Can truly modular work in such a fickle market?

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One of teh things about 4E was that it was said to be able to be modular. And it really was. The initial release was a set of basic classes and races with a standard powers structure. It had basic multiclassing. We were told more was to come, including different mechanics but a big chunk of people were weirdly PO'd that we didn't get the Bard, Gnome and Half-Orc right from the start.

PHB2 had more basic classes and races, and new sources of power. But many were already gone and wouldn't look at it.

PHB3 came out with the new Psionics mechanic and hybrid rules, but most of the holdouts were not willing to give it a look.

Then there was Essentials, which seemed somewhat drastic with the book format change but it was new mechanics more closely aligned with older editions' styles of play. Many current players didn't like the way it was presented (like some sort of whole new direction rather than the modular add-on it was) and the holdouts still wouldn't look at.

We actually had a modular system that could be added to but an impatient market still screamed because they didn't get what they wanted up-front. Some of those same people praise Pathfinder's new mechanics that were lifted from 4E.

I'm not trying to defend WotC's presentation, because their marketing team at times seems to be staffed by people who have no understanding of the actual market, but is it not the definition of insanity to do the same thing repeatedly and expect different results? Maybe this time they'll be able to out enough alternatives/modules up-front to stave off some of the backlash but is anyone really confident they will? The playtest can't be the "product" indefinitely and at some point they have to "publish or perish" whether everything is ready or not.
One of teh things about 4E was that it was said to be able to be modular. And it really was. The initial release was a set of basic classes and races with a standard powers structure. It had basic multiclassing.



  You're being extrememly generous calling multi-class feats "multi-classing".  It was a total failure and we didn't get actual multi-classing until 2 years later with the hybrid rules, and even that was an ugly kludge and in no way supports your argument that it was modular.  We didn't get any sort of mechanical differences come out until the Essentials rewrite when they figured out people were tired of going through dozens of pages of green, gray and red blocks and every single class required you to have a stack of power cards like some magic deck that you tap in the same order fight after fight.


@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

You're a perfect example. Modular was there, the mechanics were there, they just took time to be introduced. WotC put out meterial at an insane pace yet there are still people llike you complaining it wasn't fast enough. Essentials wasn't a re-write, it was the older-school-style module that had been talked about pre-release and always been coming.

The hybrid rules weren't a kludge, they were a well-designed, balanced system that didn't over-power or utterly nerf a character depending on system mastery (though it did make creating an actual poor-working character easier without some base discernability).
I eagerly played 4e at the start and was a total supporter.  I lasted through at least players handbook 2.   I had arcane and martial power books.   

This belief is insane.  The style of 4e was rejected.  It's not some accident of marketing.  Yes marketing could be better but it wouldn't have saved 4e.

I keep hearing over and over the mantra that 4e was a game that everyone should like but WOTC just can't get us to give it a fair chance.   This is patently not true.   The game really is radically different and is based upon radically different philosophy from pre-4e D&D games.   What is shocking is that it got the people it did get.   That is the power of the D&D brand name if you ask me.



 
 Again, by the time they gave us the old-school-style options you were gone and not going to go back. The "style" of 4E was not rejected, only a complete moron would believe that. It was no less successful than 3E or 3.5 which many claim to be the greatest thing since sliced bread (and yet was "soundly rejected" by many D&D players already). 

If you look at it with actual objectivity, namely the elements,  they were there. Not immediately, but they came, yet by that time many refused to even look at them as they'd already fallen in to the depths of Edition Waring.
Gunthar

Your premise is that the players who did not adopt 4E made that choice because of a lack of options and modularity. This is mistaken.

Most of the people who chose not to adopt 4E did not do so because any particular class or race or module was missing;  they did so because they did not like the material that was already present at launch.
Right, but when they presented the material (that had always been discussed) more in line with the older-school style those initial rejectors were already entrenched.

"Look, here's the stuff for you we talked about in the very beginning as coming."

""Uh-uh, it's not D&D! I hate it! I'm not going to look!"

I do wonder what woud have happened if Essentials classes had been released first.
Right, but when they presented the material (that had always been discussed) more in line with the older-school style those initial rejectors were already entrenched.

"Look, here's the stuff for you we talked about in the very beginning as coming."

""Uh-uh, it's not D&D! I hate it! I'm not going to look!"



