The Illusion of Options: Class Design in Next

It's indicative that the current writer's guidelines talk about the character builder as "bloated" with options.  Since when are options a bad thing?  Isn't the purpose of a game like DnD to provide a framework through which players can create on their own?  If we wanted everything to be set in stone for us, it wouldn't be playing it would just be reading.  (Not that reading is bad.  I don't sit down with a novel and imagine I'm playing a game though.)


If we judge by the material they give us, it's pretty clear that the design team doesn't want players to have any freedom.  The "Essentials" showed us that with their complete gutting of the broader fourth edition's versatility.


Mearls frequently talks about letting players play the characters they want, but he's consistently undermined the systems which would make it possible.  What he really wants is to have freedom himself at the expense of the players he's supposed support.  One of the most surprising examples was when he talked about subclass design, about imagining a character and then being free to design it apart from the supposed confines of the 4e structure. 


The subclasses produced too frequently lacked both utility and versatility.  They were full of material that couldn't be integrated into any other vision, not even other builds from the same parent class, and which were themselves deprived of the options other characters possessed because the designers refused to employ any of the same building blocks.  In short, the freedom that Mearls' praised completely eliminated freedom for the player, except freedom to play his way.


The same domination is becoming increasingly apparent in Next.


On first blush it might seem the opposite is true.  For example, aren't the many specializations an example of granting freedom to the players?  Unfortunately those specializations replace both the mechanics native to classes in earlier editions and the feats which allowed the customization of those earlier classes.  They create the illusion of choice by demoting basic freedoms to optional ones.  This would be like selling someone a car and then asking them whether they would like also to purchase the optional engine and tires.


Suddenly players have to select feats to be able to attempt basic tasks, which is a way of forcing people to use feats on things that don't provide diversity.  Combined with the returned scarcity of feats, they've created a system that forces players to follow the designers increasingly narrow vision, but which hides behind the illusion of options.  In truth the only options are to play what amounts to a pre-generated character or play character that's helpless.

I'm beginning to suspect this is less of an 'opinion' thing and more of an 'I'm paid to type this stuff up' thing.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

The true test for class design will be the multiclassing rules. Before having them, it's hard to really grasp if characters have sufficient options to assemble the one you want to play.

I aknowledge the fact that some design choices in class really don't appeal to me, but it was already the case with 4E too, I couldn't dig some classes design (Hey hey shaman! Hey hey Druid!), and it was the case for every edition. You can't be 100% satisfied by design, because it's purely subjective.

Anyway, devs have to put some design of their own. They can't just make a blank system and say : here the keys to the car, there are the pieces, assemble it yourself if you want to ride. I mean, they could... but it wouldn't be D&D anymore.



Plenty of bloat is coming.  WOTC can't help themselves.  They want money.  The initial game on day one will be limited and I'll be thankful for that.  But if you think D&D will ever not be bloated going forward you are out of touch.
To answer the OP, mechanically defined options are bad when they obscure the actual options of creative play which are D&D's great strength.

Also, statements like "the design team doesn't want players to have any freedom" make you sound bonkers.
Isn't the purpose of a game like DnD to provide a framework through which players can create on their own?

This is the philosophy I've adopted for 3.5 and Pathfinder. Only content in the main book is allowed without permission, but if something else inspires you (be it a feat, spell, race, or class), then ask me (to make sure it fits the flavor of the campaign) and we can create our own. That way, there aren't going to be any broken combinations using different supplements, and we'll never have to cross-reference what an ability does, because we'll have immediate access to the Rules As Intended.

I'm hoping 5E sticks with a similar take - produce enough races/classes/feats/backgrounds in the core book that we can get a good sense of what these things look like and what is considered balanced, and then sit back so we can create our own content.

The metagame is not the game.
Plenty of bloat is coming.  WOTC can't help themselves.  They want money.  The initial game on day one will be limited and I'll be thankful for that.  But if you think D&D will ever not be bloated going forward you are out of touch.



