Dungeons and Dragons, Past, Present, and Future

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Hello.  This will probably be a long, rambling post, as that is just my nature.  The general tone, however, will be to try to focus on the state of the game now, and in the future.  Please take what I say with the sincerest intentions.  I love this game, and Wizards of The Coast.  I honestly believe that they want the best for the game.  This is also a new account, but I've posted here before, infrequently.  I think it was deleted, due to inactivity.  What I am trying to say, is, that I've played this game for a long time, and followed the forums, as well.  I still have the Basic D&D Red box set that I got for Christmas one year, and avidly played 1st and 2nd edition AD&D.

Dungeons and Dragons, and pen and paper RPG's have seen a huge decline over the years.  Magic: The Gathering was a huge force of seperation for many people, I think.  Magic fractured the market, and created an entirely new game type.  It split what was once a huge group of people into two (I know some people say Magic, and AD&D players are different, but when I started, people played both, and eventually AD&D suffered, as Magic was a huge monetary investment).

As we all know, TSR would have gone the way of the dodo, if not for WoTC.  And, for that, we are all grateful.  The slow decline was already there, though, and I don't really think that it was due to quality, or new editions.  I think there were many factors, including another new genre type that competed for the old pen and paper RPG fans attention.  MMO's.  Everquest, and eventually WoW, would slowly gobble up the audience that used to play pen and paper RPG's regularly.

These days, you have cellphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and consoles all competing with the social interaction of CCG's and pen and paper RPG's.  Most people, especially older ones like me, may not have the time to play.  It's easier, to sit down for an hour or two and play a game on your PC, rather than with old friends.  Getting all those old friends together is a game in and of itself.

So, where does that leave Dungeons and Dragons, and RPG's in general?  I think it leaves it in a dangerous place.  I think that eventually the hobby may collapse in upon itself.  It pains me to see that WoTC doesn't interact much with the community.  That is the one thing that I think Wizards could really work on, and that is community interaction and being transparent.  If the game is not selling well, then they need to grow the game.  Not talking openly will only stagnate any new edition, and the entire line of D&D products could die.

Maybe things aren't so dire, but I really am scared of this happening.  I love this hobby, this game, and Wizards.  I look on Kickstarter to see classic RPG's that only need $40k, like Call of Cthulhu.  Yeah, it's great, and it got way more than $40K, but my view of it is that it is pretty sad that there is no one out there willing to fund the line?  No one, or no company can afford $40k?  Compared to the investment made into movies, and video games, this is a paltry sum.  Again, I'm not saying it's horrible, just a sad state of affairs for this hobby.  It would be worse if the Kickstarter failed, I do know this.

I guess what I am trying to say is this.  I wish Wizards would try and grow the game.  The time is long past to show just how fun this game is, when played around a table.  You are going to have to have someone put a lot of money into it, put the payoff could be big.  I don't have the answer, but I know that something should be done.  Maybe I'm just wrong, though, and the hobby is meant to go the way of the dodo bird.  Maybe we are a dying breed?  I hope not, as pen and paper RPG's are such an amazing gift to those of us with imaginations, and a sense of adventure.

I think the future will see D&D being sold off, though.  I really do, and I think a lot of companies will consolidate, as intellectual property no longer becomes viable for one group or another.  Maybe that's the best thing?
Mtg did grab some of D&D's market,  this is true.

MMO's are largely a myth as far as being a threat to D&D.  MMO's are designed around time sinks in order to keep people playing.  They require the player be forced to perform highly repetitive actions just to increase some number by a tiny amount.  The gameplay they offer is basically hack & slash,  with virtually no narrative and no effect on the world,  because it's impossible to do with large numbers of people.  Several have tried,  and people just get really ticked off because only 1 person out of thousands gets to do something and everyone else doesn't get to perform any significant actions.

So because of this design,  the appeal of MMO's is limited to a small handfull of people.  Those with a very high tolerance for treadmills and a low tolerance for a proverbial carrot and those with a strong desire to "Defeat" other players (Usually while spewing vulgarities).  Then,  of those two groups,  it also requires monumental time investments.

So what I'm saying is:  Their appeal is limited to a very small niche,  and it isn't growing significantly. 

World of Warcraft was a generational phenomenae,  much like Team Fortress or Pokemon was before it,  and Call of Duty is today.  It succeeded not because there's a huge market,  but because for certain age groups it was what "Everyone was doing".  It hasn't been replicated,  and can't be replicated.  Once you eliminate World of Warcraft,  it's easy to see that MMO's have basically just been shuffling people around from one game to the next.  People play it for awhile,  then just move on to another.  Look at the historical population announcements for MMO's,  they all fall within a certain range,  and have for nearly a decade.

Video games have been in competition with D&D since the early 1980's,  and D&D has done just fine.  In fact,  Mtg and 3rd edition lived in harmoney just fine as well. 

The hobby isn't going to collapse,  like any other product,  it has an iron core that's never going to go anywhere and is self replacing.  The product appeals to some number of people,  and as older ones exit they're replaced with newer ones.

