world this might be true and I would enjoy it as long as they used a time machine to bring it to me tomorrow, but in the real world business pressures trump idealized plans. Its likely Hasbro just said make a new game you have 6 months...
"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.
   2 more years? That is insane!  Somebody should be fired. 

   Of course, since I love 4e and find 5e highly likely to be trash, I am not going to scream, but what are they thinking?
Honestly, 2 years is nothing, considering the scope. It lends credability to their claim of "wanting to do it right". WotC is making other products (like the board games) as supplemental income while DDN is being developed. Nothing crazy about this at all.

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but release date is very important especialy looking at other publishers.

13th age is also coming and it tries to apeal to the 4th edition player base.
If it releases before 5th edition many 4th edition players might be drawn there, and once they have invested in the system it might be hard to win them back over to invest into 5th edition when it comes out.
Wizard could try reducing theis draw by still releasing good 4th edition products uptill the point of 5th edition release.



I think that the two year testing timeframe shows a pretty strong commitment to their difficult to achieve goals. 
but release date is very important especialy looking at other publishers.

13th age is also coming and it tries to apeal to the 4th edition player base.
If it releases before 5th edition many 4th edition players might be drawn there, and once they have invested in the system it might be hard to win them back over to invest into 5th edition when it comes out.
Wizard could try reducing theis draw by still releasing good 4th edition products uptill the point of 5th edition release.






It seems to me, with the publishing of "edition-neutral" products and the release of pdfs of publications from all editions, that their strategy is to try to make all editions seem (in some sense) contemporary and equivalent, before the release of Next.

I think 2014 is a reasonable timeframe for their goals; we have a lot of playtesting to do yet, in many different areas.

I would also like to see the release date be on the 40th anniversary of the original release (down to the month and day); that would be cool. 
From the Keynote
A long way to go. Anticipating that it will be a 2-year process at the current rate. “We’re very committed to doing this right.”

I, and I imagine many others, have been assuming we'd see D&D Next released around July-August 2013. But this quote seems to imply May 2014 at the earliest.

Do people think it's likely that we won't see D&D Next for another 2 years before we see D&D Next released? I'm struggling to see how they'll survive another 2 years of poor sales.



I've been saying May 2014 since before the "official" announcement in January.  A 40th Anniversary release always seemed like the most likely scenario.

How do you know sales are poor?  Aparently the 1e reprints were a big enough hit that we're now going to see 3.5e reprints of the core books, and there was even a survey about 3.5e splatbooks.  I wouldn't worry too much about sales, if Mike says they can make it to May 2014 I suspect he knows what he's talking about.

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Concerning Player Rules Bias
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The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

Their stated goal at this point is the impossible....so 2 years for the improbable realistic goal is probably spot on. Whether it will be pushed forward and rushed out or not is another question.

You're not going to be able to please everyone from every edition. It's just not possible. There's to large of difference in style, feel, and function between the various editions to pump out a game that both sides unanimously go "YES!".

Even if you add a lot of "modules" to the game, you still run into issues. Which method or style is the default one and which is considered "optional"? Are you going to have to shell out for 2 or 3 extra PHB's to get to the "modules" you want months after the games release (This is one of the things that turned me off from 4th ed. If I can't fully enjoy your system on the core 3 books, then I'm not spending more money for more books). And what about people who don't WANT to be overwhelmed with a multitude of options that for every little thing.

You're not going to be able to create a game that pleases everyone from every edition, or even likely most of everyone of every edition. It's just an impossibility.

The improbable goal, and what I think they're really going for here, is to create a game where a vast majority...say 75 or 80% of their potential customer base for such a game...will like and buy. And to do that it's going to take a lot of time because it's going to take a lot of play testing, a lot of focus grouping, a lot of market research, and a lot of wading through all of that by the Developers to try and get a macro view of the entire thing.

In terms of making money in the interim, if they have to in order to get the time to really do this right, then naturally putting out products that supplement your current acknowledged supported system is the way to go. You’d be hard pressed to ask for significant money for additional stuff for editions that are “out dated”.

