When will the next D&D come out?

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If you don't know, when do you think it will come out?

Do you think it will earn more respect than D&D 4e?
If you don't know, when do you think it will come out?


No one really knows for certain.  There is speculation about timing for conventions and such, but it's all just speculation.

Do you think it will earn more respect than D&D 4e?


Oh, this won't end well.
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Most people are assuming it will be out for GenCon in mid august.
Personally I think it could use more polishing than we will get in that ammount of time, especially with major system and class changes on the horizon.
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RPGs are getting more popular, and whenever something gets more popular, it inevitably changes, usually becoming more palatable to the masses. Nintendo is the perfect example. In the old days their games coined the term "Nintendo hard" to extend play time, but they knew their fans were dedicated enough to play anyway. Now they mostly make stuff a five year old can master. That's not necessarily bad, though. Most of those old Nintendo games were infuriating. Likewise, a lot of old RPGs were too complex and irritating for the average person to really get into. Rules light systems are going to get more popular as more people enter the hobby, simply because the new people aren't bound by nostalgia, and would rather play something easy and fun than something that takes a huge amount of effort to learn.
Most people are assuming it will be out for GenCon in mid august.
Personally I think it could use more polishing than we will get in that ammount of time, especially with major system and class changes on the horizon.



surely you don't mean this year's gencon. no one is assuming that. even next year's gencon is a little optimistic at this point.
Most people are assuming it will be out for GenCon in mid august.
Personally I think it could use more polishing than we will get in that ammount of time, especially with major system and class changes on the horizon.



surely you don't mean this year's gencon. no one is assuming that. even next year's gencon is a little optimistic at this point.



I really hope they take their time with this and try to get it right from the get go, and actually what I would love for them to do once the playtest is finished is do like Fantasy Flight games has done for the new Stars Wars game they are working on and do what Paizo did for Pathfinder and published a fully finished beta version and have that out on the market for a year or so and get feedback from the gaming community from that, because even with the playtesting going on there are going to be things that are not picked up until a broader audience gets a hold of it, because they are many long time gamers that I know of who are even DnD Insider subscribers but don't really participate due to family obligations, jobs, etc in the playtest and just want to run their own games.  As one guy I know said, "I love 4E and I have been gaming since 1E.  I am willing to give 5E a try but I don't have the patience for all the back and forth rules changes and stuff I want get my hands on a finished product, test it hard and see if I like it."  So, I think this guy would be more open to a beta release type deal.

I know this is optimistic as I am sure Hasbro has a firm deadline set already in mind, and I am thinking it will be next year's Gen Con, but still if they did do this it would be good.  I also think this won't happen though, because right now from a brand standpoint what is DnD really producing to make money other than DnD Insider subscriptions (this is the only reason Pathfinder is beating WOTC in terms of RPG book sales: WOTC hasn't really released a game supplement for DnD in good while, at least a  year if not close to it). So, I don't think they will wait as long as I want them to because bad or good the initial release of DnD Next will sale just because of curiosity if nothing else.
If you don't know, when do you think it will come out?
They said they had planned for a 2-years playtest process, which started internally in January 2012. This means it would run until January 2014 and then leave them 7 months to polish, print and distribute to be ready for a August 2014 release if Gen Con is the target as many suspect. What i believe is that if we don't get full release at Gen Con 2014, we'll get at least an exclusive limited release. I doubt it will be released in 2015 though. 

Do you think it will earn more respect than D&D 4e?
I think the next iteration of Dungeons & Dragons will endure less disrespect than 4E did.

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If someone where taking bets, I'd say August 2014 at Gen Con.
If you don't know, when do you think it will come out?
They said they had planned for a 2-years playtest process, which started internally in January 2012. This means it would run until January 2014 and then leave them 7 months to polish, print and distribute to be ready for a August 2014 release if Gen Con is the target as many suspect.


Except printing can take 3-6 months, so they'll have to finished by late February to get it out for GenCon.
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I imagine they're thinking late 2014. I think they're prefer before GenCon so they can release something else at the Con. But failing that they can release the Core rules at the Con. And failing that they can release in the fall to have the books in stores before Christmas. 
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My guess would be May/June 2014. Early summer seems to be the time the marketing folk seem to like to release things. I guess it coincides with summer holidays and stuff.

Certainly looking forward to the release regardless!
I'm thinking release for Christmas 2014, with some "preview" books available at GenCon 2014. I expect some preview books, and if they're going to release Next into the wild at GenCon next year, those should be being written now. 

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I agree with Emerikol. My bet is August 2014.  We'll probably see a a preview/beta version by August so that they can sell it at this year's Gencon, or November by the latest, so they can sell it for Christmas. My opinion is that success will be determined by whether or not they do an SRD/OGL, and whether or not they do a good job of print on demand publishing.

If they create an SRD/OGL then most 3rd party publishers will want to get on board the gravy train and will take a crack at their version of 5E suppliments, which will drive up 5E sales in general.  It will also engender a lot of good will from armchair homebrew types (like me) who spend an inordinate amount of time online in forums and social media. 