Yup.  Not sure why some folks don't realize that 5th is about impending modularity and tons and tons of fiddly bits you can bring in.  Light core with many options really can and should make folks happy. Unless, of course, they don't wanna be.

On a semi-related note, I take issue with the OP's idea that vast reams of codified options is somehow indicative of "player freedom." The short time I spent playing 3.5, mired in feat chains and optimization made me feel shackled by the very thing that was supposed to be empowering.  Same problem with 4th, which seemed to be about power cards and sheet entries.  Something seemed to be missing for me.  It's fine if others have the need to have every character action spelled out in black and white.  I just don't want that buried in the core.
There are certain feats that are good (flavorful and fun that show character knowledge), such as Herbalism or Hide in Shadows or even Disable Trap but then there are stupid feats like Charge which insinuates that you cannot perform such an action without that feat, something that any creature that moves, preferrably with legs, should be able to do.
One hidden bright side to holding off on big piles of options is that that way more options are designed once the game is better understood, rather than designed pre-launch when that's less true.

If you look at 3.5, all of the most bustedly powerful and uselessly terrible stuff is in the PHB, because the PHB didn't have the benefit of learning from the PHB's mistakes, like later material did. (3.5 basically has two kinds of splatbook classes - those that take the PHB at its word regarding what a reasonable power level for a character of a certain archetype is (Psion, Samurai) and those that recognize that hey, the PHB was a great first shot, but it missed a little bit in terms of power level on some classes (Warblade, Beguiler).)

Similarly, 4e's PHB contains several so-called "V classes" - classes whose abilities are split across multiple primary stats. It's very, very difficult to understand why that's a weaker design without experiencing it, because it makes plenty of sense conceptually, but there's a reason that zero subsequent classes were designed as V classes, even where it makes sense. By being delayed until later books, the Bard (almost certainly), the Swordmage (probably) and the Druid (possibly) escaped the fate of being V classes, and are almost certainly better off for it. (All three ended up being "I punch you with my Cha" classes, which sound much dumber on paper but end up being superior designs for actually playing a game with.)

So it's not all bad that the options aren't necessarily all hitting at launch; that way the options have the ability to learn from what's there at the outset.
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.
Plenty of bloat is coming.  WOTC can't help themselves.  They want money.  The initial game on day one will be limited and I'll be thankful for that.  But if you think D&D will ever not be bloated going forward you are out of touch.



Yup.  Not sure why some folks don't realize that 5th is about impending modularity and tons and tons of fiddly bits you can bring in.  Light core with many options really can and should make folks happy. Unless, of course, they don't wanna be.

On a semi-related note, I take issue with the OP's idea that vast reams of codified options is somehow indicative of "player freedom." The short time I spent playing 3.5, mired in feat chains and optimization made me feel shackled by the very thing that was supposed to be empowering.  Same problem with 4th, which seemed to be about power cards and sheet entries.  Something seemed to be missing for me.  It's fine if others have the need to have every character action spelled out in black and white.  I just don't want that buried in the core.

Amen!

Also, statements like "the design team doesn't want players to have any freedom" make you sound bonkers.


As much as you and I disagree, I have to agree with this.  The design team wants $$$.  That's the gist of it.  Fortunately, the best way for them to get that fat money-cake is for them to appeal to as many playstyles as possible (i.e. options galore).

The only thing that remains to be seen is how well/poorly it's actually executed, and how well/poorly it's received.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Also, statements like "the design team doesn't want players to have any freedom" make you sound bonkers.


As much as you and I disagree, I have to agree with this.  The design team wants $$$.  That's the gist of it.  Fortunately, the best way for them to get that fat money-cake is for them to appeal to as many playstyles as possible (i.e. options galore).

The only thing that remains to be seen is how well/poorly it's actually executed, and how well/poorly it's received.


The best way for the design team to get the fat money-cake is not in the TTRPG business.

Money isn't, and can't be, the only concern, the only metric for whether or not something should be implemented.