I think pushing out "neutral-edition" stuff in the mean time, or having a small team dedicated to each edition to put out a little bit of stuff, would likely be best in terms of actually working towards making D&D Next a success with hitting that 75%+ number. You’re making the switch from 4th edition in only 4 years time to a completely new update…obviously part of your worry is that you’ve lost a lot of your old player base that was previously viewed from edition to edition as solid likely patrons of your product. If you’re going to succeed at making that 75%+ number meaningful, you need to begin to pull them back in and have them OPEN to looking at this new product, giving feedback, and potentially buying in. You also need to keep the new/transitioned players that went to 4e around as well, because they’re a little embittered that their system isn’t even hitting the 5 year mark before the next one heavily went into development. Putting things out that is useful to many helps to spread and grow that base in the mean time. It also causes trust on the part of the 3rd edition players and downward who didn’t fully grasp onto 4e that there is desire to regain them as potential customers.


 


Two years is disheartening when we all want it sooner than later…but it’s likely what’s going to be required to actually reach the improbable goal they’ve essentially set for themselves.

From the Keynote
A long way to go. Anticipating that it will be a 2-year process at the current rate. “We’re very committed to doing this right.”

I, and I imagine many others, have been assuming we'd see D&D Next released around July-August 2013. But this quote seems to imply May 2014 at the earliest.

Do people think it's likely that we won't see D&D Next for another 2 years before we see D&D Next released? I'm struggling to see how they'll survive another 2 years of poor sales.



Keep in mind they started playtesting around the time of DDXP, which was late January I believe.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I think 2014 is a reasonable timeframe for their goals; we have a lot of playtesting to do yet, in many different areas.

I would also like to see the release date be on the 40th anniversary of the original release (down to the month and day); that would be cool. 


I don't think anybody knows the day.  According to the Acaeum (who I've always found to be meticulously accurate), D&D was originally released some time in January 1974.  Based on Mand12's post, a January 2014 would coincide nicely with both Mike Mearls' statement of a two-year developement process and a release of Next on the 40th Anniversary.

However, I think it more likely that Next will be sent to the printers on January 1974, and released officially at GenCon 2014.
Also note that Mike said that playtesting was a 2 year process. That does not necissaritly mean 2 years until release. I think it reasonable to assume a certain amount of product finalization and other steps after the conclusion of playtesting before release. I think starting the clock from Jan '12, as Mand indicates is probably a good idea. This puts release in mid-2014. GenCon would be nice, but I don't think they will plan their release schedule specifically to hit this. There are a lot of other factors that will go into it.

In addition to board games, I suspect what they'll do is put the old edition stuff in the DDI subscription. Ideally they'll start out with the core books from all editions and the campaign boxes of all settings. This would draw in every fan of every setting.

Beyond that, I'd suggest the DDI expand to take articles from people who'll expand the different settings. They could also include new crunch for the different rule sets, but I'd avoid this. Better to preview the rules for DDN.

Really, boosting subs to the DDI seems like the most profitable path. I'd get a yearly sub if they had consistent articles on the 2e settings - I'm pretty sure I spent something close to $1,000 on the legal pdfs they had.
2 years of free gaming material... I'm not complaining!
Honestly, 2 years is nothing, considering the scope. It lends credability to their claim of "wanting to do it right". WotC is making other products (like the board games) as supplemental income while DDN is being developed. Nothing crazy about this at all.



From a business stand-point that is insanity! 

People are not willing to pay entire staffs a salary each and every week for 2-3 years so they can make a pencil and paper game.  And to say they need this time for balance, well, I think we can all agree balance has different defintions to different people.  Even worse to say they need the time to playtest everything throroughly.  They have a small army of playtesters at their beckon call. 

I unfortunately agree that someone should be fired if it takes that long.
There's always money in the E-Book stand.


I don't think anybody knows the day.  According to the Acaeum (who I've always found to be meticulously accurate), D&D was originally released some time in January 1974.  Based on Mand12's post, a January 2014 would coincide nicely with both Mike Mearls' statement of a two-year developement process and a release of Next on the 40th Anniversary.

However, I think it more likely that Next will be sent to the printers on January 1974, and released officially at GenCon 2014.