And the buzz from 5E will generate a lot of naustalgia, which will lead to increased demand for previous editions.  If WotC just prints these editions themselves, they can make more money.  Otherwise, they just drive up Ebay prices and demand for 3rd party publishers who still print stuff for their preferred edition.
At this point in time, I'm hoping they delay until GenCon 2016 (the 50th anniversary of the Con) instead of GenCon 2014 (the 40th Anniversary of D&D) simply because the game looks no-where close to ready, and the next packet is supposed to contain some major changes that many will want to heavily test before release.

When the playtest came out, they 'anticipated' a 2 year playtest run, but at the same time, assured players/dms that they would take the time it takes to get it right and thus did not want to put forth an anticipated release schedule (and they have been sticking to that pretty strongly)

D&D sales figures have been maintained of late with the re-release of older edition material in both book and pdf form, and thus they are under less of a stress to get something onto the shelves right away.

One thing they need to avoid as much as possible is going the OGL route again. 3e proved that was a major cash killer for the company as they basically set themselves up to compete with their own product, thus reducing their product stability. Yes, the market was flooded with 3.x products, but overall, the majority of those sales ended up being the bulk of 3rd party publishers, which WotC didn't get any royalties from because of the nature of the OGL in the first place. Because of the sales goals levied on the success of the D&D product line by HASBRO, it is even more important now than ever before that the product be put forth by WotC or be licensed through WotC instead of with an Open License, so that 3rd party royalties can justify the open market support. Either way, the expected revenue that HASBRO seems to want from major product lines is going to be a hard nut to crack, and just like 3e and 4e, i don't see 5e making that number consistently (maybe in the first year of sales, but then it will taper off, as the 'bright and shiny' aspect wears off)

both 3e and 4e were profitable products, in their own rights, and for any other problisher, their sales would have been more than enough to justify their continuation (although the level of bloat in 3.x pretty much would have meant a new edition anyway, and the overall negative reaction to Essentials may have necessitated 4e going back to Pre-Essentials for higher sales success) but HASBRO wants to see a 50 Million profit margin, and for a nitch game like D&D, that is not very likely sustainable, while keeping the overall playability up. Lets face it, the major joy of a game like D&D is that you buy the books once, then you have millions of hours of different types of games, without ever having to buy another suppliment. Many do purchase suppliments, but they aren't required, if the game is well designed in the first place, which kind of runs counter-productive for HASBRO's sales model.

Will 5e get more respect than 4e...that depends on the final product. 4e had a lot of prejudices even before it hit the shelves, and its on paper impression was a little offputting, but most of those who actually picked it up and played it with an open mind found it to be a superior product, in my experience at least. YMMV 
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If you don't know, when do you think it will come out?



It will definitely come out in 2014, and this has been stated on numerous occasions. They have even went back and said multiple times "It will NOT come out in 2013". There is a small group of people who are convinced it will come out in 2013. I used to search for the threads and articles where they were abundantly clear, in no uncertain terms, stating D&D Next will come out in 2014 and not 2013, yet most of these people would still believe 2013 anyways so I quit wasting my time finding the articles/threads and posting them. They are there if you need confirmation. Beyond this, no clue when. GenCon sounds good, but I would hope earlier.

Do you think it will earn more respect than D&D 4e?


Definitely. My group and I are of the crowd that loved every edition up to 4th, and do not play 4th (not our thang). We've all played in the D&D Next playtest and are convinced we will love this edition too and adopt it's rules when it's released. 
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They outright stated a while back that it's not coming out in 2013 (which is increasingly obvious anyway by this point). My guess personally is Spring 2014 at the earliest, with late 2014 more likely and 2015 certainly on the table.

Part of it is that it's hard to know whether it makes sense to assume that Next's development will take as long as most TTRPGs would to take together from where it is at this point (in which case very early 2014 would probably be a good guess, maybe adding on a bit for the fact that D&D books are art-dense and Next's modularity makes it extra ambitious), or whether Next's will continue to come together as slowly as it appears to be coming together up to this point, in which case it'll probably hit somewhere between 2015 and the heat death of the universe.

In reality, it's probably somewhere in between; Next's design process is clearly more drawn out that that of most TTRPGs, but I have to imagine that it'll eventually start to come together more rapidly than it appears to have been coming together so far. (Another possibility is that it is coming together much more rapidly than it appears to be.)

Final answer: August 2014?

-------------------------------

For mostly pointless reference:
3e was released in August.
3.5 was released in July.
4e was released in June.
The first 4e Essentials book was released in September
Pathfinder was released in August.
The first NWOD books were released in August. 
HERO 6th was released in Mid-late Autumn, depending on how you count.
GURPS 4th was released in August.

Those are literally just the first recent-ish TTRPGs with major publishers that I thought of. (I wouldn't be surprised if smaller publisher release dates are more scattershot and guy-making-a-pdf-in-his-spare-time releases are even more so.) While Next is certainly not required to operate on the same scale as anything else, the industry as a whole seems to have a preference for launching standalone products in a fairly tight window around August. Additionally, the Wizards guys who work on Magic have stated that school-year and holiday concerns make it so that it makes sense for their large-set releases to be in October. (In many of the countries they market in, including the U.S., school runs from around September to around June, and the major holiday gift season runs from late November to late December.)
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If you don't know, when do you think it will come out?