If all they cared about were money, they wouldn't be doing what they're doing.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Also, statements like "the design team doesn't want players to have any freedom" make you sound bonkers.


As much as you and I disagree, I have to agree with this.  The design team wants $$$.  That's the gist of it.  Fortunately, the best way for them to get that fat money-cake is for them to appeal to as many playstyles as possible (i.e. options galore).

The only thing that remains to be seen is how well/poorly it's actually executed, and how well/poorly it's received.


The best way for the design team to get the fat money-cake is not in the TTRPG business.

Money isn't, and can't be, the only concern, the only metric for whether or not something should be implemented.

If all they cared about were money, they wouldn't be doing what they're doing.


Yeah, and don't think that they won't make a D&D videogame if they can get the rights back.  A D&D MMO could actually give WoW a run for its money if it were well-done.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Many have said that. 

None have succeeded.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
 WoW has got to the pint where it is popualr because it is WoW. Also in MMO people seem to play them becasue their friends are so even if they prefer other games they keep playing because of the community. 

 Pathfinder has a kickstarter for a PF online game. Seems of they are building a social/community hub and you can buy your own land and level up just by playing the game as opposed to grinding. I generally avoid MMOs like the plague but it looks interesting. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Many have said that. 

None have succeeded.


None have had the D&D brand name to back them up.

Just about the only question for me is what campaign setting would be best for it?  Eberron?  FR?  Other?  Or maybe more than one setting through various expansions?

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

The D&D brand name is not what it used to be. Pathfinder is going to beat them online before a D&DN game makes it.

 Thats is the real casualty of the edition wars. D&D used to be D&D  now is is more like d&d.

 FR probably even took a larger hit in terms of brand damage but they're bringin back Lathendar.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

The D&D brand name is not what it used to be. Pathfinder is going to beat them online before a D&DN game makes it.

 Thats is the real casualty of the edition wars. D&D used to be D&D  now is is more like d&d.

FR probably even took a larger hit in terms of brand damage but they're bringin back Lathendar.


Pathfinder cannot beat D&D because, as others have pointed out, for better or worse, Pathfinder is part of the D&D family now.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Many have said that. 

None have succeeded.


None have had the D&D brand name to back them up.

Just about the only question for me is what campaign setting would be best for it?  Eberron?  FR?  Other?  Or maybe more than one setting through various expansions?


You mean like one had the star wars, the old republic name to back it up?

Sorry, but as far as brand names go, star wars > D&D, every time.

Nevermind the fact that one of them did, actually, have the D&D brand name.  It didn't succeed either.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Many have said that. 

None have succeeded.


None have had the D&D brand name to back them up.

Just about the only question for me is what campaign setting would be best for it?  Eberron?  FR?  Other?  Or maybe more than one setting through various expansions?


You mean like one had the star wars, the old republic name to back it up?

Sorry, but as far as brand names go, star wars > D&D, every time.

Nevermind the fact that one of them did, actually, have the D&D brand name.  It didn't succeed either.


Star wars is slightly different in that it is largely a film-based franchise and not a game-based one.  As such, there may well be many fans of star wars that are perfectly willing to spend a few hours watching a film but may balk at spending far more time than that playing make-believe.  By contrast, D&D has always been largely game-based.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Nevermind the fact that one of them did, actually, have the D&D brand name.  It didn't succeed either.


If you're talking about DDO, I never said that any PoS could be thrown out there and would be eaten up.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

 Nopes in the 90's D&D novels (FR/Dragonance) were propping TSR up. Probably bought TSR an extra couple of years.  They were making more money than the RPG apparently. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Star wars is slightly different in that it is largely a film-based franchise and not a game-based one.


You're kidding, right?  The Star Wars game history is particularly strong, stronger even than the movies in many regards.  In the specific case of the MMO, they had the two Knights of the Old Republic games being direct predecessors, both of which were massive successes and incredibly popular among both fans and critics.