Yep.  I remember that time very well.  There was an intense (if initially disorganized) political campaign against 4E long before any of us actually saw the mechanics (outside a few playtesters).  Now to be fair, Wotc's own arrogance (IMHO) and actions, and mistake (esp regarding OGL/GSL) brought this on.

The fact remains there was a huge amount of negativity towards 4E before anyone ever saw it, and that meant that people were primed to reject it out of hand and many did.

-Polaris
4e is the example of a modular system that did not spit out mods fast enough.

The first core books had a particular playstyle. The second stream of PHB/MM/DMG took a while and STILL only added a few extra style. By the time old school styles of Essential appeared, those who would want it were gone.

For DDN to succeed, it HAS TO pull of the styles of ALL 4 editions within a year and all the most popular settings withn 2 years.

Because after 2 years, those waiting will be switching.

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

"Look, here's the stuff for you we talked about in the very beginning as coming."

"No thanks, in the intervening three years I've found something that suits me better." would be more accurate,  don't you think?

I don't think people who didn't like 4E did so out of spite or malice, any more than I think people who don't like the taste of fish have a secret burning grudge against Neptune. It just isn't to their tastes, is all.
"Look, here's the stuff for you we talked about in the very beginning as coming."

"No thanks, in the intervening three years I've found something that suits me better." would be more accurate,  don't you think?

I don't think people who didn't like 4E did so out of spite or malice, any more than I think people who don't like the taste of fish have a secret burning grudge against Neptune. It just isn't to their tastes, is all.



This exactly.

I mean, having to wait what, two years or so?, just to get all of the classes you would expect to get in a PHB 1 (because there were still traditional classes coming out in the PHB 3, right?) didn't sit well with me.

I was excited for the game before it came out. I was excited when it came out. I gave it a shot, wanting to like it. I didn't, so I went and played games I did like. I didn't - and don't - have some grudge against 4E, it just wasn't (and isn't) worth my time any longer.

To answer the question posed in the thread title: there's already at least one system out there that's modular in the same manner (and likely more that I'm unfamiliar with), so if done properly, yet, it's possible for it to work and work well. Time will tell if they get it right with DDN.

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

"Look, here's the stuff for you we talked about in the very beginning as coming."

"No thanks, in the intervening three years I've found something that suits me better." would be more accurate,  don't you think?

I don't think people who didn't like 4E did so out of spite or malice, any more than I think people who don't like the taste of fish have a secret burning grudge against Neptune. It just isn't to their tastes, is all.



Actually there was plenty of spite and malice towards 4E (and to be fair towords those that didn't want to play 4E) in 2007-8 and to be brutally frank Wotc's own marketing strategies encouraged it.

-Polaris
I played BECMI for several years with a little AD&D 1st and then 2nd edition on occasion. I then stopped playing for about 15 years. About a year ago, I dove back in with the 4th edition red box and I just don't get the complaints. Sure, it's presented differently. Some of the stuff is a little weird at first glance, and it took a few sessions to warm up to it. I just don't get the argument that it isn't D&D. It is D&D, and a very good refinement at that. The more I play it, the more I like it. And I've managed to get a nearly complete collection of all the books on ebay super cheap, thanks haters!



It's a matter of being able to explain why things work.  The more dogmatic one is in relation to 'why' heroes are heroes, the harder it is to get them to accept something.  I speak from personal experience (and recent, at that!) on this.

To a lot of people (and I'm not referring to the ones who played and then decided otherwise; instead, to those who had some minimal exposure, then for whatever reason couldn't play it and learned the rest from forums) the big problem was simply in how the world's base assumptions had changed.  Yes, it's listed in the DMG but it's pretty deeply buried.  It should have been somewhere around page 3 of the Player's Handbook.

If you play the game 100% strictly as written, you won't find much of an 'old-school' feel to it.  But that doesn't mean it -can't- be run as a game informed from that mentality, not at all.  It most certainly can.  My group has gotten to try it now, and after some initial weirdness at the changed assumptives, they've taken to it just fine.  My personal (read: quiet) observation is that some of them seem to be having more fun than normal, too.  I like this.  A lot.

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

4e is the example of a modular system that did not spit out mods fast enough. The first core books had a particular playstyle. The second stream of PHB/MM/DMG took a while and STILL only added a few extra style. By the time old school styles of Essential appeared, those who would want it were gone. For DDN to succeed, it HAS TO pull of the styles of ALL 4 editions within a year and all the most popular settings withn 2 years. Because after 2 years, those waiting will be switching.



