The level of customization in 5E

The level of customization in 5E is leaving me cold. Sure, its early and there aren't many options to choose, but that isn't the problem. The problem is the number of times options are able to be chosen.

In 5E, if you aren't a Wizard, you don't get to make many choices:

1. You get to pick 4 skills, ever, and these are tied to backgrounds
2. You get to pick 4 feats, ever
3. Fighters, Rogues, and Monks get to pick a small number of maneuvers/tricks
4. Clerics get to pick a domain
5. Some classes get to choose a feature or two, like an extra skill or Rogue Schemes, for example
6. Races offer a binary choice

In 4E:

1. You usually got to choose between one or more class options at 1st level
2. You got to pick between 3-6 skills, and due to a tighter skill list your picks covered more ground
3. You got to pick 18 feats over 30 levels
4. An AEDU Class got to pick roughly 21 powers over those levels(some replaced earlier powers)
5. You got to pick a Theme, Paragon Path, and Epic Destiny
6. Races generally offered a choice of bonus stat and in some cases a choice of a Racial power. Racial feats, themes, Paragon Paths/Epic Destinies and the occasional racial class power added to this,

In 3E:

1. Some classes had choices between different class features as they got them.
2. Every time you gain a level you could choose to gain a level in most any class.
3. You got skill points, which you could distribute between any number of skills however you saw fit.
4. You got 7 feats over 20 levels
5. #2 is a real biggie.
...whatever
The feats and skills should look better as they iterate on the game. I don't think anyone who pays attention seriously believes their design plan is to go with only 4 feats and 4 skills for all of a character's life. The notion is just silly.
Somewhere, the designers just balked at Zaramon's post and are now scrambling to add more skill and feat acquisition to the game.
The feats and skills should look better as they iterate on the game. I don't think anyone who pays attention seriously believes their design plan is to go with only 4 feats and 4 skills for all of a character's life. The notion is just silly.



That's apparently what we are getting so far. Maybe if we make a big enough ruckus they will change it...Smile
"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.
Somewhere, the designers just balked at Zaramon's post and are now scrambling to add more skill and feat acquisition to the game.



Lol. Now that you've said that, a conspiracy has started. Now when the next playtest packet comes out with more skills and feats, it will look like I did it. Hey, maybe that's not such a bad idea...

@Lokiare: Given the nature of 3e and 4e, some of the previous packets, and the fact that this is a playtest, I don't think they've given us a full feat/skill progression, simply because they want, for whatever reason, to test things without those elements involved. I would ask why, but my initial gut reaction to that question is always, "Reasons are for peasants." So right now all I have to go on is what I suspect they're doing. I mean, I could be way off base and that could be their actual plan for feats and skills, in which case I'll just cut and paste the Pathfinder rules for those game elements. If the rest of Next is quality when it's finished that is.
The feats and skills should look better as they iterate on the game. I don't think anyone who pays attention seriously believes their design plan is to go with only 4 feats and 4 skills for all of a character's life. The notion is just silly.



Even if they doubled the number of feats and skills, it would only scratch the surface compared to the amount of choice in 3E(ala carte multiclassing) or 4E(18 feats and 21ish powers, just for starters).
...whatever
I was under the impression that skill and feat acquisition was handled through backgrounds and specializations, and after that runs its course, that's it. Do specializations continue after level 10?
They are still planning to add prestige classes and Legacy System...(L&L and Mearls' tweets)  That will add more choices/options to choose from.

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Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

The feats and skills should look better as they iterate on the game. I don't think anyone who pays attention seriously believes their design plan is to go with only 4 feats and 4 skills for all of a character's life. The notion is just silly.



Even if they doubled the number of feats and skills, it would only scratch the surface compared to the amount of choice in 3E(ala carte multiclassing) or 4E(18 feats and 21ish powers, just for starters).



Concerning feats, I'm expecting a much more 4eish/Pathfinderish feat progression. Hehe, I'm going to get it too, regardless of what they do. I'm hoping they bring back 3e/Pathfinder multiclassing. Is there even multiclassing rules at all right now? I didn't see them, but I could have easily just missed them.


1. You get to pick 4 skills, ever, and these are tied to backgrounds



Only if you want them to be AND you can create your own backgrounds with hand picked skills.
 
2. You get to pick 4 feats, ever



That's not good.
 