Late (Aug.+) 2014 would be my bet.


Do you think it will earn more respect than D&D 4e?



Well, it's allready got 1 point in its favor - it's NOT 4e.

Beyond that?  Who knows.
If someone where taking bets, I'd say August 2014 at Gen Con.



Agreed. "IT'S THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF D&D!!!" they will proclaim. It'll be very good or marketing, in the very least. Whether it will actually mean they had enough time to make the game anything beyond a cash-in is up for debate and remains to be seen.
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I would expect a GenCon 2014 product (or precon launch).  I would than expect a roadmap of follow up books, leading into GenCon 2015.  I for one am looking forward to / hoping that a box set for FR is released sometime in 2014!
... but HASBRO wants to see a 50 Million profit margin, and for a nitch game like D&D, that is not very likely sustainable,.... 

Especially with very few alternative revenue streams.

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I don't know when and frankly the farther away the more time for them to fix the rather glaring problems with this game.

As for respect, I think there are many people who will support it because it brings back all the sacred cows 4e killed to provide a superior game. However I doubt it will end well because the people who liked 4e because it wiped out those sacred cows will abandon the brand when 5e releases. Wizards will be in the same boat they started in, a horribly split fanbase. ONly now they will be facing even more competition, as DnD's hold on the top spot for classic dungeon crawling TTRPGs weakens more and more competitors are coming out of the woodwork, including games made by former Wizards devs who were there for 3e and/or pre-essentials 4e and acually know how to make games. Furthermore they'll be trying to appeal to the sector of the fanbase that has already suffered losses. I don't think a ton of the Pathfinder fans are gonna be really impressed with 5e given what we've seen so far, so I doubt they'll come swarming back in droves. 

While I think a big spike will occur as people pick up the 3 core books, I just don't think 5e as it stands will sustain itself any better than essentials did. 

At which point wizards will likely be relying on it's reprints of older books and PDF versions of older material in order to bring in money under the DnD franchise.

I don't know well that will work and eventually the well will run dry.

The devs made one huge mistake with 5e as far as I can see, they tried to go backwards. Instead of pushing forward and fixing the issues with 4e, like 4e did with 3e, they've thrown all they learned since the release of 3.0 out a 40 story window.

Which means we'll see the cycle repeated, and can only hope the 7e devs don't toss the baby with the bathwater.
Oh, come on, 4e is the blacksheep of D&D editions, and D&D Next is being marked as a direct responde to "everything that was lost during 4e". At the very least, this should endeavor some sympathy with everyone who stomped on 4e during its 4-5 year run :P.

All this points out for an edition that will receive much more respect than 4e. If D&DN manages to "fail", it'll probably be just because Paizo's fans may not choose to migrate to the new D&D. Even then, even if people consider it inferior to "Pathfinder", most of the D&D fanbase will agree that, "at least, this is Dungeons & Dragons as it should be", since that was the main concern of the designers.

I don't think 4e fans will call D&DN "not D&D". But 4e will still be called "not-D&D" by 4e haters. I also hope that 4e fans, if they don't like D&DN, will simply reject it and keep playing what they like, instead of shouting hatred through the forums for years on end.

So, no, even if 5e is an abysmal failure (and that is far from an accurate prediction at this point), it will still garner more respect than 4e! .
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Why would it there's nothing to respect.

It;s inferior to 3.0.

It's thrown everything they learned to the curb.

Just because it's revived the sacred cows doesn't mean it's implemented them half was well as they were done in the past.

It's all the flaws of 3e, magnified. Armor is a joke, Dex is king, the mages are more uber than ever since no one gets save bonuses and they only have to prep spells per level instead of individual spells, and the fighter's big schtick has been reduced to +1d6 on four rolls per fight.

It's like if they took a few of the 3.0 design notes and tried to pass them off as a complete game.

I mean at least 3e was trying to be a decent game.

Parker brothers wouldn't publish this mess. 
Hopefully a long time but as the playtest keep coming out with extremeley insane copy pastings from wholy different systems I have decided the whole things a sham a shell game to build hype. I think they are already well into building another game entireley. Whatever it is you can be sure it will be rushed out well before it's ready, and they will stupidly decide to include a module in each book that will make it explode if you take it anywhere near a computer scanner or some other such horible marketing decision to stop Pirates.
My guess is they will announce the release date at Gencon 2014, but I don't think it will be ready for then.
You got to respect anyone who uses a Lord of the Rings eagle as his/her avatar!

While I think Next is not for me as well, Rampant, I think that maybe you understimate the value of "nostalgia"... :P

Things could work out for Next yet, even if the system is riddled with flaws...
Are you threatening me master jedi? Dungeons & Dragons 4e Classic - The Dark Edition
1 more for gencon 2014 as their early date.

With november 2014 (in time for christmass) as the late date.

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F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.


