What can WotC do to not alienate you with 5E?

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We all know in the past that some D&D fans were alienated by the business practices of WotC. Here I want to compile a list of the things WotC did in the past that they should avoid with 5E to avoid alienating you from playing 5E. Now this isn't meant to be a list of game mechanics or fluff descriptions that they should avoid. This is meant to list the things they did as a business that turned people away from previous editions of the game.

Please no long discussions or refutations. What did they do to you personally that alienated you from them in the past. Remember this is a personal look at what people felt alienated themselves not you from D&D or WotC as a company. Lets keep them numbered so I'll start with:

#1 No communication on the forums from the developers

#2 "Changing direction" constantly

#3 Saying one thing and doing another

#4 Poor quality products

#5 Constant Errata.

#6 Not listening to feedback.
"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.
#7 Pandering to edition War hatred
...whatever
I want to know THE WHY for the decisions, and by THE WHY i mean beside because nostalgia or that it was like that before...I want 5e to be a new improved experience, not an old one outdated.  I want to know what they are really adding new to the game...give me new things, not old things!  Hell, expertice dice is held back by oldschool crap design...
DDI should have all new monthly content posted the first of every month.
DDI should have all new monthly content posted the first of every month.



They could also price DDI lower too, DDI subscriber get like 1/5 of content every month compared what they got a couple of years ago.
Mixing in with #5 above, I felt alienated when they were constantly updating errata online instead of putting the important stuff into the real books.

When I'm at the game table, the books are right here.  The internet is one huge distraction that I do not need.
The metagame is not the game.

  I think above all else this was the single most alienating aspect of WOTC's history and since 2008 this community is completetly foreign to me.  Most of the old school players from 3rd edition have completetly abandoned the forums and they have been replaced with a generation of gamers I have absolutly nothing in common with. 

You mentioned "not listening to feedback", I have to disagree there.  I think they have been quite good about it, its the one thing that I noted.  Sure they are a bit slow in their reaction but it appears to me that at least in the last year they have come to reckgonize some of their mistakes and they are trying to correct them.  Things like reprinting classic books for fans that have been demanding it for like ever.   Reckognizing that 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition fans are no less important than 4th edition fans (as implied by design goals in 5th edition) and above all reckognizing that D&D can't be a miniatures combat game as pointed out in Mike Mearls interview at Gencon.  These where huge steps that could only have resulted in WOTC listening to their fans because these messages have been screamed at them for the past 4 years by players.

My Blog (The Gamers Think Tank)

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

I'd actually argue to lift the DDI subscription model completely and key it to book purchasing. I'd also like DDI to enable me to share content with members of my gaming group the way I can share a book.



That's actually the biggest issue with publishing a game like this for me. When I buy a new book, that means everyone in my gaming group has that book. It lets me spread the cost of the hobby around and it enables all of us to add on to the game in ways that interest us. This internet lockdown might be in the name of piracy but the result of the lockdown is I know a few people who want to give WOTC their money and use official resources but can't and instead have to resort to distributing pdfs to keep their gaming group in the loop. It only creates more piracy and it alienates the community.


An incarnation of the OGL would also be a huge incentive to adopt 5e.


The release of the traversty that is 4th edition was nothing short of a middile finger to 25+ years of D&D tradition, to the community and to role-playing itself.  I think above all else this was the single most alienating aspect of WOTC's history and since 2008 this community is completetly foreign to me.  Most of the old school players from 3rd edition have completetly abandoned the forums and they have been replaced with a generation of gamers I have absolutly nothing in common with. 

You mentioned "not listening to feedback", I have to disagree there.  I think they have been quite good about it, its the one thing that I noted.  Sure they are a bit slow in their reaction but it appears to me that at least in the last year they have come to reckgonize some of their mistakes and they are trying to correct them.  Things like reprinting classic books for fans that have been demanding it for like ever.   Reckognizing that 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition fans are no less important than 4th edition fans (as implied by design goals in 5th edition) and above all reckognizing that D&D can't be a miniatures combat game as pointed out in Mike Mearls interview at Gencon.  These where huge steps that could only have resulted in WOTC listening to their fans because these messages have been screamed at them for the past 4 years by players which have been filled with one cluster F*** after another. 