3. Fighters, Rogues, and Monks get to pick a small number of maneuvers/tricks



I'm iffy on this.  For me it depends on how good those maneuvers/tricks are.
 
4. Clerics get to pick a domain



Not a problem.
 
5. Some classes get to choose a feature or two, like an extra skill or Rogue Schemes, for example



This is good.
 
6. Races offer a binary choice



Nothing wrong with this, either. 


6. Races generally offered a choice of bonus stat and in some cases a choice of a Racial power. Racial feats, themes, Paragon Paths/Epic Destinies and the occasional racial class power added to this,



Give it time.  Racial paths/prestige classes, etc. will come. 



The feats and skills should look better as they iterate on the game. I don't think anyone who pays attention seriously believes their design plan is to go with only 4 feats and 4 skills for all of a character's life. The notion is just silly.



Eh, I don't know.  I don't see why if they've gone to 20th level that they wouldn't bump up feats and skills OR tell us that they plan on bumping them up.  I don't think we can assume that they will give us more at this point.  People need to tell them that it's an issue via feedback.
Two Words...
Paragon Paths

Maybe?

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Eh, I don't know.  I don't see why if they've gone to 20th level that they wouldn't bump up feats and skills OR tell us that they plan on bumping them up.  I don't think we can assume that they will give us more at this point.  People need to tell them that it's an issue via feedback.



I don't know what there reasons could be for that either, but that's part of taking part in an open playtest and not being on the design team. I'm also not saying people shouldn't provide feedback about the feat and skill progression, and customization in general. I'm just saying that I'm not that worried about it.
Remember when they started talking about the Legacy system? That's targeted for 11-20. I think it's smart of WotC to get the fundamental part of the upper levels solid before they try to load Legacy onto it.

I just shake my head when someone writes a post that sounds like they think that what we've been presented so far in the playtest is very close to the final game. It isn't. Not remotely. We'll have lots more feats, domains, backgrounds, and specialities when the final book is published. A playtest really needs to present small bits so the designers can see exactly where the problems are rather than getting drowned in a sea of data that, because of so many variables, is impossible to analyse.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

I actually do think we're getting close to the final game, at least with some aspects. The cleric looks pretty much done. Throw in some more numbers-tuning and it will be good to go. I'm also not putting my trust in a new system that is suppodedly giving us what we should have already had anyway, without a new system. "Legacy" has never been a good word in my playtesting experience, for any game. It's been an invoker of fear and a harbinger of death and destruction.
I think the key reason why they didn't expand the feat progression is the very limited number of feats in the game currently. It would get to a point where there we no choices related to your character left.

In one of these playtest packets, they will end up giving us a much larger selection of feats, and that will include a better progression as well.

Skills, though, you might have to live with (unless you spend a feat to get training in it) because that seems to be WotC's plan, just as 4e did.

They have already stated that multiclassing is a goal, but it is obviously complicated, and will take time to implement properly.

It seems like people just need to calm down about some things. If you don't like a rule, comment about it. But LACK of certain things in a PLAYTEST seems logical to me. 
The level of customization in 5E is leaving me cold. Sure, its early and there aren't many options to choose, but that isn't the problem. The problem is the number of times options are able to be chosen.

There is still more to be added, as we don't have multiclassing or prestige class/paragon path/lord level options yet, but I'm pretty sure this is by design also. Cutting down on the maze of overlapping and interlocking feats/powers/class/racial/paragon path/epic destiny/theme options in 4e makes designing a character quite a chore at times.

I do agree that the fixed skill options is a problem, given the current setup characters should probably get an additional skill or two at some point. It would be a good way to put at least something in some of the dead levels. The feats I can live with, I would rather have a small number of powerful feats then a large number of weak ones. Though I think one or two more might be a good idea.
False dichotomy. Why not have a bunch of awesome feats?
False dichotomy. Why not have a bunch of awesome feats?

Because you can't have a lot of powerful feats and still keep feats as secondary character customization options. A powerful feat every other level means feats dominate character design, and that isn't where D&D wants to be, plus it makes character design excessivly complex.

Somewhere, the designers just balked at Zaramon's post and are now scrambling to add more skill and feat acquisition to the game.



Lol. Now that you've said that, a conspiracy has started. Now when the next playtest packet comes out with more skills and feats, it will look like I did it. Hey, maybe that's not such a bad idea...