In fact,  the hobby is actually primed to explode.  The limiting factor in RPG's acceptance has always been the rules memorization.  There's some number of people who would play,  but are turned off by the substantial amount of rules that need to be learned.  Technology is ready to provide a touch-based table top that breaks that barrier,  and it's popularity will be explosive.  (Google CMU D&D Surface for a video of a prototype).  The proper implementation will break down the limiting factor,  and the implementation of remote play for those who want it will bring back large numbers of lapsed players.  Whoever gets this done is looking at likely hundreds of millions of players,  as it also facilitates those more predisposed to CRPG's to participate.  It can easily be done such that it retains all of Pen and Paper's intricacies,  with the UI just providing guidance.

As far as Call of Cthulhu goes,  the RPG market has always been D&D with some small groups being the RPG equivalent of Hipsters and being elitist towards D&D.  Even with the 4th edition debacle,  and Pathfinder's and OSR's explosion in popularity,  the market is still just D&D as all of those are really just rebranded D&D.  So it's really no wonder that game isn't funded,  trying to compete with D&D has never been a strategy that makes significant money,  and most outright fail.

As far as WOTC interacting with the community goes,  the community has been...unpleasant for years.  The community here has been *highly* xenophobic,  and it's not somewhere you can get viable information from.  The community works *very* hard to drive out anyone who doesn't concede to their rhetoric,  limiting feedback to only a small group.  It's not usefull at all.  WOTC would have to start enforcing their rules about ad-hominem attacks,  and wait a long while,  before the community actually regained a varied enough group of participants to be usefull.   
Mtg did grab some of D&D's market,  this is true.

MMO's are largely a myth as far as being a threat to D&D.  MMO's are designed around time sinks in order to keep people playing.  They require the player be forced to perform highly repetitive actions just to increase some number by a tiny amount.  The gameplay they offer is basically hack & slash,  with virtually no narrative and no effect on the world,  because it's impossible to do with large numbers of people.  Several have tried,  and people just get really ticked off because only 1 person out of thousands gets to do something and everyone else doesn't get to perform any significant actions.

So because of this design,  the appeal of MMO's is limited to a small handfull of people.  Those with a very high tolerance for treadmills and a low tolerance for a proverbial carrot and those with a strong desire to "Defeat" other players (Usually while spewing vulgarities).  Then,  of those two groups,  it also requires monumental time investments.

So what I'm saying is:  Their appeal is limited to a very small niche,  and it isn't growing significantly. 

World of Warcraft was a generational phenomenae,  much like Team Fortress or Pokemon was before it,  and Call of Duty is today.  It succeeded not because there's a huge market,  but because for certain age groups it was what "Everyone was doing".  It hasn't been replicated,  and can't be replicated.  Once you eliminate World of Warcraft,  it's easy to see that MMO's have basically just been shuffling people around from one game to the next.  People play it for awhile,  then just move on to another.  Look at the historical population announcements for MMO's,  they all fall within a certain range,  and have for nearly a decade.

Video games have been in competition with D&D since the early 1980's,  and D&D has done just fine.  In fact,  Mtg and 3rd edition lived in harmoney just fine as well. 

The hobby isn't going to collapse,  like any other product,  it has an iron core that's never going to go anywhere and is self replacing.  The product appeals to some number of people,  and as older ones exit they're replaced with newer ones.

In fact,  the hobby is actually primed to explode.  The limiting factor in RPG's acceptance has always been the rules memorization.  There's some number of people who would play,  but are turned off by the substantial amount of rules that need to be learned.  Technology is ready to provide a touch-based table top that breaks that barrier,  and it's popularity will be explosive.  (Google CMU D&D Surface for a video of a prototype).  The proper implementation will break down the limiting factor,  and the implementation of remote play for those who want it will bring back large numbers of lapsed players.  Whoever gets this done is looking at likely hundreds of millions of players,  as it also facilitates those more predisposed to CRPG's to participate.  It can easily be done such that it retains all of Pen and Paper's intricacies,  with the UI just providing guidance.

As far as Call of Cthulhu goes,  the RPG market has always been D&D with some small groups being the RPG equivalent of Hipsters and being elitist towards D&D.  Even with the 4th edition debacle,  and Pathfinder's and OSR's explosion in popularity,  the market is still just D&D as all of those are really just rebranded D&D.  So it's really no wonder that game isn't funded,  trying to compete with D&D has never been a strategy that makes significant money,  and most outright fail.

As far as WOTC interacting with the community goes,  the community has been...unpleasant for years.  The community here has been *highly* xenophobic,  and it's not somewhere you can get viable information from.  The community works *very* hard to drive out anyone who doesn't concede to their rhetoric,  limiting feedback to only a small group.  It's not usefull at all.  WOTC would have to start enforcing their rules about ad-hominem attacks,  and wait a long while,  before the community actually regained a varied enough group of participants to be usefull.   



I completely disagree with your analyse of MMOs.  They are a threat to D&D. It's a well known fact that WoW not only absorbed a lot of role players but it hit D&D where it's most vulnerable- youth.  The renewing source that is the life blood of RPGs has dwindled. Sources for this are Ryan Dancey amongst others.  Sometimes someone who is an 'expert' at video games can waste a lot of time 'speculating' about  its impact.