You got to respect anyone who uses a Lord of the Rings eagle as his/her avatar!

While I think Next is not for me as well, Rampant, I think that maybe you understimate the value of "nostalgia"... :P

Things could work out for Next yet, even if the system is riddled with flaws...

lol thanks. Actually, the lord of eagle's name is 'Gwaihir' , but I changed it up a bit because that was taken.

I don't think its just nostalgia... I don't know what it is but d20 just 'works' and no matter how many role-playing games me and my group tries, we always eventually come back to some edition of D&D.

- - -

I really don't think we can use the current playtest packet (or previous) as an indication to what the final product of D&D Next will look like in . Were basically guinea pigs right now to test out all sorts of stuff (some of which they already suspect players don't like)... eventually WOTC will cobble together all their playtest feedback and give us a good product.

Lets face is, 3rd edition and 4th edition, despite their issues (depending on your playstyle) were good quality products, there's no doubt about that. I have no doubt that D&D Next will as well... were all just hoping it will appeal to our own personal preference... its why their modular approach is so critical to their success.
I don't know when and frankly the farther away the more time for them to fix the rather glaring problems with this game.

As for respect, I think there are many people who will support it because it brings back all the sacred cows 4e killed to provide a superior game. However I doubt it will end well because the people who liked 4e because it wiped out those sacred cows will abandon the brand when 5e releases. Wizards will be in the same boat they started in, a horribly split fanbase. ONly now they will be facing even more competition, as DnD's hold on the top spot for classic dungeon crawling TTRPGs weakens more and more competitors are coming out of the woodwork, including games made by former Wizards devs who were there for 3e and/or pre-essentials 4e and acually know how to make games. Furthermore they'll be trying to appeal to the sector of the fanbase that has already suffered losses. I don't think a ton of the Pathfinder fans are gonna be really impressed with 5e given what we've seen so far, so I doubt they'll come swarming back in droves.


Here's the thing, they're already facing a split fanbase. It doesn't get more split then when half your former audience goes to the competitor.

So they have two options. They can move "forward" (direction being relative depending on which side of the split you're on), keep the sweeping changes of 4e and hope it maintains those fans (instead of losing them as they continue to play 4e) and make up the difference in new fans. Or they can go retro and try and recapture lost fans and lapsed fans who may not have played in some time (but are increasingly likely to ave adult children). The difference is one option means capturing a theoretical audience that might not exist; WotC doesn't know if they can attract waves of new players (and has been trying to do this and failing for half-a-decade). But grognards exist. And right now they're supporting the competitors. 

Now, given the peaks of the game were during 1e and 3e with the former being significantly larger. The game likely has more lapsed fans than bought 4e at its peak. They could likely lose evey single ardent 4e fan but if they bring back two-thirds of lapsed players the game will be a huge smash.
And not every 4e fans wants the same thing. Many will be happy with 5e. It retains the simple DMing and there's still lots of time to balance individual powers and make the classes balanced against each other. And there are still ways of adding tactical combat.
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I wonder if August 2014 might be too late. 
It's the 40th anniversary so D&D will be in the news - and not just on the online-only blogs of news sources - and WotC cannot control when those stories come out.  And when people are reminded if the game, there needs to a product on the shelves. It cannot just be "we have something coming out soon, check back in 4 months." The later in the year it comes out the more sales they risk losing. 
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I don't know when and frankly the farther away the more time for them to fix the rather glaring problems with this game.

As for respect, I think there are many people who will support it because it brings back all the sacred cows 4e killed to provide a superior game. However I doubt it will end well because the people who liked 4e because it wiped out those sacred cows will abandon the brand when 5e releases. Wizards will be in the same boat they started in, a horribly split fanbase. ONly now they will be facing even more competition, as DnD's hold on the top spot for classic dungeon crawling TTRPGs weakens more and more competitors are coming out of the woodwork, including games made by former Wizards devs who were there for 3e and/or pre-essentials 4e and acually know how to make games. Furthermore they'll be trying to appeal to the sector of the fanbase that has already suffered losses. I don't think a ton of the Pathfinder fans are gonna be really impressed with 5e given what we've seen so far, so I doubt they'll come swarming back in droves.


Here's the thing, they're already facing a split fanbase. It doesn't get more split then when half your former audience goes to the competitor.

So they have two options. They can move "forward" (direction being relative depending on which side of the split you're on), keep the sweeping changes of 4e and hope it maintains those fans (instead of losing them as they continue to play 4e) and make up the difference in new fans. Or they can go retro and try and recapture lost fans and lapsed fans who may not have played in some time (but are increasingly likely to ave adult children). The difference is one option means capturing a theoretical audience that might not exist; WotC doesn't know if they can attract waves of new players (and has been trying to do this and failing for half-a-decade). But grognards exist. And right now they're supporting the competitors. 

Now, given the peaks of the game were during 1e and 3e with the former being significantly larger. The game likely has more lapsed fans than bought 4e at its peak. They could likely lose evey single ardent 4e fan but if they bring back two-thirds of lapsed players the game will be a huge smash.
And not every 4e fans wants the same thing. Many will be happy with 5e. It retains the simple DMing and there's still lots of time to balance individual powers and make the classes balanced against each other. And there are still ways of adding tactical combat.