@Lokiare: Given the nature of 3e and 4e, some of the previous packets, and the fact that this is a playtest, I don't think they've given us a full feat/skill progression, simply because they want, for whatever reason, to test things without those elements involved. I would ask why, but my initial gut reaction to that question is always, "Reasons are for peasants." So right now all I have to go on is what I suspect they're doing. I mean, I could be way off base and that could be their actual plan for feats and skills, in which case I'll just cut and paste the Pathfinder rules for those game elements. If the rest of Next is quality when it's finished that is.



Good thing there are no peasants here, I mean who would question the masters anyway? Yeah, that kind of thinking is so wrong it hurts...

Personally if they want my money they better explain themselves...Smile
"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.
Remember when they started talking about the Legacy system? That's targeted for 11-20. I think it's smart of WotC to get the fundamental part of the upper levels solid before they try to load Legacy onto it.

I just shake my head when someone writes a post that sounds like they think that what we've been presented so far in the playtest is very close to the final game. It isn't. Not remotely. We'll have lots more feats, domains, backgrounds, and specialities when the final book is published. A playtest really needs to present small bits so the designers can see exactly where the problems are rather than getting drowned in a sea of data that, because of so many variables, is impossible to analyse.



Exactly, people need to remember that WotC and Mearls himself have explained that they are trolling us with these packets. They are intentionally putting controversial things into the packets to gauge our reactions. If more than 10% of respondents to the surveys throw a fit over something they will remove or fix it.

In other words its all planned...Smile
"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.
False dichotomy. Why not have a bunch of awesome feats?

Because you can't have a lot of powerful feats and still keep feats as secondary character customization options. A powerful feat every other level means feats dominate character design, and that isn't where D&D wants to be, plus it makes character design excessivly complex.




Unless the other options are likewise as potent, or more so. I don't have a problem with complex character design.
Somewhere, the designers just balked at Zaramon's post and are now scrambling to add more skill and feat acquisition to the game.



Lol. Now that you've said that, a conspiracy has started. Now when the next playtest packet comes out with more skills and feats, it will look like I did it. Hey, maybe that's not such a bad idea...

@Lokiare: Given the nature of 3e and 4e, some of the previous packets, and the fact that this is a playtest, I don't think they've given us a full feat/skill progression, simply because they want, for whatever reason, to test things without those elements involved. I would ask why, but my initial gut reaction to that question is always, "Reasons are for peasants." So right now all I have to go on is what I suspect they're doing. I mean, I could be way off base and that could be their actual plan for feats and skills, in which case I'll just cut and paste the Pathfinder rules for those game elements. If the rest of Next is quality when it's finished that is.



Good thing there are no peasants here, I mean who would question the masters anyway? Yeah, that kind of thinking is so wrong it hurts...

Personally if they want my money they better explain themselves...



Look at it this way. What matters more to you; What they're actually doing to the playtest packet, or why they did it? Personally, I don't give a damn if it's some sinister plot to take over the world. So long as they create a quality piece, I'm okay with whatever their motives are. I never said anything about not questioning, nor did I ever infer or imply that Mearls or anyone else is some kind of overseer. You're willing to accept an explanation, a reason for something that you don't like. I on the otherhand, am not, because there are no good reasons, or suitable explanations, for crap. Reasons, as I said earlier, are for peasants.

I don't have a problem with complex character design.

I doubt many of the posters here would. However, the designers are not just working for the dedicated fans, they have to consider the more casual gamers also.

I don't have a problem with complex character design.

I doubt many of the posters here would. However, the designers are not just working for the dedicated fans, they have to consider the more casual gamers also.




Sidebar: Quick-Play character creation made easy in 5 simple steps.

All they need to do is include something like that and your casuals are taken care of.
Somewhere, the designers just balked at Zaramon's post and are now scrambling to add more skill and feat acquisition to the game.



Lol. Now that you've said that, a conspiracy has started. Now when the next playtest packet comes out with more skills and feats, it will look like I did it. Hey, maybe that's not such a bad idea...