And yes, DDO happened, and was crap.  Yes yes yes, I've heard it all the time:  "if they just released XYZ and didn't do a crappy job, it could compete!"

As I said, haven't seen it happen yet.  Many have tried, many in far, far better position to succeed than D&D would ever be.  It's not nearly so simple as you seem to believe.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
 Nopes in the 90's D&D novels (FR/Dragonance) were propping TSR up. Probably bought TSR an extra couple of years.  They were making more money than the RPG apparently. 


Buying TSR an extra couple of years does not make the D&D brand not game-centric.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

 Just saying that the novels were being sold to non gamers and were making more money than the RPG.  Popular crossover appeal .

  In hindsight it probably shows why 2nd ed bloated with setting and fluff type books before things started going down hill around 94/95. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

It's not nearly so simple as you seem to believe.


As someone with absolutely zero computer programming skill, I in no way think it would be easy.  The game would absolutely have to be well done.  I think we both 100% agree on that.  I also think that such a thing probably isn't easy to do (though with my lack of programming knowledge, I could be thinking that it's harder than it is).  The biggest difficulty is probably the marketing end.  And D&D has done a particularly good job of marketing itself.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I think DDO was a nice game.  I think WoW is entrenched.  The only way WoW could screw up is to have a 4e moment like D&D did and split their fanbase.

DDO is a lot better than most mmos at having interesting dungeons.  There are no get seven rat pelts type adventures. 
 Just saying that the novels were being sold to non gamers and were making more money than the RPG.  Popular crossover appeal.

In hindsight it probably shows why 2nd ed bloated with setting and fluff type books before things started going down hill around 94/95. 


Can't argue with the novels.  I'm sure some of them were probably crap, but all the Ravenloft novels I bought were very nice.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I think DDO was a nice game.  I think WoW is entrenched.  The only way WoW could screw up is to have a 4e moment like D&D did and split their fanbase.

DDO is a lot better than most mmos at having interesting dungeons.  There are no get seven rat pelts type adventures. 


There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Bit picky Mecha. I think even te most raving 4venger here will admit 4th ed split the fanbase.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Bit picky Mecha. I think even the most raving 4venger here will admit 4th ed split the fanbase.


Every edition splits the fanbase.  Just like every shake-up of FR does.  I'm sure there are some Ravenloft fans who think the Grand Conjunction destroyed Ravenloft too.  I'm just getting sick of 4e being singled out for something that every edition does.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

There are certain feats that are good (flavorful and fun that show character knowledge), such as Herbalism or Hide in Shadows or even Disable Trap but then there are stupid feats like Charge which insinuates that you cannot perform such an action without that feat, something that any creature that moves, preferrably with legs, should be able to do.



To be fair to poor little Charge, you use it as an action. Taking it as it's written, I'd allow a move and a charge.
It is a difference of scale though Mecha. The majority of the players followed 2nd ed from 1st and from 2nd to 3rd. 2001 was one of the peaks in D&Ds existence.

 Seems clear the majority did not go to 4th or at least did not stay. It like comparing a border skirmish to WW2. If you want to blame essetials or the OGl is irrelevent and 4th ed was beaten by a retroclone  the catalyst of which was 4th eds mere existence. 4th ed FR more or less killed FR rather than shake it up. Go have a look at the FR forums. They were not that dead in 2006.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

It is a difference of scale though Mecha. The majority of the players follwed 2nd ed from 1st and from 2nd to 3rd.

 Seems clear the majority did not go to 4th or at least did not stay. It like comparing a border skirmish to WW2. If you want to blame essetials or the OGl is irrelevent and 4th ed was beaten by a retroclone  the catalyst of which was 4th eds mere existence. 


I'll agree with you about 1st to second, but there was a LOT of hate from 2e to 3e.  If there was as much carryover as you're now claiming, the retroclones wouldn't be even close tothe numbers that you claim they're at.  And yeah, 4e was a big split.  That's at least in no small part because there was more than one change (not just edition change, but the spellplague as well).  So you could say there was a double split (one based on the game and one based on FR).