Good points.  I agree.

I might add that they might also believe that a retro approach is every bit as likely to draw in new players as continuing with what they had as an approach.   So in fact they are going after those lapsed players and still shooting for future players too.   I reject the notion that 4e is any better rpg intro than BECMI is.

 
I don't know when and frankly the farther away the more time for them to fix the rather glaring problems with this game.

As for respect, I think there are many people who will support it because it brings back all the sacred cows 4e killed to provide a superior game. However I doubt it will end well because the people who liked 4e because it wiped out those sacred cows will abandon the brand when 5e releases. Wizards will be in the same boat they started in, a horribly split fanbase. ONly now they will be facing even more competition, as DnD's hold on the top spot for classic dungeon crawling TTRPGs weakens more and more competitors are coming out of the woodwork, including games made by former Wizards devs who were there for 3e and/or pre-essentials 4e and acually know how to make games. Furthermore they'll be trying to appeal to the sector of the fanbase that has already suffered losses. I don't think a ton of the Pathfinder fans are gonna be really impressed with 5e given what we've seen so far, so I doubt they'll come swarming back in droves.


Here's the thing, they're already facing a split fanbase. It doesn't get more split then when half your former audience goes to the competitor.

So they have two options. They can move "forward" (direction being relative depending on which side of the split you're on), keep the sweeping changes of 4e and hope it maintains those fans (instead of losing them as they continue to play 4e) and make up the difference in new fans. Or they can go retro and try and recapture lost fans and lapsed fans who may not have played in some time (but are increasingly likely to ave adult children). The difference is one option means capturing a theoretical audience that might not exist; WotC doesn't know if they can attract waves of new players (and has been trying to do this and failing for half-a-decade). But grognards exist. And right now they're supporting the competitors. 

Now, given the peaks of the game were during 1e and 3e with the former being significantly larger. The game likely has more lapsed fans than bought 4e at its peak. They could likely lose evey single ardent 4e fan but if they bring back two-thirds of lapsed players the game will be a huge smash.
And not every 4e fans wants the same thing. Many will be happy with 5e. It retains the simple DMing and there's still lots of time to balance individual powers and make the classes balanced against each other. And there are still ways of adding tactical combat.



Good points.  I agree.

I might add that they might also believe that a retro approach is every bit as likely to draw in new players as continuing with what they had as an approach.   So in fact they are going after those lapsed players and still shooting for future players too.   I reject the notion that 4e is any better rpg intro than BECMI is.


Agreed. 
The can get new players either way. And regardless of what they do they'll only attract a portion of the 4e audience, because even if it's 4e+ many will be happy with the content they already have. But they can only get the grognards with a retro game. 

Plus 4e's pretty darn solid and there's enough content for years of gaming still. The 4vengers are set for many years. Attracting an audience that is happy with the content they already have is tricky at best.
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Lets face is, 3rd edition and 4th edition, despite their issues (depending on your playstyle) were good quality products, there's no doubt about that. I have no doubt that D&D Next will as well... were all just hoping it will appeal to our own personal preference... its why their modular approach is so critical to their success.



Ah, if only 4th received as much credit (good quality product) as you give her! ^^

And well, despite Next's claims of modularity, I'm far beyond the point where I expect 5e to contemplate my gaming style - its has proven, each month, that the perspectives I like in a RPG are secondary at best . By now, I fully expect 5e not be an edition of D&D I'll like! ^^

And yes, nothing is set on stone yet, but the writing on the wall is not looking good for 4e fans .

---

Now, given the peaks of the game were during 1e and 3e with the former being significantly larger. The game likely has more lapsed fans than bought 4e at its peak. They could likely lose evey single ardent 4e fan but if they bring back two-thirds of lapsed players the game will be a huge smash.
And not every 4e fans wants the same thing. Many will be happy with 5e. It retains the simple DMing and there's still lots of time to balance individual powers and make the classes balanced against each other. And there are still ways of adding tactical combat.

---

The can get new players either way. And regardless of what they do they'll only attract a portion of the 4e audience, because even if it's 4e+ many will be happy with the content they already have. But they can only get the grognards with a retro game. 

Plus 4e's pretty darn solid and there's enough content for years of gaming still. The 4vengers are set for many years. Attracting an audience that is happy with the content they already have is tricky at best.



Good points.  I agree.

I might add that they might also believe that a retro approach is every bit as likely to draw in new players as continuing with what they had as an approach.   So in fact they are going after those lapsed players and still shooting for future players too.   I reject the notion that 4e is any better rpg intro than BECMI is.



Interesting points, though I'd tend to disagree to a greater and lesser degree with various notions here.

For starter, I don't know if losing the entire 4e fanbase would be compensanted by bringing back two-thirds of lapsed players. Perhaps you're right Jester - I think that many fans of 4e who were "burned" by WoTC probably have already move on to other things, or are planning to do so. It seems to me that the 4e fanbase today is much smaller than it was back in 2009, 2010...