@Lokiare: Given the nature of 3e and 4e, some of the previous packets, and the fact that this is a playtest, I don't think they've given us a full feat/skill progression, simply because they want, for whatever reason, to test things without those elements involved. I would ask why, but my initial gut reaction to that question is always, "Reasons are for peasants." So right now all I have to go on is what I suspect they're doing. I mean, I could be way off base and that could be their actual plan for feats and skills, in which case I'll just cut and paste the Pathfinder rules for those game elements. If the rest of Next is quality when it's finished that is.



Good thing there are no peasants here, I mean who would question the masters anyway? Yeah, that kind of thinking is so wrong it hurts...

Personally if they want my money they better explain themselves...



Look at it this way. What matters more to you; What they're actually doing to the playtest packet, or why they did it? Personally, I don't give a damn if it's some sinister plot to take over the world. So long as they create a quality piece, I'm okay with whatever their motives are. I never said anything about not questioning, nor did I ever infer or imply that Mearls or anyone else is some kind of overseer. You're willing to accept an explanation, a reason for something that you don't like. I on the otherhand, am not, because there are no good reasons, or suitable explanations, for crap. Reasons, as I said earlier, are for peasants.




The why matters as much as what we get. If they are skinning baby puppies and kittens to cover the books in leather, I would not buy them. If they are burning down orphanages for charcoal for the ink, I wouldn't buy them.

On the opposite side if they had good intentions but failed to implement them well, I can cut them some slack. I can also point out why they didn't get from their intentions to their goal. So yeah the why is important. I think you mean 'excuses are for peasants'. Reasons are for everyone...Smile
"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.
If they were shooting for simpler character design with the extremely limited customization options in the packet, they did a horrible job of it. You make a bunch of huge decisions at level 1 when you have the least experience, and stop making them altogether at level ten, when you have lots of experience.

What's actually going on is that the game isn't really designed through to level 20 but they released a packet anyway. Three of the classes in the packet were designed to level twenty. The other two were not, and the non-class customization systems were not. You can't release a packet, however, where half of the classes have twice as many levels available. That's not useful. So the fighter and the rogue have essentially placeholder text for their last ten levels and no customization is available at all.

What went wrong was that there was no (useful) communication about the contents of the packet whatsoever, making it unclear what was a design decision and what's placeholder. There's no "Hey guys! Here's the new packet! We know that this, this and this are just bafflingly poor; that's just because they're not done yet. Still, we wanted people to have a chance to check out that, that and that over the holidays. See you in January!"
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.
The why matters as much as what we get.



The hell it does. If I go to a restaruant and they burn my steak, I don't give a damn why my steak is burnt, I just want them to bring me a new one.

If they are skinning baby puppies and kittens to cover the books in leather, I would not buy them.



So, what you're saying is, that it doesn't matter why they're skinning baby puppies, because you have a problem with the act in and of itself? Yeah, like I said, reasons are for peasants.

If they are burning down orphanages for charcoal for the ink, I wouldn't buy them.



See above.

On the opposite side if they had good intentions but failed to implement them well, I can cut them some slack. I can also point out why they didn't get from their intentions to their goal. So yeah the why is important. I think you mean 'excuses are for peasants'. Reasons are for everyone...



Don't play semantic games with me. Reasons for poor judgment/actions are excuses. All the time. Every time. If they can't cook, they can bloody well get the hell out of the kitchen. I don't care how much their hearts are in the right place. Just like it takes more than good intentions to make a proper meal, it takes more than good intentions to produce a quality game. You should try listening to "excuses" sometimes. A surprising amount of them are legitamite.
If they were shooting for simpler character design with the extremely limited customization options in the packet, they did a horrible job of it. You make a bunch of huge decisions at level 1 when you have the least experience, and stop making them altogether at level ten, when you have lots of experience.

What's actually going on is that the game isn't really designed through to level 20 but they released a packet anyway. Three of the classes in the packet were designed to level twenty. The other two were not, and the non-class customization systems were not. You can't release a packet, however, where half of the classes have twice as many levels available. That's not useful. So the fighter and the rogue have essentially placeholder text for their last ten levels and no customization is available at all.

What went wrong was that there was no (useful) communication about the contents of the packet whatsoever, making it unclear what was a design decision and what's placeholder. There's no "Hey guys! Here's the new packet! We know that this, this and this are just bafflingly poor; that's just because they're not done yet. Still, we wanted people to have a chance to check out that, that and that over the holidays. See you in January!"



What you mean real communication? Yeah, like that would ever happen...
"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.
False dichotomy. Why not have a bunch of awesome feats?

Because you can't have a lot of powerful feats and still keep feats as secondary character customization options. A powerful feat every other level means feats dominate character design, and that isn't where D&D wants to be, plus it makes character design excessivly complex.




Not necesarily.  Powerful feats are no better or worse than powerful class options, spells, magic items, etc.  They are just another tool in the chest, not a dominant one.
The why matters as much as what we get.



The hell it does. If I go to a restaruant and they burn my steak, I don't give a damn why my steak is burnt, I just want them to bring me a new one.



So as long as the steak isn't burnt you don't care if it comes from a chemically grown rat that was engineered to grow steak shaped growths out of its rear? Me, I'd care...

If they are skinning baby puppies and kittens to cover the books in leather, I would not buy them.



So, what you're saying is, that it doesn't matter why they're skinning baby puppies, because you have a problem with the act in and of itself? Yeah, like I said, reasons are for peasants.



Yes, the ends don't justify the means. Its a pretty simple concept...

If they are burning down orphanages for charcoal for the ink, I wouldn't buy them.



See above.

On the opposite side if they had good intentions but failed to implement them well, I can cut them some slack. I can also point out why they didn't get from their intentions to their goal. So yeah the why is important. I think you mean 'excuses are for peasants'. Reasons are for everyone...



Don't play semantic games with me. Reasons for poor judgment/actions are excuses. All the time. Every time. If they can't cook, they can bloody well get the hell out of the kitchen. I don't care how much their hearts are in the right place. Just like it takes more than good intentions to make a proper meal, it takes more than good intentions to produce a quality game.



Exactly. Which is why an excuse would not be acceptable on failure, but a reason why they did something would allow us and them to avoid it in the future. It would also allow others to give input. I mean if when 4E was released they had made an announcement that the lead programmer had died and they were looking for another developer or didn't know what to do, we could have pointed them at many many qualified developers or convinced them to go open source or something. Things would have gone better.

Knowing why something failed is equally as important as knowing something failed. It prevents repeats...Smile
"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.
So as long as the steak isn't burnt you don't care if it comes from a chemically grown rat that was engineered to grow steak shaped growths out of its rear? Me, I'd care...



That's not a why, that's a how. Where not discussing methodology, but motivations behind actions. Or did you mean something else entirely at the start of all this?

Yes, the ends don't justify the means. Its a pretty simple concept...



And I would agree.

Knowing why something failed is equally as important as knowing something failed. It prevents repeats...



Again, you're blurring how and why. I can't believe I'm about to say this but I think George Orwell and I can finally agree on something. Well, time to go throw myself off a bridge. In all seriousness though, we're lacking a clear definition of "why." What we were initially talking about was motivation for action, which you made clear with your comment about good intentions. Now you seem to have shifted to talking about cause and effect. Not so much, "Why did they do this," but rather, "how did they get here?"

I don't care what the developers' motivations are, I only care about the quality of the product they produce, and their motivations or intentions won't have any bearing on that, apart from being a possible but small contributing factor in their level of performance. They can plan to make a good game all they like, they can want to be successfull, they can have intend to make anything, but all that doesn't mean anything compared to what they actually pull off.

You want to know how to avoid repeat failures? "Don't do it again." Try something else. There's this quote floating around somewhere, I forget how it goes, but it's something about craziness and expecting different stuff to happen when you do the same stuff. If they know how to make a good game, they'll make a good game. If they don't, then we need new designers.
I'm still gonna hold out hope that progression for things like Feats and Maneuvers were not put in, but will at some point later down the road be available. I can't imagine a game where literally everything stops at 10th level (outside of  games like E6) mechanically speaking and it's just story, flavor, and roleplay from then on out. It would mean that Prestige Classes are instantly manditory in class design (whether or not that's a good thing is debateable). 


NOTE: Maybe that's it! Perhaps Prestige Classes are the "filler" in those levels where you literally get nothing outside of bonuses to attack and HP. The class still progresses and you get the benefits shown but PrCs then fill in the blanks on other elements? Might even be a whole 10th-20th feat progression that is only accessable by those level characters. I mean, we already have feats with level requirments ( ) and it's exactly what 4th Edition did by making feats only available at Heroic, Paragon, Epic tiers.

Anyways, just a theory.