Are They Really Listening to Feedback?

I don't recall where I read it, and don't have time to dig, but at some point someone in the development team was quoted as saying (paraphrasing here) that it was odd to see and respond to everyone's comments on the most recent packet, as it was put together months ago and the team is currently working on stuff that won't be seen for several packets in the future.

Reading that made me say: "WHAT?!" Yell

I just naturally assumed that when they release a packet, it represents more or less the current state of development, and they're releasing it out to get feedback on whether they're on the right track with things or not.

But if the most recent packet stuff represents an old state of development - apparently several months old - how much are they really going to take our feedback into consideration? This makes me very worried, as this packet has many fundamental workings that have faced harsh criticisms from fans. If they've been working several months under the assumption that the current packet info was more or less solid, I fear that makes it very unlikely they're going to make any serious changes based on our opinions of this packet. It would help if we were getting any feedback from development team to the effect of "yeah, we hear you're dissapointed in aspect XYZ; we realize we were going down the wrong path on that and plan to change it". But this I've not seen.

Its more scientific than that I imagine. When the first playtest was released they said they didn't care about balance and were more interested in if the system lets you do what you want to do. Since that was all they were testing they said directly that they left many elements out of the game to keep it simple and accessable. Like if you are testing the reception on your car radio, there's no reason to turn on the AC.

Its reasonable to assume they have continued to leave elements out that don't need to be tested. Monster stats, for example, seem very simple; they may be more involved but we just need raw numbers to throw at the PCs, so that's all we got.

So don't get worried. They are getting the information they need from us and are taking it into account (for better or worse), it just means our data is out of date or simplified.
From WoTC_Trevor

On Gathering Feedback

As far as gathering feedback from the forums, we do that, and we pass that feedback along to the brand and dev/design teams. The information we gather in forums, twitter, facebook, article comments, blogs and elsewhere help inform us of the opinions out there. But they are only one bit of the full picture.

To put very basic numbers on things (none of these are actual figures for us and our site, but they are numbers sometimes used to talk about activity in forums and websites). There's basically a weird rule of 10% that is applied. So first assume that about 10% of the people into your game/product visit the website for it. From there, assume that 10% actually dig down into the forums for whatever reason. From there, assume that 10% of those people who go to the forums actually post something in the forums. That leaves us with .1 percent of our original "population" actually getting to and responding in the forums. I would say it's probably more likely that those numbers fall between 10-20% when going from one tier of involvement to the next, but you still end up with those who are talking in forums being a much smaller number than those who are involved with the product.

Now that doesn't mean that the forums aren't useful! Many times forums like ours are filled with people who have a certain amount of system mastery and are usually pretty invested in the game. Getting ideas and opinions from super users like this is awesome, and having them around (the helpful ones at least) who are willing and able to help out newer members to the community and game is also awesome. But it can't be seen as representative of the D&D gaming population. More like vocal speakers for special interest groups. 

All that being said, topics and feedback on the playtest that we see in the forums filter to the teams and we do see that those topics can later be reflected in the feedback we receive in the surveys we send out via email. This all means we can and do use the feedback collected in all these social media spaces to inform us of what we might see when the survey results start coming back in. We also use these points of feedback when putting together the weekly D&D Next Q&A, Legends & Lore and the special events like the google hangout on D&D Next with Mike and Jeremy. While we're not able to cover every question or topic, I'm hoping that with the different articles and things we're doing that we tackle the big topics shortly after we see them pop up here and elsewhere.

So while we are not currently hosting polls here in the forums, we are listening, and when we can, acting and responding to the feedback everyone is giving us.


5e houserules and tweaks.

Celestial Link Evoking Radiance into Creation

A Party Without Music is Lame: A Bard

Level Dip Guide


4e stuff

List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
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.

In my humble opinion, they won't consider our opinions that much as long as people keep speaking without testing it. I see lots of people without even a group speaking, making maths, stating one thing is better then another, while most of them will never play it (and without any real experience in d&d).

We started the playtest yesterday and we'll make a 5-8 hr session every week.

For the moment, i just see rogue players whining about nerfed rogue, warrior players cheering at op warrior, wizard players complaining about nerfed wizard etc not providing any possible solution.