Right, but can/will they be able to complete and release the mods fast enough without "burning" the edition in a few years again in the process. It's kind of like:

"We want it all, and we want it NOW!"

"Okay, here's the first wave."

"But that's not all or now!"

"Here's some more"

"Still not all, and nowhere near now!"

"Here's some more."

"Can't you people do anything right?!?!?!"

"Here's more, though we cut playtesting short."

"Why are you releasing things so fast?!?!?!"

And it's not just D&D. We saw the same thing with the Miniatures line, etc. They basically "need' to have everything in the can upon release, which isn't realistic, yet seemingly what fans want.

"Actually there was plenty of spite and malice towards 4E (and to be fair towords those that didn't want to play 4E) in 2007-8"

Heh. I tend discount the internet on the subject of "popular opinion", especially forums. Almost everyone on the internet is filled with spite and malice, with a small dollop of incoherent range and a sprinkle of conspiracy theory. (But not you, gentle reader.)  It's the nature of the medium; as a general rule only the most extreme voices are heard, because they are the ones most determined to dominate the conversation.

I'm drawing my opinions from actually talking to gamers, attending cons, talking to store managers etc etc about what they liked - or didn't like - about 4E.
"Right, but can/will they be able to complete and release the mods fast enough without "burning" the edition in a few years again in the process. "

No. Why would they want to? They will release a new version of D&D every 4-5 years as long as it makes a profit. Forever.

If you don't like D&D Next? Check back in 2018.
"Right, but can/will they be able to complete and release the mods fast enough without "burning" the edition in a few years again in the process. "

No. Why would they want to? They will release a new version of D&D every 4-5 years as long as it makes a profit. Forever.

If you don't like D&D Next? Check back in 2018.



True, which means modularity really is just a buzzword rather than a reality.
"True, which means modularity really is just a buzzword rather than a reality."

No, it means that regardless of how "modular" the end product is, they are still going to tear it down and start over in 5 years as a new wave of adolescents join the purchasing demographic.

"We are going to make a completely modular game" and "We are going to redesign and rerelease the game every 5 years" are not mutually exculsive statements.
Simple answer... no. If they are going to be successful with the amount of modularity they say they are they might as well start working on 6e already too.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X

I don't see how 4E could be considered modular.  There isn't anything modular about "a set of basic classes and races with a standard powers structure".  It doesn't provide room for nonstandard powers structures as a simple example.

Also Essentials to me was not the product you claim it was.  I don't see how it provides new mechanics more closely aligned with older editions' style of play when it still uses the same standard powers structure.

There are parts of 4th Edition I like.  At-Will and Encounter Powers are a great idea.  But as there was no room for the fans of Vancian magic (again as a simple example), the 4E system can hardly be considered modular.  A truly modular system is one that is able and willing to balance vastly disparate ability types at the same table.  This is something that D&D Next started wanting and trying to do, and that benchmark has now been moved to one that allows disparate ability types to be played at different tables but within the same game.  D&D Next, while perhaps more modular than 4E, is still far from a truly modular game, and is already not the game that was originally envisioned (as far as we can tell from what the developers have shared with us).
Well we have all of 4e now.  I still don't want to play it.  Yes I think Essentials is better but it's still not something I care to play.   Whatever the complaints against the other editions are, I'd still rather play BECMI, 1e, 2e, or 3e than 4e.  

In fact a friend asked my what constituted total rejection of a game versus just not liking elements of the game.   I answered -  When you could pick your absolute favorite DM of all time to run the game and you still won't if it's the rejected edition, then thats total rejection.   Sure I dislike all kinds of things in past editions of D&D.   I could still play them in the right environment.   I don't feel that way about 4e.  I wouldn't play it without getting paid a lot of money like 100 bucks an hour.   

And I came into the game apparently having missed the war leading up to it's release.  I was totally on board, highly motivated to have fun and ran a campaign for over a year.   I bought book after book hoping to save the game.   Finally I realized there were fundamental things I couldn't stand that no amount of extra rules was going to fix.


 
One of teh things about 4E was that it was said to be able to be modular. And it really was. The initial release was a set of basic classes and races with a standard powers structure. It had basic multiclassing. We were told more was to come, including different mechanics but a big chunk of people were so weirdly PO'd that we didn't get the Bard, Gnome and Half-Orc right from the start they went troll.



  You're being extrememly generous calling multi-class feats "multi-classing".  It was a total failure and we didn't get actual multi-classing until 2 years later with the hybrid rules, and even that was an ugly kludge and in no way supports your argument that it was modular.  We didn't get any sort of mechanical differences come out until the Essentials rewrite when they figured out people were tired of going through dozens of pages of green, gray and red blocks and every single class required you to have a stack of power cards like some magic deck that you tap in the same order fight after fight.



lol... This post makes me feel like we are in the middle of the edition wars again. All in all there were few things mechanically wrong in 4e. The biggest issues were like Gunthar said was that they weren't pushing out options as fast as they were expected to. 

But I still blame a lot of 4e's hate on the presentation of the game.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X

"Actually there was plenty of spite and malice towards 4E (and to be fair towords those that didn't want to play 4E) in 2007-8"

Heh. I tend discount the internet on the subject of "popular opinion", especially forums. Almost everyone on the internet is filled with spite and malice, with a small dollop of incoherent range and a sprinkle of conspiracy theory. (But not you, gentle reader.)  It's the nature of the medium; as a general rule only the most extreme voices are heard, because they are the ones most determined to dominate the conversation.

I'm drawing my opinions from actually talking to gamers, attending cons, talking to store managers etc etc about what they liked - or didn't like - about 4E.



The antagonism and political hatred towareds 4E went FAR beyond the internet forums.

-Polaris
The problem is twofold

1) There are so many ways to play D&D officially. There are 4 editions of playstyle and many well supported settings each with their own tweaks.

2) There is a ton of competition. Whatever DDN does not do, someone else will eventually do. And they are also competeing with their past selves.

so...

"I wanna play high action Dark Sun."
"But psionics and action modules did not come out yet."
"Fine well play Eb.."
"No warforged PC rules yet."
"It´s been a year and a half. Fine. We´ll play FR again."
"How about we play this new RPG, Sandy Monster Swords, instead?"

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

"Actually there was plenty of spite and malice towards 4E (and to be fair towords those that didn't want to play 4E) in 2007-8"

Heh. I tend discount the internet on the subject of "popular opinion", especially forums. Almost everyone on the internet is filled with spite and malice, with a small dollop of incoherent range and a sprinkle of conspiracy theory. (But not you, gentle reader.)  It's the nature of the medium; as a general rule only the most extreme voices are heard, because they are the ones most determined to dominate the conversation.

I'm drawing my opinions from actually talking to gamers, attending cons, talking to store managers etc etc about what they liked - or didn't like - about 4E.



The antagonism and political hatred towareds 4E went FAR beyond the internet forums.

-Polaris

Not much farther. Most people tend to keep their mouths shut in real life and listen to reason. They don't immediately dismiss ideas as faulty or bad when someone sits down with you and explains it to you.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X

The problem is twofold

1) There are so many ways to play D&D officially. There are 4 editions of playstyle and many well supported settings each with their own tweaks.

2) There is a ton of competition. Whatever DDN does not do, someone else will eventually do. And they are also competeing with their past selves.

so...

"I wanna play high action Dark Sun."
"But psionics and action modules did not come out yet."
"Fine well play Eb.."
"No warforged PC rules yet."
"It´s been a year and a half. Fine. We´ll play FR again."
"How about we play this new RPG, Sandy Monster Swords, instead?"

This. That is the problem with D&D. The fan base has been broken over and over so many times it will be near impossible to have a group of 1e players and 3.5 players sitting at the same table. They will all want to use different modular rules and each will have vastly different playstyles. The modularity will become more of a problem than a feature. 

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X

"The antagonism and political hatred towareds 4E went FAR beyond the internet forums."

I am perfectly willing to accept that you encountered such things as long as you are equally willing to accept that I did not. Being as we really only have our own experiences to draw on - the internet being an unreliable (though entertaing) medium to judge - clearly we will not agree.

Out of curiosity, is it your belief that the majority of people who disliked 4E did so out of blind irrational predjudice rather than it being sincerely not to their tastes?
"Actually there was plenty of spite and malice towards 4E (and to be fair towords those that didn't want to play 4E) in 2007-8"

Heh. I tend discount the internet on the subject of "popular opinion", especially forums. Almost everyone on the internet is filled with spite and malice, with a small dollop of incoherent range and a sprinkle of conspiracy theory. (But not you, gentle reader.)  It's the nature of the medium; as a general rule only the most extreme voices are heard, because they are the ones most determined to dominate the conversation.

I'm drawing my opinions from actually talking to gamers, attending cons, talking to store managers etc etc about what they liked - or didn't like - about 4E.



The antagonism and political hatred towareds 4E went FAR beyond the internet forums.

-Polaris

Not much farther. Most people tend to keep their mouths shut in real life and listen to reason. They don't immediately dismiss ideas as faulty or bad when someone sits down with you and explains it to you.



You definately found it in the gaming press at the time, and I certainly saw it at various conventions.

-Polaris
Out of curiosity, is it your belief that the majority of people who disliked 4E did so out of blind irrational predjudice rather than it being sincerely not to their tastes?



Insufficient Data.

I do note that 4e had issues that had nothing to do with mechanics such as having to compete against it's immediate predecessor.  Given that many people are conservative in nature, that's a huge barrier right there that no other edition had to deal with.

I would say that it's possible at least initially.  I would say that many of those that criticised 4e even to this day clearly haven't played it for more than a session at best.

-Polaris


The antagonism and political hatred towareds 4E went FAR beyond the internet forums.

-Polaris



Funny, in my area, all of the folks I talked to as the game was coming out were excited to try it out. So we did, for several sessions.

Turns out, we didn't like it, dropped it like a bad habit, and moved on.

I know that you want to present that 4E was just misunderstood, but please try to understand that there were people who did want to give it a fair shake and were subsequently let down by it.

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

I think the lesson for WOTC to take from the 4th edition release is that players do not want to buy three player's handbooks. If all the content from those three books had been in one book from the beginning, the modularity would have gone over much better. 5th edition needs a complete game in three books: PHB, DMG and MM, complete with many modules and options built in.
The key to Next being Modular is to be upfront about it. Not everything is coming out at launch; to think otherwise is insane. They should have several Modules in the initial release, along with a description of planned Modules. This should give players an idea of what's in the works, as well as giving the DM ideas for homebrew Modules.

You don't need a Psionic Module to play in Dark Sun... the DM can either downplay the psionics, make up his own wild-talents, or hodgepodge something (like giving everyone a free cantrip as a psionic power). Same thing for Warforged in Eberron, or whatever. It's not perfect, but it'll work until the Module comes out.

Next is making a foundation to build any type of campaign you want to run. Even after Modules are released on a steady basis, I suspect Homebrew Modules will be very popular, because no one knows what each group needs except that group. I think this is a great thing, and has the potential to do quite well.
The key to Next being Modular is to be upfront about it. Not everything is coming out at launch; to think otherwise is insane. They should have several Modules in the initial release, along with a description of planned Modules. This should give players an idea of what's in the works, as well as giving the DM ideas for homebrew Modules.

You don't need a Psionic Module to play in Dark Sun... the DM can either downplay the psionics, make up his own wild-talents, or hodgepodge something (like giving everyone a free cantrip as a psionic power). Same thing for Warforged in Eberron, or whatever. It's not perfect, but it'll work until the Module comes out.

Next is making a foundation to build any type of campaign you want to run. Even after Modules are released on a steady basis, I suspect Homebrew Modules will be very popular, because no one knows what each group needs except that group. I think this is a great thing, and has the potential to do quite well.



Yep. Make modules, sure, but also give us the tools to make our own. That would be something with some potential.

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

My family group played 3.0/3.5 from its inception, and jumped on board 4e when it came out. I recall much invective about 4e on the message boards (especially from 3.0/3.5 players), but it wasn't any worse than what is being said about Next by older players (in this case, especially 4e players). As has been mentioned in this thread, gamers tend to be conservative about their gaming choices, and 4e was a radical break with 3.0/3.5 just as Next is a radical break from 4e. I played 4e with my family, starting a party at 1st level and playing it up through 8th, so we put in a lot of time with 4e. I had a D&DI subscription. (Might still, since I don't think I cancelled it yet. I do like to read through the magazines.) In the end, we abandoned 4e primarily because if the tactical combat grid and the sheer length of combat encounters. No matter what shortcuts we tried (rolling extra dice, making more minions, halving hit points, etc.), we just couldn't get combat it to where we liked it-and we were pretty quick about decisions and knowing our powers. We never tried Essentials, because as far as I could tell from browsing the books and reviews combat was pretty much the same.

I have no hatred toward 4e. In fact, we're using our Dungeon Command tiles and minis to play 4e tactical combat games. We just know that when we do we're in for a long session of combat, and we're in the mood for that. When we roleplay, it's all Next for us (although one son also plays in a 3.5 camapign with some friends.) I am put off by those who suggest that everyone who gave up on 4e had little exposure to the game, though. It just isn't true in every case.
Out of curiosity, is it your belief that the majority of people who disliked 4E did so out of blind irrational predjudice rather than it being sincerely not to their tastes?



Insufficient Data.

I do note that 4e had issues that had nothing to do with mechanics such as having to compete against it's immediate predecessor.  Given that many people are conservative in nature, that's a huge barrier right there that no other edition had to deal with.

I would say that it's possible at least initially.  I would say that many of those that criticised 4e even to this day clearly haven't played it for more than a session at best.

-Polaris



This is a very dangerous position to take Polaris.  It evaluates to "People don't know what they like until they play it.".  I can tell you if I like a game just by reading,  I don't need to play it to tell you I don't like it.

Every edition had to compete with it's immediate predecessor,  people still owned their books.  Unless you were referring to Pathfinder?  That wasn't a huge difference,  the attrition already existed before Pathfinder released.

What you're postulating is that people would've bought 4th edition even though they didn't like it if Pathfinder didn't exist,  which is logically hard to believe,  because the assertion requires people to suddenly buy products they don't like and play products they don't like.  Logically,  they were much more likely to completely lapse than buy something they disliked.   
Out of curiosity, is it your belief that the majority of people who disliked 4E did so out of blind irrational predjudice rather than it being sincerely not to their tastes?



Insufficient Data.

I do note that 4e had issues that had nothing to do with mechanics such as having to compete against it's immediate predecessor.  Given that many people are conservative in nature, that's a huge barrier right there that no other edition had to deal with.

I would say that it's possible at least initially.  I would say that many of those that criticised 4e even to this day clearly haven't played it for more than a session at best.

-Polaris



This is a very dangerous position to take Polaris.  It evaluates to "People don't know what they like until they play it.".  I can tell you if I like a game just by reading,  I don't need to play it to tell you I don't like it.

Every edition had to compete with it's immediate predecessor,  people still owned their books.  Unless you were referring to Pathfinder?  That wasn't a huge difference,  the attrition already existed before Pathfinder released.

What you're postulating is that people would've bought 4th edition even though they didn't like it if Pathfinder didn't exist,  which is logically hard to believe,  because the assertion requires people to suddenly buy products they don't like and play products they don't like.  Logically,  they were much more likely to completely lapse than buy something they disliked.   



Not dangerous at all, really.

I consider myself a pretty savy gamer. I've played since '78, and played literally hundreds, if not thousands of RPGs in that time. I can usually tell if I'm going to like a book, movie, boardgame, RPG, etc... just by very limited exposure. I don't make snap judgements, and I also have always supported the newest edition of D&D when it came out, no matter what the naysayers said.

When I first read the PHB for 4e, I was like "OMG, its been turned into a Superheroes Game" and I was so so majorly against it as D&D it wasn't funny. However, I was in a new town, and I sat down to play in a store game, as I wanted to game, regardless (and I like Superhero games too) and I realized, that very first setting, that 4e was not only a wonderful iteration of D&D, but that it reminded me totally of playing OD&D and BECMI back in the day. It took me back to my childhood, and this was with a DM who didn't even like the system, but only ran it because the store insisted the store games be D&D 4e.

As it happened, I ended up taking over as DM for that store (after subbing when he couldn't make it, and starting another group on a different day for awhile) and not only did the player numbers grow, but I even convinced that previous DM that 4e was a worthwhile game, once it was ran by a DM who embraced the system instead of fighting against it. (I could see the potential in the game even contrary to his own prejudice)

I don't think everyone who dislikes 4e is uninformed or never played. I don't even think everyone didn't give it a good enough shot. I do think that MANY, not all, but MANY of those who dislike 4e either didn't give it a shot, or only played with a DM who was antagonistic to the system in the first place. Many people come to 4e with  pre-formed opinions, that is a fact...not all, but many. I can say, every single person I've talked into playing 4e, who was against it, isn't anymore. Every Single one...some of them will say they would only consider playing if I DM it, or they say they wouldn't want to buy 4e, because of how WotC treated 3.x, but they all admit its a great game and my sessions felt like D&D.

My conclusion, and the only one I can make given the evidence I have, is that while 4e definitely doesn't fit the bill for some people(bound to happen, good or bad) the vast majority of people who dislike 4e do so out of a lack of experience with the system, either only with antagonistic DMs or never having played, or only with a Bad DM...

My 2cp worth 
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You also have to distinguish can support a modular approach, versus intended to be modular. 4e did not make a consolidated effort to bring back features of older editions. Instead it was trying to push forward by creating a new game. But the basic rule structure does isolate certain components of the game, so you can remove healing surges and go back to old style healing, get rid of NADs and replace them with saves, make rituals more robust and distinguished, and the game continues to function. You can even take 4E and replace the daily power structure to be more diverse, or even encounter powers, or at-wills, because the game starts off with an equal amount of choices. That is a powerful gauge when adding disparity in power selection.

There is no reason 5E can not do it, but it is starting on the other side of the spectrum with 1E/2E, which is unequal power structure or varied choices. It would not be the approach I would take with a game, even if in the long run the goal was to mix things up.
Out of curiosity, is it your belief that the majority of people who disliked 4E did so out of blind irrational predjudice rather than it being sincerely not to their tastes?



Insufficient Data.

I do note that 4e had issues that had nothing to do with mechanics such as having to compete against it's immediate predecessor.  Given that many people are conservative in nature, that's a huge barrier right there that no other edition had to deal with.

I would say that it's possible at least initially.  I would say that many of those that criticised 4e even to this day clearly haven't played it for more than a session at best.

-Polaris



This sums up my biggest complaint about 4E -- edition warriors. Regardless of whether you tried it (we did), regardless of how long you played it (6 months), if you ended up not liking it, then somehow, as either a consumer, or a D&D hobbyist (since 1978 here), there is somehow something wrong with you. It is possible for the system to be absolutely perfect and balanced in what it does. Doesn't mean anyone has to enjoy it more than something else (or enjoy it at all, really). Played it. GM'ed it. It didn't do it for me.  I moved on (like a lot of other people). Of course, this inevitably brings up the second accusation in the chain, "well, you must have played it wrong" (or its blood brother, "you obviously didn't understand it"). Such loyalty, of this edition or any other for that matter, is blind to the fact that what we play is completely subjective. A large group of folks prefer something else. Move on.
Truly modular? Of course. Not modular, but advertised as modular? No.

 
My family group played 3.0/3.5 from its inception, and jumped on board 4e when it came out. I recall much invective about 4e on the message boards (especially from 3.0/3.5 players), but it wasn't any worse than what is being said about Next by older players (in this case, especially 4e players). As has been mentioned in this thread, gamers tend to be conservative about their gaming choices, and 4e was a radical break with 3.0/3.5 just as Next is a radical break from 4e. I played 4e with my family, starting a party at 1st level and playing it up through 8th, so we put in a lot of time with 4e. I had a D&DI subscription. (Might still, since I don't think I cancelled it yet. I do like to read through the magazines.) In the end, we abandoned 4e primarily because if the tactical combat grid and the sheer length of combat encounters. No matter what shortcuts we tried (rolling extra dice, making more minions, halving hit points, etc.), we just couldn't get combat it to where we liked it-and we were pretty quick about decisions and knowing our powers. We never tried Essentials, because as far as I could tell from browsing the books and reviews combat was pretty much the same.

I have no hatred toward 4e. In fact, we're using our Dungeon Command tiles and minis to play 4e tactical combat games. We just know that when we do we're in for a long session of combat, and we're in the mood for that. When we roleplay, it's all Next for us (although one son also plays in a 3.5 camapign with some friends.) I am put off by those who suggest that everyone who gave up on 4e had little exposure to the game, though. It just isn't true in every case.



No. In your case, it's the mindset that 4ed was a tactical combat game. If you think that Dungeon Command (a diceless miniatures game with no objectives greater than morale or death) is equivalent to 4ed, then it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Try playing 4ed with a focus on long-term stories, where each encounter is an important chapter in the story. Make combat multi-faceted, more than just killing the other team. Use the suggested encounter packages, but don't be afraid to go out of them as well. You might be surprised.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

I thought 4E WAS a module...

Nah, but seriously, 3E had bunches of modules.  Unearthed Arcana, TOB, and ToM were my favorite modules but I am not sure if they contributed to 3E success/failure.  People seemed to buy them.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

People consistently confusion "options/had options" with "modules/modular".

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."