If they're going back to that year, couldn't they do something more extravagant? Such as reclaiming the Terracotta Army?

Doh!
How do you know sales are poor?  Aparently the 1e reprints were a big enough hit that we're now going to see 3.5e reprints of the core books, and there was even a survey about 3.5e splatbooks.  I wouldn't worry too much about sales, if Mike says they can make it to May 2014 I suspect he knows what he's talking about.


I agree that hitting up the back catalogue should help smooth things out.  I am hoping for a reprint of the granddaddy, original boxed set.  Or maybe the Rules Compendium....
I'm glad that they're taking their time with this. I probably won't buy 5e anyway based on what I've seen so far, but maybe things will change before release.
Honestly, 2 years is nothing, considering the scope. It lends credability to their claim of "wanting to do it right". WotC is making other products (like the board games) as supplemental income while DDN is being developed. Nothing crazy about this at all.



From a business stand-point that is insanity! 


Please provide your RPG game design business creds.

I'll wait.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
In all honesty, this is to be expected.  if you want the near perfect statistical balance that many want...as well as the breadth of options and mixability that others want.  Plus the ability to support many optional subsystems and not upset any single tiny piece of the balance.  Then they need to go into this..carefully...very carefully, turn over each and every piece with a fine toothed comb...and take halfsteps...tries....bring in new ideas..then throw out the ones that just make things worse.

In all honesty 2 year process..is actually too short..not too long..I'm not sure it's actually physically possible to do all that needs to be done in a mere 2 years..when they are starting from scratch as they claim to be doing. 



Yeah. Pretty much. Better to create a great game rather than a mediocre one.
Honestly, 2 years is nothing, considering the scope. It lends credability to their claim of "wanting to do it right". WotC is making other products (like the board games) as supplemental income while DDN is being developed. Nothing crazy about this at all.



From a business stand-point that is insanity! 


Please provide your RPG game design business creds.

I'll wait.



I have non other than working with friends to create our own, which we've made a few.

Here is what I do know:

One does not have to be a game designer to understand the processes involved.  One does not need to be an RPG game creator to understand how the tasks need to be broken up.  One does not need to have a degree in game design in order to know what the output of a small diligently working group of people can perform.

Here is what else I know:
1.  How long authors have taken to create an entire book (One of Stephen King's masterpieces took two weeks - with editing!)
2.  How long it takes to teach say, 10 years of American history (some professors do it in 15 minutes) 
3.  How much a group of students can produce in 1 day; 1 week; 1 year (Roughly it's said a class of 30 high school students produce about 20,000-30,000 papers for each class per year. (includes worksheets I assume)  That's 100,000 papers per class per year!) 
4.  How much productivity can be had from an artist, any artist such as painter, writer, scultor (PIcasso had 18,000 paintings in his life.  80,000!)
5.  How long it takes large companies to set up designs and logos and other graphic design programs
6.  How long it takes large companies to implement huge swathing changes in company direction, appearance, and mentality (JCPenney's, one of America's largest retail chains did it in the 90's in two years!)
7.  How long it takes for musicians to go into the studio and create, learn how to play, and record an album (Rush's 2112 took 2 weeks!) 
8.  And wait for it - How long it took designers like Garfield and Petersen and Jackson to create Magic the Gathering, Game of Thrones boardgame, and GURPS - about one year.  Garfield developed it by himself in two years, working in his spare time, while (I think) trying to become an adjunct professor.  Jackson was also working another job and did it in two years - alone!  

From that I can extrapolate quite a bit.  Maybe even infer how long it should take!? 

I know in the business world there are complications, distractions, and that games today require a more thorough approach; however, I fail to see how a staff of people cannot produce a game within a year.  This is why Hasbro is trying to set a deadline.  They understand this.  They are business people.  And in the world of business, it's not what have you done for me, but what are you doing for me right now.  And right now, they are doing nothing.

That alone should light a fire and force an increase in productivity.       
 
And wait for it - How long it took designers like Garfield and Petersen and Jackson to create Magic the Gathering, Game of Thrones boardgame, and GURPS - about one year.  Garfield developed it by himself in two years, working in his spare time, while (I think) trying to become an adjunct professor.  Jackson was also working another job and did it in two years - alone! 
 