This thread isn't about trying to refute everyone. Its about telling what WotC did to alienate YOU, not to argue about things.

For ME not listening to the fan base alienated me from WotC. For YOU it might have been listening to the 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.

The release of the traversty that is 4th edition was nothing short of a middile finger to 25+ years of D&D tradition, to the community and to role-playing itself.  I think above all else this was the single most alienating aspect of WOTC's history and since 2008 this community is completetly foreign to me.  Most of the old school players from 3rd edition have completetly abandoned the forums and they have been replaced with a generation of gamers I have absolutly nothing in common with. 

You mentioned "not listening to feedback", I have to disagree there.  I think they have been quite good about it, its the one thing that I noted.  Sure they are a bit slow in their reaction but it appears to me that at least in the last year they have come to reckgonize some of their mistakes and they are trying to correct them.  Things like reprinting classic books for fans that have been demanding it for like ever.   Reckognizing that 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition fans are no less important than 4th edition fans (as implied by design goals in 5th edition) and above all reckognizing that D&D can't be a miniatures combat game as pointed out in Mike Mearls interview at Gencon.  These where huge steps that could only have resulted in WOTC listening to their fans because these messages have been screamed at them for the past 4 years by players which have been filled with one cluster F*** after another. 




This thread isn't about trying to refute everyone. Its about telling what WotC did to alienate YOU, not to argue about things.

For ME not listening to the fan base alienated me from WotC. For YOU it might have been listening to the fan base.



Sorry, your right of course, my bad. 

My Blog (The Gamers Think Tank)

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

Actual game design, with a firm idea of intent, and what they're doing to build towards it.  Show some understanding of numbers and economies of things like actions. 

The best bits so far have been the art development columns, actually, those I've really enjoyed.

But really, the single best thing they could do is stop trying to please everyone, even if it means they stop making any pretense of trying to please *me*.  Trying to please everyone, will wind up pleasing no-one, and losing them what little remains of their already-hideously-fractured audience, I'm quite certain of that.  Compromise generally appeals to neither side, and when all the sides involved *already have a game they enjoy*, compromise will probably just lead them to not play this one.

Make decisions for themselves, rather than dumping all the design work onto DMs.  If the entire game is basically telling me to make key design decisions about game balance myself, why on earth would I pay for the privilege?

Work much, MUCH more strongly with online presence.  In a digital age, there's no excuse for your game to still contain obsolete elements the way 4e does, for instance, and there's no excuse for your digital tools not to be up-to-scratch and properly functional on ANY system the user wants to use.  Put as much as possible into books, sure, and try to keep the printings up-to-date (maybe even think about a print-on-demand service past the intial launch, so later books can include errata), but recognise that you can have an up-to-date game, and many, many of your audience want you to.  The D&D audience is composed almost entirely of geeks, mostly tech-savvy geeks, and it's infuriating when the tech side of things is as frankly pathetic as it was for 4e.

In short, try to look to the future, not to the past.  Shame that's not going to happen, really.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Oh, a venting thread, I have some steam to spill off.

#2 "Changing direction" constantly

#3 Saying one thing and doing another


With little warning, and misleading packaging for that direction change. then rather than acknowledge that some people may not like the new direction and continuing to provide support for the older stuff, they say buy the new stuff or you get nothing.
4E and Essentials both had this problem.


#4 Poor quality products

#5 Constant Errata.


I bundle these together.
With their utter lack of propper digital support (as tho that will cut down on file sharing, where's my eye roll gif...),  releasing products that will have errata within a month is ridiculous.
If they refuse to enter the digital age, they better make meticulous products. Especially at current dead tree prices.

Now, when entering the digital age, it's important not to kick all of the paper preferers to the corner.

In fact, they need to stop kicking swaths of their customers to the corner specifically to pander to others. Loyalty is not eroded, it is destroyed, when you are told your edition is wrong bad, and the people that hate it are the ones that we want as customers.
This was done to 3X fans, now it is being done to 4E fans.
I even hear it from my TSR fans who scoff at many of the conventions from 3X or the entirety of the WotC age.

In short, D&D isn't the only ship in their fleet, and it shows. 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
To be honest I can't say that ever felt directly alienated. 4e didn't feel like a natural revision of the D&D I had played since 1e. 4e was a great system, but it left something behind. Something essentially D&D. I tried it out. The system was pretty neat! Lots of options! However...

