D&D In The News: The Exaggerated Death of 4th Edition

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D&D In The News
Critical Hits: The Exaggerated Death of 4th Edition

By Mike Shea

Since the announcement of D&D Next over the past year, we’ve seen Wizards of the Coast steer away from the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Their December product announcements describe not a single 4e-based product. One hasn’t been produced since May of 2012. Their recent holiday gift guide didn’t mention a single 4e product, a fact on which some of us even managed to capitalize. We rarely hear any of D&D’s design and development shop discuss 4e. It isn’t hard to see the logic in some people’s statements that “4e is dead”. Even 1st edition seems to get better support these days.

Talk about this article here.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I really don't understand their line of thinking regarding this - especially considering the fact that D&DNext is a year and a half away as far as I know.

I'm excited to see the next version of D&D, yes. That being said, I let my subscription lapse back in October due to, in my humble opinion, the profound lack of content and influx of 'filler' into the Dungeon and Dragon magazines. I like 'fluff' and I like crunch, and there are still a bunch of people playing 4e - why are they closing up shop so completely when there is so much time before the roll out of the next editon?
I agree- a rift is starting to develop between 4th fans and D&DNext fans. From what I've seen of Wizards their reaction to it will be minimal and perhaps even more damaging. If they tossed us some 4e specific material every once in a while I'd be more on board with D&D Next (Rather, I'd be content enough to not bitch about D&D Next).

irregardless-  There isn't much WotC can do with the fact that they killed an edition three and a half years after its release. The damage from that act alone and their obsession with retro stuff will hurt D&D Next no matter what. Still- they could be doing a better job of reaching out to their 4E fan base.
4e isn't dead, it's just finished.  It's a graduation ceremony, not a funeral.  At least, I kind of hope it's finished.

To tell the truth, I really don't even WANT to see any more updates.  The game, while not perfect, works well enough as it is.  Unless Next stuns me, I'll be playing 4e as my main RPG for many years to come.

Along with OD&D, BECMI, 1e, 2e, 3e and 3.5.  Yes, I really do play each of them occasionally, in PnP and video game form!  Not to mention Pathfinder, Hackmaster, Labyrinth Lords and others of that type.

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.”

As much as I enjoy Mr. Shea's writings, I think he's a little overly optimistic about the prospects of electronic tools being available for 4E in the wake of D&D Next. If the marketers for WotC/Hasbro decide it's in their best interest to pull the plug on the revenue stream D&D Insider provides them from 4E players who just want Character Builder and Compendium, just to spike D&D Next sales temporarily, then they will absolutely fire cease and desist orders on anyone who will try to provide that support online in a way that doesn't give them a revenue stream.
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I guess I’m kind of late to this discussion. I don’t peruse forums much but I have heard the rumblings of 4E dying. What I really want to know is if the online D&D insider support is going to die when the next D&D version comes out? As a little background, I started playing D&D way back in the 70s with the white box set, but before 4E I hadn’t played D&D since AD&D 1st Ed. My friends and I played a lot of HERO system and other RPGs. A year or so after 4E came out I bought the books on a whim and literally had to plead with my friends to try it.


After a few games we loved it. The reason being is we have played with miniatures since the early 80s and 4E had miniature rules and tactics so will integrated. We don’t consider it a perfect game (there are none) however it’s pretty damned good and we found the tactics and combinations of powers and feats engrossing. Even one friend who is chiefly a role player had to admit the combat was fun.


In any case I consider the 4E online support pretty critical so if it’s going away I would rather switch back to playing HERO system now then get more entrenched into 4E. Does anyone actually know the answer to this? Can we get an answer from staff please? I'm not one to rant and rave but I think if we are going to get cut off at some point it would be fair to at least let us know. If this question has been answered can someone direct me to the answer.


As for 5E, Next whatever it is.... I don’t really have time to play test a game and also my game group wants options to play a large combination of race and classes.  In HERO it’s a generic point system. You just build you char and get DM approval.  However the down side is game balance is highly GM dependent and is not under the tight control of the rules.  Still for us it’s a better option than playing an unfinished game where players feel they are limited in what they can play.  


 

Wizards isnt saying if they will or wont leave the tools up. There is no answer.
4e isn't dead, it's just finished.  It's a graduation ceremony, not a funeral.  At least, I kind of hope it's finished.

To tell the truth, I really don't even WANT to see any more updates.  The game, while not perfect, works well enough as it is.  Unless Next stuns me, I'll be playing 4e as my main RPG for many years to come.

Along with OD&D, BECMI, 1e, 2e, 3e and 3.5.  Yes, I really do play each of them occasionally, in PnP and video game form!  Not to mention Pathfinder, Hackmaster, Labyrinth Lords and others of that type.



This, pretty much word for word. with one exception: I would like WotC to release more high quality, carefully planned out 4e content. I just don't think we're going to get it with most of their game developers working on D&D Next. 

So maybe it's good they're shutting it down. I'm glad the final days of 4e weren't filled with the kind of end-of-edition power creep that was seen at the end of 2e. Does anyone remember "volcano magic"?  Yuck, no thanks. In a way maybe it's good that WotC is stopping instead of cramming dragon magazine with crap that only wrecks the game.
One of the big issues I have when reading this sort of stuff are the people that claim that the tools they are using are good enough, or that the edition itself is good enough as is with all the flaws in it.

The builder has so many issues, things that should work but obviously don't.  Things that don't work that do (Arid Berserkers with a shield for instance).

The reason that a lot of 4e fans are having such an issue with this change in direction and abandoning the product is this:

WOTC:
Hey, if you all have any suggestions of things that need working on, errata and errors and what-not just let use know!  We are listening.

4e Community:
Great!  Now that you are here would you mind taking a look at the Binder as it doesn't really function very well.  You know Battle Cleric's Lore we have a question regarding it and multiclassing?  Can we get an answer please?  There are some issues with the builder and compendium _____ doesn't function properly or contains completely wrong wordings.  Would you mind giving us a hotfix?

WOTC:
Now announcing DnD Next!

4e Community:
DnD Next, ok, that sounds like it could be interesting.  We got a couple years til that is fully supported, would you mind fixing some of the issues we are having, answering some of the questions we are having and whatnot?  Atleast, until the new edition gets here.

WOTC:
The next season of Encounters will be playable with DnD Next!

4e Community:
Oh, ok so you are hoping its sooner than we thought.  You know we have been having these issues for a couple of years now if you could just toss us one big final update to deal with some of those long-standing problems that would be great.

WOTC:
..... DnD Next!


Edit: Anyone who tries to counter this with "Customer Service" doesn't understand what a laughing stock that service is.  We have submitted the same question 5 days in a row and gotten 3 different answers to a yes or no question in the past.
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