Do you have any idea how terrible Magic:The Gathering was at release?

Okay, it was awesome in that it basically created the collectible card game genre, and it was, in general, pretty fun. But compared to what it looked like even a few years later when the Tempest block hit, there were so many design mistakes that it was laughable. Moxes and Black Lotuses made a mockery of the mana system, Ancestral Recall and Timetwister made card economy laughable, and there was literally a card that said "Opponent loses next turn." Oh, game over I guess!

D&DNext will be held to more scrutiny and fire than any game of any genre that doesn't have the word "Warcraft" in it, ever. A mere two years, in my opinion, seems a little ambitious.

Besides, it's perfect timing for me to finish my 4E campaigns and hopefully, if the system looks good, dive right into a D&DNext campaign in the same world.
Well we now know that Wotc (or at least Wotc Dev) wants to release in 2014, but I've said it before so I'll say it again.  I don't believe that Hasbro will allow it.  I believe that Hasbro will ultimately tell Wotc to release DDN by June 2013, or kill the project (and possibly all DND).  This isn't saying that Wotc is lying...I am saying Wotc is being unrealistic for the same reasons already mentioned.

-Polaris
And wait for it - How long it took designers like Garfield and Petersen and Jackson to create Magic the Gathering, Game of Thrones boardgame, and GURPS - about one year.  Garfield developed it by himself in two years, working in his spare time, while (I think) trying to become an adjunct professor.  Jackson was also working another job and did it in two years - alone! 
 



Do you have any idea how terrible Magic:The Gathering was at release?

Okay, it was awesome in that it basically created the collectible card game genre, and it was, in general, pretty fun. But compared to what it looked like even a few years later when the Tempest block hit, there were so many design mistakes that it was laughable. Moxes and Black Lotuses made a mockery of the mana system, Ancestral Recall and Timetwister made card economy laughable, and there was literally a card that said "Opponent loses next turn." Oh, game over I guess!

D&DNext will be held to more scrutiny and fire than any game of any genre that doesn't have the word "Warcraft" in it, ever. A mere two years, in my opinion, seems a little ambitious.

Besides, it's perfect timing for me to finish my 4E campaigns and hopefully, if the system looks good, dive right into a D&DNext campaign in the same world.



Whether Magic was broken or not is not the point.  Huge swaths of people played it, and most had a lot of fun.  This is reflected in its large following today. 

I said that games today are held under more scrutiny.  But they have a staff and an army of playtesters!

And remember, this is two years of playtesting.  They should have had the core concepts and expansions on those concepts drawn up long long long ago.

My point is, they're not working to their potential.  It might be laziness.  Milking a job.  Roadblocks thrown up by contentious ideas.  Designer debates.  Hasbro throwing up obstacles.  Outside influences.  Having a job that requires too little focus time on the creation aspect.  I don't know what it is, but I do know it's too long in the business world.
If you're in such a rush for something nownownow, I invite you to try their fine line of D&D 4E products. Or perhaps an earlier edition will be more to your liking.

In the meantime, you're being awfully generous with WotC and Hasbro's investment to decide when it should go to market for them. I'm going to operate under the assumption that the designers are reporting to someone who has set goals for a reasonable time frame, based on professional experience.
And wait for it - How long it took designers like Garfield and Petersen and Jackson to create Magic the Gathering, Game of Thrones boardgame, and GURPS - about one year.  Garfield developed it by himself in two years, working in his spare time, while (I think) trying to become an adjunct professor.  Jackson was also working another job and did it in two years - alone! 
 



Do you have any idea how terrible Magic:The Gathering was at release?

Okay, it was awesome in that it basically created the collectible card game genre, and it was, in general, pretty fun. But compared to what it looked like even a few years later when the Tempest block hit, there were so many design mistakes that it was laughable. Moxes and Black Lotuses made a mockery of the mana system, Ancestral Recall and Timetwister made card economy laughable, and there was literally a card that said "Opponent loses next turn." Oh, game over I guess!

D&DNext will be held to more scrutiny and fire than any game of any genre that doesn't have the word "Warcraft" in it, ever. A mere two years, in my opinion, seems a little ambitious.