I went and played a homebrew system instead that incoporated some castles and crusades/1e, some 3e, a couple 4e ideas, some call of cthulhu and simply went to town with that instead. 

I guess you could say that the rule system just didn't do it for me or my groups and that alienated me. I've purchased $0 worth since my 4e core set. That isn't to say I haven't used the 4e core set. I have. But just barely. In other editions I could quote you page numbers for equipment lists. Many fluff and stat filled books for each fill a bookshelf. (To say that your fluff books were rendered useless by a new edition is a little broken to me.) One PHB is duct taped together and used regularly.  That just didn't happen with 4e. With 3e I was heavily excited to see all my 2e house rules had made it to the game. I'm glad that Next looks like its taking some hints from my current homebrew system. It makes sense!

What does that mean? It means it feels more like a natural revision of the D&D system and not just a complete overhaul. It means that hopefully we'll also find some awesome stuff to throw into the system to make it more fun.

Alienated though? I'm not sure.  I've never been extremely active in forums and the like so I can't claim I wasn't listened to. I'm changing that with this edition and it sounds like they are listening. So I'm excited about Next and eagerly eating up the new materials for playtests.
Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.
We all know in the past that some D&D fans were alienated by the business practices of WotC. Here I want to compile a list of the things WotC did in the past that they should avoid with 5E to avoid alienating you from playing 5E. Now this isn't meant to be a list of game mechanics or fluff descriptions that they should avoid. This is meant to list the things they did as a business that turned people away from previous editions of the game.

Please no long discussions or refutations. What did they do to you personally that alienated you from them in the past. Remember this is a personal look at what people felt alienated themselves not you from D&D or WotC as a company. Lets keep them numbered so I'll start with:

#1 No communication on the forums from the developers

#2 "Changing direction" constantly

#3 Saying one thing and doing another

#4 Poor quality products

#5 Constant Errata.

#6 Not listening to feedback.




Well let's see first I would say that....no you covered that already...well there's the fact that...no you said that too....well I guess you got my thoughts covered entirely with your list. WotC's track record is absolutely horrible. By the way I don't call making a statement that they weren't working on 4e and then two weeks later announcing it at GenCon 'Changing Directions' I call that outright lying. I also call it outright lying when they state that there would be AEDU support coming down the pipeline after certain Essentials products were produced, and they never did (no a few powers in some Essentialized splatbooks don't count when there are at least 3 classes that needed far more support in the form of an XYZ Power book.) Also, isn't #3 the definition of lying or is that hypocrisy...? Either way, not good.  

Only thing not on my list is the errata, though I do believe they could have handled it better. And yes communicating and even catering to their customers/fanbase, and by that I mean ALL their fans, not just the disenfranchised and disgruntled fans that hate 4e, would be a good move on their part and it's something they HAVE to do with all their competition this day and age. It would also help if they were transparent about their design goals. As of now (actually as of the first playtest packet) they have lost me and my group and a few others in my area. They completely bungled their first impression, and while many will say "But it was just a rough draft to try the basics of the game', I say then don't test that part, especially when you're going to do it publically.

Wait until you have enough that makes a good first impression. The playtest packet they just released should have been the first one, and yes that means the playtest wouldn't have started until just recently. I say that because it may have had more people interested and curious as to what they might do in the future. I couldn't even begin to ask my group to try the current playtest without them all looking at me like I had just grown a third eye that breathes acid and talks. Their first impression with the first packet was really that bad.    

As a point of reference see any MMORPG produced ever. They wait until the beta stages to do any sort of open playtesting, and even then it's usually fairly late into the beta stages. They don't start inviting people during the Alpha phase, which I feel that first packet was.  

Anyway at this point I don't think they can make it so that me, my group, and the others I know of in the area don't feel alienated. Too little too late. They had their chance at a first impression and they failed.
    I've removed content from this thread because edition warring and masked vulgarity are violations of the Code of Conduct.  You can review the Code of Conduct here www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_...

Please keep your posts polite, respectful, and on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks.
editted to bring back on topic 

Specific business decisions the company made to alienate me were there decision to eliminate pdf sales due to concerns over piracy.