Just roll with it. The switch from 3.0 to 3.5, and it was unexpected, hurt the biz in 2003.  The release of WoW in 2004 never really allowed the RPG world to recover (Ryan Dancey 2012- enworld).

Everything else you wrote cracked me up as utter nonsense.  Look, I know you think your an expert on this subject but just stop. Leave the facts to those who are in informed positions.  You know- Bill Slavicsek, Ryan Dancey...those who have seen the numbers. 
Mtg did grab some of D&D's market,  this is true.

MMO's are largely a myth as far as being a threat to D&D.  MMO's are designed around time sinks in order to keep people playing.  They require the player be forced to perform highly repetitive actions just to increase some number by a tiny amount.  The gameplay they offer is basically hack & slash,  with virtually no narrative and no effect on the world,  because it's impossible to do with large numbers of people.  Several have tried,  and people just get really ticked off because only 1 person out of thousands gets to do something and everyone else doesn't get to perform any significant actions.

So because of this design,  the appeal of MMO's is limited to a small handfull of people.  Those with a very high tolerance for treadmills and a low tolerance for a proverbial carrot and those with a strong desire to "Defeat" other players (Usually while spewing vulgarities).  Then,  of those two groups,  it also requires monumental time investments.

So what I'm saying is:  Their appeal is limited to a very small niche,  and it isn't growing significantly. 

World of Warcraft was a generational phenomenae,  much like Team Fortress or Pokemon was before it,  and Call of Duty is today.  It succeeded not because there's a huge market,  but because for certain age groups it was what "Everyone was doing".  It hasn't been replicated,  and can't be replicated.  Once you eliminate World of Warcraft,  it's easy to see that MMO's have basically just been shuffling people around from one game to the next.  People play it for awhile,  then just move on to another.  Look at the historical population announcements for MMO's,  they all fall within a certain range,  and have for nearly a decade.

Video games have been in competition with D&D since the early 1980's,  and D&D has done just fine.  In fact,  Mtg and 3rd edition lived in harmoney just fine as well. 

The hobby isn't going to collapse,  like any other product,  it has an iron core that's never going to go anywhere and is self replacing.  The product appeals to some number of people,  and as older ones exit they're replaced with newer ones.

In fact,  the hobby is actually primed to explode.  The limiting factor in RPG's acceptance has always been the rules memorization.  There's some number of people who would play,  but are turned off by the substantial amount of rules that need to be learned.  Technology is ready to provide a touch-based table top that breaks that barrier,  and it's popularity will be explosive.  (Google CMU D&D Surface for a video of a prototype).  The proper implementation will break down the limiting factor,  and the implementation of remote play for those who want it will bring back large numbers of lapsed players.  Whoever gets this done is looking at likely hundreds of millions of players,  as it also facilitates those more predisposed to CRPG's to participate.  It can easily be done such that it retains all of Pen and Paper's intricacies,  with the UI just providing guidance.

As far as Call of Cthulhu goes,  the RPG market has always been D&D with some small groups being the RPG equivalent of Hipsters and being elitist towards D&D.  Even with the 4th edition debacle,  and Pathfinder's and OSR's explosion in popularity,  the market is still just D&D as all of those are really just rebranded D&D.  So it's really no wonder that game isn't funded,  trying to compete with D&D has never been a strategy that makes significant money,  and most outright fail.

As far as WOTC interacting with the community goes,  the community has been...unpleasant for years.  The community here has been *highly* xenophobic,  and it's not somewhere you can get viable information from.  The community works *very* hard to drive out anyone who doesn't concede to their rhetoric,  limiting feedback to only a small group.  It's not usefull at all.  WOTC would have to start enforcing their rules about ad-hominem attacks,  and wait a long while,  before the community actually regained a varied enough group of participants to be usefull.   



I completely disagree with your analyse of MMOs.  They are a threat to D&D. It's a well known fact that WoW not only absorbed a lot of role players but it hit D&D where it's most vulnerable- youth.  The renewing source that is the life blood of RPGs has dwindled. Sources for this are Ryan Dancey amongst others.  Sometimes someone who is an 'expert' at video games can waste a lot of time 'speculating' about  its impact.

Just roll with it. The switch from 3.0 to 3.5, and it was unexpected, hurt the biz in 2003.  The release of WoW in 2004 never really allowed the RPG world to recover (Ryan Dancey 2012- enworld).

Everything else you wrote cracked me up as utter nonsense.  Look, I know you think your an expert on this subject but just stop. Leave the facts to those who are in informed positions.  You know- Bill Slavicsek, Ryan Dancey...those who have seen the numbers. 



1.  Learn how to do research.  Pretty much everything you've stated is wrong.

2.  Thank you for proving my point about why the developers won't interact with these boards. 
Just wanted to say you guys should check out Emerikol's ideas for how D&D should be published going into the future.
Just wanted to say you guys should check out Emerikol's ideas for how D&D should be published going into the future.




Link please.
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