Besides, it's perfect timing for me to finish my 4E campaigns and hopefully, if the system looks good, dive right into a D&DNext campaign in the same world.

For all of the incredible decisions that Richard Garfield made with the game, there was one miscalculation - he assumed that players wouldn't really acquire enough cards that the super powerful cards would really be an issue. Yeah, Black Lotus is powerful, but maybe there might be one or two of it floating around your whole circle of friends. The cards were known to be way too powerful, but their scarcity was supposed to be a safety valve. That... turned out to not be the way people approached the game. Not by a longshot. (Also, Time Walk was never released with "Opponent loses next turn" as its text. That was the text on a playtest version until the ambiguity was corrected; at release it just said "Take an extra turn after this one.")

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Whether Magic was broken or not is not the point.


No!  That's the whole point of this process.  To make sure the game works.  That's why they're going slow!! 

If they wanted to do a slapdash job and just throw something together that will have to be errataed to hell and back, yes they could have done a Steve Jackson-style job of it.  That, essentially, is what they did with 3.0, which caused them to begin working on 3.5 immeidately after 3.0 was released, knowing it had huge problems, even though plenty of people loved 3.0 all over the place.

But they don't want to do that.  They don't want to rush something out.  They've been very public about wanting player feedback and doing things slowly deliberately and in stages.

That's not laziness.  It's not obstacles.  It's craftsmanship.  Craftsmanship (contrary to what the 3.x Craft rules say) takes time. 

I find Polaris' objections absurd.  No subsidiary announces publicly that there is going to be a long two-year delay in product without going all the way up the chain of command.  If Wizards' CEO isn't the one who gets to make that decision, then whoever supervises him in Hasbro HQ would have had to be informed.

Sure, things might change in Hasbro and maybe someone new will come in, take a look at Wizards' plan for D&D and tell them to produce more quickly.  But right now, there is no way in Hades that Wizards didn't get whatever approvals they need to authorize producing no new RPG content for two years.

And remember, this is two years of playtesting.  They should have had the core concepts and expansions on those concepts drawn up long long long ago.


No, no no!!!!!  Oh  my God.  How can you read anything that's been written by the designers and actually believe what you just wrote?!  A large goal of the playtest is to design the core concepts around the feedback given to them by the playtesters! 

My point is, they're not working to their potential.


Damn straight.  They are working to our potential.  Us as the playtesting fanbase.  Steven King doesn't groupsource his novels.  Peter Jackson didn't poll his gamers before releasing GURPS.  Magic: the Gathering was playtested by a few mathematicians around a poker table.

That's not the right comparison to make.  In fact, what Wizards is trying to do is so novel, I don't know there is a fair comparison to make.  It's never been tried.  That's why Forbes magazine just reported on it. 

Wizards is trying something new.  I know, for all the complaints that D&D Next is just a retrotread, it is in fact an entirely new paradigm for game development.  It's new and it's novel and if it works it will change how games will be developed for the foreseeable future. 

But all you want to do is to tell them to put out a slapdash game, just as they've done every so often fror thirty-eight years.  But they're not.  They are trying something new.  And I guess it's no surprise that people are balking at it.

I don't know what it is


This is the only true statement in your post. 
For all of the incredible decisions that Richard Garfield made with the game, there was one miscalculation - he assumed that players wouldn't really acquire enough cards that the super powerful cards would really be an issue.

He also failed to anticipate how the internet -- it was only 1993 -- would create a secondary market for cards, which really played havoc with any attempts at rarity.
Please provide your RPG game design business creds.

I'll wait.



Aww man, beat me to it. :-)

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

For all of the incredible decisions that Richard Garfield made with the game, there was one miscalculation - he assumed that players wouldn't really acquire enough cards that the super powerful cards would really be an issue.

He also failed to anticipate how the internet -- it was only 1993 -- would create a secondary market for cards, which really played havoc with any attempts at rarity.