 
If they create a balanced, coherent, elegant game where all archetypes can be used to create interesting and effective characters I will not be alienated.

If they create a unbalanced, fiddly, hodgepodge mess where only some archetypes are fully supported as "heroes" I will be alienated.


 



I want to steer this thread back on topic. Business wise what did WotC do to alienate you in the past. Please steer clear of game mechanics that rubbed you the wrong way.Smile There are hundreds of thread for that.
"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'm not alienated by WotC, but I agree that pdf versions of the books is an excellent idea for 5e. I wish that Wizards could release pdf versions of the Saga books for at or near initial market price. Buying OOP books for 2 or 3 times initial cost or downloading illegal pdfs is just not my thing.
I, also, think it may be too late for me not to feel alienated by WOTC.

They seem obsessed with gauging fan reaction on the "feel" of every little detail of the next edition, rather than being intent on designing a game system with a clear vision, and rather than supporting a previous edition when it will differ greatly from the new one.

Worse, they ask questions that seem to be more like "is this monster/spell list familiar to you," rather than "do you LIKE it." Those are two very different things, IMO. We likely already own, and may be playing, one or more versions of D&D that are familiar to us. I, personally, have to like the Next edition enough to want to buy it.

But even if they were concerned about a different level of fan reaction, they are still TOO concerned with it. If WOTC wants to design a game that is like some previous versions of D&D in specific ways, or is different in specific ways from previous versions, they need to just go ahead and do it.

On the other hand, I don't think WOTC should cut off all support for a current edition in hopes of "forcing" you to buy the next one. If the previous version of D&D will be so different from the next one, continue to support both, while of course giving the newer version a little push upon release. Cutting off support for an edition drives fans to find a product that is similar to the abandoned version of D&D they prefer (see Pathfinder, possibly 13th Age).
Finish 4e. --- Sorry Alienate not the right word... that avoids Disappointing me. I am not alienated.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

#4 Poor quality products:

I want them to hire either increase the budget for the print-runs OR hire a new production manager so they make quality books again.

Most 4E books had wavy paper when it arrived. Poor!

Also stop printing on short grain paper... print on long grain! (so each page flips over easily without the crack noise)
(in case you don't know what I'm talking about: www.xerox.com/printer-supplies/paper-sto...)



Book Binding


When you are binding a book, always make sure the paper grain of every page is parallel to the binding edge of the book. Do not mix grain directions in book pages. Why? You could encounter any or all of these problems:

  1. Pages resist turning

  2. Paper edges are wavy

  3. Binding edge is bulky and distorted

  4. Pages flare outward

  5. Book snaps closed when you try to open it


  • Putting out a edition which requires me to hunt down 20 year old books to make any sense of the monsters.

  • Putting out a edition which pretends literature and other parts of the culture froze in the 80's.

  • Putting out a edition for which the main interface towards the public is a column dedicated to "how good things were back in the ol' days".

  • Focusing so much on their new edtion that they won't even throw a bone to their current paying customers who are still playing their current edition.


Kind of too late for those last two

For the most part I couldn't care less. As long as they're not morally bankrupt (enslaving workers, heavy pollution, etc), reasonably priced, and turn out a quality product that I want to play I'm sold. To mimic what Saelorn said, it has to be in the books, especially the core books, and not online. There is no digital at our tables.



My reponse is the exact opposite of this.  I feel that WotC has been agonizingly slow to embrace the digital age.  My group was using computers in table top D&D since the AD&D 1e Dungeon Master Tools came out in the 80's.  We heavily used the AD&D 2e Core Rules product and eTools was just one of many computer tools we used (along with the addition of a DM laptop starting with 3e.  Paizo has already proven that people want digital publication of products, and has even innovated further by providing interactive digital PDF maps with their Adventure Path products and by allowing downloads of updated PDFs when the books are revised.  This is the best of all solutions because it means they don't have to reiterate updated rules in new products that will annoy most digitally aware gamers, and gamers don't have to constantly repurchase reprints of core rule books (unless they want to...and you and Saelorn might fall into this category).  Online and digital is the future of this game, not to mention the hobby.  Maybe they haven't found the right presentation yet to make it less a distraction for you, but if they go all in that presentation is likely to come much more quickly than if they take your suggestion.