I'm also not that optimistic about 5e being able to incorporate some of 4th edition's principles . 4e was all about making the game work, with no regard for a "simulationist" mindset. 5e on the other hand is all about "feeling like D&D", that translates to "emulating older editions" and thus returning to a more "simulationist mindset" that I was glad to see gone . I don't think that this "mindset" will be easy to shake off .

---

I also feel that 4e would have greatly benefited from more books! ^^ A DMG 3 focusing on epic content would be great, as would a new Monster Vault focused in this tier. Also, more optional content would have been great - the Unearthed Arcana articles barely scrape at this content and a book like Pathfinder's recent Ultimate Campaign should be mandatory to any D&D edition. You seem to think that there were no more waters to tread in 4e - I disagree... To some extent, that's a feeling many fans of 4e probably share .

You are also counting on people who have been playing retroclones and spin-offs on migrating to D&D Next. I think that it is clear that if Next manages to grab the D&D players who are playing 1e-3e it will be an astouding success. The big question is if it will be able to achieve such a feat - will the players of Castle & Crusades, Dungeon World, Dungeon Crawl Clasics, Pathfinder, etc all migrate to Next if it simply offer the experience they already have with the "D&D logo"?

That's still in doubt - at least to me. I'm sure the core books will sell well, and if they manage to "disantangle" the Realms, that could be all the PR they need to make people flock to 5e. But I wouldn't count on it being a "granted" thing. Hoping that enough people who have been away from WotC for X years will return if they provide them with an "official D&D retroclone" is also a gamble all on its own...

---

I find that notion about beginners of your pretty interesting Emerikol! I find it hard to define what would be the "best RPG into", that's something that can be difficult to gauge, specially if you take into account very different preferences and begginers aren't "neutral" on their preferences. Using the RPGs I'm currently invested in, I could see some of my "non-RPG friends" being better served by first playing FATE and others having a better experience if they first played 4e.

In that vein, I have no doubt BCMI could be a better introduction to RPGs to a subset of people. By that same token, I can easily see how D&D 4 could be a terrible introduction to another subset of people.

Discovering what kind of RPG would serve as a "good introduction" to the hobby and/or D&D can be a very hard thing. I'd only veer towards modern RPGs being a "better introduction to beginners" because some of them have been designed with this in mind, and are much closer to their current publics than later editions could ever hope to be. For example, back in 2008, I thought 4e was a great introduction to RPGs. By 2030, I'd probably not hold the same opinion...

Of course, that's in no way a rule - in some cases, an older system might achieve a much better "sync" with current generations than contemporary systems, but I think the opposite is more often true than not :P.

In this regard, seeing that the designers are very worried about making 5e a good "beginner experience", I'd say that even with the "old school vibe" in it, It'll probably be a decent introduction to RPGs...
Are you threatening me master jedi? Dungeons & Dragons 4e Classic - The Dark Edition
YOu know why DnD has trouble attracting new players?

THEY DON'T ADVERTISE!

I'm serious I've been in this hobby since 3.0 released and I never saw one tv commercial.

The only adds for DnD stuff I ever see are on places people who already play RPGs go, rpg.net, drivethrurpg, paizo, Dragon and dungeon magazines, I'm serious no one in the RPG biz advertizes outside the rpg zones. Targeted advertisement is one thing but this is rediculous.

The one time I saw an RPG advertised outside a gaming website, or shop, I bought it up soley because they showed the chutzpah to do a little smart advertizing. Never regretted it either, It's the absolutely lovely Tephra game for the clockwork system. They advertised a steam punk game with a heavy crafting focus on the website for the girl genius webcomic.

Seriously this should not be novel behavior for gaming companies.

Hasbro is a master of advertising, if there's one good thing that could come from the corporate takeeover it should be a better advertising campaign. Seriously, a half-decent cartoon on the hub right after My Little pony and/or transformers prime, plus a few commercials and a poster or two at all their major distribution centers and you're golden.
I wonder if August 2014 might be too late. 
It's the 40th anniversary so D&D will be in the news - and not just on the online-only blogs of news sources - and WotC cannot control when those stories come out.  And when people are reminded if the game, there needs to a product on the shelves. It cannot just be "we have something coming out soon, check back in 4 months." The later in the year it comes out the more sales they risk losing. 

I still think that summer of 2014 is the date and that most articles next year discussing the anniversary will mention 5e; if nothing else, the play test has at least raised the visibility of the new edition.

But it might make sense to release a teaser product to the stores.  Perhaps a set of basic rules to be used with next year's encounters.  Nothing fancy but something along the same lines as what they are doing with Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle.

I'm thinking release for Christmas 2014, with some "preview" books available at GenCon 2014. I expect some preview books, and if they're going to release Next into the wild at GenCon next year, those should be being written now. 



Well, they have been arbitrarily movin away from things that were good about 4e, because reasons (lookin at you, elite, minion and solo concepts) recently...so...I'm temped to say that Mearls has some absurd reason for thinking that preview books are a bad thing, too.