I tryed my best in my posts to provide solutions => get smashed by some "insert random class here" complaining about the fact i would like classes to be balanced and pulled into edition warring (and being insulted personally).

No, i don't think they will consider our opinions as long as the situation is like this.         
Playtesters are a means of gathering statistical survey data. If you plan on being 5E's pro-bono director, you're in for a world of hurt. 

There's a reasonable expectation that something with as many alarm bells as the rogue will get fixed; it's got a new forum post every day. More importantly, said threads are pretty much devoid of rogue apologists. 

If you post "OMG the monk's underpowered such bullcrap", then the thread is filled with examples of how it crunches out to a solid derivative of the fighter (less weapon damage & health in exchange for stuns, self-heals, immunities), you should expect that the designers will rebut your criticisms with the same ease as other forum rats did. 

5E's goals are somewhat aligned toward #1. fast play, #2. flavor over modular builds, and #3. Being simple and complex at the same time. Additional sub-goals might be to have these definitely scale into high-level play, and to have all the classes feel equal in power from here. At times, the forums are giving useful input that aims toward these goals. At other times, it's just nerd-rage lobbying for whatever you like best to be OP, or whatever you think the goals of 5E should be instead. 

One thing I try to keep in mind to avoid hyperbole like this: think back to when 3E launched. Did you rage? Did you think it was a cheap money grab to have us buy more books? Did it seem like a traitorous turn? All of these. Then you play it, and have fun, and all those feelings melt away. Same thing happened with 3.5 and 4.0. 
I have to agree with what you say Waltron except the end, I did rage, I did think it was a cheap money grab to have us buy more books but I didn't play it. I stayed with the game I like and this is why I have high expectations for 5E. If I am disappointed again, well I'll rage a bit I'm sure but again I will stay with the game I like as my group will. That will be to bad for WotC as I won't buy tons of books.
...think back to when 3E launched. Did you rage? Did you think it was a cheap money grab to have us buy more books? Did it seem like a traitorous turn? All of these. Then you play it, and have fun, and all those feelings melt away. Same thing happened with 3.5 and 4.0. 

Not quite. I was frustrated enough with 2nd edition to where I was eager when I heard about 3rd. Sure, I raised my eyebrows at the short time frame and sudden appearance of 3.5, but after trying it out welcomed the changes wholeheartedly. I did, however, see 4th as a shameful money-grab, and although the rare mechanic presents some interesting ideas overal loathe the system.
General Garrison it was Mike Mearls in a Legends and Lore article.
What Trevor said.

aka "Yes"


I just naturally assumed that when they release a packet, it represents more or less the current state of development, and they're releasing it out to get feedback on whether they're on the right track with things or not.

You assumed wrong.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
A lot of people made that assumption.  Myself included.  I was getting really flusterated about how things were going.  now I'm just going to sit back and hope someday we do see something closer to what they want the finished product to be.  I hope they don't chase everyone off until then

Maybe they should start releasing two options er packet.  Hey wish version of the class sucks more . . . . ok we'll use that one for now instead of showing you what we really plan to do!!
Since they are dealing with modular design, even if they are working on 2 or 3 packets ahead, they may be working on completely different aspects of the game.   It actually makes sense that they work ahead in other areas while they are waiting for feedback on the core system and the basic classes that they have out now.

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"


Rhenny's Blog:



Since they are dealing with modular design, even if they are working on 2 or 3 packets ahead, they may be working on completely different aspects of the game.

That makes sense. But it doesn't seem to be exactly what they're doing, as the latest packet made some rather wild changes in very core mechanics.
It's counterintuitive, but they're probably not giving us their best stuff. When the designers have fantastic ideas, the kind like expertise dice where they're certain it's gold, they can hold back a few months and develop them a bit more. It's the dubious ideas, the ones where they kind of have something, but they're not sure if it's awesome or really stupid, those are the ideas that need a public opinion before they go any further.

That's probably why the monk got such a stumpy design. From alignment to disease immunity, everything about the monk is a question mark. They wanted a public reaction before they expanded on it.
Yes, they're listening to feedback.  That doesn't mean they're obligated to use the suggestions given in the feedback.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

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