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I'm not alienated, but disappointed by the lack of computer-based support material like the 2nd Ed Core Rules and the expansion. I use that extensively for my campaign even now. I don't think I'd want to plan a session without it. It covers PCs, NPCS, monsters, items (magic and not), maps, encounters, and includes an extensive library (most of which I have in hard copy, but it's handy to have them right there for reference). Not making that for anything past 2nd Ed is a business decision that lost them a lot of revenue.

Make that for 5e and I'll be all over it!

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

None of the books have been delivered to my house on release day by Felicia Day riding a Unicorn.

Of COURSE that alienates me, as it would any reasonable player.
1.  If the game is full of plot couponish mechanics that are hard to avoid.
2.  If traditional playstyles are ignored.  If it doesn't feel like D&D basically.
3.  The devs talking down to me and saying they know best what is fun.
4.  The classes need to play differently.
5.  Non-Wuxia martial options available upon release.

Basically I'm open to anything in the game.  But the game can't be missing important things.  So it's more of -- I want X included.  I don't mind ignoring stuff I don't like.
 
I can honestly say that after looking at the interviews from gen con I think they get it. I think they saw where they made the mistakes. 4th was one of those mistakes. Not that the edition was bad (you may think it was or was not) but that the edition decided on what style of play was DnD. No other edition did that as heavy handed as 4th. Third was also quite a bit heavy handed with its design. Both were based in which way you should play and what default play should be for the game. That is the biggest mistake that they could make. Rules and mechanics aside when you design the game with a single play style you by default alienate a large portion of the group.

that was my biggest issue aside from mechanics and other topics dealing with edition war type problems which I will leave out of this thread. 
Not alienate me?

Provide some semblance of class parity, while still making characters and classes unique.  In other words, I want a Martials and Magics game, not just Magics and Magics.  In other words, I want my Wizards and Warriors game to have some emphasis on Warriors.  In other words, I don't want my fighter to be a mechanical joke, thus making the game unfun if I choose to be said fighter.

Also, I'd like to see the PDF download option available, albeit at a price less than book form, to reflect the savings from printing, paper, and shipping.  The conern for piracy has been completely overblown by most every company these days, and outright eliminating the digital option for 4e books only resulted in what people had been doing pre-4e for digital format, which is simply gutting physical books and scanning them in.

If DDI is to continue to exist, it should be worth the ticket price.  Being the only material available for errata, and at a monthly fee is baffling.  Purchasing an individual month is almost $10.  I find it extraordinarily alienating to be charged money to get fixed content because of balance issues.

Maybe perhaps allows the PDF option available again, and have download codes for updated PDFs with errata material.
Seems like a lot of people are unhappy with DDI. I never even bothered to look at it once I saw the fee. Is it really that bad? I mean, I'd not pay for it even if it wasn't but still.
The main problem with DDI is when they switched to the silverlight character builder and when they decided that dragon and dungeon magazine should have 1/4 of the content they used to have...this month dragon magazine have 34 pages....and half of them belong on dungeon magazine not dragon magazine, it's a very sad joke to call 34 pages a magazine you pay 10 bucks per month for...
They can keep refusing to release monthly editions of Dragon and Dungeon for my Newstand app!

Danny

Seems like a lot of people are unhappy with DDI. I never even bothered to look at it once I saw the fee. Is it really that bad? I mean, I'd not pay for it even if it wasn't but still.


It was good.  It got worse.  But do keep in mind that that monthly fee was, for many of us, a substitute to buying the published books, since you got all the crunchy stuff through your subscription.

Seems like a lot of people are unhappy with DDI. I never even bothered to look at it once I saw the fee. Is it really that bad? I mean, I'd not pay for it even if it wasn't but still.


It was awesome when you could buy a month, download it and then cancel your subscription. Totally worth the 12$ or whatever it was. 


Once it became online only, the value dropped immensly. 


I found the rules almost impossible to play without the builder, so I stopped. My players hated making characters for 4e by hand, and loved it for 3.X and 2nd ed. They said the builder made it reasonable and worth doing. Without it, they boycotted playing 4e games. With it, they didn't care either way. (I prefered 3.X, but was still giving 4e a try, hoping it would pan out)


Edit * Also it was advertised as costing about the price of a cup of coffee a month. Real price was not that. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"

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

"Your advice is the worst"

Edit * Also it was advertised as costing about the price of a cup of coffee a month. Real price was not that. 