But I wouldn't be surprised too much if this Christmas sees a physical print product beta package, to reach more people, that they'll sell in game stores for 20 bucks and collect final feedback from as large an audience as possible, with the hope that they'll only need to fine tune some things from that package.
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http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Originally posted by Vinicius_Solo
I'm also not that optimistic about 5e being able to incorporate some of 4th edition's principles . 4e was all about making the game work, with no regard for a "simulationist" mindset. 5e on the other hand is all about "feeling like D&D", that translates to "emulating older editions" and thus returning to a more "simulationist mindset" that I was glad to see gone . I don't think that this "mindset" will be easy to shake off .



Emphasis mine.

This is one half of the big problem 4E ran into.  It took a so-called simulationist mindset -- a theory in 'game design' promulgated like a political split -- and decided to 'prove' that it could be 'better' by not using such a design.  It was done with little consideration to how people would respond to it.  Why does 4E provoke such vitriolic reactions?  Even among people who don't know too incredibly much about it?  For the same reason politics explodes into such vitriolic reactions.  I don't think saying with a handful of smilies that the game came along to prove someone's pet theories is a -good- thing.

The other half, of course, is presentation.  It was presented very clinically, not unlike a technical writing manual.  It made a lot of people wary, and a suspicious wary mindset when trying to learn something new is just about the worst set of learning conditions you can possibly impose.  There are other, smaller details too, but those to me are the main things.  Its interesting...in hindsight, I'm -finally- taking the time to truly learn 4E.  It takes quite a bit of effort, but it can be made into a game that feels almost like any other (once you get a few underlying baseline assumptions injected into the campaign world).  But they didn't choose that route.  If they had, I highly doubt we'd be seeing DDN already.  4E had some good ideas, but many of them will likely end up being tossed out as a casualty of someone's desire to make DDN a political theatre on so-called 'game design'.

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

YOu know why DnD has trouble attracting new players?

THEY DON'T ADVERTISE!

I'm serious I've been in this hobby since 3.0 released and I never saw one tv commercial.

The only adds for DnD stuff I ever see are on places people who already play RPGs go, rpg.net, drivethrurpg, paizo, Dragon and dungeon magazines, I'm serious no one in the RPG biz advertizes outside the rpg zones. Targeted advertisement is one thing but this is rediculous.

The one time I saw an RPG advertised outside a gaming website, or shop, I bought it up soley because they showed the chutzpah to do a little smart advertizing. Never regretted it either, It's the absolutely lovely Tephra game for the clockwork system. They advertised a steam punk game with a heavy crafting focus on the website for the girl genius webcomic.

Seriously this should not be novel behavior for gaming companies.

Hasbro is a master of advertising, if there's one good thing that could come from the corporate takeeover it should be a better advertising campaign. Seriously, a half-decent cartoon on the hub right after My Little pony and/or transformers prime, plus a few commercials and a poster or two at all their major distribution centers and you're golden.



I agree to a certain extent but even a single TV ad is generally beyond the PR budget of any RPG company probably including WotC, though I accept not Hasbro as the parent company.

RPGs are promoted through word of mouth principally and to do that they need to sell themselves at least to an audience of DMs who can persuade players to try the latest new thing. How games do this varies but I have posted elsewhere the things that I think WotC should do / should have done to ensure D&D Next is a success. As has been posted above, those who have moved away from D&D need to be persuaded to play the next edition because it is better than the game  they are playing instead. That is a tough sell, particularly when given the biggest breakaway customer bases now (for want of a better term) are those who enjoyed 4E and will keep playing and those who adopted Pathfinder when 4E came out. Paizo has a good business model and a good relationship with its community in my experience and, as has also been pointed out in this thread, 4E groups have more than enough material to run several campaigns based on what's already out there (I know I do plus I convert PF stuff).

I am not sure wider advertising would do much more than wind up the anti-D&D lobby and we had enough of that in the 80s. D&D Next needs to appeal to the fractured customer base first (if possible) and a wider audience second to my mind. At the moment, I'm not sure it's doing either.
I get that most RpGs companies are on a shoe string budget at the best of TImes. I don't expect the Cthulhutech guys to run a marketing blitz with commercials in prime time slots and a huge advert during the superbowl or anything.

However advertising on some more tangentially related websites would porbably fit their budgets. Example: Web comics such as the tephra-girl genius thing.

Furthermore while there is still an anti-dnd lobby, getting them riled up again is probably the best advertising we can hope for.

It makes DnD seem rebellious and cool. 
YOu know why DnD has trouble attracting new players?

THEY DON'T ADVERTISE!

I'm serious I've been in this hobby since 3.0 released and I never saw one tv commercial.

The only adds for DnD stuff I ever see are on places people who already play RPGs go, rpg.net, drivethrurpg, paizo, Dragon and dungeon magazines, I'm serious no one in the RPG biz advertizes outside the rpg zones. Targeted advertisement is one thing but this is rediculous.

The one time I saw an RPG advertised outside a gaming website, or shop, I bought it up soley because they showed the chutzpah to do a little smart advertizing. Never regretted it either, It's the absolutely lovely Tephra game for the clockwork system. They advertised a steam punk game with a heavy crafting focus on the website for the girl genius webcomic.