You talking about how shops would buy 6 gazillion packets, break them down, then sell them individually by rarity?  That's what turned me off of the game -- everyone I knew had these (at the time) ultra megadecks and the only thing for sale that -wasn't- $20/card was either terrible cards ($1.50-$3.99 each) or the lame starter pack.  To put it in perspective, the one and only game of Magic I ever tried was with a starter + booster deck (or something like that...a second type).  It lasted something like 3 minutes, with some giddy-looking kid going 'see I bought these 2 cards for 20 each!' while trying not to drool down my shirt.  Yah, no thanks.  Or did the internet do -more- than that?

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

 
No!  That's the whole point of this process.  To make sure the game works.  That's why they're going slow!! 

If they wanted to do a slapdash job and just throw something together that will have to be errataed to hell and back, yes they could have done a Steve Jackson-style job of it.  That, essentially, is what they did with 3.0, which caused them to begin working on 3.5 immeidately after 3.0 was released, knowing it had huge problems, even though plenty of people loved 3.0 all over the place.

But they don't want to do that.  They don't want to rush something out.  They've been very public about wanting player feedback and doing things slowly deliberately and in stages.

That's not laziness.  It's not obstacles.  It's craftsmanship.  Craftsmanship (contrary to what the 3.x Craft rules say) takes time.



Agreed. They have been entirely clear on what they want to do, and how they want to go about it. The fact that some folks apparently either don't believe them, or can't (or won't) understand what they're saying doesn't change what the developers' plans are in this respect. 

 I find Polaris' objections absurd.  No subsidiary announces publicly that there is going to be a long two-year delay in product without going all the way up the chain of command.  If Wizards' CEO isn't the one who gets to make that decision, then whoever supervises him in Hasbro HQ would have had to be informed.

Sure, things might change in Hasbro and maybe someone new will come in, take a look at Wizards' plan for D&D and tell them to produce more quickly.  But right now, there is no way in Hades that Wizards didn't get whatever approvals they need to authorize producing no new RPG content for two years.



Agreed here, quite a bit. In fact, doing something like that is probably a really great way to get fired quick, fast, and in a hurry.

 
And remember, this is two years of playtesting.  They should have had the core concepts and expansions on those concepts drawn up long long long ago.


No, no no!!!!!  Oh  my God.  How can you read anything that's been written by the designers and actually believe what you just wrote?!  A large goal of the playtest is to design the core concepts around the feedback given to them by the playtesters!



Exactly. Drawing up the core concepts and expansions on those concepts goes 100% against what they are trying to do. In fact, it creates more work for them, wastes their time, and defeats the entire purpose of playtesting.

 
My point is, they're not working to their potential.


Damn straight.  They are working to our potential.  Us as the playtesting fanbase.  Steven King doesn't groupsource his novels.  Peter Jackson didn't poll his gamers before releasing GURPS.  Magic: the Gathering was playtested by a few mathematicians around a poker table.

That's not the right comparison to make.  In fact, what Wizards is trying to do is so novel, I don't know there is a fair comparison to make.  It's never been tried.  That's why Forbes magazine just reported on it. 

Wizards is trying something new.  I know, for all the complaints that D&D Next is just a retrotread, it is in fact an entirely new paradigm for game development.  It's new and it's novel and if it works it will change how games will be developed for the foreseeable future. 

But all you want to do is to tell them to put out a slapdash game, just as they've done every so often fror thirty-eight years.  But they're not.  They are trying something new.  And I guess it's no surprise that people are balking at it.
 



With a playtest on this scale, I agree. It's awesome, and I'm perfectly happy with what's gone on so far with the playtest. I'm saddened and perplexed by the number of people complaining about the second playtest packet. They are basically complaining about WotC taking the feedback information seriously, and making changes. Folks said the fighter was boring, so the developers gave that class some options. They may or may not work at the table, but that's what playtesting is for. There are plenty of other things in the packet that came about from feedback (Ray of Frost being an "instant win" as some people said comes to mind as well), but I'm not going to go through and list them all out right now.

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

Whether Magic was broken or not is not the point.


No!  That's the whole point of this process.  To make sure the game works.  That's why they're going slow!!

If they wanted to do a slapdash job and just throw something together that will have to be errataed to hell and back, yes they could have done a Steve Jackson-style job of it.  That, essentially, is what they did with 3.0, which caused them to begin working on 3.5 immeidately after 3.0 was released, knowing it had huge problems, even though plenty of people loved 3.0 all over the place.