I have a very large cup, and it takes at least two extra-hot venti skinny mochas to fill it.  Add in tax and tip, and that's about there.

The metagame is not the game.
#8 not errataing the mistakes they made.  

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Most of the "alienation" for me came in the beginning.  Quite a bit of it was fixed though.

Cost was a biggie!  For the low book quality I was purchasing, the cost seemed absurd.  Plus, PDFs (before they were taken down) were horribly overpriced.

The draconian measures of the GSL (even updated, it's not that great) was another thing that alienated me from the game.  Now, I more often than not used my own creative concepts, but let's say someone (like that guy who made 3rd party Gamma World stuff) wants to make D&D fan products.  They probably got the short end of the stick.

While I've loved the mechanics from the beginning, their approach to so-called core and fluff was what kept me away from 4th edition till my friends convinced me to give Essentials a try.  (Now, before you accuse me of anything, I'm an active player in 4th, even DM'd 2 seasons at Encounters!)  I won't deny, I loathe the approaches they took with the player races and especially hate how they handled campaign settings.  The Forgotten Realms is a real big one there.  But, to keep the bottle flames of hate from burning the thread, I'll leave it there.  To be fair, I haven't picked up a current campaign book outside of crunch (I only got Neverwinter for monster stuff, themes, Bladesinger class, and cleric domains)

But, I digress.  This is all my personal opinion (just popping that disclaimer there) and those are the reasons why I felt alienated for a couple years.  Anyway, Wizards needs to analyze not just me, but others who have felt alienated and contemplate, "why?"  If they can crack the code and provide for all, then 5E will surely be a success!

The Knights of W.T.F. may as well be ghosts, but the message still stays;

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
  • PRAISE THE SUN!
The main problem with DDI is when they switched to the silverlight character builder and when they decided that dragon and dungeon magazine should have 1/4 of the content they used to have...this month dragon magazine have 34 pages....and half of them belong on dungeon magazine not dragon magazine, it's a very sad joke to call 34 pages a magazine you pay 10 bucks per month for...



I do not often agree with mexrage, but I do in this case.

WotC started alienating me when they destroyed the Dragon magazine.

Member of the Axis of Awesome

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Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
The main problem with DDI is when they switched to the silverlight character builder and when they decided that dragon and dungeon magazine should have 1/4 of the content they used to have...this month dragon magazine have 34 pages....and half of them belong on dungeon magazine not dragon magazine, it's a very sad joke to call 34 pages a magazine you pay 10 bucks per month for...



I do not often agree with mexrage, but I do in this case.

WotC started alienating me when they destroyed the Dragon magazine.



Yeah.  Yanking the printing rights wasn't too cool either.  If they had print and PDF, I'd be happy.  Heck, I'd go for both!  No matter, cutting down on content was even worse.  Also, it's down to 34 now?  Yikes!

The Knights of W.T.F. may as well be ghosts, but the message still stays;

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
  • PRAISE THE SUN!
What can WotC do to not alienate you with 5E?

Prior to the announcement of 5e, the answer would have been "don't have a 5e until 2018 or so." 

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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What can WotC do to not alienate you with 5E?

Prior to the announcement of 5e, the answer would have been "don't have a 5e until 2018 or so." 



Despite my previous post, I have to say this +1.

Another far-removed second reason for not shifting to DDN is because I already shifted editions twice now, three times if you count 3.0 to 3.5 being an edition shift. With that all important first impression I mentioned above being as shoddy as it was, I am now fully prepared to fill out my 4e collection and ignore that DDN is even happening (with a few minor exceptions). If that first impression had really wowed me, well then I could see spending money on it when it comes out, but as it stands, no way. Even with the current iteration of the playtest packet, I wouldn't play it. More than likely I will borrow the main book from a friend, copy the pages that has stuff I like, and then incorporate it into my 4e game.

And I just had a thought - D&D needs to be handed off to another company. No. Really. WotC is edition change happy and this trend WILL continue if they hold on to the license. There WILL be a 6e, a 7e etc etc so on and so forth. Don't believe me, look at Magic. It occurs to me that they are treating D&D the same way.