Seriously this should not be novel behavior for gaming companies.

Hasbro is a master of advertising, if there's one good thing that could come from the corporate takeeover it should be a better advertising campaign. Seriously, a half-decent cartoon on the hub right after My Little pony and/or transformers prime, plus a few commercials and a poster or two at all their major distribution centers and you're golden.



I agree to a certain extent but even a single TV ad is generally beyond the PR budget of any RPG company probably including WotC, though I accept not Hasbro as the parent company.

RPGs are promoted through word of mouth principally and to do that they need to sell themselves at least to an audience of DMs who can persuade players to try the latest new thing. How games do this varies but I have posted elsewhere the things that I think WotC should do / should have done to ensure D&D Next is a success. As has been posted above, those who have moved away from D&D need to be persuaded to play the next edition because it is better than the game  they are playing instead. That is a tough sell, particularly when given the biggest breakaway customer bases now (for want of a better term) are those who enjoyed 4E and will keep playing and those who adopted Pathfinder when 4E came out. Paizo has a good business model and a good relationship with its community in my experience and, as has also been pointed out in this thread, 4E groups have more than enough material to run several campaigns based on what's already out there (I know I do plus I convert PF stuff).

I am not sure wider advertising would do much more than wind up the anti-D&D lobby and we had enough of that in the 80s. D&D Next needs to appeal to the fractured customer base first (if possible) and a wider audience second to my mind. At the moment, I'm not sure it's doing either.



If Hasbro wants to have any chance of meeting the insane sales marks they are selling they will need real advertising theres just no other way.  I really don't think theres that much of an anti D&D Movement left honestly. I lived through that and it sucked, but with todays gaming culture I just don't see it being any where near sustainable.

Originally posted by Vinicius_Solo
I'm also not that optimistic about 5e being able to incorporate some of 4th edition's principles . 4e was all about making the game work, with no regard for a "simulationist" mindset. 5e on the other hand is all about "feeling like D&D", that translates to "emulating older editions" and thus returning to a more "simulationist mindset" that I was glad to see gone . I don't think that this "mindset" will be easy to shake off .



Emphasis mine.

This is one half of the big problem 4E ran into.  It took a so-called simulationist mindset -- a theory in 'game design' promulgated like a political split -- and decided to 'prove' that it could be 'better' by not using such a design.  It was done with little consideration to how people would respond to it.  Why does 4E provoke such vitriolic reactions?  Even among people who don't know too incredibly much about it?  For the same reason politics explodes into such vitriolic reactions.  I don't think saying with a handful of smilies that the game came along to prove someone's pet theories is a -good- thing.

The other half, of course, is presentation.  It was presented very clinically, not unlike a technical writing manual.  It made a lot of people wary, and a suspicious wary mindset when trying to learn something new is just about the worst set of learning conditions you can possibly impose.  There are other, smaller details too, but those to me are the main things.  Its interesting...in hindsight, I'm -finally- taking the time to truly learn 4E.  It takes quite a bit of effort, but it can be made into a game that feels almost like any other (once you get a few underlying baseline assumptions injected into the campaign world).  But they didn't choose that route.  If they had, I highly doubt we'd be seeing DDN already.  4E had some good ideas, but many of them will likely end up being tossed out as a casualty of someone's desire to make DDN a political theatre on so-called 'game design'.



As a fan of all editions so far (Though not sure about D&D Next), I was pondering the simulationist vs gamist approach this morning while walking my dogs (cos I'm sad like that) and there are advantages to both approaches. The example I was thinking of is a PC party vs a rival party of adventurers and how they would be handled in 3.5E/Pathfinder vs 4E. In 3.5E, you would have a perfectly balanced encounter but against 4-5 NPCs that would need to be created in detail in terms of feat choices, skills, equipment etc. taking an age to build. In 4E, as written, you would end up with 4-5 stat blocks upgraded with class templates to elites that would overwhelm an equal level party but you could build the encounter in minutes.

Both approaches have advantages and both problems can be solved (use pre-build NPCs in 3.5E/PF and don't use the class templates in 4E) but there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. Despite being firmly in the simulationist camp pre-4E, I am now more inclined to opt for the less time intensive option and DDN does not appeal to me because it seems to be moving away from that. A big part of that is that I have less time to devote to D&D than I used to and I suspect amongst long-time players of my age (which I won't specify) that is something I am not alone in.
I get that most RpGs companies are on a shoe string budget at the best of TImes. I don't expect the Cthulhutech guys to run a marketing blitz with commercials in prime time slots and a huge advert during the superbowl or anything.

However advertising on some more tangentially related websites would porbably fit their budgets. Example: Web comics such as the tephra-girl genius thing.

Furthermore while there is still an anti-dnd lobby, getting them riled up again is probably the best advertising we can hope for.

It makes DnD seem rebellious and cool. 



Ok. Fair points all.

Can't argue with any of that plus I like the idea of making D&D rebellious and cool again.