    And 3.0 made pots of money, which hardly suggests it was an unwise idea.


But they don't want to do that.  They don't want to rush something out.  They've been very public about wanting player feedback and doing things slowly deliberately and in stages.

That's not laziness.  It's not obstacles.  It's craftsmanship.  Craftsmanship (contrary to what the 3.x Craft rules say) takes time.   


      "Craftmanship" is something pushed by declining businesses.  They may be actually right about their products being superior, but the public is buying from the business that doesn't wait to do it "right". 


  No subsidiary announces publicly that there is going to be a long two-year delay in product without going all the way up the chain of command.  If Wizards' CEO isn't the one who gets to make that decision, then whoever supervises him in Hasbro HQ would have had to be informed.
 


    Which merely says that somebody at Hasbro should be getting the axe.  None of us know enough about how the decisions were made to say who in particular should get canned, but that extra year of playtesting will cost $10-$20 million in salary and lost sales.  5e has to be really really good to justify that sort of money. 


Sure, things might change in Hasbro and maybe someone new will come in, take a look at Wizards' plan for D&D and tell them to produce more quickly.  But right now, there is no way in Hades that Wizards didn't get whatever approvals they need to authorize producing no new RPG content for two years.  


      One possibility is that they sorta backed into it.  They originally sold Hasbro on this unification nonsense and didn't really need a date.  But now they are discovering how impossible the idea is, and are scrambling to get all the time they can. And those at Hasbro may be giving them the time in a desperate hope they can pull it off somehow.

And remember, this is two years of playtesting.  They should have had the core concepts and expansions on those concepts drawn up long long long ago.



No, no no!!!!!  Oh  my God.  How can you read anything that's been written by the designers and actually believe what you just wrote?!  A large goal of the playtest is to design the core concepts around the feedback given to them by the playtesters!   


       And nobody really knows whether playtesting is worth a dime.  Yeah, we all sorta assume it's a good idea, but doing more than guess...

My point is, they're not working to their potential.


Damn straight.  They are working to our potential.  Us as the playtesting fanbase.  Steven King doesn't groupsource his novels.  Peter Jackson didn't poll his gamers before releasing GURPS.  Magic: the Gathering was playtested by a few mathematicians around a poker table.

That's not the right comparison to make.  In fact, what Wizards is trying to do is so novel, I don't know there is a fair comparison to make.  It's never been tried.

 Wizards is trying something new.  I know, for all the complaints that D&D Next is just a retrotread, it is in fact an entirely new paradigm for game development.  It's new and it's novel and if it works it will change how games will be developed for the foreseeable future.   

     90% [at least] of all new ideas are bad.  And we can likely parlay to be a new way of doing a new idea, making the whole thing nearly a sure thing loser.


Which merely says that somebody at Hasbro should be getting the axe.  None of us know enough about how the decisions were made to say who in particular should get canned, but that extra year of playtesting will cost $10-$20 million in salary and lost sales.  5e has to be really really good to justify that sort of money. 


My limited understanding of the D&D market is that the 3 main books of a new edition release make way, way more than a year's worth of supplements a couple years down the line.

Hence, it may very well be more profitable to spend 2 years of public development to get as many on the bandwagon at release as possible than it would be to crank out a new edition that doesn't make as much up front and look to supplements to make up the difference.

Additionally, they can rely upon DDI, the back catalogue, and non-RPG D&D releases to make some money during the 2 year development helps.  And I would guess that back catalogue and non-RPG D&D sales get a bump in the meantime because they don't have current D&D RPG releases to compete against.
I remember someone guessing it'd be October 16, 2014 in celebration of 40 years of D&D... and it made sense. Also, the proposed scope of this playtest makes sense for 2 years.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
They actually touched on this I think in the Origins video. They're still selling product, and one of the HUGE sellers for them right now are the boardgames. The Ravenloft, Asharon (or whatever), and the other one about the Realms city. These are doing very well as far as board games go, and they mentioned the whole point of these are to provide profit during a development phase.