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Nevermind the fact that one of them did, actually, have the D&D brand name.  It didn't succeed either.


If you're talking about DDO, I never said that any PoS could be thrown out there and would be eaten up.



DDO was actually pretty original. It had traps that could kill you, instanced dungeons (one of the first to do it), it had flavorful uses of magic like feather fall. It implemented the skills in a decent way where the swim skill actually helped you swim and the jump skill actually helped you jumpt etc...etc...

The part that fell down was that after a certain level you have to pay to play also known as Fee to Play. Not that there is anything wrong with paying to play a game, but it was implemented poorly. Not only that it was a grind fest. If they had quests that were more organic feeling like the ones in Baldur's Gate (PC) and Neverwinter Nights (PC) then it would have been a much greater success.

Now the new Neverwinter MMO is basically a standard MMO with a few D&Disms tacked on afterward. It has the main stats, but then it also has weird junk like deflection points, thousands of hit points, powers that recharge on a timer and other powers that build up. At least DDO stuck to the model that you would run out during an adventure and had to find a safe place to rest (shrine). In the Neverwinter MMO you literally just stand there for 5 seconds and your 'encounter' powers refresh multiple times during an encounter. In other words standard MMO tripe. The only saving grace is that it has the Forge where players can make their own adventures using the tools. So that you can actually make a conversation driven murder mystery or a political game or whatever instead of a boring dungeon crawl like most of the standard quests. So the Neverwinter MMO could turn out to be huge if the Forge is a hit and imaginative players make interesting dungeons...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.
They can't tell the difference between a tempest in a tea pot and a tidal wave.   

D&D has never experienced the kid of civil war that occurred with the arrival of 4e.  Nothing even close. That there are still deniers out there that can't accept this is sad.

 
They can't tell the difference between a tempest in a tea pot and a tidal wave.   

D&D has never experienced the kid of civil war that occurred with the arrival of 4e.  Nothing even close. That there are still deniers out there that can't accept this is sad.


Actually, we can.  We're just not inclined to blow everything up like it's the end of the world.  You know, like you did when Monte Cook left, and when the survey results came out that said a lot of players want some kind of self healing mechanic.  You have a history of knee-jerk overreaction, so excuse me if I don't see part of the family having their own Thanksgiving dinner as a civil war.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

It's not nearly so simple as you seem to believe.


As someone with absolutely zero computer programming skill, I in no way think it would be easy.  The game would absolutely have to be well done.  I think we both 100% agree on that.  I also think that such a thing probably isn't easy to do (though with my lack of programming knowledge, I could be thinking that it's harder than it is).  The biggest difficulty is probably the marketing end.  And D&D has done a particularly good job of marketing itself.



As a programmer I can tell you its not as hard as they make it out to be. All the 3D work has been prototyped and the best methods to implement have been found already.

The hard part is the design side. If they took the game and instead of trying to format it to be a standard MMO they instead decided to make a new kind of MMO that has never been tried before that emulated D&D to a greater degree then they might be able to pull something off...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.
I think DDO was a nice game.  I think WoW is entrenched.  The only way WoW could screw up is to have a 4e moment like D&D did and split their fanbase.


They've done that about a dozen times already.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Mearls is obviously biased towards the "old-school". I think it's his personal preference. If Mearls were to retire from WotC tomorrow, in a few weeks, when you find him playing a game of D&D, it would be an older edition.

I personally think this tends to skew his vision, but that's easy for me to say - perhaps my preference for more recent editions skews mine, as much as I like to say that I view rules without the filter of edition and weigh them only one their worth.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

DDO was actually pretty original. It had traps that could kill you, instanced dungeons (one of the first to do it), it had flavorful uses of magic like feather fall.


I'm not clear on how this qualifies as original.  WoW had instanced dungeons and yes, even, Feather Fall.  A year and a half before